external image Batman+Cover.jpg

The game starts out with Batman walking a previously escaped joker back into the asylum which houses all of the major criminals of Gotham City. Of course, once the joker is behind bars again he escapes inside of the asylum and takes control of it. Once this happens this is where you begin playing/learning how to play the game via a small tutorial when you first take control of Batman.

The game is a 3rd person action game and you must enter into Arkham asylum and bring order and control back by capturing all the criminals who are on the loose inside of Arkham. The game is divided into three main phases of play mechanics: fighting, fighting while being stealthy, and exploring the asylum. Exploration is a big of part of the game. You must make you away around the asylum finding clues, secrets and other items that can help you finish your journey. Of course there are always foes in your way protecting what you are looking for, so you must fight them. Fighting is done by mashing buttons as fast as possible to perform the most damage to your enemies without being hit. This can be done with a certain sequence or order to perform a critical strike causing more damage.

Being unseen and unheard is a big part of Batman’s fighting arsenal. He of course is a “trained ninja” and can do all sorts of crazy stuff. The game allows you to perform moves by dropping down from the rafters or rooftops and take out and enemy and then grapple back up to the top without attracting others to fight you. This is very important because Batman doesn’t use guns and his enemies always seem to have a machine gun or 2 lying around. While playing this game I learned very quickly to plan how I was going to fight or get from point A to point B without being seen. When I first started playing I would run in and mash buttons and act like I was “Rambo”. After a playing for a little bit, the enemies started using guns and this tactic did not work anymore. I now had to look around the map for places to hide to where I could gain a strategic advantage over my opponents.

This plays into the role of a few learning principles. Psychosocial Moratorium principle is one of the principles I felt played a part in the game. I went “Rambo or Psycho” during the game trying to beat up 25 guys at one time, but I ended up getting stomped. There was no real world risk at all for trying that in a game. The practice principle also played into this game by practicing my combos beating up guys and having a great time doing it.

A few others I found from Gee’s book were:

Incremental PrincipleLearning situations are ordered in the early stages so that earlier cases lead to generalizations that are fruitful for later cases. When learners face more complex cases later, the learning space (the number and type of guess the learner can make) is constrained by the sorts of fruitful patterns or generalizations the learned has founded earlier. This taught you how to work up and to using and making better combinations for later on in the game. The game slowly increased the difficulty.

Multiple Routes Principle:
There are multiple ways to make progress or move ahead. This allows learners to make choices, rely on their own strengths and styles of learning and problem-solving, while also exploring alternative styles
Ongoing Learning Principle:
The distinction between the learner and the master is vague, since learners, thanks to the operation of the "regime of competency" principle listed next, must, at higher and higher levels, undo their routinized mastery to adapt to new or changed conditions. There are cycles of new learning, automatization, undoing automatization, and new re-organized automatization

Online there are many sites, forums, wikis that are devoted to this game. On these sites they give you direct instructions on how to pass a certain level or find a clue you are looking for. When I was playing the game I went to a site a few times because I could not find a certain person or area I was looking for. They are very helpful in “instructing” you on what you need do next.



My overall reaction to this game was that it was amazing, addicting, and challenging. I found myself hooked on the game from the start and by the end of the game practicing being a silent superhero at the end. The game play mechanics are near flawless and the voice acting is great. The only negatives I have about the game are that some of the mini boss fights are repetitive and get a little old and finding a few clues needed to pass a level were all but impossible without using a wiki site listed above. I would score it a 9/10 for sure and an amazing deal for the 4.99 I spent to buy it.