Finishing up Batman: Arkham Asylum

I beat the game today. It was fun, except when it wasn’t. For a fairly fun game, it had a lot of infuriating moments.

For example, why put quick batarang on a pressure sensitive button instead of, say, a face button? Let’s say LB, and put detective mode on LS depress. I can’t count how many times I held the button a little too far and got a menu instead of a batarang.

Also, it’s just not fun to fight loads and loads of baddies, especially when the game throws them at you with no recourse. Taking out baddies one by one with cover and elevation is massively fun. Having to deal with ten thugs who gang up on you is not. Having some kind of disabling element, like smoke bombs, to temporarily create cover or disorient a group of enemies would have added a lot more strategy. A throw move that wasn’t part of a combo would have also been very helpful.

I would have also liked better freedom of movement with the grapple gun.  There’s a lot of areas which, inexplicably, can’t be grappled on to. Also, having the ability to swing between places with the grapple that weren’t gargoyles would have been very helpful.

There’s also lots of instakills. Make some mistakes in Scarecrow levels, for instance, and you die, reload (which takes a long time on the 360), and try again. Same goes for Killer Croc. They crop up often enough to be irritating. This isn’t to say that those levels aren’t fun. They’re massively fun, and probably the best parts of the game. Instakills, though, are not.

It’s a very fun game marred by some annoyances. It had a few serious “throw controller against the wall” moments. If they tweak that for the sequel, methinks they’d have a really, really fun game.

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