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Tough noogies in Arkham City

GamesKristina PinoComment

Arkham City: where the goons are tough and The Bat is tougher, right?

When it came to playing Batman: Arkham Asylum, I had a real fun time of it. I couldn't keep myself away from trying to find time for the game; beat the next boss, run through the next mission, solve another riddle. Now that I'm going through Arkham City, I wish I could say the same. The difficulty level spiked a bit, throwing complicated battles at Batman off the bat, and adding a glorious amount of villains to the mix.

Don't get me wrong; I like a challenge. I'm not sure what I was expecting when I knew full well AC is a direct continuation, and thus it would make sense to pick up where things left off. The game even warned me away from starting in 'hard mode' saying only 'experts' should attempt.

So, why am I whining about the game being 'so hard' and having a bit of a tough time with it, when really I've barely had issues with any fights or seen any game over screens? I just feel like my excitement for the game diminished a bit. The fights aren't difficult, but they take a while. I have to sneak around more because the goons are better equipped and higher in number. I somehow am back to having a minimum amount of gadgets in the beginning of the game (despite walking out of Arkham Asylum with tons of stuff) and have to earn my way (again) to more sophisticated gear. What gives?

While I was playing B:AA, I had no problems losing hours of my time in one sitting, but somehow I can't keep going after just two missions or story events in B:AC. Why could this be? I think, maybe I should play something else and just not focus too much on just one game; so I try playing some more Final Fantasy XIII and, somehow I also find that unfulfilling, though it's a game I was thoroughly enjoying before Batman came out. I think it's also cause it's not easy to keep up with two complicated games at one time.

I've found that I get frustrated with the fact that I'm only 22% through with Batman when most of my Twitter buddies have already finished the storyline and are now just solving Riddler puzzles or doing side missions. This is a game I want to complete, but the dread keeps me from playing it for too long at a time. How does that even make sense?

The only explanation I have is the game is just too overwhelming at the beginning (and really, has stayed that way so far). It makes perfect sense as a continuation, but giving everyone this big new world rampant with distractions and all of them out to get Batman seemed like a bit much. I'm sure I have no less than five side missions marked on my map just waiting for my attention. Everywhere I look: question marks and riddles. Right at the title screen: the option to play as Catwoman. It's a closed-in city with limits, but a whole world of possibilities that make my head spin.

I'm not sure whether or not this makes or breaks Batman: Arkham City as a game. It's a great attempt at making the game seem like an "open world" type, but there are limits to that, too. How much is too much?

All this being said, I absolutely love playing it. I love playing as Batman and wrecking some faces. I get so much satisfaction out of beating up stupid goons and meeting more villains, catching references to previous events and basking in the cheesy humor. The character models are fantastic and of course the score is appropriately epic. What more could a girl ask for? (That's a rhetorical question you shouldn't answer.)

[Amazon: Batman: Arkham City for PS3 | Batman: Arkham City for XBox]