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Mighty Ape Website review http://www.mightyape.co.nz/

Design- 3/5 Usability-4/5 Creativity-3/5 Content-5/5

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a total stranger to online shopping. I see it as a daunting, frightening experience designed to take my money and leave me with a hollow feeling rather than the swift convenience that it’s flaunted as. So when I received a $50 dollar Mighty Ape voucher in the mail from my uncle, my initial thoughts were not happiness, but rather dread. But it was a free voucher. I had to spend it. I entered the site with a small amount of hope: Mighty Ape is a New Zealand website, so maybe it won’t be so bad, I thought. And it must be said, I was unbelievably blown away. Setting up an account with them was pretty much painless, the only issue being that I didn’t know my post code because really, who does these days? Having done that, I entered the code of my voucher and was free to purchase their wares to my heart’s content. Seeing as Mighty Ape’s catalogue is geared towards video games, books and other such awesome things, I was there for a while. The website itself was very easy to navigate and even though I had never even set foot in it before (so to speak) I could soon find anything I wanted with ease. Every item they sell is listed under a particular category and within that, sub-categories. While I realise this isn’t exactly new, the part I loved was that the search function allowed me to be as vague or specific as I liked. For example, when I couldn’t remember the name of an author, I typed in the first name under book and two pages later, there it was, along with a whole bunch of other books I hadn’t even considered by the same author. After selecting what I wanted to buy, novices such as myself are assisted by giant orange buttons saying “add to cart”. I then went to pay for it all and soon had my fantastical delights delivered straight to me. I wasn’t looking forward to it. This was where

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my nerve always failed, confused and bewildered by options and hidden clauses, I’d always quit and just go down the road, buying whatever it was in person (or in some cases, go without). So when I simply had to press “buy now”, select an address from a list, enter the voucher for my payment and then relax, I was pleasantly surprised. Two hours later I received an email saying my order was being picked.

out a few weeks ago, doomed to this unfortunate time slot, and is a pretty good yardstick for what you can expect from releases until March. It’s fine –not overwhelmingly bad, but not particularly good in any real way either. Reckoning starts of promisingly from a narrative point of view – the main character of the game (in whatever race, gender or aesthetics you choose him or her to be) is dead.

What stuck out for me was the fact that they asked if there was anything I wasn’t happy with or wanted to change. This is where Mighty Ape outshines other sites; Mighty Ape is an undeniable suck-up and revels in the fact. I received no less than three email updates while my order went through the various stages of being processed and each time I was told that I was basically the best thing they’d ever seen and that by golly they’d love to give me a foot rub. While this did impress me, it is where my one criticism stems – I felt I was being bombarded with extra offers and deals all the time. What I was buying just wasn’t enough. But really, it’s a small complaint, and to be honest a 700 pound gorilla not only sleeps where he likes, but makes as many two for one deals as he likes too.

However, you’ve been bought back to life by a device called the Well of Souls – a giant magical device that is promptly destroyed in the chaos that your reincarnation creates. What makes your revival so important is that you, unlike other beings in the fantasy world, no longer have a fate. Whereas everyone else is tied to one specific destiny, you are free to shape yours as you see fit – a pretty solid premise for an adventure RPG with an emphasis on your choices having dire consequences. From here on out, pretty much everything is a hodge-podge of bland and generic fantasy game staples. Beyond a fairly in-depth character development tree, this is nothing you won’t have seen before. The game looks pretty much identical to World of Warcraft, and its bland quests – both central and side – have a very similar feel to the iconic MMO. Finding people, killing spiders in a cave, collecting items. Like I said, there’s nothing inherently wrong with these (there’s a reason they’re gaming clichés, after all), but amongst the simple, repetitive tasks you find yourself wading through, Reckoning brings nothing particularly new and exciting to the table – with one unusual exception.

Kieran Bennett

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC Rating: 3/5 It’s sort of an odd time for gaming at the moment. We’re just around the corner from being blasted with a couple of mega hits (most notably Mass Effect 3), but the lull between the annual Christmas release spree and the March release madness is one usually populated with forgettable, uninteresting or just plain bad games. Kingdom of Amalur: Reckoning came

The combat in Reckoning is tight. In fact, it’s almost excellent in places. Having played the game for a couple of hours, I can honestly say that the only times I’ve really enjoyed it was when I was surrounded by a cluster of enemies trying to take me down. Combat evolves at the same pace as your character does, and actually feels more akin to something like Devil May Cry than Skyrim. Regardless of what type of character you’re playing and what kind of weapons you’re using, combat looks excellent and is great fun. It’s just a real pity that this is an RPG, so that the combat isn’t really the central focus. When it first came out, I’d have recommended Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning as a semi-decent way to pass the time during New Zealand’s pathetic attempt at Summer. But now that Uni’s back on, I struggle to really recommend it to anyone too highly. Spencer Dowson

debate issue 3 2012  
debate issue 3 2012  

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