The Joy of New

September 24, 2009 at 11:35 | Posted in games, iphone, rant | Leave a comment

There’s something special about getting something new and fresh.

Today I’ve been lucky. Not only was I able to go and pick up my own copy of Batman: Arkham Asylum, but I’ve also finally gotten the mail that I’ll be able to pick up my iPhone today. Double joy!

I know that neither of these are really new as such. The iPhone 3GS has been out for almost two months, longer outside of Sweden and Arkham Asylum has been out for over a month on the Xbox 360 and PS3, but they’re still new to me.

It’s the joy of opening a new package knowing that you’ll have fun with the contents inside. Especially Arkham Asylum (which I’m installing as I write this) that so many have praised, amongst those a friend of mine who I trust dearly when it comes to Batman.

The only downside I see to this is that now I have two things that I would both like to give my full attention to. To add insult to injury I’m working the next 4 days and have some school work to finish in the meantime. Ah well, at least I’ll have something to fill the time with the coming days.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I believe that the installation of my game has just finished.

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Fat Princess Reviewer Rant

September 9, 2009 at 21:29 | Posted in games, media, rant | Leave a comment

Watching a game review on TV stirs up some feelings about the political climate of games when it comes to sensitive subjects.

So this morning I had the glorious opportunity to watch the Swedish public service morning broadcast, something I haven’t had the means to to a lot until lately. A sudden lack of working TV-box had played it’s part in this, but now we have a magnificent new means to see what used to be sent over the airwaves, this time with a harddrive for recording real time as well. But I digress.

At was during this viewing upon which I managed to turn on my television only a few moments before they weekly game review. From a long forgotten cache of knowledge in the back of my mind I remembered the reviewer as a well renowned man in his field of work, having a background in some Swedish gaming magazine. Much to my delight he set out to review a game which I have been loosely following although not bought as it was a PS3 exclusive and my wallet and bank account have fiercely prevented me from buying on as well as food. Nevertheless, only a day or two had gone by from when I showed my partner a trailer of Fat Princess to which she seemed to glee as much as myself over the concept.

“It’s good but…”

The reviewer quickly booted up the game for everyone to show and joined a single player game and the camera shifted over to a full screen view of the game. The brightly coloured graphics showed well even on an old an battered TV as mine and the reviewer praised it for the cartoony look and yet stylish look. He then set out to explain the basics of this game, a team based capture-the-flag with fantasy classes, and soon after he had picked up a warrior with a sword. He then ran out through the gate and killed a passing enemy who which then promptly exploded into a bloody cacophony and littered the ground with a blood stain that could match the French revolution.

Fat Princess is a bloody game and not a game for kids. The developers themselves has said so many times, but for some reason an appropriate age wasn’t mentioned, a bit to my surprise. The reviewer merely grinned gleefully and told us how fun he thought it was with all the blood.

He then went on to explain the game mechanics lightly and why he thought it was a great game. He lavished praise on a lot of things and drew several parallels to other games which he thought Fat Princess had outdone in some cases. He said it probably would have deserved a 4, maybe 5 out of 5 if it hadn’t been for one thing.

I Can Haz Cheesecake?

I of course were wondering what this flaw could be that would drag down the gameplay. Nothing I had heard of hard said anything particular about the game not being fun and enjoyable, but perhaps this man had some insight I had yet to purvey I thought. Alas, such were not the case.

The paper-thin story of Fat Princess is that one day two princesses went into the woods and found an enchanted cake (of humongous proportions I might add) which they both ate with great delight. This cake in turn made them very fat, thus the naming of the title, and then they were both kidnapped by the other faction. The goal is to storm the enemy castle, free the princess and carry her over to your castle. The enemy can make this harder by feeding her cake which will make her bigger and harder to carry.

This did not sit right at all with the reviewer. He kept going on how this would impose on young minds how obesity wasn’t good and how ridiculous it was with a king trying to ban sugary goodness. The fact that the princess had to be carried across the battlefield was in itself very appalling to him as he thought it degraded the role of women. In the end he used to to justify the score of 2 our of 5.

