Monthly Archives: March 2013

Assassin’s Creed III: Forced Cinematics

I’ve complained about cinematics before with The Secret World.  I don’t care for them.  The ones for Assassin’s Creed III are not as unexpected and they have action from both sides instead of TSW where I stare like a concerned idiot in every one of them.

However, my complaint is that you can not skip the scenes and have them count.  I managed to… lets say jump off something I should not have after talking to everyone.  When I went through the second time I used the skip feature only to have the icon not vanish.  To my irritation I had to re-listen to each one for it to count. Grr.

I’m enjoying the game even if I have not made it to the free world aspect yet. I’m amused by my own constant snap out of immersion by little random things. There is also something ludicrous about being a ‘nobleman’ and climbing up into the crows nest of the ship with no one paying attention to it.

But it is very pretty and they are well worth watching.  So far it is playing out more like a mystery then an adventure.  I absolutely love the character  I know he will not be the primary guy but he has the right mix of executed  arrogant coldness that I happen to adore. No long, whining rambles so far to make me feel sorry for him.

I made it through the first sequence. It is an interesting way to introduce you to all of the new mechanics of the game. There are more mini games like lock picking and problem solving to handle this time. The cut scenes work in and out and tell you the story.  It has some of the irritation during more cinematic moments such as not giving you full camera control when doing an event but that is something I’ll live with if it remains basically limited.

Assassin’s Creed III: Making it Harder by Choice

As with most games I start without knowing what is going on. I know the background of Assassin’s Creed but I don’t know much about the storyline of the game and where I am going.  Also, I missed about 2/3 of Assassin’s Creed II so I am really rather behind the curb.

First mission sends me off to a play. I notice that there is a marker hovering in the center of the screen I don’t remember from before. Before, it was the market on the map that I loosely followed. I don’t know if this is a training thing or a forever thing.

Now, I have to admit the market is helpful. My first mission was ridiculousness  I had to stop and write about it because I was shaking my head. In the middle of an occupied theater, I am crawling around the booths working my way to some guy that I assume I will kill.  The theater is full. It is not dark. There are people in the booths I am climbing over and between. My guy is dressed in super heavy period clothing.

What is this? My belief, which suspends easily, is shaking its head and covering its eyes.

The market is also making it to easy for me. I just follow it blindly without exploring and I know where I need to go.

I stopped again and went to the options. There was a HUD option and it had a bunch of things under it that I did not know what they were.  My guess was SSI (because the other things kind of made sense and non were called green icon of obvious direction) was the little icon leading me by the hand and sure enough, that was it. Now it is on my mini-map where it belongs and I can spend hours figuring out the maps and puzzles as they are meant to be figured out.

Back I went to my puzzle. I love the leaping and jumping of the game. I’m still having some issues with it for this particular scene. I managed to slam into a stage prop and make a bang loud enough to make me jump and no one in the game noticed.

I accomplished my mission which was not hard amidst the unobservant people. For a bunch of people investigating an assassination they didn’t do a good job.  Still, intro story was very interesting.  I’m taking the time to read the background information nuggets.  They are not as encyclopedic as they were before but instead are interpreted through one of the members of Desmond’s crew. I’m not sure how I feel about that.

Assassin’s Creed III – I made it to the Tutorial!

I purchased Assassin’s Creed III a few months ago.  My original plan was to buy it when it first came out and play it.  However, I was so turned off by Assassin’s Creed II that I waited for a while.  Let me say that Assassin’s Creed II and all of its attached games are fantastic games.

My personal problem is not with the games or anything technical. I don’t even have a problem with the story line.  I love the rich, lush world.  A few missions I could live without but by and by I thought it was a great world.

However, I hated Ezio. I hated him with a passion.  From the first time he walks on the screen in the introduction movies for Assassin’s Creed two all swagger and arrogance I hated him. Nothing that happened to him was bad enough for me. When I reached the end of Assassin’s Creed II and he makes what I consider to be the stupidest move I have ever seen in my life, I almost threw my controller into the television.

Not because the game was bad but because I hated the Character. I hated him and he made the rest of the games that created around him absolutely unplayable for me. The moment he opened his big, idiotic mouth I wanted to fling him off the nearest building. I often did. I eventually played some of the game on mute but I never finished it because I loathed the character.

The only other time this has happened to me as strongly was with Infamous II. The first Infamous was a fantastic game. The second one, where they change the voice acting and turn him into a whiner I could have done without.

But, back to Assassin’s Creed III.

I downloaded the game from Steam. I’ve always played on the PS3 but I have developed a taste for duelboxing games. I downloaded it and found out that it has an account manager that overlays it. I bumped into this with From Dust as well. It seems to be a new way to manage people. Sigh. Once through that I booted it up, went to the options menu and discovered there is no windowed mode. I did a few searches and found out that it does not support windowed mode. I can’t share my mouse between machines because it freaks out with games like that. It is very, very irritating.

More and more gamers are people like me who run multiple monitors and processes at the same time. I’m sorry that I do not want to drown 100% in your game world. I have other things to attend to. That is why there is a pause. I will walk away from your game to do things like use the bathroom or make dinner. Stopping me from having your game in windowed mode only makes me less eager to play your games.  It may be a personal problem but it is one for me.

