All that is wrong with the world…

September 23, 2011

Thoughts on Batman in the New 52

Filed under: Entertainment — Tags: , , , — allthatiswrong @ 5:13 am

Batman has been largely unchanged by the New 52 reboot although not completely untouched. There have been some changes which I have to wonder about the thinking behind them, because they just seem strange. Firstly would be the streamlining of the Robin’s. Batman #1 shows Damien as the current Robin with Dick and Tim as past Robins. Which would be absolutely fine except they all appear to be under 20. Dick seems a good foot shorter than Batman and 18 at most, which seem odd considering he had grown into Nightwing and looks far from 18 in Nightwing #1. Likewise Tim looks maybe 15 which would suit for him being a Teen Titan, although I would have though closer to 17. It isn’t that bad….but certainly seems odd to me.

Batman and Robin introduced the development that Batman is going to stop mourning his parent’s death and start celebrating their Wedding Anniversary. The Death of Batman’s parents is his motivation for who he is….it seems odd that he would be “over it” after 10 years of being Batman. This is the most troubled, full of turmoil, internal suffering character in the DCU and one of the most interesting. This new optimistic attitude is not becoming of the character and seems like a change to make the character more appealing to new readers. Aye. Another odd observation is that Batman, who always is always several steps ahead allowed very low level thugs to steal the Batmobile. Allowed implies it was planned, but it appeared to be something Batman did not anticipate. I also thought in odd in Detective Comics #1 that he said to Gordon “I’ve always been in Gotham. I am Gotham. I mean…it’s Gordon, not some thug you’re trying to intimidate. You can drop the theatrics somewhat.

What about the costume? I think it’s excellent. Some people stated Batman has more armor now but he doesn’t seem to have anymore than he did before, i.e. limited to mainly cowl,globes and boots. The actual costume is still, I assume, a Kevlar weave or some such thing and Catwoman #1 shows it is still more like cloth than armor, allowing Batman to maintain his acrobatic skills.

The only villain that seems to be changed is The Riddler, sporting a shaved head Mohawk and question marks on his scalp. I don’t like this. I thought it was far more interesting having Eddie attempting to be taking seriously as a SuperVillian and being shunned by the community, dealing with him feeling pathetic. If they were going to change a villain I wish they would have had Killer Croc be human size and explore him having to hang on to his humanity, as opposed to just being an animalistic hulk. Which is boring.

Perhaps the strangest change is that Gordon is now ginger. I wonder how Flashpoint resulted in that. So far it is interesting, with Detective Comics being spectacular. I will definitely keep reading for the moment.

September 2, 2011

Thoughts on the New 52

Filed under: Entertainment — Tags: , , , , , , — allthatiswrong @ 9:26 am

I wasn’t too sure what to make of the new reboot. DC has had reboots before, but this seemed different with each issue starting at issue 1 again. It was also interesting that certain story arcs would be considered canon, while the rest would be discarded. I had avoided reading the flashpoint event leading up to it…as it just seemed boring. Thomas Wayne as Batman going around killing people….Wonder Woman at war with Aquaman over Europe….such drastic changes yet the same characters. I find such alternate realities lazy. If the timeline changed, especially if it were only from the death of one woman who was not overly significant…well it is unlikely this would affect the timeline as much as it did. I don’t see how it would affect the Kents finding Kal-El, or Thomas Wayne managing to fight of his attacker, or any of the other changes that occurred.

Especially having Thomas Wayne as Batman seemed one of the most stupid changes. Bruce had the motivation and drive to fight crime and a direct influence causing him to take up the mantle of the bat. That Thomas Wayne would also take up the mantle of the bat…it’s just stupid. Maybe if some explanation was given like….there needs to be a Batman in the timeline because it is expected or something…but no such explanation was given that I’m aware of. So, I only read the last Flashpoint as it was meant to branch into the New 52. What we see is Flash talking to Bruce in the Batcave with a very touching moment….but seemingly nothing is different.

Which is where Justice League #1 comes in showing that indeed things have changed. Everything is familiar, yet different. The first thing to note is the art was amazing. I’ve always liked Jim Lee’s Batman…drawing him without stupidly oversized ears and getting the costume to be a good balance between protection and just spandex. Its pretty much how I imagine Batman should be.

I do wonder if this Batman is slightly more tech augmented than other versions. The police refer to a group leaping 20 feet at a time, but it is unclear if the group is Batman and the foe he is chasing, or the foe being part of a larger group of foes. I really hope that Batman isn’t leaping 20 feet at a time…Batman shouldn’t be reliant on technology, something the Nolan movies have failed to realize.

There was a lot of exposition and while it was transparent, it was still entertaining. It worked well in this new world and first encounter and I am interested to see how things will turn out. I liked Batman calling the GCPD idiots…some people criticized this, but what kind of police force fires first upon someone who is only running? Idiots.

The main mystery at the moment is the timeline. Just what is in this new continuity? Apparently a lot of key storylines such as Knightfall, The Killing Joke and Death in the Family are still canon. Apparently Nightwing is in this new continuity. So, that means there have been at least 2 Robins. Yet, Justice League #1 opens 5 years ago, with Batman still being an urban myth and not being known by the other heroes, even still being hunted by the GCPD. So…how has he had 2 Robins already?

Some of the other changes seemed dumb. I don’t get why they killed Superman’s mom. Now he is too similar to Batman….his mother played an important role in keeping him grounded. I don’t really get why they would remove that. I also hope that Superman has gone back to just having an average intelligence, without any new fangled Kryptonian super genius bullshit. I think it’s odd Wonder Woman is still fighting crime in short shorts…especially after reading something where DC wanted to stop sexualizing their female heroes. Oh well.

Plotwise….I thought it odd the Guardians would not be familiar with Darkseid, although hopefully this will be explained. The excuse for going to Metropolis seemed weak..”they say he’s an alien”…really? Wouldn’t Green Lanterns alien GPS have picked up Superman for sure…or was he considered authorized?

I’m not sure why this new universe came about and why after Flashpoint things didn’t just refer to the normal universe. It isn’t clear what caused the changes in this new continuity. I get that the timelines merged…but the new continuity has elements that were not in any of the timelines. Still, I’m going to keep reading for a while, or at least until all the changes are explained and they actually start having adventures.

