Apex Legends

Apex Legends – My First Win

High and Low

Apex Legends is a game that is all about feeling the highs and lows that gaming has to offer. I don’t remember feeling this way for a long time, perhaps because I don’t really play competitive multiplayer games online that much. The last one was Destiny 2 and before that The Last of Us.

This is also my first battle royale game, having skipped over PUBG, Fortnight and CoD Blackout. I started getting into the genre from watching streamers on Youtube playing PUBG but never took the next step, the biggest hurdle probably being the 30 dollar buy in, as silly as that sounds. PUBG also doesn’t seem like a good game for the PS4, seeing how glitchy and shit it is.

It’s pretty amazing that the developers of Titanfall released a free-to-play battle royale game and that it’s so polished out of the gate. So that was enough for me to give it a download. I’m even planning on getting their “battle pass” or whatever they’re going to call it, they deserve to get a little bit of my money for this product.

Apex Legends – Becoming the Champion

It will make me cuss and have to step away from the game after a disappointing showing and pump my fist in the air after becoming the champion. The best moments of the game bring out the competitiveness that I’ve always loved. When paired up with good teammates that work together using the non-voice chat system it’s wonderful. When you get paired with idiots that run off on their own, or don’t even follow the squad to the landing spot it can get frustrating. You also get people that when downed will just drop out and leave a two-man team to fend for themselves.

Sound

I’ve been playing with my new Sony Platinum headphones. I haven’t been a gamer that used headphones to play my games, so this is a big change for me. In order to compete at any sort of level you really need to have as many advantages as possible, and being able to hear enemy footsteps and locate them by sound is a great advantage.

Apex Legends – First Win!

Shooting enemies and hearing the crunch of their shields breaking is a great sound. The weapons pack a nice punch when fired, giving a nice thud on impact.

The only issue I’ve noticed with the sound is that it’s a bit hard, if impossible to tell if an enemy is on the roof or below you. The Y-axis of the sound field seems to not be something the game can produce. So I’d like to see them adopt a more advanced sound technology like Uncharted 4 has on PS4.

Weapons

The weapons in the game start out very confusing. Since you only get a little training area to shoot each gun, you don’t get to mess around with all the attachments to see what they do when you first start out. So there’s a learning curve to getting the handle on each of the guns and how they change with different attachments. It eventually gets to the point where you have a stable of guns that you just go for and use each match.

Apex Legends – All Alone

A negative about the weapons is that if you want to actually pay money to get new skins it costs like 10 dollars to get one, it’s fucking insane. The prices in the store are the epitome of overpriced microtransactions. They put out a pretty cool looking skin for one of the guns, making it look like an old Nintendo console, I can get it for like 12 dollars or grind out enough in-game currency in like 20 hours of gameplay to get it… What the fuck are they thinking? Hopefully their battle pass sorts some of the microtransaction stuff out since they’ll have a more reliable source of income.

The Map

I actually love the map this game has, I’m assuming there will be others. It feels like the perfect size for the amount of squads and for how long a full match will go on for (about 20 minutes or so). It’s very easy to know where you are just by the geography of the area. Using the slide mechanic to propel yourself down a hill makes the traversal fun. Since you don’t get vehicles to move around the map, the slide and jump system gives you something to do while keeping things fresh.

Apex Legend – The Map

Being able to jump up a wall and scramble up a good height gives you more of a vertical playing field. It allows you to get on top of most building and a lot of the boulders scattered about. This gives you a good perspective of the area so that you can spot enemies in the distance.

Finishing Up

Because it’s currently 3 person team based game, the quality of the match experience is in the hands of the other randoms you play with. Since I don’t really play with others online that much, I team up with strangers most of the time. If I had a two other people that I could play with it would probably make the game way more competitive for me, since we’d be able to strategize, talk on headsets, and get advanced team strategies working. I’m looking forward to the introduction of a solo matching, if they ever do it that is. But no matter what, you get to earn a bit of experience with every match, which slowly levels up your profile which is a nice feeling.

