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.

lördag 26 februari 2011

Save the JRPG's - The top 5 hopes

They have been decaying for a great while now. The Japaneese RPG games have been getting worse and worse and it's about time that someone does something about it. The best game to hit the market for a while was Persona 4 and Final Fantasy XII... 3 and 4 years ago! And before that, I can't remember a good game since Tales of Symphonia on the Gamecube.

We get half-decent games like Eternal Sonata or Resonance of Fate, but none like the games from the genres glorious days. Still I see light at the end of the tunnel. Here is the top five hopes I see for the genre and why.

Ni ni Kuni: The Queen of White Sacred Ash (PS3)

Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki is mo
stly known for their work on movies like Spirited Away and My Neibour Totoro. Now they take a swing at resurrecting the JRPG genre their own way. And it looks cute, and is kind of what I expect from Ghibli. I therefore have no doubt in my mind that the story will be really great. For the game itself, the fact that Ghibli haven't developed a game before troubles me, but I think with the support of Level 5 they can do it.


Kingdom Hearts III (PS3)

Well, the game has been confirmed so I'm putting it on the list. But it's here on the assumption that it's going to kick the other two games asses. That, and the fact that the series main titles have been really well met. Tetsuya Nomura has gotten more experience and the other games were great, why wouldn't this one be? I long to kick some ass with Donald and Goofy again. The greatness in the game is there, I love Disney, I love Final Fantasy, so naturally, I love Kingdom Hearts. I just hope that the flaws in the gameplay will be fixed. Then this is going to be another great game in the world of Final Disney Fantasy.

The Last Story (Wii)

The Father of Final Fantasy, Hironobu Sakaguchi, is in the same seat as when he was to make his final game, Final Fantasy, and we all know how that went. I hope that the pressure makes him and Mistwalker work at 110 percent. It seems that people finally starts to see that you need to step away from what has been the norm for JRPG's for a great while. The Last Story picks a lot of inspiration from games like Mass Effect and a renewal of the genre is what is needed. My worries of this game is that it will seize being a JRPG and turn into a more Americanised game. The Characters surely look the part but it's still
a worry. I just hope that things that makes a JRPG, like the style, the quirky but complex story and the unhollywoodish music, remains intact. The other worry I have with the game is not really about the game in itself, but the platform. Even if the game turns out to be great, I'm not sure if it will sell well on the Wii. The fans of JRPG either got a PS3 or a Xbox 360. But nevertheless, The Last Story looks like an interesting title, it actually looks great but I just hope that Sakaguchi knows what he's doing.

Final Fantasy Versus XIII (PS3)

Another game that walks away from the norms of what a JRPG should be. It's futuristic, yet near in time. You wouldn't think that the game was fantasy if you saw it. Tetsuya Nomura is the big brain behind the game and it surely shows. I thought that the gameplay looked kind of stiff, I hope that the system for fighting is fluent and fun, but I didn't think so when I watched the trailer. But this game just looks so great. The surroundings in the cut scenes are almost photogenic. The characters, as expected of Nomura, are greatly designed and this will probably be a great game, and the second to biggest hope the
JRPG has to survive.

Persona 5 (PS3)

Yeah, not a big surprise for me to put Persona 5 here after praising the fourth game and the Persona-teams Catherine. But I really think that this is the new king of JRPG, Final Fantasy is stepping down from the throne. At the same time, I kind of feel like it's the evil brother taking over the power and I pray that Final Fantasy XV will be everything Final Fantasy XIII wasn't. The Shin Megami Tensei-series have always been targeted at adults and that is where the big difference is. The Persona-series is different from the others, other then the adult tone, in that it doesn't step away from what is JRPG is, like The Last Story and FF vs XIII. It's a basic, almost boring system for fighting bur for some reason it's fun, it adds small things to the system, and that's it. What is awesome for the Persona-series is how the move the focus away from the battles and focus on the characters and puts a lot of effort in the dialogue and the script. The thing I'm a little worried about for Persona 5 is that Persona 3 and 4 where not that different, Persona 4 is basically a fine-tuned Persona 3, and as I said in my review of the forth part, the story was better in the third one. So I hoping for a little more of a difference in the gameplay, while still keeping what makes the Persona-franchise so amazing. And if it can attract not only the hardcore-gamers, then it will save the Japanese Role-Playing Games.

