HallelOUYA, it's a Cube

So I bought a 1st-gen OUYA console recently and wanted to share my first impressions here:

My global opinion regarding this small, handy cube is quite positive, certainly more than originally thought. Very much in its favor, the Ouya:

  • has an appealing, snug design
  • has a surprisingly good graphics display thanks to HDMI
  • is affordable and user-friendly, also due to its Android-based system

The (wireless) gamepad feels good both by its weight and to the palms thanks to the metal plates which cover the left and right handle where the two AA batteries are put. The color buttons display the four letters that gave the Ouya its name: O – U – Y – A, in addition to L1/R1, L2/R2, and L3/R3. Up to four gamepads can be connected at once, for what PS3 controllers can be used alternatively.

The User Interface is a bit similar to Google Play on Android; until now all the games are free for download and trial, which in future is being left to publishers/developers. The games and applications aren't too big in size, mostly just some hundred MB, so that in addition to the 8 GB (~ 6 GB) and soon 16 GB internal storage, they can easily be downloaded to and played off any external USB stick (using either LAN / WiFi).

The Ouya's main menu has four submenus:

  1. PLAY – the downloaded Games Library
  2. DISCOVER – the Games & Apps Store
  3. MAKE – the domain for developers of builds / software
  4. MANAGE – Ouya account, preferences, etc.

The System Menu (Y) furthermore permits to manage the console's contents and internal/external storage units in Android-like manner. As to video games, the Discover menu distinguishes between different Genres from “A” like Adventure, App, Arcade/Pinball, over Dual Stick, Kids List, Multiplayer, Retro, to “S” like Short on Time?, SIM/Strategy, Sports..., but of course includes also the requisite Fighting, Platforming, Racing, and Role-Playing games.

Alongside video games, different applications can be downloaded, including TwitchTV, XBMC, Vimeo, TuneIn Radio, VLC Media Player, or Crunchyroll. With this big assortment, it is convenient that discarded Games & Apps can also be "buried" in order to hide them in the menus.

Offering games also in their Alpha or Beta version right now the Ouya is mainly an Indie domain and seems still less attractive to big publishers, with the notable exception of Final Fantasy III (Square Enix) and Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode I (SEGA) which both have been ported to Android already before. Numerous other games are being offered as well via Steam or PlayStation Store, like The Cave, Sine Mora, TowerFall, or A Space Shooter for 2 Bucks. It is also true that many of the available games have been released for iOS / Android and include a similar collection of imitative titles such as Oh My Goat, Flappy Plane, Voxy Bird, Minimon, Stupid Zombies 2, Fields of Battle, Grand Truckismo, but there are also various genuine Ouya exclusives being offered and developed.

Another user-friendly aspect is that after trying out a game every user is asked to leave a rating between 1 and 5 stars, which together with the number of votes gives an orientation about the quality of every game and general user satisfaction.

So following the five-stars rating as well as my personal preferences, the games I--more seriously, after a number of trials--selected to be played on the Ouya so far are:

  • TRPG: Final Fantasy III (SNES, iOS, AND)
  • RPG: Ravensword: Shadowlands (iOS, AND)
  • FPS: Overkill 2 (iOS, AND)
  • Survival Arcade shooter: Killing Floor: Calamity (OUYA)
  • Platforming Action-adventure: Another World (Atari/Amiga, 1991)
  • Retro-style Beat 'em up: Fist Puncher (PC)
  • Psycho Horror: Neverending Nightmares (PC, beta – yet to be released in its final version)

So to sum it up I can only say that my however short experience is positive and satisfying as to this still new gaming console, and I really hope more young as well as advanced developers will be offering their games on the Ouya in near future.

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Most anticipated games for 2014 (provisional list)

Alas, the new year is just one week old and already does one make projections regarding the games (to be) published this year, in spite of pending backlogs and uncertain release dates. Moreover, the anticipated games list tends to grow dramatically after the annual E3 event.

Another unknown comes from the game prices which are considerably higher for the new next-gen releases, and as neo-PS4 and Wii U owner I have the desire to buy as many of the new games as possible for these two platforms, of course.

