"Major A's Mask, why, what's that, Moosey?" Great question, imaginary person! There's a story behind that!
See, the other day, Nintendo said that until the end of January (2012), Club Nintendo is giving away codes to download the Nintendo "classic" (depending on who you ask) The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask from WiiWare (or Virtual Console, or whatever they used to call it). I decided then and there that it was finally time for me to sign up for Club Nintendo, as I had never done that and have a decent number of Wii and DS games. This then led to me becoming very angry when I was able to register my DS Phat, and went through a survey, but got no coins. I had been planning on making a big fuss and trying to complain all the way to Reggie, but then I realized that it didn't really matter, so I stopped. Actually, what really happened was that I woke up the next day and didn't care any more, because I had more than enough coins (despite having lost the PINs for my copies of Twilight Princess and Super Mario Galaxy).
I downloaded it, and was delighted to hear the Wii Shop music (because as an avid follower of the NintenDownload X-Press, I had not used the Wii Shop Channel in years). Then, my friend and I decided to start playing the game, and we played an hour, maybe hour and a half of it. We played enough to get through the first cycle, turn back into human Link, and explore the world a bit. And we determined that the game is really pronounced "Major A's Mask," but no one ever knew because there is no voice acting.
Obviously we are still very early in the game, but my early impressions are positive. The game is weird, and kinda creepy. Playing it reminded me why I never played much of the game as a kid. It freaked me out. It's a dark game, and I still think that moon is the most menacing thing ever put in a video game. Ever. I look forward to going ever forward into that game, but I do not look forward to neither of us remembering what to do or where to go.
Also, Tingle is in it. Tingle is still both one of the best and worst Nintendo characters ever.
I will have a more in depth look at the game once we are further into it. Which will take a while. My friend and I are infamous for saying we are going to play a game together, but then going weeks at a time without getting around to playing it. Happened with both Deadly Premonition and Alpha Protocol (both awesome games, at least story wise), so it'll be happening again now.
But I have also played games that are relatively recent. Like Singularity. If you don't remember singularity, then I will tell you that it's a first person shooter that has a lot of time manipulation stuff, and probably the most original thing to come out of Activision since Guitar Hero I. Raven made a really good and fun game. And Nolan North is in it.
Normally I would do a much longer and better write-up for a game I liked as much as Singularity, but something happened after that. I played a couple hours of Dark Void. That game is all right, but then I played...wait for it...
Saints Row: The Third.
Man, I really should have played that game last year. I'm going to say this up front: SR:TT would have been on my top ten list for games of last year. Upwards of 5th or 4th, I'll say.
I'm not even sure where to begin about this game. I think I'll start with the stuff I didn't like about the game. For example, all the dumb, idiotic attempts at the type of "humor" that only 12 year olds find funny. Like the "penetrater" weapon, which is effectively just a giant floppy dildo baseball bat. The game's filled with stupid stuff like that, and it makes me cringe every time, because there's a lot of actually funny stuff in there (more on that later). Maybe it's just me being me, because I know I don't necessarily represent the greater public, but man, it makes me feel bad if that kind of stuff is what the target audience of video games finds funny.
There's also a lot of less offense stuff that I didn't like, such as Zimos constantly being auto-tuned, or the award winning use of the song "Power" in the game. I'm not going to lie, I set the music volume to ZERO during that part of the game. I've gone thus far never hearing more than about three seconds of that song after the "aah" part in the beginning, and I plan to keep it that way.
And, of course, being an open world game, it has its fair share of technical issues, for example, I had to reload from a checkpoint a couple of times because an AI failed to open a door it was supposed to, and the game crashed on me a couple of times (playing the PS3 version, just so you know). And there are plenty of other instances of minor jankiness, with things like requesting my minions bring my car to me, and it never shows up, or one time when I saw the AI drive it off a cliff and into the ocean. Okay, that one was a little funny, but also disgruntling because I wanted that to drive somewhere, because I was waiting for my deliver helicopter and deliver VTOL powers to recharge.
And that brings me to the things I like about the game. You can call someone on a cell phone, and then a ninja flies a VTOL jet to you. Or a luchador. Or a man in a Johnny Gat costume. Or, you can call Burt Reynolds, and he just drives up and rolls around with you.
BURT REYNOLDS! You can summon Burt Reynolds in this game! Hulk Hogan too, but he doesn't play himself, so that's not as awesome.
Even beyond the awesomeness of that silly stuff, the game is just fun to play. The shooting feels good, the driving feels good, heck, even the flying feels good. It's hard to make helicopters be easy to use in games (or at least they were kinda hard in GTA IV, the only other game that comes to mind), but they control quite well here. But, of course, why would you use a helicopter when you can use a VTOL? It combines the hovering-ness of a helicopter with the regular-ass flying of a jet. Or, as "The Boss" said in the game (paraphrased): "It's like a jet f***ed a helicopter."
