October 30, 2013

Batman Arkham Origins Areas of Concern

A game which features neither Arkham nor Batman's Origins.....


So probably not as memorable as Batman Arkham City, and it didn't take as much risks, but hey, it's a pretty decent story to boot. Can't ever go wrong with Batman, amiright?

This may have been the quickest I ever finished the core Areas of Concern for a game, taking me little over two days to finish. It also showed just how surprisingly short this game is, but hey, it's Batman.

Basic Plot:

As stated in the tagline, this game has nothing to do with Arkham or the Origins of The Dark Knight. Instead, it concerns Batman's second year of crime-fighting, and a ring of assassins set loose to try and kill him.

We meet some familiar faces from all Batman stories, and some surprises along the way.

Release Date: October 2013.

Developer: Warner Bros. Games Montreal.

Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.

Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U, PC.

Genre: Action Adventure.

Reviewed By: Kyle van Rensburg.

Areas of Concern:


Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

General Violence:

--Several fights scenes are depicted throughout the whole game, with people being frantically punched, kicked, and bones are broken with a crack being heard. Objects like bats (the other kind) are used to hit people with. Cries of pain are heard throughout.

Enemies swing knives at Batman, with the screen darkening very briefly when the knife slices him.

-Takedowns are depicted, with Batman punching enemies square in the face or slamming their heads against the ground, or grabbing them and choking them unconscious.

--There are a few crime scenes which Batman investigates, which he sees in ultrasonic vision and later in very brief detail. Minimal blood is shown, but violent acts are portrayed like:

-We see a man getting blown back through a wall by an explosion, and a bit of blood spatters on the environment. 

-A man is blown back by a gunshot which shows an x-ray vision of his heart being pierced. 

-A woman's head is slammed against a table and we later see her hanging from a chandelier as a man shoots her, bloodlessly.

--A few environments are littered with wreckage and corpses, and moderate amounts of blood stains are shown.

Storyline Violence:

--A man is kicked through a window, falls a long distance, screaming horribly, and he crashes into a chandelier which detaches and hits the ground as we see his dead body land on top of it, with electricity surging through him.

--Batman interrogates several people in this game by kicking punching them around a LOT and stomping on them, slamming them into objects, and threatening them with death.

-One sequences involves a man getting punched, thrown around, and choked in a very brutal way, before being knocked out.

--We see that man's dead body was placed in a chair surrounding by electrified water. His corpse convulses slightly. We later see an alive man getting electrocuted from a distance, his body convulsing, and eventually expiring.

--A woman deflects a man's gun, making him shoot an ally, and she grabs him around and breaks his neck with a crack being heard and his head is shown being twisted.

-A giant man grabs two other men and holds them up. We hear cracks, implying that he broke their necks.

--A man electrocutes another man for a period of time; he convulses, gurgling, and his heart stops. 

--Two police helicopters gun down several criminals bloodlessly. Both helicopters are then shot down with explosive projectiles, and they crash into each other, exploding.

--There are a few sequences with explosions going off, strewing wreckage, and knocking people back.


Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

--We see a few suggestive posters of indecently clad women. These are not shown in detail.

--A woman in a revealing outfit showing off lots of cleavage calls a man "naughty", and tells a group of men if they want "what she's offering" they have to fight him. Later on, we see another woman in a revealing outfit, and a man grabs her posterior.

-We see him later with both women in his arms, still "fully" clothed.  


Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

Uses of S**t, P**s, A*s, B**ch, B**t**d, C**p, H**l, D**n, Ponce, Wanker and B**ger.

Spiritual Content: 

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

--List of symbols:

-Five point star. (Satanism)

-Skulls. (Death)

--A man quotes from the Bible, to which a man replies that he "ain't never read that book".

--The game has an overarching theme of Christmas. While some of you may have heard the whole fuss about its pagan origins, the game features a very superficial treatment of it. 

(Just so you know, I don't celebrate Christmas, and whether or not its okay to celebrate, is a topic I'll save for an article in December.)

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

--A man uses having a glass of wine as a metaphor. 

--A man is portrayed smoking a cigar.

