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June 9, 2014

Bass Pro Shops' The Hunt (Part 2)

If you missed last episode, be sure to watch/read it here in order to understand just what the Hell is going on in this very bizarre review. And even then, it's not guaranteed you'll understand.

(Note: Any text between asterisks indicate actions from me or other characters; When I am speaking, my text is not preceded by my name, but it's the case for the other characters, which are, well... fictional. Named after real people, but the comparison stops there. I bet a Canadian penny that you can't guess who! - P.S. Pennies have become worthless in Canada anyway.)

*theme tune begins, revealing the title: Virtue/al Hunting!*

Now welcome your hosts, Douglas aaaaaaaaaand... Robert!

*Douglas and Robert enter.*

Douglas: Hello, hello! And welcome once again to Virtue/al Hunting! This week, we're still following reviewer Nicolas, from the video game review blog Planned All Along, through a hunting competition based on the video game Bass Pro Shops' The Hunt!

Robert: We spent the first episode of this trilogy discussing the many aspects of the game and the techniques used within the game to attract prey and shoot it; today, we're getting into the meat – no pun intended – of the game!

Douglas: Yes, we're going to see five or six of the ten parks visited by the player characters in this great hunting simulation!

Robert: Nicolas is currently in Wyoming, at Yellowstone National Park, where he must find and shoot a mule deer. The fauna in that park is very diverse, so he has a lot of choice when it comes to killing animals!

Yeah, I'm just glad that I am not actually killing them, since it's a game. But wait a second, that's a video game replicated for your show, so I'm really shooting animals, but-

Robert: We already told you to be careful with that fourth wall!

Oh, okay, sorry. Anyway, here I start. *I get aboard my ATV and go off. I shoot a couple wild animals, a rabbit, a coyote, and so on.* So, if I'm looking for a mule deer, I can use doe estrus and the doe bleat to attract the males. Sure, let's try that. * After a while, I follow tracks leading me to an animal with numbers in its name * Oh hey, I'm following a deer with numbers in its name, what does that mean?

Douglas: You're chasing that park's King of Bucks! That's great! Shoot it and we'll keep its antlers in the Bass Pro Shops store, as proof that you've shot the animal with the greatest antlers in the entire park!

Oh, really? Wow, that's awesome indeed! So when I see it, I just have to shoot and kill it, and I'll get a reward?

Robert: Not really, just a boost in your pride. And some antlers on the Bass Pro Shop's wall.

My blog doesn't pay me nearly enough, I'd rather get a prize in money. Oh whatever. *I use the doe bleat and see, in the distance, the King of Bucks approaching.* There he is! I approach it ssssslllloooowwwwllllyyyy, silently... shh. *When I'm close enough, I shoot it and it falls down.* Awesome, I did it!

"Hello, 'Manderscheid's No. 43'. You don't know it yet, but you will be mine."

Douglas: Yes, but that's not a mule deer, which means you still have to find and shoot one if you want to move to the next park.

Shouldn't be too long. Also, I see icons of hunters on my GPS. What does it mean?

Robert: Those are other visitors of the park who have missions for you. At the Yellowstone National Park, there's two of those, but most other parks have three. Here, one will ask you to complete a race around a part of the park, while another will ask you to shoot a rogue black mountain sheep terrorizing his non-black sheep.

Douglas: Each of those missions earn you Reputation Points, which is important if you want to move on to the next park.

Yeah, yeah, I know that. Now, let me get off my ATV and-ACK! *I'm now surrounded by a pack of wolves. As was the case with the crocodile in Georgia, I have to defend myself from them. I shoot three and the last one runs away.*

Douglas: Excellent work, Nicolas! If one of those was the biggest wolf you've killed so far, we'll keep it for your trophy collection!

.It's kinda creepy to keep in a closed space all the bigger animals I've shot, don't you think?

Robert: Don't be ridiculous, you need to have proof that you really did kill them! Or else what are you going to show to your friends when they come to your trophy room? It's called bragging rights, I thought every gamer was trying to get those!

I'm not exactly the braggart kind of guy. And besides, the place is virtual, how is that an actual achievement anyway?

Douglas: Stop asking philosophical questions, shoot that mule deer and move on to the next park! Our viewers are waiting for this!

