An Infinite amount of entertainment awaits in Columbia – Part II

 

This is a continuation from my previous post which I wrote after playing the Bioshock Infinite campaign for five hours. This particular post concludes the last with my final thoughts after successfully completing the game on the afternoon of March 29th. My original thoughts explored in the original post still reign true, and can be found at this link here (http://wp.me/p2tQ7q-6C) where I talk about the graphics, working alongside Elizabeth, the game play and the differences between the previous Bioshock titles and Infinite.

Title: Bioshock Infinite
Developer: Irrational Games
Publisher: 2K
Release Date: March 26th
Platforms: PC, PS3, XBOX360
Game Length: Between 15 and 18 hours

More Entertaining Than: Singularity

Less Entertaining Than: Half Life 2

Pros:
-outstanding graphics
-powerful weapons and abilities
-Skyhook is fun to utilise
-entertaining action sequences
-interactive characters
-powerful themes

Cons:
-Complicated storyline
-Major game play differences in
contrast to former Bioshock titles
-No multiplayer features

Rating (out of 10): 8

Bioshock Infinite is quite unlike its predecessors as I previously explored. The ability to work alongside a fellow character, Elizabeth, the young woman you are sent to the city of Columbia to extract is a gaming element that was never established in prior titles. Her ability to restock your supplies of health, salt and ammunition when you are running low is something that makes the game all the more easier, and her ability to interact with the environment is something that very few games today actually explore.

The ability to work alongside a fellow character in the game on occasion allows for emotional interactions between Elizabeth and Dewitt, which includes comforting Elizabeth when she is emotionally distraught and discussing ideas of race and religion. Of course, this seriousness is additionally in contrast with the playful banter that exists between the characters, which includes, but is not limited to, Elizabeth contemplating what it would look like for Dewitt to hop onto a merry-go-round.

Unlike in previous Bioshock titles, the emotional connection your character, Booker Dewitt, has to Elizabeth is not quite as powerfully moving throughout the game as it was with the original two. In the original Bioshock, over the course of the game you discover that your connection to the city stems from your character having been born in Rapture, and in Bioshock 2, your connection to Eleanor Lamb stems from you being her Big Daddy protector, Alpha, assigned to watch over her until death.

However, that is not to say that Bioshock Infinite is not shocking or daring in its nature. Unlike in the previous games in the franchise, Bioshock Infinite’s storyline is concerned with some incredibly powerful themes the likes of racism, war, religion and violence. You may not be moved to tears, but a part of you will inevitably bear the brunt of such an evocative storyline that dares to bring to light themes from the past that continue to haunt humanity to this very day.

In Bioshock Infinite, Elizabeth is initially a job to your character. Your goal is to acquire her, and send her back to New York to wipe away a ‘debt’ that is shrouded in fog for a majority of the storyline. It is over the course of the game that Elizabeth becomes something more than just an ordinary job, but a means to an end, and your character, Dewitt, is essentially her bodyguard and protector. Elizabeth needs Dewitt to get off Columbia. Dewitt needs Elizabeth to wipe his conscience clean.

What I didn’t explain however in the last post is Elizabeth’s special ability. It is found over the course of the title that Elizabeth is able to open up rifts (think Singularity), but, instead of these rifts being linked to one specific time and one alternate world, they are linked to many; to alternate versions of the past, present and future. Hence, this explains how a floating city in the sky could be successfully developed in the late 1890’s.

It becomes mandatory over the course of the storyline to explore some of the worlds hidden behind the rifts, and suffer the dire ramifications that come from deciding to go through one particular worm hole and into another.

Confused? Well, friend, you should be, because Bioshock Infinite’s storyline is not as clean cut as the former two games in the franchise. The previous games did not require much thought to sufficiently understand the storyline, unlike Infinite, which starts out relatively sane, and then becomes quite the opposite.

Upon initiating missions that require the use of rifts, and having to go through other rifts inside other worlds, to say that your brain will become bent out of shape at attempting to fathom what on Earth is going on will be beyond an understatement.

Safe to say there are answers to the many questions that you will no doubt generate as the game slowly descends further into what some may view as utter madness, however the answers come incredibly slowly, so patience is key in deciphering the storyline. Over time, you will come to adjust to the oddities the game presents to you. The amazing action oriented scenes are enough to satisfy you throughout the game and keep your eyes fixed on the screen and your trigger finger at the ready.

Much like in former Bioshock titles where one needed to adjust their combat styles to eliminate certain enemies, the same can be said for Infinite. There are aptly named ‘Firemen’, who blast rounds of fire at you, and are immune to the power, and thus need to be dispatched by alternate means; ‘the crow’, who is much unlike the comic book character, who uses crows not just as an attacking power, but as way to disappear, and thus the player will need to find a way to break the defences of this particular enemy and keep them from moving about the map so quickly; and there are robotic enemies that are designed to preserve the religious integrity of the city who are weak from behind.

Moreover, there are no Big Daddies in the game, but there is what is known as the Song Bird, which is a colossal winged giant that is assigned to keep Elizabeth from leaving the city of Columbia. However, again, much unlike previous games where Big Daddies played a crucial role, in Infinite, the Song Bird very rarely appears, and half the time you will probably forget he even exists at all, which is an insult to his character for he is an amazingly powerful being that deserved a far greater role that what he is provided.

Unlike in Bioshock predecessors, there is no specialised ammunition to use, so one simply has to make do with what they have. There are additionally no Power to the People stations where weapons can be upgraded, and instead upgrades need to be bought from vending machines, many of which come at exorbitant prices. The ability to hold several thousands of dollars in your wallet does make this substantially easier though, with these particular upgrades increasingly the damage, range and aim of all weapons.

The weapons however do not look quite as spectacular as they once did, with the likes of the shotgun and machinegun looking rather drab in contrast with the colourful designs that were allocated in the two previous titles. The ability, as mentioned in my last post, to carry only two weapons is considerably unsatisfying considering the player could carry every weapon in the game in former titles. This presents the player with a choice, and a very significant one. Ammunition is sometimes difficult to come by, and it is often mandatory to swap weapons over. Over time, whether you are carrying the weapon or not, Dewitt is able to store all of the ammunition he comes across, so by the time you have swapped back for a weapon you were previously using you might well be fully stocked again for your next battle.

Former weapons the likes of the spear gun have been replaced with a sniper rifle and a carbine, the grenade launcher from the original Bioshock has been replaced with an RPG, and the machinegun from Bioshock 2 has spawned several weapons, including a burst rifle and a Gatling gun of sorts.

Upgrades can additionally be purchased for your abilities, which will more often than not cost over a thousand dollars. Old favourite abilities, the likes of the fire ball and lightning are available, along with a few new ones. These include the ability to toss out an army of crows to chase your opponents around and there is a drag ability, which is used to bring your enemies closer. There’s one particular ability that I liked which allowed you to send a shockwave across the ground that would toss any organic enemy caught in its radius up into the air for a short period of time, thus removing their defences whilst they were in the air, making it easier to eliminate them.

Battles are genuinely not that difficult due to Elizabeth’s ability to keep you fully stocked, and on the few occasions when she is not around you feel it as you become overwhelmed by opponents. Previous Bioshock games had considerably difficult fight scenes, but Infinite has opted for scenarios that you will be able to efficaciously beat. They do make up for it though by having a truly difficult conclusion that will put all of your skills accumulated over the course of the game to the test.

