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So here are the games I really enjoyed this year

Since I didn't play to many games this year, and usually don't do this kind of thing, I just wrote down some thoughts on the games I really liked this year:

Assassins Creed 4: Black Flag

I never actively disliked Assasin's Creed 3 (aside from the ridiculously rushed ending) but much like other people, I felt like I was done with the series after that. I can't help but feel Black Flag wouldn't be here had I actually played more games this year. But the fact is, I really enjoyed this game. It was fun running around the Caribbean, on foot and in my boat. And even though the story was crazy and confusingly written, I enjoyed even most of that too.

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Civilization V: Brave New world

So Civilization V came out 3 years ago. But when Brave New World launched this summer, it felt like the game had become what it was meant to be from the start. I have spent a dangerous amount of hours building my civilization, and most of them after this last expansion. So yes, I think it deserves a spot on my list.

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Bioshock Infinite

I'll just come out and say it: I didn't really care for the original Bioshock. Rapture was a great setting, and the story felt interesting, but the game always failed to grab me. I could never tell what it was. Infinite does not have this problem. Again, the world of Columbia is a fantastic setting, it has just the right amount of crazy combined with the right amount of realism to make it feel alive. The story gets really crazy at times but I can't help but appreciate that craziness. It bring up themes of religion, revolution and how things are never black and white. And to have that kind of aspect to your story is always a plus in my book.

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The Stanley Parable

I never played the mod, so this was all new to me. With about 15 endings (I only saw like 10?) The Stanley Parable had me willingly replay it over and over again just to see what would happen if I took that other door? Or if I wouldn't have pressed that button? The game is a study of video game narrative, how much your actions can be directed by what the game tells you to do, but only if you want it to be. What it does so amazingly well is that it succeeds in being absolutely hilarious, It had me laughing out loud the whole way through. And that in itself is very impressive.

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The Last of us

You know, zombies have been used in alot of video games. And in alot of movies. There are more zombie-apocalypse stories than is possibly concievable. Still, The last of us manages to bring something completely new to the genre. Naughty Dog is some of the best in the business when it comes to telling a story, and The Last of us is at it's very strongest here. That ending is one of the most brilliant I've seen done on this medium. The story and plot is so gritty and dark that you just want to take a shower after playing it. It does not fuck around, and that is incredibly refreshing for a video game. The gameplay works great and it really feels like you are dealing with actuall human beings, both in controlling Joel and Ellie, but also when confronting enemies. It adds to the feel of the controls but also enhances the realism and that horrible feeling when you are forced to shoot someone in the face.

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Gone Home

Gone home is just one of those games that works best if I don't tell you anything about it. It is a short experience, but one that will stay with you for a very long time.

The way Gone Home tells it's story is something that really show the potential that games have in this regard. It is structured and paced in such a way that you become completely immersed in the lives of these characters. It is a sad, funny and touching story slowly unfolding before you. The game plays with your emotions in brilliant ways. I think we all, for the majority of the 2 hour game, thought a ghost or serial killer was going to pop up any second. It keeps you at the edge of your seat the whole time, only to reveal at the end what had really happened. Unique, amazingly well told, and one hell of an experience.

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Grand Theft Auto V

It's no secret, I love Grand Theft Auto. And V is a damn good GTA game. To no surprise the story was excellent and in classic Rockstar-fasion felt very mature. I loved the characters, I loved the writing, and when the satire and social commentary worked, it really worked. There were moments, like the torture scene, where I felt like maybe they came on a little strong. We get it, you don't have to literally spell out what it is you were trying to say. But in genereal I think it did it's thing and enhanced the experience. While some people consider the characters to be outdated, I felt it was a very fresh approach to telling a story. Sure, we've heard the "Retired criminal forced to get back in the business" pitch before, but I think they managed to give it a unique enough twist to make him a somewhat likeable person, dispite his shortcomings. It's a shame Franklin wasn't explored more, his personal story and interactions with family and friends were some of my favorite moments of the game, while Trevor serves as the Walter White of the story, you kinda sort of like him, but at the same time you don't since the guy is a complete psychopath.

Maybe the most interesting part of the narrative is how they used the 3-character concept. The fact that you play as 3 different characters throughout the game gives some of the cut scenes and story-beats a very interesting edge, as your perspective on what's going on really changes from what it would've been had you only played as one.

