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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Part2: Assassin's Creed 2

Oh yeah.
Remember what I was saying about the first game? That it was showing a lot of potential? Well this is the proof.

AC2 was taken advantage of all the potential and created one of the best Action/Adventure games of the last decade. The scenery is transferred from the Holy Land to middle-ages Italy (Florence, Venice etc) which looks truly amazing. Our hero now is Ezzio Auditore and we watch him grow from a careless young man to the leader of the Assassins organisation.

Ofcourse the character developement of Ezzio is much better, as the overall writing in the game. The ending is shocking and has a big twist but it's not that pure cliffhanger of the first game, also the story of the old war between Templars and Assassin's gets more and more interesting and complicate, especially after you unveil the pieces of "The Truth", the special puzzle stages that unlock a short clip.

The funny part with the second installment of the Assassin's Creed series is that it has so many content in general, so many depth, that makes the first one look like a beta version of it. The cities arehuge and realistic, there are many extra things to do as renovating Monterigioni, your private estate, solving puzzles ("The Truth" stages I mentioned before), getting into special platform/puzzle stages (which are very fun and challenging) and in general the game has a healthy balance between a scripted story-driven scenario and the pure free sandboxing. Also I'd like to point how nice is when you see familiar places or interact with historical figures as Niccolo Mcchiavelli and Leonardo DaVinci.

thanks Leonardo

Thank God Ezzio can swim because when I first heard that we'd have Venice in AC2 it sounded like a total nightmare, knowing that Altair was diying when he touched water!
An example I like regarding how right did the developer got everything in this game. What we liked about the first game was all those outrageous 30-feet above the ground-jump down-hidden blade kills. So what can we do to make it even more outrageous? Well, we can add a second blade on our heroe's left hand so he does those outrageous kills and killing 2 people at the same time. Brilliance :D


So, final words. If you like action/adventure games go play it now! It's big, very well written with three-dimentional and memorable characters, is immersing and more important, it's tons of fun! Strongly Recommended!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Champions League final!

Yep it's time! And let's hope Manchester United will take the trophy! Even though I believe Barcelona is in a very good form I think that United, with their direct counter attack-based football, can win this game. It seems that Sir Alex Fergusson plans to start the game without Nani, a pretty weird decision but I guess he know a bit better than me :P He will start with Giggs though, which is great, one of my favourite players of all time.

Here's a very nice tactical preview for the game from the always very interesting and informative  : 

So have fun, enjoy the game with a pizza and lots of beers and pray for Manchester United to win! :D

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Part 1: Assassin's Creed

So, after a few days that I'm sucked in Assassin's Creed: Brootherhood (I love sandboxing!!!) I decided to write something about it. Still cannot write a review of the game because I haven't finish it but I can start by writing something like a prelude in two parts by writing a few words about the previous games.

The first game starts as you, Desmond Miles, is being held by a corporation (Abstergo industries) and forced to relive memories of your ancestors stored and coded on your DNA. The ancestor you play as in the first game is Altair on the holy lands on the Crusades era. It starts as Altair, a member of the Assassin's, after failing to a mission gets demoted and re-trained all over. Soon it becomes clear that Abstergo Industries tries throught Desmond to recover the location where a very powerful artifact is kept.

The first installment was met mixed reactions. Most of the people liked it but felt it had more potential. The addictive parkour-meets-stealth gameplay and the very interesting story is what made this game shine. The ways you do the Assassination feels so outrageous and so rewarding at the same time there is no way you can hate it! Also graphic wise, the Crusader-era Jerusalem looks just stunning. More important the cities look alive! The people go on with their everyday lives, the talk, walk, yell, you feel like walking the streets of a real city.

Ofcourse the game had problems, they weren't as major though. The most of the people's complaints were about how short it was (about 10 hours, if I remember correctly) and, because they saw the potential and the possibilities, how better it would be. Overall I loved this game, I loved its gameplay, how smooth you'd perform all those unbelievable moves and kills without being that easy.

Well, we just had to wait and see if the second game would be that good...

To be continued...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Almost over!

