Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Review

Two things, right off the bat:

1.) I have not beat the game yet, I wanted to get this out to y'all in case you were looking for something to do over the break, also it's pretty long.

2.) It's not OoT. Stop it.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Skyrim 1.2 Update

Today, the latest patch for Skyrim has been released for PS3. It should be heading to the 360 and PC around Wednesday.Why does the PS3 get it early? Because it freaking needs it now. And I mean neeeeeeeeds it. After all, peoples' save files are essentially imploding upon themselves. The rest of us only have to wait a measly two days. So what updates can you expect? Here's a convenient list:

  • Improved occasional performance issues resulting from long term play (PlayStation 3)
  • Fixed issue where textures would not properly upgrade when installed to drive (Xbox 360)
  • Fixed crash on startup when audio is set to sample rate other than 44100Hz (PC)
  • Fixed issue where projectiles did not properly fade away
  • Fixed occasional issue where a guest would arrive to the player’s wedding dead
  • Dragon corpses now clean up properly
  • Fixed rare issue where dragons would not attack
  • Fixed rare NPC sleeping animation bug
  • Fixed rare issue with dead corpses being cleared up prematurely
  • Skeleton Key will now work properly if player has no lockpicks in their inventory
  • Fixed rare issue with renaming enchanted weapons and armor
  • Fixed rare issue with dragons not properly giving souls after death
  • ESC button can now be used to exit menus (PC)
  • Fixed occasional mouse sensitivity issues (PC)
  • General functionality fixes related to remapping buttons and controls (PC)
  I like how they specify that specific problems are "rare". I'm sure that doesn't matter to some people effected by these problems. Sure, some aren't a big deal, but if a dragon doesn't give you a soul you have every right to throw things out of an elevated area with utter disregard for innocents below. I think I've had the issue with dragons not attacking and dragon corpses not "clean[ing] up properly." I don't really know what the latter means, but after slaying my first dragon the corpse re-spawned in front of me while I was walking miles away from its resting place. That's just silly though and as long as the dragon that won't attack me decides I'm worth his time to incinerate (or freeze to death which is dumb because I'm a nord) after the patch I'm all set. To our fellow gamers who lost progress on the PS3, our hearts go out to you. Not literally, though. That would prove inconvenient.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Modern Warfare 3 Review


So, I did manage some time before Skyrim's release, and little ( I mean.. a little) afterwards to get some serious downtime with MW3. Honestly, here is the thought process you should go through if you are debating getting MW3.

Did you like MW? Did you like MW2? Rent it, at the very least. Do you play online, ideally with your friends? Did you enjoy playing online with your friends in MW and MW2? Buy it. You and your friends will probably have fun.

There. review done right? Okkkaaayyyyyy

So, really I don't have words for the campaign besides... more of the same. The story is fun, and there are definitely some reeeaaalllly intense moments. I love the surrealism of the events throughout the campaign, and it is definitely worth a quick play through if you have been invested into the plot thus far. Objectively, as a game. Bleh. It's boring and repetitive. It's keeps you on your toes by constantly sending enemies at you, no matter how many you kill, which is frustrating when the checkpoint is in a very much...well.... not safe place. blah blah blah, First Person Shooter campaign mode...

Multiplayer is fun. Again, I have little to say. The game stays the course of MW, removing the stupid things in CodBlOps like having to buy your guns/attachments/upgrades. The only real change, aside from obvious performance and graphical upgrades, resides in the killstreak system. The Killstreaks are divided into 3 types. Assault, Support, and Specialist Strike Packages. Assault killstreaks  work just like you remember. The Support killstreaks have a fun little twist. The kill count persist through death. For example, at 4 kills you can use a UAV, even if you die at some point during those kills you are still rewarded the killstreak. Makes you useful, even if you suck (I suck). These kill streaks do less killing, and require more kills to obtain. The Specialist package is way different. Instead of receiving equipment or what have you, you get perks as your kill streak increases. All the streaks and rewards are listed here.  

Very well made game, but more of the same. Very little innovation is introduced, and nothing really stood out to me like the first Modern Warfare did all those years ago.

