Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Assassin's Creed is awesome

Assassin's Creed

I've been sitting on this one for a while, I have to get back into writing regularly, but I'm not quite there yet. Anyway,

I've never reviewed a game before, so I'm not quite sure what to take into account, but I fucking loved this game.

It threw me a pretty big modern-day science fiction curveball in the first five minutes, and I almost thought I had the wrong game in the case, but it became apparent that this game is not actually based during the crusades, as much as it looks like it.

You play as an assassin who, after being disgraced, are stripped of your ultimate badass merit badge by your master, and have to prove yourself once again, but taking out nine high profile targets in nearby cities. Once inside a city, you have to complete a certain number of side-quests before the actual assassination mission is available. These missions include eavesdropping on conversations, pickpocketing targets for valuable documents, beating up informants(and killing them), etc. etc. A lot of people complained about the repetetive nature of the missions, as there are only five or six that are repeated on every quest, but it didn't bother me. You still get to run away from groups of enemies, fight 10+ guards at once, scale buildings, jump across rooftops, and my very favorite, sneak up on guards and push them off rooftops. I would purposely attract the attention of groups of guards, have them chase me up a ladder, and proceed to push them all over the edge to their deaths. There's not much better than looking down from atop a building and seeing a pile of dead guards.

The one repetetive aspect that did get on my nerves was the NPC dialogue. After hearing the same homeless woman run through the same six lines of dialogue begging me for money like four times during one mission, I wanted to just put her out of my misery. But that would attract the attention of the guards.

Oh, and the drunk guys that wander around and assault you. If a drunk dude pushes you into a guard, it alerts him and him and his guard buddies will chase you around the city, sometimes veering you way off course from your destination. Thanks, asshole.

As the story unfolds(very slowly) you get to see the bigger picture, but it's not really until the end of the game that you truly understand what was going on. The story could have been more fleshed out, as you only find out cryptic tidbits each time you assassinate a target. Each mission is basically "Go and kill this asshole." But it's not until the end of the game until you find out why the hell you were doing it. And lo and behold, it's not why you thought you were.

The gameplay is fantastic, and I can only see the sequel, out in November, being better. The developers pretty much said that they're listening to the criticisms and working on fixing the things people complained about. Way to actually listen to player feedback guys, I wish other studios would do the same. (cough....Bungie...)

Out of a possible 5 droids:

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Recent Acquisitions 5/30/09

Baroness - Red Album

Haven't listened to it yet but they are opening for Clutch in Phoenix in July. We are going to rock the fuck out!

Pearl Jam - Ten Legacy Edition

With a second disc of a tweaked and remixed version of the album by the man himself Brendan O'Brien, plus bonus tracks from those years. The CD version of the album I have has to be from '92 or '93, as I originally had the album on tape. I have never heard it sound so good as it does now though on this re-release.

Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest

Opening for Wilco here in Tucson in three weeks. Also, the video for Two Weeks is fucking creepy and bizarre. Sean turned me on to that one.

Assassin's Creed (PS3)

I'll probably do a full review of this game because it kicks so much ass. I rented it last week and it has taken up much of my time as of late. I'm close to the end, and I don't want to write about it until I finish it. When I get home from work will it be Redwings/Penguins, or Assassin's Creed? Hrmm

Gary Numan - The Pleasure Principle

Four bucks on LP at Bookmans. Done fucking deal.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Is it a case of "Just give it another try?"

Coldplay - Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends

No. No it is not.

I downloaded this album when it came out, and kind of listened to it while I was hooked on Forza 2 for the Xbox. While I wasn't paying a great deal of attention to it, I could tell it was "meh."

A year later, for whatever reason, I decided to try it again. I listened to it in the car the other day, which I guess is where I can just listen to music without getting distracted, and it became apparent once more that it's pretty damn mediocre. At least for Coldplay, after setting the bar pretty high.

I fell head over heels in love with Parachutes when it came out. Rush of Blood to the Head was great, but it almost sounded like they tried to do too much too soon. And X&Y was a goddamn masterpiece in my opinion. I was hoping they would keep going further with the sound they'd played with the last two albums, but they seem to have gone backwards.

Maybe again, it's trying something new and recordin
g it before they've really figured out just what the hell it is they're trying to do. The album sounds much more disjointed than any of their other releases, maybe because they tried to please their fans around the world by throwing in some quasi-world-music sounds. As if they were forcing themselves into a new sound rather than just writing music. The emotion behind the music is gone.

Even Brian Eno couldn't save it. The production is fantastic. It's clean, layered, polished, but that doesn't make up for second-rate song-writing.

I'm not saying it's a bad album, I have heard many, many worse, but there's only a couple of songs, Violet Hill included, that would have made it onto Rush of Blood or X&Y.

For some odd reason Pitchfork gave it a 6.9/10, the highest rating they've ever given to a Coldplay album. Pitchfork never ceases to amaze me. I don't
really follow their site, because I never agree with them, but when I have looked things up on there it just astounds me that they try to be so against the grain that they will give a shitty rating to something that has received universal acclaim, time and time again. They're like that guy you know that thinks Sammy Hagar is better than David Lee Roth, or that the Michael Keaton Batman movies are way better than the new ones. Just to be different. Shit, I watched Batman again, and Jack Nicholson isn't the Joker. He's Jack Nicholson playing Jack Nicholson playing the Joker. Like a fucking SNL sketch. But that's another rant for another time.

Also, Chris Martin, et al, if you're listening, ditch the Sgt. Peppers outfits. Seriously.

Out of a possible 5 catfish: