Summarizing the year; I played some video games (phony gaming-edition)

As said in the previous post there were also a lot of gaming being done on my phone. I’ve already done a bunch of talk around android gaming under the title ‘Phony Gaming‘, but here are some of the games that I never got around to (purely out of laziness). There are five of them in total, and you’ve probably already heard of them and might have played them also. If you haven’t then you really should, let me tell you why.

Tiny Death Star is a version of the Tiny Tower game now placed within the Star Wars-universe. You build and manage the activities going on inside the Empire’s mighty Death Star. Just like in Tiny Tower you build different sorts of levels including apartment-levels for your inhabitants and also retail, food and others that your tiny inhabitants can get employed at and run. Your job is to tell your employees to restock their stores, then when their work is done you approve their work and sign them onto restock other stuff that might have gotten sold out. When you build an apartment level you get new people and have to put them to good use, choosing where they are best fit to work or if you might want to evict them for the possibility of getting someone with better stats.

tsdThere’s also an elevator in the Death Star that you control, visitors might want to visit a level and you have to transport them there for a small tip. There might also be a VIP-visitor coming and these have special abilities such as boosting sales at a level, and such.

All of this was part of the original Tiny Tower game as-well, but there are also some new stuff in the Death Star sequel. There are missions in the new game, the emperor himself will ask you to complete different tasks for him, e.g. build two service levels or capture two rebellion spies for me. These are tasks which you would probably complete even if he wouldn’t tell you to do them for you, but he’ll give you a little something-something for your trouble. There’s also the addition of the Imperial levels. These expand inward and is in the deep mysterious core of the moon-like space station and will create different items. These items are to be collected and given to sith-lord Darth Vader when he pleases. It’s just like the emperors missions, you are told to make two of these and three of those and then you’ll get a little reward for it.

It’s a free game with the option to put in some real-money to fasten the experience. You can also unlock known (or lesser known) characters from the Star Wars saga and have them visit your station, I presume, I never did put any money down so I can’t know for sure. But I’ve actually seen some characters such as Leia, Lando Calrissian and IG-88 assassin droid. If you’re a Star Wars fan possessing a smart phone you defiantly should download this free, cute little game and just embrace the toying around with the Star Wars-franchise.

Deer Hunter 2014 is pretty much what it sounds like. You are in the woods and have a target which you shoot. When the animal has been shot you get your reward along side a guitar riff and explosion and then it’s on to your next target. The game is fairly easy and doesn’t vary too much between levels, some of the missions want you to shoot multiple animals at the same time, some want you to kill the animal in a specific way, and some levels may include some extra animals so that you’ll have to double-check which one you are supposed to pierce a bullet through. The reward is money and you use it to buy better equipment so that you can kill more animals.dh

I do wish there were something more to the game because it gets really repetitive and boring after a little while. I don’t really know what more to add, I ain’t no designer of games, but something more than just the same old wild animals and a metal rod that goes boom would have been nice. The game is free so maybe if you want to check it out you can do so with ease and without any regret.

Ridiculous Fishing is a game were you play as an old man at sea. He sits in his little boat with his phone, it’s used to change areas to fish, look up what types of fish has been caught and upgrade his equipment. There’s also his dear fishing rod and a deep-sea underneath him full of fish to be caught. You tap the screen and the hook is thrown in to the water, now begins stage one out of three for catching fish in the game. I don’t want to spoil the gameplay too much because I think it’s part of the fun ridiculousness of the game initially.

rfThen as you catch more and more fish you gain access to different levels and better equipment to help you catch fish more effectively. There is a pokedex-like fish encyclopedia which you’d want to fill up with all the different fishes to get a 100% completion. In the beginning the game is a bit hard but after a while as you start gaining some money and upgrade your equipment you’ll soon find yourself speeding through the different areas and reaching the ending quite quickly. The ending, just as the gameplay, is quite surprising and entertaining in that it comes out of left field. It’s a fun little game that I definitely think is well worth your time.

Plants Vs. Zombies 2 is the sequel to the well-loved tower-defense game by Popcap, where zombies attacked your lawn from the right and you plant different plants to defend yourself. In the new game the fun and kooky neighbor character Crazy Dave eats a taco and takes you on a ride back in time for the opportunity to eat that same taco one more time. The story is more ridiculous than it is funny. Crazy Dave made some minor and lovely appearances in the first game, but now he’s with you all the way and it get tiresome. To take the comic-relief and shine the spotlight solely on him is a mistake many franchises makes, and so does Plants vs. Zombies.

The time travelling plot device let’s you visit (as the time of this post) three different worlds in which you fight zombies. The level layouts from the first game are all gone and you now have three different level layouts to fight through. A lot of the plants have been striped out of the game as well and a couple of new ones has been added.pz

Lastly, but certainly not least, this game has been made with micro-transactions in mind. You have the ability to buy plants, to buy costumes for your plants and to buy the in-game currency. There has been a lot of backlash against these decisions and the game recently got ane update, which I think tried to fix most of these issues people have been having. Previously the game contained keys which unlocked doors opening up new paths for you to collect new plants. These keys dropped in the levels on the main path and did so very rarely and you needed to spend a lot of time grinding the levels, OR buy keys using real money. I haven’t played through the game since this update and can’t say whether it’s better or worse now, but it seems to have gotten a bit shorter and less repetitive than before.

Rymdkapsel, which is a Swedish word and means ‘space capsule’, is a strategy game where you build a space station to try to fight off invading forces. You have different resources and different building that are used to harvest these resources. You build and collect resources with small characters you have on-board, these are also used to fight off the invaders using defensive buildings. It’s pretty simple, but what makes it unique is the look and gameplay that comes with that look. Each building is like a platform shaped like different Tetris-looking blocks. You have to build and choose how to place each building so that you can stretch out and reach the next source of resources with as little platforms and money used as possible.

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It’s a fairly short game and only have three missions for you to complete before the game is over. There is something of a high score system built-in so if you like perfecting your strategy and reaching higher scores it might be something for you. But I was baffled at the short length of the game. I felt as if I’d just begun and then I realized I’d won the game and done everything there was to do. I do think it’s a well-done and original game, and although it’s of a higher price than most games in the app stores it’s well worth your money. You get a handful of hours out of the game, but it won’t continue any further than that initial level. It’s still great, but the enjoyment I felt after getting over that hump was quickly destroyed by the sudden ending of the game.

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E3 Press Conference 2013 – Electronic Arts

E3 2013
continues with another press conference, this one being from the big video games publisher EA presenting the future and viewpoint for their games going forward. Peter Moore comes on stage letting us know we have eleven brand new games to look forward to during this presentation.

Popcap gets up on stages after showing a  trailer for their latest third-person tower-defense game Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare. Plants vs Zombies is getting a sequel, just got a Facebook game and will now also be on the next generation gaming consoles with this silly multiplayer spin-off. They ended their part of the conference with just screaming Peggle 2 and running off stage.

Titanfall being given a lot more time during Microsoft’s press conference. EA shows you a video featuring a bunch of members of the development team at Respawn studios talking about the game. The emphasize was very obviously on being a fun game. I wonder if this could be the point where we stop being all about the gritty realistic triple A titles and start having a little bit of fun.

EA also wanted to share with you the fact that they mostly use two different video game-engines for all there games.

Ignite

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being used in their EA-sport titles and

Frostbite 3

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developed by Stockholm based DICE, powering pretty much everything else. Why this was something important to share with everyone I don’t know. I guess it could be nice for the developers of EA to have two standard engines to be working with.

Afterwards there came a short concept trailer letting us know that DICE is working on a new Star Wars: Battlefront game. EA got an exclusive game license from Disney to make all the Star Wars games for them. What I want to see is a Star Wars skin for Battlefield pretty much, I don’t think you can mess that up.

Also, leave it up to the Swedes to give you a snowy Hoth battle.

EA’s driving game series Need For Speed gets a new game with Need For Speed: Rivals. Here they told us a lot about blurring the lines between single and multiplayer, how the player will start a race in singleplayer then get chased by a cop through multiplayer. There were also a mention of tablet support for the game having friends help you out from their tablet.

Aaron Paul (aka Jessie Pinkman) entering the stage declaring his love for gaming. Aaron Paul is also the lead actor in the upcoming movie based on the Need For Speed, which they showed a little making of trailer for here. I won’t embed it though, don’t wanna waste your time.

A new trailer for upcoming Bioware game Dragon Age: Inquisition which is set for release this fall doesn’t really tell me much. Fans of this role-playing fantasy series probably get more out of it, although it doesn’t seem to be anything too exciting.

The EA Sports section of the press conference was full of sport, promises and celebrities. Starting of with a spoken word performance to segway into the dribble of the basketball in the NBA-games and how the team has improved this detail of the game. Then over to the movement of the players in Madden and how the AI needed to be more smooth. Here is where famous rapper Drake appears. In newest Fifa they’ve put a lot of work into the audience to make them behave realistically (let’s hope theirs a hooligan mini game). Here is where Dana White held a monologue about two men violently beating on each other being the first sport ever. Then some developer expressing what’s new about this years edition of UFC.

Two employees from DICE take to the stage to show us some gameplay from Battlefield 4. Here it’s much more open than it seemed to be during the Microsoft’s press conference, a 64 player multiplayer game set in a modern city. One of the players is equipped with a tablet and can over-see the map and give commands to the other players in his team.

With that skyscraper hitting the ground DICE ended their live multiplayer demo for Battlefield 4. Although this wasn’t all EA had to show from the Swedish developer.

Bobo’s x3 13/02/08

x3-7

Well hellloooo! La, la,la! (start it off with an Seinfeld-reference, they’ll get it)

So here we go with three new entertainment-thingies. We’ve got everything you need, your romance story, your claustrophobia, your monsters. Come up come up, don’t be shy and read through this weeks post of ‘Bobo’s x3’!