Consequently, this is an only provisional list of all video games that I have in mind to acquire (or at least rent, until the price drops) and play during the year, in the order of their presumable release dates:

  • Don't Starve -- 01/2014 (PS4)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Battle Of Z -- 01/24/2014 (PS3/PSV)
  • Tomb Raider Definitive -- 01/31/2014 (PS4)
  • Octodad -- 02/2014 (PS4)
  • Thief -- 02/2014 (PS3/PS4)
  • Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII -- 02/14/2014 (X360)
  • Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare -- 02/20/2014 (X360)
  • Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 -- 02/27/2014 (PS3)
  • Yaiba Ninja Gaiden Z -- 02/28/2014 (PS3)
  • Bravely Default -- 02/28/2014 (3DS)
  • The Evil Within -- Q1-2/2014 (PC --preordered)
  • Titanfall -- 03/13/2014 (PC)
  • Infamous: Second Son -- 03/21/2014 (PS4)
  • Final Fantasy X/X-2 -- 03/21/2014 (PS3/PSV)
  • Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn -- April/2014 (PS4, from the PS3 version)
  • Watch Dogs -- Q2/2014 (PC --preordered one year ago!)
  • Grand Theft Auto V -- Q2/2014 (PC version)
  • Bayonetta 2 -- Q2/2014 (Wii U)
  • Mario Kart 8 -- Q2/2014 (Wii U)
  • Ultimate Fighting Championship -- Q2/2014 (PS4)
  • Beyond Good and Evil 2 -- Q2/2014 (PC)
  • Outlast -- Q2-3/2014 (PS4)
  • Wolfenstein: The New Order -- Q2-3/2014 (PC)
  • The Crew -- Q2-3/2014 (PS4)
  • Destiny -- 09/09/2014 (PS4)
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition -- Q3/2014 (PS4)
  • The Order: 1886 -- Q3/2014 (PS4)
  • The Sims 4 -- Q3/2014 (PC)
  • Final Fantasy XV -- Q3-4/2014 (PS4)
  • Mirror's Edge 2 -- Q3-4/2014 (PS4)
  • Rime -- Q3-4/2014 (PS4)
  • Secret Ponchos -- Q4/2014 (PS4)
  • Uncharted 4 -- Q4/2014 (PS4)
  • Tom Clancy's: The Division -- Q4/2014 (PS4)

With unknown release date:

  • Mad Max (PC)
  • Carmageddon: Reincarnation (PC/PS4)
  • X (Wii U)
  • Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem (Wii U)
  • Star Wars: Battlefront (PS4)
  • Homefront 2 (PS4)
  • Tom Clancy's: Rainbow 6 Patriots (PC)
  • Shadow of the Beast (PS4)
  • Deep Down (PS4)
  • Until Dawn (PS4)
  • Yakuza Ishin (PS4)
  • Monster Hunter 4 (3DS)
  • Cyberpunk 2077 (PC)
  • Prey 2
  • Half-Life 3
  • The Last Guardian

...

In bold the games I have a particular interest for and will certainly acquire. And in order to anticipate questions: no plans so far for MGS Ground Zeroes, Dark Souls II, The Witcher 3, The Elder Scrolls Online--not since I consider them bad, but simply since I have less interest in these games, for whatever reason.

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Games Of The Year 2013

Finally, before this year comes to its end, my own Games of the Year-list which I decided is neither ranked nor distinguished by platform as I consider it inappropriate to establish ranks for games belonging to different categories, and to give platform-related awards to games released for multiple systems.

So this is the list of my personal favorites for each category, taking into account (only) the games I've been playing myself during 2013, with a deliberate accent on action games, of course. In brackets the platform(s) on which the game has been played, not necessarily an exclusive one.

