Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag

ac4

Assassin’s Creed has always had a issue with replay value and annoying moments. It also a complex spanning through time and plays with a web of historical myths and conspiracy. Well, what happens when you say screw all of this and make a fun game?We play as Edward Kenway, Conner’s grandfather from Assassin’s Creed 3 , a poor ex soldier turned pirate with dreams of fortune. One day he chases a kills a hooded figure with a arm blade and well, he falls into a this Assassin’s world, thinking he’ll get an assload of money out of the deal.

As bland as I’m sure I’m making this sound, the story is alright but as connection to the series, there is shit to nil. This a pirate game through and through with some Assassin’s Creed tropes thrown in like the wrist blade, leaps of faith, and Eagle Vision. So if you were really invested in the previous stories, you may find yourself disappointed here. I will say though I found this to be the most fun I’ve had with the series. The combat is perfected and the response time is great, leading to some epic combat and even the inventory setup is simplified for weapon use during. Naval combat and pirating is amazingly addictive. I drooled the first time I ever swung and did a aerial assassination with my hidden blade boarding another ship. Also we get four legendary ships to hunt, whaling expeditions,  new Far Cry style crafting options, freeing slaves from plantations and underwater adventures. And visually it is a beautiful game to behold. All this being said, I love this game but I almost can’t say it feels much like an Assassin’s Creed game to me but is that a bad thing? That’s for you to decide but I highly recommend playing it. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Assassin’s Creed 3

ac3

Of this entire series, 3, which isn’t really 3 when you think of it, is probably the game I’m most on the fence about. Following Assassin’s Creed: Revelations , Desmond’s story comes to it’s final climax where he has to stop the Apocalypse and face Abstergo as well as another soul like himself. Meanwhile, we follow a new ancestor in half Native American/ half British Conner as we see his village destroyed, his people turned against him as he learns to be an Assassin during the American Revolution as he faces off against his father, a Templar.

Ok, while fun, I’m going to say Desmond’s part of this lost me though the end finishes his story well enough. Graphically the Revolution period looks great and as for gameplay, there are new additions like naval combat, hunting, and of course there is the Assassin’s Creed staples. Combat is touched up a bit and done better than previous installments but it’s a good step forward. Conner’s story is really good in my opinion; where as Ezio and Altair’s stories felt more cut and dry, Conner’s feels more grey and it becomes hard to define good and evil. It does take it’s sweet ass time getting to be an Assassin and I have to say the pacing feels off, either dragging more in the middle or rushing at the end. In the end, it’s not the best or the worst of the series but I will say it’s the last really relevant game in the series and a good conclusion. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Assassin’s Creed: Revelations

ac rev

Here we come to the finale of the Ezio trilogy in my Assassin’s Creed reviews and well, it’s there. Essentially I feel like before the climax that would be Assassin’s Creed 3, this is just there to tie up lose ends until then. Ezio is old and in the twilight of his years; we see what happened to Altair after the first game; and Desmond is in a coma and we get to experience his memories leading up to his abduction by Abstergo in the first game. As I said, it’s the loose end tie-er so 3 could start epic.

After the first, this my second least favorite of the series because it’s short as hell and feels kinda rushed. I’m still not invested in Altair so his stuff had no real effect peaking my interest. Desmond’s stuff was interesting but really weirdly constructed for level designs. His stuff are these really trippy puzzles through his subconscious. Ezio’s stuff feels very much like the other two games but the biggest addition are the defense missions, which have a cool strategy aspect to them. They take a little getting used to but are pretty fun and fulfilling once you get the hang of them. And you can ride ziplines. Other than that, that’s about it. Years later, these are all the things I really can really recall from it, which says volumes really. It’s a forgettable game in my opinion but is ok if you feel inclined to pick it up. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood

ac brohd

We continue our thread of Assassin’s Creed reviews with the third game that ain’t 3. Though there is a 3 but it’s really 5 I guess. Ah well. So Brotherhood is the second part of Ezio’s trilogy and a pretty good entry. It picks up almost exactly where it leaves him at the end of Assassin’s Creed 2 where sadly, the Borgia family reigns hell down on him, kill uncle Mario, and Ezio is understandably pissed, but this time he can’t do it alone. By rescuing the weak and down trodden from the Borgia’s bullying, he pulls them into his newly developing Assassin brotherhood…oh and did I mention Desmond does stuff with that Lucy chick who totally ain’t a Templar…

Ok, as far as the series goes, it’s a good game. In fact, it really does feel like a huge epilogue to 2 in a lot of ways. The biggest new addition is the ability to now call for back up from assassins you saved and train, getting some really badass attacks in time. Another really cool thing is the side quests where you have to destroy Da Vinci’s prototype war machines, that was a lot of fun. Something I didn’t like were the QTEs they snuck in there, especially towards the end. Another thing I got to say is Desmond’s stuff while not bad and fun does feel like filler and breaks immersion  bit. That twist at the end I don’t really buy either but alright. In the end, it’s a fun game and a good continuation to 2. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

 

Assassin’s Creed 2

Ac2

I say this right now: Assassin’s Creed 2 is the very definition of a superior sequel in every freaking way I can think of. Better game play, better story, more varied combat, a much more interesting, likable character, and a hell of a lot more to do. Plus, it’s my favorite time period covered in the series so far.

