Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Beared Bullet's Thoughts On Uncharted 3 (Including Spoilers!!)

Greetings and salutations, Internet!

***Spoiler Alert***

I just finished Uncharted 3's campaign.  For those of you unaware of what Uncharted is, I suggest you read this.  For everyone else, please be aware that this post will contain myriad spoilers for multiple aspects of Uncharted 3's single player campaign.  If you haven't completed the campaign I suggest that you do so now...because its kind of awesome.

Ok, so I need to get some stuff off my chest.  To start, I'm a fan on the Uncharted series.  I think that its the best franchise that Sony has exclusivity over.  Resistance, Infamous, and God of War are all great franchises but they don't come close to what Uncharted does in terms of atmosphere, story and character development.  Uncharted 3 was one of my most anticipated titles this year; I couldn't wait to dive into the single-player campaign.

Overall I quite enjoyed Uncharted 3.  Story-wise it certainly didn't fit the mold of the first two titles..which is good and bad.  I'll admit, I'm a fan of the supernatural stuff going on in U1 and U2.  I was disappointed when the Yeti's in U2 weren't real Yetis.  That said, I was a bit bummed that there was nothing supernatural about the plot or story of U3.  I was kinda digging the Ghost Rider-soldiers (even though they were a bit annoying to take down)..until I found out that Nathan was just tripping on some spiked water.  I was also kind of hoping that there was more to Marlowe; her character was built up with the young-Drake and Sully connection and ultimately she had little to do.  Granted, she was the mastermind behind everything bad that happened to Nate but I can't help but feel that her character was wasted.  I was hoping that she had discovered some fountain of youth and had been working with Sir Francis back in the day.

I feel that several plot points were just dropped throughout the story.  I take it we are to assume that Nate and Elena were/are married and that something dramatic happened that caused her to divorce/separate from Nate.  And apparently Nathan Drake's real name is not Nathan Drake??  Why was this brought up and just tossed aside by Marlowe?  Am the the only one that didn't know this?  Did I miss something in one of the previous games?  I assume these will be addressed in a future game or perhaps a novel.

I really like the character of Chloe and the new addition, Cutter.  While they featured heavily in the first half of the game, their characters are left by the wayside while Nate and Sully go on and adventure.  I know, I know, Cutter's broken leg would hamper his ability to treasure-hunt, but I wish they would've turned up in the end in perhaps an end-credit scene.  And speaking of which, no end-credit Easter egg?  Gamers these days know to wait till after the credits for a juicy tidbit of info or a clue as to where the franchise is headed next.  Nothing here.

I guess I'm just nitpicking over minor plot points.  The ending and final section was interesting and not necessarily what I expected..and again it feels like not much was addressed.  I would've liked maybe a final conversation between Nate and Salim.  The dialogue between Sully and Nate was emotional and quite enjoyable...but maybe would've meant more had we known what happened between Nathan and Elena.  Sully giving Nate his ring back would've been more important had the player been privy to the previous situation.

And why was the game called Drake's Deception?  Is he deceiving us all because he isn't really who he says he is?  The only real deception I saw was in the bar in the beginning of the game..and that in the first ten minutes.

Despite all of these hangups I have with Uncharted 3, I can't help but feel that its one of the best gaming experiences I've had in a very, very long time (along with Batman: Arkham City).  The size and scope of U3 is unrivaled - as are the visuals.  At plenty of points I wanted to just stop and admire the scenery around me.  The voice acting and character animations are movie quality; I am absolutely in love with all of the characters (well, the good guys at least).  I just want to keep playing games with these characters, regardless of the adventure.  And I just think its funny how many pirates Nate has killed over the course of three games!

What say you, Internet?  Agree?  Disagree?  Let me know!

Bearded Bullet out.

