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  1. Cheers, Sabreman. I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed both this game and your thread / blog previously. I put together an FAQ on VS about 12 years ago. Sadly, it came about as therapy for recovering from work burnout and a subsequent nervous breakdown so I've never felt an urgent desire to revisit it for the purpose of polishing. Lots of much smarter people said lots of very nice things about it, which was rewarding, and I enjoyed the correspondence with CJayC at a time when he was building Gamefaqs into a serious proposition. It was even published professionally, though only because an East European magazine publisher decided to pass off my work as their own guide -- the translation including all of my little foibles and mistakes. Anyway. A few years ago, I stumbled across a US forum comment that said I'd missed a trick on combat and there was an even neater method of weapon dedication that somebody had described in another FAQ. I think it came down to a focus on just a couple of weapon qualities (e.g. ignoring the fact that you were using a blunt weapon against something that was weak against piercing) and so getting through the game with just three weapons. I never looked into it, but I might have to find out one day.
  2. I should probably offer an opinion on this, as one of those commentators at post #2410. The Catwoman DLC inserts itself into the main game as four very short extra story missions in a linear progression, applied right from the start, so you have to decide whether you want it or not before you start a new game. The prudent approach for any punter would be to play the vanilla game without DLC first and see how much they like it, or if they even get it, then pick up the Catwoman DLC for a replay or restart if they do. The system doesn't click for everyone, but if it does for you then you will almost certainly go for a replay. And if you really like the combat, or the predator stealth missions, or both, then the extended DLC (including Robin and Nightwing) can add serious hours of extra play in terms of the challenge rooms. I love them but know many players won't even bother with them and won't feel they've missed out. There's been plenty of fair criticism regarding Catwoman's final episode and respawning enemies (there's a tactic for winning it, even if it's not brilliantly done, but it does represent a drop in quality). So I wish there existed a front-end option to enable or disable DLC for further replays, as once you have Catwoman installed then you can't get rid of her either. I don't know why they did that. I'm a cheapskate but I've really loved this game and have played it to a degree unbecoming of my age, so I've not regretted buying all the playable extra content. After it fell in price.
  3. There are some excellent and stupidly sophisticated counter animations when at the edge of the arena, smashing heads into walls or diving off the balustrade. It continues to astound me with how it all segues together and isn't glitching or clipping massively or falling apart on occasion, and on top of that it's a combat system whose rules of play boast an equal integrity. Tremendous stuff. Haven't seen anyone mention this but I noticed Robin's A+B spinning throw that Vemsie mentions can be directed with the stick. You can either throw the victim into the crowd for a Throw Knockdown (ordinary 10 points per hit) or you can hurl them well clear of the throng and immediately follow up with a ground pound. Not only is Robin responsible for some of my best combat scores (121k on Rooftop Rumble Extreme) but he's the most capable predator mode character after Batman. They're only minor changes but the Bullet Shield and Zip Kick make for a decent twist, plus he gets proper detective mode, explosive gel and remote batarangs. You can even use his Snap Flash in a combo. Nightwing is even more combat orientated, in a Bruce-Lee-joins-Kiss-tribute-band kind of way, but his predator challenges suffer from randomness. He's got the same 'where am I landing?' jump as Catwoman and his Electrical Blast is pretty unpredictable when trying to knock guards over rails (ignore the "Sneak up behind..." instruction and try to launch from the platform above). I've had so much fun with this that other good games have come and gone and I'm back here on the DLC tidy-up. The freight train is a lovely nod to a sidescrolling heritage.
