Music

Song of da day: Katamari on the Swing

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There’s something quite magical about this game’s soundtrack.

Dying Light [music video]

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I’ve played so many great games in the past few years, yet this one still remains probably my fave in the past 3-5 years. Totally took me by surprise with the environments and freedom of exploration + the environmental storytelling.

It has Begun [gaming music video]

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To kick off with excitement all the games we’ll all be playing this weekend.

Challenge: how many games can YOU recognize in the vid?!?

Song of da day: Jim Bonney – Boy Becomes A Man [ Mafia 3]

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So, sooo many great songs in this game… I don’t even know where to start. HaikuHunter, hope you’ll help me in future days with other songs from the epic soundtrack! Btw, do you still have the special edition vinyl?

Feel Invincible – Gaming Tribute

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Pulling on all the emotional strings and memories at the same time.

Song of da day: Killbane And The Syndicate – Saints Row: The Third

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Still can’t get over the silliness in the game, yet the music is kickass every time it randoms into my ipod.

Jakuza 0 Jazz Band

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Amazing attention to detail. I wonder how they did that, motion capture somehow seems hard, individual animations lots of work, animations mixed with programming based on audio… either way… amazing.

Song of da day: Deus Ex – Alexander Brandon, Jimmy Hinson – Ma Chérie Nicolette

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A nice OcRemix.

Hong Kong – Streets – Alexander Brandon [Deus Ex]

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I still so much respect for Alexander Blandon. And to make all of this in a module, Impulse Tracker format (.it)  if I remember right. Wooow! So much musical quality at such a low file size and low cpu consumption. Nowadays we take mp3 decoding for granted but i remember back then on my CPU there was a 5-10x difference in cpu usage between the two.

Song of Da Day: Saint’s Row 3

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didn’t much like the game, but this soundtrack… maaan, even makes doing the laundry fun!!!

Uncharted 4 – impressions

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Got it like 5 days ago… dooone :D

+, +, +, + quite a decent length for such a linear story. Played every day/evening quite intensively + extended weekend. I was expecting it to finish in half the time, given how we were  constantly advancing, running through the story.

-, + very linear. Occasionally it’s okay/nice to have a game like this (presuming I didn’t pay as much for it as an Oblivion), but this is made okay by the fact that there’s ALWAYS something happening. It’s even hard to talk during this game (unusual), as there’s always some commentary or dialogue happening. I find this is great and relatively new/cutting edge for games which tend to be a lot of repetition.

-, +, + normally i dislike vehicle sections, but in this game they were the most open of the whole game, and that was great, to see this level of polish and a bit more open. I fondly remember for example the big riverside muddy terrain, that looked faaantastic

+, +, + the best photography system I’ve yet seen in a game. It has filters and options, but most importantly it allows blending out of all characters to take photos of the environment, loved that. I only wish I could move my camera a bit more

+, +, +, – the world looks a couple of times faaaaaaaantastic. It particularly exploits the wonderful formula of ruins + overgrown vegetation + great sunlight/shadow spots. This looks at times fantastic. My complaint is something harder to put my finger on, … all the plants and many stones felt… I don’t know… plastic/mass produced/somehow cheap. But the formula is still fantastic

+, +, + a bunch of really reeally fantastic interiors, old furniture and many interesting props

– there’s no choices or any meaningful stuff to explore, anything to leave a personal mark on the experience, it’s just a better than movie experience

+ manages to tell a decent pirate story

+, +, + the soundtrack had a couple of quite fantastic moments

+, +, + the story writing is quite good, with nice personal moments (as well as the facial capture) and a nice variety of events, from different moments in time, childhood, adulthood, even… Nice jumping back and forth, even a surprisingly well done prison break

+, + the game was so long and with so many settings and moments it feels like multiple games.

+, +, +, + there’s that one moment… with the pirate village… maaan, that looked goooood.

