Batman: Arkham Asylum
Eidos Interactive | Xbox 360
For years, nerds have pieced together the ideal Batman, in a cape-and-cowl version of the “I’ll take the breasts of Marilyn Monroe and the legs of Betty Page” game. Now, their fantasies have come true. When Joker takes over Arkham Asylum, the criminal madhouse that houses all of Batman’s worst enemies, Batman realizes he has a long night ahead of him. Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill, respectively, voice Batman and the Joker, the roles they once held in Batman: The Animated Series, and the pairing is perfect. The Batmobile from the 1989 Michael Keaton film makes a cameo, and the gritty, dirty, brutal images of the dilapidated and troubled villains are reminiscent of graphic novels such as Batman: The Killing Joke. All together, this mash-up makes for a wonderful ride. A variety of hidden items (240 Riddler trophies alone) will ensure a second time through the loony bin, but you’ll need to use a sort of night-vision technology to find them. It’s a shame because you’ll spend 90 percent of the time playing through a blue haze, missing the detailed and grim environments. When it comes to the Batman canon, consider this more Dark Knight and considerably less Batman Forever.