Arkham Asylum EP13: Bat-Ant Man

By Shamus Posted Friday Jul 17, 2015

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 96 comments

Link (YouTube)

Here is a challenge for the “What Were The Developers Thinking!?” file. The game has allowed you to fling batarangs without really aiming them. Just double-tap the button, and Batman will fling a ‘rang at whatever valid target is closest to the center of the view. The Titan fights have specifically instructed and conditioned the player to quick-fire a batarang when a large monster is charging them. But in this fight they change that rule, and they do so without comment or giving the player any way to know about it. In the Croc encounter, you can’t use quickfire for some reason. You have to use the other batarang control, which is to hold down one button to aim and tap another button to throw.

The result here is that most players are going to uselessly fling quickfire ‘rangs at Croc, and have no idea what they’re doing wrong. Even after you die, the game simply hints that you should “Use the Batarang”, which of course the player probably was already doing.

What am I doing wrong? Do I need to hit him several times? Am I supposed to dodge out of the way after I throw them? Or jump over him? Should I backpedal while I’m throwing these? WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME, GAME?

Arkham Asylum is very strange, structurally. It’s mostly mook fights, with a Bane fight and a few Titan fights sprinkled around. Those fights all use the regular brawling mechanics. And then here at the end of the game we have three mechanically divergent boss encounters back-to-back. In this episode we face Killer Croc, in the next one we face Poison Ivy, and after that is the final fight that we’ll talk about when we get to it.

Show of hands: How many people walked in this section, and how many people Bat-crouched like Josh?


From The Archives:

96 thoughts on “Arkham Asylum EP13: Bat-Ant Man

  1. Jason-L says:


    And it felt a bit like they crammed all this in at the end, sort of in a “Oh crap, we need to release this now!” rush.

  2. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Mumbles is obviously bat baby.

    1. Wide And Nerdy says:

      It made me think of the possibilities inherent in a Jerry Lewis Batman. Maybe even a Woody Allen Batman.

      1. Torsten says:

        Holy human flies

        They would have made great Joker and Penguin.

    2. Lachlan the Mad says:

      She sounded like Bat-Mite to me (specifically, the Brave & The Bold version).

  3. Squirly says:

    I bat-crouched through the whole sewer. It didn’t help that when I played this game my PC died whenever croc popped out of the water, everything slowing to a crawl and the sound acting like I was skipping a CD. Eugh.

  4. Daemian Lucifer says:

    And then batman sent killer crock into the sub-sewer.

  5. mhoff12358 says:

    Now I’m just stuck imagining Batman at some sort of martial arts school:

    “…what are you doing?”
    “It’s call the bat crouch. It helps you move faster and harder to be seen by your enemies.”

  6. Chuck says:

    You guys have been comparing these game mechanics to Predator a lot, so I feel like I have to ask: Mumbles, did you read any of the Batman versus Predator comics?

    1. Benjamin Hilton says:

      I actually thought they were pretty good.

    2. Mumbles says:

      I have not. Predator is good, but not like my favorite thing ever. So I wasn’t that interested. Worth checking out?

      1. Chuck says:

        I liked them. It’s interesting because it brings up the predatory nature of Batman’s work, which is funny because Bruce himself seems to dislike sports hunting. Plus they’re common enough to be pretty inexpensive, and it’s always cool to see an alien throw down with a superhero.

  7. Thomas says:

    Boss battles have really fallen out of fashion in game (with maybe a small resurgence just recently).

    I think they make the most sense in games designed in the Nintendo/Valve tradition where the levels are set-up explicitly to teach you how to play discrete mechanics*. But even then the bosses can feel really contrived and “Boss encounters” rather than boss battles can make more sense. If you’ve spent ages teach the player to jump along a level then the cap for that section might as well be another level.

    And then I think the next most logical place is where the gameplay/story is about progression. Bosses can bookend the end of sections and mark the entry into the next level. The boss battles can be like act endings in a play. JRPGs do this kind of thing a lot.

    And finally they can just be there for spectacle. But that only works in particular settings that allow for spectacular boss battles. In a similar vein they can be there for pure gameplay challenge ala Dark Souls. Niether of those really tying into a larger context.
    In Arkham Asylum there isn’t really narrative progression until the very end. You don’t want Batman solving his problems and capturing crooks because this is a island rapidly spinning out of control. But comic books demand boss battles as spectacle more than any other adaption. So they shove them all at the end.

    Mechanically though, Arkham Asylum is about progression, its adding more and more tools into your arsenal. Unlike the Valve/Nintendo thing its not learning one thing and then introducing a new thing and learning that. It’s learning how to deal with something and then being given a new tool to deal with it even better and then a new tool to deal with it better again….

