Arkham Asylum EP7: Scarecrow O’clock

By Shamus Posted Wednesday Jun 24, 2015

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 95 comments

Link (YouTube)

Whelp, Arkham Knight is out. I wanted to start Arkham Asylum a few weeks before the launch of AK. I knew that once the game was out, comparisons would be unavoidable, and I wanted Arkham Asylum to stand on its own for a few episodesSo we ended up comparing it to Arkham City for 6 episodes. We tried..

Mumbles brings up the subject of Joker’s taunting not being annoying. Like Mumbles, I thought it was a lot of fun. Like GlaDOS and Handsome JackYour mileage may vary., it’s fun to hear from a well-acted, cleverly-written foe. Their taunting is a reward for progress.

But the other side of that coin is that there’s nothing that sucks all the joy out of a videogame quite like a dumb adversary. If we define a spectrum with GlaDOS on the high end and Kai Leng on the bottom, then Arkham Knight falls on the very low end of the spectrum. He’s much too similar to Kai Leng for my taste. He’s got the same voice actorThe amazingly talented Troy Baker, who I don’t blame for this., the same “jackass high school punk calling you a cheater when he loses in Counter-Strike” delivery, a “trying too hard to be cool” costumeTo be fair, Batman is probably guilty of this, too., the ability to poof in and out of the scene at the whim of the writers without regard to reason or means, and the same super-power where he makes you fight like a complete dumbass in cutscenes. Arkham Knight is just a milder version of the same horrible approach to motivating the player.

His lines are repetitive, pestering, and not particularly clever. But while he’s annoying, I just can’t work up the energy to hate him more than the main villain, the Batmobile. (See my Twitter feed for my four-day rant about that.)

At the fifteen minute mark I try to describe using the takedowns with the mouse and keyboard controls. I was just guessing and I’m sure I got the details all wrong. On the controller, the upper-right buttonsY+B for Xbox, Triangle+Circle for Playstation. does an instant-knockout while the upper leftY+X or Triangle+Square. buttons will disarm a foe and destroy their weapon. These pairs fit nicely under your thumb so you can hit both buttons cleanly. It’s not so nice on the keyboard. Worse, your left hand is already doing WASD for movement and now you’ll need to put some of those fingers to work hitting attack buttons. I don’t think this is a case of bad porting; I honestly have no idea how you could improve on what we have. This is just a game that was designed for a controller in the same way that Civilization is designed for a mouse, and using a different input system is unavoidably going to be an awkward compromise.

In case it’s not clear: I’m really enjoying this season.



[1] So we ended up comparing it to Arkham City for 6 episodes. We tried.

[2] Your mileage may vary.

[3] The amazingly talented Troy Baker, who I don’t blame for this.

[4] To be fair, Batman is probably guilty of this, too.

[5] Y+B for Xbox, Triangle+Circle for Playstation.

[6] Y+X or Triangle+Square.

From The Archives:

95 thoughts on “Arkham Asylum EP7: Scarecrow O’clock

  1. ehlijen says:

    Is the third paragraph comparing AK’s Joker to Kai Leng (I think this is the right interpretation)? Or AK’s Joker to AA’s Joker? Or GlaDOS to something?

    I got a bit lost there. Help?

    1. krellen says:

      “Kai Leng on the bottom, then Arkham Knight falls on the very low end of the spectrum” means Arkham Knight is being compared to the stated bottom of said spectrum. So AK is being compared to Kai Leng.

      1. ehlijen says:

        That’s what I thought, but then it continues ‘He has the same voice actor…’

        Who is ‘he’ (AK’s villain isn’t named in the article) and who he share the same voice actor with? Or is the villain of AK called ‘Arkham Knight’? I thought Batman was the Arkham Knight.

        (I haven’t played the game, so my apologies if I’m confusing game and/or character names.)

        1. James says:

          so there is a Villain in Arkham Knight called Arkham Knight hes the B Villian to Scarecrows A Villian.

        2. Phrozenflame500 says:

          No there’s literally a villain in AK called “the Arkham Knight.” He’s this guy.

          I thought the same thing too, it’s kinda a confusing name.

            1. Dev Null says:

              Just call him Wayne K for short.

              1. MrGuy says:

                Or MISTER Arkham City.

          1. Mr. Son says:

            Did… did he get a blind person with tourettes to paint the triangle on his suit, or is that supposed to be the fakest looking blood splatter ever?

