South Park : The Stick of Truth (Review)

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South Park — A Show that started in 1997 Created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone currently celebrates its 17th Season, the show become well known for its absurd comedy and gained a massive following and it is, but just like everything other property licensing it and adapting it to other forms and mediums is a heavy task, usually with Licensed material we end up with a mediocre take on an established world rarely we come across a game that dose the source material justice, lately we saw the Batman games doing so, and in the past there was the Capcom Disney games and a Reddik game was pretty good too, and of course we also get the Spider-man games, the Superman Games, and the other horrible games based on movies and TV shows that we love, South Park had it’s share of bad games with the first game came out in 1998 which was a first person shooter, then there was the party game, the Kart Racer and the tower defense game which they all did a terrible job capturing what South Park is all about which I think drove the creators of the show to make sure that they make a South Park game for the ages, Enter : The Stick of Truth

south park stick of truth screen 1Made by the RPG masters Obsidian Entertainment, written and directed by Matt and Trey themselves we end up with a game that is so true to the show which almost makes it feel like one of those 3 Episodes Story Arcs, a Turn Base RPG with a battle system very similar to Paper Mario series casts you as the new kid in town, you gotta make friends, kill Nazi Zombies and perform abortions in this 12-15 hour long RPG in order to make sure the Stick of Truth will not fall into the wrong hands, the game is very well written, and every frame of the game has an easter egg for the fans of the show, this is truly a love letter to the those who has watched every episode and they know it by heart (like me) but if you are a newcomer to South Park it might appeal to you as much which is in itself is a good news because now you have an excuse to watch the show which is free here! now back to the game

2435995-stickoftruthAs a South Park fan when they announced this game I was very excited and after all the delays and development bumps the game had because of the THQ Bankruptcy and Obsidian layoffs, there was a time where I felt like we might never get this game but am glad we did, due to its perfect graphics and sound this game will never go out of date and I think years from now when Matt and Trey decide to end the show and move on we will always have Stick of Truth and a way for us to explore South Park anytime we want and this is really good, having said all that if this game was based on any other property or if it was a new IP I don’t think I would have played it, but the fact that it is a South Park game made it a must play.

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True Detective Season One Review (No Spoilers)

ImageSopranos — laid down the ground works for modern drama TV, ever since that show there has been a number of amazing shows to name the few Breaking Bad, Lost, Mad Men, Game of Thrones, Dexter, Masters of Sex and House of Cards are all good examples that TV is not something people watch to kill time in fact a lot of these shows are better acted and written than most high budget Hollywood movies, and on top of this pyramid of awesome TV shows is the Home Box Office Channel (HBO) with the boldest, scariest list of shows that no one else would even dares to produce, Enter : True Detective

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from the image above you realize that this show comes packing some real star power, Oscar winner and the actor who changed his career from Romantic Comedies to doing Scorsese and Nolan to winning awards and really taking names Matthew McConaughey who in my opinion currently did his best performance ever, he did win the Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club but he sure did his masterpiece here, his character is very interesting and I think very hard to pull off since his dialogue well is filled with things like this

“I think human consciousness, is a tragic misstep in evolution. We became too self-aware, nature created an aspect of nature separate from itself, we are creatures that should not exist by natural law. We are things that labor under the illusion of having a self; an accretion of sensory, experience and feeling, programmed with total assurance that we are each somebody, when in fact everybody is nobody. Maybe the honorable thing for our species to do is deny our programming, stop reproducing, walk hand in hand into extinction, one last midnight – brothers and sisters opting out of a raw deal.”

and

“If the only thing keeping a person descent is the expectation of divine reward then, brother, that person is a piece of shit. And I’d like to get as many of them out in the open as possible. You gotta get together and tell yourself stories that violate every law of the universe just to get through the goddamn day? What’s that say about your reality?”

it is almost hard to believe that he can say paragraphs like this, and pull it off in a calm soothing way that you just can’t stop yourself from wanting to replay that part, and also there is Woody Harrelson, Woody is such a terrific actor but he doesn’t get to do much of that on his latest roles like Now You See Me and The Hunger Games movies, he does bring it home with this one though he plays a messy Don Draper like character whose heart is in the right place, maybe not as complex as Matthew’s character (Rust) but certainly a very interesting character, and together they have an amazing on screen Dynamics that is just a pleasure to see.