Also, Skyrim sold 7million copies within it's first week. Modern Warfare 3, sold 12million, making the world record in launch day, and week long sales.

Two Mini Reviews: Uncharted 3 and Battlefield 3

Holy hell we have a lot on our plate this November. Sometimes we just can't keep up with it all. Luckily, we have a backup plan for when such an event occurs. It's called "half-assing". It's when we write a smaller, more compact review for a game that probably deserves a full-length one. I've delayed these long enough to let's get to gettin'


I used to be addicted to the older Battlefield games. When 1942 came out I spent unknown hours missing people with a sniper rifle. A couple of expansions later Battlefield 2 came out and my computer couldn't play it very well. It told me I needed better everything almost, and better internet too (I lived in the middle of nowhere at the time). So I said, "Okay..." And then I paused for a moment.

I was done with upgrading my system. Most of my games were on consoles anyway so I decided to leave PC gaming behind. And for a long time, it really didn't bother me. Well, with all the hype surrounding Battlefield 3, and with its existence on consoles, I decided to pick it up for the 360. Goddamn, was that ever a mistake. When it asked me to download the graphics all I could do was scoff. "This fucker is on two discs and you can't include the graphics?" I had enough room, and and an Elite model so I could actually do it, unlike those poor saps with a Slim, and it's a decent time. And, of course, I'm referring to the mutiplayer. The campaign is a practice in absolute boredom and frustration. You die almost instantly and your "allies" will straight up push you out of cover. I hated it. But, as I said, the mutliplayer was fun.            

Except for this fucking flashlight. It's so bad they're going to patch it.
 Not long after this purchase, a friend came over and told me my laptop would absolutely play Battlefield on the highest settings. So I took a chance and picked up a copy. I couldn't get enough. It was better-looking, there was teamwork, and, most importantly, there were 64 player games. It was beautifully controlled chaos and, until Skyrim came out, it was all I wanted to do. In fact, it solidified my decision to not buy Modern Warfare 3.  The experience was much deeper, and the upgrades felt a lot more important. Unlike picking one class and sticking with it, I needed to practice with everything, because different situations called for different responses. It was the experience I had been waiting for for some time.

Just don't fly this if you don't know how, dammit!
As I said before, though, the campaign is boring. I got excited when they gave me a jet, and then I realized that I would be sitting in the back merely shooting at people. Then we turned our sights to forces on the ground and I couldn't even shoot at them. I was just telling other planes where to bomb. I almost fell asleep. Sure, there are impressive set pieces, but all you do is watch them. If you absolutely need a single-player campaign, look elsewhere.

Way more boring than it might seem


I was a little worried about this one. After Uncharted 2, I was incredibly concerned about Naughty Dog's ability to top it. And that's not a slight against Naughty Dog either. It's just that Uncharted 2 was so action packed, so well-paced, so full of character development, and just so... perfect, that I didn't know how it could be topped. And, as it turns out, I had every right to think about it. Uncharted 3 is, in some ways, a step down from 2.

Don't get me wrong. Uncharted 3 is still amazing. The action is still there. The sense of adventure and discovery is still in tact. It just doesn't have the same impact.

It is pretty, though.
 The issue lies with several problems. For one, it never matches the same level of excitement as Uncharted 2. True, there are a couple of great moments, but I wasn't constantly on edge like I was in 2. In 2, I felt like anything could happen at any time. I was regularly taken by surprise. This wasn't completely absent in 3,  but I was easily able to suspect what would happen next. Yes, the plane chapter is breathtaking. I won't deny that. But that moment has been advertised regularly for a while. I've known about it for months and it's the most exciting moment of the game. I'm serious. I never felt like that scene was topped. Yes, the game had other great moments, but I never held my breath more than when I was slowly making my way back into the cargo hold, or what happens after.

Seriously. How could you top this?
I won't lie and say the game isn't cinematic. In true Uncharted form, it absolutely is. But nowadays I feel like I'm playing along with a script. No matter how well I do, I'll still fall into this trap, or I'll still get hit by this car.  This isn't necessarily a terrible thing. It's a very well written script. I just can't shake the feeling that I'm being dragged down a specific path, which I am. Even in a vast desert environment, I'm encouraged to go a set way.

