A Michael Jackson MMO? Oh Lordy, half the world's crude Michael Jackson joke websites just died cause of client overflow... No chance in hell people are taking this seriously, but from the sounds of it a man by the name of Martin Biallas whose name already hosts the predicted future of this project; Biallas. Under development by a company called SEE Virtual Worlds, they're making a free-to-play MMO by the name of Entropia Universe, or Virtual Worlds...
Fuck me I'm confused. Anyway, it's a MMO with themed planets and to kick off the joy, getting Michael Jackson's face embedded in a planet was the way to go it seems...
I guess in a way it's a fine tribute. It's not really much different than painting Freddie Mercury's face on a planet and giving the planet itself awesome mustaches and footless microphone stands but, we're talking a person whose life took more twists and turns than a roadmap of Swindon. Sure he was awesome back in the day, but his... recent years were a weeeee bit jacked up.
Anyhow, I guess it's all made in good spirit of sir Jackson. Though I'm predicting the born-black-male-died-white-woman jokes will jump up like sharks swimming in a beefsoup special.
Right, so in honor of trying to discover what actually is better about Dead Rising 2 as a step-up from Dead Rising, I'm playing through the first one from start to finish. So, you can tell from where this blog is headed - There weill be spoilers, genius. So let's not screw around any further:
DAY ONE - Colorado, the most logical place to start a zombie outbreak it seems.
Like a terrorist setting off a carbomb in some abandoned wheatfield.
First thing I noticed playing this game again, the camera. Oh joy. I can take pictures of the walking dead and exploit a points system that way! I'll admit, unique it certainly is. But takes up the aiming slot on the controller, so everytime I'm grabbing a heavy object and pull LT it drops the damn item for a camera view of my face being munched off.
So yeah, I'm at Middleoffuckingnowhere, Colorado. I mean, Willamette - Evil Mexican guy gives me the stare, looked at some TV screens and gasped at a few zombies nomnomnoming a lady and headed down to one of gaming's most senile openings ever. A freakin' poodle. A motherfucking poodle kicked off the events that cost the lives of potentially 120 people.
No, it gets worse. Oh yes. A old lady, a wicked old lady pushed aside two men twice her size, opened the front doors and no-one could manage to stop her. Sure she got torn the fuck apart two seconds later, but... What?
Anyway. Frank then paraded on to kill 560 zombies in the starting area before rushing up the stairs, trying to troll Brad for sounding so insanely manly shouting "QUICK, GET TO THE PERSONELL ROOM!" as if the Governator within took over.
Jessie shows her massive rack, so big attach 'em to the Crysler Building and it would topple. Otis the Mute gives me his communicator of doom and a map that is painfully underwhelming. Ah yes Otis, your map didn't notify me there's a big ass gigantic metal shutter inbetween me and half the mall! Fuckin' story progress.
Right, at this point I was interested in the story. Still. Don't ask me why, but I was. So, Frank stumbles down, fetching the worlds' dumbest elderly couple - One's on the left side of the roof. A huge wide open area with only knee-high obstructions we call airvents. The other's by the elavator a whopping 20ft away. While they shout "MISTER!" and "HAAAYYY ANYONE THAR?" they're oblivious to eachother. Brought Mrs. Senile and Mr. Golfballbrain back and happily paraded on down to the mall itself.
Frank mentioned to the Boob lady that he covered wars y'know, still wearing the fire extinguisher he was gonna ram into her skull not four seconds earlier. No worries, all is forgiven. Anyways.
I then went off on the mundane task of... Helping Brad. A DHS agent who went to chase a suspect, who happened to be slick-as-shit Carl the Wormguy(Carlito the Bioterrorist for you exotics). Shot him the fuck up in a food court as he, riddled with bullets went Harry fuckin' Houdini on us and rode a rope to the roof of the mall.
Around this time Otis the Mute's been calling my communicator of hell and beyond for five minutes now, so I budge and answer. "Hey! Don't cut me off like that, it's rude."
Sure Otis, please I beg you for forgiveness! He calls in to notify me I'm currently in the food court. It's that you're bald, you old wiseass. Otherwise I'd say some serious shit about you! Like... Yeah!
Anyway. The controls still bugged me, confusing aim with the camera every five seconds. I let Brad run off to the next door where he helped himself for five minutes as I plowed through hordes of zombies with a umbrella for laughs. Grinning like a school girl. Umbrella broke, my smile died, my interest got shot sooo... Oh yeah, Brad! Ran to him, he killed roughly about 150 zombies in the time I was doing laps around the Al Fresca plaza... So, through the door we go. Opening one of those annoying shutters atleast.
