Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Kapow! - Whap! - Zlonk!

Excuse the title. I've just been feeling a little batman centric the past couple days. I finally caved in a bought Arkham Asylum and I must say that it is well worth the fifty bucks. Especially since this title had me feeling a bit wary.

You see, everyone told me that fallout 3 was an awesome game, and so I bought it and then got bored of it in about 3 hours. So naturally, I was feeling quite skeptical about another single player title that everyone seemed to like. Thankfully I caved in, and am now experiencing tons of punch filled gaming goodness. Crraack! - Whamm!.. Sorry.

But speaking of "Craack and Whamm", the combat in Arkham Asylum is so much fun. Whoever was in charge of the animation system in this title should be given a medal. The combos are fluid, the punches look painful, and batman can take on 6 guys and make it look believable.

This is all combined with a really fun and easy to use stealth system. After all, Batman isn't a brawler and the game doesn't reward you for playing like one. Waiting until one of the bad guys has strayed away from the pack and then swooping down on him, is fun every time. I like to pounce down to take someone out silently and then grappling hook away before anyone notices.

Clearly the guys over at Rocksteady really nailed the combat system, but they didn't stop there. Using the Unreal 3 engine (my favorite game engine) they crafted a dark and beautiful world. The art is gorgeous and everything is very well polished. The immersive world doesn't give you many opportunities to remember that you're playing a game. When I played, I wasn't just trying to get to the next level - I was engaged and interested in exploring and tracking down the bad guys. That's rare for me. It probably helps that the voice talent in the game is astounding.

Getting Mark Hamill back to do the voice of the joker was a very strong move and it's perhaps the most impactful voice acting I've heard in any game. Throughout your adventure the Joker is frequently chiming in on TV screens or loud speakers. Hamill's perfectly executed demonic giggle, coupled with the joker's sense of humor, really breathes life into a video game character more so than anything I felt before.

The combat is amazingly fun, the graphics are stunning, the voice acting rocks, and the story ain't bad either! It's also out for the PC, PS3, and 360 so you really don't have an excuse not to get this game. Unless you don't like Batman or only own a Wii, in which case I am very sorry for you.

As for me I'm off to play more Arkham Asylum - Kapow! Blaamm! Vronk!

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