Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy new year everybody! Atleast in Germany it is lol. I wish you an awesome 2012 and hope it will be better than 2011 for all of you and me :P.

There won't be a Nostalgia Sunday as usual today, just so I can have a little break from writing them. It's work too you know ;).

Friday, December 30, 2011

My personal Games of the Year

Deus Ex Human Revolution
I didn't catch up on the hype of this game and didn't buy it on release. I just heard of it and the magnificent Deus Ex 1. When it was on Sale I bought it and it really was much better than I expected. It barely runs on my laptop, so graphics are something I don't care about, but the gameplay was just awesome. I never knew how much I liked sneaking around and avoiding the enemies, instead of attacking them with my machine gun or whatever. Finding different ways to enter a building or area and having the option to be as silent as possible is something more games should offer. To be honest with you, I haven't played through it yet, but it still was better to that point than the whole singleplayer of other games.

 Portal 2
Now this was a really close call. As much as I like this game, I will tell you later why it's not that good. I didn't buy it on release, but still payed like 40€ for it. I played through it on the day I bought and was blown away. The story, the characters, the gameplay were just that good, it really left an impression on me. The added coop mode was really good too. Atleast if you have friends you can play it with. I played all the chambers, all the modes, got all the achievements...and then it was over. It's like the game has no replay value. The added Peer Review DLC was good too, but only for one playthrough. I'm not the competitive guy, so that's propably why the Challenge mode didn't appeal to me. All in all it still was and is a pretty good game and atleast good for one playthrough.

 Battlefield 3
Another close call. Even though I like this game, it has lost its charme over the last few weeks. I've played the beta and preordered the game. I'm Rank 41 right now and unlocked lots of stuff. By preordering I also got free access to Back to Karkand, which is a cool map pack in all honesty, but it all got a little stale over time. Rush or Conquest are basically all the modes I play, because I don't like the other ones and it gets boring over time. I wish my laptop could run this game, because I bought Bad Company 2 for PC and it was awesome. I just hope they add more stuff to it that captivates me again. Just so you know, I don't hate this game. It is in my Games of the year list, because it was fun for me for like 2 months and I played nothing else those 2 months, so it definatly earns that place.

So those are basically the big 3 games that kept me playing this year. There's no Skyrim, Batman or whatever here, because I simply didn't play them. Let's hope 2012 brings better or just as good games as these are.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

100$ for a virtual car. Really EA? Really?


Source: http://asia.gamespot.com/news/ea-rolls-out-100-car-for-need-for-speed-world-6347632

This story's a little old, but it doesn't make it less ridiculous.
EA announced on 15th December the "Koenigsegg CCX Elite Edition", which will cost you 100$ to drive in the free racing MMO "Need For Speed World". Till 21st December there was a 25% discount, so it did cost 75$. Still something I wouldn't pay. I mean, I played World of Warcraft for 2 years or so, which cost me about 300€, but it wasn't just a car, but a huge world that evolved. This is just a car...that you don't physically own.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Nostalgia Sunday: Grand Theft Auto Vice City

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

This has to be one of my favorite games of all time. I had it for the Playstation 2 and a friend of mine had it too, so it was always the first thing to do, when we met. Playing till you die and then it was your friends turn. Fun as hell. Storywise and Soundtrackwise an instant classic. This was and still is definatly a must have.

The Story:
The player takes on the role of Tommy Vercetti, a member of the Liberty City mafia released from prison in 1986 after serving only 15 years for killing eleven men. Tommy's old boss, Sonny Forelli, fears that Tommy's presence in Liberty City will heighten tensions and bring unwanted attention to his organization's criminal activities. To prevent this, Sonny promotes Tommy and sends him to Vice City under the guardianship of Mafia lawyer Ken Rosenberg to act as their buyer for a series of cocaine deals. During Tommy's first deal, an ambush by an unknown party results in the death of Tommy's bodyguards and the cocaine dealer. Tommy narrowly escapes with his life and loses both Forelli's money and the cocaine.
Here starts the story. You basically have to get the money and the cocaine back, that you lost on the deal. You help different people, get money, get known and get respect. After a while you become the biggest drug dealer in town, which Sonny Forelli obviously doesn't like. So while handling your own business you have to deal with Sonny too, which escalates in a final showdown.

