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Community Discussion: Blog by SuitcoatAvenger | A few thoughts on Batman: Arkham Asylum before beddy-byes.Destructoid
A few thoughts on Batman: Arkham Asylum before beddy-byes. - Destructoid

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I was born in the year 20XX and sent back into the past via space capsule to prevent Judgement Day. I think they sent me back too early, because nothing is really happening yet. So, until I get the call, I'm usually just sitting around, readin' comics, playin' videogames, and drawrin' pictures.

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I picked up Batman: Arkham Asylum on my way home, and pretty much played it all the way until right about now (aka 'sleepy time') with the occasional break to catch up on season 3 of Dexter (which is still fantastic - Jimmy Smits ftw). It's been awhile since I've been so sucked into a videogame that I can't stop playing, it's even more enjoyable that it's a comic book game that actually does justice to its source material.

The game's presentation has been constantly impressing me. The graphics certainly make the most of the Unreal engine, with specific props being given to the art design. The character designs really win out, walking a fine line between the comic universe it adheres to, while presenting the fantastic in a decidedly realistic fashion. Let me just say that the first time you see Killer Croc, it's actually pretty impressive and a little scary. Yeah, you've probably seen him in the trailers, but trust me, he's bigger than you think.

The controls seem pretty spot-on for the most part. There's a little fumbling in the midst of having to make a quick retreat that may result in you tossing an errant baterang rather than zip-lining away, but for the most part you feel decidedly in control. The combat is a little less fluid than I had hoped, but somehow manages to not quite be a complete button masher, instead relying on your being able to judge counters and get the KO in before an enemy crawls back to their feet. Trust me, upgrade combat skills as early as possible. You jump from four-on-one to ten-on-one pretty quickly. On the plus side, when the combat works, it looks really nice and brutal.

Voice acting is as solid as we all expected. The only character that seems to be bothering me is Harley Quinn. Yes, it's the chick from The Animated Series, but she seems to be the only voice actor who can't match up with the more realistic interpretation of the character. You believe that Mark Hamill's voice is coming out of this Joker, but that voice of out that Harley Quinn? Not so much.

My only concern is that the game might be a little short. I'm a couple hours in, and I can't quite tell where I am in the larger scheme of things. It seems like the main seed for the plot has been sewn, and we're somewhere in secondactsville. Hopefully it surprises me and pulls an extended session out of its ass for the third-act. I really don't want the game to end if it continues on as it has been.

Oh, one more thing, I've only encountered him a handful of times, but it looks like Scarecrow might be the secret weapon in this game. Seriously, his sequences are awesome and the second you get a whiff that you might be coming up on one, the blood gets pumping.

In fact, he's involvement leads to one of my absolute favorite sequences I've played through in a game in a very long time, and for comic book fans, it's going to be a particularly "holy shit that was awesome" bit of gameplay to experience firsthand.

All in all, consider me Jim Dandy with the purchase.

- Suitcoat



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