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10th February 2014: Arkham Origins Done (Sort Of)

I don't have many games on my PS3, as I bought it primarily to be a Blu-ray player, but without doubt the best games I own for it are Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, both of which I played through twice, fully completing not only the stories but also all the secrets and riddles.

And so I was really looking forward to getting stuck into Arkham Origins. I patiently waited a few months to pick it up, as not only are new console games too expensive, I also wanted some serious patching to be done, after reading how many bugs were in the game at launch.
Unfortunately, even though a patch was available when I installed it, I still came across bugs and errors left and right as I struggled through the mess that Warner Brothers had turned this once fine series into. Here's just some of the bugs I can remember. Check these out:

But bugs for me were not the main problem with this game. There were things that Warner Brothers changed (from Rocksteady's original two games) that I really didn't enjoy. Like I had with the previous games, I originally planned to finish this game to 100% completion and not just finish the campaign, so whenever I could solve a puzzle, collect datafiles, or destroy cameras, I would. I frequently broke away from the main story to complete side missions, do training in the Batcave, or do glide drills, knowing all would probably be required.
However, just 27% through the game, I gave up and decided to just finish the main story. Travelling around the city had become a total ball ache. So many enemies with guns and sniper rifles lined the rooftops that I couldn't go gliding down a single street without being shot at. The snipers could even seemingly see me (and in some cases shoot me) through solid brick.
Gunmen weren't only a problem when moving round the city, either. Just like Arkham City did compared to Arkham Asylum, this game once again greatly increased the amount of stealth missions. Sneaking around trying to take out one gunman at a time is not what I wanna do in a freaking beat 'em up game. I wanna plough fists first into a mob of enemies and wail on them 'til my knuckles bleed.

But there was very little joy in terms of close combat here. Not only were there not enough close combat fights in the game, but WB seem to have changed the AI of the enemies to make the fights very frustrating. The enemies always seemed to attack one after another in a continual sequence, forcing me to counter repeatedly. If I broke away from countering to throw an attack of my own, the enemy who was next scheduled to attack me would be free to clobber me as I attacked my target. I found this forced me into a very defensive mindset, at least until I had unlocked a few upgrades and started to unlock the special takedown moves. It was just not a very fun game to play all round.

And then, even after deciding to just finish the main story and ignore the rest of the game, I was still left disappointed. Because up to that point I'd concentrated just as much on finishing side quests as I had the main campaign, I assumed I was still a considerable distance away from the end of the story. Turns out I was wrong. Very wrong. All I had left to do from that point was defeat Firefly at the bridge, then take out Bane and the Joker at Blackgate Prison, and the campaign was over. By far the shortest storyline of all three games.

I only hope the rumours about Rocksteady returning to make the next game in the series are true.

12th December 2013: I Shall Smite Thee, Super Villain!

I normally don't play games until they come out of beta testing, but with very little LoL going on at the minute Scoob and I decided to try the sort-of similar game Smite. The tactics and gameplay are quite similar, but whereas LoL has a top down camera, Smite has a 3rd person camera like most MMORPGs. This camera style instantly fixes one of the problems I have with LoL, concerning line of sight when looking all the way down a lane from one end to the other. Which is good.

I'm always nervous doing team PVP as I expect to get moaned at a lot, which is the main reason I've stopped playing LoL so much. But here, in a seemingly more friendly and less serious community, I was gonna enjoy myself.

After some practise matches alongside Scoob just to get used to the game, we dove into some PVP where I chose to use Thor. We did three games, one each of Arena, Joust, and Conquest. Surprisingly, we kicked total ass in every game, even if I did struggle to kill anybody, going 4/4/39 across all three games. I kind-of let the team down in the Joust game, as we forced the enemy right back and were winning 29-0 when their minotaur killed me about a second before it fell itself. Punk.

So far I've quite enjoyed it, even though it's not the easiest to get your skills off while trying to move around in combat. Probably need a multi-button mouse to get to the highest skill level here.

Release the Kraken!

Release the Kraken!

Get off my horse John

Get off my horse John

Blowing chunks all over a bot

Blowing chunks all over a bot

I have the power!

I have the power!

Time heals all things, except these crazy eyes

Time heals all things, except these crazy eyes

For Demacia! Oops, wrong game

For Demacia! Oops, wrong game

Going ham on Hades

Going ham on Hades

So long Sobek

So long Sobek

And then in a bit of a blast from the past I downloaded DCU Online again to give that another go. I immediately hit some trouble when learning about ProSeibenSat.1 taking over the running of the Sony Station accounts for Europe. Turns out my old character, Smashgob Slimefist, is no longer available to me as he exists on my old Station account and can't be transferred. Oh well. It wasn't too much trouble, as Scoob was also going to be trying the game out so I made a new character along with him. In a nod to the old Smashgob, I made my character look and play exactly the same, though with clothing and name inspired by our old WoW guild, the Skumsplattaz. And strangely for the Scoob, he decided we would be heroes rather than villains, and chose Wonder Woman as our mentor. So I decided that Skumsplatta would be the reformed Smashgob, having shaken off Circe's teachings in order to try and fight the good fight.
In just a couple of sessions, we've pretty much caught upto the level I was at with Smashgob. It's a lot more interesting flying around with a team mate, and it's allowed me to start getting used to the healing side of the nature powers rather than just using ass-kick mode all the time.

Not Smashgob Slimefist. Honest.

