Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The BANE of my AC2 Update

Hyuk hyuk hyuk... Ok, so I was busy seeing Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises for the second time instead of finishing my AC2 update, and then I was busy getting into arguments on the internet about one of the character's therein. Namely, Bane, played by one Tom Hardy. I think the Bane character is quite a bit more complicated than the average comic book villain, especially as he is portrayed in the so called "Nolanverse" and as such, warrants closer examination.

What follows can assuredly be designated as spoilers for all 3 Batman movies. The whole things. So yeah. 

Also, these aren't necessarily the most polished theories, just something I couldn't not write about when the opportunity presented itself.

OK, Theory One:

Is it possible that Bane is simply projecting? That he uses the pit as an excuse for what he's become because admitting the truth puts him that much closer to madness?

Bane, Blake and Bruce are all characters that are defined by their reactions to dealing with the pain they've had to endure. Bruce eventually becomes batman, Blake a cop, and Bane puts on the mask and becomes a "mercenary" with plans for nuking Gotham. Blake and Bruce move on by letting go of their respective masks. By the end of the movie Bruce is no longer batman and Blake is no longer a cop. Bane, however, is the tragic figure. He literally cannot remove his mask without suffering dire consequences. He is doomed to carry his pain with him literally always. Warped by this physical pain, he comes obsessed with breaking the spirit; so much so that it ends up being a fatal flaw to his plan. It's curious that literally nobody in the film, when confronted with this mental anguish, actually broke down and gave up... except for maybe the Chief of Police for about 30 seconds? Probably why Nolan offed him... but I digress...

That got kind of messy, but to sum it up kind of briefly here, Bane rationalizes his own fall by appealing to the Pit. This failure to acknowledge that he's an uncontrollable psychopath due to the physical agony he had to endure is projected onto the world through his grand scheme to destroy Gotham's and Bruce's Spirit. He ends up being wrong though! That ends up being a really bad a silly idea. It's the tragic flaw of his character. The inability to accept the source of his madness.

Theory Two, on Bane, Hope, and the Number of Times I can Say "Talia":

Bane talks about it being hope that breaks men, but again, I think he's generalizing from his own experience. So what, then, is his hope while he's in the prison? A lot is said about the light, and the fact that anybody is free to climb out, but at that time nobody is supposed to have successfully done it. Those are kind of general hopes in any case, and we don't know that they held any particular sway over Bane, but we do know that in his time there he defended Talia, and at great expense to himself. What may be seen as his final action as a whole person, he lifts her up to the wall so she can attempt to escape. He has no way of knowing if he set her on the path to freedom, bought her a few extra seconds until the mob got her, or doomed her to plummet to her death. All that he had was the hope that she'd escape. That things would work out for the best.

This parallels very well with the hope that Alfred had for Bruce when he first left Gotham to go abroad. It is then revealed that Alfred hoped that Bruce would never return, because he knew there was nothing but pain and suffering for him there. Perhaps Bane held out a similar hope for Talia? That she would go out into the world and forget this wretched pit. How it would have pained him to learn that Ra's succeeded in doing to Talia what he failed to do to Bruce, and that is to fully convince her that Revenge is the best and only option. It would help here to imagine Alfred's pain had Bruce returned as a willing disciple of Ra's Al Ghul.

On top of all of this, Bane never actually left the pit behind. He never did what Bruce or Talia did. He didn't make the climb, confront the fears they confronted or experience that vindication. He was rescued by Ra's and then not allowed to follow Talia and join the LoS. So in a very real way, even after Bane left the physical confines of the prison, he still had not psychologically bested the pit. There was nothing else there for him to latch onto like there was for Bruce and Talia, so what did he do during the intervening years? Being branded as a mercenary (granted, this may just have been a plot point to get him closer to Tagget blah blah blah) he has no affiliations. That last point, I feel, is rather less important under this interpretation as Bane doesn't have to be too crazy for the league, he just has to hate Ra's for what he did to Talia, his hope, the woman he loves. Ultimately though, Bane still wants her to be happy; so once Ra's is out of the picture, Talia is dead set on taking vengeance upon Batman and adopting her father's quest of destroying Gotham, Bane will oblige. So maybe in the end, it really is hope and the pit that broke Bane, but not the ordinary hope of one day escaping his confines, but the hope that when he made a great sacrifice that something good would come of it. Instead, there was only more destruction.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Beginnening: Assassin's Creed Stuff

Alright, here we go, this is a thing. A thing that will happen.

