Arkham Asylum EP12: Darkham Asylum

By Shamus
on Jul 16, 2015
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning


Link (YouTube)

I have to say this gimmick section where the game does Batman / Joker role-reversal is charming and funny. Unlike the actual beginning of the game, it doesn’t wear out its welcome by belaboring the point.

The last episodes of this game have been recorded, and we should finish the game up next week.

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2020202014There are now 94 comments. Almost a hundred!

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  1. Daemian Lucifer says:

    The combo didnt disappear for no reason,it disappeared because you walked.Jumping doesnt break your combo,but walking does.So if you want to reposition yourself,you need to jump around.

    • NotSteve says:

      I believe you can also perform manuals on flat ground to keep from losing your combo.

    • SlothfulCobra says:

      That’s the big reason why I didn’t get Shamus’s complaints about the computer controls. Why worry about keeping on WASD when you shouldn’t be walking around in the middle of a fight in the first place?

      • Wide And Nerdy says:

        Maybe in this game but the next three all have blade dodging which DOES require you to use those buttons along with your counter. I just went back through some unfinished DLC stuff for both Arkham City and Arkham Origins in the past two days following completion of Arkham Knight.

        Regarding that, they changed something in Arkham Knight because when I went back to Arkham City I had a constant problem with never being able to get away from other attackers long enough to deal with any of the special guys (confession time, I suck at combos, so maybe thats it but its partly for this very reason) and even if I was only fighting three guys, I couldn’t take them all down long enough to do a ground take down.

        I think Arkham Knights ease goes back to Josh’s complaint this episode “thanks Batman, I didn’t mean to do that” which happened to me a lot. There’s be ledges you should be able to jump and couldn’t. Arkham City’s grapple will pull you to a hanging position on the ledge by default while Arkham Origins will deposit you on the roof amongst baddies with the same action (in the latter, you have to hold the grapnel button if you want to hang). In Arkham City, I was running up to get into position to do a double silent takedown, I tried to leap a chest high roadblock in front of me and Batman just flipped in front of it a couple of time till everyone in the area was good and alerted.

        In Arkham Knight? I never had problems like that. Both as Batman and while in Battle Mode, I always did what I meant to do. Worst I got was a weird cape flapping glitch on occasion when gliding and that was in the previous two games. Pursuit Mode is a different story but I can kind of forgive them not getting those mechanics perfect on the first go (just wish they hadn’t then made interaction with those imperfect mechanics mandatory for critical path progression.)

        So whatever other problems we have with the game (tonal inconsistency of a tank, weird forced racing sequences,) they were right to call this the most polished game of the franchise (throwing aside issues PC Users with mid grade video cards had). You can condemn the PC Port but as TB points out, the last two games had bad PC Ports at launch and as I discovered replaying bits of the last two games, they were far from perfect even if they were fun.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        You can still control the direction of your punches with those.

    • MichaelGC says:

      Also from that section: I think it stops giving you counter button-prompts if you’ve been successfully countering for a while. Then, if you get hit a few times without countering, it brings them back so you know you suck and need to git gud as a handy reminder.

      It’s almost as if the devs time-travelled to 2013 and were attempting to address what this guy had to say on the subject!

  2. Daemian Lucifer says:

    You still get some time to move away from the bombed gargoyle before it blows up if I remember correctly.And while the learning curve might be a bit harsh here*,it does make sense.I mean you were making fun of these guys for not noticing the gargoyles before,and here they do just that,they adapt to what you were doing.

    *City is better at nudging you to not be a one trick pony,I think,because it constantly awards you bigger points for innovation.

    • James says:

      This is something i think Origins does best of all the game, not just via better rewards but also giving a ranking system. the game has plenty of other issues sure, but pushing players to be versatile to get that S Rank was a good idea.

      • Jonathan says:

        Whereas I see “S-Rank” and think that’s terrible… because in the web serial Worm, an S-class threat is a villain or creature that’s got an automatic kill order on it due to the danger it/she/they poses.

