Batman: Arkham Origins Can it live up to its predecessor?

Batman: Arkham Origins

Having just acquired Batman:  Arkham Origins, I started wondering if this game could ever live up the to legacy that Rocksteady created. Continue reading


Batman Arkham City: A Journey (Part 4) – Campaign Nightwing

nightwing main

It really has been a long couple of weeks, playing campaign after campaign, after campaign.  I’ll be honest I’m tired and trying to get one hundred percent completion.  Boy oh boy is Batman Arkham City taking its toll but I’m so close, I’m almost there…

Nightwing, while he looks cool just seems to lack anything that’s actually worthy of mentioning.  His gadgets are no where near as impressive as Batman’s or Robin’s all though in the same breath it does have its uses.  I found Nightwing to be rather limited despite him having more gadgets than Catwoman.

nightwing campaign

You’re strategies have to change quite a bit with Nightwing as he has no cape so he cannot glide which at first threw me off.  I ended up jumping straight into a henchman on my first play-through with him.

The objectives that Nightwing has are sometimes tricky to pull of yet to be honest i found myself zooming through the combat and predator maps at an alarming rate.  One objective comes to mind which isn’t difficult but you have to be precise.  Knock a henchman off of a ledge or walkway using you’re electrical blast.”  You’re positioning and timing has to be perfect to pull this off without error, however not as challenging as aiming for the head using your wrist dart.  That gadget has no auto aim and it moves around which makes it realistic and when playing through the campaign, if you don’t hit your mark the first time you need to change you’re strategy on the fly to adapt.


At the end of the day i was able to get through Nightwing’s campaigns rather quickly with a few hiccups along the way.  I’m currently at ninety two percent complete.

Nearly there….

Catch up on earlier episodes of Batman Arkham City:  A Journey

Batman Arkham City:  A Journey (Part1) – Platinum

Batman Arkham City:  A Journey (Part2) – Campaign Kitty

Batman Arkham City:  A Journey (Part3) – Campaign Wonder

Batman:  Arkham City Review

Batman Arkham City: A Journey (Part 3) – Campaign Wonder


Transitioning from Catwoman to Robin was extremely daunting at first.  On first impression I did not like how Robin moved, or some of the gadgets that he had, however once I started to figure out his combat strategies I quickly became rather attached.

He has a multitude of innovative objectives such as “take down two Henchmen with two separate walls”.  While honestly at first I was so annoyed because I could not figure out how to do it, I eventually started to see patterns emerging and managed to blow away two baddies.  While I should have already started seeing patterns from playing with Batman and Catwoman, I guess I just really didn’t notice it until I was Robin. When you complete a certain objective with Robin, it is immensely rewarding because of the planning and strategy that goes into it.  It’s not like Catwoman’s “hit three armed guards” objective which was rather irritating.

Robin has gadgets similar to Batman in every sense.  He has Shurikens which is an exact copy of the Batarang, Remote Shurikens, Smoke Pellets.   He has Zip-Kick which is similar to the Bat-Claw except you fly towards your enemy at an exponential rate to kick him.  He is also armed with Explosive Gel just like batman but there are two gadgets that really take the cake and escalate Robin to a whole new level of awesome.


The snap flash gadget is a bomb that you place on a Henchman which explodes and then stuns the enemy.  You can use this gadget rather quickly by mastering the short cuts keys and immediately stunning an enemy with the snap flash.  But not only can it stun one enemy, you can stun (the most I stunned was five) nearly everyone if you get them all to one guard.  In the map End of the Line (Extreme), one of your objectives is to stun three enemies with one snap flash or something along those lines.  I tell you, placing that snap flash on an enemy, taking him down when no ones looking, running to safety, watching these goons all surround this one body and then…….BOOM! Five enemies just go flying.  It really is something.

robin shield

The other awesome gadget is Robins shield.  Not only does it look cool, it works.  When you use the shield you can withstand a limited amount of damage being fired from the front but obviously not from the sides or back.  This really gives you a bit of breathing room when it comes to tight quarter combat and you need a few seconds to think.  But the Shield isn’t just there to protect you.  You can also use Shield Bash, to knock enemies away.  If there happens to be a ledge right behind them then that’s even more rewarding.

I actually had a blast with Robin, it was clever and fun and I feel that every super hero now needs a shield.

Here is a video showing off one of the campaigns.  I do not own this video but it did help me out a lot so thanks to The1stChubasa for uploading it.

