Current Gaming in Espoo

Lost Planet 2, Uncharted 2, God of War 3 and Batman: AA


What wonderful weather for gaming! – Dan Bull

Dan Bull is close to the core truth about gaming. And by the way, if you have not seen the YouTube flick, check it out here: Dan Bull – Generation Gaming. I recommend listening to the song even for you non-gamers as the song’s rhymes are fairly well thought-out. And if you still decide not to listen to it, then it is your loss.

On a side note, I have been purchasing a lot of my console games from It would not really matter which online store I use, but TheHut has proven to offer fairly good prices and I have not experienced much trouble dealing with them. Last week I bought three new games (cheap ones, though) as I received a 10%-off discount code from said store. They sure know their marketing mix in my case. However, I find it astonishing how every game is cheaper to buy from abroad. Hell, I could even fly there myself, buy the games, fly back to Finland and still get a profit. Alright, it is not that bad with the newest games that have not yet hit their first round of discounts. Some Finnish stores based in the tax-exempt wonderland of Ã…land offer fair prices on such upcoming titles as Deus Ex 3 and Gears of War 3. Finally!

Anyway, after reading Antti’s message on Twitter regarding Kotaku’s article I could not help but agree with Leigh Alexander. Only a handful of the games I have played during the past 5 years have been as absorbing as, let’s say the Original Doom and its many addons (or WADs). What is especially inspiring about this is that lately (or rather, most of this week) I have been playing the newish Batman: Arkham Asylum (with 3D goggles and everything). In fact I got the game on Sunday last week but I did not begin to play it until Monday evening. I knew even before I started the game that it would probably be a bit bad idea to set forth on my journey through Gotham before weekend. Not that the game is bad or anything – it is just a tiny bit too addicting.

Now, on the third day after beginning my trip to Joker’s twisted humor and crazy plans, I have completed 46% of the content of the game. To my surprise, the game looks wonderful (even if it is a console game and definitely not 1080p) and the cartoon-based world feels quite real indeed. The sound environment is excellent as well. Playing with my headphones on in a dimly lit room I could almost smell being inside the Asylum with the inmates. No reason to worry though – Batman is not your average guy when it comes to prevalence in martial arts and being an awesome detective (quite like being a two-in-one Conan all by himself). I am beginning to learn to use his constant stream of bullet time melee attacks and slowdowns to down a dozen of foes at the same time. As an option, I can sneak up on them goonies and take them to the ground with a swift strike from the above. Batman even has his own set of gadgets and a remote hacking tool. Now how cool is that?

This is my first time experiencing 3D (even though it is merely based on colored lenses) in a current-generation console game. My initial impression was quite simply “meh“: the effect is there, but it does not, at least in its current implementation, bring much more to the game. Let me elaborate on that. I have no doubt that on currently-sold televisions the 3D effect can be quite a lot better than this mimicking with fancy cardboard glasses and plastic lenses. As those second-generation TV sets have been made 3D performance in mind. My 5-year-old Sony rear projection TV is not exactly state-of-the-art in this time and age. Anyway, the implementation being what it is, the only resultant effect is a headache after an hour’s playing. Perhaps after a few iterations (and actually using current technology) this just might work. Right now, the effect is too slim to trade off color balance and brightness, among other things.

To sum it up, I have really enjoyed my stay on the penitentiary island so far. Joker’s whacky announcements remind me in a good way about System Shock 2‘s (now that is another excellent game deserving its very own post) sweet, but insane, Shodan and her riddles. In addition, the built-in lore about Batman comics is worth reading and all those in-game collectables keep me going for hours without noticing the passing of time. And the story is not bad at all itself. Now that is what I call quality gaming!

– Joona

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