Party Aftermath

I woke up bright and early in the morning and blearily wondered who might have sneaked into my apartment during the night and shoved a wad of cotton into my mouth. I got up, drank some water, and then went back to bed. A couple hours later, I got up, drank some water, and after all that strenuous activity, had a nap on the couch. After my nap, I settled into a hot bath with my PSP and started Disgaea Infinite, which I sadly do not love. I should like it, as the premise is essentially that you’re playing through a choose-your-own adventure story, where you can possess characters and influence their actions, but instead of feeling like a game, it feels like an interminable cut-scene, which makes me feel antsy instead of having fun. I’ll give it a little more time as playing while hungover wasn’t exactly giving it a fair chance, but I definitely prefer the strategy-tactics games in the series.

After giving up on Disgaea for the day, I took a glance at my huge pile of shame (unfinished, or in some cases, not even started games), and decided it was time to work on it some. The first game I popped in was Batman: Arkham Asylum which I love. Action games tend to be hit-or-miss for me, it seems like a lot of them have one gimmick that they beat to death while you’re beating the same bad guys to death over and over and over again in settings that all look the same–this one got great reviews, which caused me to pick it up, but my own apprehension about the genre caused me to let it sit neglected on my shelf for months. I shouldn’t have waited so long. Everything about it is awesome. The gadgets you get to use aren’t gimmicky. Combat is uncomplicated, well-animated, and wholly satisfying. It’s equally satisfying whether you jump into the middle of a crowd of ten guys and go nuts beating the hell out of everyone or perch atop something high and wait for a patrolman to pass below, swoop down, and silently choke him, lay him to the ground, and disappear back into the shadows before the other guards even know what’s happening. You feel like Batman in this game, whether you’re gliding through the night or just nonchalantly strolling down some stairs (Yes, I make Batman take the stairs sometimes. It keeps him humble.) All of the Riddler puzzles are well-executed, and there are hundreds upon hundreds of tiny details that make it clear that the developer actually gave a damn about the franchise and making a good game. They didn’t just make a good game. They made a great one, the only worthy Batman game in existence. I intend to finish it tonight–if I hadn’t had to get up for work today, I probably would have finished it last night. My only nitpick is the design of Arkham itself: my inner vision of an insane asylum is that of one with intentions to rehabilitate its patients, and the treatment wards in Arkham all look like elaborate torture chambers. No wonder the criminally insane in Gotham stay criminally insane and take others down with them!

27 Comments Party Aftermath

  1. geekmiztrezz July 6, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    I absolutely loved playing Arkham Asylum. Everything about that game was just excellent…I almost hated finishing it!

    1. admin July 6, 2010 at 10:00 pm

      Part of me will hate finishing it, and part of me will be proud of removing at least one more title from my Pile of Shame. I forgot to even mention the Scarecrow parts which I found to be totally awesome.

      1. geekmiztrezz July 6, 2010 at 10:09 pm

        The Scarecrow bits were very cool, indeed.
        I am kinda mad that we sold that game, now I kinda want to play it again.

        1. admin July 6, 2010 at 10:19 pm

          I rarely ever (borderline never) sell/trade in games. My brother traded in all the games and ‘family’ systems, and it still makes me feel ill thinking of all the awesome that I’m not going to be able to get my hands on again, particularly in good condition. Movies? CDs? Unless they were extremely small-print indie things, you can pretty well purge your collection and find what you want again online if you ever get a hankering, but once a console generation has passed, good luck finding the game you want again. I am mad as hell at myself for not picking up Operation Genesis (SO MUCH FUN) when it was in abundance because now the price tag on it is insane and I won’t pay it. :\

  2. lightningflash July 6, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    It’s equally satisfying whether you jump into the middle of a crowd of ten guys

    hell, that’s just a Saturday night for me!

    1. admin July 6, 2010 at 10:19 pm

      hahahahaha oh my!

      1. lightningflash July 6, 2010 at 10:21 pm

        or sometimes a Tuesday, if that’s just the way the week is going. 😀

        1. admin July 6, 2010 at 10:22 pm

          I envy you and your clearly wonderful lifestyle. 🙁

          1. lightningflash July 6, 2010 at 10:37 pm

            oh, it’s totally all in my head. But I have an awesome fantasy life!

          2. admin July 6, 2010 at 11:26 pm

            …most of my fantasies involve shouting the phrase “DEATH FROM ABOVE!!”

