After years of waiting (and reporting) DC Universe Online has finally made its way to both the PC and PlayStation 3 console. And we are happy to see it has lived up to the hype. While DCUO isn’t a ground breaking experience that will redefine the MMORPG genre, it does provide an addictive and fun super hero world for people to play in.
Taking a few lessons learned from previous super hero titles like City of Heroes and Champions Online, DCUO allows players to experience an MMO world in an iconic universe with well known locations and super hero and villain compatriots at their side. Unlike SOE’s previous iconic MMO with Star Wars Galaxies, players are actually able to fight alongside their favorite heroes and villains instead of just receiving missions from them. The game also has a fully voiced cast, a much notable difference to players of past titles like classics like Everquest or Galaxies.
DC Universe Online plays similar in many ways to most other successful MMOs. It is to be expected since those formulas have proven successful for the type of game. Players move using the traditional WASD format combined with their mouse for changing directions and looking around and aiming. Different tap and hold button combinations on the mouse (unlocking more as players increase in level) release different attacks on foes. Additional super powers are unlocked and assigned to the 1 through 8 keys that can be used during combat.
Combat itself is fast paced and fun without much down time between. Unlike many MMORPGs, combat is not item-centric where players must worry about equipping tons of healing items to use after each combat instance. As long as players don’t run through like a lunatic kamikaze, they should be able to take a breather between fights to allow their character to quickly heal up before heading into the next encounter.
Originally a cartoon, Darkwing Duck ran from 1991 to 1995 and again from 1996 to 1997. A darker, cooler version of the Duck Tales universe, Darkwing gave Disney its very own super hero character who wasn’t a total boy scout like Gizmo Duck.
Recently, Boom launched the Darkwing Duck miniseries which was quickly indefinitely extended to an ongoing series. Take a peek below at our interview with James Silvani, the current artist on the book, as he discusses with us his work on the project, the character, and the tremendous fan support the title has received.
The Flickcast: Recently Boom has been having a lot of success with their licensed products, especially with the Disney series. How did you get approached about working on the Darkwing Duck series?
James Silvani: Actually, I started off doing The Muppets and was working on a few Muppet ideas and the editors had asked, “Hey do you mind throwing in a Darkwing Duck cover? It’s something of a pet project of ours”. Once we had the approval, we went ahead with it and it became a nice little fluke.
At this year’s Comic Con during the Sony Press Event, we were given the opportunity to get hands on with two of the biggest titles coming to the PlayStation 3 in 2011. Not only are Killzone 3 and Motorstorm: Apocalypse much anticipated sequels to two of PlayStation 3′s top games, but they both will feature PlayStation 3′s 3D technology.
Killzone 3 first and foremost looks gorgeous. Even over a half year before its release date and still in Pre-Alpha build, the visuals look polished. While the 3D experience helps add to the immersion of the title, there is never a time where it felt intrusive. There are never any over the top “coming at the screen for the sake of 3D” moments. What the 3D effects do however is add a convincing level of depth and distance as players make their way through the environment.
The version we got to play was the same one seen on the E3 show floor where players must execute a raid to save prisoners being held at a Helghast weapons research facility with the team of raiders who survived the end of Killzone2. Gameplay is crisp and fast paced in line with previous versions of the series.
At Comic Con, the folks at Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment gave us a walk through of their new family friendly Lord of the Rings title, The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn’s Quest. Rated E10+, Aragorn’s Quest takes a drastically different tone and gameplay style from the recently revealed The Lord of the Rings: War in the North.
Shown on the Wii, Aragorn’s Quest has players listen to the tales of Samwise Gamgee as he explains to his children the events of The Lord of the Rings, focusing on the tale of the current king Aragorn. Over the course of eight chapters, players are then given the opportunity to take the role of Aragorn on a series of quest that follow the events of the three films. Each quest contains smaller side quests players can embark on.
Having Samwise voiced by Sean Astin and Gimlee voiced by John Rhys-Davies is meant to keep an older audience into the game as they help younger players through it. Unfortunately during our walk through, the noise of the convention prevented us from experiencing the voice acting.
