Thursday, April 26, 2018

PrinceWatercress plays Batman Returns (SNES) on Mania AGAIN - Part 5 of 7

Mode 7? Mode 7.

Scene 5

To The Batmobile

This level looks just like the end of the cutscene before the first level, minus the Batsignal. Here, you'll be racing down the streets of Gotham City taking down (and avoiding) the many bikers in your path.

Press Y repeatedly to shoot at enemies. Holding Up and Down on the Control Pad allows you to speed up and slow down. While there isn't any noticeable speed difference if you're standing still, it allows you to make faster turns when you're sped up and narrower turns when you're slowing down. Holding Up while turning works wonders, as you will find out, as it allows you to avoid enemy rockets with the greatest of ease. Holding Down works well when getting between rows of bikers.

You'll first see bikers leaping out from behind the Batmobile on their bikes. They can easily be shot down and destroyed if you're quick enough.

When the bikers are coming straight at you in rows, stay in the center line of the road so you can avoid them all and take as little damage from colliding into them as possible.

The bikers that show up ahead of you and ride forwards will turn back every so often and fire a couple of rockets before you're able to pass by them. The easier the difficulty you're playing on, the more likely you are to destroy them before the game allows you to pass by them. You're better off just focusing squarely on avoiding all of their rockets on Mania, since these bikers have light green energy bars and can be pretty relentless with their attacks.

The purple Batman icons show up in lulls in the action, and you'll see a few of them twice. You'll get 500 points if you can pick one up, which is 300 more than what you'll get out of the bikers, so try to pick up as many as you can. Once you pass by the first wave of Batman icons, you'll see the pattern of bikers you see at the beginning begin again.

You don't want to die in this scene. If you do, you'll be sent back to an earlier point in the level. If you die against the boss, you'll have to start the entire fight over.

The boss in this level is the Campain Vehicle. (Yeah, just one in over a million Batman puns.) This vehicle has two guys hanging onto the back of it that are not only firing rockets at you from the back, but also flinging firecrackers at you! The rockets can be avoided as they normally would be, but you'll have to get all the way to the side to avoid the firecrackers, assuming you stay in the center as much as possible between attack waves. All the while, you'll be shooting down the Campain Vehicle while avoiding bikers. When you get the Campain Vehicle down to the normal yellow energy bar, it will start firing more rockets at you than normal. Weave around while avoiding the bikers, and keep mashing the Y button to make your way to victory!

When you beat this scene, Batman's reputation is restored while The Penguin's true intentions to bring bedlam to Gotham City are revealed. He begins an initiative to kidnap all of the first-born sons in the city, and it's up to Batman to save the children!

Another Trailer For Batman Returns

I should have known that the part where the grappling hook pulls a piece of the building out came from the movie. Kudos to Konami for letting the player do that!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

PrinceWatercress plays Batman Returns (SNES) on Mania AGAIN - Part 4 of 7

Well, our intentions WERE noble, but...

Scene 4

The Penguin's Trap

Section 1 (beat-'em-up)

The enemy placement in the first section of this scene is completely random. You could face from four to as many eight blue Thin Clowns in the very beginning, and the way they enter the screen will either be down from the ceiling or from the side of the screen. I finished off enemies as soon as they appeared and got eight Thin Clowns as a result, but I'm not sure if either speed is a contributing factor or it's completely random.

The enemy placement on the way to the door is also random. Sometimes you'll have three Fat Clowns drop from the ceiling at once, and sometimes you won't. Either way, throwing enemies into the background wall is a huge help.

The second section can actually be memorized compared to the first. You'll be dealing with Fire Clowns and Sword Swallowers. Once again, you can throw enemies into the background wall if you need to.

Section 2 (beat-'em-up)

You'll now commence the second battle with Catwoman. This is basically the same battle as the one from the end of Scene 3; the only differences are that you cannot throw Catwoman into the background wall (probably because the wall was programmed to be empty space due to the Ice Princess being tied up in the chair in the background) and Catwoman does not perform the speedy V-patterned attack that made the first battle aggravating. The same strategies apply, and she still has the same annoying kick, dashing scratch and whip attacks. Yes, the dashing scratch can still hit you on the very last frame. Don't use your Bat Test Tubes against Catwoman, as you'll need the three that you have for what happens next.

