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4:04 PM on 07.27.2013

BroForce is going to blow you away, Literally

Hey guys, I've been playing a really kick ass game non stop, wanna know what game it is?

That is right ladies and gentleman.

"BroForce" comes from indie developer Free Lives out of Cape Town, South Africa

What is BroForce you ask? "Explosions" I answer. And if you want something more detailed than that, well let's just hear what the developer says about it themselves

"Broforce is a hyperviolent action platform game. it features 90's blockbuster movie action heroes making up the Broforce team- an under-funded vigilante paramilitary organisation- saving the world from satanic alien terrorist investment banker buisnessmen in non-stop, fast paced co-operative strategic mayhem filled with more action and explisions than anything else, ever"

And if that doesn't sound cool to you, then you are in the wrong place.

BroForce was introduced to me by my friend Christian who deserves all credits for putting this game on my radar. 

I've been spending some time with the alpha build available at Free Lives website, and I am just loving this game to death. The mechanics are kind of wierd at times and I haven't really gotten a full grasp of how I do some stuff, like for instance, every time I die I change character. Which is okay, but also every time I release a prisoner I change character, and I haven't found a way to change character by choice.

But none of that matters because what the game do extremely well is, randomness
I love the way this game just outright doesn't make sense at times, And the randomness of it all is just so damn funny it makes me want more

The game features characters from 80's and 90's blockbuster movies, Rambo for instance is named RamBro (which was also the initial title of the game), Arnold Schwarzenegger's character from Commando is named CommanBro or something like that. You also unlock more characters as you progress through the levels

Now I won't spoil all the characters that I came across as I were playing the alpha, but suffice to say, I had a blast when Blade the Vampire Hunter showed up (here named Brade) but I totally lost it when Judge Dredd (one of my all time favorite comic book characters) showed up as BroDredd

All characters have unique attacks and special attacks, but other than that they are pretty much the same when it comes to the controls. and there is also a button for high fives. Yup, you read correctly

BroForce features 4 player Co-Op and the finished game will also feature a deathmatch mode that will most likely be used several times by me and my friends as a party game. Oh how we love party games..

The indie scene is a very varied place, but among the art games, and the games that really innovates, it's nice to see that there is also developers that will make a game that is just dumb fun. If I were a indie developer, this is the sort of game I would want to make. It's just fantastic

If anything that I wrote about this game sounds interesting to you, I urge you to go over to Free Lives website and check it out, you can find the alpha build there and make up your own mind about the game

As for me? I've already preordered it   read

3:24 PM on 07.10.2013

Superhero Spectacular Part 6: Prototype

I've dreaded this blogpost ever since I weren't able to complete Prototype, the gaming gods really didn't want me to complete this blogseries, and man was I frustrated. As I've said earlier, my computer froze several times during gameplay so I had to restart my computer, then on two occasions the save file was corrupted so I had to start over. I finally had enough and decided that this will be an impressions post instead of a review, and that's why I won't score the game at the end of the post

So how does Prototype fare?

Not so well I'm afraid

The story of Alex Mercer is a troubled one, The game starts in medias res where Alex is at the end of his story and his biggest challenge is upon him. After a lackluster tutorial you are put into the action and you fight a few baddies before the story takes you back to where Alex's story begins

Alex wakes up in a morgue in the basement of GENTEK, a genetic engineering company based in New York just before his autopsy, Alex escapes and he witnesses a cleanup operation where several scientists are being gunned down by military operatives. Alex is discovered and fired upon. He survives the attack and realizes that he has newfound abilities when he leaps over a wall to safety. He quickly realizes that he can shapeshift, he has superhuman strength, speed, agility, durability, senses, endurance, weaponry and the ability to "consume"people to gain their memories, skills and appearances. Alex also has no memories of his life prior to waking up in the morgue and decides to consume those related to the conspiracy to uncover the truth

Alex faces of with two factions, the United States Military and Blackwatch a special forces unit dedicated to combating the virus known as Blacklight that is overrunning Manhattan. Captain Robert Cross is given orders to find and contain Alex.

The story is very much blockbuster movie like, but it is also very poorly conveyed. I didn't get all the memory parts that link together the conspiracy as I couldn't complete the game, but none of the characters stand out, the voice acting isn't at all inspiring. Alex isn't at all a likable character, wanting to cause death and destruction across New York for his own personal vengeance mission  All together there isn't a single interesting character in this game and the story is very forgettable.

The visuals are very hit and miss. On one hand Alex and his powers looks pretty awesome. Especially the ground spike and the shield.  the CG animated cutscenes are pretty to look at. But on the other hand the city looks like crap whenever you scale a building or get close to it. the vehicles, pedestrians and even the enemies looks really bad. The interior locations looks like they could have been pulled from a PS2 era game, everything just feels underdeveloped.

