Arkham Origins #6: A Bane in the Butt

By Shamus Posted Tuesday Jan 11, 2022

Filed under: Streaming 50 comments

And so we come to the end of this series. Scroll down for some final thoughts, and a poll regarding what game we’ll cover next.

I complain a lot about how Batman behaves in these games. From Arkham City onward, he seems to be clumsy, violent, reactive, stubborn, and generally bad at working with his teammates.

People often stick up for the games like so:

  1. You have to understand, this is Batman having a bad night. This is his greatest challenge yet! He’s blindsided by Hugo Strange and poisoned by Joker. Also, Talia is the love of his lifeIs she though? and that’s distracting him.
  2. You don’t get it, this is a younger and more inexperienced Batman than we’ve seen before. It’s fine that he’s a clueless, violent, undisciplined, dumbass, because we’re seeing him before he developed into the hero we know.
  3. You’re not paying attention. See, this is Batman pushed to his limit. The entire city is falling apart and he’s been poisoned by Scarecrow. That’s why he’s not acting like himself.

In isolation, I might grudgingly accept one of these. But what we have here is a string of excuses for why our hero never seems to be himself. Every game features a larger world than the one before. Every game has more extreme stakes than the one before. The games feel the need to go bigger and more epic. And of course the Joker needs to be hogging the spotlight in every game, even if he’s not our primary antagonist.

What we end up with is a series of games when Batman is always out of character. He doesn’t respect his teammates or value their input. And lets not forget his penchant for torture and terror:

  1. In Arkham City, he hangs THE MAYOR off a building to terrorize him into talking.
  2. In Arkham Origins, he brutalizes multiple suspects, including the sequence where he intends to ramp Sionis’ pacemaker to 200Bpm. Shit, Batman. At least waterboard the guy. It would still be immoral, but at least it would be safer.
  3. In Arkham Knight, be threatens to crush someone’s head under the wheels of the Batmobile. Again, this guy is not a detective and he’s nowhere NEAR being a superhero. I don’t know who this thug is, but I wish the writer would stop pretending he’s Batman.

I don’t want this to come across as too absolutist. I’m not saying that Batman can never get angry, or never disagree with his allies, or never fall into a trap. These things are the fuel of conflict and drama and there is lots of room in Batman’s character for mistakes and human frailty. But the Arkham games – in their attempt to portray “epic” stories – are obsessed with turning up all of the conflict to 11, all the time. The result isn’t that we feel like extreme circumstances have pushed Batman out of his “normal” behavior, it’s that it feels like “angry, impatient, reckless, belligerent, and unreasonable” is his normal behavior.

So that’s Arkham Origins. Next up, Chris and I are going to play something co-op. We’ve narrowed it down to a short list of 4 potential games, and we’re curious which one you’d prefer. So below we have a poll where you can rank the 4 games.

I made it so that you can only take the poll once. This means that in order to participate, you need to have a gmail address. I realize this is annoying for those of you who try to avoid the big G. Sorry. I just wanted to make sure I didn’t have to sort through thousands of entries due to a cheeky ballot-stuffer. If it helps, I won’t see you email on my end. I should only see your answers.

I’ll leave the poll open for a couple of days and then let you know the results.

EDIT: The Poll is closed. I’ll post the results next week.

 

Footnotes:

[1] Is she though?



From The Archives:
 

50 thoughts on “Arkham Origins #6: A Bane in the Butt

  1. Lino says:

    Once again, I really enjoyed watching this series! I thought about sharing the thoughts I had on the stream as I was watching it last week, but most of my comments would only make sense as chat comments, and would look really scatter-brained here…

    Regarding future games, I think it’d be really fun to see you guys playing Gears of War. While I’ve personally never played it, from what I’ve seen it would make for perfect banter content!

    1. Thomas says:

      I get Halo, even if it’s not particularly my thing. It’s got bright colours, bouncy, personality driven combat, and although it hides most of the lore away from the main game, the idea of Halo rings, the Flood, precursors etc. is all pretty fun.

