You know Crackdown, right? The kind of GTA style game released for Xbox 360 back in 2007. This is a text I wrote before Xbox One was released, I suppose. I was planning on pushing it out one way or another around the release of the console, but alas, none of the plans materialised. Actually, there were supposed to be several articles on various games or aspects I felt had characterised Xbox 360. Needless to say, this one is in Finnish.

Real Time Worldsin Crackdown ei todellakaan syntynyt onnellisten tähtien alla: pelin kehitysalusta vaihtui hyvin tunnetusta sotaratsusta vielä tulossa olevaan konsoliin, sen ulkoasu ei herättänyt luottamusta julkaisijassa eivätkä rajalliset resurssit sekä ongelmat kehitystyökalujen kanssa helpottaneet elämää. Silti alkuperäistä Crackdownia voi helposti pitää yhtenä Xbox 360:n suurimmista onnistumisista.

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As I warned in early this year, I might try and write some blog posts in Finnish. Well, here we go, this one is about Halo and Xbox (well of course it is).

Xbox Onen alkutaival konsolisodan uusimmassa taistossa ei ole sujunut mairittelevasti. Konsoli on tarponut vastatuuleen julkistushetkestään lähtien. Samanaikaisesti Sony on onnistuneesti rakentanut PlayStation 4:stä houkuttelevan pelikoneen. Konsoleilla on kuitenkin yksi yhteinen ongelma: niille ei ole vielä saatavilla merkittäviä yksinoikeusjulklaisuja. Toki Forza Horizon 2, Sunset Overdrive, Resogun ja ulkoasultaan päivitetty the Last of Us ovat keränneet kiitosta, mutta mitään Gears of Warin tai Unchartedin kaltaista ei ole vielä saatavilla saati lähihorisontissa. Tähän rakoon Microsoft varmasti tähtäsi Halo: The Master Chief Collectionilla, joka kuitenkin epäonnistui ehkä tärkeimmällä osa-alueella eli moninpelissä.

Minulla ei tietenkään ole minkäänlaista erityistä sisäpiiritietoa aiheesta, mutta näin ulkopuolisenakin voi helposti nähdä järkeviä syitä Halo-kokoelman mahalaskulle. Ensinnäkin Microsoft kaipasi vahvaa julkaisua joulumarkkinoille ja jouduttamaan Xbox Onen myyntiä. Yhtiön kulisseissa tapahtui oletettavasti Xbox Onen epäonnistuneen julkistuksen ja nihkeän julkaisun jälkeen muutoksia, jotka näkyivät ulkopuolelle viimeistään huhtikuussa, kun Phil Spencer nimettiin Xbox-liiketoiminnan uudeksi johtajaksi. Uusia korkean profiilin pelijulkaisuja ei tempaista kuitenkaan hihasta tuosta vain.


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If I would have to pick out one announcement from last week’s Gamescom that got the most attention, I would take Microsoft and Crystal Dynamics revealing the next Tomb Raider as an Xbox exclusive. Most of the discussion surrounding the subject concerned the duration of the exclusivity. Of course, if Microsoft has paid a lot of money to Square Enix for the exclusivity, they will not easily disclose the duration but instead provide some murky statements. Still, it’s clear that it’s coming to PlayStation 4 and PC at a later time, which shouldn’t surprise anyone.

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IMG_0235I actually wrote a longish piece about  the newest Trials game from RedLynx in English, but as I also happened to write a review about it in the newest issue of Pelaaja, I decided to not to publish my text here. Long story short: Trials Frontier is a good game hindered by it’s free-to-play shenanigans, but you can read more about in my review. Or you could actually try the game yourself, if you happen to own an iOS device new enough, as it is free to download, although it may not be available everywhere.

RedLynx actually published an update for the game. I have yet to check it out, but it sounded like they were addressing some of the issues at least to some degree. The difficult thing about reviewing a game like that is of course the fact that the game may change a lot through updates. Hopefully RedLynx will keep up doing it. I can’t wait for Trials Fusion that’s coming out later this year. Should be a blast.

Brothers_HeroYear 2013 had its fair share of so called AAA blockbusters, from BioShock Infinite to The Last of Us and Grand Theft Auto V. While those games have spectacular qualities to them, these big budget titles often fail to touch the player or make the mistake of feeling bloated just for the sake of going big. Luckily, there has been a counter-balancing trend in the recent years, brought to us by the indie games. They usually manage to be more focused and personal. Last year, one of these games was Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, which I had the pleasure of playing during the Christmas break.

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Some time ago, I think it was in December, the lovely people of Pelaaja magazine asked their writers if they would like to write short blog posts about personal choices for the best games of the year. They’ve been publishing those texts on recently. Today was my turn, and you can read it over there, in Finnish naturally, but anyone should be able to understand at least the names of the games.

As for the choices, it is of course difficult to try to lift some games higher than others. Often many games have many great qualites but ultimately they are so different, that comparing them seems a little bit stupid. Also, I naturally haven’t played all the games that have been published. Having said this, you should understand that the list or the order of these games is not absolute. These are just five games I wanted to highlight because I feel like they were somehow special and meant something.

When compiling the list, I had some difficulties picking out five really good games. There were good games like BioShock Infinite and Grand Theft Auto V that failed to feel personal in any sense. Luckily I bought some titles off the Steam sale and played them during Christmas break. From that batch, Brothers and Papers, Please made my list, but I’ve yet to play Gone Home or The Swapper and also just tried some Kerbal Space Program, so the ultimate list could be a little bit different. Hopefully I will write at least something about these games later on.

The newest issue of Pelaaja has a review written by yours truly. I tested out a newish iOS game KingHunt, developed by Mountain Sheep, a Finnish company. To sum it up, it’s very much like Fruit Ninja, so if you like slicing stuff up, you might wanna check it out or read my review.

One could of course ponder, what’s the point of reviewing games costing something like one Euro. Why not just pay and download instead of wasting your time reading a review? Well, reviews can help to bring out games that people might not otherwise notice, besides offering interesting critique for those interested and feedback for the developers. But mobile games are a bit different to review compared to for example high profile console games.