Monday, 18 April 2011

Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away

Yesterday, which was Saturday, was a pretty nice day. I received a little bit of cash for doing absolutely nothing on Friday and out of interest checked the website of my regular gameshop to see if they had anything interesting. Indeed they once again had something I've been looking for, and so at 5 in the morning I decided that the next day I'll go downtown to buy more games and also check out my sister's art-thing. She had some of her works on display in this citywide art event and since I were about a walking distance away I naturally had to pay a visit and surprise her.

A couple of hours of sleep later I got up and got ready to leave, but things didn't go smoothly. I realized that I didn't have any good jeans clean or in decent enough condition to be worn, I didn't have much small change for the bus fare since the money I got on Friday was a 50 euro bill, the shoulder bag I thought about using to carry the games was broken and lastly I realized that my sister hadn't told me where exactly her art is located.
But I really wanted to go so I took my new jeans that my mother brought that are too long and slightly baggy for me, and used safety pins to fix them for my size. Then I dug up my literally dusty old school backpack from the corner, texted my sister asking where to go to see the art and scrounged up some smaller change from the pockets of my jackets I hadn't worn since last summer. Then I put on my sunglasses and went out, and I deliberately had this big grin on my face the whole day. I noticed that when you're happy and smiling, other people seem really fucking pissed off. The bus drivers looked mad as hell and from what I could hear from people talking, most were just bitching about various little problems they have in life. One guy almost rode his bike right into me and gave me an angry look and shook his head when he went by, even though HE was on the wrong side of the road, not me. Anyway, I felt even better because of all that. For once it seemed like it wasn't me who missed the bus in shitty weather.

Anyway, games. First and foremost I went out to get Contract J.A.C.K. for PC. It's to my knowledge at the moment a very mediocre first-person shooter, but there is a specific reason I've been looking to buy it: it's the prequel to NOLF2 and seemingly the last game to ever come from the series. I hope the reason why the NOLF series is dead isn't Contract J.A.C.K.'s unpopularity, because I've read that the publisher decided to discontinue the series solely because it didn't rack up quite as much money as they wanted considering the huge amount of money the games' development cost.
Would be kind of stupid to blame the main games for the fact that fans of NOLF didn't flock to buy a "standalone expansion", that 1) has a completely different name, 2) has a completely different main character, 3) has a different style 4) has dumbed-down gameplay, 5) has a shorter campaign overall and 6) was never that heavily advertised, but if it is true that the publisher was disappointed at the profits then it would make more sense if Contract J.A.C.K. was the one game they focused their eyes on when they made their decision. Both of the first two main NOLF games got several Game of the Year awards from gaming related press as well as nominations for all sorts of other different awards, from which some of they did win and all of them they should've won (NOLF 2 was ROBBED of the Excellence in Writing Game Developers Choice Award), I don't really see how much better the reception of the games should've been in order for them to be considered successes.

The other game I specifically went after was Tenchu: Fatal Shadows for PS2. It was a little overpriced considering my usual range, but I thought "why not" since it's incredibly difficult to find games from this series, I had the money, there weren't any better choices in the shop and as I'd like to think of myself a stealth game connoisseur I must sooner or later take a look at the grandmother of stealth genre as we know love it. You see, the general beginnings of 3D stealth games start from 1997 with Thief: The Dark Project (the grandfather so to speak), and the very next series right after that was born in 1998 with Tenchu: Stealth Assassins. Metal gear Solid, the annoying uncle who farts loudly in the dinner table came in 1999. These three are considered by most people to be the big three of stealth games and together pushed the squeeky minecart of creeping and stalking  in video games into motion. I'd like to point out that the ever so awesome Hitman: Codename 47 came out in 2000, as did the recently mentioned The Operative: No One Lives Forever, and since Hitman games added a completely new spin to stealth gameplay I think it would be appropriate to officially include it in The Quartet of Stealth Gaming, but then again nobody ever listens to me. 2001 was a crap year for stealth games and gave us nothing, in case you were wondering.
Fatal Shadows isn't the first Tenchu game, I think it's actually the fourth game in total and I've read that it doesn't actually have anything to do with the plot of the main series (another spin-off?), but if Greg Kasavin knows anything then I'm all set with this one, because according to Mr. Kasavin Fatal Shadows shows that the Tenchu series hasn't, or hadn't in 2004, evolved. If Fatal Shadows is just more of the same then I'll be getting the general jist of the series that much better.

And lastly, as the shop had "buy 3 get 1 free" offer if you bought used PS2 and PC games, I decided to grab Destroy All Humans! for PS2 along on a whim. I did sort of plan to buy CSI: 3 Dimensions of Murder for PS2 since my mother is a fan of CSI and I could get her to play it even though it's probably shit, but I didn't see it on the shelves.
Back when DAH! was just released it was high up on my most wanted games list, but I never happened to see it anywhere and never got it for my birthday or for Christmas either and since then my enthusiasm for a comedy game parodying 1950's sci-fi stories where an alien does stuff on Earth has plummeted, and I had to go past the shelf three or four times before I made the final decision of picking the game up.

After buying the games I went to see the art, came home, tried recalling how much exactly I hated playing Splinter Cell Double Agent, watched 007: A View to a Kill since it was on TV and that's about it.

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