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December 15, 2003
Batman Rise of Sin Tzu - Review
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A trio of friends led by Jade.
With the rise of comic book heroes in the cinema it was fairly inevitable that many would start appearing as game franchises. Indeed, Batman is one character which has been appearing on consoles with the admirable Batman Vengeance on Playstation 2 gaining a lot of attention. Batman Rise of Sin Tzu is the second Batman title from UbiSoft, but rather then retain the platform/action slant of the previous game this game has ditched the platform style in favour of a straight forward beat 'em up. Does this work? You'll have to read on to find out, but the game does include a fairly decent storyline with some great enemies to keep you entertained.

Years ago Bruce Wayne's parents were brutally murdered - the killers got away. Now there is a new enemy, actually, four of them. These faceless foes have plunged Gotham City into chaos on the night of the anniversary of Bruce Wayne’s parents’ murder. Who is responsible for unleashing havoc on Gotham City? The truth will be revealed.

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Is this ghostbusters?
As previously stated you will face four of Batman's biggest foes including Bane, Clayface, Scarecrow and the new formidable foe - Sin Tzu during the game. Sin Tzu, a cunning master of strategy and martial arts, makes history as the first Batman character to debut in a video game. DC Comics and Warner Brothers have showcased the talents of veteran scriptwriter Flint Dille and renowned comic book artist, Jim Lee as Sin Tzu's co-creators and character designers.

Batman Rise of Sin Tzu takes place in 12 rather large levels which include locations such as Gotham City Docks, Crime Alley, and Arkham Asylum. For the most part the game will see you running around beating the enemies senseless to rescue some hostages, or defuse some bombs before the timer runs out. While you start out with a limited range of moves this expands to over 35 different attacks by the end of the game. Actually controlling the characters is a joy as they are responsive and well animated.

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Batman gets a 4 hit combo.
The 2-player mode allows you to play as Batman, Robin, Catwoman or Nightwing. Each of these characters has different attributes such as more speed, or more power, but essentially they all play the same. The 2-player mode does allows some moments of tag-teaming against enemies which are fun, but still can't elevate this game beyond what it is.

Sadly, this game simply isn't as fun or engrossing as you would expect. The move to a more straightforward action/beat 'em up title hasn't helped the series as it can become pretty stale within a short amount of time. UbiSoft really should have retained the style of Batman Vengeance but given it a little more spit and polish.

It must be said that graphically Batman Rise of Sin Tzu is very good. The cartoon style of the TV series has been retained with some bold vibrant colours used throughout. The animation on the characters also impresses while the levels are very destructible with many objects able to be destroyed or damaged during the fights. The special effects such as steam and explosions also deserve special mention due to their impressive detail.

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A trio of friends led by Jade.
As with the graphics the sound in Batman Rise of Sin Tzu is more then acceptable. The voice acting, as you would expect, is top notch and equal to the stunning TV series. In fact, the game uses the same voice actors from the TV series. The scripting also deserves a mention as it retains the style of the cartoons, campy - but good. The music is split between rock and techno based but is fairly good quality overall while the sound effects have enough impact to ermm.. make an impact in that typical Batman style.

Even at a lower release price of $49.95 it's hard to recommend this title. The original Batman Vengeance is a much better game (and you should be able to pick it up cheap by now as well) so you might be better off tracking down that game instead.

Review By: David Warner

GRAPHICSThe game remains faithful to the cartoon series, that is, cartoony.
SOUNDPlenty of punches with some fairly good music and speech throughout.
GAMEPLAYThe platform styled game was much better then this simple brawler.
VALUEIt becomes tiresome and you won't play it a second time.
OVERALLBatman Rise of Sin Tzu is a poor follow up to the previous Batman game from UbiSoft, Batman Vengeance. Even at a reduced price it's very hard to recommend this title to anyone but die hard fans of the TV series.

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