Friday, February 03, 2006

Ahhh...Sam Fisher

I am sure most of you know a man named Sam Fisher. He is a myth, a legend, and the star of the Splinter Cell franchise. As the highest-rated spy action series of all time, I thought it pretty cool to be invited to Shanghai, China with MTV to check out what's new in Sam's life.

Shanghai is a metropolis as you'd expect. There are lots of stores, lots of tall buildings, and lots of cars. Oh and did I mention the people? There were a sea of black heads where ever you turned. And not only that, but because I went during Chinese New Year, well, there were people out in full force to enjoy the festivities. When 1.4 billion people decide it's time to party in the new year, the world shutters.

Chinese New Year's eve was really crazy in China. First off, we went for a group dinner at a lovely place on the Bund. The Bund is an area in Shanghai known for its english architecture. It was the previous location of many embassys and consulates, but currently serves as storefront to many designers. After dinner with a staggering view of one part of Shanghai's skyline, the crew and I packed up our stuff and headed to a club to ring in the new year like foreigners! I say like foreigners because Chinese New Year's eve is a special time that one is supposed to spend with the family, therefore, the clubs were mainly empty, except for a bunch of ex-pats and people unable to catch a train home.

As the new year rang in, the crew and I headed outside to watch some fireworks and do some shooting. No one expected to walk out onto a small street in Shanghai and see the sky ablaze with fireworks, being pelted from the ground by firecrackers; and fearing for my skin, I patted off sparks falling from the sky. Ah my pyromaniac people. How I love the!

After my skin seared into a type of healing I wish never to remember, I went on to do work, then move inside where there were the group of young Chinese stranded in the city away from family and many ex-pats girated to way too much drum and bass. How, do you ask, do a bunch of young Chinese get stranded in the city when a holiday as important as Christmas hits a nation? Well, let's take a moment and do some calculations. China is full of people, over 1.4 billion to be exact. When 1.4 billion people make a move either by train, plane, or car to get 'home for the holidays', the world shutters - a lot. Therefore, a couple people got stuck with the heathen ex-pats and partied until they couldn't see the way too expensive bottle of vodka they paid for to show everyone that they're cool enough to have a bottle at the table.

So what can I tell you about Sam Fisher? Well, I can tell you that for this new version of Splinter Cell, Sam loses his gay-ass goggles. When he stripped his goggles off, he also seemed to have stripped off much of his clothing. Clad in a wife-beater and pants (I am sure there is a secret code that makes Sam tear his pants into shorts, and speak with a lisp), Sam heads into battle against gangs, misfits, and all-out tyranny! Yowzahs! And not only that, Sam gets down with a little lady. Wha, wha, wha-t? That's right! Enter Enrica! A woman who makes Sam think 'hey, maybe I should stop working towards gay sex with this wife-beater and keep my eyes on saving the world once again!

While walking through Ubisoft, I have to say I was allowed to see some amazing renderings of the game. I also saw an early version, and lemme tell you, my mouth dropped so far down, it hit my house back in the US. The reason why we went to Shanghai during Chinese New Year to see this game is because Splinter Cell: Double Agent is that there is a special level that replicates Shanghai to startling detail on the XBox 360 version. It's pretty awesome to see Sam rapelling down famous buildings in Shanghai while new Year's fireworks are going off - and that is ALL in the game! Wow.

Another thing that is different about SC: DA is that the game involves the player in the cinematics, and changes the name from 'cinematics' to 'In-Game Moments.' That means when the characters start talking to each other to forward the storyline, you're there, playing, choosing what Sam will do next, like when he farts in the game and someone smells it, does he blame it on the tied up prisoner or take the responsibility for it himself? What would YOU do?!

And that is what is great about this game. not only are the graphics and audio astonishing and surpass anything else I have seen, but the storyline and playability are staggering. This is a game to own. I may have to finally put myself on an XBox 360 waiting list (even though I promised I wouldn't buy one til most of the bugs were worked out) and get one just for this game's release come September.

Shanghai and Splinter Cell, I thank you.


Brent said...

Wow... you got busy. I have a Korean friend here in Memphis who has lived among us white people too long. He told me he felt uncomfortable around so many Asians..

Another friend of mine American of Chinese decent... went to the "old country" for a family member's wedding in Beijing... she was disappointed because everyone treated her different. I guess she figured she would fit right in.

Chi-Lan even you referred to the Chinese as "Black Heads".... I have been to Europe several times... but I am not sure it was the same experience for me.

This summer I will be going back to Asia to get married in Jakarta... but I find it interesting. In Korea I was the only white guy around. I got a few boggling looks from the locals but nothing to write home about. However I think I may have burnt a few brain-cells by being surrounded by so many attractive Asian women... I had to concentrate on looking and acting normal without looking like I was dying of yellow fever.

I was really an oddity in Jakarta as I was in a part of the city where I was easily the only (Bule) white guy in a 15 mile radius. I mean people openly stared at me. I would hear people say.."Hey look at the bule" I understand a little Indonesian.

That's not to say that I didn't enjoy myself... Jakarta Rocks and I loved Bali!!!

My finance's maids had never seen snow... or a white person close up.... at first they hid from me. Then they realized that I had all my shots and wasn't venomous.

All and All I am glad you enjoyed your Asian trip. I would love to go around Chinese New Year. I filmed and photo'ed the event here in Memphis... but just not the same thing........

Marcus said...

My neighbors are still celebrating by setting off left-over fireworks at 2am. As a result, my dog isn't getting a lot of sleep at night.