Category Archives: Games

Final Fantasy XIII-2 first impressions

Since my nVidia drivers crashed again on my computer, I eventually decided to start playing on Final Fantasy XIII-2 instead of my PC games. The nVidia drivers have been rather unstable after that one time I tried to upgrade the drivers and then roll back to the old one because the upgrade made the TV connection not work… Somehow managed to get it to work again until today. I’m planning to reinstall the PC now, and I’m considering just installing Windows 8 while I’m at it.

Anyways, XIII-2. Old photo:

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Those who are interested in the game probably know most of the stuff about it already, so I’ll just list some random thoughts I had when playing the game.

  • Checking out the available DLC: Why is half of the DLC just different costumes for the characters? Why would anyone want to OH THEY HAVE ASSASSIN’S CREED COSTUME FOR NOEL AND N7 (Mass Effect) ARMOR IT’S AWESOME!
  • Unlike the first game, the tutorial doesn’t seem to last for the first 9 chapters of the game.
  • Character upgrade system is simplified. Probably a good thing.
  • The game is not as linear as the first one, because you can do a bunch of side missions already from the start of the game. Quite a few fetch quests though.
  • Quick-time events! How I not have missed you from Resident Evil. Jokes asides, it’s not that bad, and I also wonder if they have a different animation/cut scene when you miss some of the button presses. (I think I missed once or twice, but the cut scene continued so I’m not sure if anything changed.)
  • Battles are sometimes cinematic, with cut scenes and quick-time events happening half-ways through a battle. Pretty cool!
  • Oh and the game features time travel. I wonder if you can travel to the same areas in the past and change things to see the changes in the future, like Chrono Trigger! Probably not though.


I also played through the latest DLC for Penny Arcade’s On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3, called “The Beginning of the End”, which tells the story of what happened to the player character from the previous two games. It didn’t really explain much though, I feel like it was just a quick and dirty way of “disposing” of your old player character. But oh well, it was amusing to play through nevertheless.


Posted by on 2012-12-30 in Games

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Party in Bergen, Christmas gaming

December and 2012 is almost over! This Christmas I ended up staying behind in Oslo while most of my family went travelling. The biggest reason is that I wanted for once to have a real vacation, without having to force myself to talk with other people, which is actually really tiresome for me. I’ve mostly stayed at home playing video games and watching Netflix. Since I usually eat dinner with my family once a week, I don’t really miss them that much. Vilhelm stayed over a few days, but went back home earlier today.

Mid-December I went to Bergen to join their Christmas party, we sang a Christmas song and had games with the youth there. Had an enjoyable time! I didn’t manage to take any good pictures. Need to practice more using my phone camera…

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Lorna and Patrick invited us for dinner, it was nice seeing them again and playing with their kid, Celina. She was a bit over a year old if I remember correctly. I was tricking her with a “laser” pen, she didn’t seem to be overly amused because she was looking at me with a rather accusing look on her face whenever I moved the laser away from her!

I’m glad they had those ads about testing the smoke detectors at home, because when I had a look at mine, I found out that they didn’t even have batteries! I guess the one who rented my apartment before must have removed the batteries…? Why would she do that without buying new ones?? Was she burning her food all the time? Oh well, I bought new batteries in any case… Ended up buying quite expensive batteries compared to the ones at IKEA, but I was too lazy to look in lots of stores and figured I’d better buy it quickly. In case a fire starts.

Anyways, once vacation started (and my family left on their travels), I’ve mostly locked myself at home playing games. I’ll list the games I’ve finished since my last blog post and some brief comments about each of them:

Virtue’s Last Reward (Zero Escape) – Loved this game! There are so many plot twists and mysteries in the game that even if you manage to guess some of them, you probably won’t be able to guess all of them! Getting to the final ending to see all the explanations for the mysteries was quite satisfying.

Darksiders – I definitely can see the reason why people say this game reminds them of Zelda: The dungeon designs where you have to solve puzzles to get access to different parts of the dungeons, the items which allows you to access new parts of the world/game map, and the dungeon bosses which require you to use those items to defeat them. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a rip-off though – if anything I’d call it a homage! All that asides, the game is pretty much what I tend to call “a generic button-masher action game”. The story did have some kind of plot twist, but was still quite bland. The Zelda elements/puzzles made the game more enjoyable, but I felt that some of the action segments dragged on for too long. It was an all right game, but I feel no urge to get the sequel.

Ever 17: The Out of Infinity – After finishing Virtue’s Last Reward, I read in some forum that the writer for that game, Takumi Nakazawa, also made this game. Unlike VLR, Ever17 is a pure visual novel, meaning besides a few dialogue options, there is no actual traditional gameplay. You just read through tons of dialogue. There isn’t much graphics either, most of the game you’ll be in around 20 rooms or so each with a single image, with the character images on top of it. They don’t have animations either, but do have different moods. Sometimes there might be still images of “cutscenes”.

The story, however, was really as great as I was told! It’s kind of a “mystery story” like 999 and VLR, and you will hardly be able to guess everything before you get to the explanations given in the final ending. While the game still has some “dating sim” feel to it (which made me somewhat skeptical to playing it at first), it didn’t detract too much from the mystery part of the game. Seriously though, I can’t even watch the opening without thinking it seems like a “dating sim”:

Anyways, I ended up buying the game via a Japanese download shop and then downloading the English version via torrent since the English box version of the game is hard to find… It’s a good game if you like anime/manga, mystery stories and don’t mind reading lots of text on a computer screen.

Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood – I kind of like the Assassin’s Creed games, but there are just too many “side missions”! Still an enjoyable game though. I eventually managed to get myself to stop doing missions and finish the game. Although I did buy/upgrade all the shops and landmarks. And at least get the ten “Truth” puzzles. Also the Armor of Brutus. *sigh*

Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune – Managed to finish this game in one day! I do like the voice acting and dialogue in this game, it really is like watching an action adventure movie. I really suck at the shooting part of this game though. I did play on easy, but I also activated “Fast motion” mode so I could play the game quicker, which really sped up the game, especially on the climbing parts of the game. But it probably made the shooting parts harder since all the enemies moved faster. Had to turn it off on the last few chapters in the game.

Still a few days left of my vacation, I’m considering whether I want to play more short games like Uncharted or start on some of the longer games on my list, like Borderlands, Final Fantasy XIII-2 or Fallout 3. Might want to finish the StarCraft II campaign too I guess.


Posted by on 2012-12-29 in Games, Rambling

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Mostly gaming

Last few weeks have been rather uneventful. I did go to the skiing trip with the youth group near the end of February, but I didn’t do any skiing. Just relaxed at the cottage, using the sauna a few times. Besides that, I decided that I’d rather try to spend some time trying to play through more of my games than to travel around nowadays.

The games I’ve finished since my last post:

  • The Secret of Chateau de Moreau (iPad): Got all the endings. Funny thing is that the different endings pretty much contradicts each other, since the killer is a different person depending on which ending you get! (Spoiler hidden in case anyone cares. Selecting the text should show the text.)
  • Anomaly: Warzone Earth (Android): Only bothered to play through the campaign mode, haven’t tried the Assault mode much.
  • Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery EP (iPad): Point and click with some sword fights. A bit surreal. Don’t know if I would recommend this game to “everyone”.
  • Lost Planet (XBox 360): very anime’ish over-the-top storyline. More mecha action than I expected, thought it was “just another third person shooter”. All right entertainment.
  • Prince of Persia: Two Thrones (PC): Had to retry quite a few times on some of the boss fights and the last horse carriage sequence, but it did feel good once I managed to do it! And it had a good ending, compared to the previous and also the next Prince of Persia game.
  • Prince of Persia (2008, PC, the cel-shaded one with the gauntlet): I liked this game more than the previous ones, maybe because this game is closer to the “current generation” of games and the gameplay “flows” better somehow. The previous ones did feel a bit dated. Anyways, the ending is a disappointing “To be continued”. I couldn’t download the DLC epilogue, so I watched the ending for that on YouTube, but apparently the ending there is still “To be continued”. Meh.
  • Catherine (XBox 360): To describe it very quickly, it’s a puzzle game with lots of cutscenes (some anime cutscenes and some rendered) and talking to people, with full voice acting. About adult topics like making decisions, taking responsibility for your choices, and not cheating on your girlfriend. Or cheating on your girlfriend, depending on how you want to play it. I enjoyed the story and cutscenes in the game and got surprisingly addicted to the puzzle part of the game after a while. Got all the endings, and might have tried some puzzles past the story mode, if I weren’t still trying to finish other games.
  • Resident Evil: Revelations (3DS): Very Resident Evil. I like 3D, though it’s sometimes hard to avoid the ghosting (seeing “double”).

I ended up buying Chaos Rings Ω, Catherine and L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition because they were on sale. Even though I try not to buy any games before I finish the ones I have. Well from now I will not buy any games. Unless they are really, really good. Meh. Well, it seems like I did manage to finish quite a few games so it might not be too bad.

L.A. Noire was very laggy on my laptop even at lowest graphical settings, but it worked slightly better on the TV computer. So I might play it there, although I am planning to build a new gaming computer this year. After researching a little, it seems like I might want to wait for Intel to release Ivy Bridge, which should be faster and use less power than the current generation Sandy Bridge. It might not be available before June, but I have quite a few XBox 360 games left anyways, so waiting shouldn’t really be a problem.

Bought a new gaming keyboard (Logitech G510) and mouse (Ideazon Reaper), because I got a few discount coupons. No idea what I’ll use all those programmable keys for, though I hear Diablo III is coming out in a few months. Maybe it’ll be useful there somehow. The keyboard also has a display which can be programmed to show game stats for games which supports it, but is it really easier/faster/better to look at the stats on the keyboard as opposed to having them onscreen? Wasn’t it more of a problem back when computer resolutions was lower? Oh well, it is nice having the time and date or the currently playing song showing on the display.

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While getting the discounts were much of the reason why I bought these, I was also slightly annoyed by the fact that my Bluetooth keyboard and mouse would sometimes suddenly disconnect. So it’ll be nice to use wired accessories again. There is however a problem with the keyboard driver hanging when resuming from sleep mode, so I have to kill the keyboard driver and restart it for the keyboard screen and special buttons to work properly again. The keyboard itself still works though, so if I don’t need any of those special functions I can mostly just ignore it.

Spent most of today going through my e-mail, tidying my apartment and desk, then suddenly deciding to move around the desk in my room. Currently using the window sill for my monitor to free up more space on my desk, it works but I’m not quite satisfied with the monitor being too far to the right of the center of the desk… Considering to either buy a new desk or buy a wall mount for the monitor instead. Or both.

Oh yeah, also spent many hours yesterday and today trying to replace the screen on my old phone. It worked!

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And then it stopped working. And then I gave up because I had already spent too many hours taking it apart and putting it back together again over and over, so I just bagged it and stashed it in the drawer. Probably throwing it away some day.

In the end I didn’t get much time to play Mass Effect 2 today… Maybe I’ll sneak in a few hours after doing laundry now. But it’s Easter vacation next week anyhows, I want to try and finish a few games before going to Easter camp!


Posted by on 2012-03-31 in Games