Not Smashgob Slimefist. Honest.

No Skumsplatta, you're supposed to be hitting the bad guys now

No Skumsplatta, you're supposed to be hitting the bad guys now

Not kissing a pig man. Honest.

Not kissing a pig man. Honest.

Oi Kharn, the enemy is behind you

Oi Kharn, the enemy is behind you

Zapping some bad guys while an Amazon takes a shit

Zapping some bad guys while an Amazon takes a shit

Giganta tries to tickle me to death

Giganta tries to tickle me to death

Fighting dirty with nature powers

Fighting dirty with nature powers

Laying the smackdown on many little Doctor Psychos

Laying the smackdown on many little Doctor Psychos

Not what Skumsplatta was hoping for when told he would be entering Wonder Woman

Not what Skumsplatta was hoping for when told he would be entering Wonder Woman

It's not the greatest game but it's fun in places. I quite like how it doesn't play like a typical MMO, but a bit of lag when in combat can really screw you over much more than in those other games. It's just a massive shame that the game is DC and not Marvel, which I much prefer. Sure, Marvel have got their own lame heroes and villains, but many DC characters are so unimaginative, especially their names. I just find it a lot harder to be interested in them.

DCU Online was the first computer game I wrote about on this blog, and now that I've come full circle I've decided to change things up a bit. I'm pretty much going to stop doing computer game updates. As the original intention of writing about them was to help motivate me to finish games, I will now only do updates to talk about a game I have managed to complete. It will still be a waste of time and effort, but I like writing about pointless shite, and should have a bit more motivation to finish things.

3rd December 2013: Scratching A Witch

I just got done with the Witcher after a three day marathon, and I have to say I'm very glad it's over. The game was a drag and a half. I continued to get plagued by all the problems I stated in my last blog entry, with one very big addition: the amount of times the fighting would be interrupted by a cutscene, only to then put me back into the action completely surrounded by enemies and without my sword being ready. Damn you, game!

Story wise the game was pretty cool, but does take a twist that really annoys me in games. You spend the whole game chasing the big bad who is called Javed, but then when he's dead the game springs a new big bad on you out of nowhere. This kind of thing has always cheesed me off since I played Final Fantasy IX with the weird appearance of Necron. Frustrating, but at least it's done.

I think it will take me a while to summon up the interest to play the 2nd game, which I hope will be much better than this tosh. The 3rd one is on the way, and I really want a reason to support the developers for their no DRM policy. But if the 2nd one is as poor as this one I doubt I'll be buying any more in the series, which will be a shame.

Strange shadow glitches

Strange shadow glitches

NPC goes invisible in dialog cutscene

NPC goes invisible in dialog cutscene

I know you're randy all the time Geralt, but don't even think about it

I know you're randy all the time Geralt, but don't even think about it

Urgh, bad breath

Urgh, bad breath

Berengar shows his useless 'bury my head and arms' skill

Berengar shows his useless 'bury my head and arms' skill

Great camera placing yet again

Great camera placing yet again

Floating (yes, floating) Cemetaur tries to eavesdrop our conversation

Floating (yes, floating) Cemetaur tries to eavesdrop our conversation

Crap, this is a lot of enemies

Crap, this is a lot of enemies

What is going on with Javed's right arm?

What is going on with Javed's right arm?

Stand still you little pipsqueak

Stand still you little pipsqueak

Geralt tries to kick a spectre in its nads

Geralt tries to kick a spectre in its nads

This is what you get for giving the world those singing chipmunks

This is what you get for giving the world those singing chipmunks

The start and end cinematics are by far the best things about this game

The start and end cinematics are by far the best things about this game


Say the hell what now?!?!

Say the hell what now?!?!

27th November 2013: Walking The Path

After getting Torchlight 2 done, Ye Olde Scoob and I decided to give newly released Path Of Exile a go to see how it compared. Soon, marauders Smashgrot and Klapdud were tearing enemies apart all up and down the coastline.
It's far more impressive graphically than Torchlight, and it's much easier to keep track of what's going on in massive fights, something I am very glad of. And for the most part, even though it's an internet game, the lag is even less evident than I saw during Torchlight.
There are some strange issues though, mainly with targetting enemies. Like in any game of this style, the enemies run around all over the place, which seems to be a problem for my immensely stupid avatar. If I click an enemy to attack it, my guy will want to swing his weapons at the location the enemy is standing, if the enemy is still standing there or not. He won't follow a moving enemy at all unless I keep clicking on it. He just wants to stand there and swing his axes into thin air. Infuriating.
It's also very annoying how there's no method of re-speccing your chosen passive skills, not even for money. As a free to play game, that seems like one easy way they could make a few quid, and make the game more playable at higher levels for people like me who would not want to go through the whole game again to level up a character with the most efficient skills.

We managed to get to the end of Act 1, but I'm not sure whether continuing will be high on our priorities. Overall, gameplay wise it's just too similar to Diablo II. It's pretty much that exact same game just more up to date. So, we'll see.

Splitting some witch's skull

Splitting some witch's skull

Practising some swings...

Practising some swings...

...before using them for real

...before using them for real

Wading through some zombies

Wading through some zombies

Smashgrot and Klapdud ready for action

Smashgrot and Klapdud ready for action

I think something just died

I think something just died

Act 1 boss Merveil bites the dust

Act 1 boss Merveil bites the dust

That's a lot of dead evil monkeys

That's a lot of dead evil monkeys

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