• Announcements

    • Monstarules

      Interstellar Registration is Open   08/10/2017

      You've read it right! The SW Interstellar Campaign registration is now open! Check the Interstellar forum under The Sprite Wars.


Retired Staff/Founding Fathers
  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Cassavates last won the day on October 24 2009

Cassavates had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

24 Excellent

About Cassavates

  • Rank
    The Great and Awesome Cass
  • Birthday 01/11/1993

Contact Methods

  • MSN

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Wouldn't you like to know...
  • Interests
    Being intersting is my interest.

Recent Profile Visitors

2,694 profile views
  1. Not to mention they had that colonel who was only in the first two missions and then never seen again. Maybe the attacks in the suburbs made them send in more troops to investigate? I wouldn't try too hard to understand the logic of this goofy-ass game.
  2. One can only hope that the sequel isn't as bad as the first one, or the Red Dawn remake. Then again, it's gonna be pretty hard to top that stupid piece of crap (like Rianna's flip-flopping personality WITHIN MINUTES OF THE SAME LEVEL). Personally, I think I'll stick to Freedom Fighters. I've also heard Milius didn't even actually write the damn thing. His name got slapped on for name value.
  3. That trailer was great. Petition to call Fallout 4 "Fallout: Dogmeat" in the same vein that people did with COD Ghosts over Riley.
  4. Don't you mean "gey psyched" regarding Doom? Hehe. I'm looking forward to that, among other things.
  5. Good luck, with kicking you addictions, and with your wife-to-be and your child.
  6. Fuck you 2014. Good fucking riddance.
  7. In that case, they're probably even MORE likely to get sued.
  8. I really hate stealth sections in games that don't need them. I'm not good at sneaking and it kicks up my anxiety to high heaven.
  9. Hey y'all, it's me, Cass. Those of you from the old guard of SW might remember me as the dude who did stuff...and things...and then waged a war against Guest in GC2. Anyways, I've decided to return, though I have no guarantees about how active I'll be. So yeah...hi.
  10. It's been fixed. Seeya.
  11. People of Sprite Wars, tomorrow marks five years since I joined this humble site, starting off as a very inexperienced sprite comic maker to a guy who had to stop due to the death of a PC and write walls of text from then on instead. I’ve come a long way from then and I’ve made some good friends along the way, and I feel as if going to this place shaped me for the better. And it’s with that I must say that, after discussing amongst a few who shall not be named, I’ve decided it’s time to say goodbye. Over the past couple of months I’ve begun to lose interest in this site, hardly any new people come to stay, those who do toddle off after a week or two, the veteran members who are still around either barely have the time to do anything or the will to, campaigns start just to die after a while due to drama that causes people to leave or lack of interest or due to things coming up, I barely even look at the campaign forums because I don’t feel like dealing with the almost childish BS that may ensue. And I know I’m not the only one who feels like this, but I can see that the spark to keep this place going has burned out. Such as it is. Now this does not mean I am abandoning forumming in general, or my reviews, I am still very active on another site and those who are interested in joining are welcome to here. We don’t do spriting campaigns but we have a decent enough community (Don’t let the name fool you, they stopped being a Halo fan forum a long time ago), and I’m sure you’ll be welcomed and treated with respect there so long as you treat them with respect as well. You’ll also need to obtain ten posts before you get to see a chunk of the forum, something they’ve done to keep out the spammers and the sprite thieves. I hope to maintain the friendships I’ve made for as long as I can, and for those of you who I may never speak to again, I wish you all the best in the future. Thank you all so much for five great years, for trusting me with the position of Watchman and for helping me through tough times and helping to forge the person I am today. Farewell. Weep not for roads untraveled Weep not for paths left lone Cause beyond every bend is a long blinding end Its the worst kind of pain I've know
  12. Ladies and Gentlemen, after much delay and a lack of motivation thanks to my very tiring job stocking shelves I’ve finally gotten off my ass to write a review. Two, actually. At the same time. One will be rather short and the other will be the main event itself. Actually, I’d like to begin with extending a warm welcome to my viewers in the CIA and NSA. Since you guys have been monitoring my stuff since the beginning, you either think I’m a future crazy gunman (spoilers, I’m not) or you find it entertaining. To start off, allow me to give my thoughts about 2013 in gaming so far. To be honest, from what I’ve seen the results are…mixed at best, it seems that we had a pattern in which for every good game that came out there was at least one that was bad or at the least lackluster. Starting off in February was probably the worst game of the year for me, and I still don’t think it’s as bad as people put it out to be. Yup, Colonial Marines, more of a huge disappointment rather than a complete disaster along the lines of Battleship, but had a very low standing with the general public to say the least. However, things kicked up in the middle with Tomb Raider, Bioshock Infinite…just to get washed away in a typhoon by –from what I’ve heard- a massive fail that was Dead Island Riptide. Luckily for us, there was still the incredibly hilarious Blood Dragon to save the day, and then Metro Last Light and State of Decay to go and bring our happiness down, but in a good way. Is the rest of the year going to be –dare I use terminology of twelve year-olds- “Xboned”? Nah, I don’t think so, but we’ll have to wait and see. So, what comes to mind when you think of mindless shooters? Eh… Am I gonna have to stab a motherfu- There we go. Yes, in this day of Modern Warfare and crappy movie-licensed games, it’s hard to find any games that have any…shall we say “substance” to them. Whether that’s a good story, interesting characters, weight to