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    • The Citizen Kane of gaming

      5 years ago

      Hi, I’m fjveca, and I wanted to talk about something that has come across a lot of times from the gaming industry, some days ago a fellow twitter friend twitted about an article that Forbes  published about video games and the developer David Cage (Why David Cage Will Help Sony Sell PlayStation 4 Hardware And Create The Citizen Kane Of Gaming) that I could not make myself to read completely, and the title of the article itself had a term that has become quite common for the video game industry "the Citizen Kane of gaming", Citizen Kane has become a staple of the cinema, often regarded as the best movie ever made, or the most important movie of all time, most influential film ever, and rightly so, it is a movie that really pushed forward how films were made and was greatly ahead of its time, incredibly praised by critics and surely used in cinema schools to teach film students how movies should be made, the question is should videogames developers strive to make this “Citizen Kane of gaming”?


      Citizen Kane cover


      There are many reasons why Citizen Kane set a before and after line, but to condense all that I would say is that Citizen Kane was the first to actually use the strengths of the film media to its advantage, but amazingly we have seen video games actually doing this, games like Bioshock have made incredible stuff with narrative (would you kindly scene) that was infinitely more powerful because most of the actions happened because you actually made them happen and that is something that movies could never pull off, even with games with little narrative like Journey manage to convey it's message through very little exposition and more with the mechanics of the game, overall at the end of the game.


      But even those games, while moving the video game industry forward could not compare to what Citizen Kane did overall because that movie introduced so many things that later became industry wide standards on how movies should be made and at their very core both Bioshock and Journey are still an FPS and a Platformer really good ones but they didn't defined how FPSs and Platformers should be made, but that doesn't mean that games have not had such breakthroughs, it only means that we should be looking elsewhere to find something that could be considered this “Citizen Kane” games like Half Life 2, a game that absolutely refined how FPSs should be made, games like The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time that introduced a plethora of features that are now industry standards even for games that are not in the same genre of video games, or even the Super Mario Brothers series that completely defined how 2D sidescrolling platformers should behave and even Resident Evil 4 that did a lot for Third Person Shooters.


      Pushing Gaming Forward


      There is also a problem of length, films are incredibly short compared to video games, the average movie lasts between 90 and 180 minutes with very few films going beyond the 180 minutes, now if our standard video game lasted that long even with a multiplayer option most of the critics would rightly claim that asking 60 US$ for a 2-3 hour campaign is outrageous, we even think that a game that lasts less than 8 hours is short, but of course that a game that is 8 hours long can’t be 4 hours of narrative, unless you are speaking of a Metal Gear Solid game but those are generally not 8 hours games and it also is the exception that confirms the rule, but video games have the time to have stories with more depth and character development because most of the time restraints placed in a film doesn't apply in the video game industry and those who play the game have more time to think about what the game story is trying to convey us, overall since after a cutscene most games have 2 options, the first is offer a combat (be it a boss battle or a wave of enemies) or exploration time where we can digest and think about for a while what we saw.


      Video games are an intrinsically different medium than movies due to their defining interactive nature, and even there are times where they don’t need narrative to be engaging, take Tetris as an example of this, it’s a very simple puzzle that has no story whatsoever but it is one of the most recognized games in the history of the medium, so asking for a videogame equivalent of the “Citizen Kane” seems like a lackluster comparison, overall taking into consideration that there are a lot of film technics used in video games cutscenes that very probably are derived from the Citizen Kane film.


      But my main problem with this terminology is that every time the term “the Citizen Kane of gaming” is thrown it implies that video games so far have been unable to tell stories that have impact on our feelings and our points of view, that so far video games have not been able to generate emotions from its audience, and that is completely false, I have personally was moved on lots of moments in many games, I cried at the ending of Final Fantasy X, I felt the shivers of fear go through my spine in Dead Space 2 when I had to stick a 60 inch needle through Isaac Clarks eye, and it took a lot from me to actually pull the trigger to kill The Boss in Metal Gear Solid 3, and completely helpless when the main villain of infamous decided to kill Cole McGrath girlfriend regardless of which choice did I take, games can generate emotions in ways that movies can’t even dream about performing, if you can’t believe me go and play all the episodes from The Walking Dead because they are the latest best example on how to make your audience engaged emotionally towards the characters and story of a video game.



      Everybody knows you need at least 30000 polygons to convey emotions


      In the end this term has become something completely misleading and that tries to put films and video games in the same place when they are a very different animals, it subjugates video games as a lower class of films that should forget what they are and try to be movies, but lots of people likes this term because Citizen Kane meant a lot for the film industry and using this term would make outsiders understand what those people think the video game industry is aiming to accomplish, and there have even been attempts to say such a game already exists, but it also creates lots of false expectations because video games are not movies.


      And here is where I get absolutely frustrated about people using the term “Citizen Kane of gaming”, there are developers that actually believe that they will make the first game that will make anyone engaged in a video game narrative, and with that they dismiss a plethora of games that have actually made millions of people care about their storylines and characters, they dismiss lots of people that have made excellent games that have set trends and industry standards on how video games are and should be made, this term has become a staple of pretentious people that like to look down on us, their audience, and telling us that they know better than us about what we like, and that is just insulting.



      Disclaimer: not a real David Cage quote


      I guess that my petition to developers with great ambitions on leaving a mark in this industry is stop trying to revolutionize games like they were movies, try making better games, I know that the analogy that the term “Citizen Kane of gaming” makes, sounds pretty because it carries the sort of message you want to convey and even people outside the gaming world could understand, but singing early praise to your work will only come as pretentious, and you might end like Gearbox with Alien: Colonial Marines, so many praising was made before the game was released and we know full well how the final product turned out to be, so try to learn something from other peoples failures, be humble and just try to make your game great then if your game ends up being that good praise it all you want, but please stop using the “Citizen Kane of gaming” term while you’re at it, there is no reason to use this term and it sounds egotistical and completely out of touch with the medium you are working on.

    • Favorite games of 2011 (20-11)

      6 years ago


       Hello g1s , I am fjveca and today just like last years I will sum up the best games I've played in 2011, and let me tell you this has been one of the most amazing years for gaming that I can remember, so many old franchises releasing new installments and also many big franchises of this generation also continuing to expand their respective legacy, so many great games, so many awesome surprises, old franchises making really awesome comebacks, and current gen franchises claiming to have a place in the heavens of gaming , so what's it gonna be? let's find out.


      But first a warn, even while this year has been the biggest year on the remake, collections and rereleases I won't list any of those in this list, so you won't see any Ocarina of Time 3D, nor ICO Collection, and another game that I won't list is Minecraft, the reason Why I won't list this game in this list is because it was a game that was released as an alpha in mid 2009 and the beta was running and selling since late 2010, so by any means this game is not a 2011 game, it sold more than a million copies before it was "officially launched". Also every once in a while on this list I will take a break from it to discuss some things that I consider relevant that happened throughout the last year, so without any further ado let's start with the games 20-11.


      NUMBER 20



      The last time I played an NBA JAM game, it was on the arcades so much time ago that I can't remember the year, but I loved the game, and I enjoyed it every time I played it so after a long time and a decision to pass over the first time EA put a revamped JAM I simply couldn't resist trying this one, overall after seeing the hilarious out of the box that ScrewAttack did for it, it seemed like it was all the fun I remembered from the original one, and to be completely honest it is a really fun game, and now with online gameplay to extend it's life.


      The game it's everything that it was and it even got revamped features like team fire while doing 3 alley hoops in a row, and a seemingly endless amount of unlockable stuff, that include secret characters, extra teams, basketball skins, and many things more, but here is the thing, somehow I can't play this game for more than 3 matches in a row, after that I feel like it's way too much NBA JAM for me, I guess that part of what I enjoyed when it was on the arcades was to actually play with other people face to face and since I don't have the chance to do that so often now, the game loses a lot of it's appeal, great game but it's only in it's top while you play with or against other people.


      NUMBER 19

      MARIO KART 7


      First Mario game on this list and a return to the Kart tracks since the appearance of Mario Kart Wii, and to be honest there isn't too many new things here besides the 3D effects, and yes the new powerups are fine but there is no real advance in this series, still that doesn't mean the game is bad, actually sticking to the tried and true formula pays off, it is fun, it is everything we remember from the Mario Kart series and I like it a lot.


      The graphical update is very welcomed overall for a portable console, and that makes me eager to see how much more impressive can the 3DS titles be, and overall the game still largely feels the same. One thing I still don't get from Nintendo is why are they giving the option for gyro controls on the 3DS, that breaks completely the illusion of 3D in the game and is not the best option to control the vehicles but overall a very solid game to have a little fun. 


      NUMBER 18


      Sonic fanboys bitched about ANYTHING that sega did with sonic, so what did Sega do to try and please some fans? what about releasing a game with 2 Sonics? the classic one and the modern Sonic, and it seems that Sega found a way to make Sonic games good again, while I enjoyed Sonic The Hedgehog 4 a lot I have to say that this game is miles better than that one, even while being almost incomparable, overall taking into account that this game has 2 main gameplay modes, the first a high speed sidescroller a la classic Sonic and a modern Sonic mode with change of views and of course at high speed.



      A caption for a captioned screenshot capscepcion!!!


      This game is tricky to analyze sometimes, while it is good, sometimes I didn't felt so entertained and overall the game is short if you don't want to eternally replay zones, although the art style is really good because each zone has it's classic feeling, even the modern Sonic zones feels like they belong to the modern games so props to Sega for capturing the spirit of their main franchise and make it a really enjoyable game, from time to time, it is really good to see that Sonic is back on it's feet, a few more games like this and we could say that he actually has come back for good.




      Well if 2011 has taught us anything is that big mistakes cannot be hid anymore, we have faced from a very bad launch for the 3DS, the PSN outage & hack debacle, the Origin spyware scandal, and almost every single customer database was hacked this year not even steam seemed to be safe from it, so if I can wish for anything this year is that things don't go south like last year since in the end the ones that suffer are us the gamers, but if the few days of this year are any indication, we are far from safe, with this version of SOPA still out there lurking it's big shadow it's simply impossible to say what will happen but I really hope that it doesn't pass.


      NUMBER 17

      FIFA 12

      This year like every year we have a new FIFA game, but I haven't bought one ever since the one released in 2009,and I enjoyed that game the 2 years I've had it and played it regularly, but sicne as far as I'm concerned there were many changes between the 2 last editions that I couldn't pass this years update, and I have to say that the game is very good, the new physics system works really well, and the revamped defense system is the biggest change I've seen in this games in a very long while, to that you can add the resters update and the Ultimate FIFA 12 that wasn't free the last time I bought a game, so I still think it was a good decision to acquire this game.



      Too realistic maybe?


      But that doesn't mean I don't have issues with it, the most notable is that this is the hardest FIFA for scoring goals which is not a bad thing but sometimes it becomes frustrating and annoying, and the revamped AI of the teams and players makes this game the most realistic FIFA to date, but here comes the kicker, maybe it is too realistic, getting into the middle difficulty settings the defenses of the competing teams become insanely coordinated and closed, and not just for the biggest teams in the game, almost every team will behave like this, and the computer is completely unforgiving when it has the chance to score, it is a great game, probably the best Football simulator that has ever been released but it's a bit too unforgiving


      NUMBER 16


      Hype is the word behind this game, and you have to consider that everyone was waiting for this game since 10 years ago, we saw in 2010 the announcement that Capcom finally had the green light to make the much awaited sequel to the complete hit that was Marvel vs Capcom 2 and we waited almost a year since it's announcement to see the final product in our hands, so was it worth the wait? well I'm kind of torn by the answer and I have to say that yes and no.



      Don't get so cocky


      Yes UMvC3:FTW is a good game, the gameplay mechanics are excellent and with the ultimate edition most of my frustrations with this game are gone, the graphics of this game are a beauty to behold the roster is really good, but I still feel that Capcom and Marvel could have put at least 3 more characters each, and it's all that we would have wanted 10 years ago, but that's the problem, we're not 10 years ago anymore, while the trials are a good thing, this game lacks a really good tutorial, and with the online most of the things that Capcom standardized with Street Fighter 4 and Super Street Fighter 4, even with the ultimate version released a few months ago, are nowhere to be found, and if you add that the endings for each character are just 2 still comic pages with written dialog on it, that is severely disappointing, and that's my biggest problem with this game, it is almost bare bones, and after that they actually release a second version of the game with improvements that could have been easily implemented with a DLC package, sorry Capcom but that was the Ultimate Dick Move 3.


