#68-70 - Batman on the Sega Genesis, Batman Forever on the PlayStation, Batman Begins on the GBA (Written Reviews by McConnaughay)
Wrestlemania: The Arcade Game was an instant classic when it arrived in the mid-90s, arriving on home-consoles amid, arguably, the most fun and light-heart time in professional wrestling, where everyone seemed to have a silly, over-the-top gimmick, and it felt like comic-book superheroes and villains come to life.
The Arcade Game, which made it on a plethora of consoles (ones I’ve taken into account include the PlayStation, Super NES, and Sega Genesis), embraced the charming absurdity of its subject-matter with its own cartoonish, light-heart approach, receiving a positive reception from critics and audiences alike.
PaRappa the Rapper is a video-game I feel has been coveted by many gamers of my age as a gem, looked at in the same way I looked at Twisted Metal, the Crash Bandicoot series, or Spyro, which makes sense, considering the way all the titles were released in the same time on the original PlayStation. I never really had that nostalgic perspective for PaRappa the Rapper in the way many others seemed to. Although I recognized it as familiar, and while playing, the memories I had of the first level reeled back in, assuring me that I had, in-fact, played it. Turns out though, I hadn’t ever played beyond the first level, because the foggy childhood memories I had about PaRappa the Rapper were of a demo I’d played.
PaRappa the Rapper is a rhythm game developed by NanaOn-Sha and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation, having a Japanese release in 1996 with other countries having to wait til a year later. In celebration of its twentieth anniversary, a remastered version was released in 2017 on the PlayStation 4, although, I will be specifically talking about the original PlayStation port in this review. An anime series also eventually came to fruition in the turn of the millennium that lasted for thirty episodes, along with a direct sequel and a spin-off.
If you know anything about me and video-games and how we mix, you know I have a sweet-spot for the horror genre, and, then, for some reason, light-heart and silly mascot video-games. Titles like Crash Bandicoot and Ratchet & Clank were always my bread and butter as a kid, and since entries in their respective series’ have become scarcer, as is the case with Sly Cooper or Spyro, I’ve taken it upon myself to try and find other mascot video-games I might have missed over the years. The Gex series is one I am modestly familiar with. Although I don’t know for certain, I want to say I owned the third installment Gex 3: Deep Cover Gecko for the Original PlayStation as a kid, but it was so badly scratched up I don’t think I ever played through a significant amount. Going into it, I expected a light-heart, simple plat-former. I didn’t expect a groundbreaking experience, but I expected something that would satiate and scratch a similar itch as other video-games like it had.
Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich looked like a film capable of ushering in a new wave of interest in the nearly three-decade old interest, and, at long-last, it looked like it had individuals a little more equipped with the tools needed to project Charles Bands’ ambitions on the screen. Directed by Sonny Laguna and Tommy Wiklund, it was more the writer of this film that piqued my interest, S. Craig Zahler, whose other credentials include the overlooked gem of Bonesaw Tomahawk, a film released around the same time as The Hateful Eight, also involving Kurt Russell, that I prefer over the Tarantino film.
Existing in a parallel universe to the original Puppet Master series, the film makes minor tweaks and modifications to the series’ lore and thematic approach. Some have compared this film and its arguably more callous attitude as closer to a Troma production than a Full Moon Feature, which I think is grasping at straws for a comparison’s sake. Unlike the original series, which featured the dolls conceive by Toulon, an individual who greatly opposed The Third Reich, this film follows Andre Toulon as a Nazi who animated the puppets as weaponry for The Third Reach, sternly affirming Toulon and the Puppets as antagonists, whereas, in the original series, they were more flexible. The film follows the main-character played by Thomas Lennon, an actor I’m surprised to say I recognized, who moves back in with his parents after divorcing his wife, and attends a convention, looking to sell a puppet he uncovers in his deceased brother’s bedroom. He, alongside his best-friend and recently acquainted girlfriend, soon find themselves caught off-guard when their puppet, as well as the many puppets at the convention, come alive and look to start back where they left off.
As Rocksteady’s Arkham series came to an end, Batman fanatics and casual gamers in-general were wondering what would be next for The Caped Crusader. Would Warner Bros. Montreal try their hand again with a follow-up to Batman: Arkham Origins or would the Batman character be given a chance to cool-off, left to the Injustice series, while we awaited the next project. Turns out, we didn’t have to wait very long as in August 2016, Telltale Games unveiled their interpretation of the Batman character with their episodic point-and-click graphic adventure approach that has, at times, led to acclaim, like with The Walking Dead series, and, at other times, been the recipient of scrutiny, with some regarding it as less of a game and more of an interactive graphic novel, which is only an insult if you regard an interactive novel as a derogatory phrase, which, personally, I do not.
