Archive for the ‘Random’ Category

Finally, a fresh title to sink my teeth into. I am speaking of Dishonored of course, a game that I finally had a chance to clear in the past month or so. I had been waiting for Dishonored for a long time, and basically bought it when it first came out and managed to play it while I was in my dorm room in Urbino. Unfortunately though, while I was Italy, I discovered that it was the game that pushed my laptop over the edge and would make it overheat. So I finally managed to sink my teeth into it when I got back and managed to get a cooling mat for it. After the first couple chapters I put the game down, as I do with many of my games, and switched to a different one to see how that one suited my fancy for a while. However, in the past month, I made a pact with myself to clear all of my games that I have that I never really cleared (at least the ones with clear endings). So now I only keep five games on my laptop at any time, four games that I dive into, and one for casual play. Thus, Dishonored was reinstalled, and completed finally. WARNING: SPOILERS.

First off, I would like to comment on the beautiful environment that was created in this new world. The city of Dunwall came to life with the distinct architecture though out the entire city, the citizens that had motives, character, depth, and the way that The Outsider spoke to me. The world is huge, allowing you to take multiple paths to the same goal, making it so if I couldn’t sneak past a guard and into the lighthouse, I could scale another building and blink between roofs, and hide in dumpsters to get there. Now, I ran a “no kill” run for my first play through for a few reasons: one, my friend who had seen the game seemed skeptical of an assassin game that could be cleared without killing a soul, two, I wanted the challenge of being the city’s crusader, and three, I read some of the repercussions of killing people and decided to leave that to my “kill everyone” play through.

Going through the game, I noticed that the atmosphere stayed relatively constant: you have a person to murder or not, and you are wanted for killing the empress so you’ll be killed on site. Things were dark and grimy, just the way you’d expect a city in downfall would be. The game doesn’t get too dark though, you never have to murder your sainted mother or anything, for the most part, you are just killing people who are either A, evil or B, part of the evil machine. The environment does all of the work, and a couple of characters add to it, like Granny Rags and The Outsider.

The mechanics work like a dream, never really breaking stride in the game, allowing you to seamlessly blink across a roof, possess a rat, sneak into the building, hit a guard with a sleep dart, steal a safe code, and make it out through the fourth floor window. However, that sequence happened about the six time that I tried the mission. I give the game points for definitely being challenging when trying not to kill people. However, now that I have tried playing by killing everyone that I see, I have found the game much easier to get through. Now, that same sequence goes more like this: kill the front guard, take his key, kill the guard guarding the safe code, and walk out like a boss.

I’ve also started to experience the difference in high and low chaos now that I have started my “kill everyone” run. Playing the first assassination mission showed more rat swarms to start off with, which I know is just the beginning of the mayhem that is going to ensue. Overall, I give the game a high rating, and I’m waiting for the Knife of Dunwall DLC(s) that will be coming out (though depending on price, I may not get them, we will see).

Whatever the risk, still onward.

-The Architect

A squeal to a game series that I have been waiting quite a while came out, DmC. My background with the series was having the first three games and never getting more than a couple hours into any of them. So when I saw the trailers and gameplay of the new one and saw that they were basically rebooting the series, I was kind of excited to give it a try. Now though, I wish I hadn’t bought the game and all of its lack of content.

To start off with, the night that I got the game, I put it into my XBOX and started drinking while playing it. As I played and became increasingly more impaired, I found that the game was too easy, so I bumped up the difficulty every time I beat a level with an S rank or higher. Well in no time I was playing on the hardest difficulty first available to you without beating the game, still getting S and SS ranks on all of the missions. Then, before I knew it, I beat the game. No deaths, all S rank or above, while heavily impaired at the end.

So here is the critique: the game sucked. I bought the game a few days after it came out, so I still had to pay full price (used wasn’t available yet, but it’s only $5 cheaper now). The game was not worth full price for how much I actually got out of the game, and this is the thing that really irks me about current gaming. It seems that developers think that just playing a game again on a higher difficulty is what replay value is about, beating the score you made last time, honing your skills, and adding your name to a leaderboard. This, however, is not replay value, this is a copout. Replay is wanting to experience the unique game for all of its greatness, reliving the story, and partly for some nostalgia. I frequently replay The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, because it has a great plot, cutting grass is fun, and it’s still the best adventure game I’ve ever played. I have made multiple character profiles in Elder Scrolls: Oblivion to try out the different character builds and different side quests and stuff. I’ve thrown open a new file in Fire Emblem because I want a good challenge. DmC has none of these traits. It is short, typical hack and slash, no challenge.

