Monday, December 23, 2013



Hello dear friends, readers and followers!

Since I can't tell how Christams itself will turn and most of you are scattered around the globe anyway, let me take the chance and extend my best wishes and holiday greetings to all of you already now. This is the real cat btw. ... also famous during Christmas time as Santa Jesster!

Actually this year wasn't that bad and especially the last quarter, since I started blogging, was a very exciting time for me. I am happy and thankful I found that many followers and friends already and I am positive the next year will bring even more surprises and exciting developments... who knows, maybe I will even get some sponsoring deals going and can review even more stuff for you. :)

Until then, keep up the spirit and stay true to gaming and yourselves. I hope you'll also have some quiet time and you'll be able to relax probably with some nice games.

- On that note: I also need to wish you a great new year's eve now, because I will be on holidays in the east of Europe without internet access, so... I guess I will really see you just next year then. No, wait a second I can hopefully twitter you a happy new year... :D nice!

Play more! Relax more!

Saturday, December 21, 2013



Sorry for being absent for a while there but currently I am busy as hell in the Diablo 3 and/or Reaper of Souls forums and testing the PTR version myself. - So much going on there. I will give you some more details on the expansion at a later point, but for now and just in case you missed it:

Reaper of Souls will be released on 25.03.2014 !!!!

I am just too excited about this expansion... unfortunately it will not come cheap at 40$/40€!

Given the amount of actual new content versus the stuff that can only be considered as fix for Diablo 3 as well as the price of the original game, this price seems a bit over the top.

You wouldn't believe how intense the discussion are about that in the forums right now... we will see if Blizzard will give us some more incentive because I am not too sure if it will do them any good not to get a lot of players back into the game.

Play more! Pay more!

Monday, December 16, 2013



Not too long ago Blizzard started their friends & family beta for Reaper of Souls. - Unfortunately I am neither friend nor family so I couldn't test it myself... BUT as a big fan of the Diablo franchise since ever, naturally I am keeping a close look this great and also absolutely necessary addon/expansion. Diablo 3 was (when it came out) a rather bad game as soon as you reached endgame, everybody knows that. Completely misbalanced and faulty in several aspects. - The auction house being one of the major mistakes. Fortunately Blizzard saw their mistakes and listened to the community which over time made the game better with each single patch. For a while it got quiet in D3 and hardly anybody is playing right now, because since a few month we are all just waiting on the addon Reaper of Souls, which will knowingly render most of our current efforts useless. Now, thanks to some streamers who got into the f&f beta, we can already see the delicious meal that this addon will put on our tables in the near future (RoS release still TBA but expected in spring 2014). With this - rather extensive - post, I would like to give you an updated and complete overview about Reaper of Souls. Because I know you will probably want to see it with your own eyes, the last section of this post will include several links to some excellent sources with tons of (spoiler-free) footage and coverage!

Most Diablo players rightfully suspect that this expansion will turn the tides and make Diablo 3 finally to what it was supposed to be from the start, similar to what happened when the expansion Lord of Destruction for Diablo 2 came out. I don't want promise too much, and while it must be clear that anything mentioned here or on linked content is subject to all sorts of changes until the full release of the expansion, it seems that it is really going to hold up to all its promises and expectations!


Due to spoiler issues I will not go into the story of the addon too much and just want to sum it up according to the little information I have unwillingly got so far: One angel - or former angel, we'll see - has enough of this never ending fight between good and evil and decides to basically destroy everything. - Kind of a radical approach but a possible solution nonetheless. Of course, nobody would benefit from that, so the Nephalem needs to stop the diabloesque depiction of the grim reaper. He/she will do that in a new act with a decent playtime in a much darker and death-related setting, and with the help of a new character class: The Crusader. Although there were rumors before that the expansion might feature two new classes, so far it seems more than definitive that the Crusader will be the only one. However, never say never when it comes to Blizzard... It's still a while until the addon hits and they might have something up their sleeves that they are keeping from the public for as long as possible.

The Crusader is some sort of special unit among the Paladins - sort holy knights. In the previous games the Paladin was always a standard character class, built around shielding, tanking and buffing other players with close- or rather sword combat related weaponry. The same goes basically for the Crusader, but since it is a special kind Paladin the Crusader's characteristic weapon is a flail and he can also use his shields for attacking. New class = a whole new set of skills = lots and lots of thing to try out. - For a detailed overview of all the cursader's abilities I recommend you check out diablofans. - Unfortunately DiabloWiki (at the time of this post) and other pages still need to update their content with the new info revealed from the f&f beta.


Besides new and changed skills you will have one additional passive skill slot.

  • PARAGON 2.0
Paragon levels will be summed up throughout all your characters to one general paragon level. Each level does basically what it did before - give you bonus points. In the new system the advantages will not manifest only in main stats, gold and magic find, but instead you can choose yourself from several categories (including for example Strength, Movement Speed or Pick-Up Radius) and put the points into what you prefer most. Each of your characters will have the full pool of paragon points to put individually. The game will save each character they way you spent your points and all paragon points - for example when you found a new item and you want to change your character - can be reset at any time without cost.
  •  + 10 Levels
Level 70 is now the new maximum before your characters continue to earn paragon points. The new levels themselves offer new skills among all character classes.
  • Infinite Paragon Levels
There is no more cap and you can get as high as you want. The level progression currently looks continuous compared to the old exponential progression. Advancing in paragon levels will stay tedious nevertheless since it starts about where you left of when you leveled from paragon 99 to 100!

  • Less Drops
No more screens full with item names. Drops will be drastically decreased.
  • Better Drops
The items that drop have been improved to an unprecedented level. Even white items allegedly become worth picking up, at least due to collecting crafting materials from them. Numbers suggest an overall stat increase (damage, HP, etc.) due to new items of 300% within the first hours of playing and advancing above the old level 60 cap!
  • Smart Drops
Items will be dropped with the new smart drop algorithm. That basically means if your current character is a Wizard to a certain degree you will no longer constantly find for example useless bows or fist weapons, but wands and Wizard gear instead. Smart drops also influence the stats that the items role; why should a Wizard's wand have a strength property instead of intelligence? - The new algorithm takes care of that... to a certain degree, of course.
  • More/All Legendaries
This is a rather vague topic unfortunately. I am keeping my eyes on this expansion for quite a while now, so basically sometimes it is hard to distinct rumors from facts. With this one, to be honest I am not really sure now and I didn't get any answer from the official sides so far. However, a few months ago I understood the following: Reaper of Souls will not only give us a ton of new legendaries, but it will also remove the level range restrictions from all legendaries in the game! In the old Diablo 3 items (also legendaries) were designed to drop between specific levels. The legendary Axe Genzaniku for example was designed as a iLevel 12 item. This meant that after your character surpassed level 16 or 17 it was no longer possible for you to ever get this legendary dropped! Not that it wouldn't have been completely pointless to find this weapon and equip it to a let's say level 30 character, but people agreed pretty fast that it is a shame that from all the probably more than 200 legendaries people would miss out 90% (check out the Diablo 3 - Game Guide and see for yourself how many legendaries there actually were that you probably have never heard of before). These never-to-drop legendaries were actually good... Genzaniku for example could have been a nice and fun to play Axe, given the Chance to summon a ghostly Fallen Champion attribute. At endgame - as soon as characters hit level 60 - they could only find a handful of legendaries: Only legendaries between iLevel 59 and 63, if I remember correctly. Now, in RoS we are maybe able to have the chance to find any legendary that was made for the game when we get to the maximum level. And furthermore those legendaries, when they role their attributes, are supposed to be adapted to the level of the character. That means if you are on the level maximum of 70, you could now be lucky and find a iLevel 70 Genzaniku (with DPS 1300-1800, 650-950 Minimum Damage, and so on). Like I said, I am not 100% sure about this change, but I will do my best to clear that and give you confirmation as soon as I can.
  • New Affixes for Legendaries
Since now, a lot more legendaries are available they have all been revisited. Furthermore legendaries feature special, unique attributes that make them outstanding and truly build-shaping! All stats on all items are now also divided into primary and secondary by the way, which makes them easier to comprehend and to plan builds accordingly.
  • Almost every Legendary offers and induces to create new Builds
As seen and heard from all kind of beta sources by now, and also as declared goal of Blizzard, each legendary should now be special for you. Together with all the other customization options (paragon points, the mystic, and so on) a legendary drop is supposed to be something you feel happy about and that opens all kind of new build- and playstyle options for you.

