Champions’ Ballad here I come!
Update 2: I’m back bitches!
Update: One more skip. This past weekend has been hectic for me and as I started to draw today’s page it just wasn’t looking that great. So I’m extending my break a little. Next page will be up on Friday.
Mike: So, some of you may remember last year when I had a very painful situation with my right hand. Well last week it happened with left hand. I’m past the worst of it but I feel like I should take a week off from drawing. This will in fact be the first hiatus this comic has had since premiering seven years ago. Hopefully next week I can get back to drawing. Thanks for the patients I hope you have.
PS Guardians 2 was fucking awesome.
I just got back from watching Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens. But do not worry this post is spoiler free.
Sixteen years ago the entire world was excited in anticipation for a new Star Wars movie and as we all know when it came out, it sucked balls. Two more films then followed the path of sucking balls. It has been analyzed inside and out by fans, all trying to wonder why it sucked so hard. Many feared the new trilogy would follow suit and I am happy to say that is not the case.
I’ll try not to spend too much time on the prequels, but it’s worth comparing why The Force Awakens is such a huge step up. There were many problems prequel but fundamentally there were three. Direction, CGI, and acting. You can’t quite fault them too much for CGI, it was a new and exciting technology and they did impressive things with it. Unfortunate filmmakers haven’t yet learned how to properly use it, there was a lot of trial and error and in the prequels case, more error. The acting is tied with the directing, so many times Lucas had the chance on every take to do another, but every time he approved it as is. During the original trilogy, Harrison Ford was quoted as saying “you can type this shit, George, but you sure can’t say it.” When I heard this I immediately thought “That makes sense”. There were so many brilliant actors in those films: Liam Neeson, Christoper Lee, Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor(perfect casting), and Samuel L. mother fuckin’ Jackson! So why is it they all give such wooden performance devoid of personality? It’s because Lucas had too much unchecked power. In the original trilogy he had to collaborate with others which helped push the material to greatness. In the prequels he did only what he wanted, not what the audience deserved.
Luckily for all of us J.J. Abrams has a great eye for special effects and acting. Episode 7 is exactly what a modern Star Wars movie should be. The use of new filming techniques, modern special effects, and acting. The ascetics of the film was perfect, unlike the prequels it actually looked like a Star Wars film. You can tell a lot of care went into the design and creating an extension to this established universe. The acting is tremendous I was afraid I may not like the new characters, that I would just want to see the original cast but man these actors did a great job. Each one had a personality, they were funny, entertaining, and showed a great range of emotions. This is probably the biggest step up from the prequels and what this franchise desperately needed the most.
The Lightsaber battles, my god the Lightsaber battle. In the prequels they were all flash and no substance. Just an overly choreograph dance with an absence of emotion and peril. Force Awakens has the best sword fighting in the series. Emotionally charged, with life and death hanging in the balance, and real. As real as a sword fight with lasers can be. This is what a modern Star Wars looks like.
The story is great, at times a little too familiar, but that’s not entirely a bad thing. There were a few twists I wasn’t happy about, but really that’s a nitpick because it was so tremendously well told. And when the film ended I had one thought. I can’t wait for Episode 8.
Star Wars is back and it’s better than ever.
So I have 100% Arkham Knight, though I have yet to do New Game Plus mode. I really enjoyed it, the Batmobile was fun as hell. But now that I’m finished I found a big problem with the game, the challenges. Now in previous games I loved the challenges, they were a great way to extend game play by giving us more difficult an unique obstacles and actually helps you learn what you’re capable of in the game. But here the challenges are dominated by the batmobile, which frankly I felt like I had enough of in the game, silent/loud predators and combats challenges felt nonexistent. I was finished with them in no time.
Now here is my gripe, in Arkham City you had four characters to choose for any challenge instantly quadrupling the amount of game play you get. Plus the unique traits of each character keeps the game fresh and interesting. In Arkham Knight, there are 8 playable character (Batman, Robin, Nightwing, Catwoman, Azrael, Red Hood, Harley Quin, and soon Batgirl). However all of the challenges are Batman only, aside from one Azrael combat challenge (The same one we played in his side mission) and one, I repeat, ONLY one dual combat challenge with Nightwing (Also the same one we played in his side mission). That’s right, to have dual play with both Catwoman and Robin you’d have to play through the game again. In the main story dual play felt like a tacted on feature, while cool it only gives you an unsatisfying taste of the other characters. I was expecting that there would be a number of challenges that would allow my to play as each individual character as well as dual play with Batman. I was even hoping to be able to choose any combination of characters, imagine how amazing that would be, it could extent replay value by so much.
The Last and most incredibly disappointing things were the Harley Quinn and Red Hood DLCs. While the game play was really fun like Arkham City’s character DLC, the “story” was insanely short. It takes about 10 minutes to finish each DLC and as I mentioned before, you can’t play these characters in ANY challenge map. Making those 10 minutes the only game play you get with them. I got these DLCs free with a pre-order, but honestly I still feel ripped off and if these cost more than $2, they wouldn’t even be worth the money. After the great job Arkham City did with this, it’s just huge let down to what is otherwise a great game.
While I’m at it, why are they so reluctant to let us free roam with a different character? Within a week a PC mod was available to play as ANY playable character in free roam, which looks fun as hell. I don’t have a gaming PC so I can’t take advantage of that, but it would make these “story” DLCs so much more fun and involved. We would even need the Batmobile, during the main game you just rush through Gotham City and don’t get a encourage to explore it like we did in Arkham City. Using other character can give us that encouragement. Rocksteady is said to have a bunch more DLCs planned, I really hope they address these problems because it’s the only thing keeping Arkham Knight from being the perfect game.
Update: I have played the Batgirl DLC and it is awesome, exactly the type of DLC I was expecting from the Red Hood and Harley Quin DLC. Still it’s annoying as hell that I can’t play any of the challenge maps with her.