On the rare occasion that you will die, instead of being resurrected at a Biosphere much like in Bioshock 1 and 2, you instead either; are brought back to life through adrenaline and CPR at the hands of Elizabeth, or instead come waltzing out from a rift with a good portion of your health restored. No matter how you are brought back, in addition, your enemies will have additionally being partially revived.

Moving back to the game’s complicated storyline, by the end of Bioshcok Infinite, you will have received a vast number of answers to the many questions that will have been weighing upon you, but even then that is not enough to quench your thirst for knowledge. Although you have the answers, the solution to how the answers were conceived still eludes you, and the game seems to contradict itself and only complicate things further.

Unlike in Bioshock, where at the end the game moved me to tears, and Bioshock 2, where I cried like a baby for a full forty minutes after I completed the campaign, Bioshock Infinite will probably not cause you to cry, but the revelations that are revealed are considerably shocking to behold.

Winner of 80 plus gaming awards and hailed by Time as a game worth looking out for, Bioshock Infinite has been built up considerably on all fronts, and yet, I get the intense feeling that the game itself is overrated, and that the game’s success will be unable to mirror the success of either its PR department or that of the many critics that have hailed it as a game worth playing. There have been a number of other fantastic titles that have come out over the years that have received not even half the publicity that Infinite has garnered, and yet, they were far superior to what Irrational has developed.

If Irrational continue to develop Bioshock games in the future, I only ask that they don’t cause my mind to blow up with such strenuous confusion. If 2K could develop a brilliant campaign that was easily understandable, I cannot see why Irrational are unable to do so.

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An Infinite amount of entertainment awaits in Columbia

First Impressions of Bioshock Infinite: The following post details my opinion on this particular game after having played it for approximately five hours

Developer: Irrational Games
Distributer: 2KOfficial_cover_art_for_Bioshock_Infinite
Platforms: PC, PS3, XBOX360
Release Date: 26th February

Pros:
-Exemplary storyline
-Stunningly beautiful graphics
-Upgradable abilities
-Powerful weapons
-Incredibly fun Skyhook segments

Cons:
-No multiplayer functionality
-Vastly different than predecessors

In comparison to the previous Bioshock games, many hardcore fans may be disappointed with the wealth of changes that have occurred since the second game. As a standalone title though, Bioshock Infinite is spectacular, and is well worth the wait since the release of the last game.

Unlike in the previous Bioshock games, where you, the player, were a little dissociated with your character due to never seeing your character’s face and discovering very little about their life or identity, Infinite is, well, infinitely different in that you learn more and more about the lead protagonist, Booker Dewitt, over the course of the game.

Dewitt, who has more debt than he has money to ease his burden, is recruited to extract a young mysterious woman, Elizabeth, from an unknowable city known only as Columbia, located, where else, but in the clouds. Built in 1893, and having being floating around for the past 19 years, the entire city and its founding is shrouded in complete mystery, and so are the reasons behind why your employers are so intrigued in this particular young woman.

However, it would seem that although forces outside of the city wish to have Elizabeth, so do forces from the city within, who revere Elizabeth as being their ‘lamb’, who is prophesised to lead their city when their founding father of creation, Father Zachary Hale Comstock passes away.

On that note, it is prudent to notify the gamer that the storyline behind Infinite is extraordinarily religious, with an incredibly detailed back story being generated to accommodate said religion. As with all religions, there are its heroes, and in this case that would be, you guessed it, its creator Father Comstock, and its nemesis is, well, we’ll get to that…

Upon arrival into the city, you will find yourself unable to look away from the incredibly vivid detail of every surface and each construction. There is so much going on in the world all at once and often there is a lot to take in that you will more often than not find yourself staring admirably at what Irrational Games has accomplished. Every single piece of the gorgeous artwork looks as though it is a necessary part to the storyline, and not a thing seems out of place in this fictitious world that will enthrall you to the very end.

With this writ, there are often many areas to look through, and searching around the environment is a mandate to ensure that you don’t miss out on anything. There is much to explore and even more to find, with the additional support of side quests that will cause you to deviate from your current path in order to find something that will efficaciously assist you, whether it be weaponry or other such offensive and/or defensive capabilities.

Safe to say not everything is in plain sight, so it is often prudent to stay sharp and keep all eyes open. Much like in the previous games though, you can open up cabinets and chests and look inside to discover the loot they contain.

Furthermore, like in the previous titles, much of the back story of the city can be found in the recordings, these particular one’s labeled as Voxophone’s. Although not a necessary mandate to the game’s completion, these recordings provide an invaluable amount of information on the culture and the climate of the city that you stumble into.

There is plenty of money to be found moreover, which comes in the form of Silver Eagle coins, which can be found in purses and prizes, but unfortunately often come in singular pieces scattered about the environment. You’ll be unwittingly surprised by how much money people seem to simply leave about their city. Astounding!

Adjunctively, there is health to be found about the city, which comers in both medical packs and tasty, tasty food. To better protect you, your character later discovers a shield that, much like the shield used by the Spartans in the Halo games, will automatically replenish itself during portions of the game when you are not under attack. This shield you will often find is unbelievably beneficial, and will assist you greatly.

Unlike in the previous titles where you could accumulate an assortment of health packs and hold onto them until a time was critical enough to use them, in Infinite, this is not allowed. You will either pick up an item and use it immediately, or you will simply not pick it up at all. The lack of a storage system ensures that you are kept on your toes more often and pay closer attention to your health bar, because in this game, the only way to save yourself is through finding an item rather than hitting a key and immediately becoming rejuvenated.

The same goes for salt; yes, you read that right, but this ain’t the white specks you put onto your meat for additional flavor – this is the blue stuff that powers you abilities, known in Infinite as Vigors, and as the expression goes on their advertisement, ‘a life with Vigors is a life that’s bigger.’

Vigors are the titles given to the powers that your character is able to wield (think back to the powers in previous Bioshock games, but with different names). In this game, by simply clicking the activation key, you are able to send out a quick offensive attack in the direction of your intended target, but by holding down the key, you are able to conjure a more powerful attack, resulting in a tarp that will heinously harm your attacker.

Each Vigor can be upgraded twice by accumulating such upgrades from a vending machine (bearing in mind the prices are unbelievably frightful). On top of this, your Vigors, your health and your shield can be upgraded with Infusion. These bottles that are scattered about the game can be applied to only one of the three upgradable options at a time, so it is up to you whether you become the healthiest character alive, the most well armored, or the most incredibly powerful.

On the subject of armor moreover, you are also able to equip clothing; not to say that your character runs about stark naked beforehand, not at all. You can exchange your character’s clothes for different shirts, pants, hats and boots, which each come with their own powerful attachments. These can range from defensive abilities activated upon coming under attack, to offensive strengths. Either way, the assistance these clothes will provide is incalculable.

bioshock-infinite-elizabeth-artwork

Moving on, upon arrival in Columbia, not only is the city highly religious and stunningly beautiful, but incredibly peaceful and charming to boot, making it a paradise. Columbia is a city of music, dance, joy and love; at least for a short amount of time. There’s just one little problem – earlier I mentioned that like all religions there was a bad guy, remember? Well, you see, the problem is that you, the character, are the supposed bad guy. Father Comstock predicted that you would one day come to steal their blessed lamb from their city, and upon being spotted for the suspected pariah that you are, the entire city goes from a place of zen and peace to a place of madness and horror, and you finally see the city for what it is; a body of lies, mangled with the disgusting ideologies of racism and hatred that have mirrored society below, only far more intensified. Designed for the privileged, white upper class, anyone who does not fit such a limiting constraint is not treated kindly at all.

