Opportunity Assassins v2.0

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As Fate Would Have It: Fall 2013 Scorecard

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Lazy Ass Reviews

Only have a minute to figure out what to watch tonight? Our Lazy Ass Reviews are here to help.

OA Goes to E3 (via the Internet)


This year's E3 kicked off in much the same way that every year's E3 kicks off....conferences from the big guys. Both Microsoft and Sony held their keynote addresses on Monday, showing off new games and new hardware.

As usual, these conferences took very different approaches with Microsoft going more laid back with spread out sofas, a stage surrounded with viewers and the typical "Microsoft wants to be the cool kids" dress approach that consists of a t-shirt under a sport coat.

Microsoft showed off a slew of new games, announced a 40% smaller Xbox One S (even smaller when you include the MASSIVE power brick that was included in the original and is now integrated in this new version), a revitalized cross-platform approach where any non-Playstation/Nintendo devices can play online with each other in some way. Additionally, if you buy a game that's on both Windows 10 and Xbox One, you get the version on the other platform. They also announced more features to Xbox Live and wrapped up their event with the unveiling of Project Scorpio, a powerhouse new version of Xbox One consoles that will land at the end of next year and be capable of 4K/60Hz gaming and VR as well.

Sony, on the other hand, classed up the joint with a theater seating arrangement with a live orchestra, two screens on stage (a smaller one in front, a larger in back with mirrored content) and projection mapping on the stage itself. They didn't show it very often in the keynote, but the impressions were that it was quite a sight to see. During Sony's keynote, there was far more video and far fewer speakers (I believe three people in total).

Sony's conference was all gaming, all the time. It started out with a massive reveal of the next God of War game which sealed their victory. They could've stopped the show 15 minutes in and we'd all walk away happy, but they also gave us some new games with an ass ton of zombies, more Horizon: Zero Dawn gameplay, and announced the launch date and price of Playstation VR. In addition to revealing the launch info for PSVR, they also stated there will be 50 games at launch for PSVR and gave us a taste of what we can expect with some footage of some great looking experiences including a new Batman game, a new Call of Duty and a new Resident Evil game. The other killer moment was Hideo Kojima coming out on stage and showing off some footage of a Norman Reedus starring game called Death Stranding. No one is really sure what it's all about but it has everyone begging for more.

You can watch both of the full conferences above, but what you're all begging for (and I can hear you really starting to cry now) is the God of War footage. So here you go. Feast your eyes on Kratos and his son wandering through the Nordic landscape that will be our home for the next iteration of Krato's adventures.

Sure, there were other conferences on Monday, including EA and Ubisoft, but no one cares about them.

Video killed the Blog-eo star


A Phoenix rising from the ashes...

A caterpillar turning into a butterfly...

A *SPOILER ALERT* Hold the Door morphing into Hodor *END SPOILER ALERT*...

Or most likely, a skinny kid who discovers Nintendo 64, Jolt Cola and Cooler Ranch Doritos...


I'd also say we're better than ever, but that may be setting expectations too high. With this post comes a reinvention of sorts. A way to maximize our procrastination potential and truly live up to the Opportunity Assassins name you know and love. So how exactly are we about to blow your collective minds in the laziest way possible? I'm glad you asked!

The answer is elementary, my [Pete's] dear [Emma] Watson. We're going to take what we do in our spare time - playing Playstation 4 online - and live streaming it because, hell, we're already talking about these things anyway. Sure, it'll be a bit more structured than our normal babblings, but not so structured that we have some kind of planned schedule. That's far too much work for the Opportunity Assassins!

So when I get around to it, I'll be updating the blog layout a bit. I'll add links to our live stream archives and come up with some crazy lazy way to tell you all we're actually live if you decide to catch us in the act.

For now, though, search for Opportunity Assassins on Facebook to follow our antics in more or less real time and track down our YouTube page.

White Hot Anticipation: PlayStation 4

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Originally, this post was going to be a summary of what we learned about the PlayStation 4 yesterday, but all that changed by lunch time. Over on Kotaku, Gizmodo, Engadget, Joystiq and every other gaming and tech blog in existence, you'll find everything you could ever want to know about every little detail from last night's PlayStation Meeting 2013. You'll find all the press releases from all of the developers, a hefty portion of the specs of the PS4, nice pictures of the new controller and PS Eye and summaries of every game and every game engine running on the PS4 so far. But one thing is stunning to me - each one of these sites has asked why we didn't see the console, why didn't they give us a price, why didn't they tell us when it's coming. Beyond that, some of the sites are already calling the PS4 the loser of this generation...and all of this before even getting a hand on anything PS4 related.

