Wednesday, September 29, 2021


While trying to create a multiplayer version of Snake in Unreal Engine 3, Alexander "Demruth" Bruce made a simple coding mistake that inspired him down a completely different direction. Years later, this direction manifested in 2013 as Antichamber, a first-person puzzle game that heavily involved non-Euclidian space and subtly incorporated philosophical ideas. While the game may not have the same amount of attention it once did eight years ago, it’s still an engaging, if very mind-bending, game.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Stubs - Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 and 2

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 (2012) Voices of Peter Weller, Ariel Winter, David Selby, Wade Williams, Michael Emerson Directed by Jay Oliva Screenplay by Bob Goodman. Based on The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson. No Producer Credited. Color Run time: 76 minutes. USA Animated. Superhero

Batman seems to be DC’s most bankable superhero, as they don’t shy away from exploiting him whenever they can. While the live-action versions of the story seem to be in perpetual reboots, the  animated features seem to exist in a different world. Oftentimes relying on comic book source material, they seem to be truer to the original vision and the stories they tell have the potential to go places the live-action films have not or at least have not dared to go.

One of the writers that the animated films seem to rely on most is Frank Miller, who has written several volumes that have found their way into direct-to-video production. His Year One was the basis for animated treatment and is in the same continuity as Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, which was originally a four-issue comic book miniseries published in 1986 under the titles: The Dark Knight Returns, The Dark Knight Triumphant, Hunt the Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Falls.

In a somewhat unorthodox adaptation, those four issues were turned into two movies, Part One released on September 25, 2012, and Part Two on January 29, 2013.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Deltarune Chapter 2

Note: This review contains spoilers for Deltarune Chapter 1.

After another three-year gap from the successful release of Deltarune Chapter 1, Toby Fox announced a surprise release of Deltarune Chapter 2 during an Undertale anniversary stream, which naturally caught fans off-guard. A countdown took over the official website and when it finished, the site revealed that Toby Fox had not only released it for free due to the state of the world during the COVID-19 pandemic, but that the upcoming Chapters 3-5 would be completed as a paid release sometime in the future. At the same time, Deltarune Chapter 2 was released alongside Chapter 1 on Steam and as a collective demo that would let you continue from whatever save data the player had from the original release of Chapter 1.

Since I had completed Chapter 1 when it originally came out, I watched the last portion of the countdown with great anticipation and downloaded the Steam release as quickly as possible. Though I wasn’t in a position to play the game all the way through in one go like before, I still dodged spoilers throughout my entire playthrough to better recapture the magic of completing Chapter 1 blindly. Based on how it turned out, it looks like Toby Fox has not only listened to feedback, but has opened up a lot more of the potential for Deltarune as a whole.

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Straight Outta Nowhere: Scooby-Doo! Meets Courage the Cowardly Dog

One Cartoon Network series I have distinct memories of watching growing up, and have seen reruns for on Boomerang, is Courage the Cowardly Dog (Courage), about a dog named Courage who must stand up to his fears as he protects his owners Eustace and Muriel Bagge from supernatural or otherwise evil happenings in the middle of Nowhere, Kansas. Since ending its run in 2002, not much has been done with the property aside from the 2014 The Fog of Courage special (which I was not aware of), so I was thrown off-guard by the announcement that the latest in the line of direct-to-video Scooby-Doo films would be a full-length crossover with Courage, known as Straight Outta Nowhere: Scooby-Doo! Meets Courage the Cowardly Dog (Straight Outta Nowhere). Though there is some precedent for a crossover in the form of old Cartoon Network bumpers, I was a bit on the fence on the idea even after watching a trailer, in part because of Courage creator John R. Dilworth’s lack of involvement and also the last DTV Scooby-Doo feature I watched, Return to Zombie Island, didn’t turn out that great.

What made me decide to give it a watch, however, was the unfortunate passing of Muriel Bagge’s original VA, Thea White, in the time between the release of the trailer and the movie itself, making this the last time she ever got to voice the character. After watching Straight Outta Nowhere through an Amazon Prime Video rental, I was pleasantly surprised by its faithfulness to Courage the Cowardly Dog, though it had maybe a little too much vinegar.