  3. TheAngryMongoose says:

    So it crashed during all three Scarecrow segments.

  4. Daemian Lucifer says:

    The hacking minigame here is not bad by any stretch.Its not as fluid as in city,yes,but its still easy to get into,makes sense in the world,and can be gotten through fast with just a bit of practice.Plus,its as fluid with k+m as it is with a controller.Its only weakness is that its maybe overused and not as fluid as it gets in the sequel,but thats already reaching.And compared to some really bad stuff like alpha protocol or bioshock,this is a pure gem.

    The vent thing though is just pointless.

    • SlothfulCobra says:

      There is one point to it, the last gadget makes them so much easier to open, and it feels SO GOOD. But then they left the gadget out of Arkham City, which is one of the reasons I hated the game.

      • Jabrwock says:

        That annoyed the crap out of me. Took me nearly the entire game in City to figure out what they wanted me to do to open the large panels halfway up the wall. Because I don’t recall any moment where they show you or talk about it.

  5. SpiritBearr says:

    I completely forgot about scarecrow having his own horrible boss fight.

    • SlothfulCobra says:

      Better than the next three boss fights.

    • Mikey says:

      It’s honestly not horrible. It’s barely even a boss fight, just an easy brawl with some skellymans, then a Titan made of paper mache, then another easy brawl with some skellymans at the same time as a second paper mache Titan. It only qualifies as a boss fight because Scarecrow hovers over it and takes cutscene damage between rounds.

  6. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Anything stealth would work for batman?Well,you heard it here first folks:Shamoose thinks there should be a thi4f style batman game.

    • 4th Dimension says:

      Serious Batman: The Joker Encounter?

    • MichaelGC says:

      At the risk of ‘they literally said that in the episode’ embarrassment, a part-Thief/part-Arkham style game starring Catwoman could work.

      Only problem is that Marketing would no doubt require it to be called something like Batman’s Arkham Associates: Catwoman or Batman: Arkham Cat or Arkham Catwoman: The Arkham Project – Arkham Arkham Arkham Look It’s An Arkham Batman Game Give Us Yer Arkham Money.

  7. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Ummm,if Josh is getting 40 frames here,that means he is getting 10 frames more than he would get on a console(assuming that this segment would not bring a console to a crawl,which would totally happen).So suck on that console fanbois:P

  8. Theminimanx says:

    So in this scene with Scarecrow, Croc appears outside his lair (there’s a proper gate in a bit, where Batman announces he’s in the actual lair). Doesn’t this mean he could just swim along the river to freedom whenever he felt like it? And even if the end of the river has a rail blocking it (which I don’t think we’re ever shown), why aren’t any of the doors between the river and the rest of the asylum locked, so he doesn’t go on a man-eating rampage? And even if those doors for some magical reason only open for Batman and the security staff (though again, we’re not shown that), why is his lair so large?
    Seriously, Croc’s lair makes no sense.

    • Dreadjaws says:

      This section’s purpose it’s most likely not just Croc’s lair. It was probably a sewer system that got repurposed for him.

      • Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

        I have a more basic question: why is the cities sanitary sewer and fresh water being run through a supervillain’s prison cell in the first place?

        • venatus says:

          well at the beginning of the game they mention that prisoners at black gate are at arkham(though I can’t remember the reason) and it’s either heavily implied or directly stated that killer croc is one of the displaced prisoners.

          now I don’t know my batman lore as well as most nerds but I always had the impression that arkham was meant to be a facility for the criminally insane and black gate was a more generic super prison. really it’s believable that arkham had to throw together things like crocs lair in a hurry, and since it’s only suppose to be a temporary set up they just re-purposed a bit of sewer.

        • Otters34 says:

          It’s not Gotham City’s sewer, just the island’s. That doesn’t make it any better, of course, not least once one realizes how much water is being flushed through something surrounded by the ocean/a large lake/a major river.

  9. Christopher says:

    I adore the ambush at the beginning of the episode. They look real cute trying to be inconspicuous and will jump you if you get close. At that point, I had already lined the ground with the explosive gel.

