Archive for the 'Video Games' Category


The Top 200 Fighting Game Endings: Part Six

June 12th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

100) Marvel vs. Capcom 3 – MIKE HAGGAR

Zangief is great and all, but I never understood why Japan never played up Mike Haggar. Maybe it’s a cultural thing where Americans think Mike Haggar is the shit while the Japanese don’t find him all that impressive. Cody and Guy got to be incorporated into Street Fighter while Haggar’s only been allowed cameo roles (not counting being in Saturday Night Slam Masters). Seeing him included in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 had me stoked.

Beating up Galactus, Eater of Worlds, with nothing more than his bare hands and a pipe, Mike Haggar is visited in his office by Captain America and Chris Redfield. The two are just checking in, but are also a bit afraid that Haggar is burning the candle at both ends. His political career is taking off more than ever and that mixed with being the world’s foremost ass-kicker can’t be healthy. Haggar laughs it off and says he’s fine.

It’s spelled out that Haggar has been elected President of the United States with Tony Stark as his Vice President. I’m not sure how this works, considering they’re from two separate worlds. Is he President of both versions of the US? Did Stark just make the switch? Is this a separate Tony Stark from the Capcom world? Who knows? Either way, I fully support this ticket.

Haggar explains that as a professional wrestler, he’s driven by the roar of the crowd. Whether it’s in the ring, on the campaign trail, on the streets or even against galactic super gods, all Haggar needs is the fans cheering him and he’ll always have the strength to be the man. Captain America’s morale for democracy is pumped up for at least another 20 years.

99) Mortal Kombat 9 – LIU KANG/SHANG TSUNG

It took well over a decade before Midway/Netherrealm Studios could make Liu Kang in any way interesting. After years of being the bland never-loses hero of the Mortal Kombat series, they first killed him off, then turned him into a shambling zombie, then did that non-canon thing where Raiden turned him into Captain Marvel and then found a more permanent fix with the latest Mortal Kombat game. There, Raiden circa Mortal Kombat 1 gets visions of the future and a cryptic message that, “He must win!” At first he figures that means Liu Kang must win, but that doesn’t seem to be helping change the future.

Raiden’s attempts to alter the timeline lead to acts of buffoonery, desperation and massive death and as it goes on, Liu Kang goes from being mildly annoyed to violently disgusted. Especially when Kitana is killed off. In Liu’s ending, he decides that Raiden has to go. He stands up to the Elder Gods and requests that he takes Raiden’s place as Defender of Earthrealm. The status is decided via a duel and Liu Kang wins, presumably killing Raiden. He’s then empowered by the Elder Gods into being the God of Fire.

Shang Tsung’s ending coincides with these events. He kills Shao Kahn and takes all of the souls Kahn has devoured. Only it’s too much for him. Shang’s a good sorcerer, but he’s overwhelmed and nearly driven to madness. He’s about to kill himself when Bo’ Rai Cho, the master fighter who once trained Liu Kang, seeks him out at the last second. Master Cho can teach Shang to control his powers and master the souls that are currently tearing him apart. In return, he needs to take care of Liu Kang. Ever since becoming a god, Liu has become a total tyrant and needs stopping. Shang is seen as the lesser of two evils and goes through rigorous training to save Earthrealm via getting his revenge.

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The Top 200 Fighting Game Endings: Part Five

June 8th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

120) Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection – LILI

Lili makes her debut in Tekken 5’s update. She’s the prim and proper daughter of a French businessman and has a personality that’s both charmingly ditsy and annoyingly egotistical. Her narrow scope leads to her understanding that the Mishima Zaibatsu is a thorn in the side of her father’s oil-drilling corporation. She enters the King of Iron Fist Tournament to do away with the Zaibatsu’s threat once and for all.

Lili makes her way to her limo, beaming with pride over what she’s done for her father and how proud he’ll be. Her elderly butler Sebastian is moved to tears by Lili’s actions, which in turn makes Lili happier about her victory. The real star, though? Lili’s limo driver.