  3. pretzelcoatl July 6, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    I’ve owned Arkham Asylum but I still haven’t actually played it because I’ve been borrowing stuff from friends and playing them first. I’m tempted to begin a game of it sometime this week, though, since even though I like Tales of Vesperia, I’m afraid that too much JRPG in my bloodstream will be fatal.

    1. admin July 6, 2010 at 11:13 pm

      DO IT. I think you’ll like it a lot!

  4. shadowwolf13 July 7, 2010 at 2:18 am

    Hi! I just wanted to drop you a note and let you know that people were saying nice things about you.

    Please feel free to stop by and read the comments, add your love to others, or spread the word to your friends. You might want to track your thread so you’ll know when new comments come in for you as this continues to grow.


    1. admin July 7, 2010 at 7:19 am

      Thank you for the heads-up! 🙂

      1. shadowwolf13 July 7, 2010 at 11:34 am

        You’re very welcome! 🙂

  5. xeross609 July 7, 2010 at 5:23 am

    This post makes me really want to get the Batman game. But I too have a pile of games I need to get through as well.


    1. admin July 7, 2010 at 7:18 am

      With all the shiny new games attracting my attention, it’s a wonder that I ever finish anything.

      What ones are you working on?

      1. xeross609 July 7, 2010 at 3:27 pm

        Disgaea 3, Resonance of Fate(don’t really recommend, due to there being no coherent story), GoWIII, Bayonetta, Red Dead Redemption. I was going for 100% on FFXIII but decided that was just silly and my time was better spent with other games.

        1. admin July 7, 2010 at 4:55 pm

          Nice! Red Dead Redemption is on my must buy/play list but I am forcing myself to finish some things I own first, too. I haven’t ever played anything to 100% completion–I lack either the dedication or the skill or both. There’s a chance I’ll come close with Arkham Asylum, though.

  6. pezking124 July 7, 2010 at 12:04 am

    Yeah, Arkham Asylum surprised us all with its unexpected awesomeness. Love it. And the story is really good, to boot!

    1. admin July 7, 2010 at 7:19 am

      I am so, so close to beating it. I can feel it. But too far to finish tonight. Maybe tomorrow. 🙁

  7. irrationalrobot July 7, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    Are you playing Arkham on an xbox? If so, I’ve heard a BRILLIANT rumor about the scarecrow level that I need to confirm. 🙂

    Arkham-wise: Yeah, Jeremiah Arkham had some really odd ideas about mental health- such as keeping the crazies in their costume (as they might, you know, “get worse” if you dressed them up normally).

    I’ve had two story ideas rolling around in my skull for awhile set in Arkham:
    1. Humor piece: “Arkham HR.” So given the turnover rate for orderlies at the asylum, what do you think the interview process is like? Q: “Everything looks pretty well-staffed here, are you expecting a lot more patients?” A: “No, we pretty much hire all the time. It’s Tuesday, we’ll probably need you by Friday.”
    2. (no title) Some sort of natural disaster (earthquake, something) leaves Arkham cut off from the outside world, and the chief psychiatrist in need of emergency surgery. The only person with the medical training to do it is Jonathan Crane, aka Scarecrow- who still fancies himself a pretty talented doctor. But do you give the Scarecrow a scalpel and access to his head tormentor?

    1. admin July 7, 2010 at 5:02 pm

      Yup, I tend to prefer games on Xbox if only because I get a little thrill when I earn achievements. One day I’ll get Live and wave my game-skill penis around.

      I’m quite sure I’m done with all the Scarecrow stuff in the game–ask away!

      I like both of those story ideas! I’d also like to see a blend of Batman’s Arkham with Lovecraftian Arkham.

      1. irrationalrobot July 7, 2010 at 5:40 pm

        If you aren’t sure you’re done with Scarecrow, I’m not talking. 🙂 Just play on, lady!

        1. admin July 7, 2010 at 5:47 pm

          I am very sure I am done with Scarecrow, I’m down to the last two boss battles.

          1. irrationalrobot July 7, 2010 at 10:36 pm

            I had heard a rumor that during the Scarecrow boss-battle, he freaking Red-Rings your xbox. Yep, the rumor I heard is that the game code talks directly to the xbox machine, and says “make the ring of light blink red in the player 2, 3, and 4 spots,” which would make it look like your console had a hardware failure.

            If this is true- it is the coolest thing a video game has done in a long, long time. 🙂

          2. admin July 7, 2010 at 10:45 pm

            It didn’t red-ring mine–I know this because I looked over at my xbox in a panic when the screen went pixelated because I genuinely believed I’d had a hardware failure of some kind at that moment. Way to trigger my fears, Scarecrow!

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