With a Jolt, My Mind Awakens…Chapter Eighteen: Dirty Little Demons are Living in My Head, and Every Single Morning They Remember to Make the Bed…

Nowadays, I am stockpiling annoyances like a Gummi Bear hoards the Bouncy-Bouncy-Booze…

Be wary, children, of They Who Brew the Black Coffee of P.M. and Curdle the Flow of Disaster with Gorgeous Slabs of Lemon Pound Cake. As a collegian, I was never tantalized by coffee, but I downed cups of cocoa from the periphery of the co-ed cafeteria to Feed the Peoplewatchin’. I often thought of the stories in their heads as they burned their toast and stood in long lines for plates of soggy French fries. I also often envisioned myself as a disdainful moderator of this Mundane Catastrophe, countenance in line with the image your eyes engulf below:

Black Coffee is my Catwoman. It fills me with precious horror/plenitude of sideways, diversions, and alley-scampers for The Lonely Nights. Tonight, the Cauldron compels back-to-back Charles Bronson movies, courtesy of Youtube (PUSHER MAN! PUSHER MAN! JUST GIMME THE PRIZE, YOU BASTARD, GIMME THE PRIZE…) — My Primary Agendum was the viewing of the flick “Some Guy Who Kills People”, but the local Redbox was incapacitated with Video Measles. A post for another day, ya riff-raff… *DELIBERATELY AMBIGUOUS IMAGE IN FIVE…FOUR…THREE…TWO…ONE…”:

“Mr. Majestyk”, “The Mechanic”, “Death Wish”, “Death Wish II” — my head is still attached to my shoulders. Surprised? Skip it. Black Coffee is Black Tar that Keeps All Molecules in Format & Tone. I probably need another two or three movies before I start to Feel It. You know…that twickity-twick, that squint, that ripsnort that Shoves You Into the Next Dimension of Your Time Hereabout. Hey, I won’t worry – Steven Seagal made a movie with “Steve Cold” Stone Austin (?!?! I’m not fixing that mistake – Lettin’ it lay) that may be the Golden Ticket….or the Golden Tick-Tick-Tick-BOOM.

The schemes of mankind are worth a chuckle. What a wonderful experiment. The dust from the ground is going somewhere, whirling upwards into the mouths of clouds. The nature of the generational saga is in front of us. We can talk about the history, if that kind of conversation has any meaning, which i doubt. i get it, now. All of these cultural illusions sound like Sylvester Stallone. Promise me that you won’t get mad at the universal reaction to the scene; we understand that there is anxiety. That was part of the fun. See me dancing? I wish that the primary language, this religion of mediocrity, would get brushed under the carpet. Why can’t we all agree that the Best Reasons are Shrouded in Mystery?

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Back in the Los Santos Groove: GTA V Details Emerge **UPDATE**

You see those three bad mutha’s strutting down there? Game Informer says those are your three protagonists for Grand Theft Auto V. Looks like they could do some damage to the faux-L.A. too.  Can. Not. WAIT.

GI also states that this is the largest open world that Rockstar has ever created.  Which sounds delightful but also problematic.  Do you remember when you fist unfolded the Red Dead Redemption map? I broke out in a cold stress-sweat.  If GTAV is going to dwarf that, I may have to save up some vacation days.

“Good news lady, we’re going to Los Santos for our vacation this year!”

Initial trailer:

UPDATE 4:37PM 11.08.12 – Kotaku has gleaned some more information (most likely by reading the article) including the following:

  • According to Rockstar, Grand Theft Auto V‘s Los Santos is bigger than Red Dead Redemption, San Andreas, and Grand Theft Auto IV combined. Yep. There’s wilderness, a military base, and even an ocean floor to explore underwater.
  • You can switch between the game’s three main protagonists at “nearly any time.”
  • Those three protagonists, by the way, are named Michael, Trevor, and Franklin. Michael is a retired bank robber who gets sucked back into crime; Trevor is a career criminal and drug addict; Franklin is a 20-something street hustler.
  • Sometimes they’ll work together on missions, during which you can switch back and forth from character to character depending on which part of a given mission you feel like doing.
  • Each character has his own personality, skill set, and group of friends to interact with. And the ones you’re not controlling will go off and do their own thing.
  • This is the same world as Grand Theft Auto IV and Liberty City, so you might see some recurring characters from those games (just not the major ones, like Niko Bellic). But. Rockstar says this is the “high-definition” world of Grand Theft Auto, so don’t expect to see anyone from the PS2-era titles.
  • Remember those randomized dynamic missions in Red Dead Redemption? They’re back for GTAV: expect hitchhikers, muggers, and dead bodies, among others.
  • Yes friendships. No romance.
  • Rockstar says there will be an economy, but you won’t be able to buy properties. There will be “loads of other stuff.”

Goodbye meatspace foreverrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Trailer Park: New Skyrim DLC, “Dragonborn” ** UPDATE**

Sweet, another chapter of Skyrim that I don’t get to play!