    Human opponents are just sooo good. There’s not that much variety to be had compared to all of the demons(or angels, in Bayonetta’s case) that litter brawlers because demons are such a guilt-free opponent to pummel, but they have the bonus of being, well, human. There’s personality there, funny comments, dumb ambushes. Embracing that and giving all the inmates some stupid stuff to do was a wise move, and it’s something God of War can’t do.

  10. Daemian Lucifer says:

    So when there is no Rutskarn,Chris is doing the crappy puns?That means Chris is the second youngest in the group.

  11. Ed says:

    You can redo any of the DLC packs from scratch, you have the option of doing the last part or not. At least you can on the ps4 version.

  12. Benjamin Hilton says:

    “We should finish the game up next week.”

    Without all the exploring/looking for riddles/trying to get trophies, I never realized how short the main plot really is.

    • tmtvl says:

      Yeah, I was about to say “that was a short one, wasn’t it?”

      Wonder what’s next on the agenda. Hopefully a bit more Campster plays to pad things up a bit until the next season, whatever it is.

    • Matt K says:

      I never bothered with most of the collectables and was surprised how short the game was a little over 10 hours.

      But then I had started with Arkham City but quit because of how bad the save system was. At least in Asylum it saved every room. With the open world mechanic I ended up loosing a lot of time due to the lack of a manual save and gave up because the save system was so frustrating (plus a few other issues that I don’t quit remember anymore).

  13. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Wait,so in order for you to play harley,they have to make her into a good guy that has this tragic illness that makes her do bad stuff?*siiiigh*Why do they keep doing this?Why do they have to make bad guys into “good guys with this tragic thing” whenever they put them in the leading role?Its really irking me because its happening so often these days.

    • Dreadjaws says:

      That was always Harley’s persona. While not a saint, she was never really a bad person, she was merely a victim of her own feelings for the Joker. It’s been shown in both the comics and animated series that she’s simply easily influentiable, and when left on her own she tries to do good. But when she’s alongside Joker, Ivy or other people who push her to crime, she goes along with it.

      Unless we’re talking about the New 52 version. That one is an unlikable bitch.

      • Spammy says:

        Also if you don’t make it clear that Harley is kind of tragic and not actually evil and following around the Joker and being Harley by willing choice then everyone will get on your case for glamorizing an abusive relationship and they’ll say really mean things about you on the Internet.

        • Dreadjaws says:

          That is actually freaking crazy. There’s a lot of people who get angry at Harley cosplayers because how dare they cosplay as a woman who is in an abusive relationship? They don’t complain about people cosplaying as the Joker, who’s a murderous psychopath, or people cosplaying as the giants from Attack on Titan, who feed on people.

          Oh, no, apparently, according to them, all Harley Quinn cosplayers actually want to be her. This is honestly insane, I don’t understand those people. Not only they seem unable to understand that “liking a character” doesn’t meant “wanting to be that character”, but they also single out this particular one and not many that are much, much worse.

  14. Spammy says:

    On the subject of Croc being cute: “I hit him with a rock! …It was a big rock.”

  15. ulrichomega says:

    Not sure where to post this, but on your “About Me” page, the “looking to request an article” link is a 404.

    Also author site has a picture of you in a fedora. Not sure if I’m saying that should be updated or not, just commenting on it.

    • Wide And Nerdy says:

      Its so funny that we’re all about tolerance supposedly but we come up with these insults that are based on choice of clothing(fedora) and grooming (neckbeard). It speaks very poorly of us and how shallow we are that we would use those as insults (and I say this as a clean shaven man who doesn’t wear hats).

      Keep your fedora, thumb your nose at this ugliness. Its beneath us as geeks.

      EDIT: Just realized that I should clarify that I don’t take your choice of hat as a statement, keeping or removing it. I just feel you should stay above this sort of labeling.

      • Syal says:

        Well I thought it was funny, ulrich.

