Amazing Spider-Man 2 Thoughts

Amazing Spider-Man 2 Thoughts

I’m currently playing through Amazing Spider-Man 2 for the PC and working on my review, but I thought I’d give just a couple of thoughts here. First of all the web swinging is a lot of fun. It’s much improved since the Amazing Spider-Man 1, and now you actually need something for the webs to latch onto, and you can control which web shooter to fire a web from and which direction, left or right, to fire that web. This leads to a lot more control when swinging around New York City. Not as much as Spider-Man 2 on the PS2, but in some ways I find it more fun, especially with the use of Web Rush. That said, there are some serious problems with the game.

First of all I think we can all agree that the most enjoyable part of most Spider-Man games is web swinging around New York City. Hell, I know I’m not the only one that’s loaded up Spider-Man 2 for the PS2 and just swung around for a while helping random citizens. Sadly it seems like developers are actively out to prevent that fun. What do I mean? In nearly every Spider-Man game with an open world to swing around in there are “Stages” of some plot or outbreak or whatever that slowly make it more and more tedious to swing around. In Amazing Spider-Man 2 there is a task force that is out to get criminals, and that includes Spider-Man. At first it’s fine, you keep up on your side missions to keep your hero/menace meter up and you can swing around to your hearts content, for the most part. Then you hit the second, and finally the third stage. Each stage adds more gun toting idiots and flying robots to New York, and the final stage adds barriers to block off streets when you are swinging down them. Spider-Slayer like machines are called in, there are flying machine guns, turrets, snipers, it just becomes a chore to swing around. This means that one of the most unique and fun aspects of the game is actively being hamstrung by the developers. Who chooses to do that?

The second major problem, and this feeds into the first problem, is the way they have handled the side missions and the hero/menace system. In theory it sounds great, just like in the comics J. Jonah Jameson is always trying to frame Spider-Man as a criminal, so Spidey swing between being a hero when he’s just done something good for the city, to being a menace when it’s been a while or something looks fishy. I like it. Sadly the way they have handled it is by timing all of the side missions. From the time a mission pops up you have so long to complete that mission, or it will auto fail and you will go more toward the menace side. Unless you do NOTHING but side mission after side mission you cannot help but let some fail. After a while they start showing up more, which means more are failing. And since there are only really four side missions, and each one has one to three different versions, you’re going to get bored very quickly and start skipping them whenever you can. What I ended up doing by the end is waiting until my meter was at neutral, then doing two missions to get it back up before ignoring it until it got to neutral again.

So the missions get repetitive, so what? Just swing down, beat up a few bad guys and swing out right? No. Because they decided to make every single side mission begin with a cutscene and end with a cutscene. This means you swing down, stop doing anything and wait, beat up two bad guys breaking into a building, wait, then you are free to continue what you were doing. It completely breaks the flow of the game and after you’ve seen the same opening and closing scene dozens of times you may loathe the idea of even doing another one.

I will be giving my full thoughts and a review of the game in a video in the coming week, but I thought I’d share these thoughts with anyone thinking about picking up the game. There is a lot to like here, and there are a lot of improvements over the first game. Sadly, there are a lot of steps back as well and not everyone is going to have the patience to put up with them.

Pixelated Zen Plays DCUO Episode 005!

Episode 5 is out, and it’s interesting. It’s the first attempt at an on the fly commentary style, and I failed by having the audio about 5 seconds off. Still, episode 6 audio is fine, but I no longer have the original video for episode 5 so I can’t fix the audio problem. Sorry, it’s still enjoyable, just a few moments of weirdness that you may or may not notice.

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Pixelated Zen Plays: DC Universe Online Episode 001!

So, I made a video, and this time it’s got commentary. I’ve never really done this before so it’s pretty basic and this first episode isn’t very good. Still, I’ve learned a lot along the way and the follow up videos should be much better. I know that the sound is off, that I say “Um” far too often (working on it!), and that there is no title screen/custom music. Still, for a first go, it’s not altogether terrible. This episode follows Kwahu in the first tutorial area of DCUO, the Brainiac Harvester Ship. Leave a comment and help me get better!

My DCUO Superheroes

At one time I had both superheroes and supervillains on my DCUO account, then I realized that the villain high end tier gear looks terrible, at least on the kind of people I like to make. I prefer, generally, more of a simple tights look for my characters, much like most comic books. Many people I’ve seen prefer the super spikey, add useless bits everywhere look. I think that’s just too damn cluttered. Anyway, the following is a list of the superheroes I have on my account right now, along with pictures and any backstory I’ve decided on for them. Another post I make will show before and after pictures for some of my heroes because in DCUO your heroes can drastically change their look as you level. Sometimes it’s a conscious decision, other times it’s just a subtle change here, another there, and BAM you have no idea how you now look so cool! Without further ado:

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Mr Mantra

Powers: Lightning

Role: Healer

Weapon: Brawling

Mentor: Wonder Woman

Backstory: When Brainiac digitized most of the worlds powers he kept that information inside Exobytes. Future Luthor stole the Exobytes and released them in the past to give random people the powers of Earth’s future heroes. Mr. Mantra received an Exobyte that gave him the powers of Shazam! Possessing a pure heart, the wizard Shazam tasked Mr. Mantra with tracking down and subduing any new being using the Shazam powers for evil.

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Drone 85

Powers: Mental (treated as energy blasts)

Role: DPS

Weapon: Hand Blasters

Mentor: Wonder Woman (because I had to pick one, and the WW starter area is more empty)

Backstory: Drone 85 started his life as a simple drone on a Brainiac harvester ship. One of the captured heroes managed to break free and disable the ship, causing it to crash down and destroy nearly everything aboard. Drone 85 was severely damaged in the explosion, and with that damage came free will. Not wanting to lose his new found freedom he decided to help Earth’s heroes destroy Brainiac.

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Kwahu (It’s a Native American name for the Eagle)

Powers: Nature (Shapeshifting)

Role: Healer

Weapon: Dual Wield

Mentor: Wonder Woman

Backstory: Kwahu was given his powers like most of Earth’s new heroes, through exposure to the Luthor released Exobytes. Wings sprouted from his back and he found he had the ability to transform into the totem animals of his people. Having grown up as an American in Metropolis with very little knowledge of his peoples history, he now tries to discover more about his heritage while defending his land from the invading Brainiac.

 

I think at this point it would be better to split this post in two, as I have a few more characters still. So, for now, so long and thanks for reading!