I’ve been out of school for 3 weeks now, a newly-graduated Masters student, and yet I haven’t done a goddamn thing to the site since. Call it laziness, if you must, because quite frankly, you wouldn’t be wrong. Still, the year 2012 is coming to a close, and with that I have some shit I want to talk to you about. Oh, sure; you may not care about what I want to say, nor do you feel the need to proceed any further through this article. To that I say deal with it and keep reading. If you don’t, I will find you.

Bought myself Assassin’s Creed III for a graduation gift. The prevailing feeling so far is one of awesomeness. It’s still Assassin’s Creed, but the setting is fucking terrific. It is a completely under-utilized era in video games, which is what helped make the first two games of the series interesting. The game throws you through a slight loop about  20% into it, switching characters on you, a la Metal Gear Solid 2. Still, despite the connection I made with the first character, I ended up enjoying the change much more than I expected. I never completed either of the first two games, which has me a bit lost in the story of ACIII. Actually, the premise of the game (rather, the implications), seem fucking ridiculous. I find myself completely uninterested in the plot points taking place in the game’s “present”. Instead, I thrive on the events that take place in Old Boston and the Massachusetts frontier, just as I embraced Venice and Rome’s exploits in ACII.

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Wes and I just completed our annual play-through of ToeJam & Earl, which was streamed live (and judging from the zero viewers, I’m willing to bet you didn’t fucking see it). I can’t tell you how skeptical I am of this game year-in and year-out. “I don’t really give a shit about this game, but I know Wes really likes it, and I really like playing old games, so what the fuck.” And then I start playing it, and I’m indifferent for about 15 minutes, and then I am totally fucking hooked. ToeJam & Earl does something very incredible in that they craft a ridiculous, random world for you to transverse (preferably with a compatriot) with a new experience each and every time. Wes and I always beat the game, but it does not lack for the drama that it might not happen. We played for about 2.5 hours, and by the end, I found myself yearning for next year’s play-through. In fact, the game has sparked a Genesis resurrection within me, creating a need to play so many of the old Sega games that I never had much experience with in the past. It was this very feeling that led me to Half-Priced Books afterwards in search of Genesis gold. I found only one cartridge worth buying (at least in my eyes), and that was Bram Stoker’s Dracula. However, the true gem I discovered was the copy of Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection on the XBOX 360 for $8.00. Needless to say, after playing through games like Fatal Labyrinth, Space Harrier (admittedly, a Master System game), and the Streets of Rage series I am smitten with Sega like I’ve never been before. The music has really come alive for me, and I always hated Genesis music because I thought it sounded muddy and uninspired. How very wrong I was; tracks on games like Shinobi III and Sonic and Knuckles help prove that the 16-bit era was the definitive Golden Age of video game music.

On the radar: The only game I am mildly interested in is Ni No Kuni for the PS3 because, hey, Studio Ghibli. The problem is my PS3 has not worked since April and I haven’t replaced or fixed it yet. I was briefly (and I mean, like, 5 minutes’ worth) interested in a WiiU when I came into some extra graduation dollars, but I wisely squandered that money on Magic cards and my wife.

Up next for the Drunkards:  Wes and I will be introducing a new dynamic to the site in January. We will be initiating a game of the month (two, actually) feature whereby we’ll play games that we always wanted to play, always meant to play more of, or games that got a bad rap the first time around and deserve a fresh attempt. We’re still trying to narrow down candidates, though I think for my first choice I’ll be playing Deus Ex on Steam. The idea is I pick a game, Wes picks a game, we play those games for two weeks, then we swap and play the other person’s game for two weeks. Hopefully we’ll be able to provide a more-balanced take on games that have been called classic over the years. I personally am looking forward to a few other titles, like Grim Fandango and Baldur’s Gate, neither of which I’ve sampled before.

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