Tag Archives: Super Hero

Haven Review: Batman Arkham City [Return to Arkham]

Batman Arkham City the continuation of the Batman Arkham franchise from Rock Steady. In the first installment Joker had a great plan which involved making Batman out to be a terrible monster like the Joker himself but ultimately it backfired.

Now the story continues and Quincy Sharp the old warden of Arkham Asylum is now the Mayor of Gotham City and from it he created Arkham City a place for all the mentally deranged, criminally insane and all around scum of Gotham to be imprisoned in.

Throw into this prison run by a Professor Hugo Strange the inmates are left to go about their own business. With the return of the famous voice crew again from Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamil and Tara Strong reprising their roles again for Batman, Joker and Harley Quinn.

Now like its predecessor the musical score is on point bringing a great depth and also grim atmosphere to the area. Where Batman is forced to fight for his life and learn the truth behind Arkham City before countless lives are lost to a madman who lurks in the shadows.

Now in Arkham Asylum you could only travel upon the island where the Asylum was. In this installment of the franchise Rocksteady has given us a more open world environment filled with buildings and the chance to explore quite a few of them. However the scale of the open world is still quite limited but at the time of the games release unless you are comparing to Skyrim the game’s map is quite huge.

However like its predecessor it still heavily relies on the two buttons used for combat one for attack and the other for countering. Although this makes it simple for new comers still, the combat is still a bit lacking. Although at times you will have to use two other buttons in conjunction with each other it still doesn’t offer any improvements.

The story of Arkham City though remains very on point, offering a new glimpse at old enemies and new enemies from Batman’s rogues gallery with Mr.Freeze, Two-Face, Mad Hatter, and even Catwoman joining the party. Catwoman being a particularly important character that you play as through a portion of the story.

Visually the game is breath taking, both original and remastered the game remains perfect in its representation of what we believe Gotham City should look like from the grim undertones we have been told about it. A place where villains like the Joker and Penguin fight to rule the place and cause chaos.

The game overall shows us and brings to life everything we have expected from Batman from the city he protects, to the villains he fights and people he protects. Like the character jumped from a comic book and into our gaming systems capturing the essence of Batman so well that the differences between comic and game character are almost indistinguishable.

Like its predecessor its a game I hope comic book fans and even non fans buy and enjoy. Weather it be the original copy or the Return to Arkham edition the game is worth it, and worth every penny.

-Daniel Clatworthy

Haven Review: Batman Arkham Asylum [Return to Arkham]

Arkham Asylum the game that started it all and spawned a series of sequels that are unparalleled in how epic they are. Batman has always been a popular super hero fighting crime as just a man, no super powers just his wit, body and will to save the day and a mind unlike any other.

So popular that there is a college offering a course in all the things Bruce Wayne studied to become Batman and fight crime as the masked Vigilante.

Now onto the review, Batman Arkham Asylum is the title that like I said stated it all, it starts off just like you would expect Batman bringing the Joker in to Arkham for treatment after he escaped. But what he soon realizes is that the Joker set a series of events into motion that will have our beloved Dark Knight fighting for him and Gothams life through out the entire island.

In terms of open world the game is lacking in that department, its a big map and a lot of small area’s where you can explore and adventure into and solve various Riddler related puzzles scattered about but. In terms of exploring Gotham city it is not possible.

However despite this quite a few of the rogues from Batmans gallery of enemies make a appearance such as Bane, Harley Quinn, Scarecrow, Joker, Killer Croc and Poison Ivy. So there is much to be said a bout the varying array of criminal master minds to fight and bring to Justice.

One of the great enjoyable feats of the game is Mark Hamil reprising his role as the Clown Prince of Crime striking terror into the hearts of people everywhere in a role he was born to play. As well as Kevin Conroy reprising his role as Bruce Wayne / Batman. Growing up as a fan of Batman the two were a huge part of my childhood and even to others they are those characters above everyone else.

But I digress the game itself has a excellent musical score which helps set the tone and the atmosphere for both the mix of detective work and combat. Although the combat is a little on the droll side of things forcing the player to simply button mash two keys the entire time which in its own right is a good thing, but it felt a little underwhelming when it came to fighting certain bosses and criminals in the game.

The story has a few low points as well but nothing that would take away from how its really enjoyed. It brings with it solid mechanics in its game controls, fluid story telling, a great musical score and voice acting which makes the game stand out as one of the best games ever created.

Its sustained the test of time, and even now with the Return to Arkham re-release the game has even more of a popular following than it started out with. I like to think game sales helped with that like on Steam where people could dive into the game title and become addicted like myself.

In conclusion the game is amazing, it has a few issues which have been fixed since its initial release and even gotten a graphical overhaul in Return to Arkham and I suggest if you love super heroes such as Batman that you pick the game up when you get a chance.

You won’t regret it.

-Daniel Clatworthy-

It’s time for a Rebirth

DC, after 5 years of The New 52 has finally done it. They are once again rebooting the Universe and setting things up for a new era of comics. Honestly, it’s less of a reboot and more of DC stepping away from the core ideals of The New 52 and readdressing their series. It’s a return to a form of DC comics we haven’t seen in a long time. It’s important to note that I’ll try and avoid the big spoilers of the book. But in order to properly talk about the implications I will need to address a few key moments. If you’re just interested in the fate of DC comics going forward, we’ll get to that. As for now, I need to go into the details of Rebirth #1 and what they all mean, at least to me.

