The All New Batman The Brave and the Bold Small Miracles Review


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Seeing as how this is year is Batman’s 75th Anniversary; it makes sense to check out an old Batman comic. The Brave and the Bold concept is pretty great and I’m always up for a good team up. Batman’s had several of these series over the years and they’ve all been pretty good. There are six comics in the collection and it’s time to see if they were all winners!

The first comic was easily the best one of the batch and that’s definitely a nice way to start the collection. The Phantom Stranger has brought all of the Robins together so that they can save Batman. Batman has been shot and the injury appears to be fatal. Can the Robins find a way to put aside their differences and save the Caped Crusader before all is lost!?

This comic was very fun since all of the Robins got to interact. Who wouldn’t want to see these guys take a swing at each other? Unfortunately they don’t get to fight, but we do get to see them team up. I’m not a huge fan of Nightwing’s costume in this one, but the character was portrayed correctly. Tim Drake and Jason Todd were my favorite Robins in this adventure. Todd even got some free foreshadowing about what would happen to him, but luckily he didn’t piece it together. The plot isn’t very convincing since the Phantom Stranger could have summoned anyone to help, but maybe he just wanted to teach the Robins some teamwork. We get some cameos from a few other heroes at the end, which could have made for a nice adventure as well. The comic also gets some extra points for giving Batman a nice amount of willpower when the going got tough.

The second comic had a Christmas theme and it involved the Ragman. There weren’t any big criminals in this comic, but the Ragman isn’t very happy. In his neighborhood, the people have fallen into tough times and everyone is pretty poor. He can stop the hoodlums from causing trouble, but he can’t give them any money. He lets Batman know about his troubles, but then they realize that the hoodlums may have a boss. It could be time for Batman to show why he’s one of the legendary heroes!

This comic was decently good. It’s supposed to be an emotional comic and emotional stories aren’t as fun as action packed ones. That being said, the Ragman is a better character than I would have thought. He’s basically a second rate Batman, but he’s still a fun hero to root for. He is definitely not that optimistic, but by the end of the comic he remembers why its good to be cheerful. Batman made the right call at the end of the issue and it’s something that you would expect from the Caped Crusader.

The third comic featured Mr Miracle as he becomes trapped along with Batman. They don’t know how they’ve been trapped, but they need to get out as fast as they can. There are numerous traps and they will not only test how physically capable the heroes are, but it will also test how long their minds can hold out against the strain!

I liked the twist at the end of the comic and it was cool to see the heroes try to dodge all of the traps. They squeeze in a pretty big villain at the end of the issue, which makes for a pretty unbelievable ending. However, Mr Miracle is around and he does have that name for a reason. They give him a lot of hype and while I believe that Batman is even better at escaping traps; Mr Miracle can be a decent character as well. He has a little too much fun through the danger parts and that’s something that I can never really find believable, but it’s good to know that he enjoys his job. Batman is naturally the one who suspects that something is up and we also get to see how durable he is.

Every comic collection needs to have one comic that drags down the rest and this is what the fourth comic does. Batmite decides that he needs to have someone that’s more important than a friend to him, but Batman isn’t sure that this is a wise idea. Will Batmite learn that romance is not quite as intense as it appears or will Batman have to take him down!?

There’s not much to say about this comic. Batmite was as unlikable as ever and the comic just wasn’t funny. Romance doesn’t make for a great plot in a comedy adventure like this one and Batman didn’t look so good. He let Batmite verbally defeat him in each of their battles. If only Batmite would learn once and for all that Batman is a great hero who does not need any help. You may just want to skip this comic.

The fifth comic had the biggest guest star. Wally West is in town and he’s determined to prove to Batman that he’s a capable hero. He even takes a shot at the Teen Titans, but Batman lets it slide. When there’s a robbery in the city, Flash decides to challenge Batman to a contest. The winner will find the culprit, stop him, and recover the jewels first. Batman never resists a good challenge so the fight is on!

