I’m still feeling fairly braindead today and I require an equally braindead game. Let’s check the big list… a-ha! Batman Forever: The Arcade Game for the Sega Saturn sounds like it would fit the bill. An arcade game, by definition, doesn’t ask for much thought investment. And how do we know that this is a certified arcade game? Observe the following card:
Yes, it’s the classic FBI anti-drug warning that was omnipresent in all arcade games, at least in the early 1990s. It’s the reason why any arcade devotee of the era knew exactly who was in charge of the FBI at the time. I’m hard-pressed to recall any home console game that used the same screen.
Structurally, the game is similar to brawlers like Double Dragon and Final Fight, so I should enjoy this. At first, it’s quite challenging even though the default difficulty setting is ‘easy’. Of course, I need to account for the input lag in my Saturn setup. Still, the game does not disappoint in the braindead department. You choose from either Batman or Robin (or both in 2-player mode) and walk from left to right while punching, kicking, and jumping while kicking.
Dispatching just about any enemy rewards the player with a powerup and you had better collect them all. Many are health powerups, and the health runs out rapidly. Other powerups include a variety of special weapons like batarangs; a bat grappling hook that allows you to swing around the screen and knock out all the enemies; and a rather curious offensive option where you levitate and release a huge amount of raw power to flatten the enemies on the screen. The players can also pick up and throw various items on screen (like large, non-descript, grey blocks).
Overall, Batman Forever is a quite challenging game. But then, I must keep in mind that it is an arcade game at its heart. As such, it retains that same token-eater gameplay quality. I might hook my Saturn up to my real TV one day in order to play the game properly, and without delay. You don’t get infinite continues in this game (that number is configurable between 3 and 7).