Thursday, April 28, 2016

Best of both worlds

Housemarque can do no wrong.

My intrusions into Alienation have been limited but what I have seen so far places it right in the sweet spot between Dead Nation, an extension of Smash TV or Total Carnage to the nth degree, and the quest for phatter loot that makes Diablo and Borderlands so difficult to stop playing. It maintains a death penalty by taking away the experience multiplier (which makes just as if not more salty that losing actual experience) but the game keeps right on rolling at the last checkpoint, assuming you are not playing in hardcore mode, in which case the penalty is fuck you, you're dead.

If you are really cool, which I am not, you can destroy the checkpoints for a better end of mission reward.

Last night the words 'horde approaching' flashed on the screen. I hunkered down behind two automated guns and waited, hoping that my remaining ammo would be enough. It was, barely, and picking through the corpses in the aftermath for dropped equipment was perfect, right down to a few straggling enemies wandering in to keep me honest.

The only legitimate complaint I have heard is that the single player campaign is on the short side, that the game expects you to start over from the beginning or jump online and play with friends. I don't have a problem with this as long as what content it has is good. I would have played more but a new character hit in Killer Instinct and Guile will be available tonight.

This is Mira:


I spent more time with her than any of the other season three character so far. She is an exercise in resource management: many of her attacks do potential damage to herself. She can air dash, throw tracking bats, attack at quite a long range with her gauntlets and do damage on par with Thunder or Tusk but each action costs her a bit of health. Health can be regained with bite attack, as a stand alone command throw, linker or ender, but these attacks do no damage to the opponent.

Mira is the epitome of what Killer Instinct has been fashioned into: risk versus reward. Her standing medium punch has silly range and can lead into a high low/high overhead mixup that hurts when it hits but attempting it costs health. I fought a few Miras in ranked (because I still only play Thunder in that mode) that killed themselves by flailing away with attacks, using up her health, and I snuck in with a single attack to steak the round.

I did get used to her mobility quickly - I believe only Cinder and Sadira are more able to move around the screen as well - so going back to Thunder was rough. He's a tank and handles exactly how you would expect a tank to handle. He took me back to gold (finally...) but I am not done with Mira. If nothing else she will be fun to play on the side.

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