Pretentious, opinionated language

Games, technology, music, silliness. Oh and ninjas. Lots of ninjas.

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Location: Oslo, Norway

I am Andreas. Day time programmer and technical consultant. Night time musician and game developer.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Games games!

To bust myself out of my currently notorious depressions, i spent some money on games! What a surprise huh ;) I picked up Mark Ecko's Getting Up : Contents under pressure (A title that's actually worse than Peter Jackson's King Kong the official game of the movie, simply because there's no reason for the extra fat) and Kirby Canvas Curse for the DS (which is titled Kirby Power Paintbrush in Europe. How lame).

Initial impressions are mixed. Kirby plays astonishingly well, so well in fact that my non-gamer sister played it equally well as me within moments of her first try (and her first encounter with the DS too, what the hell). If you're not familiar with the concept, it's a stylus-driven platformer, where you have little direct control of the character, but instead interact with the world around him by either tapping things or drawing lines. These lines can serve as paths for him to follow (going by the direction you drew the line), or as walls to keep him from danger, blocking bullets, lasers, fires, you name it. The game is no lightweight platformer by any standard, though it sounds like a tech demo. It actually gets pretty hectic, and every time i've died in it i've felt like it was my own fault. Wohoo! So much fun.

That Mark Ecko game thing is a really weird experience. I'm only halfway through it so i don't feel like i have the right to any real opinions yet, but it's an incredibly slow-paced game of prince of persia style jumping around and taking your time to do graffiti. The graff is beautiful, the storyline and world is surprisingly coherent, and RJ2D is responsible for most of the soundtrack, which is to say it's very very good. I'm unsure about the controls, which tend to be unresponsive and somewhat contrived, which is too bad because they were obviously designed with ease in mind. I guess it's a credit to the game that it made me want to do graff again.

I'll recommend them both so far simply because you're unlikely to find similar experiences anywhere else. Neither is a gamer's game mind you. If you're of the Ninja Gaiden or Halo or even Ikaruga school of gamer, you may not find them as interesting as i did.

Monday, February 13, 2006

GameSpy... Again...

Who the hell FUNDS these idiots? Off the top of my head i can't think of a single reason GameSpy exists as a games site. The quality of writing is bad in ways i can't even begin to describe, the design and visual profile is bloated and irregular, and again. I can't BELIEVE the shittitude of the journalism. The reviews are inane and superficial, always averaging into that comfortable "it's bad but NOT BAD ENOUGH FOR BUYING HEY" area that ambivalent industry-driven bullshit sites enjoy.

An example; Will Tuttle's article on David Jaffe's talk at DICE06. The entire talk was about embracing innovation, breaking out of sequel patterns (which is really a fallacy of the movie industry) and in putting more focus on individual talent rather than studio names (Itagaki took this to heart years ago buddy). He also calls on reviewers to stop being so damn respectful and start calling out games in previews, level proper ballsy criticism (and i agree). However, Will "brains" Tuttle ends the article with this clear evidence that he got Jaffe's point: "OK, David, I'm taking my chance to push you now: make a sequel to God of War. Soon."


Read Gamespot for news, Eurogamer for reviews.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Ghost racer

Trackmania Nations is the first Trackmania title i've tried out (because hey, it's free). It's really made me want to check out Trackmania Sunrise. The graphics are clean, the sense of weight is solid, and for some weird reason the try-and-try-and-try-again gameplay somehow works. It's frustrating at times, but since you're always racing against a ghost of your previous best race, it somehow feels less frustrating and more like a true challenge of honor.

Trackmania challenges our ability to be consistently good, to master something. If racing little cars on bizarre stunt tracks is a bit banal, the sense of finally mastering a track is exceptional.

Highly highly recommended.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Jesus christ just finish it already! I want to play it so bad! :(