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unlike most detective shows True Detective does not rely on Moster of the Week formula, instead they shake up the genre and come up with a wide range broad scale case to be solved throughout the course of the season and next season they will start with a new cast and a new story and a new setting, it will still be close to the formula of the show but they won’t be connected, which means next year when they show season 2 we won’t see Matthew or Woody go after another killer no, and that is really bold of HBO since establishing characters and making people watch the show for it is one of the fundamentals of success these days

Imageone of the many other things that make True Detective such a wonderful show is how consistent it is, and I think that goes back to the fact that this show was written by Nic Pizzolatto and he did write all the 8 episodes, and it was also directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga who directed them all as well unlike most TV shows which they have a team of writers and everytime one of them write an episode and someone else directs it and for that you might feel a little disjointment from some episodes. With a production value that screams quality and Cinematography which can be an art gallery itself I can’t stop praising the show enough and give it the a Perfect Score and look really forward to the future episodes.

Wait a little for Evolve

ImageAs — Someone who skipped most Multiplayer shooters last gen it is kinda weird that am very excited for most Multiplayer shooters coming this year, especially those of a Co-Op nature. Enter Evolve a 4 on 1 Multiplayer shooter by the Turtle Rock (Of Left 4 Dead Fame) coming by the end of this year, the innovating part of this game is the fact that the 5 player matches are divided by 2 teams Hunters and Monster.

ImageHunters are a class based shooting team who are sent to hunt down the monster and not allow the monster to achieve it’s goals, as usual the classes varies between Tank, Healer and DPS and each character is equipped with a set of skills that differentiate it from the others and make that character play a certain role in the battle, so far we only have 4 characters revealed but they said that they will have more to reveal soon

ImageMonster is a player character, controlled by someone and it has a set of skills that Evolves with eating and hunting wild life, the monster goes through 3 stages, 1st stage where it is weak and needs to hide and eat, 2nd stage where he is a little more powerful Turtle Rock said this stage is 50-50 which means hunters and monster are balanced, and stage 3 which is an all powerhouse monster with a little chance of hunters to win the match, so far we have seen Goliath only from the monster set with more to be shown soon

ImageEvolve is set to release sometime this year on PlayStation 4, XBOX ONE and PC

Wait a little for Destiny

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Bungie — The Masters of Halo and lets face it they did popularize the modern day shooters with Halo and if you are denying that then you seriously need to know that Halo alone carried XBOX PRIME over the 6th Generation, if XBOX barely survived that gen it was because of Halo and  all that glory goes back to Bungie, what is really admirable from the studio even after the massive found success with Halo they have decided to move to another game, with another publisher and this new title is the very anticipated and overly awesome looking : Destiny

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What interests me in Destiny is not the visuals or the game play because we have seen all of that dozens of times, but mostly the settings and the promising CO-OP and very interesting Sci-Fi world which I can’t wait to explore, the fact that I can play with my friends and drop in and out when ever I want is also amazing, the game also has classes and they look very impressive

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Looks like it will be like the Holy Trinity of MMORPGS kind of classes, and so much more to the game that hasn’t been shown yet

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Destiny is hitting PS3, PS4, XBOX 360 and XBOX ONE on September  9th, 2014

Ubisoft and the New IP Madness of 2014!

