Kuinka saada keikka Helsingin legendaariselle Tavastia-klubille?

Tsekkaa Roope Salminen ja Koirat -bändin Oceans 11 -henkinen lyhytelokuva, jossa järkkäämme keikan Helsingin Tavastiaklubille.

Assassins Creed 3

Some of my thoughts on Assassins Creed 3. There are some spoilers.

Slow start 

The game starts out really slowly as you start a long way from the real beginning of the action and story. You spend hours getting going, though the first few chapters the character you play with has ramifications towards at the end of the game, but the payoff doesnt  work out very well.

Loss of identity

This is more of an open world game than anything else. This feels more like Red Dead Redemption than Assassins Creed to me. You end up doing so many chores to random characters that this feels more like a Rockstar game than Assassins Creed. Yes, I realize many missions are optional, but still. The fact that you are an assassin almost seems forgotten, there’s not that much assassinating going on anymore. The feathers, assassination contracts etc feel like an afterthought in this game, legacy that had to be respected, but kinda just dropped into the game without much thought.

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Writing

Corey May is an amazing writer and the whole writing team has done an incredible job with research and dialogue, but while the game has lot of great writing, like the all the data in the Animus written by Shaun, whose sardonic tone has been well maintained throughout the franchise (even though he’s material was written by another person for AC3 than before), the story and events in AC3 didnt resonate with me.

The ending especially, at least they give you an ending and dont cop out too bad like they did in Mass Effect 3, the conclusion of Desmond’s arc and the whole franchise up to this point, is weak. Worse yet, it all feels really rushed. The fact that the world is ending due to the solar flares and that there is real threat in the air, is never sold convincingly to me as a player, so at the end of the game I was wondering what my motivation really was for doing all this.

I really liked the fact that the story isn’t so black and white, all pro on Assassins. You get both sides of the story so to speak and nothing really is clear cut. The writers really succeed here and many of the supporting characters, the historic ones, are shady and you dont really know what their agenda is, everybody’s got their own. This works out really well in the game. Connor is more of a cog in the wheel than really bossing things around which is very different to Ezio.

Systems

There is a huge amount of systems in the game from hunting, to your assassin recruits to trading your homestead’s workers produce etc to merchants in the towns. You have to liberate city zones to gain new assassins. This was very unclear to me. So you see a Assassin mission on the map, you go there, you free the would be assassin and you think you got him into your team. You dont.

You have random events in the cities that you have to perform (free tied down characters, help beggars, eliminate random enemies etc) and once all are completed, you get the assassins task that unlocks the person for use in your team. The problem here is inconsistency.

Everything gets shown on the map with the exception of the assassins/liberation tasks!. That’s a design mistake. Maybe the reasoning was that the designers wanted random elements that just pop up when you wander around town, I can understand that. However, none of this is explained, I was at the second to last memory sequence in the game when I randomly completed all the assassins/liberation missions and then got the “main” liberation mission popping up on the map. When I did that, I got the assassin into my team. I didnt see any explanation of this, in the in-game manual.

The homestead is the new Monteriggioni. It’s not as good, though it’s cool. So you do Homestead missions which lead to people moving near Connor’s house and you start getting an town/economy. They all produce various stuff form ore to wool, which you can buy from them. Then you can combine all those materials with recipes to produce new things like barrels, carriages, furniture that you can sell. It took me until halfway the game to realize that I could actually manufacture carriages which move around all my stuff into the stores in the cities, who buy your stuff and you get paid. Moving stuff into the carriages is done in a menu, which is really fucking slow. You have like 10 slots to which you place a single item. So I couldn’t quick select 10 elk skins to put into a carriage, I had to add each one separately.

You dont see this nice overall view of all the things your Homestead folks build. Sure, you can walk around the area and see the people, talk to them and see their houses flling up the homestead, but Monteriggioni was so visual in terms of improvements you did to it. That’s what you need, real visual feedback of the money you are spending and the work you are putting in. You get a bit of that with the boat you get to upgrade in AC3, but that wasn’t much fun.

Variety

The naval combat is amazing looking. Every mission looks absolutely stunning with superb lighting, athmosperic effects like fog and fire and the ocean itself just looks incredible. I felt like I was really out on the sea when I played these missions. They are quite easy to play through, but very satisfying as you blast other ships with cannons and see your crew doing their thing on the deck.

