Talking To Myself In Cyberspace

Thoughts from TheNinjaD

Tag Archives: video game

Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer Demo

There were several gaming-related topics that came to mind for this week. A couple of them I would have liked to cover but, in the interest of keeping current, they will have to wait.

It was announced a while back that a Mass Effect 3 multiplayer demo would be released on the 14th of this month. EA and Bioware kept their word this time around and delivered exactly that, right on schedule (more or less). It’s available on PC through EA’s Origin service, on 360 through Xbox Live, and on PS3 through PSN (at least I think so).

This demo is considered a pretty big deal because previous editions of Mass Effect didn’t have any multiplayer. It’s a new thing for 3 and it promises to bring a lot of new people to the franchise. People have been talking about ME3 multiplayer since before it was even officially announced. It isn’t often that RPGs have multiplayer at all but with the way this series blends third person shooter with RPG, it’s a perfect fit.

I have not yet gotten around to downloading, much less playing, the demo. So far, though, I have heard nothing but positive things from those who have. I look forward to the multiplayer aspect of the game since my girlfriend and I are both fans of the series. I’ll be buying the game either way, though.

My Second Skyrim Character

For my second Skyrim character, I decided to go pure mage. I focused exclusively on Destruction at first, as far as spells were concerned. After a while I started using a lot of Alteration while dabbling in a little bit of everything else. All the while, I was using Enchanting and Alchemy as heavily as possible.

I used Smithing whenever I happened to have materials that I could make use of but it wasn’t anything I was really working at intentionally.

I had a lot of fun early on doing the mage thing but after a while, I just didn’t enjoy it as much. Things got difficult because I could get hurt or killed too easily, even while using Stoneskin with the perk that makes it more effective.

I think I’m going to be done with that character now, at least for the time being.

Skyrim Review

I agree that this is what Oblivion should have been. I understand that a lot of extra work goes into coding the first game on a new platform and that a bunch of stuff that was meant to be in Oblivion got scrapped but I see Skyrim as the final, damning evidence that Oblivion was half-assed.

So far, I don’t find the game to be generally visually impressive. It’s a big step up from Oblivion but I’ve seen things drawn with a mouse in MSPaint that could be called a big step up from Oblivion. The night sky is great but that was great even back in Morrowind. If you see things from the top of a mountain or some other great distance, they do look pretty nice. Gettup close, though, and most off it is barely better than Oblivion at times. And there are still those damn lines. Armors look pretty sweet, though. Keep in mind that I’m playing with the game installed on my 360 so I’m stuck with thee glitch that is causing some things to not show up right. I’ll be able to say more once that is patched.

As an RPG, I think Skyrim took another step backwards mechanically. I don’t like the removal of attributes and I really hate some of the consolidation of skills. That said, while I don’t like it becoming more action and less RPG, it plays well so I can’t get too upset about it. The perk system is nice. They seem a bit overpowered right away but balance out very quickly.

With fewer skills and all skills counting toward a level increase, you seem to level really quickly. Maybe that’s what they wanted. I’m averaged at about one level per one hour of play right now. It could be better, it could be worse. It seems to easy to level skills to me. I can go through a single dungeon and see my Heavy Armor, One-Handed (both of which could be explained by my current use of the Warrior standing stone), and Destruction level TWICE. I also had an experience where I disenchanted three items and leveled my Enchant skill twice. Still, Smithing felt like it was also leveling too fast before and now seems to be at a more reasonable pace. Maybe I’ve gotten used to it or maybe it levels out once you get it to a really high level. Hopefully that’s the case and they all do it. I just wished that happened sooner (My Smithing skill is currently over 60.)

Khajiit finally look more than vaguely like abstract representations of cats! Of course, as soon as they manage that they make it so there are hardly in Khajiit in the game. What the hell.

I now suspect that a CBGer may be secretly working for Bethesda. There is is cabbage EVERYWHERE in Skyrim.

