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YMMV / Batman: Arkham Asylum

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  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • Titan Joker. The fight all of the plot was leading up to, the final showdown, and it turns out to be a fight primarily with the mooks instead, with a very predictable attack pattern.
    • The first Titan thug will die easily, even if you just dodge and avoid fighting it altogether.
    • Victor Zsasz gets taken down either in a basic silent takedown or in a single hit. Twice.
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  • Awesome Music: See here.
  • Awesome Video Game Levels: While the game is one of the best ever made, many interviews rated the Scarecrow segments the most entertaining encounters in the game due to the genuinely nightmarish atmosphere and fear of being spotted by the Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant himself.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: In the same room as Clayface is a prisoner who doesn't seem to be any recognizable Batman villain and his model is too detailed to just be a random NPC. It's the winner of the "Appear in the game!" contest's appearance—but the average player isn't gonna know that.
  • Breather Boss: Combined with Anti-Climax Boss. The very first boss encounter (with a random mook who was exposed to a prototype version of Titan) seems like it'll be a fair challenge... but he suddenly dies from heart failure after a fairly brief amount of time, no defeat necessary.
  • Broken Base:
    • The Scarecrow segments. Some consider them to be among the best scenes in the game, while others argue that they're not actually scary, take way too long and only distract from the story and regular gameplay. There's a third camp that likes the Mind Screw parts that lead up to the sidescroller gameplay, but don't like the sidescrolling segments themselves.
    • Batman's confrontation with Killer Croc. If it works for you, Croc's lair is a tense slog through a Nightmare Fuel factory; if it doesn't, it's just tedious.
    • Rain in the remaster. Some feel that it's completely unnecessary and ruins the athmosphere, while others feel like it adds some life to the barren overworld, looks better, and adds consistency in the game's schizophrenic weather. Explanation 
  • Crazy Awesome: Joker in a nutshell, when playing as him. The guy can leapfrog over attackers, he uses a joy-buzzer and a comical eye-poke in combat and can use chattering teeth bombs in his predator challenges, yet he can still be as badass as Batman.
  • Creepy Awesome: Scarecrow full-stop. This guy has some of the most genuinely scariest moments in the game, is a rather challenging boss, and has an intriguing amount of character that hides much more sinister evil within him.
  • Demonic Spiders: Gun-wielding mooks, knife-wielding mooks, and Ivy's plants.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: The Scarecrow has got himself a few fangirls. Might have something to do with him being shirtless for this game.
  • Evil Is Cool: Being a Batman game, it's only natural that his amazing cast of villains would become some of the most memorable moments and encounters in the story.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Harley and Ivy.
  • First Installment Wins: A common opinion among fans, thanks to the game being entirely self-contained, extremely athmospheric and having a very solid story mixed with equally good gameplay. While City received better review scores, fans of the first game think the sequel — while still good — suffers from it's writing (especially when it comes to the characters) and for sacrificing athmosphere for the open world. While Origins and Knight did also receive good scores, both are also generally agreed to not quite reach the level of the first two games.
  • Foe Yay: Batman and Poison Ivy have a lot of this throughout the game. Although it's debatable since Ivy is The Vamp, she comes off as very interested in the dark knight and even has Orgasmic Combat with him.
    Poison Ivy: Are you ready for me? Do you think you can handle me?
  • Game-Breaker: The Batclaw in Predator rooms. A single use of the Batclaw on a mook next to a railing will result in an automatic takedown, as the mook is pulled over the railing and falls to the ground. This removes the risk of Batman being spotted and getting shot at due to the range of the Batclaw's rope. All of the Predator rooms from the point where you acquire the Batclaw have such railings. The Ultra Batclaw will allow you to pull up to 3 mooks for an instant takedown, but there's only one predator room left in the story when you get it so it doesn't get to be as useful outside the Challenge Mode.
  • Genius Bonus: The last health upgrade is that the Batsuit is dipped into a "secret formula" to get the final boost. While the lack of a description makes it seem like a stock upgrade, it actually sounds a lot like a dilatant, or shear thickening fluid.
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • The mooks with stun batons that appear about a quarter of the way into the game. If you don't deal with them promptly and correctly, their batons can quickly whittle your health down to half on the intermediate to higher difficulties.
