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Good Lord

2009-11-06

Have I mentioned how awesome my wife is?  If I havent, I should, and consider this me doing so.  She treats me quite well.  Far better than I treat her, were I being honest.  Now mind you she's the type who would deny such a thing, but it's true and Joe will back me on this one.  He and I married up, you might say. 

I have two bits of info to pass along to you in my reasoning for the above and I'll start with that bad(ish) news first.  Amy took me to see Paranormal Activity the other day and we both came away feeling like we had been ripped off.  There are good bits to the flick and the beginning is one of the better documentary style films we've both seen as it comes across as quite believable and the writing is actually pretty well done.  Two parts stand out as being either creepy or "cool" for the genre giving you at least a fleeting sense that something, well, paranormal is actually happening.  What sucks is that the ending which is both abrupt, expected, and anti-climactic wipes out any of the good set up before.  If you're a fan of the genre (and, honestly, even if you're not) you should already know how things are going to play out by the time you hit the one hour mark though that in and of itself doesn't negate the picture any.  I was at least interested in seeing how they would handle the finale.  And it sucked.  A lot.  A good portion of the people in our theater were actually laughing and one dude booed when the credits rolled if that gives you any indication.  All around very forgettable and I am sorry to say that I, like most, feel for the hype train.

Now on to the good news.  Amy surprised me again with giving me the thumbs up to purchase Uncharted 2 (and not even as an early birthday present but just because she's all kinds of awesome).  And, like my wife, Uncharted 2 is absolutely all kinds of awesome.  Very rarely does a game completely draw me in to the point where I forget outside obligations, sleep, and even time but the delivery on this game is so unnaturally good that I genuinely want nothing more than to plow through it just so I can see what happens next.  The writing is fantastic, the voice acting easily the best I've seen in a game - and, as a side note: more developers need to take voice seriously in a game - the "sets" gorgeous and varied and which I love me some Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, Uncharted 2 kicks the original square in the teeth.  Speaking of: the combat is so, so, so much better this time around; no more obnoxious fire fights and shoddy hand-to-hand combat, no more missing when you really shouldn't have.  Fighting in Uncharted 2 is both cinematic and uncannily fluid and I actually look forward to it which is rare for me.  There's a strong element of strategy that is often missing from the genre which is so refreshing.  And did I mention the AI?  No?  Well, allow me to.  In most games the AI is omniscient.  Change your location?  They know where you are.  Standing far in a corner and covered in shadows?  They know where you are.  Not so in Uncharted 2.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that while stuck behind a pillar returning enemy fire, I could sneak around back while they tried to flank my original position, the AI creeping up on me as I creeped up behind them and they being none the wiser.  You can actually set traps and create distractions to get out of a pinch and I cannot tell you how very sad it is that this is so original.  Wonderfully executed. 

So yeah:  Good Lord.  Uncharted 2 is well worth the hype and needs to be played by anyone with a PS3 if anything to support Naughty Dog for creating a genuine masterpiece and work of art in near every catagory.  I have yet to touch the multiplayer but I hear that it too holds up quite well and is a really interesting experience and I look forward to getting my feet wet there soon.  Need to wrap up the game proper, first.