Video Game Review : Mass Effect 3

Mass Effect 3 is the last in the glorious Mass Effect trilogy which brings back Commander Shephard and his crew as they try and deal the final blow to the reapers. I cannot emphasize how much I love this series and I personally think they are the greatest space opera games to ever come out. But enough about my gushing for five seconds and on to the game.

The game opens with the reapers invading earth and practically wiping it out within minutes through sheer superiority. This brings us to our resident hero that nobody listens to, Commander Shephard. Obviously your in the hunt for a way to fight the reapers but it’s not as easy as find x or y. You have to literally go around the universe gathering resources to aid in the way effort. This gathering of resources is represented numerically via your new war room on your ship. This room let’s you know your armies preparedness to face off against the reapers.

Gaining advantage is done in two ways. One is through scanning galaxies and finding military targets / information / etc in a bid to help out the way effort. The other is through making alliances in the game by trying to help others. This is not so black and white however as sometimes your enlisting the help of other seedier type of cultures and actually criminals. But what would you do to save your planet? Sometimes in these situations you need to be flexible and doing it in the most minimal way. This is very well represented throughout the game.

Obviously like the preceding games you have relationships with one of the women on your crew or otherwise but it’s also done in a way that just by being nice to them opens up opportunities. I felt like Shephard was totally hitting on every chick on two legs. But it was interesting to see how these relationships developed and the one which I went with finally really seemed like it fit best with the trilogy as a whole as to how I played it.

The story is pretty straight forward however there is always a level of intrigue. What is Cerberus really up to and are they all that bad. Again we are faced with the shades of grey. Sometimes it seem’s so blatantly obvious the other is bad but come a certain point you wonder were they right and just went about it in a more extreme way. Suffice it to say you are left at times actually wondering if you did the right thing. Never have I personally felt in a game that my actions had weight but also if I did go about it right.

You bump into your friends along they way and suffice it to say that some make it and some don’t but the story is done in an almost love letter to your relationships you have made over the previous games. It ends up that you feel that each friendship has had an incredible journey and while some ended unfortunately in game it’s done in such a way to make it feel appropriate and epic.

The ending to the game brought a lot of controversy. I downloaded the famous patch that expands the ending however I felt that without experiencing the original ending that it was a bit quick. I felt as though Mass Effect 2 had this long epic ending and while the ending is satisfying it felt short and not as impressive as it could have been. That being said it’s more of an artistic choice by the developers and it works with what was presented. However I think even with the most long drawn out ending I still would not have been satisfied as it was like saying goodbye to a group of friends you shared everything with over 3 games.

The controls were the same tight configuration we all know from the previous games. I felt that through most of the game I had no need to use any other weapon aside from the Avenger assault rifle. I also felt like I never needed to change what bullet type I would use. This made things a bit bland on the combat side of things. Also as I leveled up the characters I was thinking that they need to add more if they do another ME  game. I enjoy that it attempts to be an action / rpg hybrid however I felt like all the characters in terms of skills were too similar. I would have preferred more uniqueness to the classes and I think the previous games even had more fluctuation in that regard.

In the end though Mass Effect 3 is a game that NEEDS to be experienced. If you never played the two other games you NEED to be playing those. As I mentioned Mass Effect 3 at the moment is the best space opera game to have come around. It’s action packed but it makes you think and moves you emotionally in ways you never thought could happen in a game. It’s storytelling at it’s finest.

Video Game Review: Home

Home is a game by Benjamin Rivers which is a horror game at it’s heart which is wrapped up in a classic 8 bit shell. 8 bit you say? Yes and you know what? It’s one of the best horror games I have played in awhile.

Home is simple all around from controls to the plot. You awaken in a house, you have a flashlight and you suffered a mental break where you cannot remember what happened so you have to find clues. And while the plot seem’s simple enough the outcome is based on the clues you find and your perception of the events that transpired. The controls are brutally simple being the typical “wasd” layout and the space bar for interaction. It really does not get more complicated then this.

