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Destiny – Just musings/monologue of a MMORPG and FPS Newbie

Destiny

Warning: Can contain swearing and is totally and absolutely subjective and more a monologue. 

Somewhere I mentioned that I don’t play FPS and MMORPG. 

And somehow I still bought Destiny. 

Not because I was hyped, not because I was interested, not because I like the genre or to find out what this hype was all about. To be honest, I didn’t care about the game, I didn’t care about the footage, I didn’t even see the trailer or anything else. I knew it was a FPS, I knew there was a hype and for god’s sake…I was tired of the advertising of this being like the new Messiah of new game consoles.(*cough* yeah sure.)

In the end, I just decided to ignore it as far as I could.

Then suddenly, just for one freaking day, I was in a particular good “let’s try new things”-mood and then it just happened to be the release date of destiny. I walked into the game store (of which I am a regular) like usual, saw it and then…my mindset changed from “I shouldn’t buy the game I know nothing about” to “Ah, why the hell not?”

I know that is hard to believe, but it was still priceless to see the shop assistant go: “You are buying Destiny of all people?!” Somewhere along the line I just might have said something that he should just shut up and take the goddamn money to spare the humiliation that I was about to betray my own principles of not playing such games. (Not that I damn people who like those games, god forbid. Everybody should play what they like. Not my business, really.)

Back to topic. I now had the game in my hands and while it started up, I still asked myself what the hell I was doing there. Then cutscene, character creation, tutorial, nothing special, nothing mindblowing. I played a few missions, fooled a little bit around…

Is it revolutionary with things we have never seen? No.

Is it the messiah of the next gen consoles we all were promised? Hahaha…Hell no.

But more importantely, is it fun? Yeah. Surprisingly…somehow…yeah.

Before some of you might start to rage how such a game with a medicore story and nothing new can actually be fun. Just let me explain. What might help a bit is that I didn’t have any expectation and more importantly, I don’t believe in the hype around it.  It’s the first game of that kind which I have touched in a long…long…LONG time. I played CoD in the past and that not very long because I suck at it (really, I do), I tried to somehow get into this whole MMORPG thing a few times without success. (That being…just becoming bored of it and leave it be after two weeks.)

Although I was not amused by the always online feature (my internet connection has suicidial tendencies), I still give it a try. What I can remember from my old days, MMORPG aren’t there to tell a magnificent story full of intrigue and a threat of a magnitude we can’t grasp…Although…a Game of Thrones MMORPG would be quite nice. People can stab and backstab each other there over opinions and ressources all they want. Sounds nice to me.

The game itself isn’t overly complicated. When it moves, shoot it. (the variety comes with “With what do I shoot it?”). The missions are repeating itself. Collect, kill, scan, repeat. The story (as far as I have seen) is nothing out of ordinary. But the gameplay works without trouble.  

At first, I played alone (…yeah…Playing alone. An MMO), trying out the features, found nothing really outstanding besides the graphics and nice design. Then I was about to slap myself for just having donated my money to the video game industry and then I got an E-mail from a friend “Just got Destiny.”. I asked if he wanted to play with me. After I got another earful about what the hell got into me to buy such a game, he agreed.

And this is where it got actually fun. We spoke over team chat, we made a few missions (died a few times); leveld up and then took on the very first “dungeon”. We made it on the first try without teamwipe and after the last boss exploded, it was not an euphoric feeling, but a fun experience. Of course this can change if you have somebody who is acting like a total spoilsport in the party.

That is the strong point and the only reason I would play an MMORPG or anything online. To enjoy and playing a game with other people. Of course I could say the story is…really average, but then again, I wouldn’t really play an MMORPG for story, just like I wouldn’t play Monster Hunter for story. I would play it for the gameplay and mechanics.

