Field Notes: The Riddler’s Gambit

Spoilers for several properties of the Batman Arkham universe follow

Know this: Batman Arkham Knight: The Riddler’s Gambit is a fantastic read and a fantastic Batman story. It fits in with the Arkham universe well and gets you ready for Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham Knight.

I need to add here that it was AMAZING to finally be moving forward in the Batman Arkham Universe. I’ve spent so much time exploring the past that the newness I found here was a joy to read.

Reading through the book it’s hard to put it down; author Alex Irvine keeping things moving at a fast clip while still giving all the main players a chance to have their moments of reflection.

The story takes place about four months after the conclusion of Batman: Arkham City; the void left by the death of the Joker in the criminal underworld is begging to be filed and the Riddler sees this as his chance to step up.

I enjoyed how the book gave him a chance to be center stage; Riddler has always been a side player in the games and it was fun to have the character realize this as well.

Riddler art 3

Getting his due

The clues and puzzles throughout the book are well done in that they are tricky yet believable, with our heroes coming off as just clever as the Riddler for figuring things out despite the deadly situations he puts them in.

Format and the Option to Leave

The format of the book contains what I’ll call a Grapes-of-Wrath-type of interlude where the main action is broken up by a shorter chapters of a different type, giving us Continue reading →

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Field Notes: The Road to Arkham

Reading The Road to Arkham drives you up to Arkham Asylum with the Joker in tow and drops you off right where the game Batman: Arkham Asylum begins.

It’s a short but good prequel to the game and there are several details that get us ready to the upcoming adventure:

  • Oracle is working with Batman right from the start and see how their relationship works, with each bouncing ideas off the other as to how all these villains could have been so “easily” captured
  • Black Mask is mentioned, someone we won’t met in-game as a major player until Batman: Arkham Origins. Nice name drop!
  • We see the Joker go after the current mayor of Gotham, pre-Quincy Sharp. Not a huge plot point but interesting after playing through the games that we get Mr. Sharp’s precursor
  • Zsasz makes an appearance, and it’s pretty clear you’ll be seeing him again soon

The Dark Knight’s instinct tells him that something’s off, that this was all a little too convenient as we arrive at the Asylum where his instinct will be proven to be dead on …

Road to Arkham 1

Good call

Field Notes: Assault on Arkham

The Batman Arkham Universe includes Batman: Assault on Arkham, the direct-to-video release from 2014.

Batman Assault on Arkham banner

I didn’t know what to expect and but I enjoyed the movie – the characters and the setting were Arkham through and through and it added more life to the universe, seeing Continue reading →

Field Notes: Batman Arkham City, Page 5

This is the fifth entry on my play through of Batman: Arkham City. Be ye warned that there will be spoilers for as far as I’ve played and please avoid spoilers for me if you have any comments concerning future segments of the game

It was a battle to get here but this is it – I’ve faced countless thugs and the bitter cold in a city run by madmen, to find myself here at the end of this adventure. Let’s talk about it!

Strange Days

Confronting Dr. Hugo Strange was epic, but the man behind the madness of Wonder Tower disappointed me in his motivations.

hugo-strange-in-arkham-city

Black gloves continue to get a bad reputation

The prequel comics and game did a good job of presenting Strange as the mastermind, so when he mentioned a “master” just before his climactic last stand I didn’t know where things would go. However having Ra’s al Ghul be that puppet master was a let down, and it’s my own fault.

Continue reading →