I am a novice gamer, at best. While the gaming industry does intrigue me, my gaming skills are limited to playing Mario and Donkey Kong on my Super Nintendo as well as Tetris, Pokemon, and Sims. With this in mind, I would like to go on to say some of my fellow colleagues started to make a giant point: how could I possibly write in depth articles about games if I didn’t play them? So I decided to write a daily blog of sorts on my frustrations and hardships playing my first Xbox 360 game (besides fighting games, which I like to call my button smashing games). It would only make sense that I would pick up Batman: Arkham City as my first game, since you know, it’s Batman.
First off I should say this may contain some spoilers as I am retelling my whole experience with the beginning of the game. Now that’s out of the way…
I had to admit the intro credits amazed me. My love for Kevin Conroy as Batman is over the top, he beats out any Batman in my heart. When Professor Hugo Strange kidnaps Batman and drops him off in Arkham City, he knocks out Bruce Wayne and ties him up in a chair in a small room.
I know this sounds absolutely pathetic, but it took me about ten minutes to get out of those ropes. I kept wiggling that left joystick, and he kept shaking but nothing was happening. It also took me about 5 minutes to realize that I was Bruce Wayne, sitting in the chair, and that was a mirror I was staring at. Oh yeah, I’m the observant one all right. After I finally got out, it took me awhile to get used to the joystick, and I kept running into the walls as I hadn’t figured out how to make Batman not look like a drunken bastard.
I was then able to contact Alfred and get the Batman costume on. This was of course after taking about another ten minutes to figure out how to climb up things properly, and not continuously jump down from the higher platform I would have been standing at. I was able to finish my next mission of saving Catwoman relatively easy, but when it had me investigate the bullet that came through the window, I found myself in some pretty deep trouble. I looked around everywhere, tried to triangulate where the second bullet would have landed. Fifteen minutes of running around the same room and getting incredibly dizzy from looking up and down with little to no accuracy, I did a little happy dance when I finally did find it.
I then had to find that tall building that the shot came from right? Well, I am completely lost, and am initially too dense to realize I should be observing from a taller building and looking for the red flags. So I run around in circles, and run into a couple of guys with guns, and there you have it. My first death. So I do it again, and my second time around, I still haven’t realized what I am doing wrong, and I die again, from the same exact problem. I had to pat myself on the back when it came to me what I should have done in the first place.
I find the building, and I do the same thing. I can’t seem to figure out how to climb over the wall (even though climbing has been the same button since the beginning of the game) and run into more thugs. Another death. I’m getting really good at this game.
So I figure out the entrance, and I find Harley Quinn and her little band of misfits. She hits me, taunts me a little bit, and leaves. My next mission is to quietly take down the thugs so that they won’t hurt the hostages. Well I am all sorts of special, and I try to take on one of them from above. I do the really smart thing, and land right in front of the thug. He kills the hostage, and I’m dead. I do it again. And again. And again. Somehow, it hadn’t reached my brain that I shouldn’t be pressing the attack button, but Y for silent attack. Oops.
I finally complete the mission and everything is starting to look up. I think I got a good hold of this game! That feeling lasted a whole five seconds, before Kevin Conroy reminded me that I had to go to the Bell Tower to find the Joker (oh Mark Hamill <3). That sounds nice and all, but how do I get out? I waste a good amount of time talking to some of the civilians and cops, and come up with nothing. I grapple around the room, jumping from gargoyle to gargoyle, tried to even jump through the window. It was only in detective mode and Kevin Conroy reminding me an extra thirty times that I realize that there is a door. On the main floor. Yep…
I get to the bell tower quite easily, and it turns out, even if the bomb threatens to kill you in 5 seconds, it won’t. I couldn’t coordinate my finger movements correctly, and I was so frustrated that I would die again. I didn’t though, and I am out gliding.
I try to find the signal so I can track down the Joker, but then I get distracted. There is just this ringing that won’t stop, so I have to go find it. When I finally do find it though, I am somehow hit with this overwhelming stupidity, because I can’t seem to find a way to get to the phone. I am on top of the shack that the phone is at, but I can’t get to it. Yes, I did finally come to realize that I can just walk around the shack and find it. Thanks for pointing that out.
It’s Victor Zsasz and he wants me to track down the other phone ringing in the city, and he wants me to do it in 2 minutes or else his hostage will die. With my amazing skills, I fail the first time. And the second time. And the third time. And the forth. At this point, I thought it was a good time to call it a night. 1.5 hours into the game, 3% of the main story is complete. It’s a 8-10 hour game. I may not be too good at gaming, but I am pretty competent with numbers and I can tell you, I am failing.
I do plan on finishing this game (even if it may take me the rest of the month) and I do plan on figuring out what all those Riddler signs are doing on top of all the buildings. I tried to hit them, but trying to hit a light is as useless as me trying to play a game. In retrospect, I probably should have played it on easy game mode, but it’s Batman, and I felt that I should be able to tackle it on Normal, since I had such superior knowledge of Batman. It didn’t help though, and now I have to lie in my own grave.
I would like to note, no one was around to see my play this game. No one should be subjected to such torture.