August 7, 2011

Thoughts on Bane and Catwoman pictures from TDKR

Within the last week we have finally seen pictures of Bane and Catwoman in action while the movie was filming in Pittsburgh. They have been both underwhelming and disappointing to say the least. First we saw some pictures of Bane fighting Batman where we get to gauge his size in comparison. Tom Hardy is a whole head shorter than Batman…Venom or not, how is this going to be the guy to break the bat? It was surprising enough that Lazarus pits are apparently going to be in the next movie, but Bane as well? At this stage Bane seems to be working with the police, so I get the feeling Bane is going to be closer to Max Cort from the Prey storyline then..well….Bane. Unless they are using trickery to make Bane look bigger than batman, or unless there is Venom and his growth is exaggerated, I don’t see how Bane is going to be anything similar to the Bane from Knightfall. Which begs the question; if you’re not going to use the Bane from Knightfall why use him at all?

What about the pictures of Catwoman? There seems little doubt that Catwoman will be in this movie giver she is wearing a leather catsuit, riding a batpod and has high-tech goggles. The problem here is….she doesn’t look like Catwoman at all. No ears, not even really a mask. Will she even have a whip? Anne Hathaway was never a great choice for Catwoman…and these new pictures don’t inspire confidence. Heath Ledger was such an unexpected casting yet when we saw the first pictures of him as the Joker everybody started to see that it could work. The same thing isn’t happening with Catwoman where the pictures are simply underwhelming. I really hope that the posters for TDKR have her in more of a traditional costume, or I wonder once again why use the character in the first place?

May 21, 2011

Recent thoughts on The Dark Knight Rises

The first news that was released in early April is that TDKR is going to be shooting in Pittsburgh, which will replace Chicago as the setting for Gotham City. It seems like an odd choice to change it for the final film and given how successful the franchise in I would not think budget was a limitation. I have not been to Pittsburgh not known much about it, but I assume it must have something special that will fit the fell of the third movie better than the streets of Chicago or New York City.

Later on in April the roles that Marion Cotillard and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are playing were announced the characters of Miranda Tate and John Blake respectively. These characters are not from the comics so they could be brand new characters as was the case with Rachel Dawes, very minor parts or as many people are speculating, pseudonyms for more well known characters. I don’t really see Joseph Gordon-Levitt being given a small role given how much Christopher Nolan likes him, yet I can’t imagine what role from the comics he might play starting off as a cop.

As for Marion Cotillard playing Miranda Tate, a Wayne Enterprises board member, it certainly sounds like a minor part. Many people have been speculating or perhaps wishing that she will be playing Talia Al Ghul, something I really hope is not true. I would have thought there was not much to support that. Josh Pence was cast as a young Ra’s Al Ghul but Nolan seemed unlikely to bring characters back to life, so I assumed it was probably for a flashback. I can’t really see Nolan wanting to Introduce Talia into the final film as she won’t get the screentime she deserves, although considering what he did to Two-Face I wouldn’t be surprised.

The most interesting news which also makes the possibility of Talia appearing in TDKR far more likely was the first set photo of TDKR filming in India, which appears to show Lazarus pits. They could just be random pits or pools….but the coincidence is too much to ignore. It is the biggest surprise so far given that Nolan is trying to go such a realistic take on the Batman mythos. As I wrote in my last article I think Nolan could handle the Lazarus pits in a realistic way, just as he handled quantum suicide in The Prestige. Lazarus Pits in TDKR may indicate Young Ra’s Al Ghul will have a larger role not resigned to a flashback, and would certainly allow for the introduction of Talia. It’s interesting and such a shock, that I really can’t guess where this movie is going.

Most recently we got the first picture of Tom Hardy as Bane . A welcome surprise is that he is actually wearing a mask. It isn’t a Luchador mask which isn’t surprising since Nolan stripped the character of all Hispanic traits, but for him to be wearing a mask is an indication the interpretation of the character may still be somewhat faithful. As for how Tom Hardy looks as Bane physically? I like how broad he has gotten in the shoulders, but would have preferred he have larger biceps. I don’t expect the hulk from the comics, but something closer to Schwarzenegger in his prime.

I’m really looking forward to see where this movie goes. I have a lot of problems with how Nolan has treated the characters so far, not least turning Bruce Wayne into a soldier, eliminating his skills and intelligence. Still, to see a faithful interpretation of Bane and Catwoman and lazarus pits on screen is going to be a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to it more than any other movie right now.

April 12, 2011

Thoughts on DC vs Marvel

Filed under: Entertainment — Tags: , , , — allthatiswrong @ 7:17 pm

DC vs Marvel is an interesting issue for those who care enough, as people tend to have fairly strong opinions on it. For me, the issue is simple. DC represents quality while Marvel represents quantity. DC has a few key characters, all iconic and complex. All have been interpreted and reinterpreted in a myriad of ways, because doing so allows interesting things to be explored. Take for example Batman, where we had the campy 60’s version, the 90’s TAS, the appalling Burton series and the current Nolan series. Has anything similar even been attempted with a Marvel character, or is it even really possible? To be fair, Frank Miller managed this with Daredevil, but by adding a lot to what was a poorly defined character in the first place.

By contrast Marvel seems to bank on having a huge collection of characters interacting with each other in interesting ways. These characters always seem to simply be catalyst for the plot, without ever being interesting characters in themselves. If I read a story about Batman, it can be riveting if he is in his home for more than half of the story. I can’t see that working with many Marvel characters. To be fair, Marvel does have a few interesting characters, Wolverine (whose gain in popularity was also due to Miller), Silver Surfer, Hulk and sometimes Punisher. It’s not often however that these characters are really explored or have interesting story arcs. Indeed whenever I try to get involved I can’t help but feel they have just been stagnating, not having progressed much in the last few years.

One thing I have noticed anecdotally is that many marvel fans are really X-Men fans. They identified with the X-Men during childhood, feeling different or picked on for whatever reason. The thing with the X-Men is that it is so glaringly obvious that I can’t see what people get out of it. Oh look, a group of mutants (people who are somehow different) ostracized by society. I too am different and feel picked on, so I identify! Yeesh. DC comics may not have such superficial metaphors, but I’ll take carefully developed complex characters over that any day of the week. The other thing with Marvel characters is that they all seem to be fundamentally good or bad people. The heroes always end up doing the right thing more often than not, while the villains either try to do the right thing or go back to their villainous way. I mean, can it get any more obvious than a Brotherhood of Evil Mutants?

