by  DJ B00M

In July, 1939, Robert Kahn created a character that would change the world forever. It would launch many careers and destroy others.  At the time, I doubt that Bob (Robert is too stuffy) Kane had any idea how far Batman would go: radio shows, television, movies, toys, clothing….

The latest incarnation of the Dark Knight comes to us in the form of a pinball machine. The black cabinet makes the artwork pop, with its glossy, book cover-like faces. While the game is called Batman, there can be no doubt that this is the Christopher Nolan flick. So, of course, there is a picture of Heath on the back glass and on the play field. Somehow creepy and sad.

The Mad Pub happens to have Family Guy right next to Bats. When it’s quiet, you can hit the flipper on Batman, and it will talk. Then hit the flipper on Family Guy, and it farts. Hilarious! Anyway, I have to say the voice work is pretty good, at times. The Scarecrow and Bruce/Bats sound a lot alike, which can be a little confusing when you’re given a shot prompt.

One of the easiest shots, at least for me, is the far left orbit. Hit that, the ball goes around and lands in the trap for Mystery. It’s a random choice, and you tend to get a multiplier bonus, but sometimes ya get extra ball. Yahoo! The other way to get extra ball is to collect two items from Lucius Fox, which will light extra ball on the play field. Then simply shoot the scoop to collect extra ball, which by the way, has some nice animation. Lucius  has an easy ramp, and it’s the same thing as Path of the Dead from LoTR.  So it’s easy to collect items from him. He’s got a funny sound bite here and there too.

“Careful sir, the Joker can be a tricky one.”  You got that right Alfred! I suggest using the left flipper to hit the Joker target. Another good feature is that the game lets you get Scarecrow and Joker multi-ball at the same time. Ka-ching! That comes in pretty handy too, as Bats isn’t a high scoring game, although you get 70 points when you hit almost anything. One of the nicer touches is during game play a large ‘drum’-like thing sits in the upper play field, and during Joker multi-ball it spins around to reveal a little toy Joker. I want one!

The game has this teeter totter in it as well, but it doesn’t really do anything. So I’m not going to talk about it. I like that Stern used the larger dot graphics display, like in the new Indiana Jones game (which I have a feeling will quietly go away soon, not one of Stern’s better games).  Batman, however, is pretty damn good.  Fast paced, check. Lots of pretty lights and sounds, check. Only two flippers, so no “how the hell am I gonna make that shot” issues, check.  Sounds like a pretty good game to me. Think I’m going to start saving my pennies and buy myself one. Now if only it had a peg in front of the center drain. . . . . . .