Then there's how much damage the enemies take. One of the biggest problems with Uncharted 1 was how much damage the mercs you were fighting would soak up. A straight shot to the head was never guaranteed  to drop anyone. This was fixed in 2, but it seems to be back. No, it's not as bad, but it's still ridiculous. When I shoot someone in the head, they should die. Especially when I nail a sniper that has the ability to kill me in one hit. It's just not fair. Sure, a shotgun blast to the face will end most enemies, but getting that close is often dangerous. I'm not complaining that the game is too hard, I'm complaining about it being unfair. When I'm surrounded by several men with rocket launches, snipers, and assault rifles I want my shots to count.

"Don't worry, fellas'! He's only got a gun!"
 Another issue is the hand-to-hand combat. Seeing it done in 2009 was something special. It was fluid and impressive. However, fresh off of Arkham City it looks rather sloppy. I've seen way worse, but a bit of the magic seems gone. The Animation seems more broken up and the moves get really repetitive. I know Nathan isn't Batman, but I expected improvement. I didn't really see much.

I know I'm probably sounding a bit harsh. I just expected more. Don't get me wrong. The game is absolutely worth playing. The script is still amazing, the characters are still well-developed, and the history they delve into concerning Nathan and Sully's past is fantastic. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It just wasn't everything I wanted.

But like I said, it's fucking pretty
 That's all I have to say about that. Stay tuned for reviews of Rayman Origins and Saint's Row the Third! *Spoiler* They're fantastic.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Special Edition 3DS: Another reason you should have waited...

So Ambassador program, pretty cool.
Nintendo: "Hey guys... we know you bought the 3DS on launch... we really appreciate your support and we are totally sorry for screwing you out of nearly $100... so here are some free games..."

Special Edition 3DS' just a few short months later.
Nintendo: "Right, 3DS sales... bad. We need marketing fancies! I got it! Let's release a super awesome system, bundled with the only great game we are currently selling, and release it for $50 cheaper than when it released!"

uh huh... 'cause that isn't gonna piss me off...

Could have been mine...
So, let's back track the months since the 3DS came out... I bought it... played Rayman and Street fighter for about 2 weeks. Then what? I waited for Zelda. Played Zelda. Then What? Got kind of excited about the Ambassador downloads, the most exciting of which I do not have(yet). Then What? Well... Mario...?
What would I have lost if I had just waited till Black Friday when this beauty comes out? A few months of having Zelda. Would fifty extra bucks and an awesome console in exchange for having to wait a few extra months been worth it? Absolutely.

Anyway, for those of you who would like to cash in on this ridiculous deal, head to GameStop on Black Friday, and you could land yourself one of these, or the Flame Red 3DS bundled with Mario 3D Land(durp). Initially these bundles were EU only, but this leaked GameStop ad begs to differ. Nintendo has given no confirmation on the bundles coming to NA, but it's pretty damn likely.
I, personally, am going to go start disapprovingly at my not Zelda emblazoned 3DS with the hopes it will feel so much shame, it will change before my eyes.

Skyrim Review: Now Officially the Best Thing Since Jesus

Good day to those of you who could manage to pull yourselves away from the realm of Skyrim to read this review! I understand that it's difficult; why do you think it took me so long to write this for you? In any case, I do hope you find my review useful, and I promise to try to be fairly objective. But you must remember that this is the writer who has spent the better part of the year repeatedly and publicly proclaiming his excitement for a game he has compared to a certain religious figure. I said I'll try though.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sonic Generations Review

So, it seems we here at TheO&E are following a biased review pattern. To be fair, I was absolutely ready for this game to suck. After all, I have had so many good Sonic games in the last couple years. (durrrrr)

So gorgeous.
So with that being said, it in fact did not suck. I first played the game at Chris' deciding on whether or not I wanted to shell out the $50 for it. As soon as I fired up the first Act I was blown away. The environments look beautiful, and the game, in fundamentals, plays flawlessly. I immediately bought it.

