Spider-Man PS4 first impressions

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… because, sure, let’s mention Spider-Man in every single post this week.  I’m not a geek or anything, no.

I’m … fifteen percent, I think, into the new Spider-Man game; enough to have a solid early idea of what the game’s about but not far enough that my opinions have to be taken all that seriously just yet.  But what the hell; I don’t really wanna talk about my job or politics, I can’t talk about my current Sekret Projekt other than that I have one and I’m not gabbing about it, and nothing especially funny has happened yesterday so I may as well gabble about video games.

And here’s the thing, so far: this game right now seems to be at its strongest when it’s a webbing around New York simulator; moving anywhere is a simply ridiculous amount of fun, to the point where I’m frequently ignoring crimes and activities in favor of just seeing what the most ridiculous way I can get from point A to point B is.  The combat is okay so far; the balletic, combo-heavy style that these guys pioneered with the wildly overrated Arkham Asylum series works a lot better with Spider-Man than it ever did with Batman, so combat looks really good and fits the character.  That said, the first big boss fight with Kingpin is utterly ridiculous and basically involves endlessly beating on a damage sponge with no health bar over and over until the game decides to trigger a cutscene and move on to the next part where you endlessly do the same two moves on a damage sponge.  I really hope all the boss fights aren’t like this; they’re gonna get tedious really fast, and also Kingpin just isn’t that strong.  Kingpin is not a “throw you through three walls and bash you through the floor” character, guys.  He fights Daredevil.  This version of the character fights like he could go toe-to-toe with the Hulk or Thor, which is just stupid.

Also: I keep accidentally doing terrible, not-Spider-Man sorts of things to people.  Spider-Man is one of those “doesn’t kill” good guys, right?  Which is kind of a problem, because I have a bad habit of doing air combos on bad guys and punching them off the sides of buildings.  Very tall buildings.  Where I can only assume they fall to their deaths, because there’s no “web them and save them” animation happening after I do that.

I once accidentally threw a car door at a civilian, which was, if nothing else, kinda mean.  I didn’t mean to!  I swear!

This game also has a case of Call of Duty syndrome.  And, okay, it’s a stupid thing to complain about, I know, because video game, but New York is not been and never has been quite this crime-ridden.  I mean, holy crap guys, it’s a wonder anyone lives here.

(What’s Call of Duty syndrome?  Play Call of Duty on the highest difficulty level.  You will die.  You will die over and over and over and over and over and over again and you will only eventually be successful by virtue of the fact that you can come back to life after you die.  I am then forced to conclude that Call of Duty is harder to survive than actual war, because no one can survive Call of Duty on Legendary and lots of people survive wars.  Members of my family have!  I’m only alive because my grandfather survived World War II!)

But, again:  webbing around is fun.  And I’m gripey about some other aspects of the game but they keep adding new fun ways for me to beat people up and we’ll see how things go as the game continues.  I also (and this may mitigate my annoyance with the Kingpin fight) am kind of enjoying some of their alterations to the “standard” Marvel canon– Peter is working with Otto Octavius, who isn’t Dr. Octopus yet, and Mary Jane Watson (who is adorable) works for the Daily Planet.  J. Jonah Jameson appears to be some sort of right-wing podcaster or radio host now, which I can work with, I suppose.

The boy loves it, by the way.  It’s the first PS4 game I’ve let him play, so he’s relying a bit too much on handing me the controller, but he’s having a blast with the web-slinging.

More to come later, assuming I don’t get distracted by Dark Souls II and play that instead.

In which I need you to share my excitement

$Okay.  I need y’all either to actually be comics fans or at least be willing to pretend to be on my behalf for this post.  You can do that, right?  Yes?  Good.

Miles Morales, in the seven years since he was first introduced, has become one of my favorite comic book characters.  He’s up there with Iron Man, the Hulk, and Superman at this point.  And when Brian Michael Bendis left Marvel and Miles didn’t immediately have a new series on the docket, I was genuinely worried.  There was talk that the character was going to be renamed or reimagined; there was an especially gross rumor going around, one that was so bad that I actually wasn’t able to just dismiss it out of hand, that the character would be joining SHIELD and would henceforth be known as “Spy-D,” which would have meant I needed to go out and set things on fire, and that no court would have convicted me, because setting things on fire is a reasonable reaction to Marvel deciding that Miles Morales isn’t Spider-Man anymore and he has to be “Spy-D” now.

Saladin Ahmed just announced on Twitter that he’s writing the new Miles Morales book.  Which is called “Miles Morales: Spider-Man.”

One of my favorite fucking writers is writing an ongoing series about one of my favorite fucking characters.

It was already a good day, guys.  I was gonna come home and write a post about how I spent all day today and most of yesterday interacting with nice kids and it was something I really needed and I was in general happy and in a good place.  And that’s before I got this awesome fucking news.

 

Hall of Heroes Con: Day 2

Not bad!  35 books sold over two days– not enough to leave a box behind but almost.  Made my booth back and then a decent chunk of change besides and actually sold out of some of my titles for the first time ever.  And I met Svengoolie, which I might talk about a little bit some other time because my reaction to doing so kind of fascinated me.

But we know you’re here for cosplay, so let’s get to the pictures.  One of the individuals photographed below could etch glass with his or her own nipples.  And it may not be the one you think it is!  As always, click for bigger:

Hall of Heroes Con, Day 1

That … went well.  I have already paid for my booth and then some, so tomorrow is going to be all profit, and since tomorrow doesn’t feature a home Notre Dame game at 3:30 (at which point traffic conspicuously dried up) I have high hopes that it could be even better a day than today was.  That would be quite nice.

Also interesting: every con I’ve ever attended has had celebrity guests of some stripe or another, but other than Timothy Zahn coming to the booth next to me I’ve never really interacted with any of them.  Seth Gilliam, Katrina Law, Kevin Sussman and John Schneider all walked past my booth several times, and it’s possible that William Katt did a few times too but I don’t actually know who he is so I didn’t recognize him.

(Seth Gilliam, in particular, is a ghost.  The first couple of times he walked past I was the only one who realized who he was.  I almost called him over to the booth the first time, thinking he was just a regular con-goer, and only stopped myself at the last second.)

Not as many cosplay pictures as I usually take, mostly because the one real disadvantage of my booth is that it’s not in a great place to ask people to stop for a picture.  Every time I tried it led to a traffic jam, so I stopped doing it after a while.  That said: enjoy, and remember you can click on the pictures to get a larger version!