Dynames Productions Blog

A blog to showcase my creative and technical work. Talk about what I like to talk about.


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The Creed of the Assassin’s – Recommendations

Hey everyone,

Been a while since I posted here. In between that time, I managed to play all the main Assassin’s Creed games released for the PS3. So here are my brief thoughts on each as well as ranking (from most recommended to least). If you are only interested in the rankings, please skip to the end of this post.

Games Thoughts:

Assassin’s Creed –

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An okay game. The main issue this game suffers from is its repetition and lack of variation in gameplay. However it did introduce us to the satisfying feeling of being a ninja type assassin while posing some interesting philosophical questions along the way.

The game definitely has many issues that makes it a drag to play at times, but it is still worth a shot for this is what started the whole AC universe.

 

Assassin’s Creed II –

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A brilliant follow up that expands the gameplay in meaningful and fun ways. This game seems to rectify the issues of repetition with the original and adds on loads of things to do.

The main character Ezio is also a step up from Altair. The story seems to go for a more personal approach this time versus the philosophical one it had with the original. You also get to see some great character development for Ezio as you progress in the story.

New mechanics introduced definitely help vary up the gameplay as well as add more value to the fun. But that is not to say that the game does not have any flaws. In fact sometimes there are forced mini-games that really help bring the fun to a grinding halt. The mini-games can be infuriating to play at times due to the weak control scheme (although controls are far more responsive and less “floaty” than the original).

Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood –

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An okay follow up to the second game in my opinion. It follows Ezio’s adventures again, but this time the game feels too padded. The whole series has this issue where they try to add in as much padding as possible to extend gameplay time, but this one just seemed to take it to the max. That’s the feeling I got when I was playing it anyways.

There are several features that return with few minor new ones. Mechanically it is the same as the second one, which does sometimes drown out the fun as you will be battling with controls at times (unlike their new controls from AC III and on-wards). The story just wasn’t as enthralling to play through unlike AC II. At the beginning it is very interesting, but then the story just begins to lose my interest due to the slow pacing and sometimes padded missions that make me more tired when playing.

But it was still a nice minor advancement in the series and for Ezio’s story as well.

Assassin’s Creed: Revelations –

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The last game in the Ezio trilogy and quite a different AC experience in comparison to the ones before. The experience is different because we get to play as Ezio and Altair during various sequences of the game. Ezio is still the main protagonist, but Altair has an integral role to the story and an expansion of his character. On top of that, we get more explanation into the admittedly convoluted backstory of the precursor race and what not.

Mechanically this game is much the same as Brotherhood due to it only having one year in development. Minor improvements to the graphics and controls help this game shine above its predecessors. Not to mention, this game concludes Ezio’s journey as an assassin and you the player get the sense that Ezio deserves to finally get his closure.

Assassin’s Creed III –

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This game is the one game that really changed up the gameplay for good. The control scheme was simplified, the parkouring was improved and the graphics simply go through the roof in comparison to Revelations.

The story of this game, while not as focused around Assassins versus Templars when compared to the previous entries, it is still a worthy game to play through. The story takes place in the American Colonial Revolution and has you play as an Aboriginal protagonist.

Many people complained about him being a plain and boring character, but in my opinion he is just as interesting character as Ezio if not more so. I say that because of his Aboriginal heritage. It is nice to see a character come from such a background, not to mention he gave up so much and sacrificed so much in his fight, but in the end he was left with so little (in some cases, nothing at all).

He is also a very ideologically driven character with a sense of naivety due to his inexperience and youth. The discussions he has with other characteres on more philosophical topics about Templars really helps stand him apart from the other protagonists so far. The struggle, the sacrifices and the ideological thinking really helps solidify him as an interesting character in my book.

The game also introduced ship combat, although this was extremely poor due to its sloppy mechanics and controls. These sections even got frustrating at times. But unlike the previous AC games, this one didn’t have any annoying mini-games and was a blast to play through all the way. I was always curious what was going to happen next and seeing the ending made me completely sympathize for Connor. The game also gives us more to do in the present time story-line and concludes Desmond’s story arc.

A worthy addition that helps boost my love for this series.

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag –

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The Pirate’s Caribbean game as many like to refer to it. The pirate game that Disney could never release. This was the second game I played in the series (I played Revelations first and then this one. After that I decided to get the whole series on the PS3). This game is what really sold me on Assassin’s Creed. Unlike AC III, the ship combat in this is fantastic. The development team really improved the gameplay on all aspects which made this one only even more fun to play through.

