I am a Brazilian student in Norway. I also happen to really, really like games! I'm a huge RPG fan, especially JRPGs and party-based WRPGs, but I also enjoy nearly every genre, from Mario Kart to Limbo to Bulletstorm.
Ar Tonelico trilogy
Record of Agarest War series
Devil May Cry series
Ni No Kuni
KOTOR 1,2 (replay)
I Am Alive
Monkey Island 2
Back to the future: The Game
Tales of Monkey Island
Ghost Recon Future Soldier
Siren Blood Curse
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate
Sonic Racing Transformed
The Walking Dead
Plus a bunch of older DS and PS2 games that I may or may not play eventually. Perhaps I should file them in the "sort-of-but-not-exactly-backlog" category.
Currently playing: Ar Tonelico Qoga
My 3DS code: 3995-6846-8256. For some reason it doesn't appear in the player profile.
It is my immense pleasure to announce that, despite all the hate from immature, progress-fearing, change-hating dinosaurs, Micro$oft (I just wrote it like thi$ because someone wrote a blog to say they hate it. I'm petty like that), Microsoft finally sold me on their vision for the Xbox One when they said the Xbox 360 can be plugged into the Xbox One! What's that? You're asking why the hell you'd want to do that? I have no idea, but it's exciting because CHANGE! DISRUPTION! Major Nelson is excited too. It was one of the first things he asked, even though he doesn't really know why he'd want to do that either. But to be fair, Microsoft hasn't been clear about why many things about the One will be beneficial, or even about how they will work at all, so it's not like he can break company policy and start giving straight answers just like that.
This is yet another in a long list of Xbox One features that we're all excited about, even though nobody really knows why. Like Smartglass, for example. Did you know you can manage your inventory on your tablet or phone? It's the next evolution in gaming. Now, when you're smack dab in the middle of hardcore, fast-paced action, instead of fiddling about with a slow, unrefined UI, you can just put the controller down, pick up the tablet, choose your items, put the tablet down, and pick up the controller again! That, my friends, is called streamlining.
Major Nelson is confident that "gamers are going to love our vision of the future and what we're going to offer for gaming", and with such killer features as plugging one console into another, it's hard to disagree. Like Microsoft has said, gamers will buy whatever, and they are unconcerned about the backslash because "change is always unsettling". So if you are still on the fence about the future, my friends, I have just three words for you: "change, future, progress". Once you understand that, you will come around, because, as we have been told time and time again, both by Microsoft and a good chunk of the press, all it takes to turn something seemingly bad into something good is to label it "change", "progress", or "the future". And if they bind it all together in a cool sounding message like "we're confident that core gamers will buy anything once they see the progress. We expected some backslash, because change is always scary, but once we drill into their head that they will absolutely love our vision of the future no matter what, we're sure they will".
Well played, Microsoft. I have no doubt Sony and Nintendo are preparing to take refuge in the shoe business (because everybody needs shoes, so the potential install base is just ridiculous. Logic dictates that it's much better to make shoes, a potential market of 7 billion people than to make silly Mario games that sell to 30 or 40 million people at most) as I write.
Survival horror is alive and kicking. A couple weeks ago I finished playing Zombi U, and if you're into real survival, it's bloody fantastic. I know reviews have been mixed, and some of you may be on the fence or written it off completely because of that. Well, I'm here to right that horrible wrong!
Skimming through some reviews, it seems the biggest gripe some reviewers have is that it's not a FPS. Gamespot's review,the lowest of the bunch, finished with the line "ZombiU could have been an enjoyable action game". That right there tells you everything that's really wrong with the game in the reviewer's mind. ZombiU is a sometimes slow paced survival game. If you're into that, you're probably going to like it. If not, you probably won't.
Freaking bastard literally almost cost me my Gamepad.
At this point I'm supposed to briefly describe the game, but even that is difficult. I could say it's like a closed-world Dead Island, or like a melee-heavy Resident Evil, but that doesn't quite do it justice. ZombiU does its own thing.
The premise is classic Resident Evil meets the Walking Dead, with a twist: in another sign of the welcome influence of Dark Souls, each time you die, you will spawn as a new survivor, and have to recover all you stuff, minus the cricket bat and a handgun with 6 bullets, from your now infected corpse. If you die on the way, your loot is gone for good. In order to survive, you will become rather well acquainted with your trusted cricket bat. You will get big guns, too: shotguns, assault rifles, sniper rifles, etc, but you will still be relying plenty on the cricket bat, because ammo is really limited and each shot counts, far more than it ever did in Resident Evil, even in the "good old days".
Nursery. This place is tense.