Hello again! Not updates for a long time, i know, but my (pretty tiring) work for the census is almost over so I'll be able to return to updating every 3 days the most. Sorry for this whole time with no updates, I promise it will never happens again :)

On the gaming part, I'm playing Assassin's Creed: Brootherhood at the time and it looks just great! I hope I will finish it within the week so I'll be able to write a small review about it.

Take care, and thanks to those who still visit my blog :)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Real life and some Starcraft 2.

Well you probably noticed the lack of updates the last days. This is because I'm working for the census (is this what it called? I think so :P ) which demands for 2 weeks to work both on morning and evening including weekend. I'm not going to abandon the blog ofcourse, but I won't be able to update every day like before. Thanks all my followers (120 btw, yay :D ) for your patience!

Now I didn't wanted to do this update only to tell that, well, I won't update, that's pretty pointless right? So I'll make a mention to a link that afriend gave me, is the host site for many of the SC2 non-Korean pros on I don't know how many of you are on SC2 but is very interesting to see guys like TLO, WhiteRA (with his awesome half-english half russian accent), IdrA (although banned curently for misbehaving in the stream and harassing a mod afterwards) and such from first person view while they explain their thought proccess on the fly (and troll their opponents in the case of IdrA :P ). Very interesting and also VERY informative.

Check it out even if you're not THAT into competitive SC2 multiplayer (as me, I prefer to watch the pros playing than actually play the game, I think that's the deffinition of the term e-sport right? :P ):

Btw if there's interest I'll try to have a bit more SC2 articles in the future as I enjoy playing and watching pro tournaments and games, tell me in your comments if you like more :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Shadow of the Colossus.

So... This is the game I always love to bring up when I argue about the artistic value in gaming. I've played lots of games in my life but there's only a handfull that made such a big emotional impact on me. I'll never forget the whole feeling I got on my first playthrough, the unbelievable music, the deeply emotional story and the heart-braking ending. So let's take things from the beggining.

The game starts with a cutscene showing the hero named Wander crossing this huge bridge, to get into this secret realm, on his horse (Agro) carrying a woman. On the center of the land there is a temple where he communicates with a voice named Dormin. He tells them that he can bring his woman back from the dead with one requirement; Wander must kill the 12 Colossi that inhabit the land, huge guardians, who are possesed by a dark force. Pretty simple.

or not.

So he wanders throught the land trying to find all the Colossi and kill them on by one. After the assignment comes the first shock. You start wondering into a land that is completely empty and pretty much dead! The only things alive are you, your horse and the Colossi. Also, there is no sound present, nothing, just the sound of your horse's galloping is breaking the silence. This super minimalistic design has the first deep psychological effect on the player; the land is so peacefull but also so threatening on the same time, also it's so depressing and lonely. You find ruins on your journey, broken structures with plants all around them, giving the hole realm a feel of abandonement, like something terrible happened and everything went exticnt, everything seems left and forgotten, untill you meet the Colossus you're looking for.

Here's where the super minimalistic design turns upside down and becomes super maximalistic! The (awesome) soundtrack kicks in, and the unbelievably huge creature comes towards you. From here the game turns to action/puzzle where you have to climb on the Colossus' body without losing your grip (theres a grip meter for this) and stab him in his designated weak spots. Gameplay wise it's very addictive even though not exceptionally hard (except the last few Colossi) so the game runs smoothly. The Colossi have great design, they look like a steampunk nightmare, half made from grass or wood and half made by metal and stone. Here though comes the second shock. Those creatures (most of them) are not even aggressive! They just stand there or sleep or fly peacefully around untill you come and start poking on them. After a while you start feeling bad you're killing those majestic creatures and start questioning the true motives of Dormin.

I can't say more about the story without spoiling the game for those who haven't play it yet. I can just say that it has one of the most memorable finales I've ever seen, truely heartbraking.

So, what makes this game art? What makes it a so memorable and deep experience? I'd say the combination of great writing-fantastic sountrack-great atmosphere. What happens after you get off Agro and upon seeing the last Colossus in the distance will always stay in my mind, so atmospheric, so emotional!  And the ending oh the ending!
Yeah ok, I could spend hours talking about this masterpiece. Maybe I shouldn't talk at all and just post screenshots and tracks from the OST (titled "Roar Of Earth" btw), I don't know, I did my best to show to those that haven't play this game why it is so great. Go get a PS2 now (or an emulator) and play this masterpiece now, or wait for the re-release on HD on PS3 along with Ico, the first game of the same developer.