As that guy waits for them, he turns on the TV and sees some unfortunate news. Lili’s father’s company, Rochefort Enterprises has filed for bankruptcy. What Lili never realized was that her father’s company, regardless of any other issues, was extremely dependent on the Mishima Zaibatsu. With the Zaibatsu destroyed, Rochefort Enterprises is destabilized.

Isn’t that guy on LazyTown?

As Lili laughs about how great she is, the limo driver gets while the getting is good and cheeses it with all his might.

119) Soul Calibur III – ASTAROTH

In this game, Astaroth is a servant of Ares, God of War. Ares’ power is waning here and being represented as nothing more than a ball of light, he’s very low on the Ares depiction totem, far below the likes of Marvel Ares, DC Ares and God of War Ares. His story is pretty predictable. Ares wants Astaroth to get him the Soul Edge and in his “good ending” that comes from pressing the right button at the right time, Astaroth simply takes the Soul Edge as his own. Because that’s like 90% of what all the bad guys do in this game series. Take the Soul Edge and be evil and godly.

It’s the “bad ending” that I think is way better. Ares asks Astaroth to offer Soul Edge to him and Astaroth just laughs at him. As far as he’s concerned, it’s a worthless piece of junk and he proves it with this.

Ares flies off, as not only is Soul Edge destroyed, but he no longer has any hold on Astaroth. Astaroth boasts about how he’s the ultimate being as he’s strong enough to destroy even Soul Edge with his bare hands.

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Guide to the Injustice Roster: DLC Appendix 3

June 3rd, 2013 Posted by Gavok

I was going to work on the next update of the Top 200 Fighting Game Endings, but then it was revealed that the next downloadable character for Injustice: Gods Among Us is none other than Scorpion from Mortal Kombat. Not just any Scorpion, but Scorpion as designed by Jim Lee. Which essentially means he’s wearing overly-elaborate armor and he doesn’t have any underwear over his pants. Not that he did already, but now he DEFINITELY won’t.

Talking about Scorpion is still on-topic, so waiting a little longer for the next countdown update isn’t so bad, right?

Alias: Hanzo Hasashi
First appearance: Mortal Kombat (1992)
Powers: Pyrokinesis, resurrection, teleportation, enhanced strength
Other media: Appeared in movies, comics, the Mortal Kombat animated series, live-action web series, a novel and an episode of Drawn Together

Time to explain Scorpion to people who… don’t… know comics? Well, this is awkward.

Scorpion first appeared in the first Mortal Kombat game as a palette swap of Sub-Zero, originally played by Daniel Pesina. In his profile, little info was given on him. Just that he was a mysterious ninja who didn’t seem to like Sub-Zero, which suggested they’re from rival clans. Through his Fatality, it revealed that he wasn’t human due to his skull head under the mask and his ending revealed his origin: Sub-Zero killed him and he was reborn as a spectre, bent on revenge. He also left a wife and son behind, but could never see them again because why not just rip off all of Spawn while you’re at it?

Wait, they came out the same year? Huh. Snark retracted.

Scorpion succeeded in killing Sub-Zero and returned to Hell. Then he popped back up for some unknown reason and figured it had something to do with Sub-Zero being seen walking around. He entered the second tournament to take care of Sub-Zero once and for all, but then got weirded out when he saw Sub-Zero defeat an enemy and spare their life. He figured out that this was the younger brother of Sub-Zero, who had taken up the mantle and was a bit on the pure-hearted side. Scorpion let Sub-Zero live and decided that he’d make amends by becoming something of a guardian angel to him.

