Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Scientists Gone Stabby: SO MANY CURSE WORDS!, or What the Fuck, Part One

Click here for how the collaboration started. Spoilers abound so check the Scientists' Stats for where we are in the game if you want to avoid them.

Title: Assassin's Creed II
Publisher: Ubisoft (2010)

Scientists' Stats -
Time Played: 19hrs 52min
Last Achievement Earned: An Old Friend Returns

Last Significant Event: The game just fucking ended!

Jeff's most recent post addressed the questions I asked last time. He ended with: "This is where I ask some questions back at Rachel, but I think I'll just decline and cede the floor to my cohort. Then I'll flee the premises as quickly as possible to avoid getting caught in the cross-fire. Rachel, do you have any thoughts you'd like to share about our last play session? ;)"

Why yes, Jeff, I do! It's hard for me to think around my exploding head and the manic voice in my brain screaming, "Fuck you, Ubisoft!" but I'm going to try to focus. If at times is seems my keyboard has invented its own "insert expletives" feature please rest assured it's merely the after-effects of my seething anger.

It's hard to know where to start. While playing, I'm sitting on the couch, jotting down a few notes on what I'd like to post about, thinking whoa damn this is getting interesting!, and the fucking credits roll! I thought the meat of the story was finally getting started and the game just fucking ended! I think I went a little batguano crazy for a couple minutes and started shouting on the couch. Jeff was there, maybe he can remember more clearly. I think comments were made on the incredulous expression on my face. Not sure. Too stunned to remember clearly.

The blood is starting to boil a bit so let me take a step back and actually comment on what I meant to comment on before I got distracted by the shit event of the credits rolling. It's sort of a toss up but I think I prefer the 12th Century Homing Missiles from ACI (read: brain challenged beggars) to the Triplets. The Triplets are bizarrely aggressive stringed-instrument players. They are very keen on Ezio! So much so that they will chase him down the street shoving their instrument (heh) in his face. They do not, however, start whaling on Ezio for no reason and, frankly, I sort of missed the jizzwadian behavior of the ACI psychos.

What's with 10 years inexplicably passing in the blink of a cut scene? Was that really necessary? Were the events of the game so compelling that I couldn't believe they could all happen within a couple months? Answer: NO! Events were decidedly not compelling enough and there was no need to tack on a few more years. The only change was some facial hair on Ezio. The poor bastard didn't even get a new outfit. And, honestly, even if the guards can't remember that the raging psycho killer always wore that outfit the stench alone would eliminate any ability to sneak around.

Our dear Ezio had a birthday after the 10 year jump (well, he probably had some in between too but we missed those) and Rosa came by with a present. I thought after all that flirty behavior from before that they'd at least get some lip action going but no. What a tease Ezio turned out to be!

Jeff mentioned the mysterious lack of guards along the Venice canals but I've just got to mention it again. One of the assassinations takes place on the waterfront at a large celebration with lots of guards. The escape plan? Jump in the canal and swim (slowly, as Jeff pointed out) away! Really? Not one single guard thought to look in the canal? The city is riddled with them! Are they the safe zones? Criminals' bases in a very serious game of tag? Makes no fucking sense!

ACII did a much better job than ACI with incorporating local culture into the Animus memories. (for a game designed by a "multicultural group" it's pretty suspicious that they can manage a Western European culture but not a Middle Eastern one! why do media outlets continue to assume that Caucasians of West. Eur. descent can't sympathize with characters not of the same descent??? it's stupid and limiting and unfair to all the gamers, viewers and readers that do not fall under that category) I especially liked how Italian was incorporated into the dialogue. It was very natural, and even with my ridiculously limited Italian I was never at a loss for what was going on or what was being said.

But then the game just fucking ended!

We finally figure out that all Ezio's friends are actually assassins (he's not alone!), they get the Eden bits together, decipher the codex map, find the vault, find the baddie (who became pope during a cut scene), and start to actually learn what's what and then the game ends! IT ENDS!!!! No pay-off, no nothing. Oh, here you go, sgwordy (read: biggest sucker of all time!), here's some dangly tidbits of fun but don't get too attached because here are the credits! As my Grandma says, "shit-damn-hell shit-damn-hell shit-damn-hell! Fuck you, Ubisoft!" Ok, that last part was me and probably not something my Grandma has ever said.

So, a game, which was already embarrassingly short at ~20hrs, actually could have been half as long which would have tightened up the story. Look, I know these are games, I know it's the mechanics and the scenery that are the showcases but there should be a law against making a trilogy of a story that should be ONE SINGLE GAME! Or for fuck's sake put a few more details into the story and keep it relevant. Also, don't go monkeys-throwing-shit with your conspiracies: pick something and develop it! Don't throw something new at me after every cut scene because you can't be bothered to follow one line of thought.

Ok, I think it's time to go wipe the anger-spittle off my chin. Maybe my final SG Stabby post will be less insane but I make no promises. I do promise that the verdict will remain: Giant Letdown. (But, from the beginning, I fucking knew this was coming! And just as I predicted, I'm already thinking about the ACIII advertising campaign and GETTING EXCITED! Clearly I have jizz for brains but there it is. I am still Ubisoft's bitch.)

I will take my cue from Jeff and sign off with: do you have any thoughts you'd like to share about our last play session? ;)

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