Monthly Archives: November 2014

Lego Batman 3

LEGO-Batman-3

If my last post with DC’s Lego Variants didn’t give it away I am a big fan of the Lego video game series.  This started with the Lego Star Wars games which I initially bought when I got a PS3 and has continued with all most every game they have put out.  I have played all three Lego Star Wars games, both Lego Batman games, Lego Marvel, Lego Pirates of the Caribbean, and both Lego Harry Potter games.  The only ones I haven’t played are the Lego Lord of the Rings games.  So needless to say I have played a lot of Lego games, and while they are similar they manage to improve with each new game and iteration.

Lego Batman 3 continues the way of handling the games that was started with Lego Batman 2 which is to have real voice actors and flushed out story and cut scenes.  While I appreciate the effort I actually don’t like this feature very much.  The cut scenes are all unskippable the first time you see them, and while they did put effort in it I could care less about the story.   What I like about the Lego games is the gameplay and the cut scenes get in the way of me playing.  This game did a better job than Lego Marvel did and they were generally a lot shorter and less annoying.  The good news is once you finish the initial game and go back in free play mode all cut scenes are once again skippable.

Since the Lego Harry Potter series a staple of the Lego games is an open world hub area.  In Lego Batman 2 it was in the form of a very large open Gotham that you could explore.  In Lego Batman 3 there are several open world areas.  You have a large Watchtower, Batcave, and also several lantern worlds.  These areas are all very large and have lots to explore but are a little confusing.  I had to look up online to find where to buy the red bricks and will have to look online again when I am ready to buy characters and other items.  It’s not a deal breaker by any means but it is pretty confusing on figuring out where to go.

As of writing this I have finished the main game and had a great time.  The levels are similar to Lego Marvel in which there are about 3 acts in each and most end in a boss fight.  There are a couple vehicle levels mixed in that are pretty short and fairly odd.  The main levels are a lot of fun.  They have really mastered the platforming that they put in the game and it feels like they put a lot of effort in this game.  It’s hard to make puzzles you have to go through when you have Superman on your team but they do a good job at it.  They split up all the mechanics through a dozen or so characters so you still need to switch out and use your whole team to complete each level.

In Lego Batman 2 they introduced several suits you needed to unlock various parts of the game.  In Lego Batman 3 they allow you to switch between those suits whenever you want which is a awesome and great addition.

Lego Conan Obrien

There are a total of 150 playable characters in the game.  Along with the typical batman characters and many iterations of the Bat suit there are a slew of other justice league and other DC characters.  The more famous include Wonder Woman and Green Lantern while the obscure has Bat Cow and Bat Mite.  They also included a handful of celebrity characters as well such as Conan O’Brien, Kevin Smith, and Jim Lee.  I haven’t found all the celebrities yet but its pretty awesome knowing they are there.  The characters are one of my favorite parts of these games.  I generally 100% all of these games and the main reason is that I want unlock all the characters.

Arrow Pack Lego Batman 3

Along with the game itself I went ahead and bought the season pass for DLC.  All ready out is a Batman 66 Pack, Man of Steel Pack, and Dark Knight Pack.  Along with those three there will be 3 other packs, one based on the TV Show Arrow and one based on Batman Beyond.  I’ve only played the Batman 66 DLC so far and it was great.  It gives you one story based mission (takes about 20 minutes to play) and a slew of additional characters.  The Batman 66 pack was narrated by Adam West and had the feel of a classed episode of the TV show.  When you punched characters big signs with POW, BANG, WHAM appear which I did laugh out loud when I saw them.

If you are a fan of the Lego games you probably have all ready bought this.  If you haven’t played a Lego game before this is a great one and you’d probably have a good time.  I’ll leave you with one little cheat that you can use in all the Lego games.  So part of the cheats you can buy with the red bricks are multipliers that multiply the amount of coins you get.  There is a 2x, 4x, 6x, and 10x.  The key is that they stack together so when you have them all on you get 3840 times as many coins as you normally do.  So when you are playing don’t bother buying characters right away, save all your coins to start getting the multipliers. By the time you have the 2x, 4x, and 6x you will have so many coins you won’t have to worry about running out any more.

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DC’s November Lego Variant Covers

LEGO-Batman-3

Last month was monster variants in honor of Shocktober, this month is Lego Variant Covers due to the release of Lego Batman 3.  I’m a big fan of the Lego video games and will definitely be picking it up.  Here are all 22 issues.


New Comic Book TV Part V: Constantine

Constantine TV Logo

Constantine marks the last of the new Comic Book inspired TV shows to come out this year. You may have noticed I haven’t made a post on The Walking Dead yet. I will, it’s just I’m way behind on the series (currently only half way through season 3) so I’d like to catch up a little more before I write about it. However that reality is looking less and less likely so I’ll probably just go into it not knowing how the last season and half turned out. But we aren’t here to talk Walking Dead, we are here for Constantine.

