Wednesday, 11 September 2013

An outsider looking in: Call of Duty: Ghosts trailer opinions

Its a tense time that the Syrian intervention crisis is still ongoing, that some may think it is inevitable before the U.S intervene and that peace in the region will be even less likely than before, and with Russia defending the country for its own reasons. Its all a mess, and I wish I knew more about it to debate the issue stronger but it does reveal just how strong an influence the United States has on international conflicts. Not many nations like the idea of the superpower getting into other countries affairs, particularly when it has the power to strike targets at the drop of the presidents hat.

It is not particularly easy to root for the states in the last few decades when it comes to conflict. They are the big guy, the ones that can conquer the opposition forces, and while they are the good guys, they have not really appeared as such in any war post WW2, when the enemy posed a threat and was genuinely corrupted.

If you are wondering why I started a game trailer analysis with such a delve into politics, just check out the latest trailer for Infinity Ward's latest shooter and ask yourself the question: Just HOW badly do America want another worthwhile war?

Its rather unsettling, given current events depicting america as a collosal power turning the tide of any conflict, that Call of Duty Ghosts depicts the country as a fragile state that can be invaded by any nation after their own tech strikes them and they have to fight to survive.

Before I go any further, this is opinions on how the story is depicted in the trailer. This could turn out to have a very different tone with different views and sequences in the final game, so a full review will have to be done of the game when it comes out.

The trailer begins with a space segment, where enemies attack astronauts & american forces fight back, but not before their orbital weapon fires at the states. Its not clear why weapons are used in space at all, but hey, near future right?!
initially I didn't get how an enemy force could get away with sending guns into space, but then a brief flash indicates something curious


The flag on the enemy astronaut is of the E.U
after this point the narrator talks about betrayal of trust, so its fair to assume that Europeans activated the U.S weapon. Coming from a European, its rather absurd. Why would Europe want to attack the U.S? I am hoping the game provides justification.

After that we get a sequence of military machinery and the narrator saying how those 'south of the equator' overwhelmed the poor crippled nation, and were free to invade america after the weapon attack 10 years prior.

Again, its hard to escape the implausibility of what is happening, yet its delivered in a deadpan manner, with no humour. The narrator does not say 'jesus, we didn't see this coming' or anything like that. No, this is a serious threat at the time this game takes place.

Screw Russia or China, the South will be the ones to attack!

A series of scripted events happen with the protagonist. Admittedly very flashy, particularly with the train sequence.

And of course the running gag of the games marketing, the Call of Duty Dog gets an appearance, taking down a helicopter all by himself

Such a cutesy killing machine! have a biccy!

And then we get to the point where the patriotism meter busts up, with the line "A man who truly loves his country doesn't just give up his life. He gives his son's"

Now I love my country, despite its problems with terrible politicians, money woes & a failing public transport system, but I wouldn't send my son out on the frontlines just to please it. Its scary that the game has a line encouraging future generations to fight when such a thing seems certain to happen right now and noone wants it. I believe a more appropriate line would have been " ...doesn't just give up his life, he protects his son's". Family comes ahead of national jingoism to me.

And then more scripted sequences before the obligatory pre order request comes in at the end.

My ethics takeaway from the trailer is that America really, REALLY wants to justify its power by facing an enemy of sufficient threat, no matter the cost to its own. When the threat is from being bombed by its own supersatellites, and invaded by the south american/african/australian continents it really leaves a bad taste. What would those invaders get out of invading the country? Mere land and constant rebellions are not worth it. If an absurd bombing was to happen, the E.U would not be the ones attacking the U.S, contrary, they would be the first to give a helping hand in delivering aid. 10 years of cities decaying assumes uninhabitable areas, so the conquerors get stuck with areas they cannot really occupy.
Worstly the tone is sickeningly patriotic towards the states; there is the Blops 2 way of showing that while what the states do is good, they left some in a bad way, and then there is the ghosts way, of sacrificing your family to the stars & stripes because other countries have nothing better to do than plan invading the superpower when its down.

From a gameplay standpoint I cannot help but feel like this is a retread of Black ops 2 minus the view of the other side. Think about it, an american weapons system is turned against them and those south of the states are responsible & filled with scripted set pieces? The tone is different from Blops 2's action extravaganza but the events are similar.