Despite being the most popular character in the franchise, Scorpion was nowhere to be seen in Mortal Kombat 3. It still bewilders me. When they upgraded it with Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, Scorpion was brought back into the fold, as well as a myriad of other ninja characters who were all just the same actor in different colored sprites. Joining him were Reptile, Classic Sub-Zero, Ermac, Noob Saibot and in the next follow-up, Mortal Kombat Trilogy, Rain and Chameleon. Scorpion’s deal was that Shao Kahn recruited him for his siege on Earthrealm, but Scorpion realized that Sub-Zero was one of his targets, so he turned on him. Then he went back to Hell, because that’s where he keeps his stuff.

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The Top 200 Fighting Game Endings: Part Four

May 25th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

140) Mortal Kombat 9 – CYBER SUB-ZERO

Cyber Sub-Zero is the only character in the Mortal Kombat reboot with no narration in his ending. I’m not sure if this was an error by the developers or if they decided the visual storytelling could speak for itself. If it’s the latter, I can’t really blame them.

Despite destroying Shao Kahn, Cyber Sub-Zero appears to be in peril. Though Kahn’s body is gone, his soul is not. Kahn’s soul overtakes Cyber Sub-Zero. Shortly after, we see his new form.

Cyber Sub-Kahn! Oh shit! And so, Shao Kahn went off to find a death metal album to be on the cover of.


Come on. You knew I had to.

Shaq Fu is the famous piece of crap that came from the idea that Shaquille O’Neal, being such a popular basketball player, deserved to be part of the rise of fighting games. The game isn’t very good, though the utter badness of it is rather overblown. It isn’t the worst game ever made, but it’s just too much fun to make fun of a sub-par game where Shaq goes to Kung Fu Narnia to save a little boy from a mummy overlord.

Defeating Sett and saving young Nezu, Shaq returns to Earth to make it to the latest Orlando Magic game with the old man who set him on this adventure and Nezu joining him. He apologizes to his teammates for being late and is ready to hit the court when something stops him in his tracks.


Beast, one of Sett’s soldiers, wants a piece of Shaq… on the court! I’m not sure what part of this corn I like the most. The homicidal, savage monster wanting to play basketball? The fact that nobody else seems to be alarmed by this? Shaq playing basketball in a jersey that says, “SHAQ” on the front?

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The Top 200 Fighting Game Endings: Part Three

May 23rd, 2013 Posted by Gavok

160) X-Men vs. Street Fighter – JUGGERNAUT

Apocalypse sure owes a lot to the X-Men cartoon from the 90’s because for the longest time, he was considered THE top level threat of the franchise. You’d use Magneto as your go-to personal villain, but when you wanted to make things look extra dire, you’d toss in the seemingly-invincible guy who could turn himself into a giant. That last part made him a perfect boss for X-Men vs. Street Fighter.

Luckily, there’s one guy out there who’s just as unbeatable.

Juggernaut spends the entirety of his ending lecturing Apocalypse over underestimating him, especially in the brains department. He even brings up the time he outsmarted the Hulk. Granted, he’s talking about when Hulk had Banner’s intelligence and Juggernaut’s plan was actually pretty clever. On the other hand, you aren’t doing yourself any favors by saying you’re smarter than a monster everyone knows as “the really dumb, green guy.” Especially when you’re telling this story to a mutant who isn’t even conscious.

159) Samurai Showdown – HAOHMARU/GEN-AN

These two endings complement each other, so I’m putting them together.

Haohmaru is the main hero of the Samurai Showdown series. After defeating the mad wizard Amakusa, he berates him for being a conceited fool. Oshizu, a woman who appears to be in love with Haohmaru, runs to him, but Haohmaru immediately tells her it’s not to be. Despite the Engrish that appears throughout the series, Haohmaru says one of the cooler lines.

“I’m a samurai, a rebel guy.”

So, having given his girlfriend the Pee-Wee Herman speech about being a loner, Haohmaru runs off to the next adventure. We see him raring for another fight.

Where… he’s… fighting Mai Shiranui? What in the Hell? It’s weird enough that Eiji Kisaragi was professing his love for her in the 1970’s, but what is she doing in feudal Japan? Is she immortal and SNK never brought it up? Regardless, the two banter and attack at the same time, ending on a Rocky III non-cliffhanger. Cool enough.

