Field Notes: Batman Arkham City, Page 6

This is the sixth and final entry on my play through of Batman: Arkham City. Be ye warned that there will be spoilers for as far as I’ve played and please avoid spoilers for me if you have any comments concerning future segments of the game

Since the Joker’s death at the end of Arkham City, Harley Quinn has been grieving in her own way by taking over the gang and planning a trap for the Dark Knight.

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Grieving her own way

While being even more silent then usual at the conclusion of City proper, neither Robin or Oracle has heard from Batman since he went into the Joker’s recent haunts to stop whatever Quinn was up to. Continue reading →

Field Notes: Batman Arkham City, Page 5

This is the fifth entry on my play through of Batman: Arkham City. Be ye warned that there will be spoilers for as far as I’ve played and please avoid spoilers for me if you have any comments concerning future segments of the game

It was a battle to get here but this is it – I’ve faced countless thugs and the bitter cold in a city run by madmen, to find myself here at the end of this adventure. Let’s talk about it!

Strange Days

Confronting Dr. Hugo Strange was epic, but the man behind the madness of Wonder Tower disappointed me in his motivations.

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Black gloves continue to get a bad reputation

The prequel comics and game did a good job of presenting Strange as the mastermind, so when he mentioned a “master” just before his climactic last stand I didn’t know where things would go. However having Ra’s al Ghul be that puppet master was a let down, and it’s my own fault.

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Field Notes: The Troubled Man

We watched the final episode of the BBC’s Wallander entitled “The Troubled Man” based on the book of the same name by Swedish author Henning Mankell this past Sunday (10/16/16) evening, and it was a calm and thoughtful end to a great series.

(Spoilers follow)

This final fourth series ended with Kurt Wallander more at peace then we’ve seen him up to this point. Instead of drinking himself to self-destruction, the detective is exercising and spending more time with his daughter and granddaughter.

While I usually like a show to keep going if the quality is there, Wallander reminded me that keeping things at a certain clip (four series is this case) means that the main characters are made to grow – you don’t have years and years for them to stay the same and only make a change at the very end.

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a cold cup of Sweden

(Sidenote – I believe roughly half of the script was Kenneth Branagh frantically looking about and saying, “Hakan?”)

I also appreciated that Kurt survived to make that growth, to see his memory slipping and accept what’s happening instead of going down in a tragic/heroic gunshot. The rifle he slung across his back gave me pause on that, but all turned out well-ish.

His father showing up at the end was a nice touch as well.

On a show that paired a bleak landscape with even bleaker human nature, to have Wallander find a measured peace was fresher than the wind blowing off the nearest fjord.

 

Field Notes, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

I watched Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (theatrical version) last night and did so with the understanding that it was not reviewed well.

But that’s a good thing – when you go in with low expectations, the movie almost always turns out better then you thought it would.

Unfortunately that’s not the case (for me) with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – I’m interested to see where the DC Extended Universe goes from here, but this movie was a rough ride.

Biggest Issue

The biggest issue I had with the movie was the realization of Lex Luthor. I could not get on board with how they portrayed the character, and this is coming from someone who’s not steeped in DC lore. It wasn’t a “he-doesn’t-match-with-who-I-thought-he-should-be” thing, it’s a “he’s-more-annoying-than-evil” thing. Continue reading →

Field Notes, Batman: Arkham City, Page 4

This is the fourth entry on my play through of Batman: Arkham City. Be ye warned that there will be spoilers for as far as I’ve played and please avoid spoilers for me if you have any comments concerning future segments of the game

Nine Lives

Catwoman’s portion of the game continues to be fun to play; the fact that the game lets you choose whether to help Batman or not was a nice touch.

Breaking into the vault was a nice set piece and I laughed when she destroyed Poison Ivy’s plant – I didn’t expect it, and score another point for Rocksteady when it comes to letting these character’s personalities shine through.

The Two-Face battle at the end took me longer then it should have since I didn’t realize the guards kept repopulating; it seems not matter how many games I play I usually miss the obvious.

