Review · Batman: Arkham Origins (PC)


Another game beaten, another review. I finally completed Batman: Arkham Origins. I picked it up at launch and been slowly but surely played through the game. Like every year, October through to the end of November is the “blockbuster” window where a lot of video games that I want to get come out in this period. It doesn’t help that I picked up an Xbox One…

Please note this isn’t a review for you if you don’t appreciate the occasional f-bomb and you don’t want to read something that may spoil the game for you.

Overall I found that the game’s cinematics and graphics were breath taken for the most part on my PC. I  also found the story tiresome. I realize the game focuses more on Arkham Asylum’s origins more than Batman’s. I don’t think there’s ever been a triple-A title video game that has gone through the whole story, which I found pretty disappointing in Arkham Origins

When the game was first introduced to the world, I was really hoping that it would have gone through Batman’s origin story along with the darkness that Arkham Asylum beholds and the dark sinister force it possess. I didn’t want the Joker to return as the primary antagonist  since I am a big fan of Mark Hamill’s portrayal. With that, I wasn’t too thrilled that they went with a different voice actor for Bruce Wayne/Batman and given Kevin Conroy the boot. Although, I wasn’t disappointed with Roger Craig Smith as the Cape Crusader’s voice. I wasn’t too fond of Troy Baker’s Joker.

While I didn’t want the Joker to be the primary antagonist in Arkham Origins even if it made sense due to the darkness that Arkham Asylum and the Joker share. But I was really hoping they would have used the note from Alan Moore’s Batman: The Killing Joke‘s back story for the Joker. I think it would have been a lot more funner game if you were up against The Joker as the Red Hood. You did see it in a high on drugs flashback but it wasn’t the same. I also wish that the Black Mask had a much larger role. I think his death was pretty premature, unnecessary and disappointing. Of course it wasn’t meant to be so they came up with this story.

I found the ending to be somewhat satisfactory but I wonder what the new developer Warner Bros. Games Montreal will do next. While I was disappointed that Rocksteady Studios isn’t behind the development of these games, I really really hope they are working on a Justice League game that centers on Superman and Wonder Woman. But we’ll have to wait and see.

Like it’s predecessors Arkham Origins has quite a lot of secondary objects like capture the Most Wanted fellows and collectathons. If you complete the game you unlock a bunch of different Batman suits. There’s multiplayer that I have no interest in playing nor the challenges. I may check out I Am the Night mode or whatever they call it but I’m in no rush.

The breakdown for Arkham Origins are:

Story: 3 out of 5
Graphics: 5 out of 5
Gameplay: 2.5 out of 5
Playability: 4 of 5
Overall: 3.5 / 5

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Review · Ryse: Son of Rome (XB1)


You know when your mother or father warned you not to play with sharp objects? This was this game… And they were wrong. So. So. Wrong.

Ryse: Son of Rome is a hack and slash action adventure video game exclusively available for the Xbox One developed by the German developer Crytek (makers of Crysis). I’ve been pretty excited for this title since I heard about it at E3 2010 press conference. It was planned to be a Kinect only title. It was a title that interested me the most and I tried to keep up to date.

When I heard it was going to be a launch title for Microsoft’s next generation console, I knew it was a must own. I was able to get my hands on the co-op multiplayer experience at Penny Arcade Expo this year as well and knew that I had to get myself a copy of the game as soon as it was available.

I loved the story, it’s loosely based on Roman history, however, I found it kept true to the Roman military tradition, their brutality yet their impeccable organizational skills with a mix of the hierarchy and social class. I give the story a 5 out of 5.

The video game itself was graphically stunning. Beautifully well done using the new CryEngine. The characters, buildings and environments seemed lifelike. I give the graphics a 5 out of 5.

Gameplay, it is a hack and slash so I found that the controller didn’t fully utilize the whole new Xbox One controller. One problem I had even though I hate having a jump button I always seemed to push the ‘A’ button when going up… when it happens automatically. The controls can be frustrating in this game but they are easy to master. . Also the Kinect voice commands are pretty useful and found no problems using them. But shouting ARCHERS SUPPORT ME… confused the shit out of my dog…  Also? Focus. Use Focus. That is all. Sick. I give gameplay 4.5 out of 5.

Now onto playability. I think there is a lot of it. Especially with the co-op multiplayer where you play as gladiators in the Coliseum. It’s a good game to have if your buddy has it too. That way you can kick hordes of other gladiators in the balls. Well, stab them with sharp objects. I also plan on going back and getting the achievements that I am missing.

This game is a must own title if you are planning on getting an Xbox One! I really hope that Crytek develops another game just like this one. So awesomes.

Overall  5/5.

In Review: Extra Life 2013


This year I participated in a twenty-five hour gaming marathon for Extra Life. We fundraised $57,000 estimate for BC Children’s Hospital and the whole community raised a record breaking $4 million. And I of course, raised $635. I more than doubled my $300 goal this year and tripled my $200 goal from the year before.

I had a whole lot of fun and I am gonna do it all again in 2014.

You can still donate by clicking here.

Extra Life 2013 Update

Aside


Hey everyone, 

Just another remember that I am doing Extra Life again this year. Extra Life is a fundraiser, a gamer charity that raises money for Children Miracle Network Hospitals. I am fundraising for BC Children’s Hospital that does amazing work in healing kids across our province. 

When I was born I had a brain disease and was premature. I was quite sick. Twenty-eight years afterwards, I am living. Thanks to the love of my parents and the nurturing care of the doctors and nurses at this hospital. This hospital has also helped countless others I know.

I am not just doing this for BC Children’s Hospital. I am doing it for the Children of British Columbia that they receive the best medical care the marvels of modern medicine can provide, to relieve their pain so they can live their extraordinary lives. These kids are heroes to me. 