      From the outside looking in, it’s a lot harder to understand Gears games. I tried checking out a retrospective of it and I still couldn’t quite see what makes them hum. Maybe things like active reloading you don’t appreciate fully until you try it yourself.

      1. Lino says:

        Oh yeah, I voted for Halo as No. 2. Not only is the aesthetic really nice, as you mentioned, but it would be interesting for me, because I’ve only played the first one. But the reason I voted for Gears as No. 1 is because I know next to nothing about it, and I really like jumping into something new.

      2. John says:

        I am not a Gears of War fan, but as I see it the franchise had two things going for it. First, it has big, burly dudes with chainsaw guns. Second, it was a third-person cover shooter back when people still got excited about those. Actually, Gears of War might well have been the third-person cover shooter that got people excited about those in the first place. I’m not sure. In any case, the basic idea is probably best expressed as “Come for the machismo, stay for the cover mechanics!”

        To be fair, there must be some people who care about the series’ lore and plot. As I have just discovered, there are at least seven Gears of War novels. Who exactly is buying these novels and how much of the fanbase they represent, I couldn’t say.

        1. Chad+Miller says:

          Actually, Gears of War might well have been the third-person cover shooter that got people excited about those in the first place.

          It’s this one, to the degree that I’m hard pressed to name any games with that particular formula that predate GoW.

          1. Redrock says:

            Well, there was Kill.Switch, but Gears is the one people remember. I barely remember Kill.Switch, but I do remember it feeling awkward as hell. I never played a Gears game until 5, but I suspect that Gears was the first to do cover shooting in a way that felt more or less natural.

            1. RamblePak64 says:

              There was also Winback, but as you note, it failed to do cover shooting in a way that felt as good as Gears managed.

  2. John says:

    Congratulations, Chris and Shamus. You survived!

    You guys have been an inspiration to me. Specifically, all your comparisons to the other, better Arkham games inspired me to go out and buy the other, better Arkham games. I finished Asylum this weekend. Having done so, I now see what all the fuss is about. Everyone is right, Arkham Asylum really is a better game than Arkham Origins, but I’d like to say some nice things about Origins anyway. Because this is the internet, I will express my feelings in the form of a list.

    + Art: Origins is nice to look at, at least comparatively. Asylum is an older game and is also trying to creep the player out, so it’s both unintentionally and intentionally visually off-putting sometimes. All I can say is that I would much rather spend time on Origins’ snow-covered rooftops than anywhere in Asylum.

    + Casting: Origins may lack Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill, and Arleen Sorkin, but the voice talent it does have is just fine. More importantly, Origins doesn’t re-use actors quite as obviously as Asylum does. In Asylum, Quincy Sharp, James Gordon, and Amadeus Arkham are all quite clearly played by Tom Kane in the most blatant Tom Kane trifecta since Knights of the Old Republic cast him as Uthar, Ajunta Pall, and a Czerka shopkeeper all on the same planet.

    + Combat: I am very, very sorry, but I still can’t tell the difference between the combat in Asylum and the combat in Origins. I don’t doubt that they are different, but given my low level of skill they might as well not be. All the stuff that Chris complains about in Origins happens to me all the time in Asylum. That said, I have a slight preference for Origins combat. I really like the slide tackle for some reason and I mostly prefer Origins’ non-default mooks to the non-default mooks in Asylum, though that may just be because I played Origins first.

    + Linux-compatibility: I had no problems at all getting Origins to run with Proton. Asylum was a different story. ProtonDB was very helpful, but zero problems beats some problems, even solvable ones, any day.

    As for your next game, well, I’m torn. As I see it, my choices are: Game That Got Mixed Reviews, Scifi Shooter I Never Cared About, The Grunty Adventures of Meatbro, and Game From A Series Whose Level Design Makes Arkham Origins’ Level Design Look Sensible. It’s a tough call. Well, maybe not that tough. Three of the four games are shooters of one kind or another, so I’ll take the one that isn’t. My guess is that A Way Out will have the most varied gameplay, and I’d rather hear you talk about that than the narrative choices of the Destiny people, Cliffy B, or Capcom.

