Well to answer everyone's questions about how the GCPD contacts Batman during the day, here are my geeky treasure trove of answers.
In the 1960s TV show starring Adam West, writers introduced the Bat Phone. It was just a direct line from two red phones that had no dials or buttons. Shortly after its TV appearance, it became a staple of the comics. However ever since the 1970s the Bat-phone has rarely been featured and it is stated and assumed that Batman works only at night.
"Bats are nocturnal" -Batman Begins
"Middle of the day Alfred? Not so subtle." - The Dark Knight
Besides why would the police need to call Batman up during the day when they don't always signal him at night? Criminal masterminds usually don't commit acts in broad daylight. The GCPD only calls him up, in the most intense of situations, such as when a bomb is about to obliterate the city and they don't know where it is. They already look like lazy and incompetent buffoons who depend on a single man in a gimmicky costume to do their work, so there is a lot of resistance every time the Bat-signal even gets turned on.
Fun Fact: From the 1970's to 2004 or so, the police's official statement on the Bat Signal was it was simply a form of psychological policing to strike fear in criminals and that Batman was only an urban legend.
And as for the game, I've been addicted to it ever since its release. It's the best game released this year. However since this is the Zero Punctuation thread I'll nitpick in drawn out parts.
1. Fucking glide kick
-This happens far too often.
SITUATION 1: Batman gets a great position and is ready to pounce some bastard. He leaps down and instead of gliding seamlessly into the criminal's cranium he decides to stop mid flight on a nearby ledge or runs into a pole. His armor then collects an entire magazine of assault rifle fire.
SITUATION 2: There are multiple bad guys moving around the room searching for any sign of movement. Luckily for the Caped Crusader, being a trained ninja means they don't notice him at all. He has the perfect opportunity, there is a single man close to him that he can glide and knock down without his friends noticing. The man is in the very middle of the screen and is zeroed in by a crosshair. He lets loose his cape and swoops down. However instead of going for him he moves across the other end of the room to hit someone completely exposed and in eyesight of his buddies. He then collects an entire magazine of assault rifle fire.
2. The fucking X button
- I played this on the Playstation 3, and the sheer amount of commands this button alone was given was astounding. It reminded me of the Atari's single red button, which was the machine equivalent of an overworked multitasking mom. X on the PS3 isn't just the action button, it's also the button you hold down to run and glide, tap to jump, roll, lean, dodge, climb, and select and select weapons with it. There are so many commands that the game gets confused.
Such as the moments when I'm trying to surprise an unaware thug around the corner. I hit the R2 and the X button expecting Batman to lean in. Unfortunately it's not just a corner I'm at, it's also a ledge so The Dark Knight brashly climbs the thing and receives an entire magazine of assault rifle fire.
Speaking of the climb is also very stubborn. Normally you run up to a ledge expecting to be able to climb it, right away but sometimes I have to position myself in excactly the right spot or it doesn't even register. So I'm continuously hitting the X button making Batman look like a retarded version of Sonic the Hedgehog by doing rolls against the wall when I'm impatiently trying to vault over it.
Another failure of the X button will be it's inventory use. Sometimes I'm up on a gargoyle and I have my inventory open, about to select a gadget with the X button and instead something happens where I deselect out of the menu and jump down instead.
3. Bleh Design
-Don't get me wrong, Arkham Asylum is a visually impressive game and is gorgeous to look at overall. But there are parts in which it's cell after cell in harsh blue lighting. Batman is also rappelling on the same Gargoyle over and over, but I guess the Arkham family or board of trustees bought the same Gargoyle in wholesale bulk.
