Archive for the 'Living Conditions' Category

09
Dec
18

Black Friday Woes

[EDIT: A rep from Kohl’s did finally respond, as of Monday morning. Their response was a canned “Your credit will be available within 7 days, we’re sorry for any frustration.”]

Another Black Friday has come and gone, and with it ridiculous price cuts and psychotic shoppers. That’s not news. Nor do I particularly care. I did most of my Black Friday shopping online, and had no issues.

Well, except for one.

You see, I’ve been looking at the PlayStation VR for a bit. Not sure how much I’ll get out of it, having problems with depth perception and being mostly blind in one eye, but there’s piles of horror games I’d love to try that are only for that format. Plus there’s part of me that wants to see just how nasty Marguerite Baker from Resident Evil 7 looks when she’s literally in your face. Given my handicaps, I figured waiting for a sale was the best way to go. Pretty much everywhere had the units on sale for $100 off, so the time seemed ready to pounce.

There was much deliberation on what retailer to go with, and after that it was determined that Kohl’s was the way to go. The promise of $60 in Kohl’s Cash and having a coupon that would apply to the purchase tipped the scale. So the order was placed.

I’m going to be petty, now. I’m going to bitch and moan for no reason other than to vent in the vain hope that someone, somewhere, notices and cares. If anyone out there had issues with Kohl’s this holiday season, let loose your own rage and vent your frustrations in the comment box, so we can take solace in knowing it wasn’t just us.

Anyway, they gave an estimated delivery date of 11/30. 11/30 came and went. No headset. No word. “Not an issue; it was Black Friday after all, they’re probably just running a bit behind.” Checked on UPS, says there was a tracking ID created, and label printed, they just hadn’t gotten it from Kohl’s yet.

Another week passes. We’re on the 7th of December, now. Still no sign, no changes on the UPS site. Kohl’s site claims the order is “complete.” I give them a ring, just to see what’s up, and the friendly, heavily accented individual informs me “I’m sorry, we cannot answer any questions at this time, please call back in an hour,” before hanging up. This is before I’ve even been asked my name or what my issue might be. I tried calling back, and get a different individual who says the same and hangs up again.

I shrug, say “Okay” to myself, and prepare to wait out an hour. I call back. I am given the same spiel and a hangup yet again.

I wait another hour, call back. Same results, though this time there was 30 seconds of foreign language shrieking to someone in the background before the rep gave their speech.

One more hour, I call again. At this point I am told that the item is out of stock, will not be restocked, and that I’m out of luck. They’ll refund it, of course, but that will take up to 7 business days. Would I like to place another order?

Fuck no, I wouldn’t. They had no answers as to the initial hangups. Not even a canned response as to why they couldn’t be asked to e-mail me and tell me “Hey, we screwed up, you’re not getting your item.”

So, of course, I’m out a headset, since all the sales are long gone, and in my area at least, the units themselves seem to be pretty universally sold out. Whatever; I can live with that. I’ve gone this long without one, I won’t die. I’m a teensy bit irate about the games and accessories that were purchased to go with the unit, since they’re either digital or outside of the return period, but that’s secondary.

What’s got me riled is the goddamn psychosis of the way Kohl’s has handled this, without even giving a “Sorry.” I even Tweeted about it, at which point Kohl’s responded to me asking me to DM them the details. They did that tweet about 5 seconds after I posted mine, and I immediately DM’d them, but they didn’t see fit to answer for another 20 hours. At that point they asked for my order number, which I provided, and have said nothing since. That was two days ago; I’m not expecting results any time soon. Not a surprise. Given they couldn’t bother to tell me anything about the inability to fulfill the order, why would I expect any communication from them now that I am no longer of use to them?

Further investigation shows several thousand 1-star reviews and reports of others suffering the same problems, alongside several multiple charges, wrong items, Kohl’s cancelling orders because they were suspected of being fraudulent (and then charging full price to replace the order, as the sale had ended and Kohl’s doesn’t feel the need to adjust the pricing down or otherwise compensate those affected) and incredibly poor customer service on the rare occasions someone can get a response out of them at all.

