Videogame Releases: Week of October 16th, 2011

We’ve got one major videogame release this week, along with a pair of smaller games based on already popular franchises. Sequels and prequels abound, but that’s not something we should really be too bothered about. Still, I can’t help looking that gift horse in the mouth and wishing that there was an original idea in there somewhere.

Batman: Arkham City (360, PC, PS3)

It seems like everyone in the videogame world fell in love with ‘Batman: Arkham Asylum’ at the same time… except me. Clunky controls are often the death of a game for me, cool voice acting or not. The sequel has been anticipated by fans for some time, and it finally hits stores this week.

You won’t be surprised to find out that ‘Arkham City’ has all of the things that made ‘Arkham Asylum’ the hit it was, but in a bigger world with areas to explore that are unique to the villains that control them. Praise has been through the roof already for ‘Arkham City’, and even this ol’ sourpuss will end up giving it a go.

Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One (PS3)

Insomniac gets a lot of love for the ‘Resistance’ titles, but I honestly don’t feel the company gets enough credit for ‘Rachet & Clank’. It’s a really fun series that’ll take you by surprise if you think you’re just getting a kiddie mascot game. ‘All 4 One’ introduces four player co-op to the series, available both on- and offline. If the addition is anywhere near as good as the co-op implementation for ‘New Super Mario Bros. Wii’, then this is a must own.

Professor Layton and the Last Specter (DS)

The latest ‘Layton’ game is also the earliest. That is to say that ‘Last Specter’ is a prequel to the other games in the series, and allows you to see the origin of some of the characters you know and love. More importantly, it’s packed with more puzzles and a bonus 8-bit style RPG that apparently contains over 100 hours of gameplay.


  1. Drew

    Arkham City! It’s finally here! Game of the mother fucking year! I’ve had it pre-ordered since you were able to pre-order it.

    Arkham Asylum’s controls were magnificent, and were the one thing that really set that game apart! I am in shock that you, or anyone could call them clunky.

    • I found them painful to deal with. Could just be my style of play but I really didn’t dig them. The whole feel of movement in ‘Arkham Asylum’ didn’t jive well with me.

      • Drew

        You were definitely in the minority there. Most people felt that the controls were the best aspect of the game. The controls were essentially universally praised. It was an entirely new and unique type of character control, and was easily the best thing about ‘Asylum.’

  2. Drew

    True, true. I’m not even referring to reviwers; Just my own personal experience with the game, and what my friends and family had to say about it. The controls were the one thing that we all agreed separated ‘Asylum’ from so many other similar games. That’s why I was incredulous when you talked about “clunky controls.” You’re right though. To each, their own.

  3. Drew

    Just wanted to check back in and say that after putting in about 20 hours, I can say that this is definitely the best video game that was released in 2011.

    The controld are even better than on Arkham Asylum. The game is vast and practically endless. I’m in shock at just how much larger in scope it is than Arkham Asylum. Every aspect of it is grander, larger, and more majestic.

    Arkham City is a total triumph!


    • Based on all the praise for ‘Arkham City’ I’ve been going back through ‘Akrham Asylum’ to see if I wrote it off too quickly.

      I still find the controls simplistic and unsatifying. Throwing a Batarang, for example, is a pain. I also find myself having a difficult time maneuvering while gliding.

      I’m also not a fan of the way Batman feels walking about the place, but there’s only so much you can do with a 3D action game.

      I really hope the constant gameplay interruptions ease up after the first few hours. Stop making me walk slow and listen to Oracle when I want to be stomping baddies!

      Still, I’m going to power through it and see if it grows on me. Wouldn’t be the first time a game takes a while to mesh with me 🙂

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