The gameplay mechanics aren't at all what I expected. that's not to say that they were bad, just that I expected something more along the lines of InFamous and the Spider-Man games, but got more of a Hulk Ultimate Destruction, which shouldn't have been a surprise if I had bothered to do my research, since Radical Entertainment developed Hulk Ultimate Destruction.

I kept saying to myself:  "This feels like it could be a Hulk game." and then I discover that it kind of is in a way.

You unlock powers via points you earn in combat, but unlike games like Infamous and Spider-man, you never really know which skills you should upgrade, Oh, Unless the game actively tells you that you can't start a mission until you have unlocked that particular skill. In most cases I didn't need the skill when I was on the mission, it just acted as an entry fee for the mission. It ended up being pretty frustrating by the end.

Alex's powers are fun to play around with, but hard and convoluted to use in combat situations. You have to switch between powers by entering a menu that slows down time and choose which power to use, which really ends up being too much effort. You just try to make by with whatever power you have equipped at the time.  You are never really sure which powers you should use anyways.

Most of the time the combat is so chaotic that you are never really clear on who you should be attacking. In some cases you are helping the military fight off Infected, in the next mission you are using the conflict to your advantage and let the infected kill the military for you. There is never any clear conveyance of objective other than: "Follow that marker"
As you've probably guessed, I didn't have a fun time with Prototype, the game had some interesting ideas, but I felt that Radical maybe had problems shaking off the gameplay mechanics that were used in Hulk Ultimate Destruction, and that in turn hurt the game, as it never established its own identity. Prototype felt underdeveloped at times and I really think that the game could have used a few more months in development.

The game did do well enough to justify a sequel however, I haven't started on that yet, but worry not I will and I can promise you that I'll give that game a proper review once I finish it.   read

3:32 PM on 07.05.2013

Superhero Spectacular Guest Appearance: Deadpool Review

When I first heard that High Moon Studios were developing a Deadpool game back when they announced it, I was filled with different emotions, Excitement because Deadpool has been one of my favorite comic book characters over the last few years, but I was also worried that they weren't going to take it seriously and that the game would end up as an unplayable mess like a lot of superhero games often become

Luckily Deadpool was more of an Arkham Asylum than a Rise of the Manhunters. The game isn't nearly as polished as Arkham Asylum was, but the way High Moon services the fans in this game goes above and beyond anything that I would have expected, It actually goes so far that I can overlook some of the less polished aspects of the game and the sometimes bland gameplay.

If you don't know who Deadpool is, I'll sum it up the way he himself sums it up in the game: "FIrst I was a villain, like you but better looking, Then I tried to be a good guy like Wolverine, but better looking. Then there were the evil canadian military project, And some killing, Some more killing,... To be honest the killing never really stopped, and that leaves us here".

Deadpool is a Marvel comic book character who exists in the same continuity as the X-men, He was a mercenary diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, who through a Canadian military project was imbued with Wolverine's healing factor, the process left his entire body scarred and made him go crazy, He was initially a villain in the Marvel Universe but he has tried his hand at heroics also, due to his mental state he is highly unpredictable and can turn at any moment. Deadpool also knows that he is a comic book character (or in this game, a video game character) so he can "break the fourth wall" and talk directly to the reader (player). This makes for a hilarious character that I really recommend you check out if you are into comics.

The story of the game is that Deadpool has sent in a game proposal to High Moon studio, it is first declined but after threatening to blow up their entire building (after he actually blew up part of the building) they send him a script of the game as they envisioned it. Deadpool doesn't quite agree with the script so he makes some changes, but along the way he also forgets which changes he made, or what the script was about to begin with, Let's just say the story is highly unpredictable just like the title character, expect cameos of both well known and lesser known characters from the Marvel universe.

Deadpool is a hack and slash third person shooter action game, where new combos become available to Deadpool as he progresses, To be honest I never really bothered with learning the combos (and I played it on the highest difficulty) and just button mashed my way through the melee fights. I eventually learned what worked and didn't work in form of button presses. The melee fights are pretty good at times and feel suitably hectic as I feel any fight that Deadpool would be in should be.