And there's another great aspect of the game. The character customization. Not only does it give you the freedom of male/female, you get three different voices for them (plus a zombie voice). I, of course, when with a male character with the British voice (courtesy of one of my favorite non-Nolan North voice actors, Robin Atkin-Downes). And I dressed him rather conservatively, with a black suit, white shirt, black tie, black shoes, black gloves, some nice shades, the best beard they have (one major flaw in the game: All the beards are just textures, no actual geometry added), and a black cowboy hat. I tried to see if I could get some sort of image of it from it being uploaded to some SR3 website that I think I've seen people using, but...laziness prevailed. Maybe I will at a later date if I figure out how to do it. I would appreciate any help in how to do this (if it's possible, I know there was an upload thing in the character creator).
Then, when I was selecting my taunt for the main character, I realized that this game meant business when the default taunt is titled "The Marine," and it's John Cena's "You can't see me" hand wave thing. Now, if you're like me, you're not really a huge fan of modern wrestling, or John Cena, but it made me laugh. Then I noticed that there are taunts for classic wrestlers like Rick Flair ("The Nature Boy") and Hulk Hogan ("Angelmania," in reference to the character he plays, Angel Del Muerto, a washed up luchador who had his mask removed by crimelord Killbane (also a luchador)).
Let me say that again: Hulk Hogan plays a washed up luchador who doesn't know what to do with himself because he was shamed upon his mask being removed by another luchador, who also happens to be a criminal mastermind and leader of a giant gang of luchadors. He also makes direct references to that time when Bret "The Hitman" Hart got screwed out of the belt.
Man, I love this game. The mission where "The Boss" and Angel (with his mask back) confront and fight Killbane (in and around the ring at Murder-Brawl XXXI) is definitely my favorite mission in the game (I liked it (and a number of other missions) better than the award winning one, you know which one). I don't want to spoil what happens, but I'll just say that if you like wrestling, or rather, the goofy and silly nature of wrestling, you will love this mission, and wish that wrestling games are like this. But that won't happen, because THQ has the WWE license, and they won't fund a wrestling game without the WWE license, and I don't think something as awesome of crazy as Murder-Brawl XXXI would be allowed with actual wrestlers.
That's what makes SR3 so amazing. It's so crazy. And the main character reflects this perfectly. He's pretty confused and astonished in all the right ways and all the right times. For example, much like anyone who plays games, he is completely un-phased by zombies, but his mind is blown when he realizes not only that the mayor is Burt Reynolds, but that he gets to meet Burt Reynolds. It's brilliant and hilarious.
But, I'm a little worried about the prospects for Saints Row: The Fourth. I'm sure it'll happen, I just don't know if lightning can strike twice. They can't go back now, but I'm not really sure how they can top this game, at least not without losing track and making it a horrible mess, instead of the beautiful mess that is SR3. And I'm a little worried about which of the two endings will be "canon." I feel like the "happy" ending is too goofy and silly (even for me), and I think the other ending has more potential. Let me just put it in a spoiler thing.
Okay, I don't know why, but it seems like the GB editor isn't letting me use the spoiler block thing, so I'm going to section off the spoiler-filled section in the classiest way I can. If you haven't played through both endings, then don't read what's between the spoilers.
Sorry about that. Well, not really. Anyway, the happy ending tries to trick you into thinking it's on Mars (like the fabled Saints Row and Red Faction crossover that we all want), except it's so corny and goofy that it's immediately apparent that it's just the "Gangstas in Space" movie that the game had been hinting at for a while. It felt too corny, at least compared to the rest of the game, which played its crazy "straight."
The other ending, meanwhile, involves STAG attacking Steelport with The Daedalus (which had been hinted at for a long time too). And of course this is crazy because the Daedalus is basically an air based star destroyer. It's crazy, and I feel like a more satisfying final level than fighting through a small canyon on fake Mars.
Oh, and then the Saints declare Steelport an independent nation. That happens.
But, I fear they won't go with that ending. Why? Well, I did not realize this until replaying the game and getting the "happy" ending (yes, I went to kill Killbane my first time through), but I think Burt Reynolds was on that island when it exploded. I'm pretty sure Burt Reynolds dies in that ending.
Now, let me be clear, if the game had presented me with, "Kill Killbane or Rescue Mayor Burt Reynolds," I would have gone and rescued Burt Reynolds. I blame the developers for thinking that Shaundi was more likable and worth saving than Mayor Burt Reynolds.
Anyway, I don't really know if Volition can get away with Burt Reynolds being dead in their games. Hopefully I'm wrong. But if I am, then why did "The Boss" make Pierce Mayor?
Sorry about that. I blame the GB editor, which is great when it works right.
Anyway, Saints Row: The Third is an awesome game. it's funny, and most importantly, fun. I can't wait for Saints Row: The Fourth. Part of me really wants to play the DLC, but I didn't actually buy the game (borrowed my friend's copy), so I don't know about paying for DLC for a game I don't own. I dunno. Maybe if it's really good I'll borrow the game again and pay for the DLC. It's the least I can do for getting over thirty hours out of a game I borrowed.
Nothing else going on. I'll probably try to beat Dark Void soon. Going back to college on Sunday, and I once again have a new roommate (and someone I have never met), so that should be...interesting. Hopefully it works out. He'll be my sixth roommate in as many semesters. There's a story behind that, but I'll tell that when I'm out of college, because who knows how many more I'll have. But man, I really need to just get a single room. I hate that I always get screwed out of that because I'm so low on the list for picking housing. It's almost like a Montreal Screwjob.
You should really play Saints Row: The Third. I love that game.