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By Bladez L. Stryker On 6 Jul, 2012 At 10:50 PM | Categorized As Featured, NINTENDO, PlayStation, Reviews, Reviews, Reviews, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No GravatarWelcome to the latest addition to the LEGO game family, LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes. For fans of the LEGO series, you can expect all the fun and entertainment of the previous games. If that is not enough to peak your interests, there are new features which go where no LEGO game has gone before.

 

 

The core format of LEGO games makes up a large part of LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes. Once again, there are story levels, which assign you specific characters to play as. After completing the level in story mode free play mode will be unlocked, which allows you to switch freely between any characters you have acquired. Other returning mainstays are gold bricks, red bricks, mini kits, and citizens in peril.

 

 

Heh meh blah ro mmm rah, concentrate on the subtitles and miss the cut scenes. The standard we have come to expect from LEGO games. Well not this time around. Yes that’ s right, the LEGO people finally speak with real words! On top of that, Telltale Games used some high profile voice actors, including both Steven Blum and Nolan North.

 

 

If that is not a big step forward in itself, how about the vastly expanded game environment? Traditionally, LEGO games have a main “hub” area of varying size. In this hub you can access both story and free play levels, along with additional sections to explore. This time, the Batcave becomes the central hub. In the Batcave, you can select any of the vehicles you have unlocked and jump right in the driver’s seat. The vehicle automatically begins its exit, and once outside, a brand new experience begins. Now the whole of Gotham City is at your disposal. Indeed, an open world Gotham City is now your personal playground. Everything is there, from Ace Chemicals to Wayne Manor, Arkham Asylum to Gotham City Zoo.

 

 

So what exactly is there to do in Gotham? Plenty! The map can be accessed at anytime and begins covered in a black cloud. As the story levels are completed, sections of the clouds lift revealing what lies underneath. There are also remote Bat Computer Terminals placed throughout the city. Activating these terminals will reveal more sections of the map. Once activated, you will gain access to either land, sea, or air vehicles based on the terminal location, such as street level, rooftop, or at a dock.

Depending on play style, game completion can be rather easy or somewhat challenging. If you prefer the easy route, any clear section of the map may be scanned, revealing items of interest for a few seconds. These include villains, vehicles, gold bricks, red bricks, citizens in peril, and gold gates.

 

 

Hovering the Batman Logo cursor over a villain’s head gives the option to “show villain”. This will trigger a brief cinematic, transitioning from a far view and zoom to a close up of the particular villain. Using the details of the video, you will search for and find the villain and battle it out until they have been defeated. When victory is achieved, you will be given the opportunity to purchase the character. The gold gates are also scattered around Gotham, with each one having a minimum number of gold bricks collected before you can build them. After having the required number of gold bricks and erecting the gate, a hero will emerge which can then can be purchased.

 

 

The remaining items to gather in Gotham are  studs (in game currency), red bricks, gold bricks, and citizens in peril. Having a difficult time finding any? Just scan the map and set a marker to guide you to it. Red bricks give you access to game modifiers, such as stud multipliers, invincibility, brick detectors, and more. There is also a puzzle aspect to obtaining all these Gotham Goodies. Many are located on rooftops, and even with a flying character, it will not be as simple as landing and picking it up. Most will require you to start from the ground and will make use of some or all of Batman’s and Robin’s special suits to reach the summit and unlock the gold brick’s container.

The core game controls and mechanics are on par with the LEGO series. Lego Batman 2 does have a couple of downsides. Upon obtaining a gold brick, auto save activates. While the game is saving, your character will be stuck in place until the save is completed, which average about 15 seconds per brick found. Other than that, I only came across some minor game freezing issues. This only happened much further in the game when I had many of the red bricks activated and had been continuously playing for 6 hours or more. The game graphics are sharp with well designed environments that display in resolutions up to 1080p. To add to the fun, you can grab a friend and enjoy the dynamic split screen co-op mode.

 

 

As part of the title states, DC Super Heroes, there is a generous amount of unlockable characters. All the classic heroes and villains from the DC universe are to be found. The same can be said for the vehicles as well. The Batmobile, Batwing, Batboat, Batcycle, and separate vehicles for each of the villains.Grab one to navigate your way around Gotham or just cruise around and enjoy the scenery.

All in all, this is the most impressive LEGO game to date. Even after completing the story, you will have countless hours of enjoyment exploring Gotham. Having finished the game to 100%, I can say I will continue to play because of the abundance of fun. I rate this game a 4.6 out of 5. Enjoy!

By otakuman5000 On 22 Jun, 2011 At 01:26 PM | Categorized As Featured, Movie News, Reviews | With 2 Comments

No GravatarIn Brightest Day, In Darkest Dawn, Beware Green Lantern’s Yawn…

The filmmakers behind Green Lantern have been all-too-quick to compare it to Star Wars.  Unfortunately, the comparison is apt.  Green Lantern is very reminiscent of Star Wars…Episode I…  The Phantom Men’s Ass.  For every visually interesting moment or action sequence there is an equally dull or juvenile exchange, and the movie is rife with bizarre gaps in logic.

I have to start by saying that I do not read Green Lantern and therefore know very little about how the film diverges from the comic.  Because of this I went into the movie with very little in the way of expectations, but the movie still managed to disappoint me.  Due to my limited knowledge of the Green Lantern universe, my major gripes are not with how good of a comic to movie translation the film is, but how underwhelming of a movie it is in general.