Okay, okay! *After a bit of search, I finally find and kill a mule deer. Its antlers aren't large, so I wouldn't have won anything anyway.* You know, I have a question. Why is it so long in the game before you find the required species?

Robert: I don't see what you mean.

Well, whenever I'm playing this game, I always see the computer opponents finding their animal faster than me, and most of the time those also happen to be bigger than the ones I find. Is it because the computer opponents basically take down most of the deer before I even find one? It makes little sense.

Douglas: Don't question that, it's not import-

Yes, it is! An important aspect of the game is its difficulty, If it's basically impossible to reach first place in this game unless you play for hours and hours in every park, on a quest for the biggest tournament animal, then why bother? Is it how the game gets artificially lengthened? It's kinda crappy if you ask me. I mean, it's really bad, and I'm not a fan of this metho-

*Screen switches to me in Maine, in the next park* Dammit!

Robert: You're now in Maine, fourth park in Bass Pro Shops' The Hunt! How does it feel?

Feels like I travel a lot in a matter of days... Are we ever gonna go to a park in Canada? The box said “North American” parks, not just American parks!

Douglas: Soon, soon. For now, you're in Maine, and you have to hunt for a moose. Think you can do that?

Sure. Hey, do you guys know there's a moose on Canadian quarters?

Robert: Just shows that you know what it is. Now go kill one!

Um... sure. *I finally spot one, but it runs away* Ostie de câlisse de tabarnak!

Douglas: ...As far as I'm concerned, he didn't use these words that much in his blog before today.

Robert: That's because he was cursing in English for the sake of his audience. In spoken language, he is more prone to using the French Canadian cursing.

I wish the moose would attack me.
It would remove the problem of finding them.

I'm gonna chase down moose until I've killed one of a decent weight. *I embark on my ATV and ride around the park until I see a creek. I'm unable to stop before it, so I end up deep down* Tabarnak! I hate this fucking ATV!

Robert: What's wrong, Nicolas?

This represents everything that's wrong with...
Uh... Um... I'll find a comparison later.
This damn ATV is really awful! You lent me a piece of crap to drive on! Look, I know you meant well, the parks in this game are large and, as I noticed by myself during playthroughs, there are long distances to travel across. So I understand that an ATV was needed. But dammit, it's a pain in the backside to drive, with the Z button to go forward and the B button to brake or go backwards. The problem is that if you don't brake with B as you stop, the ATV will keep going and eventually spin out of control! And that's not all! It is unable to climb up cliffs, which I understand, but is it normal that we're then unable to go backwards to get off the damn cliff properly? That's when the whole machine doesn't tip on the side, which is the cause of many a glitch in the game. Also, I should mention that the barriers of each park just AREN'T clearly defined, so when you hit those invisible walls in the game, you're basically hitting... well, walls. With more glitches to go! And-

Robert: ...Just be glad we aren't forcing you to walk all the way through this competition. You wanna lose this partnership between Virtue/al Hunting and Planned All Along?


Robert: Then stop complaining, get out of this creek – there's a way out, we made sure there would always be one – and shoot a moose, for god's sake!

Alright, alright! *Clearly bitter, I keep playing their game until, after more than an hour, I finally kill a moose and enough wild animals to have the required Reputation Points to unlock the next park.*

Douglas: Now we see Nicolas in a national park located in Missouri.

Robert: You should like that park. In it, you have to shoot a Whitetail deer.

*Just a few minutes after I arrive in the park, I get a whitetail deer with decent antler size.* Thanks! It took me fucking HOURS to find a moose in the preceding park!

Douglas: Then, all you have to do is to shoot more animals and do as the hunters around the park tell you, and you'll have enough reputation to unlock the next park!

*I accomplish all these tasks at a surprising speed.* Next!

Robert: ...Wow, that was fast.

Douglas: Yes, um.... er... next we see Nicolas in a park in New Mexico, where he has to hunt for a coues deer!

Oh, cool! Are we near Albuquerque? It's one of my favorite songs! Aaaa-aaa-aaallll--buh-quer-que!

Douglas: Sadly, no. The competition is still going on. Maybe you get to visit Albuquerque once this day of the competition is complete, but our viewers won't get to see any of it.

