Ass Ass Ins Creed: Kinda Ass, and Why Video Game Movies Are Bad

assassins-creed-gallery-03-gallery-image

Before the review, I wanted to let my followers here in on an update. I’m probably moving my work more permanently over to https://creators.co/@AdamPyde

I got recruited to the site and they offered to pay me.

Nothing is really changing, I’m just moving platforms.

Secondly, thanks. Because of everyone that is here and followed me to help promote my posts so they showed up in the algorithm and I’ve gotten this chance.

I really appreciate the people that have bothered to click follow on a random guy in northern Canada’s quickly written and poorly edited movie ramblings.

I’ll post here still, but largely just an anecdote and hyper-link to the Creators platform, where I hope you come follow me.

Assassin’s Creed: I don’t know/5

I don’t even know if I liked this movie. It started off choppy, slow and kinda boring. Got quite good, especially right before the climax, but then ended anticlimactically. A real sequel fisher of an ending.

The more I think of it, the more I’m not surprised that this comes to us from Fox as I can just feel bits of X-Men: Apocalypse and Fantastic Four in the way its put together.

I haven’t paid close attention to the Assassin’s Creed games since the end of Ezio’s time. I own AC3, its in the plastic. I own AC4, its part of my un-downloaded library on Steam.

But I was still a really big fan of the games. Annual releases drained me a bit, and I’ve kinda tuned out of video games in general outside of a few titles. But something that really put me off keeping Assassin’s Creed in my circle of attention was that they stopped having focus on the present day storyline and Desmond. I liked the past, but I liked how it tied to the present just as much. I liked the end goal it presented.

If the reason they started to pare that away from the games was so that it could all go into the movie I just watched, well… maybe it wasn’t such a bad thing. It hits at parts, but it definitely misses too.

Continue reading on Creators.co

Top 5 Best Video Games of 2014

2014best

These were the games that I loved the most. Mainly PC.

HM. Five Nights at Freddies – This game is a better laxative than anything you can get at the pharmacy. I didn’t quite understand the mechanics my first time playing it, and when I failed I shrieked like one of the test subjects from that old Dead Space commercial. Still haven’t beat this game yet. Can’t get passed night 4.

HM. The Wolf Among Us – I love whodunnits. This was a good whodunnit with TellTale doing their thing in a really interesting universe. I couldn’t get enough after episode one but managed to make myself wait until they’d finally released all the episodes to play it in succession. I want to go back and play so badly now that I’m writing this.

5. Wolfenstein: The New Order – Awesome awesome awesome. It was such a nice break from games that force you to brain-think about morals. 90% of games now feel like they’re going for “shades of grey”. No grey here. You’re the hero. Fight the bad guy. At one point I was dual wielding laser sniper rifles on the moon shooting Nazi zombie robots. THIS. IS. VIDEO GAMES!

4. South Park: The Stick of Truth – A surprisingly strong RPG with neat combat, awesome humour and a fun story mode. A little bummed we never got  DLC pack at the mall. Still though, this game was worth the money. I really enjoyed how it just simplified things in a early Final Fantasy style and the town is surprisingly large with a lot of areas, collectibles and Canada!

3. Mario Kart 8 – The only racing game franchise that is actually fun where you feel like you can actually make up position when you get behind. Plus all the different weight classes and vehicle types. Roy’s my boy! Also great for drinking games.

1b. Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor – This was like 5% Assassins Creed, 95% Batman. But better than many of the recent installments, I’ve played, of either. The combat was so much freaking fun! To see blood and limbs and heads fly when you finish someone off that really makes an impact compared to breaking legs or leaving baby stab wounds. Also, the nemesis system was so fun and added so much to the game.

1a. Dragon Age: Inquisition – As much as I did tear a strip off this game, I still had a ton of fun over such a long period playing this game this year. The world is big and beautiful. The characters are probably DA’s best cast. I enjoyed the combat and crafting and leveling system. The story was kinda… “lost” but that happens in open world games. Just look at Fallout/Skyrim. Whats the story? I played a lot of Fallout 3 and New Vegas and still only kinda know. The controls need work on PC, but I still made them work quite easily as I’m not a crybaby.

Top 5 Anticipated Video Games of 2015

2015

These are the games giving me gamer wood for the next 12 months.

HM. Mirrors Edge 2 – I just hope EA doesn’t have it go all GUNS GUNS and just keeps it to the first game but just newer and better.

5. Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Curious to see how this turns out. I really do wonder if they are in above their heads. I liked Witcher 2 but I wasn’t quite blown away by it. I’m really beginning to tire of “shades of grey” decision-making in games. Not everyone can do it like TellTale. But this will be my 2015 time-sink RPG the same way Dragon Age: Inquisition was.

4. Rise of the Tomb Raider – The first game was fun. I hope this one is more fun. I liked how in Tomb Raider Lara wasn’t already asskicker 3000 but you had to build her up to it. It controlled well and the puzzles were fun. More of that with a better, or at least less predictable, story and I’ll be very happy.

3. Kingdom Hearts 3 – Kingdom Hearts is just plain fun. I used to play KH2 with my ex-girlfriend and it was just plain fun. Swimming around with Ariel and Goofy. I’m PUMPED to see what the Marvel Universe world and Star Wars world bring to this game. Even curious about Tangled/Frozen/Big Hero 6. Fun must be always!