The Game:
The game basically consists of completing missions, or doing whatever you want. It's a classic sandbox style game, where only your mind limits the experience. When you're not doing missions, you're finding and collecting new weapons, buy assets, or just start a rampage, which of course gets the attention from the local police and later from the military. Another thing that really stands out is the music. There are several radio stations, which all play classic songs from the 80's and before. The Soundtrack is so memorable, that you can suddenly find yourself in a car on the beach just listening to the music.

Prequels and Sequels:
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is the successor to Grand Theft Auto 3, which was the first title in the series, that introduced 3d graphics. The first two GTA games had a top down view. After GTA Vice City, Rockstar Games released Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, which had a more "Gangster" feel to it and added more Sandbox elements, like Body Building or tuning your car. GTA 3, Vice City and San Andreas used the same game engine, so there was time for a change. 2008 Rockstar Games released GTA IV, which used the new Rockstar Advanced Game Engine (RAGE). It took place in Liberty City, a rebuild New York. It looked better, had more minigames and sandbox elements, but lacked story and characters, even though it was praised by critics with flawless 10/10's. To this day I haven't beat it. On the 2nd November of 2011 Rockstar released a Trailer for the new GTA V. It will take place again in Los Santos, which was introduced in GTA San Andreas.

I still think GTA Vice City is the best in the series, because of the fond memories I have of it. I still have the PC version, which I play through from time to time and it still holds up today.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas everyone!

Have a nice Christmas everyone!

While you're at it, you might want to check out this video, if you're into Rock Band.

And here's a nice Christmas video by me from last year.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Steam Holiday Sale

It's that time again!

The annual Steam Holiday Sale started again today (or yesterday, I don't know). While there are numerous games on sale, there's also the Achievements we already know from the Steam Summer Camp. Finishing one of the Achievements gets you a present, which can have free games, coupons, or coal. With the coal you enter a chance for the grand prize giveaway. The grand prize are ALL games ever on Steam. That's right! But only one person can get it. The more coals you have, the higher is your chance to win. If you don't want the coal, you can combine seven of them to get another present, which will have either a free game or a coupon. No coal.

Spend your money, or don't. I didn't ;). But there might come that one deal, that takes it all again...like the last few times...GAAAAAAAAABBBEEE!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Nostalgia Sunday: WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain

WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain

Now this game is something really special. It was one of my first games for the Playstation 2 and was immediatly bought, after I got into the WWE and wrestling. I remember going on vacation to France and when we drove home, this was the first game I immediatly wanted to play after arriving. No SmackDown! vs Raw or anything else. Just this.

Story:
While there was no real Story Mode like "Road to Wrestlemania" in the later games, there was the Season mode. And by god it was awesome! First you could choose between all the different Wrestlers like The Rock, Goldberg or Stone Cold Steve Austin, or even your created Wrestlers. After choosing you could draft people from SmackDown! to Raw or the other way around and basically create your own show. While playing you will often get cutscenes like shown in the above picture, where people make you offers, just talk or even attack you. There was no voice acting by the wrestlers, but that didn't matter, because it opened way more possibilities you can choose from, where the story should go. You'd get title shots, feuds with other people or just funny stuff, that happened, because you chose it, by taking your own way in the story. In my opinion this was way more fun than "Road to Wrestlemania". Atleast THQ introduced the "Create a Story" mode in SmackDown! vs Raw 2010, which can be the same as the season mode, if the people are creative enough, who make those stories.

The Game:
The game featured several game modes, aside from the Season mode. You could have Hell in a Cell matches, Ladder matches, (the newly added) Elimination Chamber and Royal Rumble matches and of course normal 1 on 1 or Tag Team matches. Alone against the AI, it was kind of boring, because it wasn't that good, but with friends...Oh my...
Playing against or with your friends, creating hilarious new wrestlers and then fight against each other, or just making up your own TV show, with several matches after another. It was definatly the most fun I had with a video game.
Also the gameplaymechanics weren't that good, I still think it holds up today.