--A reference to a man being "hopped up" on something, and we later found out that he was using a street drug with severe side effects.

Gross Stuff/Gore:

--A man injects himself with a serum, causing his muscles to bulge and become grotesquely huge, and he growls and spits green fluids. 
Scary Stuff:

--A woman loses her mind and laughs maniacally.

--The infamous Joker character is more than a tad bit disturbing, due to his unpredictability and highly unstable personality. He seems to take pleasure in hurting people. We also see one or two disturbing hallucinations involving Batman from his perspective, where Batman is a monstrous creature.

--There is a hallucination sequence, and it includes a few mildly startling moments, including a woman from earlier who behaves in a cat like way and has a reptile-esque tongue. She twists around in an unnatural fashion.

--A small section takes place in a casino.

Abysmal Bad So-so Okay Good Very Good

The treatment of Batman here is not too different from previous games. While he may be overly aggressive with people, and has some serious revenge issues, he is portrayed to avoid killing people at all costs. 

(Even if one or two people come close to death at his hands.)

Thoughts & Impressions:

Despite a rather run-of-the-mill set up, this Batman game does feature a good story and some surprisingly good voice acting. Troy Baker as The Joker is indistinguishable from Mark Hamill's Joker, so that should fan any controversy. (If there were any.)

Roger Craig Smith taking over the lead role from Kevin Conroy features a very subtle change in voice, but I guess long time fans may find the switch jarring and distracting. I'm not one of them, and you're talking about a guy who was upset with the whole Splinter Cell voice actor change.

But all in all, if you liked the story of the previous two games, it seems pretty solid here. Just be warned that not much has changed.


Well, when it comes to the content, I was expecting it to be the edgy, pushing the boundaries, borderline adult fare that was Arkham City. But it wasn't. In fact, the game played it pretty safe this time.

The tone is much lighter, but not much. This is Batman after all, so its not the happiest story in the world. At the end of the day, this game is up to the individual to decide, but its actually one of the cleaner options out there.

Yep, I said it.

The Preacher: I say live and give me a freaking break because the game is really not that bad.

When you look at it, what's the real concern here? The language? Pfft, kindergarten stuff. Sexual content? Where? Pretty much non-existent except for the obvious English lady. Violence? Okay, well, it is surprisingly gritty for a T-rated game and it felt like they were pushing it, but is that really a reason to throw out the game?

Trent: One thing we must not lose out of sight is the meditation on darkness here, as with all things Batman. We are presented with a very downbeat tone from the get-go.

While its dark thematics may be realistic, is this the kind of thing we want our teenagers playing? Do we want to be meditating on dark stories like these?

Note: The Preacher and Trent are fictional characters showcasing two very different worldviews within the Christian community. Their notes are to help readers on both sides of the fence to make a decision.

Verdict: 12+

For Violence and Dark Thematics.


And so the KVR flies off into the night once again, waiting the signal from games waiting to be reviewed.

Until next time, folks! Or tomorrow, should I rather say. And then next time. After next time. Whatever, see you later!

Writer Bio:

Kyle van Rensburg is the Editor-in-Chief of Kyle's Christian Video Game Reviews. (KVR Gaming) He likes cookies.

October 28, 2013

Still there? Also, Double Feature!

Seems like my views have dropped drastically since the URL switch. Any of you still there? :(

But okay, eventually everybody will be back, especially with the coming two weeks being chock full of Areas of Concerns, starting this week Wednesday with Batman Arkham Origins.

Oh, and for the first time in the long time, there will be a DOUBLE FEATURE! Tune in Thursday for an Areas of Concern of The Wolf Among Us Episode 1.

Next week will see an Areas of Concern of either Assassin's Creed IV or Battlefield 4. Look forward to seeing you guys then!

And of course, we will have a Call of Duty Ghosts Areas of Concern when it comes out.

Weekly Milestones:

Batman Arkham Origins: Finished the AOC in two days. Now I just need to edit....

Assassin's Creed IV: Areas of Concern has been started. Will push to have it done for next week.

The Wolf Among Us Episode 1: Nearly done with the Areas of Concern. Editing also required.