This is a trivial post, but I would be interested if Marvel fans could defend their brand and maybe point me to some interesting counter examples. I still have yet to read Civil War which I hope will explore some interesting issues, although I can’t help but think it’s not going to get across the same message as Kingdom Come did in only four issues, which it does appear to be trying for. Still, if anyone can recommend me some interesting complex characters or story arcs, or just refute my assumptions/observations, it would be much appreciated.

Update 1 – September 19th 2011

Another thing that always irked me about Marvel was the amount of Characters who happened to be a result of radiation. I guess this is a result of many characters being created in the 50’s and 60’s….but still. Marvel has Spider-man, Hulk, the Fantastic Four, DareDevil, Phoenix and probably others I can’t remember right now. Radiation doesn’t seem to be the origin for DC characters nearly as often…instead we have humans with various personal motivations or scientists who discover something new they can use or aliens. Not simply coming up with a new power and using radiation as the explanation for it. It just seems lazy to do so.

March 20, 2011

More preliminary thoughts on The Dark Knight Rises

So since my last article a few more bits of information have appeared. First we have Aaron Eckhart again denying that Harvey Dent may appear in TDKR although with quite an odd laugh People have taken this to mean he may appear in a flashback sequence or something, which would be interesting, but it seems like a weak excuse to bring back the character. Part of what makes Two-Face interesting is how quickly garnered a large criminal empire after his disfigurement. Killing of the character denies him the chance to do that. Additionally Harvey and Bruce/Batman never had the strong friendship they did in the comics, so it doesn’t seem like it would serve much of a purpose to have Batman hallucinate him, unless it is to deal with his guilt for killing him and actually face that fact.

Then earlier today Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s role was announced as Alberto Falcone. This is the most interesting news to date, second only to the casting of Bane. Alberto was a key character in The Long Halloween and it seems now that more elements of that story will make their way into TDKR. The only issue I have is where Bane fit’s in. Bane really deserves his own story, and trying to shoehorn him into an adaptation of The Long Halloween just won’t do the character justice. I can’t help but wonder how the story will go….I can’t see Alberto or Catwoman being the main villain of the films as with Ra’s or Joker, which leaves Bane. Which leaves the opportunity for the core elements of Knightfall to be adapted. Or, perhaps the will do something more interesting and have Batman actually do some detecting and solve mysteries, ala the holiday killer.

The last bit of interesting news was that Juno Temple is being eyed for a part as a “street smart Gotham girl”. It would be interesting if this turns out to be Holly Robinson, Selina Kyle’s friend from Year One. It would perhaps imply they may be going with the prostitute origin story, or at the least mixing elements of Year One with The Long Halloween. This has to be the most confusing Batman film to date. With the odd mix of characters and being familiar with Nolan’s take on the character, it’s very difficult to speculate what direction TDKR will take. It’s certainly interesting to follow and see where it ends up however.

February 27, 2011

Preliminary thoughts on The Dark Knight Rises

There have been a lot of interesting rumors about the next Batman movie, the poorly named The Dark Knight Rises in the last few weeks. For a long time both the Riddler and/or the Penguin have been fan favorites to be included which of cause all changed once Tom Hardy was announced to be playing Bane and Anne Hathaway to be playing Selina Kyle. For those not up to speed with the comics, Selina Kyle is also known as Catwoman. I have quite a few thoughts on what these castings and rumors may mean for the next Batman movie, so without further ado….

Bane

The most interesting thing to me is that we will be getting Bane as a villain. Bane is a very interesting casting choice and was a villain I would hope would appear in Nolan’s movies for quite a while. He is someone who is just as intelligent as Bruce Wayne although is a hell of a lot bigger, yet without the training. Growing up in prison being punished for his father’s crimes and turning into the hardest of the hard. He is used to ruling by fear and understands that this is how Batman controls Gotham and decides to take his place. He is an interesting character because it examines what Bruce Wayne may have become had things turned out differently…or how far innate capabilities extend.

To date, there has not been even a semi-accurate portrayal of bane outside of the comics. Batman and Robin had a juiced up roid raging slave in a gimp mask and the overrated Batman: Arkham Asylum and DCUO had an interpretation that wasn’t too far from that. The Batman and The Brave and the Bold animated series interpretations made the same mistakes as the live action interpretations ignoring everything that makes the character unique and interesting. Batman: TAS probably had the most accurate portrayal so far, although even this interpretation had the intelligence and cunning significantly toned down to the point it was a different character.

It’s a shame because Bane is one of the most interesting villains and someone I thought would fit into the realistic take on Batman perfectly. In his introduction he is shown studying Batman for months, screwing with his personal life to push batman to his emotional limit. Then releasing the inmates of Arkham to push him to his mental and physical limit. When Bane breaks the Bat it is not because he is stronger or a better fighter, it was because he studied and Batman and worked out what made him tick and then exploited that completely. No villain had managed to break Batman before perhaps save Joseph Blackfire and even then it wasn’t to the same extent. I think Bane as a direct adaptation from Knightfall would work well in the Nolan universe, not least because the appearance of Batman would cause some people to become obsessive and want to challenge him. Bane also has the distinction of being one of the completely sane villains in the Batman universe which makes him all the more fascinating.

The question is, what will Nolan do with Bane as a character? To date he hasn’t been respectful to a lot of characters either reducing them to pseudonyms or killing them off before they can actually develop. Bane was always a Hispanic villain which obviously won’t be the case with Tom Hardy being cast to portray him. The fact that Bane was raised in Latin America shaped a lot of the character so it is a shame to see that being lost. They won’t likely have the Venom or life in prison aspect in this new interpretation although perhaps they can keep some of the core characteristics by rewriting the character to have grown up in gangs or something.

Tom Hardy is only aiming to be around 196lbs which is just 4 more pounds than Bale was in Batman Begins. I haven’t seen Bronson yet but looking at this picture that has been making the rounds, Hardy can certainly beef up into an imposing figure. Given this it seems unlikely that Bane will be dwarfing Batman in size I hope that he will try and manipulate Batman into a weaker state mentally to then defeat him physically. Nolan likes Hardy as an actor so I don’t see the character being trivialized. At the same time it is probably too much to ask for the some elements of the Knightfall story arc. Though I do think that would play well…Batman being broken and having to overcome everything….The Dark Knight broken only to rise more powerful than before. As long as they treat the character with respect and have him as the challenge to Batman that he is, I’ll be fairly happy.