    • Sci-Fi Shooter: Killzone: Shadow Fall (PS4) - a somewhat redesigned Killzone game allowing for opener levels and featuring an all-round combat drone called Owl
    • Military Shooter: Battlefield 4 (PC/AND) - with its action-packed campaign, great multiplayer, and new Commander mode, the most complete warfare simulation to date
    • Action: Dead Space 3 (PS3/PC) - a long, varied campaign that can as well be played co-operatively, with an impacting plot and excellent visual settings
    • Adventure: The Last of Us (PS3) - Ellie and Joel would both merit an Oscar for their roles in this enthralling survival story revealing the beast within every individual
    • Open-World: Grand Theft Auto V (PS3) - of course not every game can be open-world, yet GTA V sure makes one feel real-world inhabitant of Los Santos, CA
    • Role-Playing: Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (Wii U/3DS) - monster-hunting with survival appeal on a vast variety of maps giving great use to the GamePad
    • Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing: Path of Exile (PC) - a Diablo III-like free-to-play adventure providing an infinity of individual upgrade possibilities
    • Multiplayer Online Battle Arena: DOTA 2 (PC) - addictive online battles letting one choose between a considerable variety of colorful heroes
    • Real-Time Strategy: Company of Heroes 2 (PC) - the best out of this category I've been playing this year, and since Command & Conquer has been canceled on Alpha
    • Hack 'n' Slash: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate HD (PS3) - successful port of the original 3DS title, satisfying gameplay and original design in spite of its rather modest resolution
    • Platforming: Guacamelee (Vita/PS3) - rewarding platforming adventure in exquisitely designed Mexican style
    • Fighting: Injustice: Gods Among Us (PS3) - nourished by the familiar DC toons, probably the best fighting game I've been playing so far
    • Racing/Driving: Gran Turismo 6 (PS3) - the thrilling pleasure to use Madrid as circuit and to photo-tour in Ronda or Valencia makes me prefer this title over the other racing games this year
    • Sports: FIFA 14 (PS3/PS4) - revamped: the FIFA developers really succeed in keeping the game fresh with new stuff every year
    • Indies: Doki-Doki Universe (Vita/PS4) - a truly heart-warming adventure in Le Petit Prince-style
    • Tablet Apps: Heroes of Dragon Age (AND) - based in the familiar Dragon Age ambiance, allowing for tactical squad upgrade choices without forcing purchase
    • Sequel: Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time (PS3/Vita) - it's so comforting to see Sly, Bentley, and Murray reunited in this long anticipated sequel of the great Trilogy cross-playable on PS3/Vita that one might long for yet another one
    • Narrative: Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs (Dan Pinchbeck) - by far the most literary of the games I've been playing this year
    • Music/Soundtrack: ex aequo Remember Me (Olivier Derivière) and Crysis 3 (Borislav Slavov) for being the two most emblematic of this years video game musics I heard, maybe better than their games --in case someone needs to refresh their memory: Crysis 3 | Remember Me
    • Design originality: Bioshock: Infinite - while I had some problems with both story and gameplay, its original design is probably what most makes this game stand out
    • Best Female Character - Ellie, The Last of Us (runner-up: Jodie, Beyond: Two Souls) - besides, don't they have something in common?
    • Best Male Character - Michael De Santa, GTA V (runner-up: Joel, The Last of Us) - besides, don't they have something in common?
    • Characters, further mention: the Lutece Twins, probably one of the most original ideas in Bioshock: Infinite
    • Personality: Mark Cerny, Sony (PS4/Knack)
    • Platform: PS4 (Sony)
    • Hoax of the Year: Gabe Newell, new CEO of Microsoft (cf. Interview Vida Extra)

So much for 2013: I know, it's a long list... (*_*;) --however, any comments welcome!

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Some Impressions on Madrid Games Week:

First of all: far more visitors than games exposed, of which Sony offered the greatest selection on PS3, PS4, and PS Vita, as well as, surprisingly, Nintendo, with WiiU and 3DS, whereas Microsoft, Activision, Electronic Arts focused mainly on some of their blockbusters, including the popular FIFA 14 being featured not only by its publisher, but also Sony PS4 and MS XB1--much to the delight of the local public.

Since this year I'm lucky to having played both Battlefield 4 and Call of Duty: Ghosts campaigns right at release, I've been focusing more on demos of games upcoming this or early next year:

  • Octodad - this is the game for you, John, featuring an outlandish story about an Octopus family father, besides PS4 to be published also for PC, Mac, and Linux in 2014 .
  • Killzone: Shadow Fall - the first AAA shooter title to be released by Sony on PS4 (in addition to BF4, of course), and which I'll hopefully be playing soon on my own PS4.
  • Knack - an action game featuring sort of a scalable scavenger robot, probably for a younger public with comic-like animations, but quite irresistable through its design and gameplay.
  • Ryse - the Colosseum combats I played seemed rather like ordinary hack 'n' slash within an extraordinary visual setting, except that the contemporary Roman public does react with respect to the quality of one's combat performance (thus "bored," in my case).
  • Killer Instinct - XB1-only return of this Street Fighter / Mortal Kombat-like fighting game, still fun to play (quo vadis, MS?).
  • Dead Rising 3 - not played (waiting queue has been too long); I read that the 720p 30fps settings would be rather modest for being an XB1 exclusive, but anyway: I won't buy the new console in order to play this game.
  • Bayonetta 2 - striking visuals which let forget using a Nintendo platform, and a bit easier in difficulty as the former release, it seems. For me one reason more to get a Wii U as soon as I can afford it (but after the PS4).

Other demos I played have been those of Rain and Beyond (both PS3), which I will be purchasing (probably) still this year, World of Tanks which I don't think is necessary to be played on X360 since the controller settings don't really represent an advantage here (I played it on PC before), as well as some still playable platforming retro games on the Commodore Forever stand...

Forza Motorsport 5 and Gran Turismo 6 - showed off some impressive racing wheels and booths but here too I did abstain from trying it out due to heavy public attendance (a true EA loyal I played the new NFS Rivals demo instead).

The impressive Destiny has been displayed but not playable and also Titanfall been absent, as well as Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2, which is the more surprising as MercurySteam is a developing studio located in Madrid.

Of course I also assisted the Conference-round table table about "Women in the Video Games Industry," though out of solidarity rather since its outcome has hardly been something new to me...

So far a short roundup; I'm really happy that "we" Madrileños have an annual Video Game Expo of our own again but hope that the exposition as well as the international interest will be somewhat greater next year (Madrid really deserves it).

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Hot November in Spain

There will be two events taking place in Spain in the next two weeks that seem worth mentioning:

First, the yet traditional:

= XIX BARCELONA MANGA FAIR

When:

Thursday Oct 31st to Sunday Nov 3rd, 2013

Where:

HALLS 1 AND 2 OF THE FIRA BARCELONA, MONTJUÏC

Weblink:

www.ficomic.com/default.cfm?IDIOMA=ENG

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Second, relaunched after a year of absence (formerly Gamefest):

= MADRID GAMES WEEK 2013

When:

- Nov 7th - Press & Professionals

- Nov 8th-10th - Open to all publics

Where:

IFEMA EXHIBITION CENTER MADRID

Weblink:

www.ifema.es/madridgamesweek_01/

Exhibitors:

GAME, Electronic Arts Software, Activision-Blizzard, Sony Computer Entertaiment, Microsoft Ibérica, Nintendo Ibérica, Namco Bandai Games Ibérica...

Press release:

www.ifema.es/madridgamesweek_01/Prensa/NotasdePrensa/index.htm

Of special interest:

Conference "Women in the video game industry"

www.ifema.es/madridgamesweek_01/Prensa/NotasdePrensa/IF_P_462758

For the second I couldn't find any English links yet (except the name), but no worries, English will certainly be understood (if not spoken) everywhere during the Expo (the English mirror site will be for next year (・_・;) ...

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Indies running via Steam on Linux

GameSpot's website looks like GiantBomb now, but this not the only "new" environment I am about trying out these days: I've also been installing Linux's OpenSUSE 13.1 beta (http://software.opensuse.org/developer/en) as alternate system on my Windows 7 PC, as well as Steam (ever so well supported: http://software.opensuse.org/package/steam) and finally downloaded a couple of Linux-able games I bought recently with the Humble Indie Bundle 9 http://blog.humblebundle.com/post/60946676059/introducing-humble-indie-bundle-9 (in fact, I bought the bundle also to this purpose):

Needless to say that all these games are as good running a Linux system than on Windows or Mac:

  • Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken (Ratloop Asia), Genre: Strategy, Indie, Simulation

You play as Hardboiled Chicken set out on a mission to assassinate the evil leader of a totalitarian penguin regime in a cinematic platforming adventure game in either solo or co-op campaign.

  • A Virus Named TOM (Misfits Attic), Genre: Action, Indie, Strategy

You take control of TOM, a virus created for the purpose of infiltrating Dr. X's futuristic city in an "infectious" action puzzle game.