Apex Legends – Putting up Some Numbers

The game is all about the moments of finding a squad and taking them down, getting that rush from coming out on top. Then the few moments of being one of the last squads left and working together to dominate the enemy, lining up and landing the last headshot on the enemy and seeing the “You are the Champion” graphic come on the screen. You then get a few seconds to shoot you guns into the air as you ride the excitement of the victory. It’s a wonderful feeling that I’m not used to getting with the type of games I play.

Final Score – 9.5

This is a fantastic game. It makes you want to keep playing just one more match. The guns all feel very polished and fun to use, not that you’d want to use some of them. It can be very frustrating, making you want to throw a controller, but it can also make you want to record your best wins so that you can watch them over again. I’m looking forward to what the game eventually evolves into, the new maps, weapons, and Legends. It’s a more refined and modern take on the battle royale genre that has provided hours of enjoyment.

Finding a “Pro” Controller, and Failing

I’ve been trying for a long time now to find a controller for the PS4 that is a quality product and has buttons on the back. Something similar to the Elite controller for the Xbox One. The main reason for this is that I’m tired of doing the “claw” grip on my controller. It’s awkward and causes strain on my hand if I do it for too long. It’s the most annoying aspect of modern console controllers, ergonomically speaking. Just throw a few buttons down there and we’d all be better off.

So I’ve been doing a lot of research into controllers that I could use, it’s a big process and I’m trying my best to get it sorted, but as you’ll soon see, it hasn’t worked out. Just about all of the products are a mess. Oh, btw, I’m willing to spend hundreds of dollars to fix this issue. So that’s not an issue.

Scuf Vantage

Scuf Vantage – A sad pass

So let’s start with the Scuf Vantage. It’s a good looking controller with an Xbox layout, which I don’t mind at all. Looks solid and parts can be swapped out to fit my needs, can be wired or wireless.

But… the have bad dead zones, a cheap feeling to the controller, reports of odd button layouts and headphones only work in wired mode. Too many issues that don’t seem like an improvement. So I’ll pass on this one.

Razer Raiju Ultimate & Tournament

Razer Raiju Ultimate

One of the more expensive controllers for sure is the Ultimate edition controller which is an insane 270 USD on Amazon right now, I’d be able to get it a bit cheaper out in town though. These controllers look really cool, have a bunch of nice features, but….

Razer Raiju Tournament

They fucking suck! Tons of reports on stick drift and lag weight these down to the bottom of the bin for me. I read reports of Razer stating that their Bluetooth implementation is a bit off which causes the lag issues, and don’t get me started on all the firmware information I sifted through. Apparently they have newer versions of the Ultimate edition that run on firmware 1.04, but those also have updated hardware inside which fixes all the issues people are having. I can’t figure out a way of finding out which version i’m going to buy because you have to plug them into a computer to even see what version you bought.

Their customer service reps keep telling people about new firmware versions fixing all the issues but they seem to not actually work. So it really sucks that these aren’t just the best things ever, considering the price.

Edit:

This version of the controller is for the updated model with the 1.04 firmware. This is supposed to be the fixed version that everyone was praising. You can tell Razer understands they fucked up since it’s actually in the description of the product on Amazon.

All the rest

I went through products like the FPS Strike Pack, that’s basically a clip on device for the PS4 controller that adds two extra buttons to the back. But I’ve seen negative reviews on that. and I really don’t like that it’s a clip on thing and not a bespoke controller. Just not for me. Also, can’t be used without wires.

The Strike Pack!

Scuf also has different models of controllers, ones that are just modded normal PS4 controllers, which seem really nice, but I keep hearing bad things about their paddles and that they break.

It’s a fucking shitty marketplace if you ask me. What’s so hard about just making a solid controller that has no added lag, good quality buttons and a nice stick feel?

Which all leads me to one of my last ideas.

XBox Elite Controller

Xbox Elite Controller

Perhaps I should just get an Xbox Elite controller and a Cronus MAX Plus or Brook adapter.

Issues with this are that there’s no touchpad on this controller, you have to run wired, and the audio jack doesn’t work. Heard about slight issues with lag and also reports that it’s just 1ms which isn’t bad. I love that all the parts are easily changeable and that the build quality is top notch. I’d really love to use one of these controllers, but I’m not convinced as of yet that this is my best option. I really wished I wouldn’t have to run it wired. Also, no rechargeable battery built in…what’s up with MS and that shit?

