Category Archives: DeView

Daniel Reviews of records, video games and books.

DeView: God of War 3

God of War 3

God of War 3

Its finally here! The biggest release of 2010 for me, so far… Kratos came, he fought, he conquered!

Since the second instalment in 2007 I have been pumped for the third and final one in this trilogy.

Starting playing the third game it picks up right were the second ends. The beginning was the most intenced moment in the whole serie. Fighting poseidon was not only a great intro, but also felt like a tech demo on what the PS3 can perfrom. Well, can probably say that for the whole game! Some times during my play through my PS3 literary screamed from working so hard. But as with God of War, graphic isn’t everything.

The combat is definitely God of War. As stated before, the guys behind Dantes Inferno copied the control scheme from God of War, but it wasn’t even near as good. Dantes Inferno was hard but only frustrating. God of War 3 is as always hard, but it feels more like a challenge. The controls are tight and responsive.

One of the biggest improvements on the third instalment was the weapons. In the previous games I tended to just stick with the first blades. The new weapons was similar to the Chaos blades and more fun to play with. For the first time I frequently switches weapons. Specially the The Nemean Cestus was fun to play with.

This was the biggest release for me this year, and the wait was well worth! I am happy but feel a bit sad that the series have ended. Definitely the game of the year so far!

As for the story it was okey, part from the end. God of War is mainly about slaughtering hordes of enemy’s and big monsters. Towards the end the story start to pick up. It felt like a worthy end for one of the biggest game series in my library. Will miss Kratos but hope they will continue to make God of War games, even if this trilogy has ended.

DeView: Battlefield Bad Company 2

Battlefield Bad Company 2

Battlefield Bad Company 2

From the Swedish developer DICE comes the game that is suppose to give Modern Warfare 2 a fight. Of cause I am talking about Battlefield Bad Company 2!

A couple of month ago I recieved a Beta code for the PS3 as they were the first to have a Beta. Later as part of our pre-order those who reserved a copy got a Beta access code for PC. I joined that one and was very disappointed. The biggest thing was the mouse controlling, it almost felt like steering a tank. The other thing was (probably as the Battlefield formula is) that playing online was very different from MW2. Its as slower, bigger and harder to aim and get kills. With this to start with I had my doubts.

Now when the game finally is out it seems that DICE have improved many things and made a hell of a game. The aiming is what I wanted, smooth and fast. The opposition when playing online is still hard if not harder, but thats just part of the experience.

The singleplayer campaign was in line with the first game. Corky, just a bit interesting and just enough. Some interesting elements and some nice hints at the Modern Warfare 2 game. Burned through it in about 10 hours and had a blast playing it.

Then comes the big part of this game, multiplayer.The problem for me to talk about this is how little I have played online. To begin with was the release a disaster. I just couldn’t play online some days after release. For me it was okey because I had singleplayer. But I can just imagine how pisted the fans who bought it just for the online part.

Dispite the problem with multiplayer I will give it some time an try it out more. But it seems like DICE really pulled it of and game Modern Warfare 2 some competition. I recommend it definitely.

DeView: Darksiders

Darksiders

Darksiders

After hearing some strong recommendation from a friend about Darksiders and some good words online, I borrowed it and started playing. And I immediately fell in love with the style of the game. Even if the beginning seemed a bit chaotic and confusing control before getting the hang of it. It quickly became the second big surprise this year after Bayonetta.

I should be stated, this is basically God of War meets Zelda, in so many ways. The combat is a hack n slash type combining not only button mashing but also strategic thinking depending on your enemy type. All bosses have some puzzle element to beat them.

The post apocalyptic world is big and free to explore and once I finished it I went to hunt some more items and stuff I forgot to pick up.

The story, even if somewhat mundane do show some potential. I like the art style and just feel of the game. And the deep demonic voices of some of the characters you meet got me really hooked. Looking forward to play the sequel that have been rumoured about.

Even if I borrowed it, I will probably buy it later and play it again!

DeView: BioShock 2

BioShock 2

BioShock 2

After the first game its pretty hard to achieve something quite like BioShock. It was different with a great story and kickass atmosphere. Like a first person shooter it wasn’t as tight as one could hope. But it was okey, kind of a slow shooter. It took me quite a while after the release to actually play the game, but once I got into, it hooked me totally. After completing the game my expectations and anticipation for the sequel started to heat up.

But as the release started to close in I didn’t know how high my expectations should be, to not be disappointed. And now the result is in. I am NOT disappointed! Not at ALL!.

