Copyright Adam Schlosser

Copyright 2005 Adam Schlosser

Posted by Pip

BR7- Vampires Think It Is

Yeeesh. Lust's method of possession is far more polite than that. Granted the outcome of both is never a walk in the park but a simple inhabitation or passing through has to be more desirable than being eaten. At least it was all in one bite though!
When I was first drawing her, I tinkered with the idea that Gluttony's body was just a fake out and her real form was the leech/snake that looks like her “hair”. I still kind of like that idea, if only for how shameless that makes her in exploiting a cute body to draw people in close so she can bleed them dry.

For those of you clamoring for change, Spiral and Monte (with a little help from friends) have redone the Ascension site! Go check it out. It has buttons now! Everybody loves buttons. The link banner on the Links page is busted until they rehost the image but you can still click the link to the left or access it directly:

Long, Getch you one Review: Borderlands- Even at the beginning of the game, there are too many guns to pick up. They're aren't all that different from each other, so it feels needless. One minute you'll find a handgun that does 9 damage, two minutes later you'll find one that does 10, and then a little bit later you'll find one that does 9 damage but fires infinitesimally faster. You wind up with an extremely cluttered inventory and waste a lot of time looking at stats all for something pointless that probably look a lot of time and money to implement just for the ability to say that the game has thousands of weapons on the box. It's not like it even gets better later in the game. You still find the same crap weapons you were finding at the beginning. You even start the game is a miniscule inventory and that barely grows as you progress. Is there anything more boring than having to do inventory micromanaging in an FPS? You don't even auto-pick-up ammo or items when you walk over them and the “equip” button is the same as the “pick up” button depending on how long you hold it so you accidentally swap to a crappy gun in a firefight. It may seem odd to rail on stupid items for so long, but that's really the game's only major feature. Out of the three features the game touts on the box, having far too many guns gets that real estate. There's just so much combat and enemies respawn regularly (to the point on infinitely respawning if you stand in certain spots and respawning if you walk around a corner and then come back at others) so it just gets tedious. Headshots aren't auto-kills so even if you're plugging away at an enemy's brain, it may still take five or six shots to take it down. Enemies have too much health, there are too many of them, and your character is eternally weak so the game is a slog. At some point in the design the company must have realized this because the game features some of the most egregious misuse of exploding barrels I've ever seen. Some areas have a level design consisting of “how many exploding barrels can we cram in here”. One boss fight just comes down to luck because even if you dodge a shot, it's just going to hit the barrel behind you and cause a chain reaction. I went through the game as the Lillith character because her special move is described as being able to cross dimensions, go invisible, and gain a speed boost. Sounds pretty awesome and rather handy for an FPS, but it's horribly lame and you find out too lateYou can't do anything other than walk when in ghost mode. Jumping, running, or attacking cancels it and you revert to normal. You don't earn your special power until level 5 or so and by that point, you don't want to go through the tutorial all over again to switch characters. Once you start getting skill points, they game does allow you to rebuild your skill tree without losing points, so that gets some major kudos. Borderlqands is a modern FPS so that means it has to feature some godawful vehicle segments. The cars feature some of the weakest rocket launchers known to man, there's always something for it to get stuck on unless you stay on the strict tiny path, and the damned thing flips over and bursts into flames on the slightest of hill. Combat also has some severe slowdown at times. When you enter a new screen, the first shots you make or enemies you encounter will bring the game to a screeching halt and you just have to sit there and let the game chug it out and realize that you're firing the same damn weapon at the same bandit type that you've been fighting since the beginning of the damned game. The loading times in general are unforgivably terrible and with all the backtracking you have to do, it's a sin that didn't allow the option to install the game to the hardrive to help speed things up. The quests give you what little story the game has, so even though there are over a hundred of them and a good 80 of them are nigh on pointless, you'll still do them. Some of the quests are actually fairly interesting, provide background on the planet and people, or give you neat things to do, but most of them are fetch quests. Fetch quests that have you running to one end of a map, back for a second item, all the way out again for a third item, and then all the way in again for a fourth. That goes beyond bad design and is just shamelessly padding the length of the game. As for the main story, in this generation of consoles, I would be far more surprised if your mysterious contacts DIDN'T betray you at some point. Every video game I play with a radio contact, it's fairly safe to assume that s/he is lying and will betray me at any given moment. The industry is now dead a long-dead decomposed horse. Quest have difficulty rankings but they're seemingly random. It gives you a "Trivial/Normal/Hard" rank when you're signing up for missions but the ranks are just wrong. One mission is to kill two creatures, it was rated as "Normal" because the recommended level was what my character was, but when you find the two creatures, they're both 3 levels higher than you and have the "You aren't strong enough to fight this yet" warnings. There's nothing else to do for this mission but kill these two creatures so if they're too strong to fight, why did the game recommend I go fight them? Thankfully, the enemy AI is really dumb so I was able to kite them to an area where I could stay out of their range and slowly whittle down their health. Quests are also the only halfway decent way to level up so you HAVE to do them because enemies very quickly start giving you 1 or 2 experience points per kill while it takes tens of thousands of points to level up. Really, the only draw for the game is the funny voice acting. The archaeologist driven mad and the redneck idiot car dealer will go a long way to keeping you in and not calling it quits from the tedium. Even when bored and angry, stopping by the car dealership to listen to Scooter could make me laugh. If you're already a fan of FPSs, it's a good game to play, but if you were interested in the open world/adventure/RPG-elements the company touted, you're going to be severely disappointed. It's not an adventure game where you're using a gun and you get to explore, it's just another FPS but you spend a lot of time walking from point A to point B and you have to grind levels.
Sins Committed: Everything is brown, Boring combat, Bad vehicles, Item micromanagement, Buggy, Bad story, Bad controls
Virtues Acted: Good writing, Good acting, I pass by a Zipcar lot on my walk to work and I can't see the sign declaring “Zipcars live here” without hearing it in Scooter's voice. "This is where the cars live! Get you one!"