Berserk on the Horizon

berserkIt’s exceedingly rare for me to pre-order games with the pile of unplayed games sitting beside me at any given time. Sometimes you want to do your part to make a game appear successful and Berserk was a game I wanted to give my full financial support to. I have a very long standing love/hate relationship with the property. When I was first actively engaged in finding new anime to watch, I saw what looked like a straight-forward fantasy anime. Most of what I had seen about it didn’t really prepare me for that first episode. There was this guy with a sword that would shame even Cloud Strife just being super-pissed and crushing men, demons, pretty much anything else that got in his way for one episode. Then the entire rest of the series is a flash back to show you why he is so angry. It is NOT because someone ate the last fruit cup. But then it just ends. For the longest time (though there is a new series now) you didn’t see any more of the black swordsman and his quest for vengeance. The level of blue balls can best be described as imagine if Kill Bill had ended after the wedding flashback. You need to see The Bride kill Bill. She deserves it. I’m still waiting to see Guts get his.

That’s what I’m hoping for in this game. It’s a Koei Tecmo Warriors game so the controls and scenarios play out exactly as you would expect them to. I’m still playing the Golden Age Arc, which is the story that’s been told in both the original anime series and in the newer, trimmed down movie trilogy. During this part, they are using a lot of clips from the new movies to fill in story as well as some in game cut-scenes. The movie clips are a little edited, but using the movie clips at all is a little strange to me since, I assume, the game is going to cover much more than this story arc. Giving these long, beautiful clips for a short part of the game at the beginning then nothing else seems like an odd call, but then also fits the blue ball precedent that comes along with Berserk. The game’s release had a few snags as well. Amazon users reportedly had issues getting their pre-order DLC. The game didn’t show up at all for pre-order on PSN. On top of that, a part that held me back from playing it a few days was that PSN didn’t appear to be synching trophies for the game until a few days after the release. Thankfully whatever trophies I had earned did show up eventually, but (being a trophy whore) it gave me pause to play the game.

While I was waiting for Berserk to release and start working, I wanted to play something that didn’t require a huge investment of time or pull me in to a story. It has also been a long time since I’ve enjoyed a racing game. I was a huge fan of Burnout, but I hadn’t really found a game that felt similar in a long while. I had been told more than once to give Forza Horizon a try and so I finally did. It’s not quite Burnout in that there’s not nearly as much mayhem. The racing itself feels similar and it does reward you for a little mayhem…just a little. There’s still that element of trial and error on picking the right car for the race. I have a few cars that are my go to cars, but sometimes they’re just not the right fit for the track. The completionist in me is enjoying trying to find the discount signs and such as much as the racing. Horizon 2 and 3 will soon be additions to the table stack.

Aside from gaming, I’ve been trying to catch up on some of my reading. Most currently I’m working through a stack of comics that mostly happened in 2014. Right in the middle of DC’s New 52 run where, honestly, not much was happening. New 52 started out strong, had a great plan of trying to make the whole comic universe seem more connected and did a great job of it for a while. Now of course, most of that has been thrown out the window for Rebirth which is where I stopped buying in to it. There’s other comics I’m still getting and stacking up and might catch up on sooner now that I’m not buying quite as many.

Easily the best thing I have been reading lately was Mark Waid’s Hulk comic. I’m not a Hulk fan really, but I am a huge fan of Mark Waid’s work. Irredeemable and its counter-point Incorruptible are series that got me back to reading comics to begin with. Marvel brought him in to do what has been probably one of the best Daredevil runs in memory. Then they set him loose on Hulk.

indestructible-hulk_12The Hulk has never had too varied a plot as far as I know. Bruce Banner wants to cure being Hulk and that’s about all you hear about him. Hulk meanwhile has been different colors, had different degrees of strength and intelligence, got shot in to space and became Conan the Barbarian for a while, and just all around seems to be the only real focus. With many comic heroes, a good story incorporates the entire identity. Waid’s Daredevil run stood out as one of the best because Matt Murdoch was as important, if not more important a character, as Daredevil. Which is kind of the same direction the Netflix series takes. So Waid comes in to Hulk and in the first issue drops a bomb on the reader. Bruce Banner has decided being The Hulk is incurable and rather than wasting his brilliance on curing it, he wants SHIELD to give him funding, a lab, and staff to make the world a better place and a non-Hulk legacy for himself. In return, SHIELD has Hulk at their disposal to aim at a problem that needs some Hulking done.

What followed was a genuinely unique take on a Hulk comic. It almost turned in to a science adventure story with Hulk traveling through time and other crazy stuff going on. It did sadly devolve into a new “smart” Hulk story immediately when Waid departed. The Hulk now calling himself “Doc Green” and Bruce Banner being gone entirely. Doc Green is focused on getting rid of all gamma weapons in the world, including gamma powered beings like all the other Hulks. I’m honestly not sure how the story will hold up without Waid, but I am invested in the series up until Amadeus Cho takes over where I told my comic shop to stop.

That’s the state of affairs this week. The next week will have me playing more Horizon and Beserk and trying to get some comics put away. It should be an interesting week with Nintendo releasing Switch in less than a week now. Most of what I’ve seen has me hopeful that Nintendo has finally made a console that isn’t just a gimmick, but I’ve been hurt before.

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