October 23, 2013

KVR Gaming: Top 10 Pivotal Reviews/Areas of Concerns

Two years of great reviews and great times. So glad I never gave up on this site when I wanted to. We had several great Guest Reviews, memorable discussions, and noteworthy changes in these two years.

Here are, at least in my humble opinion, the most pivotal reviews in KVR Gaming history. Enjoy!

Honourable Mentions:

The Guest Reviews. Every single one of them. They were all greatly appreciated, and I didn't feel ranking them alongside my own reviews would work very well, since I would just place them at the top.

Let's just say that to the few who took up the task: You couldn't have done a better job. I wish I could rank your reviews, but it wouldn't do you any justice. Thanks to Daniel Kay, Serena and Henry Combrinck for their reviews.

And to ZIG: You made a huge impact, and yes, you had a big influence. Thank you very much for your help. All of you did equally great jobs, and I thank you. You're all the real Number 1s in this list.

Now where are your next reviews? Come on, we've been waiting......

Number 10: 

Well, we all had to start somewhere. Notice that the list is not titled "Best Reviews"? Because this one was a load of rubbish. ("Dude". Seriously, past Kyle? Seriously?) However, it started the blog, so there's no use in deriding it.

In fact, Battlefield 2 is one game I would love to revisit sometime with the blog so that I can do it justice, since it used to be my favourite game for a very long time.

The very basics of our current format started with my first ever review. Little did I know that two years, two URL changes, and nearly a 180 posts later that I would be here, still churning out the same, but much better.

Number 9:

NOTE: Don't let the content markers fool you. Originally this Areas of Concern was very primitive. The only reason why it looks "modern" is because I used it like a guinea pig to test out my current format.

My very first Areas of Concern (Based on a video walkthrough instead of playing through the game). The Areas of Concern began based on my own way of judging if games were okay, and that was through Let's Plays.

I could tell a lot about a game by simply watching it being played instead of playing it, and for me the experience was almost always the same when I actually got around to playing it.

But anyways, about Dead Space 2.....

Blog reader George pointed out how I Banned the game for having a few candles and prayers, as opposed to the high levels of gore and language. At the time, I was very harsh with certain games, and Dead Space 2 is a game I wish to revisit.

However, it was a very pivotal Areas of Concern, and in spite of it's ham-fisted conclusion and overly melodramatic descriptions (at least in the initial post two years ago), it got the blog into second gear. 

Number 8: 

You can't fault a guy for trying, right? While The Walking Dead Areas of Concerns could have been simplistic and to the point, I decided that it was the best time to try what no other review site had done before: Add a fictional character as a co-reviewer.

For the most didn't pay off. I don't know if you think the same, but the Hawke character just lacked depth to me and didn't really make sense on the blog. He was a character from a scrapped novel, and I had trouble letting go of him, so I made him a part of the blog.

It may have been a bit weird, but hey, its original. This week, I'm going to showing you guys a new character, and his role within the blog will make a lot more sense.

However, I will say that Hawke added a certain flavour to my Walking Dead Reviews, even if the flavour was an odd one.

Number 7: 

Another Review that took a noteworthy risk, and almost fully paid off. The Review was presented with content specifically mentioned level by level, followed by semi-hilarious remarks and way too much exclamation markers.

It's kind of obvious why I couldn't do this for every review, because this did take me two weeks to do and it was heavy in the spoiler department.

But hey, who says that I can't do my current written reviews and incorporate a video review showing all the content for those who really want to know....?

Number 6: 

My Mass Effect 3 Areas of Concern Introduced the current Content Marker format for the first time, along with the Bite-Sized Review which was made irrelevant by simply shortening the reviews to make the Areas of Concern more manageable.

Now my reviews were way too long at the time, taking inspiration from Screen-It because of their content rundowns mentioned every single detail, but hey, at least my Mass Effect 3 AOC is still useful, and if you find yourself overwhelmed by the content, you could always skip over the mildest content to the most intense.