weapons, decent graphics, a creepy atmosphere, an incredibly awesome soundtrack, or just not being nothing like the fans were expecting. Last year we started getting some of those feelings back, and they’ve been quite apparent in some of what we’ve gotten this year, but surprisingly enough the trend of mindlessness has been around since the first games were made. Hell, the era of the FPS began with Wolfenstein and Doom, whose stories were so simple they weren’t even relevant, character was non-existent, and the basic premise was to kill every “MEIN LEBEN” shouting motherfucker that got in your way and reach the end with an overpowered arsenal of weaponry. There were, of course, the ones that did have story and characters, but they didn’t come around until the late 90s/early 2000s. By 2005-2006, most games had a fixed story and were either serious or funny, or just plain stupid. Today’s feature presentation is not only an example of a mindless shooter, but also of one with a certain appeal…except it’s squandered. And I also get to mention porn without having to worry about getting in trouble So buckle up, get ready to see how Treyarch was lying last year as we take a look back in time, because the past…is Black. For those of you who didn’t pay attention to things back in the day, Black was an FPS developed in 2006 and published by the just-as-disliked-back-then-as-they-are-now Electronic Arts, and was notoriously for being made for one thing and one thing only: gun porn. Now we’re not talking hot chicks covering up the NSFW bits of their bodies with AKs like one scene from The Inglorious Bastards or anything like that, no no, we’re talking about making the firearms the main appeal of the game, making them all badass and detailed and ridiculous, and keeping the focus on shooting them rather than on chasing a bad guy down a busy street. Now this would be fine if they established this as a dumb, fun game, but no, they had to try and take this shit seriously to the point that it’s unintentionally hilarious, and also shows how plot and characters seem to be an afterthought. The developers apparently had originally worked on the Burnout games and –according to IMFDB- also had a developer who worked on one of the Need For Speed titles, and were planning a sequel to the game before EA decided to cancel it. And then the guys went off to Turning Point publisher Codemasters and produced a ‘spiritual successor’ called Bodycount, which apparently did poor enough to warrant Codemasters to shut the studio down. That’s probably for the best, seeing as the demo for Bodycount…was not all that good. But that’s a story for another time I supposed, let’s focus on this instead! Story: As I stated before, Black attempts to put its heavy focus on firearms and shooting them…and put them in a game that’s trying to play it straight. The result is humorous to say the least, but less in the sense of the satirical nature of the Bad Company games and more of how I can’t take Call of Duty Black Ops seriously. This will also be a bit hard to narrate on because the story is really thin, but that’s never stopped me before! Just don’t expect one of my longer ramblings GRALB tends to bring. We begin with opening credits and stock footage alongside some pretty decent music from…Michael Giacchino? Goddamnit man why do you compose for such crappy games? First Turning Point and now this? At least the score is better here, but even still. And…did I see something about live segments? Oh sweet Jesus don’t tell me they’re going the Sega CD route… Anyways, it cuts to live action in a dark CIA interrogation room in the back-end of nowhere where our hero, Jack Keller, is brought in cuffs to meet a man in sunglasses. Mr. Shades tells Keller if he doesn’t cooperate then all his operational history will be declassified, he’ll be discharged and he’ll be spending the rest of his life in federal pound-you-in-the-ass prison. What has our protagonist done to warrant this kind of treatment? Did he shoot his CO? See something he shouldn’t have? Cause an international incident? Does he have info the CIA wants? Put those questions aside, because the only point of this interrogation revolves around two words: It’s not numbers station, it’s Seventh Wave. The Seventh Wave is a global terror cell responsible for supplying insurgent groups with the three A’s of military groups: Arms, ammo, and advisors. Now at first I forgot the name of this group, and was only able to remember the “Seventh” part of it, and for a while I was close to calling them the Seventh Column until I realized that was Bungie’s whole made-up take over the world thing. Actually…no, fuck it, I’m calling them the Seventh Column now. In the world of Black the world is on the brink of annihilation by the evil terrorist organization Seventh Column that formed from militant fanboys after Bungie and Halo 2 were banned from the United States for being a gateway to insurgent cells, and Jack Keller must stop them before they develop plasma weapons to destroy America. Go USA. So the first thing Keller recounts is when he and some Black operators were sent to a town somewhere in Eastern Europe to eliminate the heads of Seventh Column, which also serves as an introduction to the basics of how the game works. Apparently he got the three and then went after a fourth, but in the cinematic that follows he explains that he didn’t kill the guy because he was an American and said something to him, but doesn’t remember the conversation due to an RPG almost killing the two of them. So that doesn’t really help. His next mission after that was to join up with a Lt. MacCarver (a woman, surprisingly) and destroy a Seventh Column weapons cache in Naszran, which leads to a semi-stealthy mission and then one where the two of them move through the town itself. The fourth man is identified as a rogue CIA operative named Lennox, who was acting as an advisor before mistakes were made and the CIA tried to off him but failed, and is now acting as the head of Seventh Wave. Once Keller reaches the foundry where Seventh Column is making the weapons, MacCarver provides sniper fire for a bit and Keller maneuvers through an unnecessary minefield and destroys the factories capacity to operate. In the next ceni, a third teammate is introduced, Sgt. Sullivan, via a recording of Mr. Shades talking to him about Lennox and how Keller is a loose cannon. There’s another