It is nothing special, just a FPS, in space with a taste of halo and it happens to be an MMO. Well, the graphics and some designs are pretty, I guess. Everytimes I  hear a “new innovation” or the “next generation”, I just pretend that I didn’t hear it. That way I don’t get expectation and am pretty save from disappointments. (It’s advertising…They wouldn’t sell much, if they would just bluntly tell the truth).

Mayber, just maybe after a long time, maybe I just learn to enjoy and have fun with games again, instead of just buying it, spend time with and say “Yeah…okay…Was nice.” or not having so many things I personally would have liked but which wouldn’t work out in a long run.

Since they would be unrealistic and would highly depend on taste. To say this is so cliche, that was there so, so many times, yeah, well it was. I can still enjoy a story if I get invested in the characters around it, although I know what will happen.

This game is no different. Of course I don’t like repeatable quests or a bland story, but as long as I can enjoy the gameplay, I think its alright.

It’s not broken, it works, it just isn’t the Messiah many people hoped it would be. But maybe it is just my impression. Maybe I will go in depth with those points and make a full blown (some sort) of review of it, or just make some posts about things which I have encountered in Destiny…We will see. For me it is just fun to play with other people and that is what a game should be about.

Or maybe I’m already so desperate that I want to enjoy a game that works and has almost no gameplay flaws.

 

 

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Posted by on September 10, 2014 in Musings

 

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Bound by Flame – Demons make everything better

Bound-By-Flame-Logo

Ah, the realm of fantasy games… A place where elves are frolicking happily through the forests and use intruders who dare to question their obvious distinct gender as arrow-pincushion, where magic is more or less the source of wonders and evil and where the undead wander around, raiding the lands with their armies and leave destruction in their wake.

What nice nostalgic…Wait.

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They have huge rotting skeleton gigants?

We are having an undead apocalpyse in the medivial fantasy world?

What are you mages doing over there? Is that a summoning ritual? What? You are going to summon an ancient demon out of the depths of hell?

And there I dared to wonder just for a moment how an army of brainless undead could come that far. *sigh* When something is already burning and on the verge of annihilation…just summon a demon into our plane. What could go wrong? But to literal hell with logic. There are undead out there, you are the hero. Now grap that sword and start slaying. This is what you were paid for.

You are just another ordinary mercenary of a band of mercenarys, after all.

That is, until the summoning ritual went foul and the demon has to search for a body and you just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. (Like always)

Congratulations, you are now being possessed by an evil being trying to take over your body. (And no, there is no exorcist in sight)

Speaking of body, let’s start who you are, what you are and who you can become. Your name, or less the name you will be called by, is Vulcan, a newly recruited mercenary and a specialist in explosives (or what the lore says at least). Your ever standard hotheaded, cussing, rough soldier, mind you, and you will be a standard hotheaded, cussing, rough soldier, disregarding if you are female or male as the dialogs of him/her/it imply.

My first thought was, why not? Soldiers don’t have to be nice, they can cuss as long as they are good with the blade. Good by me. Very limited customization (five different heads and five different haircuts to chose from per gender choice). Alright, I will survive it.

You have experience with the greatsword and dual blades, being able to harness and hone those skills by level and points. Greatsword for balanced damage and defense stats, and later on for rechargeing your health while dual blades are fast, do a lot of damage but not really good for defense and are better for dodging attacks. Through the demon, you get another skill tree, named pyromancy which enables fire magic.

And only fire magic. While other people might find this annoying, as long as the story can justify it, I’m also fine with just fire magic. What’s better than setting moving corpses on fire? I always was a fan of the the flamethrowers in zombie games…*clears throat* Alright…on with the script.

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The skill trees enable additional enhancements like being able to stab the enemy faster with the dual blades, the spells being less expensive or upgrade them into more powerful ones.

You can also build traps and place them around the areas, use a crossbow and make and combine other things from materials and ingrediants, like potions, bolts and so on. Additionally to the usual the skill tree, you can spend specific…titles with points from the level up like “tough” that ups your hit points when you “buy” it or alchemist which makes your potions are more useful or assassin which raises your critical with dual blades. To unlock these, you not only need point but also such things as kill/make a specific amount of things.