        3. krellen says:

          Batman is the Dark Knight. I, too, thought “Arkham Knight” referred to Batman until a few days ago – I have not been following the game news at all.

          1. ehlijen says:

            And suddenly I understand!

            Sorry for the confusion and thanks for the explanation, everyone :)

      2. Wide And Nerdy says:

        In defense of the Arkham Knight or whatever he calls himself, once you know who he really is, it totally makes sense that he behaves and dresses that way (being a jerk, trying too hard to be cool).

        1. dutyly says:

          Well, claiming that writers intended for Jason Todd to be annoying and petulant would start up another authorial intent flame-war. It’s already happened in Reddit and the Steamwork forum.

  2. SpiritBearr says:

    The Chalk outline was explained with saying Hugo Strange was being a dick to Bruce for Hugo Strange reasons.

    1. krellen says:

      I like the “Joker goes by every couple of weeks to redraw it” theory, because this is totally something Joker would do.

      1. Wide And Nerdy says:

        That made me laugh.

        Then I remembered that the Joker doesn’t know Batman’s secret identity, so why would he do that?

        But if he knew, then yes I agree he would.

        Then Batman would get some kind of chalk proof payment installed in the alley. It would be a whole thing.

      2. MrGuy says:

        Actually, Joker would have an elaborate blackmail scheme involving several public officials, a schoolbus driver, a struggling paralegal, a movie theater ticket taker, and an out-of-work lounge singer to threaten the children of a zookeeper in order to get the zookeeper to pay a bookie to bribe a police officer to use his Police Officer Outline Chalk to replace the outline every day.

        1. Wide And Nerdy says:

          With a smiley face.

    2. Mumbles says:

      that’s what i thought but i was too sleepy to be sure

    3. ? says:

      It’s a shame they didn’t make it visible only in detective vision. This way nobody except Batman knows the significance of this alley and having an achievement for finding an easter egg makes sense.

    4. Benjamin Hilton says:

      I actually really liked that because it made me want to get to Hugo that much more. However the outline is also there in Origins for absolutely no reason, and kinda showcases how that team didn’t really know what they were doing.

    5. Taellosse says:

      I know it was Hugo Strange, but I sort of feel like it’s almost something that Batman himself would do – he’s certainly obsessed enough about their deaths to warrant that sort of behavior. Although I think he’d manufacture a special kind of waterproof chalk to use, just so it would be sure to survive long enough that he wouldn’t have to come back every few days.

      I don’t know if this is still true after all the subsequent reboots, but back in the 80s, I know Batman would ritually go to Crime Alley on the anniversary of their deaths and leave a bouquet of roses at the spot they died.

  3. James says:

    So i’m going to use this space, to vent a little about B:AK under the guise of comparison.

    Someone said to me and i echo’d that the vehicle sections in AK are reminiscent of Gears of War’s car sections, stupid, arbitrary and not fun. then i began thinking what else was more Warsy, and i came to the idea that everything, everything is just more, more brutal then ever before, now take-downs look like they would straight up kill a man, rather then probably kill a man. Batmans suit is now a mecha armor suit like iron man. he has a Bat-Tank with a 60mm Howitzer for fuck sake. this is not Batman. and the hole game has that feel to me, its like the upped everything to 11 and it just felt like the progression we saw with Mass Effect, everything got more like GoW. (Venting done)

    Also about Kai Knight Arkham Leng. ugh that character was a shitty shoein, and really they should have done his actual back story really Its Jason Todd oh well we got more Mark Hamill as joker so im happy.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      As in flashback,right?The joker is still dead?Please tell me that they didnt resurrect him.

      1. Dovius says:

        Short answer: Joker is dead. Very dead. They literally cremate his corpse during the opening cutscene because this is a universe with shit like Lazarus pits and Batman doesn’t want to take chances.

        Detailed spoiler-y answer: Joker is very much dead, but he shows up in flashbacks and hallucinations partially caused by Scarecrow’s fear toxin. The fear gas in combination with the traces of Joker’s blood in Batman’s system also lead to a shade of the Joker trying to take Batman out mentally, but I’m unsure how that works in terms of him being alive or truly dead.

  4. Phrozenflame500 says:

    On the “chalk outlines” thing, I believe it’s Hugo Strange who drew it to taunt Batman since he leaves an audio log there for you to listen to. I do like the mental picture of him staring at a newspaper photo to draw the chalk lines in exactly the right position though.

