Oct 28 2011


Okay, between one thing (Cardinal Quest) and another (Batman: Arkham City) and another (fixing car) I’ve literally had no time for miscellaneous things over the past week. Fortunately Batman’s finished, the car should go back together this weekend, and Cardinal Quest keeps getting better 😀

To the FACE.

Arkham City’s an impressive follow-up to Rocksteady’s Arkham Asylum, taking the same grim super-detective, satisfying combat and careful handholding out to the streets of… well, not Gotham, but a tiny walled-in bit populated entirely by identical criminals. Well founded accusations of sexism aside (for christ’s sake, just try Catwoman’s ground slide, it’s hilarious) it’s a kickass game, taking an Oblivion-style approach to the open-world of Gotham: you’ve got a mission on your map and you’re on your way over, but hey, there’s a Riddler trophy to pick up, and a citizen needs assistance, and you’ve just spotted two informants you need to interrogate, and there’s another trophy, and (checks map) there’s a riddle near here! Better take care of all of those so you don’t have to come back for them later. And oh crap, a phone’s ringing, you need to do that mission! Hey, now you’re on the other side of the city. You’d best get back to my objective… wait, I see  three new Riddler trophies and an informant! You’ll just clear those up and CRAP it’s THREE AM NOW HOW DID THIS HAPPEN

Not that the game’s Oblivion length; it’s maybe 20 hours. You know Oblivion’s main storyline? Kings, dragons, Jauffre, towns in peril and all that? I must have played Oblivion for over 100 hours and I never finished the main plot. It was pretty weak, right? Generic high fantasy, lots of travelling, faintly rubbish mass battles where one side would get totally obliterated depending on the auto-levelling… I’m hoping Skyrim will sort that part out. Christ, that’s out in two weeks. TWO WEEKS. Why do we (as an industry) have to jam everything into October – November again? It’s mental.

So yeah! Arkham City. It’s got a bunch of issues, from a slightly wonky and overbearing start to “detective” sections that border on parody and a scattered and unfocused storyline (probably the fate of anything with just so many major, independent villains). But it’s ridiculously polished, it’s fun, punching dudes flows even better than in the last one, and it captures the essence of Batman and his setting superbly. There’s a slight pervasive shallowness to the game, combat system aside, but it’s hard to argue with the breadth and thorough, technical execution of that shallowness.

Meanwhile on Cardinal Quest: this week’s been all about usability improvements, balancing and bugfixes. We’re heading towards a nice, tight release of Cardinal Quest Classic soon, with dang near every bug anyone’s found fixed as well as a bunch of nice tweaks no-one even asked for. Look out for it! After that it’s onwards with Cardinal Quest Deluxe and a ton of new items, skills, spells and everything… it’s going to be fun 😀

For now, I’m going to get some sleep. Tomorrow I’ve got a rear axle to reassemble and bolt back to the car, since it’s finally stripped down and all the parts are ready for new bushes. Wish me luck #_#