Assassin’s Creed 2 EP8: Peasant Bowling

By Shamus
on Sep 30, 2011
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning


Link (YouTube)

Okay, that’s it for the Mario jokes. We just needed to get that out of our system.

When Rutskarn was singing, “You’re older than you’ve ever been”, he was referring to this video, which is old enough that a lot of you may not have known about it.

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  1. Teldurn says:

    I’m kind of liking this game. Not sure I’d buy it though.

    Edit: Holy crap, in before anyone else. :P

    • Kyte says:

      Buy it. The satire-fodder is surprisingly easy to ignore when you’re having fun being an Assassin (or not being one, depending on how your preferences go).

    • Andrew B says:

      Well, that’s me succumbed to the temptation and splashed out for it. Only £9 for a new copy of the GOTY 360 version which includes all the DLC though, so that’s not bad at all.

      I am now 2 for 2 on buying games I’ve seen on Spoiler Warning but not played already. (ME2 was the other.) Neither one has cost me more than £10. Result. I’m glad you guys play older games!

  2. X2-Eliah says:

    Hm. This game is actually really interesting to watch. Lots of fun visual sights, smooth movements, plenty of ation-ey bits.

    Also seems like it’d be fun to play, but now.. Don’t think playing it after seeing SW season of it will work well.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      It is quite fun to play.Though you probably wont get as many amusing falls and bugs like Josh here.After all,he is a professional.

      • 8th_Pacifist says:

        I actually kind of hate this game. The platforming is just so awful. Awful! So imprecise. And frustrating. Hate hate hate.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Really?Man,you must be furious about any other game that has platforming in it.

          • Ringwraith says:

            Indeed, this has some of the easier platforming ever, as you simply hold one button down and make sure you look with your eyes to see if there’s stuff to grab onto in the direction you’re headed, and you’re fine. Absolutely no twitch skills required.

            • 8th_Pacifist says:

              Platforming games that actually require skill tend to give you the basic ability to decide where you want to go and then actually go there, unlike this game, where I feel like I have an even chance of actually doing what I want and jumping off a building at a ninety degree angle and losing all my health points and having to run back to a doctor for the fiftieth time.

              Too many functions on one button is precisely the problem. Nothing illustrates this better than the Assassin’s Tombs, which are supposedly a throwback to Prince of Persia, but serve to show how much better the platforming in Prince of Persia was, ’cause they require precision that the Assassin’s Creed control scheme doesn’t have.

              Also, I have to hold down the thumbstick, a trigger and a face button just if I want to run. That is not good design!

              • ehlijen says:

                Agreed on the button overload needing to end. At least allow the PC users to map the funtions to different keys.

                But on the running needing three buttons: generally I agree such an important time saver should be simpled to use, but in a game where apparently running first increases the risk of being attacked by random dudes, making it more than one accidentilly pushed button is not too bad an idea.

              • Pete says:

                Hey, no fair bringing the tombs into this. Thats not a problem with the controls, thats a problem with the camera!

                …swear that whoever thought of “helpful camera angles” needs to be dropped off a bridge…

                • Daemian Lucifer says:

                  This.Platforming isnt really a problem in asscreed since if there is a platform somewhere in 90 degrees in front of you,youll jump there.Compare that to the prince of persia where I cannot even count the number of times I had to rewind because the idiot didnt want to jump of a ledge when I was just half a second slow.Asscreed is an improvement in this respect.Granted,its not perfect,but it is still better than any other platforming Ive seen so far.

                  Oh,and thats not even mentioning that even if you miss the jump,you still can grab on to something in midfall most of the times,and even if you miss that,you will probably not die.As opposed to other platformers where you usually wont even be able to grab a ledge if you miss a jump,and where you most certainly will die if you miss a jump.Prince of persia at least had the rewind option,but it still suffered a lot from these problems.

                  As for sprinting requiring 3 buttons,yeah its a bit of an overkill.But,to be fair,you have to do the same thing in other platformers when you want to do a run jump,only instead of just holding down 3 buttons,you have to further time when to press one of them,or youll die,so asscreed is still better in that respect.

                  • 8th_Pacifist says:

                    I guess that’s a matter of taste. I prefer timing jumps myself because I hate it when the game tries to think for me, because it’s always wrong.