With those things you are ready to take on and slash your way through the hordes like a possessed…You get the idea, but the answer is yes…and no. The combat is action oriented, quick and you can switch between greatsword and dual blades and shoot magic, meaning you can try slashing your way through the monsters, but at most times this won’t work. They will kill you just as fast as you think this way of thinking will work in Dark Souls.

And no, it isn’t as hard as Dark Souls. You just have to plan what you are doing what isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You can sneak around, place traps, etc. to thin the numbers which gives combat more depth, but it is by far not perfect. The camera can be annoying sometimes, on higher difficulties it is more apparent that the “action” isn’t as well rounded and balanced as one might think, but this is up for personal taste. The AI of companions is…let’s say as intelligent as those mages deciding to summon a demon into this world would be a great idea. They die quickly, but they try to stand their ground.

Graphics…Although I don’t really care about that point, I still want to mention that the Ps4 edition of the game looks like it belonged on Ps3 or below. Just that I mentioned that.

Which leaves the story.

Yes, we have heard the story of the heroic mercenary before, yes, the undead raiding isn’t something new either, yes, we are already used to magicians doing something stupid, summoning demons or mess things up. Even the possessed hero is nothing new. If people find this generic, yes, at some point even good fantasy RPGs are generic, but the exel on another point.

Presentation.

How the story is told, what role you have, how the world is represented around you. Are the people relatable? Do you feel represented by the hero and the decision that are made? How do the writers play with what we know about fantasy stereotypes? Does your decision influence anything? Is the atmosphere fitting?

In some games the surrounding tell you the story. In this game, story telling and build up of story is done by dialog. And…That is one of the greatest weaknesses of the game according to my opinion. And that is something I hadn’t had for a very long time. Yes, I came across dialog in games that are…pretty standard and uninteresting, but this is just…I don’t even know how to warp this up in words. It is standard, although it decides to be self-ironic sometimes or even sarcastic, but more often it is…stating the obivious or strangely over-the-top or being overall uninteresting to listen to. And this is fatal when you have to make decisions in an rpg that should have an impact on you in some way.

Maybe it is just me, but when you have such a story with potential and then having something like that…Well, it is up for the taste, I guess.

The story as a whole? Well, short moral of the story is that magic is mostly the source of evil. The Big Bads which leads the undead? Immortal Sorcerers (*coughs* liches) also called the Ice Lords (*cough* Frozen Throne). The thing that got you possessed? Magic.

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The demon who wants to hijack your body even grants you one ability. MAGIC.

More power for more control over your own body and it shows, as you become more demonic in appearance which is a nice mechanic. It tries to be interesting, it tries to be grim and the morals are twisted, but sometimes it just tries to hard or not at all. For example the demonic possession stuff has a lot of potential but you are served with a or b decisions and you can use magic without consequences at all.

The atmosphere is pretty solid. Nice music here and there, the background, lighting, water effects are nice as well as the enemy designs….overall nothing bad.

To round it up a bit:

The combat system is quick and dynamic, nothing groundbreakingly good or bad. The crafting system is actually really nice, you can sneak, you can ambush and you can set traps everywhere. There are problems with the camera, It has some nice ideas, to say at least.

The story is…It could be so much more, but fails to deliever at the basics. There are so many possibilities open for a possessed character which are simply not used. It doesn’t need to be over-the-top complicated or dark to keep being interesting. Some games even deliever without dialog and let the atmosphere speak.

My opinion to the fact that the company is a smaller one and with that the budget? I don’t expect it to be Dragon Age, or a new Witcher or Skyrim. I really am at a point to not expect anything at all from a game. It tries; I won’t deny that. Combat is solid, setting is passable, but the dialog…When I see all the indie and kickstarter games out there which  have a lower budget and deliever much more interesting things, I can’t say it is an excuse.