Section 3 (side-scrolling)

You'll then hit the rooftops and face The Penguin for the first time. The Ice Princess from the Gotham City Christmas celebration is being held hostage again, this time on a building ledge. You'll be pelting The Penguin with Batarangs as he flies around, but take care not to get hit yourself, which is all too easy to do in some cases!

The Penguin will start by throwing umbrellas down. About a second after they hit the ground, they'll explode. Stay away from the umbrellas and stay on the move, and when Penguin's feet are around the same level as Batman's head, duck. He will hit you from running into you.

When he floats in place above you, he'll start throwing umbrellas to the side. He'll throw four in the easiest difficulties, but from Hard on he'll add one more depending on what difficulty you're playing on. In Mania, he throws seven. To avoid them, the pattern is to duck, duck, duck, jump, duck, jump, duck. Feel free to cut the end of as much as you need to, as this pattern never changes on the easier difficulties save for the number of umbrellas he throws. When he flies further up and off the screen, be prepared to either pelt him with Batarangs when he shows up from either side of the screen. You'll have to hit him several times to be able to duck under him in time, so if you can't, feel free to throw down a Bat Test Tube. Be prepared to lose at least one or two lives.

When you beat The Penguin, he'll throw an umbrella down in front of the Ice Princess. When it opens, bats will come out of it and will push the Ice Princess off the building. The Penguin will succeed at turning the people against Batman, but things aren't what they seem...

PrinceWatercress plays Batman Returns (SNES) on Mania AGAIN - Part 3 of 7

This scene is actually quicker and easier to get through than what you've seen so far. It's also really fun until CATWOMAN.

Scene 3

On The Prowl

Section 1 (side-scrolling)

You'll be going up buildings in a window-washer's scaffold. As you go up, Thin and Fat Clowns will be smashing through windows to get a piece of you. Stay away from them and knock them off with Batarangs while they're still in the air.

When the scaffold stops, use the grappling hook to go to the right and catch a ride on another scaffold. There'll be more clowns this time compared to the last, but it's not really that much harder.

Section 2 (side-scrolling)

This time around, you'll be walking on rooftops. You don't want to mess around after the beginning and near the end, because it's a long way down and it's instant death if you plunge.

The windowsills shortly after the beginning will crumble when you stand on them. Keep on moving like normal and you'll make your way through before you can plunge down the bottomless pit and lose a life.

If you can make it to the top platform, great. That's where you want to go, as you can completely refill your health meter and get an extra Bat Test Tube there. Even if you don't need the health, pick up the health pickup anyway. It gives you points regardless.

If you dropped down from the edge of the building you started from, you'll find a Bat Test Tube to your left. You definitely can't miss it.

The Bazooka Clowns appear here. They're much easier, since all they do is fire their rockets and jump around. Since you can duck, do just that and pound them with Batarangs.

You'll eventually go up on a large steel girder. Watch out as you go up, as bombs will drop along with Thin Clowns and Bazooka Clowns. Two Tall Clowns will also show up for the ride as well. Better enjoy fighting them, because this is the last time you'll see them in-game.

Once the ride stops, you'll be able to go to the right, use the grappling hook to get over the bottomless pit, and make your way to the boss fight. Don't forget to pick up the big heart that's just at the bottom as you go.

Section 3 (side-scrolling)

This is the first of two fights with Catwoman in the game. When she gets near, punch her first and then do the two-headbutts-and-a-throw combo. Watch out when she's doing her backflips, as she'll do a nasty attack where she zips across the screen in a V-Pattern. In the lesser difficulties, she zips from one side of the arena to the other twice, but on other difficulties, she'll do it three or four times. On Mania, she'll do it five times. It's usually in a V-pattern, but it's still best to keep an eye on her and move up and down accordingly.

Her cat scratch, kick and whip attacks all have some range. Use your punches to stun her so you can inch your way forward and put her in a grab combo. Her cat scratch is the worst of the three attacks, as she dashes forward whenever she performs it and you can be hit even at the last frame, which can be another embarrassing cheap hit/death source.

