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    Sunday, January 10, 2010

    Arkham Asylum : The Ultimately-Honest Review of Batman.. Ever?

    It's easy to admit that we're living in an age of hypes.. Everything, from electronics to movie releases, are all subjected to this enormous hype and viral advertisements that may (or may not) alter the consumers perception of how good the product is..

    For example, Paranormal Activity actually promoted itself through the way people reacted in Cinemas, giving us those feeling of "WOW, MAYBE THIS IS THE SCARIEST MOVIE YET".. As much as I fell under that premise, it came as almost an expected "Oh" when I saw the movie.. Up until the first 30 or 40 minutes, I was actually pulsing, waiting for a scary climax at some point.. Disappointment was the taste left in my mouth as I gladly Delete+Empty-Trash'd it..

    However, we're not talking about movies now, this blog is specifically dedicated to bash one of the most over-hyped games in the past decade (IMO of course), and it has to Batman: Arkham Asylum.. So, if you're still angry why that game didn't win GoTY, it's best you don't click on "Read More"..

    Ever since the game released it's demo on the PSN, I downloaded it, played it, and then off'd it on the spot.. And for once, to prove how much I love this character, I actually gave it the excuse that MAYBE this is just a demo, and the good stuff are missing.. I was surprised to the see the interwebs flooded with swarms of previews and thoughts on how the game is the most awesome, and how it is a GoTY hands-down, and the fan boy fights soared to the skies of the living rooms and message boards alike..

    The game was released soon afterwards, and YES, you guessed it.. It sucked as much as it did in the demo (didn't learn from my RE5 lesson, so it's my bad to begin with)..

    To be fair, to get this out of the way, I'll give the game the ONLY 3 positive points that I actually felt they should be credited for:

    • It's the best Batman game ever, and it made all the previous ones look like chicken crap..
    • The voice overs done by the classic characters was surreal and it had this amazing feel to it (Joker rocked!!)
    • The fighting is probably one of the reasons why I actually borrowed the game TWICE just to get a feel of what seems to be the most fluid-combo-building fights in that genre..
    Then again, These points, IMO (again!), didn't weigh as much when compared to the downfalls that really irritated me.. Amongst the many:
    • The game was too easy, even on Hard difficulties, which made it really goofy to actually give me a choice of difficulty.. Just set a "Start" button to dive right in without the agony of false hope..
    • The lip syncing was completely out of place, and it made the game feel cheap.. In compare to the other games in the market, who did amazingly well in this area, this game stood very short.. Apparently, it didn't stand out much for the huge amounts of pluses it took in blogs and magazines..
    • Batman was probably the bulkiest and hugest version of Batman I came across.. The guy was walking with his cape, and the shoulders were stuck as if he just left a 4-hour-gym session.. And I think all the characters in the game had a subscription in the same gym, because (except for joker and other random dudes) everyone was bulky.. Even commissioner Gordon (more like Stone Cold Steve Gordon to me)..
    • Some of the gadgets used in the game are TOO perfect, made sneaking and off-ing enemies easier than it should be for a game this big..
    • The character design of enemies is probably the lowest aspect of design, being that it's only 3 or 4 types of goons who keep exchanging clothes and color throughout the whole game.. Or they can all go topless to even double the amount of undesigned goons (way to go developers)..
    • Finally, the AI.. If it's anything, it's the half-witted goons that didn't know where their buddies gone when Batman snatches them, and they seem to run into walls more than running into me, their target..

    And it kills me, you know? I really expected allot of this game, and maybe my expectations were too high (given the scale of big games on the console).. And to actually say that this game deserves GoTY, on what basis? if you can really compare it to other games (MGS, UC1+2 and even AC1+2) and look me dead in the eye and say it's the best out of 2009? or ever for that matter? then you're lying to yourself.. Seriously, hate to burst your bubbles, but the game doesn't stand a chance..

    When you make a judgement that the game is awesome, you compare it on the basis of what it gives to the genre (gameplay, graphics, sound and story) and then base your judgement.. The game may rocked in terms of fighting and maybe the story was good enough (it IS Batman after all), but it was a serious put down.. The game, on it's own, may be good, but it's the judgement of "Best game ever, man" or "This tops anything else, man" or "Game of the Year, man", then you crossed too many lines..

    Now, i know, am way too too too too too too too Late to actually say this, but I felt I was obliged to let this one out in the open, since it doesn't seem that the web is being honest about.. Am being honest, and am welling to take your hate mail both here and on my personal email.. If you agree, then stand up for your rights, and if you don't, feel free to rip me a new one..


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