Game Reviews

REVIEW: Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (2016)

A Thief's End Cover

The following is a game review of Naughty Dog’s ‘Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End’, a PlayStation Exclusive.

One last time. One final adventure. Uncharted is one of the great video game console series, and with A Thief’s End we are seeing the conclusion to Nathan Drake’s story. Naughty Dog, the developer of the game, holds a special place in my heart for having made Crash Bandicoot, Jak and Daxter, and The Last of Us (my favorite game of all-time). But Uncharted might be the most popular franchise they’ve ever done.  (more…)

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3rd I’m Jeffrey Rex Awards – 2015

Third Annual…

This year we have a total number of 18 categories, all with their own nominees which can be found here. These are the categories for the third annual I’m Jeffrey Rex Awards:

  1. Song of the Year
  2. Best Performance by a Voice Actor in a Gaming Experience
  3. Game of the Year
  4. Superhero of the Year
  5. Superheroine of the Year
  6. Best Performance by an Actor in a Superhero Film
  7. Best Performance by an Actress in a Superhero Film
  8. Superhero Film of the Year
  9. Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Show
  10. Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Show
  11. Television Episode of the Year
  12. Television Show of the Year
  13. Rising Star in Film
  14. Best Performance by an Actor in a Cinematic Experience
  15. Best Performance by an Actress in a Cinematic Experience
  16. Best Performance in Directing a Cinematic Experience
  17. Best Performance in Writing a Cinematic Experience
  18. Movie of the Year

Please be aware that cinematic release dates are based on the Danish theaters. Therefore, films from 2015 that premiere in 2016 in Denmark won’t be considered for the I’m Jeffrey Rex Awards, and after some reconsidering only 2015 films released in Denmark in 2015 are eligible for my top ten films of 2015. (more…)

REVIEW: The Order 1886

I'm Jeffrey Rex Game Review - The Order 1886
The Order 1886 is a PlayStation 4 Exclusive Game, which was released on the 20th of February 2015.

So that’s it. Having now finished and platinumed the game, I finally have some thoughts to share on the first PS-studio exclusive for Sony‘s premier console in 2015. One of the big discussion points leading up to its release was the length of the game – the story. People mentioned that you could beat it in 5 hours, and while that may be true if you rush yourself – it took me about 7 hours to finish.

First things first. This game is absolutely stunning. For a little while The Last of Us was the prettiest PlayStation game. Then, in 2014, InFAMOUS: Second Son surpassed it. Now, about one year after InFAMOUS, a Sony studio has gone one step further. There are, in my opinion, two current-gen PlayStation games, excluding remastered editions, that look ‘next-gen’ – Second Son and The Order. (more…)

REVIEW: Life Is Strange – Episode 1

Logo owned by Square Enix for Life is Strange.

There will be no review grade/score for single episodes.

On the 30th of January Square Enix released the very first episode of Dontnod Entertainment‘s Life is Strange. Very much like the classic Telltale-style of game, this is an interactive, episodic, story-heavy game. The game is about Max Caulfield a female student at Blackwell Academy – whereat she studies photography. Max is a very shy girl, and as the game progresses you are thrown into very clear-cut choices – be heroic, friendly – or be a bully, be nosy. In that respect, the choices seem like those in the inFAMOUS games by Sucker Punch, and thus I don’t think it has that punch that Telltale has – at least not yet.

Again, unlike Telltale-games, the dialogue isn’t very strong – and at times it didn’t feel very natural. Also, I would’ve liked a more experienced Voice Actor as the main character – but then again, everyone starts somewhere. The first episode introduces you to the rewind-mechanic – meaning that you can reverse time. When handled well, this can be fun to do – and I thought it was in the opening episode.

The story is cute – with many inside references – and there are a lot of plotpoints to work out in the episodes to come. The game has a lot of stock characters – the shy girl, the mean girls, the spoiled brat, the jocks, the (to us) not-so-secret admirer, and hipster characters.

The story is really entertaining when you interact with Chloe, an old friend that’s changed a lot since you last saw her. Her family is troubled, and she’s gotten herself into a lot of trouble. An interesting subplot in this game is the disapperance of Rachel Amber – I have some ideas – but we’ll have to see about that. One thing’s for certain, Chloe is in need of help.

As I mentioned, the dialogue isn’t very good – and I’d add that there are some cringeworthy moments. It has a lot of potential though, and I am excited to see what comes next. The art-style has its ups and downs, and it is extremely annoying to constantly have problems with lips not synced with the voiceacting. It runs much smoother than Telltale games, but with that having been said – background characters aren’t that detailed. I do prefer the art-style of Telltale – but the level of quality is much higher here.

I am excited about the future of this game. As a pilot it works really well, the story is interesting – if you snoop around you’ll get some ideas – and it ends with everyone having an idea of what’s to come.