The game follows two main styles of play. Each Stage (and each Challenge Stage) has two acts (duh). Act 1 follows Classic Sonic, the short pot-belly Sonic we love from the Genesis Era. He very much follows the style of the games from which he hails. Side scrolling, ring collecting, baddie smashing, old school beauty. Old Sonic can only charge up speed (spin dash), and of course jump. He finds his charm and uniqueness in the form of Power Ups. Like These.

Decisions, Decisions....

All the old favorites are reused (Speed, Invincibility, even the Bubble and Lightning Shield) of course, and a few new power ups are introduced (the Skateboard, primarily. Pretty fun).

Act 2 plays like the newer games, and follows new lanky Sonic. Sonic, in Act 2, has a running speed boost, and homing attack. The world is much more 3D and only switches to a 2D mode for brief moments during the stage. Much like Adventure and Adventure 2, but... you know... better. Act 2 Sonic doesn't collect power ups like Classic does, primarily because boost and the homing attack are a huge advantage.

Probable Quote: "WHOA! There goes the Neighborhood!"
The one primary change in gameplay is the ability to buy skills. You can go talk to the way annoying Omochao, and purchase skills for both New and Classic Sonic. There are general skills, that apply to both Sonics like stopping faster, or recovering from being hit faster, etc. and there are Sonic specific skills. For example, Classic Sonic can purchase and equip the Lightning Shield (which I chose to do, exclusively for the double jump) which can be activated during a stage until you lose it by getting hit.
New Sonic can equip skills like running faster, or a longer boost meter.

I mentioned earlier Challenge Stages. After you beat 3 Stages, you encounter a boss Stage. Right. Well, the boss stage is locked, and you need three keys to unlock it. The three keys are found in the area surrounding each stage, which is also where the Challenge Gates (entrance to challenge stages) are located. A kind of Banjo Kazooie style of free roaming that really only succeeding in annoying me. The "world" isn't big enough to require any kind of searching, but intricate enough that you can take wrong paths to get someplace, which only proves to be inconvenient. Anyway, you have to beat Challenge Stages to unlock the keys (o.O) and then you can go fight the bosses. I like the Challenge Stages for the most part, but some of the later ones made me really angry.

I will warn you. The phrase "Free Bee" will make you vomit at some point during this game...

It's not really a secret that we hate the new characters. So initially I was afraid I might have to play as them. Well no, you don't have to play as them but you do have to use them. Each new character is freed when a main stage is completed, and in one of the challenge stages for that level, you have to utilize that character. Pretty much all of them were stupid. (Tails' and Knuckles' were not too bad). The stages get progressively harder as the game goes on, and so do the Challenge Stages. I managed to get rank A on each stage, but some of them are really unfair. It's one thing to have difficult stages, but if I had a dollar for every time I thought "It's a trap!" because I unwittingly ran into instant death...  I'd probably have about 3 dollars. The joke got old pretty quick, eventually I just started yelling because I missed rank A by .5 seconds (true story).

Overall it's a good game with an "eh" storyline and shitty dialogue. Thankfully, god oh god thankfully, Classic Sonic never speaks, so he can never be ruined by anus style writing but new Sonic was not spared such an overt display of ignorance to humor, he still says stupid things when speaking to Eggman, like "You and what mustache?!" uuggghhhh......
It's fun. It truly is the culmination of the last 20 years of Sonic The Hedgehog, utilizing old Power Ups, to Color Powers (At least.. I think those were color powers.). The old and new style side by side creates a really fun juxtaposition, and I had a whole lot fun feeling like a child again.

8/10 Golden Rings!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Newsflash: PETA Whines About Battlefield 3

Oh, PETA. Your ridiculousness never ceases to amaze me. For those of you who don't know, and I don't know how you wouldn't, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) tends to get mad about every little thing that involves animals being hurt. Now, normally, I would champion this cause. The ASPCA have been doing this beautifully for years.  The difference between those two organizations is simple: PETA is insane. Seriously, just watch the Penn and Teller Bullshit episode about PETA. It'll tell you everything you need to know. But let us move on to the point of this article.