Sure, the game isn’t perfect. Nothing IS perfect. So if I’m going to use a numerical rating system, I have to take that into consideration. The upper ceiling is not and will never be perfection. This game could have been improved in any number of ways and every game could use more content. For everything that isn’t perfect in this game, though, it still got me to spend about 25 hours with it in three days and enjoy pretty much every second of it.

5 / 5

Arkham City is Out Today

I guess the big news for today is that Arkham City, the sequel to Arkham Asylum, comes out. It’s available on both 360 and PS3.

This is, of course, a Batman game. I believe that they got all the iconic voice actors back for this one, too.

I’m not picking it up just yet since I haven’t even gotten far in Rage and there are other games coming out before long that I will be buying. That isn’t to say that I don’t expect it to be excellent, since the first one was. Check it out.

DC Universe Online is Free to Play

I haven’t actually been on this month yet but if what Jim Lee said a couple of weeks ago is true, DC Universe Online should be free to play now. It’s a fun game and I suggest you check it out.

If you play on PS3, my username is TheNinjaD.

DC Universe Online Review

My last post was pretty much entirely about DC Universe Online (DCUO). I hadn’t given my thoughts on that game here before. Actually, I hadn’t done any sort of video game review here before. I figures since I justĀ  talked a game up, now is the time to start. Keep in mind that this will be my thoughts on just the core game of DCUO and that I have not experience most of what it has to offer. I am simply giving my thoughts on an overview of the game after a reasonable amount of play time.

One thing that sets DCUO apart from other massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs) is that it’s an action game, not a roleplaying game (RPG). I’m not really sure why almost all MMOGs have been RPGs but that’s how it has always been. The one other MMOG I can think of off the top of my head that wasn’t an RPG is Planetside, which was a first person shooter (FPS) made by Sony Online Entertainment (SOE). That’s the same company that makes DCUO so it seems that they are willing to try new things. Of course, they are also behind Everquest, which I think still ranks as the second most popular MMOG ever and was an RPG. So they do kick it old school, as well.

In this game, everything is in real time and you execute attacks through button combos. You could probably get by on button mashing but where’s the fun in that? When you create your character you choose a power set. It loosely defines what your character will be able to do. There are several options and they are varied well enough that the basic gameplay could probably keep you around for a while. As you level, you get to select powers from with these power sets to customize your character and what they can do.

At character creation you also get to choose hero or villain. This choice determines the mentors you get to pick from. Mentors guide you along your missions in this game, at least early on. For heroes you have Superman for metahumans, Batman for tech heroes, and Wonder Woman for magic. Villains get to pick from Lex Luthor for metahumans, Joker for tech, and Circe (enemy of Wonder Woman) for magic. So right there you have six stories you could play through. Everything is voiced over by the great voices you’re used to from the old DC cartoons. Fuck yeah, good voices!

You get to customize how your character looks right away. It isn’t like most MMOGs where you don’t have crap for options, either (here’s looking at you, WoW). There are a lot of options and you can change the colors in some decent detail on everything. Very cool. There are also many more pieces of gear you can find while playing to change your appearance even further. Something that this game does here that I really like and differs from a lot of games is that you can keep your appearance exactly as it is, regardless of what gear you’re wearing for stats. You can also allow you appearance to change every time you equip something new. Also, once you’ve “collected” a bit of equipment, you can always make your character look like they’re wearing that, even if you sold it long ago.

The missions are pretty varied and interesting, for an MMOG. That’s not saying a lot but it kept me entertained. There are different missions for heroes than there are for villains and I think there are even some missions unique to your character’s mentor. There are also missions that both sides can do.

Like I said, the gameplay kept me entertained. What it didn’t do was get inside my head and make me want to do nothing but play this game. That’s something that MMOGs are often quite good at. This may be a good thing or a bad thing, it really depends on the person.

The graphics are nice (very nice for an MMOG) and the cut scenes, which come in a few different styles, look great.

4 / 5