The story is not as much of an Assassins versus Templars story as much as it is Edward’s journey from being a money loving pirate to a responsible assassin. I would even argue that the character development in this one is far better than the one in Ezio’s trilogy. You can actually tell the development in his character apart, where as with Ezio’s trilogy, it wasn’t as evident due to his constant playboy and easy going nature. The psychological sections for Edward’s journey were fascinating to play through as we delved deep into the symbolism of his experiences and those around him.

Piloting your own ship as well as creating your own army was very fun. The only negative for this game would be the grind you have to go through to upgrade your ship sometimes. It can get very repetitive, and eventually boring to do. But it will be worth it in the end as you can destroy nearly any ship with ease. It will make that once puny boat you called “Jackdaw” turn into a tank.

As I mentioned before, it takes a step away from the traditional Assassin’s versus Templars just like AC III. But that’s not to say that you don’t kill Templars, trust me there is plenty of that once you decide to commit to the brotherhood. But what really fascinated me was a third party in this game that acts as an ally and an enemy for a short while before meeting your blade. There is still a magical device involved to help progress the precursor story, but this also ties into the present time story that is quite interesting to play through on its own.

If you love ship combat and the AC combat then this will go hand in hand for you. The mix and balance of the two is phenomenal. You are also given several mini-missions to do along the way to actually help better your ship and your gear. I definitely recommend this to any player even if you haven’t played any previous AC games.

Assassin’s Creed: Rogue –

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This one is quite a unique entry in the franchise. In this game, you actually get to experience both sides of the coin, the Assassins and the Templars. This game carries over many mechanics from Black Flag, while improving on some and introducing certain new things along the way. Unlike Black Flag however, there is not as much emphasis on ship combat, but more so on foot combat like AC III.

What really helps make this game fun is seeing Shay’s (the protagonist) journey going from Assassin to Templar. He goes from an ignorant, young, and following orders without much question Assassin to a man forced to mature due to the heavy guilt he carries on his conscience and joins the Templar side. The story in no sense is traditional to the AC formula, in fact this game’s story is very different compared to what you will have played through in the past.

One complaint I do have is that the game is on the short side. While I can see why due to story reasons, it would have been nice if the story was a little longer extending to at least 8 or 9 sequences/chapters as opposed to the 6 we get. But that is a minor complaint in the fact of excellent gameplay and story.

Rankings:

Here are my rankings for the games recommendation list on the PS3. 7 is the lowest recommendation, where as 1 is the highest.

7 – Assassin’s Creed

6 – Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood

5 – Assassin’s Creed: Revelations

4 – Assassin’s Creed II

3 – Assassin’s Creed III

2 – Assassin’s Creed: Rogue

1 – Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag

But if you want to get the full AC experience, then I say play them all and in the order of their story progression.

That’s my list, what is yours like?

If you would like to post your own order for recommendations, feel free to post them in the comments section below :).

Thanks for reading and hope you have a blast playing the games should you choose to.

Catch you all next time!

~ Mohit


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Video Game: The Suffering Ties that Bind

Hey everyone,

Today I bring another video game recommendation all the way back from when I first took a serious interest in gaming. The game is “The Suffering: Ties that Bind” by Surreal Software, and published by Midway Games.

Details:

  • Name: The Suffering: Ties that Bind
  • Genre: Action/Adventure/Psychological Horror
  • Platform(s): Windows, PS2 & Xbox
  • Year released: 2005

Game Summary (From the box): The City has it’s demons…but so do you. An inescapable enemy taunts and beckons Torque, even as he fights to rid the horror from the streets. The dark heart of the city can seem very much like a prison, if you let it.

Lead Torque on an all-new battle through the mean streets of an urban nightmare.

Customize your insanity: use good or evil rage mode to destroy your enemies.

Dozens of new monsters and a few old favorites await your wraith.

Use anything from pipes to rocket launchers to exact your revenge.

Why I recommend it: If you’re one of those first-person/third-person shooter fans who like fast paced combat with at least a mediocre story thrown into the mix, you’ll like this one.

As the box said, you can use anything from a lead pipe to a rocket launcher for combat and that is true. There is both melee combat as well as some pretty good gun play involved. The environments aren’t too bad either in the opening levels. But they can seem repetitive quite quickly later on into the game due to it’s bland colors (it is an urban city after all that is meant to be shrouded in gloom).

The enemy designs, some of which were done by the Stan Winston Studio are great. On top of that, Torque’s rage mode designs for all the affinities (good, neutral or evil) are always a treat to see in action. One of the best things about the rage mode is that every affinity carries a different set of powers. To get your status within the good or evil scale, you are usually presented with a choice to help someone (good), leave them be (neutral) or kill them (evil, even if it is by accident).

