Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Looking Cool in DC Universe Online

One thing that must happen in a Super Hero MMO -- Your hero MUST look epic. What's a hero without a costume? Well, for one, invisible, for two, NO HERO AT ALL!

The character creation process in City of Heroes and City of Villains are stuff of legends, which makes it all the more sad that those two particular games have gone the way of the dodo. For me though, the newest Super Hero game is DC Universe Online--thanks to Team Spode! We've been having a blast as you can tell from Tipa's posts, but the first real comment I must make about the game (aside from the already stated point that DCUO isn't for kids) is how awesome the costume changes are in game. It's brilliant, actually. It's like I'm instantly carrying around several costumes that are able to be equipped on the fly . . . and all neatly collected without ever taking up any backpack space. Now THAT's customization!

First you press Escape and select the Style option.

Once you're here, you simply open up each item and select which part of your costume you'd like to put on, and then select the individual item you want to wear.

Then you either lock in a particular style or unlock it, so if your character has an iconic thing about them that you feel is core to who they are . . . lock it. For instance, I just purchased a wing model for my character Stingite yesterday, and I'm thinking that is going to most likely be his iconic back item . . . that and his Mohawk, green lizard skin, and "S" for stingite emblem on his chest. :)

Everything else can shift around as I find new styles because that is truly one of the sub-games of DC Universe Online: collecting and unlocking all the styles the game has to offer.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Chaka Khan with a side of Chaka vs. Chakan

So I can't explain what happens to me every once in a while, but something grabs me, sits me down in front of the tv, pulls out a random old game cart, and switches on a nightmare from the past. Possession? Evil bunnies of death?

I ain't kidding here. Am I the only one that sees the evil bunny in that picture above?

Anyway, that evil bunny is from (and this weekend's distraction is called) "Chakan" ... Not to be confused with Chaka Khan as my friend Christina Ice Dreamer pointed out to me. Nor Chaka, the neanderthal boy from Land of the Lost. No, no, no this has infinitely less soul and beadier eyes.

Yes, that pixilated fella is Chakan--a bloodthirsty, dual-sword-wielding mortal turned immortal in 16-bit goodness. Who knew such bloodthirst came in such pixilated packages? Hey! This was some spooky stuff back in the day! :)

Playing Chakan now (and even back then) is a bit like eating nasty salty black licorice fish. Let me explain in inner dialog format: "YUCK, why did I put this in my mouth and is there ever any end to the disgusted pain I'm feeling right now? I'm still chewing on this nasty candy? Who do I sue and will someone hurry up with the legal documentation because . . . Wait a second . . . is this all that bad? Hmm, maybe I'll have another! This is the worst tasting candy I've ever eaten! I must share! Cripes, did I just eat the whole bag of that nasty stuff?"

(I think I just told a story within a story there . . . )

Here's the bullet list of agony:
- Chakan has no save option.
- Chakan has delightfully painful music.
- Chakan is an unforgiving finger masher that requires muscle memory to the Nth degree.
- Chakan gives you limited resources to pull off cool stunts (aka Alchemy) and makes you try to pull off the impossible (like beating a boss whose attacks you can't avoid (unless you're blessed with the finger dexterity of a concert violinist) when you don't have said resources.
- Chakan is a miserable game that . . . You must play! LOL!

When I first put in Chakan, I wasn't even wanting to play Chakan. You know what I wanted to play? Soul Reaver. That's right, a completely different game--I just had forgotten which game was which.

I did a little Internet digging after I started playing Chakan, and I found a few interesting nuggets out. Basically, the rumor from that link is that Chakan was going to have a sequel released on the Dreamcast but never got made. Instead what happened was some of the concept work for what would have been Chakan 2 went toward another game ... Blood Omen 2, which as it turns out is Part of the Legacy of Kain series of games including ... Dun dun dun ... Soulreaver, the very same game my psyche was hungering for in the first place. I wanted to play Soulreaver, not Chakan, but now I'm too far into Chakan to give up Chakan . . . Chakan Chakan CHAKAN!

I'm not going to go into the whole plot and background of this game, we'll let Wikipedia do that for us. Instead, I just wanted to say that I'm now in the Elemental Planes portion of the game.

That's right, congrats me (I'm sure it only goes downhill from here in a punishing spiral of difficulty)!

Yeah, I'm just really irritated with the lack of a save button on this game . . . was that common back in 1992? I guess so . . . wild . . . it just means my old Sega box is going to be left on for a couple days. Sigh.

After I finish playing out this Chakan nightmare, perhaps then I'll step into Soulreaver again on my old Dreamcast like I had originally planned. It's been far too long! I may even have to play through this whole vampire series that I missed! I didn't even know about the Blood Omen, Legacy of Kain series! Seems a bit spooky, but I'm good with Spooky.

Till then ...

Happy dueling