Retrofitting Games: – Batman: Arkham Knight

Today I ponder what could have been. What if one of our favorite new video games came out in a period long ago?

Batman: Arkham Knight is the latest in the series of recent Batman games from Rocksteady and Warner Bros. Out for all of the latest consoles… but what if… what if it actually had come out 20 years earlier for the SNES? What kind of game would it have looked like?

First off, let’s take a look at the popular games that came out in 1995 that Batman would have had to compete with on the SNES.

  • Chrono Trigger
  • Bust-A-Move
  • DOOM
  • EarthBound
  • Killer Instinct
  • Megaman 7
  • Ogre Battle
  • Primal Rage

That’s a pretty impressive lineup for the year. It also helps give an idea of what was being done on the SNES during that time. It should be added that Batman Forever also came out during this year. So there’s even an example of what was done for Batman back then.

In regards to play style, I see that game being split mostly into three parts. The first part would be a brawler game, the second would be the Batmobile racing game, and the third would be a Point-N-Click game.

For play style of these, I figured It would be best to use real examples of other games that came out on the SNES and NES.

Brawler Gameplay: TMNT IV: Turtles in Time

TMNT: Turtles in Time

For the Brawler portion, I imagine the gameplay would be similar to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time. Turtles in Time was arguably one of the best brawlers released, so it would make sense that one of the best modern day brawlers would match this in quality if released 20 years ago.

Batman: Arkham Knight for the SNES would also be multiplayer with people being able to choose Batman, Catwoman, Robin, or Nightwing. Each would of course have slightly different fighting styles. Batman would be close quarters with thrown batarangs, Catwoman would have a whip, Nightwing would have his clubs, and Robin would have a staff. You’d get to work your way through the rogues gallery for the different stages.

TMNT: Turtles in Time

In between different fighting levels would be the Batmobile mini game. This is where players would race to the next stage against various other cars that are out to get them.


Batmobile Racing – F-Zero

For this play style, I imagine it would be similar to F-Zero with courses littered with trash and a parked cars similar to how to Gotham is setup in the current game. You work with your teammate to make sure that one of you got there before the villain of the next map. If it’s the Riddler you want to beat him before the end. If one of you makes third place behind the Riddler, you’d get some sort of negative for his level.

In general the frenetic racing style of F-Zero feels like it matches the craziness of driving the Batmobile around Gotham City.


Point-N-Click: Deja Vu: A Nightmare Comes True!!

Deja Vu

Lastly, you need to have Batman being a detective. In which case the best type of game would be a Point-N-Click game of some sort. Now using an SNES example is difficult to do because there really weren’t many Point-N-Click games for them at the time. The NES on the other hand did have a bunch of great Point-N-Click games and the best example for this play style would be Déjà Vu: A Nightmare Comes True!! for the NES. I mean the game is even about a detective! This is great example because you can click on everything and when you’re Batman, everything should be a potential clue.

Deja Vu

Obviously this portion of the game would be a little bit more difficult to do 2 Player. It’s possible you could have two cursors on the screen and allow both of you to click on clues at the same time, but that could get confusing with text pretty quickly. It might be better to allow players to swap turns on who gets to do the detective work.

This is how I could see Batman: Arkham Knight working if it came out 20 years ago for the SNES. Do you have any examples of other games you might prefer it to look like?

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