The book opens with a disembodied voice, that we learn belongs to Wally West. Not the new 52 Wally, but the original. Kid Flash, The Flash, Wally West. He talks about how he’s been gone for a while, trapped in the speed force. He says that ever since Flashpoint (the event that kicked off the New 52) things have been different. Things aren’t right. He says that the only way for him to return is for someone to remember him. First he goes to Bruce Wayne, who is deep in the mystery of the Joker. Batman learns a surprising fact that will propel him into his next arc, when Rebirth properly comes out. Wally is unable to connect with him, and is once again pulled back into the Speed Force. Before he tries to reach out again he muses on the fact that the events of Flashpoint didn’t create the new universe. Someone from beyond time and space has been reaching in and removing bits of time, sometimes decades. Next Wally reaches out to Johnny Thunder, another speedster from the golden era. A member of the Justice Society, Johnny mistakes Wally for his lost companion, Thunderbolt. Wally, unable to make the connection is once again hurled out of existence. Again Wally muses. He says that the one thing that has been missing from the world is Love. The thing that his unknown being has taken is the love and hope that the heroes of this universe once had. Ollie Queen and Dinah Lance, once deeply in love, have been set apart by the being. He witnesses Aquaman proposing to Mera, and realizes that’s the connection he needs to make. He needs to reconnect with his once love, Linda Park.

Here is possibly the most interesting part about Rebirth. This is essentially Geoff Johns saying the thing that has been missing from the new 52 is love. Love between the heroes. Love for saving the world, and crime fighting. New 52 has been so dark and dour, things need to change. There needs to be a sense of happiness brought back to the DC universe. His connection to Linda doesn’t work out. She doesn’t remember who he is and once again he is sent back. At this point he realizes he can’t connect to anyone and he’ll be consumed by the Speed Force. He sees the new Wally West save a little girl’s life and he remarks that he isn’t needed. His mantle is in good hands. He then goes to make one final visit. He goes to see Barry Allen, the current Flash. He goes just to say goodbye. Once again Wally remarks on love. He says Barry always has a smile on his face. He says Barry is the only one left who actually loves his job. He loves helping people in need. Wally says that Barry is the only hero who stops and talks to the people he’s rescued after. Wally and Barry have a heart-felt meeting, even though Barry doesn’t recognize him. Wally tells Barry that he’s the reason Wally’s life is so great. Barry has been an inspiration because of the love he’s shown the world. Wally is no longer so obsessed with returning to existence and is happy to part because of the love for the life he once had. At this moment Barry recognizes Wally and pulls him into existence. Wally then tells Barry about The Being.

We finally have the return of a hero who has been lost to us. We finally know that the new 52 was created not by the Flashpoint, but rather by someone removing love from the universe; someone experimenting on the entire universe, seeing what would happen if love was taken out. This mysterious Being is the DC company, and Wally West was a voice for both the writers wanting to work on something new and the fans wanting a change from the dreary New 52. Over the course of Rebirth we get a few glimpses of other heroes, such as The Atom and Blue Beetle. We see Superman from the Louis and Clark series, as well as the pre-crisis Superman who died in his world and appeared on earth prime. This gives us a good look at what other series will pop up in Rebirth. Ultimately DC is going to return to more light hearted, fun stories. The grittiness of New 52 has put a lot of people off of reading DC and it’s time to change that. Happiness and Love will return to this company and we’ll see what new exciting stories will arise.

As for what’s actually coming out? Well, there are a lot of different rumors about what’s happening. But as far as I can tell, several series are sticking around, several are being discontinued and a bunch are being merged into a single series.

The series going forward are as follows:

• AQUAMAN
• BATMAN
• THE FLASH
• GREEN ARROW
• GREEN LANTERN
• SUPERMAN
• WONDER WOMAN

ACTION COMICS #957
• DETECTIVE COMICS #934
(an inspiration of the return to form that DC is going through, and the notion that the comics will be more like the originals in tone, both Action and Detective will return to their original numbering)

HAL JORDAN & THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS
• JUSTICE LEAGUE
• NIGHTWING
• BATGIRL
• BATGIRL & THE BIRDS OF PREY
• THE HELLBLAZER (John Constantine)
• RED HOOD & THE OUTLAWS

• THE SUPER-MAN
• TITANS
• CYBORG
• DEATHSTROKE
• HARLEY QUINN
• JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA
• SUICIDE SQUAD
• BATMAN BEYOND
• BLUE BEETLE
• EARTH 2
• GOTHAM ACADEMY: NEXT SEMESTER
• SUPERGIRL
• SUPERWOMAN
• SUPER SONS
• TEEN TITANS
• TRINITY

As for what’s still around, there are again a ton of rumors. But most sources point to these being the only series going forward and everything else will either be promptly canceled or phased out over time. I for one am really excited about everything. I loved reading Rebirth. I think it was brilliantly written and there is so much more analysis that can be done. I just lightly touched on some major themes and gave a run-down of what happened. If you are interested in a deeper analysis with all the spoilers of the book, please read:

http://birthmoviesdeath.com/2016/05/23/why-dc-universe-rebirth-is-a-gutsy-work-of-comics-criticism

It’d be unfair to say that what I wrote was entirely from my own ideas, and that I didn’t take influence from the aforementioned article. Happy reading fellow comic fans. I hope you are all just as excited about this as I am.

-Jordan Kamm-