It takes a great deal of talent to not only model a game after a cartoon series but to then nail the vibe of that other medium, but that's precisely what Wayforward has done with "Batman: The Brave and the Bold – the Videogame." The result is a game that is geared for cooperative and drop-in entertainment, featuring an incredible cast of characters (both on the side of law and order, as well as villains), amusing dialogue rife with cartoon clichés, and solid arcade elements all within the framework of a side-scrolling platformer.
Give Wayforward a lot of credit for this one – the developers took the television material and adapted it rather faithfully to the gaming world. The videogame has charm, it has laughs and it does not take a hardcore player to ease through the four adventures that are contained in the game. If the game has a fault at all, it would be that it is a bit too easy. However, each level within a scenario is scored, and if in cooperative mode, there is always the challenge to outdo your gaming partner, or simply to beat your previous best scores.
The multiplayer mode is self-contained – no online component here. Still, the power of cooperative drop-in action makes this a joyful experience and one that is suitable for a wide age range of players. Of course, Robin is Batman's main sidekick, but other cooperative heroes include Hawkman, Blue Beetle (who can drop one-liners with the best of them) and Guy Gardner while jump-in heroes (the player's meter has to be full to call them in for a quick fix) include Black Canary, Booster Gold & Skeets, Aquaman, Black Lightning, Hal Jordan, Green Arrow, Captain Marvel and Plastic Man. Bat-Mite pops in on occasion to effuse over his idol and Wildcat helps with familiarization of the control scheme, especially in unleashing combo attacks.
While the stories could have been culled from the Warner Bros. cartoon series, the main focus in this game is combat and dispatching waves of attackers. While not totally an effortless endeavor, the game does stack the odds in the favor of Batman and button-mashing will get the job done, though selected attacks and stacking combos will net bigger rewards.
Visually and aurally, the game pulls from the television show and that gives it charm that can't help but produce smiles along the way. Aside from the main adventure, there are the Batmobile and Batcomputer at the player's disposal. The computer allows players to enter codes to unlock characters and gadgets or replay levels, while the Batmobile exits the Batcave and takes players back to the adventure.
"Batman: The Brave and the Bold – the Videogame" - released on both the Wii and Nintendo DS, with interconnectivity between the two platforms - certainly does not reinvent the platforming genre, nor does it offer much that is new; what it does offer is a fun and entertaining ride into the cartoon series.
The game is certain to cull smiles from both fans and those not familiar with the cartoon series. The mood is light and Wayforward scores solidly with this outing. A strong cast of characters, cartoon themes & presentation and drop-in cooperative gameplay make this a delightful side-scrolling platform adventure.