Thursday, May 31, 2012

Shatterblog!: Harley Quinn's Revenge DLC Review

Hey everyone, long time no see. As you've probably guessed, things have been pretty crazy and none of us here at P:BD have really been posting. I'm going to go ahead and break that unfortunate streak with a review.
Most of you have probably checked out the Batman: Arkham City review from way back when it first came out. Yesterday its first piece of story DLC was released. Due to the nature of the DLC, it is impossible to properly review it without spoilers for the main game's story.


Alright, so as you'll recall, the main campaign ended with the evacuation of Arkham City, and more importantly the death of the Joker. Big surprise to everyone, Mrs Co Dependent AKA Harley Quinn isn't getting on so well without her precious Mr J. She's pissed, and her appearance has changed to a more messy gritty mourning look, which I like less that standard Arkham City Harley, but more than Arkham Asylum Nurse Harley. The DLC opens up with Robin searching for Batman, who entered the mostly abandoned city to save some cops Quinn kidnapped. Things didn't go so well for B-Man, as Robin now has to find his ass.

For the majority of the DLC you play as Robin. I did not purchase the Robin or Nightwing challenge maps, so I can't say if Robin plays similarly in those (I would assume so). For the DLC, he is an extremely well designed character. He retains important gadgets and tricks from Batman (grapnel gun, shurikens replacing Batarangs, line gun) but also has some shiny gadgets of his own. The Bullet Shield is a lot of fun, partially because you can abandon stealth and bullet sponge for a few seconds, but more importantly it comes with a charging attack that disorients foes, easily activated by double tapping the RT button mid combat (same as Batman's freeze grenades). The second is a flashbang pellet, which you attack to enemies and detonate for an AoE knockdown.   I spent an embarrassing amount of time sneaking up to henchman and sticking explosives to them, running away. detonating, and giggling maniacally. Also, Robin's quickfire Line Gun doesn't pull the enemy stumbling toward him like it does for Batman. He launches into a line propelled kick right into the enemy. Very cool. Robin's basic hand to hand feels similar to Batman, although his staff gets used in some really well scripted finishers. One double stealth takedown he put the staff between two henchman, horizontally, and pulled it back hard into both's throats, TKOing those henchies for the rest of the fight. I also had a small issue with clipping that ended in Robin slamming his staff into some poor schmuck's crotch. Awesome. One thing I definitely noticed was the difference in sound effect between fist hitting meat and staff hitting meat, a very nice touch.

There are a few short segments as Batman, nothing particularly different from the main story. There was one fun puzzle as the Dark Knight, and a few mediocre ones. Boy Wonder didn't do any meaningful puzzle solving.
Only real complaint is the DLC costs $10 (800 Microsoft Points) but clocks in at about 2 hours if you get stuck on an absurdly difficult fight for a bit. Robin can't just explore the city, you're locked in a very small zone for the entirety of the experience.
Overall, this DLC is a shining example of what good story based DLC can be. Though the time:money ratio isnt the best in the world, Robin gameplay is refreshing and fun, Batman gameplay is more of what we know and love from the primary campaign, and the story is fantastic. I highly recommend this to any fans of Batman: Arkham City. I'll give Harley Quinn's Revenge an 8.5, almost as good as the main campaign but just a little too restricted. If more DLC comes, and improves slightly on this already impressive piece, we may see the first 10 worthy DLC.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Resident Troll: A man after my own heart...

Today while browsing the internet, as I do every day, I stumbled upon a beautiful, beautiful thing.

He starts off with a compliment, and then goes on to completely troll the hell out of an angry mom. Mom's are fun because they're usually technologically unable to do anything. And this guy proves it. Brb we're getting married, even though I'm SURE there are laws against those sorts of things. PEACE.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Weekend Update 16

1) To start off the update, happy Star Wars Day! Cruising around Cloud City never felt so right, ooohhhh~~

2) The Binding of Isaac, my favorite Indie game from 2011, is getting DLC at the end of May known as Wrath of the Lamb, boasting "50% more content!" Since Binding of Isaac is so damn good, I'm expecting nothing less from the DLC. Also, in lesser news, Skyrim's DLC was announced on Morrowind's tenth birthday. It's called Dawnguard, and normally I'd be super hyped, but Xbox360 players get it a month early. They say it's to compensate for the fact that they've traditionally released DLC first on Xbox360, and that they've put so much effort into mod support for PC, so I can kinda understand where they're coming from. But since I've kinda stopped playing Skyrim, more excited about Wrath of the Lamb.

3) Tera launched the other day. I had the beta installed, so I never got around to playing it, and I guess I never will unless it goes Free to Play.

4) The Elder Scrolls Online is Game Informer's June cover story. Looks alright, although a lot of folks are saying it's going to fail as bad as SWTOR failed, and that these two successive financially terrible games will cause another video games crash, but I doubt it. Too many huge MMOs are getting released nowadays, remember when it was only WoW, Everquest 2, and Guild Wars to choose from? Now there's SWTOR, Guild Wars 2 (the obvious superior choice), Elder Scrolls Online, still WoW, Tera, and who knows what other huge MMOs are going to be announced. 
        I think the problem with MMOs nowadays that choose to be pay-to-play is that they gear up to be the new WoW killer. And by MMOs nowadays, I'm talking about the financial blunder of 2011 known as SWTOR. Bioware and EA had hyped it up to truly be the new WoW killer MMO, when it really didn't do anything to WoW at all. People stayed true to their game. There's still 10 million people playing WoW. They just aimed too high, and spent a lot more then they should have. Look at Guild Wars 2. Yes, fully voice acted, but is that one of the points they're selling their game to you with? Did they spend millions  of dollars on their VOICE ACTING?..... for an online game? Guild Wars 2, just from playing the beta, does so many things better than SWTOR for a fraction of the money EA paid. The voice acting isn't shitty, the gameplay isn't stale, the game looks better, it's just.... better. It's like how M. Night spent millions of dollars on the animation for the Avatar: The Last Airbender movie, but it ended up looking shitty, while freelance YouTube filmmakers are doing better animations for thirty bucks plus tip. 
        Excuse my fanboyism.

5) The Sonic the Hedgehog ports for iOS are FUCKING AMAZIIIINGGGGGGGGGGGGG. I go fast on the bus daily. My time for the first area of Sonic CD is at 2:31.21 seconds, and all the games play really smooth and well. Fucking amazing job on the ports, Sega. Jawesome.

Look at that, a shorty.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Shatterblog!: Contest Update

So. None of you entered the contest. Don't you people like free games? It will be extended through May 16. All comments should be made on THIS post, not my previous one. Good luck.