Versatile Blogger Award!

image-1-versatility-rewarded

This article is way over due, but due to time constraints I just have not being able to get to it and for that I am truly, deeply, sorry.

Twelve days ago, I was graciously nominated for a Versatile Blogger Award from Drakulus.  Coming from a blog as well known as his I find this particular nomination very welcoming.  Thank you so much Drakulus, I really appreciate it.  I frequently check Draukulus’s blog and ironically enough he and I still don’t agree on many things which makes our relationship incredibly refreshing. 🙂

Anywho, this particular award has it’s own sets of rules which are as follows:

  • You must thank the person who gave it to you, and include a link to their blog. (DONE)
  • You must then select fifteen blogs that you’ve recently discovered or regularly follow, and nominate them for the award. (DONE)
  • Finally, you must tell the person who nominated you seven things about yourself. (DONE)

OK, so my fifteen blogs that I would honestly recommend because I am always reading them:

The guys listed above are awesome and I highly suggest you give each and every one a thorough checking out.

Right, seven things about myself….

  1. I’m Short
  2. I curse a lot at work
  3. I still enjoy watching old Digimon and Power Ranger episodes from back in the day
  4. I do IT for a living, but can’t stand computers
  5. I struggle to balance writing a blog and playing video games
  6. I would love to write a for a big video game company
  7. I never finish short stories that I write

Well, there you go.  There’s  a few fun facts that no one knew.

I would just like to thank Drakulus again for the nomination and the sixty five followers that I currently have.  Its sparked up way more this month that last month, so keep on reading and tell your friends.

Till next time…

Beyond!

Assassins Creed: The Seduction (Episode 1)

(image courtesy of http://psextreme.com)

(image courtesy of http://psextreme.com)

This is a very special post, one that means the world to me.  You see, my heart is torn in two, I am still healing, but every Saturday Gamercrash kept uploading his site with his cursed video round up and every week I returned, like a lamb to the slaughter, watching his videos, and I always wind up close to tears when I watch a new trailer showing off Assassins Creed 4:  Black Flag.  Due to this, I have been forced (but not really) to watch how good Assassins Creed 4 might potentially be.  So in light of my melancholy feeling I have decided to give you guys the full picture.  It all started….Que Memory Flashback Tune, Please Click This Link! Did you click it?  Good!

In 2008, one year after you were released, I walked into a store that wasn’t necessarily about gaming but had a few games just strewn in a bargain bin.  That was the first time I saw you.  You were just lying there, on your back, scratched cover with big bold letters Assassins Creed, some other game called Second Sight lying casually on top of you.  I remember analyzing your cover and thinking “ Meh, Looks boring“. I parted ways and I left you in that bargain bin, letting you stew in the mess of crappy titles that were littering in and around the bin and I completely forgot about you.

A few months later, a friend of mine loaned me a whole bunch of games to play on my newly built PC.  One of  the games included was you.  However, as fate would have it, I chose to completely ignore you.  I played Half Life 2, Prototype, GTA, (can’t remember which one though) Singularity, Batman:  Arkham Asylum.  It took a few months but I finished all these games and some others.  It was November 2008.  I was bored and needed something different to play.  I went through the games that I had borrowed and there you were again, completely neglected and forgotten about.  I thought to myself “ What the hell, nothing else worth playing.” I opened the cover and put the silver disc inside my DVD-ROM and installed you.  I knew nothing about you, never saw a trailer, no gameplay footage, nothing.  I didn’t know what to expect from you, which in hindsight was the best thing that could ever have happened.

Once you were installed, I double clicked on the icon and I was transported immediately through a purple worm hole that eventually revealed a logo, “Ubisoft” That logo also looked seriously good for some reason.  You then showed me a small cut scene, a CG trailer of what you were all about.  Like one of those dating profiles you read.  “Describe yourself in two minutes or less” Boy, did you describe yourself.

