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 Post subject: Just another Dark (K)night in Gotham (Batman AA)
PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 10:57 am 
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The Little Manic
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Hi Trepids,

Since Mr.X asked so nicely, I decided to share my thought on the latest addition to my games collection "Batman - Arkham Asylum".

Originally dubious about playing a console port, I let myself be convinced (by Ebon, thank you, mate! *g*) that they did a decent job and bought the game. And boy, was I in for a ride! The plot - always important to draw you in - is tight, logical and would make a fantastic comic book ... which it probably is by now. DC wouldn't miss the chance to make some bucks - and here it would be justified.

This game shows the Batverse at its very best where a kick-ass Dark Knight, assisted by his friends Jim Gordon and Oracle takes on all the major players of the Rogues Gallery without their appearance seeming contrived or wrong. Led they are of course by (arguably) the best (worst?) of them - the Joker. Maniacal, menacing, mad and monologuing he haunts this game and his pointy eared Nemesis with chilling and often times disturbing wit.

The way the characters are portrayed can best be described as perfect - and none more so than the lead character. I was positively delighted with how every action he took was absolutely Batman. The way he pulled a prisoner hanging from a ledge up to safety and then knocked him out without batting an eyelid is only one example of how well they "got" the character.

It helps of course that in this production, several voice actors reprised their roles from the DC Animated Universe TV shows. In particular, Batman is voiced by Kevin Conroy, the Joker by Mark Hamill, and Harley Quinn by Arleen Sorkin. But the other unfamiliar voice actors do an amazing job in this game as well. The music is also perfect and invokes the correct mood at all times - the darker "Batman" theme nicely hinting at the "Dark Knight" score.

About the look of the game I can only say that it is gorgeous, easily amongst the best I have seen so far. This includes the game engine as well as the character design, which is simply spot-on. The guys from Rocksteady Studios show the competition how it should be done.

You can move - within limits - freely on Arkham Island and either follow the main plot or do detective work finding all the little secrets that the pesky Riddler has hidden all over the place. The next location is always easy to find on the map, so you are never really lost.

If there are enemies, there are usually several ways to deal with them, you can either jump in and fight, lure them into traps, take them down from behind or above, or find other creative ways of putting the fear of the Bat into them. In combat the game uses a "Freeflow" system where your attacks grow more and more powerful, the longer you can string them together in an uninterrupted chain. And they do look great when you are in "critical" territory.

This game would be a very clear 10/10 but for two flaws:
1) They did not change the save-game philosophy of the console, which for me is always a big minus. While there are tons of save-points in the game and it saves automatically, there is only one save-game at a time which stops me from re-playing or showing off favourite bits of the game. And they make life frustrating when you fight bosses.
2) The bigger problem - and the only one that really seriously frustrates me - are the boss fights where you stand against tons of minions and an overpowering boss. Right now I am close to the end in a fight with the Joker and tons of henchmen who come in wave after wave. And I just cannot beat them. :(
The fight is set in three stages, but RockSteady did not bother to set save-points between them, so you have to repeat the whole fight over and over and over again. While this is the first time in the entire game that it brought me to the point of actually quitting for now in frustration, it is seriously annoying and IMHO unworthy of the quality that the rest of the game has.

In combination I have to deduct half a point for them, so the final verdict is 9.5/10 - go and get it!
[Originally I took off a whole point, but I just managed to win that fight at last and I still feel like the king of the world! :D]

Zoser

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Level 50s in CoH - @zoser
Zoser (main), ElectroCute, CopyCatz, Fire.Fly, PaintItBlack, Kid Aurora, LittleJoe, Zoserino, Star.Born, Starchild, and Lightning.Strike

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 Post subject: Re: Just another Dark (K)night in Gotham (Batman AA)
PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 11:29 pm 
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Professor
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Glad you liked it Zos, not that I had any doubts. It's a superb game and I would recommend it to any bat fan.

You might be interested to know Zos that in development they had a dev who's only job was Batmans cape, getting it moving right! That's how seriously they were taking things.

I presume you will be looking forward to the sequel?

_________________
@Ebon Hawk-EU or @Zenobia Blade

Official Chiefette Translator
----------------------------------
Intrepids
LOx lvl27 Tanker
Synaptic Pulse lvl25 Defender

Legends
Ebon Hawk (Claws/Regen Scrapper)
Girl Fusion (Empathy/Rad Blast Defender)
Zenobia Blade (Broadsword/Shield/Blaze Scrapper)
Pyrokyne (Fire/Kin/Mu Corruptor)
Blaize of Glory (Fire/Fire/Fire Blaster)
Silver Falcon (Tri-form Peacebringer)
Second Sun (Fire/Rad Controller)

Institution
Bitter Blizzard lvl 50 Corruptor
Taze lvl 17 Brute


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 Post subject: Re: Just another Dark (K)night in Gotham (Batman AA)
PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2010 7:45 am 
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The Little Manic
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Yes, the sequel will need playing once it is out! :)

And having a developer just for the cape makes sense, as you look at it most of the time. It certainly is a great example for the care they took in almost all things.

