Tag Archives: Assassin’s Creed: Revelations

2018 Game Review Haiku, #17 – Assassin’s Creed: Revelations

Bombs are a big deal
For an older Ezio
Nothing new divulged

For 2018, I’m mixing things up by fusing my marvelous artwork and even more amazing skills at writing videogame-themed haikus to give you…a piece of artwork followed by a haiku. I know, it’s crazy. Here’s hoping you like at least one aspect or even both, and I’m curious to see if my drawing style changes at all over three hundred and sixty-five days (no leap year until 2020, kids). Okay, another year of 5–7–5 syllable counts is officially a go.

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In Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, you fight ideas with bombs

I’m continuing to work through the Assassin’s Creed games…well, the ones I have anyways. Left to go in my current collection are the topic du jour (psst, that’s French for Assassin’s Creed: Revelations), Assassin’s Creed III, and two entries from the Assassin’s Creed Chronicles sub-series, which I’m lead to believe are a bit different in structure and style. I’ve already played the first game, the second game, the sequel to the second game, and the one featuring pirates and battles at sea. I like each of them to varying degrees.

All right, here we go. Assassin’s Creed: Revelations is the third and final chapter in the so-called Ezio trilogy. It picks up right after Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, which, I had completely forgotten, ended with a big ol’ killer twist. Anyways, spoiler alert for a 2011 game…in three, two, one. Desmond Miles has fallen into a coma due to the stress of being forced to kill his ally Lucy Stillman while being controlled by Juno, the hologram attached to the Apple of Eden. In an effort to save Desmond’s mind, Rebecca Crane places him back in the Animus, in the machine’s safe mode called the “Black Room”. Alas, the only way to repair his mind is by reliving his ancestors’ memories until there is nothing left for them to show Desmond, at which point the Animus can separate Desmond from Ezio and Altaïr and awaken him from his coma. Er, yeah–it’s not at all confusing. And so, you jump back into the perspective of the still suave but older Ezio Auditore. Four years after ending the life of Cesare Borgia, Ezio has traveled to the former Assassins’ fortress in Masyaf to discover the secrets Altaïr had previously unearthed and find the true purpose of the assassins.

Phew. Look, at this point, I’m not really paying all that much attention to the plot, especially since I’ve already heard that, despite the game’s boasting subtitle, there are very few revelations to learn in Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. I’m here for the running around, rooftop climbing, knife throwing, stealth stabbing, hay jumping, bomb tossing, collectible finding antics. Also, buying different dyes for Ezio’s outfit always makes me happy, especially the green-themed ones, and watching Constantinople grow due to his influence and the money roll into your bank account in larger amounts is extremely satisfying.

As far as I can tell, this plays just as well as Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. I think by this point in the series Ubisoft tightened the controls and really made everything feel both good and natural. I’m finding myself not making as many  jumping mistakes when climbing up tall towers, and the hookblade upgrade really helps move things along quicker, with Ezio now able to leap higher and use ziplines conveniently placed around the city. Otherwise, it’s an Assassin’s Creed game, and so you probably already know what you do in these games, generally. Strangely, there’s some optional first-person platforming sections when playing as comatose Desmond, and they are about as fun as you might initially expect. I’m going to finish them all for the sake of Achievements only. Also, if the Templars become too aware of your actions, they will attack one of your dens, and the only way to get it back is through a tower defense minigame, which I do not like one bit.

As of this writing, I’m somewhere in…sequence 5 (of 9) for Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. I’ve only seen two or three instances of tailing missions so far, and they honestly weren’t that bad compared to others. Otherwise, everything has been par for the course, with some fetch quests, some platforming challenges, some hidden murdering, some open murdering, and a whole lot of collecting treasure, purchasing shops, and completing challenges. For some reason, I really like these kinds of games because there is always something to do, a goal to go after, not just the main quests. Even standing around idle will eventually help, with money being deposited in your bank account every twenty minutes.

Perhaps the thing that separates Assassin’s Creed: Revelations from others in the series, at this point in its release, is its focus on bombs. For those that don’t know, bombs are explosive weapons used by assassins from as early as the High Middle Ages, and they can be employed for a variety of tactics, including escape, assault, and distraction. Ezio can craft his own bombs by looting dead soldiers for materials or he can purchase them from illusive shopkeepers, and I have found myself using them more than expected; if anything, they are great distraction items, especially if you need to make a quick getaway. Still, the controls for them can be fiddly, and trying to use them effectively in the middle of an eight-on-one sword fight does not always work out right. It does add some variety and options to the missions though.