The best part is their constant self-congratulatory articles, Tweets and posts, bragging about having had their most successful Black Friday ever. I bet; raking in cash from multiple charges and items you don’t intend to send, charging people and sitting on the money (some reports indicate that even now, approaching 3 weeks later, the charges for cancelled items and duplicate charges are still impacting customer’s balances), and forcing people to pay full price and pay for any Kohl’s cash they used during the sale will certainly inflate that accounting… and if/when it’s fixed, it’ll show on a different report, thus making them look even better to their shareholders and accountants. At least until the amended report with the refunds comes in. That’s assuming there aren’t folks out there still waiting to find out what happened to their items, or those who just forget or write it off. (You wouldn’t think that would happen, but I work in the financial sector and the number of times I’ve had to file claims against items not received a year or longer after the initial charge is far more than any credulous person would believe.)

I’m done complaining, now. At least here. As noted, if anyone else had similar experiences with Kohl’s – or other retailers – in the Black Friday frenzy, feel free to share your stories below. If you’ve any advice on what else can be done – or know a place where I can still find a PSVR for $200 that isn’t eBay – drop it down below.

Beyond that, Happy Holidays, everyone. Hopefully next year is better.

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09
Nov
18

Game Review: Call of Cthulhu (2018)

It’s been a while since we had a proper cosmic evil video game. Call of Cthulhu has been making the rounds for a few years now, often whispered about like the rumors of what the neighbors are doing in the basement or what’s really in the meat you’re eating, occasionally bobbing to the surface in a brief and oh-so-tantalizing-yet-maddening bit of exposure before being submerged once more.

The call was finally answered this Halloween, and I was powerless against it. The question is, though, if it was worth it.

Short answer? No. At least, not right now.

I had some videos up of my playthrough, going over some of my issues and demonstrating some of them, but had to take them down due to potential copyright issues (apparently some of the music flags it), but I’ll try to speedrap some of the problems. My screencaps are likewise AWOL due to a faulty flash drive, but some of them made it onto my Twitter, at least.

One, the graphics. Now, the environments are great, though they were a little too in love with the color green – I mean, seriously, why do all the oil lamps glow green? I get it, in some instances, since what the whalers have been hauling up of late may not precisely be whales, but ALL the lighting? – but still well done, very detailed, and appropriately moody and atmospheric.

The denizens of Blackwater, on the other hand, are tripe. Their faces look wrong – and not in an Innsmouth Look way, but in a “poorly designed” way – and the generic NPCs have maybe 3-5 possible face/clothes combos, yet have as many as 10-15 in a small area, making you wonder if somehow the influence of Cthulhu has led to an upswing of twin and triplet births. The primary characters are a little better, but they’re still poorly animated, weirdly proportioned, and consist almost entirely of stock characters. (The drunk/drug addicted cop, the shady financier, Old Willie the Groundskeeper, etc etc etc.)

Of Mythos horrors, you won’t see much. A couple of mutant freaks, the suggestion of a squid-monster, and, if you get the bad ending, a pretty badass Cthulhu design for about 3 seconds. To be fair, for a Mythos story, it’s not what you see, but what you don’t, and knowing that what you see could be far worse, not having them front and center is almost okay. What isn’t is that you never really feel like they’re close. They don’t provide the looming intensity of knowing that insanity lies just around the bend, and the couple you DO see are almost cartoonish and not really that intimidating.

Sound-wise, again, the background noise is great. The subtle sloshing of waves when you’re on the beach, the groans and echoes of the mental asylum, the ominous chanting when infiltrating a cult’s secret lair… all good stuff. Music is minimal – except for the lovely copyright strike-inducing radios in a couple of areas – and not intrusive. The voice acting, though… ugh.

