Sunday, January 22, 2012

Total disconnect

Been a few days, time to catch.

My dance with the very old devil lasted all of one night. I have far too soft a spot for Ratchet and Clank anything to ignore a game in that series when it arrives in my mailbox, even when it is a spin off lie All 4 One. Thankfully I can report that even though it is certainly a mutiplayer focused games Insomniac went the extra and made sure that it was playing be a single person. The game works all by yourself, it just isn't a very good Ratchet and Clank game. Remember Deadlocked? Yeah, this is better than that, but not by much.

Everything feels scaled back to accommodate four simultaneous players. It does not look as good as A Crack in Time, the levels aren't as big and there are almost no puzzles to speak of. What is left are long, linear levels filled with combat and nothing else. There are more than enough weapons to keep this interesting, but they no longer level up with use. Instead you just dump bolts into them to buy upgrades. The leveling function worked in the previous games because it forced you to spend time with all the weapons, even the ones that are just not as cool as the rocket launcher and Mr. Zurkon. Now I can neglect the ice gun and still have it at full power when I need it.

Side note: Mr. Zurkon does not need bolts, his currency is pain.

Mr. Zurkon will fuck your shit up.

Even mediocre Ratchet and Clank is more fun than the lion's share of other games, so my complaints are pointless. I knocked it out in three days and it was fun from beginning to end. I will say that there were more laughs this time around; having Dr. Nefarious around the whole time will do that. Insomniac just needs to get around to the next full blown release while avoiding half-assed downloadable excursions like Quest for Booty.

...

Might as well take care of 'tomorrow's' post now since I have the time. Last night was filled with four and half hours of Street Fighting. The lobby was a bit full and not a one of us was playing very well. There were random ultras and wake up uppercuts and all sorts of hilarious, scrubby bullshit. At around 11:00 someone said the magic words 'HDR' and the lobby scattered. While I was re-downloading the game I tried to remember why I stopped playing it in the first place. It wasn't because I wasn't very good, that doesn't matter much when matches last all of twenty seconds each. Plus it only took me around half an hours to remember that HDR Dhalsim is actually cool and works as a rush down character.

After just a few matches, when the first person de-synched and was kicked out of the lobby, I remember. Yes, the netcode in HDR is still better than either AE or Marvel, but when it goes bad it goes really bad. The match doesn't just slow down, the two sides literally stop talking to one another. I had been fighting a very good boxer player all  night, but in my last match for some reason I was dominated him. He was just walking forward into my throws. At the end we both ended up in the lobby long enough for him to ask why I stopped blocking. We had both won, at least from out own perspective. Just as I began to wonder if there had been some kind of temporal anomaly he was kicked out of the lobby.

That's why I stopped playing HDR. Oh well, it was fun (again) while it lasted.

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