Monthly Archives: August 2012

The Uncharted

When I think back to the days of Playstation 2 I will think of such beloved trilogies as TimeSplitters, Prince of Persia and of course, Grand Theft Auto. These games were action-adventure at their finest, they had interesting stories, fine gameplay and a healthy dose of comedy.

While writing this I came across the crushing news that we probably won’t ever see a TimeSplitters IV

 


But those days are over, I stayed loyal to Sony and got myself a Playstation 3, I don’t play it nearly as much as my old PS2, but I still manage to keep up with the modern gaming trends. I’ve completed Skyrim and everything.

 

Pictured: Keeping up with the times


On the PS3 The Uncharted Trilogy is a personal favourite of mine, they are a series of action-adventure games about a treasure hunter named Nathan Drake. The series has a very cinematic feel that makes you feel as if you are playing through a big-budget action movie.

 


 

The Characters:

 

Well there’s the star Nathan Drake (pictured above). He’s some sort of distant descendent of Sir Francis Drake and he spends a great deal of his time following in his ancestor’s footsteps in the hopes of finding treasure. When he isn’t doing this he spends his time making wise-cracks and rescuing  his friends when they are taken hostage.

 

“Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy” – Sir Francis


He is joined by his best-friend Victor “Sully” Sullivan, who acts as a sort of a father figure/mentor throughout the games. I must admit that I thought that he would be killed off in the first game, as these mentor figures are prone to do.

 

*sniff*

And finally we have Elena Fisher, Drake’s love interest. I quite like her too, she’s basically the voice of reason, urging caution and suggesting that the missions are too dangerous. Boring in theory, but it’s handled well.

 

The gang

 

So here are my thoughts on the trilogy, however unlike film trilogies it is hard to reacquaint yourself with what has happened in the previous games without spending 8 hours replaying the story mode. I personally haven’t touched the first two games since at least 2010, but I will do my best to remember the highlights. Also, Spoilers!

 

Uncharted I aka Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune


 


Where Are We?: The jungles of South America

 

Why?: Turns out that the city of El Dorado is located somewhere around here

 

What Happens?: Well, El Dorado is in fact is cursed. It turns people into mutants, the main villain wants to harness this power and sell it on the weapons market. Also it turns out that some Nazis were looking for El Dorado during WWII so, it’s Drake vs. Mutant Nazis.

 


Nazis, jungles and lost treasure? Get Harrison on the phone!

 

Was It Good?: Yeah it was alright. I remember not being a big fan of the jungle, and if I’m honest my least favourite video game setting is the jungle. Jungles have little variety, maybe the developers can throw in some swimming sections or a Jeep chase, but that’s all that they can really do.

 

Although I remember the Jeep chase being a particular highlight


My main memory of this game was the final boss. He was absurd, it took me literally an hour of retrying before I could finally win the battle.

 

Plus he looks like a poor man’s Robert Downey Jr.

 

Verdict: I wouldn’t call the game forgettable, I just feel that the other games in the are far superior and have overshadowed Uncharted I. So I’m afraid that I am going to have to give it a lowly 6 Indiana Jones-style whips out of 10

 

 

Uncharted 2 aka Uncharted II: Among Thieves



 Where Are We?: This is mainly in Nepal, specifically The Himalayas. So that means snow.

 

Why?: Drake is looking for the lost ships of Marco Polo, he eventually finds some sort of evil stone that turns people into these weird snow creatures that are stupidly hard to kill.

 

Hate these guys


What Happens?: Well it turns out that Drake and Elena had broken up between games, but they run into each other. I remember being genuinely happy to see Elena when she makes her first appearance at about the half-way mark.  

 

Their sexually tense, “Will they? Won’t they?” relationship reminds me of a certain beloved television couple

 

I realised at that point that I was fully immersed into the world of Uncharted, the gang was back together, Drake Sully and Elena ready to hunt treasure and fight bad guys. And they even get back together at the end in a nice heartwarming ending.
Was it good?: This game was a marked improvement on the first one, it was very cinematic. There were a lot of big set-piece shootouts, most notably the level where you fight on a train. It had everything you want from a train sequence, there was fighting on the roof, helicopters and to top it all off the train derails and is left hanging precariously off the side of a mountain. Then you have to climb up the wreckage to safety as the train begins to slip off the cliffside.

 

A genuinely exhilarating action sequence

 

The Verdict: This game really made things a lot more interesting, there were varied areas to fight in, a village, a temple and the mountain tops. The variety and set pieces really improved things, plus with the characters having already been established it allowed the story to start much quicker and progress without the need to introduce a lot of characters. I give it a strong 8.5 abominable snowmen out of 10.
 

 

Uncharted 3 aka Uncharted III: Drake’s Deception



 Where are we?: The desert. Brilliant. There aren’t a lot of games that use the desert as a setting, it is very refreshing and it let me live some of my favourite desert movie moments. Such as wandering through the desert for days without water.

 

Complete with mirages!


Why?: Turns out Francis Drake went on a secret mission to Syria to find the ‘Atlantis of the Sands’, and Drake is following in his footsteps to uncover the mystery.

 

What happens?:  So towards the end of the game Sully gets shot and dies, (I actually gasped when it happened.) The villain lady unleashes an army of dudes with flames for heads, classic Uncharted, the supernatural enemies had arrived and they were predictable difficult to kill.

 

Seriously fuck these guys

 

But the level becomes increasingly surreal until it is revealed that the entire sequence was actually a hallucination , and we are greeted to Sully’s healthy face as Drake re-enters reality. It sounds like a very cliché plot twist, but the game sells it very well, and I felt very relieved that nothing had happened to Sully.

So, yeah Uncharted III sticks to human enemies, minus the dream sequence.

 

As is tradition Elena comes in about half-way through the game and helps Drake out, but she’s much more serious in this game. She questions why Drake is still trying to beat the bad guys and accuses him of being blinded by his pride. She’s right, he really has no other reason to keep going other than pride, plus he is also putting everyone else in danger by doing so.

 

He’s too old for this shit

 

It injects actual drama into the story, and makes you question Drake’s motivations and if the mission really is important.

 

Either way, Drake continues regardless and takes down the bad guys, the ending strongly implies that he is going to marry Elena as the gang flies off into the sunset.

 

hopefully they all decide to move in together

 

Was it good?: Good? Yes. Difficult? Incredibly. This may be one of the most difficult games that I have ever played, there are so many henchmen and they are all have stupid amounts of health. Each action sequence feels overwhelming and I most certainly struggled through this game.

 

Having said that the game itself is fantastic, there are so many great moments, the stand out example is when Drake is escaping from a sinking cruise ship. You have to run through the ship as it is sinking looking for a way to escape, plus there are still guys trying to kill you, the whole thing is genuinely exhilarating, like the last hour of Titanic. But with guns.


Yippee-Kai-Yay-Motherfucker

 

The thrilling conclusion takes place in the main hall of the cruise ship, which happens to have a literal glass ceiling. As you are going around killing the bad guys and what-not, you can hear the glass starting to crack under the pressure of the water, it is stark reminder that you need to find an exit quickly before the glass shatters like main hall of the Titanic.

 

Because we haven’t had a  LEGO reconstruction yet

 

The Verdict: This is the strongest of the trilogy, it has the best story and action sequences. I have no hesitation in awarding this game a prestigious 9.5 desert scarves out of 10.

 

 

Where next for the series?: Throwing it out there.

 

LEGO Uncharted

 

It just makes sense


 

The Forgotten Men of Hip-Hop: Dana Dane

This is Slick Rick, he’s a famous rapper whose popularity peaked in the late 1980s. He raps with an English accent and tells hilarious first-person stories, he’s a genius.

 

Nothing says ‘genius rapper’ like gold rings and eye patches

This is his lesser known friend, Dana Dane, whose popularity also peaked in the late 1980s. Like Rick, Dana also raps with an English accent and tells amusing first-person anecdotes about his adventures and how cool he is. I love him

 

Nothing says “1987” like a Kangol hat

Slick Rick was born in South London and moved to New York as a child. Dana Dane is a big fat phony, he’s New York born and raised. He used to be in a rap crew with Rick and I would wager that Dana stole the accent gimmick from him.

 

 

London: Home of Dana Dane apparently

 Back in 2010 I stumbled upon his Wiki. I learned that there was this guy called Dana who used to bum around with Slick Rick and pretended to be British. I was sold immediately. The trusty guys from AllMusic.com informed me that his first album was basically a collection of amusing stories and gave it an impressive 4.5/5 stars.

 

AllMusic’s word is Oak

I needed no more encouragement and checked out his 1987 debut, Dana Dane With Fame and it was great. It is certainly no Great Adventures of Slick Rick but that does not mean that it is not without his charms.

The first thing that you notice about Dane is that he really thinks that he is the hot shit, so cool in fact, that it borders on delusional.

 

Dana Dane’s love letter to himself

 

Pretty much every song involves some sort of story about how girls find him amazingly attractive and are physically unable to resist his charms. It’s brilliant. My personal favourite example of this can be heard on the track Delancey Street.

 

Delancey Street Apparently

So he starts by telling us how good of a rapper is and that Delancey Street is a pretty rough part of town, so far so good. So, Dana’s on the dreaded Delancey Street and is minding his own business when suddenly a group of women come up to him and start flirting. He drops his guard and they pull out some guns and try and rob him. Dana’s like “fuck this” and runs away.

 

In today’s modern hip-hop everyone cares about their tough guy image too much to even dare to tell a story in which they are chased by anyone, let alone by a group of women. I find Delancey Street a refreshing tale from a simpler time.

 

So anyway back to the story. The women catch up to Dana and make him strip, but as he takes off his jacket the ladies realise that he is infact that man Dana Dane. They give up the robbery and are so overcome with lust that they have sex with him right then and there.

 

Artist’s Impression

 Delancey Street says everything you need to about Dana and why his album is so great. He’s Dana Dane world renowned ladies man and all-around cool guy. He doesn’t really boast much, he just informs the audience in a very matter-of-fact manner that he is basically the shit and that women love him. On another song he is going to visit a doctor, once he gets into the office he tells the receptionist who is, and she loses her shit.

 

Clearly the man has major delusions of grandeur, he not only thinks that he is English, but he also thinks that he is one the of the most attractive men to ever walk the face of the Earth. It makes for a great album. He is also quite the rapper and he excels at telling stories.

It is a crying shame that the world forgot Dana Dane, with more exposure he certainly would have become a hip-hop legend.

 

Anyway, I give Dana Dane With Fame 4 Kangol hats out of 5

 


 As soon as Kangols come back into fashion I am going to get one in every colour