    1. ContribuTor says:

      In Asylum, Quincy Sharp, James Gordon, and Amadeus Arkham are all quite clearly played by Tom Kane

      To be fair, Quincy Sharp IS the Spirit of Arkham, so it’s not really “reusing” a voice actor.

      That said, the fact that the voice actor was so clearly the same made it really jarring that “Arkham is Sharpe!” was apparently supposed to be a surprising reveal. Never occurred to me it was anyone else.

      1. John says:

        I only ever found about three of the Amadeus Arkham, uh, things, not least because I never bothered to look for them, so I had no idea about any of that. I suppose that does make a certain about of sense. The Gordon voice is much different than the other two, so much so that I wasn’t completely sure that it was Tom Kane at first.

        Incidentally, the Asylum’s treatment of its actors in the closing credits is kind of awful. They don’t show up until almost the end, long after everyone else who actually directly contributed to the game. The credits went on forever and my eyes glazed over after a while, but my impression is that people who merely worked in the building where a firm that did some subcontracting related to the games’ marketing got credited before Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill. After a few minutes I decided that I must have missed the voice credits somehow so I resorted to looking them up my phone. I was knee deep in confirming that, yes, Adrienne Barbeau did play Catwoman in Batman: The Animated Series when the voice credits finally appeared on my TV.

        Paul Dini, by contrast, got his writing credit right away. Not sure what that might mean.

    2. RamblePak64 says:

      One of the rough things about a game like Arkham Origins is the fact that it’s standing beside other entries in the same series, and so if it’s the “weakest” entry of that series despite being an otherwise solid game, then the reception it gets is often skewed towards being more negative. I know there’s a lot of stuff about Origins I dislike in comparison, but if it released as the first game in the Arkham series, it might have received a far different and more positive reception.

      + Art: Origins is nice to look at, at least comparatively. Asylum is an older game and is also trying to creep the player out, so it’s both unintentionally and intentionally visually off-putting sometimes. All I can say is that I would much rather spend time on Origins’ snow-covered rooftops than anywhere in Asylum.

      Y’know, I didn’t think about this, but it might also help inform some of the more subjective takes folks will have based on what they believe Batman ought to be. I feel like Origins is more focused on making characters look “awesome” or “bad ass” in a somewhat more grounded way, whereas Asylum very much has an exaggerated horror element to it. Asylum felt like a perfect interpretation of the animated series in particular, which was clearly the main inspiration given the choice of voice actors and hiring of Paul Dini. That animated series was obviously influenced by the recent Tim Burton film, which, being Tim Burton, had a very gothic architecture representation. Origins feels like it steps away from that, for the most part, and depending on your preferences that could be a good or bad thing.

      1. John says:

        I feel like Origins is more focused on making characters look “awesome” or “bad ass” in a somewhat more grounded way, whereas Asylum very much has an exaggerated horror element to it.

        I think that’s about right. Arkham Asylum is approximately the animated series if the animated series were going for a lurid action-thriller vibe with overtones of horror. It’s much nastier than the animated series–which is fair, since the animated series was a cartoon for children–and also trying to be much scarier. In the animated series, Killer Croc is a large, scaly, and in some episodes kinda stupid man. In Asylum, he’s an inhuman monster, twice the size of a normal man and also a cannibal. The Scarecrow goes from a skinny man with a burlap mask and a floppy hat to a freak with needles for fingers. Origins, by contrast, has fewer obvious connections to the animated series and is going for a more straightforward action-thriller vibe.

    3. Cubic says:

      I played Arkham Asylum as a stealth game, mostly. Enjoyable except the final scenes (but then I hate boss fights). By contrast I couldn’t at all get into the game after … Arkham City? … and then kind of moved on. Maybe I should do a Batman the Bruiser playthrough next.

      Since I recently went though A Way Out, it would of course be interesting to see that. There were potential branches here and there that there was no time to explore — I wonder if they change anything on a deeper level of the story. What we played was split-screen so if that is mandatory you will have to get together (which raised the fun-level considerably btw).

