Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sex: The game

I can say it for sure-The most addictive game ever, I’ve been playing this version for about 2 and a half years, and still can’t stop. To be honest I didn’t have too much expectations but once you start it, you can’t let go…

It’s an interesting combination of FPS and co-op, but you don’t get split screen, both person need to have separate game consoles to play it. It has pretty realistic environment, mixed with some fantasy parts, usually used as an intro. The surroundings and weapons are mostly the same 2-3 that are repeating through the game, but if “you’re lucky” you can easily unlock some new maps, new items and even add an other player so you can finish a quest.But of course for this to happen, you both need to gain some good level.

The thing I really liked is that you can adjust it yourself the lighting and sound, just the way it suits you, the graphics are very good, almost realistic, and the most important thing you need to know so you can be good in this game is when to push the right buttons and how to work with your controller.

Maybe the one problematic thing is how both the players can balance their progress through the mission, because it’s a common thing not to finish their mission at the same time, and this may lead to situation when one of the players just “lays around and does nothing at all”… but with good teamwork this can be fixed…
All in all, the best word to describe how I feel about this game is “satisfied” :)


Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Deathspank. Tremble at the very mention of his name! Tremble from laughing, that is. I pretty much knew what to expect from a game that introduces a hero with a name like that :)
Technically, the game is some kind of Diablo-clone. Top down view. Elemental based weapons (nature, lightning, fire, ice ..) and armor. Run-kill-drink potion-kill. There’s basically 2 things that distinguish this game :

First is the artwork. Beautful hand-drawn scenery, with scalable 2d objects are perfectly mixed. Most of the enemies are already seen , but there are few of them which are pretty bizarre.

The second one is the humor.It’s a complete pun of the fantasy and storytelling, it practically draws the smile on your face. I mean, with an answer option to “Why did you do that ”, you get “Because my quest log says that” :) . Or a sassy comment about a sword, stating that it looks better in the cutscene :) Not to mention the seriousness in the voice while saying all that. Priceless.

Overall the game is short, but offers just the right amount of enjoyment, for it’s length.A small remark can be made about the questing. Many of the quests are of the “kill x enemies” “find x items” kind, but since the monsters vary, you won’t get bored by it.

If you're in for a weekend of fun, I recommend it.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Costume Quest + Grubbins of Ice DLC

“You had me at demo” , pretty much describes my view of this game.

Costume Quest is a game in which a group of kids, get together to fight the evil that invades their neighbourhood , during Halloween. Each of them, has a costume , which transforms into a character in their imagination. So all the stuff’s there : Ninjas, Giant Robots, Pirates, Unicorns, you name it … Each of the costume is consistent of parts, which the party has to find, in order to make it.
Did I mention the cosumes had superpowers and abilities? Duh!
The RPG elements are all over the place, leveling up, collecting and trading power-up stamps..
The fights are somewhat lighter version of Heroes of M & M meets Final Fantasy. Also, with quicktime events just to keep your attention. All in all pretty well done, but nothing spectacular.

The storyline is VERY cute, as well as the overall “cartoony “graphics style.
Although this game Is very short, it’s packed with fun. Enjoyment just bursts out of every segment. Making that experience longer, would just generate boredom. It’s perfect weekend game, and I recommend it to everyone.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

The "Space" RPG

Since you put it this way ... iPhone games have a bright future :).
Also , the comments are priceless.

To be the controller ... or not to be?

It's some really kewl technology implemented in these new motion controllers , but i'll skip it . Call me old fashioned but i don't dig all the hype about "being the controller" .
Like ,
- i'm a gamer ,
- whatcha playin
- "kinectimals" , "just dance" .
If you're so into that stuff , go play shooteer's at a paintball court , or sports games at the playground or go dance in the club ...This is just stupid. Not to mention the one with caressing womens curves :P . Do the real thing! (It's better i can assure you :) ) I know my reason for playing games was , cause i found something that i couldn't have. An Immersive, plausable (more or less) world.
And i liked how i controlled my in-game impersonation , via eye-hand coordination , or more like eye-brain-hand. Because imho , a gamer needs the tools to control his avatar . A gamer is not supposed to BE the avatar. That ruins it. The fun , and the concept of video game.
And control IS fun. Like it's fun to operate remote-control choppers , cars. It's fun to make people run , jump , shoot and do stuff. At least for me. I'll always cherish having the controller in my hand.