Was it worth the hunt? At the normal price? No. I get better meals to a cheaper price. When it gets a discount? Maybe… It is overall medicore. Not a steak, not a piece of tough leather, but if an rpg fails to keep my interest for the story or any , I have to let it go by.

Until the next hunt,

TheNocturnalHunter

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2014 in Pc, Ps4

 

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Toukiden – The Age of Demons (and Demon Hunters)

Toukiden-Logo

Okay, I’m a little late with this one, but lets get started…

Let’s take Samurai/Dynasty Warriors, Monster Hunter, a tiny bit of Soul Sacrifice and a few big, fearsome demons right out of the Japanese Mythology, throw it into a blender and see what happens. That not only sounds like me when I try to cook something when my fridge is a frozen wasteland, it is also the first thought I had for Toukiden.

Does that mean something bad? I have survived each of my cooking experiments without harm. Just look at my words! Do they read like someone who is on the verge of dying or insanity?

…Let’s…just ignore the fact the voices in my head just started a debate over this matter, shall we?

Anyway…Let’s look at the setting of the game. Oni, demonlike creatures, plague the land of Nakatsu Kuni (meaning “Middle country” – coming from Ashihara no Nakatsukuni “The middle country of reed beds” between Takamagahara (Plain of High Heaven) and Yomi no Kuni (Place of yellow springs or Hell)) and the Slayers (mononofu -> warrior or samurai) are the ones who make it their duty to kill…well… slay those beasts to preserve peace in the lands.

Eight years prior to the plot, an event called “Awakening” took place. A great Oni emerged out of Yomi and brought an age of calamity over the humans who now try to hold the lines desperately against the waves of Oni sweeping down against them.

You, a mere rookie, are sent to such a final holding line, a village named Utakata and live a life as a Slayer…Oh, and did I mention that you are also the only reinforcements this village gets? I’m no genius when it comes to tactics, but I don’t think that is the best way to protect one of the last standing points against Oni, but well…

Let’s just send a rookie (*cough* fresh meat) to one of the most dangerous places! What could go wrong?

toukiden-1

Holy…That is not what I have signed up for.

Since there is no backstory to the protagonist, I can only suspect that he/she did something which offended the higher ups big time. They really seem desperate to send you to your certain death. 

Of course you are to stubborn to actually bite the dust, since you are a special little Slayer-in-training (and the only ray of hope…Yes, you have guessed it: These are really desperate times). A Slayer normally bounds with one Mitama (“Honorable Spirit” or Spirit of a hero) and thus can use their powers. You on the other hand can bound with more. A hell lot of more, considering there are 200 Mitamas in the game. What hell it must be when they begin to talk in your head…

Speaking of sunshine, rainbows and voices inside heads, this is a rather interesting mechanic. Each Mitama gives you special abilities which you can use during battle dand they can level up so that it gives you even more things to choose from. Additionally, the artwork for the different people is gracious, but this is just my personal standpoint.

So, I just arrived at the village, a nice little town, green and flourishing at the bottom of a tree. Everything is nice and peaceful besides a few Oni encounters here and there, you get some nice NPCs (nothing new, but still amusing) and then the plot gets on. And on. And on.

And things go from bad to maybe-world-shattering-worse.

Monster Hunter isn’t funny, more neutral, but has charming moments with the feline companions and the bright enviroment and landscapes. Soul Sacrifice…It was clear that this was no game with joy and unicorns since the very beginning (not the nice sort of unicorns at least). Toukiden greets you with characters who seem totally sane and stereotypical and then gives them backgrounds where you wonder that they are not more nervous wrecks with the whole thing going on from the psychological standpoint.

All in all, the main storyline is acceptable for a hunting game (just to remind you I normally dig story and storyline, but this time it is just to set the stage)  , the characters not too bland (maybe a little stereotypical) and the setting interesting. I would go more into the plot section, but I don’t want to spoil anything for new Gamers.