When she's near death, unleash all the Bat Test Tubes you have on her. She should be able to go down then.

When you beat Catwoman, she'll jump off the building and escape without a scratch. She'll then join forces with The Penguin to help him create a trap that Batman can't resist...

By the way, I mention this in the first Let's Play: there are two versions of the game's ROM. In the first one, Catwoman doesn't leap off the building until after you get your bonus points. In the second (which I use here), she leaps off after you defeat her. The copyright screens on both versions are very similar save for one detail.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

PrinceWatercress plays Batman Returns (SNES) on Mania AGAIN - Part 2 of 7

Well, at least I'm not sucking. Yet.

Scene 2

Battle In The Streets Of Gotham City

Section 1 (beat-'em-up)

In the first section, you'll start dealing with a bunch of Thin Clowns. For the second set, you'll meet a new type of Thin Clown: the brown ones. These guys juggle bowling pins and will throw them at you, but if you hit them with a Batarang they'll instantly lose all their ammo while stunned and will be forced to come at you like all the other Thin Clowns. Be sure to toss the enemies into the background wall when you can!

When you come out of the bridge, you'll meet the dark green Thin Clowns. They're just like all the other ones, but some of them will carry and throw bombs. If one is standing still with a bomb, just get the entire bomb on the screen and stay away to force them to throw the bomb just before it explodes. Some of them also walk towards you with bombs. If that happens, throw a Batarang to stun them and force them to drop the bomb. The bomb will land on the floor with a boom, giving you free damage on the clown and any souls stupid enough to be right next to it when it lands.

I found after completing the first LP of this game that if they do manage to throw the bomb, you can pick it up with the Y button and press it again to throw it. It can still blow up in your hands much like in the enemy's, so be cautious.

You can throw enemies into fences, benches and signposts to cause some pain along with collateral damage. The signposts make an interesting "pwung" sound when you slam an enemy into them, which I like a lot.

The Fat Clown here will have a light green health bar, so you'll have to pummel it a little more than usual. It also has some AI, as it will jump onto the park bench and jump again from the bench, trying to crush you from above. Stay on the move when this happens, as you can't hit the Fat Clown out of this attack.

Some Bikers will just breeze on by, while others will move back and forth trying to kill. You should always try to throw a Batarang at them regardless for the points. The ones that do the former will show up after certain waves of opponents are destroyed or when you reach a certain part of the scene. The hard part about those types of Bikers is getting down their time of appearance to a science, but it can definitely be done.

The Knife Throwers have the smallest amount of HP, but they have a close-ranged knife stab attack that's hard to predict coming as well as the ability to throw knives from the other side of the screen. This is faster and harder to see than the Bazooka Clowns' ammo, believe it or not.

Section 2 (side-scrolling)

You'll now be in a department store. Hit the Thin Clowns before they can slide down the escalator railing, and keep still so you can keep an eye out for the Fat Clown bouncing down behind him. You'll be doing this twice. After three more Fat Clowns, you'll come across two pairs of elevators. The first pair has a Thin Clown in each one, while the second pair contains two Thin Clowns in the elevator to the right.

You'll earn more points by throwing a Batarang into an enemy in the side-scrolling sections, as opposed to punching them at close range (200 points vs. 100). Keep that in mind.

When you make it to the Circo Porto, the windows will break and the whole department store will be set ablaze! You'll have to go right and use the Grappling Hook to get past the flames on the ground, taking out Tall Clowns and Fat Clowns as you go. Watch out for fire dropping from the ceiling as well as falling lumber from the ceiling, as it will be also on fire and fall to the ground when you're just under it. You'll have to press A repeatedly to get past the huge pit of fire and also trick that piece of ceiling lumber into falling. When you reach the Tall Clown at the end, avoid the torches he throws while they're in the air and wait just next to him. The floor will collapse, giving you the chance to move back and finally nail him with some Batarangs.

Section 3 (beat-'em-up)

You'll meet a new enemy here: the Sword Swallowers. They'll slash at you with their swords, and their weapons cause hellacious damage! If you throw a Batarang at them, they'll simply repel it by swinging at it, nullifying any attempts to stun them. You'll have to bob and weave to get close to them without getting hurt.

