Summarizing the year; I played some video games

This year is about to end so here is one of my year-
end post trying to summarize the year of 2013. I will be posting one each Monday throughout December, each 
taking a look into a certain area of entertainment. 
It shall be as an autopsy, digging through my guts to find what kind of popular culture I'd put into my 
digestive system during the year 2013. Or maybe it's 
more a list for myself to remember what I did spend 
my time on during the year.

fuck you oh oh

I guess she’s an Xbox and I’m more Atari
But the way you play your game ain’t fair

Text from: Cee-Lo Green’s song Fuck You

I don’t think 2013 has been such a great year for video games. To be fair I haven’t been spending too much time playing any this year either, only four 2013 releases (referring to the four in the picture above) and apart from those most of the games were played on my Galaxy S3. I lend my PlayStation 3 to my brother so I haven’t used it very much lately, and the only computer I have is a cheap laptop that couldn’t play a game even with a gun pointed to its motherboard.

OBS: These are not reviews.

The Last of Us, which got some buzz a few E3s ago is a contender on a lot of people’s GOTY-list. If you haven’t already heard about the game, it’s set in a post-apocalyptic era where people got infected by some sort of parasite and got turned into something resembling the offspring of a garden gnome and a zombie (could this be a Romeo and Juliette meets Plant vs. Zombie spin-off?). Society crumbles and the game picks up many years after in a chaotic world that can barely manage to hold itself together. Anarchy and thievery lives among the infested ruins of mans former glory. Those who seek safety in some of the saved cities live under harsh rules and restrictions. In this world you are playing as Joel an old man who’s been beaten down one time too many and who has turned his back to the brighter sides of life. He’s being partnered up with the joyous teenage girl Ellie and pushed out on a road trip to potentially save the human race and beat the infestation. The game is beautiful and a lot of time has been spent on the detail of the enviroment. It can at times feel very tense and is a really exciting game. It can also feel just like your run of the mill Naughty Dog action/adventure game. I really feels like it was a sort of mod for Naughty Dog’s big Uncharted series, I don’t know that this is a bad thing per-say, but to say it’s uncharted with an old grumpy man and a young girl set in a broccoli-apocalypse really sums it up for those of you who like short summaries.

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Grand Theft Auto V, the game for you who likes either freedom in a large beautiful sandbox-world and/or characters screaming sarcasm in your face for long stretches of time. Luckily if you happen to like freedom and hate screaming in your face sarcasm and social criticism you can always skip the cinematic sequences, although you won’t be able to skip the screaming that takes place as you drive from one checkpoint to the other in certain missions. I don’t know about you, but there came a time in my life where I stopped cheating and started to play the story mode “as it was intended” and watched every cut-scene as a well-behaved audience member, but I just couldn’t stand the dialog in this game and sometimes had to force myself to keep holding on to the controller and play the game. I might be putting in some extra strong hatred into this text just for some entertainment purposes, but this is the first GTA I’ve disliked. This is one of those video game-series I can remember were and when I played each installment. GTA I played at Ken’s house on his modded Playstation one. GTA III I played partly at my cousins and also I played it at my friend, and we made it rain tanks from the skies on his PC. Vice City which is my favorite in the series I lent from my cousin, the disc broke and my father gave him my Metal Gear Solid II game as punishment. San Andreas I played with a lot of friends in my room (many chairs were broken), and we used to turn of all sounds except the radio and only listened to the Country station. GTA IV I played for hours and hours, going online with a classmate from high school, shooting all the pigeons, and finishing it multiple times. I kept playing it regularly for many years, booting it up and casually driving around New York. So it’s weird to have a GTA game come out that I dislike as much as I dislike GTA V, and then I’m not mentioning the online part because I gave up and won’t return.

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Thomas was alone is a downloadable game for Ps3, you control a collection of blocks and try to use their different abilities to solve levels and progress. This game has gotten a lot of talk and I just don’t know why, I thought it was OK, but not a very good game with nothing new to offer. There’s a British fellow narrating the game, there is some sort of meta-story in there aswell, and the game was developed by one man. I believe that it was one or several of these that might have contributed to this game being talked about so much.

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Papers, Please is a game where you play as a border control agent and have to review everyone’s papers and deciding whether or not to allow them entrance to you land, Arstotzka. It took me about 4 hours to play through the game, and then I managed to get one out of twenty different endings. The story is very interesting, although I couldn’t make myself return to the game to try to get the rest of the endings. It’s was a very interesting and different experience during these four hours of play, though.