Upon being discovered as the enemy to this zealous regime, the game turns into a sudden explosion of blood as you violently attack your oppressors, and in this moment you cannot help but be entertained as the action finally heats up.

You immediately acquire yourself a Skyhook, which is the unanimous device in the city for quick movement. You can hook yourself up to a rail line suspended above the ground and go for a ride, or you can use the magnetized device and leap from one section of metal attached to the side of a building to another as to quickly move about your environment and accomplish your objectives. Or, you could always use the device to bludgeon your opponents to death with, the melee capacity of this weapon being unfathomably astounding.

From above, when attached to a rail line or other like piece where the Skyhook is necessary, you can pounce down upon unsuspected enemies below and instantly kill them in a comical style attack that will leave you breathless.

As for your other weapons, that is one of the disappointing factors of the game. True, you acquire them at an incredibly fast pace, but since you only ever have two weapon slots, you have to choose which ones you intend to carry into combat, unlike in previous titles where you could carry all of them at once. Irrational Games also tend to provide you with a limited assortment of ammo, and you are often forced to resort to using your abilities and being quite tactical. Those who have the bull at a gate syndrome may sometimes find that the more subtle approach is often recommended in defeating large groups of bad guys out for your blood.

Another part of the game you will need to change up and rely upon are your checkpoints. Again, unlike in previous installments where you could save your progress whenever you deemed necessary, you are forced to rely upon the game to checkpoint every so often as you continue through the campaign. Although most games in general today rely upon such a saving technique, it is annoying to be denied something of such great import after having the luxury in the past.

Lastly, as previously mentioned at the beginning, the goal of making your way up to Columbia, was not only to marvel at your surroundings, but to find and extract Elizabeth.

As with all stereotypical video game heroines, Elizabeth is unbelievably gorgeous physically, however, is not just limited to standing around and looking pretty. Having been locked up for most of her life with nothing to do but read up on a wealth of knowledge, she has become alarmingly resourceful, and her intellect is borderline unrivalled. Elizabeth has the ability to pick the locks of doors, and, much like your own character, will be able to search about the environment and scavenge for supplies that she will gladly give to you. However, these environmental interactions don’t stop there, and Elizabeth will also interact with controls, look at videos, talk to the people of the city and even sit down every so often when there is a chair near her location. All in all, the realism of her character is astounding, and efficaciously assists in making the game even more powerfully realistic.

Although I mentioned that Elizabeth’s character is highly intelligent, years of being locked up inside a tower like a prisoner have also caused her to become quite ignorant of the world outside. She is alarmingly sweet and her views are incredibly innocent, heightening her evocative character’s features and causing her to be even more desirable, not just as a sumptuous looking woman, but as a human being.

On a last note, I should mention the lack of multiplayer functionality. I was never entirely rapt with the Bioshock multiplayer and only ever played the games because of their alarmingly fantastical single player experiences. However, this decision to chop out such a popular gaming aspect may well come back to bite Irrational where it hurts and they may well be doing themselves a great disservice for such a feature was available in both of the previous titles.

One may suspect that perhaps multiplayer was dropped as to focus more on the single player campaign. Time will only tell if this is true, and if so, if such a decision was well worth it.

In conclusion, although a vast number of changes have being implemented since the last game in the franchise, and although a number of these changes may initially seem difficult to come to terms with, Bioshock Infinite stands alone as an extraordinary piece of fiction worthy of any gamers’ collection.

IMAGE CREDITS:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BioShock_Infinite

http://www.entertainmentfuse.com/video-games/pc/pc-news/bioshock-infinite-trailer-certified-gold.html

The Nuts and Bolts of Gears of War Judgment

GOW-Judgment_Horiz_32x18_FINAL_rgb-300x168

Developer: Epic Games/People Can Fly
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Release Date: 18th March (US) 19th March (Everywhere Else)

Duration: approximately 6 hours

More Entertaining Than: Gears of War

256px-Gears_of_War

 

 

 

 

 

Less Entertaining Than: Gears of War 3

250px-Gears_of_War_3_box_artwork

 

 

 

 

 

Pros:
-gorgeously stunning visuals
-fanciful new equipment
-fun and challenging choice avenues

Cons:
-unbelievably short
-repetitive action oriented scenarios
-stereotypically predictable storyline

Rating (out of 10): 8

Gears of War Judgment is a brainless action shooter that will entertain you as often as it disappoints you.

I won’t lie. The first Gears of War game did nothing for me. I found the graphics to be unfathomably dull and lifeless, I felt the story lacked any substance and the action scenes put me to sleep.

The sequels though, well, they were completely the opposite. If Gears of War bored me to tears, then the following two sequels left me feeling incredibly content with their frequently thrilling action scenes, dazzling graphics and emotionally powerful storylines that pushed the franchise in a brand new and stunningly beautiful direction.

That is probably what makes Gears of War Judgment, that is a prequel to the events of the original Gears game so disappointing, for much of what made me enjoy the previous two games is entirely absent from this particular title entirely.

Judgment is proof that even though a game comes equipped with beautiful graphics, doesn’t necessarily mean it is going to enthrall you. Right from the very beginning you are able to stare in wonder at the gorgeously beautiful environments and sigh at how everything looks as stunning as an oil painting.

The game starts off at the end, with the members of Kilo squad, led by known Gears character Damon Baird, who is a Lieutenant during this particular campaign, being placed on trial for war crimes.

The trail is led by Colonel Loomis, who is the stereotypical high ranking militarian Gears leader, in that he is a complete arsehole, and is out to crucify Kilo squad because of his very own entrenched beliefs.

Over the course of the trail, each of the members of the team provide testimonies on the events which led to their capture by the COG, through which the player takes control of the characters as they narrate what transpired.

Although at first this seemed a little off putting, this is done surprisingly well, and is probably one of the most fun aspects of the game, for the player doesn’t just simply take control of one character over the course of the storyline, but all four.

‘Private, what do you see?’
‘Grubs sir, lots of ‘em!’

Throughout the game you work in a team, and never are you separated from the other members of Kilo.

After initially beginning as Baird, you are then provided the opportunity to play as Sofia Hendrick, who is without a doubt the most entertaining character in all of Kilo, and through her character, you will probably have the most fun. Voiced by the always entertaining Ali Hillis, Sofia is the stereotypically gorgeous Gears woman, with an unbelievably fabulous body and – sorry, what I mean to say is that Sofia is a by the book cadet who fights with honor and courage. She is well mannered, and not only is she the heart and soul of the group, being able to put the others in their place by notifying them when they are doing wrong, she is also the one character who expresses the most entertaining one liners.

The issue with playing as Sofia, is that her campaign is the shortest, and no doubt has something to do with what Epic games said back in February; how they personally believe that female characters in the Gears universe are basically not worth focusing on because gamers will not be interested in them. Basically, Epic made the point that women are boring. But in a game like Judgment, Epic officially contradict themselves. Sofia; the only woman in the game, is probably the most un-boring aspect of the entire campaign and thus deserved a far more influential and inspired role.

The next character you play is Paduk, who is in fact not associated with the Gears, but is their rival enemy. Initially fighting them in battle, the emergence of the Grubs has caused him to join sides with Damon and follow him into battle, for he knows that if they do not end the Locust, then there will be no more wars for any of them to fight, for everyone will be extinct. Paduk speaks in a deep Russian accent and is quite the honorable character. He stands by his beliefs and does not change for anyone, and thus is an incredibly inspiring trait to have in a character. A good friend to Damon, he is an exceptional soldier and is truly dependable for whatever situation you are going into.