The shooting mechanics could have used a bit more work, for instance when you aim directly at an enemy's head it isn't guaranteed that you will hit him in the head, the aim is a bit off at times.  Luckily the use of gunkatas and weapon upgrades fixes some of this by the end of the game and it isn't game breaking in anyway.
Deadpool's powers plays a part of the gameplay, His regeneration powers are like made for video games, though I did find it strange that I died as often as I did (remember I played on the highest difficulty) for a guy who has regenerative health and a deal with Death that basically makes him immortal, but it wouldn't be much of a game if I couldn't die. the teleporter also makes and appearance. It is used for evading enemy attacks and later in the game for traversal. I really wished though that High Moon would have made more use of the teleporter when it comes to moving around in the game, It would have made for more interesting platforming segments. And while teleporting around to stay alive in combat was fun, the amount of invisible walls and the inability to teleport of ledges ends up being quite frustrating

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Seriously Dtoid, what is up with the way the text sometimes becomes so small in AndyLonn's posts?

Where this game really shines though is in the amount of hilarity and madness that High Moon decided to put in the game. the story is written by former Deadpool writer Daniel Way so the game feels very true to the character that I've gotten to know over the last few years. And boy is this game funny, I laughed out loud several times, and that's something that I rarely do when it comes to video games, Yeah I've chuckled at games like Monkey Island, Deathspank, Duke Nukem and the likes but I have never laughed as loud and hard as I did with this game.

Scoring this game is going to be hard, Do I look at the sum of it's parts or the experience as a whole? While in other cases the game's faults would have counted as a negative on the score, But this time I chose to look at this game and say: "Did I get what I wanted out of the game?" and score it based on that.

While I felt that some of the gameplay aspects felt repetitive and a tad bit frustrating at times, it seems that High Moon maybe knew this was the way the game was going to turn out and compensated with just adding more Deadpool madness, and in the end that really worked out for them.

I honestly think that this is the perfect Deadpool game, I'm not saying the game couldn't have used a bit more polish, but in this industry where AAA Military shooters is getting all the spotlight I applaud High Moon for doing something different with this game.

I give Deadpool a 5/5 


2:02 PM on 07.04.2013

Superhero Spectacular Part 5: Intermission

It's been a while since I posted anything (with the exception of the Festival of Blood review that I posted a few minutes ago), and that's something that I really didn't want to happen as I am fairly dedicated to the experimental blogging experience that I've chosen to call "Superhero Spectacular"

This is the first time I've embarked on a blog series and I really hoped everything would work out fine, Sadly this hasn't been the case

The reason I haven't been able to keep up with the flow of blogposts that I had in the beginning of this blog series is two part

1. I am on sick leave, I have an arm injury from when I was a kid that has flared up, so I'm on medication and that medication combined with the pain is making me really drowsy

2. Prototype is being a real bitch :P, I am really not liking the game as a whole (you'll see when the review comes out) and my computer decided to freeze several times so that I lost all my save progress, I've restarted twice already but I've finally decided to just stop

So my solution to this problem is: I'm going to do a partial review of Prototype, I'm not gonna assign a score to the game, as I wouldn't be giving the game a fair shake as I haven't played the entire game. and then move on to Prototype 2

the last time my save game was lost I had 4 or 5 missions left so I was pretty close to the end, and to be completely honest, those missions would have to be damned good for it to redeem the game in my eyes, but as I don't know, I won't assign a score to the game as a whole.

Enough with the negativity, I'm glad to announce that there will be one or two guest appearances of other superhero games before the end of the blog series

So stay tuned   read

1:29 PM on 07.04.2013

Superhero Spectacular Part 4: InFamous: Festival of Blood Review

This is the 4th part of my Superhero Spectacular, If you want to go back and read the whole thing, you can do so here

So I did the review for Infamous 2,  but did you know that there was a standalone expansion pack to Infamous 2? There is and it's named Infamous 2: Festival of Blood

Initially I thought this might be an easy cash in on the success of InFamous, having seen how well Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare did the year before. But Sucker Punch really delivered with this expansion pack, and along the way help define how DLC should be done.

Mechanics and setting is pretty much the same from Infamous 2. What's new however is the story and Cole's new powers.

The game starts off with Zeke trying to attract the attention of a girl at a bar, Noticing his comic book she tries to belittle him telling him they are children's books. Zeke mentions that if it weren't for him and his comic books, his friend Cole MacGrath might not have been so successful in his quests. Hearing the name of the "Demon of Empire City" the girl sits down to listen to Zeke's story about the night Cole was turned into a Vampire.

The whole DLC is set on the New Marais holiday: Pyre Night, a night that is celebrated in commemoration of the day Bloody Mary was burned on a pyre in the town. This very same night Cole is led into some catacombs where the local vampires is trying to resurrect Bloody Mary, Cole's superhuman blood acts as a catalyst which brings Bloody Mary back to life and Cole is subsequently sired as a vampire. Since being a vampire really gets in the way of his plans of defeating the Beast, Cole and Zeke puts their heads together to find a way out of Cole's new situation

With new situations comes new powers. And this is where Festival of Blood really shines. Over the course of the DLC, Cole's vampire abilities starts to emerge, these include turning into bats, Vampire sense and making his lightning powers into weapons to hunt vampires with.

