Archive for videogames

Help Me Fight Crime!

Posted in videogames with tags on 15th September, 2010 by Adam Redsell

On Wednesday the 8th of September, my videogames were stolen from me – 93 of them, in fact – along with my Wii and Xbox 360. Oh, and I don’t have insurance (tip to all gamers: GET INSURANCE!). The list of stolen games reads like a who’s who of current-gen titles. Yes, unfortunately the thieves took a calm, considered approach when burgling my unit, taking only what they could offload relatively quickly for considerable sums of money. That leaves me with only my retro games for comfort.
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The Death and Return of Superman

Posted in Comics, DC, Superman, The Death and Return of Superman, videogames with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 13th May, 2009 by Adam Redsell
The Death and Return of Superman: The Videogame: The Review.

The Death and Return of Superman: The Videogame: The Review.

Superman fans may be interested to know that my review for The Death and Return of Superman for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System went up today over at EveryGame.  Here’s a sample paragraph to wet your whistle:

The Death of Superman was to comics what E.T. was to videogames.  The lie of Superman’s death was a publicity stunt that nearly single-handedly destroyed the industry.  Sure, in the short-term it was a roaring success – Kal-El’s impending doom made front page news across the globe; people came in droves to line up for a polybagged copy of Superman #75; people who previou$ly had no intere$t in comic$ what$oever, or people who hadn’t picked up a comic book in year$.  I’ll be filthy, stinking rich! The Western hive-mind exclaimed with dollar-signs in its eyes ($)($).

Just click the quote for the full review.  Let me know what you think, either here or there.

“Superman, FINISH HIM!!”

Posted in Comics, DC with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 7th May, 2009 by Adam Redsell

I’m sure many of you have experienced or seen the Most Ridiculous Crossover in Recent Years [I won’t say ‘Of All Time’ because you and I both know that won’t be true in a year’s time], Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. Being the highly critical person that I am, I thought I’d take this blogging opportunity to pick their picks to pieces. I’ll address the Mortal Kombatants first, because I’m happy with their choices, by and large. EXCEPT

  1. Jax is quite possibly the most ill-conceived Mortal Kombat character ever devised. Not only does he reek of ‘token black guy’, his one and only claim to fame is a couple of bionic arms. As if one wasn’t enough. The man has no personality! Just put Wesley Snipes in and be done with it.
  2. Where’s Goro? Where’s Motaro? Any four-armed freak of a creature will do. Here’s a mathematical equation to illustrate: MK + 1 four-armed-felon = MK + 10 cools, therefore 1 four-armed-felon = 10 cools.


10 cools. It’s science.

Here’s the rest, for those that are interested:

Scorpion
Sub-Zero
Sonya
Shang Tsung
Liu Kang
Raiden
Kitana
Kano
Baraka
Shao Kahn

Now, as a comic book nerd and DC fan, the solemn duty of criticising the crap out of the rest of the character selections has fallen to me. And what a heavy burden it is – but somebody’s gotta do it:

Batman
Batman suits well enough, aside from the ‘no killing clause’ that most DC superheroes subscribe to. From what I’ve seen, though, he looks too ‘blue’. It’s certainly the dominant depiction these days, but I think they should have opted for the ‘black’ Batman – you know, the one who is so damn shadowy you can only see his pointed shape with some eyeballs painted on…

Superman
I know he’s DC’s flagship character and everything, but there’s no justifying Big Blue’s involvement in a Mortal Kombat game. He’s just too squeaky clean for this kind of thing. Perhaps if Brainiac was in the game, or some other colossal cosmic threat, it might give his presence a bit of context [then again, preaching context to a developer that’s putting MK and DC characters in the same game is probably an exercise in futility].

Catwoman
Now, this one makes sense. I can’t help but feel that they slutted her up too much for this, though. How can you fight and do backflips when your boobs are falling out? I suppose nobody cares so long as they do fall out.


Speaks volumes.

Green Lantern
Green Lantern’s powers are a little too fantastic for a gritty, oatmeal-textured fighting game like Mortal Kombat. The ring constructs just aren’t hands-on enough for this type of thing, though we know the hot-headed Hal Jordan isn’t averse to throwing a punch or three when the situation calls for it. Again, without context, he runs the risk of Fish-out-of-water Syndrome.

The Joker
I’m starting to think that they should have done a Mortal Kombat vs. Batman game instead. Another great choice – I just hope they go with a Ledger/Grant Morrison-style interpretation of the character, smiling from ear to ear.

Shazam
Captain Marvel is even more out of place in a Mortal Kombat game than Superman. He’s a young boy that transforms into a magical superhero with a magic word for crying out loud! If Supes is squeaky clean, then Shazam is polished, buffed and lacquered.

[Having said that, I would’ve taken this if it meant the presence of Black Adam, but sadly it doesn’t.]


Say cheese!