About the mechanics…It wasn’t incrediably difficult to get into it, it makes fun to rid the huger Oni from their extremeties which is especially funny when your weapon is a little more powerful and you go back to earlier missions and see the bodyparts flying around in short order.

If a body part is cut, you need to purify it, which is essentially standing and reciding a haku until it is gone. If you don’t…well…the big bad oni will reclaim it and you can begin anew in hacking away that annoying thing.  (Especially annoying since certain body parts give you certain items you need for smithing new weapons and armor) Some attacks and the behavior of some Oni change with the lack of body parts and general health as well.

You have also different weapons to choose from: A huge sword, a spear, Chain&Sickle, a bow, a pair of armored fists, dual blades which all play differently with own combo sets. Additionally you can embed your Mitama in it which gives you different boni and offers different strategies in battles. The Eye of Truth mechanic not only shows you the body parts which you can slash away, but also “hidden” Oni which can’t be send with seen with the naked eye.

From these weapons the bow is by far the most boring to play, but it is very effective when you need certain bodyparts for smithing.

Was it worth the hunt? Well, yes. Not the best but still quite acceptable. There were no real problems with the game controls, the setting is interesting as well as the designs. The story and characters itself is nothing new, but they show own characteristics. To be honest, I was expecting something far worse, but it was really nice. I have made this post short, since everyone has already written about it. I hope my next posts are longer and better…I need to get back to this thing first.

 
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Posted by on March 28, 2014 in Ps Vita

 

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Yes, still alive…I think.

At least, I still have a pulse *checks it again*…A little bit faint but yeah, I have one. Reasons for my absence…were traveling without laptop, work and other inconveniences (for example, I have to search for a new apartment).

I still have to finish my nostalgia review about Neverwinter Nights. Then, I will move on with Vanillaware-Games like Odin’s Sphere (Ps2) Muramasa Rebirth (Ps Vita) and maybe later Dragon’s Crown (depends on when I get the game)

Additionally, I will do something like a little…let’s say, writing challenge. For one word a one shot. (I need the practice…) Maybe, I don’t know.

A nice hunt to all of you

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2013 in Just Updates

 

Art or not art? That is the question… – Musings on Video Games

imagesForgive me for my bad Shakespear impression…but first,…I have to slap myself for writing this. Not only for this unexcusable attempt to write a fitting title, but for the whole idea of actually meddling with the game politics and speak my mind about it. (What outrageous thought…) If you haven’t noticed by now, this is going to be a lot more serious than my other “reviews”….I’m so going to regret this, am I?

So, don’t like, don’t read. I’m not angry when someone disagrees with what I’m writing about. I’m a supporter of open mind and free discussion. So, I’m going to throw the central question in here.

“Are Video Games Art?”

…Don’t mind me if I’m getting a headache right now, because this topic is a glorious absurd vicious circle and of course, I can’t withstand the temptation to write about it. (I’m slowly thinking I’m a masochist at heart…)

What is the clear definition of art, in general? I dare you to not open wiki or google (bing, yahoo or use the classic book dictonary) the word “art”. What comes to mind when we think about art? Well, pictures, sculptures, paintings, music, literature, performing arts and so on.

And why do we consider these things as art? It is human made, is a part/product of our culture, has influenced culture and was/is influcenced by it. We admire it, we debate about the meaning, we consider a deeper meaning behind it, or just simply accept it as “a piece of art” because we were told that this is art. It’s a human product, build out of our knowledge, vision, time, interpretation and talent.

First of all, this is a personal definition and I don’t know if it does cover with other definitions or not. The problem with such topics is, in general, that there a many definitions in different contexts on art. And don’t get me started on culture. In some circles it either provokes a neverending discussion, which may or may not escalate or dead silence, depending on where you bring up this topic.