Lastly, you have the opportunity to play as legendary Gears character Cole Train. In Gears of War 3, I was honored to have the privilege to play as Cole, even if the time I spent controlling his character was limited, it was incredibly fun. That is probably why it is so disappointing to see such a stellar character reduced to such a pathetically small role. Cole has the least to say throughout the game, and his usually entertaining self has been exchanged for a more subtle character. A character like Cole deserves a far larger role than that which Epic designated for him during the game, and they should damn well know it too.

If Epic does anything especially well with the characters, it is without a doubt the fact that players will be incredibly depressed as they play through the game. Male gamers will feel as though they are not muscular enough (as all of the male characters make even Vin Diesel look positively skinny) and all the women gamers will not think they are skinny enough. Basically, if you have issues with your body, avoid this game at all costs!

Furthermore, although you are able to experience the game through the eyes of different characters, the game offers nothing stunning via story. You learn very little about each character and the connections between the each of them seem to start and end with their general loathing of the Locus horde. As previously mentioned, the last two Gears games provided great emotional storylines, and yet very little is found in this game; even the banter between the characters seems to have been reduced in exchange for more action.

Epic does however manage to redeem itself here with the introduction of declassified missions. The game is separated into small sections, each of which ends with a quick cinematic. At the beginning of each section, the player is able to click on a glowing red Gears symbol on a wall that will open up and provide an additional aspect to that particular section. If the player chooses to play with this added bonus to the section, the character will testify to this during their court proceedings. This element of choice is incredibly fun, the challenges including, but not limited to; time based assaults; alternate and additional enemy units and weapons; player visibility; player healing, etc.

Although these are often incredibly short, there are so many of them throughout the game that you will more than likely have the opportunity to experience something more than once as you progress.

Not only do declassified missions provide you with additional challenges, but with more stars. During the campaign, you acquire points for killing the bad guys, and lose points every time you go down and need reviving. Each section provides you with the opportunity to earn three stars, and you are easily able to do this with the declassified mission active more often than you can without it, making it a mandatory fixture to the game if you wish to acquire as many stars as possible.

Although stars will only provide beneficial traits to those who especially enjoy the multiplayer aspect of the game, they will additionally unlock ‘Aftermath’, which is an additional game that takes place in Gears of War 3, that will provide an additional hour of game play. I will go back and talk about this later in the review.

There is never anything else to do in Gears of War Judgment except kill grubs.

Moving back to the action, that is all Gears of War Judgment is; one action scene after another, many of which seemingly become repetitive over time. There are after all only so many ways that you can kill a Locust, and since there are literally hundreds of thousands of them throughout the game, you are likely to become a little bored along the way, regardless of how entertaining killing them can be.

The environments however will provide you with some added differences to the scenery, as you fight your way through abandoned homes, desolated streets and even a Normandy Beach Head reenactment. However, after a while even the environments themselves on occasion seem to blend together and you get the distinct feeling of déjà vu.

None of the scenes are separated by vehicular assaults or anything else, and you always find yourself on foot rather than using any other tactic. Players will be happy to learn however that old favorite weapons, the likes of the scorcher, retro lancer and sawed off shotgun are featured during the game, along with a few new ones including the Booshka grenade launcher (which is nothing special I might add and does a better job at killing you than it does at killing your targets) and the Markza sniper rifle, which is incredibly fun to use, although you seem to spend more time reloading it than you do firing. Additionally, a retro version of this weapon is available than has an even smaller magazine.

A trip wire crossbow is found in the game as well, which will allow you to set traps for your enemies (I like to call this puppy the Trip Shot, but that’s just me) and gun turrets that come in many different flavors are also available which are very fun to use in the field, the player being able to openly move them whenever or wherever they are needed most.

These two pieces of equipment especially come in handy when you are required to hold off waves of enemies. On several occasions you are forced to defend an area against wave after wave after wave of enemy opponents, which is no doubt a ploy by the developer to make the game longer else it would only have gone for half the length. Enemies will more often than not keep coming from the same direction, which again makes the scenes brainless and easy to exploit to your own advantage, regardless as to how many Locusts there are or how much firepower they are wielding.

On top of this, one new enemy, the Rager, is an impeccably fun combatant to face. Although initially appearing as a skinny little thing that looks truly pathetic, after being shot a couple times the  creature goes berserk, much like the brutes in the Halo games, but to a far more alarming extent. These guys become about twice as big as they once were, become covered in heavy armor and go red in the face, chasing you around roaring at the top of their lungs, a single swipe having the power to knock you right on your arse – safe to say, these guys are as challenging to fight as they are entertaining to watch.

Epic concludes their new Gears game with a boss battle that ends as quickly as it begins.

However, the Rager does nothing to make up for the final pitifully weak boss battle. The goal of the game is to bring an end to Karn’s assault, Karn being the warlord of this particular army. Paduk speaks of how powerful Karn is; how he has swept through many cities, completely eradicating them, however, when you fight him at the end, you feel incredibly disappointed to find that Karn is very underwhelming. Basically, a stereotypical Locust bad guy on a really big bug, Karn offers nothing spectacular to the mix and the battle with him is reminiscent of something you might have played through before.

Moving back to the Aftermath game which is unlocked after earning forty stars, this particular game takes place 24 hours before the imulsion cure is implemented in Gears of War 3. During this campaign, Baird, Cole, Carmine and Paduk fight their way through a ravaged Locust occupied area to find a way to transport an excess amount of troops towards the final stage of the game.

Although this game is attached to Judgment the graphics do not look quite as refined, and are more reminiscent of Gears of war 3, which now seems a little outdated when in comparison to the graphics of today. Additionally, the areas you fight through are rather bland and don’t offer anything new environmentally speaking.

On top of this, Aftermath fails to offer any new in game concepts, and seems to repeat a number of the fun experiences that players would have gone through in previous Gears games. Much like the Lost Missions in Doom 3 BFG, Aftermath is an explanation to something that needed no storytelling, and so has the constant feeling that it is considerably pointless.

What is worth a mention however, is that even though Aftermath comes up with a couple plot narratives, it fails to build on them, and thus leaves you with more questions than answers; questions you would not have had if Epic had not decided to make this unnecessary installment.

By the conclusion of Aftermath, it proves only one thing; Epic appears to be running short on ideas for the Gears of War franchise. Although there is plenty of action to go around, gamers in general are an incredibly mature bunch, and after experiencing many games with in-depth storylines would be after something a lot more dazzling than what Epic is providing them with this incredibly short addition to an unbelievably popular franchise. At times Judgment feels as though it was developed purely to make Epic a couple extra bucks, and to remind gamers that they are still alive. If they continue to make games like this though, I must question; for how much longer?

IMAGE REFERENCES:

http://epicgames.com/community/2012/11/gears-of-war-judgment-available-for-pre-order/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gears_of_War_3

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gears_of_War

Say Goodbye to the crew of the Normandy SR-2 in the final Mass Effect 3 DLC – Citadel!

 

DLC Title: Citadel (Parts 1 & 2)
Developer: Bioware
Cost: 1200 Microsoft Credits
Size: 4GB
Length: approximately 4 hours and 30 minutes

Pros:
-incredibly entertaining
-hilarious banter and one liners
-terrific boss encounter
-challenging opponents
-many great twists and turns
-the return of all fabulous Mass Effect characters
-Wrex is back! YAY!

