I am the Managing Director of the Balfour Institute of Internet Culture, and one of the world's foremost experts on the cultural phenomena of the Internet.

Prayer for the mad and the free

Blessed be those.
Those who struggle.
Those who suffer.
Those who silence.

Blessed be those.
Those who turn.
Those who till.
Those who torture.

Blessed be she.
She who laments
She who let’s.
She who looks.

Blessed be he.
He who murder.
He who miss.
He who mystify.

Blessed be those.
Those who search.
Those who scream.
Those who submit.

City Builders and you: Grand Ages Rome

What I really love about this game, is that your inhabitants mill around, toga-clad patricians head to the temples, children head to school, plebs work in their insulae and slaves are being lead to their bloody brutal deaths in the Arenas. It’s delightful to watch, absolutely nothing like zooming in on your grand forum, and seeing some citizen holding a speech.

Grand Ages Rome is a classical Roman city builder. You build a Roman city, you ensure people have their needs, that temples cover the cities houses, all the good old stuff, we all know and remember, from Impression Games’ Ceasar. You build mines, quarries, logging camps and farm, producing all that the three clases of Roman society need.

Resource management is classical, pun intended, buildings costs cash and some materials. And then has an upkeed in materials, forcing you to upgrade your resource infrastructure, in order to support growth.

The three classes of Roman society are, as any educated person will know, the plebs, the equite and the patricians, in that order.

The Plebs are your lower class, they work in the basic industries and are by far, the most common of people in your fair town. Make them happy, through ensuring they have enough different food, basic entertainment and religious access, and they’ll start producing goods, out of the workshops and small business on the lowest floor of the insulae, used by the upper classes and good for export to the rest of the empire.

Equite are your middle class, their area was the army, so when happy, the produce recruits for your Legions, they also man the more advanced industries, some of the temples and most of the military infrastructure. They also improve some the areas plebs also work in.

And finally, the top of the cities social stratum, the elite, the rich, the Patricians. These guys work in the really advanced public buildings, the senates, the bigger temples. When these upper class twits are happy, they produced Authority, used for an number of special abilities, like getting an emergency batch of slaves.

The military side is straightforward, if the barbarians have two squads, show up with two better squads or obliterate them with massive army of proud Roman legionaries, or let a few auxilia deal with their barbarian brethern. Surpress their barbarian villages to gain a steady stream of resources, or burn it, crush them, to gain a one-time bonus of slaves and money. So if you don’t need the bonus, burn their houses, kill their man and enslaves everything else, including the pigs.

Slaves are technically speaking a fourth class in the game’s Roman society, they just don’t have any houses. Instead of houses, you build slave camps, that provide slaves in an area, you can then use them as a sort of, I-don’t-feel-like-building-a-settlement-over-there, instrument. They can handle basic industries, like logging and quarries.

But, you can also use them in Arenas: “THOSE WHO ARE ABOUT TO DIE, SALUTE YOU!”, which they never actually said, still, a cooler use than anything else.

Now, the multiplayer is sadly utterly extinct, this isn’t a new game, so the multiplayer scene is pretty much gone. As far as I could tell, you build a city or more, and then just duke it out, sending your armies out to destroy your opponents armies, and besige them, I guess it could be really cool.

There’s a second mode, where you just have to reach some goal or milestone instead, like get a certain amount of income or something. The only activity I found was a few Italians using the lobby as a chatroom, wich just confuses the fuck outta me.

Alas, a good game, with good missions, good fun. Worth a look really.

You can get it from Steam. I give it a 88/100.

Duke Nukem Forever is bloody stupid.

The game starts up with Duke taking a piss, but not just any piss. A piss of such magnitude, of such glory, so loaded with testosterone and steroids, that’s it officially qualifies as a chemical weapon in no less than 53 of the lower states. Now Duke zips up and fires of some catchy remark.

Which i sadly didn’t listen to, wondering if the game is really taking the piss, of everything. It’s a relic, a pipe(bomb( dream, something that really should have stayed lost, or make ten years ago, where it would have been a masterpiece. Sadly, now it’s just another mediocre FPS, which is really bad, because this was once upon a time, the potential for a champion among champions, now, and yet.

