Batman: Arkham City

[youtube id=”hUsSxu0k8J4″ width=”633″ height=”356″]

Batman: Arkham City doesn’t really rock the boat, content instead to offer up what is essentially an improved and expanded version of the last game. Apparently, sometimes that is more than good enough.~Aaron Izakowitz

Batman: Arkham City

When Batman: Arkham Asylum came out in 2009, it was a revelation. For decades, gamers had been conditioned to assume that any game based on a licensed property, particularly a superhero, would be at best decent and at worst execrableAsylum ignored all that, vaulting from relative obscurity to become a surprise Game of the Year contender and making Rocksteady Studios a top-tier developer overnight. Now, two years later comes its sequel, Batman: Arkham City, and the circumstances surrounding its release could not be more different. While Asylum had everything to prove, City has the perhaps even more unenviable task of trying to top its exemplary predecessor.
batman-arkham-city
Arkham City more than rises to the challenge, and it does, paradoxically, by taking the safe path. This is the very definition of an iterative sequel, with very few if any changes to the formula that made its predecessor a success. The environment is bigger, you have more tools, the combat has been improved with more combos and more varied enemies, you face more of Batman’s iconic villains, and the Riddler challenges are more numerous and more devious. It is what fans wanted and expected.
batman-arkham-city
It is also an astonishingly good game; unquestionably one of the best released this year. While this is perhaps more a testament to the quality of the first game than anything, the fact remains that Batman: Arkham City renders Asylum utterly obsolete, and makes it look easy.
batman-arkham-city
The story kicks off six months after the events of Asylum. Following the total breakdown of order on Arkham Island, the city of Gotham has cordoned off an entire district and converted it into a sort of megaprison, the titular Arkham City, with the megalomaniacal Professor Hugo Strange in charge. Surprisingly, Arkham City soon descends to the state of “wretched hellhole,” with Gotham’s supervillains rapidly setting up rival factions to vie for supremacy in the prison and forward their own nefarious ends.
batman-arkham-city
At the game’s outset, Bruce Wayne finds himself arrested and framed under ill-defined pretenses (more on this later). Before long he has donned the cowl and cape from within Arkham City and set out to get to the bottom of the mysterious circumstances surrounding Hugo Strange and his own incarceration. The plot, as you might expect, only spirals outward from there, and before long many prominent members of Batman’s rogue gallery have a part to play, including the Penguin, Mr. Freeze, a few others I shouldn’t spoil here, and of course, the Joker.
batman-arkham-city
While Arkham City qualifies as an “open world” game, it is not really a sandbox. Other than fighting random goons, there isn’t a whole lot to do if you are just wandering around. Rather, it is closest to something like Assassin’s Creed II. You always have a single story objective to work towards, but as you grapple, glide, and fight your way across the city, smaller, quick objectives will reveal themselves. By far the most common of these are the Riddler trophies, which are scattered quite liberally across the city, and many of which are in plain sight but require you to solve some sort of puzzle or riddle to obtain. Beyond these, there are crime scenes to investigate, bullet trajectories to recreate, Riddler informants to interrogate (which reveal the location of trophies on your map) and, for some reason, holographic rings floating in the air to fly through. It can all be a little overwhelming at times, but fortunately it’s all completely optional, and it’s always clear where to go next if you are only interested in advancing the story. Even better, if you see a Riddler trophy that you don’t feel like tackling immediately, you can now tag it and it will appear on your minimap, a very welcome feature.
batman-arkham-city
Once on a story mission, things become very similar to the first game. Stealth and hand-to-hand combat are both back mostly unchanged, with some added wrinkles. In stealth mode, for example, certain enemies might have a signal jammer which disables your detective vision, or a thermal vision upgrade which allows them to see you even when you are hiding in the rafters, which will obviously influence your plan of attack. Combat sees similar additions. Goons equipped with body armor, riot shields, knives, and stunguns are all in the mix, each requiring a unique approach. Fortunately, your arsenal has also been expanded. The game’s story thankfully does not contrive some reason to strip Batman of all his abilities at the beginning, so you start the game with a healthy range of options, and your toolset only grows over the course of the game.
batman-arkham-city
Once you complete the campaign, which took me somewhere from 12 to 15 hours with moderate sidequesting, there is plenty of additional content on the disc to keep you coming back. The Challenge modes, both combat and predator, return largely unchanged, complete with online leaderboards. A new addition is what they are calling Campaigns, which have a string of different challenges to be played in a sequence, with optional modifiers to either assist the player, such as regenerating health, or provide an extra challenge, like a time attack mode. There is also a New Game Plus, which lets you play through the game with all your upgrades and trophies unlocked but retools the game somewhat to provide an extra challenge. On top of all this, there is a huge amount of supplemental material including concept art, character biographies, and a lengthy history of Arkham City, all of which are unlocked by collecting enough Riddler trophies.
batman-arkham-city
Again, in many ways these are exactly the sorts of enhancements and tweaks that we have come to expect from a sequel. It’s true that Batman: Arkham City doesn’t really rock the boat, content instead to offer up what is essentially an improved and expanded version of the last game. Apparently, sometimes that is more than good enough.
batman-arkham-city
In short: Batman: Arkham City, is really, really fun. It’s so fun you will literally yell in disbelief at how sweet whatever you just did was, and you will do it a lot. It’s so fun you will make your roommate/significant other/whoever walks into the room watch you play it so that they, too, can appreciate just how awesome you are. I can think of very few games that are more satisfying to just play. Simply traversing the city, using your grappling hook to fling yourself into the sky and then divebombing and pulling up to gain momentum, is an absolute joy. The predator sections of the game are even tenser than before, with the enemies’ new gadgets robbing you of what little security you once had. The rhythmic combat system, which at first seems like a button masher but which ultimately rewards careful observation and focus, remains the best brawler that I’ve played, period. Whether you just race through the story missions or take your time to explore all the extra content to its fullest, the game is expertly paced, invisibly propelling you forward. Layered on top of all this is a satisfying progression system, which provides you with a new ability or gadget just when you feel like you have mastered the game.
batman-arkham-city
As in the first game, Rocksteady has taken a fantasy that, let’s face it, everyone has had at some point in their lives and made it as close to a reality as anyone will ever experience. Every aspect of the game’s design reinforces the notion that you are Batman. His strength is in his careful planning and execution, and if you are impatient or sloppy in Arkham City, you will be punished. You are stronger and smarter than everyone else, but you are not invincible, and few games make you feel so powerful in such a tangible and realistic way.
batman-arkham-city
This pervasive sense of Batman-ness extends into the game’s presentation. Its world is an alchemic combination of elements from the comics, the animated series, and the various movies (even Joel Schumaker’s monstrosities have something to contribute), creating something familiar, yet distinct enough to stand apart from any of those universes. The new character designs are excellent, Mr. Freeze in particular. The game is not afraid to drift into the fantastical, indeed reveling in it at times, yet the universe feels gritty enough to give the characters’ actions some weight.
batman-arkham-city
Vocal performances are also generally pretty sharp. Mark Hamill reprises his outstanding performance as the Joker, who finds himself in an unusually vulnerable position this time around.  The Riddler remains incredibly obnoxious, as befits the character, with his constant taunts and boasts. The new characters, for the most part, make a strong impression. Unfortunately, nameless thugs have uniformly terrible dialogue and acting, constantly spouting off lines that no person in the world would ever say, shouting exposition at the top of their lungs for any passing Batmen to pick up on, and yelling ridiculous taunts to Batman as he flies by or hunts them from above. It’s not quite Splinter Cell: Conviction bad, but it does infringe on the authenticity of the game’s atmosphere a bit.
batman-arkham-city
While the premise and setting are very effective, the actual plot has some significant problems. The most immediate concern is that the game’s writers seem to have forgotten to include a beginning. The central conceit of the game, that Gotham would rededicate an entire district for a prison, run by known madman Hugo Strange, is pretty outlandish, even for a comic book property, and this is only made worse by the total lack of explanation. There is a comic book that comes with new copies of the game that fills in the gaps between the last game and this one, but if you haven’t read it (as I hadn’t, and as I suspect many won’t), or actively sought out information on this game online, then the opening of this game will be very confusing, and indeed many things are never explained at all. The plot’s twists and turns can at times feel a little contrived, like they exist solely to get Batman to a new location, particularly towards the beginning of the game. Some of the characters’ motivations also don’t really make a lot of sense under scrutiny. The ending, while better than that of Arkham Asylum, is a little abrupt, and ends on a fairly lazy cliffhanger.