Planned from the beginning of D3, then removed, the third Artisan - the Mystic - will finally be available with Reaper of Souls. She will give you even more customization options as well as battle upgrades via Enchantments.
  • Transmogrification
Although personally I really hate that word and I think it doesn't really fit into the Diablo universe, this is something many players are looking forward the most. With this you will be able to change the optical appearance of any item. Meaning... you hated for example how the Vile Vard shoulders looked like? Just change them to some Journeyman Shoulder Guards for example. Just a bit cash and the Mystic will do that for you. Finally not every class will look the same anymore!
  • Enchanting
If you still are not satisfied with your new items and their smart-dropped abilities, the Mystic will give you the option to re-role any attribute of any weapon! Not satisfied with 400 Strength on your new awesome legendary bow as Demon Hunter? - All you need is some cash, crafting materials and a bit of luck and you will get 400 Dexterity in no time!

The maximum gem level has been raised significantly! Currently we can see three more tiers after Marquise: Imperial, Flawless Imperial and Royal. Furthermore Flawless level gems will no longer be the maximum level gems that can drop for you. If you have a maxed character (level 70) even Imperial level gems will drop on a regular basis!
  • The Diamond Gem
Finally the diamond is back... Need some extra All Resist or Cool Down Reduction?

Nephalem Rifts are completely randomized dungeons that you can visit at any game mode (Story or Adventure) provided you find a Rift Stone. These special dungeons, filled with new extremely powerful Shrines, consist of up to 10 levels and one or more bosses during or at the end. There is a lot of testing going on with the rifts and it is hard to tell how they will really play at the end of the day. Currently it is for example still unclear whether the rifts will be accessible more often and be therefore be not that rewarding, or if they will be not so frequent but on the other hand more rewarding in terms of loot.

Is a new mode to play specially designed for farming/endgame. In this mode you can travel via the new advanced map/portal layout seamlessly between the locations of all five acts and farm whatever you want. There will be no more annoying dialogues and cutscenes to skip, just the pure looting!
  • Bounties
Additionally to just farming, each "run" - so to say - in the Adventure Mode will offer you random bounties from now on. For example: Find and kill this certain enemy in that certain area, or clean this certain area completely from monsters, and so on. Bounties will reward you with Loot Bags that drop - I guess depending on difficulty - somewhat from 5 to 15 items, which of course can include legendaries. Furthermore Bounties reward you with Shards that you can exchange for even more Loot Bags or directly use for Gambling on certain items (similar to gambling in Diablo 2).

Of course the new Fifth Act brings a lot of new monsters.
  • New Affixes for Enemies
Monster affixes have been revisited and changed. There will also be completely new Affixes!
  • Enemies scale with your Level
I am not too sure about that one, but since you hear it frequently I can't neglect to mention it. As I understand it, the monsters stats will no longer be determined by the difficult alone but scale with the level of your character. This sounds a lot like Diablo 2 and can be challenging as well as unfair at the same time since at some point your gear will no longer get better - even in RoS. Like I said, I don't know too much about that yet, but it seems to be part of the new endgame-orientated balancing and if done correctly will be a great game prolonging feature in the future.

Self explanatory... new Gems, new Weapons, new Armors,...
  • New Crafting Materials
Crafting materials have also been revisited. Even white items are now supposed to be worth collecting and salvaging. I recommend you check out some footage of what is worth saving from Vanilla.
  • Stack Sizes
Stack Sizes of crafting materials have been increased and won't take too many sperate slots in your chest anymore. So far it looks like all materials stack up to 1000 units in one slot!

Together with the "monsters scale with you" approach this is the one point that is still very unclear to me. Since first reveals of the addon, it was said that Monster Power - your personal difficulty adjustment option for endgame farming - will no longer be capped to level 10. Now it is not only gone completely but also the other "standard" difficulties (Normal - Nightmare - Hell - Inferno) have been removed. Instead we now have: Normal - Hard - Expert - Master and Torment 1  to 6. So... with Torment 6 there will again be a cap for the monsters and they will not get stronger, even if you reach paragon 1200??

Probably the best change of all! Yes, the downside is that trading will take place in kind of "unsafe" environments, but actually that is nothing new. I find myself asking the question: "Why would anyone want to trade at all, given Loot 2.0, awesome customization, and so on?", all the time. Also the game will on purpose make any item you change account bound and therefore render it untradeable. So yeah, the game is finally what it should have been, the loot you find, your loot and no ridiculous, completely beyond any reason auction house prices!

In-Game chat and channel options have been pretty bad in D3. Something the community criticized from the start. RoS has a completely overhauled chat system featuring new options especially for clan/group management.

Ladders (a competitive or rather comparative aspect of Diablo 3) are still not officially confirmed by Blizzard. Neverthells everybody is already anticipating a ladder system for sure. Since PvP will definitely still not be part of Reaper of Souls and similar to Diablo 2 a ladder might be the only system that could prolong the game almost indefinitely, I also presume that Blizzard will add it. - Probably not with the release of Reaper of Souls, but I am sure in one of the following patches. Presonally I don't care too much about a ladder, because I don't really want to play Diablo 3 competitive, but I can understand very well why a lot of player would want one. The best thing a ladder would do to me is shutting up the few real hardcore players and giving them something to be constantly busy with, while the rest of us could continue to enjoy the game without hearing about complaints that it is "too easy" all the time!


  • Life Steal removed (or rather rendered completely ineffective for higher difficulties)
Lots of skills and other abilities seem compensate quite well for that.
  • No more stacks of Nephalem Valor
Loot 2.0, Paragon 2.0, Itemization and new items in general are supposed to compensate for that. So far the droprates and items seem to work even with lower Magic Find, but basically it must be clear that your 300% Magic Find from a level 100 paragon character plus the bonus of 75% from Nephalem Valor, giving you a guaranteed Magic Find bonus of 375% is history! If you manage to transition with paragon level 100 to Reaper of Souls, you can - as it looks now - get only a maximum of 50% bonus Magic Find, provided you spend all 25 point on this paragon attribute! - The maximum Magic Find you can get with the new paragon system is +100% by the way.

! Due to changes since the last test server wipe, it seems Blizzard has still not decided to allow Magic Find as a paragon attribute at all. - Currently (PTR) the Magic Find slot has been replaced and it is no longer possible to put point into that attribute at all !
  • Several "Upgrades of comfort"
For example: If you equip a stronger spell on your secondary attack and you run out of the resource to cast it, the game will now automatically cast your primary skill instead.
  • Elemental Immunity
Certain items now seem to give you complete immunity (and even healing) against one element!
  • Crushing Blow
An attribute that deals 25% of a white enemy's health instantly according to a proc- coefficient. Crushing Blow will be tied to other skills or rather effects, like for example spawn a health globe when crushing and enemy. - This seems quite fun and useful!
  • Splash Damage
New attribute that deals damage to multiple enemies within a certain radius of the character.
  • Toughness
Is the new defensive value calculated and handled differently than the old Defense stat! Thoughness also includes your overall Life!
  • Nephalem Trials
Unfortunately didn't make it into the expansion. They were supposed to be a competitive aspect next to the also announced Loot Runs which turned into the Nephalem Rifts.
  • Nephalem Glory
Similar to health potions, these balls are dropped from time to time, stack up to three and enhance your offensive capabilities for a short time.
  • Standard Shrine Changes
Also all shrines have been overhauled and changed mostly to the better
  • Auto-Potion-PickUp
Something very useful that doesn't require you to manually pick up the potions anymore. The will be now picked up by you character automatically.
  • Respawn at Body
If you die you now have the option to respawn directly at your corpse and not just at the last Checkpoint!
  • Diverse Champion Packs
Champion Packs no longer consist of multiple enemies of the same type. There will now be a leader (the champion) and his minions can be completely different monsters from the game.