  • FTL: Faster than Light (Subset Games), Genre: Strategy, Indie, Simulation

You experience the atmosphere of running a spaceship for the humble task of saving the galaxy with multiple solutions for every encounter.

  • FEZ (Polytron Corporation), Genre: Strategy, Indie, Simulation

You play as Gomez in an Escherian journey using your ability to navigate a mysterious 3rd dimension from four different classic 2D perspectives.

  • Trine 2: Complete Story (Frozenbyte), Genre: Strategy, Indie, Simulation

You join Amadeus the Wizard, Pontius the Knight, and Zoya the Thief as one of Three Heroes in an animated action-puzzle-platforming adventure set in a fairy tale world.

Well, while I didn' t finish either of those games yet all seem to be working well so far except some problems I have with in-game sound, but which seems to be due to the hardware configuration (I'm using various devices) rather than Steam.

So let's see, there'll be more Linux games be available in 2014, I guess, but for now: any comments welcome!

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Summer Hole #4: On Slaughtering Zombies

Assuredly, I am no genuine zombie fanatic (or rather quite the contrary) but there are five games I'm sure to be playing every now and again:

- Call of Duty Black Ops II Zombies -- Probably the least appealing of CoD BO II's three game modes it is above all the heat thanks to puddles of fire illuminating the obscure maps that the Zombies MP achieves transmitting best, yet cooperative Grief, Survival, and Tranzit modes are still sufficiently fun to be played from time to time (and I even plan to purchase more via DLC soon);

- Nazi Zombie Army -- Combining some of the gaming world's most preferred foes, Nazis and Zombies, this standalone expansion to Sniper Elite is designed for 1-4 players coop while alone its level of difficulty may result frustrating at times; still, the great bullet cam and creepy atmosphere makes for an experience I'd even prefer to that of CoD BO II's Zombies...

- The Secret World -- The Secret's World's open world levels feature "modern world" zombies (among other monsters) that beleaguering the game's atmospheric scenery make it probably one of the best zombie games available right now;

- Yakuza Dead Souls -- Zombie-turned Yakuza and common citizens menacing the yet familiar Tokyo district Kamurocho, adding zombie slaying to the turf wars and sporty entertainment known from other Yakuza games, as well as some welcome shooting to the usual brawling...

- Left 4 Dead 2 -- The classic of all possible zombie apocalypses pitting super-powered zombies against human survivors.

Yet what after Nazi and Japanese zombies I am now looking forward to are also the cute boss-eyed zombies of the upcoming PvZ Garden Warfare the teaser of which we could enjoy as appetizer at the last E3 (which would make already six in my list ;-).

By the way, a quick look into Wikipedia learns me that "zombie" originates not from French but from Haitian Creole (zonbi) signifying "an animated corpse raised by magical means" while the term entered Shakespeare's language yet as early as in 1929 with the novel "The Magic Island," by William Seabrook, whereas the first horror film has been the "White Zombie," directed by Victor Halperin three years later, in 1932, both featuring Haitian voodoo zombie themes.

Well, until today, despite the word's origins and as yet suggested by that early movie's title, there are more white than colored zombies invading our imagery via cinema and video games, though given the nasty topic I would not really dare seeing a racial preference here.

So, but now back to slaughtering some rotten flesh, never mind the heat... +_*

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Summer Hole #3: User Reviews -- Tintin's Adventures

It is something strange about this boyish Belgian reporter who, asexual like Asterix, has neither past nor family, just his clever white dog and a couple of good friends he seems to be encountering in every of his many adventures.

A comic for adults rather than kids Tintin is also yet a veteran in our comic book shelves and nobody else than Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson did just recently manage to congenially reanimate this "old stuff" again in a turbulent 3D motion capture adventure based on three of Hergés albums, The Secret of the Unicorn, Red Rackham's Treasure, and The Crab with the Golden Claws, all published during WWII in a Belgium under Nazi occupation.

Not that Georges Remi (aka Hergé) had been a Nazi sympathiser, though the boy scout-like looks of ageless Tintin (who partly had been inspired by Remi's younger brother Paul) may make one think so, but rather of pacifist orientation, which might suggest also the absence of heavier weapons in his adventures. Yet Tintin rather relies on his deduction skills and chronic good luck as well as the cleverness of his dog and friends--or the lack of it in his countless enemies.