Number 5: 

For about a year, my site had verdicts which closely mirrored a similar Christian Game Reviews site. Beginning with Dead Space 3, I introduced original verdicts which really helped set us apart.

It was also notable because Dead Space 3 contained the same spiritual content as Dead Space 2, but here it didn't result in a ban, because of revised standards. Oh, and, my Areas of Concern was finally perfected.

Number 4: 

Here's where I finally got the memo to make the reviews shorter! Borderlands 2 was also a really hard game to come up with a verdict with, and actually started the tipping point towards the massive shift of attitude with Number 1 on this list.

It's very notable to have not been a singular effort on my part, and I consulted with four different people, all with different attitudes, before finally coming to my own decision and giving the game a Strong Caution. (Mature Gamers Only, before it was cool.)

Number 3:

No real "innovation" here, but it was a major review of a major game and it set the quality level of how I want all my reviews to be. Also, it was up pretty fast, not even a week after the game's release. Impressive huh? No!? Okay....

I also accepted that doing an Areas of Concern instead of a Review isn't so bad after all, and so my blog will continue to do so until I can afford to do full playthroughs of select games.

(Just so you know, The Last of Us was a Full Review. Yep.)

Number 2:

At first glance, this seems like a very average Areas of Concern for the blog. And in many ways, it is. But what happened below the surface was a very different story.

I nearly gave up on the blog again during the period when I was writing the Areas of Concern and the month preceding it, which featured a barrage of personal letdowns. After I was done with The Darkness 2, I took an unnecessarily long hiatus, thinking it would make things better.

It didn't. My blog was the one thing I could escape to when things were going down the gutter. And abandoning the blog for such a long time made me yearn to start writing again very soon. And here I am.

So that proves it, through hell and high water, this blog is going to stay. Now, what about Number 1?

Number 1:

Couldn't have been any different. This finally saw the blog breaking free of any legalistic shackles which still hung loosely from it, and I myself underwent a huge change in attitude, realising that above all else, Christ's love is the most important, exceeding righteousness by far.

Heck, I even bought the game, and it's great! Seriously, go try it. Highly recommended.

But anyways, I hope you all enjoyed this trip down memory lane, more for myself to get motivated for the big games in the blockbuster season which has just begun. And I will say that after seeing where we came from, I'm very motivated to start making the next two years even better.

I've also realised that my best reviews were always when I had more than one person giving me extensive input. As such, I want to reiterate again and give thanks to everybody who had an impact on this blog. Doesn't matter who you are, or where you come from, you helped out, and for that, KVR Gaming thanks you. giving you Forums. Coming soon!


Alright, so I hope you enjoyed this site retrospective. It's been a wonderful journey. Sound off in the comments to let me know what my long time readers think.

See you guys Friday!

October 21, 2013

Welcome Back!

Hello everybody! Well, the implementation of the new URL didn't go as smoothly as I had hoped, but things are going pretty good now.

There are a few hiccups that gave me a headache, but those have actually all been sorted out now. All of the site's wonderful old comments have been saved from deletion (!), and now we got a brand new, easier to manage comment system known as Disqus! But anyways, that's probably only exciting for me. :)

Because I focused heavily on getting the site up and running again and didn't have time for anything else, we're not going to have a Review or Areas of Concern this week, but we will have one next week. 

Wednesday will see a bit of a site retrospective just for nostalgia's sake. It has been over two years now, so I thought, let's just be a bit sentimental and then move the heck on!

My Friday post will be a short one, but it will introduce a new character to the blog, who will eventually get comedic vlogs featured extensively here on the blog. (Stay tuned!)

In the meantime, if you encounter more bumps in the road, please let me know so that I can fix all of them.

October 18, 2013

Advertisements + Future Blog Posts

Hello everybody! So I decided not to post a full article today, and rather to speak about some changes here on the blog.

Next week, I will bring you a new type of article where I speak on controversial subjects. I will also have short posts which I can publish throughout the week in the same series. More details on Monday.

As for the advertisements you're seeing above and to the right, don't worry, I'm not selling out. I simply want to give gamers good links with great prices where you can buy codes for awesome games like the ones you see (yes, its perfectly legal; I wouldn't post links from piracy sites).

