Assassins Creed: The Change (Episode 3)

(image courtesy of http://www.hdwallpapers.in)

(image courtesy of http://www.hdwallpapers.in)

After the experience we had in Italy, I couldn’t help but wonder what would be next for us in our little adventure.  We had managed to recapture our love, defied the odds by staying offline and accomplished everything that this world had to offer us.  What else could we possibly do?

Interestingly enough, your parents made a decision that may have had a negative effect on our relationship depending from what “view-point” you were looking at it from.  Just after we had finished discovering everything in our second journey you revealed that you would return to me, one year later, living the life of the same assassin, continuing his journey through to Rome, where Templar control was dominant and we had to fight for control but we weren’t going to do it alone.  You decided to bring a few friends along.

1503, Rome

Church bells are ringing in a rhythmic tone,  nearly all of Rome have gathered in this courtyard.  All attention focused on a carriage moving slowly through the crowd with a handful of soldiers keeping a close guard.  The pope is inside, waving to the crowd that knows not of his corrupted ways.  But, the Pope isn’t alone.  accompanying him is a tall man with flowing black hair, long chin and kempt stubble.  Our hero, Ezio appears out of sight.  Shrouded in the shadows, not one with the crowd, yet.  He walks slowly out into the courtyard.  Soldiers are keeping a close eye on the activities from the rooftops.  One spots Ezio, takes aim with his rifle then a shadow falls over him accompanied by the sound of a Hidden Blade.  Ezio keeps moving forward, towards the carriage.  Two soldiers are quick to rush towards him hoping to stop him from reaching the pope but as the soldiers gets nearer arrows from the heavens pierces ones back and the others chest.  Their eyes roll up into their heads and they drop.  Ezio keeps moving, slowly making his way through the crowds of bankers who move out of his way as he passes.  He reaches two more soldiers and performs a double assassination.  Two soldiers who were patrolling take notice and turn towards him but just as they do Ezio throws two knives killing them instantly. 

Ezio steps forward, confident, as a group of soldiers all armed with various weapons surround him.  The man travelling with the Pope exits the carriage chuckling slightly.  The man compliments Ezio on his bravery, and reveals that he knows he is an assassin.  As he speaks, Ezio catches the feather of an Eagle gliding ever so slightly on the gentle breeze.  Looking up, Ezio see’s the majestic eagle and hears its battle cry.  Ezio simply nods his head as a reply.  Almost immediately, the group of soldiers surrounding Ezio collapse, arrows penetrated deep in every one of them.  One soldier is wobbling on his feet and Ezio gladly complies by pushing the soldier backwards and assisting gravity as he falls to the ground.  The man with the black hair silently orders two of his horsemen to take Ezio down.  The horsemen ride towards him, their swords raised above their heads.  Ezio, sword already drawn slashes the legs of the one horse causing it to collapse then leaps up and slashes just as the other horseman rushes past him.  Ezio lands, facing the man with the black hair, the horseman falls off of his horse, dead.  The man with the black hair calls for Papal Guards, the most fiercest unit of all the Roman army.  Twelve Papal Guards form around the man with the black hair.  The man draws his sword and kisses it, a tradition to do right before battle.  As they ready for the conflict another group emerges.  Covered in beautiful, flowing, white, Assassin robes, a group of individuals reveal themselves behind Ezio.  The Pope looks out towards the upcoming battle from the safety of his carriage.  Papal Guards led by the man with the black hair and Ezio and his group of assassins charge each other.  The Papal Guards weapons drawn, the group of Assassins leap into the air, swords drawn, ready to strike. 

Wow, just simply, wow.  You really surprised me and just like that, I couldn’t wait a year until the next adventure began.  So I did what every Assassins Creed fan did.  I replayed the first game and second game over and over rushing through time until finally, October 2010 arrived.

When you did arrive, I took the day off work, now a yearly tradition.  I brought you home, opened the plastic slowly and smelt the manual and oh God it was good.  I installed you and when the short cut icon finally appeared on my desktop, I double clicked on it so quickly that I accidentally deleted it.  I calmly recreated it and double clicking slowly, I was again transported through another blue and white worm hole that presented me with the now familiar  Ubisoft logo.  The main menu presented me with Assassins Creed:  Brotherhood.  I started a new game and we were off.

It was another epic adventure with me and my favorite franchise.  I was never so smitten than I was that day.  We did it again, you and me.  We went through everything together and I wanted to see where this journey would take Ezio.  It still started directly from where the second one left off.  We explored Rome together, found new glyphs, new secrets, even found out a bit of old history.  Most importantly though we created a brotherhood right there in Rome.  We demolished Templar control, sure we had our losses as well, some extremely deep losses that even though it was never communicated we could feel that pain in each other at times.  At the same time we met some familiar faces.  We got to catch up with Leonardo Da Vinci who had aged quite harshly but besides that we got lost in a brand new world.  I remember climbing the Coliseum and watching the sunset from the highest point.  That was one the of most beautiful sights I had ever seen.  We had gotten in so deep that this game had become more than what it was.  It was a way of life now.   This adventure was real and we had to see it through, for Ezio’s sake.

It wasn’t only Ezio that I was interested in though.  Desmond also played a huge role in this one.  He was in fact the glue keeping this all together.  While Desmond didn’t have much to do throughout the adventure, his story was earth shattering  none the less.  Going through all of that, assisting Shaun with glyphs and our relationship with Lucy was becoming something more, I could just feel it and it was with a heavy heart that blood had to be spilled in order for the gate to be opened.  I couldn’t believe it.  That hit all of us hard, and I didn’t want to face the truth.  Lucy seemed so genuine.  Right from the beginning she was there for us, looked after us, comforted us.  How could she have been a Templar?  I don’t think I will ever understand and it was this moment that you made me question your motives.

