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Out of the Blue

MrsBlue and I went to a concert last night, as Graham Parker, one of my very favorite musical artists, has reunited with The Rumor, his band from his most successful commercial period. The show last night was their first public performance together in 30 years, and for a fan like myself, it was an incredible experience. I don't imagine this will mean a lot to most of you, as he is not particularly well-known, but if you are at all a fan of his work, I highly recommend the new album and tour.

R.I.P.: Civil rights leader Lawrence Guyot dies at 73.

Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Dead Paradise.
Links: One-Hit Wonders & Their Unlikely Post-Musical Careers.
Stories: Man accused of forgetting 2-year-old while buying 51-inch TV. Thanks HARDOCP.
How to Build the World's Tallest Skyscraper in 90 Days.
Texas highway pileup- time to slow the ‘super truckers’ down?
Science: The 'Love Hormone' as Sports Enhancer. Thanks j.c.f.
Scientists Create Device Allowing Blind to ‘See’ Braille.
Exercise Before School Improves Concentration.
Media: J@RV1$-L@NDRY_L$U-W0W.
Man Rapping in Family Guy Voices. Thanks reddit.

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15. Re: Out of the Blue Nov 26, 2012, 09:25 Creston
 
The Half Elf wrote on Nov 26, 2012, 01:25:
Ok Cutter and Creston, how are you enjoying Dishonored and Assassin's Creed 3 respectively?

AC3 is really cool. If I go by the Wot I Think from RPS, here are several of the complaints that I don't agree with:

- A six hour tutorial, AAARRRGGHHH!!!.
Well, this is true, but it's not as if it's literally holding your hand through it. It's more of an extended series of missions that tell the pre-story of Connor, and they are full-fledged missions with a character that controls the same way as Connor. So it's not as if you don't get to have the cool fun that being an Assassin entails. It's the same just with a different character on screen.

While I'm not sure what they hoped to gain by it (other than flesh out the story a little), since the big reveal was kinda meaningless so far (Maybe it becomes important later, I'm only in chapter 7) and it was really easy to see it coming, the idea left by RPS that for six hours you sit there and wait for the game to tell you to click A is just wrong. In several missions, I actually wished the game had been more clear about what it's asking me to do, and how that particular mechanism worked.

- It's so ridiculous to see Conner woven into every important battle and event in American history!
It's a fucking videogame, not a fucking History channel documentary. Who gives a shit that it's incredulous to believe Connor was instrumental in every single major thing that happened when it means that YOU GET TO BE THERE?? I guess RPS would have rather seen Connor be involved in one thing, and then be off doing nonsensical missions while a voice-over goes "And while Connor tracked down the wolf that had stolen his friend's breakfast, the War broke out in earnest. Paul Revere rode to warn the colonial army of the impending invasion by the British, and several major battles were fought. We rejoin Connor at the end, when he looks confused at what's happened."

-Waaaaah, Connor murders all the Redcoats and it's made to look as if the British are evil. It's all GO AMERICA jingoism!!

You wouldn't believe how many twats over at RPS whined about this. IT'S A FUCKING VIDEOGAME, FELLAS. I guess shooting Arabs in Call of Duty is fine, but murdering digital representations of Redcoats in a game set 250 years ago is clearly stepping over the line? Fucking drown yourself, England.

In any case, yes, you do murder a shitload of redcoats. And occasionally the blue guys get angry at you for whatever reason, and then you murder them too. My favorite was when I took over a fort from the Redcoats and handed it to the colonial guys. When the game was done respawning me in the now Blue-owned fort, I was standing too close to a blue soldier, apparently, so he pushed me down the scaffold I was standing on. Connor stumbled into another bluecoat, who got angry and attacked me with his bayonet. So not 3 seconds after I gave them the fucking fort, the bluecoats were all pissed at me, and I wiped out the whole fort again. I did not give it back to the redcoats, however.

-Connor is a sullen asshole!

I don't see it. Is he as suave as Ezio? No, but he's a completely different character. With many people, Connor is a friendly, helpful young man. He rightfully gets pissed off with the Sons of Liberty because they are obviously manipulating him into helping them, and here and there he's curt with people who either deserve it or who really don't matter in the grand scheme of things.

The voice actor behind Connor just has a limited range of emotion in his voice (I'm assuming from the fact that English is not his first language), and that shows through here and there. But the idea that Connor's some grudging, stoic asshole is just ridiculous.


In any case, the game is a lot of fun. A lot of the optional objectives in missions have been expanded and made a bit easier, so getting 100% is now not an excercise in utter frustration the way it was earlier (so far I have only 1 mission where I don't have 100%, though that one is fucking impossible as far as I can tell), and the missions themselves have so far been pretty good. I don't know if the complaint that the major set pieces are boring is true or not, as I haven't seen any. I though the Boston Tea Party was okay.

It's a beautiful engine, both Boston and the Frontier look fucking spectacular. The hunting is fun, if a bit too easy, and sadly makes use of quick time events when a predator attacks you (so a bear is really never much of a threat.)

Combat has been much improved. There is still the counter and attack method, but it's been improved by giving you four options after a counter, and the "kill" option leaves you wide open to get slashed in the back from someone else (who now WILL attack you while you're chopping up his buddy). It's much more fluid and fast-paced, and if you're not careful you can easily wind up getting murdered. It's very easy to mistime your initial counter and leave yourself open to several slashes which put you at death's door, and if you miss seeing the big fucking Hessian in the group of enemies, that axe of his will wipe you out in a hurry. Going up against an officer and two Hessians is a brutal, brutal fight, and it happens quite often.

The addition of muskets makes for an interesting mechanic, though I never seem to be able to grab a human shield when they are firing at me. Not sure what I'm doing wrong. I typically jump out of the way (which works), but you need to stay aware of what other redcoats are doing, or you'll eat a volley of four musket rounds. (which really SHOULD kill you, but okay. It at least does a good amount of damage.)

There is also no more medicine, so if you're at basically like 5% health and there's 10 guys left standing, yeah, you're in for a rough ride. Better fight the rest off perfectly or you're dead.

I really like the improvements to the combat.

One thing I'm less charmed with is the new climbing mechanic, as it just doesn't look as good as Ezio's, and Connor seems to be able to jump up and sideways MUCH further than reality would allow. And the tree mechanism doesn't really work as well as I want it to. Most tree paths are simply that: paths. It's not like you can just climb up on a tree and run wherever. You need to find the on-ramp, so to speak, and then that particular series of trees will take you to one pre-determined point, often nowhere near where you wanted to go. A wasted opportunity, that, imo.

And rock faces are a bitch to climb, as many of them will simply be smooth and thus you can't climb up on them. I was stuck on one with no way down for quite a while until I finally got bored and just jumped to my death to get down.

There are too many "collectables" scattered around, but eh, nobody's forcing you to get them.

Oh, and the naval combat is utterly fantastic. I wish they'd make an entire game out of it.

All in all, I think it's a great game in the series, and one that will keep an AC fan entertained for quite awhile.

Creston
 
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