Friday, September 24, 2010

Holy Review: Halo: Reach

Bungie has ridden the wave, and now it's time to move on. Ever since their first mega-hit Halo:Combat Evolved was launched with the original XBox system back in 2001, Halo has been their flagship franchise. Man. Has it really been 10 years since the original Halo was first published? Good god my age is beginning to show. Well, I'm going to have to say, bravo and thank you to Bungie. Wait what? I'm giving them thanks!? I fucking hate Halolololololo. But... But wait... Why do I hate Halo? This puzzles and confuses the Holy.

Goddamnit internet.  Goddamnit.
From a pure game standpoint, the Halo series isn't so bad. Halo has always pushed the edge of FPS gaming on the console level(Until COD4 came along but that's a different story). Graphically, all the Halo games have been up there. Lets be real. The story isn't that terrible. Hey, deep down inside. We all want to be Master Chief. I am greatly going off on a tangent here, lets get to the review.

Friday, September 10, 2010

First Impressions: FFXIV

Hip hip hurray! I get to tell you all about the latest and well...latest JRPG to come crawling form the Twisting Nether of creativity known as Japan! That's right boys and girls Wier is bringing to you a first impressions from a hands on with FINAL FANTASY XIV!!!!!

Ironically this JRPG is actually what we call a "Korean Grinder" MMORPG. What the hell is that you ask? I'm not 100% sure. I think it has something to do with being mindfuckinglingy frustrating. Let me come clean here. I am a Final Fantasy fan. Yeah I said it. But I am a Final Fantasy Fan that assumes that Satan took over the series and befouled it with malefic mediocrity energy after the release of 7. Or at least a Final Fantasy fan that realizes that Square + Enix is like EA + Anything, a vile machination not fit for human eyes. I must also admit that I am a WoW addict and therefor immune to all other MMORPGs that try and take my soul from the vice like grip of my little blizzard baby bear. So when I heard that there was a Squeeenix game on the table that was a MMORPG I knew I would hate it. Putting aside my hatred for jpop culture and the advent of the shiny spiky hared heroes...heroines....I think they are men. Heroes. Anyway, what the hell was I talking about? Oh yes. I put aside from hatred for these things and waded waste deep into my Final Fantasy Adventure.

First things first, I had to create a character. So I decided that if I am going to play something that was 1 part fan service and 1 part totally gay I would go ahead and pick the furriest/sexiest thing I could find (and no, I'm not INTO that). As such I became a Miqo'te which looks as follows:

Wait...maybe I am into....Ugh er never mind. Anyway, I shit you not. That's what they look like. That lesbionic fan art is 100% accurate. Why? Well from what I could tell there are NO males of this race and therefor they reproduce through some kinky cat-girl sex ritual. Either that or they divide themselves on a cellular level to produce copies which is totally asinine because clearly there is no lack of diversity. Anyway, after picking the race I had to pick the general look and yadda yadda. I had to choose a tribe which I'm not sure mattered to the min/max of the game. So I picked the ones that worship the sun thinking I would get some sort of bonus in sun light or something. Then after that I got to pick a diety. Not really sure that this did for me so I went ahead and picked the most evil God on the table. His name was Rhalgr, the destroyer. Feeling particularly metal at this point I decided to go with the ever amazing Fisher class. That's right, you can choose to be a fisher as your starting level class. To further enhance the amount of metal that I would experience during my adventure I named my freaky cat-girl Tiddlywinks Buttons. With all my character creation done it was time to take Tiddlywinks Buttons into the game world and do some good old fashioned monster slaying! Right?.....Not so much.

Let me start this section off by telling you all that there are three locations to start from. I chose Ul'dah. Because...well....duh. This (as do all three) begins with a completely worthless cut scene that takes you into what I suspect was meant to be a battle tutorial. Unfortunately for Tiddlywinks her only ability at level 1 as a fisher was "Throw Rock" which did a grand total of 2 damage. Considering that I started with 400 life I assumed that this was bad news. "Well at least it is realistic" I told myself thinking that it would be irrational for a level 1 fisher to have the ability to pull a vorpal blade out and split a big green ugly down the middle. My other ability at this level was "find fish" which would allow me to find a pool of fish within "400 yalms" which I assume is retardo land for yards. Ok, before I move on I have to tell you about the combat. First you click on an enemy, press 1 to enter battle mode, press the number for your attack and then click on the enemy for some reason to make it go again. Then you have to keep pressing the attack key or your character will sit there and be eaten alive. After that encounter and about three more cut scenes I was dropped into the world with absolutely no direction.

It was at this point that I realized OH SHIT there are a ton of menus in this game. So I had to go into a menu to bring up the menu that would give me the menu to find my quests. Keep in mind that some of these menus are labeled with made up RPG lingo that would have only made sense if I were given a proper tutorial, which I wasn't. Several EVE online menus later I found myself heading out of a...very large and confusingly built city out into the great big world. Tiddlywinks took up her mighty fishing pole and ventured to the first camp. As I journeyed down to my first questing node I began to realize a terrible mistake I had made. Apparently in my infinite wisdom I somehow ended up in the desert zone. One thing about a desert zone is a crippling lack of water and therefor....very very few fishing opportunities. This critical error would become rather evident when I realized how I must level as a fisher. The first quest node told me to get attuned to some crystal so I went up to the crystal in the center and started clicking it....Right clicking maybe? Double clicks? Uhh.... can I target it somehow? Well dash it all man what do I do?! What's that? There's an exclamation point on the top center of my screen looking as inconspicuous as an old lady in a retirement home? Well clearly I need to click that! God forbid I be given to convenience of double clicking a target to interact with it like I had been doing with every other freaking NPC until I got to that point.

Well, whatever! QUEST TIME! Time to begin this great adventure Tiddlywinks Buttons! My first quest is...To go fish up some fish. Well that is logical. Away I go to a far away oasis to catch me some fish. After a moment of time to learn map markings and mini map icons I made my way through the desert. There I was at my first objective ready to fish! Then a big bug came out of nowhere and one shot me causing a silent rage filled "Wtf?!" to echo through my psyche. So there the great Tiddlywinks lay dead...unmoving and well...nothing happened. I just got to sit there staring at my corpse wondering when I would get to release or respawn or what. After a minute of sitting there it flashed in my mind that this may very well be some sort of terrible "hard core" mmorpg where death = permanent death. I thought that was pretty fucking harsh for the low level fisher whose only crime was going where the game told her to on her very first quest! I suppose if I rolled a fighter I would have been sent to an Ancient Red Dragon's layer that had 4 heads and breathed armor melting acid. That would have been equally balanced... Oh well so after reading carefully through the menus AGAIN I found a way to "Return" to my questing point of origin. Needless to say the fact that I had to go through a menu option to DIE left me a little annoyed.

Rather than continue the debacle of Tiddlywinks Buttons the Fisher in the desert I decided it was time to give up on the game. The fact of the matter was the game was simply uninteresting at that point. At first I was excited to play an unconventional class. I was excited to be involved in the main story through character integration in cut scenes and I was even excited to stare at Tiddlywinks Buttons' sexy sexy cat lady body. But alas, my hopes were too high. Final Fantasy XIV had a legitimate chance to actually hook me into another MMORPG because it felt different enough to where I wanted to give it a chance. Unfortunately the story was too flat to be interesting, the menus were a total nightmare, the battle system was tragically painful to use, and the mechanics are never very well explained. All and all it was a very good looking but VERY clunky mess.

It is with a less than surprised sigh I must give Final Fantasy XIV 3 Miqo'te Samurai out of 7.