What about Venom? Venom was a very interesting concept in the comics and something that caused Bane to be that much more formidable physically. Batman is at the peak of physical perfection as is Bane, so with the addition of Venom Bane was able to surpass the natural limits of what a human can achieve and be able to outmatch Batman. Venom was also explored in the Batman: Venom story arc where after blaming himself for being unable to save a little girl from drowning due to not being strong enough to move a boulder, looks for solutions to enhance his strength. Both Batman and Bane ultimately rejected Venom as the mental numbing and addiction were not considered worth the increase in strength. I don’t think Venom would be too much of a stretch in Nolan’s universe. We already have drugs such as PCP in the real world that can enhance a person’s strength, so as long as the instant hulking up aspect was removed I don’t see why there would be a problem.

It also makes sense given that we know Hardy and Bale are going to be very very close in physical size. Given that Batman has the advantage of an armored suit that also grants additional strength, Bane would need to have some way of matching or surpassing that. Without Venom what could he possibly use? While I would love to see Venom in the nolanverse I would not be so upset if it doesn’t make an appearance. There are other solutions for Bane breaking Batman, such as Batman being physically injured for some reason and Bane taking advantage of that. I don’t think it is so important how Bane beats Batman physically so much as how he breaks him mentally, which is the entire reason he was able to beat him in the first place. It will be interesting to see what rumors develop regarding this.

Selina Kyle

The casting of Selina Kyle is the other interesting recently confirmed news, although I don’t find it terribly surprising. I always thought it likely that Catwoman would be in the next movie because she is one of the safer choices, fits nicely into the realistic take on batman as well as being a romantic or sexual interest for Bruce Wayne. It is important to note that the casting notice makes no mention of ‘Catwoman’ but only Selina Kyle, her alter ego. This could be similar to the casting notice for The Dark Knight which only mentioned Harvey Dent and not Two-Face at all. Of course the result of that is that we only got Two-Face for twenty minutes of screen time during which he was never referred to as such. I wrote above about my fear of Nolan diminishing Bane as a character and given how he has treated characters so far it is a well founded fear. It would be an interesting movie to just have Selina Kyle as a love interest for Bruce Wayne exploring her link to the Falcone family, which could be interfering with Batman’s work. Even so, to leave out the Catwoman aspect of the character except in the last few minutes would be a wasted opportunity.

I do wonder which interpretation of Selina Kyle/Catwoman will will get in TDKR. Will the origin of the character be completely rewritten as Nolan has done a few times? Or will it be mostly true to one of the comic interpretations? Nolan so far has borrowed a lot from Year One and The Long Halloween although I can’t see him using those comics as inspiration for Catwoman. Probably Selinas’s origin as a prostitute will be omitted as will hopefully the ridiculous costume with whiskers. What I would like to see is a Catwoman costume similar to the current incarnation as well as the cat burglar aspect. There are many possibilities here….they could go the Falcone daughter route and not have her be Catwoman at all…, or come from a poor background and thus cat burgling…or perhaps something more mundane, another vigilante working outside the law with different methods that Batman can’t criticize without examining himself.

What was far more interesting than it being reveled that Selina Kyle would be in the film was the casting of Anne Hathaway to play Selina Kyle. Hathaway is the last person many would have expected as Catwoman is known for being confident while sexually alluring…not something the star of the Princess Diaries is known for. The few films I have seen her in I haven’t though much of with her simply being an OK actor, although I am having a lot of trouble picturing her in the Catwoman role. It’s easier to imagine her just as Selina Kyle without the Catwoman aspect, a woman investigating her personal connection to the Falcone family, although that isn’t nearly as interesting.

If the movie does decide to have Selina Kyle play Catwoman then it will be interesting to see what Hathaway does with the role. She doesn’t seem to have the graceful agility and athleticism that Catwoman has although who knows what she will be capable of? Nolan has demonstrated he can get great performances out of actors that wouldn’t otherwise be expected, so we will have to see. People have made the point that Hathaway’s casting is comparable to Ledgers, although I think this is the case at all. Ledgers casting was so very unexpected that people honestly unable to imagine what his portrayal would be like. Hathaway is a popular mainstream choice at the moment and the curiosity that came with Ledgers casting doesn’t exist with Hathaway.

It’s possible that she may surprise us all and I hope so. Catwoman is a well known iconic character and to really shine in this movie as Catwoman she will need to be allowed to make it her own, unlike any other interpretation just as Ledger did with the Joker. If that isn’t the case then Catwoman’s appearance in the movie is likely going to be forgettable. The more I think about it I think they are going to omit Catwoman and just have Selina Kyle as a love interest for Bruce Wayne while she explores her links to the crime underworld. I’m also interested to see how Nolan handles Catwoman. Nolan so far has been terrible at handling women and creating good male/female chemistry. He tends to favor a majority male cast with women characters being quite in the background. It would be a mistake to do that with Selina Kyle which I’m sure he realizes, but can he pull off having Hathaway be sexy and alluring to fuel the intense chemistry that exists between Catwoman and Batman as in the comics? Only time will tell.

Hugo Strange, Talia al Ghul, Robin

For the longest time it was <a href="http://www.slashfilm.com/the-dark-knight-rises-story-revealed-prey-dr-hugo-strange/"rumored that Hugo Strange was going to be the main villain with a script based on the Prey storyline. This would have been an interesting choice and would make sense as the storyline includes Batman being hunted by the Police and the introduction of Catwoman as an antagonist. Given that Hugo Strange has not yet been cast it seems unlikely that they will be going this route. I much prefer Bane as a primary villain hopefully influenced by the Knightfall story arc, which is now at least a possibility with his casting.

Hugo Strange would have been an interesting villain, a brilliant mind able to pick apart Batman and deduce his identity although unable to match him physically, so manipulating others to satisfy that shortcoming. In fact had they gone with the Prey storyline it would have been possible that Bane would fill in the part of the Night Scourge…although I hope this is not the case as whenever Bane is used as a tool by someone else it diminishes the character.

Then recently there have been rumors of Talia appearing with the casting of Marion Cotillard. This is interesting to speculate on although I think it is quite unlikely. The introduction of Talia would seem out of place in Nolan’s universe as the League of Assassins was never properly expanded in Batman Begins. Would Talia now be in control of the league? Without Ra’s that just doesn’t seem as interesting. I suppose Talia could show up holding Batman accountable for the death of her father….but that would have to be a main plotline and with Bane and Catwoman in the mix it doesn’t seem likely. What I would really like to see are the Lazarus pits and for Ra’s to return. For Ra’s al Ghul to just be killed of trivializes the character (as with Two-Face) especially when the character is defined by his immortality. Nolan has demonstrated his ability to make sci-fi fairly realistic as shown in The Prestige and I do believe he is capable of introducing something like the Lazarus pits in a realistic way. The return of Ra’s could also tie in nicely with the Bane storyline as Bane was the only person other than Batman considered worthy enough to be Ra’s successor. I really hope they won’t have Bane simply show up representing the League without Ra’s playing any part.