Monday, January 17, 2011

God of War III

Truly a masterpiece.
Although it's main focus is pure action , with a logical puzzle here and there , i wouldn't mind throwing a bit more RPG in it , but nevertheless , the jawdropping effect is inevitable.

I started playing it recently ( almost 9 months since the release ) , but it graphics and scenery still manage to amaze me . I've never seen such graphical detail , as well as diversity in a ps3 game so far . (Ofc , i've played only so few games)

The fights are very dynamic , with a follow camera who does it's job properly , the controls are very responsive , and when all that mixes up - you get pretty awesome stuff. The enemy variations are perfectly balanced , so you never get tired of figting the same type , but also long enough to be rewarding for learning their weaknesses. The boss battles , now there's a story to tell. Legen .. wait for it... dary doesn't even scratch it. Simply perfect.

A Must have title , for Ps3 users!


Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light

This is one of the rare games that rises up to it's hype , IMHO.
even before the purchase , i watched like , tons of gameplay videos on youtube , and i was hardly waiting to get it .

The best part of this game , is the Co-op. Both characters are equally matched , and the best part of it , when a new puzzle occurs , each of the players offers a solution , many times the players offer a different one. And my ,are they cleverly made.

The storyline is not something extraordinary , but the main stimulation comes (mostly) from the challenge of the puzzles , not the story progress , neither the action sequences (since most the enemies do not vary a lot).

Besides, the possibility of changing players Totec -> Lara and vice versa , after the first run-though really boosts up the replay value.

On a side-note : I played this one with my girlfriend , and it was the most romantic weekend EVAH :)



When i first watched gameplay videos i thought it was pretty cool . I got my hopes up , and perhaps that was my mistake when i started playing it .

Though the action is pretty good , the auto-camera adjustment kills the overview of the environment and often you end up making random jumps/shots-of-hope .
Cause if you stay in non-slowed down mode , you end up being shot. Shot dead that is.

Not to mention the stupidest checkpoint system i've seen . You'll be killing the same enemies repeatedly regardless of whether you lose your life (and you'll get your fair share of those moments) . It's just irritating . And games are supposed to be fun.

As i get to the graphics , you can admire the surroundings , which are pretty o.k. Nothing spectacular , mostly chinatown variations.

Also , the model detail of the enemies are practically useless , since most of the shooting is done medium/long range , so you cannot see their (lack of) detail.
I guess i shouldn've trusted the internet :)


Game Dev Story

I usually don't spend money on iPhone games , mostly cause their playtime is significantly smaller that Ps3 / PC game titles , but this one got me hooked , with all it's old-school jRPG characters , and the theme that was covered by the game - game development. The RPG core mechanics of the game was a bonus.

The game offers decent tutorial to explain the basic actions , and afterwards it leaves you to you own. Too bad the options are limited , and there is no real escape of the usual stuff you can make (either accept contract job , or develop independent game). One playthrough is enough to get you well-acquainted . The next one , you're almost bound to succeed.
The game mechanics itself is quite well made. Different attributes contribute to different skills/success in developing the game , and there's also the money factor to be wary of . But once you get the cash machine running, you'll get more funds and upgrade the team's abilities , and that leads to monotonous top titles producing , and eventually boredom.

Still , i think that you pretty much get solid bang for the buck with this one.
Too bad it's (relatively) short , and has practically no replay value . Still , i'd recommend it to anyone.


Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

Though the game itself offers no originality (mostly a mixup of Tomb raider , Indiana Jones for PC ) it's still quite interesting . I guess the good ol' recipe that people never get tired of killing stuff does it's trick .

Aside the really good action sequences , there are some puzzles to solve , which are quite average , nothing with the "WOW" effect.
The storyline is mainly consisted of cliches and offers no variety of choices , but that's not what the game was intended to offer i suppose.

The multiplayer on the other hand is maybe one of the greatest i've seen . Many different modes , earn-money-improve system , brilliant . Alse relatively easy to find players for a game (at least i didn't have any problems with it) .

All in all , it surprised me , i thought most bundled games were crap , but this was something different. Strongly recommend it.


Dracula: Origin

I play adventures here and there , but still i can't say that i have a distinct taste of what i like . I guess i like the combination of factors .
And , i'm also a fan of "the dark arts" and paranormal stuff.

