Welcome to my blog about, at least mostly, games. Here you can find reviews, impressions, pictures and things that I think are interesting enough to write about. If you want me to speak up on something, then write it to me. Want to discuss something in a post then write it in the comments. Hope it will be good reading for you.

onsdag 1 juni 2016

I Don't Like the Last of Us

Well, this is a bit embarrassing, I guess I've already talked about this in a post before. But here I am talking about it again, on youtube, what do you know. Am I crazy to think this or is my opinion justified? Let me know!

torsdag 2 juli 2015

Final Fantasy VII - Remake; What I do and don't want to see

All right, so this happened, and I was one of the people jumping up and down on my couch when Square Enix revealed this. I mean wow, this is a dream come true, something I, along with many other, have wanted for a very long time, and the fact is that Square are being genius about this because even if the game does everything wrong, people will still buy it. But it will disappoint me, so for the sake of you Square-Enix, but mostly because I want to talk about this with other fans, so please comment on what you think, and tell me if I'm wrong as well!

I'm not going to go in on specifics, because I know that there are a lot of different fans out there, some who want the same game untouched with just better graphics, and some who want to change a lot about the game to make it feel fresh again. I'm somewhere in the middle, I do want them to stick to the original game a lot, but there has to be changes, not only on a graphical level. But with change comes the inevitable fear of something going wrong. Tetsuya Nomura said in an interview that "We can't have these upgraded, beautiful 3D models of Cloud and Barrett, still lining up in a row, jumping forward to attack an enemy, then jumping back to wait for their next turn. That would be bizarre. Of course there will likely be changes there." This is one of the things that scares me. Because I don't get why you can't have turn based combat, I mean, the series took a real dive once the turn based combat was scrapped. I get the logic behind the statement, I just hope they don't change too much of the battles, I don't want FF XIII or honestly even FF XV.

There is nothing wrong with a turn-based system of some sort, just because it's not the kind of game that people play now. I really hate that the games industry have abandoned the turn-based model. I played X-com: Enemy Unknown a while back and loved it, It's an amazing game, if you've never played it, please do. But what I was going to say is that it also had a turn-based system, and it worked in it's favour, it let me have control of all characters at once, and not just one, and that's the thing I think. Final Fantasy has always been an assemble story, and by only controlling one character, you shun the other characters to supporting cast instead of main, which I always saw the FF-games as. Sure, Cloud is the main protagonist, but everyone are important. So if you're going to change the battles, please make is so I can control everything and everyone, let me have control over the battles, not just choose some stuff and watch the battle turn into chaos.

Secondly, don't remove stuff, instead, add stuff. I don't want less games in the golden saucer I want more. I don't want less weapons, accessories, armour and materia, I want more. I don't want less characters... I don't want more either actually. I don't want less Limit Breaks, I want more! By the way, don't remove the limit breaks, what ever you do! I don't want less lore, less side quests or less villages, I want more! Seriously, I'm fine as long as they don't remove anything, but one can dream right?

Another thing that I'm kinda scared of is that Nomura will cheese up the dialogue, or rather make it extremely pretentious. I get that you need to redo the script, I want to see them redo the script, but make it good, please. The voice-over in the trailer is fine, I like it actually, I get that it's referring to the reunion in the game. But it's borderline that I don't get what they're talking about. Just don't mess this up... And hire good voice actors... And ship the collectors edition with some cake!

When Square released Final Fantasy VI on the Playstation, they remastered the music, they added real instrument, something they couldn't do in the SNES original. I want to see this in FFVII remake as well, THE SAME MUSIC, but shape it up a little. And if you need to add new music, get Nobuo Uematsu to do it!

Okay, lastly, and this is a big one. If you have never played FFVII, this section will be spoiler-full. I know that a lot of fans have been asking for this, but I beg of you, for the love of God almighty himself; don't bring back Aeris. This is something that FFVII did so good, the death of Aeris made little 12 years old me cry, I still tear up when I play it again. But it was also necessary, her death is what saves the world at the end, if you bring her back in some side-quest or whatever, first of all, you doom the world, second of all, YOU DOOM THE WORLD! But the worst thing is that when you bring a character back to life, you loose all stakes of the characters still alive being in any kind of danger. To go to the world of TV and films, The Marvel Cinematic Universe have done this, but most of all, Supernatural! I really liked that series up to season 6, but then they started dying and coming back to life, over and over and over and over and over again, meaning that if someone actually dies, I feel nothing. So whatever you do Nomura, let the dead be dead.