So instead of telling you everything they already have, I'm going to tell you why they're mostly all idiots.

You see, I'm in a marketing gig myself, and when it comes down to putting on an event like the PlayStation Meeting 2013, you tend to look back at a few things. You look at previous product unveils to see what you did right and what you did wrong. You look at the industry to see if you can somehow do something different than the expected dog and pony show. You look at the rest of the year to see what other events you have to disseminate information across. All of these come into play when putting on a show like Sony just did for the PlayStation 4. When looking back, it's not surprising that Sony made the choices it did, even if they didn't go and show off the actual PS4 itself.

As history has shown, the typical first announcement/product unveiling doesn't include anything like price or release dates. Why anyone expected differently is beyond me. Sony has done this with the PS2, PS3 and PS Vita these last few years. Each console was announced at E3 where we got to see a conceptual console design, some fancy tech demos, and got to hear about a handful of specs. If it sounds familiar to those of you who watched the PS4 announcement, that's because it pretty much happened that way. But something happened with the PS3 between the time it was announced and the time it was unveiled that made Sony nervous this time around. They showed off prototype hardware. A near final shape was shown, but Sony promised two HDMI ports, something like 8 USB ports and a host of other features that never made it to the actual release product. You can bet your sweet ass (and SCEA President, Jack Tretton said as much in some interviews last night and this morning) that the PS4 design isn't finished and, thus, wasn't shown.

Surprising? Sure.

Insanity? Not even close.

Some of you may not remember that during the same PS3 launch, Sony was practically burned at the stake for not showing any real game play. They were caught red handed multiple times because developers only had pre-rendered cut-scenes. So what did Sony do this time around? They spent close to two hours showing us games. Games played in real time on what we can only assume is real PS4 hardware. Sure, we saw one or two tech demos from the Sony crew, but it was developer after developer on stage. There were first party developers, third party developers and even an indie developer. Sony made sure the PS4 was easy to develop for this time around and it shows. We even saw big name publishers like Capcom and Square-Enix showing off new gaming engines running in real time on the PS4. Sure, they may be conceptual in nature but what you see is what you'll get on the new box in your living room, not empty promises that may or may not show up 5+ years down the road.

At the end of the day, I want to see what games I'll be playing 1-2 years from now. I want to see new experiences and I want to see where my hours will be spent. I don't so much care about a plastic case.

Add to all of this that with the PS3, Sony was a year behind Microsoft's launch of the Xbox 360. It's been playing catch-up ever since, admittedly, and almost seven years on has finally come within spitting distance of the global sales figures of Sony's competitor. They wanted to flip things this time around and be the first out of the gate with this generation of consoles. Microsoft didn't announce the next Xbox at E3 last year so Sony had to get the PS4 in before Microsoft pulled the trigger this generation. Good, bad or otherwise, Sony has the world's attention for a while at least. We'll hear a trickle of game announcements over the coming months and probably a "leak" or two leading up to E3 and you can bet with as little as was actually shown by Sony, there'll be plenty of speculation and rumors to keep the buzz going.

On top of this, you have two events prior two E3 where some news will be unleashed, plus two others AFTER E3 where you need to keep the stream of consciousness alive. Next up is the Game Developers Conference (GDC) which takes place at the end of March. You can certainly expect the public to hear more about the games that were shown, plus more about games that have yet to be announced. Right around the same time is Penny Arcade Expo East (PAX East) where Blizzard has already talked about having the PS3 version of Diablo 3 available to demo.

E3, which takes place in June, will be the big event, however. You'll finally see the console there. You may even learn about the launch price and, if you're lucky, a firm release date. Expect a handful of launch titles to be confirmed and new ones from other developers to be announced at that time. When it comes down to it, though, there's still much to learn about some of the costs associated with the PS4. Things like controllers, the camera, other accessories and don't forget the newly enhance PlayStation Network (PSN) experience. How much will be free? How much will require a subscription? What will come with the subscription? You won't learn all of these things at this year's E3. Besides, there's still Gamescom, Europe's premier gaming event held in Cologne, Germany in August and the home turf event, the Tokyo Game Show (TGS) in September. You have to space out all of your announcements otherwise you'll have nothing left to show in the later half of the year.

I so far haven't seen much about the PS4 but I'm not worried. What I have seen is a chunk of features that I like if they're done well. The social aspects of the PS4 aren't fit for an introvert like me, but I know plenty of people who would ask me for help if they were having trouble with something, so being able to reach across the web and walking a friend through a particularly tricky spot intrigues me. I've also never really though about sharing an awesome coincidence with friends, but if it's there, I'll use it. Instead, what has me really excited is the concept of buffered gaming where you can start to play a game without having to wait for the whole damn thing do download and install. If Sony can pull that Gaikai magic off without requiring blazing fast internet services then we've got a big winner here.

