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God Of War: Ascension Multiplayer Demo (NYCC)

Along with all of the panels and displays at the New York Comic Con, I also got to check out some upcoming video games. One of the games I’m looking forward too is the fourth entry into the God of War franchise, God of War: Ascension. Fortunately, Sony had a booth showing off the new multiplayer element to God of War, and I got to check it out.

By now the premise of both the game and the multiplayer is no big secret. Set, six months after Kratos murdered his wife and child (oh I’m sorry did I forget to mention SPOILERS?) and shortly after selling his soul to Aries, Kratos sets out to defeat the three furies in order to break his bond with Aries. This adds up to a Kratos who is more human and relatable, but also still has the Blades of Chaos and can whoop some serious ass.

The multiplayer, on the other hand, puts you in the shoes of the troops that Kratos either controlled or fought against. You start out as just an ordinary man, until you sell you soul to one of four deities (Zeus, Ares, Hades or Poseidon). Your choice determines your combat style as well as what abilities you can earn. The mode I played is called “Favor of the Gods.” Two teams of four soldiers (serving either Sparta or Troy) fight to earn points (or “Favor”) by achieving kills, collecting orbs and claiming (and defending) territory on the map. The goal is to earn enough Favor to acquire the Spear of Olympus and (in my case) destroy the Titan cyclops Polyphemus.

This is as good as God of War multiplayer gets

The first thing I can to do was customize my character. This including choosing my armor, primary weapon (sword or mallet for me) and magic ability. Once the match starts its all beat ’em up. Yes you can dodge and block, but during my session it was all about striking first and keeping it up. There is a dash that gets you out of trouble and aside from not having the Blades of Chaos it’s just like playing the solo mission. This includes quick time kills that are even more satisfying than normal when performed on the person standing next to you. The map is on the small side, which is good given the limited numbers of players. While the moments with several players on the same screen were fun, it was those rare times where I ended up one on one with another player that were the most enjoyable for me. The combat is quick, simple and satisfying. Imagine if someone next to you was playing as Zeus at the end of God of War 3. Yeah, it feels like that.

The only real complaint I have is that the camera doesn’t quite work with multiplayer. There are arrows identifying where other players and objects are, but overall I had a bit of a hard time finding the action. I spent a little too much time looking for someone to fight. When I did though, God of War: Ascension’s multiplayer gets a lot right.

God of War: Ascension is set to be released exclusively on the PS3 on March 12th of 2013.

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The Dark Knight Returns, Pt 2 Panel Highlights (NYCC)

I attended the panel for Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2 at the New York Comic Con with executive producer Bruce Timm and dialogue director Andrea Romano. Together they have basically built the entire animated universe and have done an outstanding job in doing so.

The panel led off with the trailer for the movie. A sequel to the Dark Knight Rises, Part 1 (obviously) it picks up right where the first left off. Batman is back, the Joker wants a piece of him, as does the Gotham Police Department. The government is against Batman as well, which is why they put Superman (who is basically the President’s lackey) into action to stop him. Check it out for yourself:

When talking about the decision to make this story into two separate movies, Bruce Timm said that there was no way this could ever be done right as one film. Furthermore, both movies had to be green-lit at the same time. He didn’t want to make the first part and see how it did before working on the second. It was all or nothing and thankfully the studio agreed to produce both movies at the same time.

Three addition scenes were shown during the panel. The first showed Batman attacking the Gotham Police on the rooftop. The music was top-notch, although to me the action seemed slightly off. Up close all the hits had impact and looked great, when they broadened the shot however the movements and speed just didn’t click for me. Next was Batman rallying his troops to not use guns, fighting with their fists and minds instead. It was referred to as the “Braveheart” speech. When you see it you’ll know why. The final clip was of the talk show scene where Joker is interviewed by David Endocrine. Endocrine is played pretty well by Conan O’Brien of all people. Romano said that he nailed getting affected by the Joker’s laugh gas in one take. What we were shown was a very tense scene that got creepier and creepier until the Joker finally went into action.

Timm noted that while he could have cast Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill to reprise their famous roles as Batman and Joker, he knew that this was a much different type of film and that he needed to reflect that tone in the voices. Peter Weller (Robocop) was an absolutely perfect fit for Batman. He was also fond of Michael Emerson’s (Lost) work as Joker. He said he doesn’t sound anything like Hamill, or Jack Nicholson, or even John Di Maggio. Romano was also impressed with his ability to do his performance through Skype, as conflicting schedules made it impossible for him to record in studio.

A couple of other notes from the panel:

-Bruce Timm revealed that Jim Gordon chews nicotine gum instead of smoking cigars because smoking in cartoons equals an automatic R rating (film is PG-13). Interestingly, swastika’s on naked women do not have the same impact (you know where I’m going if you read the comic).