Political Correctness Isn’t Always Right

I find it rather aggravating that a game, especially a good game as this obviously was, can be so tarnished by the personal nitpicks of a reviewer like this. One could argue that nitpicking is what reviewing is all about, to find the flaws and lift them out for all to see. The same thing is true about the opposite though, and in the end I stand by the belief that these should be weighed against each other when it comes to determining the quality of a game, movie or whatever the subject in review is. This is especially true if said review features a numerical score of the review.

Fat Princess has had a lot of talk in the blogosphere and other places of the internet due to the featuring of an obese royalty. Intriguing enough I don’t believe this would have happened if the kidnapped in question had been of the male gender instead of that of a girl. But nevertheless, headlines has been made about it on the internet. I can’t shake the feeling though that a lot of the people who complains about these sort of things aren’t subjected to them at all. There seems to be mostly concern about how this game pictures women, but the women I’ve heard talking about it haven’t expressed any objections against the content. Usually it is quite the opposite, probably because they get the satire.

See games for what they are

Fat Princess isn’t supposed to be a proposed utopia for all men in the future. It’s suppose to be a silly little game with cute and bloody graphics as well as good team game play. It’s not supposed to be used as a way to raise orphan children with, but for grown ups and adolescents to sit down with and have fun at.

If all games were to be judged based on small episodes, art or titles and how neurotic soccer-moms views what’s appropriate then most of today’s greater games would probably not be deemed worthy of even putting on a disc, optical nor magnetic. Don’t worry though, the kids could then sit down and watch a really good movie instead.

First Rant

September 6, 2009 at 16:12 | Posted in games, league of legends | Leave a comment

Right, so I’ve been told by my friend Beldak that I should start typing down my various rants and thoughts on a blog. I did after all register this blog name while I was at his place in Holland. So here goes.

So I just got accepted into the League of Legends Beta testing. It’s not the first time I’ve been beta testing, but probably this early into development. That being said, the game itself seems mostly done.

For those of you who don’t know League of Legends (or “LoL” as it’s precariously abbreviated) it is basicly a stand-alone version of Defense of the Ancients or DotA with some carry-over elements between the matches. Now that I’ve confused you even more, I’ll get into the explanation of the game.

There are two teams. Each team’s goal is to destroy the other team’s main building. To get to the other team’s base there are three roads or “lanes” as they’re commonly called, all of them riddled with defensive towers that protect each teams base by firing at the enemy.

The game has it’s roots in RTS (Real Time Strategy) games and it shows by the wave of minions that are spawned in each team’s base at certain intervals and then goes of rushing down each lane towards the enemy base and to a glorious death (or in the rare case, victory). These minions cannot be controled by the players.

With me so far? If so, you’re probably wondering how you’re supposed to influence the game if you can’t control the units. That’s where the champions come into play. They’re you’re average roleplaying character, gainins levels, gold, loot and skills as the battle progresses, and each player gets to chose one of these to control.

One of the biggest ways it differs from DotA is that the result of your matches carries over to the next. As you win and lose matches you yourself gain experince and can gain “masteries” (read: talents in WoW), runes and access to a few spells. I’ve yet to see how much impact these will have on actual gameplay, but it seems that the further you get into the game the less it matters. Somewhat.

It’s basicly a team based RPG in an RTS game. And so far I’ve also found that it’s a lot of fun.

I’d love to post some screenshots or whatnot to let you look at the game or at least make the explanations easier, but unfortunately the NDA doesn’t allow me to. It was only a few days ago that the beta testers were actually allowed to even talk about it, so I guess I shouldn’t be complaining too much.

I never did get into DotA. I Bought Warcraft 3 pretty late (och which DotA is a mod) and never got to play DotA against actual humans. So I was quite intrigued when I saw a preview at Gametrailers about LoL and how it was supposed to be easier to get into as well.

I was surprised of finding just how easy it was to learn. After only 3-4 matches I knew all the basics and was beginning to be useful. And the fact that even if you loose you gain XP, you usually have fun and progress no matter what the outcome. That being said, you get more if you win. I prefer winning. And it’s easy as pie to get into a new game.

So that’s the end of my first rant. So for those of you out there, sign up for the Eurpoean beta. I need people to play with! My nickname is of course “Kroax.”

Also, it works with Macs.

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