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Batman: Guardian of Gotham

For: Mobile

To the bat-mobile

Product: Batman: Guardian of Gotham | Publisher: Glu Mobile | Format: Mobile | Genre: Film/ TV tie- in, Shooter | Players: 1 | Format: J2ME | File size: 795KB | Reviewed on: K800i other handsets | Version: Europe
Batman: Guardian of Gotham Mobile, thumbnail 1
You have to wonder if, like normal people with normal jobs, superheroes occasionally 'phone it in'.

If Superman’s had a rough night disarming North Korea, would he spend the next day using his super sight, hearing, and laser vision to zap crooks from the comfort of his bed? I know I would.

The reason I’ve been thinking about this is Batman: Guardian of Gotham, which sees the caped crusader uncharacteristically reluctant to get his hands dirty during a busy day at the office.

Bat hunt

The game sees one of the world’s finest hand to hand combatants standing back and letting his gadgets do the talking. This is essentially a virtual target range dressed in grey tights, a Duck Hunt for the comic book crowd.

Standing a good ten metres or so from the action, you must make good use of Batman’s seemingly endless supply of batarangs (plus the odd application of his trusty grapple hook) in order to take down the likes of Two Face and The Joker.

While the D-pad allows you to flick between targets instantaneously (there’s no real ‘aiming’ required) the real skill here is in efficient crowd management. This is aided by a combo system that empowers you to hit multiple targets with a single batarang through timed presses of the D-pad.

Hard justice

While this is fun to a certain extent, the system can’t quite cope when things get hectic. With several enemies on screen at once and multiple knives headed for your face, it can be extremely tough to pick out the exact target you want (usually the knives) and, thanks to the sluggishness of the batarangs, any error is immediately punished.

Guardian of Gotham is as unforgiving as Batman himself. Another example is when Batman swings over to restrain a stunned goon (activated by holding ‘okay’). While you’re assured that you’re invulnerable while you’re doing this, you’ll often return to a load of knives swishing through the air, with no time to react.

Batman: Guardian of Gotham is a fun and fairly refreshing take on an established superhero property. However, its promising control mechanic sits slightly awkwardly in an overly punishing game.
Batman: Guardian of Gotham
Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy | 24 May 2010
This unusual bat-shooter has an entertaining combo-mechanic, but is hampered by frustrating design elsewhere
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