Category Archives: online gaming

It’s a Fish Eat Fish World

I am always leery of movies, especially sequels, with long names and longer subtitles. I guess I should have the same aversion to that type of thing in video games as well. Here, we have another free download from the PlayStation Store called Feeding Frenzy 2: Shipwreck Showdown.

Now I had never heard of Feeding Frenzy before, but apparently the game from Pop Cap and Sprout Games has been around for a while and is even available to play free online. The set up is pretty simple, you’re Boris the Butterfly Fish, you eat the fish smaller than you and avoid those bigger than you. When you eat enough little fish, you become a bigger fish. Simple as that, survival of the fittest basically.

I really kinda dig this very simple game and wish I’d tried it sooner. Regular readers of this blog know I have a lot of trouble with the PS3 controllers. Feeding Frenzy actually offers an easy and efficient way to get used to using the controllers. The more I play, the more practice I get in for future games of other types.

Besides being a great gaming practice games, it’s also kind of relaxing with a fun score. I dug this game a lot.

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Christmas in the DC Universe Online

When last we left The Red Sun, in the DC Universe Online game, he had escaped from Brainiac’s ship and was wandering around the Metropolis (at least I think it’s Metropolis) police station trying not to tick off other online players whose characters, flagging their names behind them, whizzed to and fro. Yeah, I was lost again. Basically I was at the “Now what?” point.

Eventually after wandering in circles for awhile, and trying to talk to characters who were not player-controlled, I learned that Super-Gorilla Grodd was attacking again, this time with a plan to turn humans into apes. Again? But that trick never works. Despite all that, I learned how to fly, and use the map, and got myself to the big battle.

Battle is kind of a misleading. Massacre is more like it. They beat me down, bad. Luckily Jeff came over and gave me a boost with the game. He played his way through quite a few gorilla soldiers, and got us (I know, but I’ll get to play after he’s done) to the next level. Coolness, thank you, Jeff.

In the midst of battle throughout Metropolis (yep, it’s definitely Metropolis), we kept seeing Christmas trees, which I thought at first were a nice holiday decoration. I’m guessing that’s what the massive update was before we started playing. It could have been that or the two new (buyable) updates for speedsters and Green Lanterns, of which there were many, far too many actually. I guess everyone abandons their old characters when new powers become available.

We soon learned that the update was probably a special Christmas present for DCUO players – a new adventure called “Season’s Greedings” featuring Orange Lantern Larfleeze who has come to Earth to strike back at Santa for leaving him empty-handed this year. The new quest involves collecting stolen gifts and fighting Larfleeze’s orange constructs without being trapped in snowglobes or turned into orange energy snowmen.

What a pleasant surprise! It sure beats being clobbered by big monkeys any day. Merry Christmas!

…And Breaking the Hero

Okay, last time, I had finally succeeded in creating a character to play in DC Universe Online, called “theredsun” AKA The Red Sun, a Mon-El clone with fire powers. I was all set to start playing in the DC Universe, woo hoo! And then the game started.

I don’t know what I did wrong, or if I did do something wrong, but I started out on Brainiac’s spaceship. I had to get out before I could actually start playing. The narrative, the computer, or whatever, kept telling me I only had to take out a couple guards and I could go. But no, that never worked out. There kept being ‘just two more guards’ and then I had to find the exit. It never seemed to end.

I must have been flying or walking around this stupid ship for hours, when Jeff finally showed up, figured stuff out in a few minutes and finally got The Red Sun off the ship. Damn gaming veteran. I’m jealous and frustrated, yes, but also thankful. I think I might’ve died on the ship if he hadn’t come along, and lord knows what that would’ve meant, maybe starting the character creation process over again.

Off the ship, I found myself in a city, and at a police headquarters, which seemed more like the place I should’ve started. The weird part, and Jeff informed me this was how online games worked, was seeing other costumed folk wandering aimlessly around. All of them had their names floating above them. This I thought was funny, and I wondered what would happen if I just followed one of them around constantly.

By this time however, we had other non-videogames things to do and had to leave it go. So I guess I just missed out on getting a cyber-punch in the nose. Good place to stop though, and hopefully the game saved.

Making the Hero

I was so anxious to get started playing DC Universe Online that I jumped right in without a parachute or even knowing how to swim. I was immediately confronted with an intimidating barrage of additional downloads and Apple style contract agreements just to get on with it. It did much to diminish my enthusiasm. Again, I’m learning that patience is a major factor in playing these newer videogames.

I was finally able to play, no, that’s not the right word… I was finally able to actually do something some time the next day. After a fantastic cinematic about the framing sequence of the story of the game, I would be able to start making my character. I have to tell you though, that this intro -which I had seen before, but on YouTube – is absolutely stunning on the high definition big screen. I’m happy to watch it multiple times and did.

Here’s the gist: Brainiac is secretly absorbing the powers of Earth’s metahumans while also inciting them to go to war with each other. In the final climatic battle that we see, Luthor and the other major villains destroy what is left of the Justice League. When no one is left standing except for Luthor, Brainiac plays his hand, and invades the Earth. No is left to stop him. Luthor steals Brainiac’s power-absorbing devices and travels back in time to warn the Justice League. On his way, he releases the devices which shower the earth with excess powers, creating new superhumans (the players), whom the heroes, and villains, must train to eventually stop Brainiac. Got it?

So to start, you are a new hero, inspired by any of several metahuman characters in the DC Universe, and you go on training missions to learn your craft and prepare to fight Brainiac. In the meantime, you get to interact with established heroes and villains and explore the elaborate fantasy world that is the DC Universe.

Now I had been told that there was a detailed character creation system, but that’s not so true. My initial thought was to create an existing but obscure DC character that wouldn’t already be in the game. My fantasies included the Golden Age Mr. Terrific, Congo Bill, and from the Legion’s time, Questar. Wasn’t happening.

There’s a limited number of heroes who can ‘inspire’ your character, and your powers and costume color schemes kind of match up to that hero (or villain), or at least that’s the way it appears to me. If that’s not the case, please let me know, because as I’ve pointed out on multiple occasions, I am handicapped when it comes to videogames. I ended up finally with a character inspired by Superman, who looks like Mon-El, has fire powers, and called The Red Sun, spelled in the game “theredsun” because someone, or several someones probably already thought of it. Ah, the perils of online gaming – everyone’s doing it.

Next, The Red Sun actually gets to adventure in the DC Universe…