Archive for August, 2009

Batman: Arkham Asylum (PS3) Complete

Posted in Reviews on August 29, 2009 by Matt

I’ve been playing this game quite a bit since it came out. I played through it on Normal difficulty and did a couple of the challenges. My game is currently 72% complete, I have found 138/240 riddles, 23/42 Character Bios, and 17/20 upgrades obtained. This review will encompass what I have experienced within those statistics.

Graphics: No glitches that I experienced. The collision detection is pretty good, and pretty much all movement is fluid. The lighting in the game is great. Character details are excellent. Batman shows damage as the game progresses (cuts to armour and his cape). Likely one of the best looking games I’ve played for the Playstation 3. Well done.

Sound: The sound in the game is spot on. The music sets a good mood, and goes along well with the environment. From the giggles of the Joker to the yells and screams of the lowly henchmen, pretty much all of the voice acting and noises that characters make are what should be expected. I really have no complaints, other than sometimes in-game cut scenes seem a bit monotone when characters speak to each other. Not a huge complaint.

Controls: The controls for the game have a learning curve of about 15-30 minutes. Once you are used to them, the game’s controls are completely amazing. Very responsive.

Innovation: A semi-open world, platformer, beat ’em up with lots of secrets hidden throughout. The detective view mode reminds me of Metroid Prime. All of Batman’s gadgets that you obtain in the game make it even more different than most other games of this kind. Batman makes Sam Fischer look like a complete tool (check out this Penny-Arcade comic). Does Sam ever drop down, grab a guy, knock him out, and leave the guy hanging around Predator-style? I think not. Pretty much everything that they threw into this game was done well. Some of it has been done before, but again, it has never been done this good.

Story: The game starts with Batman apprehending the Joker and taking him to Arkham Island to be admitted into the Asylum. Batman suspects the Joker is up to something, so he sticks around to make sure the Joker doesn’t try anything. Well, the hunch was correct, but Batman failed to act quickly enough. The Joker takes over Arkham with help from some of his pals on the inside. All hell breaks loose, and Batman must stop the Joker from executing his plans before it’s too late. I won’t go into any details to save the spoilers, but the story in this game is fairly typical of a Batman comic. You won’t be disappointed. I enjoyed it a lot.

Difficulty: The game isn’t really all that difficult on Normal. The end boss is actually rather easy. I was expecting more from him. There weren’t many balance issues. I never once found it frustrating, or boring. I need to play more of the challenge levels, and I may play through on Hard. I’ll add more to this when I have finished the challenges. The game only took me between 10-12 hours to finish (maybe even less).

Replay: Well, once you have finished the game, you are allowed to continue wandering around the asylum and find the rest of the secrets. Thankfully. I haven’t really done much of that, but I don’t think there are any enemies. It’s just for completion purposes. The challenges are there for beating the crap out of enemies, and each one has goals set out for you to accomplish (with medals as rewards). Collect enough medals and get trophies for them (8, 16, and 24 medals for either Predator or Combat challenges). I would have to say that I want to play through the game again sometime. It is a lot of fun. I would say that there is a decent amount of replay, but some people may disagree with me. There’s no mult-player, so that hinders the replay value quite a bit (unless you count the online score boards for the challenges).

In conclusion, you should at the very least rent this game. For the price though, buying it just seems right to me. It’s been ages since I have seen a game come out this inexpensive. It’s a great game, and you won’t be disappointed.

Console Wars

Posted in Classic Gaming, News on August 28, 2009 by Matt

I just finished reading an article on the top 5 console wars. Reading about these console wars really brings back some memories. Essentially the memories of me buying all of these consoles (well, other than the Sega Saturn, which I don’t think I ever saw one in a store), and playing all of the wonderful games (like when I played Mortal Kombat for the first time). It’s a good article for those who have been around for all of the console wars, and even for those that weren’t. Hopefully it’ll inspire some of the younger generations to keep an eye out and try some of the older games.

#5. Nintendo 64 vs. Sony Playstation vs. Sega Saturn
Sony clearly won this battle. I will admit that. But, most of my gaming memories from this era belong to the Nintendo 64. Games such as Golden Eye 007, Mario 64 (which blew my mind the first time I played it), Gauntlet Legends, Star Fox, Perfect Dark, and Rogue Squadron. So many great games, both single player and multiplayer. I recall that for a friend’s birthday, we just all sat around for the entire day playing Gauntlet 4 players. Loved it. Such an addictive game. I miss the days of 4 player split screen. *sigh*

The Sega Saturn holds no memories for me, since I never fucking found one!

