Tag Archives: star trek

I’m a Betazoid Scientist!

Too bad I haven’t figured out how to use my science skills yet…

I tried my hand at the Star Trek MMO Saturday night as I was avoiding standing up, sitting down, or walking up and down the stairs in our house. I generally stay away from MMOs: I don’t like internet video game people, I’m prone to throwing myself into video games for hours, and MMOs seem to be geared towards grinding. Greg’s explanation–and this makes sense–is that it’s a server resource necessity to try to lock people up in personal instances of the game (dungeons, etc.) instead of in the shared world. (Edit: Two different issues, per Greg’s comment.)

I went into Star Trek cold, having read a few reviews but no guides to character building or game play. This may be the cause of some of my problems with the game.

I didn’t get a major grind feel from Star Trek in the couple of hours I played, but I also didn’t get a feel that the gameplay was much more advanced than A Final Unity: fly around in awkward battles; receive awkward, under-clued missions; run around awkwardly on planets.

That said, I still want to give the demo a couple more hours of play to see if there’s anything more. Wandering around in the Earth starbase, I watched as people chatted about how much the game sucks and they’re about to cancel their accounts, the game’s going to fail after another 8 months, etc. Do people do that in WoW?

Aside from the starbase chatter, I felt like I was completely alone in the game. All my officers are NPCs (don’t know if that’s normal), and no one’s randomly attacked me while I was shooting down Borg. I’m okay with that.

So far, though, all I’ve done is fight. It’s a rare thing for me to want puzzles in a game, but I made a science officer, dammit.

I’m not sure what a lot of things in the game are for, like Kits. They give me stuff that I don’t get to use. Why do I have a science office slot on my bridge… when I’m a floppy-armed, prancing science officer myself? Do I really need to pick these bridge people carefully?

So far there’s nothing to investigate, and the few anomalies I find that I can scan have an absolutely ridiculous game mechanic. You have about 5 seconds to match the waveforms of the item to unlock some info, and it’s a dumb mouse interface that requires clicking up-down-left-right buttons to change the amplitude and period of the wave form. By the time I get my mouse on the controls and process what I need to do, the damn thing is gone and I apparently need to find a major research facility to figure out what some be-boop (rock, mineral, whatever) is.

Using up skill points is confusing, too. It’s unclear if there are “levels” to each skill or what exactly the numerical bonuses are adding to. I don’t see a clear strategy to point distribution, because I don’t foresee an end goal: I don’t know what my character could possibly become, so I can’t plan for any eventuality.

It’ll get about two more hours of my attention, if the demo doesn’t cap me before that.

Star Trek: actually good

I went in ready to hate the thing. It looked nothing like Star Trek, I hate J.J. Abrams’s mysterious shit, yadda yadda.

I also complained plenty during the movie, but when I sat and thought about it… It was actually a pretty damn good movie, and the best Star Trek movie since… First Contact? Certainly better than that Insurrection and Nemesis crap.

I had very few major complaints:

  1. Red Matter: Um. Red Matter? Red stuff?! Honestly. Just a little bit of technobabble won’t drive away the masses, Abrams.
  2. Uhura: her character only did three things: 1) avoid Kirk’s advances, 2) intercept a Klingon message (off-screen), and 3) love Spock. Not a strong female character, really.
  3. Lens flares: I’m told this is an Abrams thing, but I got sick of streaks of light and lens flares. The bridge was quite shiny enough, thank you.

Most of the other bits that twerked me during the movie (most of which were inconsistencies with canon) went away when I thought about the implications of the initial catalyst/conflict and the time travelly stuff. (I don’t want to give away any spoilers, for once.)

I didn’t care for McCoy’s actor. DeForest Kelley was able to pull off the role by being a laid-back man overacting as a southern bigot. Whoever this actor was was a wide-eyed lunatic overacting as a southern bigot.

…Very different feel to that. At least he delivered his trademark lines marginally better than Samuel L. Jackson did in Snakes.

Kirk and Spock’s depictions (individually) were great, although, like Elf, I missed the Trio of Kirk-Spock-McCoy. McCoy was a nothing in the movie and Kirk/Spock was fairly superficial. Too new to be remarkable.

I’ll actually probably go see it again very soon. I was distracted the first time through by all the differences from the Original Series, so I want a second time (before I forget) so that I can pick up any nuances. …If there were any.