Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Review: Batman: The Brave and the Bold (Wii)

11:00 AM on 09.07.2010 // Nick Chester

After Rocksteady’s heavy and dark Batman: Arkham Asylum, gamers and fans of The Dark Knight might be looking for a nice palate cleanser. Their answer is WayForward’s Batman: The Brave and the Bold, a cooperative, retro-style beat ‘em up based on the Cartoon Network series of the same name.


Batman: The Brave and the Bold (Wii)
Developer: WayForward Technologies
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Release date: September 7, 2010
MSRP: $39.99

With its sharp humor and a highly-stylized Technicolor visuals, each episode of the Brave and the Bold cartoon pairs the Caped Crusader with a variety of DC heroes. With its game adaptation, WayForward has done a spectacular job of remaining true to the series, with four original “episodes” that mirror the set-up of the show. Each episode begins mid-battle, a one-off mini-adventure that throws players into the action before the credits (yanked directly from the series) roll. It’s then that the episode -- one of the four self-contained tales that takes Batman everywhere from Gotham City to Planet Oa -- really kicks off.

Fans solid, old-school side-scrolling beat ‘em up action are in for a real treat with Brave and the Bold. Utilizing both the Wii Remote and the Nunchuk, the combat isn’t going to blow minds with its complexity, but it manages to pack enough of a satisfying punch that fans of the genre will find themselves pleased with the action. WayForward keeps the Wii Remote waggle-fest to a minimum here, with the A button being the basis for your basic attacks, which can be chained together with repeated button presses. In conjunction with the Nunchuk analog stick, you’ll be able to dash attack, trip enemies or even knock them in the air, following up with B (to jump) and then juggling them in the air. Players should be prepared for basic motion control actions, though. Shaking the Wii Remote will unleash a strong attack or cause your hero to perform a downward attack if in the air, and an on-screen cursor can be used to aim certain gadgets.

Oh, and then there are the toys -- there are plenty of extra toys heroes can use and upgrade, ranging from completely necessary accessories to those you’ll want to throw in to the mix simply to switch things up. The Dark Knight’s Batarang, for instance, will need to be used to trigger switches in the environment, or target enemies off in the distance. On the other hand, the light sword, an item you’ll purchase with in-game currency (enemies and destroyed objects will scatter coins everywhere), isn’t mandatory… but it’s damned cool to whip out in battle. As the game progresses, new items will automatically be added to your arsenal, as well, which means you’ll never be stuck without key gadgets when the time comes to bring them into action.

While the game can be played alone, it’s likely you’ll want to bring a pal along for the ride in cooperative play; Brave and the Bold is about superhero team-ups, after all. Partner characters range from Robin to Blue Beetle, and the good news is that each fighter’s moves and abilities are completely unique, encouraging players to move out of their Batman comfort zone. While the controls remain the same, the attacks and feel of the characters differ enough that each hero feels fresh, offering up some reprieve from the tedium many beat ‘em ups suffer.

Even when you go into Brave and the Bold alone, you’ll have the option to control Batman or a sidekick character, with the game taking full control over the second player. Here, the game’s poor AI makes this second character negligible beyond narrative reasons. They neither get in the way nor to they add much to the battle, so they’re just kind of tagging along for the ride to provide witty banter and move alone the story. The AI is also extremely stupid, falling into holes, running directly into traps, and mostly providing unintentional comic relief. The fortunate part here is that this won’t affect your game at all, as they can die repeatedly without any impact on your progress; it’s entirely possible to take care of the game’s villains (including the more complex bosses) while completely ignoring your computer-controlled partner.

Brave and the Bold isn’t a particularly difficult game; from start to finish, I'd never saw a single “game over” screen. Once your health is knocked down to zero, the game will trade 100 of your in-game coins (which are pleasingly spilled from fallen enemies and busted environmental objects) for another life, instantly tossing you right back into the fracas. Presumably, if you didn’t have 100 coins to spend, the game would end; this never happened to me, so I couldn’t tell you if that’s really the case.

During the game’s boss battles, player lives and coins aren’t even accounted for, and you’ll instantly be revived after losing your health. While the end of each level will grade you based on your performance (including how many times you did fall in battle), there’s no overwhelming sense of difficulty in the Brave and the Bold. This may have been intentional, as the game was likely designed to skew a bit younger. Gamer parents looking to play a cooperative game with their little ones will be pleased to hear that the game isn’t punishingly difficult.

That’s not to say Brave and the Bold is a boring cakewalk, though. The game manages to throw enough variety in terms of environments and unique boss battles that you’re almost consistently seeing something new from start to finish. While the core beat ‘em up remains unchanged throughout, there are a few places that WayForward switches things up. The game’s main villain battles, for instance, are never straightforward “mash some buttons, dodge some attack” affairs. Each has its own unique patterns and “kill rules” which will require a bit of thinking on the player’s part. As usual, you can also count on the fact that pounding on endless mobs of thugs is a joy in and of itself.

