Return To Arkham

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I held off buying an Xbox One because of the damn Arkham games!

Arkham Knight was available for the Xbox One but I enjoyed playing Arkham Asylum and Arkham City too much to give up my Xbox 360 and make the upgrade.

I was late joining the Arkham party. Arkham Asylum was original released in 2009 but I held off buying an Xbox One until 2011. I’d ummed and ahhed about getting an Xbox for a while and when I eventually bought one, Arkham Asylum was one of the first games I bought. Weirdly enough, I didn’t buy the 360 for Asylum, I bought it for my Tiger Woods games. But after only a few hours of playing Asylum and ‘being the Batman’, I was giving myself a stealth takedown for not buying it sooner. I instantly became addicted!!


Later on that year, Arkham City was released and I was all over it the minute it came out. Oh boy! It was Arkham Asylum but bigger and better.

As much as Arkham City is a ‘free roam’ game, you are basically following one main story from beginning to end. The only diversions are wandering off to collect Riddler’s Trophies. Arkham City brought a whole host of extra sub stories to wander off and complete as well as the main story. This really felt like you were off doing your own thing – solving riddles, rescuing people, taking out groups of thugs etc etc. For me, Arkham City is a true ‘Desert Island Game’ – a game I could be stuck with forever and not get bored playing.


And this brings me on to why I held off buying an Xbox One until late 2015. Arkham Knight had been released but I was still having too much fun replaying Asylum and City over and over again – honing my predator and fighting skills.

I decided to bite the bullet and upgrade to a One, when Backwards Compatibility was made a feature and rumour had it, the original 360 Arkham games would make it to the One. I bought the One and Arkham Knight and got stuck in, temporarily saying goodbye to Asylum and City. Arkham Knight is a phenomenal game! The visuals are stunning and it runs silkily smooth. It is prone to the odd hang and/or crash but generally speaking, its a good game. As much as I enjoy the much larger city, extra stories, side missions and add-ons – it doesn’t tick all the boxes for me. I don’t particular enjoy the driving sections of the game. I do enjoy playing driving games but just not round Gotham City. I would much rather glide from building to building using my cape than smash my way haphazardly round tight corners. As for Riddler Challenges that require you to complete races and time-trials in the Batmobile… WTF?

I understood why Rocksteady (the game developer) introduced the Batmobile – it was the one missing component of Batman canon and is a more natural way of getting around the huge maps. I would imagine most fans enjoy the battle tank challenges but I just found them tedious. I’d much rather stealthily wipe out a bank full of Two-Face’s goons.

All the while I have been keeping my eye out on the release of a remastered Asylum and City. Its been delayed and delayed but eventually it came out midway through October – nearly a entire year since I bought the Xbox One!

Some fans have grumbled about the frame rate, the action not being as smooth as it originally was on the 360, environments being brighter… blah, blah, blah!

Personally, I love the games. They look and feel just like I remember on the 360 and its great to be playing them again. Yes, the map in Arkham is tiny compared to Knight but I love the claustrophobic-esque tightness of this game. The visuals still hold up for me – in fact I feel like they are a massive improvement. Rain drops hitting the tv screen, fog, steam etc. Plus I think the sound is an improvement. Walking through the Asylum can be as creepy as hell.

I’ve not started playing City yet, I’m too busy completing Asylum. Once you have played a game to the end a few times, you fly through on revisits. I remember spending hours looking for Riddler’s Trophies while now, I know where they are and can tick off dozens in one sitting.

Right, enough chatting – I’m off to give a couple of Titan thugs a good kicking!


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Strange or Strange

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Doctor Strange or Doctor Hugo Strange?



Categories : Comics, Films
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October Sticker Bomb(s)

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Ignoring the fact that October is the month of my dad and sister’s birthdays, October is all about Hallowe’en… full stop!

Therefore, it seemed only right that my October stickers should be Hallowe’en themed.

Introducing my rogue’s gallery of notorious cinematic serial killers… presented as shitty 70s Panini football stickers.







Ghostface with authentic Hallowe’en cobweb

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This should happen…

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Stop it with Avenger movies and Spiderman movies.

Stop it with Captain America and Thor.

Just make more Batman!!!

Image taken from Geek Tyrant

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Sneaky Illustrations

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There has been a personal project I have been dying to get started on for a while now – creating stylised vector illustrations of all the sneakers the wife and I own (we have quite an impressive and colourful collection).

I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do with these illustrations when they are finished. Create a large montage of the entire collection? Create individual montages defined by type, colour, brand or sub-brand? Will these images be printed out and possibly framed or will they remain digital? Style wise, will the illustrations be very accurate almost technical drawings or have a cartoonish look?