Now, the reason PETA, specifically the German branch, is miffed this time is a little moment in the Battlefield 3 campaign. While escaping from enemy troops, your character is forced to crawl through an exposed sewer pipe. While doing so, he is attacked by an animal and you are forced to perform a QTE to stab it and toss it aside. After all, if you don't, the enemy finds you and guns you down. So what is this poor creature? A dog? A cat? A goat with a bad attitude who lives on the edge?

A motherfucking rat.

In response to this, the German branch of PETA released a letter, the details of which can be viewed here. Keep in mind that this comes from the same organization that wants to rename fish "Sea Kittens". I'm not fucking kidding. To be honest, I think it's hilarious that  PETA is getting so worked up over a virtual rat. I mean, it's not like real animals should be their focus. You know, the ones that can actually be hurt and matter. It also goes to show that they are as ill-informed as ever on the subject of video games. If anyone remembers, they also got angry over the attack dog perk in Call of Duty: World at War. Why? because they thought the sole point was to send dogs to die. Not attack your enemies. Just die. Now they're using the old argument that video games and other media influence human behavior and cause violent tendencies. While any intelligent person knows this is only true for individuals that are already disturbed, PETA, of course, believes games can and will effect us all negatively. Especially the "young male target audience." I don't know what PETA's definition of a "young male" is, but I would like to remind them that the game is rated "mature". I, of course, am unfamiliar with German laws over the subject, but I do know they are much stricter over there than they are in America. But what do I know? After all, as Nadia Kutscher, the campaign manager for PETA, points out, "scientists" have proven the link between video games and increases in violent behavior. You know, THOSE scientists. The ones who are famous and everyone knows about. It's not like she has to cite any of them, because everyone knows!

Anyway, rant over. I just wonder how an organization as stupid as this one has managed to survive all these years. Anyway, I'll go back to playing Battlefield 3 and the vice president of PETA can go back to using insulin which only exists because it was tested on animals. I mean, even though PETA fights against animal testing it's okay for her to use it because, unlike the rest of us, she uses her life to "protect animals". The hypocrisy of some people knows no bounds.

BioWare teases new project.

From classic favorites, to most anticipated releases, BioWare knows how to treat us right, so so right.. with the sweet tender touch of brilliant video games........mmmm

Oh right, ummm this thing.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Devil May Cry HD Collection Trailer

Devil May Cry is still awesome. Now it's awesome and pretty.

Play DMC 1-3 and remember how good 1 and 3 were, and try to convice yourself that 2 was a good game. At least it looks good(er)!

Blah blah blah commentary. Too much write. I probably will buy this.

Rayman Origins, Demo

So. Much. News.
Rayman Origins, it looks really good. Play it on November 9th. Also, watch this silly video.

Excitement in me abounds.

Rainbow Six: Patriots. 'Target Gameplay' trailer

The announcement of R6 Patriots has been one surrounded by rumor and speculation. Apparently, even after announcing the game themselves, Ubisoft was still concerned about leaks in their ranks. So, instead of letting the leak speak for the game, they decided to take charge, and bring us their vision of R6 themselves.

I'm pretty stroked. It's a very good trailer, and makes for a very exciting concept. The idea is that the True Patriots are attacking Wallstreet, pissed at the richest Americans. The concept is frighteningly appropriate, and makes for a really appealing story. The trailer is obviously not direct gameplay, but it's what the game wants to look like. I have always been a fan of the R6 franchise, and this game looks like a brilliant addition to the lineup. See you in 2013, Patriots.

Mass Effect 3, big time Beta leak.

Due to what I can only assume was a ridiculously massive lack of foresight by BioWare and/or Microsoft, those who were participating in the testing for the Xbox360's new dashboard got a first look at the ME3 Beta. Commence internet leak.

The leak is posted here on NeoGAF, and consists of screenshots and some videos that were immediately taken off youtube.

