Batman: Arkham Origins – Game Review

Batman: Arkham Origins is a prequel Arkham game, not developed by Rocksteady, but by Warner Bros. Games Montreal. I played the PlayStation 3 version.

I’m going to start off with the negatives for this game. The game menu, pause menu, and Waynetech interfaces are very rigid and irritating to navigate in, at least in comparison to Batman: Arkham City. This shouldn’t be much of a problem in the actual game play though. Coming to that, however, the game play was a little more limited than in previous Arkham games. I don’t mean this with the gadgets you have or anything, because that is natural in a prequel, but there are so many things that you can grapple on to, but the game won’t let you. In the previous games, you could latch on to anything, but in this it would get a little frustrating when you had to find the right one.

However, I need to talk about the positives, and I have an unpopular opinion. Despite what I’ve said earlier, this game is my favourite Arkham game. For one thing, it looks better than the previous two games. But that’s not all. Even though I feel like the story in Arkham City was better, the story in this is still spectacular. Black Mask – or seemingly Black Mask – has hired eight assassins to all compete for a fifty million dollar prize on Batman’s head, and through the night he has to face them all. It’s a great premise. It isn’t as simple as that, of course, because it gets complicated as time goes by, but for the better. It’s a great story, and the basis allows for some of the best boss fights in the franchise.

What was special about these boss fights was that they were all fresh. The one with Copperhead features a million of her, with Firefly it’s like an adventure in itself, and with Deathstroke, it’s pure one-on-one combat, which I really loved. All of them are masterfully thought out and a lot of fun to play through. It was pretty clear that the game was built around the boss fights, and that definitely isn’t a bad thing. My one complaint about this is that you have to face Bane three times – once as normal Bane, once as Venom Bane, and once as TN-1 Bane, which felt repetitive to be honest. But that’s it.

The Joker is in the game, and he has a big role, but I won’t reveal it because it’s potentially spoiler-filled.

In the end, however, after a really long game, I was more than satisfied. I was familiar that most people thought this wasn’t as good as the previous two games, but it’s even better than them for me, which is really saying something, considering Arkham City is probably my favourite game ever.

On a scale where M is the lowest, and R is the highest possible rating, with the highlighted letter being the rating:

Batman: Arkham Origins: MIHIR

Lego Marvel Superheroes – Game Review

Well well well… Marvel finally made it somewhere in the video game industry.

DC will always have the Arkham games. And they were masterpieces. But here’s a game that Marvel can cling on to as one too.

Before this game, I played Lego Harry Potter (Years 1-4), Lego Indiana Jones and Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga (which, infuriatingly, is now the Incomplete Saga). This game is a million times better than all of those, and I great part of that can be credited to an original story. The story in this game is well thought out and inculcates a great number of characters, and there’s always an element of surprise with originality.

I played through this game with a friend, completing everything as a team. I really like that about Lego games. They encourage co-op play. And it was a lot of fun.

When I mentioned that the story is well thought out, I mean it was really well thought out. So many elements and story arcs are combined that it could all become one piping hot mess, but it blends really well. And with a character roster this cast, it could become stale. It doesn’t. Every single character is unique. Nobody other than Spider-Man and Venom can swing. Nobody can scratch other than Wolverine. Sure, there are some abilities that are imitated, but the overall character is unique to itself.

Throughout the game, the ensemble of heroes, headed and controlled by S.H.I.E.L.D., are taking down a series of increasingly powerful (by hierarchy I mean) villains, in an attempt to get to the big bad, who is (supposedly) Dr Doom. These adventures take you from New York, to Latveria, to Asgard to space. And every level keeps switching out its protagonists. I’m glad the rights problems don’t apply to video games for Marvel. You play one level with Iron Man, Thor and Spider-Man, and the next with Storm, Jean Gray and Cyclops, and the next one with Wolverine, The Hulk and Captain America, and so on, and so on, and so on. The last level, mind you, brings everyone (including a little surprise cast) together, and it’s such a massive scale boss battle with someone I won’t name. Brilliant.

Outside of the main story, there’s on open world in New York! Do the side missions, find characters, find the one hundred Stan Lees hidden everywhere, and play as just about anyone. It’s so much fun.

