Quality Control – Darkman (NES)

Darkman Box ArtDarkman is, by far, my favorite Sam Raimi film. I like it more than his Spider-Man films. I like it more than Army of Darkness. In my mind it is one of the best masked avenger films, and one of the best superhero films. Everything about it is excellent, from the direction, to Liam Neeson’s performance. It’s just excellent. So, when I found out about this game in Nintendo Power, I wanted to give it a try. Yes, it’s a movie licenced game from Ocean, but it can’t be all bad, can it?

The Premise:

Peyton Westlake is a scientist working on a synthetic skin formula for burn victims. When Robert Durant, crime boss, burns down his lab and leaves him for dead, horrifically burned and scarred, Westlake swears vengeance, and takes his imperfect formula (which only lasts for 99 minutes when exposed to direct sunlight), and uses it to take apart Durant’s gang, piece by piece.

The Bad & The Ugly:

I usually try to find something for every category here, but I just can’t find anything good about this game. With the exception of the last stage, there’s very little this game has in common with the movie. The order for taking down the bad guys is wrong. The environments make no sense (Darkman chases down Ted Raimi’s character in a funhouse? When did that happen?) Darkman slides around the environment with little to no friction or resistance. You can’t attack while jumping. Not that it helps much – your attacks barely register, and combat consists of pushing forward and mashing the attack button as quickly as possible.

The Verdict:

I wanted to like this game, because I love this movie, and I want a good game based on this movie. However, this game isn’t good by any sense of the imagination. Don’t play this game, for any reason.

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