Batman Asylum the Top 2009 Videogame Reviewed

Batman Arkham Asylum Teaser Video

Super hero games range between frankly appalling to pretty damn fun, but those in the second class are rather in the minority. Good old Superman, for instance, has been reeling from one poorly thought out title after the other for ages and so has the Batman games scene.  Even the best of the Batman games over the years haven’t captured the sensation of being under the cowl, facing down maniacs with his fists and wits.

Batman Arkham Asylum has been on sale since Aug. 2009, and is breaking the mould and all reviews we have seen seem to be unanimous in their praise. Definitely, to us, it kind of feels like a brilliantly polished and unconditionally engrossing prospect. From what we have seen so far, few licensed titles have caught so credibly and completely the ethos of its inspiration as Arkham Asylum.  It’s something of a patchwork of influences, but respectfully moulds them into its own unique take on The Dark Knight.  It’s little wonder that Warner bros.  Has labelled the game as this year’s big Batman event.  And with Rocksteady creating such a stirring, atmospheric experience, Arkham Asylum is fated to be one of the biggest, and best, video games of 2009.

Combat is straightforward with single-button-press punches, stuns and redirects and is context-sensitive, depending on which way the thumbstick is leaning.  Take-downs are performed by pressing RT + Y or B+Y when close to an enemy and are cinematically highlighted by a random slow-mo payoff cam.

Game stool pigeon has actually positive things to claim about it.  Not only game stool pigeon but gamespot.com and IGN.com are providing this game good exposure to publicity.  Gameplay elements, like fighting six guys at once, or silently taking on enemies with guns, are introduced slowly and individually.  Then, as the story moves forward, variables are introduced.

Gameplay won’t just be about combat, either.  Batman’s an investigator, see, so there’ll be investigative work ( puzzles, etc ) to be done also including intensive use of what sounds a lot like Metroid Prime’s scanning system.

Gamers move in the shadows, induce fear amongst their enemies and confront the Joker using a wide range of Batman’s gadgets and abilities, players do really imagine that they became the Invisible Predator.

Stealth sections typically involve systematically picking off enemies one at a time, and can usually be identified upon entering a room where gargoyles flank the walls.  Batman uses these gargoyles to support his weight, using his grapnel gun to zip up out of the way and safely survey the area.

Looking around the web it is been hard to find anyone criticizing Arkham Asylum.  The worst around appears to be from the telegraph paper ( UK ) which I qote as the following :

‘With this level of invention and concern for detail it’s displeasing that Arkham Asylum’s biggest failing is with some of its main battles.”

“While the increase and design is often exquisite, the fights themselves regularly rely far too heavily on tedious, rinse-and-repeat Nintendo game tropes.”

“The final encounter in particular, comes about rather brusquely, and is so empty as a gameplay experience it can leave a slightly sour taste after the terrific ride that came before it.’

However even that commentator clearly considered his negative view on this to be only a small gripe, ending with :

‘But that ride is what matters most, and is positively what’ll you remember after the end credits have rolled.  With a sequence of combat and stealth challenge rooms with online leader boards rounding off the package, Arkham Asylum is a brilliantly polished and totally engrossing prospect.  Few approved titles have captured so authentically and utterly the ethos of its inspiration as Arkham Asylum.’

Our verdict : Moving Batman around in Batman Arkham Asylum as reviewed is always a treat when you think of yourself as a badass slayer. The gameplay is free flowing allowing for dynamic fighting sequences and talent.  Great absorbing fun to indulge yourself in!

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