Turning into bats is insanely fun at times, and it makes hunting down the collectibles so much more fun than it ever was before, Too bad this ability doesn't carry over  to the main game, as it would make it a lot easier to hunt for blast shards.

Other than that, The story is actually pretty good, the back story of Bloody Mary is established via vampire relics spread across New Marais, the voice acting is stellar and I really liked the way Sucker Punch drew inspiration from one shot comic books like holiday specials and the like. Festival of Blood would stand strong among many Halloween specials out there in terms of story.

I do have one gripe with FoB however, and that's the way they nerfed Cole's health when fighting as a vampire. One second I was kicking ass and taking names the other I was dead because some of the ranged vampires armed with crossbows and sub machine guns decided to gang up on me. It was really quite frustrating, and even more so during a chase sequence / boss fight where during the chase I managed to lower his health quite significantly, then at the end of the chase sequence when I thought I was home free, I died and the boss was health was restored when I respawned

This is a product of a common fault with all the InFamous games, a fault I failed to address in my earlier reviews because it never presented itself as big problem. When you die, the game puts you back (or forward) to the nearest checkpoint, and these checkpoints aren't autosaves, so it really doesn't matter how well you were doing, when you respawn, you'll be exactly where the game wants you to be

Off course the flip side to this fault, and the reason I never adressed it as a problem earlier, is  that the game doesn't record how bad you were performing either, It just strikes a middle ground. For instance, Are you in a combat sequence that is too hard? don't worry, when you die, the game respawns you after the fight is finished. Now this doesn't happen all the time but in FoB it happened alot.

All in all I really dug what Sucker Punch did with their stand alone DLC for Infamous 2 and I give it a well earned 4/5   read

1:08 PM on 06.27.2013

Superhero Spectacular Part 3: InFamous 2 Review

This is part 3 of my Superhero Spectacular, If you want to go back and read the whole thing from the beginning, you can do so here.

How do you follow up a game that did almost everything right? Well you make another game that almost does everything right apparently.  Sucker Punch had their work cut out for them with following up InFamous.  A game that delivered one heck of a new direction from the standard open world game. implementing better exploration than games like Assassins Creed and having almost expertly executed pacing, which seems to be really hard to do in Open World games

Infamous 2 picks up almost directly after the end of the original Infamous. Cole having defeated Kessler learns the prophecy about the Beast. Cole's state after this confrontation depends on your choices throughout InFamous. so I won't touch upon that too much since I only played the one ending and I don't want to retroactively spoil anything in InFamous, All you really need to know is that in preparation of the upcoming battle with the Beast, Cole travels to the city of New Marais.

The game does one thing pretty early on that I really dislike in sequels like this: they strip almost all of the abilities he gained in the previous game so that they can have  a blank slate to work with and the leveling system is reset to zero. They always do this and I really wish that for once we could carry all of the abilities over from one game to the other, but alas it wasn't like that in InFamous 2.

But other than that: How was the game?

It was pretty damn awesome. I didn't care too much for the beginning, and the pacing of the game isn't as excellent as the pacing from the first one, but all in all Sucker Punch has built upon everything that the original Infamous 1 and made it better.
I feel New Marais is a lot easier to feel at home in than Empire City, The environments are more vibrant and alive, there are more variety in the scenery and the city as a whole from the inhabitants to the monuments and structures feel more well crafted within the story of InFamous

The way Cole traverses New Marais hasn't changed a lot from the previous game, Cole grinds and hovers from powerline to powerline and can climb anything you can set your eye on just like he did in the first one. But Sucker Punch did a better job this time around, planning the city so that you can grind continuously for a much longer time than you could before, And it feels all that more awesome this time around

As for combat, Cole is now armed with a melee weapon that's charged with electricity and can land some hefty finishing moves after a 1 - 2 combo. There are too many new additions to Cole's power for me to list, But my favorites include Redirectable missiles, Frost Jumps,  and the Lightning Tether. The hand to hand combat is still a bit rough as it were in the first game, but it isn't something that pulls from the experience

The presentation is still done in motion comic form but this time around they also added in-engine cutscenes that look great. The voice cast is still pretty good, all though Zeke is still a bit annoying at times, and the story is very well put together, considering it's a direct continuation of the story from the first InFamous