Too many questions. Who knows? All I know is it’s been on my ‘do-to’ list for quite a while and I decided to get started this week.

The first task was to photograph all the shoes in my collection so I have a reference image to work over in Adobe Illustrator.


To make my job easier when it comes to illustrating each individual shoe, I needed all the shoes photographed from the same angle and lit consistently. Ideally that meant photographing them all in on go.


What was interesting and something I hadn’t given any thought to beforehand was after viewing the images on the camera, I had the making of a pretty funky little slideshow.


Now the real fun begins… illustrating each individual shoe! No doubt I’ll be posting them on here as and when I complete them.


Weekly Movie Moan

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Olympics is over, time to start watching films again. Well, until the new season of dramas start…

Monday – Panic Button
A bit of an adventurous film – a horror/thriller set on a private jet. Apart from a couple of scenes at the beginning and end of the film, this is predominately set in two rooms of an airplane – cabin and toilet. And it’s a British movie, which always brings its own charm. Unfortunately it’s a very average film featuring an unknown cast finished off with a naff ending. Avoid.

Friday – Killer Elite
Clive Owen, Robert De Niro, Jason Statham. Two great actors and one meathead. This film is based on the 1991 novel The Feather Men by Sir Ranulph Fiennes, and it does not disappoint. Focused around exSAS servicemen and set in the early eighties, Owen and Statham play their roles superbly. The nostalgia is spot on with a plethora of vintage early Eighties cars featured – MK2 Escorts, Cortinas, Minis, old Jags. Plus there’s a quality fight scene between Owen and Statham. Worth the Box Office rental fee alone.

On a separate note, Clive Owen should’ve been Bond.

Friday – The 40 Year Old Virgin
The funniest comedy, ever. No arguments, this is the funniest. Steve Carrell is brilliant (as are all the other actors) but Seth Rogan and Paul Rudd steal the show for me. An hilarious double act. Never tire of watching this film.

Saturday – Truth of Dare
Another British horror/thriller – two in one week! Sky must’ve bought a job lot this month. This was similar to Panic Button in that the main bulk of the film is set in one location – an old cabin out in the woods. Revenge, confessions, torture, fingers getting shot off, battery acid… I can only imagine this kind of thing goes on all the time down south.

Saturday – Fast and Furious
I love watching these movies. Great soundtrack, cars, locations, chases and races – what more can you ask for? The original is still my favourite. My only niggle is with some of the cars. You have an awesome car, tripped out with a boot full of nitro – why then do you get the car sprayed a ridiculously garish colour and add shitty vinyls to it? Some of the cars look mint, but most look bloody awful. If you rolled in to Tesco car park on a Saturday night in one of these racers you would get a slap.

Saturday – Faster
Don’t you just love it when you unearth a gem? It’s a miserable Saturday afternoon and you stick a movie on not expecting a great deal. Two hours later, you have been thoroughly entertained and you forgot it was pissing it down outside. Who would’ve thought it from a Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson film?

Saturday – XXX
Just utter nonsense really. I like Vin Diesel but this must be his worse film ever. Not surprised he passed up on the sequel.

Saturday – The Human Centipede (The First Sequence)
If there was ever a film I wish I could go back in time and unwatch, this would be it. All I knew about this film before I watched it was that it was controversial – which wasn’t going to deter me off watching it. Oh. My. God! This has got to be the most disturbingly, sickest film I have ever watched. I watched it before bed on Saturday night and I was glad I’d been drinking otherwise I probably would’ve stayed awake all night trying to deconstruct it my mind. That didn’t stop me thinking about it pretty much all day Sunday. As a horror movie, it has to be commended on doing its job – it certainly is horrific. This film takes what Saw and Hostel did and has raised the bar on sickness to a whole new level. It’s little wonder that there are disturbed fuckers out there when films like this are being made. I remember seeing A Nightmare on Elm Street at my next door neighbour’s when I about 11 and it gave me nightmares. If an 11 year old ends up watching a film like this, who knows what potential damage it could do. Yes, there’s have always been video nasties and banned films but I just can’t understand why anyone would want to make a film like this? I suppose ‘artistic’ film writers and directors feel its easier to make a name for themselves by sickening and revolting audiences than entertaining them.

Sunday – The Recruit
Is it me or does Al Pacino overact in every recent film he has done? Don’t get me wrong, I like Al and I especially enjoyed his performance in Heat but I just feel he over does it at times. Kind of like “Hey, I’m Al Pacino and I’m going to act the living shit out of this scene”. Shame really coz this film would’ve been pretty good had Al not tried to steal every scene he was in.

Monday – Love and Other Drugs

Categories : Films, TV
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