Sunday, May 31, 2015

E3 2015 - Keys to Victory

We are basically 15 days away from this year E3 event and the stakes couldn't be higher. Sony has a big lead in the console war, but the PS4 is running the risk of becoming slow in the sense that their biggest guns are not ready and demand for new games has become very intense. Microsoft has been on the losing side for the last couple of years, only managing to win some months in terms of sales, but the lack of powerful games in the past could lead them to give gamers a lot of good news that have been building up until now. On the other hand, Nintendo has been recovering little by little, relying on their solid fan base. Don't get me wrong, we all know that the Wii U is still struggling (even though it is a very good console with a good game library), but it has at least gathered enough power to survive.

Now let's see what needs to happen for any of the companies to win...

Microsoft e3


  • Expectations, having the chance to announce a lot of exclusives.
  • The Xbox One fanbase is still strong.


  • Out of the Xbox One fanbase, morale is low and people are clearly thinking that Microsoft only cares about certain genres. 
  • Many gamers feel left out and have no strong reason that could justify buying the console.

Keys to Victory
In order to win the E3 battle, Microsoft must come up with an attractive offer, not only to their long time fans, but to other gamers too. For example, if all of their announcements are about shooters and sports, the possibilities for them to end up victorious are greatly diminished because neutral gamers (potential buyers at this point) will feel left out and because of this, Microsoft will find themselves in the same place they did last year.

Another thing that they should use to lift themselves over the others would be to take a lost franchise and revive it. The Silent Hill rumor was proven to be false, but it wouldn't surprise me if the higher ups at Microsoft have given Konami a couple calls after seen how gamers reacted on the web making this an opportunity that could make them win this year E3. Other options for them would be to give some love to their own flagship franchises like Gears of War and Alan Wake (which has a small chance of ending up on PS4) in order to use these fan favorites as reinforcements for their new projects (by keeping the platform relevant to their fans while trying to win new ones).

Bottom line
This year it is all about games with Microsoft and they need to have quite a bombing run in order to pull up the Xbox One from the fact that they are lagging behind by more than 10 million units. If they do this right, they can take the E3 event by storm, but if they don't then it will be just another year of them falling behind Sony in the console race.

Sony e3

  • A great market advantage and popularity.
  • Gamers still believe in Sony's promise of bringing a new PS2 era.


  • Their first party lineup for the rest of the year looks weak.
  • Most of the previous big announcements are for games in 2016 or have no release date at all.
  • Sony is still carrying the burden of past mishaps (the christmas DDOS attacks, Driveclub issues, The Order 1886 failing to meet the expectations of the mainstream crowd).

Keys to Victory
Sony needs to have some big announcements for this E3 event or else they will have a very hard time. For starters they should at least show some game play of Uncharted 4 in order to keep their fan base all hyped off and to prove that the game will be worth the wait. They should also prove that they will have a lot of third party games that the Xbox One doesn't have (mostly from Japanese studios) and that these games can cover up for the fact that the PS4 first party lineup looks kind of empty for 2015.

They also need for their conference to be fun and dynamic because last year it looked as if they could learn a thing or two from Nintendo who has changed their image from dull goobers back to the trolls they used to be in the 90's and this means less of the "boring politician" style and more of a radical feel to it. Another thing that they should also improve in their conference offering is to talk more about games and less about statistics.

Another thing that Sony needs to do is to unleash their speculated franchises unto their fans. Many PS4 users are eager to hear about the new Gravity Rush game as well as the rumored (and apparently fake) Medevil game that took the net by storm because of some picture, so there you have two possible heavyweights. Now last but not least if they really want to give their E3 conference the equivalent of a nuclear bomb, then they should show something about legendary non-existent (at least for now) games like The Last Guardian or maybe revive Crash Bandicoot or Legend of the Dragoon at least. Yeah I know that those last 3 games I mentioned are very unlikely to happen, but hey we can still hope.

Bottom line
For Sony to hold this year E3, they need to keep reassuring gamers that the "PS2 era" that they promised to unleash on the PS4 is still happening. If things are like Andrew House said and 2015 is more of a year of investment and planting seeds for the future, then they need to give us a glimpse of that future or else skepticism will hurt all that they have managed to achieve up to this point.

Nintendo e3


  • Fanbase is as solid as ever.
  • The Wii U has gone from nothing, to now having the most interesting exclusive game lineup in the console wars.
  • Nintendo has recovered from the slump they were into and now they are looking at profits again even though the Wii U console itself it still lagging behind.
  • Haven't been able to convince enough skeptics to give a chance to the Wii U.
  • Legend of Zelda U was delayed and some key games still have no release date.