Cons:
-stealth scenarios give you the heeby jeeby’s
-little health and ammunition during fight scenes

Rating: (out of ten) 9

Blogger’s Note – Over the course of this review, I will often refer to Commander Shepard as a ‘she’ because I more often than not play through the Mass Effect campaigns as a female protagonist.

What are the best Mass Effect DLC’s you can think of off the top of your head? Lair of the Shadow Broker? Stolen Memory? Well, almost certainly, Citadel will soon join those ranks as well.

If Citadel is anything, it is a reminder to all the fans of the franchise of what made Mass Effect so amazing. Perfectly orchestrated and well designed, Citadel is a story of team work and love, but most importantly, it is about the strength of friendship, and what separates Shepard from the many opponents that she faces.

‘Few people know what Shepard’s been through – I’d like to think I’ve come pretty close’
-Admiral David Anderson

Mass Effect often focuses on the battles that Shepard and her team members are forced to face and the strength of the loyalty that combines them and makes their team so efficient. Often this is shown through some rather morose and dire scenes of battle, so it is a welcome relief to see the honorable members of the crew being who they are in a more playful, enjoyable environment.

Citadel begins with a message from Admiral Hackett to your e-mail, requesting you to bring the Normandy into port on the Citadel so the old girl can be looked after by some mechanics as to ensure she is operating at proficient levels. The second and more prominent reason for this invitation though is for some active shore leave, so that all the crew can officially recharge their batteries before the final showdown.

Upon arrival, Anderson welcomes Shepard to his humble abode on the giant space station via extranet link, notifying her that his place is now hers for the taking. Immediately you have the option to explore your new residence, and can delve into the history that is Anderson’s past by listening to the many recordings scattered around his now former residence.

gorgeously atmospheric

gorgeously atmospheric

 

in-door gardens, fire-places, water features and plenty of places to explore make Shepard's new residence one helluva place to visit!

in-door gardens, fire-places, water features and plenty of places to explore make Shepard’s new residence one helluva place to visit!

 

...and yes, I play as Fem Shepard...

…and yes, I play as Fem Shepard…

You could very easy look over the three bedrooms, many bathrooms and other amazing features that the apartment comes equipped with over and over again, but eventually you will need to reply to your new message from Joker, who invites Shepard down to a revered Sushi restaurant to discuss some important news with her.

As soon as you arrive at the Silver Sun Strip, you'll never want to leave

As soon as you arrive at the Silver Sun Strip, you’ll never want to leave

Making your way through some of the Citadel’s more attractive locations is incredibly fun, with the graphically stunning environments, realistic sounds and fun conversations to listen in on easily bringing this beautiful location to life.

'the best restaurant on the Citadel' is what they call this place - and everybody blames you when it gets attacked

‘the best restaurant on the Citadel’ is what they call this place – and everybody blames you when it gets attacked

‘Only had to save the universe twice to get a table’ announces Joker upon your arrival to such a luxurious restaurant. This line however is only one of several that are quite humorous, for unlike much of the Mass Effect titles, the writers of Citadel were apparently not without a sense of humour. ‘What do we know about these mercs?’ asks Liara over the comm. when the shit hits the fan, and Shepard’s reply is ‘they have guns and they don’t like me’, and after incidentally setting off a security system, Garus questions ‘was that an alarm?’, to which Shepard replies ‘thought I’d make things a little more interesting’, and again when antagonising the leader of the mercenary band, Shepard threatens ‘the last guy who trash talked me was a few kilometers taller than you.’

After Joker’s one liner, it is then that he asks ‘what did you want to talk to me about?’ Apparently, he was NOT the one who sent you the e-mail, and one it seems was sent from you to him. Someone has hacked your account, and has forced you to this location for a reason, which Mira Brooks, an Alliance employee who spends her days sitting behind a desk quickly rushes over to tell you.

Mira Brooks is not the stereotypical heroine, and so it is quite humorous to watch someone who obviously does not belong in an action oriented environment attempt to not only fraternise with arse kicking legends, but attempt to navigate through such hostile environments. She is an incredibly awkward young woman, and often says something totally un-heroic, the likes of ‘might throw up a little bit now if that’s okay with everyone?’

Brrooks contemplates on whether everyone's opinion of her will suddenly drop if she runs for her life

Brooks contemplates on whether everyone’s opinion of her will suddenly drop if she runs for her life

Long story short, Brooks rushes over to explain ‘someone is trying to kill you’, and funnily enough, this time it ain’t Cerberus, nor is it the Reapers. This is a brand new enemy who has an unbelievably large, and well armed mercenary band who are well prepared to inflict maximum casualties to ensure the successful promulgation of their endeavors.

As soon as Brooks enters the Sushi restaurant however, everything goes horribly wrong when that same enemy mentioned in the above paragraph? Well, they happen to stroll in as well, and after shooting up the place, Shepard finds herself blasting out through the glass floor, through an aquarium filled with fish and onto a docking level below.

The graphics during this scene, with the pieces of broken glass and the droplets of water coating the commander’s hair is terrifically effective, and immediately helps to pave the way for the other scenes that will, as always, capture your attention with the vivid imagery.

‘That pain you feel – that’s me kicking your ass!’
-Commander Shepard

It is now that the fighting officially begins, however, the initial battle sequences are not quite as enjoyable as what players would have participated in during previous downloadable games. Armed with only a silenced pistol (which is considerably effective actually), no health packs and very little ammunition, you are forced to covertly make your way through a docking structure teeming with opponents in the hopes of eventually locating your team members who are contacting you over the comms and notifying you of their willingness to help eradicate the new found threat.

These few areas where stealth is a necessary component to the fighting (else you will alert a mass of bad guys to your location (they don’t call it MASS Effect for nothing!)) are very much unlike what you would have previously experienced in other Mass Effect missions, where they are predominantly action oriented. In my opinion, the stealth sequences temporarily reduce the sheer amount of fun that the player could have enjoyed from the mission, and is a very peculiar addition to the storyline. It would be like going to a strip club, only to watch the women put their clothes on – very peculiar indeed.

Eventually though you are lucky enough to meet up with the stunningly gorgeous Liara and the always entertaining Wrex (who is bored of general Council business for which he was brought onto the station to consult upon), whose opening scene is so mesmerizing you will want to play the mission all over again just to witness this moment once more!

Liara proves how effective her communication skills are - and later, Wrex gives you a weapon that you will never want to part with!

Liara proves how effective her communication skills are – and later, Wrex gives you a weapon that you will never want to part with!

From now on the experience is more often  than not filled with explosions, gun battles and tactical supremacy, and in-between the action you find yourself talking with your team at your apartment in regards to what must be done next.

Shepard and her partner in crime Garus at the 'cool secret hideout' discuss how they hope 'the bad guys don't look through a window' and discover them.

Shepard and her partner in crime Garus at the ‘cool secret hideout’ discuss how they hope ‘the bad guys don’t look through a window’ and discover them.

One great aspect of this particular mission is the challenging opponents. Much like in Omega, which introduced a number of powerful new villains, Citadel packs a whopping punch with the artillery that they dare to throw at you. Known only as CAT 6, who are former members of the Alliance militarian division who have been dishonorably discharged for one reason or another, each member of the team is well protected by shields. The Heavy is especially well armored with a shield that makes that which some of the Cerberus units carry around with them appear like nothing more than flimsy pieces of tissue paper. These particular shields are immune even to Disrupter ammo, and so attempting to take these guys out becomes quite a hefty challenge, especially when they come at you in packs.

