Ruth's Diary


Oh boy. The entirety of June went by without a new entry. I swear I was gonna put up my review of The Last of Us here like...2 weeks ago.

To be fair, during June I was moving. And what a bloody messy move! I like to make sure everything is tied up at the previous place before I move, then move and then forget about the previous place. Nope! Because my previous flat is one of numerous in a building owned and managed by a company, I couldn't just approach my landlord and say "I'm off in 2 weeks!" My flatmate helped with handing in the notice but neither of us have had a firm response yet, regarding the termination of the lease. Speaking of contract terminations: moving out also means cancelling my internet and cable TV service with UPC. This is obviously the first time I've been in charge of my own internet provision and I had thought that cancelling the service would have meant: 1) Calling them. 2) A date is arranged when the engineers come round to remove the equipment. No! Instead I have to send a cancellation letter to UPC - by snail mail! And I had called a few days later to check they had received my cancellation letter, only to be told I should have paid for tracking, so I was told to resend it. Letters, at least, don't cost much, not even tracking, in the Czech Republic.

But then, I got even more annoyed. I got the confirmation email that the cancellation letter had been received and was reminded that the termination notice is at the end of the next calendar month... aka. 31st August! I'm forced to pay for 2 months of internet and cable I'm not even using! Oh and did I mention I have to pay for shipping to return the cable box and router? I'm pretty certain UPC will have to change their cancellation process soon anyway, Jan (the flatmate) was telling me how people on his floor were bitching about UPC's cancellation policy, finding it so annoying they have declared they will never take out another service with UPC again. Personally I'll not say never but I do wish it wasn't this awkward. I can honestly handle the shipping parts back bit. Oh and I needed 3 different days to move my stuff, since being in Czech has made me Philippe, my French friend with the Ford Focus (love the Fords and their large boots!), the same friend who had helped me move into the flat from the hotel, agreed to help me move my large chest of drawers. As I had not properly packed, since another friend with a car, Katy, was not available until Sunday, I did not think to have him and his girlfriend Eva help me move my desk. So Katy and I learned that my long table could not fit in her car and I was 2 days without a desk...awkward. So Philippe and Eva had to help me again.

Such a messy move...

But I'm settled! And it's weird how this game, The Last of Us, sort of tied in with this big...distracting event. To set the scene: The Last of Us is a survival horror/wasteland adventure third person game that is exclusive to the Playstation 3. Also created by the makers of the Uncharted series, the Jak series (which I talked about a few months ago) and even the original Crash Bandicoot far a change in tonal shift, eh? This game I name-dropped when I questioned the crowning of Bioshock Infinite as Game of the Year, partly because this game has been ridiculously hyped since the teaser was revealed nearly 2 years ago. Having played it, I say that TLoU definitely beats Infinite for Game of the Year. It's also the first game in a long time that I completely cleaned my weekend for. I made sure I had enough supplies so I could lock myself in and so did (almost) nothing except play The Last of Us. And I felt it was worth it; the game absorbs you and you want to see what happens next, so you just keep on playing. I even skipped church to play it. (Also, I had found my new flat by this point.)

I think I mentioned that the Jak & Daxter games were impressive in that the parts of the game transitioned into each other seamlessly, cutting out the loading screen without any problems. If anything, the loading screen is actually hidden. In The Last of Us, this hidden screen is a lot less obvious, so while there are numerous chapters, you feel like you are playing one, long, entire area. It greatly helps the immersion and I don't understand why more games haven't done this. (Don't mention Grand Theft Auto, its technique involves having a 5-minute start-up screen so the whole world is loaded.)

Other than this key observation...that and I've been playing console games for 16 years now, with this being my first ever survival horror game...I really don't have anything more to say. Like Bioshock Infinite, I keep seeing other reviews and agreeing with them, I just have nothing more to add. I will say this though: IGN's Colin Moriarty is mistaken if he thinks the Clickers are terrifying. Clickers are actually very stupid and you can easily lure them all to one area by making them chase the sounds of bricks hurled against the wall, after which you chuck a Molotov cocktail at them and watch them burn. I'd say the Stalkers are terrifying...the way they sprint after you and scream...*shudder*

It also says something that a particular area truly terrified me despite me playing in the middle of the day, with the Sun out, with the sounds of children playing outside thanks to me opening a window. I applaud this game.

But there's also multiplayer...multiplayer frustrates me. The story/single-player mode had me rummaging through things for loot and sneaking round enemies; I loved doing that. On multiplayer I'd prefer to do the same thing and lay traps, but other players are so aggressive, they just raid the entire level as fast as possible and get into gun-fights with you, just plowing you with bullets until you're dead. It's annoying.

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