The Robin rumors don’t even deserve attention. Nolan has said that Robin won’t appear due to Batman being too young in his films. I don’t think that has really changed much, although it would be interesting. The only issue I have with robin too appear is that he would need to be stretched over two films. Adopted in the first film as a child and then training and being Robin in the next. Having a child swinging around a huge metropolis and fighting criminals pushes suspension of disbelief a little too far. Robin would have to be at least 15 or so as per the Batman: TAS portrayal to believably take on adult men with guns.

Final Thoughts

I guess the main question is what will be the general storyline of The Dark Knight Rises? There are quite a few storylines involving Bane and Catwoman, many of which could be adapted without much change, and others yet that would not suffer terribly from minor changes. Nolan’s treatment of Batman characters is interesting. He often uses stellar origin comics for inspiration such as Year One and The Killing Joke but at the same time doesn’t respect the characters such as having Batman kill people or reducing Two-Face to the point that he did. Given this trend it seems probably elements of Knightfall may appear in TDKR but that the interpretation of Bane may not be true to the comics. It’s impossible to speculate with any degree of accuracy at the moment, there are a few key moments that I would to see on film. Obviously Bane actually breaking Batman’s back would be amazing to see although I don’t consider that too likely. What I would like to see and what I think would work well is Batman training himself again and getting his confidence back….such as having the confidence to jump from skyscrapers. Of course Nolan’s Batman doesn’t tend to swing between buildings but something similar would be nice to see.

I would hope we get to see perhaps part of Bane’s origin with the life in prison showing his character and just why he is a challenge to Batman. Then perhaps have Catwoman at the same time breaking the law in a morally gray way that makes it difficult for Batman to simply class her as a criminal. Perhaps have Bane causing mayhem to try and cement his standing and then have Catwoman and Batman unite to stop him, after which Gotham thanks Batman after realizing what a great hero he is. In which case the title would refer to Batman rising after being broken by Bane and also rising by being appreciated rather than scorned by Gotham. There is so much potential for the final Nolan Batman movie to be amazing, I just hope it isn’t at the expense of diminishing characters as he has done in both previous movies.

A lot of mention has also been made of the amount of villains in the next movie, although at present only Bane is a confirmed villain. It is unknown if Selina Kyle will play a villain, anti-hero or just a romantic interest. Even if the film ads in some gangsters and such I don’t think it will be too many. Batman Begins had 5 villains while The Dark Knight had about 7. The key was that many of them were minor roles that served the story without being the focus, and Nolan has shown that he can pull this off brilliantly. The only thing I would worry about is that Talia al Ghul, Selina Kyle and Bane are all too important to be reduced to subplots to serve a greater story. The crime families of Gotham or Scarecrow in TDK being reduced are fine, as they have been expanded enough to serve the story. I don’t see how it would be possible to adequately introduce the characters on screen if they only have a short amount of screen time and are being used to further another characters story arc.

I don’t know if there will be a psychology angle in TDKR, but I think it would be interesting. Assuming there is still a police taskforce whose objective is to capture Batman, a psychologist input could be interesting and serve the story well. It wouldn’t have to be Hugo Strange, but I don’t think I would have a problem if it was and we didn’t get a Hugo Strange story arc. Once the character is introduced he can be further developed in further films, or just a hint at his obsession would be sufficient. What I would hope to see is an exploration of the idea that the appearance of Batman inspired the appearance of other psychotic villains in Gotham. So far this has not been the case save for the Joker, as Scarecrow and Ra’s were in action before Batman appeared. It would be interesting if in the next film the appearance of various villains were implied to be a direct consequence of Batman and how he would react and deal with that.

While there are a lot of problems with Nolan’s Batman films in the sense of staying true to the characters, they have all been excellent films in their own right and I look forward to seeing how he will end his story of Batman. I just hope he isn’t stupid and selfish enough to having Batman end his career which would both be untrue to the character and lock out the possibility of future movies. At this point only time will tell, but here’s hoping for the best.

NOTE: The left part of the Catwoman image was taken from http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/rorschachsrants/news/?a=28446

Update 1 – March 1st 2011
So much of my speculation has become irrelevant since the next day Anne Hathaway revealed she will in fact play Catwoman. Meh.

January 11, 2011

Thoughts on the DC Universe Online Beta

Filed under: Entertainment — Tags: , , , , , — allthatiswrong @ 9:41 pm

After arriving in Toronto on the 11th of December after a 4 day train journey, I was happy to find out that I had been selected as a beta tester for DCU. I had been interested in this game since seeing the amazing opening cinematic, but upon seeing the price set at $60 for the game and $15 per month, I realized it was sadly out of my nomadic budget. So it was a very nice surprised that I was able to play it for almost a month for free. This game has been in development for almost two years and now as of the 11th of January has finally been released.

DCUO is the first MMORPG I have played, so some of my criticisms of the game are quite possibly things that apply to MMORPG’s in general and so should not be detract from the game itself. I should also note that some of my criticisms are based on the game being different from what I imagined it would be, so these too should not be taken as negative points against the game. I managed to play one character up to level 20 over the course of a month, so I think I got a pretty good feel for the game.

The opening cinematic is truly amazing and I would gladly watch an entire film of that quality, as would many people going by comments on the Youtube video. The video sets up the premise of the game, in which Lex Luthor travels back in time to release Exobytes, something akin to nanites which grant the ordinary populace superpowers to help prevent Brainiac’s invasion of the earth. The premise is simple enough and serves as a good justification for why there can be any number of super-powered humans running around.

The world of DCUO seems to be mostly based on the various animated series, which I think is somewhat of a shame. I like watching those series and they have a special place in my heart, but I have always preferred the more realistic takes on the characters and this is the direction the movies have taken of late. I would hope to see a few some gritty missions and hope it isn’t all in the spirit of the cartoons. On the other hand it would make sense if it were as there will probably be a lot of kids playing the game.

One of the more cartoonish things is Brainiac’s motivation for invading the earth is an attempt to digitize everyone and everything, essentially a similar idea to what the laser does to Flynn in Tron. Why not just have Braniac destroy stuff after understanding it, as that would make more sense. The digitizing concept has never really made sense. Although I do wonder why the buildings are just encased in Brainiac’s force fields and are never seen slowly disappearing or something similar.