And don’t forget, there’s still that Lego magic of foolishness and downright fun stupidity. Mr Fantastic, for instance, can turn into the craziest of things when needed, like this:

And he can casually turn into a teapot if you make him. Just because.

Even Deadpool’s in the game, in charge of cheat codes, collectibles and all that stuff, just like Deadpool should be.

On a scale where M is the lowest, and R is the highest possible rating, with the highlighted letter being the rating:

Lego Marvel Superheroes: MIHIR

And my friend and I just started playing Lego Marvel Avengers. That review will come up whenever. 

Batman: Arkham City (Game Of The Year Edition) – Game Review

Batman: Arkham City is a 2011-released sequel to Batman: Arkham Asylum, produced by Rocksteady Studios.
I played the Game Of The Year Edition, which is basically the exclusive edition, on PlayStation 3.

This game is like its predecessor, except it’s better in every single way. First off, it is visually better than Arkham Asylum. That may not mean much to a lot of people, but that’s important to me.
Other than that, of course, this game steps it up a notch. Or several.
The story in this game revolves around two plots, the first being Hugo Strange’s mysterious Protocol Ten, and the second, more focused on story, is that The Joker’s Titan toxin from the previous game is killing him. And he has now injected his own blood into Batman. Batman must find a cure for himself, and The Joker, and so has to scour through all of Arkham City over one night. No spoilers.

Arkham City itself is great. It’s an open world, and it’s a decently large one, definitely bigger than the previous game. There are endless side quests and Riddler trophies, so the game is much larger than the main story, which in itself is about eleven hours long. The scale of this story is greater than the previous game, and I certainly think it’s well written. There are even Catwoman missions.

The combat system is great, of course, and the gadgets in this game are a lot of fun. You develop as the game goes along, and Batman is visibly deteriorating.

The story is really gripping, and the gallery of foes is immense. The boss battle with Mr Freeze was actually really hard to beat, and there is a plot twist at the end that changes everything.

In the Game Of The Year edition, there are two extensions to the story, one following where Catwoman goes after the main story, and one following where Batman and Harley Quinn go. They are just as well done as the main story, and are actually great bonuses.

Batman: Arkham City is my favourite game. Everything seems to fit together really well, and it’s so satisfying. Rocksteady set the bar really high with the first game, and raised it by about two or three times as much with this game. I’m currently playing through Arkham Origins, which is produced by another studio, so that review will come later.

Oh, and the ending to the main story in this game is so simple, but so heartfelt and emotional. It was genius. Mark Hamill as The Joker, and Kevin Conroy as Batman, are perfect.

On a scale where M is the lowest, and R is the highest possible rating, with the highlighted letter being the rating:

Batman: Arkham City: MIHIR

New Super Mario Bros. Wii – Game Review

I promised in my Battlefield 4 review that I would review this game, and here it is.

New Super Mario Bros. Wii is a 2009-released, Nintendo-developed game, exclusively for the Nintendo Wii (obviously).

All Mario games are an incredible amount of fun. It’s pure gaming, and captures the essence and art of it. By the time this game came out, the formula for Mario games was known: Eight worlds, each of different setting and increasing difficulty, filled with several different levels. This game though, had something unique. You could play through the game using up to four players. Player one would be Mario, and players two, three and four would have a choice between Luigi, Yellow Toad and Blue Toad.

That dynamic would prove to be the centrepiece of making this the best gaming experience I’ve ever had.
My friend had a Wii, and so did I. He had two controllers, and so did I. for Christmas one year, I get this game, and I would go over to his house with two other friends, and we’d play it. We played from start to finish and maxed the whole game out (including Star Coins) together. That is what I love about gaming. We had to cooperate with each other to get through the whole game, and we really were a team.

