Batman: Return of the Joker

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Batman: Return of the Joker
Batman ROTJ NES.jpg

Batman Return of the Joker GB.jpg
Batman ROTJ Genesis.png

These games look like they were programmed by the Joker.
Protagonist(s): Batman
Genre(s): Action
Platform(s): Nintendo Entertainment System
Game Boy
Sega Genesis
Release: NES
JP: December 20, 1991
NA: December 20, 1991
EU: November 19, 1992

Game Boy
JP: March 28, 1992
NA: 1992
EU: 1992

Genesis
NA: 1992
Developer(s): Sunsoft
Publisher(s): Sunsoft
Country: Japan
Series: Batman
Predecessor: Batman: The Video Game
Successor: Batman Returns


Batman: Return of the Joker[1] is a video game developed and published by Sunsoft in 1991 to 1992 for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It's a sequel to Batman: The Video Game. A different Game Boy version with the same title was released in 1992. A remake of the game called Batman: Revenge of the Joker was released in 1992 only in North America for the Sega Genesis.

An SNES version of Revenge of the Joker was developed but was never released. However, a ROM image surfaced online in later years.

Bad Qualities

NES version

  1. In the third level, Batman is slipping on the ice, and there are people throwing tornadoes at you. Dodging them is pretty hard. You have to be tricky to avoid them, otherwise, you will get hit by them. And on top of that, level 3 makes the game difficult way too fast, and the difficulty from level 3 is on par with Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels' difficulty.
  2. If Batman is facing to the left and gets hit by something, he gets pushed back, instead of getting pushed to the front. This doesn't even follow the laws of physics. Heck, even if you will try to avoid something by taking baby steps, you can get sucked back to the hole.
  3. The front cover is pretty disturbing and can cause nightmares for babies and toddlers. And on top of that, Batman comics are mostly promoted towards younger viewers and even a lot of little kids read Batman comics, and they're not disturbing, like some other covers, like the cover of Batman Forever or Batman: Dark Tomorrow but the cover of Batman: Return of the Joker basically wants to cause little kids, babies and toddlers to have nightmares if they would look at it for way too long.
  4. The game lacks the wall jump, which was in the previous Batman game. People might've liked that feature and removing it for the sequel is not a good idea, especially to people who liked the wall jump from the previous Batman game.
  5. You cannot shoot anybody if the power-up is blocking you. But however, your enemies can still shoot through the power-up, unlike you. This is absolutely not fair, since even Batman should shoot through the power-up, unlike just enemies. Instead, the power-up doesn't let you shoot through, like if it was actually evil or a crate.
  6. Sometimes there's too much at once. For example, in one of the parts there's a ceiling waiting to come down and kill Batman, there's a guy throwing an oil drum, and if you try to get out of the way, you can easily get hit by rotating blades. If you would take the guy down and then make the ceiling not suck you into the hole, you can still die easily. It's like the game shows no mercy for you, and just wants to torture you.

Game Boy version

  1. Like the NES version, the cover is pretty disturbing, and the Joker's face is pretty much the same as his face in the NES cover. He is however zoomed out, but you can still zoom in to see his disturbing face.
  2. The controls are slippery. Unlike in the NES version, Batman moves very fast and can even sometimes do stupid things, like bouncing around the place, making the levels, even the first level pretty difficult to complete, as well as making Batman hard to control.
    • And on top of that, there's a grappling hook that is activated if you press UP. And it's annoying, because you can never get it to work when you need it work, also this really difficult to hook because atrocious controls.
  3. There are no save slots, meaning once you get the Game Over, you will have to restart the entire game from the beginning. This is obliviously hard for newer players, especially since the game can be pretty difficult for them.
  4. Sometimes you can be sent backwards if you want to go forward. No matter how much you will try to do it perfectly, Batman will be sent back instead to the right a few times until you will finally make Batman go to the right. This is extremely annoying, like if the game wanted to make you ragequit so hard until it decides to let you progress.