    So in that sense it would have made more sense for the Boss Battles to be linked closely to getting new gadgets. “This is the boss that makes Batman call in the Batclaw” etc. But you wouldn’t really want to defeat the villains still because of the narrative, so maybe you have each defeat work into the larger plan. Batman fights Croc, but it tires him out – shreds his cape and when he gets out of the sewers Joker has taken over even more of the island.

    *I just realised CoD4 is probably the next big thing to inherit and change it’s design philosophy from Half Life 2 – and that’s weird

    1. Thomas says:

      Incidentally the Metal Gear games (ie the franchise with the best boss fights ever) tend to have a Half Life 2/CoD4 hybrid design philosophy but the boss fights rarely tie into that. Each level in a MGS game normally has a theme and teaches you something but then the boss fights don’t cap off what you learn.

      Instead their boss fights are much more about feeling progression and bookending chapters etc

      1. James says:

        and also about batshit insane plots, don’t forget that, like the boss who could breath bees, or the guy who was dead and it rained blood, or the old guy who would die if you changed the clock to like a week foward, or the guy who conducted electricity and could shoot bullets with his hands, or the girl who was a mech wolf. MGS is madness guys pure brilliant madness

      2. Christopher says:

        The shit boss fights in the Arkham games pisses me off a lot more than other games with sucky boss fights(Bioware games or Alan Wake for instance) because it’s such a great setting for them. Hey, here’s an island full of loony supervillains that all hate you. The setting has room for both sci-fi and the supernatural, you’re an American millionaire ninja with access to all kinds of gadgets. This game should have had amazing boss fights all over the place. I wouldn’t _mind_ if just one of the supernatural monsters, cool robots or evil aliens in Alan Wake or ME was a good boss, but I’m not expecting them to. That they suck in a Batman game is such a disappointment.

        I’ve already written twice about why they’re bad in the comments, so I’m not gonna repeat that stuff, and I don’t believe Rocksteady can ever have a good one with the combat system they have made. But I wanna say that they didn’t need, and they sort of haven’t, put all of the bad guys at the end. Harley and Bane in particular are beaten much earlier, while Scarecrow attacks a lot and is chased off. Similarly, there’s a good mix in MGS of bosses being killed early on(Mantis) or fought several times(Vulcan Raven). Only one villain has to be the master planner and saved to the end. Everyone else can be cool boss fights.

        Sort of appreciate how MGS3 did it! The boss team and the actual villain team really were kept in seperate rooms. Meant you could have the villains show up in cutscenes the entire game and still feel like you accomplished something as you took out their entire gang of cool boss fight supersoldiers. Means the bosses are sort of forgettable, but that’s why they’re all shooting bees and being ghosts, after all.

    2. Wide And Nerdy says:

      Witcher 3 had some pretty satisfying boss battles towards the end. They aren’t as good mechanically as the classics but they were welcome.

      What really disappointed me with Killer Croc is that they’re building up this epic battle with him throughout the game and you bean him with something that will only briefly annoy a common thug.

      But the worst part is the run at the end. Everyone I know spent forever on that last part.

      Side note: I always thought for what they wanted to do with the character, they should have used Killer Croc instead of Bane in Batman and Robin. He had enough recognition at that point via the Animated series.

    3. Ed says:

      Interestingly, the Zelda series, generally known for its boss battles, has been quietly undergoing a bit of a shift in boss design. While the traditional “use item from dungeon against boss of dungeon in unique way” fights are still plentiful, Twilight Princess, and especially Skyward Sword, introduce bosses that require mastery of the “core” sword fighting skill set, drawing on skills built up via the hours of sword fighting rather than the few puzzles with the boomerang in the last hour. Neither is better than the other, and I do like a mix, but I will say these sword fights tend to be exceptional.

      1. Trix2000 says:

        At the very least, they’ve tended towards a “use dungeon item to open their weak point for MASSIVE SWORD SPAM” or similar. But in a way, I think it does make more sense to do the actual killing with the sword rather than, say, a flimsy boomerang or something (magic or no).

        Also Skyward likely had more focus on the sword because it was a major mechanic, what with the motion controls and all. I think it worked pretty well for getting that feel of beating the crap out of things, even if it took some practice to get familiar with the nuances of how it worked (like that it moved freely, but only attacked in 8 specific directions).