              • Ringwraith says:

                I’m afraid I’m one of those people who never has problems with jumping off at the wrong thing, although the extra precision for this kind of thing a controller has may have something to do with it.

                • Aldowyn says:

                  I don’t very often, but I do occasionally. Usually when I’m trying to jump sideways across a gap in the handholds on the side of a tower, or when I’m rushing through something. It’s really frustrating when you just jump parallel to the tower and fall to your death :/

                  At least water is no longer acid.

                • Klay F. says:

                  I used the traditional mouse and keyboard to play Asscreed 1, 2, and Brotherhood and I’ve never had a single problem with platforming. All platforming requires is careful movement and just a little forethought.

      • MrWhales says:

        I got exactly zero bugs in all my time with the game. So I now have more evidence that Josh breaks games

  3. noahpocalypse says:

    Ok, so we know all the horrible jokes about the flamboyant outfit, and we get all the Assassin’s (?)reed renaming jokes. Now, I ask you to consider something completely different:

    The Hashashin Fashion

  4. Rayen says:

    so you got your assassin’s steed, but i have to ask is that horse a good assassin’s breed?

  5. Scott (Duneyrr) says:

    I’ve never seen the horse do that… combat roll… I guess I got into it and never wanted my horse to get hurt.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Its what happens when the guards trip you,but I didnt see anyone tripping Josh,so it seems like a bug.

      • Raygereio says:

        It’s not bug. Occasionally the horse will fall over when you plow through people (which isn’t really that odd); but as far as I know it happens randomly.

        By the way; can guards trip a horse in AC2? I thought they got that upgrade in Brotherhood (mind you, it could be that I think that as Brotherhood allows you to mess around with horses inside a city).

        • Kyte says:

          I think they need to brace themselves. When you’ve got a wall of guards with their swords raised, then they’ll primed to trip.

        • Robyrt says:

          Guards can trip your horse if they’re in the “I will trip you” stance starting in AC1. In a game full of awkward combat animations, that one is excellent: immediately identifiable, military, and not likely to get interrupted by some crazy game event.

      • Simon Buchan says:

        As near as I can tell, it’s a hidden meter that counts up to “fall over time” for each person you hit, that drops over time.

    • Otters34 says:

      Good idea not getting the horse hurt, it can’t carry you beyond the guards’ draw distances if it’s killed. Anyway it’s the same reason why you trip and fall if you sprint into too many people in too short a time on foot. Something as exhasutively play-tested and carefully-marketed as this game would be bound to have connections like that.

  6. Daemian Lucifer says:

    And the assassins suceed!Well,you got your revenge,so I guess this is the end right?It does seem much shorter than when Ive played it,but I guess thats because of the sidequests.

    Oh,and mario is not the protagonist because this game is super mario nephews(neps?).

    • Jakale says:

      Too bad they got rid of that pesky plural in the first hour. We’ve just got Ezio now.

      Oh yeah, Josh you know you could’ve pick-pocketed those guys you killed at the front to see if any had spare throwing knives on them.

  7. Nyctef says:

    10:30 Josh just starts throwing knives into a melee :)

    16:40 Those guards must have been pretty suprised — maybe they thought you were embracing a long lost friend :D

    Also, I always got the impression that Ezio’s costume was pretty normal for a rich nobleman — just that there aren’t many of those walking about in the streets (and they generally don’t get asked questions unless notorious)

    • Otters34 says:

      Also, the hood is fairly conspicuous, and a clear sign that you want to hide your true identity, not something people take kindly to in any age. But yeah, his dress actually just looks like a rather ornate gentleman’s wardrobe.

      • SleepingDragon says:

        I have no real way of commenting on the appropriateness for the period but it clearly stands out of the crowd. I can imagine it happening for gamedev reasons but the hood is downright silly. It actually leaves one of your most characteristic features (the scar, perfectly underlined by the facial hair) visible.

