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Sunsoft | NES
How is it that with all this new-fangled, polygon-pushing technology we still can't get a good Batman game? To this day, the loosely movie-based NES cart remains the most fun way to Batarang an endless march of thugs into forever sleep. Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson appear in all their five-color glory, but everything else in Batman is out of left field. Remember that part in the movie when Firebug blasted jets of searing heat across Gotham City? Of course you don't... because it never happened.
But despite the tenuous movie tie-in, the wall-jumping ability and various Bat-tech weapons make this the ultimate Bats experience. Batman's solid purple bat-sprite looks almost demonic as it haunts across the bat-levels, subliminally conveying the whole "I am the night" attitude (battitude?) Bruce uses to strike fear into his enemy's hearts. That, or the NES had about the same memory capabilities as a modern cell phone, and couldn't be bothered to throw any more bat-detail around the bat-screen.
Rocking, memorable bat-tunes carved out permanent bat-notches in our bat-minds (level one makes a great bat-ringtone), while bizarre level layouts made us question what the hell the Gotham architects were thinking. Bats even dies in a wash of bat-shaped flames. How cool is that?
Even without a single Batmobile level, the first Batman movie game manages to out-bat other bat-games by offering more Bat per bat. Also, bats.