BioWare made an announcement concerning the leak, making sure fans are very aware that the features and mechanics in the leak are way early in development. What you see in these screenshots is just a taste of the game we will see in March.
Here is what Jesse Houston (ME3 producer) had to say...

"Hello everyone!

As most of you know by now, this evening an accidental leak occurred of some early Mass Effect 3 beta code.  Microsoft has advised us that through human error at their end, content which was meant for internal beta testing was flagged incorrectly and released to individuals who had signed up for the beta of the Xbox Live dashboard update.  It has since been taken down and deactivated.

We’d like to stress that the leaked code is in a rough, unfinished state and was not meant for public release. The content is not final, and is not reflective of the quality of the finished, polished game due for release on March 6, 2012 (March 9 in Europe).

One feature that was present in this early build is a set of game play modes that are in development. In the beta code they are referred to as “action mode”, “story mode” and “RPG mode”. We want to stress that these features are still in the early stages of development and will receive considerable iteration and refinement. These modes are designed to give players an even finer degree of control over their game experience than ever before.  Whether it be someone who finds the combat difficult but wants to experience the amazing story, someone who wants to focus on the action and combat game play, or fans who want the rich, story-driven RPG Mass Effect experience they’ve come to love – Mass Effect 3 will support all of these options.  We’ll have more info in the days ahead!"

As far as I can tell from some minor research, the game modes Houston mentioned will fairly drastically effect your ME3 experience. The "Action Mode" sets up a more combat driven game style, with the dialogue options already chosen, and spoken automatically. The "Story Mode" is seemingly the opposite, giving less combat, and more dialog. "RPG Mode" will be the gaming experience we are all familiar with, I assume. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

What I Like This Week: Nuka Break

My very good friend David Hagan pointed me to this week's bit of awesomeness. It comes from the brilliant folks at Wayside Creations, a small, independent film making outfit from Los Angeles, California. They've created Fallout: Nuka Break, a YouTube series set in the Fallout universe that is, to say the least, freakin' great. Check out the beginning of the series here, and check out the rest of the series at their YouTube channel.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Batman: Arkham City Review

In respect to "journalistic" integrity, I probably shouldn't be the one to write this review. I've already outed myself as a Batman nerd on several occasions, and that might make me a tad biased. In my defense, I did my damnedest to not let my love for the character (no homo) influence my opinion. It is worth noting, though, that fans of the comics or the animated series WILL take more away from this. There's simply so much there for fans to appreciate. But worry not the rest of you. The gameplay is perfection.

The main problem here is that I really don't want to spoil anything. Not even the very beginning. All I will say is that it takes place about a year after the first game and that a whole section of Gotham has been fenced in, to say the least, and every major criminal and thug who was in custody (and a few who just didn't want to leave the area) are stuck in what has been dubbed Arkham City. Throw in a conspiracy or two and it's something Batman just has to get involved in. And he does. But duh

Besides, Strange just has the face of a man who needs a good wailing
 With all of that out of the way I will say this, Arkham City makes Arkham Asylum look like a good warm-up try. The map is bigger, the weapons more diverse, the combat has more choices, and major villains and cameo's are freaking everywhere. They don't even completely Samus you (take all the weapons you earned in the last game away near the start of the game). The only original weapon I think you're missing at the opening is the line launcher. There are a few upgrades you don't start out with either, but, of course, by the end you'll have access to everything from an electronic pulse gun to ice grenades. Throw in an ability to quickly use much of your arsenal during actual combat and you've added a whole new element to beating thugs to a pulp. Too many guys running your way? quick draw your pulse gun and stun a few. Or maybe you want to do a quick flip in between them and lay down some explosive gel that you can detonate almost instantly. Mix is up a little bit. Your enemies will only be too happy to oblige you once you really get good at it. AND THEN there's the new upgrades. There's literally too many to go into detail on. How does using your line launcher as a tightrope sound, though? That's one of many.

Noogie time
 Back on the subject of combat, it works the same way as it did in Arkham Asylum, but it has undergone a bit of fine tuning. I managed to pull off way bigger combos and make my victims seem all the more hopeless. It also feels a tad more visceral, as the enemies' limbs seemingly crack louder when twisted the wrong way. Oh, and then there's the double counter where you... well counter two people at once. Simple enough, but it's such a welcome addition. You can also catch thrown objects in mid-air to get rid of those pesky chairs to the back of the head. And that's just the tip of the iceberg (lounge duuuur). Once you unlock the multiple batarang ground finisher no group of baddies will last long. You know, if you manage to not get hit.The more open map also allows you to approach combat and stealth situations from so many new angles. Sure, there are situations like in Arkham Asylum where a room is solely for stealth or mass combat, but I'm talking about the city proper. The area where, once you master the dive and rise technique, you can soar to your heart's content. See a whole building covered in armed guards? You can approach however you want. Sneak in from below, dive down from the sky with a glide kick or ground pound, pick them off one-by-one by hanging off ledges, the choice is yours.

"I knew you were too chicken to fight me, Batma-HOLY SHIT NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! MY BONES!"

The amazing thing is how much time you can spend in this world. The map isn't huge compared to games like Oblivion or Grand Theft Auto IV, but it's incredibly detailed and immersive. A fan of Batman mythology will recognize so many buildings and locations. Ace Chemicals, the Gotham Police Department (where they even included Commissioner Gordon's old freaking parking spot); I think I even stumbled on Crime Ally. The amount of love and detail put into the game is absolutely mind-boggling. Of course, besides sight-seeing, something has to keep you exploring the world, and that something is side-missions. There aren't a huge amount, but there are enough and some of them will take the whole game (or beyond) to complete. I refuse to spoil any of them, because they usually involve an awesome character cameo. I won't be spoiling anything, however, by saying that the Riddler is back. As with the first game, he has placed trophies everywhere and written plenty of location specific riddles. Then there's also the "destroy all of x" or "perform y in combat." The big difference this time around is that picking up the trophies will take a bit more thinking this time around. You will have to use all of your weapons (and your ingenuity) to claim many of your prizes as they are often locked behind a puzzle mechanism. It's addicting and THERE ARE 400 OBJECTIVES (including trophies, riddles, and whatnot). There are 440 of them if you count Catwoman's trophy challenge. Along with the other sidequests you can spend around 50 hours scouring Gotham and you'll enjoy every damn minute of it. It's amazing how they made such a seemingly tedious activity so addicting.

This man has waaaaay too much time on his hands.
 As I said before, there are plenty of cameos, but the main cast is simply amazing. Mark Hamill provides an amazing performance for his last go as the Joker and Kevin Conroy it just as fantastic as ever. Once again, they have solidified their places as being the best Joker and Batman respectfully. On top of that, the Penguin is portrayed as being downright terrifying. Displaying dead bodies, torturing cops over the PA system; I was kind of caught off guard. My only issue is Two-Face, who seems to have one personality trait: calling Catwoman a bitch. As you probably know by now, there are segments where you do play as Catwoman. To be honest, I wasn't a fan of them. She was characterized fine, and I liked what she was doing, but her abilities are just to lacking in comparison to Batman's. If she had her own game that played the same way her chapters do, then it would be pretty fun. But making us go from Batman, who has way more stealth capabilities, weapons, and can get around much faster, to Catwoman, who has three weapons and mediocre stealth takedowns, ruins the flow. She's just not as fun to control, but her music is playfully appropriate. So there's that. All in all, the chapters aren't long so it's not really a huge deal.

I literally don't have much else to say. There's so much to love and there's so much going on that I don't have the words to encapsulate it all. Too be honest, and with my Batman bias aside, at this moment it is my top contender for game of the year. As cliche as this might sound, this is one game that absolutely must be on your shelf.

10 out of 10

So, are we back?

I don't know what pictures to post...
Hey guys n' gals, I thought I would give you guys a few random updates about the exploits of the OandE.

Grand Theft Auto V Teaser Trailer

Welcome back to San Andreas!
Once again Rockstar puts out a trailer that skyrockets to one of my most anticipated games. They know their audience well...

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