C’MON BETHESDA GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER I ACTUALLY WANT TO PLAY SKYRIM AGAIN MORE IMPORTANTLY I WANT TO RIDE A DRAGON.

Look, I don’t care about Skyrim: Twilight or Skyrim: The SimsBut this? Dragonborn vs. Dragonborn?  This looks cool and I want to play it but have the sneaking suspicion the only way I’ll get to is if I buy a Game of the Year version next year.  But guess what? I won’t.  You hear that, Bethesday? I won’t do it. If you can’t (or won’t) deliver DLC  for a game in a timely fashion then I don’t see why I should even bother entertaining the idea of buying it when it does (if it does) eventually hit my platform of choice?

UPDATED 11/08/12 – From Joystiq, Bethesda says Skyrim DLC is close to being released for the PS3! But is it too late now?

The VPH (early) Review: Assassins Creed 3……Is Bigger Better?

Ubisoft gave audiences such high hopes for Assassins Creed 3.  They promised they would take the series in a new direction with all new characters, story arcs, settings, and side missions and in my opinion, they certainly delivered.  It’s refreshing to see a different story in a different location. For the last three it seemed like the series was stuck in Limbo while Ubisoft kept releasing new games that were essentially content cut from previous installments.  This time though, we have a fresh face and fresh take on the Assassin/Templar legend alongside new side quests that are large enough that they could each be their own game.  The game is set during the American Revolution, where a half English/half Mohawk named Conner is thrown into the middle of the Assassin/Templar war.  Wonderful improvements, but is it better?

To begin with, the story is much more comprehensible than the previous three installments.  As a history teacher the games that I most enjoy playing are those that involve historical fiction.  Even though it takes some time to get off the ground, by and large I’m pretty invested in the game. Hell for the first part of the story you’re not even playing as the main character.  I’m six hours in and the Revolution isn’t close to starting yet.  Nice to see that plot was actually thought about and the well populated with strong, interesting characters.

On the other hand,  it just feels like it drags a bit.  Certain points during the first few hours were a bit silly. SPOILER:  The owl flying across the screen. Come on, REALLY? Now we’re playing as owls?  END SPOILER. Assassins Creed 2 is still my favorite and as a stand-alone story it was top notch. It was the first game on the PS3 where I really felt the impact of an open world type game with an amazing assortment of side quests. Plus, being a fanatic about all things Italy, the time period that the game was set in really spoke to me.

The mission layout is exactly like the previous installments.  Complete the mission but follow a strict set of guidelines to get 100% credit for the missionwhich means nothing to the actual story.  I can see if there were trophies involved but there aren’t, so what’s the point aside from a completionist perspective?  It seems solely like a specific way that the developers want you to play the game.  Not necessarily a bad thing, but provide us with some kind of incentive to do so.  If most of the world surrounding Conner is free roam why aren’t the missions? I love trying to follow the guidelines that are established before the mission begins, but make it worth our while.  The same can be said about the weapons system.  Whats the point of acquiring new weapons if it does not change the outcome of anything other than the animation.  This was perhaps my only gripe with Assassins Creed 2.  How about some kind of leveling system or a type of point system that rewards you for using different weapons?  But maybe I’m contradicting myself since I’m focusing on the “Is Bigger Better” theme here.  DAMN IT NOW I’M CONFUSED!

To me, Assassins Creed games are comparable to the Matrix movies.  The Matrix and Assassins Creed 2 were Bad Ass. (I’m leaving out AC1 one because EVERYONE knew that it was shit and not polished yet).  The Matrix Reloaded and Assassins Creed: Brotherhood were both good with some excellent scenes but in all likelihood unnecessary.  The Matrix Revolutions and Assassins Creed: Revelations were completely unnecessary cash grabs.  I cant even being to tell you what the hell went on the third Matrix film and as for AC:R, the city of Constantinople really didn’t do it for me.

Back to one of the aspects of the game that I am really enjoying, and that’s the side quests.  It’s very similar to Red Dead Revolver in terms of open world side missions.  Naval warfare, hunting, picking fights with the British and challenging fort defenses.  I’m sure most gamers out there have said to themselves while playing a game “How cool would it be if you could go hunting? How awesome would it be if you could free roam in the woods and trade?”  Well, it turns out that it’s much better in theory than in practice. So, careful what you wish (or quasi-hope) for!

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for another, more in-depth review once I’ve sank some serious hours into the game in addition to my multiplayer review.  With most of the games that I play I like to knock out the single player campaign before I dive into the MP aspect.  Since I was the first person in Blockbuster to rent the game post Hurricane Sandy I got the Online Pass for free.  Yay me.  Remember to add me to your friends list (our gamer-tags are in the right hand column)  Ill be seeing you online…but you won’t be seeing me.  Get it? ‘ cause I’m, like,  an assassin and you cant see me….NEVERMIND.