Gen-An is the game’s freak character. A green monster with a giant Freddy Krueger claw. His ending is just like Haohmaru’s, only not quite. He destroys Amakusa and boasts about it. Then a woman named Azami runs out to him. She’s wearing tattered clothes like a cavewoman, with a bone in her hair. Gen-An leaves her and goes on to fight elsewhere.

Like Haohmaru, Gen-An gets in a scrap with a time-displaced Mai. The same dialogue plays out and they attack at the same time. Only here, they show the results. Mai lands a hit and Gen-An screams out for Azami.

Oh. Welp. Sorry, Gen-An.

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The Top 200 Fighting Game Endings: Part Two

May 19th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

180) Last Blade/Last Blade 2 – HYO AMANO
1997, 1998

Amongst all the serious swordsman characters in the Last Blade series, you have Hyo Amano, a dopey playboy with a love for cherry blossoms and sake. His endings are unique in that they’re multiple choice. He meets up with you the player (except in the second game, where he has his friend track you down for him) and uses you as a drinking companion. His actions vary based on whether you say you’re a man, woman or don’t answer at all. Either way, he’s friendly and insists you drink with him.

The second game branches out some more and he breaks the fourth wall a bit by giving you info and hints about the game. Such as this.

No, I don’t know the internet! This is the early 19th century!

179) Street Fighter III – ORO

Oro is a senin, an ancient, top-level martial artist who has spent many years living as a hermit. Considered to be possibly the most powerful character in Street Fighter lore, Oro makes things fair by fighting only with one arm. His ending shows him from the neck up, rubbing his chin with the clouds behind him. He wonders about finding someone to pass his knowledge on to and the only fighter he sees any promise in is Ryu. It’s about here where it pans out to show just where Oro happens to be at the time of this introspection.

Luckily, William Shatner can’t see this.

Oro decides that whether Ryu wants it or not, he’s going to make him into his new apprentice and the plane flies off into the horizon.

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The Top 200 Fighting Game Endings: Part One

May 16th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

For the past twenty-plus years, my favorite genre of video game has always been the one-on-one fighter. Ever since seeing Street Fighter II: The World Warrior in an arcade, I was hooked. Throughout the years, I always paid attention to its many spinoffs and sequels, as well as the countless games that jumped onto its success. The Mortal Kombats and Tekkens and Fatal Furies and, hell, even the Clay Fighters.

Naturally, the emphasis on these games is the multiplayer, especially now with the increasing popularity of online play and the tournament scene. While I enjoy checking out the competitive stuff from time to time, I’ve never been good enough to be part of that, nor have I felt the drive to reach that level. Really, for me, I’ve always had a strange obsession with the single-player experience.

Growing up, that was always the ritual with these games. When there was nobody to play against, you had to complete the game with every single character, which was like the programmer’s way of making sure you took advantage of every piece of effort they put in every character. It was a rewards system that gave you an excuse to play as the characters you weren’t even much of a fan of. Getting that thirty seconds of text and 16-bit cutscene made spending an hour on that super cheap final boss worth it.

Not to mention, it’s fun for the character study aspects, silly as it sounds. Fighting games universally have a B-movie landscape to them that are extremely fun, filled with characters who are half-realized. Since the days of Street Fighter II, someone like Blanka was represented by some animated gestures, attacks, a handful of quotes and maybe a paragraph of backstory. But despite not being the hero of the game, he was just as viable a winner of the game’s tournament as Ryu and Chun-Li. By beating Bison, you get to see his existence sketched out more by seeing him reconnect with his long-lost mother.

Even when there’s a clear-cut main character, all the supporting characters still get to be important enough that we’re able to see them come out on top, whether they’re on the hunt for justice, power, money, fame, revenge, a challenge, adventure, answers or love. With so many competitors in each game, there are so many alternate paths on where things can go. Sometimes they’re funny. Sometimes they’re badass. Sometimes they’re genuinely compelling. Sometimes they simply act as a strong ending to a character arc.