 

Overall: I’d give this game a 3.5 on a -5 to 5 scale, making it a great, even excellent game with great overall polish and lots of varied content. It manages to bring to life some amazing places and moments. The reason I wouldn’t go higher is the linearity of the story and the lack of meaningful personal memories. Still, I would say this is for this generation something at least as good as Indiana Jones was for the previous one, so a milestone in entertainment.

Lords of the Fallen – impressions

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Well, finally finished it, but only like 1-2 years after starting it, with a big pause due to its difficulty spike(s). Here’s my brief thoughts:

 

+, +, -They take a lot of the tried and proven mechanics of the Souls games, this gives it some boosts up but also some of its worst sides

+, +, + quite interesting visual art style. Overly ornate and often a bit generic in that, still sometimes beautifully decorative and showing sometimes beautiful vistas, lighting and colour

+, – the ornate decorations of the armours and weapons make them visually memorable and striking but also rather implausible and impractical looking

– , -, – , -, – horrible difficulty spikes, like really horrible. I hated the game many times, and though i was curious to continue it the unreasonableness of some bosses was just too much. I ended up after a lot of trials and frustration in actually selling the game and abandoning it (a very hard thing for me, especially due to curiosity and appreciating some art content) and only recently continued it as it was given ‘free’ on PS+. I think this kind of difficulty is a huge betrayal of the customer, not giving him the choice of having his experience and in fact cheating him out of his money because he never gets to experience the full content. For example by the end of the game i saw by achievements that like 4-7% of people had gotten to the last enemies, meaning all the others never got their money’s worth, and as an artist I’m sad that they missed out on content that was actually pretty good in terms of visual and even some story. As such I judge the developers strongly and find this behaviour inexcusable. Of course people who want to experience a high level of challenge should be given this opportunity, but not at the cost of the others (hmm, how libertarian an idea!).

+, + overall decent music. Maybe not incredibly fantastic top of the line, however always original and in big quantity! Respect

-, – ,- ,- The level design i found to be by far worse than the souls games. Among the problems were also rethreading of old grounds, pretty much absent directions to next objectives, and that kind of self-mutilating “feature” of an open world where respawning enemies combined with lacking directions lead to the openness of the world just leading to a ton of wasted time and cursing in confusion at the waste. This is made particularly bad by their level designs lacking what the Souls games one do: a unique and memorableness to them: they thus feel often like mazes and are hard to remember in clear terms. I think good design should have places that you can easily describe verbally like “and then i went over the bridge and up the castle”, instead of “and then you take a left and then another and the rune that’s similar to the other rune is …. “. Such clear and well thought out level design I think becomes necessary in a game that insists to being so difficult and involve backtracking. The lack of this turns complexity that should occasion joy of discovery into complexity that just makes things unnecessarily difficult.

 

Overall I’d give it a -1 on a -5 to 5 scale. They took a very risky path of actually believing the short-line descriptions of why people like dark souls/bloodborne “because they’re hard” and missed the subtlety that people are only willing to put up with the difficulty if the quality of your product is truly amazingly unique and fantastic, thereby they lifted their standards to be judged on to impossible measures. Though I liked the artwork the pain I had to go through to enjoy it was too much for me to recommend this game to anybody else to actually buy it.

Demon’s Crest Speedrun

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Find this game so fascinating, the only SNES game i actually finished. The world, the anti-hero story, the creatures, the superb and varied locations… so much respect for this one.

I remembered it because I saw it today on games done quick:

Holding up surprisingly decently good 22 years after it’s launch in 1994: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demon%27s_Crest

Echochrome Soundtrack

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I never expected such an amazing soundtrack in this little game! I found this better than the AC Syndicate much higher budget game in a similar musical genre. At times it even reminds me of Piazzolla with a touch of Sherlock Holmes movie soundtrack mixed in with some Final Fantasy moods and epic classical awesomeness, which is to say great respect for the composer, Hideki Sakamoto !

Song of Da Day: Jepser Kyd – The Adventures of Batman & Robin

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What a surprising song… it would fit for so many themes, from sci-fi to cyberpunk to psychedelic game worlds. Amazing gem from 1995.

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