So, if the above wasn't enough for you and you still want to see everything with your own eyes, I would like to recommend you the following videos to get the best idea possible of Reaper of Souls:

1. ZIGGYD (YouTube, Web). He is one of my favorite public players covering Diablo 3 content. He knows a lot, is always friendly, never arrogant or blowing his own horn. And as a matter of fact I think he is currently the one streamer giving the best and most coverage of the Reaper of Souls beta. To prevent you from any spoilers and to get the best ideas of some of the new content I recommend the following videos in particular:

2. MOLDRAN (YouTube, Twitch) is another one of my favorite streamers and Diablo 3 players. Not only that we come from the same country, he is a particularly smart guy. If you ever wondered why Excel is such a useful program and how it can help you to understand Diablo and efficiency better, you should check out his videos! He is currently on his way back from studying abroad, but be sure when he's back he'll cover lots of Reaper of Soul calculations and give you the most efficient strategies way before the expansion launches! You should definitely drop by his stream and/or check his YouTube channel including those videos about RoS:

3. ARCHON the Wizard (YouTube, Twitch). Basically he was the streamer who introduced Diablo 3 streaming to me... I always liked him as well as his stream. He is a very natural and friendly guy being respected far beyond Diablo streaming. I didn't watch his stream lately because D3 got kind of boring before the RoS closed beta and also he switched to other games, but since he is back online with D3 and the new expansion there are already some must see videos from him:

That's it. I hope I didn't forget something, but even if I did... that'd be nothing more than another prove of the expansion's extent and what great things are coming! As soon as there are any other news and important developments, be sure to get an update here. - Maybe I will be picked and also get a key to the closed beta (which started a few days ago) and I will be able to give you some unique perspectives next time. So far I can only play the new PTR-Version which unfortunately doesn't include the major RoS content that unfortunately necessary to do real testing... anyway,..

Play more! Expect more!

Monday, December 9, 2013



This week my blog will be online for approximately 10 weeks. When I take a look at my followers I feel really happy to see the number growing close to 150! I never would have thought that I could get that many followers in such a short period of time. I don’t want to talk about success yet, but since I am not promoting my blog on a very big scale - mainly because I am new to this and sometimes I have a hard time understanding the rules of social networking services - I am positive that I at least do something right.

Yes, the number doesn’t really reflect direct page views or even real interest in the things I do; I already got that several people will only keep you added if you add them back. You know, people that post something rather stupid and useless every five minutes and have already 40k+ followers. I am sorry for those people, but I really don’t want to be spammed on g+ with posts on a minutely basis, that have nothing to do with videogames or technology. I did all this because of my love for videogames, not for growing big, not for personal gain and most certainly not to get spammed by the boredom or personal craving for recognition of some people… and their cats.

Same as I want to keep quality to my blog itself, I want to keep quality - in a sense - among the people that I add to my circles. This might sound a bit cocky, but I think most serious people on g+ understand what I mean. I am glad I could already make some friends during the past months and I am happy to find more every day. So, on that note, I am most thankful for the true core of followers that really have interest in my posts, that help me and that also for me post interesting, funny and informative things. Maybe these “core” followers come down to just a third of my total followers, but even if I just had you guys (and girls of course) I would be happy and continue what I am doing with a smile.


Since I also always like to give something back (even if it is just a tip), I would like to give you a flower this time. If you like videogame accessories you could probably check out +steve landaverde's page and browse through some great artwork and even shop for awesome T-Shirts or phone cases!

I know I can still learn a lot, come up with innovative content or topics and even bump up the quality of my posts further. You know, I don’t want to give you the same reviews like everybody else, including quick ratings like: graphic = four stars, gameplay = three stars, and so on. I don’t want to do the big research and quote every sentence I write, just like on the university. In the end I want stay true to myself and above all give you my opinion. I want give you an honest and in-depth perspective that you - gamer or not - can relate to and that you can trust, even without quotation. The best I can hope for is that you appreciate that and continue to support me by spreading the word and/or leaving a comment from time to time.

Thank you all very much,


Play more! Thank more!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013



Does your world end with the decision between PS4 or Xbox One? Or can you see beyond the horizon and realize what great times are ahead of us? Admittedly, it is hard to ignore the fact the basically most of what happened in the recent past of console gaming took place on either Microsoft's or Sony's flagship - the Xbox 360 or the PS3. Despite the other fact that Nintendo's Wii, as always thanks to its legendary brands, could keep up pretty well and that Nintendo basically owns the worldwide market of handhelds, we all know that the Wii could just graphically not reach the level of the Xbox or the PS4.

And although many people, including myself, think that graphic alone doesn't make a good game, we simply cannot ignore it. Long story short; most of us are used to our Xboxes and PlayStations. We even might have a Wii as well, but truth be told, we mostly play the other systems, right?

What I want to tell is that in contrast to how it might seem, the war is not over! Actually Microsoft and Sony are just fighting one single battle of a war that just got started. All over the world PS4s and Xbox Ones are released right now or have already reached the living rooms of their cheerful players. But this is not the end! It's not as simple as "first come, first served" anymore. And if you take it like this, well than the WiiU should have won by now, since it was released already a year ago! It all comes down to your personal preference and how you decide. But how do you make your decision?

Are you going for hardware specs? Do you take the console with the best media playing options, or the one with the best network? Do you have the luxury to get your hands on a new Xbox, a new PlayStation and have a WiiU already?

You know, I played and tested the Xbox One intensely, I saw the PS4 several times, but to be honest I really don't see the jump to the next level. Ever since, new consoles always dawned a new age of gaming. - That's why they have long been categorized into generations and everybody refers to them as "next-gen" consoles. But so far, I - as many others - can't see it... can't feel it. Actually, if it comes to WiiU that's where I can see a clear difference to the Wii! So basically we just have to put the WiiU into consideration as well. But even that is not enough... I hope you have already heard about the Steam Machine?

The Steam Machine is a console produced by Valve and supposed to launch 2014. It is capable of playing all Steam games, designed to be freely modified (similar to a PC) by its users, featuring a free and open operation system (SteamOS) based on Linux and allegedly the most advanced controller the world has seen in a quite a while.

You all did track how Steam has advanced over the last years and how it almost single-handedly brought PC gaming back to life again? - Yes, some people really thought (and some still think) PC is dead! You know how big the Steam market is and how many great AAA titles as well as independent games are born and available there on a daily basis?

And by the way; what about PC gaming itself? Another system you, as serious gamer, simply cannot ignore... that is at least until the Steam Machine launches.

And guess what, maybe you are that deep into the Xbox VS PS struggle, that even this is news to you: The god of information collection himself - Google - is currently thinking about his very own gaming console, the Google Nexus Orbit! - Though officially this project is just rendered as concept for now and the word "Nexus" gets kind of boring already, the thing is, that something like that could actually launch. Maybe next year, maybe in three years. Personally I see no reason for Google not to try it. If they can bring this concept to life and keep the current hardware specs together with the tons of unique options, like Google Glasses for example, we are in for a treat!


