Ok I promised to be more frequent with updates, and i intend to keep my word! Also a mega thanks to all those who read my last blog and commented! Now onto some topics...
WoW THE ACID TEST: PHASE 1
As in my last blog I said that I was jumping into the World of Warcraft, with the intention of making a record of what affect it'll happen to me as a gamer and a person, and 37 hours later its been quite an insightful experience.
As I said last time ive never really got into an MMO before. Ive tried Anarchy Online - which was the first MMO i ever tried (when it went free), and it was like getting dropped into the deep end of a swimming pool. I didnt know what the hell was going on. Ive tried PlanetSide (when it briefly went free) and that was pretty damn fun, though honestly I figured I could simply play a Battlefield game and not pay monthly subscriptions for a similar experience, stat improvements and scope aside. However I really should have elaborated a bit more as actually I did try WoW before... the 10 day trial given to me by a friend - just over two years ago now. With fairly disastrous results. :o
You see when I first played WoW over a couple of years ago - starting as a Gnome Rouge, I really just did it out of pure curiosity with the ignorant mindset that 'I would never get addicted to an mmo' - coming from my AO and Planetside experiences. Oh boy was I wrong. First I was like 'this is ok, kinda fun', to staying up till 4 in the morning doing menial quests. It was only until after the trial expired I realised it was best not touching the game until welll after VCE studies.
So effectively going back to WoW two years later is partly facing a 'gaming demon' of mine. But...
This time its Personal :P
Another noteworthy thing is the opinion of other gamers - particularly friends of mine, towards WoW. When I told one friend I bought WoW the word got around so damn fast that I got verbally lynched on Xfire and MSN in 24 hours.
Pretty much the general opinion was along the lines of 'lol' and 'dude that is pretty low', as if I decided to start taking heroin. :x
Ironically none of the people who couldn't believe I was going to start playing WoW, play the game.
Its also worth noting that when I was buying the games at EB, the guy behind the counter (who remember me from when I bought my DS Lite) and a bunch of other people in the store, happily informed me of 'the risk I was taking' and I was going to be become an addict ("another WoW addict is born") - jokingly though. I hope :P
Penny Arcade pic link
So after making an account - with the help of all you chaps on the GS PC forums (thank you all) - and a massive amount of patch downloading I was in. I started on the Frostmourne Oceanic Server, ironically I went back to playing as Gnome Rouge. I put 11 hours into the character over a week, and leveled him to 14 before the **** hit the fan. I only just realised all my friends who play WoW are on Horde. Thus I had to delete my Gnome Rouge, and switched to horde, kind of reluctantly, taking on the role of a Blood Elf Paladin, simply because the other races aside from Undead don't really float my boat, and I was sick of the weakness of being of the rouge.
This is pretty much the result 23 hours of WoW playing (3 being me leaving the game at the login screen while afk).
Not very impressive ey.
(im only level 19, and someone took the name Skrat - Grrrrr)
What the your opinion of the game already?
Well honestly I have to say... WoW.... Its actually pretty good. :shock:
Im sure that many people wont like the game enough to warrant paying a monthly fee, but I could see myself paying for another two months. The quests so far have improved from low level grinding, and its very enjoyable leveling your character, changing attire, and socialising.
I have to say, the world really sucks you in, the dialouge is surprisingly well written, and everything seems cohesive and relevant to the world - which really helps with the immersion. The environment is always interesting, and I simply love exploring, which is why I have wasted so many hours not leveling my character. Its also enjoyable working towards leveling too, it gives you a goal, with the knowlege that your actions are going towards a beneficial goal.
The community is also great... depending on which side you pick. On Alliance It was initially great - someone gave me 70 silver, which to me as a level 5 Gnome was a huge wad of cash, though apart from a few people i bumped into, everyone really just kept to themselves. On Horde its a totally different matter. While i didn't get low level pity cash, everywhere i went people would be sociable, and i was recruited into a guild fairly early on, and spent most of my quests in groups rather going solo. Now that I have met up with friends its gotten even better. I have to say socially, WoW is a surprisingly fun experience - which is why I can see alot of people like the game alot for its social aspect - particularly a few girl gamer friends of mine.
However the game istn without its flaws. Many quests (particularly around the Silvermoon area) are simply terrible. Running between A and B to deliver letters, or getting 8 items by killing 30 monsters is so tedious it can make you want to gouge your eyes out - especially if its solo.:evil: To really get the most out of the game you have to do it with other people, another reason why Raiding is top priority later on.