Another thing that people have been wanting is to have the last boss be challenging. And I'm not talking about the One-winged angel-boss, I'm talking about the one between just Cloud and Sephiroth. I personally loved this battle, but people doesn't get the meaning with it. It's a battle to show that Cloud is now stronger than the man he looked up to, the man he felt betrayed by, the man who represented all the things old, that he had to lie about, a reminder of the man Cloud was before, someone he rather forget. For me, just make the last battle the same, just let us chose attack, then see Cloud drive his sword right through Sephiroth.

The end, done, boom.

Okay, that's my two cents, let me know what you thought about that, please discuss, tell me your dream for the FFVII remake, tell me if I'm wrong so we can discuss that! Bye!

måndag 18 maj 2015

Why can't I bring myself to play The Witcher?

So tomorrow is the day when the long awaited third instalment of the popular Witcher- series, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. This is probably one of the most longed for games of the entire 2015, for some people, and I can really understand why. The grand world and the great script and story makes this a game that is in many aspects, ahead of its time. So why can't I keep playing it?

A pretty little town, I'm sure nothing bad will happen here.
I've always had a very special relationship with The Witcher. I played the first game a couple of times, times that were far apart from each other, always starting over, because I wanted to experience it again, but I never got further than out of the castle before I stopped playing. It is odd, because I could never bring myself to play it again, every time I thought about it I just felt nah, I don't want to play that right now. The same thing happened with the second game, but then I stopped playing because it got a bit to hard to keep track of all the things you could do in combat, knives, traps, dodge parry, counter, oils, potions and sticking fingers up bums! There is a tutorial thankfully, and I have recently begun playing Assassins of Kings again, and I know it's hard and I don't mind, I love the story and the characters. I love this game, but I still had the same experience with this game, nah, not today, I don't feel like it.

It could have something to do with t he fact that The Witcher just isn't a game that you can just pick up and play, it will take up a far amount of time from your day. This means that The Witcher becomes very much a project, not just a fun game. And before you say anything, no I don't thing that is necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes I like a project, something I can really sink my teeth in, that I have to put a fair amount of time into in one sitting to enjoy. But it is a risky gamble for someone who works a lot, meaning that The Witcher isn't a game I would play on a day that I'm working, or when I have something else planed. Maybe on a free day, but even then I feel like I need to be in the right mindset.

A great example that Nintendo still sticks to the "pick up and play" mentality
I wrote about this two week ago too, the fact that games have very much become hard to start up. In the NES-days the "just pick up and play" was what made consoles different from computers. But now I feel like consoles just tries to be PC, but they never will be as strong, and I don't think they should be. But many games do a similar thing, where it can take half an hour of more before you get to play the actual game. I think that Nintendo is the only company who has managed to pull this of, even having the screen on your controller show the games so you don't have to go to the home menu when your start the Wii U, and can go straight to playing the game. I'm gonna say it, and maybe I will get a lot of hate for this, and I do think that the Wii U has a lot of flaws, but it remembers that it's a gaming console and not a media beast, like the PS4 or the Xone. I might do a comparison of the three one day but I just remembered, i was supposed to talk about The Witcher!

There are some inventive monsters in The Witcher
I read a review of The Wild Hunt and one thing that worried me was something that most people might see as a good thing, but I just really get this pit in my stomach. Every choice has a consequence, I love this, but the review stated that every side-quest had a twist, and you might get the feeling that you probably shouldn't have bothered with that which isn't your business. This makes me think of a thing that I really hated in the Game of Thrones game from Telltales. I talked about this in one of my Let's Filosoplay videos, and I'm going to put out a SPOILER ALERT here. In the first episode the game does something that the book and the series have done, it makes you feel like every character is in danger, by killing of one of the playable characters, and makes you feel like it's you fault. After that I just couldn't keep playing, because to fear for a character in the TV-series is one thing, and it can get pretty tense *cough*RedWedding*cough*. Then realize that the same tension is on you throughout the entire game, and it's worse because you're responsible and invest in the character you're playing. I just couldn't keep playing, it was too much for me, and yeah call me a wimp for it, but I mean, that is at the same time what made the game great and unique, but at the same time, it's what made me stop playing.