Sony has some memories for me as well, like when I played Gex, and Tekken for the first time. Crash Bandicoot as competition for Nintendo’s Super Mario 64. So many games. Oh, and Medal of Honor when it first came out.

#4. Nintendo DS vs. Sony PSP
This battle is still going, but unfortunately it has already been won. There’s no way in hell the PSP is going to defeat the DS. The article points out some insane ads that Sony released for the PSP. I couldn’t believe the one add shown below. What the hell was Sony thinking!?

#3. Nintendo Game Boy vs. Sega Game Gear
Alright, in all seriousness, do I even need to talk about these? The Game Gear was awesome, but the Game Boy was still my first hand held love (shut up you sick fucks, I was only…10 or 11 when I finally had enough money for a Game Boy). I purchased my Game Boy at Canadian Tire. Back in the day, yes, Canadian Tire did sell games. I remember purchasing quite a few games there. The Game Gear had potential, but I never saw enough games that came out that were really any good. Sonic was all I really remember. The Game Boy had Tetris with it to begin with, and then were were games like Donkey Kong Land, Super Mario Land, and Pokemon. Then the variants of the system, with the Colour, Pocket and Micro. The Game Boy was also cheaper and used less batteries. I don’t see how it could have went any other way.

#2. Sony Playstation 2 vs. Microsoft’s X-Box vs. Nintendo Game Cube
I refused to buy an X-Box in the last generation. Something about Microsoft being complete evil, and Halo having so much fucking hype that it turned me off from it. I hated Halo, and still do. I did find guilty pleasure in playing it occasionally though, since everyone had it. I was forced to play, I swear!

The Game Cube really didn’t have all that many games that caught my interest back then, that I really remember. Of course now I know there are quite a few good games for it. I guess I never really looked hard enough before. I really didn’t realize the power of the Game Cube until I saw Resident Evil 4. That game knocked me on my ass.

Sony defeated the competition again in this war. Going on the success of the original Playstation, and continuing successful game franchises like Tekken and Gran Turismo, nothing really had much chance. I’ll have to agree with the article on that for sure. Hell, the Playstation 2 is still going. It’s almost made it through two generations now. That is insane.

This is where the console games went online and the split screen era began to die. Was not happy, considering my lack of broadband.

#1. Super Nintendo vs. Sega Genesis
Nintendo just finished owning with the original NES against Sega’s Master System, but Sega wasn’t out. They came back, and gave Nintendo a healthy fight (in my mind). A lot of games came out cross platform, and you could always tell who was a Nintendo fan and who was a Sega fan. This generation is where fan boys started to go at it. I really only leaned towards Sega, because they weren’t as geared towards censoring the games as much as Nintendo was. Mortal Kombat being the prime example. If you were to buy that game, you’d get the Sega version.

The Super Nintendo won, obviously. So many good games came out for it. Chrono Trigger, Killer Instinct, Super Street Fight II Turbo, Clay Fighter, Final Fantasy, Legend of Mana, Doom and Wolfenstien (just a mention since it was a big game back in the day when id software was coming into view), Donkey Kong Country, and a slew of other fine games. About the only game I recall being really fond of for the Genesis back then was Cyborg Justice. I would have also mentioned Splatter House 2 and 3, but I didn’t hear about those games back then. Streets of Rage also noted. It just wasn’t quite enough.

Talking about all of these old consoles and games makes me want to play some old games again. Maybe once I am done finishing up Batman: Arkham Asylum, I will do some gaming on my older consoles for a change.

Purchase For August 25, 2009 (Batman: Arkham Asylum)

Posted in In The Mail/Purchased Items, Initial Impressions, New Releases on August 26, 2009 by Matt


In my news post yesterday, I mentioned that I picked up Batman: Arkham Asylum. I purchased it for Playstation 3 and I was very excited and confused to see the price of the game. I walked into Wal-Mart thinking I was likely going to be paying $60-$70, but no. I only paid $43 (and that is after taxes). Don’t let the low price fool you though. Just because it’s cheap, doesn’t mean the game is low quality.