And believe it or not, I am a big fan of how the series treated its positivity towards the west not too long ago. CoD4 showed protagonists that were brutal & morally questionnable, yet got results, and showed that noone in that game was truly evil or angelic. MW3 conversely showed that while attacking america, the Russians may as well have chemical attacks in Europe & massacre prague civilians...just because its necessary!

Cpt.Walker thought destructive weapons were necessary too!

Spec Ops the line may have spoiled me on story choice, but after playing the line just about every modern shooter since has been going against the themes of what the line did, often to their detriment in my eyes.
So after all this ranting, remember that a little bit of murica! is good and all, but don't try so hard to make them underdogs, or have them depicted as such in just about every modern shooter ever made.

One sided opinion & flame shield on

Monday, 29 April 2013

30 Day Challenge: Day 4

The meaning behind my online alias

I have had this name since I had time with the PS2 and Xbox and had to create a username.


The original names were SergioT101 and T102 (for Halo 1 and 2 respecively)
the name Sergio came from the footballer Paulo Sergio, who played for Brazil and A.S Roma at the time. the second name was just used because of the first name in my own.

and of course, T101 and 102 came from the terminator series for the model T-800/Model 101.

Anyway Sergio worked well, until as a joke while playing Red Raction 2 with one of my friends I made Sergio Mach 3. This was due to the new wave of Gilette mach 3 blades that were in shops at the time and was a pretty funny to add the number 3 in (as opposed to Sergio 3 which didn't flow well saying it).

You can thank these

Then I skipped Mach 4 for whatever reason and first was online with SergioMach5 for a bebo account. Then followed Xbox Live, which I have used the name ever since.

Maybe for the next generation I will add in Mach 6, but for now it will do.

So yeah that's the gritty origins story.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

30 Day Challenge: Day 3

Your day in great detail

Be warned, this is my day on the 26th April, something resembling a day off, and has a lot of type and thoughts. Its thesis worthy!

Alarm-11AM rings, hit the dismiss button, and my eyes struggle to stay open.

So I appear, walking through my old secondary school, through the busiest corridor. I see the students have all stood up and stayed still and silent with an exception;one boy is being harassed by a teacher. He simply needed to leave early because he had football later. I stand against her, saying what he is doing is better than taking drugs or drink, something the students staying in the school have been doing.

Instantly I am climbing the schools front wall, with an odd stumble too. Possibly weak brickwork. I swing off a tree branch and leap off to the pavement below. I meet an attractive woman, Rachel. I haven't seen her in years, and she wants to hear about whats happened over the years. I chase after her, but she is a quick sprite of a woman.
I eventually find her, in an exaggerated sized pub, reminiscent of older style Irish pubs.

I explore it, finding two of my college friends as well as my parents. They go outside to a courtyard where a presentation is about to be held. I attempt to hide from the presentation in fear, running back from the courtyard into the pub, the woodwork interior feeling much more welcoming. I run up a flight of stairs. At the top is my project supervisor. Stunned, I fly backwards, in slow motion, all the way down the stairs and with my supervisor always in sight from the start of the fall to the landing on my spine.

I wake up. It is 2PM, with sun shining through my blinds. I could have done so much more with those three hours!

I walk down the hall, and close my bathroom door softly. I take a piss with the bright sunlight against my skin. A tricky feat for first time of the day, with my left arm occupied with my notebook and pen, and my right holding the shaft. Just as it ends the wind blows in from the top window, blowing the door wide open. At least noone is there to catch me.

A facewash and handwash later, and a glance in the mirror for good measure before internet time. A quick scan for social updates while my electric disco playlist is up and running on spotify.

And to exercise: 5 sets of solid pushups. 16, 18, 13, 13, 20+ today, with 120 second gaps. All the while I am downing water, lest I die halfway through, shambolic fitness level, but that is what the challenge is for. A bit more electric disco while at it & during gaps staring out the window.

May as well stroke tiger for a bit, follow him to the kitchen and feed him.

