Thursday, January 19, 2017

Osborn Would Never Expect To Be Attacked With Colored Tiles

The Icepocalypse wound up being somewhat of a dud, which is fine with me. I spent the weekend mostly comfortably inside, relaxing. Mostly relaxing. I spent too much time on Marvel Puzzle Quest, which is probably not a good idea for how irritated I can get with it.

It's one of those games like Bejewled, where you try to match up three of the same colored tiles. In this case, matching the tiles represents an attack made by a comic character against an opponent. The goal is to knock out their three-person team before all of yours do. The characters even level up, and have special attacks earned by collecting a certain number of particular colors. There's even a story to the whole thing, loosely based around Dark Reign, Osborn being boss of all superheroes, forming his crappy Dark Avengers, consorting with various criminals. They added in something about an alien mineral called Iso-8, which Osborn is using in experiments on mutants. I think that's mostly in there to provide a different brand of generic cannon fodder, and as an excuse to involve the X-Men as playable characters.

When the game is going well, it's a lot of fun. You can put the different characters' special powers to use to boost each other. It's a pleasant feeling when you use Black Widow's Widow's Sting (which costs 9 blue tiles) to stun the opponent so they can't do anything, and then, before it wears off, use Hawkeye's Take Aim power to get enough blue tiles (plus a critical attack bonus) so the Widow can use it again when it wears off. Very handy, especially against enemies that are 50, 60 levels higher than my characters.

Which is one problem I have with the game, that the levels increase on the enemies really damn fast, faster than I can level up my characters simply by progressing through the story. I guess maybe if I only used the same three characters all the time, but what's the point in having a couple dozen options if I'm only going to use three?  So I had to keep going back and playing earlier levels to try and boost my characters up enough to match up. Wasn't expecting to level grind when I started this game.

The weird thing is, I tend to find the fights against generic characters tougher than the ones against Dark Avengers. The generics rarely actually move tiles, but somehow they also get credit for the tiles I match, and they have irritating special powers that can do a lot of damage, especially when I'm at a 60-level deficit. They convert some yellow or blue tile into a countdown timer, and the harder I try to match those and get rid of them, the more of them they throw on the board. So you get situations like Thor or the Juggernaut being wiped out by a Thug with a Pistol. That happened a lot.

So it's frustrating at times. I repeatedly get fed up, turn it off, swear I'm done. But it's really easy to convince myself that if I just got the right layout of tiles early, I can get a strong start and pull it off. Sometimes it even works out exactly like that. Other times, it seems like no matter how good of a move I make (because you can get a nice chain reaction of matches if you play it right/get lucky), it only succeeds in setting the computer up for some massively damaging string of attacks on me. I mutter, "This thing is rigged," a lot. But it can sure eat time, which is probably a good enough reason to let it drop for a while.

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