Thursday, June 11, 2009
Is This A Joke?
PS3 users who purchase Batman Arkham Asylum are in for a "treat." They will get to play as the Joker. Interesting.
I'm a Batman fan, and I do like the Joker, though I think few writers ever get him right. Alan Moore did a great job on him, as did Frank Miller. For the most part, though, writers misinterpret the character. It appears this video game is no different.
Joker is, first and foremost, a psychological character. He can't go toe-to-toe with Batman, who dominates him in strength. Joker's only advantage is his insanity. Granted, he has gadgets he has used and will use in the video game, but that's still no real match for Batman. All the best Batman stories dealt with Batman wading through the aftermath of Joker's crazed plans or trying to thwart them. When Batman does resort to fisticuffs with the villain (when done by a good writer) it often ends in the most typical of ways (Joker grabbing a hostage or pulling a gun).
I can understand why the developers wanted to do this. Joker is the Batman enemy. It does seem like a cool idea to play as him, and tossing PS3 owners an exclusive is always good. That said, it should've been a different villain. Killer Croc. Bane. Mr. Freeze. Phosphorous Man. None of those are the big names like Joker, but in a video game that will have plenty of fighting they make more sense.
I don't have a PS3, and this game doesn't make me want to buy one. I will admit it seems interesting, but I doubt that if I had it I would ever play as the Joker. Phosphorous Man, however, now that would be damn cool.