The Flash
How does super-speed work in a fighting game? Handling Sonic in SSBB was hard enough – imagine controlling the Scarlet Speedster, who’s faster than the speed of light. Technically, he should be able to round up the entire cast in a few seconds, but that doesn’t make for good gaming now, does it? This may not be reality, but a comic or videogame needs to follow its own logic. Between the super-speed and the gaudy costume, the Flash just doesn’t fit here.


Wonder Woman: Warrior Princess.

Wonder Woman
Diana Prince, on the other hand, fits surprisingly well as the Amazonian Warrior Princess. If they emphasise her battle armour and weapon skills, Boon & Co. might just pull it off.


Deathstroke
I have to admit, I didn’t see this one coming at all. While Deathstroke is seemingly obscure compared to the likes of Lex and the Joker, his presence in a Mortal Kombat game makes a lot more sense. Deadly assassin? Check. Physical deformity? Check. Cool get-up? Check. A freakin’ samurai sword? Check, check and check.
Protip: Deathstroke once had his own series in 1991 called Deathstroke the Terminator. He was referred to exclusively as the Terminator for a good four years until Arnie hit the scene. Now he’s just called ‘Deathstroke’.

Lex Luthor
Love Lex as I do, I fail to see where he fits in the fighting game space. He’s essentially a bald scientist/tycoon in a suit, and while he’s not bad with the fisticuffs, he’s no match for the Scorpions, the Raidens, or even his most familiar foe in a fist-fight.

I suppose the purple-green Apokoliptian battle-suit will be making an appearance, then...

I suppose the purple-green Apokoliptian battle-suit will be making an appearance, then...

Darkseid
Well, one out of eight ain’t bad, is it? There’s not much I can say that I haven’t already said, but Darkseid currently stands as the most important villain in the DC Universe, and brings the necessary level of cosmic to give Supes and Hal some much-needed context…Brainiac would’ve been nice, though.

Compare that to some of my picks, and you have a chalk-and-cheese situation that dwarfs even the ridiculousness of Soulcalibur IV:

Darkseid
Manhunter
Copperhead
Mongul
Bane
Ra’s Al Ghul
Solomon Grundy
Black Adam

Notable (and disappointing) omissions include the likes of Mongul, Bane, Ra’s, Grundy, and especially Black Adam.

Hopefully DC Universe Online actually turns out to be a good game and balances out the universe.

Lego Batman II.

Posted in Batman, Comics, DC, Lego Batman, Lego Batman II, videogames with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 5th May, 2009 by Adam Redsell

As you know, I love Batman, but I also love Lego, and Lego Star Wars was my surprise favourite of 2005. So naturally it follows that I would love Lego Batman.  Having now played Lego Batman, though, I was disappointed to find that the stories weren’t based on any of the films or comics. That’s just a wasted opportunity, if you ask me. There’s so much Lego ridiculousness lying dormant in the Bat mythos, waiting to be excavated. Anyway, I figured that somewhere down the line there’d be a sequel, and as part of my pitch for Producer or Head Writer on Lego Batman II, I thought I’d stupidly give away my ideas for free. Here are some Batman stories that would make great Lego adaptations:

Batman: The Movie

“Diabolical!”

No, not Tim Burton’s classic Bat-film – I’m talking West, pure West – the very first Batman film is just screaming for a Lego retelling. The ridiculousness of it all; it’s like a hand in a glove: Penguin, Joker, Riddler and Catwoman get together on a Penguin Submarine (it literally looks like a penguin) and turn the United Nations into powder! Add a rather amusing riddle about apples and applesauce and you have the recipe for a hilarious Lego videogame.

Tales of the Demon

While this isn’t one story per sé, it works well as one. Introducing one of Batman’s greatest enemies Ra’s Al Ghul – The Demon’s Head – and greatest foils, the disarmingly beautiful Talia al Ghul. Tales of the Demon feels like a Bond film, spanning several exotic locales and pitting Batman against the strangest of enemies, including, but not restricted to ninjas, a leopard, a raging bull, the Bronze Tiger, and Ra’s Al Ghul’s faithful brute of a servant, Ubu. Batman even has a forced marriage to contend with – do I hear Lego hijinks? And what Batman/Ra’s tale would be complete without a shirtless swordfight? Check.

Dark Moon Rising: Batman and the Monster Men/Batman and the Mad Monk

This is just cool.

Old meets new in Matt Wagner’s surprisingly recent jaunt into the world of zombies and bat-men. It maintains all the trappings of goofy Golden Age horror pulp with the modernity of well, good writing I suppose! Barely one year into his crime-fighting career, the Batman must brave the perils of Mad Science and Ancient Evil to save Gotham City. Lego zombies and vampires? Yes please!

Knightfall

Look at the size of those hands!