To think I did all this just for one little trophy….My wife is questioning my sanity.

You can catch up on the first two episodes here:

Batman Arkham City:  A Journey (Part 1) – Platinum

Batman Arkahm City:  A Journey (Part 2) – Campaign Kitty

Batman Arkham City: A Journey (Part 2) – Campaign Kitty

Catwoman main

Just over a week has gone by since my post about getting the platinum trophy and my desire to continue my quest for one hundred percent completion in Batman:  Arkham City.

As Batman, I was slightly slow but fierce with an arsenal of gadgets at my disposal.  My trusty utility belt has never come in handy quite so often as it did in the campaign modes.

But as Catwoman, geez…she is rather limited and exceptionally frustrating.  With only three gadgets tucked somewhere in her leather skin tighties this was a challenge that I am glad is over.

Only having three weapons from your inventory really raises the stakes.  You have caltrops, your whip and bolas (like Batmans batarangs only insignificant).  I’m not trying to sell her short in anyway….oh wait, no, yes I am.  Is she agile?  Sure.  Is she fast?  Definitely.  Then why the disdain for her?  Although she is quick and can run right up to enemies without them hearing, at the same time i found her to be extremely slow and stiff with regards to turning or changing direction.  Jumping from gargoyle to ledge was nearly impossible unless you are standing in the right spot and I’m pretty sure a water balloon could kick her ass.

Some of the more frustrating levels that i had experienced was End Of The Line (Extreme) and Top Of The World (Extreme).  

Catwoman end of the line

End Of the Line (Extreme) – In order to obtain these medals you’re timing is key.  The most challenging thing about this stage is that you have to do a double ledge take down.  So that means you have to try and get these armored guards to converge at one place.  “Well that’s easy”  It sure is.  Take down one…oh crap wait…yup there are snipers around!  So you need to take down two guys over a ledge whilst not being seen by the two, incredibly aware snipers that can easily take Catwoman apart.  “SIGH”

Here’s what you do.  First, from where you start turn left and run up the stairs.  To your right there are floor grates.  Get in one and travel under the boxes.  Take out the Armored Henchman with a take down from the floor grate for your first medal.   NOW BE QUICK!  Stylishly break through the “weak wooden wall” and run back down to where you start the level facing the end of the room.  START RUNNING!  Run through the train on the right hand side, and then carefully make your way up the stairs to the right.  Once you reach the top of the stairs, straight ahead is your sniper target.  Take him down with a silent take down.  Throw Caltrops all over his sniper ass and then crouch.  Wait until the other Armored Henchmen who have gathered at the first guard to register that a another guy is down.  As they start approaching, climb over the ledge and wait.  Once the guards get there they will trip on the caltrops.  Wait until there are two guys who are standing up again and then do your double ledge take down for your second medal.  GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE!  Drop from the ledge and run your sexy legs off to the other snipers position (end of the room).  There is a square entrance right behind him that you can jump up to.  When you get up there “whip trip” the sniper and take him down for your third medal.  The rest take out at your pace.

Here is a guide on how to do it.  I did not make this video, I am not that good at these maps.

Exhausting isn’t it?

Yeah, all that there took a few tries.  🙂

catwoman top of the world

Top Of The World (Extreme) – This one can be a bitch, but with patience and timing you can pull it off.  The toughest part was getting an enemy to fall on caltrops.

The easiest method i found was this.  When you start, grapple up to the ledge.  Crouch and wait for the guard that is walking towards you to turn to the left.  As he’s walking away, quickly get a silent take down.  BE QUICK!  Throw two sets of caltrops, to your right hand side facing the open vent (Right next to the ladder that leads up to the upper platform).  Run to the vent and wait for two guards to drop down and fall on the caltrops.  With one of them down, perform a take down.  That’s your first medal.  If you’re quick enough you can perform a beat down on the second guard to receive your second medal and still have time to just make it out by going through the vent and back outside.  At this point i would suggest staying outside and using ledge take downs.  It might take longer but at least its safer.  Also be careful when trying to drop from a gargoyle to a ledge outside because occasionally Catwoman won’t register that there is a ledge to climb up to.  Safest bet is to jump from the gargoyle to the balcony and then climb over and hang.  To get your third medal take out the Armored Henchman with the jammer pack for last.

Here’s another instruction manual for you.

