Archive | November 2014

The Fade, and all the horrors within.

Hello folks,

 

Dragon Age Inquisition is proving to be one heck of a ride so far – the journey of the Inquisition, the conversations, and even the romance options; all remind me of the wonderful title that is Mass Effect 3. Now some people may say that ME 3 was not as exciting as the previous two, but in my opinion I feel that ME 3 was probably the one that really stuck with me long after the war against the Reapers ended, and the final scene faded to black.

Dragon_Age_Inquisition_BoxArt

Indeed I suppose it is because of my constant need for – shall we say – war, that leads me to find these stories of triumph in the face of overwhelming odds more attractive than most others. Certainly fighting the Collectors was something, but the sense of near-doom led many of the characters to make the most of what time they had – and that to me is truly something special to witness. When we as people are left with only a handful of hours to live; when all hope seems lost in the face of a genocidal entity, will we do what needs to be done, or will we wait around hoping to see the end and not have to lift a finger – to weather the storm without first taking action to defeat it?

Questions indeed to be answered, and this is why the story arc thus far in Dragon Age Inquisition has come across as exceptionally attractive, alongside games like Mass Effect 3, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo Reach, Gears of War 3, and similar titles. Indeed they all share a similar theme: war. Yet one cannot deny that this “certain doom” appeals to many of us; after all we want our deaths to be meaningful, and if we can make use of our final hours on this world to fight and prove our worth to a greater cause, why would we not make use of this opportunity?

Yet I digress, back to the Fade in Dragon Age Inquisition: what the crap did I smoke last night (humor intended)? Certainly the Fade is created to be “not-of-this-world,” but it was one giant mind-bomb per se; gravity existed everywhere, Demons prey on mortal desires, and freaking green-ish energy pulsates through the sky in a very natural way – all the while the Golden City (or Corrupted City, depending on your point of view) sits ever out of reach in the distance.

The dialogue in the Fade is exceptionally entertaining: Hawke talks about how his friends ditched him for desires, the Tevinter Mage talks about how he had a rather civilized conversation with a Desire Demon, and ate grapes with the thing before it (he) attempted to possess him (I found that bit to be absolutely golden), and the list goes on (and on, and on: humor intended).

Dragon Age Inquisition is shaping up to be something rather special in my books – a game where years after putting the game down, you will recall your adventures in Thedas; the battles fought, the souls lost, and the victory gained (I think, I have not actually seen the end of the game yet).

Anyways folks, I just wanted to record my thoughts on the game thus far for today – thanks for reading, have a safe rest of the weekend, and I shall see you next time.

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Keep to the stars, the dawn will come.

Hello folks,

 

Dragon Age Inquisition has released this week, and boy has it delivered something amazing. Regardless of what the common opinion may be, the song sung by the troops of the Inquisition at a certain part of the game is quite – magical – to say the least. Now up until this point, the only “choir” songs I have memorized are the Misty Mountains Cold from the Hobbit film series, and Men of Harlech – a Welsh Regimental song.

Dragon_Age_Inquisition_BoxArt

Indeed Dragon Age Inquisition captures what it would be like when a new – per se – religious order marches forth to face a grave threat. Indeed in their darkest hour, nothing can boost morale better than one unified voice. Now make no mistake, the Chantry is an organization that excels in such “sermons” per se (many of the Inquisition’s members are ex-Chantry/ex-Templars), but despite the evidence of them being naturals, the song in the game – which is sung by some of the main cast plus army – is really something. Goosebumps indeed develop when the host sings as one, bringing their spirits out of sorrow as they soldier on in the name of the newly formed Inquisition – fighting for the Maker, for Thedas, and for all living beings (Darkspawn not included).

 

Think however you wish, but my opinion stands: I shall memorize the Song of the Inquisition because it deserves nothing less. Just magnificent; grand splendor indeed. Below is a link to the video on Youtube; this has been the Writer, and I shall see you next time.

Dragon Age: Inquisition – The Song of the Inquisition

Fury – an after action report (after the film)

WARNING: possible spoilers below – read at your own risk.

Fury – a war movie starring Brad Pitt and Shia LaBeouf which takes place during the Allies’ push into Germany proper is actually quite, good. Now I am not saying it is mediocre, rather it was exactly as I had expected (and hoped for): a gritty war film that neither glorifies, nor dishonours the men who fought and died in the Sherman tanks for the allied armies.