    • Arkham Inmates in the DLC map Totally Insane. Remember those crazies who you dispatched with one counter and a ground takedown? Yeah, they show up here alongside lots of thugs. Except now you barely have time to do a ground takedown on any of them. Which means that they keep coming. And that's not the worst part. Said crazies can't be dispatched by any of the special takedown maneuvers and will simply leap over Batman. The worst part is that doing so will break your combo and leave you open to thugs, or even worse, more crazies.
    • The regular psycho patients are annoying themselves, what with their screams, their tendency to grab you and force you to toss them off, and the fact that beating them up simply isn't as satisfying as fighting the henchmen.
    • While they can't hurt you, the gag teeth do show some elements of this, considering how numerous, omnipresent and annoying they are.
      • And that they don't show up on either the main map or the ones Riddler leaves lying around, yet are required to finish off Riddler's challenges.
    • Ivy's plants which shoot homing spores at you. They are sometimes unavoidable, and dodging the spores is difficult.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Just before the final boss fight, Joker turns his TITAN gun on himself while talking like he'd been Driven to Suicide: "I have nothing left to live for." Fast-forward to Batman: Arkham City, and his death by TITAN poisoning.
    • Though successful, this isn't the first time he tried to turn the gun on himself.
    • In addition, there's Batman briefly getting infected by the TITAN formula himself near the end of Asylum, but is able to successfully overcome the effects. He wouldn't be as lucky the second time around, this time getting infected with the tainted batch of it mixed with Joker's blood, leading to far more devastating effects on his body.
    • The final Fission Mailed Scarecrow hallucination scene features the Joker driving the Batmobile to Arkham Asylum with Batman as his prisoner and then have him strapped onto a gunnery to be examined by the Scarecrow himself, who calls him Wayne and mocks his mental state and dead parents before letting the Joker finish him off. That nightmare becomes somewhat of a reality in Batman: Arkham Knight, where the Batman is taken prisoner and transported to the abandoned Arkham Asylum. There, he is strapped to the gunnery and the Scarecrow exposes his secret identity to the entire world and then induces him to a nightmarish fear-toxin scenario, causing the Joker in Batman's head to make his final attempt to drive Batman insane and take over his body.
      • Simply walking through Arkham Mansion can feel sadder after completing Knight, and knowing that Batman (well, the identity anyway) dies on the halls you currently wander.
    • In Arkham Knight's DLC A Matter of Family (which takes place before Asylum), audio tapes secured at Joker's amusement park hideout reveal that Dr. Young gave the park owner's terminally-ill daughter "alternative medicine", and under Jack White (Joker)'s command, gave her extra doses of it which led to her death. In other words, Dr. Young tested TITAN on a child. She may not have known that Jack White was the Joker at the time, but considering how crappy TITAN was in Asylum, an earlier version had to be even worse.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • With the release of Batman: Arkham City, this particular line, given you encounter the first as a sidequest, the second as part of the main plot and the last in DLC (and a time-travel plot involving feudal Japan).
      Oracle: (exasperated) What now? Riddler? Two-Face? Some kind of giant Joker robot?
    • When Batman talks to the Joker on a monitor early on, he quips "You were expecting Two-Face?" Not only would Two-Face appear in Arkham City, as stated above, but his voice actor in that game, Troy Baker, would go on to also voice the Joker several times, including in the prequel, Batman: Arkham Origins.
    • Also, in the Scarecrow's final Mind Screw, the roles of the beginning of the game are reversed, and you get to control the Joker for a very short time as he walks through the asylum with Batman in tow. In Origins, you get to control him again in his multiple choice "flashback", this time as the Red Hood, the "supervillain" he used to be, in reference to The Killing Joke.
    • Right before that, the PA announcer asks if "anyone caught the game last night". Cut three years later, where Bane crashes a football game...explosively.
      • In addition, the PlayStation 3-exclusive Joker DLC has the Melee Challenge Maps in which the Clown Prince of Crime you control has lethal laughing gas, a revolver handgun, and the joy buzzer as special attacks, while he uses his impressive hand-to-hand abilities to punch, slap, kick, and poke out eyes. In Origins, you get to do the same hand-to-hand abilities as in Asylum's Melee Challenge Maps while you fight as the Joker in the Comedy Club flashback.
    • The Nolanized version of Bane from one of the films appears as the knife-wielding mook in Arkham Asylum.
