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Game of the Year 2013 (Gry Edition)

Friends, hobos, countrymen, lend me your ears!

No, I mean it, I need a new pair of ears. I can’t hear anything over the sound of how my mind was blown by last year’s best game holy shit that was something!!! Ahem. What I wanted to say is, just in time for the Academy Awards I have come to talk about my personal game of the year. I wanted to do this ever since the new year started, look back at the games that have been released in 2013 and that I played, which… weren’t that many, frankly. Which is a shame, but once you have an actual job, there’s barely any time to spend big money on a new game, because you know you barely get to play it, so you spend little money on an old game.

And while I was quite confident that I got my hands on the (subjectively) best games released last year, it was still tough to decide on a best one, because all of them have felt a bit… mediocre. Very few to none had a really original concept (mind you, I don’t count indie games, because it’s far more important to me what the big productions are doing to justify their spot in the market) and to be honest, I’m not even sure which ones were released in 2013 and are instead already way older than that. And with some, it’s kind of a grey area, like Persona 4 Golden, which is an amazing remake of an already amazing game, but can hardly be seen as the best game of the year because the original was released back in 2008/09. And thus began my mission to find a game that can keep up with Persona 4, not under the same aspects, but feeling just as amazing.

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Posted by on 02/03/2014 in Games, Internet, Random News

 

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First Impression: Pokémon Y AM I DOING THIS

Hey guys. It has been a while, since February even, can you believe that! (I thought we started this in February, but apparently it was last February? At one point we just stopped caring I guess. Did any of you readers care? Wait, you don’t even exist, my bad.)

To explain why it took me so long to create a new post (Wait wait wait, who do I even need to explain it to?!), let me start with two questions. Do you know what’s fun? Games. Do you know what isn’t fun? Games.

Cirno Hue

Games take up a lot of time, and I mean a lot of time. You don’t even want to know how many games I had to refuse playing because of my studies, and even after I quit university to look for a job I couldn’t bother to play most titles. I blame P4G for that (and totally not the fact that there were more important things in my life as well now, nuh-uh). After you played that game it takes you a long time before you can have fun with another game. You could say it’s too perfect of a game. I played Bioshock Infinite after that and was so heavily disappointed that I lost my faith in the gaming industry for a while. Even Sleeping Dogs, which I picked up later, couldn’t quite bring me back into the mood, despite being an awesome game. But then… Hyperdimension Neptunia happened to me and changed everything. An RPG, so bad, that everything else seemed like a masterpiece again. The anti-P4, if you will.

Not only that, but there was something else appearing on the horizon. A game with the sole purpose to make you feel good. A possibility to spend time with someone dear who is seperated from you by a thousand miles. A daily routine that you carry out diligently, so you’re able to say I’M PLAYING VIDEO GAMES without feeling any remorse. A form of entertainment you can take anywhere to fulfill your own personal objectives and goals. Animal Crossing: New Leaf for the 3DS.

Twitter is a scary place.

After Caitlin (You know? Caitlin? The one you don’t know? – Oh, wait.) pointed a gun at my head strongly recommended the game, I decided it was time to get a 3DS. And I don’t regret it in the slightest. It took me until after I owned one myself that I realized what an awesome library of games it has and will have. Most importantly though? I. Had. Fun. And this fun apparently changed my general mood towards games. I came back to the afore mentioned Sleeping Dogs soon after, and I had a blast.

But even though this sounds great and all… it’s just fact that games have way lower priority for me now. I have a full-time job and need to think more about how to spend my time, something that you forget when mindlessly playing a game. There are just more important things to me that I want to be doing. Sounds like nothing changed in the end, right? Well, that’s where you’re wrong.

Games are still part of my life. But a paradigm shift has to take place. That’s why I will only play games that have a personal value to me from now on, like AC:NL that made it possible for me to hang out with a special person in my life, or P4G or Atelier Totori or Corpse Party where I enjoyed sharing my experience with people. I think that is the core. Sharing it with someone. It makes any game so much more valuable right now.

And that’s where Pokémon X & Y come in. (Brought it back on topic, full circle. What, surprised? Thought this wasn’t leading anywhere? Well, I am a good writer after all, I’m just… lazy sometimes, okay?) These games were supposed to be the next big thing when it comes to sharing your game experience with someone, and other than the Black and White versions which I skipped, they looked promising enough to get me excited about playing a Pokémon game again. So I decided I would pick one of them up as soon as someone else from my closest circle did.

… At least that was the plan. Something happened that I didn’t expect. One day after casually talking about X & Y to one of my co-workers, I was presented with something I wasn’t able to refuse. An early copy of Pokémon Y. Both excited but also conflicted, I thought about it for a while. The price will probably stay the same, and it would surely feel great to test the game out two days before it’s actual release. Maybe I could even write a blog post about my first impressions. It’s all coming together now, gasp! Needless to say… I didn’t play a lot. My motivation for Pokémon isn’t quite there yet as long as I’m playing alone, so after writing this I will most likely put it on hold. But I already made a number of observations, and since nobody is ever going to read this anyway, I’m going to share my opinions on them with you. I am such a generous person.