All in all I don't have all that many bones to pick with this game. Everything that was done well from the previous game was done better, and there were a few changes here and there, like the pacing and the leveling system, but if that's the price for bringing the series forward so that it doesn't come out exactly like the previous game, I'll gladly pay it

I usually don't like giving out half points on my reviews but for this game I'll make an exception. I do this because I think the game is really good but some unnecessary changes makes it come out just short of a perfect score

The epic conclusion to Cole MacGrath's story gets a 4.5/5

Next up: InFamous 2: Festival of Blood Review   read

7:23 AM on 06.26.2013

Superhero Spectacular Part 2: InFamous Review

This is Part 2 of my Superhero Spectacular, If you want to go back and read the first part, You can do so here

When I first heard about Infamous for the PS3, I really wished I owned a PS3. This also happened to be the case with most PS3 exclusives, but the high cost of buying a PS3 put this game off my radar for a while. And when I eventually got a PS3 there were so many other enticing exclusives like the Uncharted series, LittleBigPlanet and Heavenly Sword that were prioritized ahead of InFamous. But after the reveal of InFamous: Second Son at the Playstation meeting back in february. I decided that the time was right to finally try this series

In Infamous you play as Cole MacGrath. Cole is a bike messenger in Empire City, who one fateful day gets caught in the center of a massive explosive that rocks Empire City. After waking up from the explosion, it becomes clear that Cole has become imbued with superpowers, and the game revolves around his new found powers, and the conspiracy leading up to the explosion.

Cole's new found powers is at the core of the Infamous gameplay, they are used for traversing the open world city and combat, both offense and defense. In order for Cole to be able to use his powers, he needs to be charged with electrical energy, Energy he can drain from nearby electrical outlets and appliances

One thing that I really have to mention when talking about how Cole's powers evolve is the way the developers have implemented real world terminology into the mix, As an electrician I giggled every time I had to enter a substation to power up Cole's ability, it just helps the immersion, even though the machine he hooks himself up to ended up looking very "Sci-Fi".

Via it's morality system Infamous lets you choose which kind of superpowered person you want to be, Do you want to be a superhero or an antihero/supervillain?

"... doesn't want to be famous? I'll make him Infamous"

While this choices you get are implemented okay, I really didn't feel that they added anything to the mix. I do wish however that the choices weren't as black or white (or Red and Blue as they were presented). I never felt that my choice would alter the game significantly, The game could have used some more shades of grey.

The exploration elements in Infamous rivals Assassins Creed. It's fantastic, Cole can climb just about anything you can set your eye on, while Altair/Ezio can only climb ledges that are "highlighted". 

But where the exploration elements fail is in the city design: Empire City is so damned bland that I never really feel that I belong in this world. The way they've sectioned off certain areas is something that's done in most open world games, But in Infamous it's never really explained other than: "you can't go there because the road is blocked" and when you get to the other areas, they look pretty much the same as where you came from (with some notable exceptions)

The presentation of the story is done via motion comics and voice overs, which I think fits the game well, and it's pulled off pretty great. But there are times in the game when they had to render some cut scenes in-engine and these are the weakest point of the presentation of the game

There are three main supporting characters in Cole's story: There's his girlfriend Trish, His best bud Zeke and the FBI Agent Moya who want's to put Cole's abilities to good use. All characters are fleshed out pretty well, and there are several other characters that are either refereed to via Audio Logs or met throughout the story that shapes the world that InFamous takes place in. Zeke and Moya are the characters that will contact Cole via voice over the most, and while I did find Zeke off putting in the beginning, he grows on you, which is cool, because that's the sort of friendship I feel he and Cole has.

Overall I really enjoyed Infamous, I felt that the game's mechanics and story blended really well together, and another thing I also have to applaud is the brilliant pacing off the game, Never did I feel to overpowered and I never felt nerfed. Sucker Punch knew exactly when to implement new stuff to the gameplay and did so masterfully

Overall I give the game a 4/5

Next up: My review of InFamous 2 and InFamous 2: Festival of Blood   read

12:56 PM on 06.24.2013

Superhero Spectacular Part 1: Introduction

It's been a while since my last post, but I can justify it with three things: I've been playing The Last of Us, I've been working, and I'm a father. So that about sums up my absence.

