FutureFive NZ - Batman: the brave & the bold

Warning: This story was published more than a year ago.

Batman: the brave & the bold

Batman's help is desperately needed now that the citizens of Gotham City have been turned into feral cats. It’s a pretty crazy time. Miffed at their human enslavement, peeved pussies have mounted a coup and are taking back the metropolis. Fortunately, the Caped Crusader and his lesser-known DC Universe chums have joined forces to defeat Gotham’s kitty captors, and free the streets of the world's most menacing cat toys.
The only man who can overpower a giant ball of yarn is as fabulous as ever in Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Based on the kiddies‘ cartoon series of the same name, this is possibly Batman's most family-friendly role yet. Don't let that put you off, though, because BTBATB has plenty to offer big kids too. Consisting of four independent episodes (each with its own storyline and multiple levels) and filled with lippy villains, this side-scrolling adventure is good fun.
Gameplay is varied and offers a range of attacks, gadgets, combos and finishers. Flicking the Batarang and swinging the belt sword are quite addictive moves, and you'll want to use them at every opportunity. It's the same with the cool finishing actions that include awesome cutaway scenes. In reality, most of the baddies can be obliterated with basic punches, though. Players can team up with friends in co-op mode, or enlist the AI to help take-out foes (the Nintendo DS can be linked in too). Two-player is optimal, however, because the AI does sometimes get in the way and is glitchy in parts.
Did I mention you can't die? Oh... well, you can't. You'll lose some change from your savings account, but apart from that, eternity is yours. It will involve some repetition, though, since BTBATB only gives about four-to-five hours of gameplay (and super easy gameplay at that). Replay value is, thus, not high.
On the plus side, stunning hand-drawn visuals are showcased all the way through; visually, this is one hot kitten (pun intended). Colourful and creative, from the backdrops to the kooky cast, the detail is stunning. Respecting its cartoon origins, the characters are true to the show and beautifully rendered. Animated cut scenes are an absolute delight to watch and really keep the story moving. As for the sound, it's excellent. The soundtrack is catchy and totally fitting, and attention to detail is thorough – even ambience like insect noises and footsteps are crisp. The voice acting is brilliant, and really contributes to the authentic feel of the game in the greater Batman franchise.
Chisel-jawed and clean-cut, BTBATB's chipper and child-friendly version of the vigilante is a far cry from his darker incarnations. Harking back to the super-camp days of the past, this light-hearted Batman delights in super corny dialogue with terrible puns. Speaking of which, the conversations between characters are hilarious. Robin constantly ribs poor Batman and the other super heroes have a good shot at it too. Batman: The Brave and the Bold is filled with personality, and it's worth buying for that alone.

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