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2014 — is a very a year filled with very high end AAA titles from game developers, games like Titanfall, Destiny, The Evil Within and The Order : 1886 are in fact where most eyes are looking at insight of games like Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed that dominated the last gen, lets recap a little both COD and AC launched within the first few years of the console launch so am guessing the big game publishers are aware of that and they are obviously trying to establish franchises that will carry them over throughout the generation, and the one that wants the biggest piece of this cake is the french titan : UBISOFT

The company is living couple of good years with Assassin’s Creed selling over 55 million copies over the last generation alone, the company is obviously looking into establishing a slew of new IPs in 2014 alone, few have ever tried to attempt such a bold and potentially catastrophic move but I think Ubi has a very good list of upcoming games that could potentially be the defining titles of this generation so lets take a look, first of all

 Tom Clancy’s The Division

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This game owned E3 for me, it looks amazing the concept is just borderline awesome an Open World Online RPG set in the an infected NYC with a 3rd person action shooter mechanics, who can say no to that? and at VGX this year they showed the engine and that looks even more impressive, couple of rumors surfaced the past few weeks suggesting the game has been delayed to 2015 but Ubisoft has kept the 2014 release date — for now!

The Crew

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The Crew is as described by the game developer “An Online Racing RPG” and as someone who really loved Burnout Paradise I want to get my hands on The Crew ASAP! more on the fact that Racing games are doing great now days with Forza Motorsports leading the way and Need for Speed following, and Sony’s DriveClub is hitting this year as well so expect a lot of engine sounds in the coming months.

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and then there is Watch_dogs, the could be Assassin’s Creed 1 or 2 game of the year is surrounded by alot of skepticism, frankly I think the game might be good in the end with the new mechanics and Hacking and the promising Dark Soul Style Multiplayer, more over the game is very pretty, and the Gameplay also looks smooth, May 27th is our date.

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While not as High Profile as the rest, Child of Light looks amazing and sounds even better, a turn based RPG from a western developers, which is something I have been wanting for years and furthermore I think UBI ART currently have one of the best looking art styles, based one the gameplay videos (1 2 3) I think this game will be like 2013’s Brothers a Tale of Two Sons kind of experience with heavy emphasis on the mood of the story, the game is going to hit basically everything this April.

I hope you liked my take on this year’s new IPs from UBISOFT, and also picked up the fact that I am very excited for all of them.

cheers!

That is Bat….Man!

ImageRocksteady — is back with a new Batman game to conclude the Arkham Story they have created, started with the critically acclaimed Batman : Arkham Asylum followed by Arkham City which was even more acclaimed and last year’s underrated but really awesome Arkham Origin as a prequel to the trilogy made by Warner Bros. Games Montréal which was a great game, and now the original creators are back with a new installment Batman : Arkham Knight and they say it will conclude the story of Batman games and it will Rocksteady’s last Batman game, and this is very exciting of course, in the interview with GameInformer they stated the following :

  • The Game will pick up a year after Arkham City so the story is very connected (if you know that means)
  • You can explore all of Gotham
  • You will have a derivable Batmobil
  • and Playable Harley Quinn (???)

this is all sound really wonderful but I have a few wishes that am hopping Rocksteady will keep it that way and they are :

  • Please don’t over crowd the game with villains, you don’t have to include everyone just make sure those you include are very well written and well acted
  • a little update to the gameplay, while still VERY fun but a little update will go a long way!
  • the Penguin is included (sadly) but can we minimize his role? he really sucks as a villain!
  • NO ROBIN…SAY with me NO ROBIN
  • and don’t add multiplayer it wasn’t fun in because who will play it any way?

that is all for now, I will leave you with couple of images from the game

 

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Cheers!

 

The Elder Scrolls Online Beta Impressions (Until Level 5)

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Elder Scrolls — Has for the most part being my favorite series, I mean if not my top favorite definitely goes as close as Zelda and Pokemon,  and The Elder Scrolls Online despite how much heat it’s been getting remained my most anticipated game through out 2012, 2013, and now 2014 and I have slowly I have given up on the idea of Skyrim MMO and whatever the actual dream is because lets face it I don’t think even technically Skyrim is possible to go online it is just not possible and lets leave it at that, let us enjoy the Single player Elder Scrolls games as we were meant to enjoy them and we all know that we do enjoy those games like hell alot so why not try something else? why not play as the races we love in the world that we love using similar mechanics? kinda like Final Fantasy Tactics which is not exactly Final Fantasy but it is similar and you can enjoy it like it is, so I played ESO with that mentality and with that my impression begins :