One other thing that bugged me was (SPOILER):
When you fight Ivy in the monstrous plant and she gets the enchanted guards to help her, it happens all the time that they fall into the hole to their obvious doom.

That was grating, because the fight is very tough, so it was almost impossible for me to beat them, stay alive and make sure none of them fell.


But then again, this was only 10 minutes as opposed to hours of hours of fun. And I would argue that people who like well-made action adventures but are not particular Batfans, will still enjoy the game, as it is very good just as a game.

Zos

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Catz wrote:
;) What can i say, Great minds think like Zoser

Level 50s in CoH - @zoser
Zoser (main), ElectroCute, CopyCatz, Fire.Fly, PaintItBlack, Kid Aurora, LittleJoe, Zoserino, Star.Born, Starchild, and Lightning.Strike

TSW - Zoser (Arcadia)


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 Post subject: Re: Just another Dark (K)night in Gotham (Batman AA)
PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2010 5:08 pm 
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Barbie Girl
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one of those games where i have to certainly praise its brilliance,but will never own becouse i've seen someone play it the whole way trough :)

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 Post subject: Re: Just another Dark (K)night in Gotham (Batman AA)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 2:18 pm 
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Hi Zos. As you can see I'm catching up on posts. Thanks for this I'll buy it. Re your frustration with some boss fights if not just one big one: Can you drop difficulty levels for that or can you only play on easy from the beginning etc?

I have so little time to play out consol games that I often prefer to play on easy to stand a chance of seeing eveything the game has to offer - unless you think that make too easy - and not fun enough to play?

Thanks again for the review though bud.

X

_________________
[b]MrX Heroes: MrX Lvl 50 warshade. | MIND0R Lvl 50 mind/emp troll | The-Messenger Lvl 50 BS/regen scrap | Covert Lvl 42 kin/pys def | .Relic Lvl 42 illu/emp troll | Havoc Lvl 42 kin/elec def | The-Elemental Lvl 39 storm/dark def | Unsung Lvl 38 dark/regen scrap | WRENCH Lvl 34 shield/wrench tank | The Watcher Lvl 15 earth/rad troller | Villains: FR0STBITE Lvl 50 ice/kin corr | Dark-X Lvl 47 dark/stone brute | N'Ice Lvl 42 ice/rad corr | Vortex Lvl 42 robotics/storm MM | ShadowBaby Lvl 41 claws/regen stalk | The Cloak Lvl 41 energy/energy stalk | Thang Lvl 39 robotics/FF MM | IonFist Lvl 34 energy/ninjitsu stalk | The Somnabulist Lvl 33 dark/nec MM | Mr Kripplin Lvl 32 rad/rad corr | M0RBIUS Lvl 20 necro/poison MM | The Infrigidator Lvl 20 ice/cold corr


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 Post subject: Re: Just another Dark (K)night in Gotham (Batman AA)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 2:36 pm 
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Professor
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I can't comment for the PC version, but certainly on the PS3 the difficulty setting for the game is set when you start and can't be changed dynamically as you play.

I wouldn't be surprised if it's the same for the PC port too.

Arguably there is nothing wrong with running through it on easy to see all the content, you just might need to make an effort to try varied tactics to makse sure that some of the fights don't feel too easy.

_________________
@Ebon Hawk-EU or @Zenobia Blade

Official Chiefette Translator
----------------------------------
Intrepids
LOx lvl27 Tanker
Synaptic Pulse lvl25 Defender

Legends
Ebon Hawk (Claws/Regen Scrapper)
Girl Fusion (Empathy/Rad Blast Defender)
Zenobia Blade (Broadsword/Shield/Blaze Scrapper)
Pyrokyne (Fire/Kin/Mu Corruptor)
Blaize of Glory (Fire/Fire/Fire Blaster)
Silver Falcon (Tri-form Peacebringer)
Second Sun (Fire/Rad Controller)

Institution
Bitter Blizzard lvl 50 Corruptor
Taze lvl 17 Brute


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 Post subject: Re: Just another Dark (K)night in Gotham (Batman AA)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:43 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2005 11:13 pm
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Ooo. didn't occur to me that you played this on PS3 Ebon. I presum Zos played on PC? I still like gaming on the PS3 much as I hate the controller.