The game has a simple visual style that strays away from the dark overtones of the film and previous game titles. There is no blood or any other effects that would go against the game’s family friendly image. Using the WiiMote, players hack and slash their way through hordes of goblins, orcs, spiders and trolls in an effort to escort Frodo to the peak of Mount Doom to destroy the one ring. Different motions result in different strikes. During combat, directional prompts will appear to perform specific actions and finishing blows. Players will also have a chance to switch between ranged and melee combat as well.
At Comic Con, the Flickcast got our first opportunity to get hands on with Dead Rising 2. Standing next to a replica of the game’s workshop covered with dozens of makeshift weapons, we got to see just what is in store for the game’s new lead, Chuck Greene on the streets of Fortune City.
Right off the bat, Dead Rising 2 feels bigger. Knowing you aren’t confined to the space of just one shopping mall, there is a level of freedom that didn’t exist in the original title. It also appears that there are even more zombies on screen at the same time in this game as well.
The animation is still fluid and it feels like the control, especially in regard to aiming, has been tightened up some. One drastically improved feature of the gameplay is the lifespan of weapons. In the original game, weapons fell apart at an alarming rate. Players were forced to flee more than fight which ultimately lead to Frank West not living up to the potential badass he could have been. Chuck, who already has some badass cred to his name being a motocross rider, feels like he can take the fight to the zombie horde that has engulfed the US rather than just hope to survive like Frank did.
With Scribblenautsbeing one of our favorite games of 2009, it is no surprise we were excited to get some hands on time with its sequel at San Diego Comic Con this year. In the E3 Trailer for Super Scribblenauts, we found out that not only would the game receive a control upgrade where players would be able to finally control Maxwell with the D-Pad instead of the sometimes unreliable stylus but they would also be given the option of using adjectives in creating their objects.
These adjectives would influence the color, behavior and abilities of the items created in Super Scribblenauts. In the first game if a player wanted to create a flying pig, they’d have to type “Pig” and then “Wings” and attach the wings to the pig. Now, by simply typing “flying pig”, the game intuitively combines the two into one hovering swine.
At the Con, we got a walkthrough of some of the game’s levels. Super Scribblenauts will feature 120 new levels which Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment described as “deeper, more linear and require a little more thought process”. With the upgraded controls also comes more action oriented levels. While many levels are still focused on problem solving, there are now stronger action elements to the title.
The classic stylus controls are still there but for “twitch” style action levels, the d-pad with the ability to control when Maxwell jumps greatly improves upon what most consider the only flaw of the original game. While Maxwell isn’t going to be as tight control-wise as Mario would be, he is much easier to properly maneuver, saving accidental deaths and aggravating level failures.
One of Cartoon Network’s most popular shows has been Star Wars: The Clone Wars. It is only fitting that only days before the show begins its third season, players will get the chance to jump in onStar Wars: Clone Wars Adventures. On September 15th, players will be able to begin their unique online Star Wars experience. And on Friday the 17th, the newest season of Star Wars: The Clone Warsbegins.
At Comic Con, we got the chance to speak with Sony Online Entertainment about the upcoming title and get a walkthrough of some of the features in the game including both the Star Fighter and Lightsaber Duel minigames, both seen in the video below.
We were told that the main goal of Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures was to make the player feel as though they are a part of the Star Wars: Clone Wars universe with iconic characters to interact with and environments to explore. Unlike Star Wars: Galaxies, players are intended on being able to get instant gratification in this rather than grinding their way through levels in order to unlock upper tier content.
This also closely works in favor of the game’s younger target market. Right from the start, players can go up and talk to Obi-Wan Kenobi and Captain Rex. These characters help introduce players to the minigames.
Back at Comic-Con, we got the chance to play some hands on with the 2010 reboot of Medal of Honor multiplayer Beta which went live for those who had signed up for it on July 20th. The Beta is exclusive to the PC and PlayStation 3. The multiplayer for Medal of Honor is being developed by EA Digital Illusions CE while the single player campaign is coming to us from Danger Close. The single player campaign will follow a group of Tier One Operators (the top .01% most elite in the US Armed Forces) in the early parts of the war with Afghanistan.
