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.

I F’N KNEW IT a.k.a Proof I’m Not (completely) Crazy

Max Payne 3 ‘Cheater Pool’ is live

While spending some serious time this weekend emptying twin automatic 9mms into punks from Hoboken to Sao Paulo, it struck me that there some insanely frustrating details about Max Payne 3’s multiplayer. For instance:

Situation: I’m going to shoot an enemy, press fire; whoops, guess I’ll just lay down instead. Result: Get shot & die.

Situation: Spot a group of enemies below me, perfect time to throw a grenade! Pull out grenade and instead of throwing it, I’ll just hold on to it.  Result: Get shot & die.

Situation: See an enemy on the other side of a chain link fence, empty two automatic weapons at him. Result:  My guns are ineffective against chain link, yet somehow increase the damage of my enemies gun. Get shot & die.

Situation: Melee an enemy. Enemy does not die. Result: Get melee’d & die.

Situation: Spawn in front of the same enemy repeatedly. Result: Variable: take one step then get shot & die or stand still, get shot & die.

Beyond your run of the mill multiplayer nonsense though, there was a special brand of bullshittery happening and now I’m convinced at least one of my opponents was hacking. How? Well, you’re telling me I can’t kill a guy even though I get the drop on him & hose him down with bullets? That he can shoot through a building to kill me? That I keep spawning in front of him?  This was all in the same game, against the same guy. Aggravating on one hand, controller-throwing blind rage on the other.

But now news today from Rockstar Games, that a playlist has gone live where cheaters can nowonly play with other scum-sucking cheating bastards and can leave us honest grinders alone. I’m beyond glad to see that Rockstar is getting out in front of this issue, unlike Activision with Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare & CoD: MW2. Towards the end of CoD4’s lifecycle people were flying. Flying.

Anyway, if you’re on PS3 and want some in Max Payne 3, my screen name is Savage6000. (Yes, my Rockstar Social Club handle is different.  Clearly I have identity issues.)

Max Payne 3 stats

Currently Playing: Max Payne 3

I don’t care about Max Payne.  Let me back up; before this third installation, I didn’t care about Max Payne.  Now, having just spent 12 hours firing 21 thousand bullets into over 2100 of New Jersey & Sao Paulo’s worst all I can say is that I can’t wait to do it again.

While not as open & sprawling as Grant Theft Auto IV or Red Dead Redemption, Rockstar turns out just as compelling a story with Max. There is definitely portions they could have trimmed towards the end, but Rockstar is generally criticized for the third acts of their franchise series losing the narrative thread a bit.  Honestly, that might just be the only complaint I have about the game.  Visually? Stunning.  Musically? Buying (that’s right, with money) the soundtrack. Story? Gripping. I was invested in Max’s spiral towards destruction & eventual redemption from the opening minutes, which you have to give Rockstar credit for.  Enabling someone new to an entire mythology to pick up the third part of a trilogy and becoming immediately invested in the characters is no small feat.

The biggest surprise, however, was the multiplayer.  I never been a fan of any of Rockstar’s previous multiplayer efforts in either GTA IV or RDR.  They were just too sprawling, the game modes too difficult to figure out, the ability for a new player to pick up and play almost nonexistent.  Additionally, I’ve just never cared for third person multiplayer; even Uncharted’s couldn’t hold my interest for more than a few casual games.  The multiplayer in Max Payne 3 is so good that I can barely stand not playing it now. “So what’s the big difference?” you’re (not) saying to yourself. Brass tacks? Simply, it’s fun and cool. Somehow, and I can’t put my finger on it, Rockstar has been able to freshen up what has become an increasingly stale bolt-on feature to games while making it arguable a better time than the single player campaign.

If you’re not playing this game, shame on you.  Go get it.  I’m a member of the Polygon crew; request an invite and join up!  Or just add me on the PSN; screen name is Savage6000.