Moving past that, I set up my laptop to give me the additional space I needed and continued.  I didn’t get very far. The opening movie kind of discusses stuff that happened across the games and in the last game. I was quite interested because I am missing a big chunk of the plot.  You are still running around as Desmond and hes a bit grittier. I still want to smack him.

Off we go to find whatever we are looking for.  Once they set you get hooked back up into the machine and do a movement tutorial.  This is where I stopped. :P  I’ll pick it back up and follow my adventures!

 

Brandon Sanderson

I had a bit of an argument on Eve Online about Brandon Sanderson. I adore him as a writer and so far I have not been disappointed by any of the books I have read. The other person said that his writing was simplistic.  I had a ‘wut’ moment.  He has a light hand with a dark tone to his writing and a taste for creative ‘magical’ systems as well as an interest in permanent, life changes and dead not being death.  I’ve been impressed and a bit jealous of his stuff.

I am debating going back to the Wheel of Time series because he finished it.  His ability to write strong female characters has to improve the terrible, simpering nitwits that Robert Jordan disgraced his writing with.

 

As it is now, I’ve been chewing through his Mistborn series and Elantra.  Both are very good and I’ve picked up his ‘theme’ that he tends to work with.  However, each time he presents it in fresh and interesting ways. I do admit I am very jealous of his ability to write complex, convoluted plots that work so damn well.

 

 

I wrote a thing for Game Skinny

I wrote a thing.  Game Skinny is a gaming news and information and article website.  Matt Westhorpe who runs the Eve Blog banters and is a Eve blogger writes for lots of other things. He is trying to get non-eve Banters started.

Since I like to write and I envy him insofar as he is making his living off of words I figured that I could give it a try and help him get his project rolling. It would allow me to write something non-eve and go from there.

Hopefully I did okay.

I titled it All the Worlds all at Once.  It is posted over there but I figure I can cross post it here as well.

The original banter is:

Skinny Banter #1: Your Ultimate Game

If you could take your favorite game elements of all time and combine them into the ultimate digital experience – the one game to rule them all – what would it be? How would it work? Describe your digital nirvana, build your ultimate game from the still twitching parts salvaged from other titles. – See more at: http://www.gameskinny.com/hy3mq/ultimate-game-mashup-skinny-banter-1#sthash.AdnbKY55.dpuf

I owned a Nintendo as a child.  I never considered myself a gamer.  I spent countless hours playing duck hunt and Super Mario brothers.  I blew into my cartridges whenever they paused and for some reason that made the game work again.  Later, I purchased a Playstation with money from my first job and spent countless hours exploring maps with Sonic.

Yet, I would not say that I was into video games until I reached college.  Even my time on my MUD did not make me think of myself as a gamer. I thought of myself as someone that liked computers.  It was not until I first play Warcraft that I discovered my true love in life.  Stratgey games.  I played Warcraft over and over again.  Every bit of the map was explored.  Everything was researched, everything was built. I waged war with all the recourse I could throw at it.  Then Warcraft II and Starcraft came out.  I was in love.  Nothing could be better than those games and because of that I tried nothing else.  It was not until Warcraft III came out and Starcraft’s first expansion when Blizzard started to create missions to run instead of free world building and strategy that my love dimmed a little bit and I looked elsewhere to satisfy my desires.

I expanded my taste to god games.  I played Black and White and Sim City and I loved all of it.  Any game that gave me the power to enter the game and thrive inside of it while working towards goals or against problems got my vote.  For a while, it seemed as if those types of games fell to the wayside.  I discovered Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends.  I played Black and White II.  I played all the versions of Sim City and spent more time in the Sims with the house builder then the actual game.  I never played World of Warcraft because I was terribly angry at Blizzard for it not being a RTS.

 

From Dust was announced and I spent two years tracking that game and instantly downloaded it when it was released.  I played it over and over again, drowning on the lustrous graphics and the glorious world building opportunities.  I eagerly looked at new releases and cast them aside when I discovered that they were not the staple of my diet.  World games and simulation games were all I played for a long time.

A co-worker introduced me to the Settlers of Catan as a board game and from there I tried Civilization to find it satisfying if not exactly what I wanted when it came to resources.  I discovered that I truly loved any game with a rich world that I could build and create upon.

 

These are the things that I would combine into my ideal game.  It would have the beauty of From Dust with the abilities of Black and White.  It would have the minute details and problems of Sim City with the epic nature of Warcraft and Starcraft.  I would mix in the depths of Civilization and the attention to detail of the Sims. I would top it off with Skyrim’s size and depth and ability to expand and explore. It would be a huge game where the player tweaked and manipulated a massive, vast true world.  Not an island or a map but an entire world where pieces could be frozen and advanced and manipulated into a creation unique to each player while besieged with problems, issues and possible solutions.

It can be fantasy or science or even the current world. It can be people or unicorns or mechanical basilisks, I care not.  I simply want a vast, intricate, complex world building god based strategy game that doesn’t leave pieces on the table.  I want it to be long, I want the board to be huge and I want the graphics to both make me giggle and dazzle me at the same time.

I don’t think it is asking for much.