Released in 1991 by SunSoft who also did 1989’s Batman for the NES, the Genesis version isn’t a direct port. SunSoft decided to raise the ante on its production values by flexing Sega’s 16-bit hardware. The music rolled in with a bit of the film’s theme as the Batman symbol spun on the screen before turning into a set of custom tracks and the graphics looked fantastic.
Unlike the more platform-centric NES version, the Genesis also had a few of its own though Batman had his grappling hook to help get to them along with a double jump. He could also block projectiles which came in handy. Another difference was that Batman only has batarangs to throw at villains. Really powerful batarangs which can also be used as a cheap means with which to kill the bosses all the way up to the Joker.
What also made this different was the inclusion of two, side scrolling, vehicle stages. The first one allowed you to drive the Batmobile and blow away the Joker’s motor pool and the second one with the Batwing sent you into the skies over Gotham to blow up even more bad guys.
The Genesis version was definitely tilted a lot more over to straight-up action than wall jumps, timed leaps, and bizarre bosses. It also had a bit more in common with the film down to the ending when the Joker falls from the roof to his death after losing his boss fight against Batman. At least he wasn’t thrown off of it as he was in the NES version.
Between the two, I liked the Genesis version for its simple, arcade feel. It might not have been as crushingly tough as the NES version could be, especially if you didn’t want to use the unlimited continues it gave you, but it was still a lot of fun as an action adventure with a killer soundtrack.
Batman for the Genesis had an extremely low key ad as you can see from the slightly mashed together two pager below. Definitely one of the better movie tie-in efforts before a deluge of truly terrible ones in the next few years would convince generations of gamers that they would always be among the worst that their pasttime had to offer.