lørdag 30. januar 2010

On Batman: Arkham Asylum.

So, after an interlude with a strategy game, I gave the sneaky platformfighter genre another try. In a rare case of superhero games, this one is not actually based on some shitty movie someone has recently released. Batman has captured the Joker, and has brought him to Arkham to be kept under lock - but thinks something is wrong, and is right and Joker escapes and all of it is actually a trap since he has taken control of the madhouse, housing a lot of Batman's foes, and with some evil masterplan to take over Gotham to boot. The game is part puzzly, part platforming and part fighting - often these mix; like trying to figure out how to get into a building with locked doors, or use the terrain to hide or ambush thugs or whatever to get an advantage when fighting. Along the way there are secrets hidden that tells you more about your foes (more about their history, or how they act, or whatever - not gamey hints), upgrades and stuff like that. It actually feels rather, oldschool - after a while it actually reminded me of say Castlevania II and Zelda, a mix of them or something.

Throughout life, I had a brief period of a year or two when I was really into superhero comics (about when I was able to read rather well, I think), but that's years and years ago. And besides the two new Batman movies (Begins and THe Dark Knight) I can't say I've liked a lot of them (except perhaps of the more comical Batman movies, but the old series was more fun than the movies I seem to recall), so I wasn't really sure I'd bit on the story and such. But everything was really well done - it's more like the new and gloomy batman; both the art and the absurdly good voiceacting (Mark Hamill as the Joker especially) makes you want more and more. It's as close to art a game can get, in my opinion. During the playthrough, I counted one glitch (it seemed to skip an entry into a Scarecrow session and instead I got weird noise and some really bad colors - opposed to weird sounds and sick scary colors), and except the odd linegun thingie weirdness controls was spot on and never annoying. Everything was put together well too - backtracking or trying to find someone was solved really well with some Batman technology saving oneself from a lot of grief trying to find one's way through a massive area. Bossfights were varied, and the "trashgroups" was scaled well so there wasn't some absurdly hard guys early or in the middle of the game, while later on it was utter chaos. All in all, splendid ways to put together a game.

However, I found out I am not a big fan of these types of games though. The story and how people act was all very true form comic and dark and it can't get better than this and all, but after the start Joker stopped showing up acting as he was in control (all the babbling he did at the start and here and there later on is the most fun moments in the game), it got boring. Batman in this kind of comic just ends up being supernaive - one moment he saves someone, 30 seconds he gets backstabbed and have to postpone what he is really going to do. All he ever says except once is some superhero lines, making him so zzz. The fighting wasn't all that hot either, get the timing on x right when in a big melee, swing around on gargoyles and pick off thugs one by one, stun the knifguy and so on. It does look good, if it had not I think I would have been as bored as I was with Assassin's Creed. It also offers next to no replay value for me; I am not much for collecting secrets, and the challenges are mostly the gameplay bits I dont really enjoy all that much, so. And lasting about 12 hours on the singleplayer bit, well.

Entertainment: 8/10.
Thought Provoking: 3/10.

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