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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Man of Steel 2, Squared


I blogged last year on my two cents about Ben Affleck being casted as the iconic Bruce Wayne/Batman character in the Man of Steel sequel. They were so wrong.  The only casting news I was pleased for this feature so far was Gal Gadot being casted as Wonder Woman. Out of the three women in the running, the Director made the right call.

They’ve casted Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor and Jeremy Irons as Bruce Wayne’s butler Alfred Pennyworth.

Lex Luthor

I realize that Director Zac Synder’s envision for Superman vs Batman that Lex Luthor and Clark Kent/Superman are of the relative same age and possibly grew up together in Smallville, Kansas. I’ve always viewed him more of a much older man who’s hellbent on ruling the World.

If I was directing I would have actually chosen Jeremy Irons for this role. I’ve always loved it when Irons plays a baddie.

Alfred Pennyworth

I really wanted to see Patrick Stewart as Alfred Pennyworth it’s been so long since I heard Jeremy Irons speak in his native English accent.

2013 In Review


The majority of this post contains information that I blogged about throughout 2013. I may have included additional in real life tidbits that haven’t been mentioned previously.

January

I reviewed the Last Resort series finale. I still think it is one of my favourite television series from the 2012-2013 television season. I wrote a couple of blog posts regarding the #SaveBCFIlm campaign, here and here.

February 

I made predictions on who would win what for the Oscars. I got Best Director, Best Sound Editing and Best Original Score correct. I plan on doing them again.

March

The family adopted an Airedale Terrier named Archer (finally)! He’s my little rabble rousin’ shit disturber but I love him for it. Emmadale and him get along famously. I’ve nicknamed him Archer the Turduckendale. MMmmmm… Turducken…

I also went in to write my permittee exam for the director’s guild. I didn’t pass it on the first attempt.

April

I read my favourite novel of 2013, A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron. I even wrote a review about it. I would also read the sequel and the series’ conclusion later in the year titled A Dog’s Journey. Both are really great reads. I have several other novels on my shelf by the same author that I haven’t gotten around to reading yet.

In April I began my annual Stanley Cup prediction series Stanley Is Coming. I think it’ll be making a return this year. Maybe if the Canucks even make the playoffs?

June

I wrote an opinion piece on posting spoilers on social media and what the etiquette should be. Someone even mostly agreed with me. If they fully agreed with me, the fabric of space-time continuum would have been torn into oblivion. Looking at you James!

I also wrote about who should replace Matt Smith as The Doctor on the hit television series Doctor Who. I suggested John Hurt, Wil Wheaton, Alex Kingston, Lenora Crichlow, but I really wanted Patrick Stewart (make it fucking so!). But ultimately the role went to Peter Capaldi.

I also made my second trip to Seattle, Washington to watch my Vancouver Whitecaps FC play the Seattle Sounders FC. Sadly the Caps would lose but I still had a great time with friends.

I also loss a schoolmate and good friend. I’ll miss him.

July

I was super busy with work but I got my first tattoo! Ready to see it? This is it! my tattoo

 

It represents the three things that I love: Airedale Terriers, Metro-Vancouver and the Vancouver Canucks. No regerts (hahahahahaha!)…

August

At the beginning of August I trekked to Portland, Oregon to catch the Vancouver Whitecaps FC on the road against the Portland Timbers. They would lose on the road but I had so much fun! I got to drink a lot of craft beer! See a dear good friend and meet his family. Also gotta see Star Trek in the Park! Sadly, I didn’t get to go to Voodoo Doughnuts or Big Ass Sandwich but my friend and I are going again in 2014, so I’ll make sure I get to check those places out. 

Also after the game, a moron from Calgary, Alberta (cheering for the Portland Timbers) came over to our table – my friends and I were minding our own business, having a couple pieces of pizza and he red cards us all. What a wanker! We all gave him a hard time from being from Alberta. What a tool.

I also blogged about the tattoo I got above. Oops, forgot about that

I rewrote that permittee exam for the guild and passed! Yahoo!!!

I also signed up for Extra Life 2013.

I also wrote a blog post about who should replace Christian Bale as the Dark Knight and not Ben Affleck.

I also went to Penny Arcade Expo 2013 and had a lot of fun! 

November

I more than doubled my $300 goal for Extra Life in 2013 and plan on doing it again in 2014. I am so pleased with myself and many other Extra Lifers who raised estimate $4 million USD for Children Miracle Network Hospitals across North America. Here in British Columbia we raised an estimate $57,000 for BC Children’s Hospital. I am so happy.

December

I got an Xbox One and wrote my second ever video game review for Ryse: Son of Rome. I think I may do it more often.

Christmas was good. It was small, just family. I miss my Granddad. Miss you Granddad. Christmas, just isn’t the same without you.

 

Man of Steel sequel, Batman re-casted


By now you probably all know that Bruce Wayne/Batman has been re-casted for the upcoming Christopher Nolan produced and Zac Synder directed Man of Steel sequel Superman Versus Batman/Batman Versus Superman. Synder/Nolan has chosen American actor Ben Affleck to replace Christian Bale in the iconic role of our beloved Cape Crusader.

I’m not too pleased to hear about this news. I am not the biggest fan of his in dramatic roles. I have tried to warm up to his acting. Don’t get me wrong, Ben is a great emerging filmmaker and director. Albeit the historical inaccuracies of the Academy Award winner Argo. I have enjoyed him in Kevin Smith’s View Askewverse films, especially in Chasing Amy.

I will still see the upcoming sequel to Man of Steel to see where they take it. We’ll have to see. I am not happy with the sequel’s production moving to Toronto. Wished it would have stayed here in Vancouver.

These are the following three people that I would have loved to see play Bruce Wayne/Batman.

Josh Holloway

The LOST alum could play a great Batman in a slightly more laid back film. Upon further reflection I don’t know if he’d make a great fit for Bruce Wayne/Batman.

Jim Caviezel 

Or however you spell his last name. If you are a fan of Person of Interest, you will probably say to yourself more than a couple of times that this guy was born to play Batman. He’s pretty badass as John. Make it happen, Twentieth Century Fox Studios!

Christian Bale

An awesome idea? Yeah, pull that guy from his toes out of the house if you have to. I have warmed up to him being Batman after the Dark Knight Trilogy and I really don’t want to see the role go to a guy like Ben Affleck.

And for Alfred if he makes an appearance?

Cast Sir Stew (Patrick Stewart). Just make it fucking so!

Man of Steel


For me this summer blockbusters began with Iron Man 3 then Star Trek Into Darkness (which I’ve seen three times in theaters and planning on seeing it for the fourth time). Now the third blockbuster of the summer on my list is hitting theaters in over a week, Man of Steel.

Here is the most recent trailer!

Who wants to go see it with me?