The Plan: I'm going to play the Assassin's Creed games, slightly out of order, (2, 1, Brotherhood, Revelations) and I'm going to write about it; hopefully quite a bit. I plan on playing each game to completion and, furthermore, I swear to not refer the franchise at any point as "AssCreed" or "AssBro" or any other Ass related abbreviation. Well, starting now. I guess...

I'm pretty sure this is the game

As I said, I'm starting with 2. The reasoning behind this is basically that: First, I played 1 quite some time ago and second, I actually want to do this. Starting at 1 reduces the chances of me completing this project immensely. From what I recall it was a fairly repetitive game and I gave up somewhere about halfway through despite enjoying what was, at the time, very fresh and original gameplay. Parkour was catching on and mapping buttons to body parts, while not new, was certainly a welcome design choice. Plus, stabbin' dudes. But I digress. If I were to try to pick up and play Assassin's Creed The First, I would certainly grow tired of it much more quickly and be less inclined to continue onward.

The next post will include my impressions of the first few hours of the game. Expect a good deal on PC gaming as well, as I feel that it's important to get some things out of the way rather early about why I'm playing through these games on PC (with a Dual Shock 3 controller) as opposed to console and some of the drawbacks I've run into. As far as the game goes, I'll be doing my best to keep a close eye on the writing and dialog and getting a feel on how it changes from game to game, staff to staff, general gameplay annoyances/funtimes, and hopefully some things that are going on slightly deeper beneath the surface.

So yeah, there you have it. Let's have fun.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Chris Wasinski: The Man, the Myth, the Whore

Instead of contacting each of you on a person by person basis (which would take a literally incalculable amount of time given the nature of my problem and the possibly infinite number of people effected), I've decided it's easier to just make the announcement here:

Recently it has come to my attention that I am, indeed, a whore. Somehow this had escaped the notice of my normally super-human powers of observation. How I have deluded myself up until now... I may never know. Most likely it can be attributed to all of the hardcore binge drinking I've been doing along with a steady diet of roofies and valium to numb the pain of not having even the shred of dignity required to ask payment for whoring services rendered. It is truly my greatest regret in life that I have turned out to be such a god damn, no good, low down, filthy, dirty whore... my status residing well below that of even the grodiest of street walkers, beneath the contempt of even the most desperate pimp.

Now, some of you may be saying to yourselves, "Now wait just a minute!" pausing briefly to fully take in the enormity of the revelation you are currently experiencing "Chris doesn't really seem like a truly despicible and disgusting example of human trash, when does he get up to all this whoring?" ... Well, my erudite reader and trusted facebook friend, I am glad you asked. The answer is really quite simple once you understand the special theory of relativity and how it pertains to the creation of "Whorularities" that is to say, a mass of whore so dense that it collapses upon itself and has the power to warp the very time and space it occupies. One day to a normal person actually seems like one thousand, thousand years to a whore like me due to the time dilation experienced in the vicinity of whores of my magnitude.

So it is with profound sorrow in my heart that I ask each and every one of you that has been affected by my indescribable whorocity (you see, it needs a new word to accurately describe the unprecedented levels being discussed here) to forgive my transgressions and to somehow find within yourselves the ability to look past the fact that I am such a huge slut and to see that I am, deep down, in the essence of my being, an obnoxiously staggeringly gargantuan slut. It is with my sincerest hope that, aided by the unparallelled magnanimity of my facebook friends, I will be able to free myself from the shackles of my whoritude, which bind my very soul to this unseemly fate, the trajectory of which you all have seen me hurtling along all these long years... too afraid to step in and speak up for fear that I would literally whore you to death for daring to suggest that I had a problem.

I am ready, friends! I have seen the error of my ways! Allow me to redeem myself in the radiant light of your forgiveness so that one day I may be capable of feeling, living, breathing, being... as a normal person once again!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I Want to Beat People Up for Overcooking Cinnamon Rolls: An Informal Essay

How does it even enter into somebody's mind to allow a batch of cinnamon rolls to become overcooked? At what point did it become OK to be distracted by some other menial task whilst said buns rise? Once embarked upon the journey to heavenly perfection that is everything a perfectly prepared pan of cinnamon buns represents, cannot be so easily or thoughtlessly abandoned. Just take a moment and consider what it is that hangs in the balance. Life, my friends. Life hangs in the balance. Perhaps not a real life, in the sense that you or I or even a small woodland creature experiences it, but a way of life. The American way. You see, in my America, responsibilities implicitly assumed by the bold undertaking of heroic tasks are seen through, because if you fail in your endeavors it is not only you alone that must pay the price. No, it is all who must share in bearing the cost.