    4. Vect says:

      I would say that one of the things about the mechanics is that the combat system (especially in Asylum) is built around fighting multiple foes rather than a singular one. Your attacks knock enemies to the ground so you can pinball between groups of thugs, with special enemies requiring special tactics. As such, the boss battles sort of have to be big puzzle bosses since it’s not exactly meant for single-target enemies.

      The Deathstroke battle of Origins was meant to be the closest to what most action games would consider a “Rival” battle: A character who fights “like you, but better”. A bit clunky compared to other fights in similar vein like Vergil in Devil May Cry 3, but it was an interesting attempt to do something more typical of action games.

      (Also probably realize I’m the only one around here who cares about bosses like those)

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        No,I like bosses like that too.The boss in transistor was like that,which I liked.Too bad that he didnt use those powers smarter.

    5. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Actually Id argue that boss battles can work in any setting,as long as you:
      1)Make them appropriate for the setting
      2)Make them gel with your gameplay
      3)And maybe foreshadow them in advance through the narrative

    6. Chauzuvoy says:

      I feel like boss fights are best used as a different context for a set of mechanics. Like, in a Mario game, you’re spending the level on platforming and projectile avoidance, occasionally taking care of enemies that get in your way. And the bosses are similarly about platforming, avoiding their attacks, and finding the window to safely hit them. In Dark Souls, the whole combat system is about learning an encounter and how to use the tools at your disposal (block, parry, backstab, dodge, position, consumables, magic, kick, etc.) to overcome a specific encounter. The bosses work the same way, trying to learn their attack patterns and so on in the same way that you learn how to handle every fight. Same idea, but with one big enemy with a unique set, rather than a set of mix-n-matched mooks and spaces.

      On the other side, Human Revolution is a game that is intensely focused on allowing you to choose your playstyle, except for the bosses which force you into a straight fight and negate most of your fun tools. Instead of being a unique variation on the same challenges as the rest of the game, it’s a totally disjoint thing that contradicts the rest of the gameplay. The Ivy and Croc sequences in Arkham is the same way. Instead of rhythm-based brawling mechanics or gadget-based stealth and detective stuff, we have an old-school boss fight based around pattern recognition and positioning and a… sound-focused “stealth” exploration bit with jump-scare QTEs. Neither is truly awful, but none of the rest of the game really uses those ideas, so even if it’s not terrible itself, it doesn’t mesh with the rest of the game well.

      The Freeze fight in Arkham City, however, is one of my go-to examples of great modern boss design. Same idea and skillset as the rest of the game, but in an encounter that forces you to use them in a different way, because you’re up against one big guy instead of a bunch of mooks and because you’re forced to explore the whole of your toolkit and think your way through it instead of relying on one or two consistent tricks.

  8. Neil D says:

    It never even occurred to me that you moved faster when crouching. Dammit.

  9. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Technically,the game does force you to aim the batarang.Somewhere near the beginning when you blow the fuses,I think.But after that,its just for some optional puzzles.

    Though if you are like me,you were aiming them in predator sections as well,because its a nice way to distract the mooks some.

    I think I walked there as well,but Im only some 80% sure about that.

    1. Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

      If I’d known you could snapshot with batarangs, I might have gotten further in this game… And then I’d have rocked this section.

    2. Ivan says:

      Time it right and you can knock a mook off a ladder he’s climbing and he’ll fall to his DOOM… erm I mean take a bat-nap. So yeah I would aim these all the time. I don’t remember using this tactic until I played city though, and didn’t really get good at it until origins, but I don’t remember being confused about the crock fight. I did however walk the whole way, and yes mumbles, it was terrifying. I just hate being chased by anything in video games, something I’ve “mostly” grown out of by now but was still going strong when crock chased me through the sewer or ant-lion guardians chased me through the caves (hl2).

  10. I’ll let you know when I’ve played it! It’s on my to-do list, but I’m not letting myself watch any of the AA Spoiler Warnings until I’ve played the game myself. (By which time, all relevant conversations will probably be long over!)

  11. James says:

    I don’t think they ever used updrafts to regain height, but you can dive bomb and then pull up to regain some height and maintain the glide, some of the AR challenges in city rely on it,

    1. Syal says:

      So what you’re saying is Batman flies like Super Mario.

      …I don’t know how to feel about that.

      1. Wide And Nerdy says:

        He even has a dive bomb shockwave attack just like Caped Mario. OMG, I can’t unsee that.

    2. Neil D says:

      For some reason I didn’t grasp the dive-and-recover mechanic right away, or maybe just ignored it, I don’t recall. But I do remember trying to do some of those AR challenges without it. I succeeded in getting through at least one of them through crazy frantic combinations of grappling, aborting and gliding before finally accepting that there had to be a better way.