I’m Jeffrey Rex

 

2nd I’m Jeffrey Rex Awards – 2014

Second Annual…

Last year, I introduced 17 categories – one of which has been discontinued, or at least not considered for the nomination process, this year (PlayStation Vita Game of the Year). This year, I’ll present the following list of categories, which does include new categories:

  1. Biggest Entertainment Disappointment of the Year
  2. PlayStation 3 Game of the Year
  3. PlayStation 4 Game of the Year
  4. PC/Mac Game of the Year
  5. Nintendo Game of the Year
  6. Best Performance by a Voice Actor in a Gaming Experience
  7. Overall Game of the Year
  8. Superhero Film of the Year
  9. Best Performance by an Actor in a Superhero Film
  10. Best Performance by an Actress in a Superhero Film
  11. Superhero of the Year
  12. Superheroine of the Year
  13. Movie of the Year
  14. Best Performance by an Actor in a Cinematic Experience
  15. Best Performance by an Actress in a Cinematic Experience
  16. Best Performance in Directing a Cinematic Experience
  17. Best Performance in Writing a Cinematic Experience
  18. Television Show of the Year
  19. Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Show
  20. Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Show
  21. Song of the Year
  22. Chelsea FC Player of the Year
  23. Chicago Bears Player of the Year
  24. FC Copenhagen Player of the Year
  25. Overall Performance of the Year

A total number of 25 categories. 25 winners to be announced today. Please be aware that cinematic and gaming release dates are based on the Danish theaters, so, films from 2014 that premiere in 2015 (in Denmark), won’t be considered for the I’m Jeffrey Rex Awards-announcement. First, let’s dive into some gaming-related awards…

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REVIEW: The Last of Us: Left Behind (DLC)

Left Behind

Naughty Dog recently released downloadable content for its new potential super-franchise The Last Of Us. Now, I’m not a huge DLC-gamer, I tend to stick to the originally released story. Going into this story DLC I was very much afraid of it becoming too similar to the Tomb Raider feel, and I was really worried that they potentially would ruin parts of the game campaign I absolutely loved.

As you know, The Last of Us was a 10 out of 10 for me, and I was worried about how I would really react if they released something below average. I was really, really worried. It did not help when I was told one would play as Ellie throughout the game. Don’t get me wrong, I love Ellie – but Joel’s feel was special to me, and I would have loved something like a story DLC focusing on the twenty years prior to him meeting Ellie. Hell, maybe they’ll get to that in a later game . Now, as we move on – please be aware – this coming post is SPOILER filled. Also, know that the original game campaign will also be SPOILED somewhat.

If you played through the original campaign, you might remember Ellie talking about an old friend – mentioning how she got bit. That is one half of the DLC, the other focuses on the immediate period following Joel’s big injury. If you’ve played the original campaign, you should know what I mean – his injury right before winter. The DLC does a nice job of switching at important moments in both stories – and makes the total story theme work perfectly – fighting for life, for love, for friendship – being all poetic […]. Hint. Hint.

Don’t expect a lot with Joel, though you do see the ‘hero’ of the original campaign. Ashley Johnson returns to the game, and yet again is amazing as Ellie. Newcomer Yaani King is perfect as Riley, Ellie’s good friend. Their relationship is the heart of this tale, wherein we see the transformation that Ellie has gone through. Perfect moments include the two girls imagining a Tekken-like game, that hints to the original campaign somewhat. My favourite moment, though, was when they tried out masks. It was just a nice experience to have.

I’ve read other reviews of this DLC, and I do feel like most were right. I totally agreed with IGN’s Colin Moriarty, when he expressed that the combat felt forced – especially near the end of the game. Though there was a great use of the ‘distraction’ technique in this game, wherein you can eliminate danger perfectly by leading the infected to the humans chasing you and Joel.

Overall I felt that the DLC was amazing in story, but lacked a great deal when it came to active combat. The story added feel to the original campaign, and I think it left us at the right point. Some might argue that it wasn’t long enough, that you had to overpay for a short DLC – but I believe that the experience of Left Behind could leave no one wanting in story. Naughty Dog continues to shine.

Final Grade: 9.0 out of 10.0. An amazing stoy shines in a great DLC that forced some combat to appease a small part of its audience.

– I’m Jeffrey Rex

My 10 Most Important Games

Today I’m posting a Top 10 list of great games I’ve played in my life so far. A lot of top 10 lists are biased, even though they promise not to be. This time though, expect a biased list – for this is my own top 10 – not of the best games or of my favourite games, but the most meaningful or important games for me. I have been known as a Sony fan boy, but hopefully you’ll see today that I am much more than that; for Nintendo and PC were my early lovers in gaming before settling down with Sony’s powerhouse franchise, PlayStation.

Honourable mentions include: ThatGameCompany’s Journey (2012), Epic Games’ Gears of War (2006) and Nintendo’s Super Mario 64 (1997).