Desmond and Lucy escape Abstergo after Desmond discovers he acquired Eagle Vision and we quickly discover he has learned a bit of fighting prowess from his ancestor. The Bleeding Effect is taking place- where the skills of his ancestors is being transmitted through him via the Animus. He connects with a group connected with modern day Assassins, who want to take down the Templars running Abstergo. There plan is to relaunch Desmond into the Animus and have him relive the early days of another ancestor and gather training as he himself learns how to be an Assassin. This ancestor is Ezio Auditorie de Firenze. Ezio’s had the perfect life until his father is betrayed, his father and brothers hung for treason, family broken and wanted and Ezio left hapless until his uncle Mario (yes, they do make a joke about Mario) gives them refuge and helps Ezio discover a family secret and we see Ezio’s transformation from carefree playboy to badass Assassin…

As I said in the intro, this is a superior sequel in every way. Ezio is a much more deeper character with a lot more personality than Altair. Fighting mechanics royally improved; water doesn’t kill you anymore. Graphics are hugely improved and the Italian Renaissance is  gorgeously rendered. For side missions, we can carry separate contracts, do courier  missions, beat up cheating bastards, solve fascinating glyph puzzles, traverse hidden area puzzles for rare armor or just pimp your homestead. I loved being able to use Da Vinci’s inventions as well, that was so epic. I seriously recommend this as your first entry into the series and it is worth buying again. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Assassin’s Creed

ac1

“Nothing is known, but everything is permitted.”- the Assassin’s Creed.

So a bit over a decade ago, the world was taken by storm over a pretty damn imperfect game with a premise so awesome people could forget how kinda crappy the actual game was. For ages a secret feud has brewed between Assassins and Templars and in the present (or very near future, I forget which) we find a nothing, average dude named Desmond who is abducted by almighty corporation Abstergo and placed in a device called a Animus to have him relive the memories of his ancestors, because they want to find the almighty Apple of Eden.  For most of the game we play as Desmond’s ancestor, Altair during The Crusades as he has to rediscover what being an Assassin really means as he slays the corrupt…

Awesome premise right? Well yeah. The story was LITERALLY the only thing that kept me going through this. It’s intriguing. But my god this damn game repeats itself more than that one family member we all have that won’t shut he hell up. Literally, you get an assignment, travel to the target, get info on target, kill target sloppily, get out, rinse and repeat like 8 times. There is rarely such a thing as a perfect kill. Either the guy is in a crowd of annoying, obnoxious civilians- which by the way fail your mission if kill them on accident- or circumstances don’t align perfectly. Combat isn’t great and rather bland. Graphics are solid. Desmond is OK as a character but the rest of the characters are just bland, especially Altair. Also, fair warning, I had a shit ton of glitches with it on PS3 but I didn’t have internet then so maybe patches were released; another fair warning, falling in water equals instant death. One of them damn games. In the end, I personally can’t recommend it, start with 2, which does a decent job recapping it anyway without the hours of bastard glitches and repetition. May the gaming gods bring you glory and best wishes.

 

Top 5 Final Fantasy Games

ff30th

Yesterday I did the top 5 games not named Final Fantasy, so today its top 5 Final Fantasy games. These are also in an order for once but because hey why not.

ff5

5

Number five happens to be Final Fantasy 5, the game is terribly underrated game. The job system was great, the cast of characters were fun and varied including a female pirate pretending to be a man. and the quest to save the crystals from Exdeath was fantastic.

ff10

4

Final Fantasy 10 seems a bit low on the list, and hey i’m sure some of the higher ones will come across as nostalgia but I will explain my logic later. FF10 was actually fairly linear but it worked out, a big part of why is it went with the story of the summoner being on a pilgrimage. They did a great job at making you feel like you had to be in a hurry without actually rushing you around. The game may not be perfect, but damn if it didn’t come close for its time.

ff7

3.

Final Fantasy 7 may actually be the most influential title in the series. Before that the series and JRPG’s in general were kind of a niche hidden secret of the gaming world in the west. Actually many people in Japan thought the western world was to stupid to even play them properly at one point. Then this game showed up and exploded and opened up a whole world to people. The game graphically hasn’t held up great, but the materia system is top noth, and to this day is still one of the best systems in a game and the story is fun. Tho, as you can tell I don’t believe it is the best in the series.

ff9

2.

Final Fantasy 9, what many believe is truly the best Final Fantasy game. In fact most of the time I hear people arguing between 7 and 9, and while 7 is great and far more influential 9 is just the better game to me. The story is better, most of the characters are better. The only real flaws is the materia system was better and the final boss of 9 made no damn sense at all, he just kind of showed up. But I am sure many of you are wondering, if 7 is number three and 9 is number two, how the hell do I choose number 8 as number one? Well I didn’t. In fact the best Final Fantasy doesn’t have a number.

fft

1.

Yes, Final Fantasy Tactics, the War of the Lions is to me the best of the Final Fantasy games, and easily the best Tactical RPG ever made. With dozens of classes and monsters to choose from with plenty of characters and an amazing story about the tragedy of war, betrayal and the secrets of history. It is actually a great tragedy the game never got a true sequel, tho there are some theories that Final Fantasy Tactics and FF12 are connected as well as Vagrant story, tho its not really the same thing. All in all however Final Fantasy Tactics is one of those games I would love to see remastered again for the PS4. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.