Saturday, 19 March 2011

Batman: Arkham Asylum Leaderboards

With all the news of Batman: Arkham City that we've recieved this past week, I thought that I'd take a break from work and pop in Arkham Asylum. Rather than start a new story I went straight into the challenge rooms. After beating my previous personal bests on a few rooms, I went on to Rumble in the Jungle.
I've broken into the top 1000 (this is quite an acheivement considering that the rankings go up to 75,000). I would have had 5000 points more if only I was a little quicker on the counter in the last round; I let one hit in, kissing my Perfect Knight bonus goodbye.

I now have 7 challenge rooms ranked below 10,000 and 3 of them are below 1,000.
This is the only one that I have below 500:

Further Update:
My PS3 has me ranked at #1 for Shock and Awe Extreme, despite the fact that I only have 37,000ish points and the (surely must be hacked) highest score is 50,000,000+. Is this just my system playing up or has there been a glitch? PS3 users, let me know below.
Silent Knight Predator map

Choose you own adventure comics?

An example of a licensed
'Choose you own adventure'
Just a quick one:
I was reading the Live Feed from yesterday's Dark Horse: Video Games and Comics talk at C2E2 and one line from Dave Marshall (Darkhorse Editor) really jumped out at me:

The technology isn't quite there for everything we want to do. We would like to do branching narratives like BioWare does in a comic but we aren't quite there yet.

For anyone who hasn't played on Knights of the Old Republic or Jade Empire (for shame!), then a branching narrative is just what it sounds like - a narrative that branches off in different directions depending on decisions that the player makes. In the case of text, this reminded me of the old 'Choose your own adventure...' books that I used to read as a kid. Along with these you would sometimes get a dice throw to turn to a certain page and sometimes you would have to make a choice about which page to turn to (To kill the troll turn to p120; to trick him turn to p70).
The difference here would be within a digital comic format, you tap a choice on screen and it take you to the next page (you can't turn back if you don't like it). I would definitely like to see some branching narrative comic books - especially from Dark Horse, who hold the Star Wars license.

Get on it Dark Horse!
I guess it wasn't that quick.
Source: Newsarama

Friday, 18 March 2011

Wonder Woman costume from TV show

Umm. I don't like it. It looks cheap.
I shall set a challenge: Who can find a Wonder Woman costume that looks better?

Source: DC The Source

David Cage on Quantic Dream's Heavy Rain follow up

David Cage seems like my kind of games designer. Story is important, try something new and make a game for intelligent adults seem to be his mottos and I hope he sticks to them.
He spoke to PlayStation blog after the BAFTA videogame awards this week. Here is a snippet of what he had to say, follow the link at the bottom for the full article.

For our next project we’re going to build on what we have discovered with Heavy Rain. We own this genre of Interactive Drama and we want to show that Heavy Rain was not a coincidence; it is something that makes sense and we can build on it.

At the same time, we will not make a sequel and I made that very clear from the beginning, regardless of whether the game was a success or a failure, because I wanted to show that this is a new genre that you can use to tell any kind of story, in any style.

We’re going to be exploring a different direction, which will still be very dark and still for adults, but completely different to Heavy Rain. Our challenge is to satisfy our fans, and also surprise them.
Source: PlayStation

Flash v5(?) draws to an end

Since Wally West's The Flash series ended following Infinite Crisis, the DC Comics have been messing the title around a bit. Bart Allen held the title before his 'death' in issue 12. The series was then rebooted again with Wally as Flash, picking up the numbering from where it left off. Then that ended to make way for Flash Rebirth. Now Barry Allen's Flash title is ending and I have to ask why? Why can't DC sustain a Flash title? It's not due to a lack of stories, it's not because people don't like the characters, so why mess around?

Anyway, hopefully it will just pick back up once Flashpoint is over.
Here is the announcement:
DC Comics announced this morning that The Flash will end with May ‘s Issue 12, a result of its upcoming Flashpoint crossover. Curiously, a 13th issue is solicited for June.

Debuting in April 2010 on the heels of The Flash: Rebirth, the relaunched title teamed writer Geoff Johns with artist Francis Manapul, re-established Barry Allen as the Fastest Man Alive and built toward Flashpoint. So perhaps it was inevitable that the series would end as DC’s big Flash-centric event gears up.

The solicitation text gives little clue as to what to expect from the finale — other than it’s probably not good for Barry: “‘The Road to Flashpoint’ concludes as everything Barry Allen knows and cares about is lost. What is the Flashpoint? Find out in the upcoming Flashpoint #1!”

The Flash #12 arrives in stores on May 11, the same day as Flashpoint #1.

Expect more details to emerge this weekend from Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo.
Source: CBR

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Snyder on Superman

The LA Times Herocomplex have interviewed Zak Snyder and he has confirmed that the Superman reboot will be a reboot and not a love letter to Richard Donner (I'm looking at you Singer). I mean really, why try to copy it? You aren't going to do it as well, so do something different with it. Hopefully Snyder will listen to what Chris Nolan tells him and we'll come out with a decent long as we don't get every fight shot in slow motion, we should be okay.
When Bryan Singer took moviegoers to Metropolis in the 2006 film ”Superman Returns,” he paid careful homage to the hero’s cinematic past. Don’t expect that approach from Zack Snyder, who on Wednesday shared his guiding principle: ”Respect the canon but don’t be a slave to the movies.”