Friday, July 15, 2011

2012: The Greatest Year in the History of Awesome Stuff

So I know that this year is barely halfway over, and we've still got plenty of awesome entertainment coming up (Captain America, Cowboys & Aliens, Batman: Arkham City, Battlefield 3 etc), but I was thinking about next year...and the plethora of awesome shiz that will be invading our wallets and brain cells.

The most prevalent is in the movie front:
John Carter
The Hunger Games
Wrath of the Titans (I'm willing to the franchise another shot)
The Avengers
Rock of Ages
Snow White and the Huntsmen
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (Just started the book..pretty rad)
Star Trek 2 (If they start filming this Fall)
The Amazing Spider-Man
The Dark Knight Rises (Enough to make year the greatest year....ever)
The Bourne Legacy (Without Jason Bourne..but I'm still pumped)
Total Recall
GI Joe 2 (I enjoyed the first one enough to warrant a return)
The Expendables 2
Resident Evil: Retribution (Wasn't a huge fan of the fourth, but again I'll give it another shot)
Bond 23
47 Ronin (Keanu Reeves + Samurai=Sweetness)
The Hobbit:  An Unexpected Journey
The Lone Ranger
Django Unchained

Batman, Lord of the Rings, James Bond, Spider-Man, Star Trek, The Avengers..all in one year??

I must also mention that two of my most anticipated games come out next year: Mass Effect 3 and Bioshock Infinite.  I'm already calling Bioshock Infinite as Game of the Century when it arrives next fall.

Next year may very well be one of the highest-grossing years in cinema history...and I'll definitely be doing my part to contribute!!

What say you, Internet?  Anything that you're excited for that I missed?  Let me know!

The Bearded Bullet

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Michael Bay Reuses Footage...Big Deal!

So if you haven't seen, it seems that Michael Bay has reused some footage from his movie, The Island, in Transformers 3.  It involves a high-speed highway chase between three Decepticons and a handful of Autobots.  The scene is awesome.  One of the best in the film.  And I don't care.  You can find comparison videos on youtube if you want to see for yourself.  Honestly, its probably not even more than ten total seconds of footage that was reused.  Guess what?  He did it in Transformers 2 with a shot of naval aircraft carriers from Pearl Harbor.  Big deal!  If the man wants to destroy a couple fewer cars by taking a few shots from a previous movie (that he directed!) then let him.  I understand why people are making a big deal out of this but seriously?  That's just what I think.

Did anyone actually see The Island anyway?  It made less than $70 million domestically.  Again, what's the big deal?


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

We Can't Get No Satisfaction...

Hello Internet!

This will be my first foray into the realm of the bearded thoughts..and its an interesting one.

I was at work the other day, helping a woman find a game that she was looking for.  She had three children with her of various ages.  I'd say the youngest was probably seven or eight with the oldest around 11.  The young son was running around the store asking if he could buy each game he picked up.  The mother was quietly looking through various sections, with the other children content as well.  Eventually she turned down a game he really wanted and he started to throw quite a temper tantrum in the middle of the store.  There really wasn't anyone else shopping at the time so it was really only affecting me and his mother.  She was very quiet yet stern with him and he stopped his tantrum.  They eventually left the store..I don't remember if they bought anything but her son didn't get what he wanted.

This incident is not new to me; being in retail for over five years has opened my eyes to how people act, in particular children.  However, this incident combined with my personal thoughts one night stirred up some interesting thoughts about us humans and our wants and desires.  I came to the conclusion that specifically what we "want," what will satisfy us, follows a bell curve.  Our lives begin with us being satisfied by little...and end in a similar fashion.

When we are young we are new to the world and the complexities of an adult life.  Our minds are small and only see the small picture.  We are given small toys to play with; blocks, trains.  As we get a little older we are trusted with action figures and cars..and most small children are satisfied by such things.  Simple gifts such as a ball can entertain and "satisfy" a young child's needs for hours.