Talk to an attractive woman on facebook chat. Stuff like changing the past is in conversation. Would you do it knowing this timeline no longer exists? Your friends, lovers, work, gone. Brightening the thoughts, I play Shapeshifters-Lola's theme on the MP3 player. Porridge and OJ for food, pretty bland but OK.

Collecting some change in the shops, straight out the door. A surprisingly chilly, yet sunny day. Wind blows south and clouds are mixing it u...wait
Sister calls me in to a quick chore, holding a paintbrush... OK, NOW back out the door!

A routine walk with my hood not up surprisingly. I vault over a small wall before entering the local school. Kids are playing football, this time with girls in the team.

I pass this church, and wonder if I will have the balls to climb to the top some day

The traffic is pretty busy near the shopping centre, cyclists stay by the lights waiting for the green, a woman rushes across anyway, even in the face of a small van. I wait while listening to some Stealers Wheel.

At the shops I unload my change into the machine, the jingles inside calculating a number. I get €6.50, not bad for shrapnel.

A quick April drizzle hits as I return home. For some reason I brought €20 with me, something I was not going to spend here anyway. I am amused somewhat by it while Fion-This Way plays through my white earbuds. Traffic appears to be getting busier, with some examples being an abundance of learner drivers, and narrow roads being blocked by cars parked on both sides. As I arrive home, I notice tulips growing from what used to be a dry dead bed. Its a neat little thing to see something so beautiful grow out of something harsh.

Time for a good long shower. The bathroom is pretty warm for once. The ambience encourages me to strip down and admire my figure, shy as I am. You are only young once, and women will not want it if you are ancient!

The usual LAD shower, cock and balls followed by everything else. No shampoo around though, conditioner day? One bloody shave later and it is time to get a good shirt on. Hopefully I am not overdressed. By now its quarter to six. In a grey stripy shirt, good dark jeans and white runners, with the aroma of Tommy Hilfiger on me. Lets go.

This bus is a curious beast. It's meant to arrive every 15 minutes, but time after time its just under 20. I must always be waiting for one the second after another bus has left! Life.

Lads at the back are having the chats, from the recent champions league results, FIFA, the Irish army and politics of all things "How did they elect George Bush?"
You really do see all of Dublin society on a long bus ride. From the hard workers, to the dole scroungers, to the middle class and finally the economic 1%. A nice view of Dublin Bay at times too, though a DART would better serve this purpose.

I can sense future technology on this bus. Wi-fi, a digital ticker, an LCD screen, wheelchair ramps and more cameras than necessary are all on this bus. I do not necessarily like it, but I will likely get used to it as the fleet improves over the next few years.

The walk from the bus stop to my friends house was interesting. GardaĆ­ in up to date 13-D cars are on the hunt for someone. It makes me wonder how long I could evade an entire city of police if I was most wanted. Like Tsarnaev, without the civilian bombings. Random gunfire would likely be my fantasy crime, no killing, just distracting.

A trip to indie spice in Sandymount resulted in a great, if quiet time. Everyone else ordered a coke and a Korma, but that's no fun! I ordered vegetable pakoras followed by a chicken achari. Spicy as hell but delicious. Friendly cobra beer inbound as well, but at 7.95 the beverage was pricey, even if larger than usual.

Baileys after was welcome. A little awkward through the meal with just 4 people, with one half being all romantic and with us 2 lads going 'DUHHHH!!!' we joked a lot, but they may not have enjoyed the childish 'humour'.

After stuffing myself to the point of explosion, we headed to Mulligans, but not before stumbling across a french demi-baguette of all things just lying there on the ground...

A pint was owed to me so happy days! though the full stomach meant a fair bit of nursing the pint. More crazed banter and was a cozy night totalling just a group of 5 at the pub. A standard chilling night, and out at 11.40.

With just 11 minutes until the bus arrived at the stop, I had to do a legger to the stop. Set to Assassins Creed, I made it in time. A nitelink was a surprise, but its my ticket home so better pay the price. Apparently the cut-off point for passengers to get on is the U.S embassy so I got lucky.

