I really enjoyed Asylum, and I'm loving City, but I'll agree that the exploration features in City did perhaps go a bit overboard. You can't take more than a few steps before something happens that draws you away from the main story (ie. Riddler
Trophies, phones ringing/racing to a phone on the other end of the city, gangs with Riddler informants, etc).
I still think I'm liking City more than Asylum, but I'm not looking forward to tracking down the hundreds of collectables. lol
Another strike against Arkham City for me was that because there were so many rooftops and things to grapple to, it often lead to shooting off in quite the wrong direction.
Also a shame for me was the lack of stealth options, especially noticeable in-doors, there was a distinct lack of things to sit and hide on to perform my favourite Inverted Takedown.
I felt that the emphasis on using the gadgets had changed from stealthily taking down the bad-guys to more straight up fight situations.
Very odd for me really as I love the open world nature of Spider-Man: Web of Shadows, where I can spend an age just web-swinging around, whereas getting around Arkham City feels like a bit of chore. The only time I can say I found it exciting is when I was
under the time limits set by the Phone Booth Killer.
At first there was something about AC that I didn't like. Was playing on the hard difficulty but still finding something missing. Now I've started New Game+ I know what it was. It was those annoying lightining bolts saying
'counter now'. In AA on hard mode they weren't there, which made the game so much better for me. But they are there in hard mode on AC.
Glad they got rid of them for New Game+, I'm enjoying it alot more now.