Sportscast Supplemental & AC:Brotherhood Impressions

After Open Forum Radio’s week off, I’m glad the crew and I were able to record episode 10 of the OFR Sportscast yesterday. There’s going to be a lot of football talk, some NFL topics mixed with our picks for the most recognizable Bowl games.

One point I forgot to bring up was regarding the Redskins and their coach benching an aging McNabb. While McNabb isn’t the quarterback he once was with the Eagles, I believe he gives the Redskins the best chance to win on a week in and week out basis, but that doesn’t mean that the coaches or McNabb have to be stupid. The Redskins are not in the playoff hunt and are best served keeping their QB safe for next season. We highlight how the Redskins kept some protection and could get out of the contract with little financial loss, but it’s hard to say how the organization will improve going into next year.

Last night the Bears clinched the NFC North and that was something I never thought they could do this year. They’re the “Good Enough Bears” because I don’t know how they will fare in the playoffs though this is a team that will be playing for a first round bye and amazingly could end up having home field advantage, even though they’ve lost to stupidly bad teams at home, as well as the Patriots. When they win it’s civic pride but when they lose, it’s comedic radio. Considering I don’t really have a dog in the fight in the NFL, I just want to see quality football and the fact that the Bears gave it to the Ole Grey Wang and stuck it up his giggy, make it that much better.

The Vikings are in a lot of trouble. They have a running back that aging, their defense has looked soft and stupid, and best of all they don’t have a quarterback going into next year. Grey Wang doesn’t give the team the best shot to win over a season anymore though considering the crap that’s on the bench backing him up, he’s their only option finishing the week, though I seriously doubt he will. Bruised, bitching, concussed, cold and old Grey Wang won’t want to complain, but will. The team aligned themselves with a leader who has nothing left to lose (Wang lost his dignity a years ago when he became a drama hungry diva bitch), and the organization has paid the price. They fired their coach, they have no quality back up quarterback, along with running back Adrian Peterson and their defense getting another season older. Running backs rise and fall quickly because of the violent nature of the game. Peterson has been touted as the best in the game for about 3 years now, and it’s looking like he’ll have a decline in production in the years ahead of him rather than on top of the mountain. I’m basing that off of historical trends more than anything. LaDanian Tomlinson had about 3 years in the limelight and look at where he was at the before the season, cut by the Chargers and unsigned until the Jets came in to the fold. Peterson is an impact player, but he has more good years behind him rather than ahead of him.

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Before and after recording, I sat down and dedicated some time to “Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood” and it does everything right. The game starts immediately after the events of “AC:2” and doesn’t miss a beat. Even though the game doesn’t skip centuries and continues the story of Renaissance era Assassin Ezio, the game is big enough to not be branded “DLC” or an over-priced add-on. The story picks up in Rome and for the hours I’ve already sunk into the game, Rome seems to be big enough, though there are other familiar settings to series veterans. Ubisoft has made the “Assassin’s Creed” series their flagship franchise for the time being and they’re doing 99% of everything right.

Without spoiling too much, Ezio gets to rebuild the economy of Rome. Similar to the Villa restoration and income system in “AC:2” you get to lease the different vendors (blacksmiths, art galleries, stables, clothiers, doctors) and factions (thieves, mercenaries and courtesans). You earn increasing amounts of income the more you restore the city, however, that can only be accomplished once the people are free from their feudal oppressors. In “AC:2” Ezio’s actions were always scrutinized and any step out of line would decrease your anonymity; contrast that to “Brotherhood” where I’ve killed hundreds of guards in broad daylight, in front of crowds, looted their corpses and no one seems to care.

A welcomed addition to the game is having the player “fully synchronize” Ezio’s memories with Desmond. This is done by completing the memory or event and a secondary objective which would include killing a target a certain way, not losing any heath in a battle or completing a task under a certain amount of time. As a completionist player, I want to get the absolute most from this game and this is an extra incentive / reward for me. The one thing that has me disappointed that my mentality isn’t always rewarded; I’ve spent a good chunk of time already rebuilding Rome, killing and looting guards and freeing the people only to browse through the achievements to not see any potential rewards for those actions. Stupidly, feathers and flags have make a return so that will provide me with some frustration, so for the time being I’m going to focus on advancing the story along and multiplayer will have to wait.

My most anticipated expansion pack, “Battlefield Bad Company 2: Vietnam” was released today and I can’t wait to get back into that game. I’m excited because I know I’ll be able to get more miles out of the best shooter I’ve played in years, though I don’t know what to expect from the expansion pack. From what I’ve gathered, I believe it is an add-on to the single-player campaign and multiplayer. I’m glad the game has done so well that EA and DICE have been able to support it and add to the experience.

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After a couple of hot weeks, I was able to dust off my magic number counter and take it down to 2. There’s still a lot of basketball to be played but I think the rest of the NBA can make two more losses happen.