What is it with Comic books? I’ve not been a fan of them to be perfectly honest, but they do come out with some fantastically colourful characters. However I’m unaware of any heroes hailing from Scotland. Even with the Ameri-centric view of the world, where 90% of the heroes embody some part of American culture, fighting for truth, Justice and the American Way, there’s still the whole Braveheart Idea of Scots as some kind of Primal warrior force. Yet there are no heroes from Scotland (that I know of), and only a few from other parts of the world. Canada gets it’s fair share of Heroes, some of the worlds favourite heroes hail from Canada, even if you don’t know it. Wolverine and Deadpool to name two. Nightcrawler is German, and there’s a whole list of Latino super heroes who you’ve probably never heard of outside of said countries.
So I come to Britain. Yes, there’s Captain Britain and a handful of old British kids TV shows sporting very British heroes (Bananaman, Super Ted, hell, even Super Gran). But with the market for Super Hero movies being so wide open there hasn’t even been murmurs of a Captain Britain movie (Although I’d love to see how they’d pull off a live-action Bananaman film). The only heros we’ve really got are Doctor Who and his spinoff friend Captain Jack, and they won’t be getting feature films outside of their christmas specials.
Getting even closer to home, and closer to my point, there have been very little in the way of Scottish Super heroes. The one film that was set in Glasgow that had the potential for Glaswegien kick-assery was Jet Li’s “Unleashed”. I sat through that entire film, seeing Jet Li and Morgan Freeman walking around places I visit daily and going “I know that place”, and wondering when they were going to get accosted by a gang of Neds in Kelvingrove Park and having Jet Li kick them through the fountain, but alas it never happened. The closest I got was Jet Li fighting an assassin in a block of Tenement flats.
And that’s basically what I want. I want to see super heroes kick the living shit out of tracksuit wearing, cider swilling, Swing-park loitering degenerates. The new film “Neds” (incidently the trailer for which scares the living shit out of me) – while not a super hero film – is set in Glasgow and involves a true-to-life depiction of life there, so there is a distinct posibility of Neds beating up people, Police, and possibly other Neds. Also, it probably won’t be shown outside of Britain, but there you go.
All of this is one reason why I love games where I can design a character in details. This also happens to be done best in Super Hero MMOs (aside from APB, which doesn’t count any more). Which is why I’m drawn to Super Hero MMOs like a moth to flame. The only MMO so far that’s let me combine my want of a Scottish Super Hero and the ability to beat the crap out of Neds was Champions, which allows you to create your Nemesis. In my case, a diminutive neon tracksuited megalomaniac called “Wee Ned”. Yet, somehow, the fact I was beating the crap out of neds as a Super Hero wasn’t enough to keep me playing. There’s only so much Ned Bashing you can do before you’re wanting for something else. No matter how much wish-fulfiling you can get done in a game, it’ll wear thin quickly if the core game isn’t up to scratch.
DC Universe Online, as I’ve been playing for the last week now, seems to have some pretty fun mechanics in the core game. Difficulty has been… shall we say… unpredictable. With some bosses being pushovers, while others are challenging but satisfying, and others being slog fests filled with constant dying and respawning. The worst of which being Harley Quinn. You’d think an Axe weilding scottish maniac would rip through her easilly, but strangely no, she’s tougher than Bane was, took a bigger beating than a Braniac boss, Poison Ivy didn’t even put up a fight and even the Joker himself was easier.
So far the games been fun, and soloing has been akin to a proper single-player hack-n-slash with all the added benifits of seeing other people running about. The tagging system means there’s no mob-stealing either so randomly helping someone kill an enemy won’t earn you their ire, and you’ll normally get credit for it too. It’s all been very well thought through.
Now just give me a mission architect and let me beat down some Neds and I’ll be in hogs heaven.