batman-arkham-city
More significant problems lie in the game’s handling of Catwoman. She was a major part of its presentation and marketing, and we’ve known for months now that she would be a playable character. This is indeed true, as there are a handful of episodes strewn throughout the game in which you control Catwoman. Unfortunately, these episodes are all very short, and it turns out playing as Catwoman is a lot like playing as Batman but without any of the gadgets that make playing as Batman enjoyable. She has very few combat options compared to Batman, and she gets around more or less just by pouncing really high. Her stealth sections are entirely dependent on her ability to jump up and hang upside-down from chain-link ceilings and then descend on enemies when they are isolated, which…is not a thing that cats do. Also, what kind of building has chain-link ceilings? Beyond that, Catwoman herself is annoying, with absolutely no depth beyond making pointless cat jokes and flirting lamely with everyone she sees.
batman-arkham-city
There is another, rather ugly, aspect to Catwoman’s presence in the game. In an effort to curb used game sales, Rocksteady (or, more likely, Warner Bros.) have chosen to lock off the Catwoman portions of the game with a code included in new copies of the game. What this means is that the first time you play the game, you will have to enter this code and then download around 250MB of data, just to play a part of the game that was clearly meant to be there the whole time. This is after the requisite patching and, on PS3, installation. If you didn’t buy the game new, you will have to buy the Catwoman DLC for $10. While the Catwoman sections are the weakest part of the game, I feel like their absence would result in some confusion, and it’s disappointing to see what was clearly intended to be an integral part of the game gated behind an anti-used game sale measure. It’s more annoying than anything, but I sincerely hope this does not become a trend.
batman-arkham-city
Despite all of these problems, the fact remains that Batman: Arkham City is an absolutely stellar game. Its story issues, while substantial, do absolutely nothing to temper the quality of the overall experience. From its thrilling open world traversal to its hair-raising predator sequences to its unparalleled melee combat system, every element of the game reflects dedication to the source material and the talent and expertise of Rocksteady Studios. It’s a tour de force that cements their position at the top of the industry. At the risk of sounding gushy or hyperbolic, Batman: Arkham City is the sort of game that will remind you of why you like videogames in the first place.

Batman

Batman - NES - gameplay
While Batman has had a few video games before this on computer platforms, many remember the NES game as the Dark Knight’s first digital adventure. This one was not surprisingly based on the 1989 movie and came out less than year after the film’s release.
Batman - NES - gameplay
 Since it was based on the movie, there were plenty of impressive (for NES anyway) cut-scenes featuring key moments of the movie and some just for the game.
Batman - NES - gameplay
 Except the plot of the game is shortened to Batman just trying to reach the Joker. Doing so he must go through chemical plants, caverns, and even a cathedral to meet the insane clown. I guess a lot of the areas weren’t in the movie but were you expecting a dating mini-game with an 8-bit Vicki Vale?
Batman - NES - gameplay
I guess you could say the game was Batman meets Ninja Gaiden. You could wall jump in addition to using batgear like the batarang. Fans usually have a very positive opinion of Batman for NES, but I don’t think it’s aged too well. I played a little awhile back, and it couldn’t keep my interest for long.

Warner Bros. Games delivers a slap to the face of gamers

Until a large unified force speaks with their dollars there really is no reason for any of these companies to change.~J.A.Laraque

batman-arkham-origins-joker

Arkham Origins Glitches

Recently it was reported that Warner Bros. Montreal will not be releasing any patches that would address several bugs and glitches with Batman: Arkham Origins because they are busy working on DLC content.  Even though I read this on a number of reputable gaming news sites I just could not believe it and hoped that it was misunderstood or overblown that was until I read this statement on the game message boards for Arkham Origins.

“The team is currently working hard on the upcoming story DLC and there currently are no plans for releasing another patch to address the issues that have been reported on the forums,”

I personally had some issues with BAO, but nothing that was game breaking, but there have been many confirmed reports of small glitches and minor bugs to game breaking issues including corrupted save files.  It is one thing to be told that it may be a while to get a patch, anyone who has played an MMO knows what that feels like, but to have a company just come out and say they are not working on these fixes because they are too busy working on something else to charge you for is just ridiculous.

I’ve had a love/hate relationship with DLC because while it can extend longevity to a game, it can also cause companies to milk gamers for every dollar they can. The same goes for online patches and fixes. The idea is great, but it is almost as if it is now an excuse to rush a product out because you can just patch it later.

One of the worst experiences I personally faced with this was when WWE Raw was released for the original Xbox. The game had horrible game breaking issues from day one and these affected a large amount of the player-base and yet we had to wait weeks before a patch was finally released. It seriously felt like they released it knowing many people would not be able to play it, but felt it was fine because they could always patch it later.

Sadly, many companies know they can get away with this. In Everquest, there was a running joke about how so many of us were beta testing every content patch or expansion and this trend continued in World of Warcraft as well as many other MMO’s.  As much as we complained, we still paid for the subscription and purchased the new games so the real question is, why should these companies change? The same goes for Arkham Origins, just take a look at this quote.

“If we do move forward with creating a new patch, it will try to address the progression blocking bugs for players, not the minor glitches that do not prevent one from continuing to play,”

And.

“The issues that are not progression blockers will unfortunately no longer be addressed. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused for some of you, and want to thank you for having been patient.”

Does that read like something a company that is really trying to win over fans would say? If we feel like fixing our bugs we will only fix the big ones and the little ones, no, we have no interest in doing that, and by the way, thanks for your money and we know you will by the next game so whose kidding who. This is pretty much what is being said.

Unfortunately, as angry as this has made many players other have already beat the game with little or no issues and are eagerly awaiting new content. In a way this is smart because these companies know how gamers love to fight with one another so you have those who beat BAO and want the content telling everyone else to “stop crying” and so in the end the company wins because when the DLC comes out it will sell and the next installment of the game will also sell. I would not be surprised that in case of emergency they will release a mini patch to fix a few things if there is too much of an uproar.

This is shameful, but the popularity of a game plus the fact that many gamers still have their games purchased for them created a splintered community. You might hear some outcry on the forums and comment sections now, but the same and worse has happened in games like Everquest and while they complained they did not quit. Until a large unified force speaks with their dollars there really is no reason for any of these companies to change.

What worries me is there have been companies that have been known for releasing great games and if there needs to be a fix it is addressed quickly. As much as people used to complain about Blizzards long development times, their RTS games were worth the wait, but look what they have become now. They still make good games, but you see the differences between now and before Activision. If we allow these practices to continue then we have to expect other companies to also slack off. If they can save money by releasing a striped down game and selling more DLC’s or rush a game out and patch it later then why shouldn’t they do so if it won’t hurt their bottom line. In the end,  only new IP’s  and independents will try hard because they have to prove themselves and win us over while fan favorites can do as they please because we will by their game anyway. I’m looking at you EA.

Even if you bought Batman: Arkham Origins and never had an issue and can’t wait for the DLC at least consider the brazen attitude by these statements. Maybe you are not effected today and don’t care, but what happens when you go to play your next favorite game and it is full of issues and the company laughs in your face while trying to pick your pocket. This trend needs to stop and only we can stop it.

Batman Forever: The Arcade Game

Batman forever

Batman Forever: The Arcade Game

Many will not-so-fondly remember the “other” Acclaim Batman Forever game, a disaster of imprecise controls, illogical level designs, and visuals so sub-par, it was hard to make out what you were doing. That mess found its way onto countless game consoles, including the lowly Game Boy, the last place it should have ended up.

Batman forever

However, on the PlayStation and Saturn, Acclaim published the arcade version (ports by Iguana), hence the title Batman Forever – The Arcade Game. Instead of falling into the platform genre, The Arcade Game was a simple beat-em-up, but one completely lacking in direction, logic, or thought, in addition to the problems of 16 and 8-bit platformers.

Batman forever

The games co-op play only made things more confusing, as the muddy, pixelated digitized visuals caused Batman to blend with the background, and Robin to somehow look like some of the more colorful enemies. Instead of establishing a flow or pacing, BF – TAG just tossed everything onto the screen. Power-ups are everywhere, and the game randomly seems to stop as the superheroes suck in their the newly found abilities. Other times, it stops so either can explode into an explosion of lightning (?) to clear the screen. Various combo counters took up valuable areas of screen real estate, making an already difficult to see game even worse. Of course, they can also shrink (??). Why, for what purpose, is anyone’s guess.