Though I don't really know well the former "Prisoners of the Sun," released for Gameboy Color, I had hoped that there was another handheld adventure to be refashioned since I thought in a video game Tintin might fare rather well (and he does). So of course The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (as it is called outside NA) has been one of the first games I bought & played through on the 3DS (which as some of you might remember I bought a short while ago).

Well, what I liked most in the game have been the rather slapstick-like fighting scenes, some of the platforming elements reunited in the excellent (coop) challenges, the sound track (by John Williams), and of course the comic scene-based story itself, featuring Snowy/Milou, Captain Haddock, Bianca Castafiore, and of course the twin police officers, Thompson & Thomson--all very familiar to the Tintin connoisseur.

So all in all, a platforming adventure game rather short in its duration (10-20 hours) but still sufficiently enjoyable to spend some idle summer days with...

For your kind interest:

http://www.gamespot.com/the-adventures-of-tintin-the-game/user-reviews/814472/

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Summer Hole #2: Now playing -- Current favorites

Sure, there are too many games and games lists being published anyway, but I decided to add my own five cents once again with one listing my currently--or in some cases even eternally--played favorites:

-Battlefield 3 Multiplayer (PC)

-Star Wars: The Old Republic (PC)

-Dead Space / 2 / 3 (PS3, PC, AND)

-Yakuza 3 / 4 / (5) (PS3, PSV?)

-Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception (PS3) / Uncharted: Golden Abyss (PSV)

-Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time (PS3, PSV)

-Call of Juarez: Gunslinger (PS3)

-Path Of Exile (PC)

-Dragon Age II (PC)

-The Last Story (Wii)

-Fable III (X360)

-Angry Birds Star Wars (AND)

-Kid Icarus Uprising (3DS)

-Inazuma Eleven (DSi)

-Star Trek Online (PC XP)

-Phantasy Star Online 2 (PC, Japanese)

-Phantasy Star Online, Shenmue (DC)

-KOTOR, Shenmue II (Xbox)

-Okami, Sly 3 (PS2)

And to be added soon:

-The Last of Us

-GTA V

Apart from the last two, I consciously refrain from speculating about new consoles and future favorites to be figuring in this list soon--though I'd actually plan to purchase five and sell three consoles still this year, but this depends also on my personal situation. Anyway, whatever and how many consoles I'll be buying, I am sure to be using them for gaming purposes mainly--isn't the interactive but too young a type of media to cede to the purely passive movie and music consumption again?

So, in case anybody is interested in keeping track or even playing with me (in spite of possible time differences), most of my platform IDs are listed via Raptr: http://raptr.com/VintAge68/about

CU :)

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Summer Hole #1: User Reviews - Heroes of Ruin

So I finally got together my Heroes of Ruin user review (http://www.gamespot.com/heroes-of-ruin/user-reviews/813888/platform/3ds/), and others hopefully are to follow until the end of the year.

Why writing a user review at all, since I have also a full-time job during the week? Well, for me a video game does have to be in a certain line of thematic interest, and/or I might feel that a game has been underrated on GB or GS (which unfortunately is the case for quite a number of them).

Psychologically, planning to do a review about a video game is also a good incentive for getting oneself to finish it in an acceptable period of time--thus quite recommendable an approach for everybody--, while it too permits having a clear(er) idea about and seeing its details (also with respect to comparable games).

One word still about Heroes of Ruin itself: though I found it quite a new type of pocket dungeon brawler playable via 3DS StreetPass rather than the web, it being "lite" in about all aspects: size, challenge, upgrade system, gameplay possibilities..., still is the main impression retained from the game, surprising perhaps considering Square Enix being its publisher.

Nevertheless, it is a game difficult to take away once started, while the main replay interest consists in the different techniques employed by each of the hero classes (Vindicator, Gunslinger, Alchitect, Savage). Unfortunately, Square Enix already stopped releasing new challenges every week which quite diminishes its possibilities.

And the not too predictable story too has its surprising turns--in short it's a game both underrated and not up to its very potential.

Oh, and as regards the term "summer hole": (in German language) this characterizes the period during summer when politicians are on holiday so that the media have almost nothing to report...

In any case, comments, suggestions, objections are welcome :)

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