As you may imagine, the different affinities will result in different endings, and openings once you’ve achieved an ending once in the game.

One thing to note is that since this is a Midway game, they have used disc protection that makes it difficult to get running on Windows Vista or higher. XP or below is fine, but others are a no go. Your best bet in that case will be to download a digital copy. I’m unsure on this but you maybe legally able to obtain a digital copy since Midway went out of business and some of their games have been put up for legal download.

So if you like fast paced combat with a psychological horror esque story, then this maybe the next game you may want to try. Below are a few screenshots to get a quick look at the game:

Catch you all next time!

~ Mohit

Note: If you enjoy the content here and are interested in more serious discussions relating to depression and motivation, please consider checking out my other blog. Follow this link (https://lightexistenceblog.wordpress.com/) to get there.


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Manga: Doubt

Hey everyone, I come back to you all with another manga recommendation. This is for a manga that has been a rather surprising read for me from the first time I read it. The manga’s name is “Doubt”.

Details:

  • Name: Doubt
  • Author: Tonogai Yoshiki
  • Genre: Horror/Mystery/Psychological/Tragedy

Summary:There is a rather popular but somewhat secretive game being played around Japan known as “Rabbit Doubt”. All the players within the game are considered “rabbits” within a “colony”, and one randomly chosen player is considered a wolf in disguise. Every round the wold will kill a rabbit, then the group will try to gather as much evidence as they can and investigate as to who the wolf could be.

This game can be played online or sometimes some meet up in person to make things more interesting. Yuu, Mitsuki, Rei, Hajime, Eiji and Haruka are a group of players who agreed to meet up in person to execute the game. But something goes very wrong when one of them decides to take on the mantle of the wolf, and has already killed once. Now it is up to the rabbits to figure out who the wolf is while fighting for their very survival.

Why I recommend it: If you’re a fan of thriller, mystery and horror manga then you’re bound to enjoy this. And don’t let the first few chapters fool you on what this manga is about. It may seem like run of the mill slasher manga, but after a few chapters things will start to heat up. This manga seems to play quite a lot on the reader’s assumptions and pulls a twist on just when you think you’ve got the identity of the murderer.

This manga is great for anyone who loves to apply their mind to engaging mysteries and at the same time read about them. Below are a few images to let you see the manga’s art style.

Thanks for reading, hopefully this gives you something new to read!

~ Mohit


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Video Game: Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven

Hey everyone,

I’m back again with another video game recommendation for you all! This time I bring an open world mafia themed game. This was quite a popular game back when it first released and garnered several glowing praises from critics. The game I’m talking about is “Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven” by Illusion Softworks (later re-branded to 2K Czech).

Details:

  • Name: Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven
  • Genre: Action/Adventure/Open-world Sandbox
  • Platform(s): PC, PS2, Xbox
  • Year released: 2002

Game Summary: Mafia is a 3D action crime epic set in the seedy underworld of the 1930’s. Rise from the lowly but well-dressed footsoldier, to an envied and feared Made Man in an era of mob hits, car chases, and bootlegging. Earn a reputation as a tough enforcer, daring getaway driver, and deadly hitman in your quest for respect and power within the Salieri Family.

Why I recommend it: This is again a game I remember most fondly and not for graphics. I’m sure most would agree that this game has aged by today’s standards but this game has something most game nowdays don’t. It has a unique style of gameplay and a whole lot of high quality content in it. The only other game I could see beating this one would be Grand Theft Auto III or above.

The focus of the gameplay is to be more realistic, you crash your car in someone else’s car, then your health will be teared off quite a bit. Most games either don’t add such a damage feature or only take of small chunks of health. But not this game, this one is willing to go to town with you on this.

The law system is also some of the finest I’ve seen in any open world game that I’ve played. If you speed, you get a ticket. If you run a red light, you get a ticket. Run over or kill someone, you’ll be arrested. If you resist to any of the actions, then you could find yourself being hunted. Although such status can be evaded after hiding from the cops for a period of time. This law system actually encouraged me to drive within the speed limit and drive properly within a video game. That has never happened before ever.

The gun play also feels heavy, the guns have a good amount of recoil adding to the realistic feeling of firing a gun. And this is from third person! A perspective that is said to be tricky to have proper gun recoil feeling with. Yet a game made in 2002 manages to do this so very well.

The open-world though is nothing to brag about. It is a city where you don’t have much to do, you have two options within the game. One is to play the story where you don’t have opportunities to explore the open world as you’re focused on the story. Or the second from the main menu is to play free roam where you can drive around, shoot other mafia blokes and get in trouble with the law. That’s basically it for the open world aside from little things like refilling the gas on your car and what not. You do also have the opportunity to ride other types of vehicles around town (you don’t control them) to get to certain destinations quicker.

