Monday, 21 February 2011

Batman Versus Robin And Deathsmiles

You know that feeling when there's something you plan to buy, but its street date is so far in the future that you essentially forget all about it and then one day you stroll around the shops and bloody hell, there it is on the shelf?

Well on Saturday that happened to me twice in the space of ten minutes.

First up was discovering Batman versus Robin in Waterstones. This is the second "collected" hardback of the Grant Morrison-penned run on Batman whereby Bruce is dead (but not really), Dick has stepped up to replace him and Bruce's precocious little shit of a son is the new Robin (and not very happy about it) which is of course the big budget blue riband DC series that Forbidden Planet Birmingham claimed to know fuck all about. This was supposedly released back in early November of last year but I never saw hide nor hair of it until just now. And no, Forbidden Planet Birmingham didn't have it either.

So within ten minutes of the wallet flying out of jacket pocket so quickly it was almost dropped on the floor of Waterstones, I wandered into GAME just to see what cheap second-hand games could be had and Christing Anne, bloody Deathsmiles was on the shelf.

Deathsmiles is a bullet hell shooter by bullet hell shooter specialists Cave. Much like Raiden Fighter Aces, it's a game that's been imminent in PAL form for about ninety years despite perfectly good US NTSC versions being available in English and the despite the technical issue that all UK gamers run in 60HZ these days so there's no need to do a technically tricky rejig to keep the game running at the same speed. (I have Raiden Fighter Aces on pre-order from but have given up on ever seeing it).

Anyway, imagine the pubescent girls from Maid the RPG as the "ships" in a shmup that appears to be a graphical tribute/homage to Ghouls and Ghosts whilst set in a fictional, idealised late C19th/early C20th Europe (akin to the settings of the truly beautiful Howl's Moving Castle) of the sort that gives the Japanese Paris Syndrome(*) when they actually go to Paris and realise what a toilet it is.

Obligatory Youtubeage - yes it really is this hatstand.

So, not much RPG, not much Brit Old Skool but that was the geekery of the past weekend.

Then to prove my manliness after all this geek nonsense it was off to the Black Country derby on Sunday which was unfortunately pretty typical of such after a flare was flung and repaid tenfold in seats and loose change ...

It's probably my least favourite home match of the season and I'd have probably stayed at home playing Deathsmiles if the outcome of the match wasn't so important to our season and therefore unmissable. Suffice to say that all the "scum" and "them" and "cnuts" with different coloured scarves will have returned to their normal role as workmates, classmates, neighbours, relatives and drinking partners by Monday morning. Fucking ridiculous.

(*) I only learned of the existence of this recognised medical condition over the past weekend when a mate told me about it, initially to my scepticism that is was elaborate spoof designed to take the piss out of the French.

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