Batman: Arkham Asylum

Batman: Arkham Asylum is like drinking a Coke in a glass bottle from the freezer after working in the yard for a few hours. There simply isn’t anything better. A game that approximates being Batman, even roughly, crudely, is an astounding feat. The source material is lovingly respected, it’s got Harlequin, and Mark Hamill voices Joker, having apparently recorded dozens of hours of the Clown Prince of Crime taunting Batman from afar.  I really could not ask for more from a game. The single-player experience was wonderful, and the challenge modes continue to be endlessly entertaining, especially the downloadable content level that allows the Dark Knight to fight limitless hordes of asylum inmates.  I suppose I could have asked for more boss fights, and perhaps a little less Scarecrow, but I simply am not in the mood to complain in the slightest.

My favorite conceit about Batman is his apparently limitless ability to plan ahead, which makes any “real” superpower pale in comparison (that fact that Joker has a similar ability contributes to their many parallels).  My oh-snap moment in the game (very mild spoiler) is when Batman offhandedly mentions that he has built a spare Batcave in Arkham… a massive undertaking done solely  in case the asylum is ever overrun. When asked how the hell he managed to do that without anyone knowing, he replies, “It’s me, remember?”

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