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bgranli Blog

Today was a good day!

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I made the deal of the year today and got Uncharted, Uncharted 2, Uncharted 3, Hitman: Absolution, Battlefield 3, Prototype and L.A. Noire for $25! Wohoo, my backlog gets bigger and bigger! :P

Sony trolling M$

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So... I really enjoyed all of the conferences yesterday. It was the least cringe-worthy conference day I've ever witnessed live. Don't get me wrong, there were a few awful scripted moments like this one. There were also awkward moments with games crashing and demos refusing to play properly and other stuff you might expect during a live show. And let's not forget this nightmare fuel. Still, the focus seemed to be on actual gaming, and less about idiotic motion control games compared to previous years. Less gimmicks, save for smart glass and tablet assistance. The biggest story from yesterday though, is Sony completely destroying Microsoft, but I'll get back to that at the end of this blog post. 

Ubisoft had a lot of great games on display. Most of them were expected, like Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, the very promising Watch Dogs (which was one of my favourites last year, and is also really current these days with NSA, Microsoft and whatnot), Splinter Cell: Blacklist and Rayman Legends. I like the fact that they didn't forget about current gen games. They also had a good looking surprise with The Division. A tactical third person shooter open world RPG, if I'm not mistaken? Sign me up! But personally, I'm most excited about South Park: The Stick of Truth. That game looks like an awesome nod to traditional RPGs and I'm a big fan of the South Park humor, so I'm pretty sure I'm gonna love the story. I'll take it over any "dramatic" piece of stinking Square Enix turd any day of the week (I'm looking at you Final Fantasy XIII). 

Only EA can turn a tower defense game into a shooter... It looked fun though, in EA's defence. But I still find it funny and ironic. Overall EA is more about games that I usually don't play, like the sport games. They were also the worst part of the show, with the most awkward moments. I'm excited about the idea of a new Dragon Age game, but I'm not sure if I really like the visual style of it. It doesn't matter much to me as long as the game plays well and doesn't rehash the same locations over and over and over and over and over again, like in Dragon Age 2. It also looks like it will feature a more epic story and open world features. I love the fact that Morrigan will be returning to the franchise, as she was an important and interesting part of the original. Closing the show with the Mirror's Edge trailer was one of the best things EA has ever done. 

Microsoft finally focused on games. What they didn't focus on, was their consumer UN-friendly decisions for next gen... which brings me to...

SONY! You troll-master, you. I barely remember which games were on show, save from a couple of long awaited updates from Square Enix. However, Sony completely crushed and destroyed Microsoft with their much more consumer friendly approach to the next generation of gaming. It is a little disturbing that we're cheering and rooting for Sony for giving us what should only be natural. But it is the stark contrast when compared to Xbox One that makes PS4 look like the next Messiah of gaming. No check-in every 24 hours to make sure that your game is indeed real and you are not trying to rob random rich corporation of their more or less well deserved money, no robbing consumers of their ownership rights of physical game copies and no forcing indie developers to sign contracts with publishers to sell their games on their console. You can also trade in your games wherever you want, or sell them on ebay, or give them to a friend, or keep and play them forever! Check out this funny video that Sony released, on "How to share games on PS4". I haven't even addressed the point that Microsoft forces a spy-device disguised as a Kinect on consumers and all the shit it's been getting for invading privacy. Guess what, Sony gives you the option to buy PS Eye for $60, they won't force it on you. Oh, and PS4 is a $100 cheaper than XBONE. BTW, did you catch Yoshida's twitter announcement that PS4 is region-free as well? Yeah, I just can't. This is too much ownage! 

Let's face it, yesterday was all about Sony and their coup of E3, and I love them for it. Sayonara Xbox, I'm returning to Playstation. 

I just fixed my old NES!

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Right now, I think I am the most awesome person that i know! :P I just fixed my NES and I have been playing Super Mario Bros 2! XD Thank the the holy gods of the interwebz for Youtube!