The plot for the comic was pretty good and I’m always up for a race. Wally may have been a little desperate to beat Batman, but it’s okay since this isn’t Barry Allen. With Flash’s super speed it could even be a little believable that he could find the culprit before Batman. It’s a best of three battle, but I can assure you that we don’t get the usual cop out. They don’t tie in the final round and that would have been sad. We do get a big twist at the end of the comic, but it actually helped the ending and everything suddenly made a lot of sense. Batman is definitely a team player and this comic reminds us of that.

The final comic shows how tough a week can be for someone like Batman. He’s needed by many other superheroes and he’ll be facing some of the toughest villains around. Can Batman really match up against this onslaught of villains? Well, Batman definitely has the last laugh when the comic ends and this is also one of the better ones in the collection.

This issue was basically a montage as we get 2 pages for every day of Batman’s week. One day he’s fighting Mongul and the next he’s dealing with Jonah Hex in the past. Batman’s a busy guy so I’m sure that you’re not surprised to see him taking on all of these threats. As fun as the comic was, the ending is what really made it stand out. One guy asks Batman if he really needs everyone’s help all of the time and Batman quickly clears things up. “They need my help!” is basically Batman’s response and it does ring true. Whenever a situation arises, the heroes tend to run to Batman for help. Who else could they trust to save the world?

Batman appears in each of the comics and they do a good job of making him into a likable character. Batman has several different personalities as you go through the eras and this one focuses on his happy personality from the old days. I love this take on Batman since we don’t get it so often. Seeing Batman crack a few puns can get you a little more interested in who he’s actually fighting. Batman looked incredible in all of the good comics in this batch so I really don’t have any complaints about how he was handled. He’s Batman…and that’s all that needs to be said.

The art is pretty good and it’s easy to read. The artist definitely styled it after the TV show and it works for these comics. I wouldn’t say that the art is very high tier, but it’s good enough to be called a very good piece of art. In a way, it may remind you of the art from the 80′s or 70′s and that was a solid era.

Overall, this is a pretty fun collection of comics. It is pretty short so you don’t want to pay a high price for this trade paperback, but it’s worth a standard price. From the 6 comics, all of them were pretty good except for the Batmite one. The comics have a nice mix of action and comedy with Batman getting all of the best punchlines. I’ve always loved Batman’s portrayal in these stories and it’s easy to see why he’s so popular. If you haven’t already read these comics…..I recommend changing that now!

Overall 7/10

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Transcendence Review


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I have to say that I never realized how many horror posters this film got. I definitely would have been disappointed if I went in after just viewing those, but I wasn’t expecting a horror movie when I went in. I was expecting a film with Johnny Depp where he actually looked bearable. That can’t be right…can it? My brother got some advance tickets so I got to see the film before it officially came out and things got intense. Pizza in one hand and a water bottle in the other, I wasn’t leaving until I’d seen the entire film!

The plot involves a man named Will Castor and he’s pretty smart. He is working on building a sentient A.I. that has a will of its own and is capable of making decisions. Things are going pretty well for a while, but then the building where he is in gets infiltrated by a terrorist organization that is against technology. They shoot him and murder some of his associated as they effectively shut down the program. Will now has the only computer that works and he is doomed to die. His only chance is to become the A.I., but will he still be human? Humanity must decide whether they can trust Will or not and the terrorists aren’t going to stop until he’s taken down. Man vs Machines…the war to end all wars has begun. Let’s just hope that we fare better against Will than we did against Skynet!

There actually aren’t a whole bunch of characters in this one. There are only a few important ones that need to be mentioned and who better to start off with than Will? As you can tell from the trailers, Will becomes one with the A.I. and now he has the power! The Government quickly starts to fear him and the terrorists are unnerved. This doesn’t really deter Will and he does a lot of great things with his new abilities. He can help people heal from disease and give them superhuman abilities as well. That’s not a bad deal and he can also keep people safe.