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Except the four 2013 releases I’ve returned to and quit both Dota 2 and Minecraft. I haven’t played a lot of Dota 2 and I’m never going to play enough to get any good at it, but for some reason I played it semi-intensely for a short period of a handful of weeks. I got bit by the bug and then the sore healed as quickly and surprisingly as it had come. The same with the highly time-consuming and addictive game creation-Minecraft. Back when it first came out I used to put a lot of time in, digging tunnels, walking through the landscapes and building long stretches of railroad tracks. Then my save got lost as my old computer shut down permanently. I managed to get some time in and build a new world full of half-finished houses and vast square rooms in underground tunnels, but things weren’t like before and then I stopped playing.

I’ve already written about Don’t Starve, The Unfinished Swan and The Walking Dead S01 on here already.

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And lastly, this was the year that I sat down and played through Batman Arkham City. It was when around the time Origins had come out and a lot of Batman talk was going on through out cyberspace that I decided to pick up my controller. I started a save on my already downloaded and installed game. I remember purchasing it when it was really, really cheap on Ps-Store and now was the time to play it. It’s a great game that continues to offer the same levels of quality that I remember the previous Arkham Azylum offered. You play as Batman (and Catwoman) running around the open world of Arkham City. The game includes a ton of Batman villains and is really a treat to play, for any fan or novice of the franchise.

-B

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Grand Theft Auto V: Official Gameplay Video

It’s almost here, the newest game in Rockstar’s open-world game-series Grand Theft Auto (aka GTA). In this PR video we get a small glimpse of the gameplay, the world and the characters. Set for release in September it’s most definitely the next big game on the calendar, whether you like the series or not.

gta-vSo the game seems to play a lot like the previous 3D GTA games. The aiming system has been tweaked a little going away from GTA 4’s locked on target to the freer and less locked on approach of Rockstar’s western game Red Dead Redemption. Airplanes also seems to have returned for this edition. The very fun jets from San Andreas was, to most fans of the series, lacking for the more realistic and down-to-earth Grand Theft Auto 4. This games big hook of having three play-able characters, which you can switch between when ever you want to, which seems really cool. Though just like a lot of people just wanted to steal a helicopter and count how long it takes for the body to hit the pavement from the highest point in the game. All I want to know is if I’ll be able to steal a truck and run over my own characters.

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The game is now placed in a fictional version of Los Angeles and Southern California again which makes the game a thousands times more sunny and fun than the gray New York in the last game. Driving down the highway in fast cars, with the top down seems like fun. Of course it was fun to blare through the city in four as well, though there’s a clear difference between a sick-sacking through city blocks and hit maximum speed on the open road.

What with the characters I think Grand Theft Auto really has its own style and language in the dialog, at least for being a game. If you’d remove the video and the title and just given me the audio for the line “stop it you’re ruining my yoga” and having me guess from which game it was taken I would probably had guessed Grand Theft Auto. It’s like they say in the video “A sprawling satirical re-imagining of southern California”, a open-world game where people will do as they please makes more sense if it’s satirical.

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Also the online mode which got teased a little bit in the end of the video seems really cool. I played around some with the online mode for the fourth GTA and I have to say the online mods which had come out for San Andreas on PC where a lot more fun. The world was just a lot bigger in San Andreas, and you had those lovely jets to fly around in through out it. Of course the game play and king of the hill type modes in GTA 4 were fun with the enhanced gun-mechanics. But if I had to choose between having gang fights in New York or the ability of high-speed flight then fighting and territorial control can kiss my bottom.

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As mentioned in the beginning the game has its release on September 17th for the Playstation 3 and xbox 360. More to come from this game can probably be expected so stay tuned.

E3 Press Conference 2013 – Sony

E3 2013
concludes this years press conferences with PlayStation. Sony revealed the successor for the current PlayStation 3 back in February with their own PlayStation 4 event. Then they talked at length about the power of the machine and showed new games coming for the next-gen machine without giving us a release date, a look at the console or a price for it. So it was with high expectations, and with the Xbox One information given at Microsoft’s conference that we sat down in front of the PlayStation stage at this years Los Angeles E3-event.

After the opening montage came to an end the PlayStation spokesperson told us about how popular the PlayStation Vita is and about all the different games available for the portable gaming device and the many games still on the way.