  12. boz says:

    They did the updraft thing in Arkham City. In Ra’s demon challenges.

    1. James says:

      wasn’t that just the Dive bomb pull up mechanic though?, i don’t recall any drafts

    2. SL128 says:

      It was also done in Gotham City Imposters, if that counts.

  13. Warclam says:

    As somebody who has never seen or heard about the ending of this game… that last clip in the credits worries me. It LOOKS like titan-Joker, but they couldn’t have been that dumb, right?


    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      On the plus side,they did use it well as a setup for the events of arkham city.

  14. Adam Phant says:

    I think I walked at first? Then I tried running to see what would happen, and I think Croc just jumps out and says, “Hi, hit my collar!” So then I’d just run through, throwing batarangs whenever he’d pop up because that’s easy mode. I also ziplined when I could because that was fun.

    I probably wouldn’t have run around if batarangs were limited in some way.

  15. Adam says:

    I bat-crouched the HELL out of those sewers. Luckily for me I had experimented with the batarangs (I’m a sucker for gadgets, so I had all the batarang/etc upgrades and almost none of the armor upgrades by the end) and knew how to aim them before this fight.

  16. Matt K says:

    I ended up spending 10 min figuring what I needed to do was lure Croc to the explosive gel and was unsure what I was doing wrong. It wasn’t until I exited out and found out the game had auto-saved me significantly further into the sewers that I realized what needed to be done. But yeh, all these sections were kind of crappy.

  17. Daemian Lucifer says:

    How to annoy my kids: Walk over to the Amiibo display, “Hey look kids. They sell weeaboos here!”

    Is that even incorrect?Amiibos could be considered weeaboos anyway.

    1. Bropocalypse says:

      “Weeaboo” is a synonym for “japanophile”

      1. Wide And Nerdy says:

        Well, with a slight negative connotation. Its closer to “insufferable japanophile” the way I hear it normally used.

      2. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Not according to filthy frank:

      3. Cybron says:

        Not exactly. It originally developed as a replacement for ‘wapanese’, which generally referred to a specific “I wish I was japanese” mindset common in nerd groups and certain parts of the internet in the early 2000s. If you hung out a lot on the internet a lot back then, you probably knew the sort. That sort of attitude is much rarer or at least more subdued nowadays.

        The definition has of course stretched over the years but, as a rule, if someone insist that some aspect of japanese culture is objectively superior, that’s ground for being a weeb.

        It’s also a lot more insulting than japanophile.

  18. Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

    Frank Herbert’s Dune, which was more of an MGS style game than the more famous RTS, begins with Paul having to flee a sandworm, which is done in this same, looking backwards, camera. Of course, if you run through soft sand, a spice patch, or hit a rock, you slow down and you die. So of course there’s no warning about any of those things and you have to memorize the route.

    On the first level.

    I have hated that type of “ooo, let’s do an awesome camera angle for this chase!” sequence ever since.

    Also, somewhere in the 7-8 minute mark, Croc pops up, Josh hits him with the batarang, then turns and starts to walk away while Croc gets shocked and falls in the water. That was hilarious. I really hope they weren’t going for horror in this section.

    1. Richard says:

      The Lion King game did this as well for the stampede section.

      I hated that bit.

  19. Mikey says:

    I played City before Asylum, so I didn’t even walk, I tip-toed, assuming the Croc section would be like the bit in the Museum where moving any faster would get me insta-killed. It wasn’t until my most recent playthrough that I noticed just regular full-tilt walking speed was fine.

    Also, the Ultra-Batclaw is the stupidest required gadget. Why didn’t he just assemble the full thing on his first trip to the Batcave? Why did he wait until Ivy’s plants wrecked the place? Why did the developers only give it to the player when the game was practically over? And I hate the number of concrete walls you need to pull down that you’ll encounter before you have it, because it does Metroidvania the bad way: the “backtrack to fill out a checklist” way, rather than the “Enhance yourself to make progress” way.

  20. McNutcase says:

    I walked, and hated the entire segment. Croc’s lair was not fun.

  21. Syal says:

    I’m getting a weird Killer 7 vibe from this section for some reason. Like, I’m wondering if that’s what they were going for.

  22. lucky7 says:

    I walked the first time. As slow as humanly possible. I hated it SO much, and I wouldn’t have thought to crouch unless I’d seen it in an LP. Gah.

  23. noahpocalypse says:

    Playing on the 360, I didn’t have any trouble using quickfire batarangs to take down Croc.