    • When Batman first meets Poison Ivy, she asks him to release her so she can help him combat the Big Bad and save her plants. Come Arkham Knight, Batman has her released from prison, works with her to fight the main villain, and he ends up saving her plants.
    • The final Scarecrow hallucination has your game seemingly crash before restarting. Fast forward to Arkham Knight, where the Scarecrow is the main vilain, and the game is extremely buggy, especially on PC.
    • At one point, Harley suggests Gordon to dye his hair. It seems that Gordon didn't hate the idea.
    • A riddle that references Penguin: "A top hat and tails is the only dress code for this party in the North".
  • Les Yay: Harley and Ivy get their usual dose of this despite only having one (very short) scene together. Harley lets Ivy out even though she isn't on the Joker's list, and Ivy blows her a kiss as she leaves.
    Joker: I could watch those two all day. What a riot!
  • Memetic Mutation: "It's the BAT!"
    • "You heard the boss!"
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    • Unlocking new collectibles or finding Riddler trophies provides a rather nice noise that confirms you're making progress.
      • Collect multiple riddles and open the Riddler tab on map menu.
    • Poison Ivy's suggestive screams to some.
  • Narm:
    • The interview tapes have a proclivity towards Narm. The dialogue seems to be less tight than the rest of the game's, and the voice inflections border on Chewing the Scenery, for example, The Riddler's, Mr. Zsasz's, and Killer Croc's tapes.
  • Narm Charm: Some of the cheesier lines come off as more than a little amusing when spoken by the always-stoic Kevin Conroy. You have to wonder how in the world Batman can keep a straight face spouting lines like "I eat punks like these for breakfast." On the other hand, it makes for a great Badass Boast.
  • No Problem with Licensed Games: Notable for being extremely hyped up by various outlets and still being released to critical acclaim, breaking the stigma that had been plaguing DC Comics games before, and winning a Guinness World Record for "Most Critically Acclaimed Superhero Game Ever".
  • Older Than They Think: The Predator gameplay has its roots in the Batman Begins video-game adaptation; in turn, that gameplay was based on Metal Gear Solid's stealth aspects. The heart monitor, grapple-point gargoyles, enemies becoming gradually more frantic as they're hunted, and some special attacks, all made it into Arkham Asylum.
  • Paranoia Fuel: Batman, to the various mooks in the game. Listen to their chatter after you encounter them and then hide in the rafters. "Oh my god! I've lost him! He... he could come from anywhere!"
  • Scrappy Mechanic: Players and critics complained that Detective Mode is just so damn handy, you'll never not want to use it, since it'll track any henchmen in the area, even in the next room, and light up secret areas - the downside is that you have to play the entire game in a blueish hue, seeing every character as a translucent skeleton. The loudest complaints came from Rocksteady's own art directors, who were upset that players weren't seeing the game as they intended it to be seen, so they Nerfed the mechanic for the sequel, making it so that certain player interface aspects were unable to be seen in detective mode.
  • Shipping Goggles: Thanks to the massive amounts of Foe Yay, Batman and Poison Ivy's interactions have been interpreted as them having an underlying sexual tension. Poison Ivy seems to be inviting towards Batman when she wants him to come and "see her face to face."
    Poison Ivy: It's rude to keep a girl waiting, Batman.
  • Signature Scene:
    • The opening level showing Batman bringing Joker into the Asylum with the clown strapped standing-up on a gurney, Hannibal Lecter style.
    • Joker's conversations in the Visitor Center.
    • The Scarecrow missions especially the third one with the Fission Mailed switch.
    • The Easter Egg became this once the developers revealed it. It's often considered an ultimate example of a well-hidden secret, especially since it was used to tease the sequel.
  • Special Effect Failure: The Sanatorium is apparently the only place on the island experiencing a thunderstorm. This is fixed in the remastered version, which has it raining throughout the entire game, although it adds another mistake; it's not raining when the Batwing delivers the Line Launcher.
    • The fight against Poison Ivy mostly has a fixed camera angle. But for a short time at the beginning of the fight, you can look around freely like you normally can. Looking to the sides reveals that the wall that was supposed to be behind you wasn't textured, allowing you to see right through to the skybox.
  • Spiritual Adaptation:
  • Squick:
    • During the first Scarecrow segment, Joker asks Batman what his fears are, this would have been fine, but then he just had to say "Me? In a thong!?!"