Robert: Yeah, we're approaching the 2,000 word limit for your reviews.

Aim for the head... aim for the head... Wait for the right shot...
I thought you wanted me to be careful about that fourth wall? ...Well, anyway. I'm gonna look around the park, find a coues deer and shoot it, and then explore around the park to shoot more animals... Things get kind of repetitive in this game after a while. The challenges given by the hunters around the park do add some more fun things, but these additional mini-games are almost all very difficult. Too difficult for non-gamers and even difficult for good gamers.

So, I keep visiting... Hey, it looks nice here, there's some sort of tunnel leading to another mini-game. Let's take it and play the mini-game. *I travel through the tunnel, play the mini-game, and suck royally at it* Wow, this one was pretty bad... Or I was pretty bad at this one. Doesn't matter. So, I have to go back through the tunnel to leave the place and I'll go hunt theOHMYFREAKINGGODHOLYTABARNAKWHATTHEHELLISTHAT???

Robert: This is Oso Viejo! It's that park's Legendary Animal!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! The giant black bear is running towards me and getting on his back feet! *I quickly pull out my gun and shoot Oso Viejo three, seven, ten, TWELVE times before it goes down; somehow I don't have to recharge my firearm in-between shots.* I narrowly escaped death at the claws of a giant black bear right here! What the Hell, you guys?

Douglas: It was part of the contract, and it also happens in the original game, Bass Pro Shops' The Hunt! Every park has a tournament animal – that, you already knew – as well as a King of Bucks – which you knew about as well, considering you've already killed at least one – and a Legendary Animal. These animals roam the park and are very hard to find... but most of the time, they'll attack you by themselves. At least, Oso Viejo is easy to find if you go for that mini-game. Each Legendary Animal joins your trophy collection. Also, as you may have noticed, they're a lot harder to kill than the other animals.

Thanks for telling me – AFTER I met the homicidal freaking bear! Well, he's dead now. I'm gonna go see its dead body in my trophy collection once all this is over.

Robert: This is the closest to actual video game bosses you'll ever get in this hunting game.

Me, shooting an arrow at a deer? Who do you think I am,
Katniss Everdeen? Legolas? Green Arrow?

So, after this terrible encounter, I still need to get a coues deer and reach the required amount of Reputation points. I complete a field challenge, then I hunt for some animals... Yeah, the most interesting part has been seen already. Freaking Oso Viejo!

Douglas: Keep playing! We'll get to the next park in due time!

Robert: Nicolas, do you mind that much if we only skim over the next few parks, so that you'll finish on the third day instead of the fourth?

Oh, Hell no! I don't mind AT ALL! I mean, this game is fun, but I really don't think I'd fill four parts talking about it. What are the parks we're going to skip?

Robert: Oh you won't actually skip them. You're still gonna play in these parks. But for the sake of shortening our show, we'll follow you in the last two parks for Part 3, and then we'll welcome you on the show so you can talk about your experience.

Ah, okay... I guess... *After a while, I've finally shot a coues deer and gotten enough Reputation Points* Yay, I did it!

Douglas: Now, viewers, take a look at this montage of the best moments by Nicolas as he was hunting in Minnesota and in Florida, two parks we'll just skim over to save some time!

*A five-minute montage begins. It mostly consists of me shooting animals, successfully completing mini-games in the parks... as well as a few shots of me raging against some animals, when I fail to shoot them. With curse words barely censored. It also features me hilariously falling off my ATV after trying to go up a hill with it, with much cursing afterwards*

Hey, this was supposed to show only my best moments!

Douglas: Now, you'll be happy, Nicolas. You're in Canada! In Alberta, in fact. To all our viewers and all readers on Planned All Along, we invite you to stay tuned...

Douglas and Robert: For Part 3 of this three-part series in which Nicolas relives the competition in Bass Pro Shops' The Hunt!

Douglas: Be there!

Am I gonna be able to say goodbye too? Oh hey, I did! But wait a second... How could you tell me that we'd skip a few days while I was still in New Mexico, considering it was impossible for you guys to know in advance that you'd run out of time so much? And yet you're telling me, over this pre-recorded footage that you're just talking to? My head hurts. Really, it makes no sens- *end credits play*