“Batman: Arkham Asylum” by Mr Riddler

So Kirby’s Epic Yarn has come in the mail a week ago, but I’m so wrapped up in DC Universe Online right now that I can turn of my PS3 and force myself onto the Wii…. so instead I’ll play a game I’ve been dying to replay and gush about.

What I Expected:

Superhero Video games haven’t had a good track record. That is to say that you can probably count the number of good Superhero games on 1 hand. Fewer still are good games about Batman. So naturally, when I first purchased the game, in fact, I wasn’t expecting it to be good. I was expecting it to be entertaining. 59 Sound didn’t believe me at all until he tried playing it, when I told him that it was a fun game. This raises the question of Why did it take so long to develop a good Batman game? The man sees more colorful bad guys and explosive action than John “Yippi Kay Yay MotherF*kin: McClain.

What We Got:

Batman Arkham Asylum is a game that came out 2 years ago, but will have a sequel coming out this Fall (Akham City). This is one of those game that if you haven’ t already played then I’m taking away your console, and you’re grounded, mister. The game was marked as Game of 2009 by most other critics and had we been open at the time I would have done so as well. The premise of the game is that The Joker Has taken over Arkham Asylum, and as always, Batman has to clean up the mess. I suppose this is a point for me to complain. I kinda figured that they’re on a damn island in the middle of the sea. Batman could have just pulled a Jurassic Park and had everyone evacuate. I mean they are criminally Insane. They’ll probably end up hurting themselves before swimming to shore, but that would have made for a boring game I suppose.

Well the Joker has taken over and launches waves of iconic villains and henchmen. Well that’s not really accurate. The Joker launches Henchmen and Bigger Henchmen that are hopped up with Bane’s Venom. That’s a bit of a downside to the game. The villains, although they do show up and they’re amazingly fun to see, they’re no so fun to fight. There’s really only 2 kinda of enemies, small ones that sometimes have weapons of electricity, and big ones that are all killed in the same way. Really it’s the same thing with most of the bosses. Bane goes down like a big henchmen, Harley goes down like a regular thug. Scarecrow and Joker are slightly different but seem to be an accumulation of other skills that you have in the game and require little action packed fighting of that particular boss. Not to say that you don’t do ALOT of fighting because you defiantly do. In the Scarecrow missions the game goes into this Bizarro world of horror and all the villains become skeletons that you battle and there are psychological allusions to the death of Bruce Wayne’s parents… oh man I’m making myself want to play through this a 5th time.

The game play of Arkham Asylum is unmatched by any other game that I’ve seen attempt this style. There’s an almost flawless transition between stealth and action. In many of the sections, most of which can be replayed in challenge modes, you are given a group of inmates that are guarding an area and are tasked with taking them out. Unlike what you would do in Superman Returns the Video Game where you could just barrel through and beat the living crap out of the villains before glitching up and forcing my Xbox 360 to red ring, Batman is still vulnerable to bullet. VERY vulnerable. It’ll take only a few shots to kill you. So that leads to using ledges, gargoyles and stealthy use of underground grates to sneak up on and take down enemies without the others seeing you. This was amazingly well put togheter. There’s this certain amount of satisfaction you can get by taking down 1 of  a pair that are walking down a corridor together and then the other turning in panicked fright and saying, “w-what was that!?” Best of all, if you really are dumb and head strong you can just drop down and beat the crap out of someone if you really want to instead of doing a stealth take down. There’s really no differentiation between stealth and combat mode except for holding down the crouch button.

One final complaint and it;s really nothing it doesn’t take away form the game but it eats at me a bit. It really felt like this game was holding back. The art style and premise of the game seemed like it should have gotten an M rating, but to keep the T, Rocksteady had to take a lot of gory story content out. I can see why they want to keep the T rating, but with Game of the Year edition or buyable DLC, I would have loved to see this game uncensored. I want to see the Joker in full evil glory really messing some people up. I want to see an artistic vision for a video game actually come to light!


Don’t be fool by my complaints I’m really scrapping the bottom of the barrel to get some up on this review so I’m not just gushing about how much I love Batman Arkham Asylum, and I’m not even that big of a Batman fan. After playing through the game the first time I immediately had to play through it again on a harder difficulty, and then a few months later again, and now again. It really is just that fun. It’s a game that’s jumped up there with my all time favorites, just above Viewtiful Joe.

Overall Rating:

What it’s like $20 now? Don’t be so stingy.

Oh last thing. The Riddler and his Riddler Trophies.. AMAZING!





One Response to ““Batman: Arkham Asylum” by Mr Riddler”
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