Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu
by Ubi Soft

Reviewer: Mike David
Review Date: 11/06/2003

Holy thumb smashing gameplay Batman!

GZ Review Ratings:
Gameplay 7.0
Graphics 7.1
Sound 7.4
Difficulty Medium
Concept 6.3
Multi-player 8.0
Overall 7.2

Reviewer's Scoring Details

All Reviews for Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu

The last time we saw Batman, he was doling out justice in the very lame Batman Vengeance video game. So it was with a bit of excitement that I opened this latest Batman title, after all, it couldn't get much worse then the last outing, could it?

Batman: Rise of Sin Tsu (BRST) is at its core a straight up action game with some clever upgrading additions thrown in to make things interesting. Players can play the game as one of the four main Gotham heroes; Batman, Robin, Batgirl and Nightwing. Now each character has its strengths and weaknesses but I would bet that most everyone will play as Batman initially, seeing that he is clearly the best overall character. Oh sure, you can play as Robin and you will be quicker during hand to hand combat, but it's gonna take you three times the attacks to defeat even the simplest of thugs. The idea of selectable characters is a nice addition but I just don't see that many gamers completing the game and then trying to do it all over again with a different hero. Which leads nicely into my next comment.

This game has a nice storyline involving Gotham's newest villain Sin Tzu, but it also borrows from Batman's existing rogue's gallery with The Scarecrow, Clayface and Bane all making appearances. However, like a long episode of Batman the animated series, I just couldn't play the game a second time, nor could I play the game for long stretches at a time. A couple of reasons for this feeling, the most prominent being that this game redefines the term "Button Mashing". As it's an action game, the bad guys come fast and furious and gamers will find the constant attacking and fighting too bogged down on them after a while. I would play for 30 minutes and then watch TV for a while just to give my thumbs a rest. The flip side to all of this is that the game certainly isn't boring. Repetitive yes, but not boring.

The best part of BRST is that you can team up with a friend and play through the game cooperatively. Now this alone is going to sell some games as there is a large amount of gamers out there who look specifically for games they can play with their friends as opposed to against them. It reminded me of Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance, another excellent co-op game, and fans of this type of multiplayer game will certainly do well to pick this one up.

Graphically, Batman is on par with the animated series, and that made me happy. The bright cartoony colors and straight lines worked well within the game and if you don't like the cartoon, then you won't like the game as it is lifted directly from it. The game is viewed from the 3rd person perspective and has decent lines and a visible horizon most of the time. Even when the action gets heavy the game never suffers from lag or slow down. Overall, I was impressed visually with how it all tied together. As for the audio, it sounded to me like they hired the same voice actors from the series to do the voice work but could not find the credits in the manual but if memory serves me correctly the voice of Sin Tzu is done by Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa http://us.imdb.com/name/nm0846480/ a veteran character actor that many of you will recognize from his many roles. In game audio sounds pretty tight with explosions, boss fights, and crashes. Again, the game is just like the series.

Control of the characters is done simply enough for novice gamers yet complex moves can be unlocked to satisfy fans of 3-D fighting games. It's a good setup for a game of this type with Batman being able to target objects with his Batarang in between punches and kicks yet believable for fans who were disappointed in past games regarding control issues. A novel idea in the game is that there is a counter that clocks how many hits Batman doles out without getting hit himself. The longer he goes the more points he can accumulate allowing the player to purchase new moves in between chapters.

This game is not going to be for everyone, fans of the big B will eat it up as well as gamers who love a good co-op title. But casual gamers will tire quickly from all the constant button mashing action and relentless pace. If anything, I believe this game could be beaten on a weekend rental.

Reviewer's Scoring Details


Gameplay: 7.0
An exercise in precision attacks that are done easily enough, that is if your hands don't cramp up from all the button pushing.
Graphics: 7.1
Sharp cartoonish graphics straight out of the animated series. Love it or hate it, that's what they are.

Sound: 7.4
Excellent voice acting and in game audio, I did however wish there was more dark moody music.

Difficulty: Medium
The game can be beat in a couple of days if you have the hand strength.
Concept: 6.3
Batman games aren't exactly cutting edge, we just want a solid title to whup up on bad guys.

Multiplayer: 8.0
Oh yeah, gotta like a title that allows you to be a superhero with your buddy.
Overall: 7.2
One of the better superhero games on the market with a decent storyline and necessary accoutrements.



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