      Still this game is a blast to play, and the online is ok when it works, though I still have to try the spectator mode of the ultimate version, but to be completely honest I've barely touched the Ultimate version of this game due to the insane amount of great games that were released while it was released. So overall this game is good, there is no doubt about that, but this game could have been so much more than what it ended up being that it takes away a lot of all the good things it does, and that's why this game is so low on this list.


      NUMBER 15

      INFAMOUS 2

      I really enjoyed the first inFAMOUS game, everything from the characters, the setting the story, it was a good game, and then the inevitable happened, it got  a sequel, and I have to say that inFAMOUS 2is a bigger and better game, the core mechanics are still the same but improved, and the change in of the city, now it is New Marais, in which the game happens is one of the most welcomed changes for me, it changed radically the color palette of the game and now it looks great and has some sort of personality that lacked the original game, I have to say that this game looks good and while I doubt there is going to be another inFAMOUS game due to how it ends I really like the new visual style used in it and I wouldn't mind seen it more around.


      inFAMOUS 2

      Lightning tornado incoming!!!!


      The main exploration mechanics didn't changed that much, but the environments did and for the best, and while now Cole doesn't resorts to fist fighting the fighting mechanics didn't changed that much rather that the visual style of his weapon, but the new powers that Cole has are great, and the ability to combine them with your partner (yes now you'll have a partner every once in a while) is a really nice addition. Overall it's a good game just not GoTY material but still a good game and a good sequel to the original inFAMOUS


      Best 2011 games I have not played


      While I finally managed to play most of the games I wanted to play from 2011 with a catalog so big as the one that this year had there were some that managed to escape my grasp so as a reminder to what I need to catch up let's list them without any specific order:

      • Batman Arkham City 
      • Driver San Francisco
      • Gears of War 3
      • F3AR
      • The Witcher 2: Assasin of Kings


      NUMBER 14


      I've only played one Pokemon game before and it was Pokemon Yellow, so when this game was announced to be the most changed Pokemon game I had nothing to do but to try it and see what how it was, and while a lot of things have changed, the basics are still the same, so even for me it feels more like an incremental step than a revolution, still that doesn't mean the game was bad or lacking, actually it is pretty awesome, the change fact that now you have 3 on 3 battles is really good and adds more strategy and makes the fights more dynamic but I felt that there were so little of this fights in the main story that it seemed more an experiment rather than a full fledged addition, just like the 2 on 2 Pokemon fights, why can't we have a gyn leader fight that's a 2 on 2 battle or 3 on 3 battle?



      New regions and new Pokemons


      One thing that I welcome a lot is the fact that in this game you will only find the new Pokemons only until you finish the main quest, it actually sets you out of your comfort zone not having the ability to grab a set of familiar and well known Pokemon and forget about the new ones, although this game felt a little easier than yellow, overall in the money gathering department.


      The graphical update made on this game is also awesome even on the now limited DS capabilities the jump from mere sprites-only to a more full blown mostly 3D environment is great, and sometimes it feels like this game was intended to be released on the 3DS with some camera angles almost screaming to be 3D capable, and another great update that should be mentioned is the story department, while the story of the game was not really ground breaking it did rose above what I expected from a Pokemon game but I would have liked to see more from the approach of the "free the Pokemons" storyline that was ditched in the middle of the game. so as usual a great RPG game from Nintendo that should be played by fans of the series and casuals alike.


      NUMBER 13


      Let's be clear, the initial game roster of the 3DS at launch was a complete disgrace, there was almost nothing interesting even for me until the release of the OoT3D remake, but leave it to Mario to set things right, this game should have been on the release date for the 3DS, or maybe the release of the 3DS should have waited until this game was ready for prime time, but I digress, so far this is probably the best game on the 3DS now, really good platforming but, there is one thing holding it back, it doesn't present any challenge, I managed to get 180 lives on my first play through and the second one I only got down to 160 lives in the end and I only need 8 coins of the total that the game has, even the second play through turned out pretty easy but it is still a blast to play.


      Super Mario Land 3D

      Probably the best that the 3DS has to offer


      While the story of this game is nothing new, something that returns to the old days of the 8 and 16 bit era is the fact that no powerups are no longer a timed thing, which means that now if you get the fire flower it's effects won't disappear until you die or are hit by an enemy, and there are also new powerups (I still wonder how many more powerups can Nintendo create) and the levels now end with the traditional flagpole, it made me feel very nostalgic, also the last confrontation with Bowser is really good, overall a good game and finally a justification on why did I bought a 3DS, well played Nintendo.

      NUMBER 12


      This is the story of the little game that could, The first time I heard about Bastion was because of Watershocker, he interviewed the developers of Bastion, a little new indie game that wanted to rock the world, and I have to say that it got me intrigued, the premise was good and there were things that showed real promise about what the developers were attempting to do, overall I was optimistic about the possibilities of this game, and if I can say something is that the game ended being better than my most optimistic thoughts, this little game is great, a good story, good gameplay mechanics, and beautiful graphics.



      Bastion is without a doubt the best indie game of this year


      The story of the game is really simple but really good, and sets lots of things for the gameplay for example the world that is set is something to behold because as you advance it reconstructs the paths that you can actually walk on, it is really well done and this is caused because the world suffered a "Calamity" and now it is your job to reconstruct it in it's entirety, also the game has a narrator a really good one, and dare I say it the best narrator in any game, who is capable to set the mood for the game and make some really good comments about what is happening, also the artistic value of the graphics in this game is great, it is the second best looking sprite based game of this year, and the only game to surpass it it's the best looking game of this year.


      The combat is pretty simple, you'll have two weapons and a move to avoid attacks and you'll be presented with a series of enemies you'll have to dispose of, plus some bosses through the way to really spice up the things every now and then, and different enemies will have different ways to attack you, so every time you encounter an unknown enemy it will be a completely new challenge. Overall a great game just shy of entering my top ten of the year, one beautiful new IP and a new developer that I'll be looking for in the future.


      Dissapointment of the Year


      When I started writting this the first thing that came to mi mind was Duke Nukem Forever, but then I thought that I knew that after so many years of waiting and troubles, there was no way that game was going to be great or ground breaking, to be honest I was going to be surprised if it ended up being good, so turning out how it did I can call it a disappointment if since the beginning I was expecting it to be bad, so what could have been the thing that I was most dissapointed of?.


      Well I only have one word to say Capcom, they managed to go from the huge amount of respect I had for them to be considered a cold hearted greedy company, as simple as that, with the complete abandonment of their biggest franchise, Megaman, with the release of 2 more Super Street Fighter 4 games, the release of Marvel vs Capcom 3 being just the bare bones game, the release of Ultimate MvC3 as a full title that could have been easily DLC and it still lacks a lot of things that even other Capcom titles have, the departure of Keiji Inafune, made me feel that Capcom is not anymore the company that I used to respect and that is easily the biggest disappointment for this this year


      NUMBER 11


      Last Year with Brotherhood I complained that the main campaign was rather short, and this years main campaign is even shorter, and while I still feel that this game is Assassin's Creed at it's finest, and while I still would love very much to have Assassin's Creed 3 to end this current story ark I have to say that this final Ezio Chapter was a really good closure for him, the combat system is very much what was found in Brotherhood and the stealth is still really good too and with the addition of bombs it really adds one more meaningful layer of possibilities and distractions that you can use at your advantage.



      Constantinople is a very beautiful and very diverse city, it's history is really interesting


      And the location for this chapter of the game does really shine, Constantinople, this city has a very interesting story that I feel was not used completely and missed some great opportunities on which expand the Assassin's Creed myths, but still the reconstruction of this city is impressive, and a real treat for the eyes, but the game also suffers from low polygon count NPCs, this should not be a very big problem unless it wasn't so notorious, overall when they are standing besides Ezio that is by far the most completely detailed character model on the game and yes it is an impressive one.


      On the sound department it is exactly what I remember from previous games, great sound effects with really good voice acting, good but not very memorable music, and [spoilers]we finally get to meet subject 16[/spoilers] a really mysterious character only referenced in previous games. And in the end we are still left with a cliffhanger ending waiting for next years entry.


      And for today that was it, as I call it this was the "Runers up" list, and to be completely honest most of this game where they had been released in 2010 they would have been in my top 10 games of said year but this year competition was much more impressive than last years and I can only be grateful about that, if you want to know what games are my top 10 gams for 2011 then you'll have to wait only a little to know  since I will be releasing that list in a few daysso stay tuned and let's hope that 2012 has enough great games to follow one of the best yearsfor gaming.

    • Favorite games of 2011 (10-1)

      6 years ago


      Hello g1s, I am fjveca and todayI will continue my new post of the best games I played that were released in 2011, so far I have already posted the list for the numbers 20-11, and there were really good games there, so what could have been than what I posted in the last list? let's find out, but first the same warn that I used last time just to clarify some thing about the games listed here.


      But first a warn, even while this year has been the biggest year on the remake, collections and rereleases I won't list any of those in this list, so you won't see any Ocarina of Time 3D, nor ICO Collection, and another game that I won't list is Minecraft, the reason Why I won't list this game in this list is because it was a game that was released as an alpha in mid 2009 and the beta was running and selling since late 2010, so by any means this game is not a 2011 game, it sold more than a million copies before it was "officially launched". Also every once in a while on this list I will take a break from it to discuss some things that I consider relevant that happened throughout the last year, so without any further ado let's start with the games 10-1.


      NUMBER 10

      Along With Assassin's Creed this is one of the biggest current gen IP that was looking to consolidate it's position as a game series to be remembered for ages to come, and while the game is great it is still missing some of the magic that U2 Among Thieves had, don't get me wrong the set pieces of this game are nothing short of amazing and it is really hard to be top by any other game in any generation of gaming, the shooting mechanics are simply the most intuitive I've had in any TPS game, but somehow it miss a certain spark that actually make other games legends.



      This is not a prerendered cutscene


      Aesthetically speaking this is one of the most impressive games to have been ever released, period, the environments shown in this game are always breath taking, from the initial bar fight to the desolated desert you wander for a while, and this game did travel a lot, going through the forests in France, to the pirate ship in the ocean to the final long forgotten city, and a special highlight to the burning mansion, every piece of environment looks breathtaking.


      Gameplay wise is exactly what you have come to expect from the Uncharted series, although the fist fights have been greatly improved with better counter mechanics and environmental actions you can perform, for example at the bar in the beginning of the game you can trigger an action where Drake takes a bottle from a table to smash it against an enemy. The shooting mechanics are really good as they have always been, although the vertical shootouts that happen at some parts of the game won't feel too different from the previous hanging on a ledge shooting, also the parkour is still easy and intuitive, but not very rewarding, very solid game, that will leave you amazed at it's set pieces, it was just very close to be an outstanding game from this year but it just got to be a great game.


      NUMBER 9

      DEAD SPACE 2

       Remember when I said that there were very few games that could have set pieces more impressive than Uncharted 3, well this is one of those games, this game can actually grab you to your seat with a constant stream of set pieces that will leave you breathless, at one moment you'll be trying to escape from a little spaceship shooting at you, and the next you'll be running away from a giant Necromorph, and as soon as you escape that you'll be shooting yourself from a solar panel to the main station avoiding all the debris that's between the two, and then you'll be sticking a 10 centimeter needle into your eye because why not?


      The setting for the game is great

      Another impressive looking game from this years library


      While this game is scary, it sometimes has way too much consecutive action to let you actually calm down to build up for another scare, one of the only few complains I have about the game is that, it never let's you actually calm down save in a few moments, but at the same time the action set pieces are so really well done that it's almost dumb to complain about having so many in the game. Story wise this game did really threw some interesting moments, and it even puts Isaac into what could be considered to overcome the stages of grief, until you get to the final part of the game, and while it leaves the door open for a continuation of the Dead Space series it doesn't rely on the cheap cliffhanger that many games pull indiscriminately and that is a huge plus on my book.


      Another thing that I'm grateful for in this game is that it's not a walk in the park, in the higher difficulties of this game you will really need all it takes o survive, you'll encounter very little ammo for your weapons, little to no medpacks for your health, and the Necromorphs will be harder to kill, so you better save all you have and ration all your bullets because this game will actually make you sweat to beat it, but one thing that I miss from the first game is the really memorable boss fights, if there is one thing that I would love to see in the next Dead Space is that they include this kind of boss fights more.


      NUMBER 8


       Well this game was a very pleasant surprise for me, when it was announced last year I was really curious about it and then when it finally made it sure it came outside Japan I was really attracted to it, it has a very simple story, Vincent, who has a girlfriend, meets a new mysterious girl one night and has an affair, then he starts having this weird dreams where he must climb towers made of blocks trying to escape a certain death, what happens next is up to you to figure out, although I think it is safe to say that this games story is nothing more than a soap opera with some supernatural elements.