I don’t expect to learn much by the end of Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, but coming to it many years later, and not right after the previous game, wherein many were beginning to suffer from Ubisoft fatigue, I’m having a fine ol’ time. I also have to wonder how many, if any, are even playing this game’s multiplayer; I’ll give it a try after credits scroll, but I won’t hold my breath.

The Top 10 Videogames I Didn’t Get to Play in 2011

I did this type of list last year–and by last year, I mean 2010–and to say that it was well received is me being honestly humble; The Top 10 Games I Didn’t Get to Play in 2010 ended up gracing the home page of WordPress.com for a week and change, meaning that anyone and everyone visiting the site saw an adorable puppy with sad eyes drawing them into a post about missing out on a bunch of popular videogames. And it got looked at. A lot. Around 15,200 views and over 140 comments in just a few days, a high majority of them from really nice commenters, too. Thanks, WordPress people! We’ll see if I can bottle magic for a second time.

10. Batman: Arkham City

He may be the hope that flies through the night sky in black, but he’s also unplayed. Same with the previous game Batman: Arkham Asylum. The game(s) seem really cool, with a mix of action, stealth, and as many cameos the devs can squeeze in, but I’ve somehow managed to avoid all things batty. Not on purpose. I like Batman much more than Superman (but less than Spider-Man). Maybe I’ll grab one of these in 2012 to help get in the mood for The Dark Knight Rises.

9. STACKING

 

I like weird games, mostly because weird games take chances, thus earning the adjective of being weird. Stacking seems like a weird game, which is why it is intriguing to me. Plus, the way the characters hop around the world reminds me a little of how I design my Supertown and All of Westeros characters, even though those in Stacking do have arms, legs, noses, and ears. Good for them. The price tag (1200 MS Points) for this downloadable has always kept me at bay so I’m hoping for a sale sometime soon.

8. Aliens: Infestation

Here’s probably the first (and last) Aliens game I’m interested in. The goal is shooting alien creatures without remorse, and this objective plays out in a Metroidvania way, with a unique hook of main characters being totally and completely killable. You literally have X number of lives to beat the game, I guess. There’s some gorgeous spritework here, and the level design is ripe for exploration. Alas, I don’t know much about the source material, as I’ve only ever seen one film from the franchise, and I couldn’t tell you if it was Alien or Aliens, but it did have a robot at the end bleeding milk all over the place, but I’m a sucker for anything that shows its love for side-scrolling pilgrimages and does it well.

7. Alice: Madness Returns

I have a strange relationship with American McGee’s Alice; that’s a game that I actually played co-op with a girlfriend even though it was not a co-op game. She controlled the moving of Alice, and I used items and weapons from the other side of the keyboard. It was a disastrous time, and we rarely worked well together, but it was one of the few games she ever became interested in, and was adamant about us playing it together. Ah, young love affection. What a farce.

And so that game has been stuck in my being ever since, evoking a time I’d like to not go back to. However, Alice’s next journey in Alice: Madness Returns looks like fun, maybe even darker than before if that’s possible. The game got mediocre reviews, but I’m more interested in just going at it all by my lonesome.

6. Red Dead Redemption

Here’s a game that was also on my 2010 list, meaning a whole year went by and I’ve still not been able to ride a horse, skin a bear, and shoot a unruly vagrant. I want to, I really do, and I was close to purchasing the Game of the Year edition, which nicely collects all the many DLC packs into one package, but instead went with Mass Effect 2. I still don’t love Grand Theft Auto IV, but I named L.A. Noire as my game of the year, and have hopes that Red Dead Redemption is more like the latter and less like the former. Yeah, yeah, I know people refer to it as Grand Theft Horse, but maybe there’s more to it than that. Or maybe you’ll see this title on yet another edition of this list come the end of 2012.