person in Seventh Column mentioned, and the next mission is about how Keller and his team were sent to some abandoned asylum in Eastern Europe to find and either capture or kill him. They fight their way there but Keller disobeys orders to hold position and goes into the asylum itself to get the guy, leading to some insanity and eventually Keller capturing the guy to torture info out of him. Very fucking heroic. Interrogation brings the team to a dockyard, where they are meet with another Black Ops team and go after Lennox, but after some intense shooting they find that Lennox’s men got the best of their support and killed the- WHAT. There’s like a dozen dead bodies lying there, maybe more, and definitely BIGGER THAN THE FUCKING TEAM WE’VE BEEN STUCK WITH? No wonder they got killed, there’s so many guys they became a big target! When they report the casualties in, command orders them to pull out, but the three –Sullivan reluctantly, according to Keller- agree to say fuck it to orders and cross a heavily defended bridge leading to a abandoned gulag that Lennox. His team staying behind to cover him, Keller goes through the gulag alone, facing a lot of tough baddies and positions, moving through the gulag into an underground complex where he has to go through an endurance round and destroy some MG nests in a bunker that his target is apparently hiding in, resulting in a massive series of explosions and opening the bunker for Keller to proceed after his target. One last cinematic with reveals I had to read the wiki to figure out (according to it, the CIA had always known Lennox was secretly working with Seventh Column, and had expected Keller to disobey orders to get him and wanted it to happen, so he’s getting sent on another mission soon) and the game ends. …That was it? Not even the satisfaction of knowing we killed the guy we were hunting after? Fuck you game! You make me go through all this shit for this? Ugh…this is really one of the worst types of games, almost as bad as the most broken and terrible games out there, something that has the potential to be good or maybe decent and it just gets wasted on a lousy five-hour ride with little replay value or substance to it. Out of all the sequels that could’ve been or games that should’ve been made that EA’s decided to cancel, I think the planned one for this is one of the few that I say was justified. Not everything about Black is terrible though; the graphics are pretty good for 6th gen console games, a lot of the guns feel varied and unique, there’s destructible environments to a ridiculous level, and in fact there are some cool features that would be implemented in other EA games, such as the sound. You know that kind of awesome surround sound that Bad Company had? This game has it. The gameplay feels solid, a bit Halo-ish but that’s okay, and it did get progressively difficult as it progressed. But that really isn’t enough to justify getting this game (if you still own an older Xbox, but it’s also available On Demand) even if you are an FPS nut like me, plus, for a “gun porn” game, there aren’t really that many weapons. If you want a better game that’s funny, entertaining, destructive, and could be classified as “gun porn”, I recommend the Bad Company games or Battlefield 3.
  13. I…got inspired by PeanutButterGamer to do this. Cass’ (Personal) Some 10 Favorite Game Main Themes The rules are simple: one game from each series, order doesn’t matter, it has to be used in the main menu and or the start screen, licensed or not doesn’t matter, and if I can find it on youtube I’ll link you guys to it. So on we go! 10. While I dislike the game, I will say that Far Cry 2 had a somewhat decent OST, but it’s main menu theme is just simply freakin’ beautiful. It’s like the game was meant to be so much more than it end up being, and that’s made clear by this track. I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for eastern music and usually a game’s soundtrack can get my attention when it has that kind of stuff and does it well. 9. A bit ironic that my favorite main theme out of the pre-Modern Warfare-era CoD main themes comes from my second-least favorite in the series, isn’t it? While I like the main themes of Finest Hour, the original CoD and Big Red One, this one to me has a much larger sense of action that represents what the game was trying to accomplish. It’s a nice track to sit on the main menu and listen to in my book. 8. What seemed to me at first to a strange and interesting choice for the song on the main menu, the use of Jimi Hendrix’s version of the Star Spangled Banner is actually a perfect representation of not only the disenfranchisement of the American public during the Vietnam War, but also the themes and influence the game had from Joseph Conrad’s Heart Of Darkness and the film Apocalypse Now, which itself was also inspired by Conrad’s novel. Many critics say the use of ‘60’s and ‘70’s era music in the game’s soundtrack is out of place for a modern shooter, but I feel that it’s keeping in touch with the tone of The Line’s story, especially its main theme. One final note of interest: different parts of the song are used in the main menu depending on what level the player stopped on last, just like the background of the menu itself. Cool. 7. Y’all knew this was coming, but I would never forgive myself if I didn’t include the main menu track from Legendary. Yes I know it’s not the best game out there, yes I know some people think the game sucks, but again, all I wanted was something better than Turning Point. For me, this game is a guilty pleasure that I’d at least recommend finding and getting for a cheap price, or at least trying out the demo or DLing the demo just to hear its awesome main menu track. I tell you what, the moment I heard it come on, I knew it’d make up for Spark Unlimited’s previous fuck-up. 6. Mafia II may have been a rather linear game with some GTA elements thrown in, but I still enjoyed it. One of the factors helping that was its gorgeous soundtrack, especially its excellent main theme. It’s kind of hard to explain why except that it’s simply beautiful. 5. I’ve heard legends of that person…main theme…whatever! It gives it a sense of epicnicity that you wouldn’t expect from what is simply just a dumb fun party fighting game with a bunch of infamous Nintendo properties mixed in with a Sega and Konami licensed character to shake things up a bit, though considering how freaking awesome the concept is in its own right, maybe it is fitting. 