    I didn’t crouch, but I actually used the Line Launcher a lot- it gets you around even faster than running does, and Croc surely won’t feel anything because you’re not even touching the boards, right? Then at the end on your way out there are a few scripted Croc sneak attacks in which EVEN IF YOU’RE ON THE LINE LAUNCHER he jumps up and there’s simply no time to let go of the launcher and use a batarang. So I died several times at that one spot at the end. That was frustrating, but other than that I found the whole dungeon fairly scary.

    1. Viktor says:

      Yeah, I think quick fire still works here on consoles. Maybe the devs were afraid of making people aim with thumbsticks, not realizing the rest of the game made k+m impossible?

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Its not impossible.Its not even hard.City gets harder(slightly),but only if you want to use gadgets above the gel in combat.

        Now if you want hard k+m controls,go to deadpool.Or if you want figuratively impossible k+m controls,go to dmc.

        1. Ivan says:

          I second this. I believe I was using keyboard and mouse until I played origins when they had decided to bind too many commands to the same key and they weren’t even sensible ones. Had I had the patience and knowledge to sort all that nonsense out I would have stuck with keyboard and mouse for origins as well. In any case they were usable, if non-intuitive.

        2. Theminimanx says:

          I played the Arkham games with k+m until the gliding challenges in city. They decided to map the capeglide controls to the mouse of all things, which made certain manoeuvres incredibly difficult. For normal gameplay this isn’t a big deal, because you never need to stunt with the glide. For precision challanges though, it was basically impossible.

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            No it wasnt.I did all of them in both city and origins.They werent that difficult.Again,unless the controls are similar to what was done in dmc,they arent even close to impossible.

  24. lethal_guitar says:

    So, there’s this old/ruin sewer section where you cannot grapple because “the walls are to weak”, towards the end of this episode.

    Am I the only one wondering how you can use the line launcher without problems, but not the grapple? If these walls are so fragile, why would the hooks from the line launcher hold without problems?

    1. Alex says:

      The grapple gun catches edges, while the line launcher punches straight into the wall?

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        And its common knowledge that walls fall from the edges inward,not from the center outward.It makes sense if you think about it(no it doesnt).

  25. Jabrwock says:

    I crouched for the first 5-6 times, then I realized by accident that walking was fine.

    Super annoyed at that. My finger hurt from holding down crouch non-stop for half the level…

    Number one reason for going back to checkpoint, either too fast on the left-right triggers so aimed batarang didn’t fire correctly, or Croc appeared behind me and I couldn’t spin around fast enough to get one off.

  26. Bropocalypse says:

    I actually beat this game without(to my memory) using the quick-shot batarangs. I always aimed them. Maybe I’m just used to mouse control aiming so it didn’t bother me.

    1. Benjamin Hilton says:

      I always aimed too, every titan battle. The quick fire always felt to random to me. and for reference I played on the console.

  27. Jakale says:

    I ziplined that first section up to Croc’s first pop out appearence cause I figured it was like Tremors and the worms and the best way to avoid being found was to not touch the ground at all, plus there were all the handy gates to latch onto…and then ziplined straight into Croc’s shoulder for that first pop-up, since it’s scripted, and the game countred that as a death.
    Then I did the same as Josh with the batarang and, after dying for a third time, decided the game didn’t really want me ziplining since there wasn’t time to land, take out batarang, aim, and shoot. Not that this stopped me from trying to zipline.
    Did you know that once you have all the spore samples and Croc keeps popping up all the time that ziplining is the worst thing possible, since the camera turns to face Batman, so you don’t have time to even turn it around to see where Croc is coming from? I found out several times.

    I’d say the main issue with the fight is that it’s just not scary. There’s no tension. Croc pops up all the time regardless of how fast you’re moving. The game makes it sound like your speed over the walkway keeps him from finding you, but it doesn’t, it just keep him from instant killing you. You can’t distract him with a sonic batarang or trick him into thinking you’re somewhere else. Add that to the ease of taking him out: if you’re walking like the game wants you’re gonna get him every time he pops up and it takes one hit. You know it’s coming and you don’t even need to time your shot. So he shows up constantly and he goes down easy every time. He’s just annoying, not scary, especially since the pop ups and the “don’t run insta-kill” thing prevent you from going quickly.

    He might kill you more in the second half, but it’s probably cause you got lost if you never bothered figuring out what the numbers by the sample vial meant. After that it’s more a case of, are you patient enough to go through at the rate they want you to so you don’t get yourself killed due to not having time to target.
    I did find that you can run as much as you like after he pops up to chase you, since he pops out far away, takes corners slow, and isn’t much faster than you.

