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Retrospective: Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation





So I’ve been meaning to write about this game for a while since it has been some time since I beat it. I’d like to get some bad flak out of the way for this game – it’s nice to see an Assassin’s Creed game on a handheld that is just as pretty as its home console counterpart; however, it seems like the character development skimps out a bit. I think that was a case for both installments of “Assassin’s Creed 3.”

It was exciting and fresh to see a female Assassin take the lead role in the franchise even if it was just for a portable on Vita. New Orleans was fun and I think the different personas added a nice twist to the combat system. At times it was annoying to have different levels of notoriety across different ‘costumes’, but it makes sense. There were a few things that just didn’t make sense to me that made this game really hard to play through at times: who is Aveline? I understand she is the daughter of a slaveholder who grants her freedom and she is also the adopted daughter of her father’s wife. How did she come to be an Assassin? Why did she share her activities so freely with her step-mother? Why is Aveline’s birthmother intent on keeping her distance? Just what is that damn disc everyone is so afraid of? I feel like these are important, pivotal questions which remained unanswered to the very end.

The gameplay is relatively intuitive – it plays a lot like its predecessors, although there are a few quirky things here and there ranging from stroking the back of the Vita to row a boat, to rubbing the backside
a certain way to pick-pocket someone. I’m sorry, but I don’t want to rub my handheld to steal some change! Hold triangle to steal, please! These extra ‘controls’ felt really gimmicky, like the mandatory sixaxis controls in Heavenly Sword (anyone remember that game!?) in which everything involved tilting the controller because.. sixaxis. I also couldn’t stand decoding maps or letters. I’m told to hold my vita to the light as if I am peeking at a real piece of paper, yet the damn camera controls are inverted for some reason and it’s actually the front camera that needs to be held to the light. Decoding maps and other riddles took forever because of this glitch that is NEVER FIXED. I suppose after the game breaking save glitch fix Ubisoft gave up on this game.



Onto other details: there is a trading system side mission(or quest.. or mini game?) where you could make a butt-load of money using Aveline’s company to buy and sell crops, linen, and supplies. It seems
to be the counterpart to the Homestead trading in Assassin’s Creed 3; however, the controls are so horrendous it often took me ten minutes or so to figure out how to select a ship and where to send it. Once I figured out how to do it, the controls are so NOT intuitive that I would forget almost immediately how to send out another ship. Let’s just say I didn’t bother playing this part of the game very much.


Connor: Everyone was looking forward to meeting and running through New Orleans with Aveline. Well, he’s really just eye candy – you can’t do anything with him and all he does is follow you around somewhat incompetently.  I think he is in this short game for just a few minutes depending upon how quickly you clear the missions.

I think this game is worth it if you can find it in the bargain bin. It’s been almost a year since its release so that may be possible at this point in time. I got mine with the Assassin White Playstation Vita bundle which I think was a very good bargain. I’m glad I did not pay full price for this title. Unfortunately, I think I’ll be waiting for the bargain bin for Assassin’s Creed IV since I’m still not convinced that it’s worth being a day one purchase.

C2E2 Cosplay Brigade

Ever the tepid and steadfastly-almost dedicated reporter that I am, I hoisted up my disgruntled disposition towards strangers and held them down until I got a photo. Just for you guys. You’re welcome. Buy me a snow cone.

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I got excited for this and jogged a little. I like manga, okay?

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If a certain fancy photographer weren’t going around with his special polaroid camera, I would’ve gotten a side shot of her majestic mohawk.

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Kirsa didn’t get her photo with Jason David Frank, so she needed this.

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Ramona Quimby, your hair has changed over the years…

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Maybe I only care about girls who look like they’d be in a Clamp manga.

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Unquestionably terrible lighting but this Sherlock was pretty sweet.

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imageThis Tina had an Erotic Friend Fiction book in her backpack, superkuhyute.

The Doctor Who cosplayers are getting their own post, so stay tuned for that!

For more photos or close ups of some of these costumes, check out our facebook page and “like” us: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.362266443874963.1073741825.205982746170001&type=1&l=9823ac33f0

Assassin’s Creed Black Flag: New Screens and Trailer Leak

We’re learning more about the newest installation to the franchise faster than expected - does Ubisoft want this stuff leaked on purpose? I’m thinking it would make sense given that the game is supposed to be out on October 29th. The newest trailer confirms that Edward Kenway, a pirate trained by Assassins, is indeed the star of the show. Since we’re going back in time and this is a prequel to Assassin’s Creed III, I hope the gun loads faster… since, you know… Ezio’s hidden gun from Renaissance Italy reloaded faster than Connor’s gun centuries later.