4. Star Wars: Republic Commando: Had this game not been stolen from me so very long ago, I probably would’ve done a GRALB session for it at one point or another. I like the main theme of this game because it feels so much unlike Star Wars and so much more gritty and dark than what we’re used to from the series, much like the game itself. 3. It’s really hard for me to explain why I like this theme so much out of all the other GTA themes, probably because it’s…memorable! That or it’s a perfect mix of both the classical and modern, with that vaguely European sound and style that fits the game perfectly. There's also the version from “The Greatest Video Game Music” by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Andrew Skeet, which is a pretty nice cover, and definitely gets that sound I’m talking about right. 2. Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon: I don’t remember what my other choice was before I put this here and I’m aware that I placed FC2 already but fuck it, this main theme is awesome. This game’s entire soundtrack is awesome. Power Glove is awesome. I love the Power Glove, it’s so bad etc. etc. If the game had a silly 16/8-bit soundtrack to it than it would’ve been enough, if it had just been Doom-esq sound-alikes (the entire time) it would’ve been enough, if it had just a basic, typical bombastic orchestral soundtrack…it’d be cringe worthy but it would’ve been enough. And if it had just been an awesome soundtrack with a main theme that was licensed ala Spec Ops: The Line, it would have been enough. Why the hell am I making Bioshock Infinite references? I have no idea, but this main theme? Awesome. Go listen to it. Right now. 1. The last great MoH game that I personally have played IMO, European Assault may not have been as good or nostalgic as Frontline, but one factor that it kicks Frontline’s ass in is music. The main theme is beautiful, kind of like Saving Private Ryan (hell, even the first few minutes are sort of like it) mixed with Band of Brothers and your typical WWII music senseability, with a hint of the bitter, brutalness of war combined with a hopefulness and grand scale that you’re fighting this war to end all wars and save lives and etc. etc. It’s a really great theme, so great it was featured in some trailers for a segment of the Simpsons Movie game that was in WWII and spoofed MoH and CoD and such. Awesome.
  14. I’ve been neglecting to work on this all week and the days I work at my job have been draining on me, so I’m sorry I hadn’t gotten this out earlier. Anyways, at the time of writing it will be June 6th, 2013, about 69 (don’t laugh) years since the infamous D-Day landings during World War II. As a history buff, this is a pretty significant day. To think that almost 70 years ago such a massive event took place in which so many people risked their lives and many of them lost them, it’s pretty intense. However, what I’m talking about here has absolutely nothing to do with that. Seriously. I’m not sure if this was released on XBLA this year or it’s been around and I just haven’t noticed it, but the Croatian developed Serious Sam 3 is the third in an infamous series of game that’s been around since the early 2000’s with a cult following, though overshadowed by the likes of Duke Nukem and other FPS series. This installment is an interesting bit, and I’ll explain that as I go along. But first, a history lesson: After the success of Id Software’s Doom and its sequel, the FPS genre was launched into the mainstream market one that could be very profitable even with a significantly low budget. Many games came along to emulate the series, primarily Doom 2, which took the concept to different, often silly and self-aware, ways, such as Duke Nukem 3D and Redneck Rampage. Following Doom were the Quake games, which revolutionized gaming even further and led to two similar FPSes that also became very successful following suit. One of these originated as a mod and the other began with its own proprietary engine. The mod would go on to become its own full-fledged game that we now know as Half-Life, and the other became the first Serious Sam. The premise of the series was very simple: you are the badass hero figure Sam “Serious” Stone, fighting to save the world from the bizarre alien army of the evil Mental by going back in time and going up against insane amounts of enemies that have some variations while you have some ridiculous weaponry. On that note, it was also apparently hilarious, especially the dialogue of our hero. The first game was split into two parts: the First Encounter and the Second Encounter, and was followed up by a sequel in the early-mid 2000’s. I remember playing the Xbox demo of it and it seemed silly enough, and was clearly spoofing the Halo games at some points, but I never really heard much about it and never saw it at stores or at Blockbuster as far as I can recall, and if I did I was probably just glancing over it while picking other things like Freedom Fighters or some Star Wars games. There was then a pretty significant gap between the second and third game, maybe not as big as Duke Nukem 3D and Duke Nukem Forever, but enough that Serious Sam could have potentially lost its relevance amongst the next shift in the FPS genre with the modern war games. Could Sam hold up to the likes of James Ramirez and Halo ODST’s The Rookie, characters with barely any personality or dialogue yet having big fanbases? And if a third game was to come out in that era, would it stay in its more traditional style that mainstream audiences might declare outdated, or would it try to ‘modernize’ and be hip and cool with disastrous results that gets people declaring it’s a cheap CoD knockoff? Given how DNF tried to be more “modern” and ended up getting scorn heaped on it from all sides, one would think that’d happen to any other series from that era that tried the same thing. SS3, however, I am happy to report did not fall into that case. It has some modern gaming senses in it, but also remains true to its roots to a certain extent that it’s not compromised by the ‘modernized’ features, and the result is a dumb fun game that really started to piss me off but not too much. I think what really helped me get into the game was that I was coming off of Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon, the