“Batman: Arkham Asylum” Game Review

You know how I do reviews on movies? Well, I also do reviews for games. This superhero action-adventure video game was released on August 25th, 2009, and quickly sold over 2.5 million copies in the first two months. Developed by then-unknown developer Rocksteady, the game started out like it would be a generic Batman game, with a cool intro showing the titular hero dropping the Joker off at Arkham Asylum. Then he breaks out and takes over the prison. It’s up to you as Batman to stop him with all the sweet gadgets at your disposal. What follows is a series of well-executed levels. Including a few sections where you were in Scarecrow’s nightmare world, which broke the fourth wall through a fake game over screen, a segment where the game looked like it was broken and the hallucinatory middle stick on an N-64 controller. This masterfully created nightmare allows some of the fourth-wall breaks since Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem. The voice actors, from Caped Crusader Kevin Conroy to crazy sidekick Arleen Sorkin, is fantastic. But Mark Hamill steals the show in an unforgettable turn as the Joker, which is perhaps the best portrayal of the character since Heath Ledger. The visuals and characters scream that of the comics while the epic music is worthy of Christopher Nolan’s Batman Trilogy. Some fans may have initially been skeptical as to whether or not Batman could pull off his own game, given the history of awful licensed games. But it completely blew our expectations away. It’s one of the few games where you actually feel like the Caped Crusader. I have been playing this game over and over since its release.

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