Most of the new TV season came out during September with Constantine the only straggler premiering in late October. I think this was probably to coincide with the spookiness of Shocktober but also probably to get it a little breathing room from all the other shows coming out this year. Constantine is the only comic book related show on NBC and honestly the way they have premiered it late and have it showing on Friday nights (the night that TV shows go to die) shows the lack of confidence they have in it. I’ll never understand putting all the money and effort to get a show produced and then actively trying to harm it once it’s released but whatever…

Ravenscar Asylum

The show starts off with Constantine in the famous Ravenscar insane asylum. We get the impression that he has committed himself here during the aftermath of something that occurred in Newcastle. While in the asylum he performs an exorcism on demon which gives him a warning and leads him to Liv Aberdine. Liv is the daughter of Constantine’s mentor who is unaware of the entire supernatural world which Constantine introduces her to. They come across the demon Furcifer which after a fairly impressive CGI battle Constantine sends back to hell. Some things are revealed and due to a little intervening by Constantine Liv decides not to get into the exorcism business but leaves John with a map speckled with locations where supernatural events will soon occur.

Hellblazer 11

Overall this was a great first episode. We get an already battle worn John Constantine who we get the impression has been in the exorcism business for a while. We get the impression that the business has taken a toll on him and that mistakes have been made along the way. The early introduction of Newcastle is a nice little easter egg of the Newcastle Incident that appears in Hellblazer Issues 11 and 12. At first it’s mostly smoke and mirrors that something bad happened there but we get a better explanation of what went down during the end of the episode. We also meet Hellblazer regular Chas Chandler who you may remember from the 2005 movie played by Shia LaBeouf pre-I’m-not-famous stage.

Chas Constantine

While it comes together pretty well there has been some weird behind the scenes decisions which effected the episode. The character of Liv was meant to be the co-star of the show and work with Constantine though the series. Something happened behind the scenes and she was written out of the show which makes for her awkward introduction and quick disposal as a character. They do this as organically as possible but its pretty clear they had long term plans for her in the series and last minute decided to ditch her. I don’t know how this will effect things going forward but it seems like a bad choice to make. For a TV show the CGI did look pretty impressive which is good because with all the supernatural elements the series needs bad CGI will slowly make the show grating and hard to watch.

Things I Liked

Constantine Vol 1 Issue 1 Variant

Overall I did like the show. I think they had a good atmosphere and theme and did a good job of capturing the essence of John Constantine. John Constantine isn’t a great guy, he’s selfish and while he’s doing good work he’s generally doing it for selfish reasons. The show did a pretty good job of getting this across. I think it is undercut a bit introducing the Newcastle incident so early in the series. This was a real mess up for John and deeply affects him throughout the entire comic book series. It was good to see this was in the show but it would have been good to have more perspective about it. Constantine does dickish and selfish acts like what he did at Newcastle all the time generally feeling little to no remorse. The way they are portraying him I believe this will come out more as the show progresses and I think the over compassionate side of was just due to them only being able to show so much in a single episode.

Things I Didn’t Like

No Smoking symbol

I know. This has been discussed ad-nasium. From the moment they announced the show the first question was “Will Constantine smoke?” and for some its literally all they seem to care about. It’s a stupid thing to get to hung up on but it really is a big part of who he is. The “Dangerous Habits” arc about John getting lung cancer (which the 2005 movie was loosely based on) is one of, if not the most popular arc in the series. Would Don Draper be as iconic and intimidating if he didn’t smoke? Probably, but smoking is a part of who he is and has effected major story lines in Mad Men. NBC can’t show Constantine actually smoking. I believe their hands are tied in this matter and apparently network TV cannot show people smoking. I think they do a decent compromise with basically showing everything but him actually smoking. They make an obvious effort to show Constantine with his lighter at every possible moment and during the last scene of the show he’s shown putting out a cigarette he was clearly just smoking. We are probably just going to get more of this which is fine, it’s just dumb and annoying that NBC’s hands are clearly tied in this matter and these are the hoops they have to jump through.

jerry final thought

Overall I am really looking forward to this show. It looks like it’s going to be like a police procedural with John fighting new and interesting demons each week. Basically we are getting a new version of the X-Files and I am completely on board for that. There is a lot of backlash about how Constantine has been watered down since his reintroduction into the new 52. I really just don’t see this as the case. Is the new 52 version of Constantine different than the Hellblazer version? Sure. But at the heart I think it’s the same character and if there weren’t some changes or growth in the series it’d be stagnate and boring.


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