Friday, November 11, 2011

Melee Man?

So there's this game on called Melee Man, which is essentially a Mega Man clone.  The graphics were set to the resolution to the Gameboy Color, which gives the game a cute retro feel.

(play the game here

The game was pretty solid, but I have a few issues with it.

First off, the signs were WAY too annoying. I'm not dumb, I can figure out that spikes hurt when I step on them, I would have figured out that killing baddies would reveal keys (I'm not going to leave an enemy un-blasted). I didn't need the arrows to tell me where to go. The level design was nice enough that I didn't need any signs. Maybe one or two explaining the controls, but that's the absolute most.

Second, the levels were too easy. I had no trouble getting through all the non-boss levels.  They weren't full of mind bending puzzles, or tons of enemies swarming around me.  They were simple levels that required no thought or skill.  I had no emotional connection to the game except for the fact that I wanted to complete it to analyze it.

Which brings me to my final issue. The boss battles had a significantly higher difficulty than the rest of the game. The first boss was hard, but not too hard, the difficulty for the preceding levels could have simply been upped a bit. But that final boss... Jeez. It wasn't impossible, and I suck at this game and was able to beat him... after literally 5 hours of gameplay! The only reason I kept with the game was that I wanted to be able to give a fair review. Even with only 8 hit points, it was like a Castlevania boss. It would have felt more fair if the levels weren't so damn easy. And I hardly felt rewarded at the end. I would have liked some kind of "Conglaturation" sceen at least.

In the end, I give this game a 7/10

Friday, November 4, 2011

Free to Play, Microtransactions, and Virtual Billboards

So as I'm sure many of you are aware, DC Universe has gone F2P (free to play for all of you anti-acronym freaks).  The change in business model has given the game a HUGE surge of new players.  Over 120,000 people signed up overnight to play DC Universe.  Now their servers are crashing due to the overwhelming demand for the game.  No doubt SOE is throwing an office parade in celebration, but now is no time to stop working.

If SOE isn't careful, the entire game could be ruined by F2P, as many games have been.  Such a huge name like DC would make that much harder to do, that is certain, but it can still happen (don't forget we once had a Matrix MMO).

At this moment, they have multiple tiers of accounts and already a DLC pack for bonus powers.  Player's could in the future begin to complain about buying your way to power (although in a game where Lex Luthor is a futuristic bionic cyborg hero/villain, that seems oddly fitting).  But SOE could lower the price of some of the microtransactions greatly with advertisements.

Now before I hear (well read) anyone say "What? I don't want commercials and banners in my game," listen to what I have to say first.  We live in an ad filled world, and sometimes it's enjoyable.  The highway has billboards ALL over the place, but no one really cares THAT much, unless they danger the wildlife (which is extremely rare).  I propose that DC Universe does the same.  Many games on consoles do this occasionally, but they don't have the huge pool of consumers that MMOs have.  In a "modern-ish" setting, like what DC Universe offers, advertisements would not only fit in the game, but would be rather GOOD to have in game.  I could see myself being immersed further in a world that connects so seamlessly to the real world.

Anyway, I was one of the 120,000 that joined up to play DC Universe, but since the servers have been down I haven't had a chance to play.  I am rather excited for it, though.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Retro Consoles

So I was cruising eBay last night, and I got the great idea, "Hey, lets check out some old things to bring nostalgia upon myself."  One thing led to another and I began looking up NES consoles.  By the end of the night I ordered a NES and a copy of the original Final Fantasy game.  The game and console should be here in just over a week, and when they arrive I'll write-up an article about those.

Final Fantasy I was a great game, but emulators aren't the same as a NES concole (I had a NES once, but I lent it to someone and never got it back.  It had my gold copy of The Legend of Zelda too...)
Anyway, that classic crispy sound of Matoya's Cave playing through my TV sounds wonderful to me.
I've got a couple games at home too, including Pro Wrestling, famous for the wonderfully grammatic line: "A WINNER IS YOU"  Never got to playing that one, but it's good as a collector's item.

Anyway, I'm interested in hearing about your favorite retro consoles/games or maybe your good finds on eBay.