In short, Grand Theft Auto is still a Grand theft Auto game. It keeps alot of the series sucessfull aspects but at the same time ads some really interesting new ideas that help make it feel fresh and interesting.

Oh, and the world is absolutely gorgeous.

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Alright then.

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10 years of ridiculousness

It's a weird thing, death.

We're exposed to it almost on a daily basis. We play video games, we watch the news and we watch films. Yet nothing can ever really prepare us for the real thing. When an actuall person that has affected your life in some way is suddenly gone, it's a raw feeling that can't possibly be described, and one you can't prepare yourself for. It leaves an empty place in your heart, and part of your life feel changed forever.

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I've never really had to deal with death directly. Not pre-mature death anyway. I've had friends of friends pass away, and people I knew OF but maybe not personally. Which might've made these past few days particularly weird for me.

I was 10 years old in 2003, and as an annoying little kid who recently got into video games "seriously", Gamespot was, for the following years, my go to website and nr. 1 source of information on the subject. I would religiously watch "On the Spot", listen to the "Hotspot" and fell in love with the personality of the crew.

I basically grew up with hearing Ryan's voice, reading his reviews and laughing at his jokes. For almost 10 years he has been a major part of my life, even if I didn't realize it until a day or two ago. Video games and Gamespot/Giantbomb have always gone hand in hand in my mind, without one or the other it simply wouldn't be the same.

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Ryan has always had the amazing ability to always be entertaining, and at the same time being the middle point holding it all together when it gets crazy. A grounded, honest presence that also seemed to have unlimited love for the ridiculous. And I think that's where he had the biggest impact on my life.

I learned over the years to really appreciate dumb shit. To really see the charm in something that I previously would have dismissed. And I realized, that's Ryan. That's something he has inspired, and I will forever love him for that.

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This is a person I've never met in my life, I didn't know the guy. Yet it felt kind of like I did, and I don't want people who knew him to take offense from that. But after all these years, and the honest way he presented himself, it feels like I've lost a friend.

I couldn't bring myself to even write something until now, I've been in total shock since I heard the news. I cried over someone I haven't met. And that should be a testiment to what kind of a guy he was (or seemed to be). Video games have been forever changed for me, it simply doesn't feel the same anymore. Ryan had that much of an impact on me, and on the industry.

I feel like I'm rambling here, and I thought this would be a short post... I would just like to send my condolences to Ryans wife, his family and his friends. And I hope that the rest of the guys know that they can take all the time they need to recover, we won't go anywhere. The bombcast yesterday was amazing, and I have to applaud you for doing that, it gave some of us some closure and it was incredibly strong of you.

So thank you Ryan for all these years, for being part of my growing up, and for the endless hours of entertainment. We will miss you buddy, and we love you.




A permission to be 12 again: My feelings on feelings regarding E3

Let's face it, E3 has been kind of a bummer the last few years. I was glad to see this change, at least for me.

I graduated last summer. And since that moment my life has consisted mainly of trying to find a job (and playing music), a task that I know alot of other young people are struggling with at the moment, especially in the country I live. There's just something about people responding to that with "Well then you must've had alot of time to play Video games!" as I slowly shake my head in response.

I bought XCOM: Enemy Unknown the week it came out, and I absolutely loved it. But as I checked my steam a few weeks ago I realized I've only played 4 hours of it... that is in over 6 months. This made me realize something: The reason I have barely played any video games in the last few years is not lack of time, but lack of interest.

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The summer of 2005 was way to long ago for me to dare count the years, yet I remember the excitment that I felt over video games. A new generation of consoles, technology and graphics that tickled the imagination and paved the way for a bright future for the industry. The Killzone 2 demo, the rubber ducks (where were they yesterday, sony? where?), J Allard in all his glory, giving a 360 presentation SITTING DOWN:

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This is what I've always admired about Video games, the excitment of innovation. Wether it be amazing graphics, a gripping story or an awesome gamplay concept that creates new possibilities for the medium. It is what caught my interest in the first place.

Perhaps this is the reason that spark has disappeared lately for me. Up until last year, we had seen little effort to move the medium forward. And instead, "Military shooters" is what came to mind when mentioned.

But yesterday, I felt that spark again.

