While I was playing the final episode of Telltale Games' first season of its Fables prequel game, The Wolf Among Us, I was struck by just how many genres it cycles through before its conclusion. It's a locked-parlor mystery. Then it's an action movie. There's melodrama in there. One scene is straight-up horror. Then it's a legal drama.
Previous episodes covered even more genre territory, from noir to surreal fiction to police procedural, but it wasn't until this episode that it dawned on me that Telltale was honoring the storytelling style of Fables, which started as a whodunnit and quickly became beyond categorization in its genre-hopping. Fables isn't just a series about storybook characters, it's a story about stories, and Telltale gets that. This final episode, "Cry Wolf," absolutely proved it.
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In its penultimate episode, the Telltale Games Fables prequel series The Wolf Among Us went to some dark, surreal places. Next week, the first-season finale, "Cry Wolf," will be available on Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, iOS and Steam, and, if the trailer is any indication, it seems to promise to snap things back to a violent, seedy reality.
Then again, maybe it doesn't.
(Warning: Minor spoilers for the first four episodes of The Wolf Among Us ahead.)
I was an unabashed fan of the 1989 Batman movie around the time of its release (particularly after it hit VHS), but the years have worn down my appreciation of it, and quite a few aspects of it don't entirely stand up to the scrutiny of a critical lens anymore.
There are a few pieces of media related to the film, however, that I feel just as positively about as I ever have. The Prince soundtrack, for one. And for another, the Sunsoft-developed game for the Nintendo Entertainment System that included a few cutscenes with lines from the movie, and largely ditched its plot otherwise. I took a stroll down memory lane with it, and it still holds up.
Have you ever been playing Rocksteady's Batman: Arkham games and thought "this would be great, but I really wish this character I'm playing as was less like Batman. I wish he'd wear a suit of Iron Man armor and drive around blowing up tanks with a machine gun"? Well, if you have, and to be honest, I cannot actually imagine that is the case, I have some very good news for you.
Yesterday at E3, hot on the heels of a teaser showing off the many, many guns mounted on the Batmobile, Rocksteady released gameplay footage showing off both the new city environment of their upcoming Batman: Arkham Knight, along with the drivable Batmobile tearing around the city and blowing things up. With its guns. The gigantic guns that have been mounted on the Batmobile, the signature car of Batman, a character who fights crime because his parents were shot with a gun. I just wanted to make all of that very clear before we move on.
Fans of great art who also dig Street Fighter, Final Fight, Mega Man, Strider, Resident Evil, Darkstalkers, and othe Capcom video game franchises rejoice: Udon Entertainment, the studio behind much of the comics art revolving around those properties, is set to debut the 600-plus page Udon's Art of Capcom: Complete Edition during this year's Comic-Con International in San Diego.
The volume will collect 10 years of Capcom-related art, along with 75 pages of all-new artwork from games including Capcom Fighting Evolution, Tatsunoko vs Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars, and Super Street Fighter II HD Remix. And here's an important detail: The book will also include box art from various games, sprites, and toy designs.
Ever since the announcement of the upcoming Batman: Arkham Knight video game, one of the key selling points has been that it's going to feature a Batmobile that you can actually drive around Gotham City. It's pretty cool to see, if only because Batman's car is really the only aspect of the character that the previous three games in the series didn't really make an attempt to recreate, and today we've gotten a sneak preview of the Batmobile's "Battle Mode." It seems that players will be able to use the Batmobile in combat, deploying all the guns and missile launchers on Batman's iconic car.
Yep. All those guns. On Batman's car. You can probably see where I'm going with this.
Here's my main complaint about Telltale Games penultimate episode of its Fables prequel video game, The Wolf Among Us: It starts a little slow.
That kind of seems to be the point, though. This episode, titled "In Sheep's Clothing," adds yet another twist to the noir-ish detective story that's been running through it. There's a psychological horror element to it that plays out with a very slow build, until it explodes into the surreal the very end. There's a sort of David Lynch feel to it. I absolutely loved it.
If you were a kid in the '90s and you wanted to find out more about Mario once you were done with the video games, you pretty much had two choices: Sitting through a half hour of dance instructions from "Captain" Lou Albano, or flipping through the pages of Valiant's Nintendo Comics System/Super Mario Bros. comics, where Mario and Luigi frequently got into bizarre adventures alongside Peach's weird old dad. Needless to say, these comics were never really acknowledged in the video games. Or were they?!
I don't think it's going to surprise anyone if I mention that the LEGO Batman series has produced some of my all-time favorite superhero video games. I mean, I like LEGO and I certainly like Batman, so that's a no-brainer, but the truth of the matter is that they've started off strong and just keep getting better. The second game's expansion into a huge, open LEGO version of Gotham City populated with the heroes of the Justice League was really fantastic, and I've often wondered how they were going to top it. I figured maybe they'd throw in a few visits to other cities and call it a day.
Turns out, I vastly underestimated the developers at TT Games. They, along with Warner Bros. Interactive, have just announced LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, and this time, IT'S IN SPACE.
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