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Old 02-09-2008, 11:26 AM   #121
Zachalmighty
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Pulp Fiction is one of the best movies I have ever watched. Alot of people say there is no point to it but you have to view it for what it was. Cinematic gold.
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Old 04-19-2009, 01:28 PM   #122
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Some coolest songs for you to hear

Just wanted to surprise your ears and present you some mp3 of experimental ambient music from my home archive. Enjoy! P.S. Wish you all happy easter!
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Old 10-22-2011, 04:51 AM   #123
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Arkham City (PS3, XBox 360, Windows, Wii U)

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Released 10/17/11 (AUS, PS3 and 360), 10/18/11 (NA, PS3 and 360), 10/21/11 (EU, PS3 and 360), 11/23/11 (JP, PS3 and 360), 11/15/11 (NA, PC), 11/18/11 (EU, PC), WiiU 2012

Deverloper: Rocksteady Studios
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Square Enix (Japan)
Writer: Paul Dini
Partial Cast: Kevin Conroy, Mark Hammill, Wally Wingert, Nolan North and Maurice LaMarche


Graphics: A
Sound: A
Story: A-
Gameplay: A+

Overall Score:
A


2009’s Arkham Asylum was one of the year’s most pleasant surprises in gaming. Arkham Asylum featured the dynamic ‘freeflow combat’ that was the way Batman would deal with thugs. It was easy to pick up and learn, and amazing to master. It’s when you are taking out a room of thugs, situation completely under your control, and you struggle over making the decision between a quick bone break or a massive pummeling and head-butt that you realize…you’re Batman. That alone was a great enough draw…but then the nerd pot boiled over. The game was written by Batman: the Animated Series star writer Paul Dini and would feature Batman: The Animated Series stars Kevin Conroy and Mark Hammill as Batman and the Joker, respectfully. The games story and acting proved to be the ‘icing on the cake. In the end, people got not only the best Batman game ever, but perhaps the best comic book game ever.

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Batman’s latest adventure proves to be a memorable one.

Story
A few months after the events of Arkham Asylum we find former Arkham Warden turned Mayor Quincy Sharp having created a new kind of prison. Walling over block after block of city streets, Arkham City is meant to keep the scum of both Blackgate Prison (where the criminals go) and Arkham Asylum (Where the criminally insane go) in one location. Run by Dr. Hugo Strange, Arkham City allows the inmates free reign to go about their business, so long as they don’t leave the perimeter. Gang warfare, most noticeably between Harvey ‘Two-Face’ Dent and the Joker, instantly breaks out. Speaking of which, the Clown Prince of Crime isn’t looking too well. He’s apparently dying from high toxicity levels in his blood from his exposure to the TITAN formula.

But Batman’s on the scene. The Dark Knight must fend off the criminal element of Arkham City long enough to put an end to Hugo Strange’s plans. The good doctor knows Bruce Wayne and Batman are one in the same and he’s more than happy to watch Batman within his city’s walls.


An early scene in the game that introduces you to both Harley Quinn and how to be a predator. (Minor plot spoilers)

The story in Arkham City is fantastic. Right from the getgo there is a sense of urgency that really drives you to keep playing the game. During your time in Arkham City, you’ll run across many of the Batman’s rogues. Calendar Man, The Mad Hatter, and Mr. Freeze are some of the knaves you’ll encounter. Each encounter with them might be brief, perhaps too brief, but memorable.

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With such a large cast of characters, some heroes and
villains seem to get limited time and are underdeveloped.

Paul Dini’s return to write the sequel is worth mentioning. Paul Dini has been one of the best, if not the best, writers of Batman lore for the past couple decades. And somehow, he always seems to nail the characters better than anyone. In Arkham City, Dini weaves an engrossing story that, while convoluted at points, still amazed. I won’t mention any specifics, but when you complete this game, you’ll be amazed at how well of a story Dini has written. Arkham Asylum had a sense of urgency, but Arkham City has an sense of impending doom.
A-

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Batman begin his campaign on Arkham City from atop of
the ACE Chemical Plant, supposed birthplace of the Joker.

Graphics
Using the Unreal Engine 3, Rocksteady has really impressed me with Arkham City. The improvement over Arkham Asylum is minimal in most places. It’s the scope that wows. From high above, Batman can spot rooftop guards blocks away, and many common locations in Gotham can be found within Arkham City. For example, the Monarch Theatre, the fated location where Thomas and Martha Wayne were murdered, should have a memorial for the couple. Afterall, Bruce visits the site both the death of his parents and the birth of Batman annually. And sure enough, it’s discoverable in Arkham City.