Oh lookie, it's Doctah Barnabayh. The muttering old fuck who 'was lured' into the Willamette mall, in Colorado. 60 miles from Denver. In the middle of nowhere. By a Mexic--By us young whispersnappers. Ripping his old clueless ass out of the bookstore was a no go cause Brad was worried about his etiquette.
Call me crazy, but in a situation where there's thousands of raging zombies... Thousands. And you're meddling with the only man who had a clue of what was going on. Don't you think a subtle smack with a baseball bat to the skull of Doctah Barnabayh is well, okay? Worst thing that could happen is that he pisses himself in his artificial sleep and that he thinks he's George Jefferson when he wakes up. No big deal, right Brad? ...Brad? Oh, thanks. Yeah... we'll leave our only clue behind in a bookstore. Let his ass get bored and walk to us instead... clever.
Oh couldn't you atleast open the shutter to the Paradise fuckin' Plaza! Goddammit...
Me and Dead Rising 2: Case 0 are havin' a bit of a rough start... So, lets not fuck about:
Righty, new character. Forced caring for the dude's daughter. Nothing wrong with a little incentive to... do absolutely nothing. Anyway, so yes... Chuck Greene. I personally couldn't give a ratsass for his daughter but that's just the chaos-causing-rampage within me wishing for the timer to fuck off so I can do what I want.
I climb the rooftop from within, thinking I could find a way out after having missed the huge door leading into the garage - I find a sniper rifle on the roof. Yay! Marching right past the humming brat that's gonna cause me alot of pain and agony in the not-so-distant future, combining my first two weapons into one. No, not the bat. Too obvious. My inner terrorist thought "What if I combine a propane tank with nails!? :3" - And whaddya know, a I.E.D. was born!
Right, found my way out, chucked the I.E.D. inbetween all the zombies around the gasstation and shot it with the sniper rifle. Had a chuckle at the hilarious over-the-top physics applied to forces, like explosions and shotgun blasts - It was raining zombies for a good five seconds.
Around this time is where the old problems from Dead Rising began to show - One, the insanely annoying knuckle cracking grabbing of those fucking zombies that forces you to waggle your thumbstick as if you're trying to please a woman. Two, four inventory slots. There's half a billion things I wanna ram into a zombie's skull and I'm only allowed to carry four? Not to mention food, manuals/magazines take up slots as well... I recall in DR1 it was managable as you were getting more and more slots every two or three levels - But there's only five in this one, and it takes an assload of time to even get to level 2.
Three, the biggest by a mile... Is time limit. I knew there was something that had to make this a five dollar purchase. It's the fact that you're on the same old strict-as-balls time limit. You've got about three time limits going on at the same time;
- Your little hellspawn has been bitten and needs her drugs every 12 hours. - You have to get the hell outta dodge by 9PM - Survivors only get so much time before the clock decides to kill 'em and send you off to the next pair of stranded douchebags.
So here I am, realising there's a clock ticking away and I begin rushing to collect parts and survivors. Finally got about eight saved and managed to collect four outta five bike parts, then I notice the zombrex thing popping up. "AH FUCK ME!" I scream, I gave my zombrex away so I could save this bonehead woman from the camp. I haul ass to the pawn shop, buy some zombrex and haul ass back. Just in the nick of time.
I give the little girl her zombrex and oh lord the game decides to screw me hard.
Now, consider it a spoiler if you will but for the most part, a warning. After you give the girl the meds, a boss fight kicks off. Y'know those good ol' cheap-as-tits bossfights from DR1? Well those were doable with the metric shittons of food, weapons and AI-blocking ways lying around. This one, you're put in the backyard with four(or five) inventory slots, no food and with whatever weapon you had on you.
I had two baseball bats, some nails and a bottle of beer.
He has a shotgun, a pitchfork and uses both at the same frickin' time if you get close! How ya' think that went?
The game doesn't have any form of autosaving(aside from prompts after e.g. case completions) so I was set back eight survivors, a level and about 300 zombie kills so I figured "fuck this!" in the most polite manner and let go of the game for a day.
I start over, this time I horde zombie kills and unlock doors before attempting to save survivors so I could get a bit of a lead on the game. Like y'know, giving me more time to mess around. And fuck yeah I went prepared this time; As I gave the girl her zombrex and kicked off the boss fight I was loaded with two shotguns, a claymore and a pistol. I forgot I gave my assault rifle to one of the survivors but I was loaded and ready to take the hillbilly down.