Lack of freedom

There’s a few story missions which really force you to play them in a certain way instead of letting you exploit Connor’s many tools and skills. One of these missions comes up really early on in the game and was really annoying. Its the one with Haytam, I think, and you have to sneak into a base and first hide in the hay and then follow two dudes talking with Washington being one I think. I hated that mission. Another one is at the end where you chase John Lee. I think it took me over 30 tries to get through this badly scripted sequence.

Having said that, the level of of polish in general in the game and in the missions is quite good even before the patches considering the size and scope of the game, but in three missions I managed to break the scripting and not trigger the following events which is really unforgivable. I had this happen in the Desmond level in the stadium catwalks.

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Characters

Ezio was an incredible character. I still remember uncle Mario and the dead little brother Petruccio from Assassins Creed 2. I applaud the writers going for an indian lead character, but Connor left me cold. He’s detached, he lacks personality and the worst thing is that the cast of historic characters, so many are rolled out that I really didnt who I was dealing with and why. Haytham being Connor’s father just doesnt pay off very well either.

Desmond

Some of the Desmond sequences, especially the ones based in the main cave area your team is in, are weak. I cant believe that the one character that ties all the games together gets such a weak treatment. The gameplay in the cave is about putting power cells into place, but I had no idea where to find them, nothing is sign posted at all.

When you get these power cells you are supposed to slot them into various spots in the cave complex. I really didnt know where, I just stared climbing around and then some cut scenes triggered and I had no idea how many cells I had left to place as I didnt place them as soon as I got back from the Desmond missions, I went back to the Animus. So I had no idea how many I had to find in the cave.

Also as you get these batteries in various short Desmond missions, one in New York, one in Brazil and so on. How come none of the chaos erupting around the world due to the solar flares is not showing during these missions? This is a missed opportunity of selling the drama that is supposed to unfold in the world while Desmond is trying to save it.

The last Desmond sequence part takes place at Abstergo, which is a great idea. This is from where franchise started, you should go back and get closure. But, come one, Desmond walks in, you kill a few guards and then get to Warren Vidic and he just dies. What a rushed anticlimax. Daniel Cross and Warren Vidic… come on man, integral characters in the universe and they get dealt in such a quick fashion. Very disappointing. Not to mention chasing Cross was very broken. I kept trying to grab and tackle him, not knowing if I could do it or did  I have to wait for a scripted sequence to happen.

Technology

Assassins Creed 3 looks a lot better than the previous games. The quality of character animation is superb, clearly much improved. The frontier itself especially is a great achievement. The enviroment feels natural, it feels alive. The lighting is often stunning and the frame rate for the most part is quite smooth and stable. The problem is that the Desmond sequences feel visually less polished than the rest of the game even down to the character’s facial animation.

Still, a game of this magnitude all these systems, short load times, is a stunning technical achievement, no question.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City 10th anniversary – Epic press trip in 2002, going down memory lane

Let’s get this out of the way. Crazy expensive press trips get a bad rep, journos being bought and all that bullshit.

Forget that, let’s just enjoy what went down between July 16-18 in 2002 when Rockstar Games flew a bunch of journos down to Miami for three days of fun in the sun with the aim of showing off and hyping Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Those of us who were there, still talk about it. Those who werent, know of the event. Some of my best industry friends are from this trip (whassup Diego!).

You know why this trip really was significant for me ?

I talked with Dan Houser for hours on the beach while having drinks. Shooting the shit about life, Rockstar Games, Grand Theft Auto and entrepreneurship. I decided there and then to quit my then great-sounding-but-turned-into-a-nightmare- job and set up my own video games magazine down the line. Later that year, Pelaaja magazine was born. I emailed Houser after that to tell him he had inspired me to do this and he actually replied to me. I still have that email.

I still have everything from this trip including the agenda and the envelope I got my flight tickets in.

Vice City trip agenda edit

The unfortunate thing is that Rockstar basically shut up shop after this and stopped giving access to it’s visionary talents to the members of the press.

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This was pretty much the last big, “traditional” press event that Rockstar did. Ever since this event, Rockstar tends to invite one or two journos to check out their games instead of a larger group (Ok, granted, they did a similair event for Vice City