      Remorse after cheating your fiance doing anal

      Remorse of having Anal Sex


      Although what really got me into the game after I started playing was not so much for the storyline but the actual gameplay mechanics of block puzzle, it is extremely well done, and it encourages fast thinking, while at the first levels in the game every block will be safe ground little after that the game will start inserting new unsafe blocks, like bomb blocks, or heavy blocks that takes more time to move than regular blocks, blocks where you can only stand twice, etc, etc, it is the standard behavior of puzzle games that'll get progressively harder as you advance in them, but while the game had a reputation of being insanely hard, it even had a patch in Japan to make it easier, I played it in the harder difficulties and never actually felt like rage-quitting, and it will always give you a new challenge to overcome without making you feel like it is playing in an unfair way, the main gameplay mechanics are so extremely well done that I had more fun than I expected to have in this game.


      One thing that this game does really good is throwing over the top things at you, the themes picked for the boss fights in this game are some of the most insanely creative things ever, and also hilarious, one other aspect of this game is that in between puzzles you'll be asked one question, and depending on how you answer them the story changes, and it also unlocks new endings, another good point of this game it's that it has a survival mode where you'll try to climb as far as you can until you can no longer go up, it really lets you have the fun of the main game without the storyline but you must finish the main campaign in order to access this mode, and of course it also has a global leaderboard to check how other people do in the same levels you are, it also encourages you to beat your high scores and that way it keeps you coming back for more.


      Single Player Campaigns

      I'm not too fond of the online gaming scenario, and the fact that now games seems to focus more on the online experience than the singleplayer one has actually let me down, starting from the fact that FFXIII was not as good as it could have been and that the single player campaigns in most games now  last around 6-8 hours had left a void in my heart.

      Yet this year I was finally rewarded with some of the most intense and long single player campaigns in years, and for the first time that I can remember 3 games managed to last for more than 40 hours until I finished their respective main singleplayer campaigns and I still want to come back to them is simply wonderful, and I still have to try "The Witcher 2" but since I still ahve to download the little monster of 17GB it's going to take a while, still I have to say that it's great to see the return of lenghty, good quality single player campaigns to gaming.


      NUMBER 7


      Now this is a surprise, I have never been too much of a fan of Rayman, but still, this game is the best Platformer of this year by far, this game is not only and ultimately fun to play, it is fun to watch and probably the most beautiful 2D Sprite based platformer to have ever graced gaming and as a matter of fact it is the best looking game of 2011, forget polygons boys and girls, 2D sprites is where the beauty is at. One of the major strengths of this game is its simplicity, a basic platformer, you jump, you have one attack button, and another button to run faster, besides that you can only glide after jumping but the level design for this game is amazing, and it also has some really entertaining shmups levels, it also features your typical item collection, and it has time attack for almost every level, and it features more than 60 levels, it is one of the most complete packages you'll find this year, and more than guarantees the 60 US$ price tag, the  only bad thing abuot this game probably was the release date, so badly planned that Ubisoft put it to fight against too many heavy hitters and even one of their own biggest franchises like Assassin's Creed.


      Great art style, precious sprites, flawless animations

      This game is just impressive on every level, not just on the gameplay side


      The first thing you'll notice is that the controls of the characters in this game are simply spot on, and response adequately when used, this means that if you die it's going to be your fault, even when you are on the shmups sections of the game this applies, and the music of the game is really good happy and cheerful (although the song that plays at the end of every level is just a blatant copy of a typical song titled "Alma Llanera"), the sound effects are really great and while this game doesn't have a voice actors it does have muttering words while everyone speaks and the effect it's pretty nice, one of the biggest things that Ubisoft got right about this game is the coop mode, at any given time a person can actually join in another player and enjoy the fun.


      While this game doesn't have an intricate story, nor deep characters that you care about, it doesn't need them either, the insane moments this game has for you in store are far better without a deep storyline, and who wouldn't want to play a game where you can just bitch slap your 2nd player just for the sake of it, and the game can be challenging, the first levels are simple enough but later down the road the game actually starts to demand more and more of you as a player, although if you actually are playing coop the game get a little more easy since everyone gets infinite lives and unless all 4 players die at the same time the only thing you'll have to do in order to get back into the action is to get hit by any other player. In the end the most important thing about this game is that it is pure unadulterated fun, for me this is the equivalent of what Super Mario Galaxy 2 achieved last year and this is only on the 7th place.


      NUMBER 6


      MORTAAAAAAAAAAL KOMBAAAAAAAT!!!!!!!!!!!!! it was the MK series that got me into fighting games, and to tell the truth I was a little disappointed that it was going rather downhill lately, so when Ed Boon announced this latest MK game I was skeptic about how good it was going to be, overall when the publisher of the game was going to be Warner Bros Games, but little after some previews everyone started to hype the game more and more, until it became impossible to not be hyped by this game, then it came the reviews, and again it everyone claimed that this was the best MK to date, so I decided to give it a try.


      That has to hurt

      X-Ray moves were visually impressive


      and by all that it's holy this game is good, for me personally it is the fighting game of the year, the Kombat mechanics are easy to learn but deep enough to have a wide variety of options while you play, and contrary to how the original MK was, now every fighter has a different fighting style, and the roster of iconic characters could not be bigger, also with the addition of the special guest for the PS3 version of the game Kratos from the God of War series, simply put it was a dream roster, and that is the tip of the iceberg, multiple gameplay modes, that include the best story mode of any fighting game period, a challenge tower with 300 challenges, the regular Arcade mode, a 2 vs 2 arcade mode, local multiplayer mode and online multiplayer mode, the only thing not included here was recording your matches but still it is a ton of game modes.


      This game literally had me completely captivated for months, the return of the real Fatalities was awesome, plus the ton of unlockables from the Krypt that ranges between alternate free costumes (I'm looking at you Capcom) to secondary Fatalities for every character, Arcade mode with endings for every single character on the game even for the guest one, and really robust online mode, with some social features that lets you view with more people online matches while you are waiting for your turn, and you can cheer for someone or boo someone, but sometimes to find a match even when the game just released was complicated, but since most o the issues were patches this is not so much of a problem anymore, and while still Netherrealm sold more characters as DLC at 5$ each most of the time the extras they provided with the purchase of this DLC were really cool like extra costumes for more characters, all in all this iteration of Mortal Kombat is by far the best entry in the iconic series, really worth your while.


      NUMBER 5



       Another big surprise for me, while I've never been too much into Grand Theft Auto, this particular Rocsktar game actually grabbed my attention, between a lot of things for the revolutionary motion capture technology that was used in the game, it was said that it would be the most realistic facial expressions to have ever been featured in a game, and I can't do anything but agree with that, although it didn't helped that much in the interrogations, the facial animations were astonishingly good, and that joined with a very detailed representations of Los Angeles city in the late 1940s the star of our game Cole Phelps, must unravel a series of crimes that will require you to take advantage of the every detective skills you have at your disposal, so with a good storyline, a noire setting, a very good cast of actors for the characters in the game what could be bad about it? (the driving controls).


      Outstanding believable facial expressions

      Yes Cole I am a corrupt cop


      This game has actually many faces, but all of them can be summed as being a detective, you'll visit crime scenes, gather evidence, question subjects, chase subjects, you'll be more often than not in shootouts, follow suspects, and what not, all of this is very engaging, the evidence gathering is a lot like having a point and click game, and you'll have bonuses if you can actually find all the evidence of the scene, plus the more evidence you have, the more clues you'll have to incriminate someone while interrogating him, and the interrogation scenes are really good, but one thing I didn't like is that unless you point a suspect to the exact piece of evidence that the game demands your accusation will not be successful, it doesn't matter if you chose another piece of evidence that clearly shows your suspect as guilty, and in a world as open as this one it seems rather obtuse from the mind of the developers to force you in that way.


      While the game has some puzzles they normally won't be very challenging, but one thing that actually made things complicated in the game were the driving mechanics, it's really hard to actually keep good control of the car, and make it turn in the way it should, and yet while you must pursue a suspect in the car, most of this chase scenes are really well done and interesting to play, and also if you don't want to keep your main quest there are events that pop up from time to time, street crimes, that will serve as side missions of sorts, while they have very little variety it is nice to have a break from the main cases as great as they might be, and also if you want you could get lost in the city, driving through it and arriving to highlighted spots from where you'll gain some historical information about those places, a really good bonus for those of you wanderers, and even after that you'll still have to find the 100 golden film reels so this game is not going to be completed in a single weekend.


      L.A. Noire

      This game is actually more mature than most M rated games out there


      With that said what I think it is most important about this game is that this game is one of the first games that I actually see handling things in a mature adult way, I say this because many of the cases of this game feature naked corpses of murdered women and it is handled in a way that it is tasteful and still showing full nudity, from all the time that most of the media outside the Video Game industry has picked on every game that shows as much as partial nudity or implies a sex scene in this game we were shown, sexism, racism, adultery, drug abuse, full nudity and corrupt authorities, and everything that I just said on this story is actually handled perfectly, every moment of the game has is justification, the main characters of the game feel more like real people than plot devices, all of them have flaws and all of them feel like they are human.


      Another thing that was greatly done was the sound in this game, and not only because of the voice acting, the actual soundtrack is something that will stay for you long after you've finished the game, and the use of sound clues to help you in the game play is really good. All of this makes this game superb, it is easy to notice the many years that this game spent in the making, a real jewel from this generation and most important the highest ranked new IP of this year in my list.


      Biggest Surprise


      One of the things that many gamers from the old days of the NES and SNES tend to complain more for the games of today is probably the lack of really great and memorable music, and so far for most titles the music has become some sort of ambiental music put there so you won't bore of the silence, but this year, my biggest surprise is how many memorable tunes have come in the games released, so you can say whatever you want but it is impossible to deny that there is a jump in quantity of quality music compared to previous years, from the hilarious final track of Portal 2, to the futuristic reality of DEUS EX: Human Revolution, from the new Goddess theme from Skyward Sword, to the epic nordic chants of the main theme from Skyrim, it has been a year that has brought songs that you can easily remember and recognize, even with fighting games like Marvel vs Capcom 3 have amazing soundtracks, and to be completely hones that was something I was really surprised and it became on of my favorite things of this year


      NUMBER 4

      PORTAL 2


      Just a few years back Valve released a game that was critically acclaimed named Portal as part of the package that contained more established games like Half life and Team Fortress, and still today the original Portal is the most remembered game from that package, to tell you the truth the game was actually a lot like a very long demo, but it was incredibly well done, fast forward to this year and now that game has a full-fledged sequel, so could Valve keep the magic of the first iteration running to make this new game a worthy successor of the first game? Well in short all I can say is, you can bet your ass they did.


      I think we can leave our differences aside for science... you monster

      I know we both said things that you are going to regret


      The basic premise of the game till stands, you have a gun that can shoot two interconnected portals and you must solve puzzles, and while you will actually go through known areas of the Aperture Science facilities you'll discover that things aren't like they were before, between the long amount of time that passed between the first game and this one you'll see how even mother nature has taken over the place, this actually serves as a stepping stone for the design of the initial levels, again I have to commend Valve for their level design, not just for the puzzles in there but also for how most of the puzzles felt that actually belonged to the world we were playing inside, the graphical style was very similar to the first game but things were more stylized this time, like the companion cube, and the new puzzle elements were greatly placed, from the laser cube to the new gels all of them were extremely well used and fun to play with, and this time Valve even made a great multiplayer cooperative mode where you and one partner will have to solve puzzles, extremely well done and also it is great to have the option for split screen at least on the console version.


      Another thing that stood out for me was the new characters, we got a glimpse of the founder of Aperture Science the now famous Cave Johnson, and Wheatley was hilarious, and of course there couldn't be any Portal game without GLaDOS on it, equally passive aggressive as in the first game, and as fun as you remember from the first time around, we also learned about the experiments that were run before Aperture became GLaDOS domain, who can't remember the speech about the testing of Religious Mantis DNA infused army? Or the original portal testing device?, the moon dust experiments?, so Valve has created a very deep and compelling world that has a history that's worth at least checking out, and taking into consideration that this game is set in the Half Life universe, due to the many Black Mesa references, it would be interesting to see a crossover between the two, just imagine this, dual wielding guns where in one hand you have the gravity gun and in the other the portal gun, while it may be complicated due to both guns having alternate firing methods, but hey! a guy can dream.


      It's been a looong time, how have you been?