 

super mario bros 2

EA and Ubisoft

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EA had several cool looking trailers and demos. My favourites were Mass Effect 3 (of course) and the epic CG trailer for The Old Republic. Battlefield 3, although not my kind of game, looked insane as well. New Need for Speed was a surprise, especially the action outside of the car.

Ubisoft had an OK show too despite the annoying Mr. Caffeine, random mic problems and strange French presenters :P The Rayman Origins demo was really cute and fun. Assassin's Creed trailer and demo kicked a$$. I also enjoyed the beginning of the FarCry 3 demo. What the hell was up with the new Brothers in Arms? It looked really stupid, but if done right it can be absolutely hilarious. I'm not convinced yet...

Been watching Gametrailers TV a lot too, and I absolutely loved the Skyrim demo as mentioned earlier. I'm also psyched about the new The Darkness game as I loved the original (and the demo looked great). New Arkham looks great as well, I need to play Arkham Asylum first though :P

Microsoft conference

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The Microsoft conference was a bit on the boring side, but I'm glad they're implementing Kinect into more games and that they're working on making it even better.

The voice command thingy in Mass Effect 3 actually got me excited XD Tomb Raider looked great, and the scene shown was pretty intense. The Sesame game looked über cute, and is something I would love to play with my nephew. I also like that youtube will be avaiable in xbox live. Oooh, and Minecraft!

I was excited when Fable came on, but it looked like an on-rails game. But I might be wrong about that. The Disney game thing with the squeeking children... awkward. And I lol'd at the "Please reconnect controller" at the beginning of the MW3 demo.

I watched some footage of Skyrim on Gametrailer, and OMG it looks so cool! XD And you can play in 3rd person view, that got me really excited, so Skyrim is a no brainer for me.

Now it's time for EA conference! :D

E3 and stuff.

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Soo... I haven't really been active on Gamespot lately. I've been really busy with school and life in general. But,OMG! E3 is almost here!! I can't wait! I'm particulary excited about Nintendo's conference this year. Luckily I've finished all my exams, so I will be glued to the screen the next four days, hehe :P

I finally started playing FFXIII this week. It's pretty boring to be honest and the characters are dumb as fawk. The battlesystem is good though. It's also pretty to look and thus a nice change after playing ugly titles like Nier and Alpha Protocol :P

I'm also playing another SquarEnix title, Gyromancer. It's fun and addictive in small doses, but the story and pacing is lame.

I'm still playing Miles Edgeworth Investegations. I like it, but it feels like I've been playing it forever. I just want to finish it soon so I can start playing Ghost Trick, Professor Layton: Unwound Future, 999 or Radiant Historia.

I hope you all will enjoy E3, I know I will! XD

Current Music Addictions

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I haven't made a blog post in a long time. I don't really have anything special to say about any games at the moment, but I want to share some of my current music addictions.

#1 is a music/film project called iamamiwhoami. I stumbled upon their viral campaign early this year and was instantly mesmerized by the twisted but beautiful videos and the delicious music. I forgot the name of the project, and as a result I stopped following their campaign. Luckily I rediscovered them yesterday and they have now uploaded several new music videos. (I also found some of their music on Spotify!) The woman featured in the music videos (and vocalist for the project) is Swedish singer-songwriter Jonna Lee. Check out their Youtube channel. I really recommend watching all movies. Tracks currently playing on repeat: "O", "T" and "Y".

iamamiwhiami

#2is Karin Dreijer's (The Knife) solo project Fever Ray. It's old news by now, but after almost a year I'm still hooked. I've been a fan of The Knife for years, and I really love Karin Dreijer's voice, obscured or not. It has a haunting and alien character. Fever Ray carries on the darkness that was present on The Knife's Silent Shout, but is less techno and has a more organic sound. The dark, brooding and haunting electronica is really fascinating, but might require a couple of listens before it can be fully appreciated. I also recommend checking out Fever Ray's Youtube channel. The music video for the Nick Cave cover "Stranger Than Kindness" is my current favorite. Tracks currently playing on repeat: "Stranger Than Kindness", "Concrete Walls", "If I Had a Heart" and "Now's The Only Time I Know".

