My tickets have been purchased and I’ll be seeing Guardians of the Galaxy tonight, and I’m really excited about it.
I know I’ve said it before, but I am very eclectic in my nerd tastes. I like Star Trek, but I’m not the biggest fan of Star Wars. I’m part of a periodic Pathfinder group, but never really got into D&D. I love attending Renaissance Faires, but you will not find me dressing up in costume for it. My tastes vary greatly from topic to topic. I love a good medieval style fantasy, but I can’t stand Game of Thrones. I’ll love one thing, but hate something very similarly related. Heck, I don’t have the faintest hint if I’ll like something until I really give it a shot, hence why I try a lot of different things.
So comic books and the whole superhero genre? Meh. Never been into it. The plots are usually as deep as a puddle, the characters cliche, the worlds need quite a healthy suspension of disbelief, and the whole concept of a single “hero” being effective where entire hard-working police/fire/government agencies are useless is a fallacy that I don’t think should be promoted. They say fiction follows societal trends, though, and so superheros come into prevalence when overall faith drops in the agencies designed to protect us. So, is it surprising superheros are peaking right now? Yeah. Superheroes have always been one of those nerd pursuits that I never looked down on, but I just never *got*. Spandex, muscles everywhere, destruction that magically fixes itself, scantily clad… everyone. Bleh.
The emails that I keep getting from Gazillion are *very* tempting, though. Filled with goodies, and the truth is that when Marvel Heroes released, it’s word-of-mouth wasn’t that complementary. Having three or four of the same superhero running around, not a ton of content, very bland gameplay, and if you want another character, the only way to get it was to open your wallet. It just didn’t *feel* right, a cash grab, and it was hard to get excited about your own character. But I gave it another shot recently, as it’s free and the waves of emails are tempting, and it is by far not the same game that it use to be.
Now, finding the same character as yourself running around is infrequent. Your starting character can be one of 10 different heroes, so you’re not seeing copies of yourself everywhere. Gameplay itself is a ridiculously fun experience, explosions everywhere and giving a very epic feel to your hero and their incredible abilities. Heroes can be earned in-game, and the roster of heroes is up to 37 now with the recent inclusion of Star-Lord to the roster, thanks to quick development and movie tie-ins. Each hero plays a completely different style than the others, too.
When I came back to the game, I started playing as Daredevil, a character whose movie wasn’t something I was terribly impressed with, but he was one of the free ones and seemed like a very quick and versatile fighter. And he blew me away. DD was a powerhouse, from swinging around his nunchucks to jumping around like a maniac. But he isn’t my favorite superhero. Even though I’m not a big fan, remember that old 1992 X-Men Arcade game? Damn did I drop a lot of quarters into that when I was younger, and my favorite was, hands-down, Nightcrawler. He flashed all around the screen, hitting everyone, and his teleport powers were just badass.
So I dropped a few bucks on Marvel Heroes as I was really enjoying the game, and picked up Nightcrawler. This has been, in retrospect, one of the best MMO purchases I can think of in recent memory. As a playable hero, he does NOT disappoint. He slices his dual rapiers around while teleporting all over the place like a madman. As a hero, he seems best played by using his teleport and sword abilities to great effect. Boss about to smash you? Just teleport behind them and keep on beating. Bunch of bad guys out of range? Teleport to them, grab them en mass and bring them right next to where you were, then slice away.
The only downside I can see about the game so far is that the story isn’t big enough. By the time you hit level 30, the story is done, but the level cap is 60. In order to hit 60, you start farming the social zones, play challenges, or replay the story again but at a higher difficulty. And so if someone wants to max out all 37 heroes, that’s playing through the whole story 111 times! So, if you’re reading this, Gazillion, you have a seriously fun game, but make more story content!
But the real side effect of playing? I’m starting to get into the whole superhero thing. I think I get it now. I still don’t think the characters are all that deep, but huge explosions? Sciency-tech? Being badass? It’s a lot of fun. I’ve rented all the movies that have been out and I’m almost fully caught up. Still have a few to go, and I still think they’re far from being cerebral academy-award winning flicks, but for an awesome romp, they’re hard to beat.
So I’m seeing Guardians of the Galaxy tonight, and thanks to Marvel Heroes, I’m *really* looking forward to it. If that doesn’t say a lot about the game, I don’t know what does.
P.S. – One of the streamers I’ve been watching on Twitch lately, is a huge Marvel Heroes fan, and he seems like a great guy. Give him a follow if you’re looking for a fun stream: CritDamageCrazy.
P.P.S. – Short review of Guardians of the Galaxy: Totally worth it. Awesome. See it. In 3D. Maybe not IMAX, unless it’s true IMAX, but definitely in 3D if you can.