January 10 - January 14

Our first traditional TWA for 2011 picks up, I suspect, where 2010 left off in that I'm going to pick DCUO for my Game of the Week, and you guys are going to tell me why I should have picked Kingdom Hearts for the DS. Those who have become accustomed to the currents and eddies of TWA will probably not be surprised by the familiar machinations of my predilections. Disappointed perhaps, but not surprised.

I admit, there is room for dissent here, particularly for those as disinclined to play an MMO as I am a handheld RPG, and I intend not a whit to offer short shrift to Kingdom Hearts. Despite feeling a bit like it's coming out of nowhere, it is an intriguing offering into a venerable franchise. However, a comic-book themed game can't exactly be that far out of our wheelhouse either. Perhaps there is room enough in your heart for both?

Having played a good bit of the DCUO beta, I can't help but be excited by much of what Sony Online is attempting. I won't pretend that this is anything but a traditional MMO, with all the trappings and handicaps associated, but the game is also a much more action oriented affair than players may expect. Combat is handled much more as a button masher, and the special abilities you acquire over the life of your superhero are often executed more like special moves from God of War than a World of Warcraft number pressing festival. The game is packed with voice acting from the likes of Mark Hammil, Kevin Conroy, Adam Baldwin, Wil Wheaton and James Marsters, and the story thrusts you right into the sphere of DC's premiere heroes and villains. Still with much to prove, not the least of which being if a game like this can succeed on the consoles, I at least begin with a lot more enthusiasm and hope than I ever did with a game like the disastrous Champions Online.

So DC Universe Online gets my nod for Game of the Week, and my thanks for breaking a month long cycle of dismal releases. Welcome back gaming industry.

PC
- DC Universe Online
- Farming Simulator 2011
- Venetica

Xbox 360
- Venetica

PS3
- DC Universe Online
- Venetica

Wii
- 101 in 1 Sports Party Megamix

DS
- Kingdom Hearts Re:coded
- Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective

PSP
- Prinny 2

Comments

I just had my first exposure to Venetica... I watched the trailer on Amazon (not great) and it ended by flashing "2009." I'm erasing it from my memory banks.

And Venetica finally sees the light of day over here. Officially.

Given Venetica's relatively tepid reception overseas, it didn't even really feel worth mentioning.

- Farming Simulator 2011

I thought for sure this was just Sean trying to slip a clever joke in for some MMO-style grindy game or Zynga knock-off. No...it's exactly like it sounds.

I just wish dtp would get around to releasing by more channels, as well as more timely releases when a game is available in an appropriate language. It seems the only way I can find most of their games is Amazon. I read an interview with some guy from Focus, a French publisher and it seems on mainland Europe that bricks and mortar retail is still strong, at least for PC, over there, so perhaps it's the mindset of the publisher.

It just seems to me like there are so many potential sales they're ignoring for a bit more effort.

I'm a much bigger fan of Kingdom Hearts than I am MMOs, but even I am more interested in DC Galaxy Internets than for Kingdom Hearts Re: Tarded.

GHOST TRICK!

If Farming Simulator 2011 can finally deliver on the promise of FS2009, we'll all be better for it. Hedge cutting action.

Am I wrong in thinking that Venetica looks a heck of a lot like Fable II?

ClockworkHouse wrote:

Am I wrong in thinking that Venetica looks a heck of a lot like Fable II?

You wouldn't be wrong.

For pure "WTF?" value, though, you have to read the description of Farming Simulator 2011 through to the end:

Assuming the role of a young farmer, experience the 18 hours-a-day lifestyle of running a busy farm in the middle of beautiful, rolling countryside. You start the game by choosing from a small collection of basic vehicles and machinery to explode your fairly sparce[sic] farmland which measures a mere 988+ acres. Playing in Career mode, your aim is to whip the farm into shape, expand your fleet of farm machines, and stack that cheddar like the U.S. treasury.

Sorry - I'm with you - I want them both. I'm buying Kingdom Hearts for my KH-mad daughter's birthday (and yes, I'm going to play it too).

