Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Servant of the Secret Fire

Tolkien is like the smell of bacon, baby.

And now there's Lord of the Rings Online.

And the graphics look like a frickin' beer commercial, gotta give it to them there.

And even though I totally hated DDO's general game design and mechanics, its graphics were smooth as glass on my computer, and whoever did their dungeons was a clever bastard, so DDO doesn't totally count against 'em, y'know.

And the combat in LotR doesn't look too horrid, as long as you only use ranged attacks and kite everything.

And that thing where you can play Dust In the Wind on a musical instrument in the game is nice and everything, from a distance, but the fact that they didn't shell out the bucks to get the music (let alone everything else) from the movies is a huge mistake imho.

I mean, seriously, who wants to "meet iconic characters like Elrond" and have him be some guy that doesn't look and sound exactly like Agent Smith from the Matrix, y'know?

And where the hell is the smokin' hot daughter of that Aerosmith guy?

What the hell kinda shoddy Lord of the Rings operation are you guys runnin' 'round here?

6 comments:

Mego said...

Do people actually buy games based on other fiction, like SW or LOTR or Conan because they think it will be like the book or movie they love?

I played the hell out of SWG and I liked it for a long time. I never really gave a rat's ass about the Star Warsiness of it. Honestly, Sony trying to make it more like the movie helped make the game crappier, I think.

No sort of game that includes millions of other people is going to be the same as a book or movie.

I can see a single player (or something that lets you play with a few other people) approach the level of a good novel or movie, but you can't with bunches of other people playing the same game.

I think these game people need to quit trying to make a game based on a movie and just make a good game.

I could give a shit less if the game has a few pixels arranged to look sort of like Han Solo (if I squint my eyes and drink a few beers first) that repeats the same few quotes everytime I click on them. I want a game that is fun to play.

Ole Bald Angus the Monk said...

I think the general idea is that people do buy games based on other fiction like SW or LOTR or Conan because they think it will be like the book or movie they love, yes.

Not so much for recreating the story or being one of the guys in the movies (although there's really nothing wrong with that, either, that's what kids do on the playground), but to be able to explore all those little things that interested you in more detail and to a greater depth at your own pace and to learn more about all these things you love and stuff, sure.

Being able to look around and work the systems in the faithful recreation of the cockpit of an X-wing, or walk around and interact with Boba Fett and the aliens from the movies in a recreation of Jabba's Palace complete with 3d sound is kinda like using "loaded" words, y'know, there's a bunch of work that already went into all these things that burned them into our minds, everything is more than the sum of its parts for those of us that have tons of previous experience with them.

And even the moods and settings from the books and movies might be the appeal, if you had a Very Star Warsy Childhood, flying an X-wing is a lot like playing some old record your parent's always listened to when you were a happy little shrimp.

And the connectivity and persistent world stuff is all that really matters with MMOs, even though there's a million people you still always end up playing it with a relatively small and manageable gang of dudes, real life pals, or playing it by yourself.

Plus you have the option of meeting new folks at your Particular Amusment Park of Choice who you'd THINK would generally be into the same stuff as you, y'know, like Star Wars in a Star Wars game, or Tolkien Lore in a Tolkien game, or Star Trek in a Star Trek game.

That's basically what you are doing when you interact with an artifact created by a game designer, sharing his appreciation of the theme.

And being the way I am, I actually DO think about how its not cool of me to go into a theme park that I ain't interested in and ruin it for all the people that like that kinda stuff, I was all polite and conscientious in Ultima Online specifically BECAUSE I've never been a big Ultima fan heh.

So yah, I think there's merit to it, sure.

Can a game be good without that kinda thing?

Sure.

Takes a lot more work, though, to create everything from scratch.

Is a spaceship game gonna have spaceships as cool as star wars, and dudes as cool looking as darth vader?

Probably not, the guy that designed those was a goddam genius.

Music that's as good as that John Williams shit?

Prolly not (although WoW's music is pretty good).

Sound effects as good as the dude who won all those awards for Star Wars?

Prolly not.

Characters with the charisma of Harrison Ford and all those other guys attached to 'em?

Prolly not.

Cool places to visit where something legendary happened like all that junk in the movies?

Prolly not.

Its definitely not THAT stuff that makes it UNFUN to play.

But it almost seems like thats what you want to believe for some reason.

I dunno, but I definitely don't blame Star Wars for SWG sucking heh.

I think mebbe I could blame UO for SWG being a UO Themepark though ahaha.

Mego said...

No, Star Wars didn't make SWG suck, but it seemed that sometimes being Star Wars was more important than being a fun game.

I can see where you are coming from but it seems that those Star Wars fan feelings would be better served with non massive multiplayer games. Though the space part of SWG, I can see that as being more adaptable to your SW fan needs :)

Ole Bald Angus the Monk said...

Well, uh, thanks for letting me have the space game, then, I guess.

I can see how lightsaber fights and riding around the desert of tatooine in a big swoop bike gang and having pet rancor monsters is stuff that is better suited to meet the needs of people who aren't big on Star Wars.

Sundry Chicken said...

My fan feelings are going to be hurt up until the point that Disney releases the rights to make a game based upon The Black Hole. Currying faction with V.I.N.CENT or Maximillian while fighting it out robo-style on the edge of forever has a totally nice ironical touch to the endless rep-grind theme.

Though you never know, maybe you'd be able to fall past the event horizon, gain infite rep with all the factions and hten spend the rest of your toons lifetime trying to log off but being unable to.

Which should totally make you wonder about what a virtual reality copy of a bad sci-fi movie robot would dream about.

Ole Bald Angus the Monk said...

The one movie that was actually better than the book it was based on, of course, 'cause it appeals to something deep within the heart of every robot.