Batman: Vengeance

Game Boy Advance
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Batman: Vengeance on Game Boy Advance delivers dynamic gameplay, including Batman and Robin missions, capturing the essence of the animated series

When it comes to Game Boy Advance versions of console games, expectations can vary widely. Some deliver hidden gems, while others fall disappointingly flat. Batman: Vengeance, while not surpassing its console counterpart, offers a distinctive experience worthy of recognition.

A Crime-Fueled Narrative Unfolds

The narrative kicks off with Batman’s heroic rescue of a citizen named “Mary, targeted by none other than the Joker himself. In a climactic showdown, it appears that the Joker meets his demise, setting in motion a crime wave that thrusts the Dark Knight into the crosshairs of other notorious villains like Poison Ivy and Mr. Freeze. As Batman delves deeper, he endeavors to unravel the enigma behind the Joker’s sudden disappearance.

Batman Vengeance (GBA gallery 04)

Dynamic Gameplay: Unleashing the Dark Knight’s Arsenal

As players assume the role of Batman, they engage in side-scrolling action that includes jumping, attacking, and deploying an array of iconic gadgets. From trusty Batarangs to a healing spray, Batman’s toolkit is at your disposal.

The caped crusader can also glide using his cape and utilize a grappling hook for vertical traversal. While controls for movement and platforming are adeptly executed, the punch attack may benefit from some refinement.

It occasionally gives off the impression of Batman engaging in a comical slap-fight with adversaries. In moments of strategic discretion, I found it more effective to evade combat by leaping over foes.

Mastering the Batmobile and Batplane

Much like its console counterpart, Batman: Vengeance on the Game Boy Advance grants players the exhilarating opportunity to pilot both the Batmobile and Batplane. The Batmobile segments evoke echoes of “The Adventures of Batman and Robin” on the SNES, with an overhead perspective and the objective of racing against time to reach a destination.

Notably, the Batmobile missions are notably less challenging than their SNES counterpart, omitting the need for hairpin turns and offering a more forgiving timer. While an electrical projectile attack is at your disposal with a press of the “R” button, I seldom encountered situations where its use was imperative. The Batplane sequences represent a significant improvement over the Batmobile missions.

Players find themselves in a 2-D side-scrolling shooter scenario, piloting the vehicle across the Gotham City skyline. Controls are intuitive: the “A” button fires weapons, and a temporary shield activated by the “R” trigger offers additional defensive capabilities. While these stages may not push your reflexes to the limit, they inject a welcome dose of action into the gameplay.

Robin’s Unexpected Inclusion

One of the most surprising and gratifying aspects of Batman: Vengeance is the introduction of Robin as a playable character. This marks a departure from the console version, where Robin remained absent from the narrative.

In Robin’s missions, gameplay shifts to an overhead perspective reminiscent of titles like “The Legend of Zelda.” While Robin is certainly capable in combat, the primary focus lies on puzzle-solving. Tasks primarily revolve around manipulating objects, such as shifting boxes to clear a path forward.

The Boy Wonder introduces an additional gadget to his repertoire: a radio-controlled car that proves invaluable for navigating vents and deciphering button sequences to bypass laser grids.

Personally, I found these segments to be more engaging than the Batman sequences, offering a departure from the serviceable platforming and somewhat lackluster combat. It’s worth noting, however, that the puzzles themselves do not pose an overly strenuous challenge, making progress relatively straightforward.

Batman Vengeance (GBA gallery 01)

Visual Design: A Homage to the Animated Series

Considering the constraints of the Game Boy Advance hardware, Batman: Vengeance commendably captures the visual aesthetic of “The New Adventures of Batman and Robin” animated series. Outdoor rooftop levels and Batplane sequences boast a distinctive red-tinted skyline reminiscent of the show’s signature style.

Characters and vehicles are easily recognizable, bearing a faithful resemblance to their animated counterparts. The environments adeptly reflect the adversary you currently face; for instance, Poison Ivy’s stages depict the Gotham Chemical plant enveloped in a tangle of vines and plant-based adversaries. In between levels, the game employs still images from in-game cutscenes, drawing from the main console game.

While fully voiced video sequences were understandably beyond the capabilities of the hardware, the compressed images effectively convey the narrative.

A Balanced Challenge: Perfect for Portable Play

The regular story campaign strikes a well-balanced difficulty, tailored for portable play sessions. With no concern for lives, players respawn at reasonably placed checkpoints or at the start of a stage.

Fortunately, stages aren’t excessively lengthy, catering to both on-the-go play and mitigating potential frustration. Following each level, players receive a Batman-themed passcode (e.g., “Bruce,” “James,” or “Batarang”), easily remembered for seamless continuation. For those seeking an added challenge, “Advance Mode” introduces timers and the requirement to collect three discs before exiting each level.

Conclusion: A Multifaceted Batman Experience

Batman: Vengeance on the Game Boy Advance seamlessly melds multiple gameplay elements into a cohesive Batman adventure. While the primary Batman sections could benefit from heightened engagement, encountering a copy of this game with a Game Boy Advance in tow is certainly worth your while. While it may not be an absolute must-play, it undeniably offers a commendable experience for fans of the Dark Knight.

Embark on a dynamic journey through Batman’s world in Batman: Vengeance!

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Is Batman: Vengeance on the Game Boy Advance as challenging as its console counterpart?

While the Game Boy Advance version offers a well-balanced challenge, it may not be as demanding as the console version, making it accessible for portable play.

What distinguishes Robin's gameplay from Batman's in Batman: Vengeance?

Robin’s missions introduce overhead perspectives and emphasize puzzle-solving rather than combat, providing a refreshing departure from Batman’s gameplay.

How does Batman: Vengeance capture the visual style of the animated series?

Despite hardware limitations, the game effectively replicates the distinct aesthetic of “The New Adventures of Batman and Robin” animated series, with recognizable characters and environments reflecting the adversaries faced.

Are the Batmobile and Batplane missions in Batman: Vengeance challenging?

The Batmobile missions offer a relatively straightforward race against time, while the Batplane sequences inject a more action-packed element into the gameplay.

Does Batman: Vengeance on the Game Boy Advance offer a replayable experience?

With well-placed checkpoints and passcodes for seamless continuation, Batman: Vengeance caters to replayability, providing an enjoyable experience for fans of the Dark Knight.