 

Indeed the film itself – at least from what I can recall – uses little dramatic music, and instead relies on the screen performances of the actors and actresses in order to deliver the story of what happened during the final days of the war. A bit of a romance is sparked, and a young boy grows into a man as the tank crew of the Sherman M4A2E8 (or “easy eight” as it is colloquially known) fights the final battles in Germany against a combination of Volksstrum, Wehrmacht, and SS-battalions.

 

Action sequences are excellent as the film uses one of the last surviving examples of the Tiger 1 tank which was on loan to the film set from the Bovington Tank Museum at Bovington, England. Other tanks used included authentic Sherman M4s, all of which added to re-create one of the best war films I have seen in recent memory. The sense of camaraderie is not initially evident, but over time the crew opens up to the camera per se, and eventually it all flows out like a bottle of wine into a glass – smoothly, and with ease. This film is definitely worth a look at in my honest opinion, and it is on this note that I end this rather short – yet important (in my opinion) – review of Fury: now in theaters for all to enjoy. One key bit to note however – two out of the three action sequences are amazing as noted above, but it should be mentioned that the final action sequence against an SS-battalion is pretty much a Hollywood cheese-fest. That last bit where the crew performs a last stand, features some rather brain-dead SS-troopers – it was as though they had all of a sudden forgotten how to fight like – well – elite soldiers. Yet for those of you who enjoy heroic last stands, it does exactly that – I must admit I am guilty of enjoying the final stand as it was “bullet-tastic” (you see what I did there? No? Well too bad you read it anyways (humor intended)).

 

Onto some quick news before I end this post for the day: I apologize for a lack of regular content for this blog. Presently I am re-organizing several things in my end, and as such I only write for the blog if it is a sort of “as need to” basis, if I may be allowed the phrase. Indeed I am still writing here on Thoughts and Topics, but as things pick up for me on this end, there will be some weeks give or take where there is nothing new released on Thoughts and Topics. Please understand that I enjoy writing as much as you enjoy reading, but priorities come first I am afraid – I know you guys will understand.

Now if you all will excuse me, I need to get some sleep – I have some civic duties to attend to in the morning. Fare well for now dear readers; stay safe out there, and I shall catch you next time.

Advanced Warfare did what?! The Rhetoric. 5 November 2014.

Irons: “…unfortunately my appearance today has been clouded by a flurry of speculation that my company is developing a weapon of mass destruction which would be capable of targeting specific ethnic groups – I want to address these allegations head on. Are we developing such a weapon?
No we are not.
….because we’ve already developed it.”

Kevin Spacey as Jonathan Irons – per usual, the developers of Advanced Warfare opted for the “everything has gone to hell” approach to their story. Yet the selection of Kevin Spacey to do both motion-capture and voice-acting was one decision I am happy to see happen. The man did some excellent work with the dialogue available, and though there were those “that was expected” moments, overall Spacey performed well for a man whose only experience in voice-acting for video games was this recent title.

 

Now to summarize (and to deliver a big SPOILER ALERT), Spacey plays Jonathan Irons: a father who lost his son in war from an accident he deemed was “preventable.” Irons then recruits his son’s best friend (you), and you begin work at his PMC (Private Military Company) ATLAS Corporation. Long story shot, the typical: “PMC gains power and takes over like a crazed CEO” occurs, and the free world is left to take down Irons and his company who have also developed a bio-weapon that can kill people based on their genetic code. Thus the forces of the free world have to contend with not only highly trained PMCs, but also a weapon that – unless they have worked for ATLAS before defecting – can kill them due to their genetic material not existing in the data base. This bio-weapon does not harm Irons’ forces, but will slaughter the opposition – selective killing via natural forces per se.

 

Spacey was great with his dialogue. The cutscene where he drops the ball regarding his WMDs was similar to how Tony Stark approaches addressing the mass media in his speeches. Indeed Spacey delivered that segment with the same: “I just did this, what are you going to do” attitude as Tony Stark really brought this recent Call of Duty title to a whole new level. Sure with the addition of exoskeletons the multiplayer is brought to a whole new level – yet the campaign is where Spacey lives and breathes.

 

This is indeed a welcome sight to see: Call of Duty might finally enter a realm similar to Unreal Tournament but with a bit of a crossover with a pseudo Game of Thrones touch. Those looking for political intrigue with some popcorn action flick fun can look at Advanced Warfare, while those sick of the usual 360 no-scope/lead boots combat will be pleasantly surprised with the sudden shift to a more action-packed experience – jumping around a map (making use of height and distance) and shooting enemies is your new tactic.

Kevin Spacey good sir, you just entered into a whole new realm – one of infinite possibilities. This has been the writer for Thoughts and Topics, and I shall catch you next time.