I decided to do a lot of research, going through hundreds of games to look at thousands of endings. Everything from Soul Calibur to Brutal: Paws of Fury to Marvel Superheroes to Avengers in Galactic Storm. What was meant to be a list of the best 100 has turned into a list of the best 150, expanding even more into this list of 200 because as much as the typing is going to kill me, I can’t stop myself from shutting up about a lot of these and you’ll have to pay the price. You and my carpel tunnel.

Thanks to the long-dormant VG Museum for making the research process much easier.

So here we go. Heaven or Hell? Duel one. Let’s rock.

200) Street Fighter X Tekken – HEIHACHI MISHIMA AND KUMA

The story of Street Fighter X Tekken is that a magical box from space labeled Pandora has crashed into Antarctica. With so many interested in what kind of power is inside it, various Street Fighter and Tekken characters pair up and it becomes a martial arts version of It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. As for what’s really in the box? That maguffin changes from ending to ending.

Elderly, ousted crime lord Heihachi Mishima makes a go for Pandora with his somewhat loyal, karate-fighting bear Kuma. After defeating Akuma, Heihachi nears the box. Afraid for him, Kuma frantically claws at Heihachi’s back, growling in his understandable bear language that it might be dangerous. Heihachi is cool about it and explains that Kuma will get 10% of what’s in there. Kuma’s smacks become angrier due to Heihachi’s cheapness and he says that if there’s poison gas in there, Heihachi can have his 10%.

The box opens up and a white light shoots out. Heihachi ducks out of the way and Kuma accidentally looks right down into the light. Once it dies out, Heihachi laughs off what a close call that was. He turns to Kuma only to find this adorable bear cub.

Heihachi suddenly notices that one side of his head of hair – the one part of him hit by the light – is black. Realizing that he missed out on regaining his precious youth, Heihachi screams to the heavens, “IT’S NOT FAIR!”

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Guide to the Injustice Roster: DLC Appendix 2

May 4th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

While we’re just about to finally get that Lobo DLC for Injustice: Gods Among Us, Netherrealm Studios just released confirmation that the second character on that list will be none other than Batgirl. Because the game needed more Batman characters. Regardless, this only supports a rumored list of downloadable characters that’s been making the rounds. I’ll continue these updates for each official reveal. Even if the rumored fourth named isn’t even a DC comic character.


Alias: Barbara Gordon, Oracle
First Appearance: Detective Comics #359 (1967)
Powers: Skilled martial artist and acrobat, super intelligent, world’s greatest hacker
Other Media: A lot of Batman cartoons, the 60’s Batman show and also that one movie that killed Alicia Silverstone’s career

The original, original Batgirl was Betty Kane. Back in the early 60’s, writers decided to fight the claim that Batman and Robin were gay by introducing Batwoman and Bat-Girl. Betty and her aunt Kathy had a thing for Batman and Robin, so they started fighting crime for the sake of tapping that Bat-ass. They made a handful of appearances, but faded into obscurity. Betty came back eventually and found a new identity as Flamebird (much like Nightwing, Flamebird is a name of an old Kryptonian superhero). She was recently seen fighting crime along with the current Batwoman, her cousin Kate Kane. The two had a falling out and Flamebird went off to patrol the streets alone. She received a grave injury and was last seen hospitalized.

Barbara Gordon was the adopted daughter of Commissioner Gordon. A librarian during the day, she felt the need to do something to help her father and ultimately do good. Despite Batman trying to shut her down, she refused to give up her persona as Batgirl. She became a huge hit, due to being a more independent female role model and was popular enough to become a major character in the final season of the 60’s Batman show. A season that occurred a year after her debut.