Prequels and Sequels:
Of course there were games before Here Comes the Pain like shown above and of course there came more games after it: The SmackDown! vs Raw series. While all games before HCtP were good, the games after it slowly went downhill. HCtP can be held as the "Best Wrestling game ever", because of its content. Hours of fun, no downsides aside from maybe the graphics and some mechanic issues. I haven't checked out the new WWE 12 yet. It might be good, atleast that's what some critics say.

Sadly I sold my Playstation 2 with all my games for a Xbox 360, which was a bad move in hindsight. I haven't got a good enough PC to emulate PS2 games either, which just lets me hope, I'll find a cheap PS2 someday with this game.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Over 2000 Views and over 30 Followers!

Wow, thanks guys! I didn't expect my blog to go off this much! I hope you guys like what I do...well...you seem to, because otherwise you wouldn't follow me haha.

To another 2000 Views and 30 Followers!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Nostalgia Sunday: Spyro 2

Spyro 2
My brother got this game back at Christmas with his Playstation 1. We played it at Christmas Eve and couldn't stop. It took several weeks to beat it, just like every game did, when you were small. Or I think that's what's normal as a kid. To this day I still like to play through it with 100% completion like every year. Of course the PSX and the game are long gone, but luckily there's emulation software out there on the Internet.

Story:

While Elora, Hunter and the Professor are testing a new Portal in the world of Avalar, the evil wizard Ripto and his two companions Crush and Gulp come through, due to an accident. He wants to take over the world, but luckily fairies, instructed by Elora, remove the Orbs, that power the portal.
Meanwhile, the Artisans have been under rainy weather for some time; Spyro, declaring he needs a vacation, locates a portal to the realm of Dragon Shores. However, after traveling through the portal, he finds himself instead landing in the realm of Avalar by means of a smaller portal, built by Avalar's Professor.
Spyros' mission is now to travel through the three main worlds of Avalar, Summer Forest, Autumn Plains, and Winter Tundra, to collect Orbs and defeat Crush, Gulp and finally, at a huge showdown, Ripto.

The Game:

Like said above, you travel through the different main worlds, which also have subworlds. In these you collect orbs, gems and statues, which let you advance further. After collecting enough of these items, you are allowed to fight the boss of the main world, you collected them in. Every boss has its own weaknesses and needs a tactic to be beaten. Once you got that out, it's only a matter of tries. If you beat them, you can advance to the next main world. After collecting enough gems, you can also learn new skills, by buying them: Swimming, climbing ladders and the headbash. When you finally beat Ripto, the game's not over. The Professor will open you a gate to Dragon Shores, where you can play several games and also unlock a permanent fireball power-up, if you collected all gems, orbs and statues.

Prequels and Sequels:

At first there's the magnificent Prequel, which gets only topped by the Sequel Spyro 2, which improves on Spyro 1, while not taking anything away. The first Sequel, Spyro 3, I have never played through. I guess it lost its charm or something. Everything after that was rather mediocre and dumbed down. It never felt like the Original or Spyro 2 again. The newest iteration of the Spyro games is "Spyro Skylanders" which I haven't played and will not, because first: I don't have a PS3 and second: It doesn't look like Spyro at all.

I think this game still holds up today and is worth a playthrough from time to time. That's why I always have fun playing it and it's not just nostalgia. Give it a try, if you can!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

EAs banning spree

Source: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/12/05/ea-origin-bans-update-edition/

So, EA has been banning alot of people lately. And for no real reasons too. Apparently people say, like, a bad word on the EA forum, and they get banned for 72 hours or so.
Okay.
I could live with that.
BUT:
These banned words aren't really that bad, like maybe "e-peen". Okay, anyway, if those people try to appeal their ban, they get told off. 24 hours later, their account is now permanently banned.
No Origin, no EA games, no Multiplayer, no Singleplayer (yes Singleplayer) for you anymore. You now can't play the games you bought for the singleplayer.
I'm not banned yet, but I find this ridiculous. One reason why I'll never post on EA forums.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Something I miss...

