Posts Tagged ‘batman’


Need another fix of Batman this holiday season?  Well the folks over at NetherRealm Studio have you covered with their iOS game Batman: Arkham City Lockdown, which just launched today.  This game was designed using the same tool set as Infinity Blade and uses the Unreal Engine to create lush graphics and animations.  With NetherRealm at the helm expect to have some MK flair in there as well.  This hybrid game offers a complimentary experience to the Batman adventure delivered earlier this fall.  It is available for iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad and works universally between the devices for the small asking price of $5.99.  I can’t imagine it being a terribly long game, but that is okay for the price.  Also if it shares more in common with Infinity Blade beyond just controls I’m sure it will have incredible replay value (potentially infinite).  Let us know what you think of this game if you have had the opportunity to try it.  As always you can follow us on Twitter @GamersAbstract and like us on Facebook for more content.

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Taking the road of criticism

I want to preface this editorial by saying that I didn’t hate Batman: Arkham City or that I didn’t enjoy certain aspects of the game, but Rocksteady’s sophomore effort with Batman has been receiving much praise and not a whole lot of criticism.  The game’s being touted as Arkham Asylum’s superior whereas I feel very differently.  The game did some things right and others wrong (like most games), but for the sake of this article I will focus on the wrong because most of you have already heard what the game has accomplished oh so well.  So without further introduction I give you 5 Things I didn’t like about Batman: Arkham City.

Background Chatter

All throughout the game you hear this annoying omnipresent chatter that feels like it wasn’t scripted by adults, but rather by a one-dimensional angry group of teenagers.  I don’t care how hungry or how cold the inmates of Arkham City are, you are a prisoner in supposedly the most dangerous prison on the planet, I think having a sweater should be the least of your concerns.

"Should we beat his ass or go get a sweater?" - Decisions of an Arkham City Inmate

I also don’t care about the awful things they would do to Batman if they saw him or which gang is tougher.  It is 99% nonsensical banter that lacks almost any variety in terms of conversational topics.  Since when did not using background music become a preferred design choice (ah, where is Hans Zimmer when you need him).

Everyone is a Dick (not Grayson)

You expect your cast of characters to express some polarity in terms of their personalities.  Nope not in Arkham City, everyone is a dick.  The villains (which is expected), but even Alfred and Batman don’t really care for pleasant dialogue.  In Batman’s case the most gleaming example is when Robin comes to your aid during an attack and all Batman can say is “What are you doing here, go back to Gotham, I could have done that myself, you are a bastard for saving me” somewhat typical of the Dark Knight, but come on already.  He shows zero gratitude for the boy wonder’s saving grace and sends him packing looking like a huge chump.

What's your deal brah?

Alfred Pennyworth in most Batman continuities plays a support role and offers guidance to Batman/Bruce Wayne, but has also been known to express sarcasm on occasion, but in Arkham City Alfred isn’t pleasant at all.  I visualize Alfred sitting in the bat cave with an expensive glass of brandy and smoking a cigar and every attempt that Batman makes to establish contact proves to be an inconvenience to Alfred.  He makes Batman’s dialogue sound like John Madden’s commentary (always stating the obvious) and just doesn’t show very much concern at all.  This portrays Alfred in a very sullen light.

Side Mission Overload

Traversing Arkham City should be an enjoyable experience, but with what I call Side Mission Overload you the player become inundated with so much shit to do it tarnishes the experience.  Some gamers enjoy having a ton of side missions because it fleshes out the experience, gives your more bang for your buck (which I agree to a certain degree), but in what is supposed to be a heavily story driven game, having side missions that don’t supplement the story hurt the game.

Like this, but with side missions, a donkey carriage would've been sweet though

Traveling from point A to point B you would be assaulted with political prisoners to save, ringing telephones, Riddler trophies to ascertain, Riddler Puzzles to solve, bullet fragments to scan, cryptic messages to decipher and so on and so forth.  Do I think these should have been removed from the game, no, do I think they should have been apart from the main story and even been an additional game mode, absolutely.  These side missions took the wind out of Arkham City’s sails whenever the story’s momentum started to build and it was very disappointing.

Catwoman

Ah yes, Ms. Selina Kyle a.k.a. Catwoman, a favorite in the Batman universe.  I would have rather cleaned up cat vomit than played her utterly useless portions of the game.  Her portions were so incredibly frustrating and offered little in the way of progressing the story (she filled a mad lib role if you will).  Do I care about you stealing stuff from within Arkham City?  The answer is not at all.