        I am willing to buy the lampshade that a lot of this is “animus approximation”, for example the death dialogues, but I am now at the end of Brotherhood and Ezio puts on a disguise at least three times during the main questline, every single time putting on a helmet that covers the upper half of his head but leaves the damn scar in plain sight…

        • Otters34 says:

          Agreed, it makes no sense either way whether you kill every guard you fight or not that people wouldn’t instantly know Ezio to be the man with the oddball coat and hood. His scar would also be a dead giveaway, but the only way to remedy that would be a complicated disguise system that would be a headache for the developers. Or he could wear a cool mask, but who would want a medievall superhero pretending to be an Assassin to wear a mask? I mean, come ON you guys…

        • bit says:

          The main thing that makes the costume stand out is simply all that WHITE. Nobody else in the game, ever, wears any white. If you dye it something like Florence Mahogany, Ezio actually does look somewhat normal.

  8. Tizzy says:

    I’ve been to San Gimignano once. It had a pretty awesome medieval torture museum, with actual artifacts from centuries past, and fluff text taken from user manuals of the time (as well as reports from Amnesty International about which instruments are still popular today; apparently, some places have poor access to electricity and need to rely on medieval technology).

    The sum of accumulated knowledge was astounding; the realization of just how bleak existence was at the time is still unparalleled by anything else I may have seen or read. Quite an experience!

    • swimon1 says:

      I know right. Although I was like 12-13 when I was there so my experience was more along the lines of “this is sooo cool, man they had the best torture back then” rather than the “this is really bleak” experience but still.

  9. Tizzy says:

    15:29. Oh really, “mercenari” in Italian translates to “mercenaries” in English? I would never have guessed! Thanks, Assassin’s Creed!

    • Audacity says:

      The way things are selectively translated can be pretty hilarious. I laughed so hard when the game thought it necessary to translate “basterdo” to bastard. What kind of moron is Desmond if he can’t figure that out?

    • Atarlost says:

      I could have sworn it was condittieri or something like that. Maybe that’s specific to Venice? For some reason almost everything I’ve read or played set in renaissance Italy was in Venice. Except for that one play about Verona of course.

      • Otters34 says:

        Italian mercs were called mercenari, the mercenari who became officers were the condottieri. Again, there were loads of them, pretty much every medieval European army at this point employed some, because they were high-quailty soldiers like the Swiss. The reason for that is shown in plenty by the backstabbing politics of the peninsula, some of which survive(in marginally altered form) into the game.

        I hear you on the ‘Set in Italy=Venice’ thing, it’s as overused as ‘Set in America=New York’ or ‘Set in England=London’ are, to say nothing of France=Paris. Then again, that play set in Verona might well be partially responsible…

  10. BeamSplashX says:

    Mumbles, you are my hero.

    I’m looking forward to the continued adventures of Ezio Auditore vas Qwib Qwib.

  11. Hitch says:

    I can’t be the only one who feels that face-plant off the top of the tower should have earned a “Game Over.”

    • Raygereio says:

      I don’t know.
      Sure it’s silly that you just take a bit health damage from falls that would shatter a normal human’s bones. But then you also shrug of people bashing your head in with a hammer like it’s nothing.

      Videogames should be fun foremost and shouldn’t make the player feel as it’s punishing them in my opinion. I don’t really like the concept of Nintendo hard.
      Concidering that falling of high places is something that will happen quite often in AC2, the vast majority of players will feel frustration if every single parkour-screwup kills you. Especially concidering the facts that this game doesn’t have a decent saving feature and most of those screw ups will come across as if the camera/controls just messed up, not the player.

      • Sydney says:

        Except it’s not ‘health’, it’s ‘sync’. Doing un-Ezio-like things will slowly ruin the simulation; basically, if Desmond’s immersion ever breaks, he’ll get kicked out of the artificial reality.

        Which means, if you think about it, that Ezio really did do that sort of thing sometimes.

        • Raygereio says:

          Yeah, it’s fun to realise that Altair and Ezio where tremendous badasses that never even got hit in battle, but let’s just call things what they are instead of being vague about it, shall we?
          Just like – for example – ME2’s heatsink system is just an ammo system, the synchronisation thing in the AC games is nothing more then health system. When discussing mechanics I don’t care how the game calls or explains specific systems and relabbeling terminology just makes things unclear.

          I loose “synchronisation” by doing things that damage me and I gain it back by stuffing some health… I mean sync-restoring medicine down my throat. AC2 has (thankfully) forgiving falling damage to keep the game playable.

