Batman comes to the NES but his effort wasn't totally satisfying
One of the first things that comes to your mind when you think about BATMAN and the NES is that the game is going to be platform based and based in the movie. Well, you are right about the first and not so in the second. As long as you start playing, you notice that this is more like a different kind of story as the game evolves
You control Batman (No?… Really?) through levels that are divided in subworlds. As mentioned before, the scenes are nothing related to the movies directly. You battle in the Gotham City streets, in a chemistry lab and the last scene is a clock. But considering the enemies you face, you can easily lose yourself if you want to take the movie seriously. You battle against gangsters, small wheeled objects that reminded me of those in Star Wars, Ninjas, Flying guys that shoot you and many others that you won't remember in the movie.
As Batman, you use your main weapon: your bare hands. But you have other weapons which are the Batarangs, A pistol and some kind of Ninja Stars. Unfortunatelly for you, none of them are endless. You have to beat opponents during the way in order to get bonus and upgrades. The upgrades you can get are based in a big "B" which gives you points, a "bullet" that increases you capacity to use your arsenal and a "heart" that increases your health bar. An important thing about the weapons is that they use "bullet points" in different quantity. The "batarang" uses one point each time you use one of them, the pistol uses 2 points and the stars uses three.
The game is really dark, trying to give the game the proper environment for the character, and it is actually a good thing, since all the enemies and Batman are easy to identify so nobody has the chance the camouflage. But it tends to be tiring to the eye and considering that it is not a very short game, that can be a bad thing.
Using Batman is as simple as two buttons can allow you to: B you hit and A you jump. But the fact of controlling Batman itself can be tricky. When you jump, it takes him forever to do it, giving you the need to really calculate when to do it, specially to dodge objects and the height and intensity of the jump is measured by how long you hold the A button. Considering the nature of the next bad thing, this could be a problem and is part of the most frustrating things in the game: The platform style.
The dysfunctional jumping in a game that makes climbing one of the most important aspects of gameplay is frustrating. Abusing of this climbing capabilities, took away a lot of action to the games making it slow and boring in some sections. As you press B in mid-air next to a wall, you will jump from it. In theory is simple but as mentioned if you don't calculate properly the jump you make after taking impulse you can just fall either to a pit or just to the beginning of the climbing. An there are places where they actually abuse of the climbing feature. Apparently someone forgot to mention that this was Batman and not Spiderman. After all, to climb we could easily use some other "toys" by Batman.
This climbing levels make the game difficult and some times impossible to enjoy because there are too much. But what is much worse is the levels where the plataforms are not even and you have to figure out how to climb to them and if you fail… you are doom. Things like these make this game frustrating to say the least, but practice can help you out as you master Batman's capabilities.
Again, you have to face Bosses on each of the levels, but they have nothing to do with the movie, and some of them are really weird. There is a flying man, and some computer along with this other monster with a big pointy hand that keeps shooting waves at you. On this battles is when jumping really can be a disadvantage since their attacks are really fast compared to your response on the jumping action. The only way to truly succed is keeping firing at will. And believe me, this is truly a thing when you face The Joker.
As mentioned before, as you go through the levels you may even forget that you are playing a "movie-based" game, but as long as you finish a level, you see cinema displays from the movie which makes me thing that they could've just called the game Batman, forget about the movie and make a game of their own and still be a success. The difficulty is too high if you consider that children could be interested in playing it, but then you have to remember that the movie was PG-13 or B back in the day and maybe it was focused to not so young public.
Even with all the flaws mentioned, the game is fun to play once you have mastered it. The music, even if it wasn't based on the movie, has its moments but in some levels can be tired. (The music in the chemistry lab level is a good proof).
Overall, the game shows a decent effort to bring The Dark Knight to video game system and gives its entertaining moments. If you like to solve puzzles in the middle of the air and have no problem spending a good time developing a master in how to control a character in mid-air, then this is the game for you. A Classic in everyone's NES collection.