Things are a little hazy. It's funny really. I get a call from the office asking if I wanted to pick up a shift Tuesday. I thought to myself, "Hey, money is money, right? I can play Blacklist whenever I want but money is now."
I want to go back in time and warn me not to take it. I'd really want to hit myself but I can't because the reason I need said time-travel device is because I was coming down with a cold that day which went full blown CDC defcon by 7pm.
Here's the funny part. If I had turned down the extra shift, I would've been able to ride out my cold that night and probably be ready for work the next day. Instead, I had a shitty night of work with a cold and had to call in sick today, costing me demerit points on my report card at work. All in all, I lose 4 hours of money and gained 3 points for my record and have nothing to show for it but a few hours of Blacklist gameplay.
Ok, that part was pretty ok. But before I get into Blacklist, I finished Tomb Raider.
It's a scary transition, Tomb Raider to Splinter Cell. Tomb Raider's movement is just right. Lara moves with such finesse and control, I'd swear she was an extension of my thoughts. Whenever enemies were present, she'd crouch walk and when she gets near cover, she'd naturally press up against it for safety. Tomb Raider is by no means a simple control scheme but it all makes sense to the mind of a gamer. Skip to Blacklist and I have to go back to clicking the stick to toggle crouch, I have to press B to stick to cover, and switching between weapons and gadgets is a surprisingly confusing affair. It's like all the fluff controls of a WRPG but in an action game.
Moving on though, Tomb Raider was an amazing performance of competency in an aging IP from a spotty dev. Lara Craft went irrelevant for years and this game makes it feel like she never was. Sure, I've never played Uncharted and it's probably Uncharted to a lot of people but I also get to see Lara go from shell shocked teen washed up on a shore to murdering goons for survival. And while the critics were right that most of the characters were boring and flat (there's a guy named Alex apparently?) I did like Roth. He's an important figure to defining Lara's growth into the Croft she is meant to be and when she finally solves the mystery of the island and escapes with her friends, it's amazing that the girl whose found resolve to continue uncovering the horrifying mysteries beneath the world was just a few days ago listening to an iPod and shaken by killing a man, much less a deer.
Going onto Splinter Cell Blacklist has been a good affair too. I've grown to disregard Jim's opinion though to be fair, any self-respecting gamer probably takes any review with a grain of salt. Conviction was honestly what made me like the SC series. The first and Pandora Tomorrow are of course, true SC games though, nobody likes Double Agent I believe, and Conviction honestly feels like it's probably the successful sell out of the series but damn if it doesn't sell out so well. I prefer Panther to Ghosting because Ghost takes a lot of patience. You need to wait and be methodical with how you do everything. It is of course, satisfying but Panther is ultimately what I do because Conviction has shown me that Fisher has a lot of tools and skills in his trade and damn the rules if he doesn't use that goddamn fifth freedom of his. Manipulating enemies with the Last Known Position is still fun as they tread slowly towards my ghostly outline while I take them out one by one from behind them. But the ability to customize and truly create your style is fun as well. My Sam has some decent stealth invested but ultimately has some armor invested for when shit hits the fan. I have enough stealth invested where I can crouchwalk within feet of a goon before they hear me coming but by then my knife is across their throat. Meanwhile, I have armor invested in case I take a few bullets while using the LKP mechanic.
I don't feel the meshing of all of Fisher's styles throughout the SC series is haphazard at all. I think Blacklist is indeed Ubisoft's do or die, defacto title. Blacklist takes everything the SC series has done and tidies it up for a broader taste. A taste that can easily bring back classic fans while retaining people who jumped on with Conviction.
I haven't eve gotten onto Spies Vs Mercs yet but maybe Monk will help ease me into that cut throat sounding mode.