We don’t get to see it much, but with his internet abilities, Will has a lot of control over the planet. Think about what you could do if you completely controlled the internet. It would be pretty incredible. Unfortunately, that’s not something that we really get to see since it’s more about how Will is helping the environment and trying to convince people that he’s an okay guy. Not all of his moves are the right ones, but I’ll get into that later on in the review.

Evelyn is Will’s partner through the film and she tries her hardest to make sure that Will makes it into his A.I. form in decent shape. She was pretty good during the beginning of the film, but I gradually began to dislike her as the film went on. I’ve never liked it when the characters start to distrust the main character because he’s grown too powerful. I expected her to be a lot more understanding towards the end and it just didn’t happen.

At least Evelyn doesn’t fall as far down as Max. Max is basically Will’s best friend, but the instant that Will transcends the limits of the physical body; Max turns against him. He fears what he does not fully understand and he also doesn’t want to understand. Max gets kidnapped by the terrorists and things continue to get worse and worse for him.

Naturally, you’ll understand why I don’t like Joseph. As with Evelyn, he turns against Will pretty quickly. Even before he turned to the “dark” side I didn’t care for him. He was a little too chummy with the FBI and if you’ve watched any film in the last 30 years…you never trust the FBI. They are usually just around to be infiltrated or blown apart by the CIA. Given how big his actor was, I thought that Joseph would get a larger role. Ah well, he didn’t really add much to the plot.

Donald was one of the more likable characters. Why? He’s open about being untrustworthy and he’s basically bad to the bone. He believes in using people to take the fall for him and he doesn’t matter how he solves a case…just as long as he solves it. Donald doesn’t appear for very long, but he was a nice change of pace from the other characters.

Bree is the final character that I should mention. She’s just one of the terrorists, but she seems to be the main one or at least the most important member. She gets Max to exit the bar and get mugged and she’s also the one who continues to talk tough for the duration of the film. I can’t say that she’s a likable villain and I can’t take her seriously as a villain, but at least she had a gun. That automatically made her more prepared than the rest of the terrorists.

We have a pretty colorful cast, but they just weren’t that enjoyable. Will did some shady things, but for the most part he was helping humanity. I can see why they were upset when his cybernetics became capable of possessing people, but why couldn’t Evelyn just tell him that she didn’t approve? Throughout the whole film, she never walks up to Will and directly tells him to stop. It’s a little tough on the viewer because you almost feel bad for Will. He really does his best to make Evelyn feel comfortable in this tough future, but she doesn’t make things easy on him.

Will may have made a few mistakes, but he also did a lot of good through his new knowledge. He could have revolutionized medical treatment and stopped Global hunger. He would have essentially solves all of Earth’s big problems if humanity had let him. Power corrupts, but Will seemed to be strong willed enough to stop that from happening to him. Sure, Will got rich very quickly, but he did it by using advanced logic to place stock, bets, and trades. He didn’t seem to do anything illegal.

As such, it’s hard to sympathize with the other characters. If Will had won, then it would have been a victory for many. An innocent man ends up dying because of the terrorists, but the government doesn’t seem to care and more of Will’s “friends” take it in stride since it’s for the greater good. I’ve never liked traitors like that and these characters were no exception.

The soundtrack for the film is decent. I liked the theme that played during the end credits, but I can’t say that I really remember any of the other tunes. Well, having one memorable tune definitely beats having none and that final piece helped to win back the horror element that we had been waiting for.

The film isn’t very violent, but we do get a few intense scenes. One guy is beaten up very badly and then Will has to use his super science to save him. That scene can be a little disturbing visually since his injuries look so gruesome. We get a few people beat up here and there, but nothing gets any worse than the medical scene. It would have been more of a problem if we got too many scenes like that, but there are only a handful of scenes with violence and the rest is back to the norm. We don’t really get much romance in this film although I’m pretty sure that I remember an unnecessary flashback. It could have been cut out.

