Friday, September 18, 2009

DS releases: Scribblenauts and Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box

Scribblenauts is sitting on our kitchen table unopened - wow it has been a busy week. It's gotten brilliant reviews and seems like it's going to be one of those knock it out of the park DS games.

Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box! AWESOME! A new Professor Layton game! Yes, I got fed up with the first game because it made me feel dumb. I think I might be smarter now, maybe? Who cares? Yay! New Professor Layton game!

Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 trailer

Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2

Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 may not have reinvented the wheel but it sure as shit is fun.

I borrowed Marvel: Ultimate Alliance from a friend a couple of years ago and had a grand old time smashing and bashing stuff with a massive cast of Marvel superheroes. Hell, I was pretty excited about MUA2 coming out.

I've had a busy and sickly week so I haven't been able to put too much time into gameplay (only about five hours) but I'm having a grand time. The story revolves around the Marvel Universe Civil War (see trailer). Battlelines have been drawn yadda yadda yadda. Who cares? It's clobberin' time!

I have a lot of fun putting together my team of heroes and micromanaging their powers. I tend to go with brawlers/goon squad (i.e. Juggernaut, the Thing, Hulk, Wolverine) but sometimes I'll throw in Storm or Gambit.

All in all it's a solid game, enjoyable, action packed, with a decent difficulty curve. The extra training missions and ability to replay previous levels makes for extended game play, especially since you can bulk up on experience and skill points by going back to previous levels and exploring.

The one downside is the music. I turned it off after awhile, it just kind of annoyed me. Other that the game is aces.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) Dir. Gavin Hood

Let me preface this by saying:

I am not a X-Men fan, not the comics or the movies but I did like the cartoon. I like certain characters but all in all they are not my favorite bunch of superheroes.

That being said I really enjoyed 90% of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Hell, I even thought Liev Schreiber did an awesome job as Sabretooth.

Amanda and I were feeling under the weather and she wanted to watch a movie. I wanted to play Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2. So we came to an agreement. I'm glad we did.

Wolverine is pretty simple, straight-forward, and moved along at a pretty good clip. I'm not familiar with Gavin Hood's movies but he's a sharp director of action. Action is what we wanted and action is what we got.

I also like how grim the movie is. Sure, it's not as bleak as the new Batman movies but Origins was darker than I was expecting.

My only problem with the movie is the absolutely wretched CG Patrick Stewart sequence. not only was it inexcusably ugly but it was also pointless. Fail.

I don't know if I'd watch Origins any time soon but I'd buy it for less than ten bucks.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Batman: Arkham Asylum (2009)

As we all know pretty much every Batman game sucked - with the exception of LEGO: Batman. Well folks, we can add Batman: Arkham Asylum to the list of Batman games that does not suck.

B:AA is, a few stealth nitpicks aside, awesome. Most of you probably know I am a big fan of the stealth action genre and B:AA hits all the right notes. This is more of a Batman sim than a Batman game. Combat is smooth as silk and looks bitchin' as Batman delivers the beatdown. Some of the combat is a bit repetitive but that didn't matter to me so much as sneaking around and Batman-ing foes from the shadows.

What really puts B:AA over the top for me - quality wise is the voice acting and writing. They rangled the crew from the animated Batman series; Mark Hamill as the Joker, Kevin Conroy as Batman, and written by Paul Dini. I was and am a huge fan of the animated Batman so having this crew on B:AA is a joy for me.

The only downside - for me - is I doubt the game has much replay value for me unless I can start the game over with all my upgrades and gadgets. There are endurance missions and timed missions that you can play apart from the storyline but I haven't gotten into them too much. I think, ultimately, B:AA is a top-notch must play game but I will be turning it in for credit to put towards Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2.

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