Although it bears the the grace of Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill and Arleen Sorkin's portrayals of their retrospective characters I hated half of the featured voice work. I always imagined Aaron Cash in the comics as a cool Samuel L. Jackson type, here he sounds like a classless stereotypical angry black man. Jim Gordon has always been depicted as a calm fatherlike figure. However in this game the Commissioner is far too gruffy and hostile and more reminiscent of common impressions of his inspiration, Teddy Roosevelt. Many of the characters are voiced by the same actors and actresses and it really shows. Why does the ghost of Martha Wayne sound exactly like Doctor Young? Likewise, I really wanted to punch Quincy Sharp and Amadeus Arkham in the throat because I could stand how they talked and they were voiced by the same man.
The biggest voice disappointment to me was the Scarecrow's voice. It was laughably whiny and not at all scary. I don't know why the developers didn't just get the entire animated cast when Conroy, Hamill and Sorkin returned. The Scarecrow in the Animated Series, played by Jeffrey Combs was frightening. His voice barely raised beyond a whisper unlike the funny Scarecrow we have here.
And like everyone said, the story is cliche. I expected more from Paul Dini who wrote some of the best stories and created/revamped some of the best characters than the standard "army of supersoldiers" plot.
4. Prep time
-One of the maxims of geek knowledge is that if Batman is given time to prepare he can defeat any opponent, even God. The Batman I know doesn't normally dive right in blind like...a bat.
Yet we face a gaming cliche over and over. We've all seen a similar situation. You are in a hallway and in eyesight up ahead is a wide spacious room. At the very end is some sort of MacGuffin that you need to reach. In this case it is a hostage who has been ensnared and you need to free. Everything about the situation screams "TRAP" from the top of Admiral Ackbar's gills. The whole room is built like a UFC arena and Batman knows he's going to face many baddies. He can even see with his X-Ray optics that there is a swarm of brutes waiting for him. Yet as I'm trying to lay explosives in the room, knowing they're going to jump down on me I nudge too close towards the room's center and it activates a cliche cutscene. The doctor tells me what I already know, that it is a trap, and Batman says " I know but not for me but them" (Paraphrased.)
FOR THEM? WHAT TRAP FOR THEM? The game barely allowed me to set anything up and now Batman just watched as thugs jumped down slowly while dramatic music played. At least allow me to go up myself to the doctor and use that over performing X button.
The game rarely lets you set something up, even in the face of an inevitable attack. Add this to the plethora of boss fights where Batman encounters a villain at the end of an arena as he delivers his monologue and injects people with HAX or readies their monster while Batman watches, and you have lazy design and exposition.
5. No shit Sherlock!
-Batman is billed as the World's Greatest Detective. Yet he is without a clue for most of the game. All investigation stems from using his special optics to go into "Detective Mode," which consists entirely of following breadcrumbs. Simplicity is usually good, but this is too simple. Why do I have to follow the trail exactly, Why can't I skip a step when I already have the original sample? Can't I avoid that brouhaha of brutes waiting for me in the middle of the trail?
Batman also rarely asks questions like a good detective. He never asks questions about things we don't know yet, only ones we already do. The conversations was also an excellent but missed opportunity to use that Detective Mode to see if someone is lying through biometrics but the developers decided to skip on that.
However this is made up for by the Riddler Challenges, many of which are extremely clever and take quite some thinking and detective work to find and reach.
7. NO CHAPTERS?!!!
-Ten minutes in the game I decided to go back and replay a part I enjoyed a lot.
I couldn't. The game counts one player profile as one continuous save.
THIS IS THE YEAR 2009. CHAPTER AND CINEMATIC SELECTION SHOULD BE A FEATURE IN EVERY SINGLE PLAYER GAME.
Now with that knowledge, imagine a part in which a trigger event introduces the next part of the game. (Penny Young's research notes and second Scarecrow scene.) Unfortunately it is glitched and the trigger is never detected. Wait, I can just load my last save right? WRONG, it saved over with the glitchy trigger. I had to replay from the start all the way to that point.
RAAAAAGEEEEE boiled in my veins and arteries like the Titan formala transforming me monstrously.
In the past I would've broken the game controller in rage, but this game is so fan-fucking-tastic I didn't mind going through all those parts again.