          • Aldowyn says:

            They call it medicine, but if it’s sync, you don’t NEED medicine because you never got hurt. That part doesn’t make sense – by the game’s own rules, you SHOULD have regenerating health, by doing ezio-like stuff.

            • Irridium says:

              Which is exactly what the first game did.

              But since it fit in so well, of course they had to change it.

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              But ezio does get hurt sometimes.He is not altair,he is some brash nobleman who was forced to become an assassin,so he did use that stuff sometime(like in the beginning,after a fight).Furthermore,your health does regenerate at certain points,only not incrementally,but fully(when you change armour,for example).

          • Klay F. says:

            Personally I would rather the game punish players like Josh who make absolutely no effort to get better at climbing or the parkour stuff. All it requires is that you be just the slightest bit careful in how you move and a little forethought. Its obvious Josh is doing those ridiculous four-story jumps just because he can.

            I played this on the supposedly worst platform (PC) with a keyboard and mouse and I never fell more than a story or two unless I was interfered with by guards.

            • Raygereio says:

              Personally I would rather the game punish players like Josh who make absolutely no effort to get better at climbing or the parkour stuff.

              And the point of that would be?

            • swimon1 says:

              True, there needs to be a system in place so that the game is played the way it’s supposed to be played. I think that’s what the assassins creed series really lacks, it lets you play however you like way too much. I do really like the desynchronize if player kills too many civillians tho that’s pretty great especially when you do it by accident.

              • Raygereio says:

                it lets you play however you like way too much

                …I don’t even…
                Are you honestly saying this game allows the player too much freedom? It needs more restriction and rails? o_O

                I must be reading comments posted from the mirror universe. It’s the only explanation that makes sense.

                • Pete says:

                  So is this recursive sarcasm or did you actually miss swimons point?

                  • Raygereio says:

                    Enlighten me as to what his point was then. I’m actually curious if you read something else in it.

                    • PAK says:

                      swimon may not have made his sarcasm QUITE clear enough, but I agree with Pete. He’s satirizing Klay and agreeing with you, Raygerio. The fact that players can play AC2 how they want is a good thing.

                      Adding on to that, yes. Yes, it is. I am a video game player going way back, and I am quite competent, but I will never be truly skilled. Just don’t have the dexterity. Games that punish me for sucking aren’t fun. There are good arguments for difficulty levels, but no good argument for making the game actively antagonize a player who payed money. AC2 feels to me like a nice balance (camera wonkiness aside, that is).

                    • Raygereio says:

                      @PAK:
                      Oh, well then I really failed that sarcasm-spot-check.

                      Though I have two points in my defence:
                      I’ve heard the argument of “thou shalt play the game as the developer intended and any deviation from the developer’s holy vision is heresy” quite often stated in a non-sarcastic manner, in particular when it comes to modding.
                      And there are actual, real people out there who love the concept of Nintendo Hard with every fiber of their weird, twisted souls.

                    • Klay F. says:

                      Okay so can anybody show me where in my comments I said anything about how games should punish you for not following the developers intention to the letter?

                      What I was talking about was in no way related to game skill, so maybe you ought to go back and read what I typed.

                    • swimon1 says:

                      Yeah it was supposed to be sarcasm, reading it again maybe it was a little too vague, that’s my bad. But no I don’t think assassins creed is too free rather the opposite I’d like the game a lot more I think if it let go of the reins a bit.

                      @Klay F. Maybe I was reading too much into your statement but wanting too punish the player more for not trying hard enough seems wrong headed to me. It doesn’t add anything except frustration to people happen to fall or people who like Josh enjoys playing it in a way dissimilar to the designers intention.

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              Yeah,I mean its not hard being careful while trying to speed through a game,while 3 people are talking with you.

              Seriously people,stop with the “Josh sucks”.When you manage to speed through a game while actively having a conversation with 3 people,and trying to show off some cool stuff like architecture,amusing gameplay and bugs,and do it all flawlessly,then you can talk.Otherwise,please stop.