Nacon Revolution Unlimited Pro

Nacon Revolution Unlimited Pro Controller

Here’s an upcoming controller that’s not released yet. Looks like it’ll be out at the end of March.

I’m really looking forward to this release and just hope it fixes all the issues I foresee with the other controllers. It can be used wireless or wired, has an Xbox layout and 4 buttons on the back. It looks like those buttons wont break down either. I’m going to wait for reviews to pop on this one before buying though, I want to make sure there’s no issues with it before giving them all my money.

Conclusion

I have no idea where I’m going to go in this search. Perhaps with the XBox Elite controller and one of the Brook adapters. I have found a wireless version and a wired one. The wired one is allowed in fighting tournaments so it can’t be that bad. I’ll have to do a bit more research or wait a month or so for reviews of the Nacon Revolution Unlimited to come out.

Assassin’s Creed Revelations – Review

Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection – Looking over Constantinople with Yusuf (RIP)

Retreading the Past

You really have to wonder what it’s all about. Playing all three of the games in the Ezio trilogy back-to-back and going for platinum trophies in each. That last part is really where all the wonder and questioning comes into play.

Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection_20190208140824

The issue comes from the similarities in all three of these games. It’s a gradual evolution of the Assassin’s Creed formula and that means you’re doing the same thing over and over in order to get these trophies. Instead of upgrading your villa in AC 2, you go to upgrading shops in Brotherhood and then again in Revelations. It’s a repeat of what I just did the other week.

Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection – Completely forgot the CG opener they did for this game.

The odd thing is that it feels good going around and upgrading the shops, watching the amount of income my bank is receiving go up little by little. I’ll then just let the game sit while I’m off doing other things in the real world so that when I do come back my coffers will be full and I can spend that money on more upgrades. In this game I need to net around 500,000 of the currency to buy all the books and get one of the trophies. So it’s serving a purpose I suppose.

Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection – This fucking guy…

Movement

The best thing to happen to the series and this game so far is the increased traversal speed. This comes from the hook blade and the traversal wires. The hook blade allows you to basically leap up a building, where before it’d seem slow and plodding to scale a building, now if positioned correctly you can take large leaps up the side.

Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection – Animus memories

The wires going between the roofs of buildings give you more reason to actually use the roofs as a means of traversal. Before you’d stumble from roof to roof, taking large leaps across a street only to grab the next roof ledge, or scan the environment for one of the wires connecting building that you can run across. Now you can run under a wire and jump up to zipline across, keeping up the speed and flow of movement. It’s something that really adds to the fun and enjoyment of the game.

Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection – Yep, you show off there Ezio

The worst part about the movement in this game is the fucking controls! Normal gameplay, sure, it can be just fine. You’ll get to where you want to go most of the time just fine. The problem is when you’ve been playing for a while and trying to clean up on trophies or do almost anything that you think should be fairly simple. What then happens is that you run up a wall, or off the side of a building, or hit a guard on accident. Basically, you do the exact opposite of what you’re thinking. It gets so fucking frustrating when you’re trying to get 100 percent sync in a mission and there’s a disconnect between your brain, hand, controller and game; and you now for certain that it’s the games fault.

Environment

Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection – The city

The new location of Constantinople (Instanbul) is a really great choice for the series. It’s a place I never would have guessed the game would go. Even though I played this game back in the day, I had no recollection of this being the location they used. Perhaps because it’s not one of those really popular hot-spots around the world.

Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection – City streets

What I do like about it is just how different it is from the past two games. There’s just more color and life in the scenery and people that you come across. Groups of women will be wearing vibrantly colored dresses, making them really stand out from the crowd.

Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection – Looking for a key

It’s nice that little details like rugs, bazaars, and pots letting out little plumes of smoke litter all the nooks and crannies of the environment. The world seems more dense with objects, compared to the practically baren streets of the prior games. It feels like instead of a program placing all the building and making the streets, the developers took the time to go in and add more texture to the world.

Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection – Indoor environments

The map does feel smaller than the previous game so far, which I don’t think is a bad thing. They removed all the open areas where you needed a horse to really get around and instead focused on the city itself. It makes the game feel more focused, which I’m currently hoping transfers over to the story and main mission (which I’m not that far into).

Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection – Cappadocia

Okay, just finished the game. So the size of the city is really nice, it makes things a bit more condensed than they were previously and that makes everything quicker. The problem is that the city on street level is a bit of a maze (broken record sound). If you just start walking around on the street with the map off you’d have almost no idea where you apart from a few sections. There aren’t enough bespoke areas that have a layout that allows you to get your bearings and let you navigate from the environment clues.

I enjoyed the side dungeons, they were all nicely modeled and had some good atmosphere. They really felt special and unique to this game, which perhaps isn’t something the previous games did as well. There were less of them in this game but it all felt more tight.

Story

I do enjoy the story of these games, and this one is no exception. While I tend to think that Ezio’s story is a little weak, what drives me forward is what’s happening around the Animus itself. The history of the Isu, the relics they created and the humans interacting with those objects.

Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection – The Isu – Minerva, Juno and Jupiter

It’s really cool piecing together how everything ties in together, especially at the end when Ezio, who realizes that Desmond is listening to him through this technology, actually starts talking to Desmond. The Isu are the best part of the story, and playing through these three games in a row makes me want to go into the other AC games to get their story also. Last time I played them I don’t think I really understood everything that was happening outside of the Animus. The ending of AC Odyssey with Kassandra meeting her true father is what made me really interested in the Isu.

Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection – Finding Altaïr’s and his last memory

The story revolved around Ezio finding 5 keys that Altaïr left, these keys open a door in the basement of the old Assassin’s base. The keys are made with precursor technology and so when they are found, Ezio is allowed to see a memory of Altaïr. It’s a nice way of filling in some of his story (I don’t remember ever playing the first AC game so I’m not sure if it’s ever covered) and combining it with Ezio’s journey.

He eventually gets all the keys (of course), meets a hot librarian woman, makes friends with Suleimon, beets up some Templars and keeps hidden another Apple of Eden.

Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection – The big reveal

The game also has a sort of side-story that’s played through a first-person perspective where you go through platforming environments as you listen to story. Playing through the animus memories, you discover a lot of Desmond’s backstory, how he grew up and eventually made his way to Abstergo. His father is played by Q from STNG which is kind of cool. And you eventually learn that Lucy was actually a Templar and was sent to infiltrate the Assassin’s. That makes sense when you take into consideration how at the end of the last game the Isu made you stab and kill her. So good on them for that!

Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection – What the hell is happening to the Animus?

Wrapping Up

Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection – Carriage flight

I can feel the drum beating on this series, three years of annual releases does not make a huge difference in gameplay. Looking past all that, these games are very enjoyable and should be played. The Isu and Animus storyline are what really propelled me through these games. That and a bit of the gameplay, even though it can get a bit repetitive when going for platinum since you have to do most of what these games offer. Just be prepared for a bit of a grind in addition to the story segments.

Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection – The classic falling boss fight…

The final boss fight, which amounts to a section where you’re flying behind a carriage and assassinating people on horses, then fight the boss while falling off a cliff… is an interesting choice. I do like the carriage part but the last bit isn’t anything you’d ever remember.

Final Score – 8.0

Original Release – 15 Nov 2011

I’m interested to see where they went with the main story in AC3, since the remaster of it comes out shortly. AC3 was a game that I started and never finished, but I’m looking to change that in the future. It was exciting to look back on these games, games that I played and mostly forgot when they were released. I enjoyed the story of Ezio and even the stuff out of the Animus, especially given the general discourse for that aspect of these stories. It surprised me in how much I enjoyed it. I must say that I do look forward to getting back to the gameplay of Origins and Odyssey, since a lot has changed in gaming locomotion since 2011

Batman – Telltale

It’s just a Telltale game…

Batman – What? Something wrong?

So what do you do with all that information? You play it through and get your nice little platinum trophy I suppose. It was also nice not having to pay for this game since it came “free” with PS+. So I’ll just keep it brief and pop a final little message at the end for this game.