fredag 11 februari 2011

iPhone for the handheld win

I mentioned in my 2011 post that iPhone and the app-market will be a big thing in 2011. There actually is a good reason behind this. We got games, really cheap, and easily accessible. But it's not the big games that sells, it's the games you van pick up at any time and play for maybe ten minutes, and then put down again, like Angry Birds, Doodle Jump or Cut the Rope. Great games you can spend hours in front of too, but you could play a short time as well.

The other thing
I like about it is what a great platform it is for the independent game developer. This is the year when many young boys and girls gets there dream of being a game developer realized. The indie-game genre is on the rising, where you can earn millions in the matter of months, like Markus "Notch" Persson, creator of Minecraft. And it's to a great part the iPhone and Android-market that will spawn the game developers of tomorrow. If you ask a person in 8th grade if he/she knows about Halo, maybe 50 % will say yes. If you ask how many knows about Robot Unicorn Attack, I'd say nearly all of them have. There we have it.

I look forward t
o what will happen to the platform. It also raises the question, how well will the 3DS sell when the games are so much cheaper for the iPhone and Android-Phones? Reggie Fils-Aime expressed his concerns of this, but I don't think he needs to worry, people will buy 3DS and the games. I'm more worried for the NGP. For the indie-games, I see nothing but a bright future.

torsdag 10 februari 2011

No More Guitar Heroes

Last night it happened. Activision announced that they won't be doing any more Guitar Hero games. I can't say that I didn't see it coming though. Both Guitar Hero 6 and Rock Band 3 sold really poorly and the genre is going down. Rock Band 3 was the ultimate rock simulator, nothing can be done anymore. Still, the games are still great fun to play but there are no reason to keep putting out new games anymore.

"The music genre is dead". No, I would not say that, Guitar Hero is dead, but we need a revolution, like the first Guitar Hero did with the genre when it was released, for the genre to move forward. The concept is old but the genre will live on. I don't cry over it's demise, I salute it for its innovation, I honour it for all the good times, but only pain would have come, would it have lived longer. Of rock you were and of rock you shall return.

R.I.P Guitar Hero

onsdag 9 februari 2011


During "Tokyo Game Show" last year, the sequel to Devil May Cry 4 where shown, and it was not the Dante we know that were shown. Have you not seen the trailer before see it here below before reading on.


This time British Ninja Theory, which stands for development and I can not do anything but praise the skies. Played through both Ninja Theory's Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, and Devil May Cry creator Hideki Kamiya's Bayonetta a couple of weeks ago, and I must say it feels as if Kamiya is stuck in a rut.

Bayonetta is perfectionism when it comes to the genre and perfectionism to Kamiyas own heritage, but there is really nothing new as far as the eye can see, the script may be among the worst ever and have to say that story-wise it's terribly corny and something rather cool to 2001

Enslaved however is smart, funny and has one of the best scripts I have seen in a game. It's cool, right now, and that is the feeling I get when I watch the trailer for DmC.

Ninja Theory have made changes, the Dante we see is no longer the invulnerable demi-demon we've seen before, he has bruises and injuries that indicate vulnerability. He looks really scrawny when he hangs from the ceiling in a cell. Ninja Theory has put much emphasis on the fact that Dante isn’t actually just a demon, he is also human.

That's not to say that he’s not still really badass, no, he is still so cool, kicking ass like never before. He has taken up smoking, has a dirty look, more relevant to 2011, with black hair and dirty clothes.