This morning, after finishing my night shift, I sat down to play the game. It took a lot of willpower to tear myself away from the game to write this. It’s pretty much what the reviews say it is: amazing. The graphics are beautiful, the sound and music are perfect, the controls are well mapped and reactive, pretty much all of the characters are there, and I really just don’t see anything wrong with any of it so far. Other than sometimes the dialogue and voice acting can be a tiny bit bland, but nothing utterly horrible. The storyline so far seems very fitting, and if you know anything about the Batman comics you’ll definitely appreciate it. A lot. I am currently only at 4% completion. Expect me to talk more about this game soon.

I’ve been playing some BlazBlue again, so I will be switching back and forth between Batman and BlazBlue. In BlazBlue, I completed Ragna’s and Jin’s story modes, but I still need to take the alternate paths and complete them as well. I can now see why there’s about 40 hours of story mode. I shall enjoy every moment of it.

News For August 25, 2009

Posted in News on August 25, 2009 by Matt

This will be a short post, considering I only have about 10 minutes to make it, so here is something to read until tomorrow.

The Playstation 3 Slim is out now, apparently. If you don’t own a PS3, then I guess you should go and pick one up for $399. Sony is naturally still losing money on this, so you better buy a bunch of games to help them out. Go. Do it.

If you are a fan of Red Faction: Guerrilla, check this out. There’s some new DLC coming out in September that people may be interested in.

Batman: Arkham Asylum is out today. I posted the metacritic review link a couple of days ago, but here is Kotaku’s review. I just picked it up. I will give my initial impressions tomorrow.

This is quite possibly the best deal on a RRoD 360 ever. Want a fixer upper?

Remember how I mentioned the new Castle Crashers DLC? Yeah, it’s available at midnight. Go get it!

I didn’t know about this. Nintendo almost lost the right to sell the Wii in North America due to a patent dispute. Crazy.

I need to read more sites than just Kotaku. Jeez. Next news post there’ll be something different. I promise.

Prince of Persia Complete

Posted in Reviews on August 24, 2009 by Matt

Last night, before going to work, I finally finished Prince of Persia (PS3). When I purchased it, and played it for the first time, it wasn’t what I had expected it to be. I didn’t really read much on the game before I purchased it, so I had expected it to be a bit closer to how the other Prince of Persia games were on the Playstation 2. It is almost entirely jumping puzzles (well, wall running, swinging, and flying as well), with hardly any fighting at all. Sands of Time had a lot more fighting and action than this one.

Graphics: The graphics in the game had a small hint of cell shading to them. The colours and lighting were vibrant and well done. There were the occasional clips and glitches, but nothing so horrible as to ruin the gaming experience.

Sound: The music was fitting to what was happening on-screen, and well done. The sounds were good quality and on que. Nothing overly spectacular or amazing to note, but nothing bad either.

Controls: The controls, at first, feel a bit stiff, but you get used to them. They are well mapped and I have no real complaints.

Difficulty: I played through the game on normal difficulty without a problem. You can’t die in the game. It’s really just a huge series of puzzles with the occasional fight. Some people may even find it a bit boring. If you’re looking for a good challenge, I am sure there’s a better one somewhere else.

Innovation: Well, the whole not dying aspect of the game may seem new, but there are a few other games out there where you can’t die (ex. Braid). I guess it cuts down on any sort of frustration. If you fall to your death, your partner (Elika) catches you and brings you back up with her magical abilities before you die. Or, if you are about to get killed by a monster in a fight, she will repel the enemy so you don’t get killed. That penalizes you by regenerating some of the monster’s health. At least there is some sort of penalty. Also, if you are saved less than 100 times in a play through, you get a trophy. Meh, it’s an interesting idea. If you think about it, it really doesn’t change much, other than having to constantly reload saved games. It actually saves time. Other than that, there really isn’t much else unique about the game. It’s a puzzle platformer. Fights are one on one and a bit boring. The end boss battle is a bit different from what I am used to, but nothing overly special.