Keys to Victory
Nintendo is in a very good position for this year E3 even though the fact that they delayed the Legend of Zelda for the Wii U may push you to think otherwise. The first thing that Nintendo needs to do in their E3 Nintendo Direct is to be as straight forward as they can and show the games they have been teasing us about for a long time. We need to see more about games like the Shin Megami Tensei / Fire Emblem crossover, the new Star Fox game for the Wii U, See a little bit more about Mario Maker and of course, finally get release dates for Xenoblade Chronicles X and the new Fatal Frame localization to the west. 

For Nintendo to be able to get a hold of this year E3 (which would be a back to back win, considering that they "won" last year) they need to make their presentation to be both informative and exciting at the same time. So they should once again start with a bit on the wacky side as they did last year and follow through with updates on their games, coupled with some new announcements in order to keep the fan base interested and well seated on the hype train. 

As for the Nintendo World Championships, they need to be as impressive as the one in the 90's or better. We need to see the Nintendo of old still living and breathing in this modern era and I think that the Championships are a good way to show it. If the championship ends up been an over the top event, then it will add up to their whole E3 efforts in a very good way.

Botom line
Nintendo has a real chance here to continue their climb up to the minds of Skeptics that up to this point still believe that Nintendo is only for kids. For Nintendo, this year E3 has to be all about placing themselves in front of the competition and displaying their might for all of us to see, which means showing the games that their platform has and the others don't. If they go around it passively, they will not defend their past year win, so they need to come as strong as possible while giving it that hilarious Nintendo twist that they had accustomed us to in their previous recent offerings. 


So in the end... Who will win?

Like in a sporting event, the game isn't over until its over so predicting a winner is not a wise move. I personally expect Microsoft to come up swinging, Sony keeping a well hidden surprise to us and Nintendo doing their thing without any problems at all. In the end it all comes down to who can shock us or at least give us more enjoyment with their announcements so that #1 spot is still up for grabs.

Monday, May 11, 2015

5 Castlevania bosses that were imaginative, yet brutal.

Now that Koji Igarashi has set the path to his return to the fray with his game Bloodstained: Ritual of the night, I was thinking of some of my past Castlevania experiences and other than the exciting action and awesome stories, another thing I am very fond of are the franchise's bosses which went from simple and easy to really complex and challenging. Today I am going to mention 5 of the Castlevania bosses that in my opinion were some of the best.

Castlevania Bloodlines Water Wizard

5) Water Wizard - Castlevania Bloodlines 
This is one of the Castlevania bosses that can make any overconfident gamer to get cocky about it when facing it for the first time. The guy himself doesn't do much as he only teleports around the room a lot. The thing is that his teleportation pattern is kind of tricky to figure out at first and he has one ace up his sleeve. While he teleports left and right and you have to chase and whip him, an orb is constantly pouring water and because of that, the room starts to flood. This means that if you miss him enough times, water is going to get to a point where the fight will become next to impossible and before you now it, you will be swimming with the fishies.

Castlevania Lord of Flies

4) Lord of Flies - Various Castlevania games
The Lord of Flies is one of those bosses that can go one of two ways. You either find a sweet spot and hack him to death while taking minimum damage, or the flies he throws make quick work of you. Either way, this fight requires you to be constantly moving and hacking away at the flies while trying to slash different parts of his body. Once the head and torso remains the fight gets a little more comfortable as you can concentrate on one part of his body until you finally defeat him. The cool thing about this boss is that it makes you move around a lot, making for a very nice fight. Also it is a lot of fun to slash his body parts away one by one.

Castlevania Legion

3) Legion - Various Castlevania games
Making its first appearance in Symphony of the Night, Legion is a very impressive boss that thrives on the element of surprise. It is basically composed of a tentacle like demon that is hidden beneath a shell made of corpses, which gives it a very impressive look. As you slash away at this monstrosity, parts of his shell will fall to the ground, little by little revealing the demon hidden in it. Also while you hit the shell, the corpses that fall to the ground are re-animated and become enemies as well so it is best to either keep the floor clean or keep yourself on the platforms. The hardest part of this boss comes when he starts shooting lasers out of its tentacles and as you keep destroying the demon's shell, more tentacles will be free to shoot you. In the end, you just have the demon with all its tentacles shooting at you from different directions and if you don't get the pattern right you can be blasted away pretty fast.

Castlevania Puppet Master

2) Puppet Master - Dawn of Sorrow and Harmony of Despair
This boss is a race against time and it is almost guaranteed that he will defeat you the first time you fight it. At first you will think that the boss is slow and clumsy, but while you are trying to slash his face, he is trying to put your soul into one of the iron maiden coffins that surround him by using one of his puppets (sort of like voo doo dolls). As soon as you see that your soul is trapped in one of those, you must run and try to break the coffin it before he closes it, because if he does then it is game over. While this happens he will be attacking and moving all around a big area, so you have to move with him fast enough to prevent him from closing an iron maiden on you. In Harmony of Despair (or Castlevania HD) this boss is even harder, as the iron maidens are put in tricky places and he moves around even more than on his first appearance.