Well, I think the deeper you are in the rabbit hole, the more fun it is! And one could see choice also as excitement instead of a problem, because the question actually comes down to: Is it really that simple to narrow your gaming experience to just one or maybe two consoles? Just on the console market alone, now we are already faced with a decision between four great gaming platforms that all offer their unique appeal and quality: Xbox One, PS4, WiiU and the Steam Machine. Then there's the PC... and although it's not very unlikely that the Steam Machine will have the power to completely take games away from that platform and deem the PC to work only, is it so inconceivable that this will not be a fight only between PC and Steam Machine, but instead expand to the actual console realm too? And don't forget, there is also the possibility of other great gaming system in the very near future!

I don't know about you, but I am just excited about that! It reminds me of a fantastic past with lots and lots of gaming systems to choose from. I think this is what we all need. Everybody knows how bad a monopoly is from an economical viewpoint - which in turn comes down to the viewpoint of the customer. Not too long ago I was seeing us already playing on just one single system as expensive as three. But now I am happy! As much as we need new games, we need more systems too! More to talk and report about, more to criticize and argue with each other - basically: More excitement! I think we have great times ahead of us.

Play more! Choose more!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013



The new Wolfenstein: The New Order has been one of my most anticipated games for quite a while now. Recently it seems there's not so much talk on the internet about that game, which I absolutely don't understand. Neither the developer's page (machinegames), nor the publisher's (bethsoft) or even the offical game page (wolfenstein) offers any current news or statement. Why is there hardly any new information on that game? I am pretty sure that game is almost finished. On E3 this summer Andreas Öjefors (Sen. Gameplay Designer) from MachineGames said the game will be released during "holidays this year"... Although that was a rather imprecise statement, many eagerly waiting fans might have concluded to put this game under their Christmas tree.

Unfortunately the only information we can find now is a release date defined by only four digits: "2014". Why is that? Is there maybe some connection to the rumors about problems with the multiplatform games also released for the next-gen systems? You all remember the delay of Watch Dogs and the intense ripples it spread across the web; rumors it's been delayed because of graphical issues and/or network problems because of the DRM implementations being removed? Did the Wolfenstein officials disappear from the radar to avoid similar discussions?

Let me briefly recap why Wolfenstein: The New Order looks like one of the currently most promising story-driven, action-adventure first person shooter - boy, they didn't save on genre descriptions for this one: 1960, London, Nazis won the Second World War and constructed their global empire, they have astonishing and decades-ahead technology (including armies of killer robots!) and you are there to kick their asses! - Well, and also to uncover the story of how they did it, of course.

The game has a clear focus on the story, it offers puzzles, secrets, action and a ton of variation. Above all it is said to combine classic shooter elements, that were left behind, with modern day gameplay elements. This means there will be for example a classic health/shield system that you'll have to keep a good look on. Health regeneration will be there partially, but surely not in that lame way many common games do it. - Great! Can we also please have back a classic inventory of weapons? You remember: Collect a weapon and switch at any point of the game to any weapon you have ammunition for, etc. I actually don't think we will get that... somehow modern game designers seem to have problems balancing shooters when players have access to all the weapons and often decide to take the easy way out by letting them carry only two weapons at a time. Anyway, last but not least worth mentioning (unfortunately from yesterday's news): This game will be full with robots! The whole retro-science touch makes this game outstanding already. Futuristic technology from the point of view of a scientist who lived during the Second World War. - One word: Awesome!

But yeah, like I said... we already know all that. So please!!! - MachinGames, Bethesda Softworks, anybody... give us some news about your great game! How about an actual release date for once? A new trailer? C'mon, soon will be Christmas!

Play more! Inform more!

Monday, November 25, 2013


Yes, I think that did it for me... with this new game/addon/2nd part or whatever you might want to call it, Firaxis clearly ruled 2013! I was already blown to pieces by the first part XCOM: Enemy Unknown, which was interestingly also the game I did my very first review on, but this sequel exceeds its predecessor by far!

How is that possible you might ask... well, simply because Firaxis did the one thing everybody should do regarding sequels: they just added stuff! To many developers think they always need to reinvent the wheel with every new part they put out. Mostly they subtract on purpose or they end up losing some of the characteristics that made their game special in the first place in this futile attempt of replacement. Obviously the guys at Firaxis, well-known for always putting out high-class addons for their games, understand that very well.

Admittedly you might say Enemy Within is not a real second part but instead a conglomerate of single addons for Enemy Unknown, but you can buy this game stand-alone, you have a different main story, you have an additional side story and a ton of new and original content. - I think that more than qualifies for seeing it as a sequel.

I will not go too much into the details about the gameplay or what this game is at this point. If don't know anything about XCOM and you want to know more, please consider this (conveniently placed) link to my review of the first part.


In short, what is new in this game: Well, for one there are cyborgs/mechs in this part; frightening and intimidating battle machines that you can create from your soldiers control! Furthermore you'll be able to apply genetic upgrades to your soldiers somehow similar to the Psi-Abilities of the last part. However, the Psi-Abilities are still there - addition, no subtraction, remember? The gameplay didn't change a lot, if at all, it got more complex given all the new features. In Enemy Unknown, besides the good-old alien invasion plot, also your strategic management skills are put to the test as you face an alien sympathizing terror organization. Did you ever beat Enemy Unknown with no countries leaving your protection? Well, the terror cells spread across all nations will certainly keep you on your toes, since they will randomly throw nations into complete panic with their terroristic attacks. Trust me, you will be busy like hell in that game! - So much to research, so much to build, even more to upgrade and manage and... to make your life as hard as possible, never enough money or resources to do just that. And let's not forget about hundreds of enemies continuously getting harder to kill.


Unfortunately (speaking for the Xbox 360 version here) graphical bugs will be familiar to you from the last part. Actually there are even more that make it sometimes a bit frustrating to play. For example, when the game will not draw upper floors and you will end up confused where to send you troops. Also the randomness of the game didn't change for the better. I still don't know if that is what the creators wanted - it's definitely something that makes every playthrough different and exciting, but it is more than just annoying if you can sometimes forward 15 days in a row with nothing happening and then you'll have to play five missions within one single day. What also feels kind of feels strange is that now I think I will never play Enemy Unknown again... Why should I? The story of the first part wasn't that special and everything else is now outmatched by Enemy Within. I also cannot help but to feel a tad stupid; why did I buy the first part for so much money, if I could have just waited a bit for the second, even better - and by the way also cheaper - game instead? If you are new to that game, skip the first part, you won't need it.

In conclusion, there is so much new great stuff in that game, so many different options how to build your team, and so many dangers ahead. XCOM: Enemy Within is pure pleasure and strategy for easily more than 30 hours on your first playthrough and even more if that game finally drags you in! A must-have for any serious gamer who loves the challenge and likes strategic planning!

Play more! Overwatch more!

Thursday, November 21, 2013



Recently I had the honor to be interviewed by another pationate blogger and videogame fanatic: Fangirl Review. In her Gamer Corner she interviews gamers instead of developers, on a weekly basis.

In my opinion a great way to get more - and real - insight into the videogame realm, since developers are kind of politicians... - mostly saying nothing.

You can check out the interview at Gamer Corner: SeraphimIPX but you should also visit her general page for some great reviews and other posts about videogames or television series.

Thank you Fangirl for letting me part of this awesome campaign!

Play more! Interview more!

Monday, November 18, 2013


It was when I heard about a promising game called SOMA that I first came in contact with Frictional Games and their radically shocking concepts of making games; No weapons, exploration, hiding in the dark, insanity, and so on. Since SOMA will not be available for quite some time and I haven’t played a game like this before, I wanted to try it out. I wanted to see, if a game from Frictional could really be as scary as everyone was telling.