  4. Nice one. Yep, it’s carefully building the combos to 50+, 70+, 90+ so that takedowns are worth several grand apiece. I know what you’re saying about bearings but that’s when I normally use a few redirects to exit the closing crowd. I’m pretty sure you couldn’t get away with repeated evades in AA and still keep your combo but you can maintain freeflow focus indefinitely in AC as long as you’re flipping over heads. I’ve recently noticed how much work I’m putting in with my right thumb in wrestling the camera back to the rest of the mob while I’m fighting. I’ve got a fair spatial memory when it’s just a small crowd, to the point where I will confidently direct an off-screen attack (the sound cues are also pretty good for chair-throwers and cocked weapons) but the camera isn’t always working *with* me. Naturally, it wants to get Vaselined and intimate in showing off my muscular pummels and specials while I am instead looking ahead to the next deserving jaw or justice-deficient conk. I know that most of you could never countenance playing through on Easy, but I’ve been watching my button-mashing Other Half do just that. And so I've discovered that the game makes extra efforts to help such players. Here’s an example:
  5. I beat it with a score of 237,000 using Batman but haven't tried yet with the other characters. My technique is to get into freeflow and so inflict a treacle slowness on knife attackers, at which point the Blade Dodge Takedown becomes much easier -- and at 100 points, better than a Ground Pound. That's my bread-and-butter point-scoring move. To stay in freeflow I don't use any other special moves or gadgets so I aerial assault shieldbearers and stop taser guys with an over-the-head redirect and critical strike in the back. It may seem counterintuitive as Disarm and Destroy is normally the most powerful move in the game but here I want plenty of knives in play. I do fewer counters but more evading to break up the crowd. I don't use the beatdown on armoured guards -- eventually, one will pick up a knife and he's mine -- unless it's near the centre of the arena because the camera goes in too close at the edges of the Iceberg Lounge (as in many other maps) and you can't see any incoming attacks with the freeflow fisheye lens. Yeah, I folded and got the additional DLC when it was rebundled recently. Just got to finish Nightwing's campaigns for the 60th Achievement. Joker's Carnival is proving to be my new Shock and Awe (Extreme), as I can't seem to rack up a decently high level before I panic and bank or get hit by some cheesy ninja swipe that started off-screen. Nowhere near the million point mark when time runs out.
  6. I picked up all the green trophies with Batman, twice, so there's definitely a route. Museum one, or outside? Besides, you know there'd be outrage if you couldn't 100% the Riddler stuff without buying DLC. Catwoman's trophies also count toward the Enigma side-mission, so you can use her allowance to complete it well before the end of the story.
  7. You can read all the riddles individually from the start of the game (although your scanning mode doesn't get activated until a little way into the story). It's clumsy but you can go to the menus, choose the '?' Riddles menu, cycle through to the location you're currently in (i.e. Park Row) and then highlight the [ ] boxes on the checklist. The riddle then appears in text and is read out by the Riddler. The mechanism by which the riddle flashes up on the screen when you enter a new district is exactly the same as that in Asylum, where it will keep giving you the first riddle on the list until solved and then move on to displaying the next. And so it shares the same flaw as Asylum, in that you'll scan something that looks interesting and inadvertently solve a riddle you were never given the chance to work out. Spoilers for those who finished the game: Oddly, it seems there's no reward whatsoever for playing the game on Hard, beyond personal satisfaction. You can 100% it on Normal.
  8. Well, the more ideas the better. Sheer perseverance in the end, for sure. That Funhouse Brawl perfect Youtube vid scores a good 100k more than my best, so I’m only fit for top 250 on my server rather than top 25 and I’ve never managed four perfect rounds on this one. I’m impressed by the cockiness that enables him to ignore knife swipes as if guessing the range to an inch. Similarly, unless you’re doing an aerial assault on a shield-carrier then it’s an interruptible attack but he never seems bothered by the possibility. I'm not even half way am I ? You are more than half-way in the story and it all starts to rush towards the end. If you're still interested in doing sidequests then try tying them up after your current objective finally releases you back to some open-world fun. Alternatively, if you think you might be tempted by NG+ then enjoy the main story and don't worry about anything else until the replay.
  9. The solo makes me think of Zappa, more so because of the pop. A raspberry would likely have sealed it. This thread is worthy of... Laudation.
  10. You're nearly there -- you will beat it, for sure!
  11. All good points, Vemsie, and I already agreed with everything you just said in my earlier posts Yep, many improvements. Love the flying to the point where I would have welcomed some more interesting AR challenges once I got the hang of it, which is saying something if you'd heard my initial curses. In terms of package I'm saying the first story was stronger; I think the "Metroidvania" (plech, plech) design of the interiors was better in AA, and that it had more variety and detail than you'll find in AC's one curved corridor of city. It also came out of nowhere, with nothing to build on. Strangely, I find now that I also prefer the Titans in the first game too: they're a bit wussy in City and if you complete an Ultra Stun then you actually halt all other incoming attacks, which just seems to cut the risk of the move and turns Titans into docile beatdown combo feeders. But now we have Joker's Russians in the mix too. So, yes, it's a "rubies or emeralds?" question.
