|Joker's Renovations to the Visitor Center|
|A Riddler puzzle that depends on where you stand|
I don't have much of anything new to say about the game, except to profess my love for it. Andrew summed up the gameplay mechanics in his demo review. It's been well noted in Marginalias of the past how well this game stands up against all previous attempts to game-itize the Caped Crusader. So I'll jump right into a rundown of the game's comic-inspired renditions of our favorite heroes and villains and a discussion of how their gameplay mechanics relate to the underlying social and political themes of the Batman universe.
Bane, the game's first boss, who acts as a template for most of the rest of the game's higher level encounters. He basically has three fingerprints that he leaves all over the game: he can take swings at you, he can throw stuff at you, and he can put his head down and charge, leaving himself temporarily vulnerable to a batarang to the face. Bane represents everything Batman isn't: roided out strong, lumbering and clumsy, and too hotheaded to mount a well-planned attack. You have to use your speed and strategy to defeat him in single (+ henchmen) combat.
Next, it's a trip to the sewers with Killer Croc. His level is in two parts: sneak around gathering plant spores to make an antidote to Joker's "Titan" serum, knocking him into the water when he hops out at random points, and then run away from him as fast as possible when he starts chasing you. They make Croc so overbearing and so threatening in this game that any attempt at straight-on combat is unthinkable (which makes you wonder how they brought him to Arkham in the first place), so it's natural to just focus on avoidance. At bottom, he's just big and scaly and mean - and urban legends have taught us that crocs belong in the sewers.
|Two-Face's Bifurcated Cell|
For me, Arkham Asylum alone is worth the price of admission into PS3-land - any other game, including the sequel, is just a bonus. But now that I'm a resident, I'm sure I'll want to stay up to date on some of the newer and more exciting titles available on the top-of-the-line platforms, so expect a greater contribution from me in the gaming space in the future!