Holy dual screened handheld systems, Batman! When crime is a foot, you can be a sure a swift punch to the nose from an entity called Justice will deliver evil doers to their rightful place behind bars. Hammers of Justice! It's Batman the Brave and the Bold - The Videogame for the Nintendo DS.
Batman the Brave and the Bold - The Videogame
Publisher: WB Interactive Ent.
Platform" Nintendo DS
Rating: E 10+
Batman the Brave and the Bold for the Nintendo DS is a side scrolling beat-em-up wherein you control the Dark Knight and another hero from the DC Universe to fight evil on 8 levels. Each level plays out like an episode of the show complete with the episode title appearing before you enter the stage. The hero you are paired up with varies depending on the level you choose, the likes of Green Arrow, Aquaman and Red Tornado among others lend their abilities to help you traverse the different stages. Story: As I said earlier, each level plays like an episode of the show with little narrative outside of the villain comitting evil and you having to stop him/her. None of the 'episode' tie in together in the end so there isn't a coherent story through out the game. Gameplay: The gameplay is your typical side scrolling beat-em-up. You have a light and heavy attack, a special attack button, a jump button, a guard button, and a button for character specific abilities. The combat isn't deep but not super shallow. Yes you can just do the same attack pattern over and over again but you can mix it up with a launching uppercut and air juggle opponents.
Batman can use weapons from his utility belt sure as his baterangs, gas grenades and the infamous 'lightsaber belt sword' that can be seen in the cartoon series. You gain access to more gadgets as you beat levels be powered up by coins gained from fallen enemies and spent in the batcave.
The other heroes can do the standard light and heavy attacks but the animations depend on their super powers which is pretty neat. Their special attacks also vary and is either used just for combat or for platforming. For example, Green Lantern can create blocks from his power ring for you to climb on to reach higher ground, Red Tornado shoots out smaller tornadoes that can harden laval streams so that Batman can ninja jump on.
Chaining enough hits together can initiate a screen clearning dual move between Batman and the current DC Superhero he's paired with. Some of these attacks are hilarious and I do it just to watch em, one in particular is that Green Lantern forms a jet out of his ring energy that flies across the screen while dropping bombs as Batman and Hal are riding it.
Touchscreen implementation is very minimal in this game, limiting only to tagging out your current character with another, initiating the dual clear screen attack and switching between Batman's weapons. It works well and though I'm glad we aren't presented with campy touchscreen minigames in levels, I wish they would've added just a bit more.
My problem with the combat is since you can power up Batman's equipment, it comes to a point that he becomes too overpowered early on in this very short game. And with this game's ridiculous length, thats already saying a lot. Aside from the moments where you are force to use the other hero to traverse the level, there is almost no real incentive to anyone other than Batman.
Platforming is simple, you run and jump through the level and use the heroes' abilities to get across. Batman has his trusty grappling hook and he can latch on bars to shimmey his way, Green Lantern can air dash, Red Tornado can hover, Green Arrow's arrows can be used as stepping stones, you get the drift. Its pretty obvious when and where you need to switch between heroes and use their abilities, none of the stages will have you scratching your head.
At the end of every level is a boss fight, most are straight forward though some may actually require you to think a bit but ultimately offer very little to no challenge.
My final thoughts on this game. I like the fact that it's very true to its source material, you see a lot of references to the show and they are all done pretty well. Even with a voiceless narrative, you feel thepersonality of the characters and it pretty much feels like you really are playing a scene from the show. Voice clips during gameplay sound like the characters on the show and just adds to the personality of the game. The graphics are in a 32bit style and are very well animated. Some segments are hilarious, especially if you follow the cartoon.
I wish this game just offered more, in terms of both challenge and variety. Sure this is meant to target kids who watch the show but that is no reason to make this game as easy as it is. There isn't even a real consequence if you die in game. You either just spawn from a really close checkpoints or start a battle over again which still isn't saying much Aside from a boss battle or 2, the only real challenge I find in this game is in the challenge mode where you only use the other heroes instead of Batman.
Still, I think this game is at least worth a solid rental, a good weekend distraction.
Score: 68 / 100 Pros: True to its source material solid mechanics nicely animated sprites
Cons: Baby easy Very little replay value graphics (though nice) feel dated, like a GBA game