For an 8 bit game I have to commend Benjamin Rivers for making Home at times actually scary. The plot leaves you wondering what is going on but the lighting effects work to make this atmospheric. In our day and age of flashy graphics and ultra real looking zombies Benjamin Rivers proves that sometimes you can pull off scary with being classic.It’s not just for nostalgia. It’s a statement that you can do something unique, fun and creepy with keeping things brutally simple. In fact I surmise this will inspire others to follow in his footsteps.

The game itself will take you under an hour to go through it but you will be left spellbound by the revelations of your play through which hasn’t happened to me in a long time. And to boot if you go to Steam right now, you can get it for $2.50 Cdn. That’s dirt cheap for something so good.

Home is an experience that can be had and if you allow yourself to take away it’s concepts you could probably bring them to your pen and paper gaming table. Keep it simple, start everyone off unawares of what is going on and let things develop. That being said I cannot recommend this game enough. Go and buy it, you’ll be doing yourself a favor.

Movie Review: Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead is a classic George Romero movie about a post apocalyptic world overrun by a zombie outbreak. Where Dawn of the Dead has us isolated in a mall, Day of the Dead has us isolated in a military style bunker underground.

The movie follows a small group of military soldiers, scientists and a few random folks who are dealing with the aftermath. The are worn down, discouraged that not only are they not finding survivors via their expeditions to the city but also that their numbers are going down compared to that of the zombies. Also there is no perceivable cure whether by antidote or otherwise of the zombies. The movie primarily follows Sarah though as she is trying to cope with everything like everyone else. Being the only female in the whole facility also makes her rather unique and combustible to the situation at hand.

As the movie progresses we have a change in hierarchy as the military soldiers (specifically Capt Rhodes stages a coup by taking over and threatening the scientists to start producing results. This is all cause and effect. Everyone is starting to over react due to the isolation, being in close proximity to each other and just the simple loss of their comrades. As a watcher and a roleplayer I can see how it can degenerate.

Dr Logan who is the main scientist is trying to solve the zombie problem not by cure via reversal but by domesticating the zombies. He discovers that they still act all on basic instinct in their need of survival and he wants to channel that so they no longer bother them. You can see the short sighted view and flaws with this but you can also tell Dr Logan has lost a few of his marbles.This bring us to his test subject Bub who is for the most part domesticated and proves his point. However you still need to feed Bub some flesh. You also discover that the zombies still retain trace memories of what they used to do and that they can learn on a primitive level. This aspect is rather fascinating and goes so far as to bring you to have an almost sympathy for the dead.

Obviously the plan does not work and the base is overrun by zombies. The soldiers all fall but that was expected. Capt Rhodes is killed by our good friend Bub. This comes off as a sort of vengence for Bub as Capt Rhodes was insistent on wanting to kill Bub and pointing out that he was worthless. Eventually only Sarah, John and McDermott make it out and to a tropical island.

Everyone does a fair job in their roles. Dr Logan stands out as strong character despite his insanity. He is the only one who seem’s not bothered by Capt Rhodes. In fact he is able to hold his own and even victorious in his dealings with him. His craziness is also very well done. Capt Rhodes being the main villain if you will come off like the douche he is however you can see his viewpoint that things keep going to shit and he is trying to cope by taking control.

The biggest performance though comes off as Bub. He is humanized to the point where he makes you sympathetic towards the zombies. As mentioned above, Capt Rhodes wants Bub dead and Bub gets his revenge. His face when he does get it really comes through that there is a glimmer of intelligence there. It’s so well done for a relatively bit part.

The gore in this movie is totally over the top as expected of Romero zombie movies and if you look at the special features on the DVD you will get a chuckle on how these effects were obtained. In fact I recommend watching all the making of featurette as it is quite fascinating to see how the movie developed from a phonebook sized script to almost a shell of the original concept due to budget restraints at the time.

