Batman Arkham City: A Journey (Part 5) – Harley Quinn’s Revenge

harley quinns revengeHarley Quinn’s Revenge was the last DLC pack to be released for Batman:  Arkham City and expands on the story following the events of the single player campaign.  In order to complete Batman:  Arkham City to 100% i had to finish this DLC as well.

On the home stretch baby….

The trophies in this DLC are no where near as hard as one might expect. I was able to obtain everything within an hour and a half of starting this DLC.  There are three silver trophies and seven bronze to collect.

Story Mode Trophies:  These are trophies that you will get just for simply playing the game and completing objectives so no real thought is necessary for this list.  

Lost Property                     (Bronze)

Breaking and Entering       (Bronze)

Hows it Hanging?              (Silver)

The Last Laugh.                (Silver)

OK, now we get to the nitty gritty of it all.  The rest of the trophies are this.  I will list them out and underneath each one i will tell you what I did in order to obtain these.

Frequent Flyer:  Zip Kick five different thugs (Bronze) (as Robin)

This is not hard at all.  I read so many other guides after I got this trophy and people were giving tips that the best place to do this is at a certain part in a stage.  I’m here to say bull shit.  You don’t have to do that.  When you start to play as Robin Just Zip Kick every enemy you see except not the armored ones and this trophy will unlock eventually.  I got this within fifteen minutes of playing.  So not difficult.

Battering Ram:  Shield Bash five different thugs (Bronze) (as Robin)

Again, not hard at all.  I used exactly the same strategy as i used for Frequent Flyer.  After i received the Frequent Flyer trophy, i then proceeded to Shield Bash every enemy I could except for the armored ones.  It’s as easy as that.

Snap to it:  Snap Flash an unarmed thug, an armed thug, an environmental object and a Titan (Bronze) (as Robin)

As the description states you need to snap flash the different types of enemies listed above in order to unlock this trophy.  Exceptionally easy.  You don’t have to have a combo built up or anything.  The environmental object sounds confusing but it really isn’t .  There is a part where you have to take out a sniper.  At this section of the game there are bunch of hooks on a belt that are moving behind that sniper.  Place a snap flash on one of the hooks and then detonate it.  Alternatively you can wait until you get to the section where you have to take out Harley Quinn in a predator type scenario.  There is a hook just over a balcony where Harley will eventually get to.  You can also place a snap flash there.   It doesn’t have to take any enemy out.  Snap flash the Titan in the final battle with Robin and you’ve got your bronze.

Bomb Squad:  Defuse all bombs in three minutes or less (Bronze) (as Batman)

It’s an easy trophy but the execution might be tough.  One you play as Batman again you will have to disarm three bombs that are scattered around the level.  I found this to be the most challenging of them all mainly because it doesn’t give you exact coordinates of the bombs.  Just like in the single player campaign when it came to following signals, you would have to follow the signal and run around the stage.   There will be a HUD on the right of the screen to tell you how far or close you are to the bomb in the general vicinity.

A Few New Tricks:  Use 5 different Quickfire gadgets in one fight as Robin in Harley Quinn’s Revenge (Bronze) (as Robin)

Also a very easy trophy.  Just use the five different quick fire gadgets in one fight and you’re golden….err, Bronze.  No where near as difficult as it was for the similar Batman trophy.

Party’s Over:  Destroy all Harley Balloons (Bronze) (as Robin and Batman)

This was the most tedious, just like it was when you had to destroy the Tyger security cameras in the single player campaign.  Harley’s balloons are scattered outside the steel mill as well as inside.  So keep your eyes open.  There are 30 balloons in total to destroy.

The DLC as a whole is a little underwhelming and didn’t have the greatest ending but it was still fun to play none the less.

That’s it.  After everything i finally have my 100% completion.  Thanks for sticking with me through this five part series.  I hope you had as much fun reading it as i did writing it.  In case you missed it you can catch up on the full adventure by checking out the other parts to this series.

