A Rant on Destiny
After playing the beta for Destiny a while back, I thought it was decent but felt too short in terms of mission pace and lack of enemy variety. Being that it was a beta, I thought it represented only a small taste of the game. Little that I knew that the beta represented a little under a quarter of the full game. Also, the game doesn’t improve that much going forward. The enemy skins are different, but their behaviors are always predictable. The enemies have none of the witty quotes that the Covenant had in the Halo series, nor do they use any kind of tactics. The “epic” story is virtually nonexistent, most of it delivered by Robo-Dinklage or through lore that cannot be viewed in-game (WTF Bungie, even though audio diaries are becoming a cliche in video games, they’re still a pretty effective storytelling tool). The universe also feels empty, where the public events are always the exact same each time they pop.
Strike missions in co-op are also fun, but I wish the playlists were more random, every time I play it’s always the Earth strike map. The PVP can be pretty fun at-times, but it’s hamstrung by lag issues and some weapon/power balancing. Though I don’t have a problem with the shotguns. Seriously fellas, they’re meant to be an instant kill at close range. Now if you get one-shotgunned at full health from medium-to-long range, then we’ll talk.
Most of the Destiny’s criticism stems from the fact that it’s trying to cater to every sort of audience. It certainly falls under the title of “Jack of All Trades, Master of None.” It wants to be Borderlands, it wants to be an MMO, and it wants to be Halo. For a game that took 5 years to make and that Bungie expect to last 10 years, it could be headed for a crash landing unless they do some sort-of A Realm Reborn-sized reboot. This is a game with a lot of potential, but none of it realized, and we gamers could be paying much more just to see the improvements.
I’ll be editing this post with more thoughts as they come. We’ll see how the raid turns out, now if I can find five other people…
Thoughts on the Frozen Phenomenon
Coming out of my geek cave after yesterday’s surprising yet expected announcement from Disney Parks concerning the addition of a Frozen attraction in the Norway pavilion at Epcot.
The popularity of Frozen is no surprise, and Disney is doing every thing it can to keep this franchise relevant in the coming years. No doubt as to the reasons why it’s a huge moneymaker, it’s a great Disney movie, it has Princesses, and it’s got songs that everyone sings. Disney has a live ice show planned, appearances on ABC’s Once Upon a Time, a new animated short film, and now, a full-fledged invasion of the theme parks.
But now comes the real challenge, how much Frozen is too much? Case in point, when Lilo & Stitch came out, Disney milked that movie down to the bone. They created TV series, DTV sequels, and a much-maligned attraction at the Magic Kingdom in Disney World. After which, people got real tired of Stitch for a good long while. The key difference was that Lilo & Stitch was only a modest success at the box office. Frozen out-grossed Stitch by almost 10 times and is the highest-grossing animated film in the world (not adjusting for inflation). Anna/Elsa costumes are poised to be the most popular Halloween costumes this year. I just hope Disney doesn’t try to over-saturate the market too heavily with Frozen that by the time the eventual sequel comes out, it doesn’t come out as good.
Another key thing in favor of Frozen is the ride it’s replacing: Maelstrom. While many people (myself included) enjoyed that ride, it looks horribly dated (and not “dated” in a classic sense like Spaceship Earth or Impressions de France), was way too short, and is nothing more than an glorified advertisement for visiting Norway (the last portion of the attraction is a 10-minute movie that most guests skip). As long as the Frozen ride itself is something that is built and designed from the ground-up and not just a simple retrofit, most of the hardcore guests’ worries should be assuaged. My expectations are that it’s a 5-minute dark ride (with animatronics akin to Radiator Springs Racers and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train), hopefully it will be paced better than The Little Mermaid attraction which went by way too fast. I’m sure there will be a meet-and-greet placed in the area where the Norway travel movie was shown.
Why Guardians of the Galaxy Was Better Than The Avengers
Spoilers after the break. Here are my stream-of-conciousness ramblings about why Guardians of the Galaxy could be one of the best films to come out of the Marvel factory.