This bus is not as futuristic as the one on the way in. Pretty conventional, no LCD's, wi-fi or the like, but its fine. Perhaps the nitelinks use the less modern buses in case of the standard nitelink scenarios like drinking, puking and general rowdiness. As a surprise the bus flew past the ghost town of Dun Laoghaire and travelled to Dalkey, before returning on the normal route. The classic rock is a great thing to listen to while seated. A full moon is blacked out by clouds as it travels through the scenic parts of Dublin.

Getting off the bus, the full moon shines through the clouds. I may not be lycanthropic, but maybe its influenced my primal instincts. I have a piss in a nearby bush. A slow walk through the church I wanted to climb earlier in the day. Its a cold but calm ambience.

Back home and in bed. Acid reflux is hitting, must use rennies soon. Chatting to the attractive woman on facebook again, while listening to Sylvester- I need you. I wish I could have a hot night with her in my bed but ah well, manly urges and full moon. Sleep now

end log @ 02.14

30 Day Challenge: Day 2

10 Likes and Dislikes

This should be simple, though where I pull these out of could come from anywhere, be it day to day life, games, tv, music, and peoples actions. Lets find out what I like and hate!


1. Man Time!
This is when I get home after a long day, and out of instinct I whip out a beer, watch whatever match is on the telly, and enjoy some bacon on the side if preferable. It simply cures the woes of the day, even for the brief 90 minutes that the match tends to last.

2. Father Ted
How could I NOT like Father Ted. In fact, this should not even be here since its like and not LOVE. Nothing will ever capture Irish humour the same way this show has, and put on top that it was set just before Ireland became obsessed with the modern style we have today. It has jokes that hit every time I watch, and even the rare misses seem to be bounced back by an even bigger hit. If I ever need cheering up, an episode of Father Ted does the job. Watch this sitcom.

3. A Kiss from a rose
This should be an obvious one, just walking up to someone you like, and then sharing a moment together that seems to make the entire world change from hell to heavenly. You can never have enough love.

4. Night exploration
One of my odder likes, sometimes I tend to just say 'fuck it' and leave the house, and go for a walk. This usually means a trip to the chinese, or to the beach, but going outside the local area to find beautiful views and hidden goodies again is always worth it.

5. A good doorty chinese
Since I paid it lip service in the last one, its only appropriate. General Tso's chicken, or a classy 4 in 1 do the job, even if you feel like exercising the day after.

6. A great night out
A night where you have a few drinks with friends, in a good pub with food afterwards, and the taxi back, preferably with someone you like with you. What could you hate about it?

7. A great night in
a takeaway? Check. A great collection of films and games? Check. The music is doing brill too! and to top it all, the friends you want to share the fun with are here!

8. Burnout Road Rage
While Halo may be my favourite game series, when it comes to venting frustration nothing is better from a gaming standpoint than a game of Burnout 3 or Revenge, and blowing cars up! smash your rivals off the road, nudge them off cliffs, or smack them into a bus. A favourite of mine since 2004.

9. Photoshopping
I have a thing for turning turds into less offensive turds with adobe products, but the best example is using the beloved program that is photoshop. I love messing with it, and can sometimes make 'art' out of it.

10. My Cat Tiger

Some love em', some hate em' but the family seems to like cats now. Tiger is evil and at the same time far too soft, and when he rubs against you it just shows he is king of this house for the fact of being really fluffy. You will miss him when he isnt around all the same.

And The Shit List...

1. Dairy Products
Technically I am not allergic to them, but they put me off just about any food imaginable. many a pizza, garlic bread and hot chocolate has been ruined by this food category

2. Call of Duty:Modern Warfare 3
One game that I will forever despise. It was not just the fact that it didn't improve upon MW2 in any way, but it kept the mistakes it predecessor had along with blocking its ears as if Black Ops (the better game) never existed. Bland, unoriginal and frustrating are 3 words to give this game.

3. Watching a shite film
Pretty self explanatory. Watching a bad film is a waste of money, and thus checking sites like rotten tomatoes are now the norm.

A particularly bad offender

4. Project supervisors
A very personal thing, but when you don't want to see your supervisor to the point of actually not coming into work, you know there is a big problem. And when you do fail, having an hour long grilling from them  does not help your working relationship, especially after you told them not to do it in front of all your co-workers -.-

5. Firework by Katy Perry
Again a specific dislike, a track I hated from its first play and to this day its just so annoying for reasons unknown, but I hate it! Having it played constantly on every radio station for a long, LONG time didn't help much.