(I also recommend checking out The Knife if you're not already familiar with their music and Röyksopp's "What Else is There", "This Must Be It" and "Tricky Tricky" where Karin Dreijer provides the vocals. She was also a member of the alternative Swedish rock band Honey is Cool, which is pretty good, but naturally very different from her electronic music.)

Fever Ray

#3is Robynand she's yet another Swede! Robyn is a pop singer-song writer who's enjoyed some chart success, but never really brokenout to super stardom. Over the past few years (after breaking with her former label and starting her own independent label Konichiwa Records) she has become somewhat an indie favorite. She recently released the second part of a trilogy album project, Body Talk. I think I prefer Body Talk Pt1 over Pt2, but it's still a great dance album. Tracks (from both Pt1 and Pt2) currently playing on repeat are: "Dancing on my own", "Hang With Me" and "You Should Know Better" featuring Snoop Dogg! (Also check out "The Girl and The Robot" from Röyksopp's album Junior featuring Robyn on vocals).

Robyn

#4 may seem out of place amidst all the electronica, but my biggest addiction at the moment is definitely Arcade Fire's newest album The Suburbs. Arcade Fire is one of my favorite bands, and their newest album doesn't dissappoint. Tracks currently playing on repeat: "The Suburbs", "Ready To Start", "Modern Man", "Rococo", "Empty Room", "City With No Children", "Half Light 1", "Half Light 2 (No Celebration)", "Month of May", "Wasted Hours", "Deep Blue", "We Used To Wait" and last but not least "Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)".

Lastly I want to name some Norwegians acts I've been enjoying lately. Harrys Gym recently released a new album and even though I haven't invested much time into it yet, the track "Old Man" is really good. Susanne Sundfør made me fan after releasing the amazing album The Brothel, I really recommend the title track as well as "It's All Gone Tomorrow", "Father Father", "Lullaby" and "O Master". Röyksopp released Senior a couple of days ago. I haven't had a chance to check it out yet, but judging by reviews it's not as good as their previous stuff. I'm still pretty sure I'm going to find an addiction or two on it though.

Well, that's all for now!

Hurra for 17. mai and R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio

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Today is Norway's national day. Hurra! Hurra! Hurra! I will not be celebrating today though, because after two nights of binge drinking I have got a hangover...

On a sad note, heavy rock legend Ronnie James Dio passed away yesterday. R.I.P. Dio, your music will live forever.

Top 10 Games: Disappointments Edition

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I got inspired by xXxLightningxXx's Top 10 list and was supposed to make one myself, but ended up coming up with a Top10 gaming disappointments instead... I'm a negative person, lol. I sort of wrote this in a hurry, so I'm not sure how valid this list is, but whatever, it sums up what I feel right now. I would also like to mention that all of these games don't necessarily suck, but they were all disappointing in one way or another.

10. Silent Hill 4: This game isn't bad at all, but compared to rest of the series (up to that point) it sort of sticks out like a sore thumb. The gameplay, although similar to the other games, was really annoying at times. I hated the fact that you couldn't kill the ghosts, especially as this game is more action oriented than let's say Silent Hill 2. The fighting is still as clunky as ever, which is fine hadn't it been for the fact that this game requires you to fight more enemies than the other games (at least that's the impression I got while playing it). The item management was annoying as well. The story is twisted and cool though, and at times it's scary as hell, but it's not as disturbing and magnificent as Silent Hill 2.

09. Street Fighter 2: Turbo HD Remix: This game is probably very good to most people, but for me the game is no fun. Why? Because it totally PWNS me. I used to be really good at Street Fighter II on the SNES (one of my favourite games) and I really enjoyed the Alpha's on PS1, but this game... Man, it's too friggin' hard! Yeah, I know, it's me that sux, but easy difficulty should be easy, hard should be hard etc. *Whine*

08. Final Fantasy Tactics Advance: This game isn't bad, but the childish story and presentation was a real disappointment compared to Final Fantasy Tactics for PS1 (one of my all time favourite games). The gameplay is good, but the judge system had its ups and downs and I prefer the skill and job system found in the original Final Fantasy Tactics. I wish SquareEnix could make a proper sequel instead of the FFT Advance games.