Our hero is the best of the lot, which isn’t saying much, but at least he reads the lines like a normal human being. The problem with him is that he’s also the voice of Jonathan from Vampyr, with a similar overall design and attitude. I spent half the game mocking him for being in the wrong game and wondering why he was lamenting his sanity instead of eating rats.

The others are varying degrees of bad, from Groundskeeper Willie feeling lifted out of the Simpsons, your cop buddy sounding like the worst combo JFK/Joker impression ever, and the Mysterious Woman trying to sound threatening and seductive but coming off like a bad Neptunia NPC. The generic NPCs all seem to have the same voice actor, and they sound like they’re trying to portray someone who’s performing a bad Russian accent who in turn is attempting to mock a Boston accent. While channeling their inner Wishmaster djinn on top of it.

Controls are… okay. There’s not really anything to be said, there; given that the game is essentially a glorified walking simulator, it just needs to be competent, which it is. A button to run, one to duck, one to search, and one to flick your light on and off. It’s all you need, really.

Story wise is where the game shines – even if it does have a few plot holes that are never explained, or even lampshaded with “Because you’re crazy, yo” – with a properly Lovecraftian slow burn building up to final madness. (Especially fun is, if you’re been poking at the things you shouldn’t, you’ll start getting dialogue options on R’leyhan) There isn’t much one can say about it without spoilers, but anyone reasonably well versed in Lovecraft or the Mythos can probably guess the broad strokes not too far in, and find the joy in watching it play out and seeing their guesses proven right or wrong.

All in all, the story redeems the poor character graphics and voices to a great degree. The backgrounds are great, and the controls are serviceable. So why say it’s not worth it?

Length vs. cost. At $60 you’re looking at 6-7 hours if you poke every corner on your way to the end. 4 or so if you’re speedrunning. About 12 hours, give or take, for a Platinum on a game that costs $60 and is half broken isn’t exactly good value in my mind. If the game was $40? Oh hell yes. At $30 it’d be considered freaking amazing. But $60 is just too high. Wait for a sale, or Redbox it.

The Call of Cthulhu is worth answering, yes.. but wait for the collect cost to come down a bit, first.

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07
Nov
18

Twitestinal Blockage

Twitter is an interesting place. Reminds me a lot of the digestive system, really; throw a bunch of stuff in, let it churn in heat and acid for a while, and hope something nutritious comes of it.

But it’s like that in another way; to be crude, a lot of what comes out is just shit. Now, that’s not all bad; gotta get rid of it to keep functional, after all. But some folks, like some eaters, have a problem. They’re all blocked up. So they keep jamming the same thing in, until they’re stuffed to the brim with it, but then due to blockage, they never actually get rid of it or try anything else. That can’t be healthy.

I’m talking about the folks – and there are likely hundreds, if not thousands of them at this point – who just slap blocks on people for no discernible reason. It may be that the blockee followed someone the blocker doesn’t like, or “liked” a YouTube video, Tweet or Facebook post that the blocker didn’t like (or one that was made by a person the blocker didn’t like), or maybe just because. But one thing I’ve noticed is that it is very rarely due to something the blockee directly said or did in relation to the blocker.

It’s fascinating, really. What’s more fascinating is how folks of this particular stripe enjoy playing the victim and claiming that nobody wants to listen to them or have rational discourse with them. Neglecting to mention, of course, that they slap that block on so many folks before those folks are even aware of the individual that it would be impossible for the people they seem to want to reach to actually hear the message or discuss it. Frequently, the only people allowed to follow such individuals are those who already subscribe to the same worldview and are typically already aware of the blocker’s ideology and personality and are in line with it to a greater or lesser degree.

Continuing with the poop analogy, one notes that someone suffering from intestinal blockage spends a great deal of time in the loo, attempting to pass said blockage. I also note that many modern bathrooms, being covered in tile, tend to provide excellent acoustics. Not unlike an echo chamber, eh?