If that is not enough, these guys don’t just throw grenades when from afar – no, they throw several at once, which makes avoiding them all the more difficult for they are able to spread their explosive ordinance out.

On top of this, another new opponent is the Disruption Drone, which is a little holographic guy who flies around anonymously, before chasing after you, its goal being to get close enough before it discharges a massive EMP bomb which neutralises your shields.

new and old friends unite to bring an alternate flavor to the fight!

new and old friends unite to bring an alternate flavor to the fight!

 

Forget about following the yellow brick road - follow the little blue cord. During the second stage of the mission, you crash a party in order to discover who your opponent is. To do this, you must covertly infiltrate through the massive building whilst avoiding the many security parameters. Fun times!

Forget about following the yellow brick road – follow the little blue cord. During the second stage of the mission, you crash a party in order to discover who your opponent is. To do this, you must covertly infiltrate through a massive building whilst avoiding the many security parameters. Fun times!

Moreover, unlike the other missions that you have previously experienced, in this particular DLC, everyone is involved, and by everyone, I mean EVERYONE! True, you still run about with two team members to carry you all the way through the mission, however, the rest of your team split up into two – Hammerhead and Mako, and make their way through the facility along with you, providing advantageous fire support.

‘That’s why I love hanging out with you guys. Why shoot something once, when you can shoot it forty six more times?’
-Urdnot Wrex

whilst fighting through the Citadel, you can discover video logs on the history of the universe and battles long forgotten...

whilst fighting through the Citadel, you can discover video logs on the history of the universe and battles long forgotten…

 

...and learn about more coverups at the hands of the Council in regards to the Reapers

…and learn about more coverups at the hands of the Council in regards to the Reapers

After the mission is complete, and the final boss, who is an unfathomably challenging and very entertaining opponent has been eliminated (and you will never guess where this final, breathtaking scene takes place!), the DLC is not yet over, for celebrations are to be enjoyed. Joker has already begun sending out invitations to members of the crew, and you are able to continue doing this – you can invite some, or, like me, invite every single team member who is able to attend.

With shore leave having been interrupted, now is the time for you and your team to officially have some time off from the strenuous fighting that continuously occurs. Before the party happens, you are able to run around the Silver Sun Strip, which is a beautifully elegant and fun loving location on the Citadel. You can play games at the arcade, gamble at the casino and fight in the areans at the Armax Arcade, and can even do so alongside fellow team members who later become unlocked as you continue through the scenarios that may remind notorious gamers of the Firefight mode in the Halo games.

In the Armax arenas you can choose what opponents you fight against, the enemy classes that will spawn in the map, the possible bonus points, and much more!

In the Armax arenas you can choose what opponents you fight against, the enemy classes that will spawn in the map, the possible bonus points, and much more!

Additionally, you will receive messages from the crew, each of whom wishes to spend some time with you. These segments are unfathomably pleasurable, and include meeting Blasto the Jellyfish whilst on the set for the eighth feature film in the franchise with a morose Javik; helping Garus flirt with a foxy Turain woman at the local bar; meeting Jack’s new pet; and hearing about the adventures that Grunt and his Krogan pals have been up to on the Citadel – all of which has left C-Sec in a very bad mood.

Rarely does Miranda venture out in Mass Effect 3. But she finds the time during the mission to tell you how disappointed she is that you destroyed her favorite Sushi restaurant.

Rarely does Miranda venture out in Mass Effect 3. But she finds the time during the mission to tell you how disappointed she is that you destroyed her favorite Sushi restaurant.

 

Garus discovers he ain't quite the ladies man he once thought he was

Garus discovers he ain’t quite the ladies man he once thought he was

All of this is both hilariously funny and very moving as you experience time off with each of your friends on board the Normandy, before proceeding to buy the necessities for your soiree. Again, this is especially entertaining, for during the event you are able to move from one group to another as they discuss what has happened and their general thoughts, opinions and feelings. The conversations are very fun to take part in, and so too are much of the other occurrences that later transpire, with the adorably cute kleptomaniac Kasumi appearing every so often to either say or do something incredibly fun to watch. Furthermore, you are able to consult Glyph, the resident host, and either tone down the festivities, or, if you are anything like me, tone them up, until many of your crew become highly intoxicated on booze and begin to go about doing some pretty outlandishly hilarious things. Moreover, with two Krogan running about your apartment, you have to wonder if your residence will even be in one piece after the night’s festivities have ended.

The party has only just started. But, just you wait. In a few scenes time, many will have armed themselves with guns in a drunken stupor to see who is superior, biotics will be levitating their friends, and EDI will question what Operative Traynor meant when she said she found her voice so attractive and wanted to, what? She wanted to do what to her? Wow! Hot Stuff!

The party has only just started. But, just you wait. In a few scenes time, many will have armed themselves with guns in a drunken stupor to see who is superior, biotics will be levitating their friends, and EDI will question what Operative Traynor meant when she said she found her voice so attractive and wanted to, what? She wanted to do what to her? Wow! Hot Stuff!

 

Don't look now, but everyone is about to side with Estevez...and ask Joker to participate in a shooting competition - whilst drunk out of his mind!

Don’t look now, but everyone is about to side with Estevez…and ask Joker to participate in a shooting competition!

However, much like the franchise itself, the fun eventually comes to an end, even if you do not wish it to. Whatever the case, it has been a fabulous 7 years of Mass Effect, and if this particular DLC does anything, it proves that there is still a lot of life left in the series, and although it is doubtful we will ever see these amazing characters again in future Mass Effect games, Citadel allows us to say goodbye to some of the most memorable characters ever conceived in video game history.

A terrific end to a terrific franchise? Certainly, that is what Citadel is, and on that note, I officially change my ‘9’ in my overall rating of the DLC, to a ‘10’, for Citadel is much like the entirety of the Mass Effect series; undoubtedly fabulous.

Follow the yellow brick road? What on Earth are you talking about?

Hey peeps!

It’s really late, so I if seem somewhat deranged (I usually do anyway) just blame it on the fact that my body is crying out for some z’s.

See this guy?

Photo-0032

Well, that’s me on a better day. Now, I am not only showing this picture so all you single ladies out there can try and contact this singularly handsome bachelor (BARF!).

I am also showing this image to prove that I am (somewhat) human, as are my motives in running this little blog of mine. Now, I believe in the general notion that if you follow someone’s page, then they may very well follow you back. Some people may however wonder why my blog is contradicting the words I am expressing in this post.

In my ‘about’ section I discuss how I have two blogs; this one, and my Totalovrdose account, whose link can be found in the ‘About’ section. My end point? I hope I don’t come off sounding like a right ass, but I don’t follow a person, when I happen to be already following them on my other blog. I do not see the point in being notified twice about a new person’s post on both pages when one will equally suffice, no matter how awesome they are or how amazing their post might be. So, if Naughty Nefarious ain’t following your blog, Totalovrdose might very well be, and if Naughty Nefarious does not ‘like’ your posts then perhaps Totalovrdose will. It will ultimately depend on which profile I am using when I happen to ‘like’ a post one has promulgated or ‘follow’ a new blog that I discover during my journeys online.

I just don’t want to come off like an arsehole. You ladies and gentleman who have graced me with your ‘follows’, ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ come up with some truly amazing pieces and I would just like to make clear that I probably am following you to some extent, whether or not you have come to realise it. In the past on different social media sites, I have been accused of not following a person’s account when they were following my own, which ultimately caused them to quit following mine. If however I am not following you, and what I have stipulated here ain’t at all accurate, then please, by all means, you may label me an ‘arsehole’, but not before.

