Why Arkham Origins shouldn't have happened.

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The Batman Arkham Series. Where do I even need to begin on how epic Rocksteady has currently made the Dark Knight? The amazing story, the practically flawless combat system, the atmosphere and solid voice acting of Mark Hamill, Kevin Conroy and company. This is the definitive Batman experience, you actually feel like the Caped Crusader himself. Arkham Asylum was released in August of 2009. During Spike TV's Video Game Awards at the end of the year, we got one of the most epic teasers for the upcoming sequel. Joker was unwell, clearly feeling the effects of the Titan formula ripping him apart from the inside out. Fans had two years of hype built up for Arkham City, and it was clear that Rocksteady was doing everything in its arsenal to make this game the best of its kind. Arkham City was released in October of 2011, and it's been dubbed by many to be the greatest Batman game ever made. There were even a few cliffhangers, with a mysterious figure telling Batman that basically the end is near, and the Hush subplot where he uses plastic surgery on himself to become Bruce Wayne. We all wondered if those subplots would be wrapped up in the sequel.

But, alas, we were sorely disappointed. The gaming community got a teaser of a new Batman game 6 months before its official release. However, this wasn't a sequel to AC, it was a prequel, meaning none of the previous games prior subplots would be resolved, and worse, Rocksteady wouldn't be developing it. It was given to WB Montreal, basically the "B" studio. Another odd decision was having Roger Craig Smith being the voice behind Batman, and not Kevin Conroy. It was mostly done to have Batman sound younger because he was just starting out protecting Gotham. Although Smith is a solid VA, I can't help but see just Chris Redfield in a Batsuit. The Joker also got a new voice, Troy Baker, who fills in admirably for Mark Hamill. When Arkham Origins was finally released, people saw immediately it was just a quick cut-and-paste of Arkham City's exact design and many immediately deduced that this was just made for a quick cash in for the franchise. Unfortunately, I have to agree. This series had no desire for a prequel. Although the story in the game was quite good, it was still completely unnecessary. Finally, when prequels are done, you have to get them done 100% correctly, otherwise the game will look inferior to its predecessors. This game was marred with technical hiccups when it was released for the 360, PS3, and Wii U. It was known to freeze on players both in game and when it autosaved, meaning there was potential that a person's save file could be corrupted after restarting the game afterwards. That is inexcusable. This is why game developers employ game testers, to iron out all of the flaws before a game's release. Yes, I understand that developers frequently release patches now to fix these problems. But it shouldn't be like this to begin with. We spent $60 on a game and the least the developers can do is make sure it can function properly.

In the end, this game shouldn't have existed to begin with. If Rocksteady continues to pursue creating games for the Batman franchise, it needs to be done at Rocksteady studios, and not WB Montreal. We've seen firsthand that WB Montreal can't create a successor to Arkham City. Magikmike39 out.

Capcom, You're Officially Dead To Me

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Back in the original NES days, Capcom introduced Mega Man, a blue robot created by Dr. Thomas Light to save humanity from the evil Dr. Wily. It was an instant hit and spawned many sequels ranging from the NES, to the Super Nintendo, and Playstation 1. Mega Man X followed, and that's where the controversy with Capcom begins.

Mega Man X's story spawned many sequels, all of which were pretty good games. The co-creator of Mega Man X, Keiji Inafune, wanted to end the X series with Mega Man X5. However, Capcom produced X6 with no permission from Inafune whatsoever, and it turned out X6 was arguably one of the worst Mega Man games of all time. Inafune was forced to rewrite parts of the story because he had already started creating the Mega Man Zero series at the time. Two more X games were made to put the plot back on its course, X7 came out for the Playstation 2 and was widely considered by many even worse than X6. Inafune redeemed himself with X8, as the gameplay went back to its roots of being a sidescrolling platformer. After the Zero and ZX series were completed, Inafune announced Mega Man Legends 3 and Mega Man Universe.

Which brings me to the problem of the day. Fans couldn't wait to see these two games. However, Capcom cancelled them both, and fans got pissed. Since then, Inafune has left Capcom. Since Inafune's departure, Mega Man has not been included in any Capcom game for more than two years. They finally came out with Street Fighter X Mega Man in 2012, but was only available for PC and no gaming consoles. The game was considered average to below average by many.

Capcom, why are you neglecting your star franchise? Mega Man put you guys on the map. Now, you're just casting him aside like he's nothing. He wasn't even in Marvel vs Capcom 3. You put Zero from Mega Man X there, but no Mega Man, how does that even begin to make sense. Are you deliberately trying to piss off your fans. You're doing a great job if that's your goal. When Yuji Naka left America, the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise didn't go with him. They continued to make games, terrible ones until Sonic Generations resurrected the franchise. It's about time you go back to your roots. Otherwise, if you don't give a crap about Mega Man, sell the rights to somebody who does.

inFAMOUS: Second Son Announced. One Problem, Why? (WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS)

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For the few people out there who read my blogs, I'm a die-hard inFAMOUS fan. I downloaded inFAMOUS off of PSN after the network hacking debacle as my first choice for a free full game, and I immediately loved it. The morale choice system, the powers and abilities you could unlock, and the sweet satisfaction of climbing every building around Empire City and jumping to the ground without having to worry about fall damage. It was great, and one of my top 100 games I've played of all time. I bought inFAMOUS 2 a year after it was released, and though it wasn't quite as good as its predecessor, it was still solid and had great gameplay, amazing voice acting, and beautiful cutscenes.