I really think the “block” feature needs an overhaul. Sure, there’s reasons it’s there – abusive commentary, doxxing, criminal stalking, all things to be avoided – but the way it unilaterally says “you can’t see what I said, neener neener neener,” especially when one may be interested in learning about a public or semi-public figure’s opinions and attitudes on things seems rather foolish. Especially because such individuals wield it like some form of sterilizing club, ensuring that they don’t have to interact with anyone who just possibly might disagree with them while simultaneously ensuring that those potential fence sitters or genuinely curious individuals who like to hear both sides of something will never be able to. Further, it seems really counterintuitive; “I am on the interwebs to explain my philosophy, religion, political stance or social commentary to the masses! But I only let people who already agree with my stance on those things see it!”

Er, wot, mate?

Anyway. Only crawled out of the hole for long enough to vent my frustration in this department. What’re your opinions? Is a complete ability to both silence and blind your potential dissenters a proper way to deal with the internet, or should some changes be made? What should those changes be? Drop your thoughts down below! I’m back to my nebulizer and scouring Twitter to see who else might have decided I am unworthy of their knowledge…

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10
Oct
18

In Nomine Satanas – Labels

We live in a world where everything has to be labeled. You’re nothing if you aren’t sticking a half-dozen or more random adjectives in front of every viewpoint, artwork, opinion or pronoun you use to define or describe yourself.

I don’t want to get bogged down in identity politics and all the shit-slinging (on both sides) that entails… at least, not today. But I do want to touch on how amusing it is that some of those labels continue to be maligned or ignored (frequently by those who are all-too-eager to explain to you just how wrong you are for misunderstanding an alphabet soup acronym that theoretically bands people together while actually Balkanizing them into enemy states united only by their hatred of something or someone else.)

This comes up due to a discussion I had with someone who is very much in that camp, constantly doing nothing but complaining about the evils of the alt-right and our current overlord – generally based on “news” obtained more from Saturday Night Live than either Fox News or The Young Turks. I call it a discussion, but really it was more her hearing one label that gets applied to me and proceeding to berate me from her position of ignorance. Now, if I wasn’t all the other labels that are applied to me, I could claim some form of hate speech or discrimination was going on and feel vindicated, but since I have the privilege of being white, male, straight, and cis, I am apparently not subject to any sort of abuse, stereotyping, profiling, or discrimination.

The label in question? “Satanist.”

Spoopy! I subscribe to some Satanic ideals, therefore I must murder cats, sacrifice virgins, blaspheme the One True God (TM) and generally be a horrible person. Obviously.

Or, you know, I could believe in the rule of law, the importance of rationality, progress and advancement based on merit, suffering the consequences of your actions, self-responsibility, and prefer not to blame an invisible Sky Wizard (or other stand in for same) for life’s blessings and misfortunes. Potato, potato.

Now, considering myself a Satanist – or at least aligned with the ideals conveyed in LaVeyan Satanism moreso than any other faith, religion, dogma, or creed – does not mean I consider my work Satanic. I don’t immediately feel the need to explain to everyone I meet that I am a Satanist. I don’t feel that my philosophy is the single most defining trait of my existence. (I don’t consider depression, schizophrenia, autism, asthma, having a preference for Rubenesque ladies or being able to grow body and facial hair defining characteristics worthy of telling everyone I meet as often as possible, either. Just noting.)

But still, for someone as mired in identity politics as this person to become judgmental and hostile over one of the labels that can be applied to me struck me as both intensely hypocritical and frustrating. She then proceeded to state the real reason for my poor health isn’t bad genes or luck of the draw; nay, I say, it is due to my heretical beliefs and miring myself in those “kill ’em all nasty mean” video games.

That last part, by the way, was brought up when she glanced at my games shelf and saw such horrendous titles as Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, Forza Horizon 4, Eternal Sonata, Norn9, and Splatterhouse. To be fair, that last one is pretty gruesome, but… (also, given that I generally feel better after smashing a few dozen faces in Yakuza, I don’t really subscribe to the theory.)

