Arkham City: Riddler, please just f*** off - Destructoid

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OK, hmmmmm, where do I start? I guess I should start at the beginning of my gaming life. I'm talking summers spent in Clacton arcades wasting 10p's on Championship Sprint, Double Dragon and Turtles. I'm on about California Games, Daley Thompson and Winter Olympics... Aaaaaah, the C64 days, when I was but 5 or 6 years old, seemed the sunniest. I swear it was either bright sunshine soaked summer or just plain snow in those heady times.

Nowadays, like the weather, gaming has gotten complex... So much choice and so little cash.

In a house with many consoles and far too much gaming testosterone, I devote most play time to my PS3. I don't have a preference for game type, although I'd say FPS's float my boat the most and RPGs haven't grabbed me by the balls once, yet.

Right now I'm playing
Black Ops, FIFA 11, Enslaved and Fallout 3 (GOTY Edition)

PSN: Clancy5000


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Having played about 3 hours of Arkham City, it is safe to say that I am loving the game. Everytime I smash a bunch goons to bits either hand-to-hand combat-style or via stealthy shadowplay, or swoop from building to building like some mighty demon, I get that warm fuzzy feeling that only certain games can give you inside. But there is something really bothering me. Not game-breaking, butÖ justÖ well, in the way, convoluting my new life as Batman.

Now, the side missions are cool and you can focus on solely the main story if you want, but I canít help but feel that The Riddler is doing his best to spoil the experience for me by having his assortment of trophies everywhere. Marked out by often huge question marks, scrawled on buildings or flashing like messy neon distractions in the night, these things are doing my nut.

Perhaps itís just me Ė never a massive fan of collectibles in campaigns - but this is often making for an experience that doesnít feel quite as engaging as it probably should. And if flying around the streets greeted with them at every turn isnít bad enough, every building you enter you will find walls that can be blown open to reveal trophies. These are incredibly disappointing as you are half hoping for them to lead to hidden passageways and secret routes, but they donít. Instead they just distract you from what you are doing and give you a little Riddler trophy.

I donít think the game does well at explaining anything either Ė whether it be gadget use or combat Ė and if I hadnít played the first game, Iíd be clueless as to puzzles and certain unreachable areas earlier on in the game (ie. Ones that need a zipline that I assume you will get later). This also extends to these Riddler things. I see big ugly buttons dotted on floors and walls, which open doors the reveal trophies. But I am crying out for a Companion Cube as when you leave a button, the doors shut. Iím sure later on in the game all will become apparent, but Rocksteady havenít bothered letting people know any of this.

Everything else in the game is spot on, Iím just disappointed that they decided to squeeze as many of these Riddler trophies into Arkham City as humanly possible, making for an often messy, visually confusing game. This guy is the biggest thing on my mind too often while playing. I don't want that.

Riddle me this: is it just me who wants The Riddler to go away?

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