goofy over-the-top tribute to the 80’s, and that it had been really damn good, so I had been given the mindset that a tribute to classic gaming could not only be done, it could be done well. So let’s get serious and dive into this son of a bitch. Story: I’ll try to give you a rundown on the plot of the game…but there’s not much too it. It’s really thin to say the least, kind of like the genre it’s spoofing, but c’mon even the non-Bad Company Battlefield games had more story than this! Plus there’s a big exposition at the start of the game explaining how humanity found some ancient ruins and tech left by an alien race known as the Sirians which set them up to become a technological superpower…but that all changed when the Mental nation attacked, driving humanity back to Earth and really damn close to losing everything. Yeah…this is a prequel to the first game. That’s what the BFE stands for in the name: Before First Encounter. Anyways, the humans found one thing that they think can save them, a Sirian device known as the Timelock, but they have no means to activate it. And that’s where we come in. We begin the game in a helicopter over…I think Cairo, Egypt, with a team of stock soldier characters riding alongside our hero, Sam “Serious” Stone. They’re being sent to some building to locate a scientist who believes he may have discovered the means to activate the Timelock, but he’s under attack by Mental’s forces. The chopper is quickly shot down and Sam falls out of it as it goes down, being separated by his team and without any weapons. He proceeds through the streets and loses contact with the team, eventually getting his hands on a pistol and sledgehammer whilest fighting some of Mental’s forces until he reaches the crash site where he finds his team didn’t make it. Same continues on alone and –after fighting some giant alien spider things and mumbling the beat to the sixties’ Spiderman theme to himself- finds the scientist dead but his data intact. After getting back outside and fighting all over Cairo in a series of missions, Sam discovers he must go to the Sphinx where the secrets to the Timelock may be revealed…resulting in him just deciding to say fuck it and blow the damn thing up. Inside he finds under it is a Sirian ruin with a fancy gauntlet thing and information that leads to the means to activate the Timelock. A helicopter piloted by an “old friend” of his, a chick named Hellfire, picks him up and drops him off at one of the sites, where he fights through more baddies and heads underground to activate the damn thing, repeating the same series of events at the other location, also destroying a Mental spaceship! Another helicopter picks him up and goes to bring him ‘back home’ but then…the DLC happens! Yeah there’s a three mission DLC that has him shutting off some fail-safe which he describes as (well, with me paraphrasing) “A fail safe? Is that a vault where you keep all your fail!? Because that’s how I would describe this mission!” I like Sam, he’s like Deadpool and Cave Johnson, blissfully self-aware (sort of) and saying what we’re all thinking. If you didn’t get the DLC it doesn’t matter, because in the main game the helicopter gets taken down on the way back and Sam is left wandering the desert whilst trying to regain weapons and surviving horde after horde after horde of fucking monsters. Holy shit did this get on my nerves real quick, this game does not have a sense of overkill or an idea how many enemies is too fucking many, and that’d be fine but it always seems to be at the worst times and with the worst types of enemies. My ADD brain cannot handle a mob of Kamikaze guys coming right for me while other enemies are trying to kill me! Once Sam gets another means of communication with his superiors, he finds that Hellfire is enacting a quite goofily-staged last stand where she announces that everyone else is dead and she’s not going to make it before an alien attacks from behind and kills her off-screen. Sam, angry about the loss of his friend, goes off to reach the Timelock, but not before getting a means of transportation via a car…without any gas. But not to worry, because *prepares best Ellis impression* there’s gas cans around for just such an occasion! However, the car stalls out in the middle of the desert and Sam is almost eaten by A GIANT WORM HOLY FUCK THE THRESER MAWS ARE BACK OH FUCK OH FUCK OH FUCK. This last level is an endurance round, I shit you not. It is painful. I was playing on Easy (second lowest difficulty) and it was still brutal, especially near the end. Enemies just seem to spawn at infinite amounts, with fast-moving skeletons swarming you alongside giant Not-Cyberdemons who can only be killed with explosives and- OH MY FUCKING GOD WOULD YOU JUST STOOOOOOOOOOOOP!!!!!!!? If you somehow manage to get through the horde after horde after horde of bad guys Sam reaches a series of ruins not far from the Timelock…where he encounters the “Guardian Of Time”…an evil alien cyber fuck with semi-spider legs and recharging health! Brilliant. And it’s got waves of baddies supporting it. Fucking wonderful. Good news is Sam finds a jetpack and the Guardian can get distracted by the giant Grabloid, so he has an opportunity to cause it some pain by shoving steel rods into his back. After a while the Guardian will pause in pain and Sam has the opportunity to kill it by spamming rockets or cannonballs before its health can recharge. With the Guardian defeated, Sam approaches the Timelock and…calls Mental on his cellphone. He’s answered by Mental’s son or something, whom he tells “Can you let your dad know I’m coming over to play, and by play I mean kill him?” The kid lets him know that his daddy’s busy sending a moon to destroy a planet…which happens to be Earth’s moon being sent straight to Earth BY THE FIREHAWK MAJORA’S MASK WAS RIGHT ALL ALONG! Realizing this, Sam rushes to the Timelock and enters it just before the Earth is reduced to floating chunks in space, with the only noise left being the track for the credits. There was a story to this? Yes, there was, just barely any. But it works for the kind of game it is. It’s stupid, mindless, but hilarious and entertaining. It also lasted a good chunk of time, which is nice, even if most of that time was spent getting frustrated near the end by the insane amounts of bad guys being sent my way. Seriously, moderation, have some with your