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Console Games PC Games

RIP Marvel Heroes

It’s funny, I am both sad that Marvel Heroes Omega is gone, and completely unsurprised by it.  MH has long been my most played game on Steam, and thoroughly scratched my Diablo itch by providing fun Action RPG gameplay in a non-obnoxious free to play model.  The writing was on the wall when David Brevik left Gazillion, and the slow decline of the game accelerated greatly in the past few weeks.

I’ve talked about Marvel Heroes before, and since that post I’ve added a few hundred more hours, though none in the past few months.  There are a few reasons I stopped playing, the biggest being the “Omega” rebranding.  That’s when Gazillion decided to redo most of the key systems in the game, in a lame cashgrab attempt at console ports.  For someone who had played the PC version off and on since the open beta, the abrupt shift in focus and controller-friendly control changes were annoying.  To top it off, the new Gaz CEO has a history of sexual harrassment so that’s another reason for Disney/Marvel to yank the license.

Marvel Heroes was a ton of fun the past few years.  Weekly events, a fair amount of content, tons of characters that played fairly different.  And characters from all aspects of the Marvel U.  You could have Rocket Raccoon standing next to Luke Cage and Doctor Doom.  The art improved immensely over the years.  The devs were responsive, and even though there were issues, it was clear they cared about making a great game.  Here’s hoping that the talent cut loose find jobs.

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PC Games Review

Get to know an MMO – Star Wars: The Old Republic

A continuing series where I look at current MMO games from a Free to Play perspective (as I’m too much of a cheapskate to pay for a monthly fee unless the game is REALLY good).

I wanted to try this as soon as I’d heard of it – a new Star Wars game from Bioware?  Great!  I was disappointed when I saw it was a MMO, but if anyone would get some benefit of the doubt, it’s them.  I gave it a shot in the beta, and it was pretty darn fun.  I couldn’t justify a subscription as I always feel like I don’t have enough time to play that would justify it.  Now that it’s ‘free’ to play, well, here I am.

Just as during the beta, the most impressive part of TOR is the story – expansive, detailed, worthy of the Star Wars name.  Just what you’d expect from Bioware.  It doesn’t stray too far from the usual MMO combat, but it looks great.  The right touches are there from the source material, all the right races, and a deeper look at much of it.  If you consume the ‘Expanded Universe’ books and comics, you’ll be at an advantage.  One other nice touch is your companion – they have their own stories, can sometimes be romanced if you’re into that sort of thing, and can cover some of the gaps in your own abilities.  Beyond that, the game seems pretty similar to others of it’s type, just really well done.

“Free” to Play Annoyance Factor:  High.  Look, it’s not completely the game’s fault.  I think any MMO that didn’t have a free to play model in place day one will have these annoyances, but it’s still worth pointing out.  What do you keep away from the FTP folks?  How obvious will it be after the change?  Unfortunately for The Old Republic, it’s pretty damn obvious.  I played a Jedi, and I got my lightsaber after the climactic battle that ends your training.  I got a rare hilt in the loot drop, but guess what?  Can’t use rare gear unless you subscribe, or buy an ‘authorization’.  So just put that on the shelf as a souvenir, I guess.  There are whole rows of vendors in some areas that are for real money stuff (or at least, I couldn’t figure out how I’d use them).  This link shows you all of the restrictions FTP players face.  I understand they need to have compelling reasons for people to subscribe, but it gets annoying to get hit over the head with it so often.

Despite all of that, the game is quite a bit of fun.  I actually considered subscribing after playing it again for this post, but ultimately decided it still wouldn’t be of use to me.  Even though I really wanted to pimp out my lightsaber.