Batman: Arkham Asylum [Game of the Year Edition] Review

Batman: Arkham Asylum [Game of the Year Edition] (Platinum Hits)

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  • Face off against Gotham's greatest villains including The Joker, Harley Quinn, Victor Zsasz and Killer Croc
  • Become the Invisible Predator with Batman's fear takedowns and unique vantage point system to move without being seen and hunt enemies
  • Experience a whole new game to play with Game of the Year Edition
  • Utilize the unique FreeFlow combat system to chain together unlimited combos seamlessly and battle with huge groups of The Joker's henchmen in brutal melee brawls
  • Investigate as Batman, the world's greatest detective, by solving intricate puzzles with the help of cutting edge forensic tools including x-ray scanning, fingerprint scans, 'Amido Black' spray and a pheromone tracker
Batman: Arkham Asylum returns with a Game of the Year Edition. Batman: Arkham Asylum launched to critical acclaim in summer 2009 and has often been referred to as the 'best license game ever' and a 'must buy' on gaming websites and magazines. It's been praised for delivering a compelling mix of action, stealth and puzzle-solving game-play tied with a dark original storyline penned by five-time Emmy award winner Paul Dini and supported by a famous cast of voice actors, including Mark Hamill as The Joker and Kevin Conroy as Batman.
Recognized as one of the best games of 2009, Batman: Arkham Asylum is a single player, third-person action/adventure in which the Dark Knight takes on his greatest challenge yet when he is trapped by arch rival, the Joker, within the walls of Arkham Asylum, Gotham City's facility for the criminally insane.

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Kick it in combat gameplay.
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And stealth action.
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Match wits with The Joker.
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Utilize utility belt gadgets.
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Take on dangerous bosses.
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Story
Batman: Arkham Asylum features an original story penned exclusively for the game by famous Batman author and five-time Emmy award winner, Paul Dini, whose credits include "Lost" season one and "Batman: The Animated Series." As the game begins Batman is personally delivering his nemesis, The Joker, to the asylum at Arkham Island, but he is uneasy. Although the Arkham asylum is well fortified, he has a nagging feeling that all is not well, which proves to be the case when seconds after turning The Joker over to the guards, the master criminal breaks free of his captors. Even more surprising than this quick turn of events is the revelation that it was never The Joker's intent to escape the vault-like facility, but instead to trap Batman there. Surrounded by an asylum full of dangerous criminals, many of which he put there and all at the beck and call of the Joker, can Batman survive and discover what is behind the Joker's intricate plot?

Gameplay
In Batman: Arkham Asylum players strap on the gadget-heavy utility belt of the Caped Crusader. Gameplay here is a combination of both the knuckle crunching rush of hand to hand combat as you take on the hordes of thugs that infest Arkham Asylum, and stealth gameplay in which you must dispatch individuals from the shadows. Players can expect an engrossing single player campaign in which Batman continually moves forward to face the henchmen, bosses and traps that The Joker has set for him. With regards to opponents, in addition to The Joker who you will hear more than you see, the dark walls of Arkham also hold familiar villains from the the Batman criminal universe including Harley Quinn, Victor Zsasz and Killer Croc, that you will have to deal with, but don't expect a one-dimensional experience. As players progress from environment to environment within Arkham they will have to use varying combinations of muscle, detective skills, gadgetry and a certain degree of light RPG-like leveling of Batman's skills, arsenal and physical characteristics to survive and discover what The Joker's underlying scheme is.

In addition to the story-driven single player campaign Arkham Asylum also contains various additional play modes. These include an arcade styled combat mode where players accumulate points by engaging hordes of thugs in a hand to hand slugfest across a series of maps, in which Batman's physical strength and agility play a major role. The key here is to chain together as many attacks as possible due to the fact that with each successful combo players increase the point multiplier associated with their actions. The game also features a time-based stealth mode where players must hone their ability to strike silently from the shadows. This gameplay, referred to as 'Invisible Predator' utilizes the Dark Knight's skill with gadgets like the grapple tool, batarang and explosives. These allow for vertical/horizontal mobility, the ability to quickly strike from above and at a distance and to take out enemies and create distractions, even through walls. But remember that Batman works solo and is not superhuman. Your enemies will congregate around trouble areas and work as a team against you, so you must be silent, plan your attacks wisely, strike quickly and discover the value of encouraging fear within enemies.