Batgirl mostly teamed up with Robin and Supergirl, having a romantic relationship with the former. In the late-80’s, writer Alan Moore changed the Batgirl game with his Joker-centric story Killing Joke, where the Joker decided to prove a point by screwing up Commissioner Gordon’s life so hard that he’d make him snap. This included Joker shooting Barbara in the stomach, which shattered her spine. He removed Barbara’s clothes and snapped photos in order to torture her father more, though it’s been insisted by the author that Joker didn’t go further with her. The comic ended with a meaningful scene that involved Batman and Joker laughing together as Batman took Joker into custody. Barbara – paralyzed from the gunshot – wasn’t really pleased with that. Guess you just had to be there.

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Tomb Raider: Watch Your Tone

May 3rd, 2013 Posted by david brothers

It took me a few weeks to work my way through Tomb Raider, the Lara Croft reboot written by Rhianna Pratchett and creative directed by Noah Hughes. I liked it quite a bit, and ended the game somewhere around 81% completion. I think it has the best platforming gameplay since Uncharted 2, and the best sense of spectacle since Uncharted 3. The platforming action/adventure genre is one I like more than just about anything else, though I need a final ruling on whether or not the NBA 2k series is a genre unto itself. I never played a lot of Tomb Raider as a kid, though I wore the original PS1 demo out. But you know, Lara Croft is an institution. She’s like The Simpsons or James Bond. Even if you never watched the show or the movies, you know the deal, and probably think of them at least a little fondly.

I was surprised, but pleased, to see that Tomb Raider‘s tone is dark and desperate, with occasional outbursts of violence. Lara’s proficient with her pistol, rifle, shotgun, and bow, and she uses them to kill. I preferred the bow, feeling that it fit more with the survival-oriented story, and used melee attacks for when things got too close and hectic. I liked the bow because it felt more skillful than the guns. You can spray and pray with any of the weapons. You just look and tap R1 and hope for the best. But it’s not that easy with the bow, especially when taking on multiple dudes at once. When you get into a groove, it’s all about timing, position, and clever use of cover. I liked walking that line when I could, though I definitely relented a few times and used the shotgun for close-range combat.

Camilla Luddington’s performance as Lara was pretty good, too. I’m less keen on the turn toward cliché hardness the character takes toward the end of the game, after yet another dude sacrifices his life for her, but she absolutely sold the lost, wet, and cornered take on the character that is the main thrust of the game. She’s quiet when she needs to be, hard when she needs to be, and I like how she evolved over the course of the game in a general sense. She sounds appropriate for the character and story. That sounds more clinical and less enthusiastic than I want it to, but I mean it. She works, and works well. I hope she sticks around.

My only real problem with the game, outside of the unavoidable “Hey! This is a video game!” plot and gameplay elements, is that the death sequences that play when Lara dies in certain situations actually greatly detract from the experience.

The violence when in combat is on par for most games these days. Headshots kill and blood sprays, but you aren’t exactly dismembering or eviscerating people, nine times out of ten. Some of the context-sensitive kills are rough — better to call them executions, honestly — but they’re here and then they’re gone. They’re a blip in your experience, a speed bump on the way to getting Lara to return her bow to her back to signal that you can safely explore again.

The death sequences for Lara, though. Now those stick around. The game dwells on them, and if you die a lot early on — I did! I died often enough to get so good at the game I rarely died at all by the end — then they quickly turn from horrific to tedious. But even horrific feels like too much. Lara doesn’t just die from a bump on the head when she falls in water. She gets bumped, blood floats in the water, and she slumps. She doesn’t get stabbed and die. She gets stabbed and is then lifted into the air on a spear, where she shakes a little. Wolves go for her throat as she struggles, arrows pierce her neck and thigh in quick succession, the screen goes fuzzy and fades as you’re choked to death, and Lara gets a spike through the neck as she fights for her life before dying.

This supercut has a lot of the deaths:

It’s a little misleading in and of itself, because the deaths make sense in context. The game’s not a non-stop slideshow of trauma, so much as a showcase for occasional explosions of trauma when you screw up. I didn’t see most of these, but I did see a few of them a lot of times.

