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 411mania » Games » Columns

Ask 411 Games 3.10.14: Batman Returns, Xbox Modding, Final Fantasy VII
Posted by Stewart Lange on 03.10.2014

Hey everyone and welcome to another edition of Ask 411 Games! I'm pretty bummed this week as it's fairly bare bones, since it would seem the questions I'm getting are drying up a little bit. Please remember this column needs your participation to continue, so unless you want to see your Monday morning 411 Games homepage to feature 3 news items about Call of Duty DLC or something, make sure and email any questions you have about anything games related to Stewart.411Games@Gmail.com. Feel free to send me any feedback you have too, because if I'm doing something wrong, I'd rather know about it.

On the gaming front, I've given up on Thief and have been spending a lot more time on Final Fantasy VII on my PSP than I really should be. I'd forgotten how much of that game I love and I can't wait until the disc 2 stuff. Thief wasn't so bad, but the combat is so awful you can't afford to be caught because you'll die, but also if you choose to run away, the level design is pretty crap so you can't always run very far, or anywhere helpful. It's a shame and I still wait on a game for the XbOne that really makes me feel like I'm playing a new-gen title. I'd say Black Flag has impressed me the most with the changes it has made, with the storm effects filling the boat with water and the smoke from the cannons filling the screen making the ship battles more intense. Maybe I'll pick up Titanfall after all.


I didn't get much in the way of corrections last week, except for my boss-battle royal question by Jay El Bee which was confirmed by Sterling Archer

If I remember correctly one or more of the Castlevania games on the GB Advance/Nintendo DS had a boss mode.

Yep, Aria of Sorrow.

Never found any evidence of that while doing my research last week, but fair play to you guys for pointing out another one. Hopefully that adds to the original answer a little!

GVIL popped in to say hi as well, confirming my thoughts on digital downloads.

I am like you I like to have and hold my games. I loved to read the manuals as sometimes they had little stories in them about the game.

Exactly! If you don't understand the appeal of a game manual, pick up a Master System, NES or basically any other retro manual and flick through it. 16 pages long, with one page to say "A= jump, B= punch" and the rest left over to tell the story of the game, introduce all the baddies and other cool stuff too.

Don't forget the mandatory "notes" page at the back! Amazing stuff.

No winners last week!! Let's repost and see if someone can get it this time.

I excelled at school, especially the sciences, but it wasn't something that came easily. The bullies at my private school were horrible, even tattooing me against my will. I'm fond of animals, but haven't got the best of track records with my pets. I'm too short to walk about about as much as I'd like to, but it doesn't stop me from driving. I've been told I have a short temper, but don't control it very well and am susceptible to tantrums. Who am I?

Come on, guys! It's an easy-ish one! Post your answers in the comments section! Let's get on with this.


GVIL brings the heat once again! He's a one man keep Ask 411 Games alive machine! People might think I'm making him up at this rate.

Do you believe that Batman Returns was the best Batman game up until the Arkham series was released?

No. Next.

I realised as I typed that it's exactly the same start as I had to my "Can Nintendo save the Wii:U question as last week. I think Batman Returns is a pretty decent game, but I believe both Revenge of the Joker and Batman Forever are better games, at least off of memory. Like Superman, old Bats has a history of lackluster video games, but at least the Dark Knight has a bit more of the "throw enough shit at a wall" thing going for him since there have been so many titles based around all the different versions of our hero, practically.

The Arkham games certainly revolutionised the Superhero in the modern video games, but obviously the tools needed to create such an immersive title were not available throughout the 90's, so we had to deal with the platformers we received and hope that some of them were more fun than the others. While Returns was by no means bad, I don't feel like it was as good as the two I've mentioned. I'd also give credit to The Advetures of Batman and Robin and even Batman Begins for the original Xbox and PS2 as being pretty solid games that are worth a play if you can get passed the fact they aren't part of the Arkham franchise.

I know PCs can be modified at will, but is the original Xbox the most easy console to modify?