Duke Nukem Forever is probably the Silliest Game of the Year, which is a bit of a problem, because I do not think, it was suppose to feel quite this silly, defenitely not a serious game, but it doesn’t take the shit quite as good as say, Serious Sam did, it just messes around with mediocre health regeneration, quicktime event and sexism. It’s just juvenile to such a staggering degree, that it just ends up being fucking stupid, you don’t laugh, you groan.


I never see the enemies like this, all I see is a garbled mess as they mindlessly charge me.

A health bar replaced by an ego bar, increased by looking in a mirror, eating doughnuts, pumping iron and behaving like a pillock. An enemy AI that’s just about the same, as the one used in Duke Nukem 3D, the decade old gaming classic, shows that Gearbox didn’t even bother trying to innovate this game at all.

An entire stage, with a miniaturized Duke, driving around in a fucking RC car, it’s just so sad, Half-Life 2 did this years ago, twice, without the retarded gimmick. It’s like playing that ancient MicroMachines racing game all over again, just worse, and less fun. Seriously, who thought this was in any way a good idea? Yes, I do indeed love sections of constantly re-spawning enemies, where all I can hope to achieve in my present state, is make them jump around on a single leg. Dodging sure is fun, fun like taking a shite in a winter forest, surrounded by rampaging LARPers.

And don’t make me start ranting about the magnificent design off the random passersby you encounter, they look like they’ve just escaped from freaking Outcast, or perhaps even, from some of the old trailers of Duke Nukem Forever. There’s just no excuse for this kinda useless work.

And these motherfucking pigs! Fuck them, hateful little shite gameplay.

And dear sweet one-eyed Wotan, god of destiny, god of death, the all knowing, the all-seeing, all hail Odin, true King of the Gods, those fucking twins are annoying, it’s like having Tony Blair licking your ears, possibly pleasant, but deeply annoying. I don’t even want to save them, when they are inevitably kidnapped, the world would be better of without them, hell, the universe would be better off without them.

And hey, remember how Alyx from Half-Life 2 looked, behaved and dressed like a sensible human being? And remember how no one really tries to do that again? Duke Nukem Forever once against proves that it is the anti-matter of all innovation, and scales the whole thing back to strippers and lesbian twin schoolgirls. Skimpy clothing, skimpy brains, skimpy motivation, boring as fuck.

Go visit and actual strip bar you useless freaks.

Gotta give the game a few points, it’s tradition, it is deeply honest, it does have a mature rating, no pandering to the politically correct crowd, or to WalMart. And it runs on my ancient PC, a pc that’s so decrepit, that it’s being held together with glue, dust and my iron will.


This picture contains nothing but filthy lies!

In the end, don’t bother, unless you have the mental youthfulness of a seven year old German boy. The game-play itself, is so utterly devoid of innovation, so generic, that the layer of ancient nostalgia, makes you feel kinda sad.

Don’t buy it, watch a Let’s Play on Youtube, see a stupid friend play it. But stay away, it’s just not good.

Not even charming.

If you are a retarded man-child, go buy it on Steam.

Rating: 43/100

Wasted House of Terror

The House of Terror, 60 Andrássy Street, Budapest, land of useless victimized nationalism: Hungary. A Giant House, framed in black steel, effective and shocking way to show a museums location.

To bad it’s a bloody mess. The museum has a vast amount of plaques with quotes, from famous Hungarians, on Hungarian! Hungarian, a language of the Ugric group, spoken only by the some 15 million Hungarians worldwide, and only comprehensible by the fellows in Finland and Estonia, and by fellows, I mean fellow incomprehensible languages. There’s virtually no translations of any of the plaques, only a few ragtag subtitles on a few running movies, and the history texts scattered around the places.

The entire house is designed as a giant symbol of the secret Hungarian government apparatus, both the fascist 1944-45 and communist governments. The problem is, that this symbolism, drowns out the facts.

Combined, all these elements ensures the museums part failure, at educating its visitors in the horrors of the dictatorial governments, that dominated Hungary from 1944 to 1989. It also fails completely, at mentioning the simple glowing fact, that Hungary wasn’t the only country this happened to, every single eastern European country, suffered from secret police and government terror.

