Batman blew gamers away with an amazing soundtrack and fantastic platforming. Batman: Return of the Joker just blows.
Thanks to some strange design choices, many of Batman’s positive features have been removed or omitted. Sunsoft enlarged the Batman sprite, which makes the controls far clunkier than the original. In Batman, he felt graceful and elegant. In Return of the Joker, he feels like a truck driver in a Bat-suit.
Enemies also attack you right when they see you, giving you little chance to retaliate. When you get hit, you pause for a brief second, which gives them enough time to move out of your line of fire and hit you from a different standpoint. Wall-jumps, one of the best parts of the first game, are gone too. Batman’s too large to do any proper wall–jumping in Return… anyway, but its exclusion is disappointing.
Instead of using your fists and your wits to get through a stage, you rely solely on the Wrist Projector and its many upgrades, like the Cross Bow or Sonic Neutralizer. Strangely, most of the upgrades are weak and slow. When enemies pop out of nowhere and get three hits on you before you can give one, stronger Batarangs hardly matter anyway.
Return of the Joker is as welcoming as a thick fog. Listen to your Bat-sense and stay away.
PUBLISHER/DEVELOPER: Sunsoft GENRE: Action
RELEASE DATE: 12/20/91 – (JP), 12/1991 – (US), 11/19/92 – (EU)
ALSO AVAILABLE ON: GB