A majestic eagle watching what seems to be a form of execution, a hanging.  The public wild, wanting to see death.   The eagle flies off, allowing me to follow until I see a robed man, standing on a perch in front of a church bell observing the crowd.  I remember thinking to myself  “Who is that?” and then he vanished as the bell rang once more, pigeons scattering as if something disturbed them.  My interest was peeking.  The mysterious, robed man was now amongst the crowd pushing ever so gently through, steadily speeding up until he was just by the podium when he broke out into a furious run, killing a soldier with his crossbow, dodging an attack from another soldier then making a dramatic slow motion jump into the air, seamlessly gliding to his target,  Right arm stretched out, left arm pulled back so his hand is lined up with his ear, and then a sound so beautiful yet so deadly, emanates from his left wrist, echoing in my brain, and then a blade is released ending his target.  The crowd doesn’t know what’s happened before panic ensues.  Soldiers appear from nowhere and the robed man has no choice but to run.  Escaping in the streets, dodging people, then climbing up buildings and jumping from roof top to roof top, till eventually returning back to earth and blending with a group of monks.  He disappears, never to be seen again.

The screen faded to black and I was then presented with a big white screen that simply said Assassins Creed. I shudder at the feeling I have, remembering what it was like to be completely blown away.  I started a new game and you started to educate me in the ways of the assassins, explained that we battled Templars in order to keep humanity free from control.  I was honored to have been part of that story.  I shared in the pain and humiliation as Altair broke the creed, and was revoked of his assassin status, forced to climb the ladder again in order to redeem himself.  I remember it well.  I was there every step of the way.  Every skill learned, I was there.  Every targets life that was taken, I was there.  Every Templar’s life that was extinguished, I was there.  Every tedious flag that was collected, I was there. I witnessed the events that helped rebuild your assassins status, and I saw and heard everything about the ultimate betrayal.  I saw and heard everything that his master was planning and I felt his pain inside.  When the Piece of Eden was activated all those years ago, revealing a world familiar to me but not to him, I was there and more importantly I understood Altair’s confusion and bewilderment.

You also made me walk side by side with Desmond Miles, a person that everyone thought to be a nobody, but you showed me how special he truly was.  What secrets and gifts he had to offer.  Explaining the science to him and me about the Animus and how it works, how DNA memory is completely possible and you proved it to us too.  You then introduced us to Lucy Stillman, an exceptionally talented individual who was as smart as they come and beautiful to.  It was nice to know that we weren’t alone.  That we had someone to look after us in case things got bad.  But you had to give us the good with the bad.  Warren Vidic, the Templar bastard that was intent on destroying our minds in order to obtain the locations of the Pieces of Eden.

Through out this adventure I fell in love with you.  I appreciated what you tried to do and even defended you on internet boards.  Nothing could or would change my mind on how special you truly were.  That kind of love is not bought, or given, it’s earned.  With that love came a deep trust between us, one that would never be broken.

I was there for it all, and I replayed the adventure a hundred times over.

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GTA V Torture Scene Controversy

(image courtesy of http://arstechnica.com)

(image courtesy of http://arstechnica.com)

I’m not really a person who gets offended easily by anything shown in any type of media art form.  I even watched the Human Centipede and for some strange reason the sequel as well, and yes there were gross and seriously disturbing scenes in there but I could get through it, and sleep quite well at night I might add because well it’s just a movie.  I’m not doing those things…

Have you guys heard about the latest controversy?  Well, it’s in a little game called Grand Theft Auto 5

SPOILERS!

OK so there’s a mission where you and your terrible trio of three have to break into some type of federal building to break out this guy who MIGHT have information about a bad guy that needs to be taken out.  I’m a little fuzzy on the details, but this is just the build up anyway.

Once you have gotten this guy, the F.I.B (which is the F.B.I. really) asks Trevor (who is as psychotic as they come BUT at the same times, has his morals?) to torture this man to obtain the information.  So, Michael heads to the location with another F.I.B. agent to find the target but they need the correct information.  Que the controversy scene..