breakfast, please. Co-op: There’s a co-op mode for this game. I didn’t try it because anyone who has it only does for PC. I am so alone. The 3 G’s: Gameplay is like this: You are the badass. You are Shark Week. Go kill the bad guys. You know, the basis that the FPS genre was built on. You have limited health that needs to be replenished with healthpacks, armor that needs to be picked up, enemies that require different means to take down (most of the time) and no back up to be found. Controls are where the modernization takes hold: you can sprint (though not with the joystick), some guns have an aiming-down-the-sights, and while you can carry more than two weapons, you can only swap between two at a time, switching them with the D-Pad when you need to change things up. Enemies have some variation to them even if they mostly act the same: swarm you to no end. Some are faster, hardier, some have guns, some fly, some are bigger, etc. etc. I also like how you have a little datapad thing that gives you info on just about everything you use in the game and the enemies you come up against. It’s really nice. For an arcade title, the graphics are okay, they don’t look too bad on the lesser Xbox Port and from what I’ve seen of the PC game they’re a bit better, but they’re certainly not groundbreaking. Levels are linear to an extent, you have a lot of free reign in many areas and not a lot of idea on what exactly is the right direction, but the Egyptian setting gets old fairly quickly. I’ve had my fill of desert from Spec Ops: The Line, thank you very much, some more variety would have been nicer. The models for the enemies are good, and the variation is admirable. Now for the big thing of these kind of FPSes: the guns. Starting off with a Desert Eagle with infinite reserve ammo, getting a pump-action shotty then a 416 AR then a rocklet launcher, a double barreled shotty, sniper rifles, a grenade launcher, a minigun, a cannon, a fucking laser gun in the DLC, take your pick. There might not be any BFGs but that Cannon is close enough! Multiplayer: I figured that no one else would be playing the MP so I didn’t try it out. It apparently has the standard FPS MP game modes but I think I’ll stick with the MP in games I’m familiar with and know people will be playing, sorry. Conclusion: Other than some points near the end, I liked SS3. It was funny, entertaining, and kept true to what it was built off of. I’d recommend this for any FPS junkie like myself if it ever goes on sale on XBLA or on Steam, and be ready for a wild ride.
  15. Metro: Last Light (Cont.) The guys responsible are led by Lesnitski, who informs Anna that he was always a Red spy and drags her off. Arty, the only survivor in this place, gives chase, fights some nasty monsters, makes a boss character ram into pillars, and then ends up in a neutral station outside Hansa (another major power in the Metro) where the Reds have started killing people who have some sort of sickness. A survivor tells him with his last breath that the Reds are the cause of the plague and after fighting through the burning station, Arty catches Lesnitski with Anna in tow, and in the confrontation that follows both Arty and Anna’s masks are knocked off, and they just barely make it to the Hansa airlock. However, because of their lack of gas masks, they’re suspected of carrying the plague and are quarantined until they can be cleared. So Anna’s with Arty all by herself…and she’s Miller’s daughter…but is Miller his last name or his first? It’s more likely his last name but…oh shit…that means it’s…OH GOD NO NOT- I await the hate comments from any Linkara fanboys who may read this. But seriously, we’ve already got a Sin City noire styling in video games from the Max Payne series, we don’t need the batshit crazy Frank Miller version’s idealism! What do I mean by that? Well, either Anna feels like it, the plague makes people horny or she has a death fetish, but with her and Artyom possibly dying from the sickness Anna decides now is the perfect time to give our protagonist sweet dreams and get…erm…frisky… *PING* Oh my…erm…holy shit we just hit eight, AND WHO MADE MY COUNTER AN M1 GARAND!? No, Anna gets Arty to push her and then just touch her till she can get her satisfaction, satisfaction…Yeah they…um…they do it okay? Offscreen! Jesus Christ I’m trying to explain this without pissing off the servers and yet I’m not good with the fucking metaphors, and this is like the second goddamn game I’ve played that’s come out this year with an unexpected sex scene and the third with nude ladies, I am both pleased and horrified at the same fucking time. Anyways, after that, a doctor comes in and congratulates them with the news that they’re free of the plague, but Anna has a wound so she needs to stay a little bit longer and Artyom’s got a job to do. He moves through the quarantine zone and finds this plague is actually a weaponized version of Ebola…which Lesnitski apparently stole from D6. After going past the checkpoint and entering a section of Hanza, he’s reunited with Khan and the two decide to go looking for the Dark One. Khan suggests that they go into the River of Fate (at least I think that’s what it’s called) and learn where it is, so they go through this crazy ass irradiated water system and get a vision of the Little One trying to escape a train as it falls into a pit of fire. They find a rail car and pursue the Red-occupied train, where Artyom locates the Little One and gets another vision. Throughout the game Arty’s been having flashbacks to a moment as a child where he and two friends went out onto the surface and were attacked by Watchmen. The other two, apparently dead at the present time, ran back inside while an adult Dark One appears and uses its mind powers to send the Watchmen away before they can attack Artyom. It then gives him a vision of the world before the bombs fell, and a manifestation of his mother. This experience is implied to be how Artyom can communicate with them, and he decides to spare the Little One…which can talk. Throughout the next parts of the game it follows him, displaying a child-like mentality and curiosity but yet intelligence above most adults…and then it tries to dress up like a human. Over the course of these few missions he starts to actually become awesome, like a little dog or a child that’s actually useful. …No comment. At a train station Arty runs into some merchants, and when he