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5:57 AM on 12.20.2011

Nygma, Please: The Arkham-American I Love To Hate

*denotes jokes stolen from friends funnier than me

Apologies for not having touched this thing since my original post, but I’ve been ‘glidin’ places & punchin’ faces’* in my personal Skyrim – Batman: Arkham City. Not counting time spent writing two college essays on these games (ProTip: Simply turning in a sheet of paper with ‘I’m Batman’ on it doesn't earn full marks*), I’ve racked up 100 hours since Arkham City’s PC release.

...and it's all this fucker's fault.

In the original game, the Riddler's presence was limited to hidden collectibles around Arkham Island that the player could find maps for. Arkham City has escalated this into a massive sidequest of rescuing hostages from Riddler death-traps (challenge rooms notwithstanding).

The traps are unlocked by obtaining the collectibles, which are so numerous that finding them requires interrogating ‘Riddler Informants’. That’s right: this game has living maps that you scare the secrets out of. My favorite scripted exchange when shaking down these thugs is Batman’s “Talk! I know you work for Riddler!” to which the henchman replies:

"You make a convincing argument from atop my compatriot's unconcious body, sir!"

The same tone is struck when escaping a certain Riddler death-trap later on. In one move, the player must zip-line high across a room, grab a captive dangling from the ceiling, then burst through a window amid a shower of glass. Upon landing, the hostage immediately turns to his rescuer and demands to know: “HOW DID YOU DO THAT?”

Batman doesn’t even acknowledge this outburst, but assures the man he’s ‘safe now’. This brings me to a recurring point I’ve seen in reviews of the game that scoff at the implausibility of Arkham City’s main premise as if the story was happening in our world. My retort is “What has ever been realistic about Gotham City?”

At last, a game willing to tackle the real-life consequences of unprotected clown sex.

Any snark about Arkham City’s existence is silently answered in the space of those two brief in-game conversations listed above. One can almost hear the wheels turning as it occurs to these ‘regular’ characters that in a city where a 40-year-old hipster obsessed with 4th grade brain-teasers is a wanted criminal, Batman is the answer to ‘how’.

Personally, whether controlling a man in a bat-suit, a witch in a hair-suit, or a worm in a super-suit, I prefer to keep my realism and my escapism separate. After all, even the Nolan movies are still about a millionaire orphan who gets ninja training in order to spend every night for the rest of his life wearing special pervert cosplay in order to hunt other perverts.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going back where I belong. Between the electrified zombie and the shark, I know I missed some Riddler secrets in the museum...

Arkham Asylum Robin by Chris Moreno   read

6:58 PM on 09.25.2011

Oil On Water: An Introduction.

Wait – I don’t love you like they love you.

The editorials on Destructoid's front page are the sort of thing I come here for, which makes now as good a time as any for me to finally make proper use of this account. My problem is that the topic discussed is the very way I was trying to avoid introducing myself: discussing my dislikes.

I had wanted to connect with the DTOID community on similarities, not differences. So even before Jim Sterling's latest article, this particular issue had me rewriting and fretting over my introduction post for weeks. Then while considering the reason I play games, it all made sense.

Disliking the Portal games is going to end up with me being lynched to the tune of 'Still Alive'.

As a teen, someone pointed out to me all of my favorite entertainment involved violence of some kind. At the time I was angry in the way that teenagers are when confronted with the truth, but now I look on that pronouncement as freeing.

I’ll never know why it took me so long to realize this when my username references one of my favorite game characters, but...I’m a fightaholic. Simply put: the only puzzles I want to solve result in delivering the most spectacular violence possible, to stride through a game as a vengeful god.

Which is why this and Asura's Wrath were the only demos I played at PAX.

This doesn’t discount any of the other aspects of gaming – story, soundtrack, controls, replayability, etc. This simply underlines why I play what I play. I’ve felt myself growing distant from gaming in recent times, however, because of the accolades certain games got that I couldn’t connect with.

Again, it was Destructoid that helped me figure out ‘what’ wasn’t the connection I needed, but ‘who’. A while back I came across a community journal attached to the username fulldamage. I had known someone with that handle years ago, so I was compelled to reach out and see if this was the same person.

I soon discovered that i'd made a horrible mistake of course it was him and he was still rad! We started talking again, met up at PAX, and had a great time catching up and hanging out.He – and a Destructoid meet-up I got drunk off my face at – pushed me to de-lurk.

Alcohol's convinced me of worse decisions.

Which circuitously leads to my dilemma (and subsequent solution) of taking arms against this sea of troubles, and by opposing, end them. Let us connect through what we love. In my case, that would count as the attack button.

Pleased to meet you, Destructoid Community! My name is heiyu, and I ♥ FIGHT.


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