As for addictiveness.... Well its not that bad really. When I sit down to play the game I usually end up playing for well over an hour in a single session, but I dont stay up into the wee hours playing. It seems I have have conquered that particular MMO demon of mine, and simply treat it like any other game - so far. God knows what happens when I start to do particular dungeons or raids, and are relied on by a group. I shall see.
So so far I can say. I haven't got addicted. It hasn't impacted on my Uni work (just got 20/20 for the last programming assignment :)). I also cant see it being my demise - yet. :twisted:
However this is only the beginning, ill keep updates now and again the WoW related happenings.
GAME PURCHASE VERDICTS
Now oh so long ago I bought two games, and said i'd eventually get back on what they were like. Well finally after plenty of play time ive got results.
ARMY OF TWO
It seems like the vast majority of opinions is that the game blows ass. If you asked me a month before it came out I would have agreed. I really didnt like the game at all and only really gained ANY interest in it after the lukewarm reviews emerged.
And thankfully for the most of the game does it - to a degree - well.
Honestly AoT is one of those games you shouldn't take too seriously. Its story is a juvenile take on a real world issue, the characters are two dimensional tools, and the dialouge gets to the point of its so bad its good.
What really matters is the gameplay. And actually its quite good. Playing it with a friend is a real blast, the aggro 'all baddies shoot at me' feature is surprisingly well implement and vital to progression, gunplay is decent, and the a.i is actually solid.
The levels allow a moderate amount of tactical depth, the enemy A.i does a good good of harassing you, your partner a.i is actually decent (more useful than some people :P), and the combat is quite fun - weapons feel good, and i have no problems with the aiming. Weapon upgrading is also very good fun - a major incentive to keep coming back.
The thing is AoT is one of those games where you have to be in the right situation to really appreciate what its trying to achieve. Just lounging on a couch with a mate, brings out the best in the game. Because co-operation is so vital in it, your reliance on a friend gives it that extra layer that other games with co-op lack ala GeoW, in which you can pretty much go Rambo solo - even when playing co-op - your partner a.i or friend just feels like a tag along, same with Halo 3.
Sure its got plenty of flaws - level design gets iffy now and again, story and characters suck, multiplayer is so-so ish - just feels like a runabout - though its is fairly good fun (aiming is terrible in mp however), and the single/co-op-player - is very very short.
Overall AoT is a good co-op game and probably a great retal if you need a game to play with a mate, aside from the co-op aspects there isnt anything that makes it stand out from the overcrowded (console) shooter market.
I have been addicted the Burnout series since the Third - and i'd say it takes the crown as my favourite arcade racer, and I daresay favourite racer. I was very worried about Burnout Paradise, and very cynical before and after its release - the absence of split screen was a huge blow, and I hated the idea of an open world in a burnout game.:x
Im happy to say that I was wrong.:o
Simply - Burnout Paradise is a great game. Problem is it grows on you. When you first start playing its all a bit overwhelming and alien - especially to a burnout fan. Once you start to get used to it, you begin to truly appreaciate the game.:)
The open world of the game, that I hated so much turns out to be actually good. Its fun exploring, and its great being able to simply stop at a traffic light and start a race - no more loading screen waiting of every other burnout game. In a way the freeroaming reminds me of Midtown Madness (a favourite of mine - 1 and 2 on the PC) which is a great thing.:D
The racing mechanics are fantatic - car categories have been perfected - with elements from Burnout 3, Revenge and Dominator implmented, though for some reason Aftertoch Takedowns seem non existent. The driving in the game is the best in the series. The cars feel like cars, though fun to drive at the same time.
Its also worth mentioning the online integration is one of the BEST in a game yet. Its completely seamless with singleplayer. A few taps of a button and you have real people in the world. To me this is like a landmark achievement in games, as multiplayer and singleplayer being completely and cohesivley connected hasent been done so well in any game ive played.
The downloadable content also looks to be stellar, and its free - thankfully.
The game isnt without its faults though. While the crash damage is phenomenally good - you cant tear your car in two - something that Criterion said would be in 'Burnout 5', the cars are 'ghost cars' without drivers, it can be a pain to navigate in races at first - huge learning curve in this department, the in game advertising is TERRIBLE, and the absence of split screen, and (party) crash mode (even if showtime is fun) is really, really disappointing. Oh the visuals are very nice.:P
So if you want a fun arcade racing game to play on your own AND with buddies over the Internet Burnout Paradise is a perfect choice.
Phew, that pretty much wraps this blog post! :)
If you have had any WoW experiences, opinions of it or of the games mentioned, hell any game / review recommendations, or if you just want to verbally lynch me for sucumbing to WoW like the others, feel free to bombard the comment box :P