Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Assassin's Creed 3 My Take On It (Yes, I know It's Been A While)

 *Author's Note* If you have not played this game or finished it yet, stop reading because there are spoilers.

 So after a long hiatus, I finished Assassin's Creed III. Did I like the game? Yes, definitely. Did I love it? Not so much. First let's get the good things out of the way. I really liked that there was a new world to explore and a great part of history to be involved in; the Revolutionary War. This made for a lot of interesting missions, side quests, and battles. I did like the new costume designs for the game and I definitely liked the new weapons. I did like seeing quite a few historical faces in the game and some of them had some pretty good missions. The story was fairly interesting especially towards the end when further details are revealed answering a lot of questions from the previous game. While I did wish for more city exploration, I did enjoy exploring the frontier areas because it was new and there was some interesting things going on out there.
 Now, let us get to the parts that I found mildly disappointing and the parts that were so infuriating they got  A LOT of swearing from me.

 1.Connor Is A Wooden Boy: Connor while an interesting character, came across as wooden and I wasn't really feeling the passion from him or any emotion really. Even when he was supposed to be angry, it just came across as angst filled teenager. Shouldn't he be angrier about some of the things that have happened? I mean I know I would be full on raging if half the stuff he survives in this game happened to me. Speaking in a flat monotone in every situation is just not working for me. I also wish they had done a bit more with the story about Connor's tribe because it seemed like they were just a blip of a plot point and not much else which was a little disappointing. There's also this sense of Connor just being along for the ride and even as a full fledged assassin he doesn't really get to shine, so his story seems lost and smacks of missed opportunity. Bottom line, the pacing is off and that's never good when your main character doesn't feel like he's the main character to you.

 2. The damned lock picking: Really, how hard is it to have decent controls for lock picking the chests you find in the game? I suggest that all those game developers go play all the Thief games so they can see how it's done. There is no excuse that late in the game for shoddy controls. Hold both buttons down, swirl around to find the correct "signal" and realize that you have the skills of a drunken monkey when you can't get the damn thing open. Also file under "the right signal my effing ass" because it was ridiculous.

 3. Paul Revere's Midnight Ride Mission: Yes, they did their research and yes, it was cool they had that in the game. However, never have I wanted so badly to shove a historical person off a horse. Having to constantly ask the man for directions while he yelled at me, "More to the left! No, more right!" made me seriously consider handing him over to the enemy. It was only for a minute, I swear.

 4. THE DAMN NAVAL BATTLES: There is a good reason why that is in all caps. There is no real learning curve here. It's pretty much a learn or sink your ship situation here. While I get that the ships can't turn on a dime just like real ships from that era; the controls are pardon my French, utter shit. Not only are they clunky, there are some questionable load times for firing the various cannons and lord help you if you end up getting turned around and smashing on some rocks. One of the naval battles was so damn infuriating, my husband Ron had to step in and finish it for me. Yes, it was that bad.

 5. The Chasing Lee Mission: This was the final mission in Connor's main story and it made me want to tear my hair out and scream out my frustration. I did scream in fact.  Many times. First there's the optional objectives of don't shove anyone while you're running, followed by don't let any of the British soldiers touch you. So instead of oh I don't know getting to shoot murdering bad guy in the face, you have to run an obstacle course full of people, things, and a burning ship like you're an Olympic marathon champ. Then we factor in, how Lee is only five steps away from you but you get the desynchronization message if you don't get closer to him. At one point I was standing right IN FRONT of him in the burning ship; I could have had him right there, but because it wasn't part of the "story" he took off running and I got that message. I finally did finish that mission and the payoff for it wasn't really worth it; trust me.

 6. Desmond Got Screwed Over: While I understand that Desmond's story was ending; the way they sent him off left no real resolution for him and it seemed as if they were just tired of him. Desmond needed a proper send off with some actual closure; not an ending that screamed, 'Hey, we're kind of bored and tired of this guy, so we're getting rid of him okay? 'Kay, see ya!'

Those were the big things that really disappointed me and made me nuts. My thinking was I couldn't believe they spent three years working on this game and this is what we got. I loved the previous Assassin's Creed games and I was genuinely excited for this one, but there were many things that disappointed me. While I liked the game and I did like the ending (not the thing that happened to Desmond because that was some bullshit), I didn't love it. It felt like perhaps they rushed a bit or just didn't test things out fully to make sure they worked right (I'm looking at you, lock picking controls team) or they couldn't be bothered. I'm not expecting perfection, but after working on something for three years, you better be able to deliver the goods. This is just my take on it, if you want to try it out by all means, go ahead. Just don't expect stellar, because that is not going to happen. Expect kind of good, but not great, and fun to play through once.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Doctor Who Christmas Special; Farewell To Matt Smith And Hello To Peter Capaldi

I loved the Doctor Who Christmas special. It had everything; all the scary monsters, the companion, and of course the Doctor. It was funny, sad, and bittersweet. It was a lovely farewell to Matt Smith and suddenly hello to Peter Capaldi. While Peter Capaldi's appearance was brief, it did pique my interest and I can't wait for the new season of Doctor Who to see what kind of Doctor he'll be.  Geekosystem did a great article that went over all the details of the episode. They also shared a behind the scenes video that is also quite good. There are spoilers, so don't click on the link if you haven't watched the special yet. If you have, you can take a look at it all here: http://www.geekosystem.com/time-of-the-doctor-regen/

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

You Tube's Content ID Mess

In case you missed it, there's been a huge uproar about all this content ID mess You Tube has going on. There's a lot of flaws in it and it seems like having an automated system does not always work out for the better. You can read all about their response in the Kotaku article here: http://kotaku.com/heres-what-youtube-has-to-say-to-angry-youtubers-1485168478?utm_campaign=Socialflow_Kotaku_Facebook&utm_source=Kotaku_Facebook&utm_medium=Socialflow