I have been playing Batman Arkham Asylum for the last week and overall I am hugely impressed. Its a very good PC port of a very good game. The ambience and the voice acting are on a par with the best that Hollywood has to offer. Mark Hamill's Joker in particular is Oscar worthy in my opinion.
Unfortunately I have hit a problem. I am at the final boss fight and I am struggling to pull together the motivation to try and overcome it. I know exactly why too. Arkham Asylum is at heart a third person action game. Part of that tradition is a complicated combat system involving fancy moves and combo's.
I have managed to get through the entire game up the final boss fight without intentionally using a single combo. Partly this is because the mouse and keyboard control scheme although generally very well done is not as combo friendly as a gampad. Partly it is because I have never really gotten into combo fighting games. Mainly however it is because I never really needed to learn to use the combos. I have used stealth and tactics and special weapons and on the few occasions where I really really really had to duke it out with my fists I just mashed buttons till it was over and that usually got me through after a re-load or two.
That strategy served me well right up to the final boss fight but here I am stumped. There is no option for stealth here, nor special tactics nor special weapons. This final battle requires you to pull off fisti-cuff combos or die. I could try my random button mashing approach but my initial attempts have convinced me that the odds are not good and the number of die and reloads involved before random chance pulls off a victory for me is likely to be unacceptably high. I could take a bit of time to learn how the combo system works and practise them until I am sufficiently skilled to pull off a victory but that sounds like hard work just to see a final cut scene.
I am feeling pretty bad about this game right now. I really enjoy finishing games and getting so far just to give up is is almost unthinkable. I am not sure I am prepared to do what it takes to overcome that final hurdle though.