She’s also not a fan of my writing, what few snippets she’s read discarded as being horrible, mean-spirited and “nasty.” Of course, according to this person, I would write about sunshine and rainbows if I were to play happy games (or stop playing them entirely), hide all the nicotine and caffeine, and accept a properly Christian faith structure.

This whole thing may come off a trifle bitchy. That’s probably to be expected. As noted, I’m not in the best place right now, and things like this are added crap I don’t need. But I’m still curious – at least for those of you still reading and not cowering in fear at the evil Devil Worshipper in your midst – what about you out there? Are there labels applied to you – chosen or otherwise – that are used more as weapons than descriptives? Things that aren’t part of the current trend of “diversity” where everyone’s labels are good, important, and not to be judged? Let us know down below.

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09
Oct
18

Depression: Lock & Key

Depression is a fascinating feeling. It’s not any one thing, really; it’s a pile of conflicting emotions and responses, finely tuned to subtly twist everything you think or feel, seemingly with the sole intent of making you miserable.

When factored in with a physical malady, such as asthma, that seems intent on doing the same to your body that the depression does to your mind and heart, it leads to all kinds of fun metaphors.

I’ve decided that the duo together are rather like a combination lock. You know, those old Masters or Schlages that were on your locker or bedroom once upon a time. But this is no dinky lock that if you got irritated enough you could just snap off with a pair of pliers and a bit of determination. Nope. It’s one of those two pound monstrosities with an inch-thick hasp. Covered with rust and marred by the tool marks of those who’d tried – and failed – to force it open.

That lock is being used to hold together heavy-duty chain, the gaps threaded with barbed wire so old, gnarled and rusted that you probably could get tetanus just looking at it. It’s wrapped around my chest – extra tight, can’t have those lungs working, can we, buddy? – my throat, my mouth, my eyes, my balls, my brain.

The only thing that feels like it’s free are my hands… but they have a job to do.

Before I can do anything else, before I can try to be a productive member of society, before I can pretend that everything’s okay and today isn’t the day I drive off a cliff or get creative with my dosages, those hands have to twiddle the dial on that bastardly lock and find the combination.

That lock doesn’t want the combination found, though. So it finds all kinds of fun ways to stop you. The dial doesn’t want to turn, and the notches on the face are eroded so you can’t tell if you just turned 35 clockwise or 41 counterclock, assuming you even came close to where you wanted to be. Fine motor control goes out the window when you’re having to exert near-Herculean force to move it an inch in the first place, and the lock is tricksy. It’s stuck… except when it doesn’t want to be.

Maybe it takes an hour. Maybe two. Maybe all damn day. But you can’t do anything else until you find the combination. And the lock is, as I said, tricksy. “You beat me today,” it clicks and clacks out the hole the hasp was plugging a moment ago. “But I’ll still be here tomorrow.”

So I get on with the day, best I can, whatever’s left of it. But come the next, the chains have crept up on me again, wrapping tighter than the day before, the barbs now sharper with everything that didn’t get done the day before. The lock has changed the combination, and maybe even the rules; perhaps it will only have two numbers today, but will have to be spun backwards, or it might be ten digits today and they change every time you miss one.

So when I’m quiet, and haven’t been able to work or write or make snide commentary on trophy lists or do much of anything beyond staring at the television and trying to make sense of the pictures, it’s not laziness, stubbornness or stupidity – though I am sure I am guilty of all three in various measures.

It’s me being busy. Trying to pick locks.

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23
Sep
18

Keeping Boats Afloat

“Whatever floats your boat.” It’s a phrase I’m fond of, for no particular reason. It’s frequently spoken slightly dismissively, usually in relation to a habit or endeavor that evokes little or no emotional response in myself but that seems of interest or import to another. Doubly so if it’s an interest or important subject that I don’t understand why it’s important.