I decided to go with Amnesia: The Dark Descent, mainly because a close friend recommended it to me directly and I knew about the sequel A Machine for Pigs (released just a few months ago). I wanted the full spook program; I started to play in the evening, I turned off the lights, I was alone, I pumped up the sound of my computer and I also put the gamma and contrast settings of my monitor where they’re actually supposed to be. Retrospectively, I departed on a journey - truly, a dark descent, that I am to this day not sure what I should make of it.

The game is from 2010, so naturally I wasn’t expecting too much regarding graphics or even gameplay. However, both turned out to be quite good! The graphics felt very appropriate and were consistent with the theme and setting, while the gameplay was kind of new to me. - Ok, not too new but at least very refreshing and a good change of pace from this modern FPS and action flood. The focus is clearly put on exploration and survival, the items are scarce and some of the puzzles are more demanding than one might expect. It all comes down to you and your lantern, how good you are at creating a map of castle Brennenburg in your head and how much anxiety you can really take. I actually estimated this game will have about four hours of playtime… it turned out to be around twice as long as that. I thought I could finish the game in one, maximum two days… it took me more than a week! Why is that? - Due to the psychological stress it unleashed upon me. Seriously, I hardly could get myself to play the game more than one hour per day. Don’t get me wrong, this is not because everything was so spooky and I wet my pants all the time, it’s just that to me that game felt like a burden I put on myself. Not that it wasn’t fun and a nice experience within a great atmospheric environment but the themes of the game are rather dark and twisted.


Torture, for example, plays a central role in the game, and you know what? - I hate torture… I guess every sane person hates torture and cannot stand watching somebody being brutally tortured, yet alone being tortured themselves. But still, in some way it’s damn interesting, isn’t it? What sick torture devices were there in the past? How could someone do that to another person? After this game I spent easily two more hours on YouTube watching all kind of torture device documentaries and clips while trying not to vomit… and THAT… is exactly how the game felt to me. Why do I watch that? Why do I play that? If it makes me uncomfortable and I feel like I am suffering through this game, then why the hell do I play it? It’s not that there is a ghost and something spooky or shocking is happening… it’s just a sick story about torture and pain. After the really nice and spooky beginning of the game, after I realized how the game is working, I basically had only one goal: Get out of there, finish the game… fast! But the game didn’t let me. Every new puzzle began to feel kind of tedious and every encounter with an enemy became frustrating and annoying to say the least. - In that regard, please note that there are a lot of scripted events in that game, but sometimes the main monster that chases you seems as random as it can get. And sorry to say it like that, but if there are situations where there’s only one corridor that you have to pass and the monster keeps lurking just in that one corridor, I don’t give a damn! The monster might not react on any distraction and as soon as it spots you, you are dead! After the game resets you, you might get lucky and the monster is no longer in that certain area, so you can go on with the game.


I think you can see I still have mixed feelings about this game; On one side it was just disappointing, on the other it was an interesting experience, sometimes it felt exciting but most of the time it came across as solely disturbing and annoying. I liked the voice acting, the music and the sound effects but not necessarily the story. I think the game offers some great puzzles and scary events, but on the other hand the spook seems to get lost pretty fast and all that remains is frustration.

Like I said, during this game I felt torn between “I don’t want to play that anymore” and “It’s interesting, so let’s continue”. I don’t know if that’s what the creators wanted or if it was just my fault, given how I approached this game. After this game I just have to ask myself if all that disgusting and crazy stuff is really necessary in order to frighten people. Is there nothing but blood, torture and twisted thinking that induces fear? I certainly don’t want to put the game in a bad light for you and I suggest you try it yourself, but for me I think it will be best to let this game or rather "genre" rest for now. I am sorry for Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, but I don't feel in the psychological state to play it now. I will also skip a Penumbra part for the same reason. Depending on its release date I will however play SOMA most definitely!

Play more! Hide more!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013



You need to check that out, people! A few days ago I stumbled over a great fan site regarding hacked games. - Don't worry, nothing illegal going on there, this is a site made by a hobby coder and true fan of classic videogames. MIG, a guy with obviously really good taste, gathered a small community around his page and has been playing around with classic game code for a while now. So regarding the term "hacked games", he refers to classic games that he and others somehow changed, reprogrammed and/or filled with new content.

MIG himself ultimately wrote his own engine and created several homebrewed Castlevania fan games - The Lecarde Chronicles being the most recent.

In other words: CHECK OUT THIS PAGE and get to play a free, 100% retro Castlevania fan game that comes as close to originals from the 90s as it can get! I already played a bit into The Lecarde Chronicles and I love it so far! Awesome music, familiar simplicity in gameplay yet challenging, great graphics and overall real Castlevania atmosphere!

This game just queued into the top of my playlist, so be sure there will be a review coming up soon! I guess also the other games on that page (for example a Double Dragon fan game) are worth a look!

Play more! Whip more!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


Many things have been said about this game long before it saw the light of the day. I myself stated several times among friends that I don't think a Caribbean flair could fit to the franchise, how disappointed I have been by the last part due to its enormous lack of QA and that this alone would be a reason not to dive helter-skelter into Black Flag.

Well,... although this new game doesn't remove the stench of its predecessor and it won't get me to play the previous installment of the franchise again, one thing is as clear as the Caribbean sea: I was wrong. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is a great game in every aspect as far as I can tell after about 15 hours of playing. Actually it seems that the last part was more of a beta for this game, regarding the new mechanics implemented in Assassin's Creed III, similar to what we can see at certain operating systems.

The atmosphere and the environment is simply gorgeous. I think it's safe to say we all love the Caribbean and also the pirate life, although quite different than depicted in hundreds of movies and stories, has a certain appeal to us. So far, I haven't seen one single location in that game that didn't make me ooze into my couch because of joy. Although I am not the guy to go just with graphics, but if they are good it should be mentioned. And in this game they are not only good but actually perfect. For me the graphical aspects of a game don't start with pixels and end with frames - no, everything has to be coherent, harmonious and to fit to the experience. The world of Black Flag we can see, makes me dreaming.


Given the vast portfolio on moves that Ezio - sorry, Edward - can perform by now, it's an absolute pleasure to run and jump around palm trees and beautiful beaches on one side and - finally again - great rooftops on the other. Yes, it's still Assassin's Creed! Additionally another feature of the last part has been well implemented and taken to the next level in Black Flag: Ship battles. Actually it doesn't stop at battling, but the ship has become kind of your main travelling and exploration tool. But what would a good pirate game be without a pirate ship, right? And you will need it! The map - or rather the world - of this game is gigantic! You have smaller islands with treasures to find according to old-school pirate-style treasure maps, as well as bigger islands with beautiful cities. There are forts to bomb and fierce corvettes to sink, whales to catch and sharks to avoid. Whether the sun shines on your ship or you find yourself in the middle of a brutal storm, the sea never rests and neither will your heart.

Unfortunately I can't tell too much about the story right now, since I only played a part of the seemingly endless campaign by now, but I think it's safe to say that it is there. I don't know how they did it yet, but yes, even the core story of Assassin's Creed (Desmond, Aliens, Templars, etc.) is there. Since you would most likely not want to read spoilers, let's leave it at: We will see how it plays out.

I feel like I have to control myself not to get dragged into the game too much. Actually I have decided to postpone the rest of the game for now, because it is simply too big for me. I am still not done with all the challenges in the new Batman, and after so much hardcore Batman gaming, I am not ready to play the next two weeks nonstop on Black Flag. If this game has one crucial flaw I can tell for sure at this point, it is that it's just too big! Seriously, I don't want play right now because this would consume too much of my time... and three other games I'd like to play at the moment. I guess, sometimes we gamers are sick, right?

Maybe I should get me that bottle of rum...

Play more! Rum more!