moves onward he’s attacked by the Reds, eventually encountering Lesnitski, whom the Little One peaks into the mind of. Arty is given the option to either spare or kill the guy and since this was me playing I chose to spare him. However, this would be the only moment someone would be spared anything for a while, because Arty soon finds himself in a section of Moscow that’s reasonably intact not too far from the Kremlin…and it’s filled with ghosts. *DING* I’m sorry, but is some sort of waterway here connected to one in Katorga 12? Just asking. At one point he encounters a ghost-child crying and the Little One explains, “She’s waiting for her mother, but she’s not coming. Neither is my mother or my father. Because you people killed them.” …For fuck’s sake dude! Yes I know your parents are dead, I know I killed them with a fucking nuclear missile, THIS WHOLE GAME HASN’T LET ME FORGET THAT. Okay, he does mention it a bit and he seems to bare a resentment with more of a sense of acceptance and understanding of the fact than a bitter hatred, but he doesn’t need to keep shoving a sign with big bold letters saying “MY PARENTS ARE DEAD!” like he’s the goddamn Batman! THIS IS WHAT MY FAMILY LOOKS LIKE NOW, THANKS TO YOU. *DING* So now we’re at the Kremlin! Yay! Russian Post-Apocalypse politics! Well the politics of trying to end a motherfucker, that is. Pavel and some Reds ambush Artyom, firing from the windows, which the Little One points out for our hero to shoot. Once the mooks are dead, Arty heads into the building to confront Pavel, who starts shooting at him whilst yelling insults. And apparently he’s channeling because he starts yelling something along the lines of “What’s the matter Artyom? You chicken!? Bawk bawk bawbawbawbaw bawk!” He takes a couple of bullets and goes down at the end of a room where he continues to taunt our hero before the Little One starts poking through his brain. Turns out that the negotiations at Polis are a ruse, and the Reds are going to move throughout the Metro no matter what the outcome of the summit. It’s here that we’re also given a decision to either save Pavel’s life (who is now missing a filter to his mask for some reason) or let him die, and I decided to save him because I’m a nice guy. Arty and the Little One then head off into the Marshes and it feels like we’re close to the end..but… , right? Now instead of it shooting Pinkies, I think it’d be good to have one that shoots Fluttershys, … Anyways, Artyom manages to fight that fucking thing and it runs off only to be attacked by mutants, which the player can kill or just let them eat the bear. I spared it because shut up, and Arty moves on to a Polis airlock where he meets Khan and Miller. The Little One disguises itself as a child but its cover is blown when Miller points out he doesn’t have a gas mask, and luckily Khan manages to persuade him not to harm the creature. With Arty’s help and Miller watching over them at a safe distance, Khan is given a vision by the Little One about all the shit’s that been going on…and then suddenly they figure out he’s actually not the last of the Dark Ones! In fact there’s actually a lot of them locked up in D6! But before Miller will permit them to be set free, the Little One has to help him, Khan and Artyom expose the Red’s diabolical scheme to everyone. At the summit in Polis, the trio arrive with the Little One in front of the leaders of the major Metro players to call out the Red Line’s Secretary General on what they’re really doing, and with the Dark One’s powers everyone gets a glimpse into the guy’s mind: that General Korbut convinced him to kill his brother who was then the Secretary General and then take over the Red Line, that the General plans to use the stolen Ebola strain to wipe out everyone in the Metro who opposes the Reds, and that the negotiations are a distaction because the General has amassed a fuckton of troops and they’re on their way to storm D6. Miller then rallies up whatever Rangers not at the base (except for Anna) along with Arty and Khan to get there and prepare for the attack while the Little One tells Artyom he’s a good person and disappears to free the sealed Dark Ones. And after a generic speech from Miller the Rangers of Sparta group make their stand against an onslaught of Red soldiers. It’s then revealed that D6 was really an enclave of terrible, terrible things even worse than what Lesnitski took and that because it seems that them being overrun is inevitable, Miller ordered D6 to be rigged with explosives to deny the Reds the weaponry housed inside-HOLY SHIT THEY GOT A FUCKING TRAIN! I knew Diesel was evil but damn! With the defenders about to be executed and Artyom the closest to the detonator, our hero –because I must of fucked up somewhere down the line- engages martyrdom. It then goes to a cinematic with Anna talking to her and Arty’s child about what happened and how Daddy was a hero and all that. And also how his sacrifice helped the Little One save the other Dark Ones and forge a peaceful connection with humanity before they left, promising to return and help rebuild the world. And just before the credits roll, the Little One is seen on a hill, waving goodbye. So with that, we learn that the Last Light in the Metro…is a Dark One. And also that even Russians think that Communism is the most evil thing in existence. Metro: Last Light’s single player storyline did something for me that the last game didn’t: immerse me into the world of the Metro. It also pulled some strings with my emotions, it made me start to care about my protagonist (which I did in the last game, but this expands on it), and start feeling for the Dark One child and what you as Artyom did to him. It’s rare that a game makes you lament over the consequences of your actions and question if the decisions you make are the right one. I don’t want to compare it to the other game that did that, Spec Ops: The Line, but while in that game you could tell how much the situation was deteriorating around our protagonist, but Metro seems to have you think and see the consequences of your actions in it and the previous installment. Not really much else for me to say except that I’m glad to have experienced it and at the time of writing I am attempt to play through a second time on Ranger Mode. Wish me luck. The 3 G’s: Gameplay is a bit more focused on survival and use of the environment than the standard FPS, even