    Anyways, I haven’t picked up Arkham Knight yet (and literally can’t now that they’ve taken it off sale) because of the technical issues I’ve heard about. Shame the Batmobile seems so intrusive, all Knight needed to be was fixing the combat that Origins broke, more gadget improvements, a bigger map and more villains. And it seems that aside from the Batmobile they’ve added all that which makes it even more disappointing.

  5. Dragmire says:

    Reading about your experiences with the Batmobile has been a delight.

  6. Merkel says:

    Along with Arkham Asylum’s Joker and GlaDOS, I would include Handsome Jack on the high end of villains who taunt you spectrum. I’m also partial to Ulysses in the Lonesome Road DLC for New Vegas.

    1. Alex says:

      A good obnoxious villain makes you hate them while a bad obnoxious villain makes you hate the developer, and Handsome Jack was definitely the former for me.

      1. Grudgeal says:

        Handsome Jack… Ehhhhh.

        I thought they tried too hard. I mean, from having him be the centre character of the trailers who narrated your characters’s abilities sarcastically, to the constant petty insults before we’d actually seen him do much in the gameplay (I know he tried to kill you in the opening cutscene, but that wasn’t in person enough), to how every line out of everyone else’s mouth is “you’re that guy who survived meeting Jack” and “we need Roland, he’s the only one who can help you stop Jack”, to how the entirety of Pandora all but became “Jacksville”, it just made me feel they’d dragged it out too far.

        I guess my problem with Jack is that the entire game pretty much defines *you* by your relationship to him rather than the other way around, like this is Jack’s story and you’re an antagonist whose role it is to blow up his stuff off-screen and then come in and shoot him in the end scene. Which, you know, worked in Portal, but in Portal‘s case it was because Chell and the environs were so minimalist so GLaDOS was the only fleshed-out story element to anchor everything to. In a world that was so expansive as Borderland‘s, with all these NPCs running around, hordes of bandit clans, megacorps, and the vault hunters (past and present) being such supposed badasses, it just annoyed me that this super-awesome guy just came out of nowhere and now the entire narrative is about stopping him. I just think he got too much screen-time; he felt not so much as just a villain as the raison d’àªtre of the whole game. And that’s not even going into the pre-sequel

        1. Ivan says:

          ” like this is Jack's story and you're an antagonist whose role it is to blow up his stuff off-screen and then come in and shoot him in the end scene.”

          I think this is exactly what they were going for but in retrospect I don’t think it really worked without a clear idea of what it is jack is doing and how your actions are affecting him. I never really felt like I understood how my actions would affect Jack before he started complaining about them, and considering all the damage we did to Hyperion throughout the game this was pretty rare. Then again as I try to remember everything we did throughout the game, I think like 80% of it was killing bandits and 20% was beating up Hyperion. So Jack never really wanted to kill us because we were a thorn in his side… I guess he thought we could possibly be a pain in his ass so he wanted us dead? But as a player we never had any motivation to want to kill Jack except for the fact that he tried to kill us, multiple times. It even feels more like self defense than a revenge story.

          Speaking of revenge, I thought that Jack killing Roland and Blooding was completely unnecessary and poorly contrived. It was just this silly fun kinda gallows humor world suddenly completely forgetting it’s sense of humor for a grim dark revenge story. Speaking of which, all the cameos from the original vault hunters were really annoying. Well I guess not all, Mordicai was ok and Brick was kinda funny, even if his voice actor sounds like he’s trying too hard. But Lillith and Roland just felt like cardboard cutouts rather than actual characters.

    2. ehlijen says:

      My problem with Ulysses in NV was that he kind of came out of nowhere. Throughout the game I was treated as a blank slate character, and I got used to that. Suddenly, here was this guy cryptically taunting me over a catastrophe I’d accidently caused before the game even began and I was being called ignorant for not knowing that thing that I’ve never been told about.

      I was confused more than threatened.

      1. Orillion says:

        There is a lot of half-hidden stuff during the normal game that goes into Courier Five and why he didn’t take the package and all that. It’s not completely out of left field, it’s just a bit confusing if you didn’t happen to find the exact letter on the corpse in the right town early in the game, etc.

        1. ehlijen says:

          I found the references to some courier that finagled to get the chip job to me before the game, but that reference had nothing on why he hated me, that I was an unknowing mass murderer or why he knew that.