      Aperture Science is way bigger than you expected it to be


      Another thing that is outstanding about this game is the soundtrack and actually the whole sound department in general,  the soundtrack of the game fits prefectly with tunes that will never feel out of place and you'll hear familiar tunes too, for example the radios you'll find will still play a Still Alive remix from the first game (nice detail there Valve), the sound effects are subtle but you can clearly guide yourself with them and none of them could be confused with one another, and the voice acting of this game is top notc, Stephen Merchant did a fabulous job portraying Wheatley's voice, the character is completely hilarious and very refreshing to see in a video game. And of course that Ellen McLain retains her GLaDOS role, and serously after the terrific performance she had in the original Portal  no one can do the GLaDOS voice better than she, the turrets are still really funny to hear and watch, even the defectous ones are great, the only shame I actually have with this game is the lack of personality the main character has, but still it is a very small complain, and of course we cannot forget the new Portal meme star J. K. Simmons with his memorable performance as Cave Johnson, because of him now burning houses with lemons are the new "Cake is a lie".


       This game has so many strengths that it is hard to actually find any faults, maybe beyond the short single player campaign there is not too much to criticize, some puzzles could have been a little more difficult but overall the game is highly enjoyable and virtually any person in the house can play and actually finish this game, that on itself is a very impressive feat, all in all it is a game that I will remember even for years to come, it is a very complete package and if you actually get yourself a PS3 copy it comes with a Steam code to redeem the game on the PC, and then you'll have the level creator so the possibilities are endless, so in the end a absolutely marvelous game that nobody should miss. 


      NUMBER 3



      So what can possibly be better in my opinion than a near perfect game? What about a game where you can actually battle giant dragons to the death, all by yourself, a game with an extensive world full of surprises, a deep and engrossing storyline, mythology and universe, a game where the world you are feels like it is alive, this game makes so many great things that it's hard to point out what is the best part of Skyrim, but if there is one thing that I have to say that impressed me the most was that after the disaster that was for me Fallout New Vegas, I have to say that while playing the +80 hours I have invested so far into the game I never encountered the same problems I had in New Vegas, so massive props to Bethesda for fixing the game engine.


      At fisrt when I heard of this game I was extremely cautious about it since it was going to be more or less done with the same engine as Fallout New Vegas, but then Bethesda went and say the completely remade the basics of the graphical engine, and sure enough they did while they were at it they sure managed to make the game look awesome, the locations set in this game are simply a sight to behold, and they also managed to capture the Nordic medieval feel that the developers said they wanted to achieve, although this doesn't mean the game doesn't have its glitches although most of them can be really funny.


      The scenery

      The world of Skyrim is impressive from any point of view


      The story of the game is very complex and the mythology behind everything that happens during the game is incredibly engaging, multiple religions, conflicts between religious groups, political conflicts with multiple parties involved, stories about honor and glory, this world has everything that a regular world would have and more, legends, myths that you'll have the chance to explore, legendary objects that you'll have the chance to hunt, all in all is a wonderful universes that is just only the newest addition to a long standing franchise that is known for having a deep and complex universe with rich storylines, and of course this game besides the main quest it has a very deep plethora of sidequest that will engage you and some of them could be considered a campaign on its own (Winterhold comes to mind).


      One of the things that made this game so impressive is how easy it is to actually level up your character and how many things you could teach him to be, I easily managed to build a one handed combat expert and shield wielder with medium level in destructive and regenerative magic who was a very good alchemist, so I managed to stay prepared for almost any occasion, getting used to the combat mechanics is really easy, the combat is at first glance is simple, but when you start facing bigger enemies you realize that if you go unprepared you will die as if you were nothing but a mere bug, I really enjoyed the hit and cover mechanics that most enemies will will present at you, and at the same time you'll have to take care of your health and stamina, for that you'll have various options form spells to potions, all in real time and is very rewarding, and since you'll often fight enemies larger than you the battles will feel epic every time, overall when you fight multiple enemies at the same time, and then dragons, so freaking awesome dragons, those battles will be tough and absolutely incredible.



       The dragon fights are always entertaining and feel epic


      The art direction for this game made an incredible job in every aspect of this game, even in the most simple things like wood textures (just look at the quiver in the screenshot above that was taken from my campaign) the game has the exact feeling it was aiming to, this medieval Nordic style is perfect for this game, and the whole world is completely consistent, no item felt out of place, and every location felt cohesive and most big cities felt completely distinct to each other, the world as a whole is astonishing and a beauty to behold, every valley, every snowy mountain, the caves, and the constructions are always impressive and when you think you have seen everything a new beautiful place is thrown at you, there amount of work put into this part of the game is completely gigantic, and it paid off in an impressive way.


      The sound department is another thing that was worked exceptionaly well, the soundtrack is one of the best of the year, from the main theme, to the enviromental music, every tune has its place and it's incredibly fitting, from the epic music of the battles, to the quiet bard music, all of it is greatly done, and the voice acting (at least in Spanish) is superb, overall with the accent chose for the Spanish dub, it really feels like the medieval time you are playing in.


      All this elements really make this game extremely compelling, a real total package, almost the best RPG of 2011, this game will completely immerse you into its world and will not let you go and suck your time like it feeds on it, a very deep universe, with a compelling story, interesting sidequest that can last through several hours, rewarding combat, easy and compelling leveling system, this is probably the most complete game of this year and it is only my third favorite game of this year, if you like RPGs I cannot recommend it enough, and if you don't like RPGs you should give it a try, it is an amazing adventure game that will completely engage you from start to finish.


      NUMBER 2



      If I said that Skyrim was almost the best RPG of the year it is because there is another game that excels in this genre to a degree that it even surpasses for me what Skyrim did and that game is what Deus EX: Human Revolution is a complete unforgettable experience that transcends the medium it is displayed, and I have to say this game took me by surprise, I was actually expecting it to be a mediocre generic FPS game, but what I got while playing this game was pure unaltered Stealth/RPG goodness, but don't be fooled by my statement this is not strictly an stealth game, and that it's part of the beauty of this game, you can actually engage in combat as much as you want, or you can play to be a ghost, it is your choice and yours alone, and that is just a tiny part of what makes this game so incredibly good, and if you can ignore its flaws you can say that it is as close to perfect as any game will ever be.


      a silent ghost or a deadly weapon

      To kill or not to kill it is still your choice


      The setting of this game is a not too distant future, a future where humans are starting to use prosthetic implants to enhance their performance in every aspect of their life, that in the end will make life easier for their respective user, that sounds like a very pretty scenario doesn't it? but everything comes with a price, this "augmentations", as they are called, have secondary effects, and as if that was not everything there is a group of people that believes that this technology should not be used at all, and most of them are willing to do anything in their power to not ban this.


      What is so great about this setting is that, at least for me, it's scary realistic, think about it, how much time will pass until prosthetic limbs start being better than the ones we have, and then you have the ramifications of this in politics and religion, this is no small theme and it is widely covered in the game storyline, that is also mixed with conspiracy theories, and for me this game has the best storyline that was released this year, because inside all this themes I have put in the table the main storyline revolves around a man who never asked for what happened to him, pun intended, and even if he may not be the most iconic video game character, he is at least one of the most interesting.


      Adam Jensen being the head of security of Sarif Industries suffers a terrible fate, while protecting the most important scientist for a presentation that will take place in Washington, the Sarif industries facility that they were was attacked, and everybody was murdered except for him, that just got injured beyond hope and in order to survive he had to become an augmented individual, without his consent he goes from being a regular human being into being the most advanced piece of bioengineering person on the planet, and now that he is able to leave his medical rest and a new incident has sprout in another Sarif facility it's time for him to start investigating what is really happening, and then what becomes of the man known as Adam Jensen depends onto you, after all this game is an RPG and the big decisions made in the game are yours and they actually impact what happens in the game, how he manages the anger inside is also up to you, since conversations in the game are extremely well done and you control what is actually said in them, and you will eventually have some boss encounters that are actual conversations, that is a very cool concept that was very well implemented but never too challenging.


      Mass Effect dialog tree style but infinitely better

      You better watch what you say, it can backfire at you


      OK so now it's time to talk about the gmeplay, the real meat and bones of this game, Deus EX: Human Revolution is a FPRPG game and it features the basic FPS mechanics with cover working on a third person perspective, this basic things work like a charm the aiming is pretty accurate and the cover system works on every level, but to shoot you'll have to come out of your hiding spot leaving you vulnerable to enemy fire, plus the standard grenades that will force you to move, it is a very balanced system and in firefights it works perfectly, then if you choose to you can actually become a stealthy ghost that will go past unnoticed through the enemy lines, and let me tell you this, the stealth mechanics featured in this game are the best in any game ever, better than Splinter Cell, better than Metal Gear Solid, the enemy AI helps this a lot, it is very realistic in the way that guards won't have a complete fixed behavior, they will do their watching where they are supposed to but they will turn around in the middle of their way to see if nothing escapes them and this is not a prefixed pattern, is rather a random occurrence so you better watch out when you will go outside your cover.


      And to complete the combat and stealth mechanics you'll have the option to take down guards when you are close to them, and even then you'll have the option of simply knocking them out or actually kill them, and after you take them down you better cover up their bodies because if another guard finds a body they will know you are there, this adds up more tension to the game because sometimes you'll have to be patient and slow but then when it's time to act you'll have to be quick if you want to stay undetected, and of course humans are not the only enemies you'll have to take care off, cameras, robots, and locked doors will stand in your way, so you better think your way around very carefully if you want to succeed in this game.


      then we have the hacking minigame, since in this society everything is computer handled you'll have the opportunity to hack your way through it, and trust me this hacking minigame is one of the best minigames I've played in my entire life, and it can be difficult, overall since it is in real time and if you are caught hacking something, well let's say that things won’t end too good for you if that happens.


      Since this game is an RPG game for every action that you'll perform, for example hacking computers, killing people, finding alternate paths, etc, etc, you'll gain experience points, and every time that you gain a level you'll be awarded with 1 single point to activate new abilities or enhance current ones, and this abilities are useful, they can range from seeing through walls, to being able to resist more damage, being more silent or being able to turn robots and turrets against their actual owners, is a very great and wide skill set and you the more abilities you have, the more possibilities to get around the situations you are presented, in the end it all depends on your creativity to tackle problems.


      2 guards down, 20 more to go

      it doesn't matter if you kill or not, take downs are satisfaying as hell


      one little problem with the game play is that if you get into an unfavorable position, if you can get your way into an air duct you are pretty much saved, no guard will actually get down and come for you, they won’t even crouch to shoot at you, so this hiding spots are the safest haven you'll have until the alarms are down again, but do not confuse this with the game being easy, this game is tough, overall in the highest difficulty settings, guards will see you if you make the slightest mistake, and then it is only a matter of time until a swarm of enemies is there out for your blood, another disappointing part of this game are the boss encounters, they are annoying and unnecessarily punishing overall taking into consideration that Mr Jensen can only take a few bullets before dying.


      Them we have the visuals for this game, and while the game engine is not a ground breaking one, it sure does it's work in a respectable matter, but the visual style this game has is nearly unparalleled in any other videogame released this year, this sepia yellowish tone the game has it actually accentuates the atmosphere of the game, the cyberpunk setting is extremely well used and the presentation in the game is flawless, the art direction on this game is simply astonishing, from the Detroit to China every city has multiple parts where you can actually feel the difference between the social classes and still they would feel like they belong to the city they are established, the only complains I actually have in the graphics animation part is the conversation movements the characters have, it seems that they only could make one movement routing for all of the characters in the game and if you pay attention you will discover the pattern and it kind of breaks the illusion of reality that this game manages to make the rest of the time, overall when the character movements doesn't seem to fit the dialog, and still is a very small complain for such a big game.


      As for the sound, it is as good as it gets in any game, the voice actors performance are really good, the music of this game is between my favorite videogame music of this year, overall the main theme for the game it is just perfect for what the game attempts to show, same goes with the sound effects, the guns sound real and loud, and the most impressive part of the sound is how you can guide with it, since most of the time you'll be in cover you will be able to hear the footsteps of the rest of the people and help yourself with that information, excellent sound design overall.


      In the end despite its faults Deus EX: Human Revolution is an amazing game with the best storyline this year, a cast of deep great characters, a conspiracy that is really interesting, a conflict that could actually happen in real life, political and religious takes on human body modifications, superb gameplay mechanics excellent soundtrack, I cannot stress this enough this is how games should be made, this is one of the few games I have played in my life where I can say that for the duration of the game I actually was Adam Jensen, and the decisions I made in the game were mine, not just for advancing the plot, if that happened to me I would actually take the same decisions I took while playing this game and that is why I think this game is actually the best RPG of this year, since it actually could make me feel I was Adam Jensen, so if you have not played this game, go out there and buy it, it is an experience that shows how great Video Games can be, and it is a resounding work of art, and not just in the visual level, one of the best games of this year and one of the best games of this generations games.




