Batman: Arkham City Review

I just finished playing this game and I wanted to give some impressions. Well, first and foremost, it is fucking incredibly epically amazing and I love the shit out of it. Okay, we have that out of the way.

The hype was definitely huge for this game, especially after following the excellent Batman: Arkham Asylum, which quickly became the definitive Batman game and gave us an experience in gameplay as the universally popular hero that has gone unmatched and thoroughly topped any and all Batman video games that preceded it. Arkham City manages to top it. I can’t express my joy for that.

As with most successful sequels, it brings us elements that we already loved from the original, improves upon what needed improvement, kept what worked just fine, and added on more in terms of story and characters. Arkham City is much more gigantic in its scale: the story, the environments, the gadgets, the fighting moves, the villains, the overall experience is all bigger and better. I have completed the story mode and I’m only at 38% completion. I’ve barely scratched the surface with the side missions, I haven’t touched a single bonus challenge, and I have yet to play as Catwoman. There’s still shitloads more to explore. I have a feeling I will lose plenty more hours than I already have to this game. It’s so detailed in all respects, something as minute as listening in on small-talk between the thugs has great value to it. They complain about their bosses, about the weather, share stories, I recall one goon going off on a story about how his mother murdered her entire graduating class on prom night. I mean, wow.

The story to Batman: Arkham Asylum, though exciting, was fairly straight forward: The Joker has taken over the asylum and it’s up to Batman to stop him. Arkham City has much more villainy to encounter and an evil plot that is infinitely more threatening and goes deeper than you could possibly imagine. The way it weaves its epic plot together involving villains such as The Joker, Hugo Strange, Rhas Al Guhl, Two-Face, Mr. Freeze, The Penguin, and (believe me) tons more is nothing short of masterful. It’s not just great fan service to match up against your favourite villains, it is truly put together in such a way that feels completely justified for the story, full of twists and turns and surprises along the way. Any future Batman-screenwriters should take note. This is how it’s fucking done.

Batman: Arkham City isn’t just an amazing and exciting gaming experience, but it is a uniquely great Batman adventure period. I think in the last 10 years or so video games have gotten so good that they can be respected on the same levels as other media such as comic books, novels, books, television, and movies. With that in mind I think Batman: Arkham City is a classic Batman Story. Bravo.








Russell Crowe is a diverse actor.

Russell Crowe recently walked off an interview with BBC radio after the interviewer irked him by stating he heard hints of Irish in his accent. Before leaving, Crowe sarcastically remarked that he was “going for Italian” with his accent. Now, did anybody else picture Mario in the role of Robin Hood when he said this? I’m not the only one, right?

“It’s-a me! Robin’-a Hood!”

Poor, dumb Italian plumber. Probably can’t shoot worth shit.

Best NES Games

Hi. Here is my list of my personal favourite games for the original Nintendo Entertainment System. Enjoy!

1. Super Mario Bros. Trilogy

So yes, #1 is a tie. It’s an amazing trilogy of games. If pressed I’m sure I would vote the third as the absolute best, but they all have many things I love about them, yes, even the “controversial” Super Mario Bros. 2. It’s great fun. Mario is the most recognizable video game character of all time, the gameplay is amazing and still holds up well today. Highly recommended.

2. Super C

Yeah, “Super C” as in “Super Contra.” A hell of a game. Tons of gun-play, dodging bullets, evil aliens, crazy machines, and cool enemies to battle. This is the kind of game the Turbo Controller was made for. That is, if you’re a pussy. The best way to play this game is to end up with bloody thumbs and blistered palms. End of story.

3.  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Arcade Game

Ninja Turles and Nintendo. These things were made for each other. Awesome game play, vastly superior to the first TMNT NES game (if you haven’t seen that Angry Video Game Nerd review of it, drop everything and watch it now!), and it’s everything a child from the late 80’s/early 90’s could ever hope for. This game made my childhood. I still love playing it every now and then, it gives you a warm gooey nostalgic feeling.

4. Dr. Mario

Hold on Tetris, Imma let you finish, but DR. MARIO is the most addicting game of all time. OF ALL TIME! Yes, Dr. Fucking Mario is an awesome and addicting game, and while I love Tetris and all, between the two I feel the game is much better.  I would play this game so much that every time I’d close my eyes I would see red, blue, and yellow germs and pill capsules floating around. It’s a very simple game but hours of fun.

5. Ninja Gaiden

This game is hard as hell. It’s frustrating, enraging, and you come to realize that it sucks being a Ninja because everything wants to kill you. But, hey- unlimited continues! Sweet! I’ll admit I never beat it, but that’s just something I’ve come to accept and it doesn’t really decrease my enjoyment of the game. It’s one of the few earlier games that actually had an interesting storyline to it and it’s full of interesting environments and enemies. It’s a challenging game game but it’s always a good idea to dust this puppy off and think, MAYBE THIS TIME I’LL BEAT IT.

6. 1942

This is just a good old fashioned arcade-style button-masher. The idea is very basic: You’re a World War II fighter plane. Shoot everything that moves. Go! You know you’re playing the game right if you develop arthritis before you hit age 20.

7. Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse

Skeletons, Medusa Heads, and Swamp Creatures- oh my! Just like Ninja Gaiden, this game is challenging as all-hell, but it’s such fun that you desperately keep coming back for more. This is my favourite of the Castlevania NES games. I like it just a little better than the first, and Simon’s Quest is infamously horrible. This game feels like a classic mash-up of all your favourite monsters. Playing this is more worth your time than seeing the movie Van Helsing.

8. Batman: The Video Game

You know, up until the release of Batman: Arkham Asylum, I’d say this was actually the best Batman video game ever released. I never understood why they could never make a decent game based on the character, but at the time this was the best thing we got. There’s punching, unique weapons, Ninja Gaiden-style wall jumping, and the music kicks some serious ass, too. You’ll find out pretty quickly that it has barely any resemblance to anything that happens in the 1989 Batman film by Tim Burton, but that doesn’t matter. It’s a damn good game.

9. The Little Mermaid

I know what you’re thinking- WTF? Little Mermaid? Are you kidding? Well, what can I say? I guess this is just a guilty pleasure for me. The game play was pretty unique for the time, the graphics are actually very, very good- and as far as movie adaptions go, this is very very faithful to the source material, and still one of the best Disney Film based games ever. Another plus is that it’s so insanely easy that you can beat it in about 20 minutes. Good times! Don’t be afraid to check it out. I won’t make fun of you.

10. Blades of Steel

Sports games today have such advanced graphics that they can completely emulate the facial and physical features of real players, but those get outdated so quickly and you constantly have to keep buying the most recent versions, which I think is stupid and a waste of money. Blades of Steel, however, is an 8-bit classic that has never gone out of style. The sounds are great for the time, and the graphics are decent enough. It’s a fun sports game and in my personal opinion, the best sports game for the NES.

So, that’s it. That’s my list.

Have a nice day. I’m off to find some mushrooms.