Welcome to the madhouse!!
Can I start by saying that i am not usually a fan of superheroes. Generally, I think they're overated and ridiculous.
Having said that Batman Arkham Asylum is one of the best games i've ever played! The game isn't too difficult (i completed the main story within several days) but there is enough bonus challenges to keep you occupied for a bit longer. The plot is brilliant as are the characters and gameplay is just as good, if a bit repetitive at times.
Starting with the main story, Joker has been captured by Batman and sent back to Arkham Asylum. But secretly Joker has been planning this for a while now and it's all part of his grand scheme (which I won't spoil for you). It's now up to Batman to figure out what Joker's plan is and to stop him in his tracks. Not only is Joker standing in your way, but other infamous villians from the comics and films; Harley Quinn, Bane, Poison Ivy, Killer Croc and (my favourite) the Scarecrow. These characters offer some great boss fights and some just won't go down easy.
Gamplay is good, with a mix of stealth and big fights with loads of crazed Blackgate prisanors. But combat can seem quite repetitive at times. The stealth missions where you are given a room full of six or so enemies and you have to pick them off one by one are good and you can play them over again in the challenge fights, from the main menu. There is also a detective section for some missions that involve following a trial from the person you're searching for.
The bonus features of the game are unsually just as good as the main story. There are a totoal of 240 hidden Riddler Challenges scattered around the asylum that you have to find. These are a mix of hidden items, patient interviews, joker teeth to destroy and riddles. The riddles are probably the best part as often they involve an easter egg about a villain from the comics eg Catwoman or the Penguin (who are also rumoured to be in Arkham Asylum 2, coming out later this year).
The fighting or stealth challenges from the menu involve recreating a battle from the main story and fighting it over again. This is okay but not nearly as satisfying as the riddles or main plot.
All in all Batman definitly more than deserves it's 9/10 rating from Playstation offical magazine and it's only a short wait now until Batman Arkham Asylum 2 is released!!