Time to exercise those demons again.

Fuck. Fuck fucketty fuck. Fuckaroonie, fuckarizzle, fuckorangutan, fuckallamadingdong. Wait, did I just make a reference to llama penis in there? Maybe let’s rewind a bit.

I tried Marvel Heroes 2015. I like it. Now my life is ruined. Let’s rewind a bit more.

The scene opens on a sunny day in Auckland, New Zealand. The year is 2000, the light breeze and azure skies are fucking irrelevant, because I’m hunched in a chair staring at a screen. Diablo 2 was my mistress’ name and she was a cruel one indeed. Day after day, night after night, week after week and so on. I played it, I beat it, I played it again. All of the characters, over and over again. At some point in music class a bunch of us nerds jokingly wrote a simple strumming guitar song, never to be seen by an external audience. Then things abated for a little while. THEN Lord of Destruction came out and 2002 went the way of the dodo. At some point during university a friend introduced me to the Median XL mod and once more, I became a recluse. The gameplay was simple hack and slash. Levelling up, learning new skills, finding magical items and taking on hoards of demons, undead and other macabre monsters became as much a full-time profession as a high school student can have. It was fun, until it just became habit. Still I’d find a way to reinvigorate my interest.

Diablo 3 came out and I actually took a sick day from work. My flatmate and I played through it for hours. Fun and horrendously addictive, it sucked me right back in. I was older, more responsible (he says after admitting that he took a sick day to play a video game) and had less spare time to throw into the game. Its hold didn’t grasp me for quite so long. I played through a few times, hit max level and laid it to rest.

Marvel Heroes 2015 looks and feels like it’s gonna do exactly the same thing. It doesn’t help that one of the game’s lead designers is David Brevik, co-founder of Blizzard North, the company that made Diablo. It plays like Diablo and it’s exactly what I want out of a game. It’s not hugely cerebral, it’s adorned with flashing colours and sudden sounds that feed into all the stimulation centres in my brain. It has a massive roster of Marvel Comics heroes and encourages you to continue playing and levelling them all up. It’s free to play with micro transactions, but it’s entirely possible (if only more time consuming) to unlock everything without paying a cent. It entices you to log in every day by offering items and trinkets once per day. I happened to join during a birthday celebration, so there are tons of free giveaways that’ve kept me continually loogging back in. It’s ridiculous. I already stayed up later last night just to get the second day’s worth of stuff, then logged in this morning to top up. Fucking hell.

I have no idea if this is gonna pull back on my social commitments. I hope I’ve matured enough to not let something as ephemeral as a video game interfere with my life, but who knows how much I’ve actually progressed? Thankfully it’s my first anniversary with my girlfriend this weekend so that’ll help me keep my distance. Though combining the undesirable heat of summer with the fact that I’m not drinking right now, who knows if I’ll be able to resist the allure of web slinging around research facilities, cleaning up Hell’s Kitchen and no doubt experiencing intergalactic travel all in the name of procuring medula oblongatas for Venom to snack on. I’m no hero and I can only be so strong. Let’s hope my lack of attention span as I’ve aged will for once save me from my extremely low stakes crisis.

Still, llama penis? I’ve got no idea where that came from.


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