In order to find out what the target looks like, Trevor is contacted and asked to get the info.  You have a couple of tools to choose from in order to get the answers.  You have a wrench, which I think was to break knee caps or testicles, jumper cables hooked up to a battery on one end and the others will go onto the nipples of the tortured and then you would electrocute him,  a tank of gasoline which you can drown your victim in and pliers to pull teeth.  Let me paint you a picture..

OK, so how do you feel?

Now while I was playing that I felt the need to walk away.  My instinct was to not participate in this kind of behavior however in order to progress I had no choice but to play my role as psychotic red neck which I did.  I still remember pausing the game and saying to my wife I wish I could skip this part.  The pulling of the teeth in particular was grueling for me, because as you saw by the video, they really make you work to get that tooth out.  It was a horrible ordeal.  I wasn’t offended by it but I was put off because I don’t like the idea of hurting other people and I didn’t have the option to skip.  Wait a minute, did I just say “I don’t like hurting other people“?  Hmm, interesting, because if I’m truly honest with myself, I’m a fucking hypocrite again.

How many people have I killed in Uncharted, Mass Effect, Tomb Raider, Assassins Creed, Call of Duty, The Last of Us, Resistance, Singularity, etc, etc.  Do I feel bad about killing these people?  No, not really.  So what does that mean?Are we all monsters deep down?  Why was this particular moment in GTA V so different from everything else we’ve played?

My first explanation is that the acting was brilliant, I believed the guy was in pain and I felt bad for him, I heard bones break, and could hear the electricity coursing through him.  I could almost feel that tooth coming out.  And when he was crying and gasping all I wanted to do was let him go.  The sound was excellent which really immersed me in the entire situation.  What I find interesting now is that I’m referring to this guy as a real person and I’m referring to it as a situation and not a mission.   Don’t you think that’s odd?  Because I could see his face, see the damage I was doing and hearing how painful it was. I think on a sub-conscious level my mind thought it was real.   I was the person controlling this character.   That’s why I felt bad and disgusted by it.  I’m not saying Rockstar did a bad thing in fact I think they should be applauded for making so many of us feel so revolted and uncomfortable.  I felt more uncomfortable in this scene alone than I did in the entirety of The Last of Us.

My wife brought up a good point that maybe it was so bad because the guy couldn’t defend himself.  There was no way out and I was in a way the executioner.  Perhaps that’s why its easy to kill thousands of other “enemies” because they are armed.  It’s a fair fight.  But is it?  Is it fair to a roof top guard in Assassins Creed, to get stabbed in the back simply for doing his job?  Is it fair for a henchman to get an arrow in the head simply for patrolling his designated area in Tomb Raider?  Granted these guys would kill you given half the chance but my point is, is that it’s easy to kill “enemies” who are simply obstacles to over come.  But at the same time, I guess we weren’t torturing these enemies, we simply killed them, put them out of their misery, couldn’t look them in the eyes and pull the trigger.  If we were forced to pull the trigger slowly on an enemy in a normal gun fight, hearing him injured from a bullet wound that you caused, would you still be comfortable?

What I think Rockstar did was skip the obstacle and delve straight into our humanity, our moral fabric of what is right or wrong.  Were you offended because you had to torture him in a game or because you had to face him head on and torture him while he expresses the pain?  Or maybe we are all evil bastards that just want to kill but can’t come face to face with the gravity of it or maybe we’ve been programmed to resist?  It’s interesting or at least, it is to me.

What I’m mainly interested in, is why everyone is so upset with Rockstar about it?  Again it came to my article on censorship, that either everything is off limits or you can do what ever you want in a game.  Rockstar is always pushing the envelope.  Have they pushed too far?

What do you guys think?  I know a few of you have got the game, so for those of you who have gotten to that part, what do you think?  Morally grey?  Down right wrong?  Should people Chill?