Game demos
Back in the day, there always were game demos. It either was on demo discs for consoles, or you could download them from the internet.

Today? Not so much.
I'd like to think, that every major game studio knows this problem, but apparently they don't. You mostly get demos on consoles, but not on the PC. And even then no AAA titles. If I consider buying a game for my PC, I want to know, if it runs well. Your stupid requirements that are on the box or on the internet don't help me. So if the minimum requirement says, I can run it, it doesn't mean, it will run well on lowest settings, NOOO, it means it runs...not more. You can get the exe to start, but that's it. While not encouraging pirating games, that seems to be the only way to find out, if a game works on your computer, because there is no game demo, with which you can test it.

I just hope one day they will acknowledge this problem, but of course they won't, because they won't get the money from people, who bought the game to "test" it then.

Just my 2 cents, Alucard

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Nostalgia Sunday: Toonstruck

Here is something I recently came up with: Nostalgia Sunday!
It's basically a short Review of Video Games I played as a child or I just remember really well. I'll post a Review every Sunday, till I run out of Games I guess :D.
So here's the first game I want to talk about:
Toonstruck

I got this game with a few others in a game collection when I was 10 or so. It really stood out to me, because it had a cool story, crazy characters and really good animation.

Story:
The main character is Drew Blanc (played and voiced by Christopher Lloyd) who is the creator of the Fluffy Fluffy Bun Bun Show. After an artist's block he gets sucked into the world of his own TV Show by his TV. He discovers, that this paradise is getting ravaged by a ruthless new character with a devastating weapon of evil, a flying machine equipped with a ray beam that mutates the pleasant, childish landscape and its inhabitants into dark, twisted and mean versions of themselves. His mission is to return all people and the world into its old state and defeat the evil Count Nefarious.
The Game:
The game itself is a classic point and click adventure with sometimes really tricky puzzles. The locations vary from each other and are all unique. Your mission is, to find several parts for a "reverse" ray beam, that turns all evil to good; the counterpart to Count Nefarious ray beam. While collecting those parts, you'll see several locations turn evil after time, just like the above picture shows. What once was a normal farm with innocent animals becomes...well...I guess you can see for yourself haha. The end has a nice twist also, which I won't tell you of course. The music is also one thing that really stood out. I remember it so well, that when I finally found one of the tracks on Youtube, a huge nostalgia wave came over me. I haven't heard the song for 10 years or so, but it immediatly reminded me of the game. If you want to know what the songs are, you propably already heard them. They were almost exclusively used in the Ren and Stimpy Show and often in Spongebob Squarepants. Take this song as an example: 

Toonstruck 2:

Because of productioncosts, the game was split into two halfs. The second one should be released, if the first game was a success. Unfortunatly it did very poor in sales, although it got good critic reviews. There's still a community that collects all material there is from the second game and tries to recreate it: http://toonstruck2.games4um.de/
Even one of the old game creators acknowledges their work and says, that they would make the second game, if they got enough support.

I'd still like to play this game again and see, if it aged well. Unfortunatly the game cd got lost. Maybe there's a download out there somewhere on the Internet haha.

I hope you enjoyed this post and please give me feedback.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

New Details on the new South Park RPG by Obsidian

Source: http://www.gamersmint.com/first-south-park-the-game-details-emerge

Finally, there are some new details about the new South Park game. I'm really looking forward to this, because I always liked the show. Here are some details that stand out to me:
- The first game Parker and Stone have directly participated in, writing the script and the dialogue.
- The player’s character will be fully customizable.
- There are five classes, which are wizard, paladin, adventurer, rogue, and a fifth unannounced class.
- The player will play as the new kid in town, the main theme of the game is fitting in and being accepted.
- Combat system is like Paper Mario and the Mario & Luigi games.
- They talk about how they have had to scrap level because the perspective wasn’t right because everything is hand illustrated and hand animated.

I think this will turn out good, because Obsidian is making it and Matt and Trey have a Creative role in the process. Time will tell I guess.