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Category Archives: Ravings

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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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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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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Eurogamer Expo 2012 – pre-Hype #3

Eurogamer Expo 2012

Only three weeks to go til the Eurogamer Expo! More games and features get unveiled all the time, although not too many hot ones. For some of the games, especially the indie ones, not much info is revealed. That is of course mostly good, since then there will be more surprises on the expo floor!

One of the few, major big AAA shooter games I want to try out is Crysis 3, mostly because Crysis 2 was really cool. Another game, or more of a special edition, is DooM 3: BFG Edition, which will be shown on the expo. I started playing the original Doom 3 some time ago, but stopped quite quickly, mostly because the game lacked so many things that made the first two Doom gamed so great: surprises, “evil” features/areas, and funny-but-hard challenges. Hope this BFG Edition can make me love the Doom series again. Id software, I miss your good old days!

Doom 2

Good old moments from Doom 2. Nothing except pure evil to fight against!

In the next Hype post I will try to conclude the best that will appear on the show. Stay tuned for more soon!

 
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Posted by on September 6, 2012 in Ravings

 

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Remember Me – a cool game coming up!

Remember Me - Paris

Remember Me is a game set in the future, where memories and brain-implants are for sale. Based on what little I know this far the game seems to be a beautiful mix of Mirror’s Edge, Watch Dogs, and Enslaved and perhaps some pieces from the movies Total Recall and Strange Days.

All of the above titles are all highly ranked by me (still haven’t played Watch Dogs, but I am very much looking forward to it; when talking about Total Recall I refer to the original movie) so I am really looking forward for this title. Some of you might think there have been quite many sci-fi/parkour/cyborg-related games recently, but if you compare to most other themes tried in games I don’t think it is exactly overflowing with good games in this category.

In Remember Me you play as a woman who moves around in a futuristic Paris (and perhaps other locations), trying to stop the over-usage of implants. Resembling Mirror’s Edge and some Enslaved the protagonist moves around rooftops, walls and numerous other obstacles quite easy; but she also seems to pack a hefty punch and swirling kicks. I am really keeping my fingers crossed that they keep the parkour and movement parts really hard, similar as Mirror’s Edge. I really liked that game, where you had to time your jump perfectly to avoid a plunge to death, and I am looking forward to do it again! Recently most platform games have been too easy, at least on the jumping side. Enslaved was a great game, but one part where it lacked in difficulty was its platform parts, since those parts were more or less just about pressing jump and forward without almost any timing required.

Remember Me - Climbing walls

I have high hopes that the platform jumping and “parkour” parts of the game will resemble and match Mirror’s Edge style and difficulty.

Remember Me is on my most wanted 2013 list, together with Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch and Watch Dogs. Since Mirror’s Edge 2 is no-where to be seen I am hoping for Remember Me; although I still want a Mirror’s Edge 2! When more is known about Remember Me, I will surely write up some more in-depth texts for you.

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2012 in Ravings

 

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Eurogamer Expo 2012 – pre-Hype #2

Eurogamer Expo 2012

The gaming event of the year (outside E3) is closing in, just 1.5 months to go now! If you are a fan of stealth games then you have have surely played some of the games in the Metal Gear Solid series; or perhaps you are anyway have heard about Hideo Kojima, one of the big “stars” among game designers and creators.

To put it short: Hideo Kojima will come to the Eurogamer Expo 2012 to give a presentation at the developers’ sessions! Hope I can get a place in the auditorium! I remember last year that the queues were like a mile long leading to these sessions… Better come early! I haven’t played much Metal Gear Solid myself, but are anyway quite excited to listen to this great and successful designer. Got to squeeze in some MGS playtime before the expo though…! I also think they will show the new Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance on the show floor; hoping to get some play time on that; although, it seems a bit on the violent side for my taste.

Metal Gear Solid 4

A quite “cute” scene from the beginning of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2012 in Ravings

 

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