Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Batman : Arkham Asylum - PS3

Lots of spoilers in here and rantings. You've been warned.

Darryl has already given his experience on the game here a while ago.

From the start I wasn't really attracted to this game. I like that universe, but from the early character designs I had seen, it didn't appeal to me. I prefer the wackier aspect of those characters as opposed to trying to make it real and gritty. I have to say I don't care much for the Dark Knight movies. I will explain my "problems" with the game later. Still, hearing tons of good things about it, I figured I'd borrow it from Darry l and give it a try.

I have to admit, I REALLY loved the gameplay and the game. All the different aspects of it flow easily from one to the other and no matter how many times I did it, grappling up to a ledge and zipping to it game me a tingle of thrill.

The animations are fantasticly smooth and flowing and the combat was beautiful, even for someone combo-challenged as me. The game was a blast to play through and I loved finding the hidden audio tapes and Riddler clues.

Batman: Arkham Asylum Screenshot

My gripes with this game are mostly visual. An area where I found that balance wasn't achieved was in the bat-vision. Wanting to find as much as possible, I almost constantly stayed in it. Which made me feel that I was missing out on a view of the game. You can switch from one to the other at will, but for PRACTICAL reasons, why would you? It made me feel like it was so easy to ignore the real world. Which is a shame because most of it looks really good. A little bit too much black and monochrome for my taste, but still gorgeous.

Now, I have to state that I know this isn't the real world, so some suspension of belief is necessary and expected.

But what really took me aback was the decrepit look of Arkham. Just from a health issue standpoint, that such disregard for hygene and common sense not only for the inmates, but for the staff working there was too staggering for me to accept it. If pieces of the building were falling around me in my place of work, I wouldn't work there. I can't imagine the diseases and the mold that would proliferate in there. No wonder so many of the doctors wind up going insane themselves!!

It was pointed out to me that many early asylums were indeed in those conditions. Which is appalling but I believe. I think though that it is unacceptable from a design standpoint that the "public" areas of Arkham are in this state. It would have been a nice shock if you went from a pristine front and entered the true dilapidated Arkham. The impact would have been just the much better in my opinion.

Batman: Arkham Asylum Screenshot

The tapes were fun, except for the Harley Quinzel ones. She already sounded crazy before she went nuts. She wasn't believable to me as a pre-Joker doctor.

I kept expecting the Warden to have a hidden agenda. The story made a big deal out of his running for election. I don't know, I thought it would lead somewhere but it didn't.

I really hated the female vilain visual treatment in this game.
Harley Quinn's boob-jiggle was mesmerizing and excessive at the slightest movement.
Poison Ivy's pre-escape outfit is RIDICULOUS. Why would a jail ALLOW any of it's inmates to customize their clothes. Or lack of clothes, in her case. I'm glad that they saw fit to give her a barely closing Arkham shirt and allowed her to go pant-less.

Batman: Arkham Asylum Screenshot

But looking aside those issuet's still my 2nd favorite game of 2009, after Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. But it came very close second.


Blake said...

HAHAHAHAH, mold!!! I think that's the first review where someone mentioned the state of Arkham sanitation.

But it is true, why would it be like that? Its not like the inmates did it, they only escaped when you got there.

Anonymous said...

You must not have found all the secrets; believe me, there's more to the Warden.