Okay so first up is Star Trek Online. Saw a first impression about this online (love Lazy Peon, he baby-rages at games even more than I do - which is alot!), and being incredibly bored and learning that is was "free", figured I'd take a look. And I gotta say this game has some INCREDIBLY GOOD ideas! Unfortunately most of them are terribly implemented. Played for about a week as Federation Tactical, made it up to level 60 in a Vice-Admiral Star Cruiser, got about 10 points into specialization. And in the end I found myself incredibly frustrated with the game.
But let's start with the stuff I liked. Great ideas! Being Star Trek it has alot of past history to draw from. And it does that quite well. Time and again I'd find myself running into things and saying "Oh hey! I remember that!". And the game did a good job of tying stuff in with a new twist or different perspective. Which I gotta say I really enjoyed. And the area designs make it feel like one of the shows - from one of the cheezy 60's sets to more movie-ish areas. So that was kinda fun. Pretty good story-telling for the major missions/arcs. Simple interactive stuff for resource gathering instead of just "press button & wait". Some good RPG elements with setting up your bridge crew, and even the rank & file plebs that make up your crew - all of which you can send on their own little missions.
But then there is the bad part. Which I understand is dangerous territory to walk when you combine MMO fanbois with Star Trek fanbois. But let me just say that if you take my opinion on the game as a personal affront, well then you can go fuck yourself (and that is a personal affront). Right! So all those great ideas above are marred by some pretty spectacularly bad game design. Like fundamental game design not the area/idea design which they did well at. It uses a level system but seems to lack any sense of proper scaling or level/gear requirements. Missions would vary between ROFLstomping enemies with ridiculous ease, to respawn mashing by being one-shot over and over again. And it would often switch back and forth repeatedly in the same mission, which leads to the confusion of "am I specced for this or not?". The physics during ground combat was also particularly bad. NPCs would pop around as they traveled over colliders - one moment on the ground the next five feet in the air. Animations kinda suck, your character ice-skates across the ground. Which was amusing cuz there is an actual mission area with ice that makes your character slide and you could hardly tell the difference (mild exaggeration). And the ground combat itself is some horrible amalgamation of 3rd-person over-shoulder shooter and tab-targeting - which makes the camera go wonky. Abilities don't always trigger when you click them, which not surprisingly gets you dead. Constant graphic glitches with textures popping in and out. The character models are a decade old and lacking facial bones, so your character will always have the same blank expression and cannot blink or even open their mouth. Oh and the DX11 driver issues - you gotta console code the game to force use DX9.
So yeah, in the end I found myself constantly aggravated by the bugs and imbalance to the point where I just didn't want to play anymore. Perhaps it's better if you pay them money? Dunno. Not inspired at all to find out.
Next up is the movie. So checked it out this morning. Needless to say, given the trailers I was not expecting much. But I was pleasantly surprised. It was not terribad! Not to say it was great. I mean come on, it's a Star Trek movie. But it was on the high side of mediocre, perhaps even decent. I'd say better than the previous two. Was expecting more of the super-action MOAR EXPLOSIONZ!! type stuff. Not so much in this one. There was still plenty, but it didn't seem like it overly dominated the film.
Plot was kinda basic, with a little twist at the end. They did go with the old "let's blow up the Enterprise!" gimmick. Don't they do that in every movie? A bit stale and loses the impact after the fourth? fifth? time. But scenery was epic. The starbase stuff was just amazing. Plenty of nods to Nimoy kicking the bucket. Good character interactions. Lot's of ridiculous Trek jargon of using the oscillating gizmo to reconfigure the subspace thingie. Some funny lampshading with Kirk complaining that his life seems episodic. Gay Sulu! Ohhh myyyy! (Cho does such a great job with that character.) And spoiler - Kirk doesn't bang the alien chick. Some things worked, some fell flat. Overall I enjoyed the movie. Probably worth checking out if you enjoy sci-fi.