Monday, April 20, 2015

Ya know what I like about Arkham Origins?

Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns is based on the premise that an older Batman would be even nastier and scarier then usual.  And that premise has filtered into other takes on Batman, like the JLU episode where the older Batman Beyond Bruce and the younger one meet, and people are shocked to see Batman play the good cop.

But in the Arkham saga once you get to Origins and see that Batman younger, that expectation is inverted, this younger Batman is far more ruthless and frightening.  In the Arkhamverse Batman gets softer with age.  And I like that, it's far more realistic from my personal experience with people of different ages, as well as how I've changed with age.

And I loved Roger Craig Smith's voice in Arkham Origins, finally we have a Batman voice actor who's better then Conory.  It's a shame his first shot at it in an animated movie is this stupid Gods and Monsters premise.

I haven't played the Arkham games, they're not the kinds of games I play well, but I've watched them on Youtube.  Story-wise they're a pretty cool take on the Batman mythos, but have some flaws.

I like Harley Quinn's Arkham City costume, not the other one so much but that one.  Many people who are nostalgic for the 90s are upset about Harley's costume changing, but I always felt the original BTAS costume was too plain and unimaginative.  I do hate the horrible New 52 costume.  Her Arkham City costume is based on the same premise as the original but with more imagination.  Many people feel it's problematic that her newer costumes are "Sexier", if there is any character justified to where a sexy costume it's Harley, the whole premise is she's a glorified fan-girl.

I also like Arkham City's costume for Robin the best, they addressed the issue of Robin's mask not really obscuring his face very much.  Robin in Arkham City is Tim Drake, but in my view all the Robins, or male ones at least, should wear the same costume, the idea is people not in the know shouldn't know that Robin changes.

I enjoyed Talia's look as well, though I prefer her more in exotic dresses.  Catwoman's Arkham City costume is Ok but I'm not big on the modern Catwoman outfits in general.  I hate Poison Ivy's look, I'm sick of her being re-imagined into a Human-Plant hybrid monster.

I find it amusing how Scarecrow is basically Freddy Kruger with syringes instead of knives.  And of course Nolan Peter Hastings North is awesome as The Penguin.

The one thing that kinda bugs me about the Arkham Games is how the final villain is always The Joker.  To me it demonstrates how awesome Batman's Rouges Gallery is that his main Archenemy is the greatest Supervillian of all time, yet at the same time he's the least dependent on his main Archenemy of any Superhero who has a great Iconic Supervillian.

Spiderman has the second best Rouges Gallery but he still in two continuities hasn't had a movie without at least a hint of The Goblin.  Superman's had some ok stories without Luthor but no truly great ones.  And X-Men without Magneto or Fantastic Four without Doom simply doesn't work.  And the latest Force Awakens trailer had to remind us of Darth Vader even though it would be stupid if he comes back somehow.

But Batman without The Joker has had in the comics, War Games, Bruce Wayne Murderer/Fugitive, The OMAC Project, and Superman/Batman stories usually go better when they don't have The Joker but do have Luthor.  And for movies Batman ReturnsBatman Begins and The Dark Knight Rises were all great.

So the Arkham Games always defaulting to The Joker is kind of annoying.  But it works for a Video Game Batman saga because it uses a Trope usually affiliated with Video Games.  Where you have a franchise with a default main villain, a new Game will start out seeming to have a new Villain for a change, but then he turns out to be either a pawn or alias of the Default villain.

To me this Trope is the most egregiously used and also defined by Dr. Willy of the Megaman games.  Megaman 3-6 all pulled this.  But TVtropes has chosen to name the Trope for Ganon, which I feel is unfair, for both ALttP and Twilight Princess everyone expected them to have Ganon.

At any rate, Dr. Willy's hijacking antics are exactly what I thought of in Origins when The Black Mask took off his Mask revealing himself to be The Joker.

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