Batman forever

Controls are impossibly slippery, while limited animation makes it seem as if characters are skating around the backgrounds instead of walking on them. For the record, they are. Everything moves so fast (the complete opposite of the other Forever game), it becomes impossible to grab the basics of punching or kicking. The epic and certainly expensive soundtrack is culled from the films, unintentionally hilarious considering the absurdities occurring on-screen.

BF – TAG is a Batman game with zero focus, an attempted showcase of the advancement of digitized visuals, which when done well, could work in favor of the developer. When done poorly, you end up with this, a game where the budget is so squarely focused on the graphics, nothing was left for the gameplay.

The Obsolete Gamer Show #36

William Watterson - Jim Peyton

This week on the Obsolete Gamer show we got to talk with actor, William Watterson. Not only is he a talented voice and screen actor, but he is voicing the main character, Jim Peyton in the upcoming game, Lost Planet 3.

Check out his gamer profile which includes the Lost Planet 3 trailer and his reel.

This was a great interview. William started out in a band and then made his way to screen acting and then voice acting working on L.A. Noir. He has worked on a number of screen projects and was even a body double for Nic Cage. Not only is he a gamer, but he even invented a drinking game for the Atari 2600 classic game Warlords.

William was also a comic book collector so we not only talk about that and the collection on my wall, but also the new of Ben Affleck getting the role of Batman. Check out the clip below.

Overall a great interview so check it out on our podcast page where you can watch the video or download the audio podcast for ITunes or listen to it via Stitcher Radio.

Batman

Batman - NES

Batman

Fuse together challenging fast paced platforming, gratifying fighting action, and an unmistakable awesome soundtrack. Now put it all into one video game and what you get is Batman for the NES.

Batman - NES

It remains to be one of the more memorable games of my childhood, and features one of the most unforgiving final boss fights I’ve ever encountered in a game. This game is based on the first Batman movie, although you may forget that once you see Batman’s purple suit, never before seen enemies, and some off the wall boss fights.

Batman - NES

 

You will find yourself beating down enemies, ninja gaiden wall jumping, and batarang spamming all the way to the Joker. A challenging, exciting, and highly enjoyable game in every way… this is one you dont want to skip over.

Batman

Batman

In 1990, cult-favorite developer Sunsoft published Batman on the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) console, a video game cartridge based on the original film as directed by Tim Burton with Michael Keaton in the titular role of the caped crusader. Little did Sunsoft know, perhaps, that they would be laying the foundation for what would be among the most prized legacies in license-game franchise history, and authoring the blueprint for what a successful high-quality license game should feel like.

Batman-nes-gameplay-screenshot-1

Gameplay

The controls are definitively sublime: The A button jumps, and the B button punches, as they should. However, the Dark Knight has a few further tricks up his sleeve: Not only can he crouch and jump at varying heights, along with altering his midair momentum, but he can wall-jump rather intuitively, adding a whole new dimension to the classic 8-bit platforming gameplay. Not only are his movement capabilities fleshed out well, but he has a trio of weapons at his disposal: A ‘batarang’ boomerang, a projectile missile that begins with a slow flight before rapidly speeding across the screen, and a powerful triple-shot firing option as well. Each of these items is accessible by toggling through by pressing the Start button, and each with their own respective inventory amount, of which Batman can increase by picking up certain items as he proceeds.

Batman-nes-gameplay-screenshot

Another item he can find is health to boost his life meter, which at full strength allows him to take several hits before dying, although even Batman’s death is impressive, as he bursts into a flash of fire. Suffering damage does not incur knockback, and grants a brief moment of invulnerability. Mastering Batman’s skills in movement, melee combat, long-range weaponry, and inventory management will be key to success, as this Batman game boasts a challenging difficulty curve that will prove to be a worthy conquest for even a seasoned retro gamer.

The stages loosely follows the sets from the movie, as our hero must progress through Gotham, the AXIS Chemical Factory, some Laboratory Ruins, and other locales and sub-levels, before the inevitable final confrontation with his arch-nemesis the Joker. The boss fights after each stage are appropriate, and even innovative, as one finds Batman fighting an inanimate security system.

Batman-nes-gameplay-screenshot

The platformer may have been an almost too-popular genre for the NES console, but Batman proves to be a shining example of how it can give the player a thorough, satisfactory experience, demanding honed reflexes, tactics, patience, and outright gaming prowess to complete, while still remaining as one of the best license video games of all time, even decades later.

Graphics

Batman-nes-gameplay-screenshot

Sunsoft did not skimp on presentational strength. This is a fine-looking 8-bit NES video game. The characters are well-defined, distinctive, and varied, from the shock troops wielding flamethrowers to the robotic spike-armed floor guards and react to Batman’s presence. The cutscenes do justice to Batman’s bold, dark flavor, serving to more fully enrich the in-game plotline. But perhaps, in this humble reviewer’s opinion, the most noteworthy of Batman’s graphical qualities is its level design and background graphics. Even on the very first level, the use of detail in the backgrounds is exquisite, thoroughly pacing the rigors of the NES color palette toward establishing atmosphere, and the way the elements gradually fade into swooping blank swaths of black is stunning in its ingenuity and overall effect. This words may seem overly effusive, but rest assured: The praise is deserved, and those who play the NES rendition of Batman The Video Game are in for a memorable portrait of visceral action gaming.

Sound

Batman-nes-gameplay-screenshot

While some development teams and programmers were bewitched and obfuscated by the inherent difficulties of composing quality music for the Nintendo Entertainment System, Sunsoft must have had a very competent team indeed, because the themes present in Batman are among the most earwormy pieces of sound candy the console had to offer. The title screen tune thunders in with a deep taste of bass before adding a layer of melodic meat. The first level may be the most unforgettable for its music, with an intense track that is not only not a stretch to be described at nearly orchestral in its arrangement power, but apparently so fondly recognized that it is revisited in a later level to dramatic effect. The actual effects, in comparison, may even be a letdown, but pack enough punch to satisfy the proceedings as the buzzy chime of item-collecting bumps up against the brief flame-burst of defeated foes.

Originality
Batman-nes-gameplay-screenshot

This is it: The definitive example of a good license game on the NES. Perhaps it is not the only one, or even the very best, but it set the standard, standing out amidst the morass of sub-standard cartridges in the sea of pre-1990 NES games being made. Maybe it was mostly due to its vast distribution and resulting commonality, but this is among the most beloved NES video games, with countless gamers pleasantly recollecting this as among their favorites.

The wall-jumping mechanic may have been the greatest innovation, with the second-level automaton boss being a notable mention as well. The item-toggling system is an interesting touch, but maybe not done as well as it could have been, although it certainly delivered results in real time. Then again, hardcore purists would balk at the concept of Batman carrying such guns anyway.

Batman-Cinematic-Screen

Some gamers, even retro fans, point to Batman as among the pioneering carts that helped define the term “Nintendo Hard,” supposedly representing an era when, since the limited-memory cartridges could not hold a hugely lengthy game, clever developers instead had to rely on steep difficulty levels to properly give gamers a heart replay value, as kids and hobbyists everywhere repeatedly tried to beat the game. While Batman may be tough, it is defensibly so, with the possible exception of the climactic Joker fight, in which the ultimate boss not only packs an enormous pistol but can inexplicably wield lightning bolts as well.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBkdrjLF-Dg[/youtube]

Whether nitpicked for its theoretical flaws, worked over as a title for hardcore fans only, or unappreciated as merely another example of the inundated field of NES platformers, one basic truth strikes at the core of the issue: Batman is a good game. The detective punches four stars out of five to earn its rightful place in the Nintendo pantheon.

Eric Bailey is a retro gamer on a crazy quest to write a quality review for every single American-released NES video game over at NintendoLegend.com.

The Top Cartoons From The 1990s

This list includes every cartoon I thought was great or totally amazing that started airing or were super popular in the 1990s. Let”s go over all of them in alphabetical order!

Aeon FluxAeon Flux

This was a really weird science fiction cartoon that was showed on MTV”s Liquid Television in the early 1990s. The show was about Aeon Flux, a female secret agent that was mixed up in a lot of conspiracies, a war with a neighboring country, assassinations, betrayal, cloning, and a bunch of other crazy plots. The entire cartoon was a complete mind fuck.

