Thursday, December 24, 2009
Back to Back Batman Christmas Special Part 2: Batman Arkham Asylum for the PS3 Review
Welcome, everyone. Camseyeview speaking, and welcome to part 2 of my back-to-back Batman Christmas Special! Last time we did Lego Batman. While I liked the game as a good license game, it didn’t really make me want to buy it, since I’m not a little kid. However, there is always a back up to a good Batman game. For the second part of my Batman special, I decided to do a game that was nominated by Spike TV as Game of the Year. Introducing the best Batman game of all time, Batman Arkham Asylum.
The story takes place in Gotham one stormy night. Batman has just recently thwarted Joker again, and has taken him to Arkham to be locked up. However, Batman doesn’t like how easily he captured Joker, and decides to follow him into the asylum. Batman is right, because the Joker breaks loose while inside, and takes over the asylum with other baddies. A deeper plot is set into the game, but I will let you all find out yourselves. Rocksteady Studios, which is really only known for one game, Urban Chaos: Riot Response, made this game.
The game play is a mix between stealth, action, and adventure. You control Batman as you go through Arkham Asylum, taking down the Joker’s Grunts, and stopping anyone in your way to find out what the Joker is really up to. The combat system is simple, in which you just do punches and kicks without having to do some combo system, which is a great change of pace from other games like God of War or Devil May Cry. It’s not a bad thing, but it’s nice to see something different. Of course, since you are Batman, you get an array of upgradeable weapons and gadgets to help you take down enemies. The first, of course, is the batarang that can knock down enemies if powered-up enough. You also get the bat claw to tear down weak walls and other areas, a remote-controlled batarang, and explosive gel to take down weak walls and surprise enemies with. Batman has other gadgets to aid him, like a line-launcher to get across wide gaps, a sonic batarang to mislead groups of grunts, a scanner that can overload security systems, and, of course, the bat claw that helps pull down weak walls or 3 enemies down from a floor above you. Since you’re Batman, and not human, you have to deal with ways to not get hit by grunts with stun rods and guns, since you’re not Superman and can get killed easily if hit enough. Batman has a cool counter system, and can stun people with his cape. You can also do an inverted takedown by hanging on a gargoyle and hanging the grunt upside down by a rope. It helps scare the enemies, and catches them off guard. Another big thing in the game is its stealth element, where you do need to be stealthy to get past some challenges and enemies, if you’re not looking for a fight. If you do become a stealthy tactician, it becomes very rewarding. As usual, the grunts aren’t the only thing to watch out for. Joker has freed some of the more dangerous inmates, and when I say dangerous, I mean Harley Quinn, Scarecrow, Bane, Killer Croc, Poison Ivy, and Mr. Zsasz, along with some newly-experimented super grunts that act like mini-boss fights or main boss fights. Of course, Joker doesn’t have all the fun since the Riddler doesn’t show himself, but speaks to you, and dares you to find the trophies and solve his riddles.
The graphics and the looks of the game are amazing. It looks extremely awesome, and has a dark gritty comic book style. I like all the designs of the characters. I think one of my favorite designs is Scarecrow. Seriously, he looks like a slasher flick character. The voice acting is also top-notch with Kevin Conroy returning to do the voice of Batman, Alreen Sorkin as Harley Quinn, Steve Blum as Killer Croc, Wally Wingert as the Riddler who is also know as Renji Abarai from Bleach, Dr. O’ Shay, Blue Knight from Astro Boy, and Maximo from the Maximo video game series, Tasia Valenza as Poison Ivy, who is also known as Sniper Wolf in Metal Gear Solid, and Dino Andrade as Scarecrow. The best feature of all is Mark Hamill as the Joker. Now, if you are in the dark for some very odd reason, Mark Hamill is best known as Luke Skywalker from the Star Wars movies. The music score is also very well done. Everything is well executed and it doesn’t feel rushed or sluggish. While not a horror game at first, the game does have some genuinely scary areas, like when Harley releases the more insane prisoners, and when Scarecrow has you in his grasp. There is even a part where the Scarecrow messes with you, making the scene look like a show stopper bug, which is nice since I haven’t seen a game mess with me like that in awhile.
However, there are a few minor gripes I have with the game. First off, I wish there were more villains. I mean, it’s fine with the cast we have, but instead of fighting the same hulk-like grunt a lot of times, why not use Killer Moth or Mr. Freeze? Heck, why not add Firefly? I mean, they do have Scarface and Clayface, even though they do nothing in the game. The upgrade system is also slow, due to only upgrading one thing at a time.
Overall though, I thoroughly enjoyed Batman Arkham Asylum. I think it’s the best-licensed game and the best comic-book-based game of all time. And for once, I truly felt like Batman when I was playing the game. I would say to buy this game if you are looking for a great game. It’s also worth noting that they recently revealed that they are making a sequel to this amazing game. Yeah, I might be overpraising it, but I don’t care. I love this game and I bet you will too.
This game gets a 9.8 out of 10.