Day of the Dead is a solid entry into the zombie apocalypse series. It sometimes gets a bit dull between scenes but overall it hangs in there. The characters can be quite quotable and you may find yourself bringing out a curse by Capt Rhodes at some point to laughs all around. If your big into the zombie genre, you need to see this movie, it’s a classic. You will find definite inspiration for your zombie oriented games in this movie. But also you can use the theme of isolation in any genre of game you run. Isolation can be a very valuable tool in a game so take hints from how Romero used it.

Movie Review: The House by the Cemetery

This is a totally B movie that I picked up in a horror movie six pack a long time ago and now finally taking a moment to review it in all it’s strange awesomeness.

House by the Cemetary is done by the somewhat legendary Lucio Fulci who is not very shy at providing you with gory scenes galore. From the first five minutes of the movie you will be nodding your head  thinking, yup this is definitely a Lucio Fulci movie. I remember watching this with my friend in the back seat of a car on a trip. He is also totally into horror movies and he was like “Holy shit! Did that just happen”. Yes Chris, it did happen and no you cannot take that memory away.

The movie as a whole is very good in a B movie way. Don’t expect tremendous logic to be found. There are a few scenes that will leave you scratching your head wondering if Fulci was on something or just totally misguided attempt at creating shock / drama for the sake of it. It doesn’t work and rather then adding to the movie, leaves you giggling.

The atmosphere is generally well kept. Your always wondering what is coming next. Fulci does a good job of keeping things on a slow build towards the climax where all hell breaks loose. For a B movie you don’t often see that sort of consistency on the build up so were very thankful for this.

The acting is generally well done. In fact I will say I am surprised. There are moments where you invest yourself in the characters and think loudly that you would not stay in that situation. Discover a tomb in the living room? I am getting the fuck out of there. This family however are determined. But you do get their sense of anxiety as they are dealing with a move in to a relatively creepy looking home to begin with and then all the bumps and sounds that are delivered to us. The only really off putting character is the little psychic girl. Her purpose in the movie is a warning to the boy but the way she is presented to us is always in a WTF way.  Also the boy has a very grating voice that comes off as whiny. Maybe that is what they were going for but it is just ughhhh.

The sound in the movie is ok. I had to crank up the volume as the voices (except the irritating boys voice) came out hushed. Other then that though you have plenty of quirky music. One really comes off as a 70’s kind of jive that is funny when you first hear it.

The picture quality also really stands out as being very good for it’s age and transition to DVD so no disappointments there.

House by the Cemetery is a classic B movie for your night with your buddies. It offers up enough horror moments, gory scenes and the laughable what the hell are they showing me now scenes, that you cannot help but be entertained. The story is rather amusing overall but don’t expect Shakespeare on this one. It’s plain and simple a good pop corn movie and definitely an add on for any horror movie fans collection.  Fulci in his own unique fashion gives us something special like only he can.

From an RPG standpoint you will find probably lots to provide you inspiration for a horror game. With all the amusing bits found in the movie I am sure you will be able to find elements to put into your game. I can see something interesting created in a gothic horror genre or even via a Unisystem game such as All Flesh Must Be Eaten. Nothing says fun like an evil golem scientist in a hidden room located in a long abandoned victorian mansion.

Video Game Review: Final Fantasy XIII-2

Final Fantasy XIII-2 came out at the beginning of this year and was to be honest quite successful. For those who played XIII you may know (as in you should) that the game was one linear corridor with no real avenue of exploration. Square Enix was hit hard with the dissapointment. Other aspects like the combat system and how character levelled were well received but the one way direction your character took was enough to give a negative vibe.So when the sequal was announced people were skeptical. Sequals are for lack of a better term are typically inferior to their earlier counterpart.But I while this rule of thumb is correct I am ever so glad to be proven wrong.

FF XIII-2 continues on shortly after the events in FF XIII. Serah who is the main character in this itteration wakes up to discover that what she perceives as reality may not be reality. She believes Lightning is alive but everyone around her says otherwise. Snow has been missing and to have never returned. But we all know what happened in FF XIII so immediately we are asking ourselves what is going on. Suffice it to say things don’t take long for things to shake up.

