Copyright Adam Schlosser
Contact:
aschloss@gmail.com


Copyright 2005 Adam Schlosser


Posted by Pip

LG8- A Girl And Her Robot

Well at least we know LG inherited Lust's inability to let anybody else get a word in. If only she'd get more into the cuddling and less into the driving a knife into Rhett's face. He has such a cute face too! And she possibly has a rather dark view on what skews Lust's love. While murdering your interest's foes IS a sign you care, it's probably not the best move to start a relationship.



There's a new link on the Links page (look at Lust happily waving on that button) by friend of the show, Zero. He writes a new comic and we're shilling for it! As long as you're of mature and grown up ages to view it. Dungeons And Barbies: 
http://www.dungeonsandbarbies.com/


Far too long Review: DC Universe Online- Never mind how long it takes to download the resources for this game (about 6 hours), it took me an hour to clean out old files from my PS3 just to make space for it. I have played A LOT of crappy games and culling save files for them is a sad, sad thing. In other words, it takes longer to download and install this game than it takes to beat most modern action games.
My general rule for reviews is that if it's free, you don't dump on it, but with DCUO they released it as a $60 game as then charged $15 a month on top of that and after going Free To Play, they reduced the usability and content to try to get you shell out money. So when there's that much money involved in a game with an enormous budget made by two giant corporations, I don't really feel guilty about putting down a product this incompetently designed and run.
Right from the start when you're creating your character, you'll notice that the UI is a complete mess. Trying to slog through the menus, find information, or trying to find where features are hidden is such a chore that I'm sure I probably missed out on elements of the game I should have known about. The game doesn't explain the MMORPG elements. At all. Half the chatter in the chat box is people asking how to join a group, how to make a group, or just general "how do I do this thing that should be far easier than it is?". The game doesn't explain a lot so it can get really confusing at times. One mission just told me to go to Gotham and meet Catwoman and that was it. There's a bridge in Metropolis so I ran over to that and no go. There are no airports or cabs to hail. No places to hitchhike on your way to villainy. The club that serves as my base has a portal to the Hall of Doom so I guessed that all of them did, warped in there, and then I had to run around for 15 minutes trying to find the portal to Gotham. Stuff like that isn't fun. And then the next mission I took was a tutorial on the layout of the Hall of Doom. Almost everything about the game is poorly designed and it's buggy as hell on top of it. Every cutscene in the game has massive distortion or corruption. Sounds overlap, stop playing, keep playing over and over, or descriptions get cut off by another screen loading. Enemies disappear, appear out of thin air, fall through the floor and this can happen to you with the added bonus of getting stuck in animations and being unable to attack or move. Some of the graphics issues just get funny. Every detective in Gotham has SEVERE skeletal issues because they have adult bodies and childrens' legs. Way to be inclusive, Gordon! You can see an NPC on the way into a mission and then when you're leaving it, the NPC now has kid legs. I've had levels straight up not work. One group mission I went to started all of us at the last step of the mission and told us to go fight the boss but since we hadn't completed all the previous steps, the door to the boss wouldn't open. So I had to sit in a queue to get to the level, spent time in the level with all of us running around trying to play until we found the door that wouldn't open, quit, and then the game locks you out of joining any more quests for a while because you quit a group mission without completing it. In the middle of one of the final boss battles that had been going on for ten minutes, the boss suddenly stopped moving and then regained all of its health back and the fight continued from the start. Combat features probably the worst targeting system I've ever seen in a game. Random boxes and junk in the background take targeting precedence over enemies. Trying to switch targets is a matter of luck and the game would rather target something off in the distance and bring in yet another enemy into the fight than let you focus on the enemy two feet away punching you in the face. In one of the beginning missions, I was fighting the regular enemies when the game ignored the group of them in front of me, targeted Bizarro who was just walking around in the background, and he comes over and wastes me in two shots. Do NOT play this game as a distance fighter!
For a game that doesn't have any real reason to be an MMO, it's bogged down by a lot of silly MMORPG conventions. Enemies don't have to actually touch you to hit you. You can jump over an attack or run away from it and you still take damage from it. Once a fight has started, the only way to play is to stand still and mash the attacks until your opponent dies. There are enemies everywhere and they're instantly aggressive, but once you get inside a mission though, it's a lot better. Your first villain task is to create a commotion at the University and that mission takes place in the open world and it's available to everybody so the cops are everywhere and it's nonstop getting shot and beat down. Later in that series, you enter the University and it's just you and Parasite teaming up to take down Power Girl and that's a lot of fun. So the MMO is a lot better solo... It is pretty good about kill stealing and missions for the open world stuff. As long as you helped out, it seems like everybody that participated gets credit for it. One mission was just poorly described and I didn't know what to do, but I accidentally helped another player complete one of the tasks, got credit for him doing it, realized what I had to do, and then I went off on my own and completed the rest of the tasks. There are queues and timers you have to sit through before you can play some group missions and that just doesn't make sense to me. It's all digital. If you need to spawn another Gorilla Grodd, you just do it.
The PvP is really boring and button mashy. There's really no difference between enemy combat and fighting against a person because all you do is run up to the person and mash the attack and special move buttons until one of you is dead. I won the only group match I tried but it was still completely unsatisfying. For one on one fights, there isn't an easy way to tell how strong an opponent is until you enter the fight. I saw somebody looking for a duel, joined up, and he killed me in a matter of seconds. That wasn't fun for me, probably wasn't fun for him, and wouldn't count for his quests because he was a much higher level than me. My first attempt at trying to participate in a co-op event resulted in me being kicked out of the event before the loading screen was even finished. So was it a glitch or are the people that play this game just assholes? I don't know and I just treated it as a single player game until I was no longer leveling up and was basically forced to be social against my will.
