Nate said earlier that he is getting excited for the Batman game, and me being the intense comic book reader that I am (I spent almost $50 on comic books alone last week, and I wonder why I'm so poor) also look forward to it with bated breath. I mean, someone said that it'll essentially play like the BioShock of super hero games. Awesome, right? Combine that with Mark Hammil as the Joker and Kevin Conroy as Batman (the guys who did the voices on the 90's animated cartoon... remember that?) and it looks like we'll have a great Batman game.
Now, I'll only pre-order a game if it's got some kind of special limited edition to it, because otherwise I could just go get it normally at any time. What's the rush? But when the Batman: Arkham Asylum special edition specs were released, I came up with a conundrum. Let's break it down.
Here is the $99.99 collector's edition of Arkham Asylum. With it, you get a 14" batarang for your display case, Arkham's journal in a nice leather dust jacket with information on all the inmates, a behind-the-scenes DVD, and exclusive levels. Sounds great... but almost $100 great?
Let's be honest - 9 times out of 10, super hero games fail. Most critics agree the best super hero game was Spider-Man 2, which took GTA sandbox gameplay and let you sling webs around the city. Awesome. I for one am of the opinion that Marvel Ultimate Alliance is the best super hero game, and if Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 has a pre-order package, you can be sure that I'll get it. But outside of this, what do we have? Crappy Batman games, crappy Iron Man games, crappy Hulk games, crappy X-Men games... the list goes on and on. So while Arkham Asylum might be fun, it might also just be worth one play through and then a shelf forever life span. Hell, it might just warrant a rent for a weekend play through and then return it life span. Let's be honest here - in the world of Next Gen gaming, there has never been a good Batman game. Granted, the only attempts were with Justice League Unlimited (which was fun to an extent, but the lack of Hal Jordan annoyed me) and the Batman Begins movie tie-in (let's just not talk about it). Add that to the fact that most TV/movie/comic tie-ins aren't worth the dough (I STILL haven't bought Afro Samurai, even though I loved the demo), the odds are stacked against Batman in this one. So is it really REALLY worth it to spend $100 for a 14" batarang?
I don't think I'd ever call myself a die-hard Batman fan. I know there are some people who are Batcrazy, and I look at them and judge them as I often do (considering I have mountains and mountains of comic books in my closet) and I say, "Ok, we're living in a post-The Dark Knight world now where everyone seems to think Batman is the greatest hero ever (even though he isn't), it's the perfect time to spring a hyper expensive shiny toy for all the nerds to want." And I do want it, I do. But when I hold my $100+ GameStop credits in my hand and I look down the road at all the games coming out (Assassin's Creed 2, Mass Effect 2, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 for sequels; Prototype, Brutal Legend, Darksiders for firstquels) and then I look at my brand new DS (thank you, girlfriend), I gotta say that no matter how shiny and cool that Batarang looks, I don't think I can justify spending $100 on a 14" replica that DOESN'T LOOK LIKE THE ONES FROM THE COMICS.
There. I said it. I'm an elitist comic book snob, and The Joker looks goofy.