This week’s adventure log is all about the oldschool for me. I spent the week writing about immersion in MMORPG’s. Modern games can’t immerse me like the previous generation can. They can still be fun adventures, but I don’t feel like I’m participating in a giant world free of the scripted and expected limitations of today’s more linear worlds.
I spent many hours over the past few days recapturing what it felt like to play the original EverQuest back in the Kunark era. I bounced around a few characters but landed on a Halfling Druid as my main. I’m playing with a friend of mine who has a high-level necro and mid-level druid. He made a new warrior, and together we’ve been killing critters in Misty Thicket. Last night we came across two very well-off players (probably level 60, full planes gear, etc.) who took pity on me as a noob and gave us both lots of items and some plat. The community is so kind and willing to help kindred spirits.
I’m also reminded of how amazing it is to actually do a REAL quest. I want a Testament of Vanear (+10 wisdom book). A ToV can be obtained by completing a quest. The quest starts in Erudin, an island off the west coast of Antonica. My friend and I made the trip to Erudin to talk to a guy, then to Qeynos, then Highpass. Now we’re bound in Highpass Keep periodically checking an 8 hour spawn that I have to kill in order to complete the quest. These day-long (or more) adventures are the very definition of quest,”A long or arduous search for something.”
We’re now level 6 and preparing to adventure off into a different area. We’re thinking Common Lands, but we might do Crushbone. There are so many options! Wherever we decide to go, it’s a commitment because of travel time. It could easily take 40 minutes just to travel to Crushbone from where we’re at right now.
EQ may be old, clunky, at times ugly, and a far cry from today’s standards, but it still nails community, 100% open-world, accomplishment, commitment, danger, and freedom to be yourself better than most contemporary MMO’s.
Graev: Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes, The Walking Dead, and The Amazing Spider-Man
I bounced around a lot again this week. I earned all achievements in Lego Batman 2. (100% Xbox 360). I liked it a lot, as did Keen, but we both like Lego Star Wars 3 more. It felt like with a big open city they had so much they could do with it, but there’s not as much as I hoped. It’s still one of the top Lego games, though, and it makes me excited for what they’re going to do with LEGO City: Undercover (our Game of Show from E3).
I downloaded The Walking Dead Ep. 1 but never got around to playing it until this week. I’m a huge adventure game fan. I like the replayability with all the choices affecting the outcome of the story throughout the season. I’m really excited to see how those actions play out in the recently released Ep. 2.
The Amazing Spider-Man is really good. It’s nice to have a free-roaming spider-man game again since the last two were more traditional level-based games. My biggest complaint with the game is the swing mechanic is really easy and forgiving. There’s nothing to it — you hold the swing button down and automatically throw webbing. No skill is involved. In this game you can know for a fact that nothing is around or above you, but somehow your webs magically attach to something…. something invisible. People who play Spider-Man games call it “Cloud swinging” because you are swinging from clouds. I really dislike cloud swinging because it breaks the experience. However, with a skill-based system (like in Spider-Man 2) if you’re not really competent your swinging can be broken up easily and traveling doesn’t feel smooth. I understand why they went for a cloud-swinging system to make it more accessible, even if I don’t prefer it.
A feature I really like is web-rush mode. Time is slowed and you can pick different points in the city to swing to and Spider-Man will do awesome moves to get to those locations. You see a ghost image of where he’ll end up and you can keep web rushing across the whole city, performing neat Spider-Man acrobatics that no human could have the reflexes to pull off via a control. Perhaps it’s a fair tradeoff for the lack of skilled-based swinging. The exhilarating camera angle, web-rush, and guaranteed webbing do make swinging around Manhattan awesome.