Sometimes, if you're far away enough from them, they'll perform their sword-swallowing trick. If you hit them with a Batarang while they're doing this, not only will it connect, but you'll also get points and land some damage on them!

You'll be dealing with the Sword Swallowers as well as some Bazooka Clowns at the beginning of this section. With the power behind their attacks, this is a dangerous combination! Be ready to move around as you take these guys and throw them into one another. You'll want to do as much damage as possible in the shortest amount of time here.

You'll then be dealing with both Sword Swallowers and Fat Clowns. This is a bit easier, since you can easily throw enemies into each other.

When you reach the intersection of this cold, empty street, you'll be dealing with some Thin Clowns. They'll all be of the light green, dark green, and blue varieties, and some of the dark green Thin Clowns will come out with bombs.

After this, you'll deal with a few more Thin Clowns before fighting the Tattooed Strongman, who rips up the newspaper he's reading and comes straight at you. Believe it or not, this guy is really easy if you keep walking diagonally at him and do a bunch of grab combos. When you toss him to the ground, you'll want to go down and forward before going up and forward once you're close enough to him to grab him. He'll have some blue Thin Clowns to back him up. If you can grab the boss and one of the clowns and bump heads, great. That's a lot of time you'll save against this guy. Also, don't be afraid to use up your Bat Test Tubes if you're near death here.

PrinceWatercress plays Batman Returns (SNES) on Mania AGAIN - Part 1 of 7

So I decided to play this game again, since my commentary got a little better at this point. Unfortunately, I didn't do any practice runs because I didn't think I would need to and I was horribly out of practice as a result...and it shows later on.

Just like in the 1992 movie of the same name, you'll be playing as Batman and taking down The Penguin. Catwoman is also prowling around, and her intentions aren't quite clear. It's up to you to beat The Penguin, defeat the Red Triangle Circus Gang and its horde of clown thugs and bring peace back to Gotham City!

Scene 1

Ambush In Gotham Plaza

Section 1 (beat-'em-up)

When you start the game, two bikers will ride past you after you show up. You'll only get enough time to throw a Batarang at one of them to get some points right off of the bat, so be sure to do it.

In the first section, you'll be able to move around like in other beat-'em-ups, particularly Final Fight.

The Thin Clowns come in two varieties in the first level: light green and blue. The green ones can cartwheel all over the place, making them immune to attacks (including Batarangs) and letting them move around the screen in a mere second. The blue ones cannot. Regardless, use a boomerang to stun them to give yourself enough time to get close and whack them.

Speaking of whacking things, the controls in the game are great. You can carry an enemy while grabbing one for a short time, which allows you to either headbutt and throw them into enemies or run into another enemy and grab two at once, giving you the ability to knock their heads into one another to cause some massive damage. You can also switch between throwing the Batarang and swinging around on the grappling hook and kicking enemies, but the latter item costs a little bit of energy to use. Pressing B and Y simultaneously will perform a super attack that covers what's in front of you and behind you, but it also uses a little bit of energy to perform.

Punching an enemy three times, grabbing them and headbutting them twice before throwing them onto the ground gives you the most possible points from an enemy. With an extra life awarded every 50,000 points, you're going to need all the points you can get! (Just remember that you can't stockpile past nine lives.)

Walking into an enemy lets you grab them. Press Y to do the headbutt. Hold a direction on the Control pad before pressing the Y button, and you will throw them. While having an enemy grabbed, you can walk around with the enemy in your hand for a short time before Batman lets go. If you grab another enemy during that time, you'll grab them both. Press Y, and you'll butt both enemies head-first into each other.

The Bikers move around on bikes and try to run you over. While you could jump kick them to damage them, the best thing to do is either throw an enemy at them or hit them with a Batarang to get rid of them in one hit. If they run into an explosion caused by another bike, they'll also be dethroned off their chariots of death if they ride right into the explosion.

