Look for the Light: The Last of Us: Part II is a Truly Special Game

The Last of Us: Part II – Naughty Dog – Sony – PS4 Screenshot

The following article features story spoilers for the entirety of both The Last of Us and The Last of Us: Part II. Do not read the article before you finish both games.

In 2013, Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us — my favorite video game ever made —  was released exclusively on PlayStation 3 (it was later remastered on PlayStation 4) to near-universal praise and numerous accolades. On the surface-level, this was a survival horror game in the zombie sub-genre. But it was also so much more than that. It was a story about love and rediscovering something to fight for. Gamers primarily played as Joel Miller (Troy Baker), a smuggler without scruples, who was tasked with transporting a young girl, Ellie (Ashley Johnson), across the United States for the purpose of crafting a vaccine to the fungal virus that had turned infected humans into ruthless barely-human creatures without rational thought. Continue reading “Look for the Light: The Last of Us: Part II is a Truly Special Game”

Casting the HBO adaptation of THE LAST OF US – Special Features #65

HBO and PlayStation recently announced that Chernobyl-creator Craig Mazin will develop a series adaptation of the hit PlayStation game THE LAST OF US with Neil Druckmann, who was the writer and co-creative director on the original game. Druckmann is also one of the chief creatives working on the game’s highly anticipated sequel, THE LAST OF US: PART II. As I’ve definitely written before, THE LAST OF US is my favorite game ever made. It is a masterpiece. So, today, I want to give my updated opinions about who should play the game’s main characters in the upcoming HBO adaptation. Continue reading “Casting the HBO adaptation of THE LAST OF US – Special Features #65”

Recap: The Last of Us Part II – PSX 2016 Reveal Trailer

I don’t often write about games here, but some times I make an exception. I’ve reviewed a few games back in the day, including the story DLC for The Last of Us, which was called Left Behind. Now, some of you may know this, but if you don’t then let me level with you: 2013’s The Last of Us is my favorite game of all-time.

Now, it didn’t necessarily need a sequel, but I’ve been hoping for one for a long time now. Today, at the end of the PlayStation Experience, PlayStation reveled that we are, in fact, getting a sequel: The Last of Us Part II. You can watch the reveal trailer above, and when you’re done, I’ve got a trailer recap for you right here.  Continue reading “Recap: The Last of Us Part II – PSX 2016 Reveal Trailer”

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.  Continue reading “REVIEW: Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (2016)”

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

MMXIV

A Status Update

Welcome to 2014 – MMXIV in Roman numerals – a year where things will change and I will probably only be posting few updates, sadly.

“I’m going through changes”:

  • 31st of December 2013 marked the first time in a long time that I did not post a New Year’s Speech.
  • Moving on I expect little or no mentioning of the Tour de France. I simply feel like it would be stupid for me to dedicate a lot of time on the blog to that subject, seeing as it is only my Fifth favorite sport.
  • Expect a prediction for the 2014/2015 NFL season to feature this year, I love the NFL, and hopefully I’ll be better than I was at predicting this year. I mean… I predicted that the Ravens would go to the Super Bowl in the 2012/2013 season…
  • Expect more posts simply about my Chicago Bears.
  • My New Years Resolution for 2014 is to watch 365 movies in 365 days, expect posts about the movies I’ve seen this year.
  • My Game of the Year for 2013 was The Last of Us, best game I have ever played.

So that was that. My second semester at the University of Copenhagen begins this february, if you were wondering.

Don’t we all… Don’t we all…

Catch you later!
– I’m Jeffrey Rex