Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Epic Comeback...

Well well well, it's been a long time (8 months) since I have updated this blog.

A lot of games have come and gone in that time.
Far Cry 3
Resident Evil 6
The Last of Us
Tomb Raider
State of Decay
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon

And while I am playing some, and have beaten most of these. I have not shared my time on them with any of you. To be perfectly honest, this is my fault. There have been a lot of things going on in my personal life that has kept my (heavily divided) attentions elsewhere.

Not to mention that in my absence we had an amazing E3 that, I am sorely sorry I missed the chance to share my opinions on.
(Sony's conference, and then the post E3 tail-between-the-legs move from MS... what a year...)

The good news though is that I am back!
(hopefully to stay this time)

Now, while I may have been dormant online and distracted in real life, I have had a few projects up my sleeve. I do play video games for FUN after all...

So, I had debated on a number of things to do for my epic return but after taking a look at the calendar and my game collection... I knew there was only 1 thing to do. (Well, 2 really but I won't get into why Volition and the Saints Row IV have put such a bad taste in my mouth)

In the coming 6 months, we are going to be slammed with a myriad of release dates and new games. For the first time in almost a decade, we are also being treated to new consoles. Not just the big players this time either... For the first time since the days of Mattell's Intellivision console, we are seeing smaller companies releasing (seemingly) dinky products onto the market.
Between Kickstar legend "OUYA" and Steam's "Big Picture" projects, there are whole new areas of gaming to excite us. Mix in that special flavor of games that you get at the END of a console's era... (I'm looking at you GTA V) and we are up for something really special this year. Kid's are gonna LOVE this Christmas.

With all of this going on... all these new consoles making up jump forward in our love and passion for this hobby. I really wanted to start focusing on some of the games that made gaming what it is today. And while there are an almost infinite number of games and series that fit that description (some better than others...) Seeing my calendar told me exactly what I needed to do.

Operation: Retro Cell

...yeah I know it's a crap name but whatever.

On August 20th of this year (2013) Tom Clancy's: Splinter Cell - Blacklist is being released. This will (I believe) be the last Splinter Cell to be on the X360/PS3 era of consoles. Sitting alongside 2010's absolutely stellar entry "Conviction" as well as the 'cross-gen' entry "Double Agent" from 2006.

What made me focus on this series for my project, is it's link to the previous generation of gaming. With each generation, we see improvements and jumps in the tech and experiences for our video games. However, a major focus of improvement on the PS2 (and more so) the XBOX era was the focus on realism and creating that illusion through lighting effects.

Games like DooM 3 and Splinter Cell are perfect examples of games that pushed the tech forward.

When the first Splinter Cell came out, it was a marvel to be seen. It was so intense, in fact, it was originally an Xbox exclusive. I remember this, because I didn't have an Xbox back when it was released. (I played this entry on the gamecube)

The Goal here is to complete each and every game in the series, PRIOR to the release of blacklist. After which, naturally, complete blacklist.

There are a few things I would like to note here prior to me beginning this project.

The first, is that the first 3 entries are all going to be the original XBOX version. To this point, I mean I have an XBOX and will be playing the games from disc on it.
(These are not greatest hits versions either, if you care to know)

Splinter Cell (2002)
I had originally played this on the Gamecube... Never beat the last level.

Pandora Tomorrow (2004)
Played on Gamecube, but I was playing MGS Twin Snakes instead...

Chaos Theory (2005)
I never actually played this one... (Shameful, I know)

Double Agent (2006)
Naturally, I will be playing this on X360. I barely touched this game when it came out...

Conviction (2010)
I have beaten this game once, and played most the way through again. This was my favorite entry.

Blacklist (2013)
X360 Version, if there is a midnight opening I may post some info from that. (Note that this is the same release date as Saints Row IV, which I will be skipping for now for personal reasons)

So there you have it. Project: Retro Cell. A playthrough, and summation of every game in the Splinter Cell series to celebrate the release of the 6th game and a salute to the previous transition of gaming to our current form.

Keep an eye out for the review of Splinter Cell soon.

'Till then...