So for those of you nay-sayers out there, I'll leave you with these last few sentences. Chill the fuck out. There's much more to come. Some will be great, some not. The early adopters will still buy early. The wait and see types will wait and see. The Microsoft fanboys will bash Sony and the Sony fanboys will bash Microsoft. Such is life. Reserve judgement for when the damn thing can be held in your hands and until then - sit back and enjoy the ride.

2013 Trailer-Bowl: Rating the Movie Trailers


So it's Superb Owl Sunday and a few things can be counted on  - The big game will be the most watched TV event of the year, Budweiser will spend an ungodly sum of money to hijack the commercial breaks, and the movie studios will blow their summer movie trailer load. Now the Summer tends to be the testosterone fueled time of the year where all the action flicks come out and this year is no different. 2013 is shaping up to be featuring action packed titles such as Fast and Furious 6, Star Trek 2 and Iron Man 3. All of these movies, and more, will have trailers featured during the big game and I'm here to rate them for you. So, in the order they appeared during the game, here goes.

1) The Lone Ranger - July 3
The trailer for The Lone Ranger, Johnny Depp's next outing with Disney, technically aired before the game started, but for shits and giggles, I'll include it here as well. So far, the longest trailer of the night, clocking in at 1:32 was for Disney's "The Lone Ranger." Surprisingly enough, though, it didn't really show much that we hadn't already seen in all the trailers released so far. The theme was, generally speaking, The Lone Ranger getting ripped away from dangerous situations on trains, be it by whip or by chain. It was also our first real look at Johnny Depp being Johnny Depp so for those of you hoping his totally not white character wouldn't be the goofy asshole of every other movie he's been in lately (type cast much?)...tough shit. Anyway, take a look at the trailer below.

Jake's Rating: I liked the trailer for the most part and its length could've been a plus, but it seemed like time wasted and the Pirates logo was just unnecessary. Given everything I've said, "The Lone Ranger" gets a 3 out of 5.

2) Oz: The Great and Powerful - March 3
I can't recall if this one aired before the game started or early in the first quarter, but it's a movie trailer so here it is. James Franco makes his way to Oz in this new Disney movie where he comes in contact with a couple good witches and a couple bad witches. There are also good flying monkeys and bad flying monkeys (not sure if they're talking yet though). Also, I wasn't aware that the stunning Mila Kunis will be in this movie as what I can only guess is one of the good witches so that's a plus. There are some interesting landscapes in this movie (as can be expected), a black and white tornado and flying in bubbles. Here's the trailer so you can see for yourselves.

Jake's Rating: This trailer was just full of pretty scenes and didn't show much that was all that interesting (besides Mila Kunis, of course). Couple that with the short 30 second run time and you have a trailer that gets a measly 2 out of 5 rating.

3) World War Z - June 20
I don't remember if this trailer happened before the Oz trailer or after, so since I'm writing this, I'll place it after Oz. Now this is how you do a trailer. Start out calm with a nice family moment then start to escalate. Bam...side mirror taken out, then cop taken out (by a bus in a traffic jam?) then all hell breaks loose. Somehow Brad Pitt can now drive freely in a traffic jam so he starts to take off. Then more crazy shit like people trying to climb people to go over a wall. Then a big hole gets ripped in the side of a plane. Then people keep saying how they've lost all of these places. But no one knows what they're up against (hint: zombies). Anyway, there's some crazy shit happening in this short trailer but I'm intrigued either way. It has successfully done its job. See what I'm talking about below.

Jake's Rating: If you couldn't tell, I really enjoyed this trailer, even if it was only 30 seconds long. It didn't waste time and it didn't sell the movie out like many other trailers do. This is a movie I want to watch and so this trailer gets a solid 4.5 out of 5.

4) Fast and Furious 6 - May 24
The fifth movie in the series, Fast Five, ended with Vin Diesel and co. getting together for a meal on a nice waterfront property. The Rock is looking for any lead on the crew that got away, but then someone brings him a file. In the file is a dossier on Letty, who apparently didn't die in the second movie after all. This trailer sees The Rock recruiting the same crew he spent the last movie chasing to help him catch a wild crew of impressive drivers. This leads to Vin Diesel and Co. agreeing to help in exchange for having their records wiped clean. A few spectacular car chases and A FUCKING TANK later, and all hell seems to be breaking loose. In case you forgot about Letty, she turns up during the closing scene and looks as if she's going up against The Rock and team. Watch the excitement below.

