Batman: Arkham Origins Blocked Gate

Batman: Arkham Origins BlackgateOne of the better Vita games I’ve played but that isn’t much of an endorsement.

Batman is on patrol in Gotham when he comes across Catwoman for the first time. After a chase and fight, he apprehends her and she is sent to Blackgate. After a time lapse, Batman is alerted to a riot condition at Blackgate. He goes there to settle the situation only to find it worse than he imagined. The Joker, Penguin, and Black Mask are all working plans to use the chaos to expand their criminal enterprises. Now Batman must stop all of them and deal with Catwoman who has tentatively aligned herself as an ally.

Much like the console Batman games, there are good and bad things about this game. As I stated previously, this is one of the better games that I have played on the Vita. With that said though it was also one of the most frustrating. Controls were a big issue throughout the game. When trying to enter an air shaft or other crawl space, you are prompted to hold O or X but if you do not press and hold it as the exact time the game expects you to you may or may not enter into the air shaft. The same timing issue also crops up in game action during fights, particularly when trying to counter an enemy. This is a huge frustration during certain boss fights. On the plus side, the graphics were very good for a handheld game. Keep in mind that this is not meant to be the equal of a Batman console game and is exactly what it was meant to be, a handheld game. The available actions and gadgets are scaled back and this is another plus. It would have been a disservice to the player to try to make them aim a Batarang as they do on the console version.

Even though the name implies a connection to the Batman: Arkham Origins game, there is little if any link other than the name. The story doesn’t hand-off or pick up much if anything from the console game. There is an attempt to bring the two together in the credits if you watch through them. I personally could not figure out when this game fits into the timeline of the Batman game series. It has to be after the story in Origins but felt like it was before Arkham City. If you or anybody knows how this timeline works, feel free to let me know.

As much as I want to recommend this game I can’t, at least not at the current asking price. I enjoyed the game in the long run but also can’t say that its value was worth the cost.  Amazon and other retailers are still asking about $35 for the game.

Unfortunately, this game and its console companion have been less than what I expected. Perhaps the only hope left is that Rocksteady will take the reins back and do things right on the next-gen consoles but will I still be interested by then???


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