Batman Forever: The Arcade Game
Arcade flyer
Developer(s)Probe Entertainment
Iguana Entertainment
Iguana Entertainment UK (PS1)
Publisher(s)Acclaim Entertainment
Producer(s)Neill Glancy
Designer(s)David Dienstbier
Ian Dunlop
Jason Carpenter
Programmer(s)Carl Wade
Stephen Broumley
Artist(s)Michael McCallion
Composer(s)Rick Fox
SeriesBatman
Platform(s)Arcade, MS-DOS, PlayStation, Sega Saturn
Release
  • Arcade
    • NA: May 1996
    Saturn
    MS-DOS
    • NA: 30 November 1996
    PlayStation
    • NA: 3 December 1996
    • EU: December 1996
    • JP: 14 February 1997[2]
Genre(s)Beat 'em up
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer
Arcade systemSega ST-V[3]

Batman Forever: The Arcade Game is a beat 'em up video game based on the movie Batman Forever. The subtitle is used to differentiate it from Batman Forever, another beat 'em up published by Acclaim at around the same time. One or two players, playing as Batman and Robin, fight Two-Face, the Riddler, and numerous henchmen.

Gameplay

Arcade version screenshot.
Arcade version screenshot.

Taking on the role of either Batman or Robin, players can punch, kick, and use special combination attacks to defeat waves of enemies.

The special combinations applied to enemies can add up to a possible 150+ hits on a single villain.

Special weapons, such as Batarangs, can be found throughout the levels.[4] It is sectioned off into stages, and arranged with waves of enemies before ending with a boss.

The game has a two-player mode, which allows both players to use the same character if so desired.[5]

Development

Acclaim first demonstrated the game at the 1996 American Coin Machine Exposition.[6] Batman Forever: The Arcade Game was Acclaim Entertainment's first arcade game.[6][7] It was built on Sega's "Titan" technology, the hardware which formed the foundation for the Sega 32X and Sega Saturn.[8] Even though the arcade version was only released in America, it can also run on Japanese and European Titan systems.

Prior to the release of the arcade and home versions, an Atari Jaguar CD port was in development by Probe Entertainment after Atari Corporation and Acclaim announced their partnership in 1995 that included plans to release three titles for the system, but Batman Forever: The Arcade Game was later licensed to Atari Corp. a few months later after the announcement of the partnership and was going to be based upon the PlayStation version that was also in development at the time.[9][10][11][12][13] The port was originally slated to be published around the third quarter of 1995 and was later rescheduled for an April/Q1 1996 release,[14][15][16] but work on the port was discontinued sometime in 1995 and was never released.[17]

Reception

Reviewing the arcade version, a Next Generation critic praised the large selection of elaborate moves and combos, likening it to the Street Fighter series in this respect, as well as the use of sprite scaling to enable a wider range of movement and deeper gameplay, but still argued that the game lacks sufficient innovation to save the aging 2D beat 'em up genre. He also criticized the predictable level design and the gloomy graphics, saying they make it difficult to follow the action.[21]

The Saturn conversion received mediocre reviews. Criticisms widely varied from review to review, but the most commonly cited problems were that the gameplay is too repetitive[18][19][24] and the character graphics are blocky.[18][24][25] Critics mostly assessed the game on its own terms rather than its quality as a conversion, though a Next Generation critic noted that the Saturn version is missing frames of animation from the arcade version. He summarized the game, and beat 'em ups in general, as "All flash, and absolutely zero substance."[22] Lee Nutter of Sega Saturn Magazine called it "a poor man's Guardian Heroes, except that it is actually quite expensive."[24] GameSpot's Glenn Rubenstein and Electronic Gaming Monthly's Shawn Smith and Dan Hsu were somewhat more positive, remarking that while the game is objectively weak, its sheer loudness and chaotic energy are not without a certain charm.[18][19] GamePro's The Rookie, while having little but criticism for the game, said that fans of side-scrolling beat 'em ups should try the game as a rental, since the genre had largely died out by the time of the game's release.[25]

In a feature on the game, Electronic Gaming Monthly stated that the Saturn and PlayStation versions are identical aside from minor cosmetic differences, such as differing loading screens and the PlayStation version lacking the Batmobile intro's screen blurring effect.[4] In his review of the PlayStation version, GamePro's Gideon said it was a faithful conversion, but that the fun of the arcade version simply does not translate to the home console experience.[26]