I hope that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt won't feel like this, because all in all, it's a game that I want to love, because of the world and the characters. I'm getting really pumped to play the second game again now, maybe I should begin a project today! Are you pumped for Wild Hunt? We'll see if a review finds its way onto this sight in the future.

onsdag 13 maj 2015

Let's playing

So I actually started posting let's play videos on youtube from my PS4, please check this out. It's a bit like what I do here, talking about games as I'm playing the game, FilosophyGamerNinja at youtube. This is the first video of me playing Shovel Knight!

måndag 11 maj 2015

Destiny - Destined to be forgotten

The beautiful scenery of Destiny
I've never really liked MMO's. So I'm not even sure why I picked up Destiny. Well, that's not entirely true, I picked it up because I really like Halo, and I played Destiny at a friends and kind of liked the concept of it. The part I played was where I teamed up with two other players to take on a number of enemies and at the end one really big and bad one. It felt kinda Halo-ish, I really liked that and to be honest, there is nothing wrong with the gameplay as it is. I loved the tense and kinda hard boss-fight, where you always had to weight offence and defence. 

Okay, enough praise, because I later picked up Destiny, and played it for a while, but has as of now laid it to rest. Unfortunately it suffers from the classic MMO-problems, something that you who reads this might actually like, but that I just can't stand. The first thing is the horrible try to be a story driven game. No, what drives an MMO has always been the quest to get the best loot, and the best level, to build the best character. I would love a MMO to do story right, but as it is, it's amazingly sloppy, and if the story didn't exist, I might have had another drive of motivation, and not gotten tired of it so quickly.

"I demand trial by shooting aliens in the face!"
But as I mentioned last week, a story is nothing is it's not backed up by great gameplay, and in some respect Destiny has that, almost. There is the usual regenerating health/hiding behind cover/FPS gameplay that Bungie do so good, as they have proven with the Halo-series. And that's all fine and well, but when I am supposed to do the same thing hour after hour, with enemies that all kinda look the same, and can be defeated by the same tactic every time, the game becomes the biggest turn-off for me of MMO's. It succumbs to grinding to get bigger and better gear. As I mentioned earlier, this is what builds your character, the thing is that a character is more than just your level and your gear, it's personality, it's the ability to change the way you think of things and so much more. Gear and level leaves me with an empty shell, guided by Tyrion Lannister, but without any character himself, just another empty shell with a nice voice. 

And there you go, from one location to another (nice location mind), same thing all the time. Even the big guys starts to feel like the same fight over and over again. Couldn't the big bosses at least have some kind of variation on how to beat them, other than shoot at them until they stop moving and explode with loot all over the place. I want something new, I want the game to keep challenging me, not just throw more of the same enemies at me. 

As it is, Destiny is nothing for me, and maybe I'm being to hard saying it's destined to be forgotten, but I have a hard time seeing this holding up. With the kind of money it cost to make it might be remembered, but the game is a good weekend at best, but forgotten in the long run. I'm not going to play it at least, it doesn't appeal to me in the slightest, it's back to Gamestop with you.

måndag 4 maj 2015

Shovel knight thoughts - What makes a game good?

Shovel Knight in all its 8-bit glory
Long ago I did a comparison of games in the same genre, pitting games from the present to games from the past. Maybe that wasn't a fair comparison, more mathematical than anything else, and now after playing Shovel Knight I have a reason to get back to the question, was games better in the past?

Why? Well the fact is that I have pretty much spent all of the current year playing games from two generations ago, meaning Playstation 2 and before. And I've had a really good time actually. At the same time I've bought games like Infamous: Second Son and Dragon Age: Inquisition, and I tried them out and was kinda underwhelmed to be honest. After playing Shovel Knight I think I finally figured out why I'm having such a hard time with new games.