      Well in 2010 I had a tie between Skyward Sword and The Last Guardian, for my most anticipated game of 2011 and since The Last Guardian wasn't released in 2011 you would think that I would put it right away in this spot, but truth is that with everything that has happened with the game I'm a little wary of it, so what could next year bring that has me more excited than that? Well let's just say that it is another tie between two games: Aliens: Colonial Marines & Bioshock Infinite, and let me tell you for a person who is not too fond of the FPS genre and having titles like The Last of Us, Final Fantasy XIII-2 (don't look at me with that face) and Max Payne 3 and The Last Guardian, to put this two FPS above all those games really speaks volumes on how awesome they should end up being


      So just like last year I don't know how this 2 games are gonig to turn out but so far I can only be excited about them, and if they end up being on the WiiU I'm going to playe them there, and so far Colonial Maries is said ot be headed towards it.


      NUMBER 1



      Last Year I said that Super Mario Galaxy 2 was the best game of the year because it was the game that made me feel more joy while playing it, but this year, this game managed to made me so invested and involved with what was happening in it that it made me feel, joy, sadness, anger, happiness that I really can confidently say that this is the Legend of Zelda game that has connected with me more at the emotional level, this game doesn't have a story to tell you, this game just like it's title has a legend to tell you, and it does so in the best way possible in the medium it is displayed.


      Skyward Sword title

      A game worthy of its title, a true legend


      This game has to be one of Nintendo biggest bets on this franchise, but at the same time that they changed a lot of things it truly doesn't feel like it changed that much, although the biggest change was the combat system, now with Wii Motion Plus, you will actually handle the sword and use it how it is supposed to be used (at least most of the time) so you can already forget just waggling the Wiimote and make consecutive hits on the enemies, now you'll actually have to look to where to land your strokes, and enemies now will defend themselves leaving open only certain places where you should aim to land your hits, but even with this system most of the regular enemies will fall before you if you carelessly swing your sword, but where this battle system shines is in the boss battles, and every single boss battle felt like it was the real deal, as of lately bosses in games felt more like an obligation to the developers rather than a real enemy that you should be aware of, but Zelda said not in my game, this are the battles that made this sword control completely worth and that could not be made in any other control scheme, and they came in all sizes, 1 on 1 sword fights, fighting giant monsters, and what have you, for me the boss fights in this game where one of the highest points of it, real memorable boss fights.


      Well the dungeons haven't changed all that much, there are now new puzzles that you must figure it out but somehow it manages to feel authentic to what I was expecting from the game, and never feels out of place, one thing that changed is that now it seems that the whole world is a huge dungeon that have internal dungeons where the items to progress are residing, and while I'm ok with this I can't see it as a thing that pushes the Zelda games forward, but one thing that felt actually great is how unified the world is, even while being divided by sections it made total sense, and every place felt like it was just another part of the same world.


      One thing that was absolutely well done was how this game does not only explains where does the Master Sword comes from, but also explains a lot of things that are the backbone of The Legend of Zelda franchise, it is incredible how many layers of stuff this game adds to the Zelda universe, and it opens a plethora of possibilities where this franchise could go, but to be completely honest I cannot disclose a lot of things here without entering into a heavy spoilered territory.


      If there is one thing that the Zelda franchise has always had has been great music, and this game is no exception, and this game marks another first for the franchise making a lot of tracks for this game completely orchestrated, and the result could not be better, from the main theme to the boss fights themes, from the love theme, to the Skyloft theme, every music piece for this game is fantastic and perfectly fits not only the game but the whole franchise, while it is not the best from the whole series of games it comes pretty darn close the only bad thing about this is not all the songs are actually orchestrated but I can ssay that it is a very small complain, and while this game doesn't have voice acting the gasps, laughs, ohhs and ahhs made for the characters in this games work pretty well, Griharim comes to mind while mentioning this since a lot of his personality is based around this, and it fits his character very well.


      This part completely broke my heart

      Those who played the game will surely remember this part


      The characters in this game are completely unforgettable, from Zelda and her father to Ghirahim and Impa, every character that was involved in the main story was excellent, and this time Zeldas personality was totally charming, and to be honest I really didn't believed when people said that they actually wanted to rescue her this time around, but after playing the game I can say that it is truth, this is the first time that I actually needed to rescue Zelda, this time I actually felt that I needed her back, and still my favorite character from the game is actually Ghirahim, the main villain of this story is basically my preferred villain of this year, it was hilarious and threatening, every time he appeared in the game was a complete joy, and it might end up being my favorite villain of the entire franchise, excellently pulled off, I tip my hat to you Nintendo.


      Visually speaking this game is the best looking game to have ever been produced for the Wii, the character models are very detailed and extremely beautiful, and the locations for this game are absolutely beautiful and memorable, specially the Farone's Woods, another thing that never ceased to impress me where the changes made to the scenery while in the Silent Realms, where while everything was more or less the same, it felt very different and the enemies present really set a more creepy tone to the overly happy presentation made so far, although a special mention has to go to the facial animations in this game, every expression that a character does shows is completely discernible and you just can't get the emotions that they are feeling the wrong way, and one of the best effects that this game has visually is how when the background gets far enough it distorts in a blurry very beautiful way but it leaves enough to clearly distinct what is in the distance, the effect it reaches is incredibly well done and superbly executed, with all that said I can't wait to play this game on the WiiU upscaled to 1080P, I am sure that this game would look impressive if it was rendered in that resolution.


      And as good as this game is I have to say that it has its flaws, having to center the Wiimote every time was a complete pain, and from time to time Fi can get annoyingly obvious, and just sometimes the Wii Motion Plus will read your moves incorrectly, the Swimming mechanics are unnecessarily crude and should be reworked, and the flying mechanics were ok most of the time, what I don't know is why since flying and swimming controls are basically the same, swimming feels like a chore, and the difficulty of the first play through is too forgiving, and better AI would definitively benefit the series, but still all of this pales in comparison to what the game offers.


      FIghting blobs

      Even while fighting multiple enemies at the same time they won't feel so much as a threat


      I have to say that after playing Twilight Princess I thought that while being a great game it was becoming a little too repetitive, but with what was done in Skyward Sword I can safely say that they revitalized the series and what it is yet to come it is going to be great, this chapter of the franchise has become my favorite game of this current generation of gaming, I was expecting it to be a good Zelda game but being completely honest this game blew my expectations completely out of the water and it managed to become my 2nd favorite Zelda game after OoT, and there is little more I can add to this, in a year where the first 5 games of this list could have been the game of the year any other year, Zelda manages to show why it is my favorite franchise and creates an unforgettable experience that must be played no matter what age console preference or style of game you like the most, this game, even with its problems, is one of those few games that deserves a place among the best games of all time.


      And with that my friends we close what for me was one of the best years in all the history of gaming, never since I have memory have so many great titles has been released in said year, maybe the fondly remembered 1998, but it’s been a very long time since I have seen so many quality releases in just one year. I hope you have enjoyed this list of my favorite games of the year and let’s hope that 2012 gets to be better than last, as difficult as it sounds, so if yuo want leave a comment about what games are the ones yuo enjoyed the most from last year bye.

    • Video Game Memorable Moments

      7 years ago


      Welcome g1s, it's fjveca here with one question, how many of you after playing one game you really enjoy and then look back and when you remember that game the first thing that comes to your mind is one specific and very concise moment? I bet most of you have gone through that so why not discus some of the moments that have been the most memorable from video games history.


      It could be that the moment was emotional, or maybe just scary, or a moment in a game that made you look back and think, maybe it opened your eyes about a real life situation, or simply the shock value of that moment is so big that you always associate a game to that specific moment but in any case it is a moment that you will remember long time after you finished playing that game, so in any case and without further ado here is a compilation of memorable moments in videogames.


      Mass Effect

      Tough Desicions Ahead

      You can only save one


      There are games that gives you the chance of taking decisions that will have effects later in the game and then there is Mass Effect, one of the main aspects of this game series is to make you take decisions that will ultimately alter the course of the story inside the game, but of all the moments in this game series which one could be the one that has more impact?


      Well, to me it has to be the moment when you are forced to choose between the lives of 2 of your closest companions, on the mission in Virmire. You are sent to destroy a facility where Saren is finding a cure for the Genophage among other experiments, and ultimately something goes horribly wrong, but to not enter into more details let's put it this way, you have to either save Kaidan or Ashley, it is the impossible choice, and you have to add that depending on your choices one of them could be your own love interest, and it have to be a very fast decision since you are in the middle of a battle.


      In the end you're left with one of the toughest decisions a human is forced to do in the middle of a war, the life of one of your comrades must be sacrificed for the greater good, but then again who do you save? your love interest? or your close friend? of all the decisions that Mass Effect makes you take this is probably the most unfair one, because no matter what you do, no matter what you say, in the end you can only save one.


      Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare




      You are in a war, modern times, you are in the middle east, actually in a city, looking for the person who started this war, if you find him and kill him everything will be pretty much over, but then again, everything goes wrong, not only the person you were hunting is not in the city, but actually he never was there, ok maybe this is just a case of bad intel, but, it gets worse, this actually was a setup, as it turns out there is a nuclear bomb in the city ready to detonate so now you must escape as fast as possible, can you pull the impossible escape?



      No you can't, and it is one of the most impressive moments in the whole Call of Duty series, after the helicopter falls because of the explosion of the nuclear bomb, you can live the last moments of the poor soldier who will die because of the radiation and I guess that the wounds he could have got because of the abrupt landing wouldn't help his chances of survival either, but what's more impressive about this moment is that this last moments where poor Soap is just crawling trying to get somewhere you can see the destruction around him and his desperate and futile struggle to survive, very powerful image, excellently conveyed, great memorable moment.


      Shadow of the Colossus

      How far are you willing to go?

      How far are you willing to go?


      Your main goal in Shadow of the Colossus is fairly simple, you have to kill 16 giant beasts in order to resurrect a girl, there are no other enemies in the whole world other than this colossal beings, yet the moment you finish the deal with your first Colossi, the moment is so impressive and so powerful that you can only stand in awe, what you just accomplished is a feat that will be remembered for ages to come.



      Or will it? just when you though it was over, those black tentacles reaches you, so what have you just done? and where do you regain conscience? in the same altar that you left that girl, with the clues to the next item in your hit list. one of the things that is most impressive about this moment is that no words are spoken, everything is shown without giving any clue to the audience as to if what you just did is good or wrong, the thoughts of our protagonist are a complete mystery to us, and we know almost nothing about the beast we just killed, but one thing is for sure, what we just did is not as good as we though it was.


      Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

      Going through Hell

      One more step


      Near the end of Metal Gear Solid 4 Snake is left with one last mission to destroy the patriots, he must get to a server room whose only entrance is a corridor that is protected by a continuous irradiation of microwaves, it is a suicidal mission, but somebody has to do it.


      One of the most dramatic moments in the whole Metal Gear saga, it is the climax of the game, and all odds are against you, the medicine that Snake has been taking is no longer effective and he is succumbing to his illness, and the last back up you have has to stay behind to hold the enemies back, is just old Snake in a corridor that can easily kill a normal human being, but you just have to go through it, and so it begins one of the most heroic and painful scenes in the history of Video Games begins.



      It seems so simple yet it is a moment so powerful, how Snake falls, how much you see him being hurt, and it is your duty to make him cross that corridor, the desperate struggle to give just one more step is impressive, the whole moment last just a couple of minutes but for me it seemed like it took hours to cross that section, every time that Snake stops you get to feel it is your fault for not pressing the triangle button fast enough, and you just have to keep pushing, until the corridor ends. This feeling of need to get to the end is accentuated by the fact that you are not only seeing Old Snake go through this, the screen is also shared to show the battle that is going on just to let Old Snake get the chance of getting to that server room, and the situation is less than favorable, all of this mixes up to create one of the most intense and impressive moments in any video game.


      Dead Space 2

      EYE & NEEDLE

      Eye this is Needle, Needle this is Eye


      I have played gory games since I was 10 or 12 years old, ever since I found about Mortal Kombat in the arcades, since then I have probably decapitated more people than any guillotine, burned more people than the witch trials in the inquisition, and so on, and by this day and age I though that nothing inside a videogame could make me cringe as if what I was looking at were a real human getting hurt, yet somehow Dead Space 2 managed to capture one of the most painful things that I simply can't look at and not feel fear as if it was being done to me.


