Today is Batman Day as the world celebrates the anniversary of the characters debut in 1939 in the pages of Detective Comics. To celebrate, I thought I’d share some memories and stories about my experiences with Batman games over the years.
BATMAN: THE VIDEO GAME (1990)
I don’t remember exactly when I played this game for the first time, other than I was probably rocking my Batman sweat suit combo that had an amazing Joker top that featured the character holding his head and the words “HA HA HA HA” everywhere. I rented this game from Dexter’s video, the first ever video store I ever remember visiting, and loved playing this game, though I was not very good at it in the slightest. The furthest I ever remembered getting in this game until about two or three years ago was the second levels boss, which is a series of lasers in a locked room.
THE ADVENTURES OF BATMAN AND ROBIN (1994)
During the summer’s, my family loved to go camping. We’d pack up the trailer every weekend and go to a camp ground not to return until Sunday. As I got older, this activity enthused me less and less so my parents started going to a different park that had electrical hook-ups, so I would rent a game out for my SNES that would last me through the weekend. One of those games was The Adventures of Batman and Robin. At… 10, 11? I think, my video game skills were a lot sharper and I was able to make it to the second to last level, but did not know the answer to the Riddler’s final question. I had one magazine that had a walk through for the game but it didn’t cover that last section. It wasn’t until I caught a rerun of the show during a random afternoon that I found out the blasted answer to that riddle was “H.B” or “Human Brain.”
BATMAN FOREVER (1995)
One thing I’ll never forget about this game is the AMAZING TV commercial promoting it:
How can this game NOT be anything less than fantastic?!! Man, it wasn’t. I rented this out over a weekend along with another game, maybe Killer Instinct, and could not get past the section where you’re have to use the grappling hook by tapping up and select in the correct order until I had to return the game on a Sunday. I definitely understood where the AVGN was coming from in his video (one of my favorites of his):
BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES (1993)
This game came out in 1993, but the first time I played it was in 1997. The story of how I got this game is pretty interesting: my uncle was coming home for Christmas in 1997. At a stop over in an airport, he found this game somewhere as it must have been lost or left behind in the Christmas rush. Knowing I had a Game Boy, he gave it to me. This is one of the hardest Batman games, nay GAMES, I’ve ever played. The first level is really fun, but getting past the second level, THE SECOND LEVEL, is near impossible.
BATMAN: THE RISE OF SIN TZU (2003)
This game came out at a point when I had a renewed interest in Batman, as it was at the time when the buzz was building around Batman Begins, I believe the cast was announced and the public may have been given a first look at the Tumbler. Rise of Sin Tzu came out an odd point as the Batman animated series had been off the air for quite some time and it was pushing the title character to be the next crossover sensation like Harley Quinn and came from the mind of Jim Lee. I bought this for my brother for Christmas that year and over the course of my break from University we played over a period of several nights. It’s nothing more than an okay beat-em-up, but I look back fondly on this game as it was one of the few Batman game where I could play as Nightwing and I hadn’t really gotten to play a game with my brother that much in a long time. Oh, and the only way to finish a level in this game? Grappling hook swinging into the Bat symbol!
BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM (2009)
Arkham Asylum was a title that had fallen under my radar when it was being shown off from late 2008 through most of 2009. I was listening to a lot of gaming podcasts at the time, and as it got close to its August release the buzz from a lot of trusted sources was that this was going to be something special. I got my hands on the demo and completely fell in love with it, with the tipping point going to the vertical take down manoeuver, it was that one move that pushed me over the edge to wanting this game. I got lucky because I just got back into the workforce and caught it at its week one discount price of $40. I was doing training from four in the evening until midnight and it was so painful because all I wanted to do was go home and play Arkham Asylum, which I would do until way later in the night than I should have.
LEGO BATMAN 2: DC SUPER HEROES (2012)
This wasn’t the first Lego game I played, but it would be the first one that I bought the day it came out. It was also the first Lego game that I “got.” I played the original Lego Batman and finished the story campaign but never felt the need to go back for all the collectibles as I had enough. I feel in love with Lego Batman 2 immediately. It helped that this game was the first Lego game I played that was open world and with voices. I didn’t care for the first Lego Batman as the game’s story wasn’t based on any of the films like the Lego Star Wars and Indiana Jones games before it, and the silent grunt speak of the characters didn’t work to convey humor. Lego Batman 2 was a funny game throughout, especially the Batman/Superman relationship, that even poked a little fun at the preposterousness of “Arkham City.” Also, though it isn’t Batman related, flying around as Superman with the John Williams theme playing gave me chills.
BATMAN: RETURN OF THE JOKER (1991)
As I stated in my review for this game, I always wanted to play it but circumstances always prevented me to do so. My resolve to play it heightened this year or after many years of it beating me, I finally conquered Batman: The Video Game on the NES. I ordered this game online this summer and the second it came in the mail I popped it into my system and could not put it down…which lead to me finishing it in less than a day. Still, that one day with this fantastic Batman game was for me better than 100 + hours with most of the games on the market today.
I hoped you enjoyed these few anecdotes just a few of my most memorable experiences with Batman in the video game world. I hope to share more with everyone in the future for both the old and new games starring the character. In the meantime, feel free to share some of your Batman video game memories in the comments section below.