This brings me to the topic of the day. inFAMOUS: Second Son was announced for the PS4. I was excited at first, but then I've deeply thought about this for a very long time about one major flaw. I just have one question for Sucker Punch: Have you thought about plot holes in the story? For everybody who knows the inFAMOUS storyline thus far, you know exactly what I'm talking about. However, for those of you not familiar to the inFAMOUS series so far, I will break it down for you in a nutshell:

Cole MacGrath, a bike courier in Empire City, was given a mysterious package to deliver, which then exploded, wiping out a huge chunk of the city, and killing many people. Cole somehow survived and the explosions side effects gave him the ability to manipulate and control electricity. He finds out a man named Kessler was the one responsible for giving him the package. This package contained the Ray Sphere, a device that took neuro-electric energy from a large group of people and concentrated it into Cole, making Cole superhuman, or in this game's case, a Conduit. Cole finds out Kessler is actually his future self who traveled back in time to mold Cole into a hero so he could defeat "The Beast".

inFAMOUS 2's storyline follows right after Kessler's defeat. Cole encounters "The Beast", and is no match for it, and Empire City is reduced to ashes. Cole, along with his friend Zeke, and Special Agent Lucy Kuo travel to the city of New Marais to get Cole strong enough to defeat "The Beast". He meets Dr. Sebastian Wolfe there and gives him the Ray Field Inhibitor (RFI for short), which is basically an anti Ray Sphere that will take powers away when it's activated while fully charged. It was also created to cure a plague that's continuously spreading across the entire world caused by the Ray Sphere's initial explosion. Cole managed to fully charge the RFI and defeat "The Beast", along with curing the plague. But, every person on the planet who was a Conduit, including Cole, and all potential Conduits were wiped out. Thankfully the end justified the means. For the thousands that died, millions of people were going to live because the plague was gone.

That's the story so far, now here's the problem. They are introducing a new character named Delsin Rowe. He somehow has the ability to manipulate and control smoke. What I'm trying to figure out is how and why? Cole used the RFI to wipe out every Conduit on the planet. How is there still one alive? All I can say is that they had better be able to explain this horribly gaping plot hole because if they can't, then this great series will be tarnished just for milking the franchise for more money. All I can say to Sucker Punch is that you had better come up with a logical explanation as to why this guy has powers. Fanboy rage will be coming if you can't. I've seen some things, man, and fanboy rage isn't pretty. Magikmike39 out.

Namco Bandai, Just Go Away. Far, Far, Away!

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The Dragon Ball franchise. When it comes to video games, it didn't get off to a great start. Infogrames' "The Legacy of Goku" for the GBA was arguably one of the worst games I had ever played. Goku controlled so stiffly, all he could do to fight hand-to-hand was punch, his special techniques (Kamehameha, Solar Flare, Basic Ki Blast) were awful. It was a game to forget. They followed up with "Dragon Ball Z Budokai" for the PS2, in which the fighting was ok, it just didn't have very much depth. Then, Atari and Dimps took control, "The Legacy of Goku 2" was miles better than its predacessor and it showed that they actually put a ton of effort and heart into the game. "Budokai 2" followed, and while the fighting mechanics and graphics were improved, it still lacked that "it" factor. Then, "Budokai 3" came out. This was the ultimate Dragon Ball Z experience. Almost everything in this game was done right. The fighting mechanics, the beam struggles, it was a beautiful sight. The "Budokai Tenkaichi" series took the franchise in a new direction, with open world fighting. Budokai Tenkaichi 1 was extremely forgettable, but the two sequels did the series justice and showed that Atari and Dimps learned from its previous mistakes. Don't get me wrong, Atari and Dimps did make some terrible DBZ games (Taiketsu, Sagas, Harukanaru Densetsu) but overall, they did a decent job for the Dragon Ball franchise.