Don't forget to check the bodies for potions!
I think it's all the padding, and there are a lot of different ways of padding a game out., not all of them bad mind you, but just most of them. The fact that I have to sit through a long intro just to get to playing the game, and then the game takes an hour or two for me to learn all of the features and things to do. I remember a time when the big argument that console gamers had against PC gamers was that I could just start up the console and be playing the game in less than a minute, something Shovel Knight does very good (after the game have been installed on the PS4 of course, because all consoles seems to be just PC wannabes), you just start the game, two presses of the button, a VERY short intro and hardly any tutorials. You're in action quickly. Dragon Age does this too, ish, there is a intro sequence, character creation (which honestly was as fun as I had with the game, so fun that I did it twice) and then you get right into the action... of a one hour tutorial-course. Final Fantasy VII did it in a good way in contrast, a quick into sequence, and then right into the action, and with no explanation at all to how the game worked, you had to figure it out for yourself, and that might seem like a bad thing (and when I played it first at 11 years old, it took me a good while to get how you played so yeah) but there seems to be a trend in games where they seem to treat you like an infant, Or maybe the games have in gameplay become so complicated that one needs to be educated in the system, but my reaction to a new game is still to press all the buttons to figure out what they do, but newer games lock off the buttons until you've gone through the tutorial. I know FFVII had a couple of tutorials as well but then you were hooked, and it still let me do a lot of figuring out myself. I managed to play it through at 11 years old and I barely knew any English at that time, so I pretty much got through without the tutorials. Shovel Knight was fun because it did what old games did, just play, and it reminded me how annoying it can be when I'm forced to learn the game before playing it, and not just learn while playing.

The first page of pictures of The Last of Us, and none are from the gameplay
There is one game that I just want to love so much, because every time I play it, I have a lot of fun, but then I just can't bring myself to continue, The Last of Us. It is a very padded game, as in, the game itself is really kinda bland, and I just play to get through the story. I love the story, it's one of the best in any game, but it's just such generic gameplay that I get sick of it. I don't know why, I love Uncharted, and they are not that different, but I just can't bring myself to like The Last of Us. For me, a game has to foremost be a game. If you take out the story, take out the characters, take out the settings, and just have the gameplay and everything that comes with that, is your game still a fun game? I am a strong believe that a great story can make a good game great, or make a great game into a masterpiece, but a bad game will still be a bad game with a great story. It doesn't matter how much you decorate your pile of shit, it's still going to be a pile of shit. I feel that many games now a days are trying to be films, or TV-series, and forgetting that they are in fact games. The stories of games are actually best when they use the medium to tell it, like in Half-Life or Bioshock, where you never leave your point of view, using the game to tell a story, rather than make a film and then slap a game on it. We did that already during the 90's, it was called a movie tie-in and they sucked. 

Another thing that Dragon Age: Inquisition did, and the first game as well, was something very MMORPG-ish. This might just be my own preference, so if what I say now sounds appealing rather than appalling, just ignore this, but I have when games becomes so open that you can just wander into a place and realize way to late that the enemies here are way to high level for you. I get that games want to be free and sandbox and open world, like it's the world of the year, this and that has gone open world, but I need at least a little direction. Skyrim did this very well, the freedom to do whatever you wanted, but gave you direction to where you should go to do what you want. This was my problem with GTA IV as well, it felt like they just dropped me at a huge world and said "go nuts" so I had no sense of purpose, and ended up doing nothing at all.

Yaaaay, flying aroud like I am Batman!
I could go on with a lot of things I realize, like how there always seems to be commutes between one section of game and another, and how one can do they right, either short as in the mentioned Shovel Knight, or you can make them fun, as in Batman: Arkham City. But I think that what I said before pretty much sums it up, developers nowadays needs to remember that they are making games, and yes I know that games have evolved, they aren't as simple as they were before, and that's a good thing, sure, but when a game like Shovel Knight, that easily could have been done twenty years ago, is by far the most fun I've had with a game for a good while, then developers really need to start getting back to the roots of gaming, make it fun to play, not make the gameplay commutes between cut scenes. 

