Review by GOLD_sonic
"Tick Tock, Tick Tock... is that a crocidle I hear?"
If you are a fan of the Dark Knight, chances are that you have played at least a few Batman games... Unfortunately, only the game Batman made by Sunsoft for the NES was good. Pretty much every other Batman game has been a disappointment. The biggest issue with most of these games is that you never actually feel like your Batman. You never get to truly strike fear into your foes, and you never get to use most of Batman's neat gadgets. Thankfully though, Batman: AA is a great experience for fans of the world's greatest detective, or even people who have never even read a single Batman comic.
Story: The story is so simple, yet so well thought out, that it deserves some credit. The opening sequence shows us that Batman has captured his number one foe; the Joker, and is taking him back to Arkham Asylum like usual. Strangely though, the Joker barely put up a fight, and this worries Batman. Unfortunately, even though Batman was ready for a trap, the Joker still caught him and all the security guards off guard, and now the Joker has taking over Arkham! This leads Batman on a chase to find and stop the Joker and his new plan to spread chaos to all of Gotham!
The reason this story works so well is because the Joker considers everything a game. He WANTS Batman to capture him, but he wants to mess around with our hero before that time comes. This makes it seem like the is in control of what you; the player does, and makes it all seem like a video game to Batman. It works great, and there are a ton of Batman's greatest foes to fight off, such as Killer Croc, Poison Ivy, and more!
Graphics: Batman: AA is a very mixed bag in the graphics... Batman and other characters are very detailed and look great! Batman's cape even moves in life-like fashion. The problem, however, are some the environments. True, MOST of them are fantastic, but some have textures that look like they belong on the N64 or PS2! Don't believe me? Check out the roof tiles, for some hideously bland textures. It's a shame really, since most of the game does look great!
Sound: Mark Hamil stars as the Joker and is quite possibly, the best Joker to date! It's not just the Joker that sounds great however, most characters sound true to form, and it seems that everyone has at least a few wonderful lines to say. "Played you like a violin and cut your strings!"
The music is kinda typical hero stuff, until you actually get into the more dramatic sections of the game where the music turns up a notch and the tension builds.
Gameplay: Batman: AA stays just as true to Batman, as Spiderman 2 stayed to Spiderman. You really feel like you are the legendary Dark Knight! The game is mostly broken up into two sections. One is the stealth gameplay, and the other is the combat.
The stealth gameplay is a blast, because you are given almost all of Batman's amazing gadgets and gizmos to play with! True you do have to unlock many of them, but it all come naturally and keeps the game fresh. Batman can glide onto statues, throw batarangs to knock goons out, and even use explosive (but non-lethal of course) gel! The possibilities feel endless, as you create havoc and cause all the baddies around to stutter with fear! You can take down most foes without anyone finding out where you are!
Of course, there there are times where stealth is out of the question, and you have to rely on fist fighting to get the job done. Thankfully all those years of training have made Batman one dude you don't want to mess with! Pressing the X button will make Batman preform a attack. Move the thumbstick with the X button will let Batman attack in a certain direction. It's actually really neat as Batman can cartwheel and roll around on the floor JUST to hit someone! This is important, too, as the combat is largely about combos where you must string together attacks on the fly! It's really fun, and adds a big layer of depth to the otherwise simple combat.
The last thing worth mentioning is that Batman can upgrade his moves as he goes along his quest for butt kicking, which helps give you new moves and gadgets to get the job done.
Replay value: Batman's journey lasts about 10 to 15 hours. It's fairly decent in length when compared to most games now days that can be beaten in only 6 hours. Once you beat the story you can still tackle many challenges! You can find hidden (and not-so-hidden) bios for characters, and even tapes that feature recordings. The Riddler has even laid out 240 challenges that can be as simple has smashing a certain amount of toys around the asylum, to actual riddles that require a bit of thought.
There are also challenge rooms where you can fight hordes of enemies or do missions where stealth is a must. These missions also have leaderboards, so you can compare yourself to many others.
- You truly feel like Batman.
- Terrific voice work.
- A good host of bonuses.
- Fluid and enjoyable combat.
- A ton of useful and creative tools to use.
- Terrific character models.
- Poison Ivy's moans.
- Final boss is horrible.
- There could be a few more main baddies for Batman to face.
- Can feel a bit stale if you play for too long.
- A certain type of boss fight is all too common.
- Bad textures in some parts.
Replay value- 7
Batman: AA is a game no fan of the franchise should miss out on, and it's a fine example of what can be done with super hero games in general.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 08/31/09
Game Release: Batman: Arkham Asylum (US, 08/25/09)
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