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Monday, January 30, 2012

Assassins Creed Revelations Review

I'm here to tell you about a very mediocre game that ended up being pretty decent. Right away I noticed a lot of small problems with this game. The one thing that shined throughout this game was the story - or should I say stories - since there was Ezio's, Altair's, and Desmond's. The graphics, gameplay, and voicing was more or less the same which I'll go into further detail later.

I have to be honest - from the beginning of the the game I was not impressed. It started with a cinematic trailer of Ezio Auditore returning to the temple that we last saw Altair. He was by himself, got captured, and when his face was unveiled it barely even looked like him. When they showed Desmond he didn't look much like himself. He had big buck teeth, a 5 o'clock shadow, and a different hair cut. These were just the beginning of a series of small things that continued to irritate me throughout the game. The looks of the main characters I got over with time but it was the little things they added and changed in this game that made if feel less than Brotherhood.

One of those things was that they forced you to use your eagle vision a lot more which was changed as well. They changed some of the button layout, including eagle vision so that was a slight nuisance that got easier with time. Another thing that bugged me about eagle vision is that it no longer highlighted hide spots and focused more on enemy trails and routes. I always felt that eagle vision was under-utilized but at times it just felt a little too forced, sometimes it made sense and sometimes it didn't. The hook blade really didn't add that much extra or make me feel like I needed it except for climbing viewpoints and tall vertical buildings.

The two biggest problems I had in this game was the implementation of a Den Tower Defense mini-game and bomb making which created many problems. I love strategy and making/building stuff but these new elements were just a messy bore. If they were fine tuned they would have made the game exponentially better but instead they really brought it down by making it feel like unwanted extra tasks. The bombs themselves were a great new addition to the repertoire of tools and weapons. In past games I never cared about my notoriety but in this game they actually did a good job of making you care. If your notoriety became full the Templars would attack one of your Assassin Dens. Then you would be forced to go defend your den and play that god-awful tower defense mini-game which was actually easier to just let them win and then kill their den captain to take it back.

It also felt like they were trying to punish you for having money in this game. In past games where it was too easy to become rich and buy or upgrade everything (which resulted in making you more rich), this game was the exact opposite. Anytime you bought or upgraded something your notoriety would go up and it was quite difficult to make it go back down in this game unless you bought items from shops, but money was so scarce and difficult to accumulate that I felt that this was the first time I had to loot bodies throughout the whole game just to have a little money which I only ended up using to upgrade my armor if I had enough which was rare and tenuous. Even the gameplay didn't feel like it flowed as well as Brotherhood. Running around in Constantinople wasn't as much fun or nice to look at as Rome. When it came down to it, the best thing this game had going for it was the story.

As I said there are really three stories intertwining. At first, I thought that Revelations was just Ubisoft trying to shell out one last Ezio story and to be honest I still do after beating it. I really feel like the best part of this game and story was being able to play as Altair so much so that I would have been content with this game just being a return to Altair. As Ezio and Desmond's story continued, it got better and better so that by the end of the game you actually have three different stories come to a great intertwining culmination. Whereas this would have been a good game if it was just Altair and Desmond's story, I felt like it gave me a great extra story with the inclusion and conclusion of Ezio. This game really shined via the story despite certain extra elements.

The graphics looked exactly the same as Brotherhood. The gameplay was more or less the same for the most part plus a few elements. The voice cast was just as good as in the past. Where all of the past games seemed to have a common thread of power and revenge, this was just three incredible stories intertwined. I had a really hard time finding the motivation to continue to play and beat this game at first but as I said before, the story just got better and better as it went on. I'm really glad I beat this game but because of all the issues it had I'm going to have to say that Assassins Creed Revelations is just a RENT. That being said: I can't wait to play the next one.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

2012 1st Quarter Games Release Dates

I'm most excited for Mass Effect 3 it being my favorite gaming franchise and all. I'm also interested in Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. I'm most weary and hopeful of Max Payne 3. Enough about what I'm looking forward to, go ahead and look for yourselves: 

January 2012
1/24 – Silent Hill HD Collection (360, PS3)
1/31 – Final Fantasy XIII-2 (360, PS3)
1/31 – NeverDead (360, PS3)
1/31 – Soul Calibur V (360, PS3)
TBA January – Anarchy Reigns (360, PS3)

February 2012
2/7 – The Darkness II (PS3, 360, PC)
2/7 – Fallout: New Vegas (Ultimate Edition) (360, PS3)
2/7 – Inversion (360, PS3)
2/7 – Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (360, PS3, PC)
2/7 – Resident Evil Revelations (3DS)
2/7 – Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations (360, PS3)
2/7 – Jak and Daxter Collection (PS3)
2/13 – Rhythm Heaven Fever (Wii)
2/14 – Binary Domain (PS3, 360)
2/14 – Tales of the Abyss (3DS)
2/14 – Tekken 3D: Prime Edition
2/14 – Twisted Metal (PS3)
2/14 – UFC Undisputed 3 (360, PS3)
2/21 – Asura's Wrath (360, PS3)
2/21 – Syndicate (360, PS3, PC)
2/22 – Army Corps of Hell (Vita)
2/22 – Asphalt Injection (Vita)
2/22 – Ben 10: Galactic Racing (Vita)
2/22 – BlazBlue: Continuum Shift II Extend (Vita)
2/22 – Dungeon Hunter Alliance (Vita)
2/22 – Dynasty Warriors Next (Vita)
2/22 – Escape Plan (Vita)
2/22 – F1 2011 (Vita)
2/22 – FIFA Soccer (Vita)
2/22 – Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational (Vita)
2/22 – Hustle Kings Vita (Vita)
2/22 – Little Deviants (Vita)
2/22 – Lumines: Electronic Symphony (Vita)
2/22 – Michael Jackson: The Experience (Vita)
2/22 – ModNation Racers: Road Trip (Vita)
2/22 – MotorStorm RC (Vita)
2/22 – Plants vs. Zombies (Vita)
2/22 – Putty Squad (Vita)
2/22 – Rayman Origins (Vita)
2/22 – Shinobido 2: Revenge of Zen (Vita)
2/22 – Super Stardust Delta (Vita)
2/22 – Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack (Vita)
2/22 – Touch My Katamari (Vita)
2/22 – Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3 (Vita)
2/22 – Uncharted: Golden Abyss (Vita)
2/22 – Virtua Tennis 4: World Tour Edition (Vita)
2/22 – WipEout 2048 (Vita)
2/27 – PokePark 2: Wonders Beyond (Wii)
2/28 – SSX (360, PS3)

March 2012
3/1 – MLB 2K12 (Wii)
3/6 – Ghost Recon: Future Soldier (360, PS3, PC, DS)
3/6 – Mass Effect 3 (360, PS3, PC) 3/6 – MLB 12: The Show (PS3, Vita)
3/6 – Ridge Racer Unbounded (360, PS3, PC)
3/6 – Street Fighter x Tekken (360, PS3)
3/6 – Max Payne 3 (360, PS3, PC)
3/11 – Mario Party 9 (Wii)
3/13 – Tales of Graces F (PS3)
3/13 – Silent Hill: Downpour (360, PS3)
3/20 – Ninja Gaiden III (360, PS3)
3/20 – Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City (360, PS3, PC)
3/23 – Kid Icarus: Uprising (3DS)

There's a lot of Vita titles in there especially re-releases. The Sony PS Vita First Edition Bundle releases on 2/15/12 costing $349.99. The PlayStation Vita with 3G costs $249.99 and the PlayStation Vita with 3G and WiFi is $299.99 both coming out on 2/22/12. Do you plan on getting a Vita?