The feeling this show gave me was similar to the feeling I get from the Paranoia RPG and Brazil. Pretty much, it”s a totally fucked up distopian future where you are either a drone or you are involved in sinister greater forces that control and rule everything and keep everyone oppressed. Life is cheap and everybody is replaceable.

The way this cartoon was drawn and the bizarre style of it reminded me a lot of the comics that would come out in Heavy Metal magazine. A lot like the style of those weird french graphic novels from the 80s and 90s.

There aren”t a lot of episodes of this show. I remember renting the whole show on VHS back when those existed, so you have an idea how short it is.

There was a live action movie that was a remake of the show. It was okay. Most people either liked it or flat out hated it.

AnimaniacsAnimaniacs

This was Steven Spielberg”s next cartoon character after having made the hugely successful Tiny Toon Adventures. The show was like watching a cartoon version of The Marx Brothers. The entire cartoon was about two brothers and a sister going around trolling everybody they met. The show also introduced Pinky And The Brain, a cartoon that was about an idiot mouse that is always trying to help a super genius mouse “try to take over the world!” The Brain sounded a lot like Orson Welles. Pink And The Brain were probably my favorite characters from the show.

The main storyline for this insane show was that Yakko, Wakko, and Dot were 1930s cartoons characters that got trapped in the water tower of the Warner Bros Studios and were finally released to mess with the world in the 1990s. There were other sketches with other characters such as The Goodfeathers. The Goodfeathers were a parody of the gangsters from the movie Goodfellas except that they were a bunch of pigeons. They were great, even impersonating Joe Pesci”s characters that usually go ape shit over everything. There was also Slappy Squirrel which was a bitter old cartoon character that would put people in their place while trying to teach those values to her nephew Skippy Squirrel.

Batman BeyondBatman Beyond

Think Batman meets cyberpunk Shadowrun and this is pretty much what the show is. It”s set in the future. Bruce Wayne is old, has heart conditions, and is slowly dying. Everybody that Bruce Wayne worked with either hates him or is dead. What ends up happening is that Bruce Wayne can no longer be Batman. For a while he”s already used a power armor kind of Batsuit but even that doesn”t prevent him from having heart attacks while fighting crime. So… some kid that has a situation like Bruce gets picked up to be the next Batman.

The show is almost not even a kids show as people (rarely) die in this show but at least there is death. If you are a fan of the other Batman cartoons then you need to follow the chain of history by watching this show. The sad part is that this show got cancelled, probably because of the violence and dark tones, but if you really want to see how all of Batman ends, I urge you to watch Justice League”s “Epilogue” episode. That ends all of Batman, forever. It is simply the best thing ever written for Batman.

Anyways, back to Batman Beyond… The Joker is dead and so are many of the old villains since it”s the year 2039. Instead of having The Joker, you have The Joker street gang and other characters based on themes from the past as well as some of them returning. The new villains are insanely more powerful than classic Batman villains, some of them being to the scale of power that it would take Superman or the Justice League to bring them down.

There are movies of the show, and they are all worth watching.

Since youtube restricts it, I can”t embed the intro, so here”s the link to it instead (open in a new tab).

Batman The Animated SeriesBatman: The Animated Series

This is a cartoon that was so good that I would stop doing anything to watch. This set the bar for me for what everything comic book related should be for the rest of time. Batman The Animated Series is so damn good that it makes everything else Batman look like shit, and I am including the Tim Burton and Chris Nolan movies. Now, yeah, that might be going a little bit too far but for a cartoon this is simply ART. The music along with the drawings along with the voice acting and writing makes for a perfect cartoon. This IS the Dark Knight. The writing is so good that I often remember quotes from the show. “How much is a good night”s rest? Now there”s a riddle for you…” and many more.

This cartoon is what and are based on.

This cartoon is so good that each episode has its own unique soundtrack written for it. The level of writing are just as good as the original Twilight Zone series. You MUST watch it.

Again, youtube doesn”t allow embedding so just open in a new tab, the HD 1080p version of the Batman Intro.

Darkwing DuckDarkwing Duck

Darkwing Duck was a spinoff from DuckTales and it was sort of like a comical parody of superheroes, especially Batman. This takes place in the DuckTales universe, even having Launchpad MacQuack as his sidekick, the really bad pilot from DuckTales that always crashes everything that he pilots. Just think of it like a light hearted Batman except that his parents didn”t get murdered and that he has to take care of a bratty daughter Gosalyn Mallard. I remember any time that there would be action he would always say his catchphrase: “Let”s get dangerous!”

This cartoon was really popular in the early to mid 90s especially when DuckTales was still around.

Dilbert TV SeriesDilbert

This was an amazing comedy show based on the incredible make-fun-of-working comic strip Dilbert. The show was as funny as the strip but I could tell it was probably doomed from the start since it would show on UPN. Like it was totally marketed incorrectly, on the wrong network for this show. It would probably done really well on Fox or Cartoon Network or on Adult Swim but then again this was the 1990s, not 5-10 years later. Still, they should have at least gone with Fox, although Fox kills most of all of its good shows (like Family Guy and Futurama).

If you don”t know what Dilbert is, it”s about showing how crappy it is to work in a corporate cubicle farm culture. The boss is a moron/asshole, everybody does anything they can in order to do the least amount of work and get paid the least. You know, just like in real life?

If you like the strip, just watch the show to see the cartoon version. You can see all the episodes of Dilbert on youtube via Crackle. Here is the link to the first episode.

Eek The CatEek The Cat

Eek The Cat was the perfect cartoon created by Savage Steve Holland which was intended for kids with ADD and to make fun of pop culture. The whole show was about Eek the Cat which was the nicest cat ever and he would always get hurt for trying to do the right thing. Pretty much every episode was about that. There was this dog, Sharky the Sharkdog which was always trying to bite Eek at every opportunity. “It never hurts to help” was what Eek would always say and then the worst things would happen to him, always physically. He had this horribly fat cat girlfriend called Annabelle that was morbidly obese and disgusting. Despite that he always loved her.

To me this show was infinitely superior to shows that came afterwards like Spongebob Squarepants.

Exo SquadExoSquad

This is the pinnacle of 90s cartoons as far as rare cartoons go. I would say only Batman was as good as this cartoon. This is the ultimate space opera cartoon. It shows real war with people dying, the “good guys” not always winning, racism, terrorism, megalomania, etc. It was hard to watch this cartoon because they would always air it randomly, sometimes skipping episodes. I had the same problem with Babylon 5 because my parents never had cable so I would have to guess what I had missed.

The show is the ultimate parable made on World War 2. A lot of people die and you see things like crimes against humanity and cruelty. Shocking for a publicly aired cartooon.

Anyways, this show is probably one of my highest recommended shows in GENERAL to watch of all time. I like it enough that I run the main facebook fan page for it. Fortunately for us, although the show is dead, we can see the entire show for free here at hulu.

Start watching it and don”t stop until you saw it all. Only season 1 is available on DVD because Universal doesn”t care much for this show. 🙁

Family GuyFamily Guy

This show started off in the late 90s and it”s still on the air after having been cancelled many times. Personally I think the first seasons of the show were much funnier than the current seasons, since they seem to keep changing writers all the time and lately they”ve been relying too much on recycling internet jokes. Even the writers of the show make fun of how much the show has become like their spinoff show American Dad and there was even The Cleveland Show which was just SHIT.

Anyways, everybody knows what Family Guy is. It”s as famous as The Simpsons and Futurama. If you don”t know what Family Guy is, it”s nice to finally have met a time traveler or I”m glad that you”re awake from your coma.

FuturamaFuturama

Here is a show that was created by Matt Groening, the creator of The Simpsons, that was superior (for geeks) to The Simpsons. The show is a LOT like Red Dwarf but even crazier because you can pretty much draw everything but Red Dwarf was limited by its budget. This show too had problems with it getting cancelled but it”s coming back again.

There are various movies of Futurama and they”re all worth watching.

The show is about this loser that gets frozen in cryogenic containment and he wakes up in the year 3000. The show is insanity having characters like the Santa Claus robot that kills everybody that”s been naughty and that means everybody. The aliens in the show are disgusting often eating garbage or they”re deadly or they”re just weird. Anyways, the loser Fry goes to work for an interstellar shipping company that”s run by an incompetent (not evil) genius Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth.

