My Declaration of Rights: A Missive From An Angry, Yet Hopeful, Assassins Creed Fan

Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. That was the motto of the French Revolution, which set in motion a series of events that breathed fresh air into ideas such as nationalism, democracy, and liberalism.  With the recently announced Assassins Creed: Unity,  Ubisoft itself seems to be breathing new air into its own marquee franchise, creating the very first Assassins Creed exclusively for the new console generation.  But will the old ideals of previous AC games make their way into the new and improved version?

For me, I was hoping that Assassins Creed 4 would rival Assassins Creed 2 as the premiere title  in the series. Instead, I got was the same game I’ve been playing the last four years.  Is this what passes for sequels now?  The same game, set in a different time period or location?  In other words: the series hasn’t changed.  I go into every AC game, hoping they cut out the unnecessary animus story but it’s still there.  Whenever it comes up, I just find myself increasingly uninterested and eventually losing interest and just burning through missions.

assassin-s-creed-black-flagOne thing I absolutely cannot gripe about, though, is Ubisoft’s attention to detail of said historic places. Ubisoft is just unbelievably talented at making everything look awesome.  Much credit to the design team because every game I am more in awe of the detail they put into the environments.  I anxiously await the chance to run pell-mell through turn of the century France. Actually, I’m looking to run pell-mell through pallid, consumptive Parisian whores. (ed. note: seriously; where’s my AAA-title sex mini game?)

So much like Impervious Rex says ever single year he’s NOT getting the new entry into the Call of Duty series yet does (ed. note: what a hypocrite), I promised myself that I wouldn’t get the new Assassins Creed unless it took place during the French Revolution.  Well, apparently Ubisoft has been spying on me because here we are. Damn you, Ubisoft, damn you all the way to the ATM for my $65 and change. Now let’s hope you can pull off something revolutionary worth my hard-earned francs.

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Back with a Bang!!

Like the moon, I wax AND I wane! Though I never know which is which, so suffice it to say that I have returned. I know it’s been awhile but you can blame/thank the state of New Jersey who apparently wants people like me to play video games less and worry about educating their children more. LAME.

Why do teachers have to waste their time on such petty things like making sure students meet their SGOs (Student Goal Objectives)?  I didn’t get into teaching to change lives, I got into teaching for that first week in November where you work on Monday, have Tuesday off for Election Day (play the new Call of Duty), work again on Wednesday, then have Thursday and Friday off to go down to Atlantic City and gamble your face off (I mean…attend the Teachers Convention), recuperate over the weekend (Again, more Call of Duty), THEEEEEN, have Monday off for Veterans Day (You guessed it, more Call of Duty)  So while I’ve been slaving away, perfecting my lesson plans and making sure all the children of the Garden State get my best,my video gaming time has become scant.

For real though,  I love my job.  But the most recent  Call of Duty: Ghosts launch trailer has me just a wee bit excited for the first week in November. And the PS4…and Assassin’s Creed IV….and Killzone(ed.note: Killzone? Really??)……and Battlefield 4. Here’s hoping the state and the union agree on more of those five day weekends.

What Kind of Life Will YOU Live?!?!

EA Sports NHL 2014 has been dropping videos and information like nobody’s business about this year’s offering.  An AI Improvements statement here, a goalkeeping improvement video there.  EA seems to be really getting us ready for the last major NHL game before the jump to next gen consoles and are just tossing out everything they can think of, Today there’s a brand new video highlighting the Be a Pro mode which made its debut in NHL 09.  More than just being a player in NHL 14, you also have this life outside of hockey.  Your personality will shine through and your formative trials n’ tribulations as a young lad growing up in the mean streets of Manitoba will show itself once you step on the rink.

Now its not just what you do on the ice that determines your progression to worlds greatest toothless guy who can probably squat around 690 pounds, its how you handle yourself off the ice which determines your career progression.  Thinking about carrying an unlicensed gun in a nightclub wearing sweaties? I wouldn’t do that.  Wanna go home with that stripper from the club while you’re wife is at home with two kids? Probably not a good idea (ed.note: Says you).

During your life as a professional you’ll have to learn how to handle the media.  You can be of the Tom Brady/Peyton Manning breed and constantly just say the right things and always do whats best for the team.  Or…..you can take the Sean Avery route. You decide.

