So I finally got around to starting Batman Arkham Asylum last week. I pre-ordered the 360 Collector's Edition and it has sat on my shelf waiting for me to make a start on it. I started playing Condemned and it's mix of detective work and action wasn't really doing it for me, but it did serve to remind me that I had Batman waiting for me.
Of course the "Collector's Edition" is absolutely dire. The batarang looked awesome in all the press photos, but in real life it is a hideous plastic-y piece of crap. The game itself comes in a flimsy little cardboard wallet with a second "making of" DVD, so you can't easily accomodate it with the rest of your 360 games if you slot them into DVD racks like I do. The booklet which describes the characters will be of little interest to a confirmed bat-fan like me, so all in all a complete waste of money. Let's face it, I (and probably at least 90% of the other people that opted for the Collector's Edition) wanted it for the batarang. I was ridiculously excited about it and was considering grand schemes of a little glass case to house it, maybe with a cool blue light to really show it off. I was convinced it would be utterly awesome and the crushing reality almost turned me off the game completely.
Fortunately I finally got over it and have been playing the game all week when I've had the opportunity. I'm currently around 40% in and can confidently describe it as my game of the year. It's not just an awesome game, it's an awesome Batman game which is no mean feat. I really hope this gets a sequel, maybe with the action taking place in Gotham itself rather than on Arkham and would love to see a co-op mode added, especially if you can have a choice of partner, e.g. Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl, Azrael, etc.
It's also popping up in places pretty damn cheap now (which again makes that awful Collector's Edition and it's pricetag all the more galling) so if you haven't got it then get it. If you're not a Batman fan (or a fan of superheroes in general) then please do not let that put you off, you will be missing out on an awesome experience if you do.