Overall, this was an all right film. It’s basically what if story with a lot of drama. The film could have went many different ways with this plot and they went for an emotional route. I believe that the film would have done better if it had gone for horror or action, but I suppose that a film can’t do that every time. It’s not a bad film and you should enjoy it if you like the concept, but there’s also no amazing reason to see it. If you want another take on a what if future involving robots, then it may be time to check out an edited Terminator film.

Overall 5/10

Bakuman


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This is a pretty fun manga so far. It reminds me of Hikaru No Go and that series had some pretty good pacing. I will have a review for the series when it finishes, but so far it has a bright future ahead of it. Overall 6/10

Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations Review


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I have to say that I had been wanting to get this game for years. It was right up there with Dragon Ball Z Raging Blast as the highest game on my list. It took me a few years to finally get it and I can say that it was as good as I expected. This is definitely one of the greatest games out there and now I’ll talk about why it’s so great.

First, I just want to explain why it took so long to get this game. I have loads of games on my list and while this was the highest one, it was also more money than some others. Why get Naruto for 30 dollars when I could buy 4 other games for that same amount of money? It’s the whole quantity vs quality debate. I admit that I usually go for quantity in that case because it’s fun to have a lot of options. Still, I finally got this game for my birthday with a few other games. (You can expect to see reviews for them at some point. I will say that DOA 2 Hardcore was also one of my Birthday games)

This isn’t the first game in the Ninja Storm series so you may already know the gameplay, but I’ll explain it just in case. It’s a 3D battle style, but don’t mistake it for Xmen Legacy or Iron Man 2! This is a deep 3D battle style and each character has a lot of attacks and combos that can be used. When you’re hit by an attack, you have to option to quickly turn into a log and stop the combo. You can’t do this forever as there is a new meter that prevents people from spamming this function.

You can use close combat techniques or launch a projectile jutsu and see how it fares. The gameplay is really fun, thanks in part to the large cast of diverse characters. This is one game where you may not spam final smashes quite as much as in other games because some of them can be pretty easy to dodge, which leaves you vulnerable to attack. You can play 1 on 1 battles or use the team system, which equips you with two other characters that you can summon as backup. It’s essentially the same system as in Marvel vs Capcom in that respect. Some characters also have an Awakening mode, which drastically amplifies their attack power and you sometimes get a whole new moveset. They’re really fun to use and they make sure that you feel every hit while in those forms. I suspect that the sound effects are increased during that time period to really get you ready for some action.

The graphics amplify the gameplay because they are pretty great. The attacks stand out and the colors are very flashy. You’ll notice this a lot if you play as the 4th Hokage since almost all of his attacks have yellow energy around them. This game also has fully animated cutscenes that look really good. You’ll think that you’re watching the TV show when they come on. Each Story episode typically has two big animated cutscenes and you can tell that they put a lot of work into this game.

The soundtrack is pretty good for the game, although it’s definitely not as strong as it could have been. You really won’t be paying much attention to the music while you’re fighting, but I would have liked some more rock themes. In Gaara’s opening, we get an incredible piece of music, but it never appears again and I can’t seem to find it online. Beyond that, Story Mode has a pretty catchy tune, but it basically shows up for every battle so it may get a little repetitive after a while. I would say that the music is average, but that’s still not bad. It definitely could have been a lot worse.

Story Mode is a mixed bag for me. Instead of going through the whole plot like the games usually do, this game decided that a few characters would just get their own story. It’s basically an Arcade Mode with an intro/ending as well as a short cutscene before each fight. The problem is that the story doesn’t really make a lot of sense this way. It’s enjoyable and you’ll still get what’s happening, but I would have preferred the traditional approach. One thing that you will definitely pick up is the fact that Naruto and Sasuke are the two most important characters. They have a big role in just about every story and you’ll realize that they’re basically invincible. Killer Bee gets his own story as well, but it’s basically filler and more of a homage to the character than anything. He doesn’t get any big cutscenes, but we get to see him rap and dance…that’s something I suppose. (Not a Killer Bee fan!)