      • Doubles as a Funny Moment, as the "Blaaaahahahaha!" that the Joker gives right after indicates that he knows that it'd be more Squick than scary, and that laugh he gives is absolutely hilarious.
    • During one of Batman's Scarecrow induced hallucinations there's a Batman duplicate ravenously gnawing on a dead rat.
    • Titan!Joker's appearance.
  • That One Boss: Poison Ivy. It starts off easy enough, but her second phase is pure undiluted hell, especially on Hard mode. Between her fast projectiles, her constant vine waves (which seem to have a bigger hitbox than they really seem) and her hypnotized henchmen joining the fun, it's a miracle players would be able to take down her second phase on their first try. Couple that with the fact that the only real way you can hit her is with Batarangs and Explosive Gel when she goes down in that short time frame you get to hit her, and you've got one of the hardest bosses in the game.
  • That One Level:
    • Saving Gordon from Harley near the end of the Medical Ward. There's virtually no room for error; misalign your position even slightly, you'll immediately get spotted, which results in Gordon getting shot up and you having to start all over. Oh, and if a guard just happens to see a knocked out baddie, that also triggers the game over, so not only do you have to carefully maneuver your way through the guards, you have to make sure you take them out in very specific areas where the other guards can't find them, or you fail instantly. And after you finally manage to escape the guards, you're immediately thrown into a fight with Bane.
    • The Aviary in your first visit to the Botanical Gardens, for much of the same reasons as above. You can't knock out any of the guards, you can't be seen at all by any of them, and trying to get past them all with what little cover you have is pretty irritating. It thankfully gets easier once you take out the guard in the control room, but after that, there are two Titan Henchmen you have to take on at the same time.
    • Your return later on to Intensive Treatment, where the gargoyles (the key to your superiority over gun-wielding Mooks) have been set to explode when you climb onto them. It's much harder than it sounds since all seven mooks in the area are armed, and without the escape route of the gargoyles, being spotted by multiple foes will mean a quick death. Even after you've completed the main game, if you return to this area to find the remaining collectibles, you still have to be careful as the explosives on the gargoyles are still active, and if you accidentally grapple onto one, it's an instant death.
    • Killer Croc's lair primarily because you have to spend a couple of precious seconds to look for where you need to go next (and in that timeframe, Croc could have already started to pop up and charge your way), Croc having to be manually aimed at whenever he pops up instead of using a Quick Batarang (not helped that you might not know where he's coming from until it's almost too late) and the fact that the mission is a very lengthy sequence to complete.
  • That One Sidequest: On your way into the Visitor Center to the final boss, there's a short hallway with 20 mooks in it who won't attack you unless you attack them. You can choose to ignore them, but defeating them all earns you the "Party Pooper" achievement. Though they're unarmed, so many of them in such a tight space is extremely difficult, even with all the upgrades you have at this point.
    • Joker Teeth. It might have something to do with them not being an actual riddle, tape, or Arkham chronicle. Also, while about 90% of the teeth show up more or less naturally as a result of the story progression, there's that set that hide above the hallway to the warden's office, which happens after the player has realized this, and then notice they missed them after the sequence is over.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • According to some interviews, the Mad Hatter was originally going to appear in the game, but was edited out for time. He wouldn't be used until Arkham City.
    • All the super criminals listed on Harley Quinn's party list were A-list Batman villains apparently held within the asylum during the campaign, but escaped before Batman could even interact with them.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic:
    • Killer Croc earns a little sympathy from some Batman fans due to his primary motivation being his search for a cure to his hideous physical condition.
    • According to the All There in the Manual, Amadeus Arkham as well. After his wife and daughter were murdered by an Ax-Crazy criminal, Amadeus — remembering his mother's own mental illness — chose to forgive and treat him instead of seeking vengeance... and was "rewarded" with said criminal feigning rehabilitation, killing Amadeus's secretary as well, and constantly taunting Amadeus about said murders. After all that, you really can't blame Amadeus for finally just frying the guy to death in an electroshock-therapy "accident."
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The entire game as a whole is full of amazing graphics that are very appealing to one's eyes.
    • The remaster looks absolutely amazing (especially outdoors, the rain definitely helps). The level of detail in Batman's suit is so high it's just awesome.
  • X Meets Y: It's Shutter Island meets the original Resident Evil, with Batman as the protagonist.

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