The show belongs in the comedy science fiction category alongside Red Dwarf. I highly recommend it.

Gargoyles
King of the Hill
Men in Black: The Series
Mighty Max
Muppet Babies
Pokemon
Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles
Sabrina the Animated Series
South Park
Spawn
Superman: The Animated Series
TaleSpin
Taz-Mania
The Maxx
The Simpsons
The Tick
Tiny Toon Adventures
X-Men

Justice League Task Force

Justice League Task Force - Sega Genesis - Gameplay Screenshot

Let me start off by saying I’m not a huge fan of fighting games, in particular the 1 vs 1 games like Tekken or Mortal Kombat. I get bored with them easily, and all I seem to do is “button-mash” and hope for the best. Having said that, I wanted to try JLTF, because as a huge DC guy, I wanted to play around with the heavy hitters that I’ve known all my life. Thought that may pull me into it, instead of fighting with “fat guy who open-hand slaps me”, “dude with chain that strangles me”, or “hot chick who flips around but boobs never fall out”. Plus, this is supposed to have a storyline with Darkseid, so how bad could it be?

Justice League Task Force - Sega Genesis - Gameplay Screenshot
The game doesn’t start well. I choose Superman, of course, because he’s the baddest and I want to mow through people. The first thing I notice is Blizzard/Acclaim didn’t have the plums to tell DC that they weren’t going to model Supes after Jurgens’ mullet-Supey, so I’d have to look at that the rest of the way. Just sad really.

Justice League Task Force - Sega Genesis - Gameplay Screenshot
The storyline has Darkseid attacking a military base?!?! Big Blue is going to contact a JLAer to tell them about it. Suddenly, Green Arrow attacks me!!? WTF? I’m forced to fight him, which should lasts .0002 seconds, but somehow he’s fighting off cold breath, heat vision, and punches….that’s realistic. After “battle”, I decided to talk to Aquaman to see what’s up, AND THAT DUDE ATTACKS ME!!! Where are the villains?!

Justice League Task Force - Sega Genesis - Gameplay Screenshot
This keeps going on until Superman figures out that the real heroes must be kidnapped and he’s fighting robots. Holy crap. Once Batman, Flash, and Wonder Woman “robots” are torn apart, Darkseid decides to throw CHEETAH at me!…………yes, Cheetah is the chick that wears a cat costume. Worst. Villain. Plan. Ever.

Justice League Task Force - Sega Genesis - Gameplay Screenshot
For whatever reason, I was forced to “fight” her, when all I really wanted to do was let her break a nail on my Kryptonian abs and make her go poop in her cat box. Despero is next, which is nice, because he’s a tough dude, and…well…HE’S A BAD GUY!! Darkseid is still not ready to face me yet, as he throws a Superman robot at me, I guess trying to confuse me. He forgot that as a boy in Smallville, I used to make these robots so Lana Lang wouldn’t think Clark/Supes were the same person. Should have done your homework, son. After the recycling was taken out, Darkseid decides to come after me himself. Getting hit with those Omega Beams, I thought,”Boy, he always talked a lot of smack about these, but they’re not really doing that much damage? Kind of a wimp.”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqkZq1ps-GM[/youtube]
After it’s all done, my hero-buddies show up and we scold Darkseid about doing property damage on Earth…seriously.

Now do you see why I don’t like these games. It’s just ridiculous that all these costumes are on the same power level, and the winner is the person who presses buttons the quickest….unless it’s Superman Vs Muhammad Ali…..that shit was real!

Old Game Reviewer reviews classic and retro games, you can check out more of his great work on his blog here – Old Game reviewer.

Grayson

Grayson Poster

This is another awesome fan trailer. The story behind this trailer is that Batman was killed and Dick Grayson begins retraining to avenge the death of Batman.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQyfQ7RMOXs

The adventures of Batman and Robin

Snes-adventures-of-batman-and-robin

I was looking forward to this game, after playing a lot of mediocre to poor ones this week. I had heard good things about it, and was a big fan of the 90′s cartoon, for which it was based. Konami put this out in 1994, around the time they changed the name of the cartoon from Batman: the Animated Series. The cartoon was very good to exceptional, and if they didn’t screw up that feel, we would have a winner.

Snes-adventures-of-batman-and-robin 2
Good news! I start play and find they incorporated the fantastic animation, as well as music from the series. It’s more than a typical scrolling action/platformer that gives you plenty of things to do to mix it up a bit. The first level pits you against The Joker, as you’re invited into his Funhouse for a rescue mission. You’re given a number of Bat-toys incuding the Batarang/rope/stars/goggles, etc…Luckily, they give you a reason to use your gadgets, and they’re not just for show. You fight, jump, and Batrope your way through his puzzles until you reach the first boss, a huge toy soldier! After that, Joker puts you on a runaway roller-coaster and tosses bombs at you. If you make it through that, you’ll face the Clown Prince, himself.

Snes-adventures-of-batman-and-robin 3
There’s probably a dozen levels throughout facing all of your favorite Arkham-escapees; Catwoman, Penguin, Two-Face, Riddler, and more. They each have their unique levels that makes it seem like a bunch of mini-games. Again, it looks beautiful, plays well, and the music makes you feel like you’re playing inside an episode of the series.

The adventures of Batman and Robin - SNES - gameplay screenshot 1
Two negatives on the game; Robin is barely around, and doesn’t really do anything, so if you thought this would be a kick-ass co-op, you’d be wrong. Secondly, and most importantly, THERE’S NO VOICE!! Everything is in text! I could just imagine how good this game would have been had I been experiencing the great Mark Hamill taunting me as The Joker instead of having to read, “HAHAHAHA! Follow me into my funhouse, Batman!”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNA9f4OBXe4[/youtube]
Just saying, if you’re going to do it…do it right.

Obviously, I’m pleased with the game, and if you have your old SNES sitting around, pick this up. It’s Bat-astic!

DC Comics: The New 52 commercial

The new 52

If you haven’t been living in a cave you know DC is relaunching their universe and releasing a whole new series of issue one comics from some of the top names in the DCU. Here is the short commercial created to get you hyped for it.

[youtube width=”600″ height=”480″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FQTpg4BdFk[/youtube]

Did it work, are you hyped?

Batman: The Brave and the Bold – Batgirl CGI Promo

 

BatGirl

Here is a CGI promo that was aired during Cartoon Networks, Batman: The Brave and the Bold that shows a teaser for the upcoming Batgirl show.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hW3qrdfRj04[/youtube]

Anne Hathaway CATWOMAN Photo

Anne-Hathaway-Catwoman-Costume

Our picture of the day comes from Warner Bros upcoming Batman movie, the Dark Knight Rises. The picture shows Anne Hathaway in her Catwoman costume riding Batman’s tumbler. Now WB calls this photo Selina Kyle which could mean the full catwoman suit was not revealed here. As more images are released we will let you know.

New Ultimate Spiderman identity

Miles Morales - Spiderman

After the death of Spiderman by the hands of the Green Goblin, fans have been wondering who would take the reins of Spiderman and today we learn his name is Miles Morales. Miles is a half-black, half-Hispanic teen that has never appeared in any Spiderman comics before.

There have been a number of changes to characters in Marvel Comics to add more minorities to the cast of heroes. One of the most notable recent changes is Nick Fury who was changed from a white man to a black man after the portrayal of him by Samuel L. Jackson.

There has been a split reaction, not mainly because of his race, but of Marvel’s reasoning’s to do this. Many believe it is an attempt to steal some thunder from DC re-launch. Others believe it is political or pandering. Some blame the media for making more of this than it is while a few consider the ultimate universe non-cannon so it does not matter.

I try to think and write as a human of earth than a specific race. While I think it is good to add more minorities to stories, I think we need not make it such a spectacle. I remember before the awful Batman and Robin movie they considered casting a black Robin. When I said, no, keep him like he was, people looked at me weird as if I should be fighting for a black everything.

While I believe change is good, I do believe some things should stay as they are. Since this is an ultimate series, it is fine to try a new Spider man, but in historic series keep the original and instead try to push new characters that are of different background instead. Afterall, we cannot keep pushing Superman, Batman, Spider man stories forever. We will need new blood, no matter what color the skin above it is.

Dark Knight Rises: Batman and Bane Photo’s

Dark Night Rises - Bane Photos

The buzz is all over the internet after the release of these images of Batman and Bane during an outdoor shoot in Pittsburgh. In the images, we get to see Tom Hardy as Bane fighting it out with Christian Bale as Batman.

