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I am Batman.

i have always been a bit of a fan of Batman. not really a big one, because i haven’t read or seen much about Batman, but well. i love him as a superhero, because he barely is one at all, because he has no super powers, but is nothing more than a guy with martial art skills and way too much money, with a scattered life behind him.
he is a fragile being, totally destroyed and from my point of view always had this strange suicidal flaire around him. yeah, strange, i know.

i remember watching the (first four) movies when i was a child. i couldn’t really differ between them, because i was still little. i remember the animated series, but only a bit. i don’t even know anymore if i watched it regulary or not. i didn’t watched the new films, because their trailers did not look very promising. but with the release of the new game, Batman: Arkham Asylum, i thought i should really recap the whole Batman-universe for me by watching all the movies in chronologically correct order and play the game parallely.
that is was came out of it:

The Burton movies.
Batman and Batman Returns, the two movies that Tim Burton made are, to be exact, brilliant!
now i really understand why i was so focused on the later Batman movies, when i was a child. i watched Batman in TV when i was like… 7 or 8 or so. and was impressed. later when it came on TV i watched Returns, and hell it was even greater. the dark tone of those movies weren’t a topic for me. i watched those with my parents and they didn’t seem to care for themself. today i of course see them as really dark and depressive movies. the whole atmosphere and all… well, those are typical Burton movies. and Burton is awesome.
still those two movies are the best that the Batman universe ever spawned. and i am still so impressed by what those were all about: the characters!! not only the Jokler played by Jack Nicholson, but all the other characters, like Catgirl and Penguin and so on… are simply put totally brilliant staged. classics, fullstop.

The Schumacher movies.
Batman Forever and Batman & Robin. holy shit, no. those didn’t happen. we don’t talk about them, seriously, they are THAT BAD.
if you never watched any of those two, please never do so. if you don’t believe me, well, give them a try, but i guarantee you, it’s really hard to watch them to the end. because they are crap.
and i decided to skip watching them. at least it tried.

The Nolan movies.
Batman Begins and The Dark Knight are the most recent installments of the series, and kinda started a whole new parallel storyline. again.
i never watched those until recently. people already asked me quite often before that why i never watched them and well, sorry guys, but i am not that kind of movie watcher who is that easily caught by typical holywood scheme money machines. and based on the trailers and the actors and the facts i had to judge from, those looked exactly like one of those. and you know what? now that i have seen them i can be for sure that i was totally right with it. sorry.
i mean, don’t get me wrong: for what they are, they both are great movies indeed! the villains were great, the actors did really good. i can’t really complain about the main storyline, the editing and the direction was quite okay, up to good. i can totally understand why even respectworthy film critics love them, especially the Dark Knight. but I for once am a completely other categorie. why? because i can not oversee what is crap about them, namely: the nonsense action scenes, the bad one-liners, the badly drawn Batman-character, and especially the whole approach on the story.

don’t know what i meant with the last? then let me explain it, it’s quite simple when you think about it for a sec. (if you know what i meant, skip to the next paragraph)
the whole concept about the two Nolan movies was to put the Batman universe into OUR reality. not really the DC universe as we know it, but it tried to be as realistic as possible. but that wouldn’t work that well, imo. see, Batman and everything around it in the DC universe is overdrawn as hell. because those are comic worlds! they won’t work in the real life. just watch a Burton movie and try to focus on what of what you see wouldn’t work that way in the real world, and you’ll see what i mean.
so, Nolan tried that approach and actually, i think, he did extremely well!! the villains for example were done extemely well. we all like the new Joker, but why is that? because he is a realistic Joker, like he would have been in real life. he just looks and acts like a real guy who went completely mad for reasons we all know too well. a poor guy, whom we can sympathize with. he is crazy, and we understand him. we can even see his fears and feel his insecurity. other characters doubt his seriousness. and that all are characteristica real people have. the old Joker from the Burton movies doesn’t have all those characteristics. it wouldn’t work that other way around and never should have, because Burtons movies, and the whole Batman universerse so far, have ever been overdrawn cartoons.
Nolan did this well with the villains, but that was pretty much all. in every other aspect that totally failed. extremely hard.
the story for example doesn’t make much sense anymore. i mean, he was trained in Tibet to become a ninja. wait, really? oh, how stupid is that. even in the comics that would have sound stupid. or later they name countries like China and so one. seriously? Gotham City in the same world as China?? that’s not right, that won’t work. they could at least changed the name to New York or something.
other things include, Batman was afraid of bats?? seriously?? and scarecrow is only a guy with a gunnysack over his head, but Batman still is a guy in a rubber bat suit. seriously??
and then at some point the illogical holywood action shit started, with Batman driving in his fucking TANK over rooftops and shit… come on guys, this is sooo terrible.