On to the current PlayStation 3, we got a look at a hand-full of trailer for titles exclusively coming to this, soon to be prior, gaming hardware. First out was the critically beloved The Last of Us, one of the games which made us excited last years at E3. The game will be coming out this coming Friday (06.14.13).

Second out of the gate was the Japanese developed Puppeteer which is set to release in September. Rain, a game to be published through Playstation’s online store, should be coming out sometime this fall. Quantic Dream’s latest game Beyond: Two Souls featuring movie-actor Ellen Page, and Willem Dafoe was given a spot to show us a trailer, the game will available to purchase this October.

And lastly the racing game Gran Turismo 6 which might be released later this year, though looking back at Gran Turismo 5 you never know. There were also a new trailer for Warner Bros. Games Montreal’s new game Batman: Arkham Origins featuring batman villain Black Mask. The game is set before the other games in the Arkham-series made by Rocksteady Studios. It will be available this October, with exclusive Batman skins only for PlayStation.

Lastly to close of the PlayStation 3 section there will be a console bundle with Grand Theft Auto 5 and a Headset for $299 for the release of the highly anticipated open-world game, this September.

Moving on to the next-gen console the PlayStation 4 was finally shown. I think it looks ugly with the tilted front and back portions, although it seems to be a bit smaller than I expected.

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A short trailer was shown for a new video game IP exclusive to the PlayStation 4. The Order 1886 seems like it could be a four player co-op game set in London. Not much more than what’s said in this trailer is known as of this moment.

Four titles told to be available exclusively for the PlayStation 4 back in February at the consoles reveal event has been given four new trailers and estimated release dates.

Killzone: Shadow Fall a first person shooter set on a distant planet will be a launch title for the console.

Driveclub a game which will be made available at the launch of the console and made free for the first year to all PlayStation Plus-subscribers.

inFamous: Second Son is a Superhero action game which will be released for the console shortly after its release in early 2014.

And Knack a third-person adventure platformer, another launch title for the next-gen PlayStation console.

Here’s where they told us how PlayStation also will be an open platformer for Indie-developers to be able to self publish their games. And a list of indie-games we can expect on PlayStation 4 included Jonathan Blow’s latest game The Witness and Supergiant Games, the studio behind Bastion, new game Transistor. Aswell as eight other games (Don’t Starve, Mercenary Kings, Octodad: Deadliest Catch, Secret Ponchos, Ray’s the Dead, Outlast, Oddworld: New n’ Tasty & Galaxy) that will have their console debuts exclusively on PlayStation 4.

The console release for Diablo 3 was mentioned

And trailers were shown for Square Enix’s upcoming titles Final Fantasy Versus XIII, Final Fantasy XV, Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy XIV.

Two Ubisoft games were “performed” on stage, one for upcoming Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag (which crashed) and the other for Watch_Dogs. I think Watch_Dogs looks great and fun but it’s been shown so many times and is so close to release that I don’t care, really.

Some video for upcoming basketball-title NBA 2K14.

Elder Scrolls Online, the MMO game in the Elder Scrolls series was shown a trailer for and given a release period, spring 2014.

And finally the fucking last trailer of Sony’s press conference was for the Mad Max video game developed by Avalanche. I’ve chosen not to include them all because there’s nothing interesting anyway, if you want to see them then go Google it.

During their press conference Sony also made a point of PlayStation being a used games friendly device. Their shall be no restictions for the consumers who want to buy their games used for a lower price. The console doesn’t need to be connected to the internet and validate your disc for you to play it. This was such a big middle finger pointed at Microsoft, who’s made a statement for being against used games. You can read more about it and watch a mocking video from Sony at: E3 HIGHTLIGHT: THE WAR.

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As I’ve been expecting you’ll have to be a PlayStation Plus subscriber to be able to play multiplayer games online on PlayStation 4. The subscription is for $5/month and will besides grant you access to online multiplayer also give you access to one free game per month as well as being able to play the racing game DriveClub for free for the first year. Other games included in the so-called Instant Game Collection will be the indie-titles Don’t Starve, Outlast and Secret Ponchos.

Even if you chose not to be a Playstation Plus subscriber you’ll still be able to use the console to access apps such as the movie streaming service Netflix.

Formerly known for the development studio behind the Halo series, Bungie came on stage to play a demo-section for their upcoming first-person shooter Destiny. The Activision published title will be released next year. In this demo a group of friends travel through earth far into the future.

Sony ends this years last E3 press conference with the price for the new console. Hundred dollars less than  Xbox one this generation Sony goes for being the cheaper alternative.

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