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3DS Demos

3ds_eshop

I guess many with me are happy that Nintendo put up demos of new games on the 3DS eShop. Recently they have stopped me from buying some crappy games and wanting to buy one game. There is one thing I miss though; demos of Nintendo’s own games. Where are the demos of Super Mario Kart, Super Mario 3D Land or New Super Mario Bros 2?

Bad discoveries

Before a recent trip I downloaded a few new (and old) demos for the 3DS, hoping to have some fun with them and also to figure out if some of them are worth buying. As regular readers of my blog probably know by now I am an avid fan of the Castlevania games, with a few exceptions e.g. Lords of Shadows on Xbox 360. The game Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate seemed quite good on the previews, but when I tried it a bit at the Eurogamer Expo last year it didn’t fall out well. I hoped that was just due to the “stressed” environment of the Expo, but after playing the demo I knew that impression was correct. The camera is a bit weird; on some screens you sort of walk diagonally inwards, even though you can only move backwards or forwards. It also lacked the intensity and colorful (though dark) surroundings that the Gameboy Advance games had.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate

For many years now I have wished they make a true 2D Castlevania. The tries with 3D hasn’t worked so well. It is not the graphic that have failed though, it more about bad camera handling and tricky control schemes

Another let-down was Lego Lord of the Rings. The presentation was too messy on such a small screen and the movement and action was a bit uncontrollable. I am glad that the versions for Xbox 360 and PS3 is different; will have to try those out, crossing my fingers that they are better than this.

One game that positively surprised me is Rayman Origins, with its very playful and tough platforming acrobatics. I love the sound effects and music, and the game world is so lush and living. I think I have to buy the full version soon, after I finally finish Super Mario 3D Land.

Absences

One disappointment on the demo availability-front on the 3DS is the absence of most (all) of Nintendo’s own games. I know there is a demo for Nintendogs, but when it comes to their prime titles, like Mario Kart, Super Mario 3D Land and Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, where are the demos for those games!? I as a lifelong Nintendo fan was finally hoping for a chance to play these titles in advance; at least trying them out before buying them. One such game I would like to try out before buying is New Super Mario Bros 2, where you collect coins like a maniac. It might be an excellent game as Super Mario 3D Land, but it might also be too much like New Super Mario Bros Wii which I didn’t dig too much, even though I am a Mario fan in most other stances.

New Super Mario Bros 2

Please let me play a demo of NSMB2, so I know if it is worth buying or not

I won’t complain too much though; I am happy with the demos that are available, but you have to agree; it is a bit strange that Nintendo doesn’t use the Demo service they introduced themselves…

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2013 in Ravings

 

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Amnesia: The Dark Descent

amnesia_front

Fear is a hard feeling to capture and induce. Some people will wonder why someone would like to induce such “terrible” feelings as fear, horror and despair. Many games have tried but few have succeeded; I even wrote an article about the lack of real horror in most games of today, some of which actually say they are horror games but are far from living up to that statement. After writing that article I found out about Amnesia: The Dark Descent, but haven’t gotten time to play it until now. Read about the horrific experience!

Check out the full review >>>

 
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Posted by on February 6, 2013 in Review

 

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Castlevania: Lords of Shadow

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow

If you have read a few of my earlier posts, then you are probably aware that I always talk warmly about the Castlevania games. Even though, it was with mixed feelings and expectations that I started to play this recent entry in the long lived series. My doubts stem from the pretty big failure of Castlevania 64 on Nintendo 64, the only other 3D installment of Castlevania I have tried. That game was so bad, that I could only play like 10-15 minutes until I had to stop. The graphics were bad, the controls were worse and the gameworld and the feeling it gave were worst. But, after failures you are more likely to succeed, or? Let’s see how Castlevania: Lords of Shadow fares.

Check out the full review >>>

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2013 in Review

 

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Hopes for the new gaming year

2013

Among gamers as with everybody else there are many wishes floating around for the future. Now when 2012 is coming to an end I take the chance to pin down some wishes I have for the immediate future of video games.

Click here to read more >>>

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2012 in Ravings

 

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The fear of difficulty

As I’ve been talking about earlier the difficulty level in games have gradually decreased over the last 10-15 years (for another article on this, read “Stop holding my hand, games!“). In most ways this has been a natural change, due to the “spreading” of games to a wider audience. When more and more people get into gaming they also bring different expectations and demand different things of the games. Better accessibility is one of these things, and I think difficulty belongs to the scope of accessibility.