      Once you get used to seeing how the Necromoprhs transform into their ugly form, or just get tired of impaling them with their own limbs, you might think that's all you will see through the game, and then again you would be wrong, near the end of the game there comes one final test you must pass, one of the most incredibly detailed and scary moments of the game, you must enter into a machine where your head will be held and your eyes will be forced to stay open and stick a needle through your very own eye, and worst of it this is not a cutscene, you have to guide the needle until it enters inside your iris.



      It took me a lot of tries to get this done just by the fact that looking at this made me cringe, it is a very simple mini-game but damn the impact it haves is simply put impressive, you can see how much Isaac fights with himself in order to get this done, how much he moves his eye, it is undoubtedly, for me, one of the scariest parts of Dead Space 2 and probably the one I will remember the most.


      A Man Chooses, a Slave Obeys

      Better known as the "Would you Kindly" moment


      How can you speak of me moments and not bring Bioshock? You can't, even since the beginning of the game when you plane crashes, to when you get your first plasmid power, until when you get to make the first decision about the fate of the little sisters all those moments are big and does leave a very long lasting impression but for me the biggest moment of the game has to be when everything that happened to you turns out to be a complex machination of other people, and that's not all, every little thing that you though was politely asked at you was actually an order and you obeyed without hesitation as the little sheep you are.



      Maybe for most people this wouldn't mean a lot, but for me it does and a lot, you see I don't believe in destiny or fate, that means that I do believe each and everyone of us makes our own destiny, and I really like having control over the things I do, so that very line (A man chooses, a slave obeys) is like a complete disqualification over everything I had accomplished so far, all of my actions were not truly mine, I was only the puppet whose strings were moved, a simple tool conveniently used as a means to an end, it is one of the better driven story twists I've seen in any videogame, if you have never played Bioshock you owe it to yourself.

      Super Metroid


      Saving the one I call mom


      So far all of the moments have come from the last 2 generations of consoles, and that's well and all but what about the really old games, what were those moments when you were left only with your mouth open, those moments where there was almost little to no dialog and most of the story in the games came from text boxes an games manuals, well back in the day we also had some very powerful moments in videogames too, and to give our first example let's talk about one of the Holy Grails of the SNES library, Super Metroid.


      When the game starts it tells you that the last Metroid is in captivity and is at the time being studied by scientist, then all hell breaks loose, Ridley takes that Metroid and runs away, pretty standard stuff, but then near the ending of the game you fight Mother Brain again and this time she has the winning card in her sleeves, a weapon so powerful that Samus can't even avoid nor fight back, and then is when that last Metroid that was stolen by Ridley comes into action. It turns out that when you saved that little creature in Metroid 2 it thought you were its mother, and now being really powerful it won't let it's mother die so easily.



      Samus was completely defeated, with no chance of a comeback until the now not so little baby Metroid intervenes to give you back your health, a new weapon and shielding you to the point that is sacrifices itself to give Samus a fighting chance against the Ultimate Mother Brain form, it is one of the most impressive moments of the SNES era that deserves a very special recognition.


      L.A. Noire

      Burn to cinders

      Burnt to cinders


      I know that having 2011 games on a list that describes moments that leaves lasting impressions is a little contradictory, and I know that this is the second 2011 game on this list, but I think that little fact speaks volumes about the this moment I am going to talk about, L.A. Noire is the newest game you will encounter in this list, but so far is one of the better games that has came out on this year and it is also one of the best mature games this industry has to offer, one that is really mature, and probably the only game that presents full nudity and is not called a "sex simulator" by the media, but the moment I am going to talk about is the beginning of one specific case "A Walk in Elysian Fields".



      start at the 2:22 mark and watch until 5:00

      I have to say that at that point in the game, we've seen several murder victims, strangled women naked, and we even witnessed an implied adultery, yet no other victims impressed me as much as this ones, they died by asphyxia, but after that they were all reunited in the living room put in their knees into a praying position left to bur along with the house they were in, let just give yourself a moment to let that fact sink in, and if that wasn't enough at the end of the scene one of the bodies simply becomes ashes in front of your eyes, even your partner is disgusted enough to get out of the room fast, so I am going to call this one of the best scenes in video game history.


      Final Fantasy VI

      Game Over

      You Lost


      If there was ever a game that dared to go beyond what any other game had attempted until then it was Final Fantasy VI, it had 14 playable characters with back stories and personal endings, it had drama, it had a great villain, great soundtrack, epic story, and well everything for it's time and is considered for many (myself included) the best game in the Final Fantasy series, so from everything that happened in the game what moment of it could take the crown? could it be the Opera moment? or when Kefka poisons a river killing a complete country? Maybe trying to supplex a train? What about causing the Armageddon and killing millions in the process?.

      The battles are not shown so you can watch the whole thing without interruptions

      Yes, in this game the good guys actually lose to the villain and millions of human beings die because of it, never before in the history of video games was this intended or even hinted at. Everything you did, every victory you had up until then is worth nothing, in the end you could not stop the menace you were trying to, in the end there was only chaos and destruction and it is your fault.


      One of the most impressive things about this moment is that you can actually see the world being ripped apart, you actually get to see people dying, the level of destruction in this moment is so big that you can see a whole continent being split in two, even the heroes ship is destroyed and the party is scattered in the remains of the world, now all you have to do is get everyone together again and star trying to kill the evil clown again if you have to guts to attempt it.

      Final Fantasy X

      Broken Dreams

      Dreams Fading Away


      Dreams fading away I have found that every entry in the Final Fantasy series after VII have caused a love/hate debate among fans of the series, and let's not talk about how much people hate Tidus the main hero of Final Fantasy X, while I can't blame them since the start of the game Tidus is nothing more than a whiny boy with daddy issues, but then again that is just at the beginning of the game, as time passes by Tidus gets to meet a girl named Yuna, the two fall in love with each other unsuspecting what the future holds for them, and then the big revelation about where does Tidus really comes from is said, you see, Tidus does not really exists in this world, he is nothing more than the projection of a dream of dead people converted in fayths, and those fayths want to finally be able to sleep the eternal slumber, but if they defeat Sin (the evil monster) the dream of the fayths will fade away.


      After that you find out that Tidus father is the actual incarnation of Sin, and that you truly have to defeat it if the world is to have peace again, so what happens when you finally defeat Sin? Well Yuna being the only priestess of the group is the one that has to perform the ritual to send the lost souls to their destiny, condemning her loved one to disappear in thin air.



      Probably the saddest ending in the whole Final Fantasy franchise, with the most bittersweet victory against the almighty evil entity, peace indeed has a cost, but is it worth it? what are you willing to give up in order to achieve peace? maybe, and just maybe not all is fair in war and love.

      Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

      Smoking Gun

      Can you pull the trigger?


      It's very common knowledge that in metal gear games you get to pull the trigger of a gun more often than not, it could be during some big boss battles or maybe you are simply dispatching some soldiers so they won't bother you anymore, but if there was a time when I found hard to pull the trigger it has to be at the ending of the fight with The Boss in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater.


      You see after finally destroying the Shagahod and defeating Volgin you are left with one more fight before you can finally go home, your Mentor, the person with whom you developed the CQC the biggest war hero of America, The Boss, as if she has not bested you before during this mission you decide to fight to the end, but don't be afraid this time you will win, but after you win the fight there's one last thing you must do, pull the trigger one last time, but can you? I have to admit that the magic of this moment is that Kojima forces you as a player to pull the trigger, no matter what you think, if you want to finish the game you have to take the Boss life whether you like it or not, there is no choice here, and you can wait all the time that you want to see if anything happens (I did wait and nothing happened), this time you have to make the final move.



      And the way that this moment is portrayed is just impressive, Kojima really outdid himself with this, it is a very brief scene but it is so powerful and so meaningful, you can almost hear the inner struggle inside Naked Snake, and what it means to him killing his mentor and former ally, the person who will also die like a traitor when is the most patriotic one. With all the respect he holds for her, taking that last shot was probably the most difficult trigger to pull in his entire life.


      And for now that was it, so now tell me did you think of it and what moments do you remember the most about the games you have played? Which are your most treasured memories of your playthroughs?, Which are the memories of the games you have played?

    • First Impressions Assassin's Creed Revelations Multiplayer Beta

      7 years ago


      Hello g1s I am fjveca and since I got an invitation to to Beta for the multiplayer mode of Assassin's Creed: Revelations and I have already played for a few hours I decided to give you my feelings of it in a little (exclusive?) first impressions.



      For starters I was one of the people who actually enjoyed the multiplayer mode of  AC: Brotherhood, and the basics of this iteration are the same exact ones, you are a Templar in the Animus that recreates a historical place with other templars that you must kill, and at the same time you have to avoid your pursuer(s), take into consideration that in order to assassinate your target you'll have to get close to him/her and perform the kill, meanwhile they can stun you if you don't kill them fast enough, just like you can stun your pursuer if you can caught him offguard, each kill and stun will give you points and at the end of the match the player or team with the most points wins, one thing that has to be taken into consideration is that the more stealthy you are while killing your victims the more points per kill and experience you get, which means that the person with most kills not necessarily means the person with the most points.


      So what does this beta brings, to quote  the News Article from ScrewAttack basically this:

      "Here is a rundown of what you will find in the Assassin's Creed: Revelations Beta.


      • The Sentinel
      • The Vanguard
      • The Guardian
      • The Vizier
      • The Thespian
      • The Deacon
      • The Bombardier
      • The  Trickster
      • The Champion



      • Knight's Hospital
      • Antioch
      • Constantinople (will not be available at beta launch, but added later)



      • Wanted - Free For All, Kill the designated Targets and avoid any Pursuers.
      • Manhunt - Team, work together to assassinate the other team.
      • Deathmatch (New mode) - Free For All, Find and kill targets and avoid pursuers. Your Compass will be deactivated as well as being chased by Templars.
      • Artifact Assault (New mode) - Steal the team's Artifact and return it to your base. (will not be available at beta launch, but added later)


      Different abilities, perks, and character customization will also be available in the beta. Ubisoft has set the level cap to 30 and will also include leaderboards. To see the full list of EVERYTHING (and it's a lot!) for the beta, you can click on over to Ubisoft's Beta Info."


      And that's a whole lot of stuff there for a invite beta, but as you can see not everything will be available since the beginning which is a shame because only 2 maps feels a little lacking, but I won't complain.

      BETA invite

      I really like the style of the invitation


      First thing the beta does is ask you for a profile pic, you can choose from 6 different pictures but only 2 are allowed from the get go since the other 4 are locked until you reach experience levels on the game.


      Then you'll choose one of the 9 available characters and as far as I can tell the character that you choose doesn't make any difference in the gameplay since all of them play the same.


      Right after that you'll be taken into a tutorial level, a very small map where you'll be taught how to hunt down and assassinate a target, and after that how to avoid being killed, and stun your hunter, one of the welcome additions from the original multiplayer mode from AC: Brotherhood is that now when the person who is hunting you is close enough for a stun an icon with the button used for this action will appear over the his head, that settles one of my main complains from the AC:B Multiplayer that you never knew the timing for this stun.


      Another thing that you'll have to take into consideration is that if you are in a situation where you are the prey. Your best option for survival is to run away and hide until you lost the people who is chasing you, since the advantage over the situation will always be for the person who has the option to kill, if you decide to confront the person that is hunting you the most probable outcome is dying a honorable death or as I like to call it "Kill and Stun button were pressed at the same time", this "Honorable death" will give you 100 points and a bigger amount to your killer.



      After the tutorial you'll be taken directly into your first match, in my case it was a Death Match, I have to say that at first it took me some time to get my first kill, mainly because in AC:B I relied too much on the radar that you have, and since this new mode it's gone you have to rely on your gut about if the character model that you have in front is the one you are looking for, and of course you'll have to watch if it behaves differently fron the NPCs of the game, and this time you'll also be hunted down by templars, and the only way that you'll know if someone behind you is if they blow their cover, by not being stealthy enough, pretty standard stuff.


      But one thing that really annoyed me was the respawn areas, when you respawn after being murdered it'll take some 15-30 seconds of you walking aimlessly until you have your next target and you then can proceed to hunt your designated target, and many times I ended up being killed before being able to see my new target, it is something that I personally feel that should be fixed in order for this game mode to be actually fun.