Brave and the Bold also manages to capture the superb wit and tone of the show, with four original stories that WayForward and Warner Bros. Animation collaborated on simply for the game. The result is highly-entertaining stories with dialogue that literally had me giggling on my couch. Fans of the show will feel as if they’re participating in lost episodes, helping the action unfold. Those unfamiliar with the show will want to set the DVRs for when the series resumes on Cartoon Network later this month.

WayForward is already known for its jaw-dropping hand-illustrated and frame-by-frame animation process; one need only look at the visual treat that is the developer’s last Wii title, A Boy and His Blob. With Brave and the Bold, the developer brings its A-game, with eye-popping character animation and vivid environments that come to life on the Wii. Even in close-quarters battles, when the camera pulls in tighter on the action, the game still looks stunning in motion.

Batman: The Brave and the Bold doesn’t do anything "bold" in terms of game design, but it doesn’t try to; instead, it delivers a solid and enjoyable experience from beginning to end. It isn’t going to win anyone over for its finger-blistering difficulty, either, so fans looking for an old-school challenge should check their expectations accordingly. But super sharp visuals and clever writing make this a collection of Batman adventures you won’t want to miss.

Score: 8 - Great (8s are impressive efforts with a few noticeable problems holding them back. Won't astound everyone, but is worth your time and cash.)


Photo Gallery: (6 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys

Nick Chester, Former Editor-in-Chief (2011)
 Follow Blog + disclosure Tips
Editor-in-Chief @ nick at  more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Triple brown, triple brown, triple brown meow. Triple brown, triple brown, triple brown meow.
Alfie avatarAlfie
Was on the front page and was greeted by a new post, which I clicked to find "You cannot see the future". Then refreshed and it was gone. I saw Chris's post on Eight Days' cancellation as it was brought, new and unready, into the world! Rare and wonderful
Archelon avatarArchelon
Community Question: Have you ever purchased a game only to regret it later and then sell it/give it away, only to even later regret selling it and wind up purchasing it again?
gajknight avatargajknight
A decadent staircase adorned in gold rises into infinite darkness. Writhing beings beyond comprehension lurk in the shadows, their mere presence encroaching on the edges of human understanding. A blood moon glows . I am losing my mind. I need more eyes...
Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
We need to be implanted with microchips because I'd really like to know how much time I've spent playing different video games my entire life.
ikiryou avatarikiryou
Today's agenda: job-hunting and startup of a second playthrough of either Phantom Dust or Front Mission 4. I can't decide. I'm on a sixth-gen kick.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
If there are rainbows in Xenoblade Chronicles X, Reyn must be in it as well. You can't have a rainbow without Reyn, baby!
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
I really hope Xenoblade become it's own franchise, it has way too much potential to simply being reduced to 2 games.
Sotanaht avatarSotanaht
Touchable Holograms? When this eventually matures and hits market, almost all our regulars will vanish for weeks.
Serethyn avatarSerethyn
Xenoblade Chronicles Wii for €10? Sure, Nintendo, don't mind if I do!
KnickKnackMyWack avatarKnickKnackMyWack
Super Smash Bros. 4 has too much content. So much so I almost don't want a sequel. I honestly hope that NX gets a "Super Smash Bros. For NX" port rather than a new installment. It could be a GOTY edition and come with all of the DLC.
Batthink avatarBatthink
Flegma avatarFlegma
Bought my first full-priced physical 3DS game ever - New Style Boutique 2: Fashion Forward. I'll try to write a post on the previous game at some point before doing the same with NSB2.
Terry 309 avatarTerry 309
How do you guys manage to buy all these games at day 1 with such huge backlogs?
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
Guys if I were to do a thing, how many of you would watch my thing because I was thinking of doing a thing but I dunno if people really like that kinda thing so I just wanted to know if you liked that thing because I'm thinking of doing a thing, you know?
Atleastimhousebroken avatarAtleastimhousebroken
Bayonetta 2 is 40% off in the EU Nintendo eShop today. If you have a WiiU and don't have this game you are a horrible person and I want nothing to do with you. You can amend your errors by buying it. Xenoblade Wii is also 50% off as well.
El Dango avatarEl Dango
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Protag shipping is best shipping. [img][/img]
El Dango avatarEl Dango
My dreams are really weird and scary, so I hope it's okay if I let them be dreams.
Fenriff avatarFenriff
Finally played the last two Shantae games. Risky's Revenge wasn't bad, but Pirate's Curse was damn good.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -