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 Batman: Arkham Asylum review.

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Chazza
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PostSubject: Batman: Arkham Asylum review.   Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:17 pm

Hey guys, i'm going to do a quick review of one of my favourite games for the XBox 360; Batman: Arkham Asylum. This review is written by me. I have 1000g on this game, so i've had a lot of experience with it (4 playthroughs and lot's of exploration).

Story

Story is hugely important in an action adventure game. Not being a massive Batman fan, i wasn't expecting much in the way of being gripped to the story wanting to play more. How wrong i was. The story is not based off the recent movies starring Christian Bale. It is more based of the comic books, and 'The Animated Series', although with the maturity and darkness of 'The Dark Knight'.

You do not have to be a Batman buff to understand the story. The basic idea is that the Joker has been captured once more, but Batman knows something is wrong. He almost let himself get caught. Sure enough, it was another one of his diabolical plans. Soon after escaping the clutches of Arkham Security, The Joker hijacks the system, and takes control of Arkham. The game is set over the course of one night, and Batman has to defeat the Joker, whilst defeated various villians from Batman's history on his way. There are ways to learn the lore and background of Batman and his many villians, via the 'Bio's' section. The bios give a brief explanation on the story of each villian, as well as his/her first appearance. Bio's can be found by completeing 'Riddles' (covered in the 'Gameplay' section) Also, 'Interview Tapes' can be found scattered around the island, similar to Bioshock's Audio Diaries. They help you to learn more about each villian. The voice acting is brilliant, starring the likes of Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker from Star Wars, and The Joker from Batman: The Animated Series), and Kevin Conroy (the voice of Batman from Batman: The Animated Series). The voice acting on the whole is fantastic, but the lip synching is slightly off in places.

The story overall is fantastic for anyone, but a big fan of Batman will almost definately get more out of it. I give the story an 9/10

Gameplay

The gameplay of Batman: Arkham Asylum is truly fantastic. It is made up of 3 fundamental gameplay elements: 'Freeflow Combat', 'Silent Predator (Stealth)', Boss fights and Exploration/Detective Work. They all blend seamlessly into each other, to create a genuinely brilliant gaming experience. And let's not forget, this game looks beatiful. The scenery is truly an amazing feat, rivaling even that of GTA IV and Assassin's Creed (not quite up there with Crysis, however). I will cover each type of gameplay in it's own paragraph.

Freeflow combat is a reveloutionary way to fight hand to hand. Batman never uses a gun, and he never kills anybody, but he often comes extremely close. The Freeflow Combat is initiated by getting 3 hits in succession. It is easy to grasp, but hard to master. Once in freeflow mode, Batman will move elegantly across the screen, and after reaching a combo streak of 8 (or 5 if you upgrade it), Batman will pull off some brutal finishing moves. These include breaking thugs arms and then stamping on them and breaking both legs of a thug. You also have the ability to counter enemies, similar to Assassin's Creed's counter system, only a lot more fluid. Freeflow combat really sets the mark for future action adventure games, and it shows that hand to hand combat can be done perfectly.

Silent Predator is where stealth is required. It usually consists of multiple armed thugs patrolling an area (remember, Batman is only human. He will die from 2 - 3 shots). There are many different ways to approach each situation. You could use your grappling hook to swing around the ceiling using 'Gargoyles', which act as a perch from which you can survey the area, swoop down on helpless thugs, or even grab a thug and hang him from his legs from the gargoyle. You could take the ventilation system, or sneak up from behind enemies, blocking their wind pipe until they faint. You could use some of your many gadgets to make a distraction. For example, you could lure an enemy by using a Batarang (boomerang in the shape of a bat), and then detonate some 'Explosive Gel' that you layed down earlier. The are endless possibilities, and it's a hugely enjoyable experience.

Exploration is also fantastic in Batman. The map is divided into 3 section, each being fully free-roamable, with many buildings in which you can explore. The map is not very big, but big enough to have fun exploring without getting bored.

The most exciting part of the exploration process is finding the 'Riddler Trophies', and solving the various 'Riddles' that the Riddler has layed around the island. Some riddles are as simple as finding a small green 'Question Mark' item and picking it up, others being more engaging and fun, having you actually solving a riddle (e.g: 'Don't cut yourself on this sharply observed portrait'. The answer being a painting of 'Quincy Sharp'). To solve each riddle, one must first work it out, and then using 'Detective Mode' to scan the correct environmental feature that solves the riddle. The game has a 'Metroid' feel to it, as at the beginning of the game you will see many areas which you cannot reach, due to lack of sufficient gadgets. Once the game progresses, you get more gadgets which allow you to visit more hidden areas, thus allowing you to collect more and more riddles (240 in all). It is very fun to explore all the nooks and crannies of Arkham Island, and uncovering the many secrets that Arkham holds.

Last but not least, the Boss battles. Unforunately, this is where the game suffers. The boss fights are generally repetitive, and consist mainly of the same gameplay. There are several 'Titan' fights, which are all about agility and timing. For these, you must throw your Batarang at them whilst they charge at you, thus stunning them so they run into a wall. You then smack them around until they gain conciousness again.. Yep.. That's it. There are some boss fights that require a completely different strategy and way of playing, but all the fights are either too repetitive, too frustrating or too easy. In my opinion, it's the only thing that Rocksteady (the developer) needs to rethink for the already confirmed sequel. The final boss (no prize for guessing who it's against) is dissapointing to say the least. Overall, the boss fights were mediocre at best, and were certainly the weakest point of the game.

