Batman: Arkham Asylum – Rocksteady
Batman has been in a lot of video games, and the vast majority of them are crap that are illegal in the eyes of the Geneva Convention. I would rather watch someone kick my grandmother down the stairs over and over again before I play Batman Forever for even a second.
The announcement of Arkham Asylum, then, didn’t exactly fill me with excitement. On top of Batman’s sketchy video game history, Rocksteady Studios only had Urban Chaos: Riot Response under their belts. Remember Urban Chaos? Neither do I.
Fast forward to today, and we’re just three weeks from Arkham City’s release, which happens to be one of the most anticipated of the year. A Batman game! Anticipated! After Arkham Asylum blew everyone’s minds with one of the best video game adaptations of a license ever, it’s not so hard to imagine. AA explored the detective work that was sorely lacking in every Batman release before it, implemented one of the best combat systems in any action game, and threw in the brilliant voice cast from Batman: The Animated Series for good measure.
Crap, I just reminded myself that Arkham City comes out in three weeks and now I have to change my pants.
God of War: Chains of Olympus – Ready at Dawn
Ready at Dawn’s inclusion on this list is a bit tricky, as it was founded by former employees of both Naughty Dog and Blizzard Entertainment. In addition, the game that they developed before God of War: Chains of Olympus, Daxter, was very well-received upon its release.
However, the idea of releasing a game such as God of War on the PSP, where there would be no second stick to help Kratos dodge and fewer action buttons, was a tall order. And surely the grand sense of scale found in the previous console versions of the game would be lost, right?
Wrong, obviously. While not quite as comfortable to play as the console games, adapting the controls to the gimped PSP was expertly handled, while also pumping out visuals that rivaled the PS2 games. The only thing that was lacking in the game was the story, which was the shortest and least interesting in the entire series. Overall, the game is worthy of the God of War moniker and a place in your PSP library. Ready at Dawn then followed it up with the excellent Ghost of Sparta, which is one of the best games in the series, and now both games are available in one neat collection for the PS3.
Well played, I say.