Touring Arkham City. Getting the grapple boost early in the game will make traveling fast a possibility. It's how you gain altitude.

Soaring through Arkham City yields a few framerate drops as the hardware struggles to produce a new environment rapidly. But this is nitpicking when it comes to the presentation of this game. Character models are very well done and the textures are good. Arkham City’s cutscenes are up there with the big boys.

In combat, Arkham City really shines. The action stays quick and sharp, never missing a beat. Batman has plenty of animations to keep you entertained while you try to press your limits with Rocksteady’s ‘Freeflow Combat’ scheme.
A

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The graphics are really amazing.
Slightly better than Arkham Asylum, which were fantastic to begin with.

Sound
The voice cast is top notch, if not a fanboy’s wet dream. Kevin Conroy reprises his role as Batman/Bruce Wayne and Mark Hammill returns to voice the Joker. These two are probably, in the eyes of many Batman fans, the definitive Batman/Joker duo in all of Batman’s media. And like they did in Arkham Asylum, those two steal the show. Conroy has mastered the Batman voice, and his Dark Knight is gruff, serious, and brooding. Hammill plays the ailing Joker, whose hoarse laughs is testament to the actor’s abilities.

Many other characters are adeptly casted. Wally Wingert returns to voice the Riddler, whose role has increased tenfold in Arkham City. Nolan North gives the Penguin a cockney accent. Maurice LaMarche does a very good Victor Fries. Arleen Sorkin, is mysteriously missing from her Harley Quinn role, but Tara Strong provides a good backup. Her Harley is very similar to Sorkin, but diehard fans can spot a replacement a mile away.

The score is more grandiose than Arkham Asylum. A large epic theme will create a sense of urgency throughout most of the game, which makes Arkham City seem like a much larger scenario than the previous game’s.
A

Click for full size

The opening menu lets you recap the game to remind you of your current progress.

Gameplay
Rocksteady’s Batman games are, first and foremost, great games. Ignoring the dramatically aspects of the game, the gameplay is exciting, engaging, and so well done that it makes the most basic part of gameplay, fighting, the best part of the game. ‘Freeflow Combat’ is really brilliant. A beginner can pick it up and get the basics down within minutes. But to see someone who’s mastered ‘Freeflow Combat’ is a real treat. As Batman scores consecutive hits, it allows him to move faster and execute abilities. Mixing your abilities up garners you more XP points to spend later on more abilities and upgrades. You might begin by just hitting and countering very methodically…but within hours you’ll find yourself in the midst of a 20+ hit combo with a swarm of thugs, jumping over foes while knocking one out with a car door. The expansive nature of the basic combat system is the real star of the game.


Freeflow combat at its finest. Here I have New Game+, so I have all the gear/abilities/upgrades possible.
At this point in the game, you might not have all the same gear/abilities/upgrades.

Arkham City features gameplay elements similar to a Metroid game. You have access to the entire map from the start, and you’ll be spending your time in the main world map as you transverse between locations. You’ll find Riddler’s riddles around the world map and will return to them later when you have the appropriate tools.

As if to spit in the eyes of normal gaming convention, Batman is (for the most part) the same as he was at the end of Arkham Asylum. You begin the game with nearly Batman’s full arsenal and will continue to build up to an even higher level of technology. In doing this, Rocksteady has essentially refined and added to their prior efforts. Arkham City is one of the more complicated games out there. Players must rely heavily on hand-eye coordination and master a list of dozens of commands Batman can utilize during a fight.

Almost everything feels right in getting around Arkham City. Batman’s movements are a little too lose at times and turning around seems to be so slow that it’ll quickly become your only Achille’s heal as the Dark Knight. But soaring over Gotham is a breeze once you do the Augmented Reality missions (PROTIP: DO THEM ASAP TO GET THE GRAPPEL BOOST!) and the controls are very tight.
You always hear the phrase “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Rocksteady hit a home run with Arkham Asylum’s gameplay. With Arkham City, they could have just added story onto the gameplay of the first. Instead, they slightly refined the first and then double the scope of abilities. It all feels very natural and almost instinctual.
A+

Click for full size

Batman triumphs once again!

Final Thoughts....
Arkham City is really one amazing game. Forgetting the source material, the gameplay elements alone are very dynamic and still feel fresh. When you include source material, you have this Batman fanatic apeshit. The graphics are fantastic, the voice work is perfect, the story is amazing, and the gameplay is addicting. Rocksteady has created yet again, another masterpiece.