None of these things got in the way of me following E3 this year, and one of the games that have been on my mind since the Playstation Meeting back in February have been inFamous: Second Son

The trailer and subsequent buzz around the PS4 got me really hyped. So hyped in fact that I went ahead and bought inFamous for my PS3 system. I've finished the game, and I'm currently working my way through inFamous 2 and will tackle the Standalone DLC: Infamous 2: Festival of Blood after that

The other day I remembered, there were another superhero game I wanted to check out way back when: Prototype. So I decided that I would play both series and compare them to each other: a AndyLonn Superhero Spectacular if you will

So hopefully this will be the first of several posts where I review and compare the inFamous series with the Prototype series

Wish me luck

My review of Infamous can be found here
My review of Infamous 2 can be found here
My review of Infamous 2: Festival of Blood can be found here

Intermission post can be found here   read

3:02 PM on 05.21.2013

My take on the Xbox One reveal

Disclaimer: I didn't take the time to proofread this blogpost as well as I usually do and when I wrote it I really just wanted to get my thoughts down on paper so it really isn't as structured as I normally would want it but please, bear with me

Here we are, fresh off the Xbox One reveal show, and it's time for all us video game bloggers to pour all of our feelings and opinions into a blog post. 

Is it just me or does Don Mattrick constantly look like he's high??

So where do I stand after the reveal?

Well after having stayed with Microsoft for the better part of this generation, eventually gliding my way over to Sony's PS3, I'll have to say, based on what they just showed us, I'll probably be hanging my hat over at Sony's place this time around

I will just make it clear right here and now that this is not about fanboyism, I own all the current consoles (except for the Wii U) and a high end PC, I originally bought the 360 because it was cheaper than the PS3 and offered games like Mass Effect and Gears of War. Over the course of this generation I've mostly played my games on the Xbox, but gradually I went over to playing the newer releases on my PC, and leaving the consoles to the exclusive games (or the bargains I could get online). 

I have occasionally voiced my opinion in the fanboy wars that has plauged this generation, but as I grew older, I realized the folly of it, and now view myself as an impartial observer

So, back to the matter at hand, What did I think of the reveal?

First off, I think that Microsoft really needs to find out who their target audience is with this thing, While there are plenty of features that would interest everyone from the casual to the core gamers, There really wasn't any focus on either. 


They showed some features with LiveTV that looked interesting, but all in all those are wasted on people like me. I have Netflix, HBO Nordic, Crunchyroll and live broadcasts over the internet with my current internet provider, And since I live in Norway, these features probably won't come here anyway.

They showed off how to access TV Guide via Kinect

So thats two demographics the LiveTV stuff don't appeal to: People who live outside the US and people who are like me, Now I don't claim to speak on behalf of all core gamers out there, But I think if you are in my age group (I'm 23 so that would be in the group 20s - 30s) You get most of your TV through the internet in someway, or you are disinterested in TV all together


Sony did it right back in february, They were completly transparant about the hardware choices they had made with the PS4. Microsoft.... Not so much. While they said they'd have 8GB RAM and 8 Core CPU, They failed to state the speed of the RAM chips, or the size of the CPUs. These are numbers that I atleast would find interesting, and I feel that by not releasing that information upfront really speaks to their confidence in the system as a whole. 

Microsofts description about the specifications are vauge at best

It's not always in the specs off course. The PS3 was a powerhouse when it was first released but the high price point intially turned gamers away from the system, and when the PS3 only ended up getting ports of multiplatform games (some of them terrible ports) the awesome hardware really didn't do the system any favors. But in february Sony really showed us that they had done everything in their power to help the developers make awesome games for the PS4. Microsoft didn't even adress this, maybe because they think that after the success of the 360, it's a given that the developers will return to their console next generation? Time will tell, but I think that not being totally transparant about their specs might hurt them in the long run


The current console generation saw a couple of fads come and go, but none was as persistant as motion gaming, While the Nintendo Wii was designed with motion gaming in mind, For better or worse the PS3 and Xbox 360 jumped on this train after the success of the Wii. They had some ups and downs with their concepts and execution but it opened the flood gates for something that I think, if not changed, marked gaming for the forseeable future


No, I'm not talking about Microsoft's fancy word for DLC, I'm talking about Sony and Microsoft selling us peripherals like the Kinect and Playstation Move so that we could access new features of their respective consoles. Now Nintendo is leading the charge again with their tablet controller, and wouldn't you know it, the other two are right on their tail with Smartglass and the PSVita

One of the selling points for the Wii U for me is that I can continue my games on the tablet if someone else wants to use the TV. Sony made it clear that this will also be available on the PS4. But so far Microsoft has been really quiet wether or not they will support this via Smartglass.

Will Microsoft be the only console developer that won't support remote play?


As I stated earlier, I really don't get who Microsoft is trying to reach with their advertising and who this console really is made for. I'm not totally uninterested in the TV features, but it won't be what sells me on the console, The event really didn't show anything that made me go "Wow", Which Sony actually managed to do quite a few times with their reveal of the PS4. 