2. Arkham Knight – Batman is awesome. The Batman games are pretty good. I loved Asylum. Loved parts of City and Origins. As much as I’m put off by the Bat-Tank, I still can’t wait to break legs and hang baddies upside down. I love the combat so much. If they can take some of what works from Shadow of Mordor and incorporate it back into this game… holy moly! My pants are tight…

1. Mortal Kombat X – I am buying a PS4 just for this game. I can’t wait to rip people into small pieces. I love Mortal Kombat so much. Can’t wait to see where the story goes. Sub Zero 4 lyfe! Scorpion blows.

Top 5 Disappointing Video Games of 2014

disappointing

These were the games that I was interested in buying a new console for, but then just sucked and helped save me like $400+. I guess thanks is in order…

HM. WWE2K15 – It has nothing going for it. Bare bones and the character models still don’t look better than Smackdown vs Raw: 2009. I’d have it higher if it was a yearly purchase for me, but the WWE games are only ever-other-year purchases for me.

5. Murdered: Soul Suspect – Really cool concepts and the story is actually pretty interesting at the fringes. But the main character is boring and I can’t describe him with actual characteristics. He’s cop-man-ghost. But it did have some pretty neat stuff like the lady who was crazy but only because it was how her ghost sister could save her life by invading her brain. Gameplay got boring after like hour 6 of “go here, look at thing, go here, fetch quest”. The game ends with a whimper after starting off pretty darn well.

4. Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark – I quite enjoyed the previous Transformer games. They were fun. This one just totally whiffs. I don’t know what happened, but all the fun got lost.

3. NHL 15 – I don’t own it, but a friend does. I’ve played it a fair bit when I go to friends houses and play games while waiting to go drink, or when getting back from drinking. What a pile of trash. It basically has no modes and no ancillary features at launch. Also, the wind physics are a little nuts. I feel like the players are in a hair commercial at times because their sweaters are going nuts when they’re totally still.

2. Watch Dogs – There is a good foundation here for Ubisoft to improve on. The hacking is fun but it just kinda turns into GTA-but-not-as-good-as-GTA and the protagonist, whose name I forget – talk about memorable, was super bland. I couldn’t really describe him using anything besides physical features, which is an indictment of their ability to make me care. “He wears a trench coat and a hat.” Also, it’s a giant piece of shit on PC.

1. Destiny – This game is just boring. Thought it’d be the multiplayer game that’d make me buy a console. It controls well, but I never got the “itch” to keep playing. Played about 6-8 hours on my friend’s account and it was a pretty forgettable 8-9 hours. I was never a huge Halo fan, but I couldn’t deny the “woo!” you got from it. Destiny is just grindy, bland and the loot system BLOWS! Plus all that stuff about how the story was basically stripped out and placed in codexes you can only view ON THE INTERNET NOT EVEN IN GAME. Blech.

Energon, Energizer, Energizing!

pumpedup-energized

How do you energize your groundswellians? It seems weird to say, but you need an energetic idea. Something with energy that energizes them to ener-do things. I ran out of “energ__” words.

But if you think about it, the concept is quite simple. Making a YouTube video or a Facebook/Twitter challenge is a great way energize your audience. But not if its something boring such as “Like, favourite and share this video for a chance to win (something equivalent of the cheap plastic toy in cereal)!!!!” or “If this article gets 50,000 shares one lucky person will get a (something equivalent of the cheap plastic toy in cereal)!!!!”

It has to be an energetic idea, and this means it has to be interesting. Sharing a video or a status does nothing. Hardly anyone is going to investigate the company. There is no ROI. People will just see the reward, share and forget.

What is the purpose of that? There really isn’t one. It does not add value to the company. This is simple value chain analysis from any Business 101 class. Activities must add value to the company somewhere in the chain.

So what are good examples? Challenges work. Febreeze has done it with their car fresheners and sprays. The whole “We guarantee it can destink anything!” sort of thing. They’ve made advertising campaigns around it, YouTube videos, articles, etc. They’re energizing their audience to virally market their product for them.

?????

Blentec did something similar with their “Will it blend?” campaign. They challenged people to find and submit items that their Blenders could try to blend. It was a huge success for them and people were buying and buzzing about Blendtec blenders blending blendables. I have a cheap blender that sometimes sucks with ice. It sucks that I can’t make a decent smoothie or milkshake. Sure wish I had a Blendtec. Those blend everything! Or so it seemed through their campaign.

This isn’t that difficult of a concept, but the application is challenging. It could be hard for an insurance agency for instance. Can’t exactly encourage people to burn down their houses or crash their cars. But a carpet cleaning company could do a Billy Mays style guarantee to drive up enthusiasm. “We guarantee we can clean anything from your carpet or we do it for free!”

Video game companies tend to be good at this. Well crafted teaser websites can create a lot of buzz for their new product as people try and decrypt tidbits of information to discover details of the new game. There is a website out now that people think is Bethesda operated and is teasing the new Fallout game. Its got all the gamers out there trying to figure out every little detail they can. (update: turns out the website was a well crafted hoax. But it still worked in Bethesda’s favour)

A good testimonial campaign can incorporate this. Honda did it recently in a huge customer appreciation campaign where they had Honda owners do the advertising for them through Facebook or YouTube testimonials about how great their cars were. Then they gave a guy who has had his Honda for 1,000,000 (A MILLION) miles a brand spanking new Accord. How’d they find him? They created buzz online, energized their customer base and found this guy which made for a great example of the quality in Honda vehicles. Properly maintained and A MILLION MILES ON IT!

I’m generally a believer in things are usually simpler than they appear.