  3. Thomas says:

    Shamus, the poll is causing me some problems. Before I filled it in, it kept shoving me onto the poll page when I was trying to read the article. When I refreshed or went back, it would push me back to the poll.

    I’m on Android / Firefox so I don’t know if the issue is common, but I thought I’d mention it in case it was. it was easily resolved by filling in the poll.

    1. Fizban says:

      Also on (old) Firefox, similar problem in that opening the article drops me straight to the poll, which looks like it’s forcing a sign-in to do anything. It’s not, and after I reloaded Firefox and got the same result I tried scrolling up and found there was no problem, but yeah.

      Edit: reloading also forces the jump, as realized when it reloaded from posting.

      1. Thomas says:

        Ah that was probably it for me then too.

  4. Asdasd says:

    Chief.inform(‘whole article’, ‘on’, ‘front page’);

  5. Simplex says:

    Shamus, did you play It Takes Two?

  6. Amstrad says:

    I voted in the poll for Resident Evil just because it’s the one that Shamus seems to have the most stuff to gripe about, which has traditionally given us the best content.

    1. Dreadjaws says:

      LOL, yeah, me too.

  7. Dreadjaws says:

    I’m currently playing Arkham City, as, like I mentioned before, I’m playing through the series again and man, while this still is my favorite in the series from a gameplay standpoint, it gets crazy to see just how out of character Batman is all the time. Yes, this is the one game where the excuses are more or less acceptable:
    – He has a ticking clock hanging over his head due to his blood infection.
    – He has the threat of Strange’s knowledge of his identity constantly looming over him.
    – At some point he ingests a bit of Lazarus pit potion, which famously drives people out of their minds for a while, and while from a gameplay perspective the illusions are gone, from a story perspective there might be some temporary sequels left.
    – All his allies are constantly calling him out for his behavior, which heavily implies it’s not normal.

    But it’s still hard to ignore that here he simply prefers the more violent methods rather than using them because he has no other choice. Yeah, I get him scaring the crap out of Riddler’s accomplices and all that, but why is terrorizing Mayor Sharp his opening move to get him to talk? I get that Sharp is corrupt and basically to blame for the events of the game, but come on. Also, we as the audience know Solomon Grundy is an undead zombie, but the game heavily implies this is the first time Batman has encountered the character in this universe, so how come his idea to defeat him is to literally pull his heart out without even bothering to offer an explanation for why this doesn’t count as brutal murdering? And let’s not even talk about him basically removing Freeze’s life support to get answers.

    What many writers seem to forget is that Batman is supposed to only pretend to be a torturing maniac. Also, and I’m sure I mentioned this somewhere else, but I hate the way these games portray torture as an infallible source of information (incidentally, I had the same problem with the Arrow TV show). It should be a last resort used only when there are no other viable options and still making it clear that the information obtained might not be good.

    Imagine how much better Arkham Origins would have been if they had included a scene where he had tortured some guy for information and ended up being false, so Batman goes to confront the guy and he cries in desperation that he only told him something he came up with so he would stop torturing him, because he genuinely didn’t know anything and couldn’t take much more. Then Batman would have the realization that he was being too harsh and inching way too close to be the kind of people he fought against, so he’d start being less violent.

    1. ContribuTor says:

      Hey, Quincy? Did you see Regis this morning?

  8. Tohron says:

    Hey, the Halo 2 blurb is false advertising! A significant portion of Halo 2 is set on Earth :p

    1. RamblePak64 says:

      Pedantry: Earth is located in space!

      1. ContribuTor says:

        Troll: Pedantry: Your MOM is located in space!

        1. pseudonym says:

          Troll: Troll: Pedantry: YOU come from a space located in your MOM!