Now, I consider there to be two types of modding and the Xbox isn't the easiest of either category, but I'll explain why not, but also why that's a good thing.

The first type is my favourite, which involves stripping the console and painting, changing parts, adding or replacing LEDs and the like. If you check my Instagram page (@outafterdark216) I do this with Gameboys a lot, but have also made a custom Captain America Gamecube and a series of black and red consoles too. The Xbox isn't especially easy to take apart compared to some of it's earlier counterparts, and there is very little you can do once you've taken it apart if you want to maintain the functions unless you're 100% sure you know what you're doing or have a schematic.

The second type is basically hacking the console or modding it to play pirated games, which I've discussed a couple of months ago. I'd be inclined to say that the PSP is the easiest one for this as it only really involves a couple of mouse clicks and a USB lead. Then we have the old faithfuls, such as the Dreamcast and PS1, which could be tricked with as little as a spring. Okay, enough of this nefarious discussion, onto the Xbox.

The Xbox is interesting as with fairly little work, you can set it up to work as an emulator for pretty much everything up until 2003. I guess this seems as though the answer to the question is yes, but it's not the easiest to take apart, or to play copies on, but it's certainly the most worthwhile, if you want to condone that sort of thing. Obviously, my views are my own and not that of 411, but I agree with emulation providing you own the original copy. Just my views.

So there we go. It's not the easiest thing to mod, but it is the most worthwhile. Moving on.

Are Mother 3 (64DD-GBA) and Final Fantasy VII (N64-PS1) the most high profile games to have come out on different systems than they were announced for?

Would Duke Nukem Forever be the biggest cop-out answer of all time? There are a few others but I'd maybe say that's the biggest of the lot. Other notable examples are:

Final Fantasy XIII Was announced for PS2, released on PS3 and Xbox 360.

Prey Announced for PC, released first on Xbox 360 then Games for Windows as part of the exclusivity agreement with Microsoft.

Banjo Kazooie 3 Announced for Gamecube. A totally bastardised version was released for the Xbox 360.

Too Human Announced for PS1, released for Xbox 360.

I'd probably say that Final Fantasy VII is the biggest of the games we've mentioned, but those are some of the biggest I could find. Anyone else think of any that I've missed?

Thanks to GVIL for that lot. Any more, keep them coming! Thankfully, Col has a bit of an extension to something I looked at a few weeks ago.

You recently looked at gaming worlds you'd like to live in. What do you think, though, are the most beautifully made gaming worlds?

Okay, I'll keep this one seems prime for the overuse of image and video. So, let's do this.

Final Fantasy X- To my mind, the last good FF game. I was very close to including FF7 here purely because I'm having such a blast going back through it, but FFX blew me away when it game out. Watching this, they were clearly going for the grand, beautiful environments and succeeded greatly.

Fallout 3- Because it'd be like Acero not mentioning AJ Lee or Sforcina not pointing out he's Australian. It has to be inserted whenever possible. I realise it's a barren, dead Wasteland, but it just looks so..... incredible. The scenery in Fallout 3 took my breath away and I hadn't really seen anything like it before.

Bioshock- Well, Art Deco is phenomenal to begin with and Rapture embodies it as an art form. Art Deco buildings always look like they have a rather haunted past and Rapture captures this perfectly.

Brothers- This game is just gorgeous. Everything about it was just so breathtaking. This achievement video is a great watch if you played it and missed anything.

What are your favourites?

Finally one from Jonny.

What are the easiest and hardest achievements to get on the 360?

For the hardest, I'd be going with-

Atomic Number 78 on Trials: Evolution. All Platinum medals on Big Sands? Jesus.
Or World Champion on Ghost Recon. Become RANK NUMBER ONE ON THE UNIVERSAL LEADERBOARD. Estimates put it at 600+ hours of gameplay to get this one. Fuck that.

As for the easiest.....


That's all for this week folks, so hope you enjoyed the column! I look forward to getting an email from each of you so that next week's Ask 411 Games is the most packed edition ever! Email Stewart.411Games@Gmail.com and ask away! See you all in seven!


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