Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Ezio Trilogy Part 1: This is much, much longer than I expected

All right, I had a chance to sink my teeth into Assassin's Creed 3 for a few hours last night and again this morning. In a nutshell, I love it. I have a few nitpicks, but honestly it is nothing compared to the simple joys of  dueling Brown Bess's with bayonets drawn. But now is not the time for me to gush over Assassin's Creed III, that part comes later.

"Spoiling details of Assassin's Creed III will be very painful... for you." ~Bane
Where were we again? Ah yes, the Ezio Trilogy!

Assassin's Creed II (2009)

Two years after the adventures of Altair, we once again returned to Future Desmond, casually loafing around the secret lair he's been imprisoned in. But mere moments into his introspective moaning, sassy blonde initially cold love interest, or "Lucy", bursts through the door and tells Desmond he'll actually have to do something this game. One quick trip to the Animus later (and a fairly clever sequence where we see Ezio be born), and Desmond actually breaks out into a light jog. A few fight tutorials later, he's absconded to the Good Guys hideout. You know its the Godd Guys hideout because the British computer guy is snarky instead of sinister (side note: all British men have to choose between being snarky, sinister, suave, or Scottish. It's the 4 S's of the British Isle). Also, the female lab assistant is allowed to have short hair and wear jeans and a t-shirt. Besides that, they're basically doing the exact same thing the bad guys were doing to you: making you relive the memories of your ancestors to help them achieve their goals. Fortunately, their goals in this game are to turn Future Desmond into a likable and competent character. To do that, they plan to use the creepy Bleeding Effect from the first game to bleed in memories from Ezio Auditore da Firenzie: Italian Renaissance Playboy and all-around hardcore dude. You begin Ezio's story at a pretty smart starting point: when he is a carefree teenager from Italian nobility and also apparently moonlighted as Flynn from Tangled.

Seriously, this can't be a coincidence. Flynn's hair is just slightly browner and they're both excellent thieves & climbers. And that flower that gave Rapunzel's hair magic powers? That could be a Piece of Eden and that would make the witch a Templar. Is Tangled just an alternate timeline for Assassin's Creed II?
Excuse me, I have to go write that fanfic.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Assassin's Creedence Clearwater: A Retrospective of my Favorite Non-Halo, Non-Mass Effect Series

As fans of the Hunger Games know, I am the master of promising and postponing. So we're holding off on the Walking Dead review until I play Episode 5 and going right in with an overview of Assassin's Creed. Why? Because Assassin's Creed 3 (the fifth game in the series, just roll with it) comes out today and I won't get to play it until at least 7 PM because I had to be an idiot and volunteer at a blood drive.This is what service to others gets you: less time to pretend killing Redcoats. Assassin's Creed is one of my favorite series largely because it combines historical settings with many sword fights and also crazy alternate history intrigue. Now I'm going to try and deviate from my normal writing style, because otherwise this retrospective will be 8,000 words and come out in January. I figure I'll talk a little about the plot for each game, what I liked what I didn't like, and then conclude with a ranking of each game in the series. Today, I will do Assassin's Creed 1 and tomorrow, I will review what is known as the "Ezio Trilogy" or "Where the Numbering went FUBAR". Without further ado, let us begin the look back at the Assassin's Creed series:

Assassin's Creed (2007)

If being an assassin doesn't work out, Altair should try the NBA. He's got mad hops, yo.
Fall of 2007 will be remembered as the greatest season for video games of the 360/Wii/PS3 generation. It saw the release of no less than a half dozen phenomenally good games: BioShock (one of the few "artsy" games that is also fun), The Orange Box (specifically Portal), Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (perhaps the most revolutionary FPS of the generation), Halo 3 (which was just fun), Mass Effect (you know, I think I've said enough about this series), and Assassin's Creed. In the game, you play as Altair, a member of the Order of Assassins during the Third Crusade. You are tasked with killing both Crusaders and Saracens who are profiting and prolonging the carnage, because if they did it accurately, you would be in a group of Muslim extremists murdering Christian soldiers and that would be just great for sales. But wait! You are also Desmond Miles from the far off year of 2012, henceforth known as Future Desmond.

"Literally no one likes me" ~Future Desmond

Friday, October 26, 2012

All Glory to Doug Martin!

The last few times we've been out here, I've threatened to talk about The Walking Dead Game and also politics. But I'm here to renege on those promises and get my fantasy football league caught back up. For you see, I have fallen prey to heresy and have left the pure path of weekly updates. Pursuing the idol of political satire, I have forsaken the bonds of overanalyzing minor trends in sports. And I would be lost, were it not for the light of Doug Martin. For tonight, the Muscle Hamster did tread upon the Vikings defense as the elephant upon the soft earth and rack up over 200 yards of total offense and 2 touchdowns. Such was his magnanimity as to grant me this boon two full days before any other game, allowing the Heretical Pimpmast Doug to stew in the inevitability of the upcoming battle.

He crushes footballs as mere mortals crush grapes: to make alcohol and/or jam.
Before I continue, let me give some context for my adoration of Doug Martin. Astute readers may recall that Doug Martin was one of "the picks I'm proudest of" way back in August. I had believed that this dude could be 2010 Arian Foster (great RB with little history to come out of the midrounds). I made drafting him early a priority. Up until tonight, he's been very solid, but unspectacular. All in all, it had seemed like I drafted him so early as to negate his value. But then tonight happened and he was all "Since reorganizing on the BYE week, I have scored 12, 17, and now 34 points". All aboard the Muscle Hamster express! So since I have about 4 weeks of games to get caught up on, I'm going to forgo the traditional system of nominees in an effort to get contemporary.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Rock Superstardom

I'm just letting you all know that I've decided to pursue my dream of being a rock n roll legend. Guitar Hero and Rock Band 2 have convinced me of my supernatural guitar playing prowess but I needed a band name, some hit singles and a truly great album to launch the dream. Well, the wait is over!

I present to you: "Horses & Bayonets" the hit single from the album "Binders of Women" from the newest rock n roll band: Pioneers of Outsourcing!!!!!

It'll be insaaaaaaaaaaaane!!!!!!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Making the Most of Tragedy

I've spent the last few posts talking about fantasy football. It's easy to get wrapped up in the opiate of sports and humiliating the Bean on so many levels. I could regale you with stories of how the Barry family is solely responsible for 2/3rds of all Bean family defeats this year. But I digress. The thing is, it's easy to forget how fragile everything is. Last night, tragically, in the blink of an eye, my The Walking Dead save file died. Three and one quarter episodes worth of progress gone in an instant.

This painting is a metaphor of what happened last night. The zombie is my save file, the hammer is my Xbox 360, and I am the little girl. I guess Lee Everett (the dude swinging the hammer and the player character) would be like fate or something? I don't know, I'm getting too deep again!
 The silver lining in all this is that, as a part of getting psyched for Season 3 of the TV Show and because I really wanted to play Episode 4 last night, I will be replaying the whole thing starting tonight. I've wanted to talk about the series for a long time now, but I never seemed to get the timing right. But this time, I will blog about the whole shooting match as it goes down! Get psyched for the return of the walkers, people!

No, that's the return of the White Walkers. But both involve large groups of the shambling dead, so we'll call it even.