They seemed to be less focused on showing their strength when it comes to both multiplayer gaming (which has been a major selling point for the 360) and their continued efforts to offer us new and exciting original games (though they did say that they had 15 exclusive games, 8 of them original IPs)

Sony took the chance to reveal Jonathan Blow's new game "The Witness" at their event

PS4 event had Killzone, Infamous Second Son, Knack, and even Watch.Dogs, The Xbox really only showed us more of the same (except for Remedy's game). They showed us Fifa, Madden, NHL, NBA and COD. And while those games were great on the 360, the Xbox One needs something new to excite this guy.

I know we haven't heard about Sony's potential countermeasure when it comes to used games, but I will say that the ones that were announced for Xbox One does not help the situation for Microsoft


When it comes down to it, the Xbox One reveal event didn't do anything to make me really excited for the system, More of the same is all and well but when your main competitor shows up with an intent to woe the core gamers from your system over to their system, It is never the right strategy to change your target audience the way Microsoft seems to have done

While I'll still hold out until E3 to make my decision, It will take alot to steer me away from Sony this time, Fingers crossed Microsoft.

What did you think of the reveal? Have you made your mind up for the next generation yet?   read

11:19 AM on 05.15.2013

Review: Heavenly Sword

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post about the troubles I were having with reviewing Heavenly Sword, The response I got was great and now, a few days after I finished it, I'm ready to write the review that I promised

Heavenly Sword was one of the early PS3 games, in fact it was one of the first games that made me look at Sony's wonder machine and go: "I want that". The game is a hack and slash action adventure game in the vein of games like Devil May Cry and Metal Gear Rising and God of War, but manages to carve its own identity with solid gameplay and impressive visuals

Heavenly Sword is set in a fantasy world where the player control Nariko, Whose father is the leader of a clan who has long protected the Heavenly Sword, which they believe were passed down from a legendary godly warrior who once defeated the evil Raven Lord. At the start of the game Nariko's village is under attack by the evil King Bohan, who seeks the sword for himself. From this day Nariko is charged with protecting the sword.

One thing that I really can't stress enough throughout this review, is how beautiful the game looks. The scenery, animation and cut-scenes are quite spectacular considering the game has been out for almost 6 years. I am sure that this feat, at the time of the games release, could only be accomplished with the PS3 and if it hadn't been for the occasional drop in frame rate, the games presentation along with the voice acting superb voice acting from both Anna Torv and Andy Serkis would get an instant 10/10

The game's combat is solid, if a bit repetitive at times, but the game really sells you on the feeling that Nariko with the Heavenly sword is a much better fighter than Nariko without the Heavenly Sword. 

There are three stances that the combat makes you switch between during your encounters, but the game does have some issues of letting you know when you switch stances. For instance, sometimes a heavy combo gets blocked and you circle through your stances, only to find you had to time your heavy combo better to make it hit the enemy

The large scale battles are truly something to behold

Where the game fails though is in its use of Sixaxis controls, I really hate the segments in the game where you have to use it. Quickly explained: there are sections in the game where Nariko or the other playable character Kai is forced to use projectiles as either weapons or for puzzle solving, This can either be Kai's crossbow, Nariko using a ballista or throwing a disc. Aiming these projectiles is very inaccurate so you have to guide them via a feature called Aftertouch where time slows down and you have to steer the projectiles to their respective targets.

Using the SIXAXIS on the best of days is a nightmare and having the game force you to complete these segments before moving on is a sure way to get people to rage quit the game. The game isn't unfair at any point, but the whole task is so tedious and time consuming and I'm left wondering if the game wouldn't have been better served if these elements all together

What these segments do right however, is introducing us to the character of Kai, She is easily one of my favorite female characters of a game ever after having played this game. She isn't forced into any kind of storytelling tropes (except for maybe one very small damsel in distress scenario) and is very much left to just being: Kai.

She is a very hard character to explain but I really urge you to either play the game or look her up on Youtube, she is really something special.

Overall I'm pleased to say that I had a really positive experience with Heavenly Sword, The game does suffer a little bit from being made 6 years ago, if one is to compare it to contemporary titles like DMC and Metal Gear Rising but all in all it was a solid experience and I wouldn't mind a sequel somewhere down the line.

I give the game a 4/5.   read

10:43 AM on 04.28.2013

Reviewing an older game

I'm sort of in a conundrum. As I've said in earlier blog posts, I bought a PS3 about a year and a half ago, and I'm trying to work my way through the back catalog I have on the system. Having traversed all of the Uncharted games, finished Solid Snake's story in MGS4 and generally having a great time with LittleBigPlanet 1 and 2, I've now arrived at a game that I was very excited for when I first saw it announced alongside the PS3.

