Batman Arkham City (2011)

Batman Arkham City Review

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Batman Arkham City Review

Batman Arkham City is a 2011 action-adventure video game developed by Rocksteady Studios. It is the second installment in the Batman Arkham series.

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Nice of you to join us, Oracle

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Batman Arkham City Review

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I really liked this game and although I thought ‘Batman Arkham Asylum’ was slightly better as a whole, I still enjoyed this second entry a lot and it is a worthy successor to a great original. Now the plot is probably better this time around. It is well crafted and rich in themes and characters. I liked it quite a bit and the series continues its streak of strong writing, solid dialogue and excellent voice performances. The acting is truly terrific here, at least for video game standards. The same goes for the dialogue and also the humor as sometimes it could be quite funny with snarky one-liners from Bats being the highlights.
But let’s talk about the gameplay. Batman Arkham City is once again an action-adventure game that relies strongly on action, but it still follows a plot and has well developed characters. It also features stealth elements which were once again the major highlights to this player. Whenever I had to take down an entire army of brutes, I was having a blast and truly some of those levels were so intriguingly constructed with excellent designs and much smarter A.I. this time around.

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Batman Arkham City Review

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I also loved the combat. Yes, Batman is probably too strong here, but that is the point as, I agree with the critics, it almost makes you feel like Batman yourself and that is the point of playing video games, especially the superhero ones. I felt like a caped crusader and I definitely felt that I had power and that I could win in every situation.
The villains are again weaker as some of the boss fights such as Freeze were quite interesting in the tactics that you had to employ and really clever when you think about them, but others like Penguin and Hugo Strange were incredibly weak and disappointing. Them not fighting at all, but just waiting behind their guards was so unfortunate.
And that brings me to my next point – the overabundance of characters. Yes, there are just too many characters in Arkham City and most especially villains that all of them did not get as much to do as they deserved. That was certainly a problem although I still liked each one of them. Joker is as great as before and I liked how Alfred was utilized in a funny manner. Penguin was good, Strange is okay but weak in the end and of course Ra’s al Ghul is a memorable character and those levels were some of the most creative of the entire game. I also really liked the side quests with Catwoman who possessed some pretty interesting combat moves.

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Batman Arkham City Review

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Batman Arkham City features a solid score, good direction and it is pretty well paced. I loved almost all of the levels, fights and especially the designs of the stealth levels which were frequently even brilliant. All of the newly added gadgets were beautifully utilized and they helped add a lot of refreshing gameplay abilites to the game. Te world building is strong and crusing Arkham City was certainly a lot of fun. I like that it has side quests and that you can play it after you have finished the main story, but that main campaign still remains incredibly short and that was frustating.

In the end, I really liked Batman Arkham City despite it being filled with too many characters and being short in length. But those characters are well developed, the game is visually terrific, the plot is good and the gameplay is once again fantastic as it makes you think at times with its clever level designs plus being in Batman’s shoes was just a lot of fun from start to finish.

My Rating – 4.6

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Batman Arkham Asylum (2009)

Batman Arkham Asylum Game Review……………………………………………………………..

Batman Arkham Asylum Game Review

Batman Arkham Asylum is a 2009 action-adventure video game developed by Rocksteady Studios and published by Eidos Interactive. It is one of the finest video games of its decade.

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Tell me Bats. What are you really scared of?

Failing to save this cesspool of a city?

Not finding the Commissioner in time? Me, in a thong?

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Batman Arkham Asylum Game Review……………………………………………………………..

Joker manages to seize control of Arkham Asylum and its island and it is up to Batman to stop him. This is one of the rare video games where the story actually matters and it is so good and so well told that it can function as a movie of sorts. Not only is the storytelling excellent here, but the voice acting is top-notch as well and that’s even rarer for the medium. And I have to say that this mythos of the Batman universe is my favorite and the game features by far my favorite Joker with an excellent performance from Mark Hamill.

The gameplay is fantastic and so varied too. Action-adventure has always been my favorite genre, possibly even better than platformers. But unfortunately the genre took a major backseat during the 21s century and thankfully this game changed that and at least now we have one great action-adventure series for the PC in the new millennium.

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Batman Arkham Asylum Game Review……………………………………………………………..

It perfectly combines the elements of action-adventure, platforming and stealth in it. To me the stealth elements were the most entertaining here and those gargoyle areas where you have to eliminate the gunmen one by one without them noticing you were by far the highlights. Detective Vision was excellent and although those in-game additional playables and achievements were boring, the game is long enough that it doesn’t need them.

The gadgets are phenomenally utilized and the fight system is too easy, but comes progressively more difficult. Some of the fight moves that Batman has here were phenomenally entertaining to watch and it made the game such a great movie for those to watch as the player plays. All of the five or so gadgets were magnificently utilized and they made the game much more diverse to play.

As for the boss fights, here lies the big problem. Batman Arkham Asylum’s flaws are twofold – one is that the overall game isn’t as difficult to beat and could have been harder in some areas. I always like more difficult games and this one is only very hard from time to time. But the bigger problem are its boss fights as some of them were extremely disappointing. The last fight with Joker is ridiculously simple to beat and it is just pointless to have the last level of the game so easy when the rest was at least somewhat difficult to beat. And the fight with Killer Croc could have been shorter in length.

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Batman Arkham Asylum Game Review……………………………………………………………..

But other fights are solid and some are even great. All of those fights with the two physically enhanced prisoners were very well designed in a wonderfully old-fashioned platforming manner and were also quite demanding to finish off.

I loved the characters here with Harley Quinn being so memorable and of course Joker being fantastic. This is the Joker that the movie versions never created – strong and capable, but also very funny and maniacal. And I loved every villain here and I have to add that Poison Ivy is memorable and her fight was superb. Riddler was boring at times, but Scarecrow’s fights were superbly realized and were some of the most creative and imaginative levels in the game.

Batman Arkham Asylum has terrific graphics and it’s actually some of the most impressive looking games of its time with superbly done faces and characters and some very good imagery. The cut-scenes were all very well done and engaging to watch and the game looks polished from start to finish. The sound is also great and the score is pretty terrific and accompanies the atmosphere quite well.

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Batman Arkham Asylum Game Review……………………………………………………………..

The controls weren’t the best and I guess that it’s okay as it would have been too easy to beat with easier controls. The game has very good world building and it perfectly recreates the feel of the superhero comic-book and film. The level designs were mostly excellent and the game is very entertaining. It has fantastic replay values as I actually played it twice and both times I’ve had a blast. The game isn’t original, but it is authentic in its mix of familiar genre elements that it becomes a great gaming experience. It has its flaws, but is mostly terrific and easily one of the best modern games.

Batman Arkham Asylum has its problems such as some of the boss fights which were weak and the difficulty level which is at times too easy, but it is otherwise a superb video game with excellent graphics and score, strong plot, characters and acting, some very difficult and fun levels and a great gameplay with a terrific mix of platforming, action-adventure and stealth.

My Rating – 4.7

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