batman arkham origins

It’s scheduled for release in late October this year—‘Batman: Arkham Origins’ (Warner Bros. Games Montreal 2013), the prequel to ‘Batman: Arkham Asylum’ and ‘Batman: Arkham City’ (Rocksteady Studios 2009, 2011). Here are the until now ↑known details, and here is a ↑full history of the ‘long line of Batman games stretching back more than 25 years.’ ROCKSTEADY STUDIOS. 2009. Batman: Arkham Asylum [computer game]. London, Burbank, New York: Eidos Interactive, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, DC Entertainment. ROCKSTEADY STUDIOS. 2011. Batman: Arkham City [computer game]. Burbank, New York: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, DC Entertainment. WARNER BROS. GAMES MONTREAL. 2013. Batman: Arkham … Continue reading

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the painted smile

The fifth of November it is, and indeed we do remember … The next problem was the creation of the main character and the actual setting for the strip. Since ↑Dave [Lloyd] and I both wanted to do something that would be uniquely British rather than emulate the vast amount of American material on the market, the setting was obviously going to be England. Furthermore, since both Dave and myself share a similar brand of political pessimism, the future would be pretty grim, bleak and totalitarian thus giving us a convenient antagonist to play our hero off against. Not unnaturally, … Continue reading

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last riddler challenges

Just yesterday I had a longer conversation [not online, but face to face, beer by beer] with a doctoral student of mine ↑who does deeply immersed fieldwork around and within the ‘StarCraft II’ (SC2 | Blizzard Entertainment 2010) pro-gamer scene. Matchingly enough the day before yesterday I reread ↓Bearman 2008 and ↵watched ‘King of Kong’ (Gordon 2007) and ‘Chasing Ghosts’ (Ruchti 2007), wondering at the lengths high-end arcade-gamers go. Well, he told me about the lengths the SC2-specialists go, especially in terms of analysis of the game, its patches, actual matches, etc. Up to writing book-lengths compendiums. After enough grinning … Continue reading

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strange apparition

As I’ve ↵said before, I am totally opposed to the idea of using a sealed off portion of Gotham as a prison cum asylum. So I decided to give a press conference at Arkham City’s entrance area. Despite the press and TV news cameras, including anchorwoman Vicky Vale, being present, the mercenaries of Tyger Security grab me, knock me unconscious, and drag me away.  Next thing I remember is being tied to a chair, getting slapped, fainting again and again, the occurences coming to me as memory flashbacks. It’s ↵Hugo Strange standing in front of me. On his orders the … Continue reading

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entering arkham city

After a careful clean reinstall finally I am able to immerse into the ↑Batman‘s mythic universe. A bunch of goons inside a slightly decaying 19th century room. By the masks they wear you can tell that they are ↑Two-Face‘s henchmen. He makes them resemble himself. Chattering away they search the room and find a wall-safe hidden behind a painting. That’s the moment when they get disturbed from above. Fear of the Batman immediately fills them.  But it’s not the dark knight’s skin I get to slip into first—it’s ↑Catwoman‘s instead. Her appearance soothed me, I have to confess. Despite the … Continue reading

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arkham city rant

This was intended to become a longer rant from me—after the installation of ‘↑Batman: Arkham City‘ (Rocksteady Studios 2011) crashed my brand new system so badly that I had to jump back several recovery points to get it up and running again. But then, on ↑the official forums, I found the posts and threads by KIO. His forum post signature already sums it up: ‘DRM limitations are a punishment for the paying customer and an encouragement to seek better service elsewhere … And then they complain about piracy.’ No reason any more for me to write myself, because KIO already … Continue reading

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joker in academia

And I thought the topics and issues I am belabouring are somewhat exotic, or even strange … If I’d have the time, I’d love to submit something. On the other hand, that last note: ‘Note that invitation to submit a full essay does not guarantee inclusion in the volume.’ Quite frankly, and this isn’t meant arrogantly, but I do not see myself fit to meet rules like that—it’s simply a matter of time, the scarcest resource.     Anyway, here’s the worthwhile call for abstracts (although I do not think that the Joker himself will like being dissected academically—see above. … Continue reading

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hugo strange

Since the late 1970s, when I first read the story arc ‘Dark Detective I’ (Detective Comics 469-476), aptly named ‘Strange Apparitions’ for a reprint, arch-villain ↑Professor Hugo Strange is my favourite Batman-enemy. ‘Strange Apparitions’ just had everything, the Joker, the Penguin, and with Silver St. Cloud one of the most beautiful spouses Bruce Wayne ever had. Most of the story arc was pencilled by ↑Marshall Rogers (1950-2007), besides ↑Jim Aparo (1932-2005) until today my favourite Batman-penciller. Hilary Goldstein ↑writes at IGN: There is a common misconception among comic-book readers that Batman books were terrible until Frank Miller came along in … Continue reading

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arkham

Superheroes are the new gods, and they come with a vast mythology. The two main universes, Marvel and DC, are huge accumulations of concepts, ideas, and narrative content, close to unmanageable. When you have played, or want to play ‘Batman: Arkham Asylum’, like I have done, you might long for background on Arkham. The above movie by gametrailers furnishes it in a comprehensive manner. SCHECHTER, HAROLD. 1980. The new gods: Psyche and symbol in popular art. Madison: Popular Press. … Continue reading

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