          Specifically the ‘you delivered their destruction’ thing was out of nowhere because his constant taunting sounded like I was supposed to figure it out or feel bad for not doing so.

          He worked a lot better my second time through, when I did have a clue as to what was going on (I missed E-DE on my first play through as well, wasn’t a tech character), but not the first time.

      2. Grudgeal says:

        I agree. I know the team originally wanted him to be a character in the full game and not the DLC, and I think they didn’t think clearly enough about what limitations would come around by making him a fully-DLC character.

        If I may make a clumsy analogy, Lonesome Road feels a bit like watching the Wrath of Khan without having seen the original Star Trek episode Khan came from, if you removed all the scenes in Wrath of Khan that aren’t from Kirk’s point of view.

      3. Keeshhound says:

        I think that was partially intentional, in a gameplay-plot integration way; you don’t know what he’s talking about because the event he’s referring to was utterly insignificant to you, which ties into one of Lonesome Road’s themes (that of innocuous or thoughtless actions having enormous consequences.) On the whole, I think Ulysses works as an antagonist, but he plays hopscotch on the line between compelling and annoying.

        It’s that issue where if you’ve been paying attention throughout the main game and prior DLCs, you’ll have the foundations of an idea of what to expect from him, and you’ll have an inkling of what his deal is, but even then it’s only barely enough to make him compelling. If you miss any of that, or if any part of it didn’t work for you, he probably won’t either.

        1. ehlijen says:

          The theme of insignificant actions having consequences I’ll accept, but the stronger theme for me in this was scapegoating.

          Ulysses blames the player for bringing an item somewhere and that item then triggering a catastrophe. Why is that the player’s fault and not the fault of whoever commissioned that delivery?
          The player is a courier. Delivering mail without opening it is their job, and I hope we can all agree that mail privacy is something important to have.

          It was an accident on the player’s part, not carelessness. Carelessness implies that there was any way in which the event could have been avoided, but as far as we know, the player character never had the knowledge required. And so Ulysses feels like he’s a DM device to force arbitrary angst and guilt into the player’s head without really justifying it.

          As I said, on the second playthrough I got him (having seen the end and having played the DLC in the ‘correct’ order this time) and I see what the writers wanted to show. And I’ll agree with him being clever, if poorly scripted as opposed to dumb and obnoxious. Like Kreia he fell victim to the game not being built properly around him :(

    3. MrGuy says:

      Definitely prefer Dr. Boros from Fallout:NV.

    4. ehlijen says:

      How come Dr Breen isn’t on the list?

      He doesn’t come up as often, and doesn’t talk to Gordon that often, but he was a really effective (in a setting building way) face of the Combine, I thought (and from what I remember Shamus praised him similarly, and more eloquently).

  7. Quent says:

    With the way the game keeps on crashing I hope that when you get to the final Scarecrow section you all pretend that none of it’s supposed to happen the way it does…

  8. Ledel says:

    Today’s body count is in. Gotta say Josh, you’re taking it a little light on the beat-downs to start the week off.

    K.O.ed: 124

    Maimed: 13

    Killed: 7

    Today’s maims are brought to you by: Mook at 10:49, I really hope you weren’t planning on having babies…or walking in a way that didn’t look like an overexaggerated cowboy; and Mook at 13:45 the glint of shattered lightbulb glass accentuates the spinal fluid he is going to be leaking all over the floor.

    Edit: Also, clearly that explosive gel you see in the credits sequence is going to eat at me all week until we see it. The trolling, I feel it in my bones.

    1. Mintskittle says:

      Are you sure the 13:45 guy isn’t a kill? Cause it looks like Bats kicks him in the throat to me. I suppose he could survive if he got immediate medical attention, but just leaving him there for who knows how long could be life threatening with a crushed trachea.

      1. Ledel says:

        One of the rules I’m running with is that punches and kicks alone won’t produce a kill. It has to be something beyond that to actually kill someone (i.e. explosive gel to the face, Bats leaving a guy face down in a river of sewage).

        1. Mintskittle says:

          I can accept that.

  9. Jonathan Scinto says:

    I actually hated Handsome Jack. I wanted him to shut up, and I didn’t think he was funny. Although, I didn’t think anything in Borderlands 2 was funny.

  10. silver Harloe says:

    “why don’t they go into more of the background of Joker? why don’t explain why he’s such a bad dude?”

