UnReview: Mafia Wars 2 (Facebook)–Shaken Down in 7 Minutes

mafia wars 2 1I’ll admit to being a n00b on the Facebook gaming scene but I got da l33t sk1llz when it comes to games and getting a taste of something new for free is a lure that the digital monkey on my back just won’t shut up about. Some days I don’t have the time to sink myself into a glorious piece of virtual art like Assassin’s Creed or Deus Ex. Like any otaku worth his gamertag, I’m just killing time for Skyrim anyway. I’ve enjoyed my time with Heroes of Neverwinter and the Mrs. is one heck of a Gardens of Time addict. Facebook games are like a big bag of candy: Just a little piece now and again as a treat. Gorge yourself and you’ll get sick. Thus it was that I found myself logging into the biggest, baddest bag of candy on Facebook: Zynga’s newly minted Mafia Wars 2.

Buckle up, folks! This rambler’s in drive and it’s gonna be one of those posts.

Upon entering the game and grudgingly clicking on the button that allows Mafia Wars to do all manner of questionable things such as “Post to Facebook as me”, I was greeted with a comic book style intro ripped straight from Grand Theft Auto III, blaring licensed music and all. It was mercifully short and in a minute I was building my avatar. Selection is a little sparse: Male or female with 3 different shades of Caucasian to choose from. Classy…

The tutorial was kept pleasingly brief and by the 5 minute mark I already had my first 2 buildings and was beatin’ down thugs with a baseball bat. The graphics were sharp and the interface was one of the most responsive I’ve ever touched in a browser game this side of a Unity plug-in. Even the full screen mode displayed beautiful hi-res graphics rather than the upscaled mush I’m used to seeing. Okay, I can dig this!

Clicky-click. Mouse over to scoop up the lovely loot drops. Okey-dokey. Oooo, now I get to hire and additional guy and… Hmm. I need gold. Don’t I have gold? What about all that stuff I picked up. That’s cash, not gold. So… Did I miss something? I recheck the single line of the tutorial window. Nope. Not much to miss. How do I get gold? Bank robbery? They haven’t gone over that yet. Oh! Gold is bought with real money.

Wait. Money? Already?! Yep, after a mere 7 minutes of game time Mafia Wars 2 decided to shake me down for Real World cash. Now, I’m not against “free-to-play” or “freemium” or “microtransactions” or even “in app purchases”. Bandwidth ain’t free and even programmers need food (or so I’m told). I have no problems kickin’ a few bucks back to the folks who produced a product I enjoy consuming, but to hit a new player up for a $2 minimum while they’ve just walked in the door and, literally, less than a dozen clicks into the game: Downright rude.

I proceeded to spend more time clicking around the interface than I had spent playing just to make sure I hadn’t missed anything. Sure enough, the smallest amount of gold (15) was going to set me back $2. I needed 4 to hire my… I don’t even know what or why I’m hiring at this point. Worse, I can’t even find the window I was in to hire people. Did I just break the tutorial? The game is now prattling on about switching to another location, but it told me I needed to hire someone to protect my stuff while I was gone in the last step. Oh boy!

Mafia Wars 2 FreeIt was about this time I noticed the “Earn Gold” tab at the top. Well, one problem at a time. I probably just need to sit through a couple commercials and we can get on with this. Fancying myself as “Oh,so smart”, I clicked the tab. And clicked it. And clicked it. Hmm. AdBlock! Lemme turn off the ad blocker. There we go! Mafia Wars Radio, still blasting music in the background, mercifully changes from hip-hop to rock. I’d go back and look for a volume slider or mute switch, but this bloody “Earn Free Gold!” pop-up window has locked me out of the game screen and I don’t want to close out and start this whole cluster [redacted] over again. Let’s see… Sign up for Netflix; Get a credit card; Shop Lancome (because every mafia don needs silky soft hands). They have surveys, but that’s just 1 gold. Here we go! Photo mug for $2 gives me 72 gold. That’ll work! I’ve been meaning to get me some GUO merch anyway.

Okay, let’s make a photo mug! Clicky-click and… no, I don’t want World Best Dad. Um… Ah, There’s the custom. And let’s find a picture. Blog banner doesn’t fit right. Let’s see, I’ve got that avatar pic. Really meant to go back a Photoshop out that light on the top left like I did on the banner. Dunno why, by that just bugs me. Gonna be a little low res blown up to a larger size. Bah, whatever, $2 mug! Let’s see. Impact sounds like a good, strong font. Move that up here. Man, this page is choppy. Like I’m one to talk about web page speed. It’s those dang Facebook buttons. They take forever to load.

Facebook… Didn’t I need to finish something on Facebook? Did I remember to cross post today’s article? Hmm. I’ll check later. Right now I got me some merch to make! Put in the slogan down-doesn’t fit. Dang it! Think, think. Well, that kinda means the same thing. And stuff that down there. I should really Photoshop out that extra light. No time now! I still have laundry, mopping, dinner, The Whole 9 Yards, to get through today. Okay and-ugh. The back side. Well, we’ll just make it the same as the front. $2 mug after all!

GUOmugMotorhead came on over the speakers next. Cool! Wonder if they have Ace of Spades. I like that song. The old one, not the new one. Maybe I should tweak that Pandora play list. Wait, when did I turn on Pandora? Must be Pandora, I don’t listen to music on anything else these days. Anyway, back to my masterpiece. No, I don’t want to make an account. No, I bought this mug for $2, why on Earth would I pay $12 for two? No, I don’t want special offers. Or those special offers. Or THOSE special offers. Or- For crying out loud, how many frickin’ pages of special offers do I have click through to give you my damned money! And where did all these ads come from? Paydirt! Enter credit card and- 21 day shipping?! What the hell? You guys sending it by carrier crayfish? For how much? I thought shipping was free. No, the $5 fee to upload a picture was free. Wow, that’s a scam worthy of the Mafia. Why is Pandora playing hip-hop?! That’s quite a stretch, even for Pandora. I’ll just turn off the speakers.

There, now where was I? Ah, yes, my $2 GUO mug! Fine, whatever, $6 mug. Yes, really bill me. No, I don’t want special offers. Okay let me just check my email for the order confirmation. Gotta go in here and manually pull the POP3 mail because that’s from the other account. Why are there ads all over my email? AdBlock is off? Whoops! Don’t remember doing that. All fixed. No, I don’t want to add you to my address book so we can chat. Yay! All set! Alright, let me just close this stuff out and- Whoa, look at the time! It’s been over an hour. Egad, I’ve got things to do today!

…And that’s how I got my GrowingUpOtaku.com mug.

Mafia Wars 2 is available for online play now to all members of the Facebook community here.

UnReviewer Rating: 2/5 Stars – Confusingly Greedy2star

No comments :

Post a Comment