Sometimes we become anxious when someone else takes care of our favourite game series. I mean, how many are there who are worried about 343s Halo? Like that, people are worried about how Ninja Theory will cherish the heritage. In 2001 it was announced that one of the world's most popular Japanese game series would get as sequel, by an American company with no good games on the merit list. Many games journalists were very worried as were fans of the game. But in March 2003 Retro Studios released Metroid Prime and it was a revival of the series, and personally one of the best games I've played. So for you sceptics out there, with the same team behind the controls, it’s easy to just do the same polished game, sequel after sequel. A new development team can be the best thing that could happen to a game series Devil May Cry. Or Halo for that matter.

I long for DmC, I hope for something grand, and I think you should to, especially if you're a fan of the series.

tisdag 8 februari 2011

Review - Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4

It sometimes happens that you become totally surprised at how incredibly good a game is. Games where you initially thought "This seems like a good game" and then gets totally knocked out by how good it actually is. Last time it happened to me it was with Shadow of the Colossus, and now it has happened again.

I came for the first time in contact with Shin Megami Tensei series when I played Shin Megami Tensei: Lucifer's Call. The fact that it seemed to focus on older players instead of the teen group most other Japanese role-playing games seemed to focus on, was a surprise, a positive one. You felt that you didn’t have to suffer with the annoying teenage hero, but got something more adult (though the hero was a teenager), and that is what makes Shin Megami Tensei special. It doesn’t treat us like 15-year olds.

In Persona 4, you play as an unnamed protagonist who moves from the big city to his uncle in the quiet little village of Inaba. He begins his new life in Yasogami High School and meets with a few friends who will follow him through his adventure. One day he hears a rumour that if you look into a turned off television at midnight, on a rainy night, you shall see your soul mate. It doesn’t take long until horrible things start happening in the form of murder victims that are hung upside down from telephone poles and roof gutters, and it seems that there is more to the so-called Midnight Channel than meets the eye.

To say that Persona 4 is an ordinary Japanese role-playing game is a lie, straight through. The game mixes usual RPG elements, such as cave exploration, with a bit of Pokemon coll
ecting (but not as cute) and a huge chunk of dating simulator. When you encounter enemies you fight partly with a weapon and partly with a so-called "persona”. As the protagonist, you have ability to change your persona to the personas you get by cave exploring or personas that you get by fusing two or more personas with a mysterious man named Igor.

The combat system has been improved from the already very good combat system in third game to almost perfection. You may, as usual, attacking an extra time when you get a critical hit, or if you use magic that the enemy is weak against, and can thus finish a battle without getting any damage at all. Meanwhile, an attack from the rear from the enemy to make your life short, if they happen to have magic that you’re weak against. As usual, it's game over if your protagonist dies, which is something that makes you put down the controller for a while. But not for long, because you are so curious about what will happen. What is new with the battle system is the fact that now you can block and thus prevent a critical hit or a weakness from making you fall down. This makes the fighting tactics become even more fun. The difficulty has also been lowered, from the outrageous hardcore level of difficulty that often accompanies a Shin Megami Tensei game, and is making the game more mainstream. However, there is still a expert difficulty for those who feel that they haven’t had enough.

But what makes the whole game so wonderful is, well, the rest of the game, when you’re living and working on your social life. You can meet your friends after school and that way increase your social link with that friend. This is important later when you merge personas. They will then be stronger if you have a high social link that fits that persona. When your social link is about to increase, an interactive sequence will take place, where the right choice will make it easier to level up your social link next time.

What makes social links, and even the rest of the game, so very good, is the script. All dialogue is written in a wonderful manner. You really feel for people you hang out with. The story each character has to tell feels so real that you are drawn to find out more about it, which means that you often get stuck on one person and won’t leave it until you’ve finished it. This often means that you do not have time to level up the social link to the max with all the characters before the year is over. However, you feel pretty quickly after finishing the game, the need to play it again, to learn about the history of others. From tough guy Kanji, who is unsure of his sexuality, to superstar Rise, who’s tired of her life as a celebrity and is looking for her real identity.