References

  1. ^ "SEGA SATURN Soft > 1997". GAME Data Room. Archived from the original on 2018-08-18. Retrieved 2018-09-22.
  2. ^ "PlayStation Soft > 1997". GAME Data Room. Archived from the original on 2018-09-04. Retrieved 2018-09-22.
  3. ^ "Batman Forever". arcade-history.com. Archived from the original on 2019-01-05. Retrieved 2018-09-22.
  4. ^ a b "Batman Forever: I Whupped Batman's Butt". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 90. Ziff Davis. January 1997. pp. 176–9.
  5. ^ "Preview: Batman Forever". Sega Saturn Magazine. No. 15. Emap International Limited. January 1997. pp. 26–27.
  6. ^ a b Sherman, Christopher (May 1996). "Acclaim Makes Coin-Op Debut". Next Generation. No. 17. Imagine Media. p. 24.
  7. ^ "Batman Forever". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 79. Sendai Publishing. February 1996. p. 81.
  8. ^ "Acclaim Activity Report". GamePro. No. 60. IDG. July 1994. p. 168.
  9. ^ "ATARI AND ACCLAIM JOIN FORCES IN MAJOR SOFTWARE DISTRIBUTION AGREEMENT". Nine Lives. March 22, 1995. Archived from the original on December 14, 2004. Retrieved 2018-09-23.
  10. ^ "Reportaje - Jaguar ya ruge en España -- Asómate al futuro". Hobby Hi-Tech (in Spanish). No. 3. Axel Springer SE. May 1995. p. 27.
  11. ^ "Acclaim join Atari for a bit of a Jag 'n' Jam". Ultimate Future Games. No. 7. Future Publishing. June 1995. p. 23.
  12. ^ Vendel, Curt (August 26, 1995). "Payment Schedule for Jaguar games to Developers" (PDF). atarimuseum.com. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2014-12-11. Retrieved 2018-09-23.
  13. ^ "Atari Jaguar - Batman Forever - The Arcade Game". atarimania.com. Archived from the original on 2018-09-26. Retrieved 2018-09-23.
  14. ^ "Feature - XT Generation Report - Atari Jaguar". MAN!AC (in German). No. 20. Cybermedia. June 1995. p. 40. Archived from the original on 2018-11-29. Retrieved 2018-09-23.
  15. ^ "Release Liste". Video Games (in German). No. 46. Future-Verlag. August 1995. p. 43. Archived from the original on 2018-09-14. Retrieved 2018-09-23.
  16. ^ Gore, Chris (August 1995). "The Gorescore - Industry News You Can - Upcoming Jaguar Software Titles". VideoGames - The Ultimate Gaming Magazine. No. 79. L.F.P., Inc. p. 14. Archived from the original on 2018-11-29. Retrieved 2018-09-23.
  17. ^ Dragon, Lost (July 5, 2017). "The Ultimate Jaguar Unreleased/Beta/Source/Dev Master List! - Page 5". atari.io. Archived from the original on 4 November 2018. Retrieved 2018-09-23.
  18. ^ a b c d "Review Crew: Batman Forever". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 90. Ziff Davis. January 1997. p. 62.
  19. ^ a b c Rubenstein, Glenn (3 January 1997). "Batman Forever: The Arcade Game Review". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 5 January 2019. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  20. ^ Nelson, Randy (November 1, 1996). "Batman Forever Review". IGN. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  21. ^ a b "Batman Forever". Next Generation. No. 19. Imagine Media. July 1996. p. 89.
  22. ^ a b "Batman Forever: The Arcade Game". Next Generation. No. 25. Imagine Media. January 1997. pp. 178, 180.
  23. ^ Wynne, Stewart (December 1996). "Batman Forever: The Arcade Game". Play. No. 15. pp. 54–55. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  24. ^ a b c d Nutter, Lee (February 1997). "Review: Batman Forever". Sega Saturn Magazine. No. 16. Emap International Limited. pp. 68–69.
  25. ^ a b "Saturn ProReview: Batman Forever: The Arcade Game". GamePro. No. 101. IDG. February 1997. p. 82.
  26. ^ "PlayStation ProReview: Batman Forever". GamePro. No. 102. IDG. March 1997. p. 75.