The [in]famous 90s event comic Knightfall has a few things going for it. Firstly, then-new villain Bane masterminds a jailbreak down at Gotham Penitentiary, loosing all of Batman’s foes upon the city once more. Secondly, Batman is run ragged rounding up the most obscure of adversaries – Mad Hatter, Cavalier, Firefly, Zsasz, Killer Croc, and the Ventriloquist to name a few – while regulars Joker, Scarecrow and Poison Ivy plan something a little more sinister. Thirdly, Bane breaks Batman’s back, which would be hilarious in Lego. All of it would be hilarious in Lego, especially that maniac Firefly. It would be a great intermission to break up the gameplay, giving players an opportunity to use other characters like Azrael, Huntress and Nightwing in Batman’s absence.

No Man’s Land

Another 90s event comic that was terrible to read, but great for Lego business, is No Man’s Land. Gotham has been hit with an earthquake of biblical proportions, separating the city from civilisation. Of course, this sends its denizens into complete and utter madness, and the Bat-family have their work cut out for them trying to placate them. So while the earth is shaking, and Gothamites are running around like chickens with their cut off, Batman’s enemies work to carve out their piece of the pie. Mmmm…pie. Earthquakes and Lego blocks are a match made in heaven, especially for the destruction-loving boy that lives inside us all.

Batman & Robin: The Movie

At least Alicia Silverstone was hot, right?

You know why the first Lego Star Wars game was so hilarious? Because there was so much in the source material to make fun of. Next up on So Bad It’s Good: Batman & Robin. Easily the worst Batman film ever, what better way to bring Batman, Robin, Batgirl, Bane, Poison Ivy and Dr. Freeze together in a ridiculous camp-fest of Good vs. Evil? Can’t wait to see those Lego Bat-nipples!

The Dark Knight Returns

An aging Bruce Wayne is forced out of retirement once more to teach the youth a lesson [I’m surprised how fitting that summary is].
*Cue hilarious cutscenes about Batman being too old for this $#!+*
The opportunities for comedy here are legion. Batman even dresses as a homeless old drunk woman in what becomes a liquor store shootout. There’s some great showdowns here which would make for equally great boss battles. The explosive battle with Two-Face on a high-rise (a helicopter is also involved), the brawl with the Mutants gang leader in the city dump, and the final duel with the Joker in an abandoned theme park. I can’t believe I almost forgot the fight with SUPERMAN. Could anyone have any doubts as to how great this would work in Lego? The story lends itself to two-player gameplay as well, with Carrie Kelley taking up the mantle as the fourth [and first female] Robin.

Sorry, I just have to include this picture:

Now, THAT is cool.

Hush

Wow, they just summed up Hush in one picture.

Hush wasn’t much more than an excuse to pit Batman against his rogues gallery and introduce a new villain (or to give Jim Lee an opportunity to draw them all), but that’s just the type of story you need for an all-star videogame. Supporting players include Huntress, Robin, Nightwing and even Catwoman against the likes of Killer Croc, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Joker, the Riddler, Ra’s Al Ghul, Lady Shiva, Scarecrow, Clayface [disguised as Jason Todd – back from the dead – no less!], and finally, Hush. Oh, and did I mention there’s another fight with Superman? Trust me, it never gets old.

There you go, eight thrilling chapters for a Lego Batman sequel right there. Does that not sound like the Greatest Batman Videogame of All Time in the making?

Welcome to Bat-Shark Repellent!

Posted in Comics, Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 1st May, 2009 by Adam Redsell

bat-shark-repellent

Hello. Hello? Is this thing on?

Welcome to my blog. This is hopefully the last of many blogs (check to the right if you’re curious), but what can I say? I’m feeling prolific at the moment. It’ll probably wear off, but I’ll give it a go.

Ummm…introduction, yes. My name is Adam Redsell, and I am an attention whore–I mean, I like writing. A lot. I’m what I like to call a ‘culture vulture’ – videogames, comics, film, music – I just lap it up. But having experienced so much of it, I’m also a harsh bastard.

That’s why I’m using this blog to review comic books (and what better day to start than Free Comic Book Day?). Now here’s the thing: I’ll mostly be reviewing comics of the DC superhero variety. I do branch out occasionally into the realms of Dark Horse, Marvel, and the indies, but the bread and butter of my comic reading regimen is pretty much Batman and Superman prancing about saving the world, K? I’ll also be reviewing comics that I’ve bought with my own money. What that means is there may not be too many negative reviews here unless I bought a lemon, or my favourite writer has a bad hair day. Because I’m not in the habit of wasting money.

(Basically, if you see a review up here, take it as a recommendation at first glance, but read on anyway, you presumptuous git.)

Hopefully those things don’t preclude me from writing entertaining reviews. That’s what the blog title is supposed to elicit: comics are, above all things, entertaining. Packing and pacing a self-contained story, often within the framework of an over-arching, greater story, all within the confines of 22 pages. That’s better than TV, is what that is.

And yes, Batman does actually keep shark repellent in his utility belt. I’ve seen it.