As I go into the fight, I notice something... The shotgun isn't really all that usefull against this guy while sitting safely behind a car, so I do the clever thing of running into the open and firing some buckshot his way. Mind you, bosses don't get stumbled or slowed down when you plow away at them, which at the time was the last thing I thought of.
Two empty shotguns and one empty pistol later, the guy is nearly dead. Then I notice all I got left is the massive claymore, so with two blocks of health left I run like a bat out of hell and whack away at him. To which cheap game mechanics danced on in and stomped me in the happysack - His close range melee attack is where he spikes you with the trident, lifts you up and shoots you three times upclose with the shotgun, lovely.
So, half-a-block health left. I cower off in an attempt to find a food item, and I stumble across a vodka bottle! I run away to safety, and drink the thing. Adrenaline kicks in, I know I can kill this guy atlast!
Oh wait, thats right - He can move too! There he was, patiently waiting for the animation to finish before picking me up again by the gut and blasting about forty deers worth of buckshot into my insides.
And seeing as I was clever enough not to save at all between the parts of saving the survivors and fetching the bike parts cause I was in a hurry, no wait, in a bumrush trying to arrange proper revenge, I once again have to play half the game over.
Little special edition cause all hell broke lose on every comment section, board and dedicated forum regarding this change. So much comedic gold to be salvaged.
So the deal so far: Microsoft's planning on upping the service cost for Gold by a couple o' dollar, around the 10$ extra. Now I see why the entire world lies in shambles about this, cause lets face it - PSN is free and it offers more, why should we pay even more than the already-balls-high 50$? I suppose it's not gonna bother me too much on the long run but... I can see why people seem to be enraged.
GameTrailers.com - "Xbox Live Price Increase Announced"
"Microsoft already makes more money than the Vatican, what the hell do they need the extra money for?" - SgtCuddles "I find this so funny, all those people that called Sony greedy corporate pricks on their launch are gonna look like fools now :P" - wolf-x "People who'll take this are like women in an abusive relationship, 'He hits me cause he loves me! :D'... Dumbfucks." - Joker VR6T "And now people will ration them 12 month cards now like fuckin' foodstamps during World War II" - lilbro "(In response to Zetra3 who said: Microsoft, if you gave a fuck...) Your credibility ended there." - Archos2 "(In response to Zetra3 who said: Microsoft, if you gave a fuck...) Spoiler: They don't." - Augos-Tech
MajorNelson.com - "Price Change for Xbox LIVE Gold Subscriptions"
"You don't even give us enough content to justify $50 let alone $60... Glad I'm paid up for the next year and a half..." - rogXue "This isn't going to end well..." - oO Daz Oo "(In response to MajorNelson who said: And yes, I’ll be sharing some of the comments (good and bad) with the team.) There's good comments?" - rudolf999 "Breaking News: Sony's PR room is currently pissing itself laughing." - Chaozfurties "Raising prices in a recession... What a great concept. lol." - Mikewarrior
Kotaku.com - "Xbox Live Price Increase Coming November 1st"
"Lol, you pay or you won't play online. Microsoft holds you by the nuts." - ChunkAhoy "lol" - Anemone "For an extra $10, what does that entitle me to?" - xan's_commenting_yea!
"Same ol' stuff you paid for already." - 0_Lives_Left
"PS3: the answer to all your overpriced LIVE problems." - NorthStar37 "Heh, they got you trapped. Now they squeeze." - indrawnperson "How about ADDING SOME FUCKING VALUE before extracting more from us?" - 7ucky
Yup, that's 10 dollar extra for you. And here's our local weatherman with our daily forecast:
Like good ol' pot-aholic Tom Petty once said; Every high has to come on down. And he's right on the money. Probably high too, but mostly right as well. Regardless, the game APB suffers from more and more problems the longer you play... So y'know what, time to moan and bitch like an abused trophy wife.
Right, matchmaking in this game is broken. Broken as can be. Everyone notices the problem and RealTime Worlds claims they're right ontop of it - I can see it from their side, the game's only been out for a month or two and revamping the matchmaking system is basically ripping out your lungs and hope you won't run out of air.
Although, another side of this coin is that the game also had a beta for a good 2 months. Problem was there and it carried over.
The exact problem goes like this; There's about 15 ranks of 'threat' in the game, which basically work as a TrueSkill system. Higher ranked players get matched against higher ranked players while newbies sit with the newbies. Thats the theory. Now add the critical flaw-or-fix to it: Notoriety/Prestige.