  9. Gautsu says:

    I just finished my replay of Asylum, City, and Origins, I need a break before I start Knight. Asylum is easily the best game in the series, story and tone wise. City is my least favorite, I get a lot of people really dig the Escape from New York esthetic, but Batman is so stupid in that game it isn’t funny. He gets ambushed every time he meets a new character, he ignores his friends advice (“Hey Bruce you’re going to die in minutes go take the antidote!”,”No I must get this Riddles Trophy first!”), and as Shamus discussed in his series back in the day, the plot is nonsensical to the nth degree. Origins is a mixed bag for me; I like a lot about it, and dislike just as much. Graphically I had forgotten how much they improved texture work over City. Then you get to the shittiest U.I. The new gadgets are awesome, only locked behind random gameplay features (can’t unlock Critical Strikes until about 60% through the story, wtf). The detective portions of crime scenes we’re magnitudes better, but the Rilddler trophies, excuse me, Enigma packs were so easy it felt like they overcorrected over people bitching about City’s. The Dark Knight Challenges were all over the place in difficulty with it possible to miss some of the stealth ones on a playthrough by advancing the plot too fast. Going back to hunt secrets in finished stages was weird since they would be empty of combat completely. And they just had to bring back the Joker…. I did, for the most part, enjoy the Bane and Joker portions of the storyline. And the Electrocutioner fight was one of the funniest moments in the series. I kind of remember Shamus complaining about being animation locked in regards to countering in his old game dissection; I would say that I had the opposite experience, you can almost animation cancel to counter, which the game expects you to do. I lost more combo flows due to Batman moving faster than before, and not registering that sometimes mooks will have the dizzy icon over them on the ground, but actually be unconscious. And lastly, Cold, Cold Heart was a worse Freeze fight, with the coolest (hehe) looking Batsuit in the series

    1. Gautsu says:

      sorry about the Wall of Text

      1. Thomas says:

        Walls of text are traditional! You should see what a typical Rocketeer comment looks like

        1. Syal says:

          Although ladders of text are preferred.

          1. Lino says:

            Meh, I’m more of an escalators of text kind of guy.

            1. Gautsu says:

              Everything is formatted correctly on my phone, I submit and it turns into a blob

  10. GoStu says:

    Voted for the games:

    1) Halo 2
    2) Gears of War
    3) A Way Out
    4) Resident Evil 5

    Mostly in my order of preference for the games. Halo & Gears, for better or for worse, have influenced a LOT of later games into ripping them off.

    I’ve played through A Way Out – without wishing to spoil, I saw nothing interesting enough about it long-term to pique my interest. It was fun exactly once. In terms of what this game contributed to the games industry as a whole…. what does a beany fart contribute to the wind? Nothing long-term.

    Resident Evil, as a franchise, has never really interested me. If I recall correctly it was 4 that was “the good one” and 5 was not very good. Maybe there’s some merit in having a playthrough of something BAD to laugh at, but meh. I’m not that interested.

    1. Thomas says:

      A Way Out starts developing ideas that came to fruition in It Takes Two, and after the success of that, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a wave of ITT copycats in 3 or 4 years time.

      Halo and Gears position as console system sellers are also always going to find it easier to have reach than an indie dev team (although not to say that they didn’t deserve their influence).

      I did find A Way Out disappointing though. It should be right up my alley – story focused and I played it all with a friend – but it never did as much as it promised to. And whilst I appreciate the design potential of the ending, it left a bitter taste.

      1. GoStu says:

        Looks like so far, it’s been:

        – Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
        – A Way Out
        – It Takes Two

        all by the same director (Josef Fares), who started his own studio after Brothers. You may be onto something that It Takes Two will spawn more imitators – it’s certainly the better game. Without wishing to spoil, A Way Out fell into some gameplay that I felt had been done to death, and then had an unsatisfying ending. For a game I picked up to play with my wife it was not a good last couple sessions.

      2. Cohasset says:

        I liked A Way Out until the end. Sure the game gets a bit goofy once you’re out of the prison but the ending really kills the cooperative nature of the game by turning it into a competitive game that also really discourages that cooperation during replays. I still chose it as my top pick though I can understand if they pick one of the other games.