Everybody’s out there just doing their thing, living their lives. Frequently the things going on in one person’s life are of no relevance to another. That’s how we get along; doing our best to keep our own boats floating without crashing into someone else’s or letting them ship water onto ours to save their own.

Maybe I’m going too far with the analogy. Oh well.

There’s going to be some whining and begging here, so you are free to skip with no hard feelings. I’m doing my best to get more content up, which isn’t always easy for reasons we’ll delve into in a moment, but hopefully there’ll be some more stuff for fiction, gaming or general horror fans soon.

I’ve had a lot of health problems this year. Severe jaw infection, pneumonia twice, strep, mold infection in the lungs, severe asthmatic beatdown from multiple forest fires, poisoned by algae in the water supply, constant fights with depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and now the potential of autism rearing its head. I’m a bloody mess.

None of those things help with writing, obviously; worse, they make it hard if not occasionally impossible to work, which means no money, which means no meds, which exacerbates the problem, compounding it exponentially.

To continue the above metaphor, the boat is springing leaks faster than I can find corks and bail water; drowning becomes an ever-more-realistic prospect… in a more literal way than one would like, given the penchant for lung problems I possess.

So, anyway. That’s why you haven’t seen much of me lately; I’m either lying on the couch staring at a visual novel while hooked up to a nebulizer or scrambling in brief periods of wellness to try to catch up or sleeping off the latest cocktail of medications that will supposedly fix me “any day now.”

I need help. (“So what?” I hear you say, “So does everyone!” I hear you shout.) So I turn here, where there are supposedly roughly 400 people who pay at least some attention to the things I say and do.

First, to each of you that reads this blog, pays attention to my Tweets, watches my videos or has bought or read my books, thank you. Intellectual and moral support by way of the idea that someone, somewhere is paying attention and may even like my stuff matters. Keep at it.

To those of you who’ve been in bad places and crawled out, or take pity on those who are sitting in their mental and physical caves somewhere despite not having been there themselves, or those who’ve drawn some entertainment or inspiration from the things I’ve done, thank you.

To all of them (and anyone not already covered who happens to read this) give me a moment of your time; I have a GoFundMe and a Patreon, both of which are there to help me keep paying for my meds and keep the lights on in those periods where I can’t work. If you feel like it, you can drop by and drop something in the bucket. Doesn’t matter if it’s a dime or a thousand, it’s appreciated and helps. But don’t think this is just a begging drive; sure, cash is great, but there’s less physical ways to show that what I do matters to someone.

A like. A share. A “keep at it, bro” e-mail or Tweet. Something to show that I’m not beating my head against a wall in the hopes that the concrete cracks before my skull and shouldn’t just throw my hands up in the air and walk away or let myself go down with the ship.

Okay, I’m done whinging for now. For those more interested in “real” content, I should have the second chunk of “Three Blue Hearts” up during the coming week, and I’m trying to put something together for Halloween – might be a stream of Death Mark or Call of Cthulhu, might be a livechat, might be something else, suggestions are welcome.

That’s all for now. And don’t forget, go hug your favorite artist or mentally ill person (or both) today. They probably need it.

21
Sep
18

Game Review: Spider-Man (PS4)

As a former fan of Marvel comics in general and Spider-Man in particular, and an avid gamer, the release of Marvel’s Spider-Man for PS4 was something I was looking forward to with a great amount of optimism and trepidation. Pete hasn’t had it easy over the years, with some winning titles (Ultimate Spider-Man and Web of Shadows come to mind) jarring pretty badly against some pretty crappy entires (Friend or Foe comes to mind, here.) That’s just recent memory; it only gets worse if you go back further. Remember Amazing Spider-Man for GameBoy? No? Good. Probably better for you.

Having 100% completed the new game, pre-ordered the DLC, and not having brought the disc back to GameStop, I’d say it says something about it; it’s good. Maybe not as good as Web of Shadows, which remains my favorite Spider-Man game (yes, I really do think it’s better than Spider-Man 2. Fight me.) but certainly on par with Shattered Dimensions, or Ultimate Spider-Man. That doesn’t make it perfect – there’s a few flaws, here, some of them serious – but it’s still a damn good game and well worth the time and money spent playing.

