Saturday, January 30, 2010
Thursday, January 28, 2010
CORNISH, NH—In this big dramatic production that didn't do anyone any good (and was pretty embarrassing, really, if you think about it), thousands upon thousands of phonies across the country mourned the death of author J.D. Salinger, who was 91 years old for crying out loud. "He had a real impact on the literary world and on millions of readers," said hot-shot English professor David Clarke, who is just like the rest of them, and even works at one of those crumby schools that rich people send their kids to so they don't have to look at them for four years. "There will never be another voice like his." Which is exactly the lousy kind of goddamn thing that people say, because really it could mean lots of things, or nothing at all even, and it's just a perfect example of why you should never tell anybody anything.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Don't get me wrong, twitter is for the dicks. But do they deserve to be picketed by the most epic dicks in the world?
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Sarah was flipping throw the new Entertainment Weekly this afternoon and came across this image:
The attached article is about celebrity death hoaxes, but does not say anything about Miley Cyrus. Does this mean that someone at Entertainment Weekly reads out blog? Should Jay be given credit for his amazing work? Who can we talk to about suing EW for ripping us off?
Monday, January 25, 2010
The beauty of a puzzle-RPG is that it combines the leveling / story mechanics of an RPG with the addictive repetition of a simple puzzle game. Puzzle Quest, for example, is a very simple RPG supplemented by a battle system which is naught but games of Bejeweled played against NPCs. So, in the case of Puzzle Quest, one is compelled to play both in order to level one's character and to engage in games of Bejeweled. It is a very simple formula which combines two addictive styles of gameplay in order to produce a doubly addictive game.
So, upon purchasing Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes (MMCH), my expectation was for it to be a Puzzle Quest clone given that MMCH is a puzzle-RPG. Unfortunately, MMCH is entirely not a Puzzle Quest clone in the worst ways possible. Given that MMCH is a puzzle-RPG I shall review first the puzzle, then the RPG, and finally the puzzle-RPG.
The Puzzle / Battle system for MMCH is fantastic. The basic gameplay mechanic is this: 3 like units arranged horizontally create a defensive wall. 3 like unites arranged vertically create an attack. One modifies the placement of one's units in order to create attacks and construct walls. The enemy army appears on the top screen, one's own army appears on the bottom screen. Image for clarification:
This basic strategy is enhanced by adding combo attacks for like units and providing bonuses, such as extra turns, for creative construction of attacks / walls. Moreover, there are three kinds of units: Small, bigger, biggest. Obviously the biggest unit has more attack / defense power than the small unit, but the biggest unit requires more turns to charge its attack. One may modify one's army by including or excluding various units.
So, the basic puzzle system provides opportunities for strategy and growth both in terms of gaining adeptness at creating combos and organizing units as well as providing the opportunity to customize one's army. Overall, the puzzle aspect of MMCH is fantastic and well worth one's time. The problem, however, is the RPG component:
The story of MMCH was written by a retarded 5th grader with only a vague familiarity with either sentence structure or adjectives. Dialog in this game is to be skipped lest one become enraged at the sophomoric bullshit presented as prose.
Moreover, the RPG element of MMCH is presented as a chapter based story. There are 5 heroes to the game, each with its own chapter. Upon starting the game one first plays as the token elf, then the token knight, then the token necromancer, then bla then crap. So, while Puzzle Quest, for example, was a game in which one leveled one god damned character throughout the duration of gameplay MMCH offers one the opportunity to play 5 different characters and, as an added bonus, effectively START THE FUCKING GAME OVER EVERY FUCKING CHAPTER.
So, here's how chapter progression works: You start with basic units. Then you get medium units. Then you get advanced units. And this happens every god damned chapter. Once you gain a level of skill with one army and wish to progress? Well, hold on there, because it is now time for the chapter to end. Time to go back to a shitty army of shit units! And then upon leveling that army? Whoa! Time to START OVER AGAIN with SHIT UNITS.
It can be, at times, irritating. Upon gaining a degree of skill and affinity for one army I do not desire to start over with another army, another hero. I (and I know this sounds crazy) want to pick a fucking character, build a fucking army, and level the shit out of it. Which is impossible given that the character level cap is 10 and the unit level cap is 5. MMCH is not a game for grinders; MMCH is a game for people who really like starting over. MMCH is akin to impregnating a woman, carrying the fetus to 6 months, and then aborting the damn thing only to start over with another pregnancy which will, inevitably, get aborted. At some point one asks "why do I keep knocking this chick up?"
The reason one continues to knock this chick up is that MMCH also contains a multiplayer component, to be addressed in the section:
In order to utilize heroes / armies in multiplayer or quickplay one must first unlock the hero / army in single player. This is bullshit. This is also problematic given that in order to utilize particular units in multiplayer one must unlock the unit in single player. So, for example:
SINCE I MISSED UNLOCKING THE UNICORNS IN THE FUCKING ELF CHAPTER I CANNOT USE THE GOD DAMNED UNICORNS IN FUCKING QUICKPLAY / MULTIPLAYER!
This is irritating given that one cannot go back and replay completed chapters. So, in order to get unicorns for multiplayer I HAVE TO START THE FUCKING GAME OVER IN A NEW SAVE AND PLAY THROUGH THE GOD DAMNED ELF CHAPTER AGAIN! This situation is needless bullshit. To preclude an individual from using a unit in multiplayer is sensible if an individual has the opportunity to obtain the unit in a manner which is not infuriating and complicated. Given that I must unlock units on my first time through a chapter, lest I be required to go back and replay the game, I must consult gamefaqs in order to ensure that I get everything out of every chapter. Moreover, one receives no warning for a chapter ending and rather, upon fighting a boss, one will be treated to a cutscene and thrust into a new chapter.
So you better get everything unlocked before you fight that last boss, whoever that might be.
Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes is a fantastic puzzle / battle system entrenched within a juvenile, infuriating, needlessly restrictive RPG. In my play experienced I focused upon the puzzle battles as my source of enjoyment while hating the RPG and its unit unlocking system. So, if you buy this game, know going into it that you will hate part of it and adore the puzzles.
Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes gets 3 unlocked units out of a possible 5.