Review by DaveyBoy325
"Very good Batman game with very few flaws"
You can read the other reviews to understand how excited people are to have this game. For me, this is the first truly good Batman game EVER. I'm an old-timer now; my first game system was an Atari 2600, so I've been playing video games for quite a while. I'm also a comic book fan, and Batman is one of my top two or three favorites. Honestly, I expected the look, feel, and style of both the Batman and the Joker to follow more along the lines of the recent Batman movies to capitalize on their popularity. I am really glad they didn't do that. It followed a comic book formula, including the overexaggerated sizes, abilities, and muscles. It was very easy to pick up and play, with well laid out control configurations. A few things that I really liked: The dynamic wear and tear on his suit throughout the game, like a tear across the chest and arms and a torn cape, or a bruised cheek, and astute folks will even notice a bit of a five o'clock shadow in the later stages of the game. I like that type of attention to detail. The aforementioned gameplay is very smooth and easy to control, but that doesn't mean you are limited to a simple punch/kick format. It has a varied number of strike animations, and you can upgrade your ability later and add takedowns and throws. Add into that the gadgets, and you have quite the variety of ways to incapacitate your opponents. It also works into it a major factor in Batman's arsenal: stealth. Places to hide to figure out strategies, or to retreat to if you happen to be spotted exist in a good many spots in the game. My favorite thing about the game is the many ways you can take out opponents. You can use good ol' fashioned fisticuffs, stay completely silent, or (my favorite) utilize the more theatrical takedowns, like the inverted takedown, where he strings the henchman up by his ankles to a gargoyle. The graphics were nicely done, as I touched on earlier. The sound was good, with a very appropriate score, and the voice acting was done well, especially for the Joker. The challenges are also pretty fun, especially (for me) the stealth ones, where you go back to the main rooms where you faced several henchmen at once and try to take them all out again. It's fun to think of different strategies to take them out quicker or better or what have you.
I mentioned things I like, and here are a few minor gripes about it: the main one is that once you've solved all the riddles and completed the campaign, there's no reason to ever go to Arkham again. The least they could have done is kept adding bad guys for me to beat up throughout the asylum. It doesn't work from a storyline standpoint, but neither does the fireworks display continually going. Yes, there are enough riddles to keep you going for a short while, but once they're done, you are pretty much going back into it for nostalgia or something. That's my biggest gripe. I also don't like that the cape obscures so much of your vision. Even in detective mode. In detective mode, you can see the bad guys 1000 feet away through buildings and walls, but you cant see through the cape, which makes precision flying incredibly difficult. Stylistic nitpick gripe. And my final gripe is simply a bit of a letdown: I figured a few of the classic characters (Catwoman, Penguin, etc.) would serve a bigger cameo than simply being included in the character bios. However, that does leave it open for a sequel to this game, which I would wholeheartedly support. Overall, a fun game that combines a good old beat-em-up with stealth, sets it against an interesting backdrop and gives it the cape and cowl of arguably the most famous superhero of them all, and Batman: Arkham Asylum certainly lives up to the inherent lofty expectations.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 09/10/09
Game Release: Batman: Arkham Asylum (US, 08/25/09)
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