PS Entirely side PS3 issue. I recently bought a new 3D HD telly (a samsung series 7 in the end, long story) but in the process of doing that I had to look at the PS3's 3D capability. Apparantly it will only ever be able to output 3D at 720p (instead of the max 1080p needed for full 3D/HD output). A bit disappointing really - after all the hype about the power of the thing whenit was launched. At least you can buy very good 3D blu-ray players that also provide internet TV, DLNA, 1080p upscaling AS WELL AS 1080p stereoscopic 3D/HD pictures for less than £200. I might post this up separately if anyone's interested.

_________________
[b]MrX Heroes: MrX Lvl 50 warshade. | MIND0R Lvl 50 mind/emp troll | The-Messenger Lvl 50 BS/regen scrap | Covert Lvl 42 kin/pys def | .Relic Lvl 42 illu/emp troll | Havoc Lvl 42 kin/elec def | The-Elemental Lvl 39 storm/dark def | Unsung Lvl 38 dark/regen scrap | WRENCH Lvl 34 shield/wrench tank | The Watcher Lvl 15 earth/rad troller | Villains: FR0STBITE Lvl 50 ice/kin corr | Dark-X Lvl 47 dark/stone brute | N'Ice Lvl 42 ice/rad corr | Vortex Lvl 42 robotics/storm MM | ShadowBaby Lvl 41 claws/regen stalk | The Cloak Lvl 41 energy/energy stalk | Thang Lvl 39 robotics/FF MM | IonFist Lvl 34 energy/ninjitsu stalk | The Somnabulist Lvl 33 dark/nec MM | Mr Kripplin Lvl 32 rad/rad corr | M0RBIUS Lvl 20 necro/poison MM | The Infrigidator Lvl 20 ice/cold corr


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 Post subject: Re: Just another Dark (K)night in Gotham (Batman AA)
PostPosted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 5:57 am 
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The Little Manic
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Yes, I played the PC-Version. :)

As for the 3D TV, let us know how it works out for you, I am just not convinced yet that this tech is going to move much past "Gimmick" state ... but I may be wrong, of course. :D

Zos

_________________
Image<- Please click here to find out how you can help!
Catz wrote:
;) What can i say, Great minds think like Zoser

Level 50s in CoH - @zoser
Zoser (main), ElectroCute, CopyCatz, Fire.Fly, PaintItBlack, Kid Aurora, LittleJoe, Zoserino, Star.Born, Starchild, and Lightning.Strike

TSW - Zoser (Arcadia)


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 Post subject: Re: Just another Dark (K)night in Gotham (Batman AA)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:36 am 
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Zoser wrote:
As for the 3D TV, let us know how it works out for you, I am just not convinced yet that this tech is going to move much past "Gimmick" state ... but I may be wrong, of course. :D

You're wrong!

See, that didn't take long. The full 1080p x 2 (eyes) steroescopic (active shutter) picture is absolutely superb - and I wasn't even interested in 3D - until I saw a demo. It's better, in many respects to cinematic 3D - which is just 24Hz (in both eyes) through tinted glass. You have to go see a proper demo on a good (46"+) TV to appreciate it Zos.

It will definitely catch on fast - from Christmas this year onwards - and good quality 3D players have full 1080p upscaling, DLNA and internet TV all built into the box for under £200.

X

_________________
[b]MrX Heroes: MrX Lvl 50 warshade. | MIND0R Lvl 50 mind/emp troll | The-Messenger Lvl 50 BS/regen scrap | Covert Lvl 42 kin/pys def | .Relic Lvl 42 illu/emp troll | Havoc Lvl 42 kin/elec def | The-Elemental Lvl 39 storm/dark def | Unsung Lvl 38 dark/regen scrap | WRENCH Lvl 34 shield/wrench tank | The Watcher Lvl 15 earth/rad troller | Villains: FR0STBITE Lvl 50 ice/kin corr | Dark-X Lvl 47 dark/stone brute | N'Ice Lvl 42 ice/rad corr | Vortex Lvl 42 robotics/storm MM | ShadowBaby Lvl 41 claws/regen stalk | The Cloak Lvl 41 energy/energy stalk | Thang Lvl 39 robotics/FF MM | IonFist Lvl 34 energy/ninjitsu stalk | The Somnabulist Lvl 33 dark/nec MM | Mr Kripplin Lvl 32 rad/rad corr | M0RBIUS Lvl 20 necro/poison MM | The Infrigidator Lvl 20 ice/cold corr


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