FF XIII-2 at it’s core is centered around time travelling through the ages. The premise is very Chrono Trigger and it’s execution is quite well done. You travel from location to location via the Historia Crux which is a fancy term to the hallway of time. Each location has a gate or maybe more where you can hop to the flow of time and head to your nyou have side quests to collect fragments of artifacts. If you get a whole artifact which is wild then you can open a locked gateway to another time period. Each period is vaguely similar however the environment changes as well as certain accessible areas. This provides a unique challenge as players have to sometimes hope between the various time periods so they can complete their quests.

One aspect that people did not like about FF XIII was the one stop shop area where you could purchase your goods. So to fix this they replaced the computerized one stop area with a mutant half chocobo / half human woman named Chocobocolina. I shit you not, they thought this was a better idea. I get they want to streamline the experience but what kills them from having various shops in towns. She even manages to follow you through time to areas she shouldn’t be able to be in logically. While she does add some humor to your grim tasks at hand, it’s still off putting. This brings me to equipment. Equipment in FF XIII-2 is horrible. Our mutant lady bird offers us weapons and accessories while also providing opportunities to craft certain accessories. Crafting is useless. I never had to craft one item as all the base items where more powerful then what could be crafted. Same goes for weapons. I am near the end of the game, find a weapon yet the weapon I have is more powerful. Gnerally as you move higher in locations your item find should be more powerful progressively however they just never bothered to do this.

An interesting addition to the party group dynamic is that you are able to tame monsters. These monsters can be levelled by purchasing monster ingrediants / components as well as feeding one monster to another. It’s interesting because they are trying to fill the roll of the third party member since it is just Serah and Noel but I still would have simply preferred another character. The only real thing the monster party member added was a cool factor of having X monster on your team but otherwise it added a needless grind to your experience.

Combat is as easy as ever with more refined combat system. I still find it all to be a bit on the easy mode side of things as typically what the computer selects as optimal attacks are exactly what is needed for the job. Only in certain boss fights I had to step back and manually select what attack would be best. It leaves combat a bit hollow but at the same time it is quick and simple.

Levelling up is much the same as before for your characters however right from the get go you can place Crystarium points in a few jobs. Once a jobs levels enough you get a skill and as your Crystarium expands to another level you get an extra special bonus or a new job all depending. It works very well and you still feel like your have some customization to your character.

The music is very interesting as it shifts from all genre’s of music. If you got the collectors edition then you would have gotten a four cd soundtrack to the game. While some some are great, I can say I only really enjoyed a handful while the rest was forgettable. It’s not to say the music is aweful by any means but like any game your either going to enjoy a lot of the music or not. Some will strike a chord in you and some won’t. But I do recommend checking out the soundtrack though as it’s very creative. Think heavy metal chocobo theme.

Finally what it all boils down to is the story. The story of FF XIII-2 is short while the grind and gameplay stretch things along. The story is enthralling though and I want more. How everything was all placed out was superb. Caius  who is the main protagonist is an amazing character who was simply corrupt by the experiences he endured. While at first you havea definitive bad guy, by the time you reach the end you cannot help but feel sorry for him. Serah as a character has grown from a younger sister who needed protecting to a strong woman who is ready to put it on the line. She still comes off as hopeful which you can think is naive but she has also had to make hard choices in her search for Lightning.  Noel who is her partner is brash about how he handles things but the journey with Serah and dealings with Caius teach him a lot along the way.

In all FF XIII-2 can be considered even superior to the original. It was ambitious but it pulled it off. While there are some aspects I do believe still need attending, this is a universe that I want to see more of. Like FF VII they opened us up to a world of possibilities and enough interesting aspects for us to crave more. Depending on how the next game is I can even imagine them doing an Advent Children type of movie with this property. The characters are likeable, the setting has a great history and we could all use a bit more of that in our movies.