The artistic value of the museum is well-worth mentioning, but the artistic value is ill-placed, considering this is suppose to be a museum of absolutely awful government sanctioned actions. We don’t need all the symbols, we just need the truth, dictatorial governments are bad, democracy is good. Not some pop-culture party, of annoying music, retarded symbols and pointless design.

A failure, drowned in the sea of Hungarian selfishness and vanished in symbolic obscurity.

Dominic Deegan: Orc Rape! Noses!

Dominic Deegan isn’t terribly good, really, it isn’t. The art style is childish and the story-lines are bland self-righteous blather, and if anyone knows anything about self-righteousness it’s me, because I’m basically King Troglodyte of Internet Righteousness, Supreme Overlord of Clownfarts.


The start, and what everyone hoped was the end.

Let’s do a basic recap of the amazing “universe” of Dominic Deegan, Oracle for Hire, the titular character Dominic Deegan starts out as a sarcastic git who can see the future. And then the entire plot just starts out with some bollocks about a girl with fangs and so on.

It’s suppose to be some sort of pseudo-fantasy medieval world, but hey, guess what, only the setting is medieval, the society is a weird mess of the post-modern society of today, and the ultra-oppressive society of the fucking dark ages. There’s absolutely no consistence, which can be rather jarring if you have just a basic foundation of the thirteenth centuries history and customs.


Oh how utterly random!

So it randomly flips between conflicting cultures and societies, each based purely on whatever insane thought went though the creators utterly deluded mind, it’s like watching a five year old child’s odd day dreams, just not cool.

Unless it’s Axe Cop, but only because Axe Cop is unrelentingly honest about itself.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRGHHHHHHHHHH!
What?

Seriously, look at their faces! Look at them, in case you may have some difficulty reading the childish emotions of their hideous bug faces, which is admittedly rather hard, they are overjoyed by the prospect of alcohol.

A pair of grown human being, one of who is a fucking all-seeing conduit of other or some such nonsense, and the other an odd-looking cursed sorcesress of some power, are overwhelmed by sheer ecstasy by complimentary alcohol!

What the flying shit is this? Was Mookie trying to abstain from his apparent alcoholism when he wrote this drivel?

Grown adult mature people do not rejoice in eternal rapture over free fucking booze, not unless they are Irish.

Dominic Deegan pretty much hasn’t got anything else, there’s literally nothing else beyond this maniac’s deranged dream world, joyfully ignoring all the sheer dreadful horror of most of the damn world he somehow conjured up from the depraved corners of his dark soul.

You see this shit? Yeah, that’s from back in 2006 or so, that’s what, four years ago, a large improvement from his start way back in 2002, still complete bollocks, but improving.

Nothing, no change, four years of work and absolutely nothing’s changed, the storyline died ages ago, the art is stagnate.

Congratulations fans of Dominic Deegan, you’re delightfully sad webcomic is dead as a fucking stone. It’s like Mookie’s just vomiting forth the same tiresome bollocks every single weekday, just letting his adoringly tasteless fans gobble it all up.

It’s frankly astonishing.

The complete lack of any consistency in Dominic Deegan’s storyline and characters makes for a reading experience that really only a wildly schizophrenic maniac with poor self-control could ever enjoy.

The characters never really settle into anything really definable, they simply are what they are, and only change due to random acts of Deus Ex Machina, no character development beyond the utterly obvious, it’s like watching Star Trek Voyager again, just without the Emergency Medical Hologram rendering a bright light through the misery.

Oh look, a joke, right in the middle of an otherwise “serious” story about poorly organized crime in some backwater piece of crap city, how joyful.

Who thinks this shit is funny? The mentally ill? Attention-starved nerds who see themselves a talking cat?

I haven’t got a clue.

And yes, loosing any control of your rampaging emotions is a wonderful thing to do, just about as wonderful as vomiting on starving hobos and laught joyously.

I don’t think Dominic Deegan has even single character who could function in the real world, which isn’t that odd, seeing as it’s creator can’t fucking function in the real world.