    Any explanation would be lame and unfulfilling. He’s best left as an elemental force of clownish evil. He has no origin, he just IS insane sadism made life (but actually saying that like it happened by magic or will of some deity would also be lame and unfulfilling). The less you say about the Joker’s origin the more you can make him any kind of insane, and the more believable his incurability.

    1. IFS says:

      Some works such as the Killing Joke have hinted at it, but always vaguely and where its not certain, which is really the only way to go about it. As Joker himself says “If I have to have a past, I prefer it be multiple choice”

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      To be fair,the first Burton movie managed to pull off telling the jokers story without ruining it.But it did that by not going too deep into batmans origin,like subsequent works.

      1. Merkel says:

        Except they made the Joker and Joe Chill the same person (Jack Napier), which I think was a mistake.

    3. Neil W says:

      Mumbles can, and probably should, speak for herself, but I got the idea that she was suggesting a flashback that shows why Batman thinks the Joker is such a bad dude. What piece of shared history keeps Bruce Wayne awake when he gets home at six in the morning, and what happened that has him waking up in a cold sweat and leaves the afterimage of a clown’s face appearing in the late lunch Alfred has prepared for him?

    4. Taellosse says:

      I think they just recently DID make Joker into some sort of avatar of madness in the comics, too. At least, he’s apparently immortal now, and has been around for centuries (supposedly this explains how he’s survived certain death so many times in the past, and how he lived through having his face cut off a year or two ago). I’m not clear whether he uses Lazarus pits like R’as Al-Ghul, or is just innately unkillable for reasons, but either way it was dumb.

      There are two characters in comics that should never have clearly-defined origins: The Joker and Wolverine. Both now have absurd and convoluted backstories that nail them down to having definite pasts, and it diminishes them both (although the Wolverine: Origin series itself wasn’t terrible, they’ve embellished it extensively since to a ridiculous degree. Last I heard, Wolverine is now not even a mutant anymore – he’s a member of a species of hominid that descend from wolves instead of apes).

      1. Ed says:

        I completely agree with your point, but wolverine being a wolf man descendant is only in the absolutely nuts earth x continuity.

  11. Ledel says:

    I can only imagine if the game crashing during Scarecrow sequences like this during their first playthrough. It would be interesting when it got to the sequence where that is pretty much supposed to happen.

    I just imagine that person thinking “Yeah, yeah, I know what to do here…” and resets their computer to try to fix it. They are getting more and more frustrated trying to find a solution just so they can finish the game. “At this point is it even worth trying to continue?” “I’ve already put 8 hours into this game, I should be reaching a big payoff with the Joker soon if I push forwards.”

    They continue down this path checking data logs and video drivers just trying to get it to work. After two weeks of trying to make it happen, they finally decide to just watch a Let’s play of the game. The video reaches that point in the game, and it dawns on our intrepid hero that it was supposed to happen.

    If only they had waited a little longer before closing the game. It’s too much, he can’t take it anymore, and cracks. He goes to the local Hot Topic and buys the entire supply of white and red face paint, and green hair dye. At the local Goodwill he finds a purple zoot suit not quite 2 sizes too big.

    And that’s where it all began…

  12. BitFever says:

    If you fail the save the hostages challenge at the start of the video, it does go off and kill them causing a game over screen.
    Having a game over from that and then the cutscene showing it to be a joke bomb is HORRIBLY frustrating and I think a terrible design decision.

    1. ehlijen says:

      Having it be a not/real bomb sounds being annoyingly unfair, I agree.

      But I liked the joke box. Reminds me of the Christmas episode of the Animated Series (Batman has to save hostages and the only way is to accept Joker’s ‘gift’. Batman’s face when the fully expected pie smacks into it was just golden.)

    2. Lachlan the Mad says:

      It’s the kind of dick move of which bad Choose Your Own Adventure stories are made… Lose the fight and the bomb is real, win the fight and it’s fake.

    3. MrGuy says:

      Definitely agree it’s unfair that the bomb is only real in some circumstances.

      That said, Batman wouldn’t be Batman if he let the Joker win. Ever.

      Batman can’t let Joker throw the baby carriage down the stairs, no matter how much he doubts there’s actually a baby in there, because he’s the Good Guy, and he must save everyone. It’s not enough that people survive – Batman has to WIN. He can’t rely on “probably,” he is compelled to disarm every trap and rescue every victim personally.