Key Features

  • Experience the game in a whole new way with Game of the Year Edition extras including: Access to the playable Joker character (in the PS3 version only) and 4 additional standard challenge maps.
  • Utilize the unique FreeFlow combat system to chain together unlimited combos seamlessly and battle with huge groups of The Joker's henchmen in brutal melee brawls.
  • Investigate as Batman, the world's greatest detective, by solving intricate puzzles with the help of cutting edge forensic tools including x-ray scanning, fingerprint scans, 'Amido Black' spray and a pheromone tracker.
  • Face off against Gotham's greatest villains including The Joker, Harley Quinn, Victor Zsasz and Killer Croc.
  • Become the Invisible Predator with Batman's fear takedowns and unique vantage point system to move without being seen and hunt enemies.
  • Choose multiple takedown methods, including swooping from the sky and smashing through walls, and use the predator camera get a closer look at the action.
  • Explore every inch of Arkham Asylum and roam freely on the infamous island, presented for the first time ever in its gritty and realistic entirety.
  • Experience what it's like to be Batman using batarangs, explosive gel aerosol, the Batclaw, sonar resonator and the line launcher.
  • Unlock more secrets by completing hidden challenges in the world and develop and customize equipment by earning experience points.
  • Enjoy complete superhero freedom in the environment with the use of Batman's grapple to get to any place you can see, jump from any height and glide in any direction.

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List Price: $ 19.99 Price: $ 8.18

 Batman: Arkham Asylum [Game of the Year Edition] Review
Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
stars 4 0. CB192240704  Batman: Arkham Asylum [Game of the Year Edition] Review Pretty Good Game!, February 11, 2014
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This review is from: Batman: Arkham Asylum [Game of the Year Edition] (Platinum Hits) (Video Game)
My grandson got me into this version of the Batman Arkham series. I had just completed Arkham City, and he brought over his Asylum and wanted to play. There is nothing creepier than an old asylum as a background to a dark game. No blood and guts or anything to speak of, but plenty of creeps. Joker is wheeled in for the 280th time, but escapes and wreaks havoc releasing all of the crazy's and of course all of his fellow criminals including his hot little babe, Harley Quinn. As is typical, the authorities are either taken out, or worthless, so its time to call in The Bat. Assignment, clean up the mess, and get all of the criminals back where they belong, including, Joker who is your main nemesis.

Artwork is really well done, lots of dark overcast and grey areas outside, and plenty of creepy dilapidated buildings to explore, clean up, and secure. As with all games, you start with the basics, basic fight moves, and a basic weapon. Batman typically does not have a lot of weapons at his disposal. In this game he is limited to a handful of the most useful tools, such as the Batarang, Double and Tripple Batarang, Bat Claw, Chemical Gun for dispensing explosive Gel, and the Cryptic Decoder. These you get as you play along into the game and reach certain goals. If course, these are needed to get into areas that you otherwise cannot get into without them and their special abilities. There are only a few upgrades, the multiple Batarang you first start with a double blade then advance to a three blade, and the Cryptic Decoder has a longer range capability upgrade. Most other upgrades are Suit related and fight related abilities. Still important, but not as many weapon upgrades as you would or will find in Arkham City.