Now as I said before, I was excited for the reboot of the series because of the prospect of the challenge and plot that would just take me in (and the fact that Dante got impaled by a freaking sword and lived, but got killed by puppets). I saw that they reworked the combat system, made it more fluid. Great! I like being able to throw a guy up, blast him with a shotgun, throw his friend off the stage, and then cut the head off the last guy in one fluid combo. What I don’t like is making certain weapons, again, useless. The scythe you get is awesome, but so weak that I only used it when I needed a large combo, or for the enemies that had to have it used on them. Once you get past the fluid combat, there are no other redeeming qualities. Story is flat, boring, and just kind of annoying. You see all of the different things they talk about, and want to know more, but never get it. There are plot twists that you see the second you start the game. The characters have little motive to actually do much. It is very frustrating.

To conclude, this game had potential, so much, but fell flat on its face. It could have been a longer, more challenging game, but instead it is a short, easy, overpriced, generic game. Unfortunately, this is the last Devil May Cry game that I will most likely be purchasing for quite some time. DmC, I bid you farewell.

Whatever the risk, still onward.

-The Architect

The post will be a review of one of the few games that I have cleared recently, Borderlands 2. I managed to clear the final boss about a week ago, and thought that this is a game well worth reviewing for random people on the internet.

The only reason I played Borderlands 2 was because over the holidays a friend of mine bought it for me and a bunch of my friends with the idea of multiplayer gun-slinging, havoc reeking fun, and to start with, he was right. The first two hours that I played the game I was at my friend’s house playing together with my other friends. Each of us chose one of the four unique classes, I chose the assassin Zero, and then we dropped into the world. At first, the character builds weren’t very different, partly because of level, but mostly because of weapons at that moment. Until we made it to the next location, all of us were using pistols and melee attacks to get through waves of Bullymogs that blocked our path. After frustrating my friends with running ahead and killing things and stealing all of the loot, I left to go spend time with my girlfriend.

borderlands-2-zero-wallpaper

That was the only time that I played multiplayer, but for the most part, it was kind of fun. The night would have been more fun if I had gotten a sniper rifle at that point and taken advantage of my character’s unique abilities. I ran the rest of the game by myself, taking on a multitude of side quests to fill up my pockets and give me better loot to use to kill bigger things. The game is fairly fast pace, you walk into a new area and get swarmed by all of the monsters, thieves, and general baddies, but that doesn’t deter you because you start exploiting your class perks. I got into the habit of using my sniper rifles to start off a fight when I entered a new area, keeping my distance and picking off all of the new startled enemies. Then, when the stranglers finally ran up to me, I whipped out my shotgun and blew them away. This fighting tactic worked alright to start with, but after I got a few more weapon slots, it changed to accommodate the new arsenal that I was toting around with me.

It wasn’t until fairly late in the game that I actually “died”, at which point I discovered the Fight for Your Life system they implement in the game. If you get your health depleted, you are wounded and can’t zoom your weapons, and you have a limited amount of time to kill another enemy. If you manage to kill one, then you get your shield back and some portion of your health back, thus giving you another go at the current situation. This is where my new set of weapons came in, whenever I went into Fight for Your Life mode, I pulled out my rocket launcher and killed the closest thing. Once I recovered, I would reload my rocket launcher so I could be prepared for the next time that happened to me. I was caught refilling it too often when I actually died because I hadn’t reloaded it from before. Then I started my special ability where I would create a clone that would draw enemies in while I got huge buffs to my melee attacks and critical hits. This came in handy when trying to do massive damage to a boss, or escaping a hairy situation I had gotten myself into.

Overall, the combat system, diverse weapons, upgrades, and skill trees make combat a really great experience to experiment with. Later on in the game though, you will start to find it much more difficult to find a better weapon than the one you are using, I kept the same sniper rifle for a good five hours of game play, until I found one that had a massive power boost. Same with my shotgun, and I used the same pistol for most of the game. Money also became pointless along the way because you are just showered in money (literally) all of the time, which made actually dying later on kind of a mild annoyance than something to really avoid.

