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Video Game of the Week – Batman: Arkham Asylum

Batman's place among the upper-echelon of comic book and movie superheroes has always been a little questionable. Unlike Superman, Spider-Man and, more recently, Mr. Incredible, Batman is just your average rich guy, who has used his wealth, his admirable intellect, and a collection of super-gadgets to turn himself into something special.

Perhaps this ordinary guy background is the reason why there have been so few memorable Batman video games over the years. The Caped Crusader is just a little out of place among the Fantastic Four and the other heroes and freaks that, for example, inhabit the successful Marvel vs. Capcom games.

That has all changed with Batman: Arkham Asylum, the excellent new release from Eidos Interactive for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

The fun starts with the game set-up and story line: Batman has finally captured The Joker and is transporting him back to the asylum, tightly secured in the back of the Batmobile. However, there is a sense of unease and, sure enough, the Grinning One soon breaks free and is running Arkham Island as part of his grand plan. Of course, as Batman only you can stop him!

Batman's absence of truly super powers becomes one of the strengths of the game, as you are forced to use not only your considerable fighting skills, but also your intelligence to devise tactics, solve riddles, and select the right tools from a dizzying array of gizmos and gadgets to get the job done. The voice work and graphics are incredibly well produced, creating the trademark dark and gritty images of Batman's world and changing perfectly in tune with the state of game play.

There are over 240 puzzles to solve in Arkham Asylum, everything from classic riddles from The Riddler himself to locating hidden tapes and maps of the facility. Regardless of whether you are a fan of Batman comics or the hugely successful Batman movies, Batman: Arkham Asylum does an outstanding job of turning you into one of fiction's greatest crime-fighting action characters. Never mind if Batman can't really fly or trap you in a web; by the time you've finished solving the clues and taking it to the bad guys, you'll definitely feel like a superhero.

Batman: Arkham Asylum is rated Teen (age 13 and older) for violent action, blood stains, and some (mild) adult language.

Publisher: Eidos Interactive

Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

RRP: $59.99

ESRB Rating: "Teen" for age 13 and older

Comment by ryan, posted 10/22/2011, 5:36 PM:

i love this game
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