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Second Look - Batman: Arkham Asylum

When I originally reviewed Rocksteady Studios’ Batman: Arkham Asylum ten years ago, I admittedly didn’t put much substance into it, partly due to my lack of experience with reviewing video games. After I did some research on Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time for a review, however, I felt motivated to replay Arkham Asylum with the context that it originated this game’s famous Freeflow combat system. However, it also felt appropriate to replay the game in honor of Batman Month and give it the coverage it really deserved. It helps, of course, that Arkham Asylum has aged surprisingly well and even felt refreshing.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

The Pathless (PS5)

Having played Giant Squid’s first game, Abzû, the announcement of their follow-up game The Pathless instantly grabbed my attention, as they had proven themselves to me that they could retain the spirit of thatgamecompany’s output. As for playing the game, I opted for a physical edition of the PS5 version through iam8bit as a way to get some early mileage out of the system. While I did find it an overall worthy successor to Abzû, it did feel a little repetitive at times.

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Batman: Gotham Knight

Before the DCEU, there was a point where Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Trilogy colored the filmgoing audience's perception of Batman, for better or worse. The success of these films also led to an animated film project, Batman: Gotham Knight, which saw DC collaborate with multiple Japanese animation studios. I had no knowledge of its contents going in, but the idea intrigued me, which led me to stream it through HBO Max (if only because my DVR didn't catch the Toonami broadcast through their DC FanDome tie-in). Though I have mixed feelings on the Christopher Nolan films as a whole, I walked away pleasantly surprised by Gotham Knight.

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

No More Heroes III

Over ten years after No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle (NMH2), Travis Touchdown returns to the spotlight with a proper third installment, No More Heroes III (NMH3). As a fan of Suda51, I was excited enough for the prospect of NMH3 and Suda51 returning to directing games that it acted as a catalyst for buying a Nintendo Switch in the first place. With little knowledge of the game’s contents, I got a physical copy on release day and eagerly returned to the Garden of Madness, wondering just how Suda51 would wrap up Travis’ story for good. Unfortunately, I felt increasingly disappointed as the game went on and felt cheated by the end result, especially at full price.

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Batman Forever

Note: This review contains spoilers for Batman Forever.

Following Tim Burton’s acclaimed Batman (1989) and Batman Returns, Joel Schumacher was given the directorial reins for two follow-up films, Batman Forever and Batman & Robin, the latter of which is particularly infamous among Batman fans and general moviegoers alike. After having seen the other three films in the Burton/Schumacher tetralogy under different circumstances, I thought it only appropriate to complete the experience by watching Batman Forever, via HBO Max, starring Val Kilmer under the cowl and featuring Jim Carrey and Tommy Lee Jones as the Riddler and Two-Face respectively. Considering the two Tim Burton films are highly regarded and the latter Schumacher film popular to pick apart, Batman Forever was surprisingly more lukewarm than I expected.

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Ghost of Tsushima Director's Cut (PS5)

The original release of Ghost of Tsushima came around when the PS5 was close to launch, providing an imperfect, yet fantastic swan song to PS4-exclusive first-party titles. Months after the launch of the PS5, a new edition of Ghost of Tsushima, Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut, was announced for both platforms that brought with it new improvements as well as bonus content based around the region of Iki Island. You could even transfer your PS4 save file to the PS5 version, albeit through a USB drive rather than the cloud.

Since I already owned the physical PS4 copy of the game, I opted for the digital upgrade option to save money rather than buy the physical copy again at full price, however it isn’t cheap; upgrading the PS4 version costs $20, then another $10 to upgrade that to the PS5 version, or you can pay $30 to skip straight to PS5. Though I knew I wanted to play the PS5 version to get a better experience, I still went for the two payments option so I could still have the PS4 option if I wanted, and transferred a save file I had based on the original game’s Good ending. After exploring Iki Island to the fullest, I found the PS5 experience to be worth my time, though I feel unsure if the digital upgrade was worth my money.