Friday, November 1, 2013


"You play too much with your computer.", "Go outside, the sun is shining!", "I don't want you stay in your room all day. Go and get fresh air!",... sounds familiar to you? - The voice of a caring mother can be annoying sometimes, right? I was about nine years old and just got my hands on the new and fourth installment of the famous Megaman series for my Nintendo Entertainment System. Games were challenging as hell back in those days and I played this game every free minute I had. One day it was a really beautiful summer day; not a single cloud, hot, sunny and my mother was already bugging me throughout the whole breakfast not even to dare turn on that "dorky computer", as she liked to call it. But it's really not that simply, now is it?

Eventually I had no other option but to take a book and go read it outside on our terrace. - Of course, I sneaked the Megaman instruction manual with me inside of the book. After a while I noticed our small side table and began immediately to calculate the measurements of it. In my head the image got clearer and sharper with every minute. "What a great idea", I thought and promptly told my mother about my ingenious plan: "Look,... side table + my television + NES + fresh air = everybody happy". Naturally she had her concerns, but it didn't take too long to convince her to try and so I got all the stuff from my room and assembled it according to my vision.

The side table was rather small, since we mainly used it to put on drinks and glasses when we had guests on our great barbecue parties. But on the other hand so was my television. Back then we didn't have such fancy and big screens like today. My whole NES, SNES as well as the PlayStation childhood videogame universe took place on a screen with approximately 16''. Nevertheless, this television - which I still have stored by the way - was perfect for the small side table and there was nothing standing between me and Megaman anymore. After a few days I didn't even take my TV back inside anymore. I just left it outside and got up even more early on the following days to play already during breakfast.

Time went by and although the side table disappeared, I always found something else to put my television onto, year after year, when the winter was finally over. Eventually also my small TV got replaced by newer models over time and I started to use our arbor back in the garden instead of the terrace. Also my friends were crazy about that idea and started doing the same at their homes. Ever since that old Nintendo days, most of the time we were visiting each other during summer we played outside; whether it was on terraces, with a few chairs in the middle of the lawn or in other great places like an old barn, where it became sort of a tradition for us to conduct a LAN-party every year, if time and weather allows it.

Outside and together

I have nothing but great memories of my spring and summer days. Be it Super Mario World, A Link to the Past or Secret of Mana on the Super Nintendo or Final Fantasy VII, Sysmphony of the Night and many more on the PlayStation, the Xbox and all of my other systems, I will always remember that days with a smile. Even today and although I am no longer living with my parents, I still prepare my arbor at home with a couch and a television every year. To me, there is nothing better than spending a sunny afternoon with friends and games in that magical place next to our small pool. And when the sun sets and the stars appear on the sky preceding a warm summer night, nobody thinks about going home or the stressful lives we have now...

We keep setting one golf record after the other in Wii-Sports instead. We keep drinking, laughing, philosophizing and enjoy our wonderful moment with videogames in one of the best ways they can be played: Outside and together!

Play more! Reminisce more!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Two years after the events in Arkham City the Dark Knight spreads his wings again. Batman: Arkham Origins, the current part of the popular Batman Arkham franchise, was eagerly expected by the countless videogame vigilantes and is at the moment rotating in many systems over the world.

What has changed? How is the game? Here, as always, my personal in-depth review and opinion.

First let’s begin by saying that I basically liked the game. I think it’s a lot better than the second installment (Arkham City) in terms of the narrative, the presentation and - of course - the combat system, since that again got upgraded with moves, gadgets and fierce enemy types. For me the battling is one of the key parts that made this franchise special from the begin with. It is challenging, responsive, fast, tactical, it feels natural and makes a ton of fun. I have played a lot of Hack & Slay and brawling titles in my history of gaming, as well as countless action adventures, but never had I seen a game with such a masterpiece of a battle system before Batman: Arkham Asylum in 2009! Some were close, like The Matrix: Path of Neo for example, but Sefton Hill’s Freeflow Combat System set the bar to an unprecedented level. The core of the combat system is so simple that it is fast and easy to learn throughout all gamer classes and ages. Nevertheless it will still take quite a while of hardcore gaming and concentration to really master the system and get some juicy 150+ chains.

Aside to the well established and yet again improved combat system the new Batman looks graphically better than the last, in my opinion. I am not talking about resolution or frames of course, but about the general look and feel of the city - Gotham, in this part. Yes, there are lot of complaints on the net about the city being too empty, especially on a Christmas evening, but I wouldn't take that too seriously. I mean, what do some people expect? First of all: It's Christmas, so I guess naturally people could also spent their evening with their family at home. Furthermore: It's Gotham, and hardcore criminals are on the loose because of the bounty on the bat's head! I mean, did some people really expect NPCs to have some small talk with in a Batman game? "Hello Batmen. Can you help me with the groceries or are you very busy at the moment?". Actually I think you can even enjoy this city a lot more, because there are still a lot of enemies on the streets, even at the end of the game, and that was not the case in Arkham City! if I remember correctly, in Arkham City the streets just got emptier and emptier over time. No, I think the Gotham is fine the way it is. Also flying around through the different districts feels a lot more comfortable than in Arkham City.

For all out there still playing through the story and wondering what the second disc is for: Batman: Arkham Origins features a great multiplayer mode that, after just a few rounds, looks very promising and like many more hours of fun. At the moment (probably there will be a lot of DLC) you can play as a member of Joker's or Bane's gang and fight against each other until reinforcements (team respawns) are used up and the enemy gang is defeated, or other game mode specific objectives are completed. And while the gangs struggle in a 3rd-Person style shooter other players take control over heroes (Batman, Robin, Joker or Bane) and sort of do their own thing. Of course the Joker and Bane support their team. While the heroes control scheme is more or less familiar from the game, admittedly the shooter controls of the gang members feel a bit strange, but can get used to after a few rounds. I must say this multiplayer mode is basically the main thing that saved the game for me, cause without it there would be not much new stuff to it. All in all it's thought through well the only issue is that it is a bit unbalanced for beginners, since it is based on a level-up experience tree and rewards hardcore players with better weapons and equipment. Basically while you start on level 1 with a submachine gun and underpants, level X players already have camo-clothing, armor bonuses, aim support, rocket launchers and what not. If you start to play online, prepare to die constantly and big time!

Last but not least to mention in a positive light is the story; in my opinion the story, although short, is good. It could have included a deeper insight into the beginnings of the Dark Knight, but it was decent - including the one major ... twist I am not revealing at this point, of course.

Above I stated, that I basically liked the game. So naturally that implies there's also a few things I didn't like. The first and foremost thing I didn't like is an obvious QA issue with this game. I honestly don't understand why they released the game in the state it currently still is in, but probably publishing schedules again. I tell you honestly that this game made my Xbox crash and freeze to death on an hourly basis! And that didn't happen only to me but also to a whole lot of other gamers. A friend even had to start the campaign all over again after he got stuck falling into an infinite black void over and over due to a mandatory auto-save! - If that happened to me,.. oh boy, I would be raging that game to pieces. For myself, I "only" experienced about crashes and stopped counting after the 25th. They appeared mostly when initiating a fast travel, but also when passing over from on district to another on foot, when opening the map, even during battles as well as in multiplayer. In one word: Ridiculous! How could this major flaw have not been detected during testing?

The other major issue of the game, at least I want to complain about, is it's open world characteristic. Sorry, but I just don't like it. It's the same like in Arkham City; too much redundant and boring riddles and mostly uninspired side quests from the "other" villains. But above that, what I absolutely hated and what made me furiously skip the credits roll, is that the game didn't tell me when I entered the last location. You know, like: "This is the last location. Here you will face the last boss and you can't get back out and do side quests until you beat the boss!". I am sorry, but I am one of the of gamers, that like to complete everything to a 100% and then, JUST THEN, go to the boss and beat the game! This "Congratulations, you beat the boss but you can still run around without a goal afterwards"-attitude, mostly common in open world games, just annoys me deeply!