Snyder’s version of the Man of Steel is scheduled to reach theaters in December 2012 with Henry Cavill in the title role and director said that this will be the first modern Superman feature that will truly break from Richard Donner’s landmark 1978 film, which shared its star,  Christopher Reeve, with three sequels and then also deeply informed Singer’s 2006 film, which put Brandon Routh in the iconic blue tights but tapped into both style and story elements from the work of Donner and Reeve.

“Literally, the one thing that everyone can start to think about is that we’re making a movie that finally goes with the approach that there’s been no other Superman movies,” Snyder said. “If you look at  ‘Batman Begins,’ there’s that structure, there’s the canon that we know about and respect but on other hand there’s this approach that pre-supposes that there haven’t been any other movies.  In every aspect of design and of story, the whole thing is very much from that perspective of respect the canon but don’t be a slave to the movies.”

I mentioned to Snyder that in hindsight the Singer film might have been boxed in by the past and too tentative — the movie seemed at times like a cautious curator trying to move around among fragile museum pieces. “Yeah, and we’re not afraid of that at all,” Snyder said. “Our Superman, he’s got things to figure out but he’s a physical cat.”

Snyder’s next film, “Sucker Punch,” which he co-wrote with Steve Shibuya, opens in theaters on March 25. The filmmaker is in intense preparations now for the Superman revival (it will likely be titled “Man of Steel” but that decision isn’t final yet), which will begin shooting soon with a script by David S. Goyer. The cast will include also include Diane Lane as Martha Kent. [A previous version of the post listed Kevin Costner as a cast member, but his involvment with the project has only been rumored.]

Henry Cavill will be Superman (Warner Bros.)

On further casting Snyder would say only: “There’s more to come and I think it’s consistent in its … awesomeness.”

I told Snyder I was interested to see how he and his wife and producing partner, Debbie Snyder, would collaborate with the producer team of Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas – another married couple who have put themselves at the center of the Warner Bros. present and future when it comes to blockbuster ventures. Nolan, of course, directed the two most recent Batman films, which many people consider the pinnacle of superhero cinema, while Thomas has been the producer of every Nolan film, including last year’s “Inception,” which was nominated for the best picture Oscar.

“It’s been really great,” Snyder said of the collaboration so far. “Chris is awesome. He’s super-respectful but super-helpful, too. You can’t imagine a more generous [collaborator]…once he sort of got what I want to do with it, he was like, ‘OK,’ and once he said, ‘You know what, that’s awesome,’ now he’s 100%. If I say, ‘What do you think of this?’ he’s like, ‘That’s awesome,’ and then there’s a great give-and-take about it, a great conversation that we can have about it and making it better everyday. And by the way he’s hilarious, too.”

Snyder said he can’t contain his excitement when he considers the paradox of Superman at this point in time — as the first signature superhero, the character has an unrivaled legacy and appeal but as far as live-action film goes, the Donner version and Singer’s spin-off define Superman for contemporary moviegoers (although Kirk Alyn and George Reeves also flew across the silver screen in the 1940s and 1950s).

“Superman is the one constant in the universe,” Snyder said. “You know that if you do Superman right — or at least if you do him with respect — you know you end up with something great…. [but] in some ways [beyond] that is virgin territory. No one knows what that is. In some ways Superman is the most recognizable superhero on the planet but also the most unknown. Just what he can be? People have preconceived ideas about him but probably all of them are wrong.”

I asked if Snyder had anything he could share about the costume that Cavill will wear.  ”I can’t say — although I appreciate the question. I’d love to talk about it. We’re going to have to show it before we shoot, probably a while before that because [otherwise] someone will be on the set and get a picture of it.”

Snyder sounded a bit weary and that’s no surprise considering the impending release of “Sucker Punch” and the world-class pressure of getting Superman off the ground for Warner Bros. I asked if he ever looks at the size of the task and gets intimidated by the sheer scale of it. “It is epic. But you just start with page 1, shot 1 and the next thing you know, you’re in it. And then you can’t go back. It’s the journey of 1,000 steps, as they say.”

Source: LATimes

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Red Robin strikes out

Newsarama seem to have a jones for Tim Drake at the moment. Here is a great interview with Red Robin writer Fabian Nicieza interspersed with the preview for Red Robin #21.

Newsarama: Fabian, now that Batman Inc. has been established and fans are beginning to understand the role of each of the Batman characters, how would you describe Red Robin's mission?

Fabian Nicieza: Red Robin's mission remains, what I would call, "synergistically independent" of Batman Inc. The goals of the characters in both books are similar and can overlap, but Tim had already begun doing — on his own level — the same things Bruce intends to do. I think we pretty clearly established the parameters for the characters in Red Robin #17. Bruce apprehends criminals on a worldwide basis using a network of operatives, Red Robin investigates international crime on a more covert, comprehensive level while his Neon Knights social organization tries to keep young people away from a life of crime before they begin.