  28. Alex says:

    Re: Batman and fantastic racism

    The right way to handle the rights of non-human sapient beings is to give them all the rights a human has unless there is a specific reason why that is a terrible idea. The right to life should be respected for any being which is not inherently hostile to the well being of everyone else. If it’s a mindflayer or some depictions of vampires killing it outright is the way to go, but a lot of beings peace is the more moral option. It becomes more complex when it comes to rationed rights and privileges, like the right to vote. If somebody has the right to free speech they have the right to as much free speech as they like, but they only get one vote. Allowing robots and other beings similarly inhuman in nature to vote or collect welfare is more difficult because the voting system cannot survive if 18 years after the founding of John Smith Robotics four hundred million robots all vote for John Smith for president.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      But what if the mindflayer is an insane clown as well?

    2. SlothfulCobra says:

      Batman doesn’t use guns…unless it’s on sharks.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        He doesnt use guns on shark either,he uses sprays.

    3. Decius says:

      The voting system couldn’t survive the first year after John Smith’s Combat Von Neuman Machine Factory Factory went into operation, either.

  29. Ledel says:

    I walked and died 2-3 times, then tried the crouch button and it worked well. I also used the zip-line where I could. Using k&m really hurt during this section.

  30. Ledel says:

    Note about the body count. Seeing as how this will probably be the last week of episodes, I’m going to wait until the end to release the totals. It will just have to be a surprise for everyone.

  31. SlothfulCobra says:

    I think the real thing that makes Arkham Asylum seem to fall apart towards the end is the fact that for the whole game the main villain is the Joker, and everything revolves around him, but he kind of fades away after Harley is captured. Poison Ivy just crops up and starts wrecking shit without Joker having too much of a say, and she points you towards Croc, who has pretty much no plot associated with him, and while quiet time can be nice, there’s so much around Killer Croc that you can easily forget what’s happening in the rest of the game, and there’s still more to slog through. There’s pretty much nothing left to Joker’s plan, but there’s much more to go through in the game.

    By the same token, Arkham City does something similar towards the end. The whole game is about Hugo Strange and his ~mysterious plan~, but after you beat him, it turns out not only is his mysterious plan a little underwhelming, but it’s not even his, and he gets killed off in a cutscene. But then Joker’s got to come in and steal the scene even though his master plan was never the main focus of the game (although it may have succeeded offscreen?), and the final boss fight is with the one true big bad of the game: Clayface? There’s no focus to the games to provide a real leadup to a finale.

    1. Isaac says:

      The oddest thing about Strange in AC is that he tells Batman that he knows his true identity and threatens to reveal it if Batman interferes with his plans. Strange then proceeds to not use this to his advantage and hardly does anything to deter Batman from stopping him.

    2. Benjamin Hilton says:

      I agree. At first I loved the Idea the the Big Bad was a less common character. And then the “plan” is just kill everybody, and he is just a puppet for someone else.
      Despite the silliness of the “Plan,” the tower climb still felt appropriately epic. and then…nothing. Hugo is killed by someone else and you go off to fight the Joker, because God knows it’s not like we would ever want someone else to be the big bad…….

      I get why he needed to star in the first game, but really couldn’t they let someone else be in the limelight for just one game?

      1. xedo says:

        The Hugo Strange bits of Arkham City always bugged me. Hilariously, during one predator section, he is monologuing to his henchmen about how the massive success of Arkham City will see the experiment repeated in all the other major DC cities. But his plan relies on losing control so badly he has to kill everyone, so how is he expecting to be a huge hit?

        The opening of the game is a bit of a trainwreck. Strange is stupid (arguably foolish and petty, depending on his motivation) to catch Batman, reveal he has an evil plan, and let him go. (Also he makes the threat about revealing Bruce’s identity, as Isaac noticed, which neither he nor Batman remember 10 seconds later). Batman looks bad for being taken off guard by both Strange and Joker’s plans. Joker looks bad because Batman didn’t know he was up to a plan with the joker blood. If Strange hadn’t caught Batman and released him, Joker would have just been sitting around waiting for Bats forever.

        If the game had opened with Batman noticing the joker blood and investigating and then gone in, both Batman and the Joker would look more competent. And then if Hugo Strange caught Batman, and Batman escaped him, both of THEM would look smarter too. And it would explain Batman’s insistence on hunting down the Joker at the start, when Strange had just patiently explained that he(Strange) was the one up to no good.