First, the good stuff: Graphics look great, and never mind all that Puddlegate crap. The lighting’s amazing – especially when you’re flipping around New York in the early evening – and the detail level is possibly the most intricate I’ve seen in a game with the possible exception of Prey or Bioshock. All the heroes and villains are instantly recognizable but with a unique spin that makes sure Marvel fans know who they’re dealing with but also aren’t going to be bored.

Sound-wise, the sound effects are decent, covering the bases and not getting in the way. Nothing particularly standout, but nothing actively bad either. The voice acting is amazing – especially Spider-Man’s, which has several of the open world conversations recorded multiple times that play back in different states. You may take a call from MJ in one play through while chilling on a rooftop playing with the camera, and Peter sounds relaxed. That same call may play on a different run through the game while you’re swinging through Central Park in pursuit of a mugger, and while the dialogue doesn’t change much, the inflection used and Peter sounding out of breath and hoarse really adds to the immersion.

Gameplay-wise, it hits all the right notes with a varied combat system that relies on agility and inventive web usage over brute strength, as befits the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Boss fights introduce new mechanics in appropriate ways, and dealing with the Sinister Six during their tag-team matches (especially on the Spectacular difficulty setting) can become appropriately hectic.

Now, the downsides. First, the music. What music? No, seriously. It’s rare that it’s present, and when it is, it mostly consists of a single twenty-second long generic superhero “rousing sound” on loop. It gets louder when you’re doing a lot of swinging, diving and web tricks, which only makes it more annoying and apparent.

Second, the combat. This may just be my own gripe – I was just coming off of Yakuza going into this – but combat frequently feels floaty and difficult to control. Especially using the quick-fire gadget/web button, it would often arbitrarily target someone other than the guy about to punch me in the face, or shoot the random thug who was no threat over the guy with the rocket launcher who really needed to eat an Impact Web, like, yesterday. I got used to it, eventually, but was still annoying.

Black Cat brings up my third gripe; I was excited as all hell to see trophies relating to her, as I have always been more of a Felicia boy than an MJ one. (Yet another reason Web of Shadows holds pride of place, I think. That symbiote Black Cat costume… mmm.) You get some entertainingly flirty and frustrating messages from her while you play an elaborate game of hide and seek, only to find… nothing. She’s gone. You never actually get to meet her, and after finding her collectibles and infiltrating her lair, you never hear about her again. Now, this is supposed to be resolved with the DLC – she’s a prominent factor, from what I hear, and may even be playable (Yes, please!) – and not everyone is going to care so much about her, so this may not be much of a negative for some.

Last complaint: It’s kinda short. Total playtime once I had 100% and the Platinum was about 22 hours. This is made more obvious by how repetitive the side-missions get (after you’ve pulled over your fifth speeding car, beaten up the thugs that came out of it, then beaten up the backup, you”re over it… and you’ll be doing that at least 10 more times, if not more); it feels a little content starved at times. The story missions are varied and great, though, and it’s a fun ride, regardless of length.

Bottom line; is Marvel’s Spider-Man worth playing? Hell yes. At least if you have any interest in superhero action games. It’s not the best Spider-Man game ever (please see Web of Shadows), nor the best super-hero game ever (Batman: Arkham Asylum or X-Men Legends II holds that title, depending on my mood) but it is still a goddamn amazing game and well worth your time.

No review copy was provided, and no company sponsored or endorsed this review. All opinions are my own. If you’d like me to review a particular game, drop me an e-mail or use the contact page.

What were your opinions on Spider-Man? Good, bad, ugly? Am I crazy for complaining about the things I did, or liking the parts I did? Want to argue Spider-Man 2 vs. Web of Shadows? Use the box below!KA Spiral no signature

 

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