Batman – Here we go again

Final Score – 6.3

Original Release – 2 Aug 2016

These games…the Telltale games, it’s just so weird that they exist in the fashion that they do. I suppose they don’t anymore with the closing of their studio. The glitchy, odd gameplay and the straightforward way of telling their story drag down the whole experience. This is especially evident after having played a good amount of their games. It just all becomes a repeat experience, you know each chapter will last between 1 and 2 hours, you make a few choices that will have an effect, some won’t though. You get trophies and will get the platinum just by making it through (except for The Wolf Among Us which takes a little more work). Also, knowing that there won’t be a sequel drags the score down a little bit more. Don’t think I’d go back to this one to experience the story, just keep it moving I say.

Diablo 3

Revisiting Tristram

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Ultimate Evil Edition (English)_20181208164733

Been playing Diablo with the boo a fair amount lately. We just beat the main game together, I was using the new Necromancer class. We were also playing as a seasonal character, first time for both of us doing that.

We’ve been really enjoying ourselves going through it. Started going for the season rewards also yesterday, we put on Critical Role on the laptop so we could listen to it while we play and just been getting in those paragon points and shit. It’s just Diablo 3, what can I really say about it? As long as you got something on in the background that you can listen to, running around collecting loot and leveling up is as enjoyable as ever in this game.

Final Score – Too old to review I’d say

Original Release – 25 Mar 2014

It’s fun being able to play the game with the Lady, since we’re both on the same level, it’s not competitive at all (unless you get better loot and she gets pissed). It’s just a good time to listen to Critical Role and hang.

Iconoclasts

Iconoclasts – Yea…idk…i’m good

Not my cup of tea

Started up this game one afternoon while the Lady talked with her parents. I realized quickly that I didn’t really care for the game. It has a good look with the 2D side-scroller pixel graphics. Just didn’t really enjoy the mechanics of it, which is a little funny since the main character is a mechanic. I played for about 90 minutes, did a boss or two and I think I’m good on it. Didn’t enjoy the way the story was told, with the dialogue boxes, just didn’t care at all. Did not grab my attention and I don’t think I’ll be going back to this one. Also, the environmental progression seemed a bit obtuse and that was enough for me to want to stop.

Final Score – I’m good

Original Release – 23 Jan 2018

Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood – Review

AC Brotherhood started out taking a page from the Uncharted series. Not only does Nolan North voice Nathan Drake, he also is the voice for Desmond Miles. The opening scene where he’s running around with Lucy (Kristen Bell) is almost ripped out of an Uncharted game, the characters are constantly quipping back and forth as they make their way through the caves.

Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection – Uncharted Creed?

That style of gameplay, which is more commonplace now, was definitely at it’s infancy in this game. They only really had that style of interaction during that one scene, which is a shame. It definitely would have taken a lot more work to do that for the majority of missions, mostly because Ezio is a lone wolf most of the time.

Color!

Playing this game and the 2nd one back to back, the first thing you notice when you’re in the animus is that the team at Ubisoft discovered more colors while creating the sequel. Coming into Rome and running around, the environment is just more saturated with colors, this really makes the world seem more vibrant and alive. Everything in the previous game was just a drab brown in the end.

Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection – 16 bit color!

Design

The map is just a singular open space this time, which I do actually appreciate, I didn’t really like all the mini ones from the last game. My biggest complaint about the map design this time are the large islands of land toward the south of the map that can only be reached through one road going up to it. This means that if you come at it from the wrong side you have to circle all the way around, find the road leading up to it and then navigate from there, why couldn’t you just scale the rocks on the outside? So annoying and just a bit of a waste of time.

The city design is starting to move to a more natural layout, it’s less of the maze like design of the last game, which is definitely welcome. A big inclusion to this city is that there are a lot more stairs and changes in height to the main streets, this just helps in making navigation feel more interesting and less repetitive.

Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection – Catching up and doing math

No longer do you have a villa to update and earn income from, now it’s simply the city of Rome, you burn down Borgia towers and renovate art stalls or armor stalls and the like. All the while earning a steady revenue from all your properties that can be picked up at the bank. Of course, I started doing this and would leave the PS4 running so that I could collect money while not playing the game.

