Batman Arkham Asylum

(I was all set to do a massive post about Mass Effect 2, but I just couldn’t be fucked, so this will have to do for now)

Batman Arkham Asylum is like Splinter Cell mixed with God of War, but set in a sinister as fuck mental asylum, but it has Batman in it.

GOOD THINGS ABOUT BATMAN ARKHAM ASYLUM: Most of it. Most of it is good things. The combat is satisfying, it walks the fine line between being skillful and button-mashing. The stealthy stuff is pretty fucking good (although I’m shit at it cos I just want to hit stuff). There’s billions of secrets to find, which means you’ve got stuff to do if you ever get bored of hitting things or stealthing things. There’s a really good “feel” to the game; the look of it takes more from the comics and cartoons than the films, the voice actors are mostly from the cartoons (or so I’m told, I wouldn’t have a fucking clue), and there’s been an extra helping of “sinisteryness” thrown in there too. Hard to pin down, but there’s times where it feels darker and more serious than it actually is, and this draws you in even more.

BAD THINGS ABOUT BATMAN ARKHAM ASYLUM: There’s four boss battles in the game, one of which is repeated, erm, repeatedly, throughout the game (with an even more annoying twist for each repetition). Killer Croc, who is shown right at the start and looks like an awesome motherfucker to fight, turns out to have the weakest section in the game. And you don’t actually fight him. When you die, the game loads a lengthy soundbite from one of the main villains, and you have to wait for it to finish before it’ll display the retry / quit menu. This is very annoying. The game tries to put a spin on things you’re comfortable with as you go along; some of them really work (boobytrapping the gargoyles was good, cos it forced you to take on more risk), some of them don’t (the psycho raving loonies – I think they’re meant to rush you, but hammering the punch button when they get near and performing a takedown gets rid of them very quickly and easily).

UGLY THINGS ABOUT BATMAN ARKHAM ASYLUM: I’m still amazed at the Joker’s face. He’s got ninety seven teeth in his upper jaw, and when he smiles you can see them all. It’s mental because it’s clearly bollocks, and yet I didn’t notice it until near the end of the game. And now that I have, I can’t look at the fucker without pitying his dentist bills.

OVERALL: Final Fight – Haggar + Batman + Splinter Cell + Luke Skywalker = Batman Arkham Asylum

IF I GAVE OUT MARKS OUT OF TEN LIKE IN MAGAZINES AND THINGS: 8/10 (entertaining as fuck while it lasts (even though I haven’t got past that fucking bit with the two Titans and the billions of dudes yet))

(Oh, and one of them 8 imaginary points is for the bit with the billion dudes with the party hats. I got to that and thought “cheeky fuckers!”, and then realised I could hit one of them…. yep, that deserves one imaginary point at least)

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