5. Terraria

This year, I was able to give Minecraft a spin thanks to a free, limited-time copy with the purchase of one of the Humble Indie Bundles. I struggled at first, both with what the point of the game was and then also surviving the darkness, but that was enough for me until it comes out on the Xbox 360. Terraria is seemingly Minecraft’s cousin, but it only works on a PC, and since I use a Mac…well, you do the math. The graphics and slower gameplay seem more appealing to me than that in Minecraft, but it’ll have to wait until I can get a new pooter.

4. Assassin’s Creed: Revelations

True fact: I totally skipped Assassin’s Creed II and went straight to Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, and I’m totally at peace with that. Why? Well, AC:B turned out to be simply fantastic. A strong story, lots to do in a well-designed setting, and a unique take on online multiplayer stabbing. Though Ubisoft might be spitting out these games a little too fast, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations seems to be more of AC:B, and I’ve heard that the changes to online multiplayer are significant. I’ve held back because I’ve heard that for a game with revelations in its title, there is actually little to that point. Going to wait until the price drops down to $30 or so, me thinks.

3. Portal 2

So, 2011 was the year that I caught up with the world and played–and beat with minimal walkthrough assistance–Portal. Yeah, go me. However, I did struggle with a few puzzles, almost to the point of blunt frustration, and that’s been the biggest roadblock for Portal 2; I’m interested in the story and learning more about Aperture Science and their ultimate plans, but not having to deal with the mind-benders and brain-twisters to get there. Sure, I could read a wiki or watch videos online, but that’s just silly. Alas, I kinda doubt I’ll ever get to this one.

2. Kirby Mass Attack

Without a doubt, Kirby is Nintendo’s lab experiment. When they want to try something new or risky or off-the-wall, they just use Kirby as the flagship. Over the years, he’s been turned into yarn, forced to ride a rainbow, and also enter air kart races. His latest adventure on the DS (not the 3DS, mind you) involves clones. Kirby Mass Attack retains the look of those classic Kirby game, but throws in new puzzles solvable with multiple Kirby copies, and it’s all controlled with the touchscreen. This one was released right around the same time as Professor Layton and the Last Specter, and I only had enough funds to get one or the other, and so it’ll have to wait for a later date.

1. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

The last great game for the Nintendo Wii. At least that’s what journalistic people are saying about The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, and I’m sure they are right as there definitely doesn’t seem to be anything else in the pipeline before the dumbly-named Wii U drops. And there’s always reason to be excited for a new Zelda game, but I still struggle with the idea of actually playing this on a Wii, with a Wii controller, doing Wii-like things. Visually, it’s so pretty. Like a painting come to life. It also sounds like a mighty slow crawl for those first few hours. Going to hold off for now and wait until it drops in price, but who knows how long that could take.

Well, I think that’s it.

Other contenders that I didn’t play and didn’t make this list include Solatorobo: Red the Hunter, Dead Island, Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation, Lost in Shadow, and Rayman: Origins. Yeah, I got some things to catch up on. We’ll get there, surely. But what about you, dear readers? What games from 2011 did you miss out on? Speak up below in the comments.

Videogames I’m definitely buying in 2011

I kind of thought this would be a light year for DO WANT games, but with each day that hits anew I’m finding myself becoming intrigued more and more with shiny new titles. Too many to remember by remembering alone at this point, which is why it’s great that I have this Grinding Down blog, which is now being used as a forthcoming grocery list, but hey, it still loves me. That said, let’s get to the meat of this post, the tenderloin, the chicken cutlet, the bacon bits.

Here’s everything I’m planning to purchase this year videogame-wise so long as I don’t get mugged in a back alley:

LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game

Release date: May 10, 2011

I’ll have some demo impressions up soon for this one, but I’m pleased from what I’ve already gotten to experience. Sure, it’s the same formula over and over, but it always works for me, and they absolutely nailed the way LEGO Jack Sparrow runs. And it’s one of the franchises perfect for playing through co-op, especially with a loved one. Also, Tara already suggested the next great franchise to LEGO-ize: Back to the Future! Mmm-hmm.

Bastion

Release date: Q3 2011, but I’m hoping for early summer

Like a painting brought to life, Bastion looks simply beautiful. That would be enough to get me interested, but then I learned it’s a mix of action elements and RPG elements. Sold!

