A diary of sorts, wherein I moonlight as a games writer. Under haphazard construction.
I was hoping to write something about Lost Swords today, but as “singleplayer” is no longer synonymous with “offline” I’ve just been sat staring at loading screens for the past couple of hours.
On the surface, it looks good, if a little ridiculous. Character customisation mirrors Soul Calibur 4’s, where every weapon, accessory and piece of clothing has stats of some kind, but items are only found in chests, and you don’t start out with any basic kit besides your weapon. The tutorial chest gave me an upgraded weapon but no clothes, which I think may be a fixed drop rather than a genuine roll of the dice. If this is the case, then everyone’s fighting in their pants until they buy some more chests. You can do either with real money at a rate of £12 for 6 “Premium” treasure chests, or the basic peasant chests for 400 free-to-play moneypoints each. As far as virtual containers go, £12 per 6 is comparable to the cost of Team Fortress 2’s crate keys, but having to buy six at once puts them well out of the dangerous impulse-buy range which Mann Co. thrives on. Maybe you can buy single ones and I just missed it? Not sure whether I would anyway, but in a fighting game like this I’d hope I wouldn’t need to.
I can’t comment on the quality and balance of stats or anything in these chests, or how long it takes to actually put some trousers on, but the tutorial gave me some upgrade gems too, so presumably you’re not entirely subject to what loot you open. I imagine this is just as well, as the tutorial I managed to play covered a rock-paper-scissors style elemental damage system, which it’d suck to lose at because of poorly-statted gear. The F2P mechanics seem fairly unobtrusive at first glance, not unlike Team Fortress 2’s in their structure, but I can’t really comment without having been able to play.
Hopefully the servers will be in a better state later on tonight once most of the world has gone to bed. I’m really optimistic about this, and worst case scenario I can at least see myself fishing out my old Soul Calibur II disk to start a new game and give Tales mode another spin. Or £15 for the recently-released Soul Calibur 2 HD remake? Not sure I’m falling for that one. Even if it does come with a free triangle bikini for my characters in Lost Swords.