      • ulrichomega says:

        All I was doing was pointing it out as I thought it would be something he might want to update (it also looks like an older picture), seeing as I had just noticed another part of his site was out-of-date. I specifically made no comment on whether it was a good or bad thing.

        • Wide And Nerdy says:

          You brought it up because of the fedora and suggested the possibility of changing it giving no mention to anything else. Fedoras have been out of date since decades before we were born, its not like this is a picture of Shamus from his twenties with a 90’s style mullet.

          You figured Shamus might be alarmed that he’s left a picture up on his site that might accidentally associate him with something that a tiny sub sub culture has decided has meaning and you were trying to warn him without committing.

          I’m not jumping on you for doing so. Its fine. Given current context its possibly useful information for him to have. Just because I want to fight that battle doesn’t mean that Shamus does.

          But own up to it, don’t try to justify it with something you didn’t mention before.

          I only brought up what I did because its been on my mind lately and your mention of it seemed as good an opportunity as any to bring it up. There’s a shallow ugliness about this backlash against another kind of ugliness.

          I’m sorry that first reply came off as an attack on you.

  16. NotSteve says:

    Someone may have commented on this before, but does the Riddler sound like Rutskarn to anyone else?

    • Mikey says:

      At one point pretty recently, Rutskarn did a Riddler impression that was spot-on to the performance in the Arkham series, yeah. And maybe I’d get their voices confused if I was just listening to episodes of this series they’re both in for background noise.

  17. BeamSplashX says:

    i remember thinking a combination of metal gear 5 with arkham melee combat would be RAD for a captain america game

    the ps3/360 movie tie-in come surprisingly close! but they didn’t have quite the time or the budget to equal the feel, but i actually like super soldier more than asylum play-wise

  18. Ledel says:

    Wow, I had forgotten that Batman actually beat up some guys during the last scarecrow section. Time to add them to the count.

    K.O.ed: 240

    Maimed: 32

    Killed: 11

    Maims: 1:30 elbow to the head; 20:33 kicked in the windpipe.

  19. Thomas says:

    Even though the commentary is fairly positive, this season of Spoiler Warning is doing to me what Bioshock’s season did to Mumbles :(

    I used to think Arkham Asylum was close to perfect.

    • Mikey says:

      If the gang does Arkham City, that season will probably be my turn. I did another playthrough of Asylum alongside this series, and jumped right into City when I was done and am loving it so much.

      • Wide And Nerdy says:

        I recently returned to City and Origins and was reminded of frustrations I experienced with both. Frustrations with little imperfections that were actually fixed for Knight just in time for Knight to introduce new frustrations with the Batmobile.

    • Ivan says:

      Funny, I didn’t think it was anything special when I played it, well not beyond the core mechanics anyway but now when watching the series I realize that the rest of the game was much better designed than I gave it credit for and the core mechanics were actually the part that needed improvement.

  20. Ledel says:

    So, at the 15 min mark I get distracted by Harley’s eyes. Everyone else is looking around normally, but Harley is looking at things like a 5 year old would. She has her head slightly tilted down and her eyes are looking up through her eyebrows.

  21. Mr Compassionate says:

    The exploding gargoyle learning curve is made even sharper by the fact that we also have to contend with death sirens which were never really a problem before. Even worse we have no feel for how easy it is for guards to spot Batman since he is basically invisible on gargoyles and pretty obvious at all other times.

    To make matters worse every time you are above a guard a prompt appears to glide kick them, which is a trap. dive kicking instantly alerts every guard, everywhere, without taking out the target insantly. Unlike inverse takedown.

    The exploding gargoyles were a great idea to stop players from becoming overly reliant on them but this brute forge transition was crazy.

    Edit: Ever notice Scarecrow is threatening to poison Gotham by dropping a tiny bag of poison into a sewer on an island, uh what?

    • Merzendi says:

      I didn’t really get “Scarecrow is trying to poison Gotham” from what he was doing. It seemed more like he was trying to fill Croc’s lair with fear gas so Batman couldn’t get the antidote to the Venom Toxin.

