I put The Forgotten Sands aside for a couple of days while I was trying out D&D Online, but I’ve gotten back to it. The more I get in to it, the more I’m glad to have picked it up and the more regrettable it is that it is probably going to be completely forgotten by anyone except franchise completionists.
According to Firefox, there’s no such word as “completionist” but damnit if I don’t like the word and am going to stick with it.
I will admit that a big reason I wish this version of the game had come out for another system is that the Wii controls are just brutal. Combat in particular, is a mess, even by Prince of Persia standards. You control your character with the analog stick, which is all well and good, but the combat often has you trying to move with the analog stick AND shake the nunchuck and, well, it doesn’t always work out all that well.
The platforming controls are also pretty shaky at times, though thankfully not in the sense of, say, needing to shake the controller to jump.
See, most games of this ilk are pretty forgiving about camera angle changes. In some PoP games, for example, if you need to hold the controller stick right to wall-run to a ring, and you keep holding the controller stick right after you hit the ring, you can press the action button again and it will wall run again to the next target, even if the camera angle changed during the initial wall run making “right” no longer the correct direction.
This game… not so much. I have had far too many deaths caused by a camera angle change in the middle of a platforming sequence, and breaking myself of the control conventions I’ve grown used to has proven difficult.
So basically what I guess I’m getting to is that I really wish this had been ported somewhere where I could play it with a gamepad.
Putting PoP aside, I had a very surreal moment in D&D Online.
I was running around Stormreach, which seems to be the hub city for characters for quite a while, and it started raining, and then I just had to stand there and watch it and listen to it for a while. Stormreach gets quite lovely in the rain, it’s full of all sorts of glowing lanterns that make for some fascinating patterns of light in the dark.
The first night I logged in to Everquest – and let’s put aside the fact that I probably shouldn’t be getting nostalgic about EQ again – it was dark, and raining, and I fell off the dock that I’d spawned on as a lowly level 1 cleric and nearly drowned before I got to safety. Then, since I’d started my character on the western side of Antonica, I got to see a LOT of rain fall, especially while I was hiding in the guard towers in West Karana recuperating between fights. It turned the world grey, and it reduced my already limited visibility to almost nothing, and it was in general a pain in the arse, but watching it rain in DDO made me realize that I’d missed MMOs with weather.
I can’t remember the last MMO I played that had rain. Dark Age of Camelot did, I think, but that’s nearly as old as EQ1. I’m pretty sure Rift didn’t bother with rain, and I don’t remember it in Everquest II either. Some brief Googling turns up a forum post from 2007 on this very topic and it turns out that EQ2 DOES have rain, but only in a few zones and it’s pretty rare. It also seems that Rift has rain and thunderstorms but I don’t remember ever being caught in one.
Regardless, it’s an awfully nice touch in DDO and makes me want to log in some more.