Demo: Batman: Arkham Asylum

August 8, 2009

The arrival of this demo yesterday was a nice surprise.  It’s on Xbox Live (and can be downloaded by going here), PC (download from Fileshack here) and the PlayStation Store (which I can’t directly link to).  I played the PS3 version.

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I was interested in the demo because the game has been built up into a Big Thing, which seemed to take everybody by surprise (including its publisher, who delayed the game seemingly to make sure it could live up to the hype).  It has potential to not just be a big, AAA release, but the game that finally does the Batman character justice in all his aspects (his refusal to kill, his intelligence and detective skills, his combat prowess, his gadgets and stealth), as well as telling a good story.  Some of the pre-release hype has even compared it to Bioshock in terms of its atmosphere, which is a lot of praise/pressure to place upon a game ahead of release.

So, based upon the hype and personal expectations I was hoping to find that this game is an atmospheric fighting game with smooth, satisfying combat, decent stealth gameplay that isn’t too punishing for failure, and does justice to the potential of the Batman character.  Can it live up to those expectations? Read the rest of this entry »

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Friday’s Play – Valkyria Chronicles

June 21, 2009

I continued with yesterday’s mission, replaying for an A rank.  Previous SPOILER warnings are still relevant, of course.  Read on for details.

Valkyria Chronicles

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This was difficult to fit into my set 425x90 dimensions as there's quite a height difference between the three characters. The difference in height is practically a representation of the difference in ages: From 16 (Isara, left) to 27 (Rosie, right) to 36 (Largo, centre).

Back to Bruhl, then.  I began my A rank attempt  by reloading one of my saves, which was right at the end of turn one.  Everybody was in good positions, but as that gave me just one turn to push forward and claim victory it was possible that it simply wouldn’t be enough to win.

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Thursday’s Play – Valkyria Chronicles

June 21, 2009

I went back to Valkyria Chronicles today, earning an A rank on one mission and attempting the next.  Read on for details, but bear in mind that SPOILERS are going to be present, and they’re some fairly major ones.

Valkyria Chronicles

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I continued on from last time (just after having taken the first camp).  I deployed fresh units from the camp (which uses less command points than making them all move up from the starting position), using a couple of shocktroopers and scouts to advance towards the next camp, while the Edelweiss and Largo took up position in the centre and dealt with the tricky areas: the first tank and two gatling bunkers.  With the second camp taken I requested another lancer (Jann), who was able to destroy the next tank from behind.

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Tuesday’s Play – Valkyria Chronicles

June 21, 2009

I played a little more Valkyria Chronicles today, just completing a little skirmish.  Read on for details.

Valkyria Chronicles

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It turns out that units upgrade to elite status once you get them to level 11, and as all mine were at level 10 I decided to go back and play a skirmish level to get some more EXP and level them up.  All skirmishes have the new tank added to them now, even those from before it was unlocked, and as it’s another leader unit that essentially means an extra command point (able to move one more unit per turn), which is nice.

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Monday’s Play – Still Valkyria Chronicles

June 21, 2009

More Valkyria Chronicles today.  Despite essentially taking twice as long to do each mission because of my quest for A ranks – I’m both playing levels for the first time to learn how to do them and then replaying them for rank, which pretty much means I’m doing my first and second playthroughs simultaneously – I think I’m proceeding at a good pace now.

NOTE: I seem to be reaching a point where big events are beginning to happen, so SPOILERS will likely follow.

Valkyria Chronicles

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My first attempt today was a complete retry from the start, using what I learned from the poor attempt yesterday to do better this time.  Initially it went well, smoothly taking the first enemy camp and completing the the first objective (destruction of a bridge used for reinforcements), taking it in two turns and being ready to move towards the second objective.

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Sunday’s Play – Yet More Valkyria Chronicles

June 20, 2009

I played some more Valkyria Chronicles today, completing another two missions and witnessing some more World War 2 parallels.  Read on for details.

Valkyria Chronicles

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With the princess rescued, Squad 7 are honoured and Welkin is given a medal by the princess.  Borg handles the ceremony, and in close up looks even more evil, with a long pointy beard and long, thin eyebrows.  Short of dressing him in black with some kind of skull motif there isn’t much more they could have done to make him radiate EVIL.  The princess reveals that Squad 7’s questions have had an effect on her, which can’t be good news for Borg.

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Friday’s Play: Valkyria Chronicles Again

June 15, 2009

I continued with Valkyria Chronicles today, completing another mission, albeit not as you’re supposed to.  Read on for details.

Valkyria Chronicles

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The cutscene to end the chapter has Welkin and Alicia reunited with Squad 7, with everybody saying how relieved they are that they’re all okay.  Alicia tells Welkin that she liked what he said before about Squad 7 being family, and then the view shifts to Largo, Rosie and Isara together, with Largo playfully ruffling Isara’s hair.  It’s a nice visual reinforcement of the family idea.

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