But DC Online is probably the first MMO that's tempted me in quite a while. I love Champions as a pen-and-paper realm, but with no story but the one you make the world comes up lacking in the large scale. With the grounding common world and the hooks into the action that starting from the DC universe gives us, this might just work out a little better.

beeporama wrote:

For pure "WTF?" value, though, you have to read the description of Farming Simulator 2011 through to the end:

Assuming the role of a young farmer, experience the 18 hours-a-day lifestyle of running a busy farm in the middle of beautiful, rolling countryside. You start the game by choosing from a small collection of basic vehicles and machinery to explode your fairly sparce[sic] farmland which measures a mere 988+ acres. Playing in Career mode, your aim is to whip the farm into shape, expand your fleet of farm machines, and stack that cheddar like the U.S. treasury.

Wow. Good find. That's incredible on so many levels.

#1 - The idea that family farmers make buckets of money
#2 - "Stack that cheddar"
#3 - Getting to experience the 18 hours a day lifestyle

Day 1 purchase.

Honestly, I'd be happy if nothing came out for the next half-year. I got bit by the sale bug hard this year.

So, Elysium...picking DCUO on PC or PS3? I would assume PC, yet I'm very curious how it handles on a console, and moreover your opinions on a console-based MMO.

Also, does anyone know if you can transfer between both versions with your account? Last I checked, they were two separate entities with separate server farms (i.e. no inter-play between versions), but I haven't paid much attention in recent months.

I agree on the DCUO being game of the week. At first glance, the whole concept seems ridiculous, and in many ways still is, but the more I read about the details really make me think this will be a surprise hit. It is made by SOE, and I love EQII, so I'm thinking Best Buy trip tomorrow.

burntham77 wrote:

I agree on the DCUO being game of the week. At first glance, the whole concept seems ridiculous, and in many ways still is, but the more I read about the details really make me think this will be a surprise hit. It is made by SOE, and I love EQII, so I'm thinking Best Buy trip tomorrow.

I almost want to buy a PS3 for this and play my first MMO, but I don't know how it works to have an entire MMO space filled with super heroes.

So, Elysium...picking DCUO on PC or PS3?

Preloading on Steam as we speak.

Personally I rather enjoyed the DCUO Beta on PS3, button mashing in an MMO is a welcome change though some missions did seem a little bland. What I found particularly interesting about the world is the occasional mission to somewhere outside Metropolis or Gotham, the one time I attempted it during Beta I was sent to Area 51 (which reminded me much of the terrain in RF: Guerrilla) with 4 other people to defend it. If I had known anyone at all on the server, the joint ops would have been quite an interesting endeavor, though those random people worked out almost just as well (this time). Overall I think it is going to be worth giving a shot, at least for a couple of months.
What I'm very curious about is this Venetica I've never heard of. Is there anything similar out there that it could be compared with?

I'm imagining two small children out in the yard playing superheros. "I wanna be Superman!" Billy announces. "I wanna be Batman!" his friend Teddy replies. Whereupon Teddy's Mom comes out and smacks them upside the head with a wooden spoon and tells them, "Well, guess what? You CAN'T be Superman and Batman because then EVERYONE would want to be Superman and Batman! You can play superheroes if you want, but you have to be two schmucks that nobody's ever heard of."

"But, ma!" Teddy whines. "Batman is SO COOL, he's got a secret CAVE and a UTILITY BELT and--"

WHACK! goes the spoon. "You may have a secret cave, Teddy," Teddy's Mom says, "And you may have a utility belt. But they must be called the Rat Cave and the Rat Belt, or something, because you are Rat Man. You may not be Batman, because Batman's parents are dead."

"I WISH my parents were dead," Teddy mutters.

---

Maybe it's just me, but I don't understand the point of playing around in the DCU if you don't get to play as the characters that make that setting interesting.

Maybe if Venetica had come out some time closer to its European release (which was what -- two, three years ago?) it would have had a chance as a game to pick up between new releases but sorry, not now.

Farming Simulator 2011, though? Sweet! I'll be stackin' that cheddar like a farmer, baby!

edit: on the Amazon link, you can buy it in a bundle with Digger Simulator! Virtual excavation!

hbi2k wrote:

I'm imagining two small children out in the yard playing superheros. "I wanna be Superman!" Billy announces. "I wanna be Batman!" his friend Teddy replies. Whereupon Teddy's Mom comes out and smacks them upside the head with a wooden spoon and tells them, "Well, guess what? You CAN'T be Superman and Batman because then EVERYONE would want to be Superman and Batman! You can play superheroes if you want, but you have to be two schmucks that nobody's ever heard of."

"But, ma!" Teddy whines. "Batman is SO COOL, he's got a secret CAVE and a UTILITY BELT and--"

WHACK! goes the spoon. "You may have a secret cave, Teddy," Teddy's Mom says, "And you may have a utility belt. But they must be called the Rat Cave and the Rat Belt, or something, because you are Rat Man. You may not be Batman, because Batman's parents are dead."

"I WISH my parents were dead," Teddy mutters.

---

Maybe it's just me, but I don't understand the point of playing around in the DCU if you don't get to play as the characters that make that setting interesting.

I had the exact same reaction to DCUO. Well, it wasn't nearly as elaborate, more just "Can't wait to play Batman!" Actually I was being a dick (to myself since I only thought it) and it was really "Can't wait to play Spider-Man!"

Elysium wrote:
So, Elysium...picking DCUO on PC or PS3?

Preloading on Steam as we speak.

Now I am too. Thanks guys.

Whenever I see anything with Superman involved, it just turns me off. What a boring super hero. They should have used Bats as their mascot, but then he is getting to the over saturation point.

Redwing wrote:

Whenever I see anything with Superman involved, it just turns me off. What a boring super hero. They should have used Bats as their mascot, but then he is getting to the over saturation point.

I think you mean over baturation point.

No, wait, that's just stupid. Sorry.

MechaSlinky wrote:
Redwing wrote:

Whenever I see anything with Superman involved, it just turns me off. What a boring super hero. They should have used Bats as their mascot, but then he is getting to the over saturation point.

I think you mean over baturation point.

No, wait, that's just stupid. Sorry.

Stupidly awesome, maybe.

burntham77 wrote:

I agree on the DCUO being game of the week. At first glance, the whole concept seems ridiculous, and in many ways still is, but the more I read about the details really make me think this will be a surprise hit.

At $15/month, I seriously doubt it. But then, I don't expect DCUO to be only subscription-based for very long.

Maybe I should put this in the 2011 predictions thread, but I expect DCUO to switch to a freemium model before the end of the year.

I'm really curious about DCUO on the PS3. I don't care about the PC version, but I'm tempted to make a Best Buy run this afternoon and grab a copy. The $25 I have in Reward Zone certificates certainly factors into that.

Gravey wrote:
hbi2k wrote:

Maybe it's just me, but I don't understand the point of playing around in the DCU if you don't get to play as the characters that make that setting interesting.

I had the exact same reaction to DCUO. Well, it wasn't nearly as elaborate, more just "Can't wait to play Batman!"

Did you feel the same about LotRO?

Redwing wrote:

Whenever I see anything with Superman involved, it just turns me off. What a boring super hero. They should have used Bats as their mascot, but then he is getting to the over saturation point.

"No One Likes Superman Anymore."

I like the Kingdom Hearts series but didn't Birth by Sleep come out a few months ago? My stack of unplayed games is way too high for me to consider KH and definitely not an MMO.

wordsmythe wrote:
Gravey wrote:
hbi2k wrote:

Maybe it's just me, but I don't understand the point of playing around in the DCU if you don't get to play as the characters that make that setting interesting.

I had the exact same reaction to DCUO. Well, it wasn't nearly as elaborate, more just "Can't wait to play Batman!"

Did you feel the same about LotRO?

LotRO does it really well from what I understand. I'll be honest, that was just a gut reaction to DCUO, I've been spending most of my critical energy thinking about Ezio's sexuality.