So , Dracula fitted in my picture perfectly .
One of the rare gems that i had the pleasure of playing , with a story , not-so-breathtaking , in fact i find it confusing on occasions.
The best part of this game are the in-game puzzles . I never had such pleasure in solving them . They are clever made , with a hint system that does not hold your hands , neither does it offer stupidities in the form of advice. It brings to a test you knowledge of the natural sciences in some of the puzzles too.
The inventory manipulations is standard , no WOWs there .

Overall , i recommend it to any point&click adventure fan.



Regarding adventure games (i'm a big fan) i must say i'm truly stunned by this totally anonymus game.

The hinting system is marvellously done by popping sketches leading to the proper action , in combination with good eyesight for details ,and also , the inevitable logic. Most of the puzzles are pretty intuitive , and using the simple interface, you can very quickly try your attempts on solving them. I managed to solve all of them without using google for help .

The mini games used in this game are also fun to play , and they do not cross the boredom-threshold. It has been a lot of time since i played an adventure that is a perfect mix of revival of the old-school ,and yet brings new stuff to the genre.
The graphics is pure 2d awesomness, with beautiful hand drawn sketches.

I'd recommend this to everyone.


Freedom Force

The lack of expectations when you do "blind shopping", can give birth to big surprsises. I bought this one just for the cover ( it seemed old-school comic style ) and since i'm fan of the latter it spoke to me . All the usual comic references are here , great world threat, superheros , superpowers , superb voice acting , and comic sans :)

Plenty of characters offer a true strategic management before/after battle , and the RPG elements in enhancing their abilities is perfectly done. The boss/henchmen battles are well done but after a while , when you learn of the characters weaknesses and strengths they'll be no match for you.
Also , the possibility to create and customize your own hero - Priceless.

The storyline matches the comic-style storytelling , and maybe the twists are more or less predictable , but still , the fun you'll get out of this one surely outweights it's price.


Max Payne

I've never read a detective novel in my life . I dislike detective/cop vendetta movies. I LOVE playing Max Payne.

The way Max's story is told , you're bound to like it. It's like you're reading someone's diary , and re-living the events of his past . I really can't point out why in particular i like his story. Maybe it's cause of the emotions , and the tone of voice used when telling it .

As for the gameplay , the controls are perfect . You can "slow down" the action and slowly take out the enemies , and it's million of ways of fun. Grenades, machine guns , shotguns , Uzis ... all contribute to a fine action cocktail.

Beliveable characters , plot twists , treachery , working "up the food chain" to the big shots , just priceless. Just my kind of hero - human stripped of anything human , focused on finding the truth, and re-discovering humanity along the way.

This is just my kind of action game.


Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

It's logical with me being a fan of SW saga , to influence my gamer preferences, and game choices. Sadly , most of the stuff i encountered in the video game industry was .. uninspiring to say the least.

Star Wars Kotor , was the game that changed my star wars **** Maybe it was because i expected it to fail , my surprise was even bigger. Truly a great RPG , I was already sucked in by the world , the storyline was a big plus. With solid voice acting , and plausable quests , it gt me hooked up in no time. though of course there are exceptions concerning the quests. The pause-continue battle mechanics are always a WIN in RPG's (Ever since i encountered them in Baldur's Gate 2).

The difficulty got a lot easier , as game progresses , but still , it's far from disapointing , au contraire , it just becomes more awesome kicking ass of multiple opponents.


Betrayal at Krondor

I remember the days when i first got this game. It came free, in a magazine, so i was like "let's give it a shot". It kinda was the only way to go, since I realised later that the magazine was all in German :) It was my first encounter with a text-based RPG. Hell it was one of the several games i played on my 486 PC. I remember having pretty decent English language skills, but some of the words used in the game were yet unknown to me. So kept an English dictionary handy :)

The storyline was marvelous, with well-constructed characters each with their own distinguishable manners and stereotypes. But due to the variety of situations they're placed, you never get that feeling of boredom, or the "I know what he's gonna do next" kind. And my it was captivating. I never went out for a week .
As for the technical side, it was not much, rough images, blocks, low res.. But it could still visualize the narrative well. I didn't need much more. I had my own imagination there to help me :)
The sound was just some midi tunes, which got well with the ambient. Well, to say the truth, I don't give much to a good sound, I just need it not to be a distraction.