The first thing that stood out to us during the demo was the use of the AMD technology Ifinity which allows players to use a three monitor setup to play the game in super wide screen. The game looks so great that this is definitely the way the game was meant to be experienced. To its credit because this will be the game it is most likely compared to, Medal of Honor is a more visually impressive experience than the latest iteration of the Call of Duty franchise. The levels look more realistic with an insane level of detail in them. The lighting also makes everything pop out to you just a little more as well.
The control of Medal of Honor is top notch. In the first person genre, control is everything and Medal of Honor hits it perfectly. As expected from a veteran franchise that has had time to refine its control and move with the trends without being forced to put out a yearly iteration, Medal of Honor feels like a fresh game when playing it even though most of what is seen in the multiplayer has been done before. After our hands on time with it, it is a game we know we want to spend some more time with in the near future.
On Marvel.com, Activision has revealed all of the unlockable skins for Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions. By playing through the game, players will have the opportunity to unlock new looks for their favorite wall crawler across the four dimensions of gameplay. Make sure to check out the gallery at the bottom of this post for screen shots of all the new costumes.
At Comic Con, we had the opportunity to sit down with Studio Head over at Beenox, the developers behind Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, Dee Brown. In our short time with Dee, he discussed with us the choices behind dimensions of the game.
He also mentions creating new villains for the game as well as the hype that has been coming out leading to the game’s release.
The Flickcast: First question I have, what was the thought process behind the four dimensions Beenox picked?
Dee Brown: Well, what we do when we start a project, we did what we always do when we start a project, a deep dive into the brand and we dug up a lot of the comic stuff of Spider-Man, and we did this big presentation to the team and the entire company.
Everybody loves Spider-Man of course, but nobody knows all the different universes and everything, so we did this presentation and showed shots of 2099 and Noir and all the amazing universes. People, like me for example, I didn’t know about Noir and when I saw it I thought “That’s amazing, that’s so great.”
At the recent Comic-Con in San Diego Mimoco, creators of the Mimbots custom collectors USB drives, revealed their latest exclusive addition to the Star Wars line with Lobot. Now, our friends over at Mimoco have given us one to give away to you the loyal Flickcast readers.
Lobot, for those of you who don’t know, was Lando Calrissian’s cyborg aide in The Empire Strikes Back. Now, he comes in USB form to celebrate the film’s 30th Anniversary in both 2GB and 16 GB varieties. Chosen as a throwback to the hardcore Star Wars fans, Lobot is meant to be fan service from a group of people who are watching Star Wars in the office at least once a week.
At Comic-Con we got the chance to talk with one of Mimoco’s representatives. They told us that the original concepts behind the Mimobots was using them as a way to merge art and technology. Lobot, in addition to being an anniversary piece for The Empire Strikes Back is also a fifth anniversary piece for Mimoco who started at Comic-Con five years ago. With well over 75 total designs, Lobot is another great example of the Star Wars line of Mimobots.
How To Win:
1. Follow us on Twitter @TheFlickcast
2. Tweet Out “I Want To Win A Lobot Mimobot @TheFlickcast!”
3. Sit back and wait as we pick a winner form among those who tweeted the phrase!
Comic-Con doesn’t just mean comics as we are sure you have noticed. It means TV, movies and toys as well. Someone very familiar with this is the WWE. World Wrestling Entertainment has relaunched their action figure line under Mattel over the past year and as a result had a huge presence at SDCC.
And it wasn’t just toys that were being shown off. Unlike He-Man, the characters in the WWE action figure line are real people and they came to show themselves off at San Diego.
One of the most dominant men in the WWE over the past decade has been Kane. The Big Red Monster holds records in the WWE’s Royal Rumble match, garners multiple WrestleMania showcase matches under his belt and has been a multi-time champion with an impressive 16 title reigns, including a staggering 9 reigns in the tag team division and a WWE Championship.
Most recently, Kane won SmackDown’s Money in the Bank Ladder match at the Money in the Bank Pay-Per-View. In doing so, he was able to cash in his Money in the Bank title match and defeat Rey Mysterio later that night to start his first reign as World Heavyweight Champion.