      It’s basically the premise of the game, if you think about it. Oh, Joker and all his goons have taken over an isolated compound on a small island? Great – we’ll be out here in boats. Call us when you’re starving and want to surrender. Have fun, guys!

  13. McNutcase says:

    How the special moves are supposed to work with mouse and keys (I know because I’m that crazy guy who played through the whole game that way and STILL put Arkham City on his wishlist) is that you hit Shift with your pinky and the mouse buttons then become the takedown or whatever.

    How it actually works is you just keep spamming attacks because seriously, it’s not like the combat is challenging, especially if you have enough mooks around to get your combo high enough to use the special moves. The Arkham games are all about Conservation of Ninjutsu, and the combat actually gets noticeably easier as the number of mooks involved increases.

    As for why Josh couldn’t do inverted takedowns: certain gargoyles in the records office are just placed wrong, so you can’t get mooks on either floor from them. It’s the ones around the central cross. All the other gargoyles let you hang dudes up from them just fine.

  14. “Whelp, Arkham Knight is out.”

    Aaaand, there it’s not… *laughs*

    Jim Sterling video on Arkham Night being pulled from steam.

    Jim did a quick play of it earlier and had lots of framerate issues.

    And here’s Total Biscuit doing a PC port review

    1. Wide And Nerdy says:

      Frankly, I’m kind of glad its failing. I’m still greatly annoyed by their incredibly asinine decision to sideline the successful gameplay of the series to make the Batmobile front and center. After a half hour, I’ve gone back to my Witcher 3 playthrough. I can’t say for sure if I’ll get to Arkham Knight even once I’m done with Witcher 3. I might pick up my Wasteland 2 playthrough or any number of other games I’ve been meaning to get back to. If I hadn’t got this as part of a video card refund, I’d be asking for my money back. It would be the first time I’ve ever sought a refund for a game because of the game sucking.

      I can understand adding the Batmobile but they should have put their toe in the water this outing and made the Batmobile mostly optional.

      1. Thomas says:

        I’m going to rant about it at a time when it can be in the context of how good Asylum is, but every game Rocksteady have released since gives more support to the idea that Arkham Asylum was a fluke instead of a stroke of genius.

        They’ve improved on things, but only by iteration and normally in a clumsy tacked on kind of way that doesn’t really mesh with everything else. And then they’ve iterated on things which it didn’t make sense to keep after Arkham Asylum (like the one-day time period complete with cape damage)

        1. Wide And Nerdy says:

          The genius was in the talent they imported from TAS, Dini, Conroy, Hamill, Tara Strong, etc.

          Could just be that the devs had finite inspiration. Some writers only have one good novel in them. Some game designers only have one set of inspiration for gameplay. They nailed it the first time and have scrambled when trying to add things since.

          That said, I like Arkham City better cuz freedom and gliding but I won’t argue with your preference. It may well be objectively a better game.

    2. guy says:

      It does show integrity to pull it for crippling technical issues, though they should probably have delayed the launch.

      Mind, apparently they’re just framerate and texture issues and the game is playable and presumably beatable, so it’s not entirely unreasonable to put it up for sale. Unlike certain other games.

      I also have to wonder what on earth happened for a port to cause that kind of problem. Don’t modern consoles run on the same architecture as PCs?

      1. Ivan says:

        Delayed the launch? Don’t you know? That wasn’t launch, that was their QA testing! Yeah, everyone who preorders the game get to be QA testers.
        Personally I’m looking forward to when the game finally gets outa beta, I’ll probably wait till I can get it for around $30 too.

  15. Spammy says:

    I played through both Asylum and City with only my keyboard and mouse, and I wasn’t too put off by them, except for the boss fights in City, where they changed how you quickfire gadgets. That was some real uncomfortable finger gymnastics that impaired my enjoyment of boss fights. For beating up mooks and doing predator segments I was feeling good though.

    Also, this was my favorite Scarecrow hallucination scene. The hallway keps resetting and growing more and more alley like while you hear the murders happening, and then Gordon comforting the young Bruce. I really enjoyed that scene. Especially, now that I think on it, the Gordon bit. I don’t know how much real Batfans care about this, but I’m a real fan of the idea that the small kindness that Gordon showed Bruce after his parents died is a real part of made made Bruce into Batman and not some unproductive moper or the Punisher. So confirming that in the Arkham games was something I appreciated.