6. Losing Love
after a year missing someone, its classified as big love according to 'Win a date with Tad Hamilton'. Still, its a pain while you go through it seeing the world as a dull dead place.

7. Shite nights out
Yeah there are only as many good nights out as there are shite nights out. Being with a crowd you don't particularly bond with, while deafening music blares, and its overcrowded as well. And top it off with a boring sequence of events too. Nothing becomes enjoyable.

8. The many idiots of Facebook
I cannot be alone on this one, there is the one who couldn't spell if the grammar Nazi's had a gun to their heads, the one who declares her love every day to the point of total meaninglessness (surely saying the 3 words to them in person and not that often is better than saying it to everyone on a social networking site?), the one that posts attention seeking status's, the depressed one, and the one who really needs to reference facts before posting stuff up...and that annoying conspiracy on fluoride usage can go in there too.

This was on my wall...

9. Being overly straight.
This is the most personal one on the list. I love women, and logically I am manly...too manly. Thus, ANY communication with the flamboyant usually ends in disaster. I just cannot handle it, and so I miss out on the better stories behind great women...I just cant stand flamboyancy unless its to take the piss. I also hate that I cannot adapt to this particular group, and am likely missing out. Add in that they know I am straight and will place me as center of attention *shudders*

10. 'Insert generic statement here'
Hear about the weather? Hear about the economy? Jayses hear about that Boston fella?
I hate these generic useless questions. Yeah, they serve purpose for introducing conversation but what is wrong with 'How are you?' or 'Hows it going?'

Friday, 26 April 2013

30 day challenge: Day 1

Write some basic things about yourself

So this should be simple, but at the same time I cannot help but feel like I have to impress someone, preferably of the opposite sex and with a drunken glint of passion through my eye after a few glasses of jack and coke.

still, lets get to it.

I am Paul (hence
the Lil Paul name), I was born in the 1980's and hail from the emerald isle of Ireland

I am shy of 6 feet by a few inches (yeah I dont do height calculations very well!) and and relatively slim. I feel like I am improving in physique with each passing week though, thanks exercise! and I have the mixed lifestyle that the 2000's and 2010's have done so well at mixing so far.

I could be described as a skanger that barely made it over to the alternative side, so there is a variety of lifestyles that clash, be it trips to tesco for reduced food to enjoying myself at a good rock bar. On top of that, there is the nerdy element, and I am certainately affiliated with the games industry over any other medium. Halo is the king, and I enjoy games from every area, even from PS3 contrary to popular belief. And I can be a chameleon of sorts, almost anyone I interact with I can find a common interest, but usually that also means I stay quiet in case I have to say something more deep (who won the football? who won the rugby? whats this latest band?)

If am a poster child of anti-drugs, which is ironic seeing as I have hung out with a fair few smokers and cannabis users over the years. Still, I am amoral in this respect, they can do anything and I wont stop them, so long as they dont shove it down my throat.

I like hanging out in town, but a lot of the time I reside in my man cave, complete with TV, xbox and laptop, and a surround sound system just for fun too.

I am the quiet type that secretly comes out and goes crazy when needed, and I have the style of being fairly crazy and at the same time have the potential to be the depressed detective type all at once.

So there we go, day 1, you know a bit about me.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

The 30 day challenge

So I have done a few of these in the past (notably the 30 day song challenge and game challenge) but these have been on the likes of facebook and bebo, some things that are another site away.

But I technically have this as a blog so why not accept the challenge of doing 30 posts in 30 days? It cannot hurt after all unless this gets analysed by crime scene investigators long after my inevitable crime against society.

So, lets delve into the list, shall we?

Lets do this

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

50 Things about 2012

1.The first 24 hours of 2012: long texts, horde mode, aircoach, Duquesa, forced awake and intaking 2 extra bottles of Marques de Cacares despite a messy end to 2011, joy.

this view too

2.the last 24 hours of 2012: fixing the xbox, while planning a rather fun 2013. bottle of 7up can keep you alive for 3 straight days if you try.

