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 IPHONE FEATURE

Batman vs Superman: Who has had the best mobile games?

Dark Knight vs Man of Steel
Product: Batman Arkham City Lockdown | Developer: NetherRealm Studios | Publisher: Warner Bros. | Genre: Action, Adventure
 
Batman Arkham City Lockdown iPhone, thumbnail 1
Undoubtedly, the most talked-about announcement from the annual overhyped event that is Comic-Con is the news of a Batman and Superman cinematic team-up.

If you've missed the news - or just want to see it spelt out again to convince you that you weren't dreaming - the follow-up to Man of Steel will feature everyone's favourite grumpy vigilante, Batman.

Of course, anyone who's ever been within 50 yards of a comic book shop will know that the two have always occupied the same universe in print, as well as in animated form. But this will be the first time that this pair of superhero titans have appeared in a live action feature together.

To put it mildly, though, Supes and Bats haven't always seen eye to eye. After all, one's an overgrown boy scout with a Messiah complex and godlike powers, while the other is a flesh and blood man who routinely hides in the shadows and beats people unconscious.

With that in mind, we thought we'd pitch them into battle once again. On this occasion, however, we'd simply wonder: 'who has appeared in the best iOS and Android games?'

Let's take a look at their respective offerings, then, AND evaluate the mobile games in which the two have shared the limelight.



Batman

Lego Batman: DC Super Heroes
By TT Games



As opening attacks go, this one's akin to Batman embedding a Kryptonite batarang in Supes's chest. Lego Batman: DC Super Heroes is far and away the best game on this rundown.

Of course, Superman can gain a little encouragement from the fact that he contributes to its success. As the title suggests, the game stars a whole host of DC heroes besides Batman himself - including the last son of Krypton.

Still, this remains a Batman game, and an excellent one at that. TT Games has translated the kid-friendly action-adventure template of the core console series to mobile perfectly.

Batman Arkham City Lockdown
By NetherRealm Studios



While this is another fine Batman game, Batman Arkham City Lockdown couldn't be much more different from Lego Batman: DC Super Heroes. It's a dark, grimy, constrained spin-off from the Arkham console games.

Despite this, NetherRealm Studios's game resembles Infinity Blade far more than it does an open-world action-adventure. It's essentially a series of one-on-one fights against assorted goons and their famous bosses.

While this type of combat can get a little repetitive, some stellar presentation and an atmosphere you can cut with a batknife make this a more-than-respectable superhero game. Take that, Man of Steel.

The Dark Knight Rises
By Gameloft



Following on from two fine Bats entries, The Dark Knight Rises is a pronounced disappointment. But enough about Chris Nolan's disjointed film. This mobile spin-off and our third Batman entry on this list happens to be a bit of a dud, too.

Gameloft has pulled its usual trick of copying an existing popular template. And in fairness, it's picked the strongest source material possible in the shape of those aforementioned Arkham console games.

However, this action-adventure game is undeniably weaker than the sum of its disparate parts. There are combat, stealth, and open-world elements to the game, but none of them is realised particularly well.

Batman ends his carefully planned combo attack with a bit of weak-wristed slap, I'm afraid.



Superman

Superman
By Tiger Games



After The Dark Knight Rises, Superman had the chance to strike back with a strong, fast super-hit to Bruce Wayne's armoured gut. With this self-titled game, he swings... and misses.

'Superman: The Game' was a casual rescue-'em-up not too dissimilar to The Hero. Well, other than not being very good, that is. Flying to and fro putting out fires and tackling criminals really shouldn't be this dull, and nor should it look like such an amateurish mess.

Suffice it to say, this 2011 effort is no longer available on the iOS App Store.

Man of Steel
By Phosphor Games Studios



Sadly, this more recent Supes effort is hardly much better than the above game. Man of Steel is the official tie-in to the recent Zack Snyder movie, but it lacks that film's OTT action and scale.

In a way, Phosphor Games follows the lead of Batman Arkham City Lockdown's dev by plumping for a one-on-one swipe-based beat-'em-up experience. Simply put, the result isn't as impressive. Fights between Big Blue and a random assortment of identikit Kryptonian soldiers quickly become repetitious.

It's just the latest in a long line of mediocre Superman games that completely fail to live up to their iconic hero.

The game also scuppers any chance Superman had in this battle of the superhero games. Batman takes this comfortably.



But what about those games in which the worlds of the two biggest heroes are brought together?

Both

Justice League: Earth's Final Defense
By Netmarble



In the comics, the Justice League is DC's equivalent to Marvel's The Avengers. So, yeah, it's a case of assembling a team of your biggest heroes to take on a group of world-threatening baddies.

As grand as that concept sounds, this Justice League game contains four largely depowered heroes (including Superman) plus Batman. As far as gameplay is concerned, you have to run through a bunch of levels hitting low-level thugs until they fall over.

As simple brawlers go, mind, Justice League: Earth's Final Defence isn't bad. Its stellar licence just hasn't been used particularly smartly.

Injustice: Gods Among Us
By NetherRealm Studios



Another game from NetherRealm, the developer of Batman Arkham City Lockdown. However, this one's a slightly iffy 'companion app' to a full console game that debuted around the same time.

What you get here is a nice-looking but repetitive and shallow freemium experience. You'll be disillusioned with the whole thing well before you've had a chance to grind through all of its content.

Still, it's the only real way you can make these ostensibly mismatched comic book titans actually go at it on your mobile device, so there might be some fun to be had.
 

Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy 25 July 2013
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Joined:
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Post count:
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curtisrshideler | 05:31 - 26 July 2013
I love the Lego games and this one, but I've still had more fun with The Dark Knight Rises. It's probably all that gliding I get to do around the whole city.
 
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