i could watch Begins until the end, and felt horrible for what happened to my Batman. okay, Schumacher did WAY WORSE, but still Begins was pretty bad. it was really good for what it was, but it was crap. and when i realised that the Dark Knight is the same shit all over again, i stopped watching somewere in the middle of the movie.
okay, Joker was cool, i love Ledger, but this wasn’t worth it, really.

Batman: Arkham Asylum.
and that one positively surprised me. as a superhero game it did really really good!
well, to be honest, Batman isn’t a real superhero so there was no big thing they had to accomplish that would tag it as a “superhero game”, but still it is what it is, and that is a real superhero game that is really really good.
graphics: best. they took the best engine every created, namely the Unreal Engine, and made the best out of it. it’s looks great and the style is also quite nice. you can play it on PC and set every options on max and you’re good. awesome.
gameplay: wow, really good. you have to play quite a lot (and yes, i did that) to realise the few flaws in it, but basically you get a really fluid and most of all sophisticated gameplay. the interface is well-thought and it plays really intuitive. and you can do so many things with the ungoing game, but still you manage to easily do and use all of them easily.
story: yeah, really good. some things might seem a little bit out of place, but basically you get a typical batman-like storyline, that is really well staged and all.
characters: great. simply great. you can totally see how much effort they put into the characters in this game. they are SO DETAILED, and not only in a graphic way. their psychology and characteristica is really well thought-out. plus plus. and Mark Hamill did the Joker, awesome.
unlockables/replay-value: quite good. you have dozens of things to accomplish, like collecting stuff and solving small riddles. and you really get the feeling that those are worth the effort. you can unlock things like character bios (and hell of a lot of them, like one for every character who ever appeared in a Batman comic – like 90% of those aren’t even in the game!!), challenges, side stories, chracter trophies and so on. it’s reallly great. the replay-value isn’t that great, because you can get reach the 100% in one difficulty and when starting a new run on another level of difficulty you have to start again, and regarding the sheer mass of unlockables you won’t find yourself in the mood to do so and start all over again.

theonly real bad thing about this game is the messed up difficulty.
i played on medium and basically it was way too easy for me. okay, i am a pro gamer (hehe), but then this happened: i unlocked some challenges, which are Combat and Predator challenges. Combat are just fighting one round after another against a shitload of enemies, Predator is about stealth and killing enemies on specific ways. the Predator challenges were as easy as the game, i even finished the las one of them (labeled as “extreme”) in the first try. BUT the Combat challenges are absurdly HARD. and i mean ABSURDLY hard.
the first few, they were okay, but when you later unlock the harder ones it’s just amazingly hard to even survive them. and to reach the high score, which you need if you want to reach the 100%, you have to play like PERFECT. and in order to be able to do so, at least it’s with me that way, you have to train hard. for hours. many and many of ’em. i have no clue if either they fucked that up really bad, or if i’m missing something here. i could oversee something, but i don’t consider being simply plain too bad with the game, since the main game was such a piece of cake. dunno.
right now i am at 96%, i could reach toe 97% or even the 98%, but beyond that may be a dream… do i have the time and effort to get the 100%? can’t tell yet, time will show.

so, to sum up the game: play it.
it is easily the fourthed best game of the past few months, right behind Mirror’s Edge, BioShock and Assassin’s Creed. not the best game ever, it’s not very innovative, but it’s great for what you have and with what you have this game just made it perfect. hard to top that.

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last modified: 2010-Nov-28, 13:22:35
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