10 – Game: Grand Theft Auto III. Developer: DMA Design / Rockstar North. Release Year (EU): 2001.

This was the first really violent game I played, I think. At least the first game wherein I noticed violence and/or a change in feel. Now this was not the first ‘GTA’-game that I played, but the first one that I truly loved. I still have fond memories playing it on my old PlayStation 2, and to see the leap gaming has taken since then has been absolutely amazing.

9 – Game: MediEvil. Developer: SCE Cambridge Studio (PS Exclusive). Release Year (EU): 1998.

This game feels really old to me in memory, but it is one I remember loving. Maybe it was the feel, maybe it was the gameplay – but something kept me going playing this early on as a gamer. Sadly, this series is not really breathing today.

8 – Game: Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy. Developer: Naughty Dog (PS Exclusive). Release Year (EU): 2001.

This was the very first game I played on the PlayStation 2, and I absolutely loved it. The PlayStation 2-generation symbolises the era in which I became something more than a Light Gamer, this was the era in which I began walking on the road to becoming a Heavy Gamer. I’m actually not sure how the Jak-series is looked upon generally, but I absolutely love that era in gaming.

7 – Game: Pokémon Yellow. Developer: Game Freak. Release Year (EU): 2000

This game series has been really powerful to my generation, both my generation of gamers and for simple anime-interested in my generation. It is the touchstone of the genre for me, the paramount level for Pokémon I’ve witnessed.

6 – Game: Bomberman 64. Developer: Hudson Soft. Release Year (EU): 1997.

I’ve counted 4 best friends in my life, and the first of these was Kasper from Copenhagen, Denmark. Kasper introduced me to a lot of things in gaming, one of these things were Bomberman. I would call this game addictive, and it really was for us year round. Today I get really nostalgic just thinking about the times we spent with this little game.

5 – Game: Gone Home. Developer: The Fullbright Company. Release Year (EU): 2013.

This last year was a big one for gamers of all types, and for me two stood out, one’s number 1 on this list and the other is this one. Gone Home is special for what it does not do, rather than for what it does. I’ve said before that you must play this game not knowing what it is really, for the story is simply amazing, and I’d hate for anyone to get that ruined.

4 – Game: Mario Kart 64. Developer: Nintendo. Release Year (EU): 1997.

This was another game Kasper and I played a lot, especially at his place. I think every kid, who acknowledges Nintendo, has a special spot in his or her heart for Mario. This game solidified his place, along with characters like Luigi. I vividly remember switching between Mario and Luigi every time we started a new race.

3 – Game: Tekken 3. Developer: Namco. Release Year (EU): 1998.

Remember when I said GTA3 was the first violent game I played, well evidently that is not true – but these games did not feel real to me, I guess that is why. This is probably the game I played the most with my sister growing up. My sister is not a gamer, I’d say she is way too casual to call herself that, but these types of games my sister always gets hooked by. To this day I remember how we nicknamed the characters fighting, and how, frankly, she’d beat me up when she was Yoshimitsu.

2 – Game: Crash Bandicoot. Developer: Naughty Dog (PS-Exclusive). Release Year (EU): 1996.

I think this was one of the first games I ever played on a console. I remember sitting in a Copenhagen apartment in my sister’s room (for some reason our PlayStation One console was in there) playing this all day long, my sister even enjoyed the game, as I understand. It is amazing for me to see how much Naughty Dog has ‘shaped’ me as a gamer in my life. For more on the developer, I suggest, and highly recommend, IGN’s piece on its history by Colin Moriarty.

1 – Game: The Last of Us. Developer: Naughty Dog (PS-Exclusive) Release Year (EU): 2013.

I’ve talked about this game a lot for a long time, and I’ve even blogged about it numerous times these last months, I believe. It is deserving of all the praise in the world. Writer Neil Druckmann, and the rest of the Naughty Dog-team, created a world that blew me away. But before commenting on the game itself, let me talk about the build-up briefly. It feels like ages ago it was announced formally, though I think it was in 2011 at Spike’s Video Game Awards – anyway, I believe that’s when I heard of it the first time. I was instantly hooked, and for a very long time this was the game I was anxiously waiting for, hoping for. I might say that it ruined other games for me, for in the time between the announcement trailer and the launch of the game I always focused on it – sat there waiting – Dualshock 3 in-hand. Eventually it released/launched in 2013, and my expectations were big – I, myself, thought I would be disappointed, thankfully that was not to be. PlayStation 3’s Swan Song The Last of Us is for me the greatest game personally, but also the greatest game I’ve ever played. Why? It is the perfect mix of gameplay, multiplayer, story and art in games. From the opening moment of the game to the much-discussed ending I was hooked emotionally. It has become my favourite game of all-time. I honestly don’t believe I’ll ever love a game more than this, but then again – who knows what Naughty Dog’s up to. For more on the game, read my award section for 2013 wherein the game received high praise as well.

I’m Jeffrey Rex