Immediately when the game starts I got a good feeling, like coming back to a place I got good memories from. The setting and atmosphere is exactly as in the first game, and that is one of the points why I enjoyed it. Its like nothing else out there. Its not as “revolutionary” as the first one, but that’s okey. One thing thats both a bit sad and relatively okey is how stream lined and closed the game is. In contrary to the first one were you ran between places all the time this go from map to map, without the possibility of going back.

The combat have been changed a bit too, but still true to the first one. Now you have the ability to using plasmid and weapons at the same time, without have to swap to use them. This makes the combat less frustrating and more fast pace. Though I played the PC version, swamping between weapons and plasmids were a but frustrating. I will play the Xbox 360 version later and see if its feels better, as the game pauses when choosing weapon.

Of the new features in Bio2 is the Multiplayer. I was really sceptical before about it and how it would work. I just played it for the Achievements and when I tried it the lag problem was aweful. It could work, but need some improving.

One thing that I found to be a bit strange was the difficulty. I started on Hard (which is the hardest difficulty) and never really felt any big challenge. I don’t want to think how easy the game most be on Easy or Medium.

Not many things have change or been upgraded with this second instalment in the BioShock franchise, and the story isn’t as rememberable as the first game. But its okey, cause all in all the experience is really good and I found it very entertaining and had problems stop playing. I kinda feel it lived up to the expectations that can be created. Definitely one of the best games this year. Hope to visit Rapture again soon!

DeView: Dantes Inferno

Dantes Inferno

Dantes Inferno

This weekend I finished Dantes Inferno, and must say I AM disappointed. Last year the game that suprised me the most, after Batman Arkham Asylum that is, was Bionic Commando. After the beating that game took by critics and sales-wise, I didn’t have any high hopes. But after playing it, something hooked me and got me to look back on the time playing, and want to replay. Dantes Inferno, didn’t gave me that feeling.

Going into it I felt some excitement, but didn’t want to get my hopes to high. After hearing from friends that it was “okey, but not God of War” some hopes were still there. I mean, if the controls are almost the same as God of War, it can’t fail. But the enjoyment just wasn’t there. And the will to spend hours on it quickly flew out the window. I started playing on Hellish (Hard), but quickly lowered to Zealot (Medium). Not because it was to hard, but because I didn’t feel like playing this over and over again, unlike God of War. I never really felt that sense of total control over Dante as with Kratos. And when Kratos through s a punch, you FEEL it! I never got that feeling when combating Dante through hell.

On some level its not fair to compare with God of War, but it copies so much its unavoidable. While God of War had its share of brutality and gore, the setting and surroundings was something special. It felt big and as if it could have been living before the game takes place. Dantes Inferno in my opinion focus to much on gore and disgust. As if it have some sort of complex and need something really different to stand out. A bit provoking maybe…

When it comes to the story and character it falls behind as well. I find it hard to connect with a person who split enemies apart in the masses and then in whine and act all confused in the cut-scenes. They try to mimic GoW by making Dante a sort of anti-hero, but I could never really feel for him or look up to him as with Kratos. I finished Dantes Inferno feeling that was that. Always nice to get some Trophy’s.

DeView: Bayonetta

Bayonetta

Bayonetta

One of the first big games to be released this year is the crazy Bayonetta from SEGA and Platinum Games (creators of Okami, Devil May Cry and other great games). When they announced it and showed screentshot I wasn’t that interested in it. Seemed just like a Devil May Cry clone but with more focus on sexiness. And boy is it sexy!

Once reviews started coming in and a lot of buzz talk from people who had imported the Japanese version, my interested increased. And just days before the game released I booked a copy. I never regretted that.

Bayonetta is really hard to explain to others, its simply something you have to see and play to believe. Its complete madness, but good madness. The game doesn’t take it self to seriously and know where it stands. A story you simply have to laugh at, but hinters at something deeper.

The most important part of this game is the game-play and action. And that’s what it does best. The controls are tight and not to much a copy of God of War. One thing you have to rely on all the time is the “dodging” effect called Witch Bullet. If you time your dodge correct everything slows down except you. In contradiction to the blocking in God of War you only have the dodging in this game.

And dodging is required a lot! This games is actually quite hard. Not cause the enemy’s are that hard, but because the penalty you get from using items, taking damage, taking to long time and dying! After every encounter you get a score of your performance and at the end of every chapter, the scores are calculated together. And if you have played okey on many encounters, the end result can be very low. It will probably result in some frustration second round of playing it, since I want good scores.

