For someone like me, hearing the general praise of a singular thing inspires an almost instinctive will to muster up hatred for it. It's taken a bit of discipline to overcome that thirst for ignorant malice, but one of the many steps in contending with such an issue is first understanding it. I qualify a defining trait of misanthropy as an absolute refusal to submit to a consensus (that and I have a bit of a mean streak for Schadenfreude).
Over the past few days I've heard quite a few positive things about the newly released Batman: Arkham Asylum title. Through the various outlets I use, I was submitted to the acclaim it seems to be rightfully racking up for itself. At first I was ready to cast off a "meh" interest in it myself, but today I decided to do a bit of exploration on the matter, starting with watching a few YouTube clips of the game. I was at first curious because I wished to see how it functioned as a stealth game (a favorite genre of games for me) in order to get some handle on what it is. Then I read a few reviews and decided that may not have been the best idea on my part.
Watching this is more than enough of what I needed to see in order to avoid this game, both out of respect to it and myself. I'm too smart (or conceited, take your pick) for "must-buys" anymore.
Once I realized that all I required was a tangible perception for what the game is, I was fine with everything else. I even embraced the reality that it looks like an enjoyable game I may pick up sometime in the not-so-soon future. What I didn't like though was that urge to somehow know what the game was before I started watching YouTube clips. I honestly blame my past over-reliance in what things like previews serve as now. I stopped looking at upcoming games for this very reason and I'm just pissed off at the product of its remnants now. There's nobody I can really lay blame with there, but it is something that I now have a grasp on for myself. An act of responsibility here is not doing the preview thing anymore, perhaps it will pay off sometime in the future.
The way things intermingle, affect people's perceptions, and alter their opinion is both fascinating and disgustingly stupid...
At this point, I've embraced Arkham Asylum as something I'm jealous of, but do not really wish to play right now. I'm jealous of its fans because from what I've seen, it seems to be a porn-bucket of enjoyment for Batman fans---and therein lies the trouble:
I've never been a Batman fan...
The Christopher Nolan series have been one of the few actual instances where I've enjoyed the universe in which Gotham rests, and that was primarily due to the fact that I'm more of a fan to Nolan than I am of Batman. I still consider myself outside the popular take on The Dark Knight because while I do regard it as one of the best films I've seen in the 2000 block, I also think its overhyped; both in its rabid fans and the detractors (traitors to their cause by the way) who hate it SOLELY because everyone else likes it (sound familiar?).
The only licensed comic game I'd rush out to buy on release these days is something of Arkham Asylum's caliber set amongst the universe of Spiderman (and even that's a bit of a fucking stretch to say). Right now I'm methodically making my way through The Wire, which is as new to me as Arkham Asylum is to everyone else, and I am SO fucking proud of that.
I'll also be going back to Thief: Gold this weekend, so those will start up again next week hopefully.