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

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

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

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

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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

Batman-Arkham-City

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.

Batman:Arkham City (PS3) A Casual Review

BatmanArkhamCity

Batman:  Arkham City to me is a one of a kind, kind of game.  I have invested hundreds of hours into this beautifully crafted masterpiece and as much as I try to play other games, including Assassins Creed, I always somehow revert back to playing a bit of Arkham City.  It just hits the spot so damn nicely.

Batman:  AC was developed by Rocksteady Studios. Funnily enough this studio has released only three games.  The first game they brought out was Urban Chaos:  Riot Response which came out in 2006.  The second was obviously Batman:  Arkham Asylum. All three games have had exceptionally positive reviews and excellent feed back from the community.  For only three titles under their belt, Rocksteady sure know how to create engrossing entertainment.  Besides having an excellent studio to truly capture the awesomeness that is Batman, they also had three skilled writers at their disposal.  One of which was Paul Dini who wrote the scripts for Batman:  The Animated Series and Batman beyond as well as comic books, graphic novels and even some shows you forgot about like Freakazoid and Tiny Toon adventures.  The guy is a master at his craft and he nails it completely in Arkham City.

Joker_BAA2tWhat completes this game even more is the fact that Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill reprise their roles as Batman and Joker.  Mark Hamill is still absolutely perfect, capturing the Jokers essence and insane mind while Kevin Conroy still has this voice of authority.  Whenever I read Batman comics I’m always imagining Kevin Conroy’s voice.  These two know the characters inside and out and without them I don’t think this game would have been as great as it is.  A nice little bonus for me though is that Nolan North voices The Penguin.  For those of you who don’t know Nolan North has voiced Desmond Miles from the Assassins Creed series, Nathan Drake from Uncharted and Deadpool from well,Deadpool and a crap load of other games.batman-arkham-city-skyline-1

                               

Batman:  Arkham City kicks off one year after the events that happened in Arkham Asylum.

Ex-warden director Quincy Sharp has taken credit for stopping Jokers plan at Arkham Asylum.  Using this power he becomes mayor of Gotham City and declares that Arkham Asylum and Blackgate Penitentiary are no longer capable of housing all the crazies and criminals.  He purchases the nastiest place in Gotham City (the slums) and converts it into a new prison holding facility called Arkham City.  He places the operation completely under the control of Hugo Strange, a brilliant psychiatrist who loves the criminal mind like no other and has a tendency to use people as his own personal puppets.  Hugo also has his own personal military force called Tyger Security who assists him in obtaining his goals and too spy on certain individuals.  The Rules of Arkham City are quite simple.  All criminals can do whatever the hell they want provided they don’t try and escape.  While Hugo’s plot is unfolding Jokers health is deteriorating thanks to the Titan formula he consumed in Arkham Asylum.  At the start of the game you see Bruce Wayne desperately trying to convince the good people of Gotham that Arkham City is not the way to deal with the criminal underworld.  As this speech goes on a group of Tyger security guards rush through, capture Bruce and throw him in a holding cell.  During Bruce’s time in the holding cell you hear Hugo Strange admitting that he knows that Bruce and Batman are one and the same.  You break out, climb to the roof of a nearby building, get your bat-suit and all your other cool thingy-me-bobs (thanks to Alfred) and so, let the adventure begin.

The game plays out as a traditional 3rd person action adventure and the game eases you into everything quite smoothly so you won’t even realize that you’ve mastered the Bad-Assery class.  You have plenty of optional objectives to do and because they are all so closely in twined you never get distracted from the main overall story.  You can spend hours doing side quests which are entertaining and never get stale.  The stories in the side quests are just as interesting and engrossing as the main plot.  You can search for trophies and solve riddles thanks to Mr. E. Nigma.  You can also play as Catwoman which offers its own little story but don’t think you’re going to invest a few hours into her because her missions are relatively short.   If you feel like taking a break from the main plot line quit the game and try your hand at the challenge maps that are offered in the menu.(Trust me, I have spent hours on challenge maps).  If you have the Game of the Year edition you can download the Nightwing, Robin and Catwoman challenge packs as well as alternate costumes for all characters and the last installment of the game “Harley Quinn’s Revenge” free of charge.  The ending to this game is shocking and epic (probably more so to Batman fans) and is one of the best endings I have ever seen in a video game.