07. Alundra 2: The game is a piece of sh*t and has absolutely nothing to do with the original. FAIL

06. Infinite Undiscovery: I love tri-Ace and this game had real potential. The story didn't totally suck eggs, but the characters did. The battle system was fun but had a couple of broken features. The pacing is... weird. It starts out as one of the worst games ever, then it starts to pick itself up, then it turns out to be sh*t again and near the end things starts to get interesting and some of the characters become more likeable and then its over. Also the game is so short that they probably felt they had to drag things out and add a lot of backtracking just to clock more hours into the game. Motoi Sakuraba does a great job with the soundtrack though (as always).

05. Xenosaga 2: I was really excited when the first Xenosaga was announced as Xenogears is one of my favourite games on the Playstation. The game was never released in Europe though (not Xenogears either, but I imported it and played it on my chipped PS1 :X). However, for some strange reason they decided to release Xenosaga 2. So I was all giddy and stuff and got it as soon as I could. Well, I was less than overwhelmed. The story was... confusing? Uninteresting? I'm not sure.The game came with a DVD that tried to recap the story of the first one, but it sort of failed. I didn't like the character models either and the music sucked ball sack. I'm one of the few people that liked the battle system though.

04. Chrono Cross: The game started out really well, and I had a blast with it for a while. I was telling my friends "This is as good as FFVII!".The story seemed to be great and it sounded and looked incredible. Then things started to go downhill. The story was... well, I'm not sure because I don't remember much, but what I do remember was that it turned out to be a total mindf*ck. It might be because I was/I am stupid, that I didn't play the original (as with this game Chrono Trigger was never released in Europe until the DS port and I bought an imported copy of Chrono Cross) or just plain old bad writing. A lot of people raved about CC and it got a lot of great reviews which might have added to the dissapointment. But, the one thing that was really disappointing to me were the paper thin characters.

03. Devil May Cry 2: This game blows. It's too easy and the fun and stylish combat is replaced with boring a$$ gunplay. Bleh.

02. Final Fantasy VIII: Final Fantasy VII changed my life as a gamer. It introduced me to JRPGs and it had a story that really captured my heart. I loved the characters, the design, the gameplay, the music, everything! It's the best gaming experience I've ever had and I will never experience anything like it again. I was 15 when I finished it for the first time and I guess I just fit perfectly into the demographic. Anyway, I was really hyped about Final Fantasy VIII even though I was disappointed that it featured a new world and story (I was new to JRPGs and wasn't aware this was a tradition with these games). At first I really liked it, although some of the characters did annoy me, especially Squall. And to be honest, he kept on annoying me through most of the game.I did like the story for a while though, but in the end I lost interest and barely completed it after a year of absence. In the end the story just wasn't my cup of tea. The game looked beautiful at the time though and the soundtrack was/is great. I also enjoyed the gameplay, but I'm not a huge fan of thedraw system. The SpoonyBard did a review for the game, and I can relate to a lot of the comments he makes throughout his videos. But, I must shamefully admit that I'm a sucker for the total cheesefest that is "Eyes on Me". :lol:

01. Kingdom Hearts 2: Well, what to say. I hate the direction the franchise took with this game. I'm not a fan of Tetsuya Nomura's designs post FFX (well, there are exceptions like FF7:CC and The world ends with you) and the OrgXIII sums up all the things I hate about his designs (but I've already made a huge rant about that :P).The story went from charming to wannabe pretentious bullcrap. The graphics were good and the music is still OK, but the battle system got butchered in this sequel. I loved the Action RPG gameplay in the first KH, but in KH2 it's reduced to a simple and slightly tedious button masher. The game had its moments though, I enjoyed visiting the Disney worlds and the gummy ship mini game is better in KH2. The entire game isn't as charming and fun to play as the original though, and the story failed to impress me. And after playing KH for the DS I am officially through with this franchise. Such a shame, because I loved the original.

End rant. I swear that my next post will be a positive one :P

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