  12. Jon Ericson says:

    In the opening credits when Ezio is perched on Giotto’s Campanile (around 0:55), you can see some sort of object that looks like a streamer in the air above the tower. Until this episode, it bothered and confused me. Is it some sort of programming error or a bit of trash blown way up in the air or an anachronistic hot air balloon? Maybe it has something to do with the sci-fi element in the game. But no: it’s a hawk that Ezio chased off when he crawls onto the ledge as seen by Josh falling off and having to climb back up to disturb it again.

    I like the symbolism of the bird of prey, but I wish it was in the shot a bit more.

    Having spent a week in Florence, I’m really impressed with the way the game reproduced the city. I can actually recognize the part of town we went for dinner the first night and the place we ate terrible pizza and the place we paid way too much for a sandwich. (Why are all of my memories about food? NB: when in Italy the best places to eat are usually not near the touristy spots.) We climbed to the top of the cupola of Duomo and the view from there (mostly tile-covered roofs of centuries-old buildings) is not too different than what you see in the game. I’m tempted to get Assassin’s Creed 2 just so I can walk around in the streets.

  13. tengokujin says:

    Oh, BURN, Mumbles.
    You gonna just take that, Rutskarn?

  14. swenson says:

    When Mumbles mentioned the horse being better at parkour than you, I had just taken a bite of a cookie and a swig of water. Very nearly spat it all over my keyboard and monitor, so thanks for that.

  15. Josh to save some time looking for your horse just whistle and it should run to you, you can even do a running jump’n’mount. (good luck finding the “lips” button though. *laughs*)

  16. noahpocalypse says:

    I don’t think the Mario train is dead just yet. After you finish AC2 and start Brotherhood, you can talk about how ‘Mario has been captured! Go save him!’

  17. Guvnorium says:

    I don’t get how medicine can instantly fix you up. I mean, for one, the medicine of the time was primitive and near worthless. Two, you really should have bandages or something else like that. After all, Assassin’s Bleed.

  18. Gamer says:

    I love how Rutskarn makes all these horrendously bad puns, yet when the other guys do them he can’t take it. (Just kidding.)

    Anyway, did you guys know that birds and slightly shiny areas on rooftops are places where you can jump into a conveniently placed haystack. Now Josh can fall without getting hurt. (Yeah, like THAT’ll ever happen.)

  19. Destrustor says:

    After watching the roller coaster video, I have come to this horrible realisation: Shamus was Josh before Josh was Josh.
    A terrifying, absurdly sadistic, monstrous horror show that somehow choked me with laughter. AND SHAMUS DID IT.
    Its contagious. this madness spreads. Everybody can start panicking now because PANIC IS ALL WE HAVE LEFT!!!

    No, seriously, funniest video I’ve seen this year. Awesome.

  20. Adam says:

    As soon as I heard “You’re older than…” I knew that Rutskarn actually DOES read this blog. That video post was on the front page the first day I came to this site.

  21. Vect says:

    I’m pretty sure that horses aren’t allowed in cities because the streets are generally narrow and cramped with people so horses are pretty inconvenient to use. In Brotherhood, you can ride horses around the streets of Rome.

    • Otters34 says:

      Little things like that never stopped a true nobleman! So what if your horse steps on a peasant’s foot or a dozen? Your rights are on the line!/inanity

      Yeah, I think the “Real!” reason was the devs wanted to put a little pressure on the player to do the missions and lovingly-made parkour runs and not just race around the city bowling people over on your Superhorse.

  22. Jarenth says:

    Fun fact: the Dutch version of / historical inspiration for the American Santa Claus (‘Sinterklaas’) wears flamboyant red clothing and rides a horse across rooftops.

    No word on whether or not he assassinates bad children, but after this episode I’m forced to assume he does.

    • Raygereio says:

      Nah, Sinterklaas is too laxy to assinate children. He just orders his minion horde of Black Petes (Zwarte Pieten) around who’ll stuff naughty children in their dufflebags and carry them off to Spain.
      The evil bastards.

    • Rodyle says:

      FIRST THING I THOUGHT OF! I’m so glad I’m not the only Dutch(wo)man around here to make these remarks; I completely forgot to post it.

  23. Aaron says:

    Bleah. I tried to play the Assassin’s Creed game on the PC. What a piece of crap that was. Buggy controls. Tediously long, slow, and out of sync cutscenes. Even if the gameplay were the most incredible story ever, this thing is just a worthless pile of shit on the PC.

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