Let’s be real about this though. It’s still Pokémon. So I will avoid talking about anything that you should already know from the previous games. The core mechanics are still the same, and despite there being the new Fairy type, the battles feel the same as well. With two noticable exceptions. 1. Poison doesn’t hurt your Pokémon anymore outside of battles. 2. Pokémon not only gain experience points when you defeat a Pokémon, but also when you catch one. Other than those two things, there isn’t really much to say in regard to battles. I didn’t play Black and White though, so if those things were already present there, then nothing changed at all I would say.

There are however three new modes, all of which appear on the touchscreen. Two of these modes can even help you improve your Pokémon without having to battle. There is Pokémon-Amie, where you can play with your Pokémon to increase your friendship. While this doesn’t sound like much, a Pokémon can actually improve their critical strike and evasion chance by liking you. So… It’s useful. Who would have guessed. I know I haven’t.

And then there is Super Training. What a name! I’m still not sure what that mode does though. It’s a mini-game where you shoot huge Pokémon balloons with balls until you have enough points, and depending on what balloon you fight, you increase the general growth of one of your Pokémon’s stats. If you fight a Geodude balloon for example, your Pokémon can raise it’s Defense more easily. That’s how I think it works, correct me if I’m wrong.

The third mode you can see on your bottom screen is the Player Search System (PPS), where you see other people who are currently playing, where you can battle against them or trade with them or simply stalk their profile. And it is by far the most significant feature in the whole game, as it makes you realize what Pokémon X & Y are truly about. You. Yes, that’s right, you. These two games are all about personalization, customization and your unique profile as a Pokémon trainer. You can change clothes. You can change your haircut. You can share information about you. You can create a PR video that reflects your personality. You can rule the world. (At least that’s my goal, I dunno about you, but I won’t dance around the subject, y’know. I wanna be the very best like no one ever was, etc etc., YOU KNOW THE DRILL.)

Just to make myself clear: I think that’s awesome! You are not just a character anymore. You can represent yourself as a trainer. You can strife for you own unique build. That’s actually most noticable at the very beginning of the game, as there is a large variety of different Pokémon to catch on the early routes. There are Pokémon of any type and from every generation that you can choose from. Combine that with Pokémon-Amie and Super Training, and I will go as far as to say… there will be no two players with the same team. Ever. Uniqueness. That’s what makes Pokémon X & Y special, that little something that already sets it apart from all the other games. Now you too can become a Pokémon hipster!

See? SEE?!

Funnily enough, there actually is a part where all rival characters are gathered and announce what their goal is, and the opposing-gender character who picked the Pokémon starter that is strong against yours, actually says that it’s his/her goal to be unique as a trainer. (I’m not sure if that was actually what he/she said, but come on. You know it’s true. Come on Nintendo. You know I’m right. Our rival is a hipster this time. You did that on purpose.)

That’s where it becomes apparent again. The professor himself says that it’s your own decision what you want to do as a trainer. He merely gave you the tools. It’s up to you what you use them for.

Based on my first impressions, I can highly recommend this game even for seasoned Pokémon veterans. It worked for me, and I don’t even have the motivation to keep playing it yet. But it did give me this certain child-like excitement for something new, so believe me when I say that I’m looking forward to the time I truly embark on this adventure. It’s got the charme of the old games with new features that won’t bother you at all. Although I can’t say anything about Mega Evolutions yet, so who knows. AND OH MAY GAWSH LOOK IT DEM GRAYPHIX!!! (That was my one-sentence review for all you 12-year-olds out there.)

If you actually read all that, not bad! You actually exist, that requires effort! (You know, breathing and stuff.) You also put up with all the off-topic nonsense I was telling you about. Now that really surprises me. Who knows, maybe you’ll see more of me in the near future. Until then, enjoy your time and don’t think too much about things. Maybe drink a cup of tea? Oh, unless something could cause a problem, then you should think about things. Don’t be careless. But don’t care too much either. … … … I’m just the best life coach, aren’t I? Cheers!

 
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Posted by on 12/10/2013 in Announcements, Games, Previews, RPG

 

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Review: PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale

Wow, this might just be my shortest review ever. I don’t even know how I should start it, that’s how short it’s going to be. But you don’t mind, do you? No, of course not. Because you have less to read, and reading is oh-so-painful. Also, no distracting images or jokes this time, only hard-on facts. Heh, I said hard-on.

PlayStation All-Stars has been out since November, but I’ve only gotten my hands onto it since lately. And generally speaking, I’m glad I waited, because I got it for much less than the launch price was. Trust me, sixty bucks is way too much for this. I wouldn’t even consider PS All-Stars a full high-budget game, it’s ridiculous to ask so much money for a title that should be priced like an indie-game, content-wise.

