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Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu Package Art
  Ubi Soft Montreal
  Ubi Soft

Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu

Batman’s definitely made quite the comeback since his days spent on the PSX. Remember Batman Beyond? If you don’t, you probably do now. After Ubi Soft gave him a warm reception with Batman Vengeance, fans of the caped crusader have been awaiting his next adventure. Without spending too much time talking about Kemco’s dismal Dark Tomorrow, let’s just say that Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu falls in between those two titles in terms of quality. It’s really a shame that Ubi went from the brilliant stealth/action title they brought to us earlier in this generation to a mindless brawler that uses a very frustrating combat engine and features the dregs of the most basic Batman plot. The game can still be fun if you’re a fan or have a friend for some awesome co-op play. Otherwise, Rise of Sin Tzu is a disappointing turn in the wrong direction for Ubi Soft.


The design found in Sin Tzu takes cues from some of the best aspects of the animated series. The biggest thing about this title is the introduction of an all-new villain, the titular Sin Tzu, designed by Jim Lee. This shouldn’t really be that big a deal, since he’s just a classier rip-off of Marvel’s Mister Sinister. All your old favorite villains are here as well, including Clayface, Scarecrow, Bane, and various other goons. The character models and animations look great and fit into the universe seamlessly. If it weren’t for the dull backgrounds, this could easily get someone excited. The pseudo-isometric camera system is well implemented within the game, but still doesn’t make it feel any more welcome. On the bright side, the CG cut-scenes look straight out of the animated series, only in 3D of course.


The sound effects are simple enough with the usual smacks and bashes found in your average beat-em-up. There isn’t much to each sound and they’re produced on a completely average level. The music is most likely taken straight from the series, but only in spurts, like the cut-scenes. Overall, you’re bound to forget any musical stylings you’ve heard through the course of the game. The voice acting doesn’t help the action out, especially with the hideously repetitive one-liners that each character exudes while crawling through each monotonous level. It gets rather frustrating, especially in cooperative play when each character compliments the other over and over again. I had no idea that Batgirl was trying so hard to get into bed with Nightwing.


Where fans devoured Ubi’s last Batman effort, Vengeance, Rise of Sin Tzu fails to deliver. With this title, we’re given a mediocre beat-em-up that we’ve probably played several times before and this time we’ve been given a rather useless combat system and an even more frustrating set of play mechanics. Basically, in order to proceed to your next “objective”, you’ll need to run up to several baddies and tap one of two buttons an exceedingly large number of times until they die. Repeat the process on average of 50 times per level for a dozen or so levels and you may reach the end of the game. So apparently, the population of Gotham is about 96% criminal. By the way, there’s a time limit. Who needs a time limit in a beat-em-up title? There’s honestly no need for that kind of gimmick in a title like this. If it weren’t for the boring, repetitive combat system, this title may not have failed too miserably.


Cooperative play is easily one of the best things ever invented in the videogame industry. Too bad it doesn’t work very well here. In cooperative play, there are several goons on every side of the screen and the only way to work it out as a team is to work on one specific group of enemies at a time, since the camera can only concentrate on a very small portion of the field. This kills the time limit and eventually the fun. Fans may get a kick out of it, but only for short periods of time at the most.


Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu isn’t the worst beat-em-up. That belongs to the game that tries to revive the long dead genre in the next generation of gaming. The fact is, Ubi Soft needs to go back to the formula that made Vengeance such a successful videogame. If you look on the bright side, the game is better than Dark Tomorrow. However, it’s worse than the old Batman the Movie coin-op. For shame, Dark Knight. For shame.

final score 6.2/10

Staff Avatar Austin Starr
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"If life's not beautiful without the pain / well I'd just rather never ever even see beauty again"

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