-Timm also hinted at working on some films based on Grant Morrison’s work. Could this mean Arkham Asylum? R.I.P? Final Crisis?

-The first thing actually seen in the panel was the trailer for LEGO Batman: The Movie – DC Super Heroes United. It’s essentially Joker and Lex Luthor getting all the villains together while Batman and Superman do the same with the Justice League. The trailer was legitimately funny and will appeal to both adult comic book fans and their children. The Justice League they assemble is the New 52 version and it will be released sometime in the spring of 2013.

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2 is set to be released in the winter of 2013.

Domino Confirmed For Deadpool Game (NYCC)

At this point we all know that High Moon Studios is making a Deadpool game due to come out in 2013 right? Well at the Marvel Video Games panel at the New York Comic Con we received an update on how the game was progressing.

Everything looks great, the combat is coming into shape and blah blah blah. Thankfully Deadpool himself decided to crash the panel, start a dance party, and announce that none other than Domino is confirmed to make her first video game appearance.  A fellow mercenary, Domino is also known for having a relationship with Cable, and you can’t have a Deadpool game without Cable being involved somehow. By the way, the game will be rated M for mature. That means cursing and boobs and blood and guts! They also showed this highlight reel of Deadpool’s appearance in San Diego:

Some other notes from the Marvel Video Games panel:

-The Amazing Spider-Man game will come to the Wii U in the spring. It will include all of the DLC, will have optional motion controls and the touchscreen controller with act as the cellphone hub during gameplay. This is similar to how the navigation and gadget controls are being applied to the Arkham City Armored Edition.

(On a side note, I watched some people run through a brief demo of Arkham City on the Wii U. Graphically it looks just like the current version. The armor’s main function seems to be providing a brief but large impact in combat, electrocuting enemies and adding range. It only works when fully charged. Gadgets like the remote batarang and detective vision make you look at the touchscreen. This gave a lot of players fits as it’s against everything we know as gamers to look away from the giant tv in our face to look at a smaller one below us. The controller itself takes some getting used to but I’m sure that after a little while you get used to it.)

-Marvel Pinball will be debuting a Civil War version by the end of the year. In it, you pick a side (Captain America or Iron Man) and the object while playing is to recruit allies. The side you select determines what moments play out from the series.

-There was some new footage shown for the free to play MMO, Marvel Heroes. Among it was the announcement of three new characters: Nova, Luke Cage and Jean Grey (as Phoenix). The video also showed a glimpse of Rocket Racoon from Guardians of the Galaxy, which got a big response from the crowd.

Ghostbusters Goggles And More From Mattel (NYCC)

For the second straight year Mattel had a lot to show off at the New York Comic Con. Among their usual assortment of figurines and show exclusives was a peak of the latest addition to their collection of Ghostbusters equipment. To go along with the PKE meter and  ghost trap, you will soon be able to get your hands on the  goggles from the movie! Mattel did another great job recreating the classic look and you can expect to see them available sometime next year.

Here are some more pictures from Mattel’s display including DC, WWE, Masters of the Universe, Ghostbusters and the hoverboard from Back to the Future 2:

Venture Bros. Press Hour Highlights (NYCC)

Aside from having two of the coolest names in entertainment, Venture Bros creators Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer are easily two of the most entertaining people I’ve ever encountered during a media session. At the New York Comic Con they talked about the upcoming 5th season, but not without going a but off topic at times. Check out the highlights below, and let’s also appreciate the fact that they showed up in tuxedos.

(THE LAST CLIP IS MOST DEFINITELY NSFW)

 

Matt Senreich talk Robot Chicken and more (NYCC)

Robot Chicken went a different route with their latest season, releasing it on DVD before they actually aired on Adult Swim. At this year’s New York Comic Con we spoke to co-creator Matt Senreich about all things Robot Chicken, including what goes into making the show and where they can go from here.

Voltron Media Blitz (NYCC)

We’re back with, what else? Media coverage from the New York Comic Con. If you haven’t heard, Voltron is back and running on all cylinders. There is a new cartoon, Voltron Force, on Nicktoons. There is a comic book through Dynamite Entertainment. THQ has developed a Voltron video game, and Mattel stepped up their game with a new line of toys, including a masterpiece version for us big kids. We got to talk to people that work on all the Voltron properties at the New York Comic Con.

First is Peter Armstrong from THQ on the video game, Voltron: Defender of the Universe

Here is Robert Koplar from WEP, the rights holder for Voltron, talking about the tv show

Next we spoke to supervising producer Jeremy Corray about Voltron Force