When Batman TAS entered the scene, it was a serious noirish take in the world of Superhero animation, borrowing from the Fleischer cartoons of old. It was also a huge success, spawning a franchise of its own. In 2003 the colourful world of Batman TAS got another game with a brand-new adversary, In Batman Rise of Sin Tsu.
While dealing with the anniversary of his parents’ death, the defining moment made him fight crime. The Dark Knight visits crime alley. During this night, a mass breakout at Arkham Asylum, a mysterious new foe makes his way into Gotham, it looks like this chaos is related to him. Does Batman et al. have what it takes to deal with this new adversary?
You can now play as one of the four characters who have dawned a cape and took to the streets for justice, namely Nightwing, Robin, Batgirl, and the titular Batman. The game also boasts a new character, the titular Sin Tsu is an exclusive creation for the game, and it is a shame little has been done with the character since. His scheme is an intriguing plan that works to get some famous faces out of Arkham for Batman et al. to face. Joining him are villains like Scarecrow make an appearance, as well as Clayface (who due to budget constraints didn’t get his fair outing on the animated series). Their voice actors also return too, any excuse to see Ron Pearlman is a welcome one.
The gameplay has taken a sudden switch, replacing Vengeance’s blend of action and detect-em-up (a predecessor to the successful Arkham games) To a more arcadey beat-em-up. While some would argue that this is a step-down, it does lend a simple pick-up-and-play that makes it fun for all the family. You beat up goons, save civilians and repeat. You get the ability to taunt, yes even Batman, that gives some bonus power to your hits, and allows the voice actors to show off, And in the harder modes you unlock gold coins, that can be exchanged for 3D models, and bizarrely enough promotional material for action figures, graphic novels and the like.
While taking some steps back, and some strides forward, Rise of Sin Tsu is an admirable attempt at continuing the show’s colourful legacy in an enjoyable beat-em-up fashion. With more focus on the extended Batman family and ample support for co-operative play, you can have hours of fun. Playing this game made me realise, just how much the cape crusader family must have, and to wonder why The Dark Knight is so glum all the time? When taking to the streets as the Caped Crusader is such a blast.
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