It’s an interesting story but I wonder how long it can be stretched out for. Will the invasion be going on for years? Will any excuse be given for why it is impossible to defeat Brainiac, or will it just be overlooked? Or will Brainiac be defeated and other storylines emerge based on a superpowered population? I do wonder where expansion packs will take the game. Green Lantern is expected to be in the first expansion, which raises the possibility of other cities and perhaps planets? The animated sequences after completing missions deserve a mention, because they are stunning. Beautiful artwork with excellent voice acting. They are somewhat like a motion comic, but a whole lot slicker.

So, about the game. I had thought the game would be more complex than it is and more similar to other RPG games where you have a karma system. In the game the character you make can only be a Hero or a Villain and it is this choice which solely determines the missions you receive. A karma system would make the game a lot more interesting, introducing shades of gray and reputation. I don’t think it would be that much extra work to incorporate such a system and would help to justify the price and ensure longevity.

The character creation is interesting. There is quite a lot to choose from in skills and personality wise (although I have heard it is actually subpar for these types of games) ensuring you should be able to create a sufficiently unique character. The costume aspect was quite annoying, as I did not end up choosing a costume when creating my initial character and was unable to change it later in game, aside from buying various items of clothing. To change my face or size or skin color or anything like that was impossible however.

I also somewhat wished there was a first person mode. For some of the modes of movement or attack methods it would not be too practical, but for players who want to use guns or something it would be a nice option. Besides flying in a first person perspective while raining fire from your eyes would just be cool.

The interface is not perfect and often feels like priority was given to the console versions, with the PC version being a secondary consideration. An example of this is targeting enemies can be cumbersome. You switch enemies with the tab key, but enemies are nor switched in a logical order and it can take longer than it should to target who you want, long enough that you can die when you shouldn’t have. While the targeting system would be perfect for console, for PC they should have used something closer to the Max Payne system.

The HUD is mostly clear enough, although some things were not obvious to me. I originally thought there was no way to see what your level progress until I noticed it was a thin bar at the very bottom of the screen. This is probably the stuff that will be in a tutorial or manual that comes with the game however. I would have preferred if we had the ability to scroll through the powers or abilities though, as at the moment they are bound to number keys, so it isn’t exactly fluid to use and switch between them.

As it stands the movement system works quite well for getting around the map and attacking, although there are some strange design decisions that are apparent. The most noticeable is that flight, superspeed and acrobatics are all basically equal for getting around the map. This doesn’t make sense to me really, as someone who has superspeed as their method of movement should have an advantage over someone who relies on acrobatics or flight, but this is not the case. Instead super speed is basically reduced to being a visual effect, when it should be something closer to bullettime. My characters movement style was Acrobatic, and she could keep up with super speed and flying characters without too much trouble.

The other really annoying thing is that you cannot use your movement method while attacking, or even to escape being shot at. As soon as you are attacked you automatically switch to combat mode, which is annoying. What is the use of flight or superspeed if you can’t fly away or use these powers to your advantage? Bullets should not be able to hit someone running at super speed as easily and those who can fly should be able to if away or attack from a distance, but this is not the case. A single bullet can drop someone in flight mode high above to the ground, which is just annoying. I noticed quite early on that it doesn’t matter if you choose flight or not, as I was able to acquire a rocket powered glide power quite early on, which is close enough for many purposes.

The mentor system is quite interesting, which is basically choosing an established DC character to give you missions, which in part defines the villains you face and the city you are based in. It’s done quite well and is quite immersive. The only thing I found strange about it is that the Joker is a mentor for villain characters. The Joker is so insane that it seems out of character for him to be in a mentor role, but it’s a simple thing to overlook. It’s probably a simple thing, but I like that it is possible to have multiple characters. For some reason I thought you would be limited to just one. Having multiple characters allows you to explore all the different aspects of the game.

One of the things I found strange is that you have a communicator device in the game, but this is mainly used to join various PvP matches. To read email, you have to go to a police station and actually use a computer. Games have often had the ability to read email while on the go, long before it was a possibility. Now that it is common in real life, DCUO decides to have us limited to physical computers to read email for some reason. Despite having a communicator.

Apparently Brainiac’s attempt to digitize the world and everything in it works both ways, as it is quite common to receive physical attachments such as an item of clothing or money via email. I do wish that the emails were descriptive, as sometimes I would get an alert from Hawkman or something explaining how to activate an item, but if missed there was no way to know what to do. For example, you get an item via email quite early on that lets you play as Batman in Legends:PVP, but I missed this and it was not at all obvious.

The cities are quite beautifully done although limited to just Gotham and Metropolis at the moment. You really get a sense that an entire city is represented that you can fly through and explore. Although one of the strangest things is that Gotham seems to be in perpetual night while Metropolis is in perpetual day. I get that Gotham and Metropolis are meant to be the gritty and optimistic versions of New York respectively; this doesn’t mean they can never experience a day rotation. It’s a minor thing but I notice it when teleporting from Gotham to Metropolis and back which is instantaneous, yet apparently we go from night to day. The Watchtower headquarters is also very nicely done, being a huge structure that I got lost in more than once, with some very nice visuals of Earth and the iconic heroes in the Hall of Justice. One thing I did notice is that you can destroy much in the Watchtower or police stations without repercussion and it will just respawn. It would be nice if causing havoc like that would attract some kind of attention rather than go ignored.

The chat system in the game is interesting. No one really seemed to be talking that much during the game, but that could just be because it was the beta. I know I tried asking for help a few times and it took ages before I could find a kind soul to answer my questions. One thing I found annoying is that if people are actively chatting it makes it hard to scroll up and read previous messages, as every new messages refreshes to the latest message. It would also be nice if you could chat while knocked out so someone could come and revive you, instead of having to start over from far away.

The profanity filter is quite interesting and flawed, it blocks phrases such as “eight items” because it sees the word tit. Even words as mundane as damn are filtered out. They really need to fix this before the launch, because at the moment it gets in the way of decent communication far too often.

The missions are quite interesting with some basic storylines. Some villain has taken control of somewhere or something and so you have to stop them, because your mentor is too busy. The main thing I found with this is that the missions soon became repetitive, as they all rely on either killing minor enemies, saving people or carrying containers across a map. Again I think having some sort of karma system could have prevented this.