Story: You play a man (name unknown) who lost his donkey and gets caught up in a sand storm. He runs into a princess named Elika. She is being pursued by guards, and seems to be in trouble. You go to her rescue. Elika leads you to a temple where a great evil is imprisoned. Elika’s father is the man who is pursuing her. He struck a deal with the evil god that is imprisoned in the temple and is there to release it. Ahriman is the name of this evil god. Once it is released, Elika and the unnamed hero go on a quest to seal Ahriman back into his prison. They must heal the surrounding land of corruption with Elika’s magical powers.

I will stop there to save the rest, which there really isn’t all that much of. It’s fairly straight forward, with a one or two minor twists. The ending is a tiny bit surprising, but I will leave that up to you to discover.

Replay: There really isn’t much reason to replay the game other than for a few trophies and unlocks. I likely won’t play it through again.

In conclusion, the game is not bad. If you like platformer puzzles, and not dying, then I guess you’ll like it. There isn’t much fighting or action, but there’s an alright story line to the game. It’s pretty short, so I would recommend renting this game for a weekend. I completed it in less than 12 hours.

E-Bay Review For July, 2009

Posted in Auctions and Stores - Monthly Review on August 23, 2009 by Matt

Yes, I know this is late, but better late than never. I didn’t make very many purchases, so this will be brief. I’ll be listing the E-Bay seller names, and then a brief description of my experience with each.

future.legend: I purchased BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger Limited Edition for Playstation 3 from this seller. At first, I wasn’t impressed that this person sent me the 360 version by accident, but then they did something that I didn’t expect: they actually cared. I sent a message explaining the distressing situation and got a response fairly fast. The problem was fixed within 4 days. I was expecting this to take weeks. They contacted the person they mistakenly sent my copy to. I sent my copy back to the seller. I told them the shipping cost. They sent me the copy I was originally supposed to get and gave me a cash refund for the cost of shipping the 360 copy back. Impressed.

mattscdsales: I purchased Devil Survivor for the Nintendo DS from this seller. Nothing bad to report. I received my copy of the game, brand new, like the auction described.

ultimate_video_game_connection: I purchased Devil Summoner for the Playstation 2 from this seller. It came brand new, as described. No complaints.

silvermermaidus: I purchased Odin Sphere for the Playstation 2 from this seller. Very good communication with this seller. They were quick to answer questions. The game came as described without any problems.

As I said, the list is short. I have been cutting back on my E-Bay buying. I won’t have a review for this month. I am trying to stick to buying from local stores and Kijiji.

News For August 23, 2009

Posted in News on August 23, 2009 by Matt

It’s been a while since I posted any news, so here’s something for you to chew on.

In Fall City, Washington, America’s first gaming/internet addiction center has opened up. China has had these for quite a while, but it about fucking time that the World of Warcrack users had an option that was specific to their needs. Mind you, looking at the symptoms, I think quite a few people I know and myself all qualify for at least user abuse. It costs $14,500 for the 45-day program, and is not cover by insurance. I wonder who will pay that?

Batman: Arkahm Asylum is looking to be a future purchase.

I am sure that everyone saw this coming. Blizzard has said now that Diablo III will definitely not be a 2010 release. Fuck.

Pre-ordering Guitar Hero 5 has it’s perks for both North America and the UK. I will agree that the UK has a better deal. I really don’t think I’ll be buying anymore Guitar Hero games, unless they bring out something that is pure death metal.

This makes me even more impatient. StarCraft 2 is going to rock everyone’s cock. Yes, even the ladies. You all now have cocks. Let them be rocked.

Are you fucking kidding me? Hold your cocks, because I just read that there’s going to be NO FUCKING LAN OPTION IN STARCRAFT 2! I am on a dial-up internet connection. I can’t play online hardly at all. I have a LAN at home for solving my PC multiplayer problem. This totally fucks me. Game developers need to keep this option in their games. For me. Please!

New DLC for Castle Crashers. Excellent. I really need to get back to playing that!

Forza 3 for the PS3. HAHAHAHA! Oh, GameStop, you silly fucking idiots. Good job.

Click if you enjoy Top 10 Lists.

As for me, I am almost finished Prince of Persia, and it’s about time. Expect a review on it tonight or tomorrow. I’ve been reading a lot of comics lately, and gaming has been slowed to a crawl. I had about $1000 of comics sitting around that were unread. Really, can you blame me? Laynix is off playing Magic, and neglecting to post altogether. I am glad I never got into Magic cards.