The final missions are godawful. They either just send you into a mob of enemies that drain your health in a matter of seconds, give everything so much damn health that it takes forever to kill, makes you fight multiple bosses in a row, or give the boss ridiculous powers. One boss hurts you just by being in the room. The entire fight is just him running towards you as you watch your health drop. Another co-op missions makes you destroy a machine that heals itself at the same rate as you damage it and it generates an unlimited supply of grunt enemies. Everybody in my party was higher than the recommended level for that mission and working together we couldn't destroy a single one of the eight machines. You have to grind out around 100 missions to get the good armor because the economy changes for some reason and they're all missions that you've already done before only now the enemies are way overpowered and now there's no story associated with them. At the end of the game you just clean up the few remaining story missions and have nothing to do if you're playing PvE. There's just no reason to keep playing once you've seen all the cinematics. There's no resolution to the story either. You have a big final moment that wraps up your mentor's story but the game's larger story never really gets mentioned after the first third of the game. The beginning movie sets up for a giant confrontation of heroes and villains joining up to take on Brainiac but not only does that never happen, but the game's whole premise gets ignored outside from some minor text or a mission or two where you fight some of Brainiac's grunts.
Newly introduced players or not, the game's servers and management are atrocious. I'd sit through all the initial loading, choose my character, and then just sit there on loading screens that don't load anywhere. Worse is when the servers are up, you sit through a several thousand person long queue, you can hear background chatter, and then the loading screen doesn't go anywhere. Sure the servers were slammed after the shift to F2P but the blame still rests on their shoulders. They should have known this was coming and made plans. Heck, going back a few steps in their attempts to save themselves, they should have known that F2P was their only option before they went through the whole "mega server" song and dance that they didn't do so hot with in the first place. Free to play only works if there's an incentive for people to pay out. Several days of the servers being down and horribly unstable when they're running isn't the way to inspire faith. They would just shut down the server in the middle of the day and only give you about 30 seconds notice and then you lose your progress going back a while. I went through a level, beat the boss, exited the area, and then the server shut down. The next time I started and could actually connect, I had the same mission again, but as I was going through it, the game recognized that I picked up the collectibles and did the sub-missions already but I still had to go through it all over again and re-beat the boss. Even worse was when it happened again later and I lost over 30 minutes of gameplay progression. I look at this and see a game I wouldn't want to spend any money on, never mind plunking down $15 a month for it.
The worst part about all of this is that the game could have been awesome. DCUO probably has some of the BEST use of licensed characters and story. Everything from the characters you interact with, the quests that are character related, and the way that its adds the player to the fiction is done fantastically. The music fits the areas and the voice acting is spot-on (Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamil! Woo!). The way the game shows you the playable areas is through tours narrated by Booster Gold and they frequently devolve into self-aggrandizing statements or blatant product placements for any company Booster is willing to shill for. They don't shy away from having super villains do evil either. One of the missions you get for the Joker is to beat up some of the GCPD. And then burn them alive. Rated T for Teen! And why would you be anything other than a speedster? Take the fun you had when you tried out webslinging for the first time in Spider-Man 2 and that's what it's like to just go nuts and run around the city as a speedster. You can run up the side of a skyscraper, get to the top, and then launch yourself off and hit the ground without taking any damage. I mistimed a jump to land on a bridge and was ready to be all bummed out when I drowned, but BAM! Speedsters can run on water. As little as I like The Flash, I would totally play a Flash game now. The only downside is that the game is incredibly slow to load the environment and being a speedster only makes that worse. You can be running down the street and then suddenly stop for no viewable reason and then a minute later an object will pop into existence and that's what you slammed into. Plus the game has terrible priority in loading objects. It loads the environment AND textures before it loads characters. But they can still hurt you while this is happening and you can't fight back. So you'll run off to your next destination, stand around waiting for the game to load, start losing massive amounts of health, and then all these enemies pop in surrounding you, you die, and then you have to run back there again. I learned to dash over to my spot, run up a building, and chill for a minute before coming down to ensure everything had loaded.
Why was this an MMO? It adds very little to the experience and I had no desire to ever team up with other characters. If they made DCU a sandbox-style game, they could have focused on a single player or even co-op game with better story flow and it would give them the time and money to clean up the game, fix bugs, have a game you can actually play when you want to, and have more meaningful missions and enemies. When DCUO is an action game making use of the DC license, it is amazing and so so much fun. When it's an MMO, it's clunky, frustrating, poorly made, and kind of boring. It's sad that Phantasy Star Online came out a decade ago and it's still the best MMO I've played. It had a good single player experience, you could take your progress with you between modes, and getting into the game with a group was fun and cooperative.
Sins Committed: Boring, Bad controls, Repetitive combat, Bad camera, Bad UI, Unstable, Bad balance
Virtues Acted: Good story, Good use of the license, Having Lex Luthor thank and congratulate me made me feel giddy. And want to start harassing civilians