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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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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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Portal 2

Portal 2

Puzzle games have always been popular, since they give the player a tough mental challenge and usually require that you think further than just how to shoot the next enemy. Portal 2 is not an advanced puzzle game, although it can be very tricky at times. Another great thing is the co-op mode which is a separate game from the “normal”, single player game.

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Posted by on August 20, 2012 in Review

 

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Demon’s Souls

Demon's Souls

Do you want to play something that will never give you a rest; never let you relax even when you most need it? Did you play Dark Souls but thought it was a bit easy in the end? Then you should try Demon’s Souls, the “spiritual” predecessor to Dark Souls. Quite many features are the same between the games, with some notable differences. It is a dark game, set in a dark world, but there are anyway spots of color that stand out.

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Posted by on August 3, 2012 in Review

 

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