      A little after gaining some levels and access to some perks of the multiplayer I decided to create my customized profile of perks, deathstreaks and killstreaks, just like in Call of Duty of you can rank up a series of consecutive kills (the numbers of kills and deaths depend mainly form the perk you chose but it is mainly 5 or 7) but unlike with the AC:B multiplayer mode in which the perks would become available per experience level, in this beta there are 2 requirements for you to gain access to this perks, the first is the level of your character, the second is a new Abstergo currency that you’ll gain throughout the matches, this is probably the biggest difference between AC:B and AC:R multiplayer modes, in this profile you’ll be able to equip up to extra 2 abilities, 2 Killstreak bonuses and 2 Deathstreak bonuses, and this is how you’ll define your gameplay style,


      The 2 extra abilities could range between being able to disguise yourself as another as another character or NPC, using smoke land mines, the hidden gun, among others.


      The Killstreak perks range from the ability to kill any Abstergo agent, to assassinate one participant that’s on the current map at any distance.


      The Deathstreaks are usually enhancements on the radar system or the map, or the ability to see your target.


      Then just when I finished creating my personalized abilities profile the game threw me into another tutorial, this time the tutorial was about the radar system and how to use it, one good thing about the tutorials of this beta is that in general are short and to the point.


      After that I got to play some Manhunt matches, in this particular mode you are part of a team and the action is divided in two rounds in which one team hides and the other hunts the hiding team, after the first round time ends (10 minutes) the roles are reversed, and I have to say that this mode was the most fun for me, and as a matter of fact I had the most fun while hiding from the opposing team, since it is a more strategic approach to blend with the surroundings and set up traps to cover your escape, also when hiding you’ll earn points for the time you spend blended with people, or hiding into haystacks or sit in public benches, and if you have your teammates with you in the same area hiding you’ll earn more points (always a good strategy is to blend into walking groups and let go of the left stick and your character will walk automatically with the group at it’s pace, many times my pursuers killed a civilian or just went right through the group giving me the ability to stun them and escape from them).


      This kind of match is the most competitive one, and the tides can change at any time with killstreaks and stunstreaks if you are in the hiding team, and can result in exciting final minutes.


      Also one new thing that was introduced in this beta was that after finishing one match regardless of the game mode you’ll be presented with a poll where the people in the match will decide in which of the 3 map displayed will the next match be, the only bad thing is that since at the moment there are only 2 maps available there are 2 options that are the same map, but it is perfect to change the map every once and a while by votes of the participants.




      {Edit added after new content was available}

      Since the beta was extended I got time to play some more multiplayer and overall now that is available the Artifact Assault I had some time with it. Just as I expected this is nothing more than a glorified Capture the flag mode, so this means it is a team based game mode, where each team has a territory where the team Artifact is and your objective is to capture the opponent team Artifact, seems simple enough but I encountered that it was very challenging to actually get the artifact for several reasons, the first is that since you can use the abilities that you have on your profile, a team can easily set up a perimeter around the Artifact with land smoke mines and as soon as you get close to the area you'll get stunned by them and become an easy prey for the person who is on the other team protecting the Artifact, but I can't complain about that, it's part of the basic strategy of the game, but even if you have the chance to hold the Artifact, the way that the kill system works in this game (single hit kills) makes it too difficult to reach your base and claim the point, and as of now since almost everyone has access to an ability that allows you to run faster when you are chasing someone this almost grants that when being chansed you'll die, all thsi combined made every single match of capture the... er I mean Artifact Assault to end in close matches withe scores like 0-0, 1-0, or the biggest score I saw while I played this mode 3-2, and kills still earn points like in the other game modes but not for the overall score, this way if a match ends in a tie (and that happens a lot) the team with the most kill points wins the match.


      Overall I found a little frustrating  this Artifact Assault mode because the core game makes it too difficult to actually earn points capturing the other teams Artifact, it is a nice addition but I think it could use some tweaking in order to make it more interesting.



      One thing that will undoubtedly enhance the life of this multiplayer mode is that you now have challenges that you can attempt as for example killing 10 targets that are blended into a crowd, using the perk knives to slowdown a target and then killing him, use the hidden gun to kill a target that is jumping or running, performing an assassination that rewards you with +700 points, stunning four players without dying, and things like that, there are around 50-70 challenges available at the moment.


      Also there are awards according how you performed in the matches, as for having the best kill/death ratio, winning a match, using the most abilities in a match, being the one who lived the longest or surviving one match without being killed,



      On your profile you’ll be able to see the statistics of your game time like total time played, average points per assassination, total assassinations, total stuns among other statistics. Also on your profile you'll be able to change the weapons from the character models (I smell DLC coming), taunt animations, among other things, still nothing that seems to affect gameplay so this changes are purely cosmetic, and yes you'll have to buy this things with the abstergo currency from the game so you'll have to balance out between the perks, abilities and character customization.


      Overall I had fun with this beta, it feels a lot like the AC:B multiplayer but that’s not a bad thing in my book, the things that were added really enhance the fun of the beta and eliminates some of my complains about the past edition, the ability to vote for the next map you want to play in is a very welcomed addition and the new maps looks good, as for the lag in the matches, of all the matches I played I only found lag problems in the second match, and they were minor but annoying, good thing is that my internet connection is only 1MB/s for download and 0,3MB/s of upload, and I played for hours, so I think that the online code is pretty sweet, but the only thing is that it takes way too long to find a match to join, but it could be because this is only a beta, so it is a very solid offering .

    • Review Scores. Controversy and Overreaction

      7 years ago





    • Weird moments of videogames Fallout 3

      7 years ago


      Hi everyone I kind of decided to start what could be a blog entries on a regular basis and i decided to do something about the moments when I was playing a game and left me screaming WTF!!!! or that just let me a feeling that something quite doesn't fit.



      Just to make clear I won't be hear to rant about glitches in videogames but something more about weird desitions about plot changes and weird restrictions in game mechanics so let's start talking about one single moment of this game:


      Fallout 3



      OK let me put my flame shield first...

      Flame Shiled up


      OK, OK before you start ripping my heart from my chest let me clarify this, I loved fallout 3, I have played a lot of RPG games in my life, even the 2 priors to this, and I really like this game.

      BUT just at the end of the main storyline there was something that left me with a feeling of WTF!!!! how can you forbid me to do this???

      So ok let's get to the point so first of all a warning

      Spoilers head

      Don't say I didn't warn you here we go


      OK at some part of the game you get used to fight against this kind of guy:


      Super Mutant
      Super Mutant


      And you fight them a lot, but then at some point in the game you get to know one of those Super Mutant that isn't your enemy, in fact he seems to be a regular human trapped inside a Super Mutant body.


      Soon after that you learn that this guy isn't affected by radiation so he can get into very radioactive zones and suffer no harm, cool isn't it???, well if you played this game till the very end you might already know to what moment am referring to.

      And so we fast forward to the final moments of the main story of the game:

      You are in the last big battle of the game, where the good guys are trying to defend what could be the salvation of mankind cleaning the water so far radioactive because of a nuclear war. BUT in the crucial moment of the battle you have to enter the in the control room of this thing and turn it on, no big deal right? problem is that inside the control room the radiation levels have gone through the roof and any normal human being will die if it enters to that chamber, what would be the best solution for this dilema???  lets consider:



      Go on all by yourself and die being a hero (YAY I saved the day, hmmm hey I'M DYIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING!!!!!!!!! )

      Force another human being into the control room (you bastard are going to sacrify her??? you disgust me)
      Let the inmune to radiation mutant go in and save everyone the he gets out of the control room and we all live happily ever after.




      So the options are either I die, a hot girl dies or I send the mutant and everybody lives, even the mutant HE IS INMUNE TO RADIATION, but what happens when you ask him to go and turn the thing on he tells you that he can't do it because you are predestined to do it and you must die doing it.

      WTF R U DOING!!!
      Seriously are you only going to watch me die?

      So it is either I die or let the girl die for me and get the bad karma for killing her, I don't know what kind of reasoning was behind this but seriously I don't get it and for everyone saying "this is a moral choice, your life instead of a lot of people or the life of another human being" am calling BS here because being moral doesn't make you STUPID, is easy the mutant goes in saves the world and you get laid with the hot blonde it's a WIN-WIN-WIN situation.


      Well it was a blast to write this blog entry, I hope you like it and i really hope i get to make another one, so feel free to propose any weird moment you have had in a game if you want me to make a blog of it, thanks beforehand

    • Gaming and it's scientifical discoveries

      7 years ago


      Horray for gamers! turns out that gamers have done something that has been so far elusive for scientist, finding out the M-PMV PR structure... but what on earth is the M-PMV PR you ask? and why is it important? easy.


      According to Microbewiki.com this M-PVM is important because:

      "MPMV is an important model to study human disease, and can be used experimentally as a tool to find potential inhibitors of HIV immature particle assembly."


      Meaning that gamers have given scientist one more tool to get close to the cure for AIDS. Now the feat was achieved using an online game called FoldIt, which was developed by computer scientists at the University of Washington Center for Game Science, which is aimed at allowing to collaborate and determine the structure of protein molecules.


      According to the paper released by the scientists behind this online game they define it this way:

      Foldit is a multiplayer online game that enlists players worldwide to solve difficult protein-structure prediction problems. Foldit players leverage human three-dimensional problem-solving skills to interact with protein structures using direct manipulation tools and algorithms from the Rosetta structure prediction methodology


      The reason behind why the scientist created this game is because unlike humans computers doesn't have a good spatial reasoning skills, and the most impressive of all is that all it was achieved in just 3 weeks, talk about being fast (and we're out of beta, we're releasing on time).


      To add to this Dr Seth Cooper of the UW Department of Computing Science and Engineering said that:

      "Games provide a framework for bringing together the strengths of computers and humans. The results in this week's paper show that gaming, science and computation can be combined to make advances that were not possible before"

      "The critical role of Foldit players in the solution of the M-PMV PR structure shows the power of online games to channel human intuition and three-dimensional pattern-matching skills to solve challenging scientific problems."


      I have to say that I personally am happy to hear of this scientific triumph, the fact that an online game was used in order to solve a problem is exciting because it opens the door to more a very interesting way to do research, and proves that videogames can be more than just a passtime, if done properly I must add.

      Here is the link for the paper.


      Also because I can't see the source for the original artilce here is the link

    • Fabula Nova Crystallis, My feelings about it

      7 years ago


      Hello g1s I am fjveca and today i finally found a topic I can actually write down a good chunk of text, in the last weekend I managed to beat Final Fantasy XIII-2, and while the game is not bad by any means, I did get pissed off by the ending sequence, I will talk about it later, but after seeing so reflecting a little on the implications of it I came to a very interesting conclusion about the ending and the project that started the FFXIII saga "Fabula Nova Crystallis".




      And I mean that if Final Fantasy XIII-2 was a complete different game, even a new numbered Final Fantasy game let's say Final Fantasy XV for example, I would be completely nuts over the *spoilers* unavoidable sequel for this game, yes the game ends with a black screen with a white colored sentence that says "To be continued" */spoilers*, if you only take into consideration this game only in it's own merits and completely separate it's mythology and setting from the game it originally comes from the ending it's kind great and sets up to a new adventure that ups the ante in an incredible way, so be warned I am going deep into spoiler territory for either Final Fantasy XIII, for the sake of shortness I'll now call FFXIII and Final Fantasy XIII-2 that I will call just XIII-2.


      First let's analize the whole picture, one of the things I enjoyed more from the original FFXIII was the setting and mythology, the backkground of the world in which FFXIII is played out is incredibly detailed much more than in previous Final Fantasy games, the amount of detail put into the background of the game is incredibly deep, it features religions in which there are demigods gods, goddess, creationism, evolution, predetermined fate for certain characters, and it all ties up amazingly well.


      So the original FFXIII plot can be summed up as demigods bound by fate to protect and take care of Coccoon, want to escape this fate and summon their creator by making a huge sacrifice, in order to do it they elaborate a very twisted and weird plan to force some humans kill the demigod who sustains Coccoon itself, inflicting them with a curse that will turn them into monsters if they don't finish their task or if they actually finish the taks they will become crystal sculptures (don't you love lose-lose scenarios?), the plan backfires due to the good will of the people chosen to make it happen and all those demigods end up dead as a result and only 2 people willingly sacrifice themselves to save millions so the creator itself is never summoned.


      Now in XIII-2 something happens, out of nowhere the main protagonist of FFXIII is lost and everyone believes that she sacrificed herself in order to save Coccoon along with other 2 people who originally did that, but the protagonist of this second game, who is also the sister of the FFXIII protagonist, knows the truth and ask her fiance to investigate, later on he goes missing too, one day calamity strikes and monsters appear out of nowhere and start attaking the town a mysterious man appears in front of the protagonist and says he had just been with her sister who is now defending the Goddess Etro, and due to damage produced in the timeline they would need to fix everything to get where her sister is and bring her back.