That isn’t a review though. That’s a personal experience. Now let me tell you, this game is amazing. With the returning classic Fire Flower, there are three new power-ups (as seen in the picture above). The Freeze Flower gives you the ability to chuck ice at your enemies, and it is actually difficult to use. Which I liked. I had to learn to adapt to that. Once you freeze your enemies, they can still thaw out, so you need to destroy that block of ice too.
The Penguin Suit also has ice-throwing abilities, but at the same time, you can slide on your belly across icy surfaces, which is a lot of fun. That’s something you need to remember. This game wasn’t made for a brilliant story or competitive multiplayer, it was made for the fun of it. And it delivers with that.
The Flying Suit is just incredible. You can soar high, and I mean really high. That made room for different sorts of levels, where you have to fly around to make it to the end. It was great.
There are even levels where you can ride Yoshis! Need I say more?

The game itself is pretty challenging. Maybe that’s just the inner eleven year old talking, but this was hard to beat, even with four people, especially World 8. We probably spent as much time on the final boss battle as we did the rest of the game! But like I mentioned in my Battlefield 4 review, that’s the point of it. We jumped around and celebrated like we’d saved the world when we finally beat Bowser. After that, we thought it was done, but the game unveiled World 9, in which we would need all Star Coins from individuals worlds to play individual levels. For example, for level four, you would need every Star Coin in World 4. We found every one in the game. We beat the special world.

I’m sure I’m not alone here. I hope a load of people had the same experience as me playing this game, especially as a four-person unit. I don’t think anything will ever come close to this in the future.

On a scale where M is the lowest, and R is the highest rating possible, with the highlighted letter being the rating:

New Super Mario Bros. Wii: MIHIR

Batman: Arkham Asylum – Game Review

While I have a big line of Marvel reviews, there’s a shortage of movies that I’m interested in with DC, before Batman v Superman hits. So, along with The Dark Knight trilogy and Man Of Steel, I’m going to add in this trilogy of games (excluding Arkham Knight), and Batman: Year One. I realise that there is a heavy lack of Superman in there, but I’m not really a fan. For the entire sequence, I’ve placed it below the Marvel review sequence on the left.

Batman: Arkham Asylum is a 2009 release, produced by Rocksteady Studios. While originally intended to be a game for The Dark Knight, that proposal fell out, and it resulted in a game-changing game.

In a completely unique story, The Joker is supposedly taken into custody of Arkham Asylum by Batman, only to find out that it was all a part of his plan, and he takes control of Asylum. Things go haywire from there.

I’m not going to give away major plot details, but this game was brilliant. Comic book video games were considered a joke before this game came out, but this was an exception. A big exception.

The game has an open world, although a small one. As the story progresses, the setting changes as the plot does. And the plot itself is gripping and well thought out.

You encounter a lot of Batman’s enemies in the game, but not even close to all of them. That’s a good thing, for future games. All the while, Scarecrow has a side-story where he keeps tormenting Batman in an attempt to make him break.

The combat system is pretty simple, and that’s all it needed to be. Oftentimes, you have to be Batman and be silent in your attacks, be in stealth, and hide in the dark. That was a great element to the game. 

I played Arkham City before I played this (Call me a criminal), and in comparison, this game feels so much smaller. The story is longer than most games, but in comparison with the sequel, it feels smaller. The open world in Arkham City is much larger.
Another problem I have with this game is that the ending felt a bit incomplete.

Other than that, though, Batman: Arkham Asylum is a great game.  It started a game franchise that will likely go down in history, and was a joy to play through.

On a scale where M is the lowest, and R is the highest rating possible, with the highlighted letter being the rating:

Batman: Arkham Asylum: MIHIR

Battlefield 4 – Game Review

Yep, I’m doing game reviews too.

Battlefield 4 is a 2013 first person shooter, developed by Dice, Frostbite and of course, Electronic Arts. I’m going to get right into it. For anyone wondering, I’m reviewing the PlayStation 3 version.

Campaign

The campaign in Battlefield 4 is nothing short of terrible. It feels like there was no planned campaign at all, but two weeks before release somebody came in and said “We need a campaign”, and they randomly chalked something together. 
I play a campaign for the story. I’m not sure if everyone does, but I like to get engaged. Perhaps that’s why Batman: Arkham City is my favourite game, because the story is astounding. Looking at Battlefield’s main competition even, Call Of Duty: In Call of Duty: Black Ops, the campaign was so well thought out and engaging that it could have been made into a brilliant movie (which I don’t recommend because video game movie are horrible). In this, there’s no emotion, and the story makes no sense at some point. And then, it just ends. It’s really short. 
I didn’t even play the multiplayer before finishing the campaign, so this game already lost a load of points. But then I played the multiplayer. Things got better.