      3. Chad+Miller says:

        Halo and Gears position as console system sellers are also always going to find it easier to have reach than an indie dev team

        I feel like this reverses cause and effect; games become system sellers because they hit on something popular, not the other way around (in fact console exclusivity is explicitly restraining the possible reach of the game, essentially betting on the assumption that the game’s inherent appeal will make up for it)

    2. Mistwraithe says:

      A Way Out was a perfect game to get my wife into gaming more. We had a great time playing through A Way Out and were able to get through all of the segments despite her struggling with the FPS shooting areas of it. I can see it being potentially underwhelming for two experienced gamers but I for one would like to see more co-op games like A Way Out made.

      Incidentally, if there already ARE more such games then please let me know :-)

  11. Redrock says:

    Whenever people talk about Batman acting out of character, I find myself wondering how exactly do we establish the baseline for that. I’m not necessarily defending the AC and AK portrayal here, but, still, what’s the metric here? The quietly homicidal Keaton Batman? The loudly homicidal Batffleck? Frank Miller’s Goddamn Batman? Or, perhaps, Frank Miller’s Dark Knight with a penchant for returning and striking again? Frank Miller’s Year One Batman, perchance? Probably not Geoff Johns’s Earth One version, but how about Jeph Loeb’s version from Hush, the Batman that had to be stopped from beating the Joker to death at gunpoint? Don’t even get me started on Lee Bermejo’s utter bastard of a caped crusader, the guy who’d terrorize some poor sap in a terrible situation because “all crime is bad”.

    What I’m getting at, there’re a lot of variations of Batman, often being published or broadcast concurrently. And his character and attitude swings wildly, but, and here’s the thing, I’d argue that the vast majority of those versions are “out of character” or, to put it more bluntly, primitively written. Batman, I think, is very easy for a writer to get wrong, to get blinded by the legend and supposed badassery and forget to actually imbue him with some humanity and sympathetic qualities. And Rocksteady writers, quite frankly, fetishize Batman to an unhealthy degree, but they are far from alone in that.

    1. Shamus says:

      I agree that lots of writers get Batman wrong, and that he’s actually a challenging character to write. My problem with the Arkham Batman is that he disagrees with his own setting and backstory.

      * This is apparently a principled Batman who will NEVER kill, and is indeed FAMOUS for this stance, who is nevertheless willing to torture and endanger the lives of his foes for information. That’s a very peculiar calibration for a moral compass.
      * This Batman has surrounded himself with friends and allies like Robin, Nightwing, and Bat-Girl, yet he apparently hates teaming up, never takes advice, and is hostile to even modest offers for aid.
      * This Batman has detective vision, the Bat-computer, a hacker ally, an ally in the Gotham PD, and enough surveillance gear to make Mark Zuckerburg blush. And yet when he needs info his first impulse is always to hunt someone down and beat them into talking.

      It’s like someone took Frank Miller’s version of Batman and dropped him into the world of Batman: The Animated Series.

      1. Thomas says:

        My least favourite take on Batman is the one where he’s basically fine killing people, he just hates guns.

      2. RamblePak64 says:

        I think part of the problem is that, by hiring Kevin Conroy, you automatically create a link between this Batman and the Animated Series Batman, and as Paul Dini did the most writing for Asylum, you effectively establish Animated Series Batman as the canonical Batman here in Arkham. So while Redrock is correct in that there are technically multiple interpretations of the character, the Arkham series began with one that was primarily influenced and written to be the Animated Series Batman, because it was essentially Paul Dini’s Batman in that first game.

        Arkham Origins feels awkward because it’s clear the Nolan films and other potential material had a lot of influence on the presentation and story that the other games did not. Oddly enough, and I am on record as saying this with Shamus on my own podcast, I feel like the actor for Origins would have been far more appropriate for the dark “I’m gonna shove your head under the Batmobile’s Batmo-wheel” portrayal they were going for. Kevin Conroy just doesn’t fit that role, which only adds to him feeling out of character in Arkham Knight.