Oh yeah, and before his present, “You can escape from hell by being a GOOD GUY AND REPENTING” story this mind-numbing moron’s presently working on, he made some confusing commentary on modern music being all the same and how metal is the best thing EVAAAARRRR!!!

He present the storyline roughly as good as Goering would have presented a Power Point on Woman’s Rights. For those who are unable to get obscure jokes about Nazi figure’s incompetence and womanising, go look it up.

I think that just about warp everything up, time for the final statement.

Dominic Deegan, Oracle for Hire, is the second worst webcomic I have ever had the sad misfortune of stumbling upon, it’s basically perfect demonstration of a webcomic who has died. No life remains in Dominic Deegan it’s all gone, it didn’t have much left, and it’s now just maintained by the foul Necromancy of nerds.

As an addition, I’d point out that the author, Mookie, is a horrible human being, for defending his use of rape, as a story element, in a simple-mindedly stupid comedy webcomic.

Anti-Hero for Hire: Shouldn’t exist, does, thanks to Keenspot!

Antihero for Hire has been running for years, hell, I used to read it, until I realized that his drawing style wasn’t improving. At all. So I stopped.

That’s how it looked back when it started back in 2003, or, in Internet time, eighteen billion years ago. In the course of the next seven years, much improvement was commited to this webcomic, the art style went from utterly horrible crap, to Van Gogh levels of style, well, not really, it went into decent.

Oh wait, no it didn’t.

It got worse. This shouldn’t be. Seriously, this shouldn’t be possible, NO IMPROVEMENT AT ALL! Nothing, absolutely no improvement at all. It’s like SEVEN years of drawing just didn’t happen, did this maniac just draw EVERYTHING seven years ago, and then went and died, and we’re all just looking at a automated uploading comic drawn by a dead guy?

Oh wait, he has a twitter, where he actual shows he’s alive, to bad, it was the only excuse I could make out.

I guess we fall back to the actual reason: He is a horrible artist, and his fucking retarded poorly drawn, impossibly poorly written and utterly useless webcomic shouldn’t exist at all.

But this is the Sluggy Freelance syndrome all over again, of some old Webcomic who started ages ago, got a few fans, and those mouthbreating inbreed swine just continue reading this bollocks.

I often wonder why something still exist, but this is beyond everything really, or at least, you’d think that wouldn’t you?

This is one of the earliest examples of Newshounds from 2007, so a fair bit younger than Antihero for Retards, it also has the advantage of not starting out drawn like somebody invited a blind four-year old to vomit on a piece of paper, so, has it improved on it’s starting design?

Nope, pretty much no improvement at all, a little of any, to be fair. Compared to Antihero, it still looks like comparing a Rembrant to a dead cat on a highway, but Newshounds is still pretty much complete shit, it’s storyline really isn’t anything to mail home about.

Wait, there’s more? How is still possible?

What the hell, what the FUCK! WHAT THE FLYING SHIT SPREADING SUPER CUNT IS…

ARRRGGHHH!

And now it get’s really bad, Antihero for Hire is bloody awful, poorly drawn and utterly stagnate.

But Gene Catlow is worse, so much worse, it’s a furry webcomic, it started in 2000, TWO-THOUSAND, and it hasn’t changed it’s style even an iota, maybe cleaned up the lines, but it’s THE SAME FUCKING STYLE, THE SAME, HOW?

How the hell do they get away with this shit?

Somehow they do, do these fucking cunts have some sort of insane contract with Keenspot? Because this cannot possibly be good for their image.

Yeah, still, Keenspot does have some webcomics who are well drawn. It just to bad they are either FAN-SERVICE, changes art style every year or so, relies on utterly stupid gimmicks (3D) or exist only to tempt the stupid to buy the actual comic. ‘

In conclusion, Anti-Hero for Hire is the third worst webcomic I have ever deleted from my bookmarks, and hey, now I get to do it again. Oh wait, Keenspot is the third worst webcomic in general, they either host horrible old crap, poorly written shiny crap or FAN-SERVICE.

Good fucking Night.

Cru the Dwarf: Drunken Duck is a Cesspit

Cru the Dwarf is a pretty bloody bad webcomic. It’s yet another World of Warcraft comic using machinima style posing using whatever useless bollocks they can drag out of the World of Warcraft files.