    1. McNutcase says:

      Ugh, yeah, quickfire gadgets with mouse and keys are HORRIBLE. I just got past a puzzle boss where the solution is to quickfire explosive gel certain spots on the floor, and it’s HIDEOUSLY difficult to do that. I couldn’t pass that section with more than a sliver of health left, which made the part where Penguin shows up and spams rockets incredibly hard to pass, between inability to dodge fast enough and ridiculously damaging attacks. I really miss my one-key quick ‘rangs and quick claw.

      Really, though, the Arkham combat system is at its weakest against bosses. As Shamus keeps explaining, it’s most fun to cannonball around a big group of mooks. Most fun fight I had in Asylum was when Joker sent something like 20 guys to come try to beat on me. I don’t think I took a scratch.

      1. Bropocalypse says:

        I played City up to the point where you go into that fortress thing in the center and fight all those mooks that require the different gadgets… In retrospect, I should have used a controller. I didn’t have one at the time, though.

    2. 4th Dimension says:

      Played both of the games on the keyboard (now I’m itching to try it on a controler but the problem is I’m terrible at aiming using the analogue sticks) and yes it is doable by abusing those takedowns you get after you get your combo high enough, just spam the dakedowns to take out the bullshit mooks (knife, nightstick and shield ones). The normal ones are fine but anything else that reqires precisely timed cape stuns is a nightmare.

  16. lethal_guitar says:

    In case there are spoilers for Arkham Knight in this or one of the next episodes, please let us know!

    I’m currently playing it, but my gaming time is quite limited, so I’m not very far yet

    1. MrGuy says:

      To be fair, “Spoiler Warning” is right there in the name….:)

      1. Bropocalypse says:

        To be fair you expect spoilers for the game they’re actively playing, not necessarily a different one.

        1. The title is non-specific. I’ve heard more spoilers for Jade Empire on this site than anywhere else and they’ve never even played it for one episode.

  17. Thomas says:

    The original Driver also had pedestrians who were supernaturally good at jumping out of the paths of cars, no matter how hard you tried they always jumped away.

    I actually really enjoyed that, I wish the rest of the Driver games did that and I wish in general that more open world games where killing sprees aren’t on the table did that (or at least had pedestrians who are very very good at dodging)

    1. IFS says:

      LA Noire did that too, and even if you did somehow manage to hit someone they would just get back up, as if they fallen by barely stumbling out of the way rather than getting hit.

  18. Thomas says:

    If you guys hadn’t already played this game, it constantly crashing on the scarecrow sections would have a brilliant pay-off later on =D

  19. RTBones says:

    I am really starting to feel this ability Josh has to induce the cratering of otherwise working games at the silliest of times ought to have a descriptive moniker. So how about some new vocabulary? I propose:


    v. Joshersize, -ing, -ed – 1) to play an otherwise working game, or use a piece of software or operating system and causing it to break or crash at seemingly random or otherwise silly places and intervals.

    adj. Joshersize – 2) the act of playing an otherwise working game, or use a piece of software or operating system and causing it to break or crash at seemingly random or othersiwse silly places and intervals.

    1) Spoiler Warning style dictates Joshersizing any game they cover.
    2) Microsoft should learn to Joshersize Windows more thoroughly before release.

    1. McNutcase says:

      I dunno, the Arkham games have been crash-tastic for me as well. Play a while, game crashes. I’ve started using it as a natural limit on my sessions.

      1. RTBones says:

        They have for me as well. Josh just seems to have a particular talent for causing games to crash in odd and silly ways.

  20. The first Batman game I know of is an isometric adventure game for the ZX Spectrum, named Batman, made by Ocean Software made in 1986. In 1989 Ocean made Batman: The Movie after the Tim Burton movie.

    1. Stormkitten says:

      That was the one I was thinking of too, except I had the C64 version.

  21. Darren says:

    I’ve always felt that the Riddler served the “actually detestable” role in the Arkham games. Besides prattling on and on at you and mocking genuine failure on your part (“Did you just flip your car!?”), his riddles and challenges are difficult and time-consuming enough to be frustrating. I want to beat him not just because Batman should always best all the villains, but because I want to punch him in his stupid asshole face.

    1. Mumbles says:

      woah buddy

  22. Isaac says:

    So last night I took it upon myself to complete the rest of Riddler’s challenges after beating the game on hard mode. Long story short, it was the worst 5 hours I’ve ever spent on a videogame. Finding the solutions to his riddles was mostly easy but finding the Riddler trophies, Joker teeth and interview tapes was painstaking. It was basically the modern gaming equivalent of pixel hunting! The payoff for completing all 240 (remember when the amount of these things was sort of reasonable?) challenges was pretty satisfying though.