There are quite a few bugs sometimes, but it is hard to say if these exist only in the beta stage. For example one minor mission, to capture 5 Gotham villains needs you to return to your nearest police station. This was constantly what I had to do next, despite going to all of the different police stations in Gotham, I could find no way to end the mission. Finally someone told me I had to go to a poster on the outside of the station, which was not at all obvious.

The fight with Bane’s distributor Diego was also incredibly annoying. This was before I knew it was possible to group with other people, and so I kept trying to take him on my own. All too often my health was not recharging, the orientation would not align properly so attacking was hard…although this would be fixed after respawing two or three times. I actually just gave up on trying to fight him, as getting knocked out and being forced to wait 10 second and start again from scratch is incredibly annoying.

However, I found out by hanging out on the roof, I could just let Nightwing fight the battle while I had a smoke, which was a whole lot simpler. Of course then it became hard to actually find Diego so I could arrest him, without any kind of indicator. The AI seemed to randomly glitch sometimes and not respond, although this could be related to the shitty connection I had at the time. Yes, the game definitely has some bugs. I also thought the dogs on Venom looked nothing like dogs, but I suppose they fit in the world based on the cartoons that the game is going for.

The Green Lanterns mission was interesting, although I wonder what part Green Lanterns now play. On the mission it is revealed that there are a great many Green Lantern recruits, which is strange and not explained. Why would an invasion of earth inspire the guardians of the universe to have hundred of GL recruits? Earth has been invaded before and they have never taken such a drastic measure. Will it be explained, or just have to be accepted as part of the world?

The fact that you can group for missions is amazing. Probably a standard feature of any MMORPG, but after being so frustrated at being unable to finish certain missions, and not wanting to waste hours level grinding up, it was a very nice surprise that I could do this. I did notice that after level 12 or so, it became very easy to level up, with each mission basically resulting in one more level; Although, I had been grouping a lot since this time as well.

The PvP part of the game seems interesting. I was quite frustrated while trying to play it, as the game stated that I had to be level 9 before I could access the PvP arenas. Of course, after I got to level 9 it was still not accessible. After getting to level 10 however it was, so either they changed it or there is an error in their message. I was unable to play straight up PvP as it never worked for me, but Legends PvP was quite fun, being able to play as one of the iconic characters you can unblock. Of course, quite often everyone chooses Batman, so having 8 Batmen fighting each other is an interesting sight.

The game also has an Alert system, which from what I gathered is when a big event in the story of the game is happening and many players can join to do the same mission. Alerts are interesting because you get access to cities or places that are not accessible in normal gameplay. For example the two alerts I played were at Area 51 and on Gorilla Island. One bug I encountered in the Area 51 alert was that I teleported up to a Brainiac ship and then had no way to get back down at all. Luckily, the warp to rally point feature the game has is a godsend and an easy way to bypass such design flaws.

The game was a bit buggy at times, but nothing to major and the bugs were not recurring often. During the first Scarecrow mission one of the barrels disappeared which made it impossible to neutralize. It was frustrating to have to restart the mission. The enemies still shoot you during the animations, something I noticed as I lost a lot of health while the camera zoomed into introduce Eddie or Scarecrow. It is particularly annoying to have to wait 10 seconds to respawn after being knocked out, especially if you are low on health and get knocked out frequently. I don’t know if this is normal for MMORPG games, but I found it quite frustrating until I started grouping on missions. The little stretching animation after you respawn doesn’t help.

When the game was finishing on the 5th of January, there was an interesting end of the world invent, where the developers took on iconic characters Superman, Batman, Joker and Lex Luthor and were fighting the entire population of the game worlds. This was interesting to see everyone in one palce at once, although given that they were playing at level 60 and sometimes with godmode, it just seemed a fun way for the devs to massacre everyone before the game went live.

One minor thing that deserves mention is the game had no problems when I would regularly alt + tab out of it. This is nice as some games can’t cope with that and seeing as this is the type of game people will be playing for extended periods of time, it is nice that it can.

The game is definitely a lot of fun, and if I could afford it I would definitely pay for it. Unfortunately at this point in time with my traveling hobo budget, I cannot justify it. I am interested to see where the game goes storywise and if they can keep it fresh. After a monthly of playing I already felt it was getting somewhat stale and repetitive, so it will be interesting to see if many people just play it once for a few months, of if it gains many longterm players. I also have to wonder if this is DC’s main answer to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I already voiced my disappointment at DC’s apparent short sightedness at deliberately keeping their films in separate universes and it seems they may be concentrating on this instead. Given that games make more money than movies these days, maybe it’s not such a bad idea.

In any event, the game is an awful lot of fun, and I do recommend trying it out especially if there is any sort of free trial. I would like to thank Sony for letting me beta test it for a month as well. I will be paying attention to this game, as I am very interested to see how it turns out.

Update 1 – Feburary 8th 2011
Added some missing notes on costume creation, the respawn delay and a few bugs as well as two screenshots.

March 12, 2010

Christopher Nolan’s superhero universe(s)

Filed under: Entertainment — Tags: , , , , , — allthatiswrong @ 1:01 am

Recently it was announced that Christopher Nolan and David Goyer, the team behind Batman Begins and The Dark Knight will be in charge of overseeing the next Superman movie. When I first heard this, I thought it was great news. Instead of the loveletter–travesty that was Superman Returns we would get a proper Superman movie true to the comics setting up the DC universe series of films to counter the Marvel universe films that have just gotten off the ground.

Alas, this was not to be. In a recent interview Christopher Nolan shed some light on his plans for the next Superman movie. The most interesting point revealed was that there was no intention to have the Superman movie set in the same universe as his Batman movies. Wow. This seems like a missed opportunity to say the least. Marvel have only just started getting the rights back to their characters for the main purpose of being able to have all their characters in the same universe and in each other’s movies.

Much like in the comics that these movies derive them, the universe is not limited to one character but is complex with all of the characters influencing or affecting each other in some way. Instead, Nolan has stated he thinks it is a better idea to have the movies set in a universe where the respective superhero is the only superhero of that world as it assures the integrity of the story. This seems like such a huge mistake that I’m surprised, and very confused as to how he could have made it.

Many comics are known for having some of the most detailed and complex stories out there while maintaining integrity at every stage. Saying keeping the characters alone in their own universe helps assure the integrity of the story seems like a very poor excuse that is contradicted by the very medium the movies are derived from, and also disregards a lot of what makes comics comics. I’m sure the Superman movie will still be amazing, but if it is actually setup in a way that prevents any crossover with the other DC movies it will be a horribly missed opportunity. I actually wonder if DC would even allow that.