Zombi U really pulls off the survival horror atmosphere and makes you watch your every step, knowing that one mistake could be your last. This is no exaggeration, since you can be hit or scratched by zombies a few times, but if the infected sink their teeth into your tasty flesh, it's bye bye. Another cool twist, again clearly Dark Souls-inspired, is that other player's zombies will roam on your world, and vice versa, and the fact I didn't know about it made it so much cooler. So there I was, in the safety of my safehouse, about to get some sleep and save my game before venturing out again in the big bad world, and... I can't sleep now because there are zombies nearby. Didn't I kill them all already? So I go check it out, open the door, and lo behold, there is our very own Smurfee_McGee about to snack on my brain. No sir! I show him who's boss, and loot his corpse. It just so happens that I was completely out of ammo and only had one medkit left, and Smurfee's corpse was loaded! Ammo, medkits, flares, even a grenade! Smurfee, you're a life saver. Thanks man!
Another Zombie that routinely showed up in my world was Andy Dixon's, but seriously, he was just annoying. He never had any good loot! I killed him about 6 or 7 times, and most of the time he only had a lousy medkit, if that. Come on man, if you're gonna die, at least pack some ammo with you. Have you no manners?!?
This mechanic also serves to keep you on your toes. When you die, the Zombies you killed recently stay dead, so if you're confident where the zombies are you can safely rush to where you died... unless another player's zombie has entered your world and jumps you from that corner you were sure was clear. Guess how I learned that?
Zombi U also got high marks for it's Gamepad use, and for good reason. The best gamepad additions are the sonar, map, inventory management and scan. The map and sonar are a really handy combo, and help out A LOT. You also have six icons on the gamepad for quick item use, and there's a scanning mechanic that you use the gamepad to do. This last one could work just as well without the Gamepad, but it helps the immersion and is pretty cool. Plus, since you manage the inventory on the gamepad, the game doesn't stop and you can still be aware of your surroundings. That keeps the pace up, and saved my ass more than once.
Other gamepad uses, like sniping and lockpicking, don't really add much, but don't detract either. The only bad gamepad use for me is that to bring up the inventory you touch or drag the backpack icon, and it's located right in the middle of the gamepad, where your thumbs don't naturally reach. It's so obviously unintuitive, I'm surprised nobody caught it.
Another problem I've heard about is that supposedly there are some glitches and bugs. My guess is that they patched it out, because my game was thoroughly bug-free.
God save the queen.
Zombi U is not a perfect game, not at all. It is a testament to its greatness that it has "launch title" all over it, and it's still outstanding. The graphics are good, but have plenty of room for improvement. Most disappointing, you only have a single melee weapon in the entire game. I kept expecting to pick up something else, but it never happened. I checked online, and someone in the development team said they wanted to add more weapons, but didn't have enough time, which is a shame. The multiplayer, I hear, is very good, makes a really fun use of the asymmetrical multiplayer capabilities of the Wii U, and I've never heard a single bad word about it. Too bad I'll never know, because my friends are across the ocean and it doesn't have online. But hey, if anyone out there lives in Oslo and wants some practical experience with "integration policy", I'd be glad to help!
Knowing the game performed well enough for Ubisoft to consider a sequel made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. With enough time to perfect the core game and iron out the kinks, ZombiU 2 could be one of the best games of the generation.
So, if you made it this far, thanks for reading this crappy blog and... kidding! kidding! kidding! kidding! I know you're still here because I'm awesome. Anyways, if you already have a Wii U or intend to buy a Wii U, and tense survival horror makes you tick, don't miss this game. You will thank me later.
Gamindustry, April 2014— Following last night's Take-Two earnings call for Fiscal 2013, it was revealed that the blockbuster title GTAV fell far short of expectations. "We had a conservative forecast of 18 million unit sales through the calendar year", said financial services company The Cowen Group. "However, the game only sold 16.5 million copies, an unacceptable result for any self-respecting shareholder. Because of this, we are downgrading the company stock from "hold" to "dump".
The underperformance of the much-anticipated title shook an already struggling industry, and Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick announced his resignation effective immediately. "I am proud of everything Take-Two achieved in the last decade. However, it comes down to accountability. While pre-orders of the game were very, very, very, very, very, very good, final results were merely very, very, very, very good", said the former CEO.
A top executive at rival Electronic Arts, who would only speak on condition of anonymity, predicted tough times ahead for Zelnick. "Personally, Zelnick is a great guy, but nobody will hire someone who can't even sell 17 million copies of GTAV. He will be forced to apply for unemployment insurance. It's a shame, really. It would break my heart, if I had one."
Several analysts weighed in on what the future holds for Take-Two. "Nintendo is doomed", said famed Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter. "Oh, you meant Take-Two"? They should focus on mobile and F2P. The writing is on the wall. If you put together the number of sales of every single Call of Duty ever, it's still a fraction of the number of Angry Birds downloads. It's obvious where the real money is. And Iwata sucks."
While the company is reportedly considering such a move, sources inside Take-Two indicate that the board is divided, with some advocating that the problem is not the business model, it's the execution, a position supported by many high-level managers. "All we need to do to make our next blockbuster the success it deserves is to triple the development budget and quadruple the marketing budget", says a high-ranking manager. "If we throw that much money on a product, what could possibly go wrong?"