I like Telltale Games a fair bit when they’re at their best, like, for instance, with The Wolf Among Us or Tales from the Borderlands, and I thought them given a chance to share their interpretation of the character would allow a nice change of pace, and, in a perfect world, allow Warner Bros. to give other superheroes a chance to take the small-screen with video-game adaptations.
The Batman: Arkham series felt as though it came out of scenic nowhere when it arrived in 2009, delivering a surprisingly great action video-game that could rival the best of them, and, it’s in my opinion that Batman: Arkham City only improved on Asylum’s premise. Batman: Arkham Origins, on the other-hand, oftentimes felt as though it was the weak link or the black sheep of the series altogether. The first and most obvious fact to mention is that Arkham Origins was developed by Warner Bros. Montreal, marking the first of the series not to be developed by Rocksteady, but, besides that, Origins carried a certain, muddied anticipation from the get-go.
Avid fans of the series were aware that Origins was meant as a hold-over in some respects, meant to satiate gamers while they awaited Rocksteady’s Arkham Knight. The away that Arkham City ended, I think everyone was looking forward to seeing what happened next more than a perspective of what happened prior. Nevertheless, Batman: Arkham Origins bolstered an intriguing premise, happening five years before the events of Arkham Asylum, Black Mask has set a bounty on Batman, drawing the attention of various renowned assassins.
When The Evil Within first arrived in 2014, myself and many others were very excited. Directed by Shinji Mikami (check out Dex Lucis’ review of Mikami’s Resident Evil 4 here), developer Tango Gameworks’ new survival horror appeared poised to replace the Resident Evil – shaped hole in our hearts left when Capcom’s Resident Evil 6 found itself unable to meet expectations. The Evil Within arrived and received a generally positive critical reception, although, unfortunately, not the caliber of acclaim many would’ve hoped. From my perspective, I recognized The Evil Within as suffering from its fair-share of flaws, whether it be dated graphics or the fact that bullets tended to magically traverse enemies instead of, you know, shooting them. That said though, I really loved The Evil Within, and played through the campaign on four separate occasions, enjoying the thematic elements, the memorable antagonists. I think The Evil Within, while not the action survival-adventure brought to us with Resident Evil 4, is one of the best pure horror video-games I’ve played. Suffice to say, I was very excited (and very, very surprised) when The Evil Within 2 was announced for release October 2017.
Since arriving in the early-80s, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a franchise that has amassed a significant following, as well as mainstream appeal, bolstering a plethora of successful animated series’ and theatrically released films, including a feature-film debut in 1990 that brought in over 200 million dollars and a 2014 reboot that attained nearly 500 million dollars at the worldwide box-office, the series is clearly one that has endured. In September this year, Nickelodeon will make another go at a TMNT-animated series with Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and, in-anticipation, here on CurrentlyLoading.net, I decided I would spend this week’s Retro Thursday sharing my opinion on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time, released in 1992 on the Super NES.
Although, Turtles in Time is labeled as the fourth installment in the Ninja Turtles series, continuing the numbering of where the NES games left off, I opted to skip straight to this installment, because they’re stand-alone entries and Turtles in Time is the one I had always heard about as a kid, but never played. A remastered version called Turtles in Time Reshelledis also available on the Xbox Arcade and PlayStation 3’s PlayStation network, but I will be sharing my thoughts, specifically, on the original release.
The credits roll with the letters “F-I-N” sending us off and after forty-eight hours, I have, at last, had my fill (for now), dying around 3,000 times, having completed the campaign once on Single-Player and once in Multiplayer (that’s where the deaths came from – love ya, Beccah Grace), I’ve decided it’s now time to summarize my thoughts on the whole experience. That’s right, in this review, we’re talking about Cuphead!
For those that aren’t aware, Cuphead is a run and gun indie video game developed and published by Studio MDHR, heavily inspired by the works of early animation, such as Max Fleischer and Walt Disney, the video-game was released as a console exclusive for the Xbox One and on Microsoft Windows on September 29, 2017, and I was very excited to experience it for myself.
What is Mishmashers (dot) com?
Started in late-2017, Mishmashers.com is a website by brothers Scott Moore and McConnaughay as a way to share their opinion on an array of different topics, as well as shine a light on their written works. Both brothers are passionate about their work and have dedicated a significant amount of time and resources to their respected works.
- Perfect (10 outta 10)
- Great (9 outta 10)
- Very Good (8 outta 10)
- Good (7 outta 10)
- Above Average (6 outta 10)
- Decent (5 outta 10)
- Below Average (4 outta 10)
- Bad (3 outta 10)
- Very Bad (2 outta 10)
- Horrible (1 outta 10)
- Godawful (0 outta 10)