The atmosphere of the game world is remarkable because each area is different from the last, making you feel like you are in a wasteland, city, or decimated local. The only thing that could have made it slightly better was if the enemies changed more than they did. Yes I would fight giant bug things in a sewer area, and bandits in an outpost, but any time you found the same type of enemy in two different locations, they didn’t show any difference. This is mainly for the bandit designs because they were the same in the frozen waste land as they were in the desert. A bit more variation would have been great.

The game’s antagonist, Handsome Jack, is the pure embodiment of evil asshole that has to die. Later on in the game they add to his background and try to show you his motives and driving force behind him being a bastard, but in the end, you have no sympathy for the man. He is a great character because you never really have any moral grey moments when dealing with him, even after they add in his backstory.

The rest of the supporting character for the game really fill in the universe because everyone is different from the last important person you had to deal with. Each of the supporting characters will also give you unique quests for you to fill in your play time with. Some of the time you’ll have to kill so many of a certain monster, or run around trying to deliver mail in a bad part of town, but for the most part, you’ll get something new quest from quest. I went from checking up on my worst enemy’s grandmother, to trying to help a robot become human.

I highly recommend this game to anyone who likes dark/absurd humor, growth of characters, guns, and general merriment. Grab a buddy and take on Handsome Jack, and put him out of his misery!

borderlands2

Whatever the risk, still onward.

-The Architect

So I woke up and did my usual for the day. My dad went to the doctor, so while he was out he picked up the cleaning and my meds, so now I’ll be taking the right meds and be looking sharp whenever I go out.

I hung out with the gang for most of the day. We started with lunch at Chili’s which was pretty good. Afterwards we broke up for a while, then all went to Jake’s house to play Mario Party and Magic and stuff. Once we ran through a couple games of Mario Party we went on to have dinner at Whataburger where we discussed video games and other current events. And to close out the night we went to Josh’s house to play Killing Floor, though we never won while we were there. Still a great time though.

After finishing up and helping Josh clean up his room, I went back home and talked to my dad a bit. After talking to him, I decided I would have a rum and coke to cap off the night, but when I took out the bottle of rum there was less than I thought there should be. My dad just told me that’s why I puked so much, and that if he had seen how much I had had then he would have cut me off at some point. So with that thought, I figured I would just have a soda and call it a night.

While writing this though, I find myself in higher spirits than usual. I’m not sure if it is because I actually am in a better mood or if it’s because I’m listening to a bunch of Owl City music. I have been listening to Good Time which makes me want to go camping some time, though that probably won’t be for a long time. Also listened to Fireflies which makes me want to go up north again and just watch them fly around. I think my mood is better because I’m thinking about things that I want to do again, not for other people, but for me. To cap off this post, I think I will just state that I haven’t made my appointment with my shrink yet, even though I need to.

Whatever the risk, still onward.

-The Architect

I pretty much slept the entire day away because I was so tired from all of the stuff I had been doing recently. I was also tired because my friends kidnapped me by saying we were going to IHOP, but instead they stop outside of IHOP and want to talk about my blog. Well from what I got from them was basically they wanted to say sorry for not being bros about things, wanted to know what all went down with me, and make sure that I wasn’t moving just because of what had happened. So, to answer these things in order: thank you for being bros but I didn’t bring it up because I didn’t want to bring it up, it was pretty rough for me, I then told you all what happened to me and why I felt the way I did, and no I am not moving just because of what happened. I was always going to move, I just needed to explain it better so you didn’t think that I was never coming back. I still have my bros and stuff, and I’m really glad that I have that, and I’m glad that they all know that occasionally I want some serious talking talk, or at least not derp all the time.

So all is good with us at the moment, though I think we need to have another talk some time about the group as a whole with the entire group there to discuss it all. If we are going to bro, then we will bro with all honesty and no secrets. I love using bro as a verb and having Word accept that.

Other than that stuff, today was pretty uneventful, though I’m still trying to figure out my museum situation at the moment. I think I may have someone, but I’m not sure yet. I’m also starting to play my trip to San Antonio later this month.

Whatever the risk, still onward.

