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

Bobo’s x3 13/01/05

twd-horz

Hey there! Back again, new year, here are three pop-culture suggestions for you to kill some time with. Or gain some entertainment from, however you like to view it.


Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead is a modern point-and-click adventure game based on the famous zombie franchise by the same name. It came out episodically with the first episode starting the series of in April and the fifth and the season-ending fifth episode came out this past November. It’s a modern point-and-click adventure game, in some ways rather similar to Quantic Dream’s Fahrenheit (aka Indigo Prophecy) and Heavy Rain. The story starts of with the protagonist Lee Everett in a cop car getting taken to jail and then the zombie-infestation literally gets in the way.telltales-the-walking-dead-game

This is a fantastic game, and if you’re even mildly active in geek culture or read some video-game websites you probably already know this. But  I really think and hope that this is a landmark game that will bring a lot more of these game out. Games that offer us great story instead of fantastic graphics and a high amout of gun blazing action. Yeah, so this game isn’t a graphical achievement and it can be quite laggy in some parts. But really that doesn’t matter all that much. You’re here for the character interactions and the story. I just said that this game doesn’t have a high amount of gun-blazing-action. But what this game has are some really nerve-shaking interactions with zombies. Because every time there’s a zombie on-screen this means that the characters in your team might all be in jeopardy. So this game can really keep you on the edge of your toes. And I found myself screaming at my TV when these moments came up.

I just finished this game earlier this week and the end of this game got me really emotional. This might be the only game that has made me feel like I did. Games can often make you feel powerful or tense, but sad, I can’t think of any other game that has brought me that emotion while playing.

Yeah, so go and get The Walking Dead. It’s out for PS3, X-box 360, PC and Mac. I played it on PS3 and as mentioned had some lag, but I wouldn’t recommend it any less because of this.

GOTY(Right, Andreas? Haha…)

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey stands as a prequel to Peter Jackson’s grand and epic Lord of the Rings trilogy. It’s the first of three movies based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s book The Hobbit. I actually like this book a lot more than the bigger trilogy that Tolkien wrote afterwards. Well it’s been awhile since I read any of Tolkien’s works but I just felt that the Lord of the Rings books had a lot more unnecessary information than the shorter The Hobbit had. That said The Hobbit also suffers from some very detailed scenery descriptions.hobbit

Well now, that a-side let’s me tell you about this movie. It’s the FIRST of THREE movies to be made from this ~300 page long book. When I first heard this back when the news broke I got really worried. I was worried that this was done for the money and not for the story. I was worried that this story wouldn’t be able to support a trilogy of movies. Peter Jackson has put in some of his own writing in here to try and stretch it out and I think this shouldn’t be a thing to look down on. I respect the choice to not stick to the original material to a hundred percent. It’s just a shame that it didn’t work all that well. For me it just feels like he tries too hard to make a stronger link between these movies and the LOTR-trilogy. There is a joke in Clerks 2 about the Lord of the Rings, were Randal compares it to Star Wars and complains that all they do in the fantasy trilogy is walk. It’s a funny joke that I think is true in retrospect but you don’t really feel it when you actually watch the movies. In this one though I was thinking about that joke a lot, but without any laughter. All they do in this movie is either lots of walking or running. Gandalf utters the words “Run!” a-whole-lot in this movie.

I just want to share a view I had while siting in the cinema watching the movie. I was so bored that I thought of tweets I could write about this movie (yeah, I’m weird in that way I guess) and the one that stuck with me was: “The Hobbit is the longest, most boring porno I’ve ever seen. And the first one I’ll have to watch all the way through.” And what I mean by this is that the movie just felt like it wanted to remind the audience of the later trilogy. A bunch of throwbacks and fanfare. Everything from cameos, to talking about stuff that will take place in Lord of the Rings-movies, to the music and even camera shoots which were used in the exact same way here as in Jacksons earlier Middle Earth-films. If he can re-write the book to fit, maybe he should experiment a little with his own cinematic style as well. I don’t know, all I know is that it made me feel full on Lord of the Rings and I wanted to watch the original trilogy before watching The Hobbit and now I don’t.

I also saw this movie in 3D and with higher frame-rate. This was my first 3D experience, and I actually didn’t mind 3D as much as I thought I would. But I really did mind the higher frame-rate. At first when the movie starts it just feel uncomfortable to watch, because it felt as if everything was speed up. And then when I got over that I just thought that everything looked too polished and clean. Kinda reminded me of those soup-opera TV-series. Also when the big action set-pieces came up I couldn’t help but feel that I was watching a cut-scene from a video-game. Speaking of feeling like I watched a video-game. Peter Jackson has written in a new character into this movie that’s not taken from the book. And I just have to say that I could not help but think of Kratos from the God of War video-game series when I saw this guy.

Well onto a movie that I actually liked.

Life of Pi  is the newest movie from director Ang Lee and it’s based of a book from writer Yann Martel. It’s a movie about a boy, by the name of Piscine Molitor “Pi” Patel, who after a shipwreck finds himself stuck on a lifeboat in the middle of the pacific with a Bengal tiger. The movie has very strong religious themes as the Indian boy not only exercises Buddhism but also, Christianity and Islam. And the story often is refereed to as a story that will make you believe in God.

life of piI actually read the book this fall and really liked it. The first half of the book is all about Pi’s upbringing, about his family, his fathers zoo, how he got his name, and his religious something-something. And this is sometimes intercut to the present were Pi is actually interviewed by a write who wants to write a book about Pi’s life(see what I did there, beacuse it’s called Life of Pi, bah you’ll get it eventually, it’s a thinker). And then the later half of the book is all about Pi being stuck on a lifeboat, all alone, with no-one but this dangerous Bengal Tiger named Richard Parker.

This movie is a feast for the eyes, a visually stunning piece of cinema. And this I also saw in 3D, and it was great! The movie starts up with different shoots of a ton of different animals that lives at the Zoo that Pi’s father manages. This colorful Indian park with all these different and fascinating creatures really sets the tone for this movie. Then when the story is brought out into the middle of the pacific Ang Lee really treats us with some amazing eye-candy and just some unique and fantastical imagery. And the Bangal tiger Richard Parker doesn’t disappoint either. This unpredictable force of nature that will win your heart over and at the same time scare you to death.

All this praise a-side I don’t help but find some flaws in the way that the book was translated to the film-media. And I really felt that some of the acting performances was lacking a bit, but either way this is a great movie that I really think should be seen in 3D. Oh my, that sequence with the flying fish, my heart is really racing right now. Stunning movie!

Yeah so that’s my first post of the new year. And the actual first Zvenne’s Homies 2013 post. I foresee a great year without any apocalyptic dreams.

Ha en bra dag
/Bobo