Unlike some of the other games that I’ve been reviewing lately, this game has a lot of extra content that will keep you playing for a while. There are about a dozen tournaments to enter and completing them all gives you various titles and unlockables as well as a decent amount of money. Next, you’ve also got over a dozen levels of survival mode to play and unlock more content as well. Then we’ve got the traditional two player mode and you can have fun in team battles or standard play.

Replay Value is definitely not something that Generations is lacking. There are many things to buy at the shop and you’ll need to get a lot of money if you really want to buy them all. Getting some things to unlock in the shop requires you to play as all of the characters and use their final smashes. It may seem like a daunting task, but the gameplay is so fun that you probably won’t even mind.

Naturally, this game also has trophies to earn and boost your user profile. I haven’t acquired the Platinum this time, but the trophies don’t seem outrageous. There are some difficult ones in there, but none that I would consider unfair or pointless. Beating all tournaments and survival modes is a reasonable trophy since it’s something that you would be inclined to do anyway. Plus, as a customer, you want to get the maximum value for the game that you just bought right?

I suppose that it’s not a surprise that this game is so great. Naruto’s had an excellent track record as far as video games go. The first Ultimate Ninja Storm was great and the Clash of Ninja series has always been one of the better fighters. Ultimate Ninja is great and those games had a lot of characters and even the Dragon Blade spinoff was decent considering that the controls weren’t the best. Naruto is just one of those franchises that really knows how to make a top of the line game.

Overall, I highly recommend this game! It’s extremely fun and there is a lot to do. The character roster is pretty large so you shouldn’t have a tough time trying to find someone to play with. Story Mode may not be very clear, but you can still experience the story through various characters and its pretty fun. If nothing else, it can help you become a fan and start reading the manga or watching the anime. This is one of the select games that I can confidently call and All Star. There are very few games that beat this one so I would recommend buying it when you have the chance!

Overall 9/10

Saitama vs Bass



Saitama
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Saitama is known to be able to take down just about any opponent with a single punch. I can guarantee that he’s never fought someone at Bass’ level before. One punch wouldn’t be able to defeat Bass and it probably wouldn’t even be able to break through his barrier. Bass is also massively faster than light so it’ll be tough for Saitama to land a good hit. Bass wins.

Tifa vs Firestar



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I’m afraid that Firestar is really no match against Tifa. Tifa possesses super strength and her speed surpasses Firestar’s. Firestar has no attacks in his arsenal that can really help him turn the tides in this match. He’s just going to have to settle for a loss in this round and hope that his next opponent isn’t as powerful. Tifa wins.

Original image for Firestar was drawn by NatameSecrea. The link to the image is below.

http://natamesecrea.deviantart.com/art/Warriors-Firestar-144212178

Johan Liebert vs Bass



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Whenever a villain becomes known as the best, then it’s time to match up against Bass! Bass is the ultimate villain and there will never be a fighter who can surpass him. Bass has his Darkness Overload attack and one good hit is enough to take down just about any fighter. Liebert has met his match in this round! Bass wins.

Olimar vs Yoshi



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Olimar is a pretty tricky fellow and he has a lot of Pikmin at his side, but he’s no match for Yoshi. Yoshi is a pretty powerful opponent and his kicks are deadly. Yoshi has the speed advantage and he can also use his Super Smash abilities to fire giant fireballs that would quickly take Olimar down for the count. Yoshi wins.

Iron Man 2 Review



Aw yeah, it’s Iron Man time! I enjoyed the first game on the DS and the gameplay was pretty unique. This is one of the bigger Marvel movie tie ins and also one of the final ones since they don’t seem to make them anymore. It’s a pretty fun game and while I can’t say that it was great, it was pretty good considering that this game probably didn’t get a huge budget.

