Even though Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment didn’t make the big announcement about Batman: Arkham City until after Comic Con, they did make sure to let us get our hands on a more kid friendly Batman title. Based off the animated series of the same name, Batman: The Brave and The Bold, which is coming to both the Wii and Nintendo DS, takes classic 2D side scrolling gameplay mixed with hand drawn animations to present a mix of modern and retro to the screen.
Each level is built as a cooperative experience pairing up Batman with either Robin, Aquaman, Black Canary, Blue Beetle, Captain Marvel, Green Lantern Guy Gardner, Green Arrow, Hawkman, Green Lantern Hal Jordan, Plastic Man or the Red Tornado facing off against the schemes of any of the game’s various villains. These villains include Catman, Catwoman, Gorilla Grodd, Mongul, Starro and Two-Face. Like the comic book and the show, Batman: The Brave and The Bold focuses on the idea of Batman teaming up with another hero to take on some villainous force he would not have been able to take on solo. Each level features a different hero and drop-in, drop-out gameplay allowing for players to hop in even mid-level.
The game contains a full five minutes of original animation created by WB Animation, the same team that works on the Batman: The Brave and The Bold series. These are seen throughout any of the game’s 2D cutscenes. Everything in the game is hand drawn before being digitally scanned and then animated. Because of this production style, the game contains around 15,000 individual animations. The game definitely stands out amongst all of the other 3D computer animated titles currently being shown.
There is also an incredible amount of voice work put into the game. WBIE told us that there is reportedly enough voice work recorded for the game to fill two full length feature movies. Some notable voice talent includes Paul Rubens as the voice of Bat-Mite and Catman being voiced by Thomas F. Wilson, better known as Biff from Back to the Future.
Like the animation celebrates the classic Saturday morning cartoon style, the gameplay celebrates classic gameplay mechanics like side scrolling beat ’em ups and space combat (seen in the video below). There is actually a surprising level of depth available to the game. Different special attacks can be used to progress through levels which ultimately leads to better powerups being made available.
A unique feature added to the game is the connectivity between the Wii and the DS SKU’s of the game. By connecting the two, the DS player can control an unlocked Bat-Mite on the Wii version of the game. Like the “classic” Bat-Mite mythos, players can choose to either take a helpful or mischievous role and drop either bombs or power-ups to either help or hinder the progress of others. This also adds a third player to the gameplay mix.
For such a simple game, it is very fun to play. There is definitely a nostalgia factor of the simpler days of video games past because of how it controls. There are also noticeable improvements in how tight the controls feel and obviously in the visuals. The episodes are short which obviously is a strength when being aimed at the game’s younger and shorter attention spanned audience.
Stick to the Flickcast for more news on Batman: The Brave and The Bold before its September 7th release on both the Nintendo Wii and DS and check out our exclusive gameplay footage of Batman and Guy Gardner taking on Starro below!