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)
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.
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.
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.
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.)
I've been in love with the WayForward's eShop titles ever since Mighty Flip Champs! dropped in 2009. It was a beautiful, challenging, vibrant game that was followed up by Mighty Milky Way and Mighty Switch Force!, with the la...more
Last year, Renegade Kid released Mutant Mudds on the 3DS eShop, where the "12-bit" throwback platformer became an immediate hit. Since then, ports have appeared on PC and iOS, each version introducing new levels and features....more
My initial impression of Undead Labs' State of Decay was not exactly forgiving. Significant screen-tearing, a choppy frame rate, an intro that places me directly into button mashing combat without context, the game's lurch of...more