The Green Lantern Corps is an intergalactic peace keeping force who have harnessed the “emerald energy” of will as a tool to mete out justice.  When one of the Corps’ elite members, Abin Sur, is attacked by a mysterious alien and mortally wounded, he begins searching for a replacement.  He arrives on the nearest inhabited planet, Midgard/Earth, and sends his ring to seek out one who is worthy of the power and responsibility of being a Green Lantern.  The ring chooses a test pilot, Hal Jordan (played with affable charm by Ryan Reynolds) and he sets off on a journey to the Lantern Corps’ home world to learn how to wield his new-found power.  Hal is spirited away to Oa, a distant planet that is inhabited by the architects of the Corp and serves as a training ground for new recruits.  The design of Oa (composed entirely of CGI) and its many inhabitants is one of the movie’s highlights.  The whole training sequence where Hal meets other Green Lanterns and learns how to focus his imagination through his power ring to create “hard light constructs” is where the movie shines.  This sequence lasts about ten minutes, then it’s back to Earth.  We are only given a cursory introduction to the other members of the Corp and before we even get to learn anyone’s back-story, the film’s budget and creative steam runs out.  When Hal returns to Earth, every single boring minute and frame of film is an exercise in paint-by-numbers (with lots of green paint) storytelling and every plot development is painfully predictable.  The whole show just plain lacks creativity and that’s the real problem here.

We must hurry back to Earth before our budget runs out!

 

Hal’s Green Lantern power ring allows him to construct anything he can imagine and utilize it to accomplish various tasks. Apparently, a prerequisite for becoming a Green Lantern is to possess the dullest, most pedestrian imagination possible.  Hal squanders his ring’s power to conjure a sword, a brick wall, a big fist, and a bucket of water throughout the film.  Had the ring chosen…

With great cabbage, comes great responsibility…

a head of cabbage to be the newest GLC (Green Lantern Corp) recruit, I’m sure it would have been able to come up with some more interesting constructs (maybe a wall of coleslaw or a fist composed of coleslaw… perhaps a bucket of coleslaw).  The effects are done well, especially the suit or second skin that the powering gives to its bearer.  The suit actually looks different on the various races that make up the GLC.  On certain aliens it creates an effect that looks like scales, on others it looks like a green hide, and on Ryan Reynolds it appears as a second layer of musculature.  The suit flexes and moves with the characters and pulses with green energy.  The CGI for the suit actually looks quite good most of the time, but there are a couple of weird moments where the effect doesn’t mesh with the live actor and it looks like Ryan Reynolds’ floating head with a CGI body underneath.

There are also a few subplots that are shoehorned into the film that never have a pay off.  For example, there is a scene where Angela Basset’s character’s tragic back-story is shown as a flashback, after which she pretty much disappears for the rest of the film.  While we’re on the subject of unnecessary characters and the overly talented actors who play them, Peter Sarsgard plays one of the film’s villains (Hector Hammond).  Peter Sarsgard is an extremely talented actor but simply cannot keep himself from chewing the scenery then punching through its remains with giant ham-fists.  It’s not really his fault, as he isn’t given much to do but scream and keep his massive head from lolling to the side like some rotting melon filled with… coleslaw.

 

Most epic comb-over ever!

Overall, I was just plain bored by the Green Lantern.  I expected more from director Martin Campbell (Casino Royale, Goldeneye, and the Mask of Zorro), who’s previous work I have really enjoyed.  There may be a lot that was left 0n the cutting room floor that, when restored (much like DareDevil), would make for a more compelling and cohesive tale, but that’s no excuse for squandering the potential of a beloved franchise and the generosity of millions of fans.  The most disappointing thing about the film is that it almost assures there will be no Justice League movie, and that Ryan Reynolds will never get to play The Flash (a character he has been attached to for years and one that would have been a far better fit for his talents).  They do leave a few bread crumbs at the end of the film in order to leave the doors open for sequels, but I doubt anyone will care about what happens next.

 

Recommendati0n: Instead of watching the Green Lantern, go watch the Green Mile, or the Green Zone, or even the Green Hornet.  Hell, I’ll even throw in Soylent Green as a throw-back.  Wait ’till this flick hits Green-Ray, as hopefully there will be a Director’s Cut that restores some subplots and covers up plot holes.

The More You Know: Ryan Reynolds has had a tumultuous career as a superhero.  He played Hannibal King in the disappointing finale to the Blade Trilogy, was cast as Wade Wilson/Deadpool in the awful X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and now has played Hal Jordan in the Green Lantern.  At least he is trying to spread out the disappointment between both MARVEL and DC universes.

-Ryan Reynolds dated Alanis Morisette for 5 years.  A little ironic, don’t ya think?

-Ryan Reynolds would have been the perfect choice to play Richard Rider in a Nova movie.  (Nova and the Nova Corps are the MARVEL Universe’s analog of DC’s Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps).  Even their names are similar!

-After doing some more research, I have found that the movie skews pretty far from the source material when it comes to several of the main characters and how they’re represented on screen.

-If you go see it, there is an extra scene after the credits.

 

A far better choice for a Green Lantern recruit. Even better than that head of cabbage from before…

 

By otakuman5000 On 17 Jul, 2010 At 05:14 AM | Categorized As Featured, Movie News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarAfter months of waiting and speculation now for the moment we’ve all been waiting for. We are one week away from Comic Con and hitting newsstands at nearly the same time but the cover of next weeks Entertainment Weekly has been leaked and more info will be revealed next week at Comic Con.

Ryan Reynolds is yet another movie star cast as two comic book characters in future live action films. 33 year old Reynolds is slated to play Hal Jordan, an airline pilot who is chosen by a dying Green Lantern to don the power ring.

Filming has begun in Louisiana and is directed by Martin Campbell who has directed both “Zorro” movies and Casino Royale and Goldeneye. The movie seems to be in capable hands. Time will tell when the movie is set to premiere on June 17 2011.

Props to Kotaku, EW, WB, and Comic Con 2010