Castlevania Galamoth

1) Galamoth - Symphony of the Night
The number one spot clearly belongs to Galamoth. This Egyptian god will be challenging regardless of your level, so this is a fight that relies mostly on skill (or equipment if you want to make it easier). For starters he can throw lighting bolts out of his cane that attack at random and cover 30% of the screen (the other 50% been covered by Galamoth himself). He can also throw very powerful lighting balls at you and walk back an forth which will cut the space you can use to fight him. Assuming that you are not using any lighting absorbing equipment or using the Shield Rod trick. Galamoth is one of the most satisfying bosses to beat in the whole franchise.

Wrapping it up:
There are a lot more creative and awesome bosses on the franchise, but these are the ones I remember the most. If you think there are other ones that should had made it to the list, tell me on the comment section below.

Igarashi san is back! Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

Just sharing with you people in case you haven't seen it already. Igarashi (Castlevania's creator), published that the Castlevania spiritual sequel that we were hoping for can actually happen. You just have to become a backer and make this project a reality. Let's tell all those nasty publishers that we still want this type of game. Btw did I mentioned that Yamano will be behind the game's music? (think Symphony of the Night) so this is even more awesome than I thought.

In order to see it go HERE.

The video that Iga made is pretty awesome too, it takes a few jabs at publishers with a lack of vision and also establishes how gothic games need to make a comeback. Now, join the dark army people and let's bring this style of gaming back from the grave. It's like Iga said on an interview (paraphrase):

With this kickstarter campaign will see if we can prove that the publishers were wrong and I was right or if they are right and I was mistaken.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

What's up with the negativity of my generation?

I am a child of the late 80's - 90's so in terms of gaming I do have seen and played a lot of games while living through all those gaming eras (the only one I'm missing is the Atari one). Now the thing that surprises me the most about the present time is not how the industry has changed, but the number of people in my generation that are acting weird and negative towards gaming. I even made a small assessment of my very own group of friends and from 25 or so that were avid gamers 10 years ago, only a handful of us carry the same enthusiasm for gaming at this point in time. None of them have retired from gaming, but their attitude is a mere shadow of what it used to be. Be aware that this is not about internet trolls or kids who complain about everything, that I can understand. The ones I am talking about are people that went through the golden era of gaming, enjoyed it to the fullest, but still came out as bitter gamers in the end.

90's kids year 2057
Will this really be the case in 2057? You be the judge...
Yeah, you could say that 25 is a miserable amount of people for that kind of statistic and I thought that as well until I began finding all sorts of comments on the net coming from people that share my same range of age. Now let me show you a few examples things I have read or interpreted.

  • Specific genre lovers that actually hate the genre now for no apparent reason other than "I used to love it, but not anymore". One instance of this is the people from my generation who played and loved Final Fantasy VII, yet they hate the idea of a remake, not because they don't want it, but because they are extremely pessimistic about it, up to the point that it annoys them to hear fans asking for it.
  • People that developed a hate for consoles that goes far beyond what we know as the "pc master race" fanatics.
  • Gamers that have closed themselves to only one type of game (not counting anybody younger than 25).
  • People that have spent their entire lives playing single player games and now say that if a game doesn't have an online more then it is crap.
  • People that say that there are no games to play, yet when somebody shows them games they invent excuse after excuse to keep their hate argument going.
  • People lacking the sense of adventure. These are the ones who ditch a game for the simplest of reasons without really giving it a chance.
Those examples are just the tip of the iceberg of all the things I've found relating to this topic. You see, I know that time makes people change, but after these people spent a great part of their lives deeply immersed in gaming, it is hard to fathom that their attitude can shatter in just a couple of years. It's like having an ideology, it doesn't matter how much stuff you add or remove from it, the base remains the same unless something extreme happens.

Now the question is... Did something extreme actually happened? Has the industry changed so much that it destroyed the spirit of gaming that my generation used to have. On the other hand, could the daily grind of adulthood be the culprit? People from my generation often complain about the new schoolers been "entitled brats", but they don't see how much sand they move themselves. 

I know people from the times of Atari that are more passionate for gaming that most of the people of my age, so how old they are shouldn't be an issue, I know people that are working class gamers (as I am) and they see gaming as they always did so time shouldn't be an issue either. So, as I finish this blog entry, I once again wonder... What happened? It shouldn't be like this, so what in the world went wrong?

More importantly it would be awesome to know what do YOU think it happened?