But once you immerse yourself in this great adventure, the open-world can seem interesting. The main gem of this game is the story though, a good story can make or break a game. The story here is fantastic taking you on a variety of objectives.

If you like mafia themed games set in older times (ie. 1930’s), then this game may just fill your hunger. Below are a few screenshots for the game:

Thanks for reading. Catch you all next time!

~ Mohit


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Manga: Aria

Hey everyone,

This time I thought to make a manga recommendation. As with the video game one I decided to focus this on one I hold very close to my heart and has perhaps helped teach me a great many things. If you’re an avid manga reader then most likely you will have come across the term/genre “slice of life”. If you enjoy reading manga that is purely slice of life, then you’ll definitely enjoy this one.

Details:

  • Name: Aria
  • Genre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Slice of Life
  • Brief Summary: The basic story follows Akari’s adventures on a terraformed Mars set within the city of Neo-Venezia (based on the Italian city of Venice). She goes to Mars to fulfill her dreams of becoming an Undine, those that navigate water gondolas through the streets of Neo-Venezia for many different roles. These roles can include, making deliveries, running small errands for others, but the prime role is that of a taking tourists around Neo-Venezia with an enlightening commentary about the city.

Why I recommend it: This is one of those pure slice of life stories that has a certain magic to it. Whenever I finished a chapter, I always finished it with a smile feeling that warm fuzzy feeling inside. This manga also has so many concepts and lessons in there that can be applicable to our life, this is a great manga to teach kids about certain topics. Plus the easy going nature, no violence in there what so ever, everyone just having a grand old good time appreciating what they have right now, and going on small adventures or sometimes making their own adventures makes for a fantastic read.

I would even argue that this manga can perhaps help change your life like with any good story telling. This manga has that feel to it that you would not find in the mainstream mangas that are more focused on action and telling a big story most of the time. This one is for those who want to kick back, get lost in the world this manga presents and the people within it. And trust me, if you fully engage yourself with this manga you’re bound to get lost in this world and come out happy.

I remember reading this non-stop in one sitting once. While that was a bit taxing, it was still a worthy read as every time I go back to it I learn something new from it. I give a standing ovation to the mangaka of this manga for she has done the slice of life genre justice. Mangas like these come along so rarely, but the great thing is that they will still retain their magic because they’re so rare in this day and age.

Below are a few pictures from the manga itself:

I hope this gives you something to read and that it affects you as positively as it did to me.

~ Mohit

 


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Video Game: Area 51

For my very first recommendation, I’ll be recommending a game that was and still is to some extent close to me. That game is Area 51 by Midway Studios Austin.

Details:

  • Name: Area 51
  • Genre: Sci-Fi/Action First Person Shooter
  • Platform: PC, Xbox, PS2
  • Year released: 2005

Game Summary: Area 51 is a tense FPS revolving around the titular hidden government site, Area 51. Discover the mind-blowing truth about UFO’s, Roswell, Alien Autopsies and more as you blast your way through the U.S. Government’s most secured and secure military facility: Area 51 (Summary on the box). The game also has support for multiplayer, some very imaginative weapons and content put in there that I’ve yet to see another Sci-Fi game surpass.

Why I recommend it: The game is just plain fun. It has a great single player with a good story, something that is rare in FPS games that I find nowdays in the gaming industry. There is also a challenge for those seeking it through higher difficulty levels that increase the learning curve.

The game also has some very fun weapons to use, especially the more alien type weapons that are a blast! Some of the alien designs are very unique and fun to battle. Although some do tend to borrow from previous trends.

Unfortunately the game’s multiplayer has shut down due to Midway closing its doors, but I did hear that someone managed to figure out how to play it again. If I remember correctly, it had to do with manipulating some game file(s) to add in a specific IP Address. But the game with its single player alone is plenty enough.

If you like a good Sci-Fi Action game with a story while a little cheesy, but still incredibly good fun to play through, then this is right up your alley. And the best part about this game now is that it is FREE to download on PC. You can always hunt down a physical copy if you want, but that would really make sense only for the consoles.

Keep in mind if you want to get the PC copy of this game, make sure it is digital as the physical copies come with disc protection that only wants to work on Windows XP or 2000. If you have the disc, it won’t work on Windows Vista or higher.

Below are a few screenshots to let you see the game itself:

Hopefully this gives you a game to play through that you haven’t had the opportunity to yet. Catch you all on the next post! 🙂

~ Mohit