Paperman is an Academy-awards nominated silent black-and-white animated short-film from Disney. It was shown in theaters in front of Disney’s Wreck-It-Ralph, but can now be found on the internet. The animation is based on a new technique called Meander. It combines hand-drawn animation with CG-animation. How? I don’t know, sorry. But what I do know is that I like it, a-whole-lot.paperman-post

The story centers around a young man who one day has an encounter with a cute woman. They share a moment while waiting for the train. But with an blick of the eye she jumps on her train and our hero is left alone on the platform. He then later sees her from his office window and tries to get incontact with her again.
It’s a film about not giving up to easily while trying to get romance.

John Karhn, the director of Paperman, says in a video that the inspiration for this short-film came from when he took the train to work every morning. And that there sometimes would appear a woman with whom he got some sort of connection with. But who then would get lost in the chaos of the morning subway traffic.

You can see Paperman for yourself over at Youtube.

Prison Architect is an upcoming prison-management game from Introversion software, who has previously made such low-budget indie games as Uplink, Darwinia and DEFCON. It’s in alpha right now, but was made available to the public back in September. You will have to pay to get access to it though, 30$ will get you into the alpha and you’ll also get the full version later when it gets released and “if we’re lucky enough to get on Steam we’ll also give you a steam key”. So it was not the final version of the product that I played, and changes will probably be made to it as time goes on.

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I’ve had some experience with these kind of games before. It reminded me of Simcity but mainly of a game I used to play a bunch as a child, Theme Park. In a, some-what amusing, video that the developers has released they jokingly call it the world’s first “lock-em up” and that it was inspired by Theme Hospital, Dungeon Crawler and Dwarf Fortress.

You are in charge of a prison. It’s up to you to construct all of the buildings and rooms, hire all the staff and keep all the prisoners locked-up. You can also hire a psychologist to get inside the minds of you’re inmates and see what kind of needs they all have, and choose whether you’d like to fulfill those needs or not.

This game has quite a steep learning-curve, or rather a lack of guidance. It opens up with a tutorial where you learn a lot of the basics like constructing buildings and installing electricity. And about what defines a specific room. But then when you are suppose to start you’re own prison it (at least it did for me) can feel a bit stressful to go from the tutorials pre-built prison to you’re own blank slate.

I had to figure most of the game out on my own by clicking through all of the menus and just by doing. My brother also played the game the same time as I did and having someone to exchange experiences with really helped.
Just the fact that you can have some money-support in the beginning if you choose to meet certain standards, is a huge leg up. And it’s never presented to you in any effective way.

In my experience while playing this game prisoners fight A LOT. Almost all the time. And when you haven’t even built an infirmary or hired any nurses yet all of the staff and the prisoners will all just go around injoured or just stand there uncountious. This game, just like Theme Park, is fun just to watch. It’s like you an ant-farm but with violence. And the very basic art-style adds a lot of charm too.

So if you’ve got an itch only a lock-em up prison management game like prison architect can scratch then maybe get it early and have that itch scratched right now. Or just wait until the game gets an official release. It will probably take a while but then you’ll at least know what it is that you’re getting.

Fringe is an science-fiction police drama. It follows a small unknown branch of the Homeland Security that specializes in cases having to do with fringe-science. These can be cases involving a human mutated into some weird transhuman being, attacks from a parallel universe or a character with the ability to foresee peoples deaths.full-image_10

This x-files resembling show started its first season in 2008. Being produced and created by J. J. Abrams who at the time was the genius behind the hit TV-show Lost and who you might know is the director for the next Star Wars movie.

I started watching the series the summer before the premier of it’s third season. The first two seasons were a fun procedural-series that would often times cause me to eject an audible gasp. It has always had a huge on-going story-arc with some smaller arcs to keep you entertained during the long trip. But after the second season the series changed into more of an serialized-format and picked up some great momentum story-wise and offered it’s two greatest seasons thereafter.

The series aired it’s final episode just a couple of weeks ago and during it’s five seasons this series has given it’s fair share of great character developments, oh-shit moments, playful stand-alone episodes, different title-screen variations and fun twists on scientific theories. The greatness of the show lies in the contrast between monster of the week and characters with great depth and interesting backgrounds. And it was with teary eyes that I watched the finally, and I will always remember Fringe as one of the greatest.

Please, if you like science-fiction then give it a chance!

Yeah so that’s that then chaps!

Ha en bra dag!
/Bobo

Trek Wars

Trek Wars

The space-time continuum is a dangerous thing to mess with. I officially announce 2015, the year of bad film. Star Wars 7, Avengers 2 and World of Warcraft – the Movie.

I had a nightmare last night, of chips. They were all covered in salt, and no vinegar. The taste still clings to my tongue, and I hate it. It is quite retarded seeing how I haven’t eaten chips this side of the new year. I have to go fetch a glass of water. I also dreamed a dream of Tauren. But that is a completely different story.

Last friday I watched the final episode of Breaking Bads fourth season. The last on Netflix. It had everything that is good about the show crammed full into an episode. For me, the show could as well ended there. But Persson told me the fifth season is even better, so I guess I’ll have to wait for that to appear on Netflix sometime in the future. But ’till then, what am I supposed to watch as I eat lunch?

The taste is back in my mouth so I better go fix this somehow.

Cheers.

 

-Andreas