Check out the leaked screens here: All Games Beta

and don’t forget the new trailer before that is gone over at: Nintendo Everything

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag RELEASE DATE LEAKED

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There has been much talk and speculation about the forthcoming title from the Assassin’s Creed franchise. I have to admit, I wasn’t very excited since I just didn’t like Connor from the 3rd installation of the series; however, I really did love Haytham Kenway. Rumors were swirling that the protagonist of the next game is actually Edward Kenway, Haytham’s father. I am uncertain if this has been confirmed by Ubisoft, but being that the game does take place before the Haytham/Connor story - it can be possible and quite welcome because I’m much more interested in Haytham’s story arc than say.. Connor or Desmond. Which also leaves a lot of fans wondering - who will be in the Animus after what happened at the end of Assassin’s Creed III? I’m thinking it could be like Liberation, Revelations, and Brotherhood in which there is no Animus interaction. Perhaps Desmond Mile’s father is in the Animus and he is in fact a descendent of Edward Kenway? Time will tell.


Did I mention that the title of this game could be better? Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag reminds me of some mediocre punk band from the 70s:

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I’m wondering if Ubisoft was aware of this when picking that terrible title. Or maybe this band is so obscure these days that I’m the only person that would actually think of this.


Assassin’s Creed III was record breaking because it was the most pre-ordered Ubisoft game ever. Let Assassin’s Creed IV be another record breaker by being the first glitch and bug-free game in the series.


It seems the video is disappearing as quickly as it was leaked onto the internet. You can watch it here:

https://cdn.anonfiles.com/1362245692264.mp4

This is a direct mp4 link so it should work on most computers unless you’re missing some packages. It reveals the release date as October 29th. This is supposed to be a next-gen system. Will Playstation 4 be released in October?

Why I’m NOT buying anymore Assassin’s Creed DLC

I feel as if the hype surrounding Assassin’s Creed is finally dying down and I have a variety of emotions swirling around me. I feel regret not jumping upon the cosplay bandwagon, for one thing, because maybe I’d be famous like all of the other scantily clad Ezio or Altair chicks who decided cleavage and legs were essential to their interpretation of fully clothed men. Who doesn’t want their photograph of a poorly constructed, inaccurate  skanky cosplay circulating the internet!?

The other thing: I believe Assassin’s Creed II and Ezio were the climax of the series, and like any good book, we can only go downhill from there. Assassin’s Creed III was not a bad game - obviously! It won several awards and sold millions of copies. A hundred hours later I’m still playing the game in an attempt to platinum it. I swear, these trophies have gotten insanely hard since Assassin’s Creed II. My big gripe with the series at the moment is that they really created some huge shoes to fill. Seriously HUGE shoes. Altair wasn’t so interesting and so it was easy to surpass his character with someone else; however, Ezio was bigger than life. He was a womanizer, intelligent, determined, and powerful. Connor is austere like Altair and angry like Ezio but the damn kid just can’t control himself. He makes irrational decisions and doesn’t do much to move the plot. He is simply a boy following fate. 

So now we have some DLC that portrays an alternative universe. What if George Washington didn’t step down? What if he became a king? Well, we could tell where this DLC is going simply by playing the game. Haytham, the only character who actually has a strong sense of justice and morality, really revealed who Washington was. Too bad Connor just can’t handle the truth and offs Haytham like a toddler having a fit. I’m sure this DLC is very fun and most interesting - I won’t insult it because I haven’t played it… but I don’t want to play it because I don’t want to be Connor. I’m just not that interested in his character to throw down another 30 dollars for two more hours of gameplay. I need to note, in my own defense, that I own all previous Assassin’s Creed DLC - including that dreadful Desmond DLC where you’re trapped in the Animus. That DLC just felt like a really bad version of Portal.

 

How can Ubisoft get me to buy into the series again? Drop Connor like a bad habit and bring me some more Haytham Kenway gameplay. 

Or end the series before it turns into another Resident Evil. 