-The Architect

 

The next day we were going to hit the Riverwalk and all of the things around it, which I told the guys about and they had agreed to and were fine with when we first made these plans. So we go to the Riverwalk and I start talking about it and all of the things around it until we hit the mall and decide to go into the collectables store there. We spent a fair amount of time there until we left and were getting ready to hit the Alamo, but when we got outside and were in sight of the Alamo Chase immediately goes “alright, I’ve seen the Alamo. I’m done”. Bullshit. So we didn’t do that even though they said they were fine with it, so we try to do the attractions right next to the Alamo, which they don’t want to do because of cost (understandable for some of it). So we just grab lunch and I hit the Herwick’s to grab some sketching supplies because I wanted to sketch a little bit while I was in town. Well after dinner, some of the people didn’t want to do any of the things that I told them we could do in San Antonio, so we just decided to go back home.

Once I got back home I told my parents about the trip and highlighted the high points of it all and discussed the low points. High points were the water fun, hanging with friends, playing games, and being back in San Antonio. Low points were the complaining from Jake about everything, Chase complaining about the hotel since we didn’t stay that long in San Antonio, and the two hour wait for a ride we didn’t get to go on. Jake complained about the cost to fun ratio at Schlitterbahn, and said blanket statements about how there was no fun had there. He also complained about the people there, the people in San Antonio, the university food, Subway, and his usual racist homophobic statements. Chase complained about the hotel because we didn’t spend much time in San Antonio.

That was my vacation for this summer, and overall I enjoyed it and would do it again (maybe with a different place and stuff to do). I think next year I’ll take a road trip with some friends and go up north. We’ll see what all happens between now and then.

Whatever the risk, still onward.

-The Architect

So today I woke up early to get ready for my trip that I was taking with some of my friends in Houston to Schlitterbahn and then to San Antonio. I woke up earlier than I needed to so I could get myself some breakfast and brew up some good coffee for the drive. We met up at John’s house and then took Chase’s car and my car to get there. Chase, Josh, Jake, and C.J were in Chase’s car, while John, Fails, and Brandon were in mine for the trip. I wasn’t too sure about this at first, but by the end of the trip, I was really happy that it worked out that way.

So we made it to Schlitterbahn with little trouble and got ready to have an awesome time there. We went on most of the rides that we wanted to. The most fun we had was on the wave river where we all rode the waves and then after a while I just laid back in my tube and relaxed with the waves. The last thing we were going to do was the Wolf Pack or whatever it’s called. It’s a three person ride with a really long wait. So after about two hours in line, we are third to go, and wouldn’t you guess that nature picks that moment to hit us up with some thunder and lightning. This meant that after about two hours of waiting, we didn’t get to go on it, and they were closing down the park.

We packed up all of our stuff and I bought the photo of us all right before one of the rides doing our “loads of money” dance. We left the park at that point and went to the hotel, which was about an hour away. However, once we got to the hotel, it didn’t have any power, but they said it would be back in a few hours. So we all decided to grab some dinner, but this is where things got annoying. We had agreed to go to BJ’s after a long discussion and me getting angry about what people defined as fancy food (Red Lobster and Olive Garden are not fancy). Once we got there though we found out it was packed because we forgot to check the time and the fact that it was Saturday. So we were trying to figure out another place to eat, at which point the idea of McDonald’s came up, which my car was against because we had just done so much and wanted a real meal. This led to an irritating argument with the other car, and by the end of it, they went to McDonald’s, while my car went to Friday’s (we told them there was Friday’s, but they were against that as well [what defines fancy for these fucking bastards???]).

At dinner, we decided to have a discussion about everyone in the group and the problems we had with them. This wasn’t limited to the people in the other car, but our thoughts on the people in my car (including myself). After a long discussion of things and people, I found that I liked my car full of people more than the other people, even though I’ve known them longer. We knew when to be stupid and have fun and be loud, but unlike the other car, we know when to be calm and still have a good time. We had a great time at dinner and I think we all grew closer together as friends.

After dinner, we went back to the hotel and played Munchkins and Magic for a while. After a long game of Magic, I called it a night, took a shower and then went to bed. This, however, was interrupted when the rest of the people in my room came back after finishing up and told me to get out of the bed. We had five people in our room and two beds, so I figured someone would get a cot or a sleeping bag or something similar. No. Instead, I was told that there was a chair I could sleep in, or that I would be spooned by two dudes. Their reason for basically not letting me have a bed was because they “got there first”. This pissed me off because if I had known that this would happen, I would have just gotten my own room. And the only reason they were first was because they went to McDonald’s instead of Friday’s. So I left the room and went to sleep in the other room that the other’s had. I’m going to pay John twenty bucks for using their room next time I see him.

 

Whatever the risk, still onward.

-The Architect