The game I'm talking about is Heavenly Sword.

Nariko is voiced by Anna Torv, best known from the TV series Fringe

For those who don't know, This was Ninja Theory's (the guys who did the new DMC and Enslaved: Odyssey to the West) first game of this generation, and the first game they developed under that name. Wikipedia says that it's and action adventure hack and slash game where the gameplay resembles a martial arts title focused on melee combat while featuring opportunities for ranged attacks. In my words: I'd say it's sort of like God of War, sort of like Onimusha, and sort of like Devil May Cry.

I'm not very far into the game, but I started writing down notes for myself so that I could review it here on my blog when I'm done, but therein lies the problem. How do I review a game that was released 6 years ago?

Do I hold it up against contemporary titles like DMC, God of War Ascension and Metal Gear Rising Revengeance, or do I try to compare it to titles that were available around the same time as Heavenly Sword?

On one hand, there have been several games I've come across from the early PS3 era that have aged far better than this game has. and on the other hand video games have come along way in 6 years, and I am really liking the game, despite its flaws.

If the game had been released today, I'm not sure that I would have liked it as much as I am. (so far that is, still got a ways to go in the game) I mean why should I give this game any special treatment? There are several games that I've just flat out stopped playing because it had one or two things that annoyed me, and this game has several things that annoy the heck out of me, but despite those things, I'm actually enjoying the game.

There have been one other game that I experienced this with: The original Bioshock. While I did play it around the time the game was released, I truly hated some of the gameplay mechanics that Irrational had implemented in that game, but still I hold it as one of my favorite games this generation.

Have I missed out on game experiences because I was too easily annoyed at some of the choices the developers had made? I think I might have..

Will I ever get around to review Heavenly Sword? I hope so, This challenge that I'm facing could really help me become a better video game reviewer.

How will I treat it in the review?

I guess we'll just have to wait and see   read

4:00 PM on 04.24.2013

PS Vita: A place Indie devs can call home

I own a PS Vita, and as much as I love the damn thing, there's no hiding the fact that post launch support have been lacking. There aren't nearly enough games to capture a wide audience, and the handheld itself is stuck somewhere between wanting to be a dedicated gaming device or a sort of casual gaming/tablet device. In fact, the games that I've been primarily playing on the device is either ports of console games or ports of PSP games that I missed because I didn't own one.

That is not to say that there aren't good Vita games. Uncharted Golden Abyss feels and plays like a full fledged Uncharted game. Gravity Rush is lots of fun (even if the mechanics got tiresome after a while). And I'm sure that there are more Vita games that I just haven't gotten round to play yet.

But what I feel the Vita really needs, is an Indie Revolution!

Ever since Sony's PS4 reveal in February, There's been a steady trickle of news every week about the new direction that Sony wants to take with their gaming platforms. At the Playstation Meeting in february, they made it pretty clear that Sony wants the PS4 to be a place where Indie developers can practice their crafts, and over the last few weeks we've been hearing that the PS Vita will also be a part of this new directon.

On the March 22, IGN reported that there were coming More than 100 games for the Vita in 2013. Among these were indie games like Thomas Was Alone, Lone Survivor, Frozen Synapse and others

A few weeks ago, a game called Guacamelee was released, and short summarized. the game plays amazingly on the Vita. The controls are tight, the gameplay is fun and the game itself looks fantastic. Another indie game that is coming to the Vita soon is the ultraviolent Hotline Miami, and after having played it on PC I can say with 100 percent certainty that the game will be perfect for the Vita.

Guacamelee! really showcases indie glory on the Vita

I think that the Vita has the perfect fan base for Indie developers to test their games on. Threads on Neogaf like the monthly Vita thread is one of the places where Playstation Vita owners encourage each other to try the different games that are being released on the handheld, and they discuss their experiences with the games in a way that could be really helpful to an up and coming Indie developer

That is not to say that I ONLY want indie games on my Vita, I want the next portable Uncharted game, and just last week the news came that there's a sidescrolling 2,5D Batman Arkham Origins game in the works and I really want that too, But indie games can really help fill the gap between the big releases so that the Vita doesn't end up gathering dust.

I believe the PS Vita could be recognized as one of the best handhelds in history, but I think it will need the help of indie games to get there. Sony also needs to realize that what we Vita owners want isn't ports of console games but original games that can only be found on the Vita, That's how Nintendo did it with their Wii and DS/3DS and it's been working for them.

The PS Vita is a technical marvel, but hardware alone doesn't sell systems, You have to have the software too.   read

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