Final Thoughts with SPOILERS
When I came to the end of Arkham City, I was kind of shocked. I thought the game ended quite abruptly. Here I was fighting Clayface in the Monarch theatre and next thing I know, I’m carrying Joker’s lifeless body out to the GCPD. It’s then that it hit me that a large number of prominent characters actually die in this game. Joker, Ras Al Ghul, Talia Al Ghul, Clayface. Now video game deaths are slightly more serious than comic book deaths, but the way it was written, with Joker's death being so grandiose and somber, that the man is very much dead. Very interesting ending. Makes me wonder if there is a secret ending for completing the game where the Joker lives or something.

And in the shock of it all, hearing the Joker serenade Batman with “Only You” on Batman’s answering machine was great and depressing. The clown prince might really be gone…

Dini’s work is really amazing. Right from the beginning, we are told how this story will end. The story of Cain and Abel is played out here in Arkham City between Batman and the Joker. The surprise that Joker and Clayface are working together was hinted at multiple times in the game: The two joker cards, The mirror, and the babble on the streets. Still, it was a pretty good twist.
I have some beef with some of the screen time some of the rogues got. Hush, for example, has one scene. His character model and voice were amazing and all he did was have a quick chat with Bruce. Now, one cool thing is that Dini also wrote the story of Hush wrecking chaos with Bruce Wayne’s face in Detective Comics, so it’s a nice piece of fanservice for diehard Batman fans.

Having the Mad Hatter and Ras Al Ghul replace the surreal scenes of Scarecrow was moreso miss than hit. It was too brief and while the graphics look amazing, it really pales in comparison to the Scarecrow’s tricks. They should have just brought back the Scarecrow.


And now, a link for those that have finished the campaign. Spoilers!

Screencaps and videos are from the XBox 360 version using the Hauppauge Colossus.
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Last edited by Drunken Savior; 10-23-2011 at 04:55 AM.
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Old 10-22-2011, 02:26 PM   #124
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nice review mate . i'm holding out for the pc version tho myself
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Old 10-22-2011, 02:50 PM   #125
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2 years later and he does a review on Batman. You're getting predictable son!
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Old 10-22-2011, 04:04 PM   #126
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Great review, really enjoyed the format. Only about halfway through myself and the only problem I had was Penguin's accent, just seems off to my ears.
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Old 10-22-2011, 04:20 PM   #127
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Nice one drunken. I still have to beat the first one, wich is one of the next few games i'll tackle, after wich i'll probably order this.
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Old 10-22-2011, 07:23 PM   #128
Joe Redifer
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I played the demo of the first game and wasn't tremendously impressed. I never really understood the MASSIVE hype. The "detective mode" kind of ruins it for me. I'll stick with Genesis Batman as the best Batman game ever made.
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Old 10-22-2011, 08:23 PM   #129
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the first game had me hooked from the intro...think in the end it was the combat system/mission mode that i spent most time on, but the story and even the easter egg collecting was great. i liked the detective system. it was basically carbon copy from condemned, and i really liked it in that game. it fit.

waiting for the pc version for this.
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Old 10-22-2011, 11:43 PM   #130
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Redifer View Post
I never really understood the MASSIVE hype.
I was under the impression that you don't understand the hype to 90% of modern games.
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Old 10-23-2011, 12:57 AM   #131
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Its because Joe has no ssooooooouuuuuuul
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Old 10-23-2011, 01:40 AM   #132
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Redifer View Post
I played the demo of the first game and wasn't tremendously impressed. I never really understood the MASSIVE hype. The "detective mode" kind of ruins it for me. I'll stick with Genesis Batman as the best Batman game ever made.
It's not like you have to use detective mode 90% of the time. And shame on your random pickiness - Arkham Asylum and City really are just like well-executed Metroid games.

Great review, DS!
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Old 10-23-2011, 01:51 AM   #133
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It's also one of the more complex games around. Old people don't like complex games...they can barely handle pong!
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Old 10-23-2011, 02:27 AM   #134
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You both are getting old, too. While you can handle more than Pong, your limit is around, say, Tekken 3.

Honestly, though, it DOES look like a good game, but I have nowhere near enough time to invest in something that looks like it has quite the learning curve. Games these days are made for people who have nothing else to do.
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Old 10-23-2011, 02:35 AM   #135
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Says the man who is involved in a weekly video podcast about gaming.
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