The replay value for this game is high, as it features 'Challenge Rooms', which are basically scenarios based off the story mode, which offer hours of additional gameplay as you tackle the various Silent Predator and Freeflow Combat challenges, competing for a good place in the leaderboards. It is extremely addictive earning new highscores and i'm ranked 69th in the world on one of the challenges. Also, finding riddles adds a lot to the replayability, and it took me about 8 additional hours to solve all 240 riddles (without a guide). I rarely play story modes more than once nowadays, but this game kept me coming back for more. I've completed the story 4 times on various difficulties.

Summary

Overall, this game is definately in my top 5 XBox 360 games of all time.

Good points

Fantatic story
Fantastic gameplay
Fantastic Graphics
Replay value is high

Bad points

Boss fights are poor
The island could be slightly bigger

Overall, i give this game a 9.3/10

With a sequel in production as we speak, this would be the perfect time to pick this game up.

Thanks a lot for taking the time to read this review, and i hope you enjoyed it Smile

- Chazza

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PostSubject: Re: Batman: Arkham Asylum review.   Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:06 pm

nice review.now after looking at this i will consider buying this game Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Batman: Arkham Asylum review.   Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:07 pm

Magma464 wrote:
nice review.now after looking at this i will consider buying this game Very Happy

Thanks Smile

You'll be doing yourself a favour by buying it. It's that awesome Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Batman: Arkham Asylum review.   Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:11 pm

Chazza wrote:
Magma464 wrote:
nice review.now after looking at this i will consider buying this game Very Happy

Thanks Smile

You'll be doing yourself a favour by buying it. It's that awesome Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy


well ill have to wait for my birthday or save up enough money i just spent a whole bunch of money yesterday
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PostSubject: Re: Batman: Arkham Asylum review.   Wed Jan 20, 2010 3:46 pm

Magma464 wrote:
Chazza wrote:
Magma464 wrote:
nice review.now after looking at this i will consider buying this game Very Happy

Thanks Smile

You'll be doing yourself a favour by buying it. It's that awesome Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy


well ill have to wait for my birthday or save up enough money i just spent a whole bunch of money yesterday

Oh well, it'll be worth the wait Smile

- Chazza

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PostSubject: Re: Batman: Arkham Asylum review.   Wed Jan 20, 2010 3:49 pm

Chazza wrote:
Magma464 wrote:
Chazza wrote:
Magma464 wrote:
nice review.now after looking at this i will consider buying this game Very Happy

Thanks Smile

You'll be doing yourself a favour by buying it. It's that awesome Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy


well ill have to wait for my birthday or save up enough money i just spent a whole bunch of money yesterday

Oh well, it'll be worth the wait Smile

- Chazza


speaking of the games i ordered they should be here about now
they are
Zelda Windwaker
Paper Mario:Thousand Year Door
Mario Kart:Double Dash


hey we should have a gamecube section
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PostSubject: Re: Batman: Arkham Asylum review.   Wed Jan 20, 2010 3:53 pm

Magma464 wrote:
Chazza wrote:
Magma464 wrote:
Chazza wrote:
Magma464 wrote:
nice review.now after looking at this i will consider buying this game Very Happy

Thanks Smile

You'll be doing yourself a favour by buying it. It's that awesome Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy


well ill have to wait for my birthday or save up enough money i just spent a whole bunch of money yesterday

Oh well, it'll be worth the wait Smile

- Chazza


speaking of the games i ordered they should be here about now
they are
Zelda Windwaker
Paper Mario:Thousand Year Door
Mario Kart:Double Dash


hey we should have a gamecube section

Good idea, but perhaps i could add it to the Wii section? Maybe change the Wii forum title to 'Wii/Gamecube', because we don't want too many forums. If we had a forum for Gamecube, we would end up having one for Xbox, PS2 etc. Does that sound like an okay idea?

- Chazza

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PostSubject: Re: Batman: Arkham Asylum review.   Wed Jan 20, 2010 3:54 pm

Chazza wrote:
Magma464 wrote:
Chazza wrote:
Magma464 wrote:
Chazza wrote:
Magma464 wrote:
nice review.now after looking at this i will consider buying this game Very Happy

Thanks Smile

You'll be doing yourself a favour by buying it. It's that awesome Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy


well ill have to wait for my birthday or save up enough money i just spent a whole bunch of money yesterday

Oh well, it'll be worth the wait Smile

- Chazza


speaking of the games i ordered they should be here about now
they are
Zelda Windwaker
Paper Mario:Thousand Year Door
Mario Kart:Double Dash


hey we should have a gamecube section

Good idea, but perhaps i could add it to the Wii section? Maybe change the Wii forum title to 'Wii/Gamecube', because we don't want too many forums. If we had a forum for Gamecube, we would end up having one for Xbox, PS2 etc. Does that sound like an okay idea?

- Chazza


yes that sounds like a good idea
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PostSubject: Re: Batman: Arkham Asylum review.   Wed Jan 20, 2010 3:57 pm

Done Smile

- Chazza

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PostSubject: Re: Batman: Arkham Asylum review.   Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:02 pm

hey how much is this game?
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PostSubject: Re: Batman: Arkham Asylum review.   Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:12 pm

Magma464 wrote:
hey how much is this game?

Depends on where you get it from, and what country you live in. If you're in the UK, then you can get it for £30 from here. If you're from the US then you can get it for $50 from here. Hope it helped Smile

- Chazza

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PostSubject: Re: Batman: Arkham Asylum review.   Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:13 pm

man i only got 20 bucks
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PostSubject: Re: Batman: Arkham Asylum review.   Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:02 pm

I haven't beaten the game yet. But I'm working on it. I haven't had it for long. I'm on the part with Scarecrow. So far I love the game.
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PostSubject: Re: Batman: Arkham Asylum review.   Mon Apr 12, 2010 1:36 am

great review i heard this game was pretty good and you defenatly convinced me it was
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