The rest of the challenge maps were for lack of a better word, challenging but I prevailed and why?  “Because I’m……..Catwoman?” 

Yeah, that didn’t sound right.

Check back next week for the newest installment in Batman Arkham City:  A Journey

Batman Arkham City: A Journey (Part 1) – Platinum


With the upcoming release of Batman:  Arkham Origins just two months away I felt the need to complete Arkham Asylum and Arkham City to 100% in order to obtain the trophy that only the most hard core of collectors and die-hard fans wish to achieve…the platinum trophy.  To undertake this task is not for the faint of heart in the slightest.  It is tedious, grinding work, but totally achievable through preservation and patience.  You only have to do like a million things and some of the things are actually relatively easy and come along with playing through the main story….nah I’m just kidding it can be seriously challenging!

The easy things are like “knock out 5 thugs with a power glide attack” and so on.  The biggest challenge the player has is completing the combat and predator maps.  Combat maps are not so tough but the predator maps…ohhh boy, was that frustratingly annoying.

Batman Arkham City Combat MapsCombat Maps – You just have to fight a group of thugs and earn huge points by stringing together your combo’s and using a variation of your fighting skills including gadgets, keeping the free flow going until the end of the rounds and not taking any damage.  “Nuff said” and easy enough with a bit of patience, but the plus side is that that the combat maps are fun because well “You’re Batman” and kicking the crap out of people is always a pleasure especially after having a grueling day at work.  And then there’s the…

Batman Arkham City Predator

Predator Maps – Just saying it out loud tires me out.  The concept is actually quite simple.  You need to earn three medals in each map.  The medals are given out by completing a certain objective like “when using a silent take down use knock out smash”.  Also easy enough except it’s not.  To complete these maps you need the world of patience, strategy and at times especially with the extreme maps a lot of luck.  The challenge doesn’t just end there.  You then have to do it all over again in the Campaign Mode where you have a combination of Predator and Combat maps and only have three chances to get it right.

As you progress through these maps the challenges obviously get harder and there were times where I thought I was going to throw my ps3 controller through my TV.  Every time I failed a mission The Riddler would appear and the one line that always  grinds me is, “Well, Well, so the shaved monkey has failed.  How utterly, utterly expected.”

Always makes me want to punch him.

It’s amazing that a game that I love could piss me off so much but at the same time bring me back to try again and do better.  Then I had to complete the game on a mode called New Game + which becomes available after you complete the campaign the first time around.  In new game plus any upgrades that you made to Batman during the first play-through will  be available at the start of the game and the enemies will be tougher, faster and won’t display a “counter icon” above their heads when they’re about to attack you.  It wasn’t hard to complete though.  I was able to do it all again in eight hours.  Not a bad work day if you ask me.  You need to complete all the side missions in both play-throughs in order to get that delicious platinum.

After spending three days straight over the long weekend, and sleepless nights, I was finally at the finish line.  I completed my final side quest, which was to visit Calendar Man every public holiday in the states.  I did use the easy way to get this and the easy way takes about forty five minutes and I know some of you might be disappointed in the fact that I did this but I needed that platinum for some reason.  Disconnecting from the internet and changing the system date worked wonders.  No corruption or anything!
Calendar_Man-characterAnd after all that a distinct sound was heard.  “PING”  “You have unlocked Platinum” and the notification disappeared and I had been left alone again with Calendar Man, just staring at him.  My first thought was “Oh shit, yes I actually got it!” Followed shortly after by “Was that really worth it?”

In a way yes it was because I think that when you earn a platinum trophy it shows commitment to a developer.  It says,” You made a good game and I enjoyed grinding my teeth to complete it”.  There’s also the encouragement to get you to try new things and play the game a different way.  After playing all those predator maps as Batman and then playing the campaign again i can safely say that I am the Dark Knight .  Obviously other people just collect trophies for the challenge, or to up their level and rank.  I found it a lot deeper than that.

The problem comes in though when you want to tell someone who isn’t that much of the gaming world what you went through to accomplish this daunting task and they just stare you and you notice their eyes kind of gloss over.

After going through all that I checked my trophy stats and decided to carry on going.  I may have earned my platinum but I’m only sitting on 87% completion according to the trophies.  I still have to complete all the DLC as well and redo the challenge maps with Catwoman (Which I am currently doing), Nightwing and Robin.

This is probably the most grinding thing I have ever done or am willing to do, and why?

Well that’s easy…… I’m a gamer.