A second play-through is definetly gonna happend. This game just came and blew me away. It was a long time since I had such a enjoyable experience. Short but action packed to the bone. It really kick started this year with all the great releases coming. And better, they are coming soon.

Its always nice when a great game come where the expectations are zero and turns out to be really good!

DeView: Buyology: Truth and lies about why we buy

Buyology Truth and lies about why we buy

Buyology Truth and lies about why we buy

This is a book, basically about selling! But its also a very interested basic psychological analyse on how our brain works on a deeper level. I never imagened that I would get such a nice look into the human brain by reading a book about Branding and Selling. How we can say one thing that is rational. but our subconscious mind tell a different story.

With countless examples Martin Lindstrom proves and describes the result for the brain scan he conducted to write this book. He proves some good points on how marketing have worked, works and probably will work in the future. With even better ways of reaching into our brains. Some parts scary, some really smart. It made me really start to think how to reach people on a deeper level. How we associate this while not even thinking about the connection.

DeView: Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life

Neil Strauss - Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life

Neil Strauss - Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life

One of last years most memorial book I read was ” The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists” by Neil Strauss. Although not to be taken too serious it was very entertaining as well as made me reflect somewhat of how about my self-esteem. When I last month noticed his new book “Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life” in a Pocket Shop I immediately picked it up. Even if not the same subject as the Game, it still sounded interesting and my expectations rose.

Now that I’ve finished it I can conclude that it was good. Not as good as The Game, but still okey. What’s still great is Neils way of telling an fascinating story mixed with interesting facts on his journey to prepare for the day the world goes to hell! Throughout the book he goes tell of different scenarios and what possibly could go wrong and some tips on how to handle them. He explores and learn many new skills and some good knowledge, pretty much for, as he describes it “Just in Case”. And meet many different people with different skills and attitudes on how and when the world will hit the fan.

What I somewhat missed was the deept compared to the Game. At first the books was kinda slow, but after 1/3 it started to become interesting. And I had expectations to get maybe even more tips or knowledge on how to survive. And it gives quite a horrifying picture on what to expect if the society breaks down or in the case of a great great natural disaster. It made me reflect and look into myself, how prepare am I and do I have the necessary skills to survive? After doing both the scouts and being in the military I think am somewhat capable looking after myself.

Even if it didn’t leave the same mark as The Game, Emergency is still a very entertaining book that probably will make you thing about your own survival skills and how you would face the Post-Apocalypse, wants it hits.

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DeView: iCon: Steve Jobs, The Greatest Second Act in the History of Business

iCon: Steve Jobs, The Greatest Second Act in the History of Business

iCon: Steve Jobs, The Greatest Second Act in the History of Business

Its been lying in my bookshelf for a long time now. But after finishing Stealing MySpace I wanted to continue reading about the successful companies borne in the IT era from the 70th, beginning small and becoming huge! Not that MySpace was borne in the 70th but how a small team can create something that really breaks new ground. Something that iCon: Steve Jobs, The Greatest Second Act in the History of Business
illustrate well. How Steve Jobs in his own way and with some timing and luck did three times, to three different industry’s. Computers, animated films and finally music! Yet the book didn’t stretched to talk about the birth of the iPhone.

Before I read this book I was a huge fan of Steve Jobs, and afterwards I’m even a bigger fan. Sure it gives a somewhat neutral view of the twists and turns of Steve Jobs business carriers and life. Still it feels as if the authors are as much in love with him as described by some of the people they interviewed in the book.

And even if some parts didn’t painted a pretty picture of Steve, I still had a hard time stop reading. It was a long time since I was into a book as this one. Some chapters were more fast pace than others. I got the same feeling as when I watch Triumph of the Nerds and Nerds 2.0.1: A Brief History of the Internet by Robert X. Cringely. A sort of nostalgic and exaltedly feeling of the whole history of a industry. I just wanted to have been there, when it all happened.

I knew Steve Jobs were a special character before I read this book, but it really become more clear how. The way he demands perfection and utter loyalty as well as the best from the best. In many ways his the opposite of me, but I just would like to be more like him. Not on a personal level but professional. He is a part of history, and this book shows why, and it becomes clear why he has earned his place there. This book will be interesting for people who like business books with an interest in the computer and entertainment industry I think. He really grew more in my eyes after reading this book and it is with sadness that I read the last page.

[If you allready read it, please let me know what you though?]

Introducing DeView

And idea that spawned during the weekend. Today I will start with something I call DeView, which esentially is a Review by me. I will review all sorts of things, usually video games, music and books I consume. I simply give my view on the things I write about. And I will see how this will evolve the more I write.