Up until this point, the focus of the DC Universe Online message has been your own character’s adventure with interaction with the iconic characters. What they are looking to do now is have a mentor method where to learn from the Iconic characters such as Batman, players must experience what it’s like to be them.
The result is the competitive versus mode that allows for players to take on the role of characters like Batman or the Joker and go up against other players in order to advance as characters. The theory is that by playing as these characters, players will better understand their strengths and weaknesses, their strategies and their tactics. These matches go from 2 vs. 2 to up to 16 vs. 16. The game modes will include territories, capture the flag and sabotage.
It also allows for quick jump in and jump out gameplay for a player who only has a few minutes to play and doesn’t have the time to complete a full thirty or more minute quest in the game. Players gain PvP points that can be spent later on unlocking other characters or their character’s raid suit.
At release, Robin and Harley will be available for players for the heroes and villains sides respectively. Gaining currency, players can then unlock Nightwing, Bane and Huntress, eventually unlocking the Joker at the highest levels. As a bonus to people pre-ordering the game, Batman will be available to them from the start.
One of the big problems with Comic Con is there is too much to be excited over. It actually ends up being hard to even keep track of all the things to look forward to. One thing we were able to keep focus on though was Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions. At the Pre-Comic Con Activision event when they announced the fourth and final dimension for the game, we were able to get some hands on time with it.
Myself and the Flickcast’s Matt Raub both got to play through two sections of Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions. Unlike recent Spider-Man games, Shattered Dimensions most notably is not an open world. It is a more linear process where players for a more set storyline than traveling across the island of Manhattan back and forth, something that while intriguing the first time because tiresome by the third game to use this approach.
The first section was the Noir universe which didn’t feel like a traditional Spider-Man title by any means. Instead of running in cracking jokes as he dodged bullets, the Noir Spider-Man was forced to take a more Sam Fischer approach (Splinter Cell reference for those of you who are just comic fans and not big gamers). Using his environment as a weapon, Noir Spider-Man must traverse around a level picking off foes one by one and avoid direct combat. Attempting a head on attack would more than likely result in a Spider-Man riddled with Tommy gun bullets.
At Comic Con, we got the chance to check out a lot of games. Too many to even discuss them all. But at the Sony press event, we got our hands on a game that was such an odd concept, it deserved our attention. Developed in house by Sony Japan’s internal development studio, Kung Fu Rider may be one of the most Japanese games in concept seen in a long time.
The game uses the PlayStation Move to control a private detective named Tobio and his secretary Karin as they are on the run from the mob in Hong Kong. The way they make their escape is by using rolling office chairs and other office furniture for a total of 12 different vehicles on downhill street courses which they can grind rails, hop cars and duck under beams. All of this is done with the controls of the motion control to lean them in the proper direction.
Along the way, players collect money to help them speed through the races faster and unlock various items that will help them in their escape. It is confirmed the game will feature 26 courses, each featuring various hidden passages with alternative routes.
The game doesn’t feature a competitive multiplayer but it will feature a cooperative mode. A player can jump in and help the main player by knocking objects out of their way. They can also collect money and bonus objects to help progress through levels faster.
When we asked about the inspiration behind Kung Fu Rider, we were told that German Chair Scooting is very popular on YouTube in Japan. The result is an incredibly unique experience that puts the Move’s motion controls to different extremes than anything else we have seen thus far.
Now that San Diego Comic-Con 2010 is officially behind us, we thought it would be fun to put together a montage at some of the stuff we did and people we talked to during the show. Some of it you’ve seen, and some of it you may have to wait to see, but it’s all here in one finished package.
The Flickcast is about movies, TV, comics, games, tech, pop culture and all things geek. From Star Wars to BSG to Star Trek, Citizen Kane, The Dark Knight, X-Men, Avengers, Green Lantern, Call of Duty, Assassin's Creed, Apple, the iPhone, iPad, Android, gadgets and more, The Flickcast team will discuss, debate, entertain and enlighten with critical and insightful commentary on entertainment and pop culture of the past, present and future. Find out More.