BATMAN: Arkham Asylum
Difficulty played: Hard
Platform: PS3 (also available on Xbox 360 and PC)
Time : 25-30 hours with finding everything in game but not including the challenges
Price : $10 -$15 currently
“Whoa why are you even doing a review on Arkham Asylum? Don’t you know that Arkham City is out now and its awesome?!” Yes, thoughts in my head, I do know that the newer game is out but this review isn’t for those people. This review is for gaming bargain hunters/people who are not all that big into Batman. ie People like me. If you are in this boat with me, we should probably hang out, also…
Ok, lets get the Troll bate out of the way; Batman, as far as comic book heroes goes, is not my all time favorite. I’m not going to go into it as this isn’t all about me, however, this does help explain why I waited so long to play this game. My friends would say “Awww Man that Batman game is awesome!” and “Dood Batman is soooo cool in Arkham Asylum!”, but I would just shrug it off and tell myself, I don’t wanna spend $60 on Batman game. Every Batman game in the past was garbage and look at the Spider Man games, most of them are Meh at best and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forgive Superman 64! Well as most of you undoubtedly know already Batman: Arkham Asylum does a damn good job of breaking this lame cycle.
Fist off, the game does a fantastic job of story, better than most blockbuster games today. All of the major players were here and accounted for. The Joker, voiced by the fantastic Mark Hamil, Harley Quinn, Scarecrow, Bane, Killer Croc, Poison Ivy, The Riddler and anybody that didn’t make into the game was at least brought to your attention via the Riddlers hidden items. Even for a person who isn’t Batman fan it made me Nostalgia hard, as the game followed more closely to the Cartoon show style rather than the recent movies. Each enemy kept to their crazy persona and did not disappoint, made each battle with them fun and challenging. Collectible audio recordings helped also delve into the craziness that is the Arkham inmates. It was also nice to have the dark, brutal vibe back of the Batman comic books, Batman cant save everyone and they made that very clear this time around.
It was also a nice change, at least compared to recent games, to have boss battles and not just simple whatever boss battles, but Big over the top boss battles. Yes, each boss battle followed a the same theme. Beat up henchmen till the Boss shows their face, hit them till they go away and send more henchmen, repeat. But they did it in a way to not make the game feel stale or boring at any time. From fighting Harley Quinn’s henchmen to destroying a Gigantic mutant flower with Poison Ivy. Obviously the shinning “Boss Battle” is the Scarecrow. The few scenes with him were both terrifying and epic, I don’t think anybody who plays this game will easily forget the morgue.
Ok, enough praise on the game. Everyone already knows the game is awesome. But just like Batman, nothing is perfect. First let me start by saying the game was very easy. Even on Hard It was very rare that I died on anything but a Boss battle and even then it was just a matter of time till you found the pattern. I know its not a big gripe but its true. Also the game made you want to be in detective mode all the time. It wasn’t till I got the Frequency tuner to hack the electrical boxes that I realized I was basically playing only in detective mode. (when you go to hack a box the game will automatically take you out of detective mode.) Its not a big deal, but its unfortunate that there is this huge nicely rendered world and all I see is everything in a blue hue with skeletons. I would have also liked the option to play more stealthy. Yes there were stealth sections, but then it was really forced, it would have been nice to have the option to play super stealthy the entire game, like Deus Ex: Human Revolution, but the game was a brawler at heart so I can’t complain too much.
Yes, Batman: Arkham Asylum is a shining example that the Zelda/Castlevania style game is a great place to start for a 5 Star game and it rarely disappointed on its delivery. I will honestly say that I enjoyed the game and look forward to playing Arkham City. “So, Jason, Does this mean you are going to pick up Arkham City right away?” No, I’m just not that big of a fan of Batman :p
According to the internet, I Beat It First.