Let’s see, we have twenty different characters. Alright, that’s cool. They don’t all play the same, that’s a plus, and you certainly have to get used to each character seperately. That’s great, that’s what makes good fighting games. However… why would I even want to play this?

This is the question I want to answer in this review. Why would I want to play PlaySation All-Stars Battle Royale?

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Posted by on 12/02/2013 in Action

 

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Review: Corpse Party – Book of Shadows

I was just remembering the last time I played Dead Space. You know, when I pointed a gun at a necromorph… and shot it! Man, that was some intense shit, dude. Did you know it’s better with Kinect? *ka-ching* Thanks EA. *sniffs money* What do you mean, I’m a little late for that joke? What joke? Am I missing something?

So yeah, horror games. Strange subject that is. Some build up the tension by having a creepy atmosphere, some surprise you with jump scares and others just freak you out with cruel footage. But they all have one thing in common: the mystery surrounding the game ceases a little after the first game, and you’re left with just mostly violence. Is that the case for Book of Shadows as well? Let’s look into it. And don’t worry, just like with the review about the first game, I won’t spoil anything.

I mean, you did read that review and then played the game, right? You better do it and return afterwards, or Nana’ll get mad. JonTron reference anyone? No? Okay…

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Posted by on 04/02/2013 in Adventure, Games

 

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Review: Gravity Rush

SCIENCE!

And flashy signature pictures for us so our blog posts look less empty and so it’s easier for you to identify us! Yay! False enthusiasm!

But yeah, that aside… SCIENCE! Isaac Newton, inventor of gravity, did a great job! Without his help we would still float around helplessly in a world without something that keeps us on the ground. Why couldn’t Adam and Eve do this much earlier? They had the apples and the opportunity. Ah, but I bet their overprotective father didn’t want them to do something useful instead of loitering around and not doing anything like the lazy snobs they were.

*cough* So, today’s game is all about gravity. Prototype 2 is an open-world action-adventure ga- … No, it’s InFamous 2, was it? Assassin’s… Creed? … Oh, that’s right, Gravity Rush. Says it right in the title, silly me. Gravity Rush (or Gravity Daze in Japan – though the katakana could also mean Gravity Days which would make a lot of sense actually… maybe the wordplay is intended?) is an open-world action-adventure game for the PS Vita that uses most of the device’s mechanics and was released a few weeks ago.

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Posted by on 05/07/2012 in Action, Adventure, Games

 

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Review: Disgaea 3 – Absence of Detention

We all know high school kinda sucked. But if that’s the case, then why do we love games with a school setting so much, like Persona, Valkyria Chronicles 2, Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis, Persona 3 or Persona 4? Because they show us a school life we wish we had? Or is it because we do have some good memories of our school life after all? I would really like you to ask yourself that question, whether you enjoy games like that or not. I want to understand this matter more.

Hey y’all! It’s Grynax again, who was finally able to put his PS Vita aside and write another review. This time I’m going to talk about Disgaea 3 – Absence of Detention for the PS Vita, which is actually an enhanced remake of the game Disgaea 3 – Absence of Justice for the PS3, with added storylines and all the DLC from the original (originally worth $40, now on the remake for free). Playing Disgaea 3 at this time of the year triggered some kind of nostalgia inside my head, because I started playing the Disgaea series almost exactly one year ago! So this is actually my own personally anniversary for this game! So… prepare for a long and tedious review. (By the way, you don’t need to have played the other Disgaea games to understand Disgaea 3’s story. In fact, if this is your first time showing interest in a Disgaea title, Absence of Justice/Detention is the way to go. As of now, it’s my favorite title in the series.)

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Posted by on 21/05/2012 in Games, RPG, Strategy

 

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Review: Corpse Party – Blood Covered

(A notice of warning: most of the links in this blog lead you to YouTube videos that don’t have anything to do with the review. Only access them if you are bored and in a safe place. Seriously, check before you click. You have been warned.)

Oh shit, I have a bag of milky ways!

Happy Halloween y’all! Let’s celebrate this day by… what, it’s spring? … But… but I’m reviewing a horror game… Alright, I… I can do this. I’m… I’m not starting to cry because of something small like this… It’s not Halloween, that’s perfectly fine… *sob*

… What do you mean, you can’t hear voice inflections in text? … Whatever. Now what is this actually all about? Corpse Party – Blood Covered is a horror adventure game for the PSP, available on PSN. The original version being made in 1996, it returned as this remake in 2008 for PC, and 2011 for the PSP. Don’t worry, I won’t spoil anything important in my review. You should also be over 16 years old before reading on, it could get a bit bloody. This game, despite having 2D graphics, anime artwork and rather easy gameplay, was able to freak me out way more than most other horror titles. Both the atmosphere and the story are just great, and… why am I even talking about it? Play it!

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Posted by on 26/04/2012 in Adventure, Games

 

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