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Release date: August 23, 2011

Any game that can be played in multiple ways is a good game to me. Variety trumps linearity. Especially if one of those ways is all about being sneaky and non-confrontational. It kind of reminds me of Fallout 3 in that sense, but shinier, slicker, with more vibrant highlighting. I should, at some point, go back and play some Deus Ex: The Conspiracy even if it hasn’t aged too well.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Release date: November 11, 2011 (11.11.11 for the cool people)

Pretty sure I won’t be the only one picking this up in November. It’s only a huge followup to a huge followup. I’m very interested to see what’s changed from Oblivion to Skyrim, as I was always fond of exploring that game’s world, but found the combat and quest system to be a bit disappointing. Here’s hoping, but it’s gonna be epic no doubt.

Assassin’s Creed: Revelations

Release date: November 2011

Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood was certainly a surprise. It was not, as many feared, just a quick cash-in on a building franchise. In fact, it only made the claim truer that, yes, Ubisoft, knew what it was doing with its stabby-stab games. Multiplayer is back, and that’s great as it’s some of the only multiplayer I’ve played and enjoyed. But when is Assassin’s Creed III really coming out?

Animal Crossing 3DS (no official title yet)

Release date: August 2, 2011

Very few details exist, but you’ll supposedly be the mayor of the town in the next iteration. Maybe that will lead to more control over shops and such. Either way, this’ll give me a reason to buy a 3DS game. Buuuuuurn. I think they could do neat things to with Play Coins and StreetPass functionality, but time will tell. If it’s the same freakin’ game all over again, I’m swearing off the series for good.

Fantasy Life

Release date: Sometime in 2011

Fantasy Life is turning out to not be the Fantasy Life I remember seeing previews for many moons back. It’s instead getting revamped for the Nintendo 3DS, and while the art style and graphics have sadly changed, here’s hoping the gameplay–a life sim in a medieval fantasy setting–hasn’t. I’ve always wanted to know what it’s like to sell fruit in an open market to a range of peasants.

That’s all I can think of right now. I’m sure I’m forgetting a few games, and I’m sure I’ll want another five within a few weeks, but such is the life of a gamer, I guess. Naturally, I can’t list impulse buys, Fallout: New Vegas DLC, and games to add to my PlayStation 2 collection as they go on sale, but yeah…games. I love ’em.

Five things make a post, or it’s time to Ragnarök!

5. The next Assassin’s Creed game has been revealed, and it’s titled Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. Please note that it, like Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, is missing a number in it. What does that mean? ::shrugs:: The newest game is rumored to be the last for Italian superstar Ezio, bringing his journey full circle to line up with Altair and Desmond. And the multiplayer aspect is coming back, too, which I think is fantastic. I never expected myself to become so interested in this series after its lukewarm first game experience, but here I am, waiting and wondering. Comes out this November, probably right around the same time as TES V: Skyrim, just to mess with me.

4. The Arbiter, upgraded to level 3 and rocking a tingling Shock Omega mod, is currently my weapon of choice in Ratchet: Deadlocked. This thing is just a beast, taking out dropships in two shots. Mmm:

3. As much as I adore Norse mythology, I’m not interested in the slightest over this new movie Thor. I mean, if I want to look at cheese, I’ll open my refrigerator. That said, there’s a browser-based game called Thor: Bring the Thunder! and it looks simply gorgeous. Colorful 16-bit sprites in what one could describe as Mega Man with a lightning-fused hammer. However, I think a better title would’ve been Thor: Time to Ragnarök!

2. I downloaded two demos on the Xbox 360 yesterday: LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean and Red Faction: Armageddon. Unfortunately, due to time restraints and the constant distraction that is Netflix, I’ve not been able to try either of these yet, but will most likely give ’em a run over the weekend. Not expecting much from the latest Red Faction title, but I do love me some LEGO action. Hope it’s as fun as the movies were (well, the first movie at least).

1. I finally earned the highest amount of G in the latest bazaar in Harvest Moon: Grand Bazaar. This meant selling everything I had in my bag, including a huge piece of gold I was lucky enough to find attached to my body after jumping into the river seven times. I was so excited for this as I knew that the highest seller won a prize from the mayor. Maybe it was a trophy? Or a huge bag of gold? Or his daughter’s hand in marriage? No. No, it wasn’t any of those. I won a bottle of milk. Ffffffffffffff.

And that, dear Grinding Down readers, has certainly been a post.