Finally for those who purchased the collectors edition, you have a beautiful white case which holds yours game, soundtracks and an art book. If your a collector of anything Final Fantasy then I highly recommend it as it’s nice to see on the shelf. While I would have maybe like other nifty items for what the price is for the collectors edition ($80) it’s very good for what you get. Typically the soundtracks along can set you back $40.

Here is hoping the next game delivers more then this game. They have big shoes to fill right now.

Comic Book Review: Batwoman #1

With DC Comics rebooting of it’s universe, we have “The New 52” which of course is 52 new titles all starting at number 1. One of the issues I was looking forward to was Batwoman. If you never have had a chance to check out her previous adventures in Detective Comics when Bruce Wayne was MIA in the past then I highly suggest you do so. Suffice it to say I was more then happy to jump on board and purchase her first issue and I was not disappointed.

Batwoman starts out with her on an investigation of disappearing children by some sort of phantasmal being / creature. It has a nice little supernatural flare to it which was highly enjoyable as I don’t remember seeing too many of them. We also get a little brief recap of some events from her past outings as they try to sum up her current relationship to her father. Now for those who are wondering about the past events, nothing was really changed story wise in the new universe and all her past adventures can be considered carried over. But don’t let that fact fool you into thinking you need to check out older issues. If your new to comics or wanting to get back in slowly then this is a great introduction to the character and is easily a standalone no previous reading required. Now we are also introduced in an off hand way to a new villain who will be working behind the scenes in digging up info on Batwoman since Batman is too hard to deal with it seems. In all the whole issue really had a lot of crunch throughout the book. Lot’s of new elements yet still staying cohesive. But then again this is the standard for Batwoman comics. They seem to all be written with a lot of care and it really does this character justice. I am happy though that we have new villains and also an investigation that is ongoing.

Art wise I cannot get over how amazing everything looks. I have to say I have not seem many comics this good looking. And that is to say all of Batwoman comics tend to be this way. It is simply a visual treat. The story is always well represented and you never get lost within the panels. Backgrounds and characters are always well done. However there is one things that irks me a bit and I am not sure if it is creative direction or artistic direction however they seem to play off Batwoman’s sexuality by having her changing / being nude by another female but concealed as to be suggestive. Now while I find it a positive thing to have a character like this but I do find they try to exploit it for horny young teenagers. That is just my impression. It’s like they are trying for the cool factor for being ‘risqué’ which is a cheap ploy.

In all if Batwoman is any indication of what other New 52 comics may be like then I am quite happy. I really look forward to seeing where this story is going to go and also how the relationship between Batwoman and her father will evolve. If you have any inkling into trying something new in the new DC Universe then I highly suggest you jump on board this title. You will not be disappointed.

Heroica, like Heroquest with LEGO.

On my recent trip to Orlando, I visited the LEGO store in Downtown Disney and found a product that for some reason had completely missed my notice, most likely because it hadn’t been released in my area back home in Montreal. That product is one of the newer additions to LEGO line of board game sets, aptly named: Heroica. Needless to say, I quickly purchased all one of each set available in the series.

For those who are not aware, Heroica is a LEGO game, you build the set yourself and thus can customize ad infinitum. In Heroica you play one of several possible heroes tasked with defeating a great evil. Your character is reperesented by what I have come to call a microfig, it is essentially a LEGO minifig with no movable parts that is only one square in width and depth and stands two blocks tall, but still filled with all the lovably adorable charm of your standard LEGO characters. If you own all four of the sets, you and each other player can choose from six different characters to play as: Barbarian, Wizard, Druid, Knight, Thief, and Ranger. Each character has a single special ability, all special abilities in the game are classified as either melee or ranged.

