Batman: Arkham Asylum Guide
Batman: Arkham Asylum is probably the best game implementation of a comic book character in the history of gaming – I think that is a safe statement. You play as the Dark Knight himself, and it is not the wimpy Batman played by Adam West – no, you are playing a seriously buffed Batman that is a mixture of Christian Bale and the comic book sort of Batman; macho, and with a definite attitude.
EIDOS says that the Batman in the game was actually designed to be a sort of amalgamation of all of the movie/cartoon/comic book Batman characters but I think they are just trying not to hurt the feelings of George Clooney, and Val Kilmer. I did not mention Michael Keaton because they did incorporate his attitude in to the game, so call it a Keatonesque-Bale mix.
If you have read the reviews, you will likely have read that the combat system in the game is stunted – that is not true. The reviewers that wrote that did not grasp how the games combat actually works, it is really that simple. If you try to strike your blows based on visuals, you are going to have problems because that is not how it is designed. What you should be doing is listening for the blows, and striking as soon as you hear them – this institutes a combo system that becomes very valuable later on.
Everything is valuable when it comes to the upgrades, but purely from a fighting standpoint, you should learn the combo system early. That means buying the combo system as your first upgrade so that you are learning it and working it as soon as possible. Of course that presumes that you are interested in mastering the fighting style of the game – if you are a button masher, ignore what I just said and buy whatever upgrades you like, since it really will not matter to you.
One more comment on this – it is nice when a developer puts out a game that allows you to play it to the hilt, using the skills that are part of the game if you choose to, or play it casually without bothering to learn anything at all – there is a path for finesse and a path for brute force, the choice is yours.
An important point for you to understand about Arkham Asylum is that this is the game where you get to BE Batman. All of the previous games let you sort of be Batman, only as much as the programmers let you be him. In BAA, you get all the gadgets, all the skills, all the moves – in short it is the most complete Batman experience you are every going to get, so if you want my advice, take the time to enjoy this one, because it is the rare game where they just got it right.