This is just about the worst piece of shit the entire retarded World of Warcraft subculture has ever vommited forth.
Can’t even make proper speech bubbles.

Cru the Dwarf probably started out as a joke, a rather bland and boring joke, with the rather large defeciency of not being funny at all. Unfortunately for the rest of the human race, it didn’t stay that way, it became the mad attempt of a deranged “author” forcing a fanfiction into a visual medium.

So it went from jokes about Night Elves being fanservice, into some twisted mess of timetravel and dragon’s getting impregnated by perverted dwarves. Let me restate that line in bold with swearing: FUCKING DRAGON GETTING FUCKED BY A UTTERLY IMMATURE PERVERTED DIMWITTED DWARF, but it’s okay, she was in her elven form.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Look, a Star Wars reference, aren't I delightfully meta?
A FUCKING DRAGON!

Yup. Couldn’t you just have stuck with pointless pop-culture Cru, hey, I didn’t even notice. IT’S A FUCKING SELF-INSERTION FANTASY TOO, oh the humanity. Why didn’t you just stick to your poor jokes Cru? Why?


Oh yeah, they sucked too.

It even steals an entire character from a much better drawn, but equally stupid, webcomic Looking for Group, and then Sean F, which is actually the name he now uses, tries to meta his way out of it, by constantly pointing it out. Well done Sean, got tired of people pointing out how odd your dwarf-dragon furry fetish really is?


I have no words.

But still have plenty of words about Drunken Duck, the Cesspit of Cesspit of the greater Webcomic world, and I use “world” because using the actualy words that comes through my mind “Zi dingir n Da Shurrim ma kanpa” is Sumerian straight from the Necronomicon, used to drive away fucking evil.

Here’s a fine example of the avarage Drunken Duck comic, except this one isn’t done in some 3D software, but is actually drawn, poorly. Etheral Legacies is some fucking incomphrensible fantasy webcomic that makes about as much sense as Lord of the Rings on backwards Kazakh.

It’s basically just a load of fanservice, I’m even vaguely insulted when it throws out a “Valkyrie” without even remotely realizing that an actual valkyrie would wear full armour and a giant bloody battleaxe, not have her tits hanging out and wear nothing but underwear, also, they can FUCKING FLY!

It’s plot makes no sense, and it’s all tits.

NEW AGE FUCKING VAMPIRES!

Charby the Vampirate is one hell of an odd one. I can’t actually force myself to read this one, because all I see is a little anime styled kid with a mouthful of fangs.

And I hate it. It’s apparently one of the top ten “best” webcomics on Drunken duck, which makes no sense, until you realize it’s actually just one of the top ten most popular webcomic, and then it all makes sense. It’s a cultural facts that there exist a sizeable subculture that rejoices in vampires and anime and all that shit.

can be more generic, if it had a panty shot.
Talking about anime.

Drunken Duck also has a lot of anime.

poorly drawn doesnt stop it from being on the top ten

And alot of poorly drawn crap.

And do they ever have a lot of pornographic webcomic.

But rejoice:

It’s not all crap. This is the chapter page from the latest chapter of Anathema, which is quite well drawn, has fairly interesting characters, one is a seemingly easy-going vampire, another is yet another cleric who uses evil to fight evil, and has a fair bit of collateral damage.

It’s decent, and has a fair bit of appeal, if nothing else, because the main character has enough flaws to make her anti-Mary Sue.

Will be interesting to see her eksentialist dread carry on.

A last honorable mention to The Gods of ArrKelaan, the grand old man of Drunken Duck, who deserves much more, and yet still remains.

weee

My closing statement is simply this:

Cru the Dwarf is the fourth worst webcomic I have ever paid any sort of notice to, it symbolizes pointless storylines, poor jokes, festishism and fan service.

It also symbolizes everything that’s wrong with a lack of quality control, thus Drunken Duck, and partly Comic Genesis, but that’s for later.

The Pointless labyrinthine story of Sluggy Freelance

Sluggy Freelance, a comic that was intially started by Ptahoptep, Vizier of Djedkare Isesi around 2500 BC, the date of the start of it, has fortunately been lost to history.