The fatalities are too much for me. They’re not too much because they’re offensive, though I do think they tend to be more gross than dumb. They’re too much because the game already does a great job of positioning Lara as someone who is cornered and almost drowning under the tension. The stealth sections, for example, are legitimately tense, because you have to do them without the creature comforts of a Soliton Radar. It’s just you, your guts, and your quiet prayers that you can make it through quickly enough to not get caught.

The tension is actually somewhat lessened in the combat segments, of all places, but it shines in the scripted platforming sequences. Every instance of Lara running away from explosions, sprinting toward a rapidly-decreasing window of opportunity, or taking a leap of faith across a gorge are fantastic. You have some measure of control in these segments, and I really enjoyed gunning it down hallways or trying to figure out the best way to make a jump while something unlikely was chasing me. While the chase sequences used an implicit, though sometimes absent, time limit to generate tension, the platforming sections generated tension by simply being a do-or-die scenario.

That balance really worked for me, even though I can recognize that the chases tended to be repetitive (Lara escapes a lot of crumbling or exploding structures) and the platforming fundamentally basic. The execution was good enough that simply exploring felt like a worthwhile endeavor. There’s a lot to say for a familiar thing being executed well.

The thing about the fatalities is that they feel like icing on a steak. They feel out of place within the greater context of Tomb Raider, and awkwardly vicious on a smaller level. They go much further than the rest of the game does when it comes to violence, and more than anything else, they feel like a punishment that’s out of proportion to the sin. They don’t add to the Tomb Raider experience for me, either. The tension is already there and properly effective, but the fatalities tip the balance from The Descent toward a cheap direct-to-dvd slasher movie. I’m really interested in seeing how developers portray violence in games, and how that affects the entire experience. Jacking up the tension without going fully exploitative is a tough row to hoe, and Tomb Raider manages to strike a pretty solid balance, but doesn’t quite stick the landing.

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Guide to the Injustice Roster: DLC Appendix 1

April 16th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

Today is the big release of Injustice: Gods Among Us. I picked it up, along with the Season Pass of downloadable content. With that, I get some of the Flashpoint costumes, which includes Pirate Deathstroke. Less important parts of that include four extra characters, who will be released over the next couple months. There’s plenty of speculation of who some of them will be, such as Martian Manhunter or Mortal Kombat’s Scorpion.

Last night, it was revealed that the first DLC character will be none other than the Last Czarian himself, Lobo. Even though I have three more names to wait for, I might as well keep the trend going by explaining Lobo to people who don’t read comics.


Alias: None, though he’s given himself a laundry list of nicknames
First Appearance: Omega Men #3 (1983)
Powers: Super strength, excessive healing factor, immortality, can talk in space, can clone himself by spilling his own blood
Other Media: Showed up on the Superman cartoon and Justice League spinoff, appeared on Young Justice, sort of appeared in Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, had a 16-bit fighting game that was never released and a film student created a rather well-done live-action recreation of a Lobo comic featuring real actors.

With a couple storyline exceptions, Lobo is a terrible character. He’s a terrible, overly-shitty character. And that was the intent.

Lobo was created as a villain in the series Omega Men, where he had purple hair and wore purple and orange full-body tights. Veteran comic writer Keith Giffen created the character as a way to take the piss out of the likes of Wolverine and other tough guy murderer comic characters. He never expected Lobo to catch on so much and become exactly what Giffen was trying to make fun of. Despite being the character’s creator, Giffen kind of hates Lobo, but he doesn’t hate the money that he’s made for him.

In the early years, Lobo mainly appeared in space-related comics like Omega Men, L.E.G.I.O.N. and R.E.B.E.L.S. He appeared in one story for Giffen’s well-regarded Justice League International (which I highly recommend), where he was very briefly deputized as a member of the Justice League before anyone realized that he was actually a bounty hunter secretly out to get them. By this point, he was redesigned to the more recognizable space biker appearance.

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