The rules are simple, you and your fellow adventurers must make your way across the playing field and try to be the first to reach the boss area. To move around the board and combat monster you roll a single LEGO die which has 4 different designs on it’s 6 sides: a shield, a sword and 3 dots, a skull and 2 dots, and lastly a sword, skull and one dot. There are two each of the sword (3 dots) and skull (2 dots) sides, and only one each of the other two. There are two types of rolls you will be called to make, a move roll, or a combat roll. You roll the die on your turn and move a number of spaces up to the number of dots on the side you rolled. If you roll a shield, you may move up to 4 spaces or use a ranged special ability. If your character ends up in a space next to a monster, you must end your movement for the turn and combat the creature by rolling the die again. The results fo combat are based on the side you roll, a sword means you have defeated the enemy. A skull means that you take damage equal to the creature’s strength (you only start with 4 health) and move back one space. A roll of the side with a skull AND sword means that you have defeated the creature but are wounded too and take damage equal to its strength and move back one space. A roll of a shield means that you defeat the monster OR you may used a melee special ability.

The winner of the game is the one who reaches and defeats the boss of the map and moves to occupy the boss’s space. If however, your hero loses all their health, you must spend turns healing yourself by rolling the die and healing an amount of health equal to the number of spaces you would have moved with the roll. Once you have reached your max health, you can then move as normal on your next turn.

The four sets in the series can be combined, allowing you to play what is called Epic Heroica. In the 3 larger sets, the players may spend gold they find to purchase weapons from the shop, each weapon gives the character an extra special ability that they may use, which allows the player to perform an ability similar to one of the other classes only slightly weaker, this adds a nice dash of customization to the game is can allow you to have a wizard with a good melee special ability or a barbarian with a good ranged ability, or simply give the ability to heal to a hero other than the druid. These extra special abilities can really make a difference when playing a longer game such as by combining all the sets. The four sets are:

Draida Bay, the smallest set of the four and one that only contains two characters to play as and a handful of minor creatures. Draida Bay starts the heroes on the docks after disembarking from a ship and exploring a small grove to find and defeat the goblin general and his goblin warriors This is really more of an expansion to the other 3 sets.

Waldurk, a forest and wilderness area is one of the two medium-sized sets and has the heroes facing spiders and werewolves under the command of the evil Dark Druid.

Nathuz, the second mid-sized set, is a dungeon-styled area that has the heroes facing golems and bats led by the golem lord.

Fortaan, the largest set is a castle set filled almost to bursting with goblin warriors and goblin champions all led by the deadly goblin king.

Each set also has some special items and potiosn scattered throughout that give extra abilities to a hero or can simply be sold back to the shop for extra gold.

I played an Epic game last night with Deb and we had a blast. She was a druid who bought a bow and arrow when she had the requisite 3 gold (the price for any weapon in the shop) and I was a wizard who eventually ran around swinging a battle axe. Deb won by a mile because, as expected her rolling was a lot better than mine, but I didn’t mind, I was having too much fun.

The game plays quickly and smoothly and is simple enough for younger children, but has enough of an RPG feel to grab adult players as well. I can’t wait to play a full game with both Deb and Bry and see how that goes. And while the game plays great with the rules as-is, I’m going to give a little though into possibly working out some sort of co-op mode and maybe making my own additional tiles using other lego games or simply pieces from Bry’s LEGO bin, I think some city-themed tiles could make for a neat add-on and add to the role-playing feel. All in all, I highly recommend the Heroicasets to anyone who enjoys LEGO or used to love Heroquest.

Comic Review: Detective Comics 857

Boy do I love Detective Comics especially since Batwoman has taken over the series on a temporary basis and this issue lives up to the high standards we have seen over her run.

Alice continues to cause havoc for both Kate and Gotham as she not only kidnaps their father but also is trying to kill all of Gotham. Now that is ambition and it works as the catalyst in this issue. Alice as the High Madame is a great villain as I have mentioned before. It’s great having new opponents and it being Kate’s sister it works as an extra point of interest and conflict. While we have mostly seen Alice as a crazed villain we have a glimmer of an internal conflict with her while she battles her sister.