The game really started out feeling fresh, I liked the new city building system, growing my income and doing story missions. The thing that started to kill this game for me in the long run was that I was going for the platinum trophy in it. Which meant that I would have to get 100% sync in all the missions in the game. This included not only the story missions but the side missions for all the guilds in the game, which kind of sucks just a little bit if i’m being honest. If that wasn’t enough, the mission designs were just repetitive. So it really made going for the platinum a bit of a chore, besides having to do the normal collect 100 flags for whatever reason Ubisoft mission thing.

Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection – Leo’s back!

Controls

I had the same issues with the controls from the last game, where my character sometimes just wouldn’t do the things I wanted him to do, and the frustration really sets in when that happens during a mission where i’m going for 100% sync in and Ezio fucks up and I have to restart the mission from scratch because Ezio is an idiot.

Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection – Murder machine

I enjoyed the ability to freeflow assassinate motherfuckers in this game, you parry an attack and then can just stream together a one hit kill on every person in range, if you’re skilled enough that is. This makes dealing with groups a lot better and made the combat more enjoyable overall. Towards the end of my time with the game I also started enjoying Ezio’s other tools, like the throwing knifes, where he’d target multiple targets and just one hit kill them with it, made dealing with some groups a lot easier for sure.

Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection – Fuck the Pope

Story

The story was good, but going for the platinum (again) kind of ruined it for me. I had to take large pauses in continuing to go do side missions and the like, even though I really didn’t have to do that since it was all open to me after beating the main story. It’s just how I play games is all. We finally got to see this fat bastard die though, so there’s peace in that.

Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection – Looking after his family

Some of the side missions are really touching though, when you go back into Ezio’s past and are doing little side stories that seem to be missing from the first game. It fills out his relationship with Christina and what happened to his family members bodies after they were hanged. Pretty touching stuff for an AC game.

Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection – Apple of death

It was cool at the end to finally get the Apple of Eden and to actually be able to wield it in combat, killing people instantly.

Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection – Precursor chamber
Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection – Getting that apple finally!

Desmond and the gang were finally able to find the Apple in the present day, but that led to Desmond stabbing Kristen Bell in the stomach because the ancient precursor lady made him do it? It’s all very confusing and I’m sure it will all be spelled out so that I’ll understand it in the next game, right?

Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection – What the fuck is all this about?

Final Score – 7.8

Original Release – 16 Nov 2010

This game is a slow iterative process of improvements from the last game, which is an interesting thing to see and play. I did enjoy the game, but some of the issues I had with it held it down a bit. I’m not expecting that much of an improvement with the 3rd game of Ezio. Having played all these games, almost a decade ago, I’ve forgotten a lot about them, but every once in a while i’ll recognize something or other, those are usually the more standout pieces in the game. The more memorable ones. Perhaps as a game designer, those would be the moments to focus on and really try to expand on. Hopefully creating a game that is only made of that.

Tacoma

What can I really say about this game? I played Gone Home a while back and enjoyed it, some people really hyped it up to the nth degree. So that’s what made me want to play Tacoma. This is Fullbright studios 2nd game after Gone home. It’s actually taken a really long time to come out, they demoed it to people in the industry and then went back and made a bunch of changes to it. So at least they kept it in the oven until it was finished and didn’t just rush to market with it.

The most shameful thing about my playthrough of this, is that I used a trophy guide and just followed that and got the platinum in about an hour. I did it one Sunday morning.

Why would I do something like that? I just wanted to get a few of these little games out of my way and done with honestly. That morning I woke up and finished off the last chapter or so of Telltale’s Batman game and went right into this one, had it done before lunch.

Tacoma – Skull basketball?

So I missed out on all the story and world-building this studio is known for, but I did get the trophy, for what it matters (spoilers: it doesn’t). So perhaps I should feel a little bit ashamed at some point in my life about this tragic decision I made. I will for sure try and get back to this game and just see what the story has to offer, I did piece together a little bit of the narrative thread of the game so don’t judge too harshly!

Tacoma – Platinum

What really sucked about getting the platinum, I forgot one little thing after beating it, so the trophy didn’t pop. I had no clue what I missed either, so I had to go back into the ship (luckily it had a save right before the end) and started poked around where I started, found the audio log thing really quickly, so it wasn’t too bad, thankfully.

Score – I’ll have to come back to this one…

Original Release – 1 Aug 2017

Assassin’s Creed 2 – Revisited

First released in November, 2009. I played it originally on Xbox 360, just like the other games in the Ezio trilogy. I just played the remastered version for the PS4.

Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection – Looking Down From Up Above

I wasn’t really sure what to expect going into this game, it’s been a long time since I last played it and video games have advanced a hell of a lot since then, especially the AC games. What I found wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.

Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection – The World

Controls and Combat

I’ll start with the controls, since they were a big issue that I had playing through this game. You can tell that they were still figuring out their combat and how to maneuver around the city. Constant misjumps, stumbling into people or objects, horrible combat inputs, and just a general struggle with connecting to the locomotion of the character. Having kept up on the AC games, I’ve become accustomed to the improvements they’ve made in the responsiveness of their main characters, so it hurt just a bit going back.

Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection – Ummmm…

I found combat to be pretty horrible in the game. I would attempt to make a quick assassination, killing one or two people in one fell swoop. Finishing up my animation I constantly hit the assassinate button to get one more foe, and if successful trying again for a fourth. Sometimes it would work, sometimes it wouldn’t. When it didn’t I’d then enter “combat” and basically just start mashing the attack button. What happens then is a little confusing, the enemy constantly blocks, so I’d just mash it more and their health would slowly go down until I finished them off with my weapon. It wasn’t elegant by any means, but it worked for me in the end.

Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection – Magic!

I eventually got to the point where I’d slow down and attack strategically. Holding both L2 and R2, then waiting for the perfect frame to counterattack and kill my enemy in one move. It was slow but effective, and a tactic I’d only use if I didn’t feel like rushing through with things.

Smoke bombs ended up being a great asset in a fight with a large group of people. I’d toss one down then assassinate people, one or two at a time. So much faster then spamming an attack button at an enemy until he dies. Combat needs to be improved for the next game for sure.

Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection – Should Have Killed the Bastard

World Design

Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection – Locations for Later?

The world design felt a bit uninspired, or at least generic and a work in progress. Running through the city streets you can tell that it’s basically just a maze, the pattern to the streets makes little to no sense, with tall building on either side, making you feel like a rat in a maze. Getting on the rooftops and jumping between buildings was the best way to navigate. You just want to move fast and get around town with speed and efficiency, but when you run around the streets for a bit, then decide the rooftops would be quicker, you have to try and scale a building, which doesn’t always work out. When it doesn’t it gets annoying really fast.

Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection – I Believe I Can Fly!

You can tell that this is a game where the developers are innovating and creating a new system. Whether that’s in the tools they use to design their world or the actual world the player runs around in. Having hindsight and knowledge about where the games eventually do end up, it gives a bit of perspective for what was happening here. Things feel very generic, but also like a good starting point.

Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection – Becoming an Assassin

Understanding the social context of video games and how they worked at the time of release makes you understand what the team at UbiSoft was up against making this.

Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection – Collected all 100 of these fuckers.

The Story

The story felt a little basic overall. I loved the use of Leonardo and having him be the Q of this universe. I also like how you play as Ezio throughout the majority of his life, I think this games spans about 25 years, and it continues into the other two games in the series. It’s made me excited to see where the story goes and how the rest of his life/journey unfolds (Since I completely forgot).

Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection – Let’s all just stare at this thing, shall we?

I ended up not killing the Pope, (not that it was an actual choice the player had to make) you know, that asshole responsible for killing three members of my family and being a member of the Templars. I’m sure that will all work out well for me, should have just killed the fat bastard. It was kind of funny that this asshole, come to find out at the end of the game, is actually the Pope. The game tosses that out in a bit of dialogue and then he basically shits on religion before we get down to fight.

Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection – The future old room or something.

I did connect that apple onto the staff and walk into an old-ass sci-fi chamber and met up with Minerva, she ended up talking through Ezio to get to Desmond in the Animus, pretty trippy and cool. I love the story of the precursors and how they were advanced people living on earth long ago, leaving clues to help out the human race in the future.

Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection – Meeting with Minerva

Overall, the story and mission were all pretty basic, a little bit of flavor and then go assassinate someone, or tail somebody. Rinse and repeat, and with the environments mostly looking the same, it wasn’t as exciting as it could have been.

Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection – Cut the check!

