Just like my previous post, Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu is a game I had as a child that could never beat, and strangely enough, I had difficulty this time as well.
Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu is a beat ’em up video game released in 2003 on the Xbox, Nintendo Gamecube, Gameboy Advance, and Playstation 2. It is a sequel to Batman: Vengeance and received mixed to average reviews upon its release. It is notable however for the creation of a brand new character, Sin Tzu.
On the anniversary of Bruce Wayne’s parents murder, Gotham City is plunged into chaos after the Sin Tzu releases Scarecrow, Clayface, Bane, and the rest of Arkham Asylum. With the help of Robin, Batgirl, and Nightwing, Batman is forced to defeat these foes before the city falls to pieces.
Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu offers pretty standard beat ’em gameplay. The camera puts you into third person that sometimes goes over head.
You have a few basic moves at your disposal. You can use Z for gadgets, such as Batarangs, Grappnel, and Smoke Pellets. B is a standard punch, while A lets you kick. Combining these attacks unleashes a variety of different combos, some even being as complex as waiting a few seconds to hit the next button. However, these are pretty useless as the basic B, B, B, deals enough damage at half the time. You also have access to a jump, Y, which is very pointless and offers nothing other than a few different combos. The right trigger allows you to roll in whichever determined direction you desire, as well as using X to block.
Time is important. Every single mission is time based. I’m not even joking. You have two different objectives the entire game: save the hostages before time runs out, or beat the designated amount of enemies. After the very first mission it becomes tiring to the point of almost wanting to quit.
Speaking of quiting, the difficulty is unbearable. Even on normal a few punches can knock you out cold and leave you at the mercy of the terrible checkpoints. After getting to the first boss I died about seven times. That only in the first three missions! I decided to restart on Easy to actually be able to observe and explore the game rather than be frustrated.
You are also able to unlock Special Moves that require you to hold down either B or A. Doing so will unleash a massive attack that deals high amounts of damage. Unfortunately, the combos to do these are rather annoying and you only have a limited amount of energy to use before you have to gather some more.
Oh boy, here we go.
Throughout the game you are faced with Four bosses. Yeah, you read that right. Four. All to varying degrees of difficulty.
Up first, Scarecrow.
He is by far the easiest boss of the entire game. He doesn’t attack often and when he does they are easily dodged. But, this is when it gets tricky. He turns invisible, leaving only a faint trail in the fog. In order to defeat him you must pay attention to the fog and when it opens up attack. However, even if you follow it perfectly you’ll still probably miss. Scarecrow has an obnoxiously small hit box which makes this fight take eons.
He can be the most frustrating boss in the entire game if you’re not lucky. Most of his attacks are so easy to detect and dodge, yet his axe swing is almost unblockable. Unless you time your roll at just the right moment, his axe will hit you, dealing a significant amount of damage. The tactic to defeat him is rather straightforward.
I found Bane the easiest over all. All you have to do is dodge his ramming attack and guide him into a wall. Doing so will allow you to smack him until he is ready to repeat the action.
My god. This is perhaps the hardest boss I have ever faced, even on Easy. In order to deal any damage you HAVE to use a Special Move. However, Sin Tzu likes to run around like a kid who’s discovered sugar, making your window for attack abysmal. I spent over an hour trying to hit him but every time he just ran away. Finally, I quit the game, used a cheat code, and came back with unlimited energy. I used the simplest combo there is and spammed it until he was defeated.
If you aren’t precise with your dodge rolls, Sin Tzu can easily kill you within seconds. Starting the whole battle over again.
Collectibles and Pickups
The game features few obtainable items. While defeating enemies you acquire skill shards which at the end of every mission is used to upgrade the Bat-Family’s skills and abilities. You are also able to pick up Green Orbs that restore minimal amounts of health, Yellow Orbs that fill up your combo meter, and Bat Symbols that add an additional life onto your total.
Alongside using skill shards for upgrades you may also redeem them for Bronze Coins. These are used to purchase extras such as 3D Models, Comic Book Covers, Toys, and more.
After beating the campaign you unlock alternate costumes for each character.
After completing Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu, I felt conflicted. While the boss fights were fun at times, the overall mission structure was bland and repetitive, turning a four hour game into one that feels like ten. Unless you are a hardcore Batman fan, I would avoid this.