Finally I would like to conclude this review by getting back to the one question that I stated at the beginning: What has changed? - Well, and that really hurts to say: Not much. Besides the new multiplayer feature, combat upgrades, more tedious boss encounters and the ingenious rename from "Riddles" to "Extortion Files", there is not much traceable effort from the side of Warner Bros. Games Montreal. Like I said in my first impression, the game (story mode) is basically the same like Batman: Arkham City. Again, without the multiplayer feature, I think there went an almost negligible amount of additional code into the game's engine, from the time that Rocksteady Studios handed it over. We pretty much only got new models, animations, locations, names and pictures. Not to say that this alone wasn't a lot of work, but does it really justify this game to most likely once again cash-in a ton of awards, titles and above average ratings? I don't know... Sometimes I hate it when franchises always want to reinvent the already best solution with every part (like Final Fantasy), yet sometimes it feels absolutely wrong if they just do the minimum and get even more money than the last time. I guess we're back at what I think to be the main problem of the videogame industry after all - franchises.

As good as I still also find this game to be for the most part and as much as I still might continue to enjoy the multiplayer mode, for me the Batman: Arkham +"STRING" train has departed. If the next game will again be the same but with other pictures, I am pretty sure I will not buy it anymore.

Play more! Chain more!

Monday, October 28, 2013



Just saw another rather shocking video on g+ and I didn't want to hold back this vital information from my loyal blog-only readers!

  • Games (like Watch Dogs) are really delayed, because...
  • Network systems of both platforms are months away from being ready, because...
  • Both networks were initially built around DRM and now have to be reprogrammed
  • Sony had the same DRM plan like Microsoft and played a tricky card
  • Trade-Up program requires installation and original disc to play the upgraded version
  • Dead Rising 3 stripped of key online features to be playable at launch
  • Due to network issues Call of Duty Ghost will be 720p on Xbox One and PS4 but 1080p native on WiiU

Funny thing is that I've heard similar information like this also from other ends...

Is there some truth in it?
Will this next-gen launch be really as ugly as many expect it to be?
Can they fix the online systems in time and prevent the disaster?

Play more! Ask more!

Thursday, October 24, 2013



Alright everyone... after a few hours with the new Batman, as promised, my short and spoiler-free first impression:

It's great! The first thing I noticed was that battling is a bit easier. Not in a bad way... it's still challenging as hell and got extended once more. Could be due to the "normal" difficulty that I feel the timeframes to counter are longer. The game looks incredible, the villains are interesting and there seems to be a long road ahead until completing the game, filled with an awesome story!
There are several new features like special boss encounters for example but in general the game is more or less exactly like the second part (Arkhman City). Personally I think the city of this new part is a lot better in many ways and also more detailed and beautiful then Arkham form the last part. Nevertheless, I urge you not to expect a completely new Batman... seriously the game, the actual game engine is essentially the same like in the second part; although it was extended in many ways, it will feel and look exactly like Arkham City, but with other images.
So yes, I think it's already safe to say that the new Batman can't get up as high as the first part, but still it is a lot of fun and entertainment. I can't wait to continue, but for now I need a few hours of rest...

I would love to tell you more, but I don't want to spoil you something!! I think I said the most important thing already and although a more detailed comparison with Arkham City needs to be done, here it is again: Expect a new and better Arkham City but not the same atmosphere, uniqueness and character of in Arkham Asylum!

Play more! Punch more!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013



So who else can't wait for the new Batman game? My Bat-Sensors are on full capacity - of course trying to avoid getting spoiled too much. Will this game be the bomb? Closer to the first part and better than the second? I really hope so. Cause in my opinion Batman: Arkham Asylum was probably the best game that came out in the current generation of videogames!

Why? - In one sentence: Because it had everything and more, but also managed not to have (to want) too much! A great hero, his background, the true nature of the Batman universe, together with iconic villains... all that was transformed and brilliantly retold in a videogame. The game itself took Hack&Slay-style battling to a whole new dimension, it offered us a great story within a perfectly created, seemingly endless yet enclosed game environment, it made us sneak and hide as well as kick and punch, it made us explore and think and above all it was full of fun, action and atmosphere. Since that game got released I am playing it about two times per year a new, and I see no reason to stop this tradition in the future.

Unfortunately the second part didn't feel that good to me anymore. Ok, given a lot more gadgets and moves, the battling was even better than in the first one, but I absolutely didn't like that the game moved a lot more into the open world direction. Another thing that I absolutely didn't like on the second part, as well as probably the main reason why it can never come close to the first, is that in Arkham City they already wanted too much. I am talking about the riddles, of course. In Arkham Asylum the number and balance of the riddles was perfect, while in the second part there were simply too many riddles.

So what do I hope from Arkham Origins? What are my fears?

I hope they will not dumb down the battling system. - A few month ago I read a statement that this - of course articulated differently - was one of the main goals for the developers. Well, I hope they didn't, and reaching high combos will be as challenging as before. I fear that, also according to the information on the web, this game will have an even bigger open world characteristic than the second one... but I guess we will soon see how it really is.

Play more! Bomb more!

Sunday, October 20, 2013



As announced before, Friday I got my critical hands, eyes and entertainment sensors on the new Xbox ONE. Microsoft rented the beautiful event location MetaCity in Vienna for all the weekend to promote their new “all in one” box on tour. Although I did play with the new Xbox before, I was very happy to get the chance to visit this event since the tour is sort of semi-public only, and gives you a lot more time to play.

The event itself, as well as the location itself was great: I think there must have been over 80 ONEs there, beautiful and atmospheric decorations, good catering and nice staff. Unfortunately the absence of visitors underlined an obvious insignificance of the next generation system. Ok, they still had all the weekend left and I guess not everyone has the time on a weekday, right? I am curious however how big of an event it had really been at the end.

At some point I actually liked that there weren't too many people, because it can be a bit uncomfortable among the masses sometimes. In this case, I could enjoy everything almost privately, I never had to wait in line and could play all the games for as long as I wanted.

All together I tested 11 Xbox One titles and I will present you a really short first impression and opinion of them below. Furthermore, I took a critical look at the hardware, and for me personally found out something great, as well as one big letdown.

This will not be a complete and absolutely detailed report, because I don't want to tell you something that you already know. Against the title of this post I still want you to go there and experience things for yourself. As always, I will tell you what was new and important to me.

Now, after this event, my mind is made up 100%. I know that I will definitely not buy an Xbox One within the first half year since release I will most likely be waiting and watching until next spring.



  • The console itself is a monster; it is so enormous, I wouldn't know where to put it.
  • It looks nice and clean however.
  • Loading times are partially ridiculous, but obviously nobody is interested in that anymore nowadays.
  • Kinect was plugged in and on some sort of standy-by while playing games, which I found great and surprising! It was even possible to obscure Kinect and still play the games. Since this was a demo event, I hope the "always-on camera" and "not being able to play if Kinect can't see you" issues are not just coming up, when logged in via live-account though.
  • The system froze two times while playing. Reboots took several minutes! - Could have been due to the demo setups and will not appear with full games... seems a lot familiar to a known 360 issue though.
  • The new home menu doesn't look to different but offers a lot more things than the old one at the same time. - Ok, that we all know already.
  • The controller was unfortunately the biggest letdown I experienced. It is too small, too edged, to hard and in short feels totally uncomfortable. The new sticks move a lot more sensitive and stabile, on the other hand they are also way too small and again feel simply too uncomfortable to rest the thumbs on. - It could be just the change that feels uncomfortable at first,... I sincerely hope I can get used to the new thing at some point, cause after 10 minutes of FIFA my hand started to pain quite a lot!



All the games I played were demos only. They didn't have all the features of the full versions and might be different from them in many ways. Also the connected televisions might not have been state of the art and you know how it is... on such events you are basically always to close to the screens, because of the cables.