Additionally, I may not be following you on either account cuz I am yet to discover you…I’m a lot like the Melbourne train service – very slow, but I’ll get there eventually.

Now, if you excuse me, it’s late and I need rest.

Naughty Nefarious, signing off

I hope I am not graded on these 11 questions…

 

I was recently tagged by the beautiful blogger PM (http://prinsesamusang.wordpress.com/) to answer some questions of hers, and so, without further ado, here are my responses!

1. You have to give up one part of your body: brain or heart? Pick in the context of the debate mind vs. heart or right vs. kind in making decisions.

WHAT? What kind of question is this? You don’t ask a soporific romantic a question the likes of this one! No! No! I would love to say ‘I refuse to answer on the grounds that this is unjustly wrong!’; I would love to, but I know how you want your answer PM!

Okay, let’s think about this for a second; by giving up the heart, hypothetically, you are suggesting that I will not be allowed to love, ever again; I will not be able to experience love; feel love or respond to such an emotion if anyone was (un)lucky enough to fall in love with me. However, on the plus side, I’d be incredibly intelligent as I would be empowered with the mind. Decisions would come unbelievably easily to me as no longer would I be concerned with the emotional ramifications of any potential choice. I would therefore be an intellectual, albeit, emotionless zealot.

On the other hand, if I give up the brain, I’d be rendered an insufferable idiot, incapable of articulating even the simplest of decisions. However, I would be empowered with the power of love and would be able to successfully feel such an emotion without the bounds of intellect. I could fall in love extremely easily – which would be as much of a curse as it would be a potential gift. The brain after all helps one make decisions in regards to romantic endeavours and indeed on occasion assists the individual in not making a total fool of themselves.

Okay, moment of truth; what’ll it be? Brian, heart? Brain, heart? Brain, heart? Brain, heart? Brain, heart? Brain, heart? Brian, heart? Brain, heart? Brain, heart? Brain, heart?

Okay, here’s a twist – I’ll go with the brain. Goodbye heart!

I’ll be an emotionless zealot, yes, but I will never again feel the agonising pain of heartbreak. On occasion, romance is overrated. Relationships fail; lovers leave; the brain is always there, and therefore is the one muscle that can always be relied upon (unless you’re attempting to complete an exam – then it apparently shuts down).

So, there you have it PM, your answer to question no. 1! I did not enjoy answering that particular question, so, just for that reason, and although this may seem immature and vulgar, please imagine me sticking my tongue out at you right now. (For the record, my tongue is long and forked).

2. Fictional characters are great! Would you rather be the hero or the villain in the greatest story ever told?

The villain, absolutely, hands down! If the option was available though, I would choose the anti-hero over the villain.

Heroes often fail and are forgotten to time; villains are forever.

3. Smart and ugly or gorgeous and dumb?

Some people already think I’m smart and ugly, so I’ll just go with that option. Besides, I would never wish to sacrifice intellect for something as cheesy as some moderately good looks. Besides, good looks are overrated. True, a good lookin’ person is easy on the eyes and never will one become bored of looking at them, but without the intelligence or personality to back up the physically perfect form, where is the reason to stay together?

4. Yes or No: becoming a parent and having kids.

I don’t know if I am mature enough to answer this question for you PM. I’m only 23 after all, and although some people do have children when they are in their teens, I have not thought much on the subject of children. As a woman PM, I believe you would have thought more about children than I, as women are after all the members of the human species who give birth to the future populations.
For the moment I will say no. I do not have time for children or a family. However, as I mature, acquire additional economic sustenance and become older, I may very well change my answer. Watch this space PM; watch this space.

5. Yes or No: divorce.

Apologies PM; I do not understand the question. Are you asking ‘do I believe divorce to be an acceptable aspect of society?’ or are you asking ‘would you consider divorce if you were in an unhealthy marriage?’ Just in case, I will answer both of these questions.

Yes, I believe that if two people are in an unhealthy marriage, they should split. Besides, divorce is so common these days that I personally believe many people have simply become indoctrinated into believing divorce to be socially acceptable, even though there was a time when nobody (in the western world that is) would consider what was thought to be a heinous occurrence.

Yes, I would divorce someone that I was unhappily married to. There is a stigma to this response though; unlike most people I have happened to bump into over the last few years, I don’t believe in one night stands; I believe in relationships.
In my opinion, if you choose to be with someone; if you fall madly in love with them; then you cannot have eyes for anyone else. When I fall in love with someone, this has always been the case with me – I have not had eyes for any other woman whilst there was a certain young lady in my life. Basically, if I was to marry someone, my intention would be to stay married to them until I officially ended up on my back, with my arms and legs in the air. So, unless the woman I married turned out to be a wraith or something – I can’t imagine why I would consider divorcing them.

6. You are about to do the one best thing that you have always wanted to do ever. What stops you from taking the plunge: your personal fear of failing or your fear of judgment from others?

PM, this question is irrelevant. If I was about to accomplish the one best thing that I had always wanted to do, there is not one thing in the universe that could stop me from succeeding.

Okay, hypothetically; just say my goal was to…fly to the Philippines, find out where you lived and say, to your face ‘PM, I did not like some of your questions.’ Then, upon completion of said goal, fly back home to Australia. I know, sounds kind of dumb, but, bear with me. My point, is that if this was my major goal, there is nothing that could stop me from accomplishing it.

However, if I was to do something a little less important than ‘the best thing that you have always wanted to do ever’, my personal fear of failing would be why I would not accomplish that particular task.

7. For one day, you get to spend the day with this famous person. Will you pick your favourite athlete, your favourite musician, your favourite author or your favourite actor?

Favourite actress actually darling, favourite actress. Never know; she might fall madly in love with me and later still we may end up married. Ah, a man can dream can he not; can a man not dream?

8. Yes or No: watching cartoons until your ridiculous old age now. (Admit it )

I can say, with absolute certainty – no. Not 24/7 at least, but in moderation, why the hell not, eh?

9. The unfortunate has struck: your lover is dying. You are faced with this option: donate your vital organ to save him or her and die yourself while he or she lives without you or let your lover die without doing anything?

PM, if the woman I loved most was dying, there is not a single thing I would not sacrifice to get her back, even if that means forfeiting my own life.

However, I find the notion that my lover will, in perhaps three years time be married to another man with children to be a little disconcerting. This may not be the scenario that you concocted in your question, but it is indeed the scenario that will come to fruition.

Now, I realise I have been quite serious throughout this particular question thus far, however, I am now going to be contradictory and become a little obscene and vulgar; your vital organ may be your heart PM, but mine is not. I will give you three guesses as to what mine is, but you will only need one. If my lover was dying, why would she need my particular vital organ, when women do not have that particular appendage?

10. Yes or No: death penalty.

Do I believe in the death penalty? Do I believe it is an adequate punishment? Yes; yes I do. In Australia, the death penalty was cancelled in I do believe 1967? (Don’t quote me on this). The crime of the last man executed in Australia (he was hung) was as follows; he orchestrated a prison break out, and during this, a guard was shot and killed. Now, according to many sources, the executed man was not the man who shot the guard; however, because he instigated the break out, he was blamed because if he had not broken out with some other prisoners, then the guard would never have been killed. It was theorised that some believed at the time the execution was unnecessary, and so it was disbanded because such a punishment was rarely used, even then.

