Gobbledygeek episode 383, “Salty Spiders,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
The Amazon is burning and all anyone cares about is Spider-Man. Yay! Welcome to another exciting episode of Gobbledygeek! After nixing a fash-bashing Geek Challenge because Paul absolutely could not sit through three hours of The Sound of Music, he and Arlo decide to freestyle it and, well, all is not well! The world’s on fire, the government is imploding, and Spider-Man might not get to be an Avenger anymore! As for that last one, the boys have deeply conflicted feelings about their love for the character and the Marvel movies with their disdain for Disney the Evil Empire. Plus, Arlo still won’t watch all the things Paul says he should watch, and Marc Maron chimes in.
Next: for even more lighthearted family fun, the boys have asked their The Deli Counter of Justice co-editor Eric Sipple to join them for a discussion of Art Spiegelman’s Pulitzer Prize-winning, extremely depressing yet extremely essential, Maus: A Survivor’s Tale.
(Show notes for “Salty Spiders.”)
When Batman: Arkham Asylum was released in 2009, it was nothing short of a revolution for superhero video games. Before, there had been a handful of great superhero games, but most of them had been arcade side-scrollers or team brawlers (Activision’s first Spider-Man game is a notable exception). Arkham Asylum, however, placed you so fully in Bruce Wayne’s combat boots that it actually felt as if you got to know the hero better just by pushing some buttons and toggling an analog stick. Not only did you battle some of the Dark Knight’s greatest villains, you also sneaked around in the shadows, stealthily taking out bad guys before they even noticed you were upon them. The mix of fighting-and-hiding was extremely addictive and felt like the reinvention of an entire genre.
At the time, it would have been ridiculous to look at Arkham Asylum and go, “Great game, but look at all that untapped potential!” After having played Arkham City, though, it’s a reasonable reaction. Almost everything that was great about the first game has been refined, perfected, and expanded to create the most immersive superhero game yet released. The most obvious example is the fact that you can actually explore the vastness of Arkham City itself. One of the joys of the original was exploring the asylum grounds, but now that a portion of Gotham has been cordoned off as one big looney bin, you can glide past skyscrapers and swing from building to building. Whenever you get frustrated with a side mission or tire of beating down thugs, you can revel in the simple pleasure of zipping around the city, an exhilarating experience in and of itself.
Gobbledygeek episode 74, “Occupy Arkham City or, Batman Is the 1%,” is available for listening or download right here.
This week, the boys get their Bat on, discussing the new video game Batman: Arkham City and the new animated film Batman: Year One. Does Arkham City improve on Arkham Asylum? Does Kevin Conroy have the greatest batvoice ever? Is Year One a faithful adaptation of Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli’s comic book? Does Bryan Cranston make for a great Jim Gordon? These questions, and many more, are answered in the affirmative. Plus, a reader e-mail and some Formspring questions, including what may be the last “oeuvre” question ever.
Next: Paul and AJ meet up for GobbleCon 2011!
(Show notes for “Occupy Arkham City or, Batman Is the 1%.”)