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Batman Arkham Asylum

Batman: Arkham Asylum

Video Game Cat Review

Date of Review: January 29, 2012
Format Reviewed:
  Xbox 360
Language / Country of Origin:   English.
Online capability:
None.
Prequels:
None.
Sequels:
Batman: Arkham City
Equipment Needed: None.
Maintenance Required:
 None.

Review:

Plot:  
With the help of his girlfriend, Harley Quinn, the Joker escapes incarceration just moments after Batman personally delivers him to Gotham’s infamous prison, Arkham Asylum.  The plot was rigged as Joker’s escape is catalyzed by his henchmen who have rendered the Asylum, an island off the coast of Gotham’s shores, a veritable madhouse.   Batman must rescue guards and defy the Joker’s schemes of unleashing Arkham’s most notorious inmates into Gotham City’s thriving population.  Only Batman stands between the unsuspecting people of Gotham and the Joker’s most terrifying psychotic intentions.

Cultural / Historical Value:
Batman: Arkham Asylum is a highly critically acclaimed title (having been nominated for and won many awards) that has had wide commercial success.  Numerous players have praised the game’s developers for its realistic gameplay – allowing players to experience what it is really like to “be” Batman.

Teaching / Learning Characteristics: 
Consistent with all of the awards it was nominated for and won, this game is well-balanced – with rich, clear graphics, compelling storytelling and incredible gameplay that should be modeled for future game development projects.  Unlike most action-adventure or fighting titles, one cannot win fights with simple button-mashing.  Playing Batman: Arkham Asylum involves strategy, finesse and stealth.  One often must sneak up on opponents in order to take them down.  The game hones in on a person’s focus and skills to provide a virtual reality experience unlike most other games.

Likely Audiences:
Although Batman takes down most opponents without killing them (rather, he knocks them unconscious), the game is downright creepy at moments and not designed for the lighthearted.  The plot is mature in nature, involving crazed lunatics and hardened felons.  Although children might be interested in Batman, they should probably stay away from this title.  Older Batman fans and comic-book aficionados will find much to love about this title.  Those looking for a solid entertainment in a game should try this title.

Replay Value: 
This game is intensely entertaining and can be replayed fairly quickly once it is mastered.  There are several difficulty levels that add replay value to the title.  Further, there are numerous side-missions that exist outside the main plot that give Batman: Arkham Asylum added depth.

Overall Score:
99/100

Other Reviews:
1up.com
Gamerankings
Gamespot
Metacritic
MobyGames

 

About the Author:
Ben Bigalke is an avid traveler, bicycle enthusiast, lover of animals and video gamer extraordinaire.  He grew up taking the stories and virtues told by the Nintendo of his childhood to heart.  As an adult, he continues to appreciate the entertainment and learning experiences that videogames offer and studies the technological and artistic advancements they have made throughout his lifetime.  As a videogame reviewer, he enjoys both observing and experiencing the cultural impact that these games have on his generation.

Awards

Award Giver Category Verdict
Spike Video Game Awards 2009Best Action Adventure Game Nominee
Golden Joystick Awards 2009One to Watch Award Nominee
Spike Video Game Awards 2009Best Graphics Nominee
Spike Video Game Awards 2009Best Voice
(Arleen Sorkin as Harley Quinn)
Nominee
Spike Video Game Awards 2009Best Voice
(Mark Hamill as The Joker)
Nominee
Spike Video Game Awards 2009Best Xbox 360 Game Nominee
Spike Video Game Awards 2009Game of the Year Nominee
Spike Video Game Awards 2009Studio of the Year
(Rocksteady Studios)
Winner
GAME British Academy Video Game Awards 2010Action Nominee
Golden Joystick Awards 2010Action/Adventure Game of the Year Runner Up
Interactive Achievement Awards 2010Adventure Game of the Year Nominee
GAME British Academy Video Game Awards 2010Artistic Achievement Nominee
GAME British Academy Video Game Awards 2010Best Game Winner
Game Developers Choice Awards 2010Best Game Design Winner
Game Developers Choice Awards 2010Best Writing Nominee
GAME British Academy Video Game Awards 2010GAME Award of 2009 Nominee
Game Developers Choice Awards 2010Game of the Year Nominee
Interactive Achievement Awards 2010Game of the Year Nominee
GAME British Academy Video Game Awards 2010Gameplay Winner
GAME British Academy Video Game Awards 2010Original Score Nominee
Interactive Achievement Awards 2010Outstanding Achievement in Adapted Story Winner
Interactive Achievement Awards 2010Outstanding Achievement in Animation Nominee
Interactive Achievement Awards 2010Outstanding Achievement in Game Design Winner
Interactive Achievement Awards 2010Outstanding Achievement in Game Direction Nominee
Interactive Achievement Awards 2010Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Composition Nominee
GAME British Academy Video Game Awards 2010Story Nominee
GAME British Academy Video Game Awards 2010Use of Audio Nominee
Interactive Achievement Awards 2010Outstanding Achievement in Character Performance
(Mark Hamill as The Joker)
Winner

Additional Info

ESRB Description:
Alcohol and Tobacco Reference, Blood, Mild Language, Suggestive Themes, Violence

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