Game play is standard fair for a Batman game. He must work within his weapon and physical capabilities. This is not going to be some 300 weapon, 200 different button combos to learn game. The game is based on using the basic Batman tools, less any vehicles, and his physical abilities. This is a welcome change for me personally. I like and prefer a game with limited button combo's and good game controls. I also prefer to not have to drive, fly and beat a clock. All of those annoying things are not in these Batman Arkham games. Controls are generally very straight forward. There are not as many combo's in this first of the series game as there are in Arkham City. Your pretty much limited to punching, and evading, but they designed the game to utilize the counter attack the most as opposed to fancy combo's. This may take some getting used to if you played Arkham City first, or are used to a lot of insane button pushing configurations. I only had trouble with the control features in one area. The Killer Crock Lair. The sight kept popping into zoom view when Crock would pop up behind me and I had to turn quickly. I tended to push the toggle a little as I move it and this was frustrating as Crock was fast and would kill me before I got things back and turned toward him. This area was poorly designed having a huge maze full of fast acting attacks with NO MAP. It was very difficult to find out which way to go as you had no time at all to stop and catch your bearings. Other than that area, I had no difficulty with any of the other areas in the game, and solving the puzzles and completing the challenges. Boss fights were tough enough for me, not a push over, but beatable if you learned the skills and obtained the upgrades as you played along.

The game designers made good use of the games environment. You have three main areas to work in and each one had a few buildings, in addition to two tunnels, and a cave system which included the Bat Cave. You will need to learn how to navigate between these areas, and some of them are not easy to get into without a lot of running around. But during game play there will always be challenges in each area, and they change each time your required to go to or through an area for the next task. So just because you cleared out an area once don't be complacent and think its going to be cleared the next time you enter it. This running back and forth may seem like repetitive and boring stuff, but its not because these areas do keep changing until you get to the end of the game. Then all areas remain clear and you can then go back and search for the collectables for the Riddlers Challenge and of course play the special challenges located iin the options menu.

The Riddlers Challenge is a basic challenge of collecting a group or group of objects hidden in the game by the Riddler. In Batman Arkham Asylum there are a lot of different hidden objects. They are Riddlers Trophies, Hidden Messages, Riddles, Patient Interview Tapes, and The Area Maps. Each area will have a hidden map that you can find that will reveal the location of all of the above collectables. Most of these you should have been able to pick up during the original game play. When you... Read more
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
stars 5 0. CB192240867  Batman: Arkham Asylum [Game of the Year Edition] Review Rocksteady broke the mold, and then reformed it., August 12, 2014
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This review is from: Batman: Arkham Asylum [Game of the Year Edition] (Platinum Hits) (Video Game)
This game always interested me, even though I was not a huge Batman fan. I downloaded the demo and the combat was pretty fluid, and even with the few combos or counters I could pull off it still felt fresh with every kick, punch, and batarang thrown. I recently broke down and decided to purchase both this and City, and I'm very glad I did.

=Story

Throughout the game you are chasing a single antagonist with other villains popping up as a sort of distraction to pad game play. Note that I say pad, but overall seeing the villains adds to the atmosphere of being within Arkham Asylum itself.

The story works out well as another addition to the Batman archives, be it canon or not, and some of the dialogue within the game is well written and sometimes hilarious. Joker is a riot both when it comes to being the villain and being comedic relief.

-Score: 9/10

=Graphics

This game looks amazing and the character design is top notch, save for the Joker in my opinion. The atmosphere is well crafted and there's plenty of room on the island to be what you are: the caped crusader.

-Score: 9/10

=Gameplay

I simply cannot say much more about the game play than one word: incredible. Combos and fights make you feel good, counters make you feel tough and nimble, and use of Batmans varying gadgets will tingle your mind as you figure out some of the puzzles within the game.

-Score: 9.5/10

=Overall

As stated previously, Rocksteady did a fantastic job making Batman: Arkham Asylum. They took the time to make the combat feel satisfying and to craft a story that will envelop fans of Batman. All in all, they've marked a milestone for future super hero games to try and achieve.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
stars 5 0. CB192240867  Batman: Arkham Asylum [Game of the Year Edition] Review One For Gaming History Greatness, May 27, 2014
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This review is from: Batman: Arkham Asylum [Game of the Year Edition] (Platinum Hits) (Video Game)
Every once in a while there comes a videogame that is so well produced and so well received that it is destined for eternal gaming greatness; something so incredibly good that it begs the nostalgic gamer to power up older consoles years into the future, just to relive the thrill. Batman: Arkham Asylum is most definitely one of those titles.

