Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate Gameplay: Out For A Scroll In The City Jail…

Amazingly, some really whiny “fans” are griping that this isn’t the same game as the console versions and that’s it looks like a tablet game or whatever. *Yawn*, I say to those folks, most of whom I gather haven’t played some of those old side-scrolling Batman games from back in the day. Blackgate looks good to me, not every Vita (or 3DS) game is going to be blowing the doors off of the last great one and finally, forming judgments without getting one’s grubby to non-grubby paws on the game makes you a typing monkey with an opinion and not liable to be listened to by developers, publishers or anyone else who you’re trying to soapbox out of a purchase. Now, go slip on a banana peel and get comfortable with those cranky comments elsewhere. I’ve got me some bad guys to catch and henchmen to hurt. Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate comes out to-morrow (10/25) on the PlayStation Vita and Nintendo 3DS.

Wise Alec & Wise Alec Junior: “Smart” Can’t Quite Compete With Wise

No, I’m not slapping around the eggheads some too often disrespect out there for knowing so much, folks. We all kind of need those stupidly smart people who know more than we do, as left unchecked, we’d all be quite dead and still trying to sue someone who didn’t fix that badly-made or never repaired bridge that fell on our heads or can of beans that was a wee bit too spoiled when it was put on that rickety shop shelf. Thankfully, Canada still likes us, as Griddly Games’ Wise Alec and Wise Alec Junior will get brains knitting away with their mix of “Oooh, I HAD it!” trivia and random acts of oddball activities you’ll be tasked with completing. Hey, it’s better than camping out in front of the TV sucking in awful cable news for an evening…

What’s cool about both games are you’re getting a ton of fun at home that some schools won’t let kids have these days. Hey, someone might yell a bit too loudly when they get something right or get overly-excited enough after a win that the on-site security will need to pack them up and put them in a broom closet until you drive down to bail them out. Hmmm… I do recall that sort of giddy behavior USED to be called HAVING FUN back in the day (before the age of Ritalin and other kiddie meds)…

Skylanders Swap Force Gameplay (Dramamine Version)…

 

Yeah, I shot that! AND it’s my first YouTube video post. Whee. That said, dear readers… I do hope your chair or couch has a seat belt and you’re not prone to motion sickness, as this footage is shaky central. But the game on the other hand… is amazing. Vicarious Visions takes over from Toys for Bob and brings Skylanders into HD in fine form indeed. The character animation and voice talent are near Insomniac/Naughty Dog levels, the gameplay is enhanced with the new Swap Force characters (and now ALL your old Skylanders can jump in this game, a HUGE plus that opens up the gameplay even more). So far, this is turning into my new favorite future time-sink (Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen is also on that list), so yes, I’ll be keeping an eye peeled and posting less shaky updates in the future.

Er, In case your eyeballs are rolling around inside your head from my camerawork, below is the non-shaky full press conference from the superb One of Swords blog:

 

Atari’s Space Lords: The “Best. Multiplayer. Game. Ever.” You’ve Never Played.

As far as 1992 and parts of 1993 go, other than what games I played in the slowly dwindling arcade scene in New York City’s Penn Station, I don’t recall too many other great things happening in my life. Atari’s now mostly forgotten Space Lords was and is the key game that stands out for me for a few reasons, the primary one being the game was pretty innovative and another great example of the company making strides in “social” gaming long before it became the far bigger thing it is these days. Granted, arcade gaming has always been social (duh), but Atari really nailed it with a game that would do a number of things perfectly that modern gamers take for granted as “innovations” on consoles and PC.

Like 1985’s mega-hit Gauntlet seven years before, Space Lords was a game where anyone could step up to a machine plunk in some change and play with other live players of any skill level. The big differences were the seven years worth of technical improvements that made this an even more thrilling game experience than Gauntlet ever was (in my opinion). Between the dynamic outer space setting, first-person viewpoint, rear gunner co-op play and addition of two multiplayer-centric modes along with the ability for up to eight people to play on linked machines, Atari basically blasted out of the gate with a stellar game that managed to be as good as (or even better than) some later (and more famous) PC games that kicked of the first-person shooter craze that still spits out multimillion selling franchise titles from Halo, Call of Duty, and medal of Honor (among others).

Continue reading