      • Mintskittle says:

        That doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense either, since Batman just powered through a super dose of fear toxin just recently. In fact, the fear toxin seems to make Batman stronger, if the skelemans are really just mooks irl, and Bats can take them down in one combo whereas they have a bit more staying power when Bats is normal.

        • Ledel says:

          If you’re going down that path the easiest justification is that because of the fear toxin, Batman is put into a “fight of flight” adrenaline rush. Due of this his punches hit harder and he’s not holding back like he normally would, damaging the mooks far more than he would under normal circumstances.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Actually you can glide kick a guard taking them out if you fill up your glide meter completely,which usually means gliding over half the room.

      • Jabrwock says:

        Which usually requires a high vantage point, like a gargoyle. Ummm…. :D

        I aced this room the first time through, but that was because I had been exploring the fun of sneaking around in vents and using batarangs as distractions. So the “twist” of not being able to use gargoyles wasn’t a huge hamper. Especially since the tower in the middle is still a nice hiding place.

    • Matt K says:

      I ended up not really having issues but I just perched on top of building and waited for the guards to be alone. That said it was difficult to figure out if a guard would spot me or not.

  22. SlothfulCobra says:

    I really hate how they try to remove your ability to use gargoyles. Being able to have a simple way where you can run and lose mooks’ attention once you’ve been spotted is one of the things that makes the predator sections fun for me, since I always will know a way out if experimenting with tactics goes bad. There’s no “oops, I was spotted once, so I need to do everything over again” that you sometimes get if you’re trying to stealth through things like Metal Gear.

    If you don’t want me to use this tool, don’t give it to me in the first place. Don’t give me a thing that I love and then take it away leaving nothing in its place. Arkham City does it better at first, with the mooks just wisening up and shooting away a gargoyle if you get caught, but they still take away all the gargoyles from the final predator section.

    • Mikey says:

      To be fair, both games still give you plenty of Predator sections where you’re free to abuse the almighty Gargoyles as you please, only taking them away as a quick and dirty approach to a late-game difficulty spike.

  23. McNutcase says:

    I hated the bombed gargoyle section, but it was easy enough to brute-force.

    Croc, on the other hand, I almost quit the game completely because I was lost in a maze of identical passageways, following an extremely unhelpful pure-distance location ping, running was forbidden except when it was mandatory, and my quick Batarangs weren’t good enough; I had to tell Batman to AIM at the only thing it made any damn sense to batarang. And there were ZERO checkpoints until I was right at the end of the maze, at which point the game violated two commandments at once (Thou Shalt Not Require The Player To Run Towards The Camera, and Thou Shalt Not Require Movement In Directions Other Than Cardinal) and then crashed the first time I got there. Which led to my wife coming in and asking if I was OK, since the noise of pure rage I’d made as I barely kept myself from snapping my keyboard or putting my fist through the monitor had scared her.

    So yeah, Killer Croc is the worst boss in Arkham Asylum. Ivy was a cakewalk by comparison.

    • Mintskittle says:

      I quit playing in the Croc sewers as well. This has also kept me from playing any of the other Arkham games, cause I didn’t want to move on until I finished this one, but then I remember this part, and I just can’t muster the energy to power through it.

      • McNutcase says:

        I’d strongly recommend going on to City. Watch a Let’s Play of the end of Asylum, and go forward. City is far, far better about varying the boss fights, the combat feels smoother, the movement is more fluid. My major complaints have been “there is way too much Riddler crap” and “the sections where you play as Catwoman are too short and too far apart”. Compared to the stuff I disliked in Asylum, it’s nigh-perfect.

        • McNutcase says:

          And of course I forgot the major downgrade between Asylum and City. Asylum lets you start an audiolog and then exit out of the menu and go do something else while it plays. City insists that you must sit in the menu with nothing going on while you listen to this audiolog.

