Your cries have been heard! the weeks and weeks of the people crying for biting sarcasm and cynicism have finally been answered, I HAVE RETURNED.
Alright so maybe thats my delusional nature getting the better of me but regardless I am happy to say I’m back on the bloggity bandwagon once more! I’m actually really annoyed with myself for not posting sooner, I have now completed 2 new games I was hoping to review before christmas (Assassin’s Creed 2 and Dragon Age: Origins) but exams and holiday schedule conflicts prevented that. It’s a shame too, because my poignant and concise observations may have been helpful back when best buy and future shop had them on sale for 39.99 each.
Anyhow I’m going to do a mini-review of each and then move on to something more current, deal? deal.
Dragon Age Origins:
I recently finished my first playthrough of this game and logged just over 40 hours of gameplay in the process, I didn’t manage to finish half of the total side-quests so needless to say this thing offers lots of content to sink your valuable time into. You have the choice between six main character types with all the standard creation tools, the intro stories add some replayability but ultimately they all turn into the same storyline about 2 hours in anyhow, so it’s not limitlessly varied. The story itself offers several forks in the road though where you side with one group or ideology or the other, it’s not exactly black and white either which is refreshing as opposed to so many other games which offer you either status as patron saint or evil fucking incarnate. These decisions will ultimately shape the environment both in how people interact with you and what is available to you so really there are two somewhat unique playthroughs of the game to be had, but beyond that you will basically tread an awful lot of familiar territory. Gameplay wise the game is nothing new considering past games by Bioware, you have a party of four characters which you can choose between various party members you recruit through the story. There are warrior, rogue, and mage classes which offer the sort of gameplay styles you might expect in a fantasy rpg such as this. Also it’s worth noting that the fantasy realm they have created for this is immense, spanning hundreds of pages of backstory and general factoids, as well as two god-damned novels! Well to keep it short and sweet I’ll say this, it’s an engrossing game that while not perfect is serviceable enough to provide a very satisfying addiction. also, bonus points for being able to digitally bone this chick:
Assassin’s Creed II:
Continuing the adventures embedded deep within the cranium of it’s predecessor’s pseudo-protagonist Desmond Miles (which is arguable considering Altair was considerably more badass where Desmond was mostly just a little bitch) Desmond now touches on the memories of a new ancestor, Ezio De Auditore Di Firenze…et fettucine bolognese (yes, I am aware that’s a penny-arcade joke.) This time around Ezio is responsible for avenging his family and taking on his father’s legacy as a super badass assassin. Ezio goes along killing templars and crazy conspiracy and intrigue run amok…it’s more of the same high quality story-telling of the first. The game is a massive improvement on the first installment, adding a wide variety of mission types, larger and more detailed environments, and the addition of a home villa which you can upgrade and make a profit off of.
The story is a long an winding one, with many a twist and turn, but the end result of beating it is mostly rewarding, also if you’re a trophy whore this thing hand’s em out like candy, giving you a silver for each chapter of the story completed. All in all it’s a rich experience, with a lot more to offer than the first, the challenges and optional quests have a real sense of purpose to them adding to either the story or to your villa’s worth, making the pursuit of the game’s many hidden treasures an insatiable passtime.
There all done, that wasn’t so painful was it? Now on to more relevant issues. How about that earthquake in Haiti!? As if Haiti really needs more shit on it’s plate, that place is a hotbed of poverty, civil strife, and hurricanes …It seems as though a 7.0 Moment Magnitude level earthquake just seems a little overkill.
It’s good to see how people have come together to raise money to help the cause, recently I’ve looked into it and via text message alone there has been roughly $27 million has been raised already via various text message services that take donations, while Telethon’s in the states have raised over $57 million and $16 million was raised by the CBC’s telethon. I am always skeptical however of charitable organizations initially though as it is never easy to tell how well these organizations allocate funds and how efficient they are. To make a personal suggestion, I would recommend donating to UNICEF which is one of the finest organizations providing aid to ailing children.
I actually want to end this post with a couple of questions. What do you think of the efforts being made to aid Haiti after the earthquakes? Is it surprising the amount of money being raised and efforts being contributed? and how do you think this response reflects on efforts of past crisis’ ?(i.e. the tsunami in 2005, New Orleans after hurricane Katrina)