Nrama: We're coming out of the Teen Titans crossover, and next month, the series will be part of another crossover, this time with Gotham City Sirens and Batman. Is this a case of you loving to collaborate with other writers? Or is there an effort in the Bat-office to make sure these characters are interacting with others in the DCU?

Nicieza: I think it's a combination of lots of things, including those you mention. The Titans crossover happened because both J.T. Krul, and I wanted to see Tim involved with the Titans characters again. The "Judgment on Gotham" story came about because David wanted to flow things he'd been doing in Azrael into a larger Gotham-based story, so it made sense, based on the approach to the story, that Tim could serve an interesting role in the proceedings.
Sometimes it comes from writers, sometimes from editors, sometimes from larger publishing initiatives.

Nrama: The Teen Titans crossover brought together Tim with Cassie and Conner, which was a great reunion for readers. But how do you think Tim has changed since the days when he first formed those friendships? What's the nature of the friendships now?

Nicieza: I think he's changed a bit in that he's gone through a lot of hard times and come out of it with a healthier perspective on the fragile nature of life and death for metahumans and humans, along with a slightly darker Machiavellian though-process about how crime can be prevented by understanding the patterns of behavior criminals take and then knowing how to control those patterns.
But how it affects Tim in Titans is honestly more J.T.'s province than mine!

Nrama: In March, you'll be finishing up the story of the Unternet and the Mad Men. What was the theme you were exploring with this story, and how does it play into what's coming up?

Nicieza: Blah blah blah the writer is going to talk about oh-so-important themes in his superhero comics. If I have to tell it to you then I didn't do a good enough job writing the story!
I will say, a lot of what I try to do with Tim is about him learning now so that he can become a world-class borderline dictatorial control freak when he's an adult. "The Rabbit Hole" storyline shows Tim learning that he can't control all aspects of free-form information flow and that even when he can. it's not always a good thing.

Nrama: What's the story behind Red Robin #22? And how does it speak to the core of Tim's character?

Nicieza: Oh, even though it's part of the larger "Judgment on Gotham" storyline, it's a great "self-contained" issue that I think shows Tim at his best, facing countless obstacles and managing to figure out how to overcome all of them, until the final obstacle he can't overcome to win the day is the stumbling block called: the truth.

Nrama: That all gears up the series for the "7 Days of Death" story in May. What type of story can we expect, and what will Tim be facing?

Nicieza: Red Robin goes on an international chase to figure out the depths of a worldwide Assassination Tournament, which is a lot deeper than Tim first thought, combined with being the object of that tournament when he becomes a target for assassination. Lots of twists and turns, some unexpected guest stars, an unexpected death and issue #24 contains the single best cliffhanger I've ever written.

Nrama: What's coming up for Red Robin this summer?

Nicieza: Well, I don't want to get too far ahead of myself, but in issue #26, I hope we'll finally have the confrontation between Red Robin and Captain Boomerang that I've been foreshadowing for a while, but it won't be like any confrontation you could expect.

Nrama: What does Marcus To bring to the Red Robin comic? How does he add to the tone we see each month?

Nicieza: He brings the sexy. Seriously, I mean, month in and month out, he keeps getting better. His storytelling has always been a tremendous strength for him, but now he is also improving his anatomy, figure drawing, facial drawing, shading, everything. Check out the details in #21 this week, the facial drawings, the background details, the panel compositions — all technical stuff that a writer really appreciates.
I've been so lucky writing Tim in that I've gotten to work with Freddie Williams II when we did Robin together — and having him draw issue #22 was a blast and a half — and now Marcus. Great guys who produce consistently strong monthly work, and believe me, that's not to be taken for granted in our industry!
Source: Newsarama

Batman: Arkham City - Rocksteady Interview Video

An interview with Dax Ginn (of RockSteady Studios) taken at PaxEast, but held back due to it's references to the new gameplay trailer.

Everything that Dax Ginn and Sefton Hill say makes me think that the future of Batman in video games is safe as houses.

Words can't express how much I'm looking forward to this game; my wife and daughter might not see me for the last 10 days of October...

Source: Batman: Arkham City - Rocksteady Interview Video - PS3 - IGN

Simon Pegg and Nick Frost as C-3PO and R2D2

Pretty funny. This is possibly the best video they have made for a while.

Source: CollegeHumour

Arkham City Gameplay Trailer!!

The frankly fantastic looking Arkham City finally has some gameplay footage to go with it.

Check out the original video from IGN, or just watch the embedded video below:

Monday, 14 March 2011

DC Comics in June

As usual Newsarama have delivered the solicitations for the three-month-away DCU. Highlights include all of the Green Lantern titles, Flashpoint, Arkham City mini, Red Robin, Gates of Gotham, Birds of Prey and Batgirl (guest starring Squire!)

Source: Newsarama


With my current work load being increased to breaking point, I'm having trouble keeping on top of news and posting. After a solid first two months I don't want to let the blog slip too much.
If anyone is interested in helping out with news posting, then contact me at