          As a result of which I listened to 100% of the audiologs in Arkham Asylum, and roughly 10% of the audiologs in Arkham City (basically only the voicemails Joker leaves, because those are some of the best voice acting I’ve ever heard). Seriously, Batman can walk and chew gum at the same time, and your fake oscilloscope graphic is not that good.

      • Tom says:

        I got stuck at the final(?) fight with the Joker, which was about beating up endless hordes of mooks of various sizes without checkpoints. After a couple of dozen tries all the fun had been drained (“the definition of insanity, Tom, heeheehaha, is …”), so I annoyedly moved on. Loved the game until then though.

        Now that I think about it, the other boss fights were more varied and interesting. Too bad.

  24. bloodsquirrel says:

    This ties into what I was saying about the Freeze fight:

    Part of what makes the predator sections without the gargoyles hard is the context-heavy nature of the controls. It’s one thing to know how to do some of these takedowns, but to do it consistently it takes some practice to get a sense for when the moves will actually perform as intended. A since it’s about stealth, one little screw up and wreck your entire plan.

  25. Wide And Nerdy says:

    The best way to systemize Batman would be to do a PVP where everybody is Batman and you all throw Batarangs at each other until only one of you survives. That one drinks the essence of the others and becomes the one true Batman. The series then focus on the tension of Batman’s need to be the strong silent type while having the rich velvety voice of Kevin Conroy.

  26. noahpocalypse says:

    I was disappointed when I couldn’t land on the gargoyles and time it so the explosion sent gargoyle bits raining down on some mook’s head. The debris just passed right through them and then they started shooting at me.

  27. Slothfulcobra says:

    Incidentally, that’s the starting area that Josh is in for the bulk of the episode. All of that big long opening sequence was in actual game space that they use later, although it is hard to get your head around how that linear space could open up so much.

  28. Majere says:

    It turns out pumping Batman full of drugs isn’t going to make him less likely to kick your ass. Shocking.

  29. Neil D says:

    Since nobody else has pointed it out yet, the first line is missing an ‘r’ in ‘Joker’.

  30. Reithur says:

    I always thought the fragility of the mooks was due to fear-induced adrenaline causing Batman to not hold back so much.

  31. drlemaster says:

    Just popping in to be pedantic and point out that schizophrenia is not the name for having multiple personalities. IIRC, Schizophrenia is any form of mental illness where the victim is unable to distinguish fantasy from reality. This would include people who hear voices, people who wear foil hats to block mind control beams. I think having multiple personalities is just called multiple personality disorder, and I have heard there is some debate over whether it really exists. I believe the schizophrenia = multiple personalities was started by the 1st edition Dungeon Master’s Guide being kinda slipshod on its insanity table, and that usage is still very common among us geeks.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Well the way Galaxy Gun describes it,it does sound like schizophrenia.In order for it to be a multiple personality disorder,she would have to actually transform into a different person,meaning that the other personality would have to take control,and not just talk in her head when stuff happens.

      • Taellosse says:

        It’s closer to DID (dissociative identity disorder) than schizophrenia, though – at least as it’s typically described/depicted in fiction – sometimes the Harlene identity is actually in control of her actions, and sometimes she isn’t. DID sufferers are often said to have at least one personality aware of the other one (usually the “crazy” or “artificial” one, while the “original” or “base” personality is unaware of the other[s]), which could be represented by the voice of the base personality commenting on their behavior.

        But really, there are very few Batman villains that have psychoses that track very well at all to actual diagnoses from real psychology – Harley is hardly unusual in that regard. The writers of Batman tend to come up with disorders that either don’t really exist, or distort real ones so much as to be nearly unrecognizable. By and large they’re not about commenting on real mental disorders, but to offer foils and dark mirrors for the character of Batman (who himself doesn’t match up terribly well with any sort of real person, of course).

    • Taellosse says:

      I think the official term for it these days is something like “dissociative identity disorder” – MPD is a deprecated term now. And yes, there remains debate in the psychiatric community about the diagnosis’ validity – there’s a large fraction of the community that is convinced DID is only produced by misapplied treatment efforts and (often unintentional) patient roleplay.

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