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Last year, I spoke alot about how I saw a light at the end of the tunnel. With games like Journey, The Walking Dead, and other indie games that really took center stage and showed that there are still amazing things that can be done with this medium. And most importantly, that people were ready for it. It was a sign that good things were to come, that we are ready to grow up and really show our full potential. But it wasn't until yesterday that it all hit.

When the Microsoft press conference started and they opened with the MGS 5 trailer, I felt that excitment again. With the knowledge of the new consoles in the back of my head, and the amazing trailer that Kojima put together, something happened inside of me. I was 12 again, and it was a great feeling.

Both Microsoft and EA had solid press conferences. Heavy on games, while maybe not adressing some of the fundimental questions that people had about the console itself. And the bat shit crazy Sony event is something we won't easily forget. But it wasn't the content of the conferences themself that got me excited, it was just the fact that there was something new happening, that innovation that I mentioned earlier. New consoles are always fun, I don't care what anyone says, and I'm not a technology guy otherwise. No really, I'm really not. I've never owned a smartphone.

It's clear that graphics isn't the main focus of this new generation. The games look great, and it's definitely an improvement but what strikes me this time is that so much focus is on new concepts. Ways to create new experiences and try new things. That is at the center of the new generation of video games, and THAT is exciting.

I mean, the fact that you can sit on the bus with your iPad and help your friends out in a game of Battlefield they're playing on they're Pc at home, is fucking cool. I don't care about the fact that I'll probably never use it, and know that alot of people feel the same way, but it's just a really really cool thing. Seriously, imagine hearing about it ten years ago, it'd be insane.

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Just the scope and ambition of some of these games are amazing. The Division could be a really cool experience from what they've been saying. Heck, even The Crew looked interesting.

It all makes me hopefull for the future, and where the medium can go from here. I think we're going to see some really cool things in the coming years, and I'm looking forward to sharing it with you. Even if this feeling lasts temporarily and I'll be back to my usual business next week, it feels good to have experienced that feeling of being a kid again. For the first time in a long time, Video games are really fun again


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Bioware and Cheeseballs

I don't think I've ever seen such a heated argument about a game on the internet as Mass Effect 3, particularly the ending. I havn't finished the game myself yet, so please do not spoil anything for me if you decide to post a comment. However, one thing that I am absolutely certain about is that however the ending plays out I wouldn't want Bioware to change it. Trust me, and don't try to convince me, I don't care if everybody dies, no one dies, or if Shepard wakes up in his bed and it was all a dream, whatever happens I would never want Bioware to change the ending.

I just don't understand why people are actually demanding that they do this. Bioware created this universe, they can do whatever the f**k they want with it. What's the point of having an ending if you're gonna change it as soon as people start complaining about it? What happened to artistic integrity? I do get that people love thses games, I do too, but I don't understand why people react like this. This is a story and a script that the people at Bioware have carefully written, do people really think they do it just for them? That they write all this stuff to please the fans? As a screenwriter myself I know that the main reason for writing is because it makes you feel good, you get to tell YOUR stories to an audience that will hopefully appreciate it. So when suddenly people start raging over the fact that YOUR story wasn't good enough for them, and because of that you have to change it, image how that feels? Of course when I heard the news about them actually planning to re-write the ending I started thinking "Well, maybe they are a bunch of people pleasing, money seeking...dudes". In that case, maybe the screenwriter DID write it only to please fans, or to make a buch of money (obviously). If that were true, I wouldn't be able to enjoy the game as much anymore, lucklily I'm pretty close to the end so I won't have to worry about that. I don't know where I'm going with this, since I'm giving mixed messages and all, but I guess the bottom line is: The rage is sort of respectless and Bioware are weak for giving in...

Summary: Everyone sucks. but I love you all <3


A Breathtaking experience

As a person who's not written a review of anything in over two years, and is for the most part against it, every once in a while something comes around that makes me feel something. That has such a powerfull impact on me that I just simply need to write down my feelings. Journey is simply one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had.

