Thursday, September 3, 2009

Superhero Overload

I think I may have made a tactical mistake in pre-ordering (and now playing) Champions Online... a superhero based massive multiplayer game... then buying the well regarded Batman: Arkham Asylum, which arrived yesterday... before spending an Amazon rebate from buying Batman on pre-ordering Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 which is due out on the 15th. That's probably a little much... but I do like me some superheroes.

I spent most of my brief play of Batman: Arkham Asylum last night wondering whether I could make a close approximation of Bats' costume (a more modern pads, rubber, and metal version than the classic spandex) in the Champions Online character creator... and I decided I probably could. I think getting confused as to what game I'm playing might be a problem for me this month. I didn't really play enough Batman to give many impressions... just did the first little bit, then messed around with the "Challenge" that unlocked with my progress, to get a feel for the combat. The challenge just consisted of 4 successive waves of thugs for you to beat on... and you get more points for stringing together long combos and not getting hit. In about a half hour of messing around, I couldn't get the "bronze medal"... though I got close... but I can't even imagine how you get the gold at this point. The point multipliers must skyrocket with higher combo levels, or I'm really missing something. Regardless, it appears to be a fun and intriguing system... a good example of "easy to learn, tough to master" I'd guess at this early juncture. Oh, and it's definitely very pretty, with an excellent cinematic feel.

Champions... I'm less sold on. I pre-ordered to get access to the two weeks or so of open beta to give me a little more than the 30 days to see if I wanted to subscribe. I really enjoy the character creator, but once the character gets out into the world, the game loses its luster for me. I had this same problem with City of Heroes, so maybe its just the genre... but with my alt-addiction, I haven't really progressed past the early zones... so I should probably do that before coming to any conclusions. I will say the launch was surprisingly smooth... and I haven't noticed the servers being down at all so far.

UPDATE: I seem to have jinxed CO... servers "emergency" downed for the last few hours with no ETA for coming back up. Good thing I've got Batman available, I guess.