I have a lot of traditions, mainly because it's a safe way to express my OCD. One of my favourites though is the annual re-watching of Young Frankenstein during the spookiest season of the year.
If you've never seen it you're missing a classic. It's Gene Wilder at his best playing the grandson of the famous Dr. Frankenstein. He's just trying to make his own small contribution to modern medicine, as a legitimate neurosurgeon, and escape the long shadow out of his infamous grandfather. But when he inherits the Transylvanian castle estate and stumbles upon his grandfathers disused laboratory and notes, the good doctor becomes a little unhinged himself.
By "little unhinged" I mean there is a scene in the movie where he dances with his reanimated corpse monster to "Putting on the Ritz."
Even after watching it year after year I still get a great chuckle from it. If you are looking for something holiday appropriate to watch, I can't recommend it enough. As for me, a little Young Fankenstein some old Simpsons Halloween episodes, and maybe a bad horror movie or two and my Halloween experience is complete.
Mechwarrior Online isn't Halloween related, but jumping into a few rounds last night did scare the crap out of me.
The whole Mechwarrior franchise has always held a kind of mythic status in my mind. It was something I got to appreciate from afar, but never experience. The domain of my older brother and his PC savvy friends, the closest I got to the series was the SNES version in all its janky glory. It was 1/10th of the Mechwarrior experience and still seemed overwhelming at the time. Managing the load-out, cost, internal temperature, multiple axis of control, chaotic combat, and spastic HUD seemed like an impossible game of rubbing your stomach, patting your head, and offering oral services to a knife juggling clown. Difficult, and always ending poorly no matter what happened.
So MWO is my shot to finally experience that madness. It's still plenty complicated despite the typical elitist cry of a "dumbed down" system. Controlling your mech is an onerous task of tank-like tread steering, aiming a turret-like torso with very distinct ranges of motion, and opening and closing a throttle which can be left in varying states to achieve an exact speed of movement.
Weapons can be fired independently, linked together, or set to fire in a particular chain for a sustained assault. All of this is set by the player using a tricky, but ingenious, in-game cockpit console. The good news is this solution lets you make changes on the fly, the bad news is that you can't access it in the garage, which seems like an obvious miss. In fact, the whole garage, profile management, and grouping system seems ganky and un-developed. For a game with a crazy emphasis on teamwork, there is no in-game voice chat or communication commands, meaning you have to type out your desperate need for backup. Again, all obvious misses.
Proper management of your weapon systems is vital. Firing laser cannons and missile pods builds heat in your mech's internal systems. Get too trigger happy and your mech will automatically shut down to prevent catastrophic overheating. There is a button to override the cool-down period, but I get the feeling you blow up if your press it too fast. So maybe it's best to head that problem off before it happens. Getting the most bang for your super-heated-laser-buck seems to be the order of the day. Accuracy and identifying and nailing weak spots are necessary skills.
MWO is a "Freemium" experience, and still in Beta to boot, so imbalances are running wild. Granted, I'm a newbie and still figuring stuff out, but there is a huge gulf in the quality/lethality of the trial mechs doled out to the poor-folk and the custom-rigs piloted by the Daddy Warbucks. On one hand I suppose it is fair that those players who invest in the game should feel some benefit for doing so. But it is a little frustrating to be stuck venting heat from your single burned out laser cannon while a similarly sized mech literally flies over you carpet bombing the area with plasma beams, seemingly oblivious to the HEAT. Smacks of that pay-to-win odour F2P games are so reviled for.
So I don't know. I like the look and I'm kinda excited to finally take a crack at a Mechwarrior game. But wow, it seems pretty fucking busted right now. Certainly nothing I'm going to be dumping dollars into any time soon. Anyone else playing this thing? Thoughts? Opinions?
Maybe it's just sour grapes. I played for a few hours and can still give you my kill-count using one hand, and I gotta admit that bruises the ego somewhat. The real terror this Halloween season is self-reflection.
Like the classic movie monsters of modern ennui? I got them from my girlfriend's HalloScream tumblr extravaganza! If you like creepy, funny, horrible, touching things on your day of witches, check out her blog!