Five ranks of it, lowest indicates you're a no-one. You won't be attacked or matched against anyone higher than you. At two it gets rougher, you'll be able to be dispatched against but the same old your-rank-or-noone applies. At three the matchmaking system takes a dive for the cocaine and goes royally tits up - You'll be pitted against players that outrank you by a few ranks, atleast.
Still, if you're rolling solo for the duration of it it's no point to complain... However, it takes a even more broken turn when you're in a group. If the entire group has a three star notoriety basically every group out there in the field can take you on regardless of rating and/or threat. My friends and I are all basically at threat 4 and have a rating of about 75-100. At 100 you can get the best batch of weaponry, and at 20 with each faction you can upgrade your character with a health/damage boost.
Basically, we're outranked, outplayed and outgeared in several ways. So if a group of 5 threat 10+ takes on a group of 5 threat 3-5 it'll be a lucky lucky day for the lower players if they somehow achieve victory. It doesn't retract from the fun, as 5 on 5 tactical open-world chaos is awesome. It makes it insanely difficult to progress however. Making the long way to the top a painful grind of constant losing.
Holy tit fuck this game has it all. Sure it misses some basics like forcing you to unlock plain decals to use and forcing you to sit AFK in the customization rooms to unlock more clothes and parts for vehicles. But if you do begin customizing, you can get absolutely lost in it.
Long story short, the unlocking literally requires you to spend time customizing stuff. The games' unlock chart works by seconds, Fashionista Rank 1 is 100 seconds, Rank 2 is 300 seconds, and it goes on to Rank 15. Same with Tuner, which is the same but then for vehicles. It's silly to reward people for AFKing out in the booths, cause for the most part the Rank 8-plus requirements are fuckin' insane.
Another big complaint is that if you run a 32bit system, the game will turn your character into a pixelated blob compared to what you see in the customization screen. It'll be tight and sharp on a 64bit system but still, does it have to be such a big dent to the quality if you run a 32x system? Regardless of that, it's wide. It's varied. It's huge. It's basically a Sims game into a GTA game with the amount of dept you can slam into your character.
Your character can also have a themesong that'll play when you kill someone. There's alot of over-used ones like the Mario death-theme and the Axel-F Beverly Hills Cop theme but it's a wicked feature regardless. Got AC/DC's Thunderstruck jamming over myself, but hey. Anyway...
When it comes to vehicles it's nearly as open-ended. You can completely customize the decals to an extend that makes Forza Motorsport 3 rather simplistic. You can upgrade the engine, you can add parts, you can color every panel and prop on your ride. The likes. Your car will truely be your car.
There's about 20 vehicles you can buy and upgrade, and 4 seperate takes on each vehicle. One's a preset, precustomized vehicle with one upgrade. The other 3 are freely customizable but each carry either one, two or three open upgrade slots.
Basically the game does best when it comes to customizing, sadly enough... Thats not even half the game.
Driving & Running
Hey, I'm allowed to bring it up! And we all know the handling of Crackdown's vehicles was absolute garbage and the designer of the said vehicles should be beaten by old ladies with big bags. It is better in APB, that's for sure. But err... Yeah... The pick-up I have rides like a boat on ice. The Porsche-like car drives like a bat out of hell, on ice. The cab drives like a Welsh cottage on ice-skates, on ice. The Aston Martin clone drives like a well-set-and-oiled-up-woman gliding down a ski-slope, on ice.
Get the drift? No pun intended...
The movement when it comes to running and walking on the other hand is fluid as can be, which is odd. Usually in games without cover-systems, especially third-person games... Movement tends to be like being a sack of bricks thats pushed down a set of stairs. It's responsive, it's quick, it's very easy to master. It's just right... Weird.
Now ofcourse there's radio in this game. And the game's full of preset music, but one wonderful option is available ontop of it. It's something alot of other games need to take a gander at and steal;
You import your own music and it'll play in your car, or if you enable it on foot as well. In the vehicle it sounds properly muffled and echoes in tunnels. On foot it sounds like you're wearing an iPod or something, crystal clear. Now, the best part is - If your friends share your music taste and have the same music uploaded; It'll play for them too! If they don't, the game picks something alike to it from the default list. Which is pretty neat.
