I enjoyed Velvet Assassin as a whole. Sure, the gameplay wasn't innovative, and World War 2 games are a dime a dozen, but there was something about Velvet Assassin that set it apart from the shovelware of last year. For me, I think it was the fact that it loosely followed the story of a real british secret agent during WW2. Above that even, it was just plain fun. Before I played the game, I figured I would brush up on my history, and learn a little bit about the main character.
In short, Violette Szabo's husband was killed in the war after she had his kid. He never saw his daughter, sadly. Violette joined up with the British secret service shortly after. She completed 2 successful missions during World War 2, before she was captured, put into concentration camps, tortured, then ultimately killed. I figured I knew the "meat and potatoes of the story" - or the ending at least. That was Okay though, as it did not spoil any of the game, because the game is extremely loosely based on truths. Okay, not truths, but a real person.
Here come the spoilers.
At the end of the game you are stuck defending burning church from waves of Nazi's, while trying to free the people inside of the church. After a few waves of Nazi's the final cutscene kicks in, Violette can't open the locked church door, and everybody inside dies. Violette mutters some incoherent babble, then collapses onto a concrete pad with flames surrounding her - seemingly uninjured, but possibly dead. Mind you she was never in harms way of fire to begin with.
The camera pans down to a car of German's watching the church go up in flames off in the distance. One of the German's turns toward the camera, and has burn scars all over his face. The man is (I'm making a wild guess here) one of the SS leaders you "Killed" earlier on in the game by blowing up his room. There's only one small problem... You really don't know if it's the SS leader, because you never see his face. If you try to walk into his bedroom, during the mission when you kill him, Violette will not enter, but you can watch him sleeping if you look through his keyhole. That's the only time you see his face, and it's in complete darkness.
The scene then cuts to Violette running through a forest of trees, with the fire on-screen effect back, it almost looks like it's a dream sequence, it's going in slow motion. That's pretty much the ending to Velvet Assassin, so here's my question to you SouthPeak Interactive, "What the fuck just happened?" I'm now so confused by this ending, I was doubting that the game was actually over. This ending was so bad, that the game crashing post boss-fight would have left a sweeter taste in my mouth than this did.
What do you think fellow DTOID'ers? Anyone else play through Velvet assassin and think it was the worst ending ever?
So, here's the skinny. Over the Christmas weekend, a message was updated on the 3d Realms homepage (www.3drealms.com) that simply said, "It's Done." Coincidentally(?), a user by the name of Steve posted numerous unseen screenshots of Duke Nukem Forever on one of the most popular Duke Nukem Forever fanpages. (www.duke4.net)
Shortly after, The forums were visited by George Broussard (one of the two 3d Realms CEO's) who posted, "Post wasn't from me. We're looking into it. I'm guess we were hacked or else someone used my account without my knowledge. Not really sure the latter is possible. Move along, nothing to see here." Eventually the "It's done." statement was removed. George Broussard also e-mailed the webmaster over at Duke4.net asking that all pictures released by Steve be removed.
While it is unknown to me what the state of Duke Nukem Forever really is, I do believe that in some way, shape, or form it will be released. I will leave it up to debate from you folks, was the "It's done." post on the 3d Realms homepage some kind of viral marketing by the company, OR was it from some kind of hacker. You decide. Either way, it was a strange weekend for Duke Nukem fans...
My gut instinct would be to not order from ThinkGeek. Back in April, a warehouse of Dreamcasts were found, and sold through ThinkGeek for $99 bucks a pop. Being a dead console, it was a little to pricey for me. Either way, I thought it was neat that there were new dreamcasts still floating around 10 years after launch. Anyhow, long story made short, reports started flying around that some of those new Dreamcasts were very old and used. It made me glad I didn't buy one.
Fast forward in time 8 months.
I happened to be perusing some forums, and ran across a link that offered NEW Dreamcasts for $14.99 + Shipping. I had to bite. The link brought me to a description of a new console. Either a white or black console with AV Cables, a power cable, a demo disc, and a controller. I bought one. The deal couldn't be beat, or so I thought. I couldn't wait for my new Dreamcast to arrive, to get myself a nice game of Shenmue in, which I haven't played in years!
I got a call from my wife yesterday, saying that the dreamcast arrived. I was thrilled to get some play-time in. I got home and asked her where the dreamcast was, she handed me a box that was about 6 inches long by wide. Instantly my heart sunk. I opened it up, and inside was... A Brand new Dreamcast... Controller. Obviously feeling like an idiot, I check my order history on ThinkGeek, It says I ordered an Original Dreamcast Console. That makes me feel a little better, knowing I didn't mis-read what the product description was.
So I called customer service, and the ThinkGeek representative says, "Yeah, that was a mistake on our part. $14.99 is too good to be true." Actually, guy who makes $6.75 an hour, $14.99 is about what an old and dead console is worth to me.
What I really want to know, if ThinkGeek knew in advance that they made a mistake, why would they ship all of these controllers out to everybody that bought them?