altered_confusion's Batman: Arkham Asylum (PlayStation 3) review

Batman Arkham Asylum Review

Step into the boots of the Dark Knight as you visit Arkham Asylum to watch Joker get checked back in. Unfortunately that's where the routine-ness ends as all hell breaks loose and all the inmates start taking over the Asylum. Joker heads of the crew of super villains as he has a special surprise for Batman, but he wants to make sure everything is ready before you can see it, so you'll have to battle through characters such as Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Killer Croc, and Scarecrow. You'll also have to deal with the waves of inmates that will try to stop you from catching Joker.

This game is stunning graphically. Batman looks like he's been working out a bit too much, but with the amount of activities he's going to be doing in this game that's probably for the best. All the main characters look great, they all look amazing as well as not too different from what you'd expect to see. The addition of the detective mode view definitely gives the game a unique look.

The sounds and voices in this game are top notch. You're going to hear Public Service Announcements from the Joker from time to time, and yes they can get repetitive after a while, but in most places you're moving through an area so fast that you're not going to have to hear the recycled dialog. I also like the interview tapes that are hidden throughout the Asylum that give you a little bit more story on some of the more prominent members of the Asylum.

The controls in the game aren't as tight as I would like them, but in most cases they are just good enough to get by. As you gain more stuff to use you'll see that the controller is kind of limiting when it comes to switching between items when pressured. One of my bigger issues is when I'm under fire and I'm trying to jump over a railing  or drop down to a lower place in the area, most of the time I'll end up doing a summersault at the obstacle and then have to line up perfectly to get over it, in most cases that meant a restart to the game. There's also the times where you're going to have to rapidly press X, and I feel that it really doesn't matter how fast or slow you tap the X button if you succeed in doing the task its going to take about the same amount of time.

This game looks amazing, and feels like a strong game. I do feel though that in order to cover up some of the flaws they throw huge waves of enemies at you so you are reduced to button mashing through battle sequences. In most cases this works fine, but there are times when you have no choice but to button mash and you get ganged up and will have to start that part over again because the button response isn't always right on. I do like the added layers of complexity when dealing with enemies as you get deeper into the game, but I feel that sometimes when you have 8 or more enemies going after you at the same time it greatly hinders my experience. I'd also like to state that I HATE the shock sticks that some of the inmates got to carry, but that might just be me.

Overall you're looking at a very solid game. There are different layers to the game. You have the fighting layer, the stealthy layer, as well as the detective layer. Which reminds me one of my issues was that I really didn't get to admire much of the game because I constantly had the detective mode going so that I could see what I'm about to get into. So I feel like some of the areas don't get the love they deserve. Also there is the Riddler stuff that can be both frustrating and fun. He's hidden trophies as well as riddles throughout the game. I feel like I got most of them, and it felt good  to do so, but sometimes I felt like you had to get the scene just right to get credit and that just added to some of the frustration. This game gets an 8.5 out of 10.

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