Now, who can wait for the Last Guardian?

10/10 (and more)

Panathinaikos European Champion 2011!!!

This, for the 6th time, now only Real Madrid has more European titles (8). A true European Dynasty, 6 titles in 15 years :D

Panathinaikos got the European Championship, Lakers got sweeped, Manchester United secured the Championship, what a nice day :D

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Games legally considered as an art form in the US!

I was browsing while i stumbled on this pretty impressive (well at least for me :P ) new:

Games Now Legally Considered an Art Form (in the USA)

The US National Endowment for the Arts now considers videogames eligible for artistic funding, legally recognizing them as an art form.

Full article here, check it out.

For me this is a very interesting change that will maybe end the endless debate about if games should be considered as art or not (a very interesting debate on the subject btw there was on Ebert's blog: part1, part2 ) and probably will open the way for more quality indie games throught state funding (ok I know I'm probably over-optimistic here :P )

What's your opinion on the subject? My next game review will be dedicated to this debate, I promise :) 


Saturday, May 7, 2011

NBA 2k11

So, with all these basketball action these days, between European F4 and the very interesting NBA Playoffs, I got the urge to play a basketball game, so I remembered NBA 2k11 that I haven't been playing for some months now. I also remembered how awesome this game is! I know it's been like a year after its release but I don't care :P

It's not only about the near-perfect grafics, both stadium and models, it's not only about the sound which is extremely realistic (i onced started playing while i left an NBA stream playing in the background, I couldn't figure which was the real one), it's not only about the terrific detail on every players moves and styl and also on every teams playbook that looks like the real deal, it's not only about the thrill of playing like MJ on his Challenges. What makes this game great is the gameplay (as usual) how realistically it plays! It's how polished it is in every aspect (ok, some bugs as usual, but less than previous games on the series). It's the depth it has especially on Association mode, but also the fun you have on My Player, how clever it's structured. Probably one of the best sports games I've ever played (given I'm European and I play only Football and Basketball games :P ) Damn I love this game!

Great great great, I hope Konami could make PES that polished with a single player mode as deep as the Association, oh well, I can only hope.


Friday, May 6, 2011

European Final 4

The time has come! Good luck to Panathinaikos and let's hope by Sunday we'll have that 6th star pinned above our emblem!

 UPDATE: We're in the final! After the win against Siena (77-69) and Maccabi's win against Real Madrid (82-63) we will fight for the sixth star against the Israeli team on Sunday!

Nik Calathes, I love you!!!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Portal 2!


First post on this blog about the best game of 2011 so far, Portal 2!

For those not familiar with Portal, it was a short Puzzle-FPS game, featured in Orange Box. The general idea was solving puzzles with a portal gun which was able to create 2 portals at the same time and move between them, something like that:

Simple but very addictive and clever, combined with awesome writing and dark sarcastic humor, this 2hr gameplay game became a legend. If you haven't play it yet go now!

Now to the new one! I am very happy to announce that the game is just great. Of course there is no shock element gameplay-wise as like we had in the first game, but there are some clever additions that make the puzzles even more clever. The gameplay remains addictive (although most of the puzzles are fairly easy), the writing and voice acting are terrific and damn clever and the enviroments, especially on the outdoor stages are breathtaking, revealing bits of a massive post apocalyptic industrial setting.

The game also tries to give a little more background on the characters and Aperture Science, something that wasn't developed on the first game, and it does a very good job delivering that during your progress throught the various test chambers. Only downside is that is a bit small (around 7-8hrs for the single player mode) but there is also the co-op mode which i haven't tried out yet but i hear that it's very nice, and we also wait for the DLCs that are gonna get released at summer.

Small but addicting, with great gameplay, sound, writing and graphics, what else do we need? Play it now!



Hello world! This blog, as its really clever and inspired name states, is about stuff I like. Music, good movies, bad movies, sports, games, technology etc. I hope you find it interesting too. Enjoy your stay! :)

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