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Batman: The Brave and the Bold review

Troubled
AT A GLANCE
  • Clever writing
  • Entertaining gadgets
  • Large cast of characters
  • Terrible controls
  • Lack of game overs
  • Robin

You don't see the name Batman associated much with comedy nowadays. That's why it's nice to see this cartoony beat-em-up add some much-needed levity to what's become a very gritty franchise. Arkham Asylum this is not - both adults and kids will find themselves chuckling as they punch through levels as the Bat-ster and his host of sidekicks. With its witty banter and entertaining scenery, Batman: The Brave and the Bold might even charm you into having fun for a little while. There's just one little problem: you can't lose.

It's mind-boggling. When one of your characters runs out of health, he instantly respawns with no penalty other than a loss of coins, which are used to buy upgrades, which there's no reason to even bother touching because you can't lose. Don't have any coins?  You'll respawn anyway. There's no danger of seeing a Game Over screen or losing any of your progress, which makes bad guys, traps, and boss fights about as interesting as cleaning an air conditioning filter. Want to win?  Just hammer A. Maybe this design choice was to make the game more appealing to children, but it's insulting to their intelligence.

Harkening back to arcade beat-em-ups of old, the core gameplay consists of side-scrolling stages filled with hordes of baddies to pummel. It's not bad until you realize there's no reason to try to stay alive. The boss fights are actually innovative and could have been fun if fighting them felt less like beating up a crippled child. Then there's the counter-intuitive control scheme, the dim-witted sidekick AI, and the big, inviting “press A” graphic during cutscenes that appears to fast-forward through lines of dialogue, but actually skips entire scenes. The writing is excellent - too bad unveiling it is such a chore.

Batman: The Brave and the Bold takes place over four chapters, each separated into a handful of levels. You can grab a second controller and team up with a friend or family member, but you might not want to subject them to the boredom.

Sep 29, 2010

More Info

Release date: Sep 07 2010 - DS, Wii (US)
Sep 24 2010 - DS, Wii (UK)
Available Platforms: DS, Wii
Genre: Action
Published by: WB Interactive
Developed by: WayForward Technologies
ESRB Rating:
Everyone 10+: Cartoon Violence, Comic Mischief
PEGI Rating:
12+

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15 comments

  • Mysticgamer - October 23, 2010 8:31 a.m.

    If you love gritty, moody, paranoid Batman then yes this is a 4. If you loved Adam West (and still do) as Batman then it's a 8.
  • MightyMorphinPoltergeist - October 11, 2010 10:12 p.m.

    @eddieflemming yes but lego games are terrible. Also, I agree with you poofyllama; as much as I love Batman: TAS and the current live action moves I also can accept silly and comedic batman. I grew up watching B:TAS and the 60's Adam West versions and loved them both for very different reasons. I think people are worried that somehow comedic Batman will replace the darker serious version.
  • EricBratcher - October 1, 2010 1:27 a.m.

    And while we're on poofyllama's subject, Night MAN was a Malibu comics hero who also had a godawful TV series back in the late '90s. He was a saxophone player named Johnny Domino who got special powers when a piece of shrapnel lodged in his brain after an accident in which his car was hit by a cable car that was hit by an energy blast that came from an alien spaceship that crashed into the moon. I am not making this up. Ask Wikipedia.
  • ShokuaHyuga - September 30, 2010 5:53 a.m.

    Funny, you guys said you likied it when you couldn't die in Lego Star Wars.
  • poofyllama - September 30, 2010 4 a.m.

    for Seattle Sound: there are 3 Robins, so no telling which one the game has (though considering the Silver Age style of the show, it's probably Dick Grayson, the original). Also, the adult Dick Grayson abandons his Robin identity to become Nightwing. Nighthawk is the alter-ego of a number of characters in Marvel Comics, best known as a member of the Squadron Supreme, and somewhat similar to Batman. I love Batman: The Animated Series, but I think, after years of the unnecessarily gritty depictions of Batman, The Brave and The Bold (the show, that is) does a great job of bringing back the 50's-60's style of Batman stories. And the stories aren't entirely childish either; the self-sacrifice of the Bwana Beast, and the episode featuring the Spectre and Phantom Stranger, have some heavy moments. The Brave and The Bold didn't ruin Batman for anybody, it just shows the character in a way he hasn't been portrayed in some time. However, this game sounds pretty flawed
  • EnragedTortoise1 - September 30, 2010 2:10 a.m.

    The TV show is okay, I guess this wasn't a surprise. -_-
  • eddieflemming - September 30, 2010 2:09 a.m.

    about the "NO GAME OVER" thing, doesn't the lego games do the same thing?
  • n00b - September 30, 2010 1:33 a.m.

    is the last pic an actual screen shot?
  • SeattleSound - September 30, 2010 1:32 a.m.

    Also is that Robin as an adult? He turns into Nighthawk as an adult. Or is it a different universe?
  • SeattleSound - September 30, 2010 1:30 a.m.

    The Brave and The Bold ruined Batman for millions of kids. They should go watch the Animated Series, it still kicks ass after 18 years.
  • batmanboy11 - September 30, 2010 12:37 a.m.

    I don't know if Robin is really a negative... Anyway, a 4 seems about right.
  • ThatGuyFromTV - September 30, 2010 12:18 a.m.

    @nadrewod999 Dammit, next time put the warning before the comment so I know to grab the Wall Street journal beforehand. The sarcasm was rooted in my brain for half an hour before I was able to counteract it.
  • Lolwarf - September 30, 2010 12:07 a.m.

    This game is an 8. That is all.
  • ColonelKc - September 30, 2010 12:04 a.m.

    I just gotta say one thing..... PWNED!!!
  • nadrewod999 - September 30, 2010 12:01 a.m.

    Wow, a Wii game based on a cartoon TV show having a bad score. Didn't see that coming. WARNING: THE PRECEDING COMMENT CONTAINS MORE THAN THE RECOMMENDED DAILY ALLOWANCE OF "SARCASM". PLEASE COUNTERACT ANY ILL EFFECTS BY TRYING TO DRAW A GRAPH IN YOUR HEAD OF TODAY'S STOCK INDEXES USING ONLY A COPY OF THE WALL STREET JOURNAL. IT IS THE ONLY SOURCE OF "SERIOUS" STRONG ENOUGH TO COUNTERACT THIS "SARCASM".

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