ones that say they do. Whether it’s hiding in the shadows to stealth kill all the enemies, shooting lanterns to set things ablaze, or stuff that you need to do to beat a boss, the world around you is just as much an ally as it is hostile. Controls are more conventional that the previous game, the kind of button scheme that Halo sort-of started and then other FPSes built on until CoD set it down in stone, but don’t mistake that for being dumbed down because it’s far from it. Holding down LB gives you access to equipment to use like your flashlight, the crank-charger, your gasmask or NV goggles, while holding down Y allows you to see how much ammo you have for each type, how many thrown items you have, and can let you swap from standard 5.45 rounds to military grade for when you want to blow away money like a teenage girl at the mall with her daddy’s credit card. Traversing the surface is still a game of wits and scavaging just about every body and every building you see is a definite must if you want to keep a good supplies of air filters, now determined by minutes of spare oxygen, and for some crazy reason the gas mask filters of the Metro can only hold five minutes of air when really they could hold a lot more. Swapping out gas masks whenever possible is also highly advised, and not just on the surface and near toxic areas, I mean every damn chance you get because if you wait until it’s starting to break then you’re going to have a rough time, especially on the higher difficulties. Artyom also moves less sluggish that he did in 2033, which was done to be more realistic to someone with little combat experience, most likely removed here because he’s…you know…experienced. The enemy AI knows their shit too, don’t underestimate them. 2033’s graphics were not the peak of excellence but for a lesser studio they were serviceable, and it also allowed them to put in details that would otherwise be unheard of or lazily done in other games. Last Light’s however, are a definite improvement, as far as I can they’re above average on the PC and I feel that they still are with the lesser consoles, but damn if they didn’t make it work for this game. It’s muddy, somewhat dull, and sickly-looking, much like the world the game is set in. The level environments are in-depth and some of them are gorgeous, and others help set up an atmosphere that gives the feeling of dread to the player like a Del Toro movie, and even the most linear set piece is visually appealing. The people don’t have too much variety outside of the main figures, but they look and act human, and the environment itself is very…lively as well, to an extent that I wish it hadn’t gone to WHY ARE THE GIANT SPIDERS HATCHING FROM EGGS OH GOD WHY WHY WHY WHY. And then we get to the lady part physics! Thems the juggliest I’ve seen since Saint’s Row the Third, and they are glorious. Being a world where everything and everyone either wants to kill you or take advantage of you, firearms are about as important as clothing and food. When pre-war guns became hard to come by, or they or the parts to maintain them were too expensive, the Metro denizens started to make their own makeshift armaments. There is a mixture of real-world weaponry, fictionalized pre-war guns and the Metro-produced firearms which have some influence from the real world, and many of the guns from the previous game are back (actually I think all of them do to an extent), with some improvements for a few.. The revolver remains about the same, as do the Shambler (it was called something else in the last game but I forget), the BB gun and the “Bastard” though I had never seen what happens when it overheated until now, but the AK74 no longer sports the cool green camouflage and the ROF for the Kalashnikov 2013 (essentially a 5.45 P90) is higher, but then there’s the KSK and the double-barreled makeshift shotty, the latter of which uses the left trigger to discharge both (or all four if you have the upgrade) barrels instead of aiming. As for new weapons, there’s a pistol supposedly based on a SMG that is made to look somewhat similar to a Mauser C96 Broomhandle, an anti-materila rifle, a bolt-action rifle that uses 7.62x54R rounds, a short-barreled AK for Ranger Mode, a Saiga shotgun (which is awesome), a single-shot shotgun pistol, and a dart gun called the Helsing. Ammo available is not based on what guns you’re carrying but rather each ammo type is kept in its own separate slot, including the military grade rounds, and one can turn in the ammo for guns he/she does not use in for military rounds at a store, which is cool. Conclusion: Metro: Last Light is a very good follow-up to the events of 2033 and an excellent game in its own right. Even if it isn’t the best game out there and is far from perfect, it definitely shows that it was made by people who really have a respect for the source material and wanted to put a great deal of time and effort into every aspect that they could, and they definitely succeeded. I highly, highly recommend to anyone who’s into the post apocalyptic and likes a well-made story to buy this game, whether at full price or when its lower depending on if you feel it’ll fit your preferences. As for where the series goes from here? Well, I can definitely say what this game wasn’t for it: a last light. On an unrelated note, one of the things that pissed me off when watching a walkthrough on youtube of MoH Warfighter’s crappy campaign was that near the end they stated just before kicking in the door to the house the ‘main’ baddy was in was “For Mother, and for Rabbit” WHEN RABBIT WAS NEVER MENTIONED AT ANY POINT IN TIME IN THE FUCKING GAME BEFORE THIS POINT, AND THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TYING ANY OF THE BAD GUYS TO ANYTHING IN THE LAST GAME WHERE RABBIT DIED. It’d be like the Master Chief deciding to off a random Promethean and yelling “FOR CAPTAIN KEYES”! Don’t tack on someone’s death to something that has nothing to do with it, because that’s fucking stupid and pointless, and if you’re going for revenge then all you’re making it is a hollow one. And if you’re going to go through the time and effort (and two drawn out goddamned minutes) to try and capture someone and see that he has a suicide bomb detonator in his hand, then trying BLOWING HIS FUCKING HAND OFF BEFORE HE TRIGGERS THE DAMN THING INSTEAD OF JUST OFFING HIM AND MAKING ALL THAT SHIT POINTLESS. Okay, rant over.