Tag Archives: mark hamill

Review: Darksiders (2010) Games | My Reviews 17 MAY 2012

To preserve the balance between Heaven and Hell, a mediator group, The Charred Council, sends the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, to intervene and force a truce between the two kingdoms after countless centuries of war. Eons after the truce, The Council foresees that Man will be a major factor in the final apocalyptic battle; this would be marked by the breaking of the Seventh Seal.

In the present day, armies of demons and angels fall to Earth and the final battle begins, the two forces destroying everything in their wake. In the midst of the chaos, War is summoned to Earth to bring order. Upon his confrontation with Abaddon, the general of Heaven’s army, War discovers that the other Horsemen have not arrived and the Seventh Seal has not been broken. Straga, a powerful demon, arises from the ground and kills Abaddon.

War battles Straga and is defeated, but is saved from death and sent to The Charred Council, accusing him of bringing about the Apocalypse prematurely. The Council sentences him to death, but War demands a chance to find the one responsible for summoning him prematurely, and to restore balance. The Council agrees, on the condition he is bound to one of their keepers, The Watcher, who has the power to kill War in the event that he strays from his mission.

From this point onwards you take control of the massively powerful War, as you set about rebuilding your strength and skill set, whilst undertaking various boss character seek out and kill missions in an attempt to find the answers behind the mystery of why you were summoned in the first place.

This is very much a cookie cutter action adventure game, which has you engaging in combat, puzzles and exploration, all from the third person perspective, as well the ongoing collection of various brightly coloured souls to increase your combat ability and upgrade your moves set. With a main and a sub hand held weapon (sword, horn, scythe, giant throwing star, gun), magic, abilities, and items, there is a huge amount of ways you can tackle combat and solve puzzles, and with a perfectly weighted difficulty level that doesn’t unfairly ramp up without warning, Darksiders really is the perfect hack and slash game with a deep and satisfying story, kick-ass characters and good combat system.

Aurally Darksiders is a hit, with Liam O’Brien delivering an excellent War and Mark Hamilll backing him us as The Watcher, all complemented by a fantastic and suitably epic soundtrack. However it is the visuals of Darksiders that without a doubt steals the show, with creative director and long time comic book superstar artist Joe Madureira providing the bulk of the distinctive look and character designs for this visually stunning game.

In summary, if you enjoy games like God of War and Dante’s Inferno, then Darksiders will most definitely be up your alley. Never boring, an engaging story and abilities tree, and most importantly a visual treat, Darksiders is the perfect (and enjoyable) way to bash away your weekends!

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darksiders

Review: Batman: The Animated Series (Volume 2) My Reviews 15 DEC 2011

The 1990’s produced one of the best animated television shows ever to grace the Silver Screen, namely Batman: The Animated Series, produced by legendary comic book figures like Alan Burnett, Paul Dini and Bruce Timm for example.

It has been described as one of the closest non comic book adaptations of the Batman mythos, won numerous awards for its writing which was far more mature and thought-provoking than other animated shows of the time, and introduced its iconic visual style, dubbed Dark Deco by its creators.

Volume 2 in this DC Comics Classic Collection packs 28 episodes in over four discs, and as a result you are treated to a nice variety of Batman material versus a number of his greatest foes, as well as his interactions with the newly introduced Dick Grayson as Robin. Unfortunately, as it simply was done back in those days, each episode is self-contained with no overarching story or sometimes even real continuity to speak of, which does detract a little when watching it today, surrounded by the advances in writing for today’s animated fare. Nevertheless, the stories are compelling, action-packed and for the most part, thoroughly enjoyable, meaning an absolute toe-curling thrill for existing fans of the Bat.

Visually of course, Batman: The Animated Series stands head and shoulders above the rest in terms of distinctive style, thanks to its art deco visuals, simple lines and very dark tone. However, it must be noted that its approach to place the series in a sort of a timelessness 1940’s-like bubble really does age it 20 years down the line, and unfortunately both the style and the animated objects look pretty dated and thus a little difficult to fully enjoy. Technology in particular suffers, with things like computers, servers and even telephones looking really silly.

Aurally however, Batman: The Animated Series still comes across as a powerhouse amongst animated television. With fantastic voice work from the likes of Kevin Conroy as the Batman/Bruce Wayne, Mark Hamil as the Joker, Bob Hastings as James Gordon and Adrienne Barbeau as Catwoman, and a fully scored orchestral soundtrack to back them up, Batman: The Animated Series sets the benchmark for how a rich, mature animated television show should sound.

In summary, Batman: The Animated Series is quite dated to watch nowadays, especially in the visuals department, but to be fair, you have to keep in mind that this series is basically 20 years old now! Once you have that notion in your head, you really can sit back and enjoy what truly is one of the best animated American television series ever to be produced, with strong writing, a distinct and enjoyable visual style, and a great musical score with voice acting to complement.

And then of course we mustn’t forget that iconic opening sequence and theme music!

It remains enjoyable and well worth picking up if you are a comic book fan or in particular, a Batman universe fan. As for the mileage for people not falling into either of those two categories – well I can’t say for sure, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the marked age of the show will count against it in their eyes.

Oh well, their loss! :)

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batman:_The_Animated_Series