        1. Alex says:

          “Hilariously, during one predator section, he is monologuing to his henchmen about how the massive success of Arkham City will see the experiment repeated in all the other major DC cities. But his plan relies on…”

          I assume the plan was to either downplay the number of prisoners he killed, and then let the Arkham City project take the credit for the resulting lack of crime, or to have people look at his “unwilling” culling of the criminals and the resulting lack of crime, and think that performing their own cullings is worth doing to get the same results.

          1. MaxieJZeus says:

            So Strange’s plan was for his Arkham project to unintentionally-but-totally-on-purpose go tits up in a major crime-ending catastrophe, then explain to the other cities that he could pull off the same unintentionally-but-totally-on-purpose tits-up catastrophe with similar, awesome, crime-ending results?

            I would love to see the pitch session where he and the city council members make air quotes around key words so that they’re all clear on the way it’s supposed to work vs. the way that it’s “supposed” to work.

            Strange: So, we’ll put all your criminals in a giant camp. Then I’ll “accidentally” lose control of it””

            Councilman 1: I don’t see any mention in your proposal for an accident.

            Strange: No no. Not an accident. For an “accident.”

            Councilman 2: Do we need to add that to the contract?

            Strange: Of course not. I don’t “know” that there’s going to be an accident.

            Councilman 1: You just said there’s going to be one.

            Strange: Oh, I know there’s going to be an “accident.” I just don’t “know” that there’s going to be an accident.

            Councilman 3: What about the voters? If they ask, do we tell them there’s going to be an “accident”?

            Strange: Of course not. If the voters thought we knew in advance about the “accident”, they’d string us all up.

            Councilman 3: So how do we keep the voters from knowing that we know the accident is only an “accident”?

            Strange: Don’t worry about it. In my experience, voters don’t want to know anything. They only want to “know” it.

            Councilman 2: You mean like the way that we “know” there’s going to be accident?

            Strange: No sir. As I explained, the only thing you need to “know” is that there are not going to be any accidents this time around.

            Councilman 2: But””

            Strange: Look, if anyone asks, just tell them, “We know there aren’t going to be any accidents this time around.” And keep your hands in your pockets when you say it.

            Councilman 3: And that will keep the voters from “stringing us up”?

            Strange: I can’t guarantee any of you will win re-election, sir. Though if you make trouble for me, I might “accidentally” chuck you into the prison camp just before I “accidentally” lose control of it, like I did to Bruce Wayne and Mayor Sharp.

            Councilman 2: But we wouldn’t “really” be in the prison camp, would we?

            Strange: Of course not. You’d “really” be safe at home, because I’m good at covering my tracks. But you’d really be inside the “prison camp.”

            Councilman 5: Hang on. Is this “prison camp” you just mentioned different from the prison camp you’re proposing?

            Strange: There is only one facility, sir. Technically, it’s really only a “prison camp” and only “accidentally” is it an extermination camp. In fact, it’s really the latter and only notionally the former.

            Councilman 5: Uh …

            Councilman 6: I didn’t know we were considering opening an extermination camp.

            Strange: Of course you did, sir. You just don’t “know” that’s what you’re considering.

            Councilman 1: Well, I move that we go ahead and vote””

            Councilman 2: Would we be voting or “voting”?

            Strange: I’m sure the distinction is only academic in this case, sir.

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              Seeing how this is gotham,the conversation would probably be more like this:
              Strange: So, we'll put all your criminals in a giant camp. Then I'll “accidentally” lose control of it””
              Councilman 1: $250,000.
              Councilman 2: $400,000.
              Councilman 3: Half a million for me.
              Councilman 4: $750,000.
              Councilman 5: A round million.
              Strange: Gentlemen,its a pleasure doing business with you.
              Councilman 1: Damn,I knew I shouldnt speak first.

  32. Tradien says:

    So this justifies the Joshmans use of explosive gel to do his fights. We can all stop complaining about how not Batman, Joshman is.

    1. There was complaining about that? I just assumed that Reginald Cuftbert had stuck dynamite in Batman’s pants when he wasn’t looking and then stole the batsuit because he’d lost his bonnet.

  33. Nyctef says:

    Walk without rhythm, Josh, and you won’t attract the worm!

    Edit: you guys actually missed a pretty good Batman moment. When he enters the lair, we see him put down this random bat-device but we don’t know what it’s for. When he gets the last spore-thingy and talks to Oracle, there’s a little cutscene where Batman reveals that it’s a “sonic beacon” that’s going to lead him back to the exit. I thought it was a cool little moment, since we get to see that “always planning ahead” aspect of Batman which often gets missed.

    Edit2: oh yeah, and with the exploding mineshaft as well.