Dark Night Rises - Bane PhotosDark Night Rises - Bane PhotosDark Night Rises - Bane PhotosDark Night Rises - Bane Photos

The Dark Knight Rises Trailer

the_dark_knight_rises

After a ton of bootleg versions quickly removed by Waner Bros the official teaser trailer for The Dark Knight Rises is out. This is set to be the last movie in the series by director Christopher Nolan and is set to hit theaters in the summer of 2012.

The Dark Knight Rises swill star Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine, the film is scheduled for release on July 20, 2012.

Batman: Year One Trailer

Batman-Year-One-Movie

The next movie in DC animate line-up is Batman: Year one and will star Benjamin McKenzie as Bruce Wayne, Bryan Cranston as Jim Gordon, Eliza Dushku as Catwoman and Katee Sackhoff as Sarah Essen. The first trailer has been released for the upcoming film:

Batman: Year One will be released to DVD and Blu-Ray on October 18th and will be premiered by a screening at Comic-Con on July 22nd.

Batman Arkham City: Robin Pack

Batman-Arkham-City-robin

It looks as if the boy wonder has made his way into Arkham city, at least for those of you who purchase your pre-order through Best Buy. It is confirmed that Robin will be an exclusive playable character in Batman Arkham City and in addition, you will get access to challenge maps if you pre-order with Best Buy.

Here is what it says on their site.

While supplies last, pre-order the game for an exclusive downloadable Robin character. Robin is a fully playable character in the new and improved challenge mode in Batman: Arkham City. The Tim Drake Robin pack is available exclusively to fans who pre-order the game from Best Buy on Xbox 360, PC and PS3.

Robin comes complete with his own unique gadgets and special moves, and will be playable in all challenge maps in the game, as well as two additional challenge maps that are included with the pack: Black Mask Hideout and Freight Train Escape.

The pack will also contain a bonus Red Robin character skin.

A thousand two one this will be available within a few months on XBL and PSN, but still, to have this first is a bonus. Will you be buying it from Best Buy?

 

Batman versus Superman: Fan Trailer

Batman vs Superman

A fan-made trailer for a Batman versus Superman film, starring Michael Keaton and Dean Cain as the titular superheroes. Features clips from Lois & Clark, Batman, Batman Returns, My Life, Desperate Measures and more.

[youtube width=”600″ height=”480″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRmmjxX0yR0[/youtube]

 

Justice League Movie by 2013?

justice-league

We have heard the talk about a Justice League movie for a while now and through Warner Bros, have always said that a movie would be forthcoming we as fans all wondered if and when such a movie would take place. Recently, in an interview with the Los Angeles Time, Jeff Robinov, president of Warner Bros. motion pictures said that a JL film was a “first priority” for the studio.

What does this mean, well the current information according to the interview is that a script is already being worked on for a JL film and they expect a movie to hit theaters sometime in 2013. We already know there are scripts for a Wonder Woman and Flash movie. We also know that with Christopher Nolan stepping away from the Dark Knight series after The Dark Knight Rises that there may be a reboot for the franchise. Finally, we know a new Superman movie is in the works, so like Marvel, DC is bringing out all their solo projects before the massive undertaking of a Justice League movie.

How will it turn out, we will have to wait and see.

The Obsolete Gamer Show: Fan Q and A

Q and A session

This week on the Obsolete Gamer Show we turned to our fans to answer their questions from our Facebook Fan page. We had our good friend Tom in the studio and was able to get though most of the questions.

Here is a list of the questions we answered.

Why did bloody EA have to buy Criterion Software and shag up the Burnout series?

What is the most unusual game console you ever had the opportunity to play?

How long before sony gets serious about their portables?

What are your favorites quotes taken from games and why?

Which chips challenge do you prefer and why?

What is Batman’s stance on legalizing marijuana?

Who would win out of Sonic and Mario in a Hell in the Cell match?

For those questions we did not get to don’t worry, we will add a question of the day part to our show to answer your questions.

In the meantime, have a listen and leave us some feedback.

The Obsolete Gamer Show: Q and A

Or have a listen on our official OGS page and let us know what you think.

Or download our podcast from Itunes

 

Comic Book Collection: Part 1

 

Comic-Book-Collection

In the beginning, I did not collect comic books, but after going to a friend’s house during my second year in high school, he showed me his comic book action figure collection. I thought his collection was cool so I came up with an idea to collect an action figure, a comic book with the character featured in it and then a trading card or something of the like. The idea was to have a mini set for each. However, after purchasing my Batman action figure and then reading the comic that I bought to go with it I was hooked and began collecting ever since.

I spend a lot of money during my teenage years. This was when a bunch of new comic books and comic book companies came out and I loved collecting number one issues and special editions. I also always got a plastic bag and a cardboard insert for them.

Here are some of my favorite comics and I will post more in the future.

The Death of Superman – Black Bag Edition – Unopened

The Death of Superman – Black Bag Edition – Unopened

The Return of Superman – White Bag Edition – Unopened

The Return of Superman – White Bag Edition – Unopened

X-Force – Issue Number 1

X-Force – Issue Number 1

Cable – Issue Number 1

Cable – Issue Number 1

Deadpool – Issue Number 1

Deadpool – Issue Number 1

Spawn – Issue Number 1

Spawn – Issue Number 1

I’ll post more later and if you wish to show off some of your collection send me the pictures to jalaraque@theinvertedparadox.com

 

DCUO: Qualms With The Game And A Plea For Fixes

Bat Family DCUO screenshot
Bat Family DCUO screenshot

DCUO: Qualms With The Game And A Plea For Fixes

This is a copy/pasta of a post I made on the DCUO official forums.

I am writing this in hopes that SOE sees this and takes the time to actually start some sort of plan to save their latest MMO DC Universe Online. I am not calling in the apocalypse of this game but I am simply stating that right now it has been poisoned by bugs. I have played many MMORPGs and since World of Warcraft’s release there haven’t been many AAA MMO launches. Many games falter in their idea to cash in on the WoW craze and create clones and other games try mechanics that just seem to fall flat because they failed to fix game breaking bugs before release. I don’t have much faith in many of the MMO’s coming out in 2011 but I did feel and still do feel that DCUO was going to be the one to stand with the greatest potential.

Lawl? Did u not hear of Star Wars TOR, newb?

Okay, fellow forum readers. Yes I’ve heard of Star Wars but I do not have high hopes for that game as I generally don’t see things with rose tinted glasses. But this is besides the point. I don’t want to banter SOE with “IM GUNNA QUIT AND GO TO ” bull. I don’t want to put out an angry, unproductive statement out that does nothing but sound like another QQ fest. I want to state what I think they need to fix in order to prevent this game to going into a crippling decline.

People in my guild r already leaving, newb! Dis gaem is a failure.

I understand that people are leaving but people always leave MMO’s in their first month. It’s a common thing to see a mass exodus of people leave one game, talk highly of the new toy, and then pinch a loaf all over that toy, and go back to another game that presents the same grind or what not. That isn’t a great argument at this point as it is a common thing amongst MMO gamers.

Now that I have the generic forum responses out of the way, let me get into my issues with the game and why they are stunting to its growth.

League Chat Breaking

Never have I played a game where a chat is broken. Shout is never broken, yet somehow, some way, League chat breaks. How are groups of people supposed to connect to enjoy the game together? No one plays an MMO to play it in solidarity for everlasting months. The thing that keeps people playing is 1) Yes, content, but we’ll get into that later and 2) the ability to form bonds with fellow server mates for an enjoyable experience.

Those of you who have spent time with guildies or leaguers and just goofed off racing around cities, griefing someone as a group, or just doing something pointless can attest to the good times that can be had with friends and clansmen. Even without additional content, good friends can make a game last awhile, probably not as long as a game with constant content, but they’ll last longer than the average solo king player.

League Chat breaking over and over seems like an easy bug to fix as most MMO’s don’t seem to screw up their chat systems. This is the first time I’ve ever witnessed this kind of issue in anything ever. Without League chat, what’s the point of a League? How can people communicate or introduce themselves to one another? No bonds are made thus no establishment is set into the game’s community causing a rift of players to either leave to where they came from or hold out until the next MMO that will save them.