Final thoughts on Shovel Knight, it's not a perfect game, there are annoyances, places where the faithful depiction of a 8-bit game gets in the way of gameplay, like having the special attack mapped to "square" + "up" instead of the unused "O"-button, but all in all, I recommend this, play it and realize that maybe games were better in the past, at least in some respect.

måndag 20 april 2015

Final Fantasy XV - Episode Duscae review

Wow, I really have been talking a lot about Final Fantasy lately. But as the Bible say, what your heart is full of, comes out the mouth, or the keyboard, in my case. The problem is I'm not done yet, I want to talk more about it, I'm going to start playing Final Fantasy Type-0 now and might have a review up when I'm done with it. Speaking of the blog in general, I'm aiming at posting a new post every Monday from now on, but I digress, let's talk Final Fantasy XV - Episode Duscae, will it save the Final Fantasy-brand and the JRPG's?

The effects of this scene leads to the most awesome part of the demo
For me, the Final Fantasy-brand was never lost, I loved FFXII, and as I've heard it, FFXI and FFXIV are great games, even if it kinda kills me to see them as numbered entries, they should be called Final Fantasy Online or something, why not just call FFXIV, "Final Fantasy: A Realm Reborn"? But never mind, you know how I feel for the only bad numbered Final Fantasy, and if not, check out my rants. And even if there is only one bad numbered Final Fantasy, I haven't played FFXIV or FFXI. I am, like many others are, not interested in an MMORPG. Therefore, I haven't played a new good Final Fantasy in almost ten years. That's a long time, an entire generation of consoles have been born and died. Therefore, FFXV can't be bad, that would wound me.

So is it? Well, we need to take some time and realize that Episode Duscae is a demo for a game that still doesn't have a release date. My guess would be late 2015, but it might be later. This means that this is still an unfinished game, and by a lot. Have that in mind as you read on, because for every thing I say is bad or could be better, might be fixed for the final product. So lets get started. I'll try not to spoil too much, but still, I might so SPOILER ALERT. There isn't that much of a story going on but still.

At the start you have been stranded with your crew because your car have broken down. A girl named Cindy (I'll get back to her as well) tells you she will fix it, but it will cost you. So to get the gil to pay for it, you decide to hunt down the mighty Behemoth, nicknamed Deadeye, for he has one dead eye, ingenious naming there. This might be the most awesomely hyped up monster in the entire series, I mean, you start of by seeing these huge paw-prints in the mud, and later blood on the ground, and deep claw marks in the stone. What find of monster could have done this? When you finally encounter the beast you get to sneak past it, quietly trying to not make a sound, and it's really suspenseful. Later you stalk it back to its nest and device a plan including a way too conveniently placed tank of gas. I won't say more about where the demo takes you, but there is a lot more than this.

At least it looks spectacular
Let's talk combat, it takes a while to get used to it to be honest, and I'm not sure if I like it. It works okay, but it's a bit clumsy, and I don't feel like I'm always in control. A lot more in control than in FFXIII at least though. The combat works like this, you attack by holding down the "square" button, lock on by holding in R1 for a while, and goes to defensive mode by holding down L1, where you pretty much dodges anything. You can teleport-strike with "X" and use special attacks with "triangle". Dodging, teleport-strikes and special attacks drains MP and when you're out of MP you turn into a cripple with broken arms, and can't fight, so you need to get out of there and let it regenerate. When your HP reaches 0, it's the same thing as with the MP, and if you're hit during this time your max HP drops a bit. If that reaches 0 you die. Your team can heal you, and you can heal them when this happens, although in the heat of battle it's really just chance if you will heal your partners or if you will teleport to somewhere else. And your partners aren't that good at healing your either, but if you're tired of waiting, you can always use a potion.

So, let's tear this system apart! Not using too much MP takes a lot of getting used to, as do most of the system, I still hadn't gotten a good grip on it by the end of my four hour play through, but I got a lot better. The lock-on is the thing I like the least I think, as it only makes your character aim at that enemy, but the camera doesn't follow, so most of the time I'm just attacking something I'm not seeing, making the already confusing scene even more clustered, which means that it's hard for me to see when the enemy is attacking, so I rarely used the defensive stance, except when I could use it to parry an attack, when an indicator said that there was an attack incoming. Still, the combat works fine, I'll give it a pass all in all, but it is still not a good sign that I actively tried to avoid combat, when I could. Maybe it will get better when I get a better grip on the system.