Entering into the pre-teen years means an expanded intelligence and a bigger need to fulfill one's desires.  When I was around ten I didn't have any video games; I was content with action figures, toys, lego sets; these days pre-teens are big into electronics.  Video gaming systems, iPods, iPhones, blu ray players...yet those desires are still only a step up from their younger counterparts.

As you approach the teenage years their view widens further.  They begin to see themselves are part of a bigger picture - one that involves a car and going to college.  Yes, teenagers are still electronically inclined (especially in our modern times) but their "wants" increase further to even more expensive and grandiose things.  A car is a big step up from an action figure or even an iPod.  Throw in the cost of a university and the cost of what they want has skyrocketed.  They are no longer satisfied with the trinkets and simple things that just a few years earlier fulfilled them for hours if not days at a time.

When you make it through the college years and approach the quarter-century mark (about where I am) your perspective on the world widens to what it'll most likely remain for the rest of your life.  Post-college you'll need a job to fulfill financial obligations.  But not just any job.  You won't be satisfied with a small wage; you'll have to work your way up through the business world to obtain a wage that will satisfy your desire.  Your mind will turn from wanting an education to wanting (in most cases) a family and a place to live.  Quite a large leap from wanting a iPhone...I'm sure a large portion of us do not rest easy at night knowing that what they want (or what will fulfill them) is so far away.  Finding satisfaction a quarter of the the way into your life is not nearly as easy as when you are but a fraction into your existence.

Now, I can't speak from personal experience but going from the quarter mark to the halfway mark does not change one's satisfaction levels much.  What I can go by is what I've seen with my own eyes; adults, middle-aged, trying to make it in the world, still seeking more money.  However, at this level, most people's drive is to maintain their house and family, while looking to their retirement.  The iPods, LED TVs and computers may not exactly appeal to their inner desires any longer.  Their satisfaction comes in seeing their family expand and for their children to grow and learn.  I know this isn't the case for everyone, but it seems that a majority of middle-age individuals don't have the same satisfaction levels as their younger counterparts..

I feel that this continues into the senior years of one's life.  My grandmother doesn't own a computer (she did for awhile but never used it).  I see her being content with arts and crafts...watching the news, reading the paper.  She doesn't go to movies or watch much on television besides news and religious programming.  She doesn't have a cell phone and wouldn't know how to operate one.  She has a modest car and lives in a small single apartment, alone.  Yet she is always happy and in a generally fantastic mood whenever I see her.  She is always fascinated by my stories involving technology or about my daily experiences.  Her desires and needs have drastically changed from her younger years.  Her drive to satisfy herself come in the form of the small world around her.  Her perspective on the world has shrunk down to levels one experiences much earlier in life.  I'm not saying she doesn't know what's going on - its quite the contrary in fact.   She is much aware of the world's events.  It just doesn't take much to make her happy or to fulfill her desires.

The path of what we require to satisfy us follows the bell curve, from small children requiring but a fraction of their teenage counterparts.  I feel that we reach the peak of what will satisfy us in our middle-aged portion of life.  Our retirement, traveling the world, doing whatever is that we couldn't do in our younger years can be sought.  Going into our twilight years means that our world has condensed; we've done what we wanted with the rest of our lives and what it takes to satisfy us is but a fraction of what it was decades earlier.

I fully understand that this isn't the case for all people; just as in data processing there will always be outliers; the 7-year-old who wants a sixty dollar game (in the instance that planted this intellectual flower) to the 75-year-old who wants to jet ski and own a summer home in Miami.  We are all unique and therefore have different wants and needs and need satisfaction in special ways.  I find it quite fascinating to think about.  How about you, internet?

The Bearded Bullet

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Bearded Bullet Thinks About Stuff

Hell Internet!

Welcome to my new blog..where I talk about stuff.  Yeah, that pretty much covers it.  This will be my forum to showcase my pontifications to the world of the wide web.  From video games to movies and current affairs I'll let the thoughts flow.  And please, feel free to comment and let your opinion be known as well.  Word.

The Bearded Bullet