Eleven-Four

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Kiryn's place for rants about stuff. (version 6.0)

Why I am quitting Outernauts

August 7th, 2012 at 21:21

I’ve thought highly of Insomniac since the Spyro trilogy. I bought my playstation for that game, and it’s still one of my favorite series of all time. The fact that the Spyro games made after Insomniac were terrible convinced me that they were only good in the first place BECAUSE of Insomniac. So when I hear that Insomniac made a facebook game? Immediate signup. You’ve convinced me by name alone that I should play this game. The fact that it’s Pokemon in space is just icing on the cake.

I love this game! I love catching critters and leveling them up and seeing what they evolve into. I love the combat system, I love the music (this is the first Facebook game I’ve played where I leave the music on, it’s really good!)

Unfortunately, the game does not love me back.

With the amount of Energy I have, I can fight three or four battles, dig up a handful of plants, collect money and fuel from my homeworld, and then I can’t do anything else for an hour while I wait for my Energy to regenerate, by which time I’ve forgotten about the game and gone off to play something else.

As this is an RPG, I go in wanting to make progress on my character. Unfortunately, since the critters around me seem to level up as I do, and it is downright impossible to kill something if the skills themselves aren’t powered up through use, it’s a waste of Energy to try to get more of a feeling of progress by leveling up my weaker critters. They’re going to hit for 4 damage, die horribly in one hit, and I’ll lose the fight.

My only team capable of actually fighting effectively is my starter that I’ve been using since the beginning plus two critters I only recently caught at a high level. The entire rest of my team is too pointlessly low level with low level skills to be any use, and the item requirements for that “Training Dojo” are far too strict for me… I still have yet to find all of the items necessary to train even one of my critters up a single level. I’ve been wandering around this cave for days and still haven’t found a single stalactite. I hope this isn’t that “you can only get them from your friends” nonsense that will make the related quest (and this entire building) completely pointless for me.

But if I stick to my main team, the experience I get from killing enemy critters is so low that I might go up one level in two gameplay sessions. This results in me not even getting the mental reward of progress that I’d normally get from a game: level up, finish a quest, craft some neat item… all of these things require more than one play session to complete. There are no smaller rewards within reach during a single play session.

All of the items I can craft require items that drop off of enemy types I never encounter in the wild (such as flying types) or say they are found in certain places (such as caves) though I’ve never found any in such places. Either way, it is far from obvious where I can go to work towards these items.

Almost all of the quests I have right now either require items I can’t find or friends. I hate pestering my friends for things, since very few of them actually play facebook games (and those who do are already busy playing their existing games to add another). I might have one quest that actually leads me through the story, but it’s buried so deep under all of the other quests I can’t complete that I waste time digging through the unhelpful quest icons looking for what I need to do.

I could honestly see myself going into a classic RPG grinding trance in Outernauts, walking around and fighting enemies repeatedly in order to level up for my next fight, getting lost in the game for hours. What actually happens, though, is that I go into the game, I fight a few things, I start to get into it, and then the game tells me to go away, and my excitement level drops like a rock. I get frustrated at the game because I was having a lot of fun, and that frustration is the last thing I feel when I close down the game.

Therefore, the first thing I remember when I look at the game on my sidebar is this frustration, that I shouldn’t even bother clicking on it if it’s just going to leave me angry again when I close it.

As a serious gamer, I am obviously not the target audience for a game like this. I say this with every facebook game I try…. I am wanting something that this game cannot provide, so I’m going to stop wasting my time on it. I wish them luck in earning money from people who have more facebook-gaming friends and disposable income than I do.

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