Just to start things off Retro Rewind, which should be self explanatory as to what this will be about, is our newest feature here at ThoseGamingNerds. Since this is the first one for the site I felt like covering two video games that are similar in the fact that they both involve Batman, for this Retro Rewind I go back into my childhood with the Sega Genesis and play two games that although sound like they would be great games on paper fall short of being good and end up making me rethink what I considered fun games growing up. First off we have Justice League Task Force, a fighting game that was released on the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive and Super NES.
The story in Justice League Task Force is straight forward: Darkseid attacks the planet Earth, destroying a military base in the process. A member of the Justice League (that the player chooses to play as) tracks down the other members for information and aid only to be attacked by those heroes in their related locations.
The game has the basic fighting controls down except unless you look up or just happen to know what to press to do certain moves you are stuck button mashing and ultimately losing the fight as most of the time the computer will use all their character’s special moves on you. In on instance I decided to try out Batman in “Hero Mode” which is essentially the story mode for the game, and my first fight was against Superman, and with me not knowing any of Batman’s attacks I was quickly defeated with a barrage of eye lasers and flying super fists to the face.
Once you learn the controls the game is more tolerable, even though I use that term very loosely. But, controls aside the game at least looks good for the time era it’s from, and after you finally fight your way through the other super heroes you get to fight some villains finally, okay maybe only two, who unless you have read the comics you have no idea who they are: Cheetah and then Despero. And finally after you defeat them it’s time to take on Darkseid, one of the baddest villains in the DC Universe (at the time).
That’s about it for the Hero Mode of the game. Justice League Task Force, like other fighting games also has an arcade game mode in which now you can not only pick from the following Heroes to play as:
But you will also get the option to play as the three villains featured in the game as well. Other than that there isn’t much to this game, it’s mindless fun except not as much fun and after beating Hero Mode and playing around a bit fighting as Darkseid I gave up on the game and realized just how bad it was and that maybe in my youth I was blinded by my love of comic books.
Next on the list is another DC Comics video game for Sega Genesis, Batman: Revenge of The Joker.
First off, let me just say that this game is by far the worse Batman game I have ever played. Also, I should additionally note that I would much rather watch Batman and Robin nonstop for 24-hours straight then to ever touch this game again, with that being said let me talk about this game. So in Batman: Revenge of The Joker the story begins with the Joker escaping from Arkham Asylum and is once again trying to send Gotham City into chaos. It’s up to you to take on the role of Batman and save Gotham City from the Joker once again.
In the game Batman is armed with a utility belt that allows him to collect various types of icons throughout the stages in order to shoot different types of batarangs and projectiles (Mega Man style). The game has a distinct Mega Man feel to it with the jumping and shooting of enemies on ledges that are blocking your way and at times I even felt like I was playing a Batman styled Castlevania game without all the things that made Castlevania a good game. After mindlessly jumping and shooting thugs and various boss fights you finally face off against The Joker who has at least triple the amount of health that you do, and he also shoots projectiles like homing missiles at you. Obviously the developers at Sunsoft did their homework and realized that Batman would make a great side-scrolling platform styled shooting game.
The game wasn’t short though which was not a good thing, as it got boring and very frustrating at around level 1-2 and become a game that I had to force myself to finish in order to do this review. Visually the game is nothing spectacular either, even for it’s time with other games starting to show the full (even if limited) potential of the Sega Genesis, Batman Revenge of The Joker felt cramped and very dull.
This game is great to have in your collection if you are trying to own every DC Comics video game or Batman video games, but it’s not great to play. I’m pretty sure after this I will not be playing this game for a very long time.
So that’s it for this Retro Rewind, be sure to check back when we feature more classic games.