The first of three FREE Saturday events was a major success. I went to bed sitting at #12 in sci-fi, and I am pretty sure I broke into the top ten before the event was through. The next two Saturday events will be on October 17 and on October 31.
Also, I am working on getting a paperback version out in time for the holidays. More details coming soon.
Today, you can find my debut novel right here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RSJPHOK. I decided to self publish it in ebook form. Here is a quick peak at the back cover:
What if one day you discovered you were not human?
David Mathis, emotionally wounded by divorce and unemployment, is burnt out and ready to pull the trigger when he is faced with the hard-hitting truth.
He is Creed 0324, one of the many genetically engineered humans created by the U.S. government. Designed to be the perfect weapon, he alone has the unique ability to absorb the physical traits of any living organism he touches. However, after flaws began to surface during
the experiment, the genetically engineered soldiers were terminated. All except one.
Suddenly, David’s life takes a drastic turn as he finds himself accused of murder and hunted by vicious hitmen. To make matters worse, his daughter has been taken hostage, and the kidnapper plays a cruel game.
Confronted by his past, David’s fabricated identity begins to unravel as he is torn between dual personas: human mind and mindless killer. Not only is his
daughter’s life at stake, but the future of an entire nation. Now he must fight for his life, his humanity, and his creed.
Saint’s Row The Third is ridiculous. It flaunts its absurdity; wearing it like a badge as opposed to shrinking from it in embarrassment. You will find no shame here. Volition has created an adult theme park free of restraints and begs you to not take it too seriously. Indeed, the sheer amount of insanity becomes both its strength and its bane.
The fictional city of Steelport is a sweeping metropolis that begs to be explored. Before you is an open-world sandbox that makes causing mayhem and goofing off its only real priority. Sure, a main story can be found. However, while is starts out decent it quickly veers off course into the realm of utter nonsense. Solid voice acting is marred by poorly written dialogue that caters far too much to crude humor and vulgar language.
The story here could have been something special if it stuck to smartly written satire over immature rubbish. That’s not to say it doesn’t have its moments. Rather it’s because of those moments that I find myself cringing at the thought of what could have been. Instead, we are left with a game sprinkled with small doses of awesome but no real substance to speak of.
Saints Row bypasses story and takeaway value for pure gameplay. And it does manage to deliver on this end. From gunfights and car chases, to racing through Tron-like levels and driving around menacing tigers; the variety comes in all shapes and sizes. The controls handled nicely and I found the jam-packed soundtrack to be easy on the ears.
The visuals are nothing to write home about; which is neither good nor bad. The level of customization is great, but the lack of polish is evident. While the game isn’t entirely buggy, it did crash on me a few times as I worked my way through the main story. That and the framerate takes a slight hit when too much starts to happen on the screen.
The combat is fun but can also be frustrating at times. With weapons like a “Fart-in-the-Jar” and the “Mind-Control Octo Launcher,” you will find plenty of ways to amuse yourself. I did accidentally shoot my allies on a few occasions. And I can’t even begin to describe my annoyance while battling the pesky flaming zombies.
This is a game packed with plenty of different activities to engage in. Some are a blast. Others are boring and tedious. Co-op is a real treat, especially when you consider the main story is awfully short for an open-world game.
Saints Row The Third is a real hit or miss for me. On the one hand, it celebrates everything that games can do that movies, novels, television, and plays cannot. On the other hand, it stunts its own potential with a flood of pointless obscenities and missed opportunities. Yes there is fun here to be had. Just be sure to proceed with caution.
Title: Saint’s Row The Third
Platforms: Xbox 360, PC, & PS3
Style: 1-2 Players; 3rd Person Action
by D.L. Timmerman
His face is bloodied and bruised. Deep gashes cover his chest, bits of shrapnel are embedded into his thigh, and his cape is torn to shreds. He sucks in a deep breath. A light snow is falling as a winter storm approaches. To his back lies theGothamCityskyline complete with towering giants, bright spotlights, and draped in yellow hues. Police sirens shriek in the distance, but they will be of no help where he is at.
He is alone; waging an all-out war against a never ending tide of murderers, psychotics, and lunatics. There is no law here. It’s everybody for themselves; anarchy at its finest. A maniacal laugh causes his head to flinch. The time for rest is over. Batman and the player controlling him take to the skies once more knowing that even a moment’s hesitation can mean the difference between life and death.
Welcome to ArkhamCity. A walled-off section of Gotham transformed into a massive prison. It is within these walls that one of the greatest Batman stories ever told transpires and is executed to near perfection.
It manages to integrate polished gameplay with a blockbuster script and the results are staggering. From the moody atmosphere littered with detail, to the adrenaline laced combat, colorful characters, and an engrossing narrative that will stick with you long after the credits roll; Arkham City stands as a staple of how richly awarding interactive storytelling can be when you get it right.
This is not just the best licensed game ever crafted. ArkhamCity is an instant classic; a new benchmark by which other games must now ascribe to achieve.
Kevin Conroy (Batman) and Mark Hamill (Joker), along with a stellar cast of voice actors, deliver powerful performances. The musical score is solid throughout and never feels out of place. One thing that really hit me was hearing a person crying out for help. You race atop rooftops as the screams grow louder, pinpoint the mugging taking place in a nearby alley, and swoop down upon the unsuspecting foe, rendering him unconscious with a well-placed elbow to his face.
You are Batman. They have managed to capture the essence of the character so well that it is mind blowing. It is more than just beating down gangs and rescuing innocent bystanders from would-be assailants. ArkhamCity digs deep into the psychology of what makes the man tick. It succeeds making that connection between game and player that every novel attempts to spark between reader and characters.
There are the rare hiccups in framerate and the occasional camera glitch. However, these annoyances are few and far between. With a main story that’ll last you between 10-15 hours, dozens of engaging side missions, hundreds of collectables, incredible replay value, and challenge maps nailed down to an art-form; Arkham City manages to surpass its predecessor (Arkham Asylum; itself a critical darling) in every conceivable way.
Publisher: Warner Bros Interactive
Developer: Rocksteady Studios
Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Style: 1 Player, 3rd Person Action
ESRB: T (mild language, violence)
by D.L. Timmerman