4.Working in retail indeed teaches you to hate people

5. Bacbar, sweet jesus the messiness!

6.I am willing to die for some, and merely just a few injuries for others.

7.A Corolla is some beast to drive, and fun to master.

8.Photoshop keeps you sane when everything else isnt.

9. Dont beat someone too much at minigames.

10. Ulster Bank sure like making you wait to get your payslips, fecking technical fault

11. A quick trigger finger is expensive for something like paintballing, perhaps it was better to be a marksman than a Rambo?!

12. 12PM,12.12.12, the worst hour of 2012, appropriate timing eh?!

13. You couldnt hide my smile when I found out I was to graduate :)

14. Dr. Jones, Return of the Mack, Gangnam Style;If you know the connection, you'd better stay quiet!

15. 27 clothes pegs on your face makes for a great photo

16. Dishonored, it may not be the best looking (Halo 4), the most popular(Black Ops 2), or the smartest (Assassins creed) game out there, but it knew what I wanted, and delivered. My game of the year

17. 2 hours of Business a week truly ages you, and degenerates you into a shadow

18. On the other side of the coin, the enthusiasm you show when being in a Broadcasting Technology lecture is surprising to say the least.

19. my IADT experience for 2/3rds of 2012

20. the assassins game is getting too popular, let it go on for more than a mere 5 days this time lads!

21. The first time you absail down the quarry in Dalkey is a fear conquering experience.

22. The second time you absail down feels like a mission in Call of Duty, flying down the side as quickly as possible.

23. Chelsea Beating Bayern Munich over penalties was great imagery, if only because it was seen behind the counter of a chipper in Bray

24. Ronan, that match in the RDS was Class! best do it again soon

25. Doyles needs to fix their bannister.

26. A week in March was considered the Irish Summer, while the dying days of December rivalled some July days. sometimes I wonder...

27. Nandos is a must dine experience after mini golf.

28. You CAN surf in Killiney Beach, you just need some conditions for it.

Its pretty damn cool!

29. I did not find Ted funny, aside from the one Susan Boyle joke.

30. Photo's in Killiney end up as blackmail pics for trolling, nice one Ed.

31. Irelands where were you moment: Katie Taylor winning Gold in the London olympics; unfortunately I was in a workshift where the only shoppers were women complaining that men were enjoying women beat each other up....

32. Buy a scratchcard off an attractive co-worker when off shift, it makes you out as a risky gambler type.

33.Don't be surprised when said co worker actually is crazy instead of the sweet innocent type you thought, as she goes wild and messy on the dancefloor with random lads.

34. Haywire was to me the first American film set in Ireland which didnt have negative Irish stereotypes. Even Michael Fassbender baiting the heroine about the place felt justified when he ends up getting killed at the end of the fight.

35. I own Emmy's wristband on my arm, and she now owns the skull I had round my neck. A nice trade off for someone I will never meet again until the next life. Kudos crazy lady.

36. Dark Knight Rises, a rather popular choice but its my film of 2012. Not the greatest ever, but I didn't exactly see many others. Amazing spiderman perhaps as runner up......nah

37. Its hard to stop thinking about the good times when in a long cycle of bad times...

38. Selling the Family Guy Game=Value for money

39. Trading in Modern Warfare 3 for €4=still value for money :)

40. go light painting with like minded people, you learn some pretty good techniques!

41. You can get too old for camping holidays, but only temporarily

42. Remember to get the aul fella some bacon fries if you are getting some anyway.

43. Learn to Appreciate sitcoms on Channel 4; How I met your mother, Frasier, and the older noughties hits are worth the watch.

44. Run fast, and run the distance.

45. You miss your free space after a few months, and long for an indoor place where no ones watching.

46. Cooking oil wont blow up from a firework, but dont stand too close to the sun when it happens eh?!

47. Dominos deals are amazing when theres no food left.

48. Shanai got to know me this year, and I hope to dine there again when the money rolls in again, best Indian round the area.

49. 2012 seemed like the second part of a trilogy: the drama increased from 2011, and the plot threads remain unresolved, to be done in 2013.

50. 2013 better solve the plot threads: whats on the cards, I will not know, but I'd better learn from the previous years, and hope to be happy days!