This game got my love for RPGs burning, and you always remember and appreciate your first love :)


Friday, January 14, 2011

I like the SOUND of it

Often , during some of those awesome moments in my life , i get that feeling that something's missing , like i'm one step away from feeling perfect. In all the cases i find it to be the lack of proper background music (Thank you, Coca-cola commercials) .
So you guessed it , this post goes out to all the game soundtracks that we've listened , all the epicness we were part of while this songs played , and some of the most annoying moments also. Because "People Will Forget What You Said, People Will Forget What You Did, but People Will Never Forget How You Made Them Feel." - Found on teh internets.

Baldur's Gate
Dragon Age : Origins
The Witcher
Fallout 3
and my personal favorite
Betrayal at Krondor

Thursday, January 13, 2011

No more Fun in games .. wait.

Recently i've encountered people with different opinions about the FUN-factor in the games.
This post , promotes game's excellence , over fun. I disagree.

Fun is a MUST in any game. It's what makes a game. So it's a variable not to be underestimated.
Let's look the other way. I find it the opposite of fun to be boring.
Would you play a boring game just for it's excellence ? Furthermore , Can an excellent game be boring?

IMHO , since the nature of fun is to be related to the subject (player) , people describe fun relative to their own opinions (ex. RPG gamers like storyline, customization, Driving game fans like speed , Action fans like , well , action :) ) .
So , in essence , let's say that an action fan will not enjoy an RPG , but will still think it has quality. So , he'll quit it after 4 hours of gameplay , not because the game lacks excellence , but because it's no fun.

Enjoy your games.

T-shirts + Awesomness

The site is

Curiosity killed the cat , Satisfaction brought it back

I remember the days when i was little , when i used to stand beside the glass-wall of our local arcade , and i used to watch people play . (Cause my dad wouldn't let me go in , he'd notice the cigar smoke smell on me instantly).Those days i perceived games as an world as is , with it's well-defined rules , with it's magic , with it's glory .. As any gamer should . As i did .. right until i was somewhere mid-college education , when i started reading books about game development and all the works behind the world .

It was right then when my perception of the entire game-world changed . It lost it's magic .

It all became constants and variables interwined with methods and classes . Kinda like Neo first saw the matrix . All it's beauty and aesthetics vanished . Just like that. The world lost it's "immersiveness" . I no longer felt inside it any more , i no longer marveled at it's beauty . instead , i pondered upon question of how stuff is implemented , how much work this'll take to do this and blah , blah ... boring stuff.

I felt kinda like i lost my "gamer eyes", and in combination with the lack of free time , due to work , i was forced to change my hard-core gamer status , to casual.

Just recently i started working on a game as my master thesis (2d platformer , nothing fancy). As i was nearing till the end (which i found that's a moving target , i constantly find ways and ways to improve my game) , i presented my work to my favorite criticist - my girlfriend. She played the demo like , a minute or so , and as i watched her face while she was playing it , i saw myself from 15 years ago (yeah , i went to college like 10 years now). The awe in her stare , the hunger for excitement , for the New . Ah , at that moment , i felt glad .

I felt at peace .

Less is More

Lately , i've been surprised of all the fun i had while playing "indie" games , downloaded from the PSN. I can honestly say that i haven't had such fun for a long time.Titles like Scott Pilgrim , Costume Quest , Deathspank .. truly a must-play for any PS3 owner.

I wondered how come that titles like this came in such (relatively) quick succession , and normally i started investigating the price of a Sony PS3 development kit.

After reading this, I found the cost of the licence kit it to be the most probable cause for the sudden rush of quality games to the PSN Store. It fits perfectly. Price cut spring/summer 2009. A year later - great games. Although , 2k $ is still a big price if you ask me , but it was significantly less than before. It's my opinion that the new wave of independent games on PSN , will determine the future of this console. Not to mention , raising the bar in means of quality . Just before this new year , there was an increase of PS3 's popularity (and sales , ofc ) so the initial "console with no games" ettiquette begins to fade.

I , as a XNA developer , and a PS3 owner , would very much like to contribute to the PS3 society , but still , the price is too high for me. If Sony continues the trend with reducing the cost of the Development Kit , I might just do.

I'm sure others would.