In Depth Review: Assassin’s Creed III

Asssassin’s Creed III does not disappoint and lives up to the hype – Ubisoft proudly announced weeks ago that this was their most pre-ordered game yet. The third title focuses around Connor, an American(yeah, I said it.) of Mohawk Indian and British descent. He is straight out of a Catharine Sedgewick novel, which makes this game all the more charming for early American history and literature buffs. I’ll be writing this from an American perspective in the same fashion I imagine Italians marveled at Ezio slaying the Medici and Borgia families in Assassin’s Creed II. Gamers get to mingle with a cast of historical characters and witness the signing of the Declaration of Independence. I giggled with glee when I dumped boxes of tea into Boston’s harbor and as a New Yorker, I shook my head in disbelief at how rural New York is in this installment of the series. The Desmond plot finally comes to a conclusion and I hope any forthcoming Assassin’s Creed titles keep him gone for good(I was never a fan of the contemporary levels – keep me in the Animus, please!)

The graphics in this game have quite a boost over the previous titles – the water is beautiful, the landscape is beautiful(although rendering could use an improvement, buildings popping up out of thin air isn’t pretty!), and I loved the new features – such as climbing trees, hunting animals, listening to conversations while remaining within a specified range, and the changing seasons. The snow flurries, pouring rain, and scorching sun really helped add to the experience. There are also new side quests that are much less redundant feeling that in earlier games. There are a variety of naval missions that are enjoyable, peg leg trinket missions(similar to gathering feathers for Maria in ACII), convoy missions, and eagle feather collecting. Welcomed back are fort missions in which you can liberate regions of cities from the Templar order – although with a twist. Like the convoy missions, you must find the forts before the mission becomes available. Other missions, such as helping people around town, become available as you walk around. Fast travel is a bad idea to use frequently in this game because you will miss out – in fact, you need to discover the fast travel tunnels in this game; they cannot be purchased. My major qualm about the technicality of this game is maintaining the homestead – I’m not enjoying the whole ‘creation’ of products that then need to be sold and transported via convoy. It reminded me of Atelier Rorona and I was not pleased. I much rather renovate buildings and collect income instead of hunting around for homestead missions to acquire people to live near my property, then buy materials from these rescued people, THEN ship these things on convoys that may not even make it to the destination. It’s like a weird cross between Atelier and Civilization. I could have lived without it.

On a side note, this game is really buggy and needs a patch. Assassin’s Creed III and Liberation has issues with freezing and other strange glitches that require restarting the game. I’m really surprised Ubisoft has not addressed this and issued a patch.

Ultimately, you should buy this game.

Continue reading for some character analysis - but be warned, there are SPOILERS.

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Because Black Friday is for Gamers…

I never look forward to Black Friday because I want to spread the joy of the holidays and friendship by purchasing gifts - I usually begin gift shopping before the end of October because I don’t want to deal with crunch time. I do, however, indulge in Black Friday and Cyber Monday goodies for myself. Last year I scored an AMD chipset, a motherboard, 3 video games, and a ton of other stuff for myself for under 300. Aside from Comic Con - this is probably the only other thing that I save up for all year long. Amazon has already kicked off their “Days to Black Friday” with Lightning Deals and now the fliers are beginning to leak:

You can see the Best Buy Door Busters right here.

Notable mentions include a variety of recent releases for $35 such as Assassin’s Creed III and a Call of Duty: Black Ops bundle for just $199!

Cheap Ass Gamer has posted a list of Black Friday spoilers right here. This list includes Radio Shack, K-Mart, Sears, and more.

While Play-Asia.com doesn’t directly partake in Black Friday, be sure to check their site every week to nab some epic games in the range of $19.99-$35.

Unfortunately, there seems to be no leak yet on Amazon’s offerings for Black Friday and Cyber Monday at the moment.

And since this is a blog about everything that makes us go “Hey now!” I can’t fail to mention that Big BangTheory season 5 will be $8.99 at Best Buy.

Happy shopping!!

Assassin’s Creed: The Quick and Dirty Demo.