You’ll be interviewed before you enter the draft. You’ll be interviewed about pre-game jitters and post-game regrets.  You also better watch out for those off the field instances that fell many a career.  Do you really NEED to have a dog fighting ring in your backyard?  Do you really NEED to bring weed on an airplane on the way to a music festival?  You love wearing Unforgiveable cologne by Sean John?  Play well enough and Diddy will be begging you to be the face of his product along with all other sorts of endorsement deals.  Finally, Likeability meters detect (ed.note: WHAT DO THEY DETECT??) how well you are like by your teammates, management, and most importantly, the fans.  You can be like Mariano Rivera/Derek Jeter and have people begging you to be their teammates.  Or you can completely isolate yourself like A-Rod and management will want nothing more then to get you out of the clubhouse.

Enough with the real life comparisons, I know.  On a serious not there are actually some pretty interesting concepts and ideas that are integrated in this completely overhauled mode.  My personal favorite is that if you’re a bad teammate, your teammates won’t pass you the puck as much.  A hockey regular season is 82 games plus the playoffs.  I believe it would be very hard to find time to enjoy 10-15 seasons of this.  My approach to these types of modes is simply just to not play every game, Play the important games and the playoff games.  Tight race for first with the three games to go…  Hop on in.  Middle of the season and playing a last place team… I’ll pass.  My one question, and this will determine if I do this…. Do I have to control just my player or can I play as the whole team like you can in the FIFA franchise?

For die hard hockey fans this really is an awesome and time consuming mode which gets you really involved. This, coupled with the plethora of new improvements to gameplay, shows that the NHL franchise on current gen systems is leaving it all out on the ice.

Sony @ E3 Rapid Reaction

(ed.note: Here are viciouspjurahead’s unfiltered thoughts from watching last night’s Sony E3 keynote)

 Will Sony unveil the box? Will Uncharted 4 be announced? Will the new PS4 be able to a full kidney transplant.  All of these questions are now answered now that the Sony presentation is finished. here’s the good, the bad, and the super badass!!

-Gaming platform first. Good job.

-System wide sharing is positive. Being able to help a brother out in a jam.  Anyone wanna beat Final Fantasy 13-2 for me?

-Bit of a long delay here. Oh god. I missed it. Sad face. Oh ok, i didnt miss it. I was welcomed with the sounds of Ni No Kuni.

-During the opening video I thought I saw the actual console.

-Started off with the Vita. Seems like Sony is really pushing for the Vita to be a success.  I didnt know the amount of apps it has on it.  Makes it almost a mini iPad mini.

-Walking Dead: 400 Days announcement. Followed by a video of The Last of Us and Beyond: Two Souls.

-GT6 looks just beautiful? Nothing else needed to say about it.

– Sleek design.  And looks relatively lightweight.

-Now we are getting a look at the games.  The Order seems like a game I can do without but the Killzone game looks absolutely amazing. And it’s a launch title so double bonus.

– I think it’s safe to say that the look of games will no longer be in questions. It will most certainly come down to gameplay and what you’re exactly looking for in a game.

-Did Xbox even show us any independent games?

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Final Fight

EA Sports today..er yesterday..( a bit late sorry) released their 3rd and final video highlighting the improvements made to the latest installment of the NHL Franchise.  This one highlights the newly implemented Enforcer Engine, created for use in the Fight Night franchise.  These fights now have a 3rd person perspective and it will use a physics-based punch targeting.  Player size differentiation, user-controlled celebrations afterwards, and damage that remains through the entirety of the game round out the litany of changes.  EA announced that NHL won’t be coming to any next-gen consoles.  Is this a bad thing? Maybe not.  I don’t know how many next-gen titles people are going to buy right off the bat. You can only play one game at a time right?  EA is doing the smart thing here.  Put all your energy into this generation and make it an awesome experience.

Now that all three videos are available, here is a classic fight starring the great Patrick Roy facing off against Chris Osgood.

One-Touch Dekes and True Performance Skating

In this, EA’s second of their three part series showcasing new additions to NHL 14, we see one-touch dekes and an improved physics-based skating engine.  The one-touch offer a more user friendly way of pulling this maneuver by just using the left stick and one button.  As for the physics engine EA says it has “improved balance between speed and momentum, quicker pivots and enhanced lateral skating”  I added a video that Sportscenter made highlighting the best dekes.  Here is hoping that the NY Rangers can coerce Marek Malik out of retirement and use some of his magic against the Bruins.