The plot is pretty different from the movie and I can’t really say that it was very memorable. You get to fight big names like the Crimson Dynamo and Ultimo while helping SHIELD get through some serious situations. All you need to know is that the villains keep trying to steal Tony Stark’s data and we can’t let that happen. I would have a better picture of the story, but when I played through it the second time around, I decided to skip all cutscenes. The graphics just weren’t worth it and the story is decent if I recall correctly.

The graphics are pretty good for the game. Surprisingly good! It seriously doesn’t feel like a movie tie in game and the animation is pretty good even considering that the PS3 can have some excellent graphics. The cutscenes don’t look quite as smooth, mainly due to the human designs. Still, while you’re blasting away at enemies, it all looks pretty realistic. That’s probably one of the biggest pros for me.

The gameplay is your standard 3D shooting game. It plays out like War For Cybertron, but you have unlimited flight which helps. (Can’t be Starscream all the time in War For Cybertron) Firing your weapons and engaging in hand to hand combat can both be pretty fun and you have a good selection of weapons. Using Ironman’s lasers in combat is a must and everything becomes much easier. Maybe the lasers are overpowered, but they’re still fun!

The gameplay isn’t all fun though as the controls can be a little tricky. It’s very tough to change directions while flying and you’ll wish that you hadn’t flown more times than not. Usually, it’s better to just dash where you want to go. Setting up your weapons system is also a lot more complicated than it should be. There’s a reason why I didn’t even know about the lasers until way after I had completed the game.

The customization can be pretty cool once you get the hang of it. You can unlock various Iron Man suits, which range from Extremis to Ultimate and it’s fun to switch around. The weapons can also make quite the difference in battle. It may not be a very extensive customization, but you get 4 weapons per armor and you can use your exp points from battle to create new gadgets. It’s a decent addition and I’ll take what I can get to make the gameplay deeper and more fun!

The trophies in Iron Man 2 aren’t unreasonable and I managed to secure the Platinum. Basically, you just need to defeat a lot of opponents and be prepared to face the game on hard mode. You’ll be okay if you have the lasers at the ready. Playing as War Machine can be more than a little difficult, but his gameplay isn’t as bad as you may think. Trophies don’t really affect the game’s score, but they’re still nice to have around. I typically give a game a second look if it has some nice trophies.

The game has 8 levels and I admit that this isn’t a good thing. 10 levels is the absolute minimum amount for a video game and anything lower than that is pretty unacceptable. One factor that tries to disguise this is the trophy system and the upgrades that you acquire through the levels. They help the overall replay value, but you should still be warned that the game won’t be lasting very long. You’ll be done with it pretty quickly. Unfortunately, there really isn’t anything to do aside from Story Mode. A few bonus modes would have been nice or at least a wifi option/leaderboard. Story Mode is basically the only thing here so I hope that you enjoy those 8 levels.

Still, in the end, gameplay is what counts the most. I found it to be pretty enjoyable and it does beat the gameplay that we got in the first Iron Man as well as the Thor video game. I doubt that this will help in Marvel’s battle to surpass DC in video games, but it’s a start.

Overall, this was a pretty fun superhero game. It’s definitely on the short side and I wish that we got to have more missions where you don’t have to worry about protecting something. The gameplay is what you’d expect from any movie tie in, but it’s a formula that always works. The soundtrack was above average and the graphics were downright impressive. I recommend this game and it’s a bit of a step up from the first game. (Albeit that I own the first for the DS) It looks like Iron Man 3 won’t be getting a true video game spinoff so that’s more reason to get this one. I wouldn’t recommend it to you if you don’t like games that are too short, but considering the price….I’d say that it’s worth it. 8 levels is under the 10 level standard, but going back for the Platinum helps the overall time right? I say go for it!

Overall 7/10