The visuals in this game are excellently detailed adding a gritty, dark tone and at times it’s hard to remember that you are not really there and the city is just awesome to glide around in.  You could get lost for hours just exploring.  There is so much detail in this game and Rocksteady has been so faithful to the franchise, throwing in Easter eggs about other characters from Arkham Asylum as well as from the comics.

But where this game truly shines is in the free flow combat system.  Allowing you to counter multiple opponents at once, and dart from enemy to enemy in one single flowing motion.  Arkham Asylum had this system for sure but it’s been so finely tuned that it’s nearly impossible to fault.  If you have played the challenge maps or more specific Jokers Carnival you will have noticed a few problems with the battle system such as the camera specifically on the PS3.  For me it’s just a bit to slow and there are no options to increase the sensitivity but not at all a game breaking thing.  That is just something I’ve noticed due to the long hours on the challenge maps.  There are times as well where I might be aiming for one guy and miss and then hit another guy instead.  (You probably won’t even notice these problems in the game itself.  I didn’t until recently)

All in all this is a near perfect game and should be enjoyed by everyone.  I honestly cannot find a truly negative thing to say about it.  It is in fact a master piece and it should be the official bar by how superhero games are judged in future.

One final thing to add is that at the 2012 Spike Video Game Awards Batman:  Arkham City won four awards for:

  1.      Best Xbox 360 Game
  2.      Best Action Adventure Game
  3.      Best Adapted Video Game
  4.      Character Of The Year (Joker)

 

And was nominated for:

  1.      Best Original Score
  2.      Best Graphics
  3.      Best Performance By A Human Female   (Tara Strong)
  4.      Best Performance By A Human Male      (Mark Hamill)
  5.      Trailer Of The Year                                 (Hugo Strange Reveal Trailer)
  6.      Best Studio                                           (Rocksteady)
  7.      Game Of The Year

In the character of the year acceptance speech you see Joker holding a script for a conveniently titled Arkham World.  It left the internet a buzz and rumours were spreading left and right about Arkham World being the third installment to the Arkham series however Rocksteady squashed the rumors by saying that it was just a gag that Joker was holding that script and it was just meant as a joke.  Rocksteady’s latest announcement though was that they were planning to make a prequel batman game using the cast of the Justice League and having it set in the “silver age of comics”

How that will work out nobody knows but I have complete faith that Rocksteady will do it justice.

PC Requirements:

Minimum System Requirements

  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP, Vista or 7
  • CPU: Dual-Core CPU 2.4 Ghz
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA 8800 or ATI 3800 with 512MB of VRAM
  • Sound: Microsoft Windows XP/Vista or 7 compatible sound card (100 per cent DirectX 9.0c-compatible)
  • DVD-ROM: Quad-speed (4x) DVD-ROM drive
  • Hard Drive: 17.5GB free disk space
  • Input Devices: 100 per cent Windows XP/Vista or 7 compatible mouse and keyboard
  • Recommended System Requirements

Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7

  • CPU: Dual-Core CPU 2.5 GHz
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 or ATI Radeon HD 6850 with 768MB+ of VRAM (DirectX 11 compatible)
  • Sound: Microsoft Windows XP/Vista or 7 compatible sound card (100 per cent DirectX 9.0c-compatible)
  • DVD-ROM: Quad-speed (4x) DVD-ROM drive
  • Hard Drive: 17.5 GB free disk space
  • Input Devices: 100 per cent Windows XP/Vista or 7 compatible mouse and keyboard or Xbox 360 Controller for Windows