Batman: The Brave & The Bold (Nintendo DS) - Review by Andrew
We haven't seen Batman for quite some time now. The consoles are getting all the fun thanks to Arkham Asylum but the DS remains strangely quiet. There have been Batman games before as when UbiSoft had the license the Gameboy Advance was treated to a handful of well-received titles. Clearly there are reasons for this lack of Gotham-based action and it was widely reported that the games based on The Dark Knight were cancelled at the 11th hour due to concerns about their quality. You've probably guessed by now that the Brave and the Bold is based on the comic books and not the movies but does it pack a punch?
There's not much of a story in The Brave and the Bold so we'll focus instead on the gameplay. Your adventure begins at a central hub: the bat cave, it's from here that you'll not only select which of the many themed adventures you'll undertake (London, Gotham, Space, etc) but you can also buy upgrades using the tokens collected throughout the levels. The levels themselves have been well designed and each location features a different enemy and trusty sidekick and while this is a single player experience, you can switch from Batman to Aquaman, Green Lantern, or whoever is currently accompanying you. It's then a case of punching, kicking and generally battling your way though the various puzzles and obstacles in order to reach the final boss. We say 'puzzles' but in truth, none of them are likely to cause you many problems. The bosses, on the other hand, represent one of the few real challenges here but even this is relative easy once you've worked out their attack patterns.
We've already said that this is a single player game, so there's no Multiplayer, which is a shame, as this simple addition would have really helped add some much needed replay value. You can find some extra gameplay though because challenges become available as you complete the missions and although these can be more difficult than the main game, more experienced gamers are still likely to find the going easy enough.
The controls are incredibly responsive and intuitive but even if they weren't there's more than enough on-line help at hand to point you in the right direction. On the downside the combat is a little simplistic and most of the henchmen can be taken down with a few simple punches.
While this isn't the best looking title to grace the DS, the cartoon-styled visuals perfectly suit the game's overall tone and anyone who's watched Batman on the Saturday morning TV shows will feel right at home here. It's not just the level design either, WayForward have managed to include some wonderfully detailed animation for all the main players. To top it off, each of the level's front-ends begin just like an episode from the animated series, which is a perfect beginning to some great gameplay.
The soundtrack is great and as most of it has been lifted from the original series, it makes for a great atmosphere as you trawl though the levels. You'll even be treated to a few sound bites from the various characters, although a little more of this would have been nice.
Unusually for a DS title there's not much use for the touch-screen at all, other than occasionally tapping the screen to change the character (and activate a special move).
Batman's latest DS outing will delight fans of the movies and comic books alike although it is a little on the short side. The production values are very high and the ability to play characters from the caped crusaders many adventures is a real bonus but a little more variety in the gameplay department would have been nice. WayForward have always been masters of the platformer though and the Brave and the Bold doesn't disappoint, just don't expect it to last too long.
Pro: Great Sound and Visuals, Lots of Playable Characters.
Con: Very Short, Not Enough Variety in the Gameplay Department.
Final score: 7.3
|Publisher:||Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment|