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.
- Prinny 2