Social Alleviation

Posted: November 12, 2011 in Audio/Music, Free Styling, Gaming, Influences, Reviews
Tags: , , , , ,

Welcome back mi amigos. It’s been awhile. Hasn’t been a whole wealth of things to happen since last post, but I’ve got some stuff that I can throw down with here. Speaking of throw down, I’ve got another game review for you today. So, let’s load out with Updates and New News.

Modern Warfare 3 launched the other day, and having beat the campaign, I think it’s time for another Game Review. I know I said that Gears of War 3 was next on the chopping block, but I still haven’t gotten around to the multiplayer yet.

Let’s start with the campaign. Essentially, a Russian ultranationalist acts as a grand marionette and pulls the world into World War III. They say that the story picks up wear Modern Warfare 2 left off, but it being a war game, they can pick it up where ever they really want to. However, they bring in the major players from Modern Warfare 2, so it’s certainly the spiritual successor to it. The fight brings you to many locations around the world, New York, Berlin, London, Moscow (I think), and other parts of Russia, the Middle East, and North Africa. I might be missing a few, but you get the gist of it, it’s a global debacle meriting the moniker of WWIII.

Sidebar: What I’ve told so far is implied, if not directly stated in all the promotional material for the game. What is about to follow are details about the story that some might like to learn on their own, so it goes without saying (or maybe it doesn’t), SPOILER ALERT! If you don’t know what to know what happens in the campaign skip down to the second half.

So hear is the campaign in a nutshell. You start off getting introduced to the major players, and a few returning ones. Not long after The President of the Russian…Federation? I dunno, but an attempt is made to kidnap the President of Russia, a successful attempt…I think. Some of the details of the story don’t make sense, so I question my memory at this point. Anyways, not long after, numerous biological gas bombs are unleashed around the world, which while very destructive and hazardous, it proves to be a smokescreen (no pun intended) for the Russian invasion and occupation of Europe. Many battles ensue between the Russian forces and the rest of the world before it is discovered that the strings are being pulled not by the Russian President, but rather this ultranationalist, who just wants to watch the rest of the world burn. The end goal of the ultranationalist is to get the russian president to get up the launch/arming codes for the myriad of nuclear armaments at Russia’s disposal. The President won’t talk, so his daughter is kidnapped. The good guys find and pursue the base of operations, and retrieve the President and his daughter. The ultranationalist escapes, but the final mission has you pursuing in a grandiose way. You are given some big bulky armor, capable of sustaining some powerful abuse, and a BFG. You and one other, equally outfitted come and crash his party in a high-rise restaurant and face a small army worth of body guards. After expending as much munitions as 3 or 4 of the other combined missions, you catch up with the ultranationalist on the roof. You jump on to his helicopter as it takes off, punch the bajesus out of his pilot and co-pilot, and bring his chariot violently back down to the roof. After a struggle on the glass roof, you manage to wrap a rope around his neck and shatter the glass below him. After going down in the hail of shattered glass, you look up to see him dangling with a tightened noose around his neck. It’s all very poetic, in a scorched earth kind of way. With that out of the way, you sit back, light up a smoke, and wait for the credits to take you away.


Beyond the campaign, is the multiplayer and the spec-ops. The multiplayer is exactly what you’d come to expect from a Call of Duty game. You start off with access to a few guns, and as you level up you gain access to more guns, attachments, camouflage colors, perks, killstreaks, and all manor of other goodies. You’re facing off against other players from around the world in various game types, the most popular of which being team deathmatch. It’s all good and grand, but I honestly liked the level up system given to you in Call of Duty: Black Ops better. Instead of acquiring upgrades in a uniform fashion, you are given money to buy the upgrades that you choose. I also feel like they missed the ball in bringing back the Combat Training, which essentially put you in all the various multiplayer game types, but up against bots, where you can control the difficulty of your enemies. That was a feature that I really loved about Black Ops; if I am out of practice I can work my way back up to fighting form and get back out there doing it against actual opponents.

The last element of the game is Spec Ops. If you’ve played Modern Warfare 2, which let’s be honest, not many of us haven’t, the Spec Ops element hasn’t changed much. You’re given mini-missions, and either a certain amount of time or a certain point total needed to finish them. You can play by yourself, you can play with a friend, and now, you can play with a stranger over Xbox Live. You also get unlockables, though I’m not sure how they are applied in Spec Ops. This option is nice for getting in some quick gameplay, and for training your reflexes.

Modern Warfare 3 has a strong campaign, with a good and enjoyable storyline. The multiplayer is solid, and there is guaranteed to always be a good selection of competitors. There’s not much lacking from this game, and that which is can be easily overlooked.
I give it a 5 out of 5.

Am I done yet? Oh heck no. I’ve got one more thing that happened back on Tuesday that I need to talk about. So I’ve met this awesome chick in my Spanish class who goes by several names, and I choose to call her Miko. She’s also in the RTF program, so there’s naturally already a lot that we have in common. I could dive into a lot of her great qualities, but this post is already fairly lengthy, so I’ll jump to the point. She told me that one of her favorite artists was going to be performing in Dallas at Trees this past Tuesday, a Japanese artist named Miyavi. I don’t get out much, and I love going to concerts when I get the opportunity, so when she said that I was welcome to tag along, I went and got myself a ticket. (Actually, I drove, so wouldn’t it be her tagging along?) Miko told me that the last performance of his that she went to was sub-standard, so I set my expectations low, and would be content with just getting out of the house for the night. This show…it was straight up awesome! I didn’t expect to go to this concert and get blown away by an artist that I was unfamiliar with, but by God I was. Miyavi is a 2 man operation; the front man, Miyavi himself as the singer and guitarist, and his drummer, Bobo.

Have you ever seen the movie, August Rush? You had that musical prodigy kid that play the guitar, but slap guitar. Miyavi plays slap guitar. I have never actually seen this before in my life, and I was fascinated. My mind was boggled by how quick he could pop those strings.
You might think, how much can a 2-man-band do. Well Miyavi uses a lot of looping, so he can lay down one track and keep building on it. He also likes to screw with his loops; cutting the duration in half, quarter, or just play micro second durations, making it sound like he’s a DJ scratching a disk. He also plays with the pitch and the speed, so it sounds very electronic and dubstepy in places. It’s amazing the things you can do with simple effects processors and a talented technician.

I was impressed, and have been made a fan. Another cool think about Miyavi is that he liked to have fun with the crowd, and talked to us quite a bit. There was also a portion of the concert were pulled out an acoustic, played a few songs and then started taking requests from the crowd. He’s real appreciative of his fans, and he’s a Mac guy.

Here are a couple of vids shot by another concert goer of Miyavi, just so you can get a taste of the experience.

I should also mention that the band that opened up for Miyavi, The Commotion, was pretty good too. If you haven’t seen or heard of either of these bands, and you feel that your musical tastes are akin to mind, you might want to check them out.

Well, that’s all I have for today. Thanksgiving is coming up pretty soon, and with that mi cumpleaños (my birthday). So there should be a couple posts coming up about anticipating the break and the activities over the break.

Keep your heads up, your minds sharp, and your hearts open.

– The Outlaw


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