The beautiful land of Final Fantasy XV
Let's spread the love, before I get into the really worrying things about the demo. The world is amazing, living and beautiful, and the seamless transitions from exploring and battle made everything come alive even more. The fact that I can see the huge creatures in the water, from quite far away, gives an even more alive feel to the world. In the part of the map I got to explore, there are two places that are inhabited by friendly people, both feel like real places, one rest-stop in the middle of the woods, and one gas-station. I keep saying it, but it feels like the places are alive, for real, and I never thought that I would be this happy to see inhabited places again, after number thirteen. If I had to complain on one thing, I would be that you can't yet talk to every character you meet, something I hope they fix, because talking to NPC's in cities and so on is another thing I've missed from not having cities and so on. The graphics need some work though, It's not the best looking game on the PS4 even though it's still ways to be done. I just hope that the game won't feel dated when it's finally released.

So let's get some shit on! There are some things I really hate about the game, but most are more of a worrying trend, that I hope they fix for the final game, no pun intended. The first thing, or the first couple of things, has to do with the combat. The thing is that there is no flow to it. Battling enemies actually takes a lot of time, one of the biggest complains I had with FFXIII as well. I hope that Square-Enix gets that the thing with moving away from turn-based battles is for the battles to run more smoothly, but the average battle in FFXV take longer than the average battle in most other Final Fantasy-games. The best combat in a Final Fantasy game, however bad and unnecessary the game was otherwise, is still Final Fantasy X-2. It was quick, fluent, there was urgency, but you still felt in control. If the numbered entries in the series are to move away from the turn-based combat, fine, but it must be to make the battles more fluent, faster, and more fun. The battles in FFXV aren't bad, but as I said, I'm worried that the battles will be long and drawn out as in FFXIII.
Prompto, Gladiolus, Noctis and Ignis, the gang we meet in the demo

Speaking of long battles, I often met enemies, that I at least think was way above my level, but I fought them anyway, and I didn't really lose, but the battle dragged on and on and on and on, and I more and more enemies spawned in on the battle I was doing, and in the end, I just got bored and rather than the battle ending with me lying annihilated on the ground because of the enemies strong attacks, I found myself running from the battles, not out of fear, but out of boredom. But then again, I hope they fix this, and it might be something they intend to do. Another thing that bothered me was the fact that I did this kind of thing with an enemy at the beginning of the game, felt the enemy too hard, and ran away, because the enemy didn't do enough damage to kill me. When the demo was over, and I was on my way back to Cindy, I tried again, having gone from level 4 to level 22, and I honestly couldn't tell if I had levelled up or not. The enemy still didn't do much damage to me, but again, the battle took forever. So I had enough and summoned Ramuth (Yeah, I loved it so much when I got to do that, amazing) and he pretty much insta-killed EVERYTHING! He seriously takes such massive damage that you win every fight. I mean, this guy is pretty much a rage quit button, that can be summoned when your HP reaches zero. Not sure how to feel about him really, because I hope that he doesn't make the game way to easy, that probably could be the case, but my guess is that they just put him in the demo for the awesomeness factor, and that they will dial the damage he does down for the final product.

And then there is Cindy. I think she's fine, I love that she is the daughter of a man named Cid, and she seems to have a fun personality too. I'm not a big fan of the object she pretty much becomes in some of the scenes, like the poor girl never learned how bend her frickin' knees, just to always show of her butt, but the thing that gets me the most annoyed about her is the accent. I'm sorry to anyone who takes offend to this, but a thick red-neck accent is probably the most annoying accent ever. I get that she is supposed to be sexy, yeah, but even when this is the case, it's, for me, the most unsexy accent there is, because there is few things that can turn me off a woman, as her being stupid, and that is what the accent makes the character seem, at first glance, unintelligent That is why Fran in FFXII is sexy, she has an intelligent accent. Cindy grew on me though, she seemed like a decent character in the end. Accents are, despite what I'm saying, just the first impression. Then again, the clerk in the store does it and has no character besides the accent, and I feel like, can I summon Ramuth right here?

All in all, Final Fantasy XV feels a bit too MMO-ish for it's own good, but I still left the demo wanting more, and that's a good sign. Fine characters that I think can grow on me, I just hope there are more than the guys I got to hang with here, I need the diversity of the other Final Fantasies! Now I hope that they can fix what can be fixed, and I'll be happy, and I am looking forward to it though, please, please, please don't let me down, don't make me do the Final Fantasy XV - ranting deluxe in a year!