Arkham Asylum is a fantastic game, if a bit short. I beat the whole thing in a weekend, and it took another evening to run around and finish up 100% of Riddler’s sidequests.
Still, it was uniformly entertaining.
Once the game was over I tried the “challenge” modes.
Challenge mode sticks you in a room with a bunch of thugs to see how efficiently you can take them all down. I was feeling pretty good about my skills with the game at that point. I tried the lowest-tier challenge and got through the fights completely untouched, and built up some long-ish combos. It was the best I knew how to do, and I missed getting “bronze” by a long way. I had 5,500 points, and I needed 6,000 for the lowest prize on the first-tier challenge. The gold medal? 18,000 points.
I could see that I needed to build up longer combos, but that didn’t feel possible. Up until that moment I really had been operating under the false impression that I was good at this game, and I didn’t see how I could improve. I’d get halfway through the fight and there would be nobody left within strike distance. Or everyone was on the floor, waiting to get back up. I couldn’t see how to keep the attack chain going without needing to take a step and break the chain.
I think that having a serious challenge for serious players is a great idea, but this is a case where I had no idea what I might be doing wrong. I’m sure there was a trick to getting the higher scores, but I had no idea what that trick might be and the game never kicked any hints my way. I could spend hours and hours practicing my thumbs off, but without any idea of what I was doing wrong it would not lead to improvement.
I figured I could go on YouTube and see how it was done. I exited the game and… never fired it up again. My heart wasn’t in it. I was looking at a lot of practice just to beat the lowest level of the first challenge. The game had fallen below the critical threshold of reward vs. time invested, and I no longer cared. It’s the same reason I stopped playing World of Warcraft when I got near the 40’s.
Still, finding Riddler’s hidden crap was fun.
Quakecon 2012 Annotated
An interesting but technically dense talk about gaming technology. I translate it for the non-coders.
C++ is a wonderful language for making horrible code.
Trusting the System
How do you know the rules of the game are what the game claims? More importantly, how do the DEVELOPERS know?
Batman: Arkham Origins
A breakdown of how this game faltered when the franchise was given to a different studio.
Game at the Bottom
Why spend millions on visuals that are just a distraction from the REAL game of hotbar-watching?