Saturday, February 18, 2012

Arkham overcome x 2

I managed to complete the campaign of Batman Arkham City without too much difficulty despite fears about my lack of controller prowess. By the way I loved the Catwoman sequences. Catwoman is every bit as good as Batman in a fight but feels far stealthier to play.

I cannot claim to have mastered combo fighting but I do seem to have developed an adequate grasp of the basics. Switching from keyboard to game pad helped a lot but perhaps the biggest lesson learned was to just slow everything down. The bad guys telegraph their moves well in advance and the game gives you a surprising amount of time to make the appropriate response. My previous button making was doing more harm than good.

Embarrassing admission: It wasn't until the final chapters of the game that I realised "Press B+Y" means press the two buttons at the same time rather than sequentially. No wonder I had difficulty pulling off special combos up to that point.

After completing the campaign I finished off a few side missions (Freeze and Bane). I even made a start at rescuing hostages from Riddler but then I realised I would have to uncover some 400 secrets to complete Riddler's quest line. No thanks, if I wanted to grind I would go play an mmo.

Anyway  completing City gave me the confidence to go back to Arkham Asylum where I had been  stuck at the final mission for over a year. It took me a few tries to get used to the differences in combat but pretty soon my new found controller skills proved up to the task of laying low Joker's henchmen and putting a smack down on the titan infested comedian himself.

MB(atman)P:2  Joker:0

Comparing the two games was interesting. Arkham City is definitely the more polished game particularly in combat. Combat in Asylum feels clunky at times and you can easily get yourself into positions where you cannot avoid being hit. City has more varied combat options and also has a few subtle changes (like the ability to block multiple opponents)  which seem to make everything flow more fluidly. Arkham City's open world setting is much more ambitious than Asylum's relatively on rails approach.  Having an open world to play in does come with a cost however. After a while jumping off one tall building feels pretty much like jumping off any other and the game begins to feel more repetitive than Asylum did. All in all I think Arkham City is a worthy successor to Arkham Asylum but it doesn't replace it. Both games are still very worth playing. 

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