Monday, June 29, 2009

Wonder Woman - The Hiketeia Review

Hey Batfans, welcome to the second edition of Jason Todd's Graphic Novel reviews. This week our favorite Gothamite makes a guest appearance in "Wonder Woman - The Hiketeia" Written by Greg Rucka, with artwork by J.G. Jones and starring Two-Thirds of the DC Trinity; this book has the recipe for success.

Wonder Woman - The Hiketeia's plot is simple...What happens when the Amazonian Princess Wonder Woman agrees to Hiketeia, which is the tradition that she must play host to a young woman by the name of Danielle "Danny" Wells to protect her with her life. Little does she know Danielle is being hunted by a certain Caped Crusader for committing unspeakable crimes. So what's Diana to do ... does she allow Batman to pursue her protected companion or does she aid a criminal and fight one of her strongest allies?

As always, I'm not going to ruin the book for would-be readers. The plot idea is very interesting and led me to believe that we'd see a fight of epic proportions between Batman and Wonder Woman. Sadly, I was mistaken. Over 80 pages and the fight between the two heroes lasted maybe three at the most ... The artwork was very good but the story was seriously lacking. What started out strong, quickly fell with each page, even to the point of being screwed out of a fight between two of the biggest names in comic history.

Sure Batman is nowhere near as strong as Wonder Woman, but that's never been an obstacle before. The ending seemed rushed as well and I felt letdown by Greg Rucka. Honestly, I feel that this may be one of the worst stories I've ever read ... the artwork is a plus, and the plot had potential but ultimately was a letdown. I wish I could start a Hiketeia and have someone protect me from reading things this bad in the future. Overall, I give Wonder Woman - The Hiketeia a 3/10.

-Jason Todd

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Batmania Reviews: Exclusive Interview with Keir Edmonds

Jason Todd: First and foremost I wanna' welcome everyone to Batmania Reviews, we plan on getting alot of interviews and things that every Bat-Fan wants to hear, so without further ado, Id like to introduce our first ever Interviewee. He's the Eidos Community Manager, and someone who has ALOT of patience in dealing with the forums, You know him, Ya love him, Ya bug him for Demos, Keir

JT: So, Keir thanks for doing this Interview with us, how does it feel to be our first guest at Batmania Reviews, and how did you like your star studded introduction?

Keir: Great introduction and thanks very much! It's a privilege to be the first here I must say. I like what you've done with the place :D

JT: So Jumping right in Keir, I know I've wondered as well as some other people, how did you get your job at Edios as Community Manager and what are some of the biggest perks and disadvantages of your job?

Keir: Well, I've been at Eidos for over eight years now, man and boy. I was lucky when I got my job here, a friend saw the vacancy - we both applied - I got it, he didn't :D

I started out testing games which was amazing (I remember dancing around the house in my underwear when I first heard I got the job) but it was also a mixed blessing. I had the pleasure of working on some really cool titles like Timesplitters 2 and Anachronox (which I still love to this day) to some real dogs like Popstar Maker and Who Wants to be a Millionaire German Junior Edition *shudders*

After a little while in test I moved to customer service before landing a job in community management, which I love because it combines my love of the internets with gaming, while also enabling me to indulge my interest in how online communities behave. There are many perks of the job, we get to sit and play games in work. The downsides are the long hours and sometimes dealing with difficult PR situations and mobs of angry fans - but I love my job so it's always OK. The best bit about working here is the people, sounds cheesy but it's true. It's a young company and a very cool environment to work in. I've made many, many friends here.

JT: So Keir...I gotta ask, you've been community manager for, I believe like eight years, and you seem like a very relaxed guy, but has there ever been a time when you just wanna get up and walk away from the computer after dealing with a member?

Keir: Generally speaking it doesn't get to me. I can always see the bigger picture and I always work out what someone's motivation is. If someone is genuinely upset because they're a fan then I try and help them and I understand their frustration - if they're just being a troll then it generally means their wife bullies them or something which causes their behaviour, so if that's the case it makes me laugh ;)

JT: Considering this is BatMania Reviews, We'd be crazy not to ask if you're a comic book fan Keir, If so, what drew you to comics in the first place, and who are some of your favorite heroes and villains?

Keir: I'll level with you - although I fancy myself as a bit of an artist and I really love Wildstorm's stuff, I'm not what you'd call a comic nerd. You guys on the forum and people like Paul Crocker put me to shame.