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Graphics and Art direction — before I dive too deep in this aspect lets take a look back at Skyrim and Oblivion, they were not THE BEST LOOKING GAMES but the art style of those games made them so pretty to look at that alot of games these days, in my opinion the Sky of Oblivion alone is an example of how far an art style can go just take a look

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it is really beautiful and makes you want to stand still and look at it for a while, not mentioning the snow effects of Skyrim and the way the music plays along it is just one of the few reasons why I can just walk around in these games and not care much what I do here is another example

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it is haunting if nothing else, and Elder Scrolls Online really shines when it comes to graphics, it has one of the most beautifully crafted environments and beautiful character models and one of the most impressive art designs it is not as ARTISTIC as Guild Wars 2 because they try to remain a realistically looking game as much as possible and they have successfully did that, more over the lighting effects are phenomenal for an MMO at least they look very beautiful, overall the game is the best looking MMO in the market for sure and this is says alot.

Music and Sound — Jeremy Soule did an amazing job with the previous games tracks like this and this are still on my phone and I play it when I go for walks, just makes feel like am still in the game, and ESO is no exception the music and sound design (while a little buggy) is really top notch, and this is I think the first MMO to be fully voiced, and that is going to make you want to talk to NPCs and sit and listen to the quests and not just burn through them and all that are good perks, ESO also has a steller cast of voice actors who makes the game even more impressive, and no surprises here.

Gameplay — While I suggest that you should check out some of the video previews that you can find on this channel to get a better idea of how the game play in ESO works, basically it is %90 regular Elder Scrolls Gameplay and %10 MMO, you have the action bar which you can fill it with attacks and special moves that you unlock by leveling up and the best part of it all is the fact that you can use any item, any weapon or armor anytime you want and that is like the best thing I have ever heard because I am so sick and tired of MMOs telling me that you can’t equip a sword while being a mage or be a stealthy Tank..WHY THE FUCK NOT? well ESO allows you to do all that, the First person view is not the best the series has to offer but the 3rd person is great and very responsive.

Bugs, glitches and Server issues — it was beta so yes the hole thing was very glitchy and buggy, I tried to sell a few items and it went out of the server and sometimes the quest did not finish due to a bug and so on, these are to be expected and am also expecting some glitches after launch also, I don’t know if it was just because of the beta or the Mega Server was lagging sometimes so I am kinda worried about that and we will see what is up with that when the game comes out.

The MMO Concerns — in 2011 I realized that I don’t have MMO experience and as someone who takes gaming very seriously I don’t like to leave a genre out and never try it, so I tried couple of Free-to-Play games and I did like them at the beginning and then I tried a full MMO experience Guild Wars 2 which was amazing, after spending almost 500 hours in it I realized that MMOs are not just a game you play and leave when ever you want, MMOs are almost a part of your life style and the moment you decide to play it you have to understand you are living two lives now and you have to make sure you keep up in both worlds, as someone who is working all the time and also has a very busy social life it is hard to maintain them both and this is what drives me away from most MMOs after a while which brings me to my next thoughts regarding Elder Scrolls Online “How much time I am going to put in?” well for starters I can roll out PvP since I never liked PvP any way, which leaves PvE and Exploration and also I would like to play all the Guilds (know that The Dark Brotherhood and Mages Guild is not going to be available on launch) and also dungeons with friends and that, I would like to be able to play more than on character at least after a while and I do expect to get off the game couple of months after it launches at least for some time and resubscribe to it in the coming years, I do hope however the game will enjoy alot of success which will lead ZeniMax to put in more time and effort in adding more content like they are doing with Guild Wars 2 which I think it is fantastic.

So thus concludes my very first impressions on ESO, know that I deliberately did not talk about the monthly subscription and is it worth it because I was sold on the game long ago and I do not think 15$ a month is alot….for fuck’s sake 15$ will not buy me lunch at a decent restaurant so why is that too much?

Cheers!