In my point of view, it is rather subjective, strongly depending on different influcences, the culture we have grown up in and the knowledge we have aquired through years, on the period of time we are living and our own interpretation. What may be on wiki or in a dictonary is the general accepted explanation, but that doesn’t mean, that it covers the essence what different people might see in the topic of art. But let’s explain it with a personal example.

By all means, I’m no art student and I’m not familiar with the history of art in any way…but I was on different exhibitions. I went through classic art like portraits (Mona Lisa and the Kiss by Klimt being famous examples) to sculptures of Michelangelo to Impressionists to “Modern Art”. The first examples being almost beyond price and the last a pile of bananas on a table.

You can guess what my reaction. I was seriously confused. I considered art as something exeptional, as a product not every human can produce, as something unique, a talent not everyone has and now I was confronted with a pile of banana peals which can be considered as art (This is nothing unique since every person could do such a thing). Then it was explained to me that this piece of art is about the message the creator wants to send to the viewers and the discussion around it. Since I’m a writer in the amateur department I’,m familar with this. When telling a story you want to get a point across, but what point it is, can vary from the point of view.

And that is a major thing which is funny and frustrating at the same time.

For example you can take it for what you see: A sculpture, a stone, a simple story of a boy and a girl or a pile of bananas on a table. Or you can try to explain it with symbolism and interpretation thereof. And the last thing can be considered a problem in some cases. Symbols and interpretation of symbols vary, depending on the person and the person’s culture and story. A dagger can be a weapon, a threat, a symbol for war or a soldier, of betrayal or , according to Freud…You know what I mean.

images (1)A coded critic on society? On economy? On enviroment?  Or was Freud right?

And depending on the person you ask you can get a different interpretation. If you don’t ask the creator, that is. They were sheldomly asked what they really meant by it or say it is “to provoke the mind and people”. I feel with the authors who suddenly were accused to embed a hidden message in every thing they describe, even if they didn’t have the intention to do so. (Oh there are red curtains in the book! That has to mean something!)

So, bananas on a table is art, because it stirrs up your train of thoughts? Because it provokes me to question it? Then what about Twilight or 50 Shades of Grey? They did as well stir me thoughts and provoked me to ask how could it be considered literature, but it can hardly considered art (…or I’m I wrong?) Of this, I draw the conclusion that writing is an art form, but it doesn’t produce art automatically, at least, in my opinion. I have nothing against Modern Art but some pieces make me wonder..,Is this really art? The answers I get ranges from yes to no to maybe.

What has that to do with Video games? It is made for enterainment from humans for humans. But so are books,    films, theatre performances and music. I dare to say their first and furthermost goal is to entertain humans in different ways. But when does entertainment become art and when is art not some form of entertainment? You may think, maybe sculptures or portraits are an example to rebut this argument, but aren’t they entertainment in things of aesthetic? Of self picturing? In every work is a hidden meaning, but only the creator or employer knows what kind of meaning. Either he/she wanted just a statue or I don’t know, wanted to show off their money or talent, or something completely different.

Of course there are other important questions as well. In case of film or video games, what defines this point of turning the work into art? Just because someone threw in some symbols, so we can interpret what it should mean? Maybe. Or is it what the story behind it that tries to tackle and question society? Could be as well. There is no clear definition of what differs the one from the other, although some consider that there is a line. There are people who will never consider video games as art form or modern art for that matter.

I can remember that I was called narrow minded because I questioned some exhibits on modern art and asked if that is really art, because everyone can splash some paint on the wall and say “Look here I created art”. People called me out that “I don’t understand art” and “don’t see the meaning and idea behind it.”. I won’t deny it. I don’t have the slightest clue what art is supposed to be. I think art describes something that humans created. Something man-made, but at the same time I don’t consider everything that humans create as a piece of art. I think, I don’t know. And I’m well aware that what I’m taught about art depends on my society and own experiences with it. In the end, human societies decide what can  be regared as art, regardless the individual person. But societies always change.