Multiplayer

Let me be clear: If you are buying this game, buy it for the multiplayer. It’s clear that that’s the reason it was made. 
Multiplayer lets you choose from four classes: Assault; Engineer; Support; and Recon. All are designed differently. For example, engineers have access to heavy armoury like SMAWs and RPGs, while Recon is a class that snipers would choose. 
Unlike in Call Of Duty, where there are times where you switch servers in the middle of your game, the servers in this game are virtually flawless. 
I’ll explain why the multiplayer is so good in the next section.

Game play

In the battle of game play between Call Of Duty and Battlefield, Battlefield always wins in my book. I’m looking past the beautiful weapon mechanics.
In Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2 (which was this game’s primary competitor), the multiplayer is very different. I could run out into the open and shoot at enemies with no problem. There’s a joke on the internet that says only kids play Call Of Duty, but it seems that way in the game play, at least in the comparison to Battlefield. 
In this game, if you run out into the open, chances are you will be shot by a sniper. If you stray away from your squad, you will be found by an opposing squad, and you will not survive. If you camp, and kill someone, that person will know exactly where you are when they re-spawn, and can flank you. And if your team chooses a hideout spot, say, on top of a building, the enemy team can send in a missile and obliterate all of you. There’s virtually nowhere you are safe, and the game play is diverse. I really like that. 
There’s a system called ‘levolution’ in this game. The map that you’re playing on deteriorates the longer you play, sometimes on a massive scale. There’s a map called Rogue Transmission, in which there’s a huge satellite dish, which collapses and topples over if it sustains too much damage. In Siege Of Shanghai, an entire skyscraper falls over! This changes the face of the whole game, and it’s a spectacle to watch. 
There’s been a lot that’s been put into the multiplayer, and it all blends in for a beautiful experience. You can never get bored with it. 
Now there is one major issue I have with this game, and this is even bigger than the atrocious campaign. 
Recently, I received a 1.5 GB update on my game, with brand new game modes for multiplayer. The catch? I couldn’t play any of it without paying. This wasn’t something new, as DLCs were already a part of this game, but I only have a 40 GB PS3, and this takes up precious disk space. I can’t even delete it, because it’s a part of the game.
My problem, however, is with DLCs. They’re ruining gaming for me. It’s no longer about earning new and better things, it’s paying for them. 
In 2008, I bought Pokemon Diamond, and I did a lot with that game. I trained most of my Pokemon to level 100, and the next year, when I bought Pokemon Platinum, I wanted to send them over, so that I could use them in that game. In order for these powerful Pokemon to obey me, I needed all the gym badges. My starter Pokemon was Chimchar, a fire type, and call me a foolish nine year old, but he’s the only one that I trained. The fourth gym was a water type gym, and I just couldn’t beat it. So I went back through Sinnoh and trained my Shinx, evolving him into a Luxio and Luxray, and then, I beat the fourth gym. That’s what I loved about it. I didn’t just buy the right to have level 100 Pokemon obey me, I earned it. I worked for it. 
In New Super Mario Bros. Wii (My best gaming experience ever, I’ll review it sometime), after you finish all eight worlds, you unlock a special world, with eight levels. However, you can’t play them, unless you earn them. For example, in order to play level three, you need to find all three star coins in every level in World 3, and this is how it is for every level in the special world. You had to work and struggle and find every hidden coin. 
DLCs are destroying that. They’re taking away from the spirit of gaming. I can understand why a business would want to sell DLCs, but I don’t like it. It’s no longer “If I make myself better and do something big, I can unlock this”, it’s now just “If I buy this, I can unlock this”. That’s so cold. 
Anyway, I’ve got to give this game a rating, following my little rant there. 
The multiplayer and game play are beautiful, and it’s definitely worth buying for that, but the campaign’s lack of everything, and the DLCs take away from it.
On a scale where M is the lowest, and R is the highest possible rating, with the highlighted letter being the rating:

Battlefield 4: MIHIR