Lotta whining, lotta praising. Long story short, the game has some flaws. Some big ones even. But as is with most MMOs... they'll all be fixed in some magical LSD-induced way over time... Like hell. You will have to put up with the game's critical flaws and make the most out of it... Best I can advise is to not let enemy players get to you, just lose and try to get the most fun and chaos out of it.
APB... God, where to start... Think Grand Theft Auto's roots and let it have a one night stand with World of Warcraft. It then develops a nasty STD called "Crackdown Physics Engine" and gives birth to a spawn that comes with defects such as terrible aiming and hit detection that's going generations ass backwards.
But all o' this is in good favor to what the game represents - A wonky take on a cops n' robbers idea that they probably scribbled up on a napkin at a diner, half the development team must've shat themselves when they realised dude was serious and APB was a go.
Basically the idea is this; The game makes you pick at the start - Cop, or crook? Then it gives you a tutorial to several redundant ass missions which vary depending on side, regardless they'll be simple A-to-B missions for the tutorial. Which are designed to keep you occupied while the bigger missions slowly form. All in all, shit don't get real for either side unless you're joining on the backup missions or partner up with friends/strangers.
Also, to point out - Cops are outnumbered on just about every server, but they're also in favor of missions as criminals never stop being criminals. Crooks on the other hand have less activity going on but can make easy bucks my robbing & stealing left and right.
Something about the game's flawed though... The combat is wonky as all hell, with lousy weapons that don't do you any good until hours and hours of playtime - Given the game's reward system is based on how much time you've spend and how many successful missions you've had. "Rank" works via time and completion while "Threat" works with success and skill - Both are designed to lock you outta the good stuff for a long time.
With this comes a huge fuckin' flaw - The game puts you up with players and against players that grossly outgear you. As you'll have to invest a hour or ten atleast to gain rank and access to the first upgraded weapons, you stand zero chance against those with rifles that carry 3 upgrades and their avatars having health and damage benefits.
At the same time, when you're playing less... PvP and more with friends, you'll soon also notice how much fun the game can be being absolutely reckless. Sometimes servers are 10-0 criminal wise so having no police on the look out opens up the doors to some good, good fun.
All in all, it's insanely hard to recommend the game. Especially given the fact that there's no trial or way to try it before you buy it. I suppose if you're a core online player and love GTA - It's a green light, but even then you'll have a hard time getting hooked to the game. It's hard to fall in love with this game, it doesn't try hard enough to grip you. Infact it rather lets you walk...
Long story short, if you're thinking about it. Give it a shot, it's quite alot of fun. It's just that... like I said, the game's harsh against newbies. Brutally brick-up-the-ass harsh against newbies - That's what I think will put off more players than it'll keep. But if you look past flaws like those, you'll have a hell of a time.
It's far from bad, nowhere near as bad as most claim it is. But is it worth mentioning in your "Greatest games"? Doubt it.
As I said before, if you've been considering it before and GTA-meets-WoW appeals to you - Give it a shot, you won't fully regret the 50 bucks.
Also, another thing... The game's way of paying is rather strange. You buy hours from Realtimeworlds.com, rather than say a month pre-paid. You get a certain amount of hours and they'll tick down as you play online. It's strange, but in a way I suppose it could benefit people like me and others who don't feel like playing this game all the damn time.
7/10 - I do like it. Love it? No. But it's fun regardless.
Modern Warfare 2 - "So, do console players think they have skill?"
Waggling a mouse or pushing a joystick takes about as much skill as for me to clog the workplace's ****ter after a Taco Bell visit.
The fact that your point-click-kill-a-SAS thing is oh so damn hard to master, for basic left and right movements while clicking gives half the world cramps so bad their asses twinge; You must feel amazing you have skill, eh? Skill isn't a thing you should give a flying whoopdeedoo for when playing a video game, unless you're of course making money with it or are from Korea and have the capability to get laid due of it.
If it's to gloat that you can slamdunk your mouse around so well while clicking that souls perish, then please just ram your fist down a Pringles can and decay in mindless self-indulgence trying to figure out the skill of getting your frickin' fist out.
Some 40-something year old fella' behaving like a monk, lured four kids into his home. He swore he had a Wii... Well, you can't sue him for lyin'. Regardless, dude was put to trial and faces 7 years per rape. Also, for a "THE MOAR YE KNOW" moment - The "legal" age is 14. Chris Hansen should move shop to Taiwan...
In short, let Taiwan handle our CGI. Avatar would've been alot better... Atleast would have a better lead cast. Buzz-cut pedomonk while the space-rasta on the left is looking at him? Would've put alot more context to the picture, wouldn't it?
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