        So part of the issue comes down to who Batman is in Asylum due to who was writing him, and when they had Paul Dini have a smaller role in the writing of City, it began to really show. Then Paul Dini was not at all involved in Origins and Knight, and we basically have someone else’s Batman altogether, even though he feels very different from the Batman of Asylum.

      3. Redrock says:

        Good points. I’d argue that there are more than a few moments in any modern Batman comic run where he’s sulking and driving away most members of the Bat-Family, and I don’t think “enhanced interrogation” was ever much of a problem for the guy. Still, gotta admit, I’ve never much liked the Arkham version, despite Konroy’s voicework, but I’ve never been able to articulate why as well as you did. He just seems off in a really grating way. Then again, that’s basically my experience with a lot of Batman media. Honestly, sending Bruce back in time and replacing him with Dick Grayson made for some of the best Batman stories in a long, long time.

      4. GoStu says:

        This Batman has surrounded himself with friends and allies like Robin, Nightwing, and Bat-Girl, yet he apparently hates teaming up, never takes advice, and is hostile to even modest offers for aid.

        I feel like this one is gameplay & story & lore all colliding.

        By the time City came around, Robin & the extended Bat-Friends have to make an appearance to clarify that yes, they do exist in this world. However, the gameplay designer doesn’t want to account for a frequently-present Bat-Ally and a lot of the “Batman just got knocked out” moments don’t work if there’s also a Robin or Nightwing. So Batman has to shove them off-screen as forcefully as possible?

        I still think there were better ways to handle this, like if Batman sent his allies off on other jobs or to “track down” so and so. Or perhaps, early in the story, a dialogue like

        “Unfortunate that Nightwing is looking into the disappearance of Black Mask. I could use his help.”

        That would establish that yes, Batman has allies and is on good terms with them, and Batman’s open to teaming up with his friends/allies, but they’re simply not available.

    2. Dreadjaws says:

      Oh, man, if you think these guys fetishize Batman to an unhealthy degree, I hope you never run into Doug Moench’s work. I mean, I love Batman, but that guy is just disturbing. And the worst part is that he doesn’t even write the character poorly (well, not always), it’s more how he writes every other character to have nothing but praise for him.

  12. Bubble181 says:

    None of those games appeal to me – give me an interesting story and/or framemaat more involved than “move forward, press shoot” any day. So I didn’t list a number one, just two twos, a three and a four.
    If it’s not intended to allow that, might want to change up your Google Foo.
    I loved Asylum, but every game after game worse and worse to me. I never got around to Knight, by then I’d already given up. While I do like some of the basic game play, every game in the series muddled it more, with more cream to think of, more gadgets, more types of enemies, etc, and after a while it just isn’t mindless fun anymore. Which is definitely fair, not every (type of) game wants or needs to be. But I liked these for a forum of power fantasy, not as hard fighter games where I’m struggling and have to think and so on. I have other games for the thinky times.

    1. Dreadjaws says:

      Man, the entire point of the poll for these streams is to pick what game you think it’d be more interesting to see discussed in an analysis not which one you think it’s better.

      1. RamblePak64 says:

        Their attitude is still fair, however, if they don’t think these games have a story or gameplay interesting enough to be analyzed. While Shamus and I were very focused on which games there’d be enough to discuss in terms of level and gameplay design and narrative, they’re all also mostly out of the standard wheelhouse of what he usually discusses. Save for A Way Out, they’re largely mechanics-first games whose gameplay can be viewed as the cancer that killed traditional PC gaming at the turn of the millennium.

        While I’d argue you can make a worthwhile analysis out of anything — I myself love looking up deep dives into games I have no plans to play, like the Kingdom Hearts series — you can’t really expect everyone to have that same interest. So, if that’s how they feel, then their feeling is valid.

        The end result will still effectively be that we’ll be streaming a game they have little interest in, and hopefully Shamus and I can be entertaining and insightful enough to show that maybe there’s something of interest to be had in our commentary of such games after all.

  13. Philadelphus says:

    I voted! Where do I get my sticker?

  14. RFS-81 says:

    Twitch VODs disappear after a while, right? If I still want to watch them, how long do I have?

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