  • Does not only not look as I expected it, actually I think it looks pretty bad. - Seriously, these are the graphics you see as next-gen?
  • The game is to slow for my feeling of a multiplayer shooter.
  • Maybe the campaign is better in graphics and gameplay and can save this game. Multiplayer isn't for me, that's sure.

  • Was looking forward for that game (childhood memories), but didn't kick me too much.
  • Graphics are nothing special.
  • Combos can get really sick, like in the old days and the sound is great.
  • Seriously hope the game has a good story campaign, like Mortal Kombat did for example. Without such a campaign I have already seen enough of the game.

  • The other parts weren't for me, so why should this one be?
  • Yes, a ton of options; pick up and throw everything, build one million cars, gadgets and stuff.
  • The kind of "free roaming" scenario playable at this event is fun... at least for 10 minutes.
  • Controls seem good, graphics and AI showed nothing special.
  • A million zombies but fear factor = zero.
  • It plays a lot like Fighting Force, but somehow I just miss the point of the game. Maybe a story/campaign or playing with friends can put some more juice into it...

  • I guess it's Forza... never have been too much of a car game fan. Especially not a fan of realistic car simulations.
  • The game is boring to me but might have its loyal and big audience, which I respect.
  • In contrast to the general opinion I really don't think the graphics of this game are very good. Yes, there is a lot of anti-aliasing and it looks smooth, but in my opinion everything looks way too artificial. - Really, if I take a look at the race track, to me everything seems made out of plastic. The only thing that looks nice are the cars. But even in that matter current-gen cars pretty much did it for me.

  • Plays kind of interesting, with high combo possibilities.
  • Features a level-up/progression system with lot of skills and moves.
  • Relies more on tactical combat than on button mashing, similar to the new Batman games.
  • Setting and graphics are OK, yet nothing mind-blowing.
  • A game that needs a good campaign to immerse players. The multiplayer and arena components are more like the cherry on top of the cake. The actual cake however is still missing.

  • Graphically the most advanced game on display. - On the other hand, also FIFA 13 is pretty good already.
  • The rest is clear; It's FIFA, so it's for people that like football simulations. I am more of an occasional FIFA-player. - Yes, I got a few tricks up my sleeve, but since I don't really see the big yearly advances, I always get only every third part of the series. So for me FIFA 15 will be the next.
  • What I find to be the best improvement of this game is that throw-ins now are dynamically and realistic. That feels really good, but won't get me to buy that game.


In addition to these 6 rather big titles there were also a few "smaller" ones presented to the players: Zoo Tycoon, Peggle 2, Max: The Curse of Brotherhood, Crimson Dragon and Kinect Rivals. I honestly want to spare you every word possible about these games and try to sum up all that I have taken from them in a short paragraph.

I don't get it. Why are such games at an 18+ launch event for a new  - supposedly - next-gen console? One game is a puzzle game with nothing remotely exciting, the other one is supposed to be canceled already and the next one builds upon a nice idea but seems to be conceived for five year old players... I really don't get it. Are there really still no games that Microsoft can show us? The only game that's looking even remotely interesting from these titles was Zoo Tycoon, but this game is also more special interest than for a broader audience, I guess.

Yeah,... and please somebody blast Kinect! I hated the old one as well as most of the games made for it, and - in contrast to the approach "We've now gone from the childish theme to a look and feel that aimes also at the grown-up players" - it is still the same to me: unresponsive, boring, childish and above all exhausting!



Yep, I felt kind of disappointed and my premonition unfortunately came true: I just cannot see this new console as next generation at the moment. Basically all that has changed are the networking and application control features. There is nothing outstanding or better regarding graphics or gameplay at the moment. In fact the total absence of any real good launch title speaks for itself.

I will most certainly not pay a ton of money for a system at launch, that doesn't give me a single great and/or new game. At the moment the Xbox One is still basically the same like 360 but with a better media center. So far I didn't have the chance to deeply check out the PS4 but from what I've seen and heard, I assume it's the same situation. Like I said above, I think it will be best to just wait and get a new console when there are games out.

Either what's going on now is a great economical plot that creates lots of revenues, or Microsoft as well as Sony are being really, really nice to us. The great and truly next-gen games are definitely coming and the technology will be good for something at some point; be it the new Wolfenstein, Titanfall, Watch Dogs, and many more, I think it's just really nice I am not forced to play all that stuff on a new system, but can instead use the ones I already have to get out the same experience!

The event itself was great and of course I encourage everyone to get on the tour and make up his/her own mind. For me one thing is clear: The time to get a new Xbox will come, but not just yet...

Play more! Wait more!

Thursday, October 17, 2013



The tour has reached Vienna, the cables are already plugged-in and since it is not a public event and allegedly only Very Important Players (what an honor), in reasonable quantitiy, were invited, I am really looking forward to get the most experience out of this.

So stay tuned over the next couple of days, cause my personal, first-hand report will be coming up soon!

Play more! Tour more!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013



Bad luck for those upcoming next-gen console releases... what will be left to play now? Do we really have a delayed release because they need to tweak the game further, or is it maybe just another financial plot because of the other major releases during the next months?

Well, I am sure we'll find some other games we can spend our money on... or is this what they want?
I am sad but I'll get over it... my playlist is long enough anyway.

Play more! Doubt more!


I guess weall remember the (good) old Robocop games on various platforms...

(To the left is a screenshot of a GameBoy version from 1991)

Ok, I haven't played all of them but a good deal and I think I am not leaning out of the window too much, if I said they all have one thing in common: They are slow and tedious! Why? Because Robocop is definitely one of the slowest and most tedious characters sicence-fiction ever brought to life. Yes, he might be a tank on two legs, but don't you remember him walking at this incredibly slow speed, almost falling with every step and how elegant he could turn? I always thought that this is absolutely no character you can make a videogame of, but actually there where quite a lot. Back in 2003 Titus realized that given the statuesque characteristics of Robocop there was only the FPS-Genre to put him in. And so, ten years ago, the last (bad) Robocop game was released.

I always liked the Robocop universe: Delta City, OCP, uncontrolled crime and of course... robots! Seriously the setting and atmosphere of the movies, which can easily be sorted into the cyberpunk category, offers such a great basis for storytelling. It's like one of the most plausible fictions we can imagine for ourselves at the moment: Dystopian futuristic cities, where citizens are separated into to poor and frightened lower class and the wealthy, protected upper class, where violence rules in the dirty, burning streets, where technology is everywhere, flying drones and robots are on patrol, surveillance cameras track your every move and the people are tied into the system with no escape,... oh boy, that's some real great stuff there!

Actually I was always thinking about making a (for once) good Robocop game myself, if I ever had the money. Since Robocop as main character was no option I always wanted to have a human as protagonist. You know,... a cop, first day on the job, young and inexperienced but with great skills and technological understanding. He would be part of a special force and assigned to Officer Lewis. Together they would fight the crime with some real human agility as well as a bunch of techno-gadgets and uncover the bad doings of OCP & Co. Robocop would just be some sort of sidekick, drop in every now and then and do what he does best: Stomp around, brag about legal paragraphs and tank everything to dust.

Unfortunately for my concept, yet fortunately for videogame and movie lovers, we will all see a brand new and contemporary Robocop movie next year! And guess what: The new Robocop will be depicted without his major flaw of lameness. He is so fast, apparently he can even run and jump at high speed. Murphy 2.0 also seems to prefer a fast motor bike instead of a car. (

Not only that the new movie looks really promising, I think we can all expect a future with more than one new Robocop game. And since the Robocop of this century can obviously do a lot more things than the old one, the cards are mixed again and give us seemingly unlimited options. Please give us good new Robocop games! And if you still want to go with my idea,... you know where to find me. I'd be happy to help you with the game design.

Play more! Stomp more!