  12. Yes, they’re miserly in releasing the Challenge rooms. I wanted to pace my game by completing them as they appeared, only to find most of them stayed locked until I was able to solve specific Riddler trophies near the end of the game. Done at 56 of 60 Achievements – I even fudgineered the Storyteller (good idea for a little easter egg; not so for an Achievement). Going through NG+, I wish there’d been a front-end console option to disable any DLC as I felt mildly penalised by having to do the Catwoman episodes twice. I’d love to rattle through the Robin and Nightwing DLC right now too but there’s no way I’m sending WB a message that it’s acceptable to charge 1,120 Points for a couple of extra challenge maps and characters that are only playable in challenges. I’ll revisit this next year when they’re giving it away. Why play as Catwoman when you could play as Batman? To answer that, you’d want to list everything she can do that he can’t. And it’s not a great list after 1. Faster silent running 2. Moves on the ceiling – in fixed areas unless you’re seriously into fan service. She certainly demands a different style of combat to succeed, but that is easily summed up as ‘forget about variety, get into Freeflow Focus ASAP and stay there’. She also presents a challenge, which must be why I’ve obstinately got all her Combat, Predator and Campaign medals, and in fairness she helped me to see a couple of tricks from the level designers (e.g. throwing bolas from the ceiling to set off museum exhibits below; spotting the best places to plant caltrops and not waste them). Compare skills and Batman’s glide is so controllable that you can land him on top of a flagpole. Much invisible worldbuilding work went into the contextual nudges that mean, from a player’s point of view, Batman’s moves flow smoothly within an environment of absolute physical integrity. Fewer resources were available to go into Catwoman’s unpredictable jump. It’s contextual but not always smart about it, so whether you’re pouncing long distances or just dropping from a ledge she can suddenly go flying or fall dangerously short in a way that occurs just often enough to take you by surprise every time. She’s sticky too, so she’ll unexpectedly grab on to walls and furniture you wanted to avoid and then stay there for precious long moments, waving her arse at enemies while you’re hammering the B button for no discernable purpose and screaming “Drop down, you silly cow!” There’s also a bug where her whip swing prompt for a possible anchor location takes an age to appear or fails to show up entirely. You can either hit the button and hope you’ll still end up on the gargoyle you were looking at -- which sometimes works, other times puts her in completely the wrong place – or you can do the raindance of hopping around the spot and staring upwards to see if you can make it appear, wasting more precious time. In the long run, and for all the excellent improvements, I rather suspect we’ll still be looking back at AA as the better overall package. But this was in no way a disappointment for me, and I’ve been loving it for many evenings. Just like AA, the smart map meant I was able to find and solve all the Riddler puzzles without a guide or faq. I find that slightly amazing, even if it’s the way games should be.
  13. Yeah, very funny. No justification? Any player who gets through the first section will find an NPC screaming the same instruction to find a weapon and armour in a chest, over and over, until they obey. Without intelligence. Other games have figured out cleverer ways to handle this kind of tutorial. But not Skyrim. Then why are you making such a major deal of me voicing precisely the same point? No, they actually did precisely that kind of daily scripting in Oblivion too. Actually, scrap all that -- I just realised what I'm doing, and I shouldn't be blaming you or Dood for my disappointment. And I apologise to you both for that. After all the hundreds of hours on previous titles, I actually think this might be a Bethesda game too far for me. I'd love to be enjoying it with some suspension of disbelief but last night's session suggests that's not going to happen right now.
  14. Woah, didn't expect to come back to this. Aw, dood. You used to be such a generous poster. Um... you do know I've done all of those things, and professionally, right? Of course not, there's no reason why you should. But that's not why I'm bold in my statements. It's nothing against players who are enjoying the game, and rightly so. I'm playing it and enjoying it for the exploration and the views. But I'd like to enjoy the games as much as you do instead of having a eye for these things that laments the fashion in which Bethesda approach NPC AI as if it's still 1985, and Gary Gygax is still calling the shots. If you want to back up your statement by showing me how much the NPC code has advanced since Oblivion then go ahead. And as you know what it means to design, create and test a game then you can surely do this. Or else you wouldn't have made that withering comment, right? And I extend this to the (currently) ten people who negged. Please tell me how the AI has advanced since Oblivion. I think it would make a better and more honest thread than this hit-&-run hate on critics.
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