The rights to DBZ were sold to Namco Bandai about 3 years ago, which brings me to my topic of the day. Namco Bandai, what the heck happened? They started off with the "Raging Blast" series, which was basically a high definition version of the Budokai Tenkaichi series. It was just mediocre, and ever since then, it's been a continuous fall into oblivion. What pretty much cemented the fact that Namco Bandai didn't care were the previous 3 games: "Dragon Ball Z Ultimate Tenkaichi", "Dragon Ball Z for Kinect", and the "Budokai HD collection". Ultimate Tenkaichi had horrendous load times, the fighting mechanic was mostly based on chance rather than skill, and the new "create a character" feature was horribly limited. The Budokai HD collection was just a lazy HD port that was missing a really important part, it was missing Budokai 2. They only ported Budokai 1 and Budokai 3. How can you even call it the "Budokai HD collection" when you are missing a game in the series? The final nail in the coffin, however, was Dragon Ball Z for Kinect. I could tell right after I saw the trailer for that game, that this franchise was going to reach an all time low. For one, the voice over artist. He couldn't even pronounce "saiyan" correctly. Second, the tagline for the game, "Become a Super Saiyan", real friggin' original. Third, the kid doing all the moves in front of the television. Who in their right mind would want to just continously flail their arms about, and juke from side to side the entire game? Seriously, that's all you do. You do get to do occasional special techniques such as the spirit bomb. All the spirit bomb is is just you lifting your arms over your head and bringing them down again. How is that fun? But, the worst offender of this game is that the graphics were ripped straight out of Ultimate Tenkaichi. Which tells me, that they put in almost no effort at all to make this game.

Namco Bandai, wake up! This is the company that is working on the next Super Smash Bros. game, people. Based on how bad they screwed over the Dragon Ball franchise, I cannot even begin to tell you how worried I am that they are working on another successful franchise. Yeah, I understand Masahiro Sakurai (creator of SSB) is going to be supervising the project, but still, why Namco Bandai? They had better get this game right, because if they screw over the Smash Bros. franchise, then I am avoiding Namco Bandai at all costs. Magikmike39 signing off.

Is Halo 4 Just Like Call of Duty Now? (True Story)

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One of my friends is a Call of Duty fanboy. I used to enjoy that franchise a lot, until the past two games, Modern Warfare 3 and Black Ops 2. Modern Warfare 3's frantic pace, horrible map design, and subpar campaign turned me off of it. That made me completely give up on Infinity Ward. With Treyarch at the reins once again to work on the Black Ops sequel, I had high hopes for it. Sadly, I was nothing short of disappointed. I just couldn't get into it. The maps were either way too big or way too small. The spawning was horrendous. The guns were horribly imbalanced. You couldn't stack Killstreaks (now Scorestreaks) anymore. People did nothing but camp. The servers in the game were the worst I have seen. I have never migrated hosts so many times in a video game in my entire life. Also, the amount of times I tried to join an online game, only to see "This game lobby is no longer available" is beyond comprehension. That message is now etched into my subconscious until the end of time. I had never uttered so many swear words at a single game in my entire life. I had enough. I decided to give Black Ops 2 to a co-worker of mine for $20, but after a couple of weeks, I arrived at the conclusion that it wasn't worth any part of the $60 I paid for it, so I gave it to her for free. That didn't really sit well with this guy.

One day in December 2012, I got together with a couple more of my friends, one of them including the COD fanboy. We were at his friend's house, and he decided to introduce me to Halo 4. After one night of playing Halo 4, I was instantly hooked. Halo 4 was everything that Black Ops 2 should have and could have been. Before this, my fanboy friend couldn't stop trying to hammer home the point that Halo 4 is an exact carbon copy of Call of Duty, referring to it as "Call of Halo 4", or "Halo of Duty". He even took the time to point out every single similarity that Halo 4 had with Call of Duty during and before each multiplayer game we played. All I could do is just shake my head. To have so much displeasure with a video game because of similarities to another one is just strange to me. If the game as a whole is great, why can't we all agree on that?

This brings me to my question of the day. Is Halo 4 really a Call of Duty clone? After spending multiple hours on the campaign, and after spending quite a while with the game's multiplayer, I can safely say that Halo 4 is NOT a Call of Duty clone. There are some things that 343 Industries used from Call of Duty's gameplay style, but it's still the Halo everyone knows and loves. Halo 4 introduced custom loadouts, which are basically the classes from Call of Duty that you create for what kind of weapons, grenades, etc. You know what I'm getting at. This guy insists that it makes it just like COD. I'm not sorry, but it doesn't. There are minor differences with it that make it original in its own right. The Halo franchise has never done something like this before, so it was a change that was pretty much inevitable. They have now introduced killcams. Once again, a similarity my fanboy friend pointed out. Trust me, every first person shooter game needs a killcam. It weeds out the players that do nothing but sit around and wait for an enemy to get into his/her crosshairs. The ordinances, the tactical packages, the armor abilities, I could go on and on for how this guy just wanted to prove his theory. There's just one problem, this is a new direction for the Halo franchise. It's something that hasn't been done before, FOR HALO! Heck, I would probably say that Call of Duty most likely took a lot of gameplay ideas from the Medal of Honor series. But that's not what I do. I appreciate great games regardless of the similarities that each of them holds. That's what everybody should do. Yeah, I'm talking to you Battlefield 3 and Call of Duty fanboys. Appreciate great games for what they are. There is worse stuff out there to rage about. Magikmike39 signing off.