Catwoman’s music also offers a nice change of page and I feel reflects her character’s playfulness. In Batman you’ve all the brooding you can take, so the light notes that play during her sequences remind you that there’s another way to look at the events unfolding around you.

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a different perspective, and fun to play

Story-Behind-The-Story

Joker’s speech in the TV – he talks again of hiding a secret, something right in front of the Dark Knight. What is it?

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Field Notes, Batman: Arkham City, Page 3

This is the third entry on my play through of Batman: Arkham City. Be ye warned that there will be spoilers for as far as I’ve played and please avoid spoilers for me if you have any comments concerning future segments of the game

I continue to be amazed at how much Batman there is in this game. If you were someone new to the Dark Knight’s now seventy-seven year public history, you could play this game and get it – get what Batman is all about, from the characters to locations and motivations driving everyone forward. It’s great stuff.

Gang Related

The way the gang activity is portrayed throughout the story is well done. The chatter of the thugs gives you a ground up perspective of the events you are reacting to, and enhances the environment around you by giving it more history (if even very recent history).

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Field Notes, Batman: Arkham City, Page 2

This is the second entry on my play through of Batman: Arkham City. Be ye warned that there will be spoilers for as far as I’ve played and please avoid spoilers for me if you have any comments concerning future segments of the game

Environmental Proceedings

The more I play the game the more the environment draws me in; the ambient sounds and moody visuals all add up to an experience that continues to draw me further in with each moment.

A list of some of these:

  • The snow fall and the way it sticks to Batman’s cape
  • Criminal walkie-talkie chatter
  • Intermittent police sirens
  • Lighting and position of the moon
  • TYGER helicopter giving a play-by-play of me beating up street thugs and other guard chatter

Each of these examples, while not a main point in the story, all enhance the story even if I’m not consciously aware of them at the time.

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Rise of Iron: Bell’s Thoughts Pre-Launch

Tomorrow (9/20/16) “Rise of Iron” – Destiny’s latest expansion – drops and I was able to sit down with the Queen of the Hunters, CurrerBell, and get some pre-release thoughts.

I’ve paraphrased her words (with her approval) below. Enjoy!

What are you looking forward to most?

I’m looking forward to all the new things – armor, guns, maps, etc. More than that being able to play with my gaming group again. An expansion like this pulls everyone back from the other games they’ve been playing, and it’s going to be great to have the band back together.

And, of course, I love me some Crucible.

What are your concerns for the expansion?

The addition of getting back into it – real life repsonsibilities tends to get in the way of my gaming. Also, the frustration of armor/guns that you worked hard for being downgraded.

Do you care about the raid (Wrath of the Machine)?

I would love to care about the raid. Finding the time for it and getting the group together can be a challenge though.

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This is my hammer. These are my wolves. Prepare to die.

What class are you most excited to get in there with?

I absolutely adore my Hunter, so she’s my first choice. I just started the path of the Sunbreaker for my Titan, so she’ll make an appearance as well.

What other thoughts do you have on Rise of Iron?

I’m excited for wolves; is it too much to ask to have a wolf pup to follow you around?

I’d also like the story to go a little deeper – the Iron Lords are legend, and I want to be excited to be legend with them. A well-told story can make that happen.

Really excited about the Gjallarhorn being back, however you have to get it.

 

The new “plague” enemy – and this release in general – doesn’t seem as recycled as the others, and that’s a good thing.

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“Rise of Iron” is almost here – good luck Guardians!

 

 

Field Notes, Batman: Arkham City, Page 1

This is the first entry on my play through of Batman: Arkham City. Be ye warned that there will be spoilers for as far as I’ve played and please avoid spoilers for me if you have any comments concerning future segments of the game

Hearing that Batman: Arkham City is one of the greatest video games of all time, not only from critics but from a good friend (the latter carrying more weight), I’ve been looking forward to it.

This expectation of awesome can also be a burden, and I felt it during my first impression of the game. The player (as Bruce Wayne) is thrown into Arkham City without any explanation (or tutorial) and this first segment was off-putting to me initially.

Continue reading →