Didn't steal my heart

Catwoman’s role/involvment in Arkham City was hyped to the utmost degree, but failed short in my eye’s to deliver anything other than another distraction to the story (yes, distraction, not supplement).  My last gripe with Catwoman is in her movements.  From my understanding of Catwoman (correct me if I am wrong) she exhibits the agility, dexterity, fortitude, and the multi-life attributes of a feline.  When did she become Spiderman?  I didn’t know cats could crawl on ceilings, my cats sure didn’t.  It may sound petty, but it bothered the hell out of me so I will rant about it.

Under-whelming Boss Fights

The boss fights (without dishing out spoilers) were not satisfying what so ever and delivered little to no challenge.  Boss fights are supposed to be epic encounters, but almost every boss fight failed to be even remotely epic in design.  Aside from being epic, a certain brand of intensity should accompany a boss fight; the player shouldn’t feel relaxed, but more so overly engaged as to what is happening on screen.  I didn’t get that with Arkham City boss battles, but I did with Arkham Asylum (a la the Killer Croc sewer boss fight).

Silent Takedown in 3...2...1, then repeat

Some might think that I am being too critical of these encounters, but If I’m not who will be.  Boss fights are a cornerstone of gaming and in some cases are compiled to make an entire game (Shadow of the Colossus).  Arkham City fell short of capturing and recreating epic encounters between Bats and his entourage of villainous cast members.

Still play the game, just a few caveats

It is very obvious that I had some gripes with Batman: Arkham City, but like I said at the beginning of this article I didn’t hate Arkham City.  I also don’t want to dissuade you from playing this game; I just want you to know what you are getting when you purchase it.  Batman: Arkham City is a solid experience, I just believe all the hype and anticipation of the game elevated my expectations too high and was not met with like results.  So if you can look past my problems with the game you will find a game worthy of being played (maybe the DLC will pull me back in).  I fully expect to catch heat for this article so please comment on what you thought of Batman: Arkham City and whether or not my problems were problems for you.  As always follow us on Twitter @GamersAbstract and like us on Facebook for more content.


I don’t think I am the first person to discover this, but I will share it regardless.  Before playing Batman: Arkham City I choose to run some downloads in the background as to multitask and also give me something to look forward to after my Batman session had concluded.  Not a bad idea right, thinking ahead and trying to stream line my day’s events.  Lets just say that I was wrong, but not knowing I was going to be wrong (strange feeling).  Every time one of my random Indie Games finished downloading a prompt would show up on screen in Arkham City saying that new DLC was discovered and would return me to the main menu (which confused the hell out of me).  This happened to me on a combat challenge map where I was about to get a 3 star score and completely screwed up my run.  I was pretty pissed to say the least.  I figured it was just an isolated glitch, so I returned to the combat challenges in an effort to replicate my performance from the previous run.  BOOM!  It happens again, now I am beyond perturbed because I had that 3 star run going and was about to KO the last enemy.

So the moral of the story is until Rocksteady patches this problem do not download anything in the background because it will bring you back to the main menu without a choice thinking it is DLC for Arkham City.  Learn from my woes and do not repeat the same mistake because it will drive you insane too.

I will try and investigate this problem more and I will post something on Twitter when said problem is fixed.  As always follow us on Twitter @GamersAbstract and like us on Facebook.  Stay tuned for more news and enter our Batman Giveaway for a chance to win Batman: Gotham Knight in digital form.

[Note: This is on the Xbox 360 version of the game, unaware if the same problem exists on PS3]

Batman Giveaway

Posted: October 18, 2011 by Tim Utley in Contests and Giveaways
Tags: , , ,

Digital Copy is up for grabs

In the spirit of Batman: Arkham City’s release I am going to be giving one lucky reader a digital copy of Batman: Gotham Knight for their viewing pleasure.  How do you become eligible for such an awesome prize, let me tell you.

  • You must follow us on Twitter @GamersAbstract
  • You must like our Facebook page

Those are the two incredibly simple steps for entry, but here is one more that is crucial.

  • You must answer this question in the comments section of this post
    • Who is your favorite superhero and why?  Please respond with some thoughtful answers.  No one liners are allowed so do not waste your or our time.  Also you must include your @Twitter name so we know who to DM if you win.

This giveaway will conclude this Sunday, October 23rd.  We will choose our winner at random on that day.  A direct message will be sent to your Twitter account to request an email address for the redemption code to be sent to.  We look forward to your responses so have at it folks.