Tuesday, March 27, 2012

STOLEN IDEAS: 3 Month Review!

Shintar of Going Commando posted a three month review of SWTOR ... and hell, it's a good idea!  Apparently, so does our favorite blogger evar, Njessi!  I stoleded repurposed it and will make my own three month review.  'Cept I'll call it 101 DAYS OF AWESOME.  Yeah, that way I can't be accused of stealin' ideas!  Yeah!

Look, we all know I struggle coming up with topics, ok?  Just give me this one.  Please.  I mean, for fuck's sake, I wrote a song about Trandoshans!  I MEAN C'MON!

Anyhoo, here comes my three month review that is in no way, shape, or form a direct rip off of Shintar's and Njessi's idea (which they appropriated from Kristalys)!  Remember, this is a *brand new idea from Targeter, one that is completely not stolen from his fellow bloggers at all!

* This may or may not be entirely truthful.

101 DAYS OF RADICALNESS

You can tell already that this review will be a very level-headed and fair assessment of my play-time so far.  I'm know far and wide for my even-handed approach and lack of bias.  Clearly.  *Ahem*


First, let's get the bad out of the way.  Ok, BioWare, I don't really know what the hell you were thinking when you decided to roll out invites in waves for Early Access, but yeah.  Let's not do that again.  It did a few things:

  • Made sure servers were stable.  This is good.
  • Ensured we didn't have too many servers at launch.  This is good (and debatable).
  • Guaranteed that players entering the game would have the best possible experience.  This is good.
  • Turned some of your fanbase into frothing lunatics because they got into the game 1.2 picoseconds after someone else, resulting in nerd-fury the likes of which has never been recorded on this planet.  This is amusing.
  • Sorta made you look like idiots with the whole 'Early Access' tagline on all promotional products; granted, everyone got in in relatively short order and you even bumped up the window by 2 days (this is good!), but it still sorta looked like a douchebag move if you were on the outside looking in.  This is bad.
All in all, a pretty good launch except for the part where the vocal minority turned into raging dickwolves.  I had zero problems getting in on 12/13 and really, isn't that all that matters?  PSHAW!  Wait, am I supposed to care about others and their problems?  This isn't their review, it's mine!  MINE MINE MINE!

Anyways, let's move on.

What else was bad?  Oh yes.  Textures.  Ok, so this is 2012.  Generally speaking, when you launch game in the 2012th year of our Lord Vader, you should probably (and this is really only a suggestion) launch WITH GODDAMN HIGH-RES TEXTURES.  Holy crap, my Sith Warrior looks like he has a gray pudding pile on his chest.  It's supposed to be armor, not a pile of amorphous shit.  Now, if you were releasing this on a Mac II  or a fucking 486 DX, then yeah ok, I can see not having great textures.  REALLY?  Word on the street is that high-res is coming in 1.2, but to me that's 101 days too late, boyos!  After all, the high-res textures are already in the game ... in every cutscene.  OMG RAGE!

Bugs.  You know 'em.  You hate 'em.  We still live with 'em.  I don't mind a few bugs here and there, considering the size and scope of this MMO.  But seriously, what the hell.  Bugs in EV are absolutely killer.  Bugs in quests that I have personally reported in beta testing at least seventeen umpteen billion times (that's a real number fyi) that still show up in retail are ridiculous.  The targeting bug on Quesh.  The Agent convo bug during Chapter 1 with Jadus' daughter.  The bug where I don't get a million credits for free.  Yeah, that's a real bug too, ya know.

Outside of that, there's not been too much wrong with TOR, and even then those aren't 'game-killing problems' and more 'annoyances I can deal with.'  Now, to the gooooood stuff.

Tone and style.  TOR's got it in spades.  It probably has to do with the setting and the development house, but TOR's just the most sensible and stylish MMO I've played.  They nailed the vibe of the galaxy, the stories, the feel of the game.  I only expect it to get better as TOR gets a more lived-in look as the expansion packs keep on rollin' out.

Combat done right.  Getting rid of auto-attack means you can't AFK a mob and go get a sandwich.  The combat is fluid (now that they've fixed the ability delay) and crisp, with attacks making sense and not being outlandish ... except for the ludicrous Orbital Strike.  It feels good; charges feel powerful, crazy Sith tiger roars are menacing, the bolt action slide of my Series of Shots just hits the right notes.  Speaking of ...

Sound is outstanding.  The orchestral movements on each planet are perfectly suited.  The sounds of combat are excellently done (when they don't occasionally bug out) and drive that Star Wars feel home.  It feels like I'm in the movies - o' course it probably helps that the dialogue is spot-on.  For the largest voiceover project in history, BioWare has made sure to make every line was delivered perfectly.  Sure there are some inconsistencies occasionally (my favorite was the Imperial officer who pronounced the word ensign as 'inn-sine'), but that really just lends to the flavor of the worlds.  The characters have ticks and foibles and some of them talk funny.  It's just like real life, 'cept I don't get XP for killing people.  Unfortunately.

Look, you know I'm crazy about this game.  I don't have to sit here and tell you that it's great.  Chances are, if you read this, you think the game's great too. BioWare has done something amazing here and I'm so excited that I was able to get in on the ground floor.

Leave a comment below about what you think is the best part of the game!  Fly safe, shoot straight!  For the glory of the Empire!

2 comments:

  1. Good write up. Personally I find the PvP outstanding - and I never did a lot in other games.

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    1. Agreed. I think the idea of not having brackets every 10 levels was a stroke of genius. Also, the much maligned 'Bolster' mechanic is elegant and simple. What's not to like?

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