We were all supposed to be in this together.  My God, how many hours did I spend collecting items in this adventure?  Hundreds maybe?  But it wasn’t enough for you.

I wasn’t good enough for you anymore or at least that’s the way it seemed.  You wanted the whole world to know who you were so your parents invested in a multi-player aspect.  You got your wish and I could feel our relationship take a hard knock.  You see, I had no problem with sharing you with the world, we weren’t exclusive but I didn’t like the idea that you wanted me to play with a group of people I didn’t know or want to know in order to collect an item, an achievement if you will.  Do you remember that?  Remember how many pain staking hours we would hang out online with your “friends” watching as we completely destroyed each other.  It was the first time you let me down.  I had to give up.  I still haven’t collected everything in that adventure, all because you expected so much from me.

But I forgave you because I knew you still loved me and just because you were now sharing that love with other people didn’t mean you loved me any less but I did feel less important in your eyes and that hurt.  You were trying to get everyone connected when all you needed to do was focus on me.

Change is a necessary part of life but it can still hurt.

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Why Trophies in Multi-Player Ruin the Perfectionists Perfect Score

playstation platinumimage courtesy of:  http://www.playstationlifestyle.net

First off, i would like to state that I am not a true trophy hunter.  I won’t buy a game solely because “It’s easy trophies”  or for my level on PSN to go up.  Also i don’t own a lot of Playstation 3 titles due to my picky nature and stick up the ass attitude (mainly due to a cash flow shortage).  I currently own twenty six Playstation 3 games.  This is just counting the covers.  Some of these are bundle packs.  Here are the actual titles of what I own:

Now some these games may surprise you, my tastes can be all over the place sometimes:

  1. The Amazing Spider-Man
  2. Assassins Creed (came with Assassins Creed Revelations:  Ottoman Edition)
  3. Assassins Creed 2
  4. Assassins Creed Brotherhood
  5. Assassins Creed Revelations
  6. Assassins Creed 3
  7. Batman:  Arkham Asylum
  8. Batman:  Arkham City
  9. Buzz!:  Quiz World (I can hear some of you snickering in the back)
  10. Dead Space 2 (currently playing)
  11. Dead Space 3 (haven’t played yet)
  12. Heavy Rain
  13. Ico (Honestly, have never finished Ico.  I always find something else to play)
  14. Shadow of Colossus (oh, so good.  Where is the last guardian?  I want my cat, dog, eagle hybrid dammit! )
  15. Jak and Daxter:  The Precursor Legacy
  16. Jak and Daxter 2:  Renegade
  17. Jak 3
  18. Journey
  19. Flow (Never Finished, to boring for me)
  20. Flower (Surprisingly addictive if you let it be)
  21. L.A. Noire
  22. The Last of Us
  23. Mass Effect 2
  24. Mass Effect 3
  25. Resistance:  Fall of Man (Currently playing)
  26. Resistance 2 (Haven’t played yet)
  27. Resistance 3 (Awesome game)
  28. Sleeping Dogs
  29. Tomb Raider
  30. Uncharted:  Drakes Fortune
  31. Uncharted 2:  Among Thieves
  32. Uncharted 3:  Drakes Deception

Cool, so I have thirty two actual playable games. Hmmm, i retract what i said about not owning a lot of games.   With the games that I love the most, like Batman and the Assassins Creed series (except AC3), i feel the need to complete it to one hundred percent and why?  I don’t know, a multitude of reasons.  Why do you dear reader, do the things that you do?  Because you can, right? Why not?

Again bringing up Assassins Creed, I would love to platinum all of those games, unfortunately Assassins Creed 1 doesn’t have trophy support.  Cool, one out of the series down.  Assassins Creed 2..check my PSN, already have my platinum.

Assassins Creed Brotherhood, Revelations and Assassins Creed 3 fit into my annoying zone as do all trophies that require multi-player in order to achieve them.  I can’t platinum these games without winning matches online or being top player of a round.  (Are you fucking Kidding Me!?)  Have any of you played the multi-player modes on any of these Assassin Creed titles?  They can be seriously hard! Player’s levels on there are through the roof!  I’m all for a challenge but i really don’t enjoy being forced into a gaming situation where I really don’t feel comfortable.  The meat of Assassins Creed lies in the single player campaign so why should i be forced into a frustrating online scenario in order to obtain a trophy so that i can show my friends how much i love the game?  Having trophies on multi-player also puts a lot of pressure on the gamer needing to keep up with every one online.

But the biggest problem I have with this setup is the mere fact that in order to get my platinum you are forcing me to have an internet connection.  OH MY GOD, I CAN HEAR YOU FROM THE BACK, yes i know it’s time to move forward.  But don’t force me into it.  I will move forward when I am ready and can afford it.  Luckily I have an internet connection otherwise i would never be able to communicate with you fine folks on WordPress but that is not my point.

I think all trophies should be achievable using the single player aspect without the need of pressuring gamers into an online connection which will have levels and levels of probably douche bag players who are level forty slaying a poor level one.  (That’s happened to me, seriously annoying)  Obviously if the game is a dedicated online game that is completely different, like Journey for example.

Batman:  Arkham Asylum and Arkham City are a perfect example of how trophies should be done.  None of those games required an internet connection in order to unlock a trophy.  Everything was skill based utilizing and maxing out the single player experience.  Oh my word, I have such a digital crush on the Batman games……….anyway

What do you guys think?

Should getting a platinum trophy require an online connection, forcing the player into what can be a frustrating experience or is it acceptable now because everyone should be moving forward?  Should developers be forcing us into this situation in the first place?

Let me know in the comments

Beyond!