    1. MrGuy says:

      Which game? Not Arkham Asylum, surely? Where the payoff is getting to listen in over the radio when the cops beat down his door? Where they can’t be bothered to even give you a “live via video” cutscene (because hey, Batman) as a reward?

      Screw Riddler and screw his questline. If you’re a 100%’er, then that (and the cheevo on Steam) is its own reward. The in-game payoff IMO sucks, especially compared to the effort expended.

      At least in Arkham Origins the Riddler rooms are interesting unlockables and make you feel like you’ve accomplished something remotely worthwhile (though the sheer volume and repetition of the Riddler artifacts in AO is its own problem).

      1. Isaac says:

        Arkham Asylum, yeah.

  23. crossbrainedfool says:

    One thing that the Riddler challenges do well in Asylum better than elsewhere is that they act as health packs. Got smacked down by some mooks? Badly botch the previous Predator section?

    Do a Riddler challenge. A nice change of pace activity, which due to the game’s Experience = health recovery system, restores your health. It’s a nice little touch.

  24. Christopher says:

    Shamus mentioned Arkham Knight looking like he tried to hard to be cool, but from the image Phrozenflame500 posted I’d just call that cool. It’s not like Darksiders. In this case it’s because it reminds Shamus of Kai Leng, but I’d argue Arkham Knight looks like one of the most stylish guys in the Arkham franchise. I’m not a fan of the character design in general, though, but there are some exceptions. I think Mr. Freeze looks great. Bane’s got the right kind of look. Quite like Clayface and Joker. Batman’s Asylum costume, too. Scarecrows syringe glove is wonderful.

  25. This game shows one thing that bugs me about Batman: He should be an invalid by now.

    Forget the concussions and injuries (since he basically wears armor now), it’s the use of the zip line constantly that’s starting to make no sense for me. He’s almost Spider-Man at this point, but he doesn’t have super strength or resilience. Why is this a problem?

    Because he’s this 300 lb muscle dude. Add to that his armor, cape, utility belt, and occasionally a passenger. His shoulders should have permanently dislocated a long time ago. Since he’s practically a ninja, he should be more physically built like… well, Spider-Man.

    1. ehlijen says:

      But being that realistic goes against the concept of hero stories, let along superhero stories. The readers want stories about the hero doing amazing things, not failing to do them and then ending in a wheelchair forever. That’s a different kind of story with a different kind of target audience.

      (Super)heroes have differing levels of adherence to realism, sure, and often face severe setbacks, too (even on occasion wheelchair fates). But if and when this happens, it’s to serve a story, usually of perseverance but there can be others.

      As for Batman’s stature, the big buff guy fits his image better. Spiderman is the teen learning that he can have great impact on the world. Batman is the barely contained rage desperately trying not to go too far with his power but unable not to act. Having him be strong and powerful enough to kill someone if he ever let himself go is part of him, in my opinion.
      ‘Batman doesn’t kill’ loses its impact if he stops looking like he could do so easily.

      1. Taellosse says:

        I have never looked at Bruce Lee (which is actually a body shape that Bruce Wayne would be more likely to have, given the sort of training he probably does to maintain his conditioning, albeit a bit taller) and thought “I don’t think he’s strong enough to kill a guy.” You don’t have to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime (whose exercise regimen consisted mostly of weightlifting, to produce maximum bulk) to appear powerful.

        Spider-Man hasn’t typically been drawn as a wiry teenager in a long time, either (Ultimate comics excepted) – he’s just drawn to appear leaner muscled, next to brawnier heroes like Captain America or Thor. Compared to average people, he’s usually taller and better muscled.

  26. Andy says:

    At 13:19, one mook turns to his concussed, unconscious friend and says “You okay, buddy?”


    … At least for two seconds, until he, too, becomes concussed.

    1. ehlijen says:

      And then he continues to live because Jo- Batman does..n’t kill people.

  27. Variety says:

    I feel they could’ve justified the existence of the Battank mode better, than just an offhand comment from hallucination Joker about how he may or may not be influencing Batman. This could have tied into the inexlicable appearance of literally hundreds of unmanned tank drones in Gotham.

    1. ehlijen says:

      Battank vs Mako: Which player gives up in frustration first?

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