Queues Breaking

I can see how this is an issue that can take awhile to resolve but it should have been resolved early on towards the end of beta. Some sort of contingency plan should have been brought up to fix the issue if queuing loads being too dramatically hectic is causing them to shatter. If it isn’t the load of players using the queuing system that is breaking it, then what is it? What is so difficult to fix that it has taken two weeks for someone to still not figure out?

A lot of games have a ton of levels for you to grind through so it takes awhile for major sums of their player base to hit the endgame cap. DCUO makes you super right away by making hitting 30  a quick and easy thing to do. This is mostly because most of the content is for level 30 characters. That is great but when most of this content is governed by the queue system, well that is where the main focal point of the game’s design seems to get blinded.

How is a game that promotes fast leveling and quick end game experience supposed to last when their main method of entering these adventures is blocked by a queue system that breaks too often. PvP queues, Duo queues, Alert queues, all broken. The only queue that seems to work is The Vault and that is completely aside from anything else as it just teleports you to a single player map.

But OP! You can run to Arkham, Containment Facilities, and many more!

That’s true, poster. You could run to those instances. I, for one, have been. I refuse to allow a broken queue to stop me but when I can’t do my duos or get into certain instances, I feel like I’m being cheated. I’m not saying that SOE owes me Marks of Triumph (though, that’d be pretty nice.) but I do feel like I’m paying $15 a month to be blocked out of content I was able to play earlier in the week.

Watchtower Crashes

This bug personally hasn’t affected me but I can see where the issue can bother some people. In WoW, when Eastern Kingdoms or Kalimdor crashed, you couldn’t get on your character in that continent. However, there was another continent always available for both factions.

When Watchtower is down, you’re locking out a good chunk of one faction while the other isn’t hindered at all. This is an increasingly difficult issue because if queues aren’t working, and Watchtower is down, so goes your cross city travel system.

Bugs I Can Deal WIth For Now

There are certain bugs I can handle right now because there are work arounds for them, but that doesn’t mean to ignore them.

I can deal with the platform in Star Labs arena being exploited by flying enemies contesting the node from underneath since I’m a pro and took grounding abilities.

I can deal with the loot bug at the end of an alert where if I hit L before seeing the “overall data” chart  I won’t get to roll on the item. I already know to wait but I can see where a ton of people would be having an issue over this. (Protip: Leave the instance and you can still hit need out of the alert and the item will go to you and show up in your bag.)

You Sound Mad, Bro! Do You Like Anything About This Game?

Yes, I like this game and unlike many people I have faith in SOE. I know EQ2 was a pile of garbage but they really turned that game around. If it released maybe 2-3 years ago instead of 6 it could have been a contender, it could have been a somebody! They dish out content in that game constantly and it’s great to see a company throwing resources into a dying game like that (though they probably wouldn’t admit EQ2 is suffering.).

Of the MMO’s I’ve played at release, this game is pretty solid and enjoyable. I know they’ll keep pushing out content because they understand how big DC is right now with Christopher Nolan’s Batman films, the upcoming Green Lantern,  the role DC heroes play in children’s media, the announcement of the new Superman flick, and the success of Smallville.

The combat system isn’t something you find in any MMORPG to date and it works out for the action packed fluidity of the comic book genre. I never thought the class system in this game would work because class systems tend to fail in most Super Hero MMO attempts but I think this is probably one of the best implementations out there and I have no issues with the balance of paper, rock, scissors. I enjoy the three class trinity synergy and the ability for anyone to DPS.

The excitement of being able to fight side by side with notable characters, heroes and villains alike, adds to the feel of the game. The voice work is grand and I hope they can keep it up, unlike in EQ2 where they stopped their voice acting in newer installments of content. With Time Warner having some role over the development of this game, though, and their ability to profit from it as well, I can see the voice acting remaining relevant  if the game remains a standing contender in the current 2011 MMO battle.

So as you can see, I am satisfied with the game. I am still hyped up and enjoying everything I possibly can right now with DCUO. It’s fresh, different, and exciting especially with friends. I would like to keep it that way.

I know that SOE is planning a huge update of content in February but please do try to fix the bugs as well first or simultaneously. Additional content is useless with a dwindling player base.

 

The Daily Vid: DC Universe Online – End Game

DC Universe Online logo
DC Universe Online logo

Chris Cao, game director for DC Universe Online takes us through some of the endgame content in the superhero MMO. Starting off we have an attack on Arkham Asylum which is a raid zone where you group up with many other heroes against Mr. Freeze and his creations as he tries to destroy all the boilers in Arkham in order to freeze the entire place.

The end game starts when you reach max level and in DCUO that level is currently 30. Throughout the game you have alerts given to you by members of the Justice League or Legion of Doom (Secret Society) these alerts can be accessed via your user interface and you can select the alerts which puts you in a queue to join with other players. It works similar to the dungeon finder system in world of Warcraft.

As you level you gain access to more alerts and they don’t stop at level 30. Ace Chemicals has been taken over by T.O. Morrow who you fight against while you are leveling. You discover that he has taken the Joker’s toxin and used it to power tons of robots inside of the plant.

Another raid zone is Kahndaq, a land ruled by magic so it is no wonder that Black Adam would use its power to try to resurrect his wife. Unfortunately, he screwed it up and now the waters of Kahndaq turn the dead into the undead. In the end, you will not only have to go up against Faust but a super energized Black Adam as well.

The last raid zone in the video is the Batcave. Brainiac is trying to take over all the technology in the Batcave so you can guess what that means for earth considering it is mostly his tech that the Justice League uses. Heroes will have to fight all the way through the Batcave to Brainiac himself for the final showdown.

So there you have it, there  will be much more to do once you reach level 30 in DCUO and I am sure there is much more coming down the pipe and as soon as we hear about it so will you.

The Daily Vid: Lineage tours The Watchtower

Batman Nightwing and Robin from DC Universe Online
Batman Nightwing and Robin from DC Universe Online

DC Universe Online was released this past week, this MMO allows you to create your own superheroes and fight alongside some of DC’s greatest heroes including, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. So far, the game still has some bugs to work out, but to this veteran MMO player the game plays very well and is a lot of fun.

Honestly, do yourself a favor and play on the PVP servers for a bit, I play on the Public Enemies server. In the PVP worlds, you can fight against villains at anytime and any level. The good thing is even if they are level 30 a team of level 10’s can take them out. I admit it is the most fun I have had in a PVP match since very early World of Warcraft.

As for the video, I had just finished my starting missions, which included escaping from a Brainiac ship with Superman’s help. My next mission was stopping Gorilla Grodd with the assistance of, The Flash from turning the citizens of Metropolis into apes. The Queen Bee was my next mission after that, she got stung, and now I enter The Watchtower to take a tour and get my next mission.

This game has the potential to be very good with a few fixes and changes. I will be bringing you a more detailed report with more in-game videos in the next future as well as questions answers by the DCUO dev team, so, if you have questions leave them as comments and I will try to get them answered.

DC UNIVERSE ONLINE

DC Universe Online logo

One of the most anticipated MMO’s DC Online universe allows you to create your own hero and fight alongside DC’s greatest heroes against its strongest villians.

Fact Sheet

Genre: Massively Multiplayer Online Action Game
ESRB: Rating Pending
Developer/Publisher: Sony Online Entertainment LLC
Platforms: PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system and PC

Game Description
DC UniverseTM Online is the only next-generation massively multiplayer online action game that delivers unparalleled physics-powered combat set in the DC UniverseTM. This genre-defining game puts the power of the DC Super Heroes and villains into the palm of your hands…The next legend is YOU!

POD: DC Online Universe

Todays Picture of the Day comes from the highly antispasmodic MMO DC Online universe. I have been watching this game developed for a long time now and when I got a chance to try it hands on at E3 I knew it would be a winner for me.

First check out the footage I shot at this years E3.

Now onto the Gamescom trailer.

And finally brand new screenshots from the game, enjoy!

Picture of the Day Powergirl DCUO

Our first picture of the day comes from DC Online Universe. Anyone excited about DCOU can’t wait to fight alongside the greats like Superman and Batman, but let us not forget their devastating débutante Powergirl!

DC Universe Power Girl
DC Universe Power Girl

For those that don’t know Kara Starr aka Power Girl is the alternate universe cousin of Superman. Power Girl possesses superhuman strength and speed, as well as the powers of flight and invulnerability. However, what most people (boys) love the most are her other assets. Let’s face it, she’s hot, she’s powerful and she’s super, what else could anyone ever want.