At NYCC I had the opportunity to get my hands on a Playstation Vita for a few precious moments – after waiting for two days in line. I was under the impression that the demo for Assassin’s Creed: Liberation was reasonably lengthy and would give me the chance to really experience the game since people seemed to be taking an upwards of 15 minutes to finish using the vita. Finally it was my turn. I slipped the Sony headphones on and wrapped my hands around the sleek frame of a black Vita. The level I played was combat oriented, I was told. The woman was condescending to me as if I never played any video game before so I was somewhat under the impression that the combat in this game was serious business. Finally, she left me be and I delved into the world of the very first female protagonist of the series. I started out by walking around – disappointed that there was nothing to climb. There were many lush trees but nothing that was actually climbable. Every moment I attempted to interact with the environment, the blue shirted Sony woman came by to remind me or “help” me with her advice that I should ‘get in the boat’ or ‘interact with people.’ So I really cannot comment on the climbing in this game. So I found my way to an old lady who advised me that I must get into a boat in order to proceed. So I followed her in my own bow, rowing along… or rather, swiping along the belly of my Vita to push off into the waters. Eventually I made my way to some wetland and approached a group of people that I needed to kill. Combat was relatively native to me, although I couldn’t seem to block and attack as easily as I could with Ezio. I’m wondering if this is because of the weapons equipped at the time. I made my way onto a ship and dug into a chest to receive the message that I had completed the task. So I figured… well, there must be something else to do? It’s only been five minutes! I figured maybe I was locked out from anything else since I was playing only a demo. I used the ship as an opportunity to jump from plank to pole and so on since that was my only chance to feel the jumping mechanics of the game… until the blue shirted Sony woman rudely informed me that “that’s it!” when the timer on my Vita stated I had a full ten minutes left of play time. Anyway, aside from the cranky woman, my experience was overall positive. I’m looking forward to both Assassin’s Creed games launching at 12am next week.

Liberation on the Vita looked beautiful and did not in any way feel stripped despite being on a portable system. I am worried that the touch features of the system will have the same fate as the Sixaxis on Playstation 3. The touch features did not feel intuitive, and if anything, they felt forced. I am given the option of doing things with the buttons OR with touching the back of the system in a certain way. Will developers find a way to fully utilize the touch features of the Vita or will it be pushed to the wayside since touch isn’t exactly a requirement or expectation in a game. This was the same for Sixaxis. Nice perk, but how many games aside from Heavy Rain utilized the feature in a natural feeling way? I had to turn it off in Grand Theft Auto IV, and it was only used a small bit in Heavenly Sword.

With a little bit less than a week to go before I get my hands on an Assassin White Vita, Liberation, and Assassin’s Creed III; I wonder what direction touch screen technology will take us in the world of video games.

Review: Max Payne 3

Max Payne 3 and I go way back. I was hoping for a third game in this series as soon as I watched the ending credits of Max Payne 2. When I heard that a third installment was announced, I was wild with joy and anticipation… but that wore out quickly. The severance of Sam Lake and Remedy from the production of the game combined with Rockstar taking over every aspect of the new game had me worried. Then the first images began to come through, revealing daylight, musky equator weather, and a fat, old, and bald Max. People were quite outraged like I was, and then Rockstar decided to mention the inclusion of a Max Payne who wasn’t bald. The more I read about the setting and the plot, the more I decided this simply wasn’t a Max Payne game I wanted any part of. I’ve never hated any Rockstar game I’ve played but that would soon change. What I began to notice was that those who were liking the revealed content for MP3 never played the first two games – it became clear to me that they were in love with the game play, the setting, and maybe even the rugged, weathered man on the screen. That is okay, it really is – if this game were named anything else I’d probably think it was a decent(but short) game. Reviews for the game were positive and my friends were telling me I was being stubborn for disliking a game I haven’t played. I decided to give the game a try and got it from my local GameStop. I beat the game in two days and here was what it was like:

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Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is beautiful

I remember my first experiences with Tekken Tag Tournament on my launch PS2 and thought the concept of tagging in a Tekken game interesting but not different enough that I was deterred from the series(Tekken 4 is a whole other story on that path). As any devoted Tekken fan should know, don’t bother playing for plot because the story simply doesn’t make sense - especially if you want to try to think chronologically. Is anyone else shocked that Heihachi is young? The last time I saw him without grey hair was in Tekken 1. Anyway, this game brings in some new elements - such as having a second player serve as your tag buddy… this can allow up to four people at once to play in a single match. There is a customization mode which is a bit annoying and less straight-forward than its Tekken 6 counterpart. I’m guessing once Namco-Bandai releases the FREE downloadable content this section will make more sense. I really don’t want to wait because I need my Ling in her Tekken 3 colors(blue, gold, black). Tekken Tag Tournament 2 also contains the largest Tekken roaster to date…

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