Why is Batman: Arkham Asylum such a big thing? Because IT'S THAT DAMN GOOD. After a couple of hours into the game, I find myself utterly stunned and bewildered by everything going on around me. Being inside the madhouse where Batman has incarcerated almost every insane rogue he has fought over the years is as spooky and scary as it's going to get, but as The Dark Knight, you've got the strength, skill, and technology to instill fear and combat these monstrosities, ultimately working your way up to do battle with the Clown Prince Of Crime himself, The Joker. Plus, you got A-List voice actors voicing the roles, including the return of Batman: The Animated Series veterans Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill, reprising their roles as Batman and The Joker respectively. Indeed, I'm already convinced of the game's superiority, and it's definitely the true Batman experience of this console gaming generation.
Videogame site Gametrailers posted this beautiful retrospective on the history of Arkham Asylum. Of course, the game itself is based on current comic continuity, so it should be a no-brainer that we get a refresher course on how and why the madhouse was made. From its early origins to the groundbreaking and seminal work of Grant Morrion and Dave Mckean's graphic novel Batman: Arkham Asylum - A Serious House On A Serious Earth, discover the purpose of its existence, as well as its most haunted secrets that still echo within the confines of the institution.
Speaking of the graphic novel, it's a classic in itself, and as a profound inspiration for the game, it's definitely must read... no matter how crazy it looks.
Arkham Asylum may be playing top videogame dog now, but let's not forget those that came way before it even made a dent on society. For the nostalgic Batman fan, gamesite 1UP has posted an article reflecting on the good, and the bad, Batman games. It's worth a look at, especially to reminisce on some of those awesome games that have defined your childhood, like Sunsoft's Batman game for the NES. Oh, and beware the most diabolical ones that will remind you how awful some translations can be. Batman Forever for the SNES, I'm looking at you.
Oh, and there are rumors circling that The Dark Knight and upcoming movie Inception director Christopher Nolan may shoot his third Batman film entirely in IMAX! If this proves to be true, I can just imagine all those juicy action scenes in one colossal mega screen.