Category Archives: video games
One of my favourite comic book series of the past five years has been the (mostly) Tom Taylor-penned Injustice: Gods Among Us. It originally began as a tie-in to the Warner Brothers Interactive video game released back in 2013. The game takes place in an alternate DC Universe, where The Joker kills Lois Lane and nukes Metropolis, leading a grief-stricken Superman to murder the Clown Prince of Crime and go about establishing a totalitarian regime around the world, dedicated to eradicating crime before it happens. This puts Superman and his associates against Batman, and the story plays out in fighter-style as the two teams rage against each other.
Taylor’s story became its own thing, adding faces not featured in the game and fleshing out character and motivations. Because it was and is a standalone story, deaths happen, matter, and last, which is a rarity in the regular DC Universe. The series and the original game were huge hits, and while the comic has been an ongoing release, it’s taken four years for a sequel to the game to arrive on shelves.
It was worth the wait.
Remember the days when Vertigo Comics was regularly publishing comic book fiction that pushed the boundaries of the art form, giving voice to dozens of burgeoning writers and artists each month that would never have been heard from in mainstream publications?
It was probably the mid to late 1990’s or early 2000’s.
And you were probably in high school or college at the time – and my, oh my, weren’t those the glory days of comic book reading?
It’s a little strange then, that with all the great comics that Vertigo was publishing at the time, a title such as the 2001 three-issue miniseries, User, flew a bit under the radar, even though it won industry awards.
It’s stranger then, that the same title is compiled in a handsome hardcover format by an entirely different publisher (one who has taken up the philosophical mantle that Vertigo Comics once owned), over fifteen years later.
And that the story of User, released (again) today, still resonates!
This Friday sees the release of Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2, the continuing adventures of Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax The Destroyer, Rocket and Baby Groot. Anticipation is high, and all signs point to this being a massive box office success. Before we get there, though, we’ve got some pretty solid fun to whet our appetites. Among the most exciting Guardians tie-ins is the brand new, multi-part game from Telltale Games and WB Interactive Entertainment.
Every year when The Show comes out, I follow the same routine: Create a new player from scratch and head into Road to the Show. This year, my mountain-man bearded, 6’4″, 220-pound first baseman from Florida (you can’t select Toronto for some reason) wasn’t doing very well in the showcase games where you get scouted for the upcoming draft. Even though he looked like a bearded hulk, he couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat and ended up being projected to go late 2nd/early 3rd round. I wasn’t happy about it, but ended up being drafted late by the Houston Astros. Then something happened. Read the rest of this entry
There is no stop to the LEGO in my house, and to be honest, I’m not complaining at all. And if you’re into LEGO video games, you shouldn’t be either.
The last month has seen the release of two new games based on the venerable bricks, but both are quite different from one another. And my in-house reviewer, my 6 1/2 year old Princess, is enjoying both of them.
What do you look for in a video game? For me, the most important thing is engagement. I want to be sucked in right away. Truth of the matter is, I sometimes have a pretty short attention span when it comes to gaming. If I don’t have a compelling reason to keep playing, it just isn’t going to happen.
Engagement, right? Or maybe even closer to the point, it all comes down to story.
And Horizon Zero Dawn has a hell of a story.
For the last two weeks at the box office, The LEGO Batman Movie has been on top. It makes sense, doesn’t it? Batman + LEGO = awesome, as anyone who saw the outstanding The LEGO Movie three years ago can attest. Will Arnett’s voice work as Batman is absolutely the best since Kevin Conroy took on the back in the early ’90s for Batman: The Animated Series. The new film manages to bring laughs to the character while also, perhaps surprisingly, finding a way to address the genuine gravitas that makes Batman so enduring.
The cinema isn’t the only place I’ve been enjoying The LEGO Batman Movie, though. Over the past week the Princess and I have been making our way through the LEGO Batman Movie Story Pack for LEGO Dimensions.
Marvel’s been making a lot of noise in the app gaming market for a few years. Although DC has remained competitive, the company may have just made its biggest move yet to take on the likes of Marvel’s Contest Of Champions and Marvel Future Fight. That new move is the rollout of DC Legends, a brand new app designed by Warner Bros. and combining all of the best elements of superhero mobile games.
In this game, the Blackest Night prophecy has fallen on the world and your job is to assemble your own team of DC heroes and villains, take on Nekron, and restore peace to the world. Along the way you can interact with a robust array of characters, master different types of combat, and take on other live players in various competitive leagues. Simply put, the game thrives for two reasons. It’s thorough in its content, and it is presented in a visually appealing, action-packed, and legitimately challenging manner. This is a high-end mobile superhero game.
I’ve played my share of video games, both in the mature privacy of my home console (Skyrim) and in the shared online world against a bunch of kids who relentlessly kick my ass and call me names (Call of Duty).
It’s no great secret that video games, like comic books before them, have become fertile grounds to cross-pollinate into other mediums: chiefly film and television and even books. In fact, video games themselves have become bigger business than even Hollywood could ever dream – and Hollywood dreams big!
Once in a while, a video game makes the jump to the printed medium – and comic books are a particularly fertile ground to continue stories, expand on created artwork, and indoctrinate new or lapsed players into video-gaming.
Today is one of those days.
Today we get the MMOG online war game-turned-comic book mini-series: World of Tanks #1!
Pink Floyd is my favourite band. I’ve been listening since back in 1990, when a girl I was going to high school with loaned me a cassette copy of The Wall to listen too. I dubbed it, and while I didn’t really understand what I was listening to at the time, I still found myself transfixed by the double album, enough so that I began exploring the band’s entire catalog. I feel in love with the trippiness of albums like The Dark Side of the Moon, Animals, Wish You Were Here, and Meddle. There were layers to all these recordings – explorations of sounds and lyrical meanings. I didn’t need to “get it” to get into it.
And that, my friend, is how I feel playing the new galaxy exploration video game, No Man’s Sky.