Quite simply: what Rocksteady Studios has created, here, is one of the most engaging and entertaining gaming experiences ever released, much less for a genre (comic book adaptations) which has suffered from one disappointing release after another. Best of all, the development team cast such a large net onto the gaming world - from the casuals just looking for a satisfying 'smash 'em up' game, to the fantatic who knows everything about Bruce Wayne - and has succeeded in captivating them all!

From the get-go, the storyline is enthralling to the point that it is hard to call it quits. Start to finish, the plot is evident and beautifully depicted through cut scenes and missions that genuinely make sense and aren't just fluff challenges to move you along. Completing one task leads to a whole new assortment of twists that has become commonplace in the Batman franchise, but is done in such a way that develops intrigue and excitement. Each and every objective has a purpose, surrounded by mischief that puts the gamer's bat skills to the test. Clearly, Arkham Asylum's writers have hit their mark with a script that awes for hours.

The environment of Arkham Asylum is fantastically arranged and stunningly adorned with cues which set the tone in such brilliant fashion. Everything looks as it should and nothing is out of place. From interior to exterior locales, the set design is spot on with everything it tries to emulate - a detached and overrun detention facility, littered with chaos caused by baddies that run amuck. To say that this is the best looking superhero videogame would be understatement. No superhero game, to date, has ever come close to looking this good, and it may be a very long time before another studio comes along to create a game that does.

Embeded in Rocksteady's rendition of Arkham Island is an assorted combination of the franchise's most reknowned and less-known enemies. Each sporting their unique traits, all characters have been modeled to mimic their comic book presentation. Complimenting some of the splendid virtual reencarnacions are voices by names all too familiar to DC Comics world: Kevin Conroy as Batman, Mark Hamill as the Joker, and Arleen Sorkin as Harley Quinn. Even if these names don't ring a bell, the instant dialoge strikes up, the gamer is treated with voice acting that is on par with any big budget, silver screen flick.

Likewise, character animations are fantastic - movement is smooth and precise, making the combat system amazingly enjoyable. The combo-based fighting system creates riveting action scenes that only get better as the player executes chained attacks. Added up, points can be used to acquire new abilities that increase Batman's effectiveness and sheer brutality. With a controller in hand, Arkham Asylum is the epitome of an open-world fighting game that excels in the most important aspect of gameplay.

To increase replayability, a scattering of collectibles and side-missions offer up the chance for gamers to take a break from the storyline action or to roam the map when the antagonist meets his demise. The amount of extras included in Arkham Asylum ehance Batman's adventures for those inclined to track down every item, or can be ignored with no reprecution to the game's core. But, with so much more fun to had, it is hard to imagine not trying to get the most out of this title.

Serving as the proverbial 'cherry on top', Arkham Asylum's score is a mystifying soundtrack fit for the oddities of the prison facility. Music tempo peaks in battle segments, while quieter and darker sounds play in the background during free roaming. The audio elements are so remarkably uncanny that it would be hard - through sound alone - to mistake this for anything but a Batman theme. Coinciding with the aforementioned voice overs, Rocksteady has brought every relevant element imaginable to this title and has done so beautifully.

For anyone looking for that 'must play' experience and, somehow, has steered away from Batman: Arkham Asylum, there is no better time to give it a go. With the Game of the Year Edition, this title is packaged with every bit of content and, at its low price, is worth every cent. To add more 'bang for the buck', 3D functionality has been added - if that is your kind of thing; but, it is in no way required for playability.

Rated 'T', parents who are looking to purchase this game for a child should consider the more adult oriented themes and accompanied violence. Otherwise, I highly recommend this product to any gamer, especially those who... Read more
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