Category Archives: Free Time

All kind of things I do in my free time

End of the Road

A word of warning: this post contains spoilers about the video game Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. If you are currently playing this game or intend to play it in the future you might not want to read the rest of this post.

Last weekend I finally finished the single player campaign of Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. I had started playing this game over 7 month ago. But the releases of Borderlands 2Mass Effect 3: Retaliation and Mass Effect kept me occupied in the meantime. It also didn’t help that Revelations is not as good as the two previous games from the same series. The game unfortunately lacks novel content and a good story. And I guess I was also pessimistic about what might expect me at the end of the game.

As Assassin’s Creed:Revelations is the last game that features Ezio Auditore as the main protagonist I was worried that he would have to die. And I wasn’t keen on another depressing end for one of my favourite video game characters. But ultimately I was positively surprised when Ezio is not only allowed to retire after 30 years of fighting for the freedom of mankind but he also finds love. So I got a proper happy ending, which was just what I needed to make the farewell easier.

Game of the Month: Mass Effect

The first part of the Mass Effect Trilogy was originally only published for Microsoft’s Xbox 360. Five years later it is finally available on the PlayStation 3 as well. BioWare even released a patch for Mass Effect 2 that allows to import games from Mass Effect.

Mass Effect tells the beginning of the adventures of Commander Shepard, her appointment as a Spectre and her first encounter with the Reapers. Like its successors the game features story telling, well written characters and dialogs at the highest level. The game play looks very similar too the second part at a quick glance: a third person shooter with elements of a role-playing game. But after playing the game for a while you realise that the RPG elements are much more predominant than in the later games. You e.g. have to manage a massive inventory of equipment that you gain by combat or by looting all kinds of containers (crates, lockers, etc.). Developing the powers of your main character is more important in this part of the series because abilities like charming other persons or opening objects are not a given. If Commander Shepard lacks any of these skills you will have to pick your squad mates accordingly.

The gripping story makes Mass Effect a lot of fun to play. There are however a few annoyances effecting the game play. The mini game for opening containers is a stupid reflex test which I failed far too often. Power classes can by default only use pistols which makes combat unnecessarily difficult. You can work around this if you actually find out how. At that point you probably have to start a new play through from scratch. Your character’s bonus power can only be assigned when you create a character. You can also, just like the points assigned to powers, never change it. Kudos to BioWare who fixed all these problems in Mass Effect 2.

If you haven’t played any of the Mass Effect games I would highly recommend to play the whole trilogy. You will embark on a video game adventure like no other. If you have played Mass Effect 2 or 3 because you like role-play games and good stories you will like the first part as well. If you however mostly like shooters Mass Effect might not be your cup of tea. I personally enjoyed it a lot, in particular the awesome ending.

Movie of the Week: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Silke and I are big fans of Peter Jackson‘s The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. We have watched all the movies in the cinema and several times on DVD or Blu-Ray. When we heard that Peter Jackson is also making a movie based on the The Hobbit, the prequel to the original The Lord of the Rings books, we were of course looking forward to seeing it. Like most people we were surprised that in the end Peter Jackson didn’t make one but three movies.

Last week Silke and I finally went to see the first part The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. It had all the things that made The Lord of the Rings trilogy really enjoyable: an decent adaption of the story, well written and played characters, views of fantastic landscapes, a lot of action and last but not least excellent special effects. The decision to turn the book into three movies seems to work out alright. The film doesn’t feel incomplete like the original cinema cuts of the first three movies. It sometimes is almost a bit lengthy but usually picks up the pace quickly again.

I really enjoyed The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and am definitely looking forward to the next two movies. I only wish they would get released sooner.