Sunday, November 18, 2012

Batman Arkham Asylum: completed!

It was indeed the finale. I fought the henchmen in the hallway, I fought the two titans in the main room, and then I was worried that Joker was going to be a boring boss battle of just another titan charging around the room. Oh no. The last parts on the rooftop were tricky, and I had to restart twice before I finally defeated him, with a sliver of health left.

Overall, this has been a great game. I'm not really interested in the whole superhero universe, but this game took the established characters and made them into something really interesting. The setting is pretty creepy at times, and it felt a very solid world (even if the rationale for the batcave was a bit flimsy). It wasn't too long, but if I wanted to get more out of it there's a number of extra modes which I've not touched, plus the main game on a hard difficulty level. For now, though, I'm done.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Batman Arkham Asylum: riddle me this

Up to what I presume is the finale now, where I've been invited to the Joker's party. Before I went in, I was clearing up the Riddler's puzzles; this exercise was made easier by the fact that I'd already found each of the maps which indicate the general location of each puzzle - with the exception of the Joker's teeth, which were annoying to find in a couple of the buildings.

After much exploration, all the puzzles had been collected - I had to cheat and go online to find out the location of the last Chronicle of Arkham, since that didn't show on any map, and though I guessed who it was that was being referred to I saw no real link to the location - and I've gone in to see the Joker.

He killed me, and it was late, so I'll come back to that.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Mario Kart 7: time trialling

I've managed to get at least one star on every grand prix now, so my name is displayed with a star on online races.  Interestingly, I got a star for the Lightning Cup on mirror mode when coming second overall, while I'd previously won the series and hadn't been awarded a star at all.  I'll still play the grand prix from time to time, but for now I've been concentrating on time trials.

Mario Kart 7 has a great implementation of time trials, where you get shown the worldwide distribution of times plus are presented with a number of ghosts across the spectrum.  You can then choose to race against seven ghosts randomly chosen from the ones surrounding you, or any specific ghost at all.  These are updated any time you connect to the Internet via SpotPass.  In addition, you get sent time trials via StreetPass of people you meet in real life.  The only thing I've not seen is whether your friends are included in the ghosts anywhere - since I have no MK7 friends.

Sad face.

Anyway, I've been playing the time trials trying to beat the median time for each course.  Some have been easier than others, but there are a few which have oddly-shaped distribution curves with two peaks where there's a trick to the track, such as boosting over a certain corner and ramp.  To compete on these I've been trying to find the shortcuts myself but also following some of the faster ghosts to work out the strategy.

The track I most hate is Kalamari Desert.  You have to avoid the train going around the track through use of two different ramps (to get to which you have to use a boost over rough ground first.  But you have to line yourself up to the first ramp and commit to it before you can even see if the train is going to be in the way.  It took a lot of experimentation to find that you have to use the second ramp for the first two laps and the first ramp on the last lap, but if and only if you've been closely tracking the best times.

I'm ahead of the median on all but two tracks now.