Video Games

Believe me when I say: this is the Dark Knight’s toughest journey.

What up nerds, Andrew here saying that I sometimes wish I could go back to my 8-year-old self and smack that damn Sega Genesis controller out of my hand. (Did anyone else think that the Genesis controller was a clunky version of a batarang?  Maybe I tricked myself into believing this to make myself feel better about my parents getting me a Sega instead of the Super Nintendo.)  Day after day I would play this game:

Yeah. This was a game. And it was a BAD game.

As often as I played this game, I could never get past the first level (I hope to Batman that I wasn’t the only one).  I thought it was supposed to be a regular side-scrolling Batman game, and while it was that, it also wasn’t that.  Get what I’m saying?  I’m saying it sucked.  The baddies were tough to kill, the grappling hook (which I didn’t even know was in the game until I was a teenager) was so terrible that you couldn’t navigate the level.  The doors to move on to the next level were so damn hard to find, it was like trying to find a nerd at a frat party.  It just would never happen for me.  Out of frustration, I would yank out the game and put in some Mortal Kombat 2 to ease the pain…and yet…while playing MK 2, I could see Jim Carrey doing his weird flailing-arm-tube-man routine on the game cover…laughing at me…laughing…and in that horrible outfit with that horrible hair-do!!!  No…Justice must be served.

So, like Batman, I rose out of the bog of eternal stench and popped that baby back in, repeating these words: “I think I can, I think I can” over and over (because that’s the only way to beat games).  The sweat from my brow leaking into my left eye.  I cried and screamed in agony from the searing, salty pain while still throwing batarangs at thugs and trying to find an exit to the first damn level.  Must…keep…going…

Who am I kidding?  This game sucks so much that I couldn’t even push through after multiple tries.  I’m done with this game.

Over the years Batman games released, one after another after another.  These were dark times indeed.  We needed a hero, we needed hope.  We needed…

This is the game we deserved AND the game we need right now.

You ever wonder what it’s like to become Batman?  This game gave you that opportunity.  This was amazing, from the character design, to the level design, and to figuring out ways to use your gadgets to progress through the game.  After several missions you  can upgrade your weapons and gadgets and even unlock new ones.  The boss fights (except for the last one) were fantastic.  Everything about this game freaking ruled (except for the last boss fight).

And just when I thought I had been given the best gift of all time, Rocksteady announced the sequel, Arkham City.  I felt like an 8-year-old again.  I was just so happy with life.  I know Neil will disagree with me, but Arkham Asylum and Arkham City are the BEST Batman Video Games ever made.  Ever.  There is no argument to this.

Maybe I should get Batman to go back in time and slap that Batarang Genesis controller out of my hand, and let me ride on his back while he glides across the city.  Neverending Story style:


Except Falcor fights crime instead of staring at Atreyu awkwardly.




All of this Dark Knight talk as of late has caused me to dip deeply into everything Batman. Whether it’s comics, movies, or video games…Batman has left a mark in every imaginable form of entertainment medium. With the internet making all things pretty much at my fingertips, I was at a loss of where to begin. So I figured I’d write about it.

First of all, as I mentioned on our podcast, I’ve sunk some dollars into Comixology’s comicbook app on my iPad/iPhone. While I grew up with eyes glued to Wolverine and Spiderman comics, I rarely so much as glanced at a Batman one. This means I have a lot of catching up to do.

It’s so easy when it’s one button away.

I started out with Batman: No Man’s Land, Batman: Year One, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, The Batman Hush story arc, and the five issues of Batman Black & White. Am I missing anything? I believe the $.99 sale ends tonight, but I keep hearing I should pick up the issues that fall under the Knightfall story arc as well. There’s just such a plethora of storylines that all sound entertaining. Why didn’t I start reading Batman comics sooner? Either way, I can’t recommend enough that  you check out the Comixology app.  It works pretty flawlessly on most Android and all iOS capable devices.


Annnnnd, damn you Netflix. Why don’t you have any of the Batman cartoons for me to watch? I have this craving that your on-every-device Instant Watch queue is suppose to fill.  See, I have fond memories of Batman: The Animated Series.  And somewhat fuzzier but still fond memories of Batman Beyond. I want to revisit these things but that means I might have to resort to picking up the physical copies. The digital download and streaming future has spoiled me. I would like these things at a click of a button. I would like them…now.

The one time I laughed at Robin.

And speaking of digital downloads, I’m rounding up some of my favorite and not so favorite Batman video games that have popped up over the years. I plan to write about them later this week whenever Andrew comes to experience the joy of being the Batman with me. He wants to be my Robin.


twitter: @neilporche

I have a huge boner for all things made from the pretty pixels of my childhood. Well, most things. If I could slide back in time and find chibi child Neil and just show him a glimpse of Super Mario Bros. Crossover 2.0…his mind would melt into a puddle of goo.  Telling me I could use the Spread Gun from Contra to blow through waves of Goombas, fling Ryu Hayabusa around to stick and crawl anywhere on World 1-1, boomerang Koopa Troopas with Link, or slide under and pew pew bricks with Mega Man would have been way too much for my puny 2D 8-bit pre-internet brain to comprehend.

And even now, twenty or so years later, I still have trouble accepting the reality that this exists. You get to choose from a variety of NES Characters: Mario, Luigi, Bill Rizer (Contra), Link, Samus Aran, Mega Man, Bass, Simon Belmont, Sophia III (Blaster Master), and Ryu Hayabusa.  All of these characters are ported pixel perfect with their own animations, sounds, and effects on enemies reflective of their individual respective games…but within the original Super Mario Bros. game engine.  And also with the added bonus of having a screen filter to make your whole visual experience reminiscent of the puke green colors we starred at on our original Game Boy. It’s a total nerdgasm. Impossible to not enjoy.

Give this little flash labor of love a few minutes of your time and let us know what you think. If it tickles your fancy, Team Rabbit (the team behind Super Mario Bros. Crossover), has decided to take the ideas/experience they gained from working on this project and create a brand new game they can actually profit from without hundreds of cease and desist letters. Their Kickstarter only has a few days left but you can check it out here: