Vic B’Stard’s week in review: game patches, Skyrim, Weta Cave, Tintin and Assassin’s Creed Revelations

Vic B'Stard
I like Skyrim...a lot!

Game patches are, generally speaking, a good thing. Being human, we all make mistakes. At least when a mistake is made in a bit of game code, developers have the opportunity to fix things.

At the moment I’m patching Battlefield 3 on the very same laptop that I’m writing this text. I’ve already patched the game on my desktop. I say patched, but we are not talking about a couple of megabytes here. The patch for EA’s shooter weighs in at around 4GB. In little old NZ where nobody actually has any money to spare and internet data is closely monitored (as well as charged for at ridiculous rates), EA’s 4GB patch will eat into a considerable amount of the average Kiwi’s meager internet data limit.

Lucky me then, as most of my business is carried out via the intertubes, I have a larger that usual data limit giving me the luxury of downloading the same astronomical patch twice. But even I, in an attempt to limit my internet bill, tried to lower my internet data cap last month; only to raise it back up this month.

Talking of patches, another high-profile game (which I’m totally enamored with), The Elder Scroll V: Skyrim, has also had a bit of patch-related fun of late. The game had a day-one patch, which is always an eyebrow raiser, obviously the result of disc-pressing deadlines; as those last-minute changes can be worked on in the few weeks from the lock-down of the release code to the publish date.

Skyrim Dragon
I can assure you that this post-PC-patch dragon was most definitely flying forwards!

Skyrim’s second patch, intended to fix a load of things that I’d not noticed, apparently introduced a load of other problems. Not being a stat-counting anal-lyst of a player, I didn’t notice all the patch-related problems that have enraged the game’s internet-savvy player-base, either.

Good, but not as good as I thought it'd be.

I did, however, notice the supposedly, according to the game’s developer/publisher Bethesda, “rare amazing backwards flying dragon. Which is only rare if you don’t travel to the location where the dragon resides. Adventurers travelling to Bonestrewn Crest south of Windhelm will see the reversing dragon in all its stupidity. Contrary to all the folks on the internet who think the dragon is “really funny”- it isn’t, it’s crap and, if you don’t know that the thing is also unkillable, an annoying waste of all your artillery ammo.

All Skyrim’s problems are set to be fixed anytime now (with the PC patch of a patch out already). PS3 players will have to wait for their lag fix whilst Bethesda try to work out exactly what the problem is (another massive fail. But it’s hardly a surprise as it is the norm for non-exclusive PS3 titles to be sub-par against the Xbox 360 version (ooo, get her, claws out).

Super super hero movie!

I’ve yet to finish the Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 single-player game. I’ve been enjoying it, but it is more of the same, in this case, more of the same game I’ve been playing for eight years, since the release of the first game on the PC in 2003, longer if I include Call of Duty’s predecessor, the original Medal of Honor. as for the multiplayer, considering the entire world is supposedly playing the game, I’m unable to find a game without a ten minute wait. May it is my nasty Telecom router, or my relatively remote location on the Kapiti Coast (but only 30 miles from New Zealand’s capital) or, most probably, something at Activision’s end as I have no problem finding a game of Black Ops. Brilliant, especially as I paid extra for Call of Duty Elite.

I picked up Captain America on Blu-ray this week. Excellent film; my favorite of all the Marvel movies to date. Setting the film in the Second world Wars was a brave idea that really paid off; with the sorry state of Hollywierd at the moment, I bet the suits took some convincing. Saying that, it’s probably a bit more palatable than a modern-day origin that sees Cap beating shit out of Muslims in the Middle East- Nazis Hydra makes for such a better, less offensive and more PC opponent. As I say, great film.

When I’m not playing games, reading comics or watching TV/movies, I fancy myself as some sort of 3D artist-come-movie-maker. You can see some of my efforts here, here and here. Paid work is mainly in the form of rather dry architectural and engineering suff, but hey, it’s a living. By sad offerings are nothing compared to the greatness that I visited at the weekend.

The Art of Tintin
Weta's Art of Tintin!

On Saturday I went down into Wellington to the Weta Cave; which is the world-famous Weta Workshop and Weta Digital’s retail frontage just around the corner from where they made all the movie magic for Lord of the Rings and Avatar. Since moving down Wellington way, from Auckland, I pop into  the Weta Cave every few months.

My Art of Tintin (with, as yet, unopened freebie), as signed by Chris and Frank!

The weekend event at the Weta Cave was a Tintin promotion of sorts, with folks bringing along their dogs for a Snowy (Milou) look-a-like competition (I even saw the two “Wilsons” from the NZ Lotto adverts there). The was also a signing for Weta’s Art of Tintin book by the book’s writer and the films lead concept artist, Chris Guise and Weta artist, Frank Victoria. Chris was a good bloke and very chatty, I would have loved to have chinwagged with them both a bit more (and asked for a job), but the two-year-old swinging on my arm had had enough of the interior of the Cave.

Inside the fantastic Art of Tintin!

The Art of Tintin is a pretty exquisite book (thankfully, as I’d not looked at it until after I brought it) featuring a tonne of info about making the film, as well as lots of beautiful concept illustrations. If you are into 3D animation or just a fan of Tintin, you owe it to yourself to pick up this book!

On the gaming front, I’m currently still making my way though Assassin’s Creed Revelations for a review that is well overdue. My initial thoughts on middle-aged Ezio’s adventure in Constantinople is that the game, as great as it is, does feel like a step backward for the series. Look out for the full review on later this week.

Vic out.