I did enjoy building up my little town of Monteriggioni, upgrading the buildings and buying everything I possibly could in the game just to take in more money in exchange.

Trophies

I ended up getting the Platinum trophy for the game, it only took a few days. I did enjoy the game, and the journey to get the platinum. Comparing it next to AC Odyssey or Origins, it seems like a commercial break compared to those monsters of games.

I’m going to plow into the next game, AC Brotherhood next. Go for the platinum in that one too, looking forward to how they improve over this game, especially given the release of that game only being a year after this, but i’m sure they had multiple studios working on these.

Overall Impressions

Overall though, the game wasn’t difficult at all. It was actually a bit breazy in the way you could just move through all the missions and everything. If I wasn’t going for the platinum it could have definitely been a weekend game, that might get a little tiring though since you’d be doing a lot of the same things over and over again.

The missions where you have to tail somebody do get a bit boring, it’s just not that much fun in these games to take it slow and be really methodical about not being seen. It’s also a little odd that you don’t have the ability to crouch and reduce your visibility, I keep wanting to click a button to hide myself like I’m able to do in the more recent games in the series. The feeling you get when you one hit kill a person is probably the highlight of the combat, since if you get spotted you’re just agro’d by everyone around, which is annoying.

One last thing about what bugged me, there are just enemies all over the map in this game, each little street corridor you go down has a group, these cities really have a crazy military budget for sure.

What makes it fun is the environments, running around and jumping off a building to assassinate two guards at once, and the collecting and upgrading of your Vila. It’s just satisfying seeing all your stats and income increase, even though I’d just let the game run while I was doing other things around the house so my character collects money in his bank.

Score – 7.5

Original Release – 17 Nov 2009

Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection – Platinum Achieved!

Batman Arkham Asylum – Going back for just a bit

So I’m taking a little trip back to November of last year, this is when I decided to start writing a little about the games I’ve been playing. So let’s just see how this all went.

Batman: Return to Arkham – Arkham Asylum – Popping that trophy – Born Free

I bought the game for 5 dollars in a bundle with Arkham City. I last played these games in 2010 and 2011, respectively. I started up Asylum yesterday and am already near the end. I’m enjoying the faster pace of this game compared to Red Dead Redemption 2 (which I finished before this). The graphics in this game are surprisingly good for a game so old, I last played it on PS3 back in the day. You can see why the Unreal Engine was so dominate on those consoles.

Batman: Return to Arkham – Arkham Asylum – Detective Mode on Display

One thing that really bothered me in this game, and is becoming a growing issue in a lot of other games, is the way detective mode provides it’s information. When activated the colorful environments get washed out and instead, your given a dull view of the world with easily visible highlights for items or enemies. With me going around trying to suck up all the trophies I can, this means I’m in detective mode an awful lot and all those colors are nowhere to be seen. It’s just annoying. Another game that bothered me with this is Horizon Zero Dawn.

The gameplay is a blast, Batman moves with speed and grace. All of his gadgets are fun to use. It’s a nice palette cleans from Red Dead. I’m also going for the platinum and the trophies have been coming at a steady pace, which is fun. Looking back at my trophies, I think I should load up the PS3 version (if I still own it) to see if I can get the trophies on that one also. I have a memory of not being able to get the riddler stuff since it was glitched, I’d like to see if that’s still true.

The Next Day

I played a bit more today, got all the riddler trophies using the IGN wiki for it. I think I realized the Joker teeth that I was missing when I played it on PS3, they are in an office above the room that you have to zip up to. Seems like that would make sense, still not really sure.

Batman: Return to Arkham – Arkham Asylum – We all know what this is about

I’m also trying to get the trophy for using all of Batman’s moves in one combo, it’s a fucking bitch. I keep practicing and am getting better at it, so I think it should happen soon at least.

Meanwhile, in December

Batman: Return to Arkham – Arkham Asylum – What a fucking headache…

Beat the game, got all the trophies except for two that have to do with the combat arenas. I was able to get the combo one done after a good amount of practice, it was definitely needed for that one. I just gave up on the combat ones because they are really hard and it seems like it’d take way too much time to get good at it for the reward. So it goes back on the shelf.

Original Release – 25 Aug 2009