The Bazooka Clowns carry around bazookas, and their rockets pack a punch! Blocking them lessens the damage a little bit and keeps you from being knocked to the floor, but tricking them into either firing at another enemy or grabbing an enemy and using it as a human shield works wonders. As you can see, they're prone to performing friendly fire on their comrades constantly. They are also the only enemies that can destroy destructible props on the ground such as garbage cans with their attack. They can also perform hit and runs - shoot an enemy (or you) and then run away after they hit a target.

If there is a wall in the background, you can hold Up and press Y to throw the enemy into the wall. (I say Up and A, but it's really Up and Y. So much for talking and playing at the same time.) You can do this to cause some damage to store windows and other enemies, and it also gives you more points compared to just throwing the enemy onto the floor. Of course, if any enemies are in the path of the enemy you're throwing into the wall, they'll get knocked to the wall with him. Stuff like this and the ability to knock two enemies' heads together are why Game Informer has mentioned this as #10 on their best movie-to-game adaptations of all time back in 2011, as well as the best Batman game before Arkham Asylum. Now that's what's up.

The Fire Clowns have two attacks: a trident stab as well as a fire-breathing attack. Both not only involve fire, but they also have some range. Stunning them with the Batarang and staying on the move against these guys works well, but just be careful not to run straight into their attacks or their attack range if they're standing still. The grappling hook works well against these guys, now that I think about it. Too bad I rely exclusively on the Batarang.

The Fat Clowns are slightly more powerful and have more health than the Thin Clowns. They can also be extremely cheap, as they can keep punching even while you're on the floor while you're next to them, causing you to stand back up and rise straight into their one-two combo to be knocked back onto the floor. This can also be the source of many cheap deaths.

The Batman logos give you extra points. The color dictates how many points you'll get, with white giving the least, then light purple, then light red, then dark red giving the most.

Small hearts refill a little bit of your health, while the big hearts completely refill your health meter. Since I'm playing on Mania, hearts you may see in certain parts of the game on Easy through Special difficulties won't appear in certain spots. I think there's only four to six hearts in the entire game if you're playing on Mania.

Section 2 (side-scrolling)

Unlike the Final Fight segments, here you'll be moving left and right only. You'll throw Batarangs with the Y button, but you can use the grappling hook with A. Since you can use it to hang around but not attack, you won't have to sacrifice energy to use it. Of course, you can still punch enemies if you're close enough to them.

The Thin Clowns will come out in an endless stream, so go ahead and take advantage of that if you need to get another extra life, since you don't have a time limit anywhere in the game.

The Tall Clowns juggle torches, and send some to the floor in an attempt to burn you. The torches won't hurt you after they've touched the ground. To defeat these guys, you'll have to hit them anywhere from the waist up, meaning that you'll have to respond with Batarangs after they throw torches sometimes. The Tall Clowns will only appear in the side-scrolling segments of the game.

The Fat Clowns just bounce around from one side of the screen to the other. There's only two in this segment, but they're annoying for something that takes only two Batarangs to kill.

When you stop seeing the Thin Clowns coming at you, you're near the end of the level. The boss here is the Stun Gun Clown. He'll move toward you and jump at you before shooting out the stungun after he hits the ground. Hit him with Batarangs as he comes at you, then walk under him when he jumps. He'll miss with the stun gun completely, giving you more time to pelt him with Batarangs, particularly if you duck down to throw them after he lands. After doing this twice, he'll do a rolling attack. You can't jump over it, so hit him out of it by blocking and pressing X. This lets you use one of your Bat Test Tubes, which works as a screen-clearing attack in both the beat-'em-up and side-scrolling segments. From here, he'll repeat the attack pattern again. He'll be close to dead at this point if you've been piling on the Batarangs.

Believe it or not, you can shoot the grappling hook forward by holding Left and Right and then pressing A. While this could probably be used to avoid the Stun Gun Clown's rolling attack, you're better off just using the Bat Test Tube to hit him out of it anyway. At least it lets you make a hole in the wall at the right end of this area.

When you complete a scene, you'll get 5,000 bonus points no matter what.

Batman will meet Selina Kyle, while The Penguin gets together with department store tycoon Max Shreck to discredit the Mayor, setting the stage for some hardships in Batman's newest quest...