|System: Wii, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: WayForward Technologies||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Warner Bros. Interactive||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Sept. 7, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Until recently, the Batman franchise was proved good games could come from the Batman license (in fact, the latter won more than one game of the year award). Batman: The Brave and the Bold continues this trend. Although the game doesn't exactly fit the niche Arkham Asylum did, The Brave and the Bold is a fun-filled adventure filled with exciting combat, funny dialog, and surprisingly high production values.
The game takes an episodic format and features four different stories that see Batman teaming up with Robin, Blue Beetle, and even Guy Gardner to vanquish crime in Gotham City. Each episode stands alone, and features funny storylines like those you would expect to see in the television show upon which the game is based. The game also features some funny locales, including a cat museum (that features both cats from the past entrenched in civil war and cats from the future who wield deadly lasers and live on the moon!), the always-interesting Science Island, and Planet Oa.
Each of the areas has unique aspects, but you should know going into this title that you shouldn't expect anything in terms of open world features. All of the levels are strictly linear and are presented in an old-school, side-scrolling format. The decision to go with this format was probably in the best interest of younger fans of the show, so I don't think it is that big of a stumbling block, but if you are looking for an experience similar to Arkham Asylum or even LEGO Batman in terms of format, you won't find it here. There are no collectibles or hidden areas, and your task is simply just to get from one end of the level to the other.
Although the level format isn't exciting, the levels themselves are far from boring. The game's story is primarily delivered through dialogue between Batman and his companion character during each episode. This aspect of the game helps it feel like an interactive episode of the series, as you are never just silently moving your character through the different areas. Even if your character stops talking, you'll hear plenty of sounds from people and objects in the background. However, moments like this are few and far between, and listening to your characters talk about events in the game and offer their own (often hilarious) commentary is one of the best aspects of the game.
But as much as I enjoyed the game's dialogue, the gameplay did leave a little to be desired. The game has a basic combat system that allows for regular attacks, strong attacks, grapples, and special attacks. Though you can string these attacks together to create combos and point/currency multipliers, there is almost no depth to the combat system, and if you are the type of person to marathon games for hours on end, you'll likely get bored with the one-note combat system. The only variation comes from special gadgets you can upgrade and unlock for your playable characters. However, there are only a few gadgets per character, and you generally have to wait one to two stages before you can unlock the next gadget or weapon using the game's currency system. In the case of Batman, the upgraded Batarang is really all you need for success, so all the other gadgets feel useless and I poured little effort into unlocking them.