Power Girl DCUO

Wanna learn more about DC Online Universe check out their Official website.

Wii News: Metroid: Other M, Batman: Brave and the Bold

Wii News
Wii News

Nintendo U.S.A is cranking out the announcements, we already know about Super Mario Galaxy 2 and now we have Metroid: Other M which will be released for the Nintendo Wii on June 27th. The game was originally announced at the 2009 E3 where the developers promised to delve further into the story of intergalactic bounty hunter Samus Aran.

For fans of the cartoon Batman: The Brave and the Bold this fall you will be able to play as Batman, Robin, Green Lantern, Blue Beetle and Aquaman in this crime-fighting brawler. In addition you will be able play co-op and even link the DS and Wii versions of the game together to unlock Bat-Mite.

See, the Wii and I can play nice nice.

Batman Arkham Asylum

Batman Arkham Asylum
Batman Arkham Asylum

Batman Arkham Asylum review by Honorabili

One Sentence Review:

 

 

“I’m Batman!”

Overall Score:

9 out of 10

 

Overview:

Simple story: you’re Batman, the Joker took over Arkham Asylum, time to break every skull and take it back from Mr. J. You start out as a barebones Batman with just about every neat gadget missing, except your batwing. As the game progresses you keep getting upgrades and leveling up, while kicking ass and fighting different villains (bosses) from the Batman universe. The gameplay is similar to Max Payne (with no shooting just kicks to the face), the Prince of Persia 3D games, and some stealth elements sort of like the Metal Gear Solid series.

As Batman, you run around collecting clues, secrets, punching out every inmate in Arkham Asylum. There a “detective mode” which basically turns you into a Predator as you can see where people are through walls, which is essential for hunting and beating them all up. The mode is so effective that you might as well leave it on most of the time, although it makes the game look really alien and you get to miss out the beauty of the scenery.

You heal based on how much XP you just got from taking out enemies or finding secrets, but you just about never heal during combat.

Many favorite villains from the cartoons are present although many are missing as well (hinting a sequel). I won’t say which ones are in the game for the sake of spoilers.

Many of the secrets you find will help you level up faster and they help you find out more about how really evil some of the villains are. There are three types of secrets you can find: interview tapes, Riddler question marks, and Arkham lore symbols. The interview tapes are usually tapes that were recorded by psychologists interviewing specific villains in the course of their therapy. The Riddle question marks are usually a matter of you exploring every little bit of the map and picking them up, as well as knocking down walls or climbing up to or gliding down to hard to reach places. The Arkham lore symbols are the hardest to find and they help explain the history behind Arkham Asylum.

The game uses a Games for Windows Live login if you care about achievements.

This is the Mega64 parody of Batman Arkham Asylum that’s great:

Fun Factor:

This game is great fun, as a well balanced blend of a fighting game, stealther, and platformer. Taking on a posse of 6-14 enemies at a time is a great thrill and the action will keep you on your toes. Some enemies are top targets such as any inmates that commandeer any assault rifles (they can pretty much drill you down really fast, no matter how good your armor upgrades are). Sneaking up behind enemies and making them pass out, then zipping out with the grapple gun is tons of fun and it gives you the feeling of actually being Batman from the shows and also that of a ninja. Exploring every nook and cranny of the asylum buildings can be a lot of fun especially as you keep upgrading your toolkit. The amount of action will keep you entertained, even if you are just replaying it. Fun Factor gets a 9 out of 10.

Difficulty Versatility:

This game is not too hard although it has a bunch of parts that are annoying such as taking out a bunch of goons without one seeing you not even once. Usually in those scenarios they are going to kill a hostage and Batman’s panties get in a bunch so you instantly lose and the game prompts you to load the soonest checkpoint. The game is still pretty challenging the first time you play it as there are so many parts where you can get insta-killed. Because of the linearity of the game, despite the hard setting, the game becomes predictable during replay. Difficulty Versatility gets a 4 out of 10 because of only having 3 difficulty setting and no randomly spawning enemies to surprise you.

Value:

At $50 on Steam the price is pretty steep. The shortest amount of time I beat the game in was 8 hours, and most likely you won’t want to replay it as soon as you beat it unless you really really loved it. It’s sometimes on sale on Steam for $25-30 dollars and at that price, it’s really worth it. The console versions are going for $53 and that’s pretty steep for me but then again the trend for console games are for them to be really expensive these days, especially if it’s a really popular title. For the amount of entertainment the game offers vs the cost, I give Value a score of 6 out of 10. It might be wiser to pick it up when the price in general drops $10-20 of the MSRP.

Replayability:

I’ve played this game twice so far, once in the medium setting and recently through on hard (the max setting). Since the game is linear and scripted, the only thing that hard really does is make the parts that were already annoying even more annoying. There’s no much replay value other than the breaking-people’s-skulls factor. Once you beat the game one, you already know the tricks and strategies for every area. I would say it has much replay value as Max Payne 1 and 2. I do play those games every 1-2 years since they are good too, this will join that list. However, since this game will probably be something to play once a year or two, it doesn’t get a high replay score. Replayability gets a 5 out of 10, mainly because I (Batman) like breaking people’s skulls.

Sound:

The game has great sound effects even for the menu interactions of bats flapping and the corpse of one of your victims, I mean villains, is dead, I mean unconscience, and they dematerialize. Lots of nice metal banging metal notices as well as the awesome grapple gun, which you’ll use often. If you’ve watched the Batman animated series, Batman Beyond, and Justice League, you will recognize a ton of the voice actors such as Kevin Conroy as Batman and some others, even the Joker is the same as the cartoons. All the sounds are properly implemented so the Sound category gets its 10 out of 10.

Music:

The music is tense and gloomy like Batman should be. It is finely crafted into the action of whatever you are doing in the game. It’s not always persistent though but silence can also raise the tension. The score overall is still great and specific tracks are really worthwhile. Music gets an 8 out of 10.

Graphics:

This game uses the UT3 engine which looking amazing, like all Unreal Tournament engines always do. Arkham Asylum looks bleak and filthy, yet futuristic with its multitude of security systems such as force fields, retinal scanning doors, etc. The game has some aspects that are pretty artistic such as when you pause the game, whatever the screen has gets frozen and rendered as a drawing from a comic book. Although many of the buildings around the asylum look similar, each one has its own style and purpose and they are well designed. The game itself is really beautiful. Graphics get a 10 out of 10.

Stability/Reliability:

The game is pretty rock solid and I’ve had no crashes at all with it after 20 hours of gameplay. I’ve only had one instance where a character kept screaming for me to save her when I was standing in front of her to say “Thanks Batman, I need you!!!” Other than that the game flows great and you don’t have to be saving like a maniac in case in breaks as is the case in some other games. You don’t need to anyways as the game auto-saves as soon as you enter another area. Stability/Reliability get a 10 out of 10.

Controls:

The controls for the PC version are adapted from the xbox 360 version, even supporting an xbox 360 controller if you have the PC adaptation for it. The game controls a lot like the Prince of Persia style of games and often plays like it a lot as well. Sometimes I found the mouse a little laggy, considering how much action was going on and the amount of blocking and quick attacks that were needed. Overall, Batman responds really well although there are many instances where you can get him to basically commit suicide easily. Controls get an 8 out of 10.

Performance:

The UT3 engine looks great and also runs amazing on most gaming machines these days (even when it first came out). On my midrange 2007 gaming PC, the game gives me an average frame rate of 71 fps. I did experience some slowdowns though on scenes where one is battling 12 or more enemies at a time. The game itself comes with a benchmark tool option. I think it deserves a score of 8 out of 10 regarding

My history with this game:

I’m a huge fan of all the Batman and DC related animated shows and I have been keeping an eye out on this game long way before it was finally released. I didn’t get the game until a month after it had come out after hearing from my friends that it was the best next thing since sliced bread was invented. It was a delight to see the writers and voice actors of my favorite cartoons involved in such a successful game and I would hope that they come back with more (I think the sequel is already being made) such as also a game for Batman Beyond (that would probably have a LOT more action). A lot of my friends who haven’t played it yet ask me about it and I tell them to go get it already and enjoy every moment of it. Playing it reminded me a lot of watching the original Batman cartoon from the early 90s. I look forward to playing part 2 as soon as its available. Considering how well this game did we are pretty much guaranteed that sequel.