The other part of the issue being the continuation of The Question: Pipeline where Montoya continues her investigation into human trafficking. With the spots being as mini as they are I find that we will have more of an idea of how good it is as a whole when the story has run it’s course. Things do move along and we are getting closer to the truth but we’re always left with a sense that we need more otherwise we are left we a flat feeling.

If there is one thing that Batwoman has excelled at aside from the storyline has been the art of JH Williams III. It has really given an identity to the Batwoman: Detecive Comics series. However I find that sometimes with how stylish the panels can be with it’s unique art that sometimes I have to double back to see if I maybe missed something.

Comic Review: Zatanna 5

After the last issue which I found somewhat less to be desired I was hoping for a big turnaround this issue and I am glad that it did. While the last issue didn’t have much building of anything aside from introducing the Royal Flush Gang who were handled in no time, some banter between Zatanna and her brother and being introduced to our new villain Benjy Raymond we pick up during the attack by the three fire elementals.

The elementals managed to put up a little of a fight by almost killing our favorite magician however she manages to survive and vanguish them. Zatanna’s brother also came to help however he is not as refined in his magic and thus, not much help at all. But we have some jealousy on the side of Zatanna’s brother which was hinted at last issue and he want’s Zatanna to be at his latest show. It’s a little side plot in her personal life which can be interesting if developed right and we have a catalyst later on. Benjy realizes that he has bitten more then he can chew in dealing with a demon after realizing his hotel and casino is home to many demonic visitors not to mention the added pressure of delivering Zatanna or loosing his soul. Zatanna of course puts on her show and is drugged shortly after by Benjy. The drug turns her hormones upside down and she is hankering for some Benjy which makes her miss her brothers show. She manages to fight her way out of effects of the love potion however Benjy has a undead zombie hord that captures her.

This issue was pretty action packed suffice it to say and that’s a good thing. I am enjoying the jealousy the brother is showing while Zatanna is just caught up in her own world. While she tries to make amends she is diverted by Benjy which is going to cause even more of a conflict. Maybe he will turn on her down the line. It would be an interesting twist. The duo of Benjy and the demon seem’S to be working out a bit more now. While it was a bit loose last issue we see more of the predicament Benjy is in.

The art I found was better but still had a classical look to it. Even though with every review I mention the good writing I still have to come out and say it’s very good. The cover also in this issue is much better compared to the last issue. In all it was very good to see things turn around quite nicely. By the way, if you haven’t picked up any Zatanna issues yet, get to it. Your really missing out.

Comic Review: Zatanna 4

After I managed to catch the two previous issues and building up some excitement, this particular issue came along. Now I am not going to say it was a bad issue. I was basically a filler issue which is a bit disappointing when you are on issue number 4.

In this issue we start off with Zatanna already in action in Las Vegas battling the Royal Flush Gang. Suffice it to say they don’t put up much a fight and they are quickly taken care of. Zatanna is preparing for her Las Vegas show and were introduced to an old family friend who is the man who runs the hotel where Zatanna is performing. But he is not as he seem’s as he is under the rule of the devil. He has gotten himself into his fair share of problems and the devil is giving him a chance, deliver Zatanna or lose his soul. The rest of the comic is Zatanna running into her brother at the hotel who turned her room into party central and upon clearing everyone out is attacked by three flame elementals.

I guess this issue is what it had to be but in my opinion there just needed to be more to it. Zatanna’s brother is rather undisciplined and not totally sure where he figures in right now. He just seem’s to be there. I think if there was more focus on developing something between brother and sister or more on our conniving villain of the issue then this would have been a much better issue.

Despite the not so great issue we have some good dialogue. Zatanna’s personality is always enjoyable and Paul Dini has it down perfectly. Compared to the previous two issues I am also a bit less fond of the cover by Stephane Roux. The interior art is also different this issue sporting more classic comic art rather then the new leaning towards anime-ish art that has been used so far. I have my fingers crossed for issue number 5 to pull things through.