Friday, July 31, 2009
Batman by Sunsoft for Sega Genesis, released 1990 (1989 in Japan). Oh boy. This FREAKING GAME. A part of my history, that's for sure..
This story starts in 1989. The new Batman movie by Tim Burton released, driving every teenager into a frenzy and sort of signaling a new beginning for "Summer Movie Events." Sunsoft, a respectable company, scored the rights to make videogames based on it - no Batman game had yet been seen on the NES (few superhero games had at that point - just the godawful Superman game, arrrgh). Anyway the Batman NES game was looking nice as hell, and it was, but then the stupid EGM magazine had to go and print pics of "the deluxe Sega Megadrive 16-Bit version which absolutely blows away your puny NES game." And of course as Nintendo had a strangle-hold on all the licensees in the States, Sunsoft wouldn't be releasing it over here, or so they said..
Long story short, I imported it for $100 (never imported nothin' from nowhere before) 'cause I had to have this, I mean EGM told me so and they were never wrong really. I was excited and felt pretty special to have "the game no one else would see" when it arrived in the mail. I busted open the cartridge housing (to get around the region-lockout) and plunked the PCB into my Sega Genesis ("hmm odd, it's all in English anyway... poor Japanese kids..") Awed by the gorgeous graphics and wonderful music, I plowed my way through this game in short order, probably took me about two days to see it through.
Yeah, disappointing to get through it so fast, but the ride was sweet and I played it several times over the years. Anyway the funny part was when a year later, Nintendo got called out on their illegal treatment of their licensees, the bans were lifted, and Sunsoft released this game stateside. My claim to fame was over, I could have waited a year for Batman and saved like $50, but what ya gonna do. Live and learn, right?
As for the actual game itself, it's your standard "walk tot he right and punch/shoot guys" type of affair. The game was all duded up in some pretty swanky 16-Bit clothes at the time, making the 8Bit version look a little sad by comparison (though it must be sad for the NES, that title was a mighty fine looking game, I will say that!). Also unlike the 8-Bitter, the Sega version had some driving and flying side-view-shooter sequences to break up the gameplay a bit. Nothing special, but they were fun.
At the end of the day, I enjoyed the Big B.M. on Genesis, it was a nice and polished title, it was fun and had some neat tricks up it's sleeve - though to this day I'll maintain that "it's little brother," the NES title which came out a fair bit earlier, was the superior-playing title in the end. Kind of comparing apples and oranges in a way. Let's not get started on the PC-Engine version just yet!