Shocking though it may be, not everyone in the game world was as appalled as most of us by the Xbone reveal, and as much as I'd wish not a single human being was interested in this monstrosity, that's just fine. Like Ed Koch famously said, "If you agree with me on nine out of 12 issues, vote for me. If you agree with me on 12 out of 12 issues, see a psychiatrist". Even in a hypothetical world where no one really actually liked the thing, we'd still see positives articles pop up, and it's only natural. In the media business, where careers live or die by the attention they get, when a situation arises that EVERYONE is on one side of a given issue, some inevitably seize the opportunity to position themselves "on the other side", "above the fray" or somesuch, which is one of the easiest ways to get tongues wagging and precious traffic. Even before the unveiling, some pieces popped up purporting to take a step back from the "knee-jerk reactions" and take an "objective look" at the potential benefits of an always online console.
It's all well and good, but could please drop the excuses? Really, you don't need them. Maybe you're also a game developer who'd like nothing less than to see the used game market crash and burn. Maybe you invested in Activision. Maybe you own Microsoft stock and wants the Xbone to sell like gangbusters. Maybe you're one of those "corporations exist to make money" types who believe that, as long as the goal is to make money, everything is fine because that's just how the "real world" works. Maybe you don't give a flying fuck about the Kinect watching you the time or about opening the doors to a visual-DRM future. Maybe you just want to play Halo, and fuck everything else. Maybe you've always dreamed of controlling your TV with your voice while you game, twit, skype, watch a movie and listen to music all at the same time. Maybe... it doesn't matter. If you really liked what you saw and wants it to succeed, for whatever reason, that's okay. You are not "honor-bound to defend freedom". You don't have a duty to pick up arms and join the uprising of the unwashed masses. The Gamers Against Xbone League won't hire thugs to break your kneecaps or anything. At least I won't.
I think I'm not supposed to write two blogs in a row, and this was originally supposed to be in my blog about privacy, but I since it has nothing to do with privacy, I decided to make another blog just for it. And it's in my head right now, if I leave it for later I probably won't write it. I don't blog much, so maybe I can do it just this once? Pretty please? Thanks!
We've talked plenty about how Xbox One is more like Xdone, and I just wrote about privacy. Leaving all that aside, I'm in the mood to play armchair analysts, so allow me to briefly take on Microsoft's strategy.
This year, total Playstation 3 sales have overtaken 360 sales, despite the fact it launched a year later, is more expensive and has always remained a distant second in the hugely important U.S and UK markets. This tells us two things: One, Microsoft has the U.S and UK market in the bag. Two, as big as those markets are, the rest of the world is even bigger.
Which is why I'm baffled by Microsoft's choice. There's probably a reason I'm here writing a Cblog and not running a billion dollar corporation, so maybe I'm just clueless, but I truly don't get it. Microsoft believes 1 billion next-gen consoles/devices will be sold, and yet it seems to be focusing 95% of its efforts precisely on the markets it already conquered, and some of those efforts even leave out the U.K entirely, at least for now.
The TV TV Experience TV Television TV integration, for one. Microsoft obviously sees it as a big selling point of their new entertainment device. At launch, it's just for the United States, where Xbox already dominates. Obviously, Microsoft's plan is to launch it globally "over time", but how long will it take? Is it even viable anywhere but the biggest markets? U.K residents who get Xboned can no doubt expect to be one of the very first "other" countries to be graced with Xbox TV, but if anyone in Finland or Belgium is excited about it, I'd suggest you find a really fun hobby to pass the time while you wait.
Or the exclusive NFL deal Microsoft paid $400 million for. Sure, $400 million is a tiny sum for Microsoft, but it's significant for the Xbox division. How much it costs, though, is not really the point, the point is what it says about Microsoft's priorities. The NFL is about that weird sport that U.S people call "Fooball" for some reason even though they only use their feet to run, and is only appreciated by weird Americans. Oh, you weirdos!
In case the above paragraph didn't give it away, I'm not American, and it's not a coincidence that I'm, to put it mildly, not all the interested in American Football. By and large, only people in the United States care about it. So Microsoft goes and invests in exclusive content that only appeals to the one country besides the U.K that is already seduced by the Xbox brand.
Another selling point, as Microsoft sees it, is the voice interface. Question: what does a voice recognition device needs to work properly? Answer: it needs to understand the language. I don't really know anything about the tech side of things, so I might be mistaken, but I suspect it's not easy or quick to prepare a device like Kinect to recognize and speak multiple languages. The original Kinect only launched with 3 languages. Assuming Kinect 2.0 voice powers are as amazing as advertised, it will probably take even longer to expand to many languages. And will Microsoft even bother with small or tiny languages? They will definitely have French and German Kinects at some point, but what about Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Portuguese, Russian, etc, etc, etc? Sure, individually, the countries that speak those languages have very small markets, but altogether they matter. The PS3 outsold the 360 worldwide precisely because, besides Japan, Sony conquered most of these individually insignificant markets.
In short, I just don't see how they expect to conquer the world with a device that's so U.S-centric.