This is why I am raising funds. All I am asking if you are capable to donate whatever you can afford. I want to exceed my 300$ goal like I exceeded my $200 goal last year. 

Extra Life is a 24 hour – no – 25 hour gaming marathon that will be held around November 2nd. I have tentative plans of doing the same day if my work schedule permits but I will most likely schedule around it. 

I really want to give back to my community and this gives me that chance to do what I love. 

Please head over to the link. The website will provide additional information how your donation will help children. Please make a donation doesn’t matter how small or big, you’ll have my thanks and appreciation. You’ll be a heroes in my eyes and the next time I see you, I’ll give you one of the world’s biggest hugs. 

Thanks to a generous donation of $20 from an Internet friend I have reached 10% of my $300 goal. I sit at $30. Please donate today.

Lots of love, 

Anth

Please watch the video that started it all. 

PAX 2013


August seems to be quite the month with traveling to the United States for the long weekend. I spent four days in Portland at the beginning of the month to cheer on my Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Tomorrow, I head off to Seattle for one of the biggest gamer conventions in the world, the legendary Penny Arcade Expo.

This will be my second PAX and I am pretty excited. I struck likely on Twitter last week. I wasn’t able to get tickets when they went on sale last March. They sold out within ten hours? Maybe less? Anyway a very astute friend of mine saw someone was selling and I was able to get them.

I haven’t gone to a PAX since 2011. I am not sure if it’ll be the same without my friend who lost his life earlier this year. I just want to go because he always spoke so fondly and positive about this event. I am glad that I got to spend time with him at my first PAX.

Come say hi!

Spoilers; How We Hate Thee


Entertainment is a major part of our postmodernist culture. It has become entwined with our daily lives from the television shows we regularly watch to the movies we see at the theatre. However our entertainment experience has changed in the last six years with the introduction of social media phenomena. Facebook and Twitter have given us a new medium to meet new people all over the world that love the same television program or new blockbuster film.

I have enjoyed my experience meeting new people who love the same shows and movies as I do. However there’s one thing that really peeves me and that’s people who tweet or update their Facebook Update with spoilers – running the show or movie that I haven’t seen lately. I have unfollowed people because of it. Regretfully, I have to admit that I have been responsible for spoiling stuff as well.

Not to mention due to other ways to watch such as streaming via Netflix or other such services

What is a spoiler?

When someone reveals an unknown aspect of something which you likely would have rather learned on your own.

I believe that this should be adopted by everyone:

Television series: They must be airing their most recent season. You have seventy-two hours (three days) to catch up with the rest of the world. If you aren’t going to watch the show within three days you most likely won’t watch it if you have more than

Film: Not a lot of people go see a movie at the midnight premiere or get advanced tickets. Nor do a lot of people go opening weekend. If they are a blockbuster film (such as Iron Man 3, Star Trek Into Darkness and (sadly) Fast & Furious, etc) the spoiler free zone is eight days. However if the movie is not a popular films such as recent release Scientologist propagandistic bullshit After Earth then it’s just three days like television shows.

Video games: Yes, you can spoil a video game storyline as well. If its a blockbuster the same goes with film, eight days. If it’s not going to sell a bajillion copies follow the television method of three days.

Books: You read books…? NERD!! Kidding… I read books too and there’s no shame in being a nerd! Books are a lot different than video games, movies and television shows. They can be very simple to overtly complex. It takes me quite a while to read a book. A month on average. I say the spoiler free zone in this case is three weeks tops. But if the book has been out for over thirteen years like the third book of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice & Fire A Storm of Swords (which the third season of Game of Thrones is currently based on) then you are out of luck.

Books in visual media: If your favourite book becomes a television series or a movie or maybe even a video game, please for the love of The Mother (teeheehee) follow what I’ve written above. I know I was snarky to a few people to their reactions to the Red Wedding event that partook in last Sunday’s episode of GoT but I am sure that I didn’t spoil it for anyone. If I did, I’m sorry. But please wait three days or the eight if it is an actual blockbusters because your fellow fans will love you for it.

This is the Anth Spoiler Scale Guide. If you have a better idea, post in the comments!

What are your thoughts on my idea for spoilers?

Mass Effect 3: The Ending


I’m not quite sure what I want to blog about tonight but I haven’t blogged since March 8th. So I decided on another Mass Effect 3-related post.

I’m pleased to announce that I beat Mass Effect 3 on the Normal Difficulty within sixty-four hours. I like to explore the world/universe as much as I can take in. I like to absorb all the information available.

Out of the series, 3 has to have one of my favourite Citadels. I would rate it as a close second after the one in Mass Effect that started it all. I absolutely hated the layout in the second title. It just didn’t do it for me.

Please note the following contains spoilers

I was actually expecting the way 3 ended. I’m annoyed by the massive outcry of fans that are dissatisfied with their final result. BioWare did come out with the announcement of 2 that the third will be the final Commander Shepherd story. So the hero, the champion dies at the end. In what tragedy does our champion survive?

I admire the hard work level designers and story developers have placed into this franchise. They have developed an open universe for gamers like you and I to explore. However, the community seems to be unthankful for these people’s commitment into bringing excellent video games for us to play. For example, Metacritic users posted negative reviews and shared them on Reddit. They put thousands of hours into this game and are completely dedicated. Hell, I want to give game developers a hug but I don’t want to come across as creepy. Y’know what I mean!

I admire that BioWare has stated that they’ll release Downloadable Content (DLC) in the future that’ll shed some light and, or change the ending. They care about feedback from fans. However, I don’t think fans are always right. Video game design is an art form. We must respect these artists for their work.

Just my two cents.

What are your thoughts? If you have any questions for me regarding my thoughts regarding other aspects of the game, hit me! (But not really, I’ll cry 😦 )