I've been a fan of Thatgamecompany for some time, I absolutely loved Flower and it's beautiful ways, the artistic direction and how it really said something about the world and what we're doing to it. When I first heard about Journey a year or so ago, I was intruiged. But as soon as I saw the first screenshot I was sold, and have been patiently waiting for it's release since. I can honestly say I was more hyped for this game than I was for Mass effect 3, and that's saying alot. I build these sky high expectations in my head (knowing how stupid that is and that I probably shouldn't). I was expecting it to be amazing, and a game that will take video games to a new level. Where my expectations met? They were surpassed. Journey turned out to be one of the best games I've ever played, maybe THE best game I've ever played

The game looks absolutely amazing, the visuals are breathtaking and together with the music it completely draws you into the game, I wasn't able to put the controller down for a second. It took be about 2 hours to complete, but those two hours were worth it. Occationaly I would just stop and look at the amazing artistic work they did on the game. The sound and music, as mentioned, works really well and takes it to emotional highs I never thought possible in a video game. What I find so goddamn amazing about this game is how strongly it affected me emotionally. I actually teared up in multiple parts of the game, sometimes just by how beautiful it was, and other times because it was just such powerful experience. I'm an artsy-fartsy guy but I'm pretty damn proud of it. I will never forget those last fews minutes of the game, I'm just sayin... holy shit.

I keep calling it a game but it feels kinda wrong, this is simply something that hasn't been done before. It's more powerfull than any other game, movie, book or piece of music I've experienced. It is just that, an experience, an amazing piece of art, it really really is. I'm trying my best not to sound too cheesy here. Like Alex said in his review, it shows the potential of what can really be done with the medium of Video Games. and maybe in a few years we'll have more games like Journey, games that don't try to be movies or simulate a war experince, but games that have the guts to do something different and use the medium to it's full potential. THIS is interacitve entertainment.

I am the very model of a moder...BAM!


Writer's Block?

As none of you know, I've been on vaccation now for about three weeks. And coming out here, in the middle of nowere, knowing that I wont be home for a while, I thought: "Wow, this is a great opportunity to get some writing done". I mean 3 weeks, I'll probably come home with 30 new songs and 3 new movie screenplays. But... nope. As the two last days lay before me I havn't written a single song, and not a single word on any new, or old, script. I even sat down today and said "okay, I'm gonna write me some lyrics now" but every time I was just about to get started, someone called for me.. "I need your help!" or "Get this frickin Snake of me!". So here I am now, 3am in the morning, I can barely keep my eyes open, and for some reason I'm writing a blog on Whiskey Media...  I guess inspiration will eventually strike at the most inappropriate moment possible... 
Oh, and "Journey" looks f**ing amazing!  

















Traveler to travis train wreck




















Hit me?

Hit her?

Hit him?



Us all?




Yeah, that's right

Fancy kids from Moldavia Jerking of to fucking postmen who deliver motherfucking newpapers




My Own E3 Experience

As Much as I'd like to be over in Los Angeles right now, I just simply can't. It's just too damn hot over there. And also I hear it costs a couple of dollars to get there or something... but I'm not complaining! Because today I had my own little E3 experience in a dark room in sweden. And before the naughty thoughys occupy your mind, let me say it was the less exiting part of an E3 Experience: gaming. (I have no idea what the "more" exiting part is, so don't even bother asking)
I got a phone call from a friend of mine who's studying 3D animation. He told me to come check out a game he and his friends had been working on fr the last two months. Since I was lying in my sofa at home, collecting feathers in Assassins Creed 2, I said "Sure, why not".
I took the metro like any other enviorment enthusiast. It took about 30 minutes to get there.
As I got into the dark room where the game was being shown, the stench of sweat and energy drinks was overwhelming. And to my amazement, the place was completely packed. I mean I was expecting a "Hey Filip, check out this thing we've been working on, what do you think?" But instead, it was like a fucking realease party. People were lining up, and there were competitions going on. Seriosly, were did all these people come from? I didn't even know them. 
So finally one of my friends greeted me and showed me to his personal computer where I could try the came. After I drank 5 glasses of the free Cola, of course.
The game was called, I guess "The great art theft" for lack of a better translator. It was powered by the Unreal 3 engine, which was kinda cool. It took place in a museum, and you played as a classic thief, dressed in black and white striped clothes. Guards were of course roaming the hallways, and you were supposed to collect 10 items in the museum within 5 minutes. It was a pretty fun game actually, much more so than I expected. Also, as I mentioned, there was a competition where the one who collected all the items in the shortest amount of time, won 100 dollars. 
I didn't win...
After I played the game. I chatted a little bit with people. And then snatched as much of the snacks as I culd before I left. Took the metro, 30 minutes, home. And resumed to collecting feathers in Assassins Creed 2... So that's my E3... 


