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January 21, 2016

Introducing: UnchartedPalooza!!


I have a few confessions to make, and they’re not at all conducive to my character or credibility.  So let’s go ahead and rip off each Band-Aid as fast as we can.  And then dump a vat of acid on the wounds.

My very first Indiana Jones movie was Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.  And to date, it’s been my only major experience with the franchise outside of the odd clip, homage, or bit of cultural osmosis.  Like a lot of classic (if not essential) movies, the original trilogy is lost on me.  I have a vague understanding of why those movies were great, but not an in-depth one, and definitely not a personal one.  It’s probably something I should fix at some point.  I feel like every time I say “I’ve never seen __________”, I give people the grounds they need to hit me with their wrestling move of choice.  I’d say they’re about 75% justified.

Honestly, I’ve never been that big on movies.  It’s not that I hate them (even if I’m usually left antsy, because I need to be doing something with my hands).  But if we’re looking at my history, I’ve never had a reason to even like movies.  My parents rarely took little baby Voltech to see the latest films, and at one point I went years without a visit to the theater du jour -- not to mention that even beyond that, it was common for me to only see one or two movies in theaters per year.  Maybe.

And that brings me to Uncharted.


So, second confession: up until recently, I’ve never played any of the Uncharted games.  Not in any meaningful capacity; I played the co-op in the third game to help my brother try and unlock a fat version of leading man Nathan Drake (because hurr hurr, he’s fat now), and to be fair I watched him play through chunks of two of the three main games.  But the franchise that some have described as an Indiana Jones simulator is, for the most part, lost on me.

That shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, least of all because I didn’t even have a PS3 when the first game came out.  I’d like to think that I do all right when it comes to getting in-depth with my posts, but I’ll be the first to admit that a lot of particulars are lost on me.  I don’t have a firm grasp of cinematic language and concepts -- and obviously, that’s not helped by the sheer number of blank spaces in my movie catalog.  So not only is Uncharted’s appeal lost on me, but also its potential merits.  Whether it’s because I don’t know Indy or because I don’t get movies, there’s never been that much of a drive to get in deep with Drake and his pals.  That is, until now.


It may have seen its share of delays, but Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is on the way.  Honestly, I want to see what all the noise vis a vis this franchise is all about -- how and why it became one of the flagship titles in the PlayStation library.  By extension, that means I want to figure out how and why Naughty Dog rose to prominence, at least in the context of this franchise (independent of The Last of Us, Jak and Daxter, and Crash Bandicoot).  BUT I can’t do that as I am now.  I can’t even think about touching Uncharted 4 until I’ve played the other three games.  Golden Abyss I can do without, because A) I don’t have a Vita, and B) I’m under the impression that no one, not even Naughty Dog, cares about Golden Abyss.

And so, with the advent of the recent HD rerelease of the Uncharted trilogy -- even though it’s about to be a tetralogy, at a bare minimum -- I’ve decided to go full tilt.  I’ll be playing through all three games in preparation for the upcoming title.  Then, of course, I’ll likely end up playing through the upcoming title.  You know what that means, right?  Yep.  I’ll be posting my thoughts on each installment, all in the hopes of judging the franchise and understanding how it rose to prominence.  After all, you have to know where you came from in order to know where you’re going.


I’ll say upfront that you won’t see back-to-back posts on each game, week after week.  As of writing, I’m almost finished with the first game, and then I’ll start writing up something.  So while I won’t commit to a strict schedule, you can probably expect at least one entry in the UnchartedPalooza every month.  Probably.  Technical issues on my end have already hamstrung me recently, so who knows what’ll happen?

In any case, I want to have a firm understanding of the franchise -- not just to understand why it took off, but its lasting impact on the industry and the medium at large.  It’s easy to stereotype the game as a bastion of AAA gaming’s worst vices, and/or the codifier of the setpiece extravaganza, but is it deserved?  Is that a bad thing?  And maybe most importantly, is Nathan Drake the hero that the franchise deserves?  Or is he just a wisecracking genocidal marauder?  Guess we’ll find out.  And I hope you guys reading this will go on the journey with me.


And that’s about where I stand.  Look forward to more posts -- Uncharted or otherwise -- from me in the days to come.  In the meantime?  Obligatory shameless self-promotion incoming: I’ve got a Patreon campaign started, as you can see from the blog’s top right corner.  Right now I’m working on building my presence elsewhere -- as slow as a process that might be -- but the foundation is there, at least.  It goes without saying, but if stuff gets backed, then I can produce more and better content for you guys.

So yeah, Patreon thing is up there if you want to become a patron.  Alternatively, you could make a single donation via the PayPal button -- which I’ve heard is actually preferable in some cases, so you can’t say I’m not providing options.  Of course, if you don’t want to donate, that’s fine, too.  Just keep stopping by this blog, and I’ll be happy.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you guys soon.  With some good stuff to show for it, without --

Oh, wait, I almost forgot: LIKE, COMMENT, AND SUBSCRIBE.  Am I doing that right, internet?



Okay, now I’m doing it right.

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