The other interesting point raised in the interview was regarding the third Batman movie in development. When asked where he thought the franchise was heading, Nolan said he was basically hoping to finish the story. This is a bit worrying, because I think it is likely that in Nolan’s mind he views Batman in a very specific way. Batman was created to give hope back to the people and inspire them, and now that that has been accomplished there is no reason for Batman to continue. I think it is a strong possibility that the third movie will be completing one final task so order is restored and Batman can cease to exist.

Sigh. This is simply the wrong approach to take, hands down. A Batman story over 3 movies where Batman can cease to exist in a few years is not a proper Batman story and does not do the character justice. Batman needs to exist because in a city as huge and fucked up as Gotham, law and order is not enough to keep the baddest parts of humanity in check. What’s more, it was because of Batman’s emergence that many sueprvillians arose. As such Batman has a certain responsibility to continue fighting. Everything that defines Batman as a character as well as the world he lives in would prevent him from hanging up the cowl just because the situation was mostly acceptable. On the other hand the Nolan Batman has not been shown to have all the same qualities as his comic book counterpart.

Ultimately I think Nolan’s decisions and views on where to take the Batman franchise and how superhero movies should be handled show a massive lack of foresight and lack of familiarity with comic books in general. I know he did his homework with relevant comics for both the Batman films so far but I think he has a poor grasp of what makes comics unique. Batman is such a complex character that there is no way to finish the characters story in just three films. Instead, by doing so, we have a story about Gotham where the Batman character plays a main part, but the story is not about him. This is just wrong.

I do hope that he does not deliberately do anything that prevents this movies from sharing the same universe (or the Green Lantern universe) even if he does not make it apparent or acknowledge it. I am very grateful for the universe Christopher Nolan has given us, finally a realistic superhero universe with an emphasis on story. Given his view of how superhero movies should be handled I don’t think he is the correct person to continue the franchises. I hope DC would realize how important it is to have a shared cohesive universe and prevent Nolan from doing anything that would jeopardize that.

October 21, 2009

Impressions of Batman: Arkham Asylum

Filed under: Entertainment, Tech — Tags: , , , , , — allthatiswrong @ 1:50 am

I recently completed the long awaited Batman game, Batman: Arkham Asylum. I was not entirely sure what to expect, as while it has achieved stunning reviews all around the board, even making it into the Guinness book of World Records, I was initially put of by some of the press material. Namely, the exaggerated size of Batman, being much bigger than he appeared in comics. I get that a comic book character will be exaggerated, but when they are exaggerated out of proportion, it can break the suspension of disbelief. However, after actually playing the game, this concern was not warranted, with Batman appearing in proportion, and consistent with the way the world and other characters were portrayed.

The portrayal of Bane was my second initial concern, and this concern was warranted. When Bane was introduced in the comics, he was a cunning strategist. The man who broke the bat. He studied Batman from afar, studying him, toying with him, finding out how to, and succeeding in weakening him so as to be able to oppose him. Very much the opposite of the character portrayed in the Batman and Robin film. Unfortunately however, that portrayal, i.e. a submissive artificially over-sized brute with diminished capacity, has become the norm. I don’t understand the appeal of a character like this, as it removes all the interesting and unique aspects, and leaves behind a villain no different to the most bestial portrayal of Killer Croc, or any other over muscled foe.

However, I believe the portrayal of Bane in the game, is consistent with Batman: TAS, and that is what this game is far far closer to. Which was a slight disappointment. I don’t know why exactly, but I much prefer the realistic take on Batman. Having him use technology, and still be limited. Showing what a real Human could do with that much money and determination, and showing their struggle along the way. I guess personally, I find it easier to suspend disbelief, and perhaps identify with the characters. While I get that this is not true for everybody, I find it odd that the game developers chose to use TAS as a base.

The gameplay, and even the world to an extent, seems oddly real, with exaggerated cartoon elements, and cartoonish characters made real. It sounds as though it may no work, but it actually works rather world. Unlike the Nolan films, in which the world is ours exactly, except for the existence of Gotham city, and unlike the world of TAS, where everything is exaggeratedly and surreal, the world the game has created is quite real, with exaggerations in all the right places. It is a world of it’s very own, and it works brilliantly.

Having said that, I can’t help but wonder if it is a missed opportunity of sorts to have made an amazingly real game, with a universe closer to that of the Nolan universe. Having done so would have allowed for a much more realistic and darker story, with much more exploration and depth. As it stands, the story is quite weak, and something out of a two part episode of TAS. Joker gets captured. Joker was planning it all along. Joker steals a modified venom formula. That’s it. The game revolves around beating henchman, and then some titans(souped up henchman), and then a titan Joker. The focus is on detecting and skulking around, so this is OK, I do feel it is a shame an opportunity was wasted however.

If nothing else, I was hoping that the game may have been based on the comic of the same name. That would have been an amazing game. The comic in question is a one off comic, in which everything has gone to hell within the asylum, and Batman volunteers to go in and restore order. Along the way, observing the inmates and reflecting on why he does what he does, and wondering if he deserves to be in with the other inmates. That would have made for one hell of a game, and would have allowed the same styles of characters to be used.

I believe it also affects the length of the game. After successfully completing the game, seeing the last cutscene and all, I was told I had completed only 62% of the game. After about…7 hours. Maybe 10. This is because the remainder of the game is focused on finding hidden Riddler puzzles in the form of quoting question marks, and beating certain challenge mode..challenges. This was not enough to save the game however. The riddler puzzles are all easy, and not terribly hard to find, and the challenge mode becomes repetitive, and there is no motivation to continue when there is no cutscenes or story progression to follow. This was in my opinion, the single biggest flaw with the game.

The one thing that is undeniable is the graphics. The graphics are a thing of beauty. Everything is wonderfully rendered, and the cutscenes are amazing looking. This is the kind of treatment a Batman game deserves. Again though, I would have loved to have seen a deeper storyline rendered with this loving care, rather than a throwaway storyline with simple bossfights. The game was a lot of fun, and is a worth addition to the batman universe.

Looking at other reviews from various blogs, it seems most people consider the game to have been marvelous, in line with the obscenely high reviewes handed down by magazines and online sites. An average score of 9 seems about right, which is honestly just bizarre. Once again, it seem my opinion is contrary to almost everybody.

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