Genesis version

  1. The crates take long time to destroy them using the Batgun, like if they're made out of metal, until you will realize you can destroy them with 1 hit by kicking them. This is also pretty confusing, like if the Batgun was actually broken or something if it tries to destroy the crates.
  2. Destroying the gargoyle statues is pointless. You get nothing if you will defeat them. If Batman touches them, he is behind them, but he still takes damage. This is really confusing, as nobody even get hit by a statue if they're behind them and the statues shoot nothing at all.
  3. Returning to the gargoyle statues, the living ones are pretty confusing, especially if you're trying to kill them. They block your way, meaning trying to jump over them is useless, no matter how many times you will try to jump over them. Trying to hit them with the Batgun is pointless, as they're immune to it, unless you realize you have to kick them if you want to kill them in one hit.
  4. If you kick the crate, it just disappears without any effect, similar to some enemies in the Genesis version of Action 52 if killed. It's like the crates understand Batman's kick so they just disappear without any effect if Batman kicks them.

Good Qualities

NES version

  1. Awesome graphics and music, like its predecessor. In fact, you can even make Batman dance to the music, because if you press UP, he turns his head. This can be pretty fun, especially to people who love dancing.
  2. While the game gets difficult from level 3, the bosses are thankfully easy, meaning you can beat the bosses without having any problems. You just shoot at them until they die, and the level is finished, meaning you can move to the next level.
  3. There's a slide move, meaning you can progress faster than just walking. This means you can even avoid something off-screen way easier than just jumping to try to avoid the enemy's projectile.
  4. The controls are still good as the previous Batman game on the NES. And they're just as good for a NES game.

Game Boy version

  1. Unlike in the NES version, this one contains the wall jump, making it feel like the first Batman game on the NES, although it can make you struggle with completing the levels, due to the controls.
  2. While not as good as the NES version, the graphics and music are pretty good, although the music sounds like it was recycled from Mega Man 2.

Genesis version

  1. Unlike the NES and Game Boy covers, the Genesis cover is not actually disturbing, meaning little kids won't have a easy chance to have nightmares because if it.
  2. Due to the Sega Genesis having 3 buttons, and like said before, you have a kick, meaning you can destroy the crates in one hit, like the living gargoyle statues. You could then easily understand that you have to kick them to destroy them in one hit without having any problems.
  3. Colorful graphics. Especially for a 16-bit version of a 8-bit version. They're on par with Altered Beast or even Space Harrier II.
  4. Catchy music in the Sega Genesis version.

Reception

AVGN Enraged.jpg "What were they thinking?"
The Shit Scale
Games that are debatably bad High level of shit contamination The very high category The severe zone Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Major code red
👆
This game/console belongs to the "Games That Are Debatably Bad" category of the AVGN's Shit Scale.

Batman: Return of the Joker received mixed to positive reviews. The NES version got 7.25/10 score by EGM, GamePro gave it 4.2/5, Game Zero gave it 50.5/100, Nintendo Power gave it 3.85/5, Nintendo Magazine System and 1UP gave it 78%, while Total! gave it 64% scores. Reviewing the Game Boy version, it got a 79/100 score from CVG, EGM gave it 7.25/10, GameZone gave it 78/100, Nintendo Power gave it 3.6/5, Total! gave it 86%, while GB Action gave it 83% scores. Reviewing the Genesis version, CVG gave it 59%, GamePro gave it 3/5, GamesMaster gave it 68%, Mega gave it 67%, Mega Drive Advanced Gaming gave it 78%, Sega Force gave it 60/100, while Sega Pro gave it 84% scores.

Trivia

  • The reason why the Game Boy version's music sounds familiar to Mega Man 2's music is because Manami Matsumae was the composer of the music for both games.

References

  1. Known in Japan as Dynamite Batman (ダイナマイトバットマン, Dainamaito Battoman)

Videos

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