Review by imagine606
"The First Time I Realized Comic Games Can Be Good"
I will start this off by admitting that I never thought that games based on comics could be any good. I'm not a fan of comics at all. However, I have enjoyed the last couple of Batman movies. Batman is a character that really transcends just being a comic character. In popular culture there are very few that would argue against Batman being the most popular character ever from comic books. Now, you can also use this to say that this really isn't a game based on a comic book character. That's what I thought when I first was looking into getting this game. However, as I looked into it I realized that it was based on the comics more and less based on the movies.
For that reason I didn't actually play through this game for a very long time after I bought it. When I bought it I played it for about 30 to 45 minutes before I went ahead on to the next game. I remember liking what I had played so far, but at the same time I was more caught up in that it was going to be more based on the comics than the movies. However, as the release of Arkham City came closer I couldn't avoid the reviews that Arkham Asylum had been given, and as Arkham City came out I couldn't avoid the reviews that Arkham City was getting. If I was going to play Arkham City I decided that I was going to play through Arkham Asylum first.
I went ahead and started back from the beginning. I'm glad I did, because there were a few extra things that happened that I didn't remember that actually did have something to do with the story further on. Either way, the story behind this game was one that just didn't quit. I loved how there were twists and turns after almost everything you did. There were also plenty of times where you could really be drawn in just to find out that things were not what you thought. On top of that, the game just plain did a great job at drawing you in.
The atmosphere was really one of the best things that this game had to offer. It was dreary, in true Batman form, at least the Batman that I know. There were plenty of disturbing parts, but not the type of disturbing that makes you cover the kids' eyes, more that it was just twisted.
The music and overall sound for this game was done very well for the most part. The only problem I had with this part of the game as far as sound goes is that while I thought that the voice actor for the Joker wasn't bad, I thought that it was something that got annoying very quickly. However, the rest of the voice acting was done very well. Sure, if there was a part that I had to try several times and had to listen to the same voice part over again and again, of course that gets old, but then again, the only way to fix that is to play better. The music was a major contributing factor to the great atmosphere that this game had.
The game itself had a lot of great things even beyond the main story. There were plenty of extra bonus things to pick up. The Riddler's Challenge was great. There were the Riddler's Trophies, the teeth, the actual riddles, and so on. I was able to get most of it, but there was one set of teeth that I didn't catch. I'll probably go back and get it at some point, but the day I finished up Arkham Asylum I had just come home from work after picking up Uncharted 3 and Goldeneye Reloaded. I was excited to finish up Arkham Asylum and was loving it, but at the same time I was excited for what I had just picked up and wasn't going to go through every nook and cranny just for one set of teeth.
Going on, the graphics in this game are very good. Everything looks simply great, textures, colors, and everything else. The backgrounds look outstanding as well as each creature or plant that you encounter. They didn't take any time off when putting things together on this game. Every inch of the asylum area that you play in is absolutely beautifully done.
The game itself as far as gameplay goes was very fun as well. The combat was easy enough that I was able to play this game as something that I was doing for fun rather than as something that I would wreck my head over. The combat system in the game is simple, yet it still demands that you pay attention. The map is pretty easy to navigate, yet it still holds its own surprises and interesting areas.
This is a game that really surprised me. If Arkham City is supposed to be better, then I am very excited to play it. Playing Arkham Asylum was much more of a treat than I really expected. What I expected to be a solid game turned out to be a very good game. The atmosphere, story, gameplay, and everything else involved really made for a great balance.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 01/04/12
Game Release: Batman: Arkham Asylum (US, 08/25/09)
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