So, I encourage to visit the site in question if you want super cheap prices for great games through Steam, Origin, and/or Uplay.

Okay, last but not least, I want to actively reward audience participation with game prizes and the like. Stay tuned for news about competitions and related. 

Also, I have a new URL for the site inbound, so if you encounter any downtime, that's the reason.

October 16, 2013

Beyond Two Souls Areas of Concern

Otherwise known as: Ellen Page: The Movie: The Game.


Well, I lost interest in the game after only getting a few parts in, but out of commitment to this blog and the gamers reading it, I decided to push forward.

After downing a huge bottle of scotch*, I finally mustered up the courage to continue with the walkthrough. For you guys, and for you guys alone!

*Maybe a slight exaggeration. Okay, a complete lie. I drank water. That's all!

Basic Plot:

Heck if I know!

Just kidding. Beyond: Two Souls follows Jodie Holmes across 15 years of her life, and revolves her relationship with an entity named "Aiden", who has been linked to her since birth.

Release Date: October 2013. 

Developer: Quantic Dream.

Publisher: Sony.

Platforms: PlayStation 3. (Exclusive)

Genre: Interactive Film. (The best way to describe it.)

Reviewed By: Kyle van Rensburg.

Areas of Concern:


Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

General Violence:

--We see several environments stained with blood, and the aftermath of violence, with corpses and blood pools being shown.

--There are a few sequences where people are shot, with a small cloud of blood spraying out.

--You can use a supernatural entity to take control of people: You can choke them, make them shoot other people and then shoot themselves. No blood is depicted (Save one sequence, see Storyline Violence below).

--Hand-to-hand combat is depicted, with punches, kicks, and stomps being shown, with bruising and blood depicted.

Storyline Violence:

--A man's eye is cut out; we hear him scream, a squish and then a crunch. This is obscured by the back of another character. 

-A man stabs a woman through the hand with a screwdriver; she screams in pain and a bit of blood is shown.

--A man's throat is slit, blood leaking out, his pants are set on fire, and a woman slams him on the head with a heavy object, a crack being heard and a red mark shown.

--In one scene, a man is possessed and shoots another man in the chest, blood spurting, before turning the gun on himself; we only see blood splattering all over a nearby dartboard.

-A soldier guns down a room full of people, with blood spraying out and staining the walls in large amounts.

--A man commits suicide: We see his head jerk back, and some blood on it afterwards.

--There are a few sequences where car accidents occur, and environments being torn apart, explosions and wreckage depicted.

--We see flashes of people killed by being thrown against objects, with some blood, and one man's neck is broken by the impact, a crack being heard. This happens very quickly.


Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

--We see a man and a woman in bed after sex. She is shown in her underwear for a brief while.

--A woman is propositioned for oral sex; you can refuse or accept. If you accept, she kneels before him, but turns back at the last moment.

--Two men attempt to take advantage of a teenage girl, but they are fended off.

--A woman takes a shower, with objects strategically covering any nudity. She puts on her underwear afterwards, which we see for a while before she gets fully dressed. 

--At a party, a teen boy moves his hands towards the posterior of a teenage girl, who can accept the gesture or brush him away.

--A girl is given a thong as a gift and remarks about her future lover's life being more "interesting". 


Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

Semi-Frequent Uses of F**k, S**t, Sl*t, B**ch, B**t**d, A*s, C**p, H**l, and D**n.

--God and Jesus' names are used in vain. 

Spiritual Content: 

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

--A supernatural entity by the name of Aiden can be controlled by the player: He can "possess" people, control their actions, and make the player have "flashbacks" by touching objects or people.

--A woman is shown communicating with the dead, souls of people who have not yet "moved on".

"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:" Hebrews 9:27

--(Spoilers) In one scene, we see a monstrous floating skull, some ghostly men, who then give chase to a woman. Later on, we learn that the floating skull was a spirit named (something) who wants blood, and he was protected by five guardians. We later see the five guardians "praying" in a circle, with a portal opening up and a spirit coming through.