Jake's Rating: This trailer has all the bells and whistles you'd expect from such an action packed movie. The aforementioned tank, somehow taking down a massive jet, and the return of Letty all earn this one a 4.5 out of 5.

5) Star Trek: Into Darkness - May 17
The first J.J. Abrams Star Trek flick brought the usual names to a new generation. It had some impressive visuals, some great action moments and a pretty decent plot. It also managed to get rid of the nerd stink that plagued the original series and made it watchable for people like me. The sequel comes back stronger than ever with a new enemy, bigger visuals and more explosions. The trailer shows the new villain (who I, being new to the series, don't recognize) being all sorts of talkative and claiming to be better at everything. You get to see a guy standing in lava, the Enterprise crashing down to earth and then through a building and a dude (Spock?) jumping off a tall building. Take a look at the spot below.

Jake's Rating: This one was pretty short clocking in around 30 sec. It showed some pretty sweet scenes and displayed a large scope, but it just didn't have the impact it needed. I'm giving this one a 3 out of 5.

6) Iron Man 3 - May 3
The trailer I've been waiting for all night wasn't much of a trailer at all. I'm not sure if it's because Disney has spent so much money already (Disney owns Marvel if you didn't know) but they showed a quick 30 second teaser with a scene that opens up showing Air Force One flying through the air when a big hole gets blasted in the tail section (If you're keeping count, this is the third trailer that features a jet blowing up, not counting the Enterprise) and people start flying out. In comes Iron Man in a new suit out to save the people falling to their deaths. There are 13 people and Jarvis tells Tony Stark he can only carry 4. A battered Stark says oh boy then the trailer cuts out telling you peons to go to Facebook to see the extended cut. A shitty ploy, but the scene was interesting. See the TV cut that faked me out below.

Jake's Rating: I'm understandably let down by the 30 second fake out sending me to another place to watch the rest, but the 30 seconds that I saw was a solid scene from a movie I'll love so I'm more forgiving. All in all, I'm giving this a 3.5 out of 5.

6a) Iron Man 3 - Extended Look Trailer
So the power outage time out gave me plenty of time to get caught up so now I can add this special tidbit. The fake out trailer during the Superb Owl only got a rating of 3.5 out of 5 but the Extended Look Trailer does a fantastic job of making up for that. I won't spoil the beginning, but during the trailer we see a couple looks at Sir Ben Kingsly as The Mandarin, not-Sir Don Cheadle in the Captain American-Man suit, some other dude who I didn't recognize, and a couple looks at new suits. Add this to the scene in the fake out trailer and we're sitting pretty. Take a look at the Extended Look Trailer below.

Jake's Rating: The Extended Look Trailer started out funnier than hell. That alone, plus all of the new scenes, gets this trailer our first 5 out of 5. Superb Owl indeed.

7) God of War: Ascension - March 12
Sure, it's not a movie and sure, it's not technically a Superb Owl commercial even though it aired online during the game, but hell. It's action, it's coming out in 2013 and the trailer is live action, just like a movie so there you go. So for the uninitiated, God of War is a series of games on Playstation consoles about a Spartan warrior who becomes a god and takes a direct run at Zeus as revenge for him having to kill his wife and daughter. God of War: Ascension is the fourth installment on the home console space and the sixth on home and handheld consoles. It's a prequel to the original Playstation 2 God of War and looks at how Kratos becomes the "man" he is today. The trailer is an interesting cinematic look at the touching relationship between a warrior and his daughter and shows how that happiness is so fleeting. See the beautiful trailer below.

Jake's Rating: I love the God of War series. The story is fantastic and the battles epic. This looks to be another great addition to the Kratos mythos and I'm looking forward to getting my hands on it next month. The trailer gets a 4 out of 5.

Opportunity Assassins v2.0

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Welcome back to the New Breed of Lazy.

As you can see, there have been quite a few changes around here. Mainly, a new web design makes our already kick-ass blog even more kick-ass...and here you thought it just wouldn't be possible. Well, this is really only stage one because as I said before, we have a lot of new things coming down the pipeline. So what can you expect in 2013 (or whenever we get around to it)?

Well, both of your beloved Opportunity Assassins writers have our own side blogs which we have lovingly linked to in our "Good Reads" section. As we grow this year, you'll see some better integration of both of our Sports and Tech blogs into OA, but we really have to figure out the best (or easiest) way to do that.

In addition, we will be adding a new rants section because if you've turned on the TV lately or fired up the Facebook machines, you've seen that there's plenty of shit to rant about.

Really, all in all, you'll see more activity coming from the two of us as soon as we can agree on how we want it to be delivered. Thanks for hanging in there while we get our shit together.

Finally, I just want to wrap up with a few credits for the blog design and the fancy new images in the carousel.

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