Nr. 1

As I was playing around with my profile, trying to figure out how to connect my account with facebook, and doing some of those quests, I realized I havn't written a blog on here yet. And what time is more appropriate than right now, during e3? 
I watched the E3 show livestream for 10 straight hours yesterday, and by the time it was over, the sun had once again rised and it was 5 am in the morning. I slept for about 3 hours, so I think it's safe to say that I'm a gamer... Due to this lack of sleep, I also apoligize for possible bad spelling, and occational randomness.
You know you're a great blogger when you're writing your first blog, and have absolutely no idea what to say. Not to worry! 'Cause after all, it's E3!
 Yesterdays press-conferences, Microsoft, EA, Ubisoft and Sony set the bar pretty low. Microsoft started out with a live demo of Modern Warfare 3, which, surprisingly enough, reminded me a lot of Modern Warfare 2. But none the less, it looked pretty good I guess. However, what we had to endure for the next hour included people talking to their tv (Imagine sitting alone in your house, talking to a goddamn television... yeah... that's what the world is coming too...) and kid actors fist bumping. To me... it wasn't the strongest conference I've seen... Sure they ended with a reveal trailer for Halo 4. But the game is obviously not developed by Bungie, and seemes like nothing more than a way to make more money out of the franchise, so to be honest, I'm not exited at all...
Next up was EA, who started with saying something like  "we don't need celebreties in our Conference" but then 30 minutes later, there stood 3 of the biggest nfl players in america... A highlight in the conference were the gameplay for Battlefield 3, which looks really good, although I'd love to see some more muliplayer. To me, that's what Batllefield is all about, and I really hope Dice aren't focusing too much on the single player for this one. Not a very memorable Conference.
Ubisoft was up next, showing some pretty decent games. That mr. Caffeine made me wanna punch someone in the face, but I think the amount of interesting games saved 
  Ubi a bit. Far Cry 3 looked really good at first, some Tarantioish dialouge and a very nerve-wrecking underwater scene. But then the action broke out and suddenly it didn't look  interesting anymore. Assassin's Creed Revelations was my favorite by far, it looked amazing, the graphics were stunning, the gameplay looked solid, and our good friend Leonardo has managed to create a f*ing flamethrower! Looking forward to that.
The Sony Conference, started at 2am swedish time. I was tired, but eager to see what they had in store. They opened with an honest apology, which was nice, it felt real. And right away they started with the games, great start. Uncharted looked Amazing. Just watching him run on that ship made my heart beat faster. The water looked absolutely amazing. So far so good... although... As I feared, Sony did exactly what Microsoft did. What followed was 30 minutes on Move, a trailer for Sly 4, which was nice, another 30 minutes on Vita, we where given information about it we already know. They announced the official name which we already kinda knew too. And the price at 250/299 which wasn't that big of a surprise either.... After something like this, I was jsut waiting for the big reveal at the end. Like last year, when Gabe Newell came out. But no... nothing... I was very disapointed at Sony's conference, I was honestly expcting A LOT more from them.
The Second day of E3, Today. Nintendo is going to reveal their new console, awesome!  I get home, and once again sit down to watch. "This better be good..." was what went through my mind. And actually, it started really good. Very fast, entertaining pace on the conference, a little too much 3Ds for my taste but hey... Then the moment finally came. The announcement... And like so many others, my first reacton was one of disapointment. What was described as a new console, seemed like simply a new controller for the Wii... After that, came the confusion, what the hell is going on? Is this a controller or a Console? And I'm not even gonna comment on the name... Nintendo ended the conference without revealing any of this... No one knew what the hell they just showed us. But through interviews afterwards, and certain articles, we learned that it is in fact a new console, in Hd... 
I really must congratulate Nintendo for how they could make us disapointed, then confused, and then pretty interested, all within 10 minutes...
There is still a lot to come I guess... I'm looking forward to follow e3 for the rest of the week. I don't know if this was really a blog, rather than just me telling you what you already know, but give me a break. 
Police ornaments per internal parking meter. You get me? Yeah you do, Micke! Leave the dancesnake alone!
And oh btw! How to I sync my account with facebook? Still no luck there..