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Batman AA Day#7: A Disappointing Session in an Otherwise Good Game

A largely mediocre session with more dumb Scarecrow fights and a scene that I’ve been looking forward to the whole game that turns out to be really disappointing. But all it takes is another predator scene to make me love you again, Batman. Spoilers within.

Well, when I came back to this stupid Scarecrow scene, something in the camera angle was different. The solution was obvious — you hide behind the crate as it moves. How could not have seen this last time? Anyway, I move on and get to the spotlight, and we cut to a new CS back in Arkham where the real Scarecrow injects me with more serum. That cuts to a new set of skeleton fight scenes in fantasy land: one set of thugs, one Titan-steroided skeleton, and then a set of both. You beat the Titan skeleton the same way as all the Titans — by Bataranging its face and blinding it. You heard me right, blinding the skeleton. I guess its eyesockets are sensitive. It is incredible how repetitive these scenes are. The weakest part of the game by miles.

Anyway, defeating all the fights lets me point the Spotlight of Doom at giant Scarecrow, and I’m back in the real world. Scarecrow runs, and I’m not really sure what to do. I go basically in a random direction, which turns out to be the correct way to follow Scarecrow. Unexpected, but at least the game is still moving. This whole section is actually quite confusing, and I end up just fighting and wandering aimlessly from scene to scene. Lots of fights, in fact, reminding me how much I hate the stun baton thugs. Eventually, I stumble, entirely unaware, into Croc’s lair.

There, I get a CS in which Crane threatens to drop fear serum into the water supply, only to be grabbed and nearly crushed by Croc from out of nowhere. Batman batarangs the collar on Croc’s neck, which shocks him and causes him to dive into the water with Scarecrow. I follow him into the depths of his lair after the cure for Titan.

It begins with a scene where I lose control of Batman when he leaves a sonar Batarang and uses the explosive gel to set a trap. It’s kind of weird that the trap is set in a cut scene; you would think that the game would make me figure that out. Anyway, then I have to walk slowly on these sensitive wooden planks so as to not alert Croc. You alert Croc anyway so it doesn’t matter. Croc jumps out of the water and you have to Batarang his collar. I die once figuring that out, and a lot more times when I accidently press the right analog too hard and end up zooming in on Croc knocking me into the water and killing me. Overall though, the scene is kind of boring. I have to go really slow, and Croc generally pops up far enough away that if the controls don’t fuck me, I can put him down before he gets anywhere near me. I’m honestly a little disappointed; I was looking for the Croc scene to be really scary, and instead it’s predictable and repetitive, and thanks to the control problems, ugh annoying.

I get enough of the antidote after having to wander from spore to spore in the Croc maze, and then I have to run back to the entrance. Croc chases me into the entrance where the trap is. I’m ready and I have the detonator primed, but I could swear Batman says, “NOW!” when I have to hit the button. Come on, I’m far enough in this game. I can hit a button on time. Anyway, Croc falls into the pit Batman set, and I head back to the Batcave to make more antidote, taking out a bunch of thugs on the way.

Down in the Batcave, I make some antidote, and the computer is working on more, when Ivy’s plants break in and destroy the cave. I get a new upgrade to my claw tool that lets me pull down breakable walls from a distance, and I use that to get out of the Batcave. I end up back in the crumbling ruins room, only this time with immersion-busting sniper plants. It’s as annoyingly finnicky as last time, but I get out without getting sucked into any Riddler obsessions this time. As I make my way out, I notice that the water is filled with poison runoff that the Joker is apparently pumping into the water supply, so I have to shut that down before I resume the search for Ivy.

There are two different towers I have to find to cut the poison supply: west and east. The west is a big fistfight. I die once because I haven’t played in a few days and I’m rusty. I do get through it a second time, but it causes me to have to pick up an interview tape a second time when the scene reloads. This is not fun — I just heard the tape and don’t want to have to hear it again. The picking up of tapes should definitely be recorded by the game when you first find them so that you don’t have to listen to the same scene over and over.

East station is a predator scene, and honestly, these scenes are so cool they redeem all the mediocre stuff I’ve done this play session. I die a couple times, once because I somehow don’t lose the guards when jumping from gargoyle to gargoyle one time, but the room is kind of split in half, and it’s a lot of fun trying to figure out how to get back and forth between the halves without being seen. I finish off the guards, close the last poison feed, and start heading back to the Ivy quest. I decide to end tonight on a good note and sign off.

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