Something else that builds on the need to replay is the fact that there are different endings. One tip, if you can’t manage to play it again, is to save the game and restart, if you do not get the good end. It was extremely annoying when I got through the first time with a bad end, where nothing really worked out, and happened to save over my save file with a new game + file. Only the so-called "true ending" should be good enough, and it’s so incredible it's worth all the hard work.

The only thing that there really is to complain about is the fact that people often are reluctant to bother to explore the caves thoroughly and choose to run past enemies, for the game is much more fun when you walk around in your social life, and just want to clear the "cave" as quickly as possible to go back to your social life. This in turn means that it may be too weak to continue later on in the game, making it necessary to spend a lot of time on training and lose lots of time with your friends anyway.

The theme of this game, just like the theme of the third game was self-sacrifice, is not to believe that you hear and see on television, do not swallow it all hook, line and sinker. This is represented by the glasses that the heroes wear in order to see clearly in the fog found in the caves, just as the third games theme is represented by the gun pointed at yourself when you attack. There is so much to this game that you could squeeze in a review, but I think it's better if you play the game yourself. A wonderful and deep game that leaves no one untouched. Without hesitation, the best game I've played, ever, I think.

måndag 7 februari 2011

2011 I long the most for....

During 2011 a lot of games are going to be released, but the question is, what should you buy, and what should you avoid? The question is in itself difficult to answer when the games are not yet to be released, but that doesn’t mean I can’t tell you about the games I think is most interesting and I look forward to the most in 2011.

In 2011, many interesting releases made. 2011 is the year when the threes are released. Just around the corner, we have Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and Killzone 3, we yearn after Gears of War 3 and Uncharted 3 sometimes later in the year, and when the year draws to an end we get Mass Effect 3 and Diablo 3 I hope anyway.

My three threes is probably Gears of War 3, Mass Effect 3 and Diablo 3. The latter I wonder whether it will be released this year. However, I hope so. Gears of War looks just as rudely good as their predecessors did. Co-op for four is something my friends and I will have lots of fun with. Mass Effect will be just as epic as its predecessors, this is something I'm convinced of. And I like the fact that the third game will vary more depending what you do in the second game.

Another game I'm terribly keen on is LA Noir. It looks so fantastically designed. It can be fun for once to play policemen in a Rockstar game. The whole concept of hearings, how they play on facial expressions and the fact that I just want to be Willem Dafoe's character in the Boondock Saints, makes LA Noir a definite buy once it comes out.

I own an Xbox 360, no Wii, no PS3. In 2011, mainly two games, one for each console, makes me very eager to acquire me the consoles. For the PlayStation 3 The Last Guardian is such strong momentum that it’s only surpassed by the second game. Aesthetics, the graphics... Yes, we don’t know terribly much more about the game really. The reason for the attraction of this game lies rather in its predecessor. Both Ico and Shadow of the Colossus is fantastic games and I don’t see how Ueda can fail with this.

The second game is, of course, Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, a game that is what we wanted Twilight Princess would be. Don’t misunderstand me, I loved that game, but it just makes me even hungrier for what's coming. So here I really have no doubt it will be yet another Zelda success.

But which game do I look forward to the most? You how know games and happened to have seen my background may be able to guess. In 2009 I fell in love with a game called Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4. Now that same team releases the at least as adult, somewhat sexual, and equally twisted Catherine, a story about a man who cheats on his girlfriend Katherine, with the woman Catherine, I can not help but just long. Be prepared for remorse and probably the best written story in 2011. Released in February in Japan, we in the West can only hope that it will hit us this year, if it gets here at all. Not convinced of its greatness? Check out the trailer below.


I haven’t even scratched the surface of what great games gets released in 2011, Bulletstorm, Kirby's Epic Yarn, Ocarina of Time 3D, Dragon Age 2, Okamiden, Pokemon Black/White, Brink, Portal 2 (The cake is a lie!) , Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Shadows of the Damned, El Shaddai, Rayman: Origins, Duke Nukem Forever (!), Rage, and last but not least, a game I like to talk more about, DMC. To say nothing of 3DS, and the platform as the iPhone and Android is the indie games. 2011, here I come.