JT: One would assume that working at a place like Eidos, that you'd be a big gamer, So Keir what consoles do you own, and what are some of your favorite games to play in your spare time?

Keir: I am of course a gamer and have been since the old days of the Atari 2600 (then Master System, Megadrive, SNES, PS1, PS2) and now I've got a 360. I've also got a DS which I like to play on my travels. I've been playing (well beating my friends at) Pro Evo, Fifa and Virtua Tennis. I've also been playing some Battlestations: Pacific and Fallout 3 lately.

JT: Out of every game that Edios has produced, which is your very favorite and why?

Keir: That's a toughie... there have been many great games that I've been lucky enough to work on over the last few years but there are two games which stand out. The first game is old and has reserved a special place in my heart, Anachronox. It's an old RPG from Ion Storm released (late and over budget) in 2001.

It has the best story line and humour ever. I still quote lines from that game. The characters were awesome. The dev team had such imagination and created a really fantastic world.

It got a lukewarm reception but it really is an epic. It still has a cult following to this day, and I occasionally bump into fellow die hard fans.

The second game is probably the best title Eidos has published. And that game is Batman: Arkham Asylum :cool:

JT: Alright Keir, I know I said I wouldn't ask you anything about Arkham that could potentially get you in trouble with the higher ups, but I've gotta ask SOMETHING to keep the guys at the forum's tongues from watering, lol, so how many more give-a-way contests are coming down the pike?

Keir: Well, let's see... we're lining up some cool competitions in tandem with Dolby, so we have some awesome prizes for the official site and forums. Aside from that I'm hoping to get a few prints of concept art signed by Wildstorm. Now that's a competition prize. I've also got some more posters signed by the Rocksteady team which I'll give out, and maybe some other stuff along the way too :)

JT: Alright Keir, thanks again for your time and being our first ever guest here at BatMania Reviews! Is there anything you'd like to say before we get out of here?

Keir: Nothing more to add other than to say it's great to see how enthusiastic people are for Batman: Arkham Asylum. Thanks for all your support - I can guarantee you that once you've had a chance to get your hands on the game you'll see that it really is the game you've been waiting for all these years.

I'd also like to say hi and thanks to all the dudes from the official forum. Spread the word folks and let's get this party started!

JT: Alright Keir, thanks so much for your time man, and before we get out of here, I gotta ask you to drop a Huzzah! for us...after all it IS your catchphrase.




JT: Lol, awesome, Thanks alot Keir, and thanks for reading guys, we're gonna try to get more interviews in the near future so keep coming back to Batmania Reviews!

- Jason Todd

Monday, June 22, 2009

Arkham Asylum: Living Hell Review

Hey there Batmania readers, welcome to our very first Graphic Novel review. Every Monday or Tuesday, Im going to review a Graphic Novel and give you guys my thoughts, good or bad, and a recommendation and ultimately a review on a scale between one and ten. So without further ado, Lets get started with Arkham Asylum: Living Hell.

Arkham Asylum: Living Hell, written by Dan Slott and featuring artwork from Ryan Soot, is a story about a man known as Warren "The Great White Shark" White, a man infamous for being one of the worst men in the world (as pointed out by numerous people including the murderous Clown Prince of Crime, The Joker.) Warren is on the path to the big house after facing massive counts of fraud, when he decides to plead insanity. Sounds like someone should've warned Warren that in Gotham City it's better to be a criminal than insane. He's shipped straight off to Arkham's Asylum, home of the Criminally Insane.

There's alot more to this story, but the basic question is, do the insane go to Arkham or does Arkham breed the insane? One of the best things about this book is the fact that it shows MASSIVE character development, and this is one of the best displays of character development I've read in a while. So many characters joined the Batman Mythos here, including Warren White, Jane Doe, Doodlebug and so many more make their first appearances here. But they're also joined by longtime favorites, Commissioner Gordon, Batgirl, Jason Blood, and Batman, abeit for only a few pages. One would think the lack of Batman hurt the story but actually, It made the story stronger for not utilizing The Caped Crusader much.

Not everything about Arkham Asylum: Living Hell was great though. One of the letdowns was the ending...a strong start but it tripped just short of the finish line. The story was... over-complicated to say the least. I understood it but I wouldn't recommend it to someone without prior knowledge of Etrigan. But all in all, the Character Development, the fact the story was for the most part well written, and the art of course have made this story stand out as one of the best Arkham based stories since Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth. Thats Why I give Arkham Asylum: Living Hell a solid 8/10 score.

- Jason Todd