So when you set your oven timer for the actual time suggested on the side of the can, an offense most egregious in and of itself, but then allowing for even that lofty limit to pass by without action, without remark... without lament... You let down yourself, surely, but keep in mind... you also let down America. By allowing those soft, moist, delicious pastries once bursting forth with flavor and potential to whither and shrink you place the knife at our heart. By allowing the succulent aroma of cinnamon to be overcome by that of the crumbled ashes of the no-longer-a-cinnamon-roll thing that remains in the pan, you thrust the dagger in. By serving up this abomination as if you've never strayed from the path of the righteous, you confirm that your betrayal is complete. As our eyelids flutter, and grow heavy and our vision fades... darkness encroaching upon life and reason... the quizzical expression upon your face reveals the truth hidden deeper still:

You're an idiot

This new madness of fire and cinnamon is something entirely foreign to me. Before I can account for it, I am already lost to it. While it invigors my once lifeless husk, renewed energies come at a steep cost. This new concept, this mind poison now festers deep within the catacombs of my very soul; try as I might to expunge its foul presence, I am at every turn rebuked, only to then find my entire world now colored by the darkness that I carry with me. Upon any object which my gaze might fall I see only ruination. Upon any promising idea that my troubled imagination may linger for even a moment, I now see only the smoldering cinders of what could have been. It is in this moment that I know I am not long for this world. In such as a place as this where such atrocities are possible... cinnamon buns cruelly cut down in their prime, due only to the disinterest of the bourgeoisie, I cannot remain.

Yet, I also cannot depart. Not with the knowledge that there might come those who know nothing of what I have seen... Yes... I must do my part to ensure that this disaster is never revisited upon the unsuspecting innocent. So stand with me, friends, and together put at an end this horror, this travesty... in the name of future generations... please...
slightly undercook your god-damned cinnamon rolls.

For America

Thank you.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Fallout 3 Completed: High Brow Review to Follow (Maybe)

Oh that's right. Fallout 3 has been slain and started again. I'm considering taking a slightly different approach to the review this time around which may take more time and energy than the Fable review (which makes it somewhat unlikely that I'll actually do this). I may attempt a sort of critical analysis of the Fallout 3 experience instead of only sharing my judgments regarding game mechanics and plot flow. The only reason I'd do this is if I thought there was something in the game itself which warranted analysis of this sort and I do believe that Fallout has it. Something that requires closer scrutiny to truly appreciate and be able to share with others.

I may instead write a Dead Space review and put this off a little longer while I think about what kind of angle I want to take while attacking this beast of a game. Only time will tell.

The Procrastinated Upon Fable 2 Review!

Should I put in spoilers? Ahh who cares... I'll keep em out for now.

So, again, Fable 2. If you don't feel like reading a full review then here is my summary. It's Fable 1 with a terrible magic system and guns. That's pretty much it.

Oh! and a dog.

The combat feels all the same with, perhaps, a greater emphasis on ranged weapons than Fable 1. As far as magic goes... meh... I want to get my gripe out of the way quickly so I can focus on the more positive aspects of the game so I shall now address the issue of the magic system.

I very much approve of eliminating mana/magic points/whatever from games but the "stand-there-and-charge-up-your-spell-and-then-take-3-seconds-more-to-cast-it" system felt out of place in the fast paced combat of Fable 2, especially in the presence of enemies that took advantage of the much improved ranged fighting system. I tried to compensate for this by focusing primarily on the time control magic (bias from Fable 1) but that feels a bit like being painted into a corner in order to cast other level 4 or 5 spells. However, having level 5 shock charged up and ready to go as mobs of undead surround you provides a feeling of indescribable satisfaction. The problem with this, again, is that during fights with tougher enemies you simply do not have time to charge your spells to such a level that they will significantly affect the outcome of the fight. Using time control to slow things down is all well and good but the extra time this frees up is often better spent rattling off headshots or chain attacks/flourishes than charging up another spell. Perhaps my opinion of this will change if I perform another playthrough with a more magic oriented character, but I don't hold out much hope.


The inclusion of rifles, pistols and crossbows (I honestly cannot recall if crossbows were in Fable 1, although I believe they were... in which case throw in repeating crossbows instead) was very much welcome although sometimes I missed some good old fashioned bow and arrow action. Many of the great times I had playing Fable 2 consisted of using a pistol to decapitate hordes of bandits as they charged at me in a rage most impotent and watching the last bandit come to the realization that he was well and truly fucked. The progression of the Skill branch fit perfectly into a steadily increasing curve of enjoyment. Gaining the ability to lock on to targets for improved damage, then the ability to zoom in on those targets, and finally the ability to aim at specific limbs made perfect sense in terms of progression and kept the ranged combat from getting boring too quickly. Combined with the wider range of weapons available for ranged combat you will keep coming back for more and more of those tasty yellow orbs.