  34. 4th Dimension says:

    If I remember correctly this fight was annoying but not insufferably so. By the end once I’ve accustomed to the dynamic of walk a coridor, hear Croc prompting me how he was going to eat me. Spin around to determine where he is and batrang him. Continue walking nonchalantly as soon as you send teh Batrang out. It was hilarious. “I’m goint to AUUGH IT STINGS” falls into the water.

  35. Isaac says:

    I hope you guys do Arkham City next season or at least some time in the future!

    1. Ledel says:

      AC probably won’t be the next season. Some of the cast is already starting to hit a wall with Batman stuff, and I doubt they could carry it through the length of City right after this. I can see it as a future season, but it might be 2 or 3 away.

    1. Gruhunchously says:

      Thanks for that, it’s pretty cool (if unrelated, as you said).

  36. Dreadjaws says:

    I used the line launcher most of the time. Faster traveling all around, and since you don’t touch the floor, Croc doesn’t appear so often (there are some parts that are scripted, though, so they’re unavoidable).

    On the subject, though, I’m quite confused. I’m positive I could use the quick batarang to stun Croc. Is it possible that the PC version is bugged? I have actually played both on PC and PS3, yet I simply don’t remember this issue at all.

    Edit: wait, no, I think, I think you have to use the regular batarang the first time and you can then use the quick one later. Darn, now I’m really confused. Am I actually remembering any of this or have you plastered this thought into my mind?

    1. MichaelGC says:

      Yeah, I played mainly on PS3, and I’m pretty sure (although by no means adamant) that you could quickrang Croc on that. noahpocalypse above says the same about the Xbox, so maybe this is an early example of the PC version of an Arkham title not being up to console scratch? :p

      I’m actually tempted to drag the PS3 out and check … what’s that, Geralt? Ah, Geralt says I don’t have time for that at the moment. Oh well.

      1. Dreadjaws says:

        I wanted to check, but my PS3 copy is being borrowed by a friend, who’s very, very slow at playing so it might take a while.

  37. Deadyawn says:

    Yeah, totally walked. I remember feeling like I was doing something wrong but crouching just didn’t occur to me. I think it has something to do with how batman specifically says that he has to move as slowly as possible, not quietly.

  38. Blovsk says:

    I… uh… used the Line Launcher to do it faster because CHRIST ALIVE THIS WAS BORING.

  39. Grudgeal says:

    So much this section.

    First, I crouched Croc after a few attempts at ziplining. The whole ‘boss fight’ ended up boring me. I could see how they probably tried at making it tense and desperate, but it mostly got repetitive and annoying and made little sense. Croc obviously knows where you are. He pops up and beelines for you constantly and drags the floats you’re on under, which makes the whole “stay silent and he won’t hear you” argument completely nonsensical. If he occasionally surfaced without knowing where you were and you had to hide from him instead of insta-knocking him out with a batarang, that would have been much much better.

    During this episode you switched from trying to stop Joker, to trying to stop Ivy, to trying to stop Joker again, just because you kept running into a new “OH NOES, VILLAIN IS DESTROYING GOTHAM” scheme every two minutes that neccessitated you abandoning the last one and running rough-shod over to thwarth the new one. It’s a good thing both are at least somewhat tangially related or you’d really notice how ham-fisted this all was.

    Dialogue. Like I mentioned earlier, all of Batman’s lines could here be replaced with “I’m Batman. He/she won’t get away with this.” Because that’s basically what he says anyway. If we weren’t nearly at the end I’d suggest adding “I won’t let it happen” to the drinking game.

  40. BitFever says:

    I also never knew you can just crouch walk through it. this game does a horrible job with teaching you how different movement styles create sound in general like how the grapple hook gun somehow is silent to use but jogging can alert mooks.
    Odd that it doesn’t manage to introduce noise mechanics to the player in a way they will learn and understand through since this is something that metal gear and splinter cell figured out over 10 years ago.

    Also there is a batcave in city. it’s accessed through a cliff wall at the ocean near the factory the joker takes over. You end up taking mr freezes wife there.

    1. McNutcase says:

      That’s no Batcave, and it’s not you who takes Nora there. If you look, there’s a door, and if you try to open it before blowing the wall, you get a Joker mook who locks it and starts panicking because Batman wants in. Lends a delicious dose of schadenfreude to your inevitable skull-cracking session (which I opened by leaping through the floor and instant-downing the guy in armor, because I hate those guys)

  41. Cinebeast says:

    For the record, I’m one of those pansies who thought the Croc Trek was scary. I’ve got a fear of being eaten, though, so that probably played a big part.

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