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November Needs to Hurry Up And Get Here Already

I’ve been sitting here for the past 20 minutes looking at a blank screen on my iPhone4, not sure how to type this next article. Should I make it a “puff” piece? What should I do? Should I stick to the facts? Should I just base it on personal experience like I have with my past articles and hope you all don’t come after me with torches and pitchforks? What should I do? Should i just bombard you with sales figures and other overwhelming stats? What should I do? Should I NOT rip off Lebron James and just get to the point? That’s exactly what I’m going to do.

Nathan Drake.

Let’s face it, the man is like Indiana Jones on steroids. He’s a downright, no punch pulling – hero. He’s also quite brash when facing danger right in the eye. He’s the kind of guy that doesn’t run from bullets, but takes the shortest path to them. He’s got zingy one-liners and a chiseled jawline. He knows how to handle himself in a fight and knows his way around a weapon or two. If you’re planning on going into a gunfight, you’re going to want this cat on your team. He’s got past loves and current ones. He has enemies and then he’s got people that just want nothing more on this earth then to watch him die slowly – the purest of villains. He’s also a complete workup of fiction. Created by a small Santa Monica development studio – Naughty Dog, way back in early 2006.

Now, I have to admit loyal reader that I’m a multiplayer junkie. Any game that has peaked my interest and as long as it has multiplayer – you can be sure I’ll be plopping down my duckets for that game. So when I heard the first Uncharted game came out, I saw it had no multiplayer. And to be perfectly honest, I thought to myself: what kind of a PlayStation game is going to come out and not have freaking multiplayer? Who do these people think they are? How dare they not take advantage of the awesome power of the PlayStation 3! Not only that, but as a requirement to even play the game I’d have to install and take up precious hard drive space on my already full 80gb PlayStation. Eventually, as with all games, PlayStation did release a demo of the game. The demo featured the usual jump, climb and shoot aspect of most platforming games and nothing really “wowed” to me. Something was certainly missing and I wasn’t the only one that felt that way. I really did try to get it into the game and everyone I knew pretty much felt the same way I did. As a collective, the gaming community felt very differently, rewarding it with coveted PS3 Game Of The Year award as well as several other awards.

Then something happened that changed everything.

A trailer for Uncharted 2 was unveiled at the Spike Video Game Awards in 2008 and it was nothing short of amazing. Our hero Nathan Drake is sitting in what seemed like some sort of gondola, gasping for air and holding his stomach bleeding like a stuck pig. Almost to the point of blacking out, Drake tries to gain his bearings in these unfamiliar surroundings. And at that point everything goes to hell, and he suddenly realizes he in a quite precarious situation. This gondola happens to be dangling off the side of a cliff and is about to break off it’s hitch and go straight down a steep vertical drop. Not enough for you? Let’s go ahead and and toss Nathan Drake tumbling over piles of broken chairs and have him cling to a severely twisted piece of railing in order to not go falling into what seems a giant abyss. Drake is hanging on for dear life and suddenly – the trailer ended. I sat there in my one bedroom I was currently renting and looked to my pug dog, Cashew – for answers. He stared at me blankly and then proceeded to lick himself.

Cashew proving that he indeed was no help at all, I then decided on a semi-reliable source known as the interwebs and scoured for release info and possible pre-order bonuses. Weeks would pass before Naughty Dog would release any info of that type. But then success! The video game overlord retailer – Gamestop – announced you would be able to gain access to the very limited beta (if you pre-ordered) showing off an all new feature of Uncharted 2: MULTIPLAYER. I was wired for sound and began to hound my local Gamestop for the coveted pre-order bonus card with the code redeemable for the Uncharted 2 Multiplayer Beta for days on end. The day finally came when Gamestop received the cards and I hopped in my car and tried to break every land speed record known to man just to get there. I finally was able to obtain the beta card and noticed in the fine print I had to wait another two weeks before it was even valid!! Oh cruel fate!! It was then at that point I had to merely play the waiting game…

The day would come where the code was finally redeemable and I feverishly entered my beta code and begin to download it off the Playstation Network. In the two weeks I had waited for the validity of the beta card, Naughty Dog released an onslaught of Uncharted 2 footage, gameplay screenshots and complete details of every pre-order bonus available to anyone would who would listen. I was one of those people. I won’t lie. I drank the Uncharted kool-aid. I was completely roped in by every aspect that Uncharted 2 had to offer. I sat in my tiny one bedroom and pulled back the curtains, shut off my phone, avoided contact with sunlight as well as all humans and went into beast mode on the Uncharted 2 Multiplayer Beta. Now – by the time the actual game had come out, I was level 49 – just in the beta! The multiplayer portion officially had the hard-to-get FooBear408 stamp of approval for the rare day one purchase.

Then came release day on one of the coldest October nights I remembered in a long time. Most Gamestops were having a midnight releases around the bay area. Some locations were even having contests for free copies of the highly anticipated game. I had chosen the Blossom Hill location in southwestern area of San Jose (where I lived at the time) and decided to brave the elements to get a possible free copy of Uncharted 2. I was the third fanboy in line and facebooking my entire endeavor for all to witness my craziness firsthand. I called all my buddies, or at that time of night, anybody who would answer the phone. Not limited to, but including my ever so patient and loving girlfriend. I was able to convince several of my friends to do what I was doing and told them to get a copy of this game before I would have to kill them for not having the game in their possession. And I’m glad to report, loyal reader, my efforts paid off and I indeed did win a free copy of Uncharted 2. The rest as they say is history…

This is art. This hangs above my fireplace.

In retrospect, having played endless hours of Uncharted 2 – both single player and multiplayer, I can honestly say it’s without a doubt my most favorite game of all time. I know to some that is a very bold statement, but I stand behind it. It’s the only game I have ever actually put forth the effort to get a platinum trophy, with the first one: Uncharted: Drakes Fortune only three trophies off. My rockstar girlfriend seeing that I was an Uncharted fan, actually was able to get me a poster featuring  Nathan Drake (see picture) hand signed by every person that worked on the game at Naughty Dog, including the actors that did the voices. Uncharted 2 has gone and broken many records in sales and reviews alike, scoring a bevy of something like twenty perfect scores. I’m glad I was able to be part of the hoopla that was quite possibly the best game that has ever come to the Playstation 3.  Anybody that I know or I hear of that thinks about getting a Playstation 3, I recommend the game outright. And with Uncharted 3: Drakes Deception coming out on November 11, 2011 – it’ll be time to get reacquainted with my treasure hunting pal, Nathan Drake – all over again.