Updates! New Games! Stuff!

I’ve been pretty busy in the last few months with work; we just finished a rather massive project launch that ate into my life a lot more than I could have ever guessed.

I’ve had time to play a few games, though not as many or as often as I’d like, in the time between my last post and now, so without further ado, here’s a scattershot overview of a few games that crossed my path this summer.

Dungeons and Dragons Online (DDO) continues to be a really fun game. I haven’t played in a couple of weeks but I retain my interest. I have an old friend who often plays with me, and it’s a superb game for small groups of adults to play in their free time. He logs in after his wife and kids go to bed, and we generally have an hour or two to do some quick questing. DDO does some things very well, indeed; it’s excellent at unique mission experiences, for instance. I can think of a dozen quests off the top of my head that aren’t like anything I’ve played in other games… and that’s a good thing, indeed. Where DDO fails, for me, is in its focus on combat to solve problems. Don’t get me wrong… the combat is really well done, and actually allows twitch-based fast-paced action. But there are skills like Bluff, Intimidate, and Diplomacy in game that get short shrift. There are a few quests that let you use these skills, and wow… what a great concept that can be when it works. I just want more of that.

Final Fantasy XIV bugged the crap out of me. The controls were so sluggish it felt like pushing through molasses to do anything at all. I actually had some chances to test this out objectively, since the stupid installer had so many problems, and the Square Enix windows would sit open for some time on my desktop. Interestingly, the cursor would bog down immediately when it entered those windows, but would react normally outside them. I experimented a bit and was truly aghast at how mushy and unresponsive the controls are. Frankly, I couldn’t get past this. The graphics were lovely, the UI was a horrifying mess (typical FF fare), but the sluggish controls made doing anything – even just running around – painful for me. No, thank you.

LEGO Universe is freakin’ awesome. I preordered it. I DON’T PREORDER GAMES. The NDA isn’t down yet so I’ll have to wait to share my joy. Suffice it to say that I grew up loving LEGOs (oldschool, none of these fancy kits for me, nosir, I had the basic blocks and I liked it). I’ve played every LEGO computer game I know of (Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Batman, and Harry Potter). I’m the target audience, I guess, although I’m probably three decades older than I’d have expected their target audience to be. As an MMO, it’s lighthearted fun. It really shines though in the building sections.

Spider-man: Shattered Dimensions may be the best superhero game I’ve yet played. The basic premise is that a major magical artifact is broken and its shards are spread into multiple dimensions. You play as four different versions of Spider-man: Amazing (the classic), Noir (1930s), Ultimate (modern reboot), and 2099 (alternate future). The voice work is awesome, featuring the voices of the most iconic four guys to voice Spider-man – from “Spider-man and His Amazing Friends” of the 1980s through Neil Patrick Harris’ take on “Spider-man: the New Animated Series”. Yes, NPH remains hilarious. The most interesting thing about the game to me was how completely different each character felt; e.g. the Noir Spider-man focuses on stealth takedowns out of the shadows (and they managed to improve on Arkham Asylum’s stealth takedowns, allowing Spidey to snag people not only from perches, but off the sides of walls, or from behind, or from really close up) while the 2099 version features fast combat against hordes of foes at once, often while falling. I’ve completed this on Normal and on Easy (I did every level on Normal first, then repeated on Easy to get the stuff I missed) so far. I’ll probably go back and play the whole thing on Hard at some point, but for now I have been completely sucked in by…

Civilization V. Conquer the world! Impress your friends! I’m not typically much of an RTS player but I’ve always had a soft spot for the Civs and Sims. I bought Civ 5 yesterday and

there’s time for one more turn, almost finished building that trireme, now we’ll see who has naval superiority you piece of

So that’s all the time we have for today!

3 comments so far

  1. Ysharros on

    Dude! Welcome back! 🙂

    I know about the work thing, mine exploded this month. Course making a living isn’t so bad either.

    I second your thoughts on FFXIV. I got an open beta spot but what with work and updater issues I never did end up being able to log on. A friend kept me updated on her progress though, and every new thing I heard made me want to log in less.

    Looks isn’t, as it turns out, everything.

  2. Drew on

    You couldn’t be more spot-on about FFXIV. I had such high hopes, but the Interface lag was unbearable. Don’t get me started on the terrible Market Ward system, either…

    And I loved FFXI. Sorely disappointed.

  3. Tesh on

    You like LEGOs? Have you tried Minecraft yet? It scratches a similar itch for creation. I haven’t tried LEGO Universe yet, but I’m looking forward to it. I don’t have CivV yet, but it’s definitely my kind of game.

    Good to see life’s treating you OK. 🙂

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