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Posted by on December 29, 2012 in Article

 

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The big impressions from Eurogamer Expo 2012

Expo scenerySo how did the big games fare at the expo? Was it all the same over and over again or were there any gems to be found? Read on and see if the wait for Tomb Raider, Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch and the other big ones are worth it.

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Posted by on October 16, 2012 in Article

 

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Indie impressions from Eurogamer Expo 2012

Indie games on Eurogamer Expo 2012The Indie Games Arcade in the Eurogamer Expo is usually the place to see games from designers who dare to go outside the typical template that virtually all big companies use. Here I go to see different adventures, cool uses of graphics, and new ways of presenting games. Here are some of the games that made the biggest impressions on me. Some of these were not presented in the Arcade, but they are considered Indie (at least by me) and fit in this section.

Read about the indie games >>>

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2012 in Article

 

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Nintendo impressions from Eurogamer Expo 2012

Eurogamer Expo - Overview

A lot of games, some looking very good, some very hard, some very funny, few surprises, and a small number of very good ones. That is the early conclusion of Eurogamer Expo 2012. Here are my impressions of what Nintendo had to offer!

Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2012 in Article

 

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Eurogamer Expo 2012 – Final Hype

With just a couple of days to go until the Eurogamer Expo 2012, I have written down my wish list of things I hope to find on the show floor.

Check out the full wish list >>>

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2012 in Ravings

 

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Dull Souls

I have been trying my best with Demon’s Souls, but it has turned quite dull, almost boring at times. It is of course very exciting to explore new areas and meet different demons and challenges, but after the 20th time you know what will happen and that does not add to the suspense…

Gloomy world

The world of Demon’s Souls is a bit on the colorless side. Don’t get me wrong here, I love dark games, but this game more lacks color and variation than it is dark. Many areas are quite similar, inside castles, dungeons, prisons; but even the outside areas have a bleak atmosphere that make them look similar to each other. A few games can have repetitive areas and still be great, but a game that relies on visuals like Demon’s Souls need more variation in the environments and layouts of the levels.

Demon's Souls - Bleak

Demon’s Souls have too many “bleak” areas in my opinion; sure the game is dark and I like that, but it could still be more alive

Bad level design

One thing I almost laughed out loud at when I saw was a message I got when trying to enter a new area. I beat a boss called Tower Knight and I thought, “cool, now I can proceed to the next part of this level”, but when I tried to enter the fog (which cover entrances to new areas) it said something like “You have to beat an arch deamon before you can proceed”.

The bad thing in this is not that I could not proceed, but the way the “stop” has been implemented. It would have been so much more logic to put up a huge, locked door with a gigantic lock. Then I would have understood that I have to search for that key. There could even been a message “You need the arch deamon’s key to proceed”. Invisible walls are the worst design thing/feature in games, especially First/Third person games where you are (more or less) free to roam. Just put up a bl***y door, wall, river or something, as long as it is a real, physical barrier!

What made this message in Demon’s Souls so bad was that normally you can enter these fogs after beating a boss, and they just put up a message with some reason that you cannot enter it now. It could have been done so much better, at least in my eyes…

Lost

I don’t need to much of a story to play a game, but Demon’s Souls loose world gives no feeling of connectivity or relatedness between the events in the world. Why is there a “teleportation” hub instead of roads between the different worlds; that would have made much more sense.

Demon's Souls - The Nexus

There is a central hub from where you choose which part of the world you want to play in. I would have preferred a more natural transition between the levels and parts of the world. The current solution reduces the feeling of an interconnected and living world, unfortunately

In Dark Souls more or less the whole world is connected through pathways, gates or other systems or travel. This gives you a feeling that you are playing in the same world, even if it is huge and some areas are more remote than others.

The difficulty is the saver

Not all is bad in Demon’s Souls though, otherwise I wouldn’t play it at all. Most of these “complaints” are based on comparisons with Dark Souls (see more below) and a really great thing that this game still have, is the difficulty; a difficulty that let you succeed if you play everything right, but if you take one step wrong, then you are, literally, dead. This is a big reason I come back to this game; “I have to beat this part / puzzle / enemy / abomination!”

Dark Souls, preferable

I played Dark Souls before I played Demon’s Souls, that can of course play a role. Perhaps I expect that Demon’s Souls should live up to the greatness of Dark Souls, but unfortunately that have not happened yet. I have played around 20 hours of Demon’s Souls but have not reached any cool area or vile creature that can compare to the greatness of the game world and the inhabitants of Dark Souls.

I will surely play through the whole game anyway, and hopefully it will “take off” soon, to impress me in the same way as Dark Souls did. Currently crossing my fingers for a third installment in this game series; please make it happen soon!!

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2012 in Ravings

 

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