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Poetical and entertaining…How can this be not art?

My conclusion is: Programming games and telling stories are an art form, since it creates something, yet at the same time, it doesn’t always create art depending on different views. To say that Video Games will never reach a certain level of art or isn’t art, is, in that perspective at least, a little bit rashly and an argument without good footing. What art is, depends on different factors and let’s be honest, the argument that art can be timeless or at least, survives a certain periode of time, because it is unique and will be remembered…Pieces what we see today were, to put in bluntly, just lucky to survive to this day. What we consider as art can be forgotten by the next generation.

But I will come to an end with this. I called it a vicious circle because there isn’t really an end to this debate. It is a subjective matter and thus everyone can have a different opinion without really being right or wrong.

 
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Posted by on June 17, 2013 in Musings

 

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Just some musings

Ah…and my laziness finally returns to me. At the worst possible moment. Just a few days before I start my venture through the exam hell and back. Fortunately (or unfortunately) it has more to do with my health than my non existent ambition to do something. (physically, If my mental state can be saved is still debatable xD). Those are as well the reasons  why I can’t update that often anymore (besides the fact that there are no new games to “review”)

I just wanted to say that I really don’t care about “game politics” and try to keep my head out of those topics. Why? Simply, because there are so many people who talk and write and discuss these topics to the gaming hell and back that I see no reason to talk about it. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m still interested in the debate, but…Let’s say there are some things that I can’t stomach anymore like the “Video Violence”- discussion. It literally makes my eyes twitch with annoyance and this can’t be good for health.

Naturally, I have heard the whole Ps 4 vs. Xbox One thing and although I don’t meddle with this whole affair of console wars…From the neutraI point of view, I have to say…Wow.

Not wow, what games!
Not wow, what graphics!
But WOW what an one-sided slaughter that was!

No offense to the people who like the Xbox, but that was…a rather one sided matter.  It’s a pity that the Xbox had to take such a blow. (or not. I won’t lie, I’m a sadistic person. Every Crub-stomp-battle in such matters makes me smile with delight, but… there is always a next generation, so as long as Microsoft is still in business and learns from mistakes, there is no need to worry)  But that is just my thought to that, more important is the fact what I’m doing next.

Well, I, maybe, analyse Pandora’s Tower and the Neverwinter Nights series and maybe, just maybe, give some food for thought about game stories and stories in general. And just maybe I’m going to say something about “Games as Art”-thing (but you know that is more a game politics matter, so…I. Must. Resist.) Don’t worry, for those topics I’m more serious…well, just a little bit.

For the rest…I wish a good hunting session and till next time.

P.S. I have to apologize for the Remember Me review…I don’t think it was as good as the others…

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2013 in Just Updates

 

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Remember me – A hunt for memories

Remember_Me_Game

What would you do if you could reset unpleasant memories, share your precious moments with your loved one, see things through their eyes, feel what they felt in that situation? And when you happen to have the ability to alter those memories, turn, twist and form them just as you like? Would you use it?

Nilin has this unique ability and ,as a memory hunter of the Errorist, decided to use it against the corrupt industry of memory trade and the city of Neo-Paris (You guess right, it’s a futuristic setting). Of course along her way, something went terribly wrong and she got captured and her memory deleted and this, ladys and gentelmen, is where our game starts.

A story full of questions underlined with philosophical flavour and rounded with action gameplay. Oh, I’m going to have fun with this one…in one way or another…

I will start with the gameplay. First of all, the levels are very, very linear. Most of the time, it is essentially a road with tiny branches in which upgrades wait to be collected by the player. You have to go from A to B to continue the story and you will meet obstacles along the way. Either enemies you have to fight or you have climb around an obstacle.