Oldest Recorded instance of Sluggy Freelance.

Sluggy Freelance is a fucking ancient webcomic, starting out when the Internet was still young and full of porno, which it still is, it’s just of a higher resolution. It’s absolutely ancient and the story lines makes no sense at all. It’s a confusing mess of random crap, old memes and painfully slow “stories”.


Oldest Modern recording of Sluggy Freelance.

It has a gallery of characters which, for it’s time, was pretty fitting: Lazy nerd guy, crazy inventor guy, crazy evil chick and a completely normal young woman, who at this stage, should have lost her mind a long time ago.

In addition, such wonderful supporting characters as: A talking rabbit, an alien that keeps changing shape; pretty sure it’s presently in the shape of a furry’s wet dream and a crazy one-eyed old inventor guy.


RAAAAAAAAANDOM!

Nothing that has been happening in this comic makes any sense any more, it’s been running for so painfully long, that absolutely nothing happens any more. The drawing has been slightly improving over time, SLIGHTLY!

You’d think that after 4.500 years of drawing this crap, that it would actually improve drastically, but no, it hasn’t really changed in any serious way in the last few years.

Why?

The fans of course. It has a small loyal fanbase, and seeing as they depend virtually entirely on their donations then:


Don’t waste your time, the drawing doesn’t exist

They don’t dare change anything, out of a fear that they’ll end up losing their ever precious fans. So they simply stagnate in increasingly more and more bewildering storylines, alienating new readers and scaring away old readers when they realize that fuck all has happened in 4.500 years of reading this crap.


A storyline about mind switching and lingerie just ended here. Sounds fun doesn’t it?

It fucking isn’t.

It’s just another piece of fanservice to their small horde of drooling fans, attempting to get into Sluggy Freelance would presently require the use of the combined Archaeology Department of Cambridge University, a blessing from Horus and Richard Dawkins screaming “DAAARWIN” into your left ear.

Not really worth the effort eh?

Not much change since the great Viziers work eh?

And the damn layout hasn’t changed since 1996 AD.

Remember: Subscribe to my Twitter to get updates when it happens, rather than randomly check my site during the day.

This is a resurected review dragged out of the distant garbage pit of the now derelict ragnarokz.net site.

And for good measure, Sluggy Freelance is the sixth worst webcomic I have ever liked when I was young and stupid.

Katy Perry is about as interesting as late Italian Post-Modern Brutalist Brickworks

Yeah, sorry, she really isn’t anything absurdly interesting or fascinating, as her lunatic fans make her seem like, which is annoying, I was almost expecting decent, and just got boring generic crap.

I’ll give her points for this one, not a gram of redundant fanservice sex appeal, she’s dressed perfectly normal, even if she tries to grab a bit of Bjørk’s magic with the see-through umbrella.

It’s music for the kind of people who think they are intellectuals, but are really just arrogant little bastards, who deserves to be shot for wearing enormous sunshades.

The song is really simple though, and by that, I mean boring.

Throwing in retro-sex appeal is one hell of a bewildering thing to do, personally I find any fashion from before 1959 primitive and barbaric, a remnant of a time where a woman belonged in the thralls of obedience, kitchen and children.

Sad that it’s glorified like that.

Unfortunately “Hot’n’cold” isn’t really embeddable, probably because she hasn’t realized that Record Companies are malevolent bastards who doesn’t benefit anyone beyond a few far shareholders.

It’s an odd blend of “Girl Power” and yet, the line “You change your mind, like a girl changes clothes” is so fundamentally stereotypically wrong and morally bankrupt it’s actually painful to hear.

Apparently the song is about how Katy is a hideously forceful person, and she’s trying to force some poor bastard into a marriage he’s pretty clearly not interested in at all.

Not sure what’s with all this marriage bullshit in these days, it’s like how society just moves forwards and backwards all the time.

In the 1980’s it was popular to marry years after you had freaking kids, rather than before, sure kept the divorce numbers down.

And why the hell is she dressed like that? Did her sales start to drop, so her “manager” is forcing her into a more mainstream slut image? How delightful.

