This is not a formal review for the game since it is several years old at this point and I plan to play the next few in the series.
For some reason when Arkham Asylum was released, I had absolutely no interest in ever playing it. By that point there had already been two Batman movies in the reboot series so maybe I just had enough of Batman? Or maybe I had been given the wrong impression of the game when I watched a friend play it? You see, when my buddy played it at my house back in 2009 I thought it was a detective game. All I saw was Batman’s “detective mode” so I thought the entire game was like some crime scene investigation game, which sounded really stupid in my opinion. And maybe it was a combination of the two reasons above. But for whatever reason I never gave it a chance and had never planned to.
That all changed this past week. I’ve been going through a weird funk because about 90% of the games I own I have already beat and the last 10% just don’t sound interesting right now. So I spent several days when I would play about 5 minutes of a game, get tired of it and shut it off, then just lay in bed watching TV. This is something I do not like to do during my breaks from school because I have so much free time that I want to beat as many games as possible before I get back to the daily grind that every semester is. By buddy at work had been talking about Batman: Arkham Asylum now for a few weeks and even then I was not interested. It took me all week to realize I just needed to go out and buy a few new games to get my excitement and motivation back. So I watched a video on Arkham Asylum and was completely stunned at how fun it looked. Needless to say I immediately ran out to get it after work on Friday night and bought Arkham Asylum and Arkham City.
After having played Arkham Asylum all day Saturday, I have officially beaten the story mode and solved all 240 of Riddler’s riddles. I can safely say that was the most fun I have had gaming in a while. I literally spent all day playing it. I even played it during the NFL Playoffs yesterday which ended up being a good thing because one of my teams lost.
Arkham Asylum is just downright fun. The battle system is easy enough that you can kick some ass without even trying. But it is deep enough if you take the time to learn that you can reach huge combos and gain more experience. The story was predictable but fun. It is a comic book super hero story so it is hard not to be predictable unless you are going to kill off characters. It was interesting to see why things were happening the way they were on Arkham Island though. The game included a huge collectable system with a rich data log. There is tons of information about many of the characters in the Batman universe; both hero and villain. There are awesome interview tapes with each of the villains from the game that were well thought out. I loved hearing the doctors interview all of the villains and try to figure out what made them tick.
I have to say that my initial opinion of the game was incredibly wrong. This was an extremely fun game to play and I am glad I gave it a chance. I am about to move on to Arkham City (it is installing on my PS3 as we speak). I can’t wait to see where the series goes from here and have high hopes that it only gets better! For anyone who has not played Arkham Asylum: do yourself a favor and go buy it. You can get if for $10 at GameStop and it is worth much more than that because it holds up really well. It seemed like a game that could have been released this year in all honesty.