However, in Australia today it seems very much as though crime is unchecked. I mean, just looking at the paper today I can list several heinous crimes right off the first couple pages;
-a teenage girl, gang raped after leaving party
-man shot dead in CBD
-armoured truck attacked by gunman
-stabbing death in suburbs
-pregnant woman killed in hit and run
-young man assaulted in bar fight

My point is this; many people who deserved to live are killed; many people who deserve to live a good life are forced to endure a horrific one; and many people who deserve to die live to cause more death and destruction. The punishment fits the crime in my book, and if there was a referendum tomorrow in regards to the death penalty, I would vote for it to be reinstated; if not for the reason that some deserve to die, then for the reason to keep our streets safer.

11. At a huge crossroad in your life, a decision has to be made which will alter the course of your freaking life. What do you do? Do you take the ridiculous way or the safe way to go about it?

‘Your freaking life’? Quite a phrase PM, quite a phrase indeed.

Can you define ridiculous? What, do I rip off my clothes and run up and down the street screaming insanities before finding myself with a one way ticket to the local funny farm?

Seriously PM, I will probably take the safe approach. If this decision is going to affect the course of my existence, then I would rather not jeopardise my future by doing anything, as you said, ridiculous.

 

Well, there you have it PM! I do not know if these were what you were after, but they are my questions just the same.

Thanks for the questions PM, although I cannot wait to get you back with some questions of my own! HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA!

Acquiring yet another blogger award, Derek learns his ABC’s whilst listening to ‘Poison Arrow’ and ‘Look of Love’

sylverblaque-abc-award3

 

That’s right folks, another award was just sent my way! This is the first time I have been nominated for the ABC award, and much thanks and appreciation goes out to Elaine of ‘Our Consciousness’ (http://ourconsciousness.wordpress.com/) for this nomination.

I always enjoy award nominations and memes; maybe not so much this time, as the ABC award appears to be as much of a curse as it is a gift. As with all awards on WordPress, there are rules, and the ABC award is no exception, having only one attachment; presume everyone knows their alphabet? Well, long story short, for every letter of the alphabet, one needs to write down a word which relates back to them and their life, and give a brief reason as to why.

So, why is this a curse I hear you ask? Well, after you stare blankly at your screen for a few hours, attempting to wonder what words you could possibly use, I think you will begin to slowly understand.

Anyway, on with the award! Here are my responses!

Autumn: the month I like the most. Not too hot, but at the same time not too cold. I used to say ‘Spring’, but last year my hay fever became so bad that one day when I happened to sneeze, my head fell off and started to roll down a really steep hill. Took me weeks to hunt the little bastard down before placing it safely back atop of my neck.
Aayla Secura: the woman of my dreams. Unfortunately she died a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

Bioware: the designers of my favorite video game Mass Effect, which spawned two amazing sequels. These campaigns were absolutely fantastic!

Castle: my favorite television show on TV at the moment.

Danger: My middle name. Not really.
Daughtry: One of my favorite bands formed in the past ten years.

Early: I always enjoy being, as the word suggests, early! I have never, not once in my life being late for any job, appointment or class.

F***: my single most beloved profanity of all time. I am not going to write it down because I am attempting to keep this post ‘PG’. For anyone under the age of 12 who happens to read this post, the word in question is ‘Fudge’. Honest!
FCUK: This is in no relation to the above word. I know, I have two ‘F’ words, and that may be considered against the rules. Also, I can spell my favorite profanity – this is French Connection UK; they make some of my favorite eau de toilette’s.

Geography: The one thing I will never properly master. If you are ever lost, here’s some advice for you – never consult me for directions! I once became lost in my own home whilst making my way from my front door to my bedroom.

Halo: the video game series which contains my favorite multiplayer modes and maps of any other franchise.

Icehouse: Quite possibly my favorite Australian band. Crazy, electric blue, great southern land, Jimmy Dean, man of colours, amongst many others are some of their top songs, found on their eighties albums Primitive Man and Man of Colours.

Jason: my middle name. This time I am not fooling around either. ‘Derek Jason Childs’ I hear you say. Not quite. If you survive to read more of this post, you may find there is something else happening with my name.

Keeping Fit (and staying in shape): I often work out and frequently do exercise. I am so incredibly muscular (not really) and in pretty good shape (perhaps). I am in such good shape, I once lifted a car right over my head. If you look really closely at the photographic evidence, you might just spot the word ‘Hot Wheels’ beneath the vehicle.

‘Losing my mind’: the title of one of Daughtry’s singles on their 2011 album ‘Break the Spell.’ Of all the songs on this album, this is one of the few that I was able to relate the most towards.

Masters: this year I am beginning my Masters course at university. Does not necessarily mean I will grow up to become the master. After watching those Doctor Who episodes with Jon Pertwee in which the Master was always thwarted, I don’t exactly know if I’d ever want to be one.

Nicholas: my official first name. ‘Derek’ is a pseudonym that I use for online purposes; a bit like Clark Kent and Superman, except I wear my underpants beneath my pants, not the other way around.

One: the last time I saw this number, it was the result on my IQ test. (Only kidding) Or am I?
Oakey Doakey:
an expression I use a little too often. It just pops out whenever I am acknowledging something. Quite annoying actually.
October: yes, another ‘O’! This is my birthday month, so it is a must for this list. If you do not like it, please, take it up with the administrator. Actually don’t, pretty please!

Petit Miams: When I was younger (between 2 and 5) I used to eat these small yoghurt canisters all the time. Might be why I have bones of steel.
Promulgate: yes, another ‘P’ word. Promulgate is one of my favorite words. I often insert it into pieces whenever I can. Yes, I know, I have broken the rules, again! However, I don’t go by the username ‘Naughty Nefarious’ because I am nice and sweet – I do so because I’m a regular bad boy, and so, I do very bad things; I swear (a lot), I never clean my room, and I refuse to eat my broccoli.

Quiz: the scariest word in the English language. I hate quizzes and I absolutely loath tests.

Reading: something I used to do quite regularly, but not so much anymore, which is ironic because I’m an editor. However, since I’m resuming study at university in just a few hours, it will be my mandate once more to read, whether I want to or not.

Sleep: the one thing I never seem to get enough of. Managed to grab about three hours of it last night – new all time high score.
Sesquipedalian: I know, I broke the rules (again) but you see, I had to. Most definitely! This word here, perfectly describes me.

Technology: my mortal adversary. John Connor is so yesterday. In the future, I will lead the heroic Tech-comm. resistance to victory against the villainous Skynet. MARK MY WORDS!

University: The educational institution I am currently attending as to better my occupational qualifications.

Video Games: My greatest hobby in all the universe. Often I need to be physically dragged away from a gaming console as to ensure that any work is done and that my priorities are kept in check.

Women: the great mystery of the universe, whom I shall never understand.

Xbox: the game console that in my opinion blows all of its competition away.

You: my audience, that read the whacky words of this blog. Without you guys, I would not be blogging today. Well, I would be, but nobody would be paying attention. So please, give yourselves a clap on the back, because I cannot do so. Well, I could, but that would be stalkerish and wrong.

Zen and Peace: Two things I have been denied for the majority of my life.

Here are my nominations for the award:

All World Issues
http://allworldissues.com/

Cerulean Skies
http://nelsville.wordpress.com/

Impressions of a Princess
http://gongjumonica.wordpress.com/

Reviews and Rants
http://mandarox.wordpress.com/

Zen
http://zenscribbles.wordpress.com/

Okay! Thank you again to Elaine for the award!

Cheers! Have a great day!