The combat system…is interesting. Yes, we settle with “interesting” here as description, since I lack a better term. You will fight, for the most time, hand to hand and try to execute combos. Nothing out of ordinary, but you decide which button does what effect in the combo. I’m aware how stupid this wording sounds, so let me explain this in a more detailed way. There are different combo-sets which you gain throughout the story and you can unlock different buttons to fill those combos, so you can execute them in battle.

Fnez6

There are buttons which can fill up your Focus-Gauge (which you need to activate special attacks), some which do more damage, some which can heal you (…I can’t really come up with a decent explanation how this should work, other than Nilin has to be a complete sadist who takes pleasure in the pain of others.) and some which can enhance the effect of the buttons which follow in the combo. So you can create a combo-chain which does damage, heals you and does other nasty things.

Naturally, your enemies try to break your combo and they do a really good job. Of course, you can dodge and try to continue your combo, but with a narrow battleground with lots of annoying enemies, this isn’t as easy as it may sound. I have nothing against difficult battles, but some battles are difficult because I can lock the camera on an enemy which I want to keep in sight, so I can dodge its attacks.

For example, there is an enemy type which is stronger when other monsters/people are around. The logical solution to this problem is “kill the critters -> then kill the bigger critter”. This would be go smoothly, wouldn’t the camera switch when I take a few steps forward (you can’t control the camera by the way) in a way I can’t see the bigger critter attacking me from behind. It’s really annoying. The only time you can lock on an enemy is in “gun mode” (or rather the gun-like weapon which you obtain in the story).

But that aside, what is with the whole memory stealing and memory altering? That should be the focus in the story, right?…Right? It revolves around it, but the parts in which you use your altering ability are few and this is really a pity. How do you alter memories? Well, you see a sequence which you can rewind and you alter some details which lead to another outcome. It’s a really nice aspect of the game, but like I said, they are few, unfortunately. This system would be good for side quests in which you decide what the people think and remember. Ah, I should mention that this game has no side quests.

Now let’s get to the last point(s). The story and atmosphere.

ConceptArt_Mid_Paris

Corrupt state/industry? Check. Rebells who do questionable things? Check. An (at first) amnesiac protagonist? Memory dealing/altering? Check. Yes, we had all those things in a way. (Why am I reminded of Total Recall?) But what is important is the presentation and in what way you do it.

When I say, the story isn’t surprising and predictable, I have to add, that I have the ability or more the curse to predict twists and turns in a story before they happen. (Which led to my reputation of being a “walking spoiler”) So…How predictable was it for me? To say it metaphorically…Some things had the nasty flavour of a punch in the face, because I have not only seen it coming, but it was so predictable that it hurt me. (or rather my non-existent heart). But I will forgive that…somewhat, since the story is not that bad, not at all, just not the strongest or the best thought out. Just some things had me raise my eyebrow and say “Really now?”

I have to give credit for the designs in this game. They are interesting to look at and you have the feeling that someone has put thought in it and tried to make a good world and atmosphere which goes along with the story. On one hand there are the Slums with the ghoul like creatures  and other poor people who wither in pain, on the other the city were people talk normally to each other. It is not the best I have seen, but it’s well made. This and the naming theme in this game. (Slum 404, the Errorists, Bad Request…etc. and the fact that Edge has a resemblence to Alex Mercer (Prototype))

My conclusion on the hunt? I didn’t expect anything from it or at least, I tried to not expect anything. The Artwork is great and so is the world in my opinion, but in the gameplay and writing section it isn’t more than medicore. There was a lot of unused potential which was, sadly, not used. I could talk about the story more, but  I don’t want to spoil anything for those, who haven’t played it yet. I will sum it up in the words, such a topic as story is hard to bring in a game and this game bit a little to much then it could chew in the end.

For those who want to know what Nilin means…It means flower. Nalin means lotus, in the buddhism, its the flower of enlightment…Yeah.

 
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Posted by on June 7, 2013 in Ps3

 

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