      And that was the so convoluted story of 2 Final Fantasys in just 2 paragraphs and both stories seem to tie in pretty well, but that's not the end of the story so far, since I finished the game there is some more story to cover in order for this blog post to make sense.


      And here is where the Heavy spoilers come for the second game


      While you play through XIII-2 you learn some interesting facts:

      • the mysterious person sent by the protagonist sister is actually the last human alive, on the planet in 700 years from the present time, named Noel and is trying to save a person he knew named Yeul.
      • Yeul who has been blessed by the goddess with the power to see the future and that power everytime that is used takes life from the person who has it, but the visions about the future are not voluntary and the bearer of this power is forced to see the future every time it is altered.
      • There have been many Yeuls throughout time at least one for each generation and all of them have died because of their power to see the future.
      • Noel also had a friend who dissapeared named Caius who is also supposed to be the guardian of Yeul, and it turns out that he is inmortal because he was blessed with the heart of the goddess, so basically he doesn't get old, and has been the guardia for each Yeul that has existed.
      • Caius Believes that if he can stop time itself and turn the world into Valhalla, that is a place where time does not flows, he can save Yeul from the Goddess "Blessing" since there is no future she can't see it, and he starts another convoluted plan to distort the timeline enough to create a paradox strong enough to turn the world into Valhalla.
      • In order for Caius to make his plan work he has to kill the goddess, and the fastest way to do it is by  finding someone who can kill him by destroying the heart of the goddess.
      • His plan into tricking everyone is to destroy the pillar that holds the remains of Coccoon causing millions of deaths, (doesn't that sound familliar?) so the heroes of this adventure are sent to prevent this from happening and correct the timeline.
      • The main protagonist of this game is also blessed with the goddess power to see the future (remember this, I'll be talking more about this later on).
      • As with any other religion just like the goddess there is a nemesis for her who is held back by the goddess herself and can only access the human world when people die (again, remember this, it's going to be important).
      • And then there is one quasi nonsensical dialog line thrown out that bugs me a little "We have to change the future in order to change the past"


      At first that dialog line made no sense, how on earth would you change what happened only by changing what will happen next? until I understood that what you ahve to do is go to the future tos top Caius from changing the past, and it all made sense, or at least a little sense and in the end that's what you are set to do so when the time comes, so when you finally reach the final battle to stop Caius there are 2 possible outcomes, the first one Caius wins the remains of Coccoon fall to the ground and kill almost the entire planet freeing the chaos and turning the world into Valhalla, or stoping Caius by killing him but then the Goddess dies and the Chaos turns the world into Valhalla.


      In a turn of events Noel the predestined person who Caius set to be killed by stops right before dealing the finishing blow, Noel says that this is not what Yeul would wanted, and that Yeul was reborn every time just to be beside Caius, Caius goes insane and in the end he graps Noel's weapon and stabs himself fixing the timeline and commiting suicide in th process, in the end the protagonist and Noel return to the point in time where Coccoon is supposed to fall with everything fixed and the crysis averted, until Serah has a vision on how the timeline is going to be since they changed it to normal and dies, then the chaos is set free since the heart of the goddess is destroyed by Caius in his suicide, then everything turns into a black screen with the letters "To be continued".


      Congratulations Square Enix, now you have your very own Halo 2


      Now there are 2 things that make me angry about this ending, the first one was that yet again you were presented with a lose-lose situation, you either create Valhalla by killing Caius or do nothing and he creates Valhalla by killing millions of people crashing Coccoon into the ground, but I could live with that were it not that in the end he could have commit suicide since the very fucking beginning of the plan and no one would have been able to stop him, what's the point of trianing someone into being the person who is going to kill you if in the end you are going to commit suicide?, why on earth do you have to make a plan so convoluted if you can just kill yourself and have the same fucking result? it makes everything that happened pointless.










    • Has Video Game Review Scores lost it's meaning?

      7 years ago


      Welcome g1s, it's fjveca here, since a few years back the industry of video games has become more review score driven than anything else, and a lot of controversy has started to go around this from every side of the industry, gamers claim bias and bribes against every score they don't like, and lately even the game developers have started to call "haters" to those who gives a low score to their games, so has game scores lost their meaning as of late? let's discuss about the topic.


      Well for starters when I was a kid game reviews were not as popular neither abundant as they are today, more because because there was no internet back then, or at least was not as easy to use or fast as it is today, and I know you've heard a lot what I'm about to say but most of the video game purchases I (read my parents after me begging for months) was solely based on how cool the box art of said game was or if it was a popular show on tv, and sometimes you just got lucky and had a kick ass game cover of a very popular TV show.

      TMNT 3 The Manjattan Project

      I loved this game to bits


      While this method of buying games was more based on luck than anything else actually, it was kind of cool,  it once in while you could get disappointed but when you finally had a good game with a kick ass cover art you felt sort of accomplished, but then things started to change with the arrival of game magazines, gamers started to have information about upcoming games, what to look forward and game reviews started to be a standard information source when you wanted to know what game you should buy, overall if you had limited budget and had to decide which game to get.


      but that was just the beginning of what was to come, when the internet started it's meteoric rise to be the dominant source of information, Video Game websites started to sprout, and they catch the attention of the gaming public faster than magazine because you didn't have to pay a magazine in order to know what was the next big thing in the Video Game industry.


      Yeah the internet was pretty fugly back then

      And yes this was how IGN looked back then


      And of course with the rise of internet Video Game magazines it also came the rise of the internet Video Game reviews, and then something very interesting happened, gamers started to trust game reviews as their catalog information, suddenly games that had better review scores had more sales, while this is not 100% true, there are cases of games with great review scores that sold poorly, the reality is that the better the overall critic score the better the game will sell, and the game publishers catch that trend even faster than the gamers realized.


      The impact that this had in the industry is undeniable, suddenly having a positive review of your recently developed title at launch could mean the financial success or demise of a game publisher, up t the point where I read an article from ARS Thecnica saying that they use the review scale of "buy/rent/skip" because of something that THQ did to one reviewer they know about, according to the article:

      "THQ pulled this... this was funny," one of the hosts said. Their reviewer received an early copy of the new THQ UFC title early for review. THQ, oddly, gave some rules about when the review could go live. The review could be published early if the Metacritic score was above 85 percent, but if it was under that minimum the review couldn't be released until the game's release. "This is not just THQ; this is very common," I was told. The score failed to hit the magic number, so the review was not released as of the recording of the podcast.


      A publisher will indeed force you to hold back your review if it is not "favorable enough". What really bugs me about this little problem is what follows, according to Wikipedia since 2001 a system that gathers the information for all the reviews from the internet about entertainment, be it Video Games, Movies, Music Albums,etc. named Metacritic serves as a global denominator of how everything entertainment related is rated, and if used the right way it could really be a useful tool to see what is the general consensus of the critics of the media think about, but the thing is that for some companies it has become another marketing tool, and now they start to manipulate the ratings in it so they look better, defeating the original purpose that the Metacritic webpage had.


      But that's not everything, even among gamers arguments over what score a game deserves started and it has evolved to full flame wars in internet forums, with people declaring that the websites that gives a score below or over what they believe it to deserve to "lose all credibility the have left" and they are very vocal about that.


      It happens with every major game release


      And sometimes it happens with almost any game inexistence

       GAME TRAILER IS THE BIAS!!!!!111!!!1!!!!

      Sometimes things can get a little funny


      Granted most of this arguments are between blatant fanboys of each console or even franchises, but then again while doing this they are validating what the game publishers do like the example I posted from the ARS Technica article, they (the fanboys) are telling the developers that the most important thing for them to buy a game is the number of positive reviews that Metacritic.com  has about the game.


      Still while the raging of a few fanboys would seem like nothing to be too worried about this is not the only repercussions that game review scores has had in the world that revolves around Video Games, as a matter of fact in 2007 a big scandal started because of the termination of contract of a Video Game reviewer in GameSpot, you can read the original coverage from Kotaku, or from Destructoid. While it is not official that Jeff Gerstmann was actually fired because he gave Kane & Lynch: Dead Men a score of 6.0 out of 10 while having EIDOS as a sponsor, we might never know if that was the real reason behind his departure from GameSpot you can never rule it out.


      The biggest issue, in my humble opinion, is that the review scores have come from being an indicative of how much a reviewer enjoyed said game to a marketing tool, you can see it in the Video Game ads, where they showcase the highest scores and praises that the reviewers have given the game, and it is in at least one trailer from most games, a lot of marketing campaigns are based blowing out of proportion the high review scores and Game of the Year prizes they have received.




      And as if that was all, now it is not only the game publishers those who are upset about the low, and sometimes not so low, scores they land on games but also th developers too, recently Cliff Bleszinski after the release of the now critically acclaimed and smashing retail success of Gears of War 3 cataloged reviews that gave scores of 8 out of 10 as reviews made from "haters",  although he later "clarified" that what he said was taken out of context so why not put that part of the interview right here:

      VG247: Were you pleased with the review scores this morning?

      Cliff Bleszinski: Doing great, apart from a couple of haters.

      VG247: And who are the haters?

      Cliff Bleszinski: A certain gamer of the Euro.

      VG247: And what was their problem with the game? I haven’t read the review.

      Cliff Bleszinski: You know, I didn’t quite gather it. I don’t want to come across as defensive. How do I phrase this properly? When people rated Gear 2 higher than Gears 3, it kind of upset me because I know Gears 3 is a better game on every level.


      This fragment of the interview begs the next question for me how can somebody say that he doesn't want to come across as defensive after saying that the ones who had problems with your game were "haters"? sorry but you kind of dropped the ball with the previous answer and I also think that you realized you went a little too far with what you said first and now you are trying to make amends by saying you don't want to "come across as defensive".


      But that's not all, game reviewers also get a lot of cool stuff that most gamers don't even get to see in first person, and that has indeed started wild fires in the internet about publishers buying good review scores from reviewers, and to be honest it seems that issues like that have been openly talked on press and among gamers, but I would like to focus on another article from ARS Technica that picked my attention, overall a little "bonus" (and I doubt it can be called like that) that came with a Bulletstorm package, but let's read the words of the writer of the article:

      Rotten meat

      "This disgusting lump of rotten meat was filled with things like shell casings, broken glasses, dog tags, and a tooth. The idea is that the meat was "prepared from dismembered and otherwise disintegrated enemy combatants." The rotting meat was shipped in a large cooler, perhaps in order to keep the smell down in shipment."

      Delicious Rotten Meat Burgers

      It doesn't matter how orignal is your game, sending rotten meat is not acceptable


      Well that's something that I would not rather have sent to my address, but I think I'm deviating a little, I think that everyone remembers the Dante's Inferno promotions, yeah the one where different items were sent in order to tempt people to commit sinful acts, among the items sent representing every sin, and when the time for the Greed sin came the item sent a 200 US$ check, a real check that you could cash in, and presented the following options:


      1. If you cash the check it meant that you have committed a sin of greed because you are taking the money

      2. if you don't cash the check it meant that you were also a sinner of greed because you wasted it

      to greed or not to greed that is the question

      I hate the people who think they're smart because they put you in a lose/lose situation


      So basically there was not right answer to what to do with the money or as Nick Chester from Destructoid put it in it's own article about the issue "The dilemma is such -- do I give in to greed and cash the check, and basically kiss any credibility I might have goodbye? However, if I don't cash it, that could be considered wasteful.". I don't have the numbers to tell you how many reviewers actually cashed the check but from the looks of it many donated the funds to different charities, and even one person from Kotaku burned the check (there is a link to an image gallery but it presents no pictures).


      And all of this begs the question how much of all this impacts over the review of a game? Be it for good or for bad, because let's face it if someone gives a good score to a game from a publisher that sent you a piece of rotten meat, that game has to be really good. In the end is a matter of career ethics, but then again how do we know who can we trust?  or even worse yet how do we know we can trust a number rating a game on an arbitrary scale? Well that's an answer that everyone must find by themselves, but for me game review scores have lost most of the meaning they had, as of now when I see a review I focus more on what's said about the game rather than the overall score given by the reviewer, a score is too abstract for making a real summary of how good a game is because maybe the game is a technical masterpiece but you actually don't have any fun while playing it, how can you measure that into a review score? 


      So what are your thoughts on the subject? do you guide all your purchases from the scores a game had in your favorite site? what about Metacritic? or are you still buying games just because you like their cover? or are you that part of the population that hates everything that is universally praised? whatever it's your stance on this share your thoughts.

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