In order to stop the spirit, a woman uses a ritual and an incantation to open the portal and drive the spirit away. 

The preceding takes place over the span of a single "chapter", so its up to you to decide whether or not this is a game killer.

-We also see some Native American tribal objects, like staffs, dream-catchers and the like. 

--The central theme of the game revolves around what happens after death. In the end, it is clearly stated that in the game, there is no heaven, hell, God or the devil, just a place where you continue to exist after death.

(More on this in the conclusion.)

--List of symbols:






Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

--A sequence depicts underage drinking and smoking. (Like people should be able to smoke at any age, but I digress....) A later scene depicts drinking in a bar.

-A man is implied to be an alcoholic; he is shown drinking.

--A man is implied to aggressive when he hasn't had a "fix".

Scary Stuff:

--When people are possessed by a supernatural force, their eyes turn white and blank.

--One section has your character traveling to an underground facility where a supernatural force has gone wild: we see a few creepy things. (Which I won't spoil.)

--Another section contains some surreal sequences and a few sudden jump scares. 


Abysmal Bad So-so Okay Good Very Good

Largely dependent on the player, but Jodie is shown to make selfless decisions throughout the game, even if she can indulge in less than moral activities. 

Thoughts & Impressions:

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ---Oh sorry! Fell asleep. Man, I tell you! Stories with hugely inconsistent events really make you lose your attention fast. Thank goodness that Beyond: Two Souls doesn't succumb to this problem.

Oh wait.


While Beyond: Two Souls is a sum of several compelling parts, the end result feels like someone took the rotting carcase of a dog, sewed on some legs, and said: "Fetch, Rover!"

Wow, I didn't know I could make jokes like that. May need to watch myself, I hear video games cause violence.....

Jokes aside, let me speak about what makes Beyond problematic:

First of all, the game is an interactive movie. I know the preceding sentence is a contradiction, and that is deliberate. Quantic Dream sought to make a masterpiece, and fell far short due to the same thing Heavy Rain is argued to suffer from: An Identity Disorder. 

But let me assure you, Heavy Rain is a far better piece of storytelling than Beyond. In fact, Heavy Rain looks like a masterpiece in comparison.

The only really good sequence in the game is the section "Homeless". This sequence is a huge standout because of its memorable characters, emotion, and all-round simplicity, relegating the game's hugely unfocused storyline in order to tell a down to earth, human story.

And then it ends, and the rest of the game keeps happening, arguably never managing to live up to this sequence in any way, shape, or form.

That's where the real tragedy comes in: This could have been such a great story, if they had a solid direction and weren't trying so hard to create the greatest story ever told.

Well, if you don't have a problem with the decidedly unbiblical afterlife and crack at the Christian version of it, then you should be okay with the game.

Oh, and if you can get past that incantation scene, and the sexual references, and the language, and the violence, and the teenage drinking, and the.....

Alright, I'll stop now.

I think this would be the proper place to springboard a discussion of the Christian afterlife, and give you a basic overview of it:

There is Heaven and Hell. Most people know this, because Hell is where all the bad people go and Heaven is where all the good people go, right?

Wrong. Heaven is where people redeemed exclusively through Christ's blood go, following their receiving of his grace through faith. (Belief in Him, from your heart.)

Hell is where the people go who have sinned, and refused his forgiveness. Sinners = Everybody. Every single soul alive have committed several sins in their lifetimes, starting from a young age.

Am I suggesting that God is ungracious, and casts unsaved infants and children into Hell? No, in fact, I personally believe those who could never make a choice are held in God's good grace and saved. Here's an article on the subject

All in all, up to the mature gamer. I honestly don't feel the need to give this a Not Recommended, so MA it is then. 

Verdict: 16+

For Spiritual Content and Strong Language.


I hope this little content thingy helped out. Also, apologies for any downtime you encountered. I'm trying to get my site all prepped and ready for it's next phase. Don't worry, that doesn't mean "termination".

Until next time!

Writer Bio:

Kyle van Rensburg is the Editor-in-Chief of Kyle's Christian Video Game Reviews. (KVR Gaming) He likes cookies.