Melee combat I didn't experiment with to such a great degree because upon picking up the controls for the first time it felt immediately like Fable 1. I'm not sure I agree with the decision to make flourishes (heavy attacks) an upper level skill and then also mapping it to the X button (which also handles regular attacks AND blocking) as I did experience some problems with that during game play... It's too much for one little button to do and caused issues with me thinking I was charging up a flourish and really was only blocking and other times when I wanted to do a regular attack and ended up starting to block and then starting to attack only to interrupt myself with more attempts at blocking. While frustrating, these issues were rare enough to not seriously impede my enjoyment of the game, but there was another issue with knocking enemies down that did grate on my nerves a bit. From time to time your hero decides that instead of hacking an enemy into tiny little bits it would be a fantastic idea to instead kick him in the shin or shoulder him into the nearest wall, causing him to slouch to the ground where, especially in the middle of a fight, he is practically invincible. This is due to the fact that the coup de grace maneuver requires a disgusting level of precision to pull off in the middle of a group of enemies and even when it's a 1 on 1 fight it can prove a tricky procedure. Often times your hero will futilely slash the air directly above your prostrate foe as if daring him to stand up and take more punishment. When fighting in narrow passages it is not unheard of to knock down every enemy you are fighting with these annoyingly common shoves and have it break up the rhythm of an otherwise good fight.


The questing system in Fable 2 saw a lot of work and as a result was much improved over that of Fable 1. There was actually stuff to do besides the main quest! Such a relief. It was fun becoming a master blacksmith and earning a good chunk of change at the same time. Buying up taverns and other assorted shops around the many towns gave purpose to your piles of gold and provided an opportunity to show your true alignment by either raising or lowering the prices in those shops. You can even invest in real estate as well as flip houses, as ridiculous as that sounds. Buy cheap houses in the slummier towns and fill them with luxury furniture and then sell the whole thing for a profit... or raise the rent to squeeze all the gold you can from the tenants. Indeed, the economy of Fable 2 is a fascinating beast, affected by the quests you perform in the vicinity of the town as well as factors I assume to be out of your control, it provides a worthy distraction from grinding out quests killing hobbes and balverines yet rewards you for doing those quests at the same time. I'm not sure what the deal was with the clothing but I felt like I should have had more choices for outfits... The vast majority of what I saw consisted of bandit/highwayman gear which got somewhat boring after a while... although after finding an assassin's coat my character looked like an awesome pirate (complete with single shot pistol and cutlass) so I can't complain too much.

Mine looked cooler

The excitement of blacksmithing

All in all I consider Fable 2 to be a great game. Should you get it? Fuck if I know. You want a number/letter grade? Well fuck you. I hate math and grades. Play it your damn self. Or be like my roommate and wake up ridiculously early to play it before I'm awake playing Fallout 3. That way you can get your fix and see if it's worthy of your dollars. I wont say you must own Fable 2 the way I say you must own Oblivion (at least in those early days of the 360 which saw so few worthy releases) but keep in mind that it does come with my recommendation.

I would also like to point out that it is indeed Friday and I do not have my headphones. What the fuck. Although they'll probably be here by the time I wake up and my initial prediction was that it would take until Saturday for this situation to resolve... I will still be pissed

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Great Headphone Debacle of 2008

It could have been so easy...


The original email. I had sent them one previous to this because the shipping hit a snag in New York and I was wondering if they could do anything about it. This issue took care of itself... or did it!?!?!?
Hi again,
I ordered a pair of Sennheiser HD-280s from you guys and just a few short minutes ago I received a package that I *thought* would contain them. The joy I felt was almost tangible in the air. Upon opening that package I discovered, much to my dismay, TEN pairs of Sennheiser CX300s staring back at me. I cannot even begin to imagine how this happened. It doesn't match up with the charge to my account or the packing slip you sent to my email address (there was no packing slip in the box). I still want my HD-280s and I don't want to have to wait another week for them.

Response from http://digitalmediaoutlet.com/

I cannot even imagine how this happened.We will send them out with a return envelope.Our apology's for this inconvenience.
An envelope? What am I supposed to do with an envelope? They sent me ten fucking pair of headphones. That's this many:


If there is an envelope that could solve this problem then I have not yet met it.

I should be getting my headphones in 3-5 days. In their infinite graciousness they decided to not charge me for this new pair of headphones... not even for the shipping!!! They're a saintly bunch. This issue had better be resolved before Friday.