Yep.

They sure have.

Let’s play the “Katy might be lesbian” card, well done Record Company, well done indeed.

Like to demean an entire sexual preference a bit more? Perhaps manufacture a further reinforcement of the twisted vision of femininity the youth gets today?

No fucking wonder we have a lot of youth crime today.

And guess what? It gets worse.

I like how she throws out Penn and Teller, sure they are reactionary lunatics, but they still have more talent than she does.

Should have stick with Gospel, saved us from yet another generic pop-star.

Not even worth the pain really.

Fairly decent pair of breats I suppose.

Another fine example of the cultural impact of the overwhelming ocean of mediocrity commited by the media upon the whole bleeding world.

Aion: Tower of Obvious Grind

Let’s get something out of the way before I start pouring out the bile and hatred on this little stupid Korean MMORPG.

It’s very, very, very pretty. In most cases, when it comes to the environment and scenery, I’ll go as far as “beautiful”, and that’s going far when it comes from the horrible human being who adores Impressionist art.

The environment is utterly alien and completely awesome, it vaguely reminds you of old Morrowind, simply because you see so much odd shit, unlike World of Warcraft, which is actually fairly generic fantasy bollocks.

The character design is as retarded as you’d expect from a Korean MMO, utterly useless armour, wings, bling and more bling.

It’s like some accidentally walked into a Cosplay convention covered in glue. Which I suppose is what Aion’s primary focus group wants: Anime chicks in steel bikinis. Or anime chick in metal dominatrix gear.

It’s silly, useless and about as practical as a sword during the Battle of Midway, standing on a battleship, on the Japanese side, before it gets fistful of torpedoes up it’s ass.


Now, onto the actual gameplay.

It plays like World of Warcraft, pretty much like World of Warcraft, select enemy, murder it, collect loot, enjoy the seething anger of Greenpeace.

There’s one or two stupid little gimmicks and one pretty large stupid gimmick. One of the small ones is the whole combo system, which I believe Age of Conan introduced into mainstream MMOs, which works I suppose, the timing doesn’t have to be absolute, so at least they know about the concept of lag.

The second much larger gimmick, and the one Aion’s been selling itself on, is flight. When you get to lvl 10, you go though a silly little cutscene, get a pair of wings and what? 40 or 50 seconds worth of flight. Woohooo!

I’ll admit that the ability to attack from the air is awesome, to bad there’s plenty of place where you can’t fly, due to gameplay issues and magic wizards of Oz.

So it remains a gimmick.

Now I never made it beyond lvl 12ish, because the game is boring as all hell, if you’re not some weaboo lunatic who lusts after Son-Goku’s useless arse.

I suppose it’s heaven for that particular part of the market, but it’s not heaven for any sane person with tastes that move beyond flashy lights and big muscular men screaming at each other.

Supposedly, there’s alot of active PvP and bollocks, but then, supposedly, Atlantis lies in Sweden and Copenhagen is the capital of Amsterdam.

So yeah, plays like World of Warcraft, looks pretty, has retarded character design only a delusional madman could possibly enjoy.

Which brings me to a small little spot of hatred: The female voices, occasionally you’ll get to hear your character produce some odd moans and noises, presumably in order to be “awesome” or something similar.

To bad the experience was ruined when my supposedly dark and hardcore fireball-slinging sorceress squaked like a four-year old during a cut-scene.

Dear merciful Osiris, they didn’t obliterate the retarded Asian high-pitched girlish scream from the game when they transferred it to the West?

Why am I surprised? This is a game for the deranged anime fans who watch Naruto like it was the second coming of Napoleon.

Anything else? Oh yeah, as I said, I never actually managed to get anywhere impressive with this silly game, so I’ll leave you with this, possibly outdated, little image:

Now, to be fair, I don’t know if it’s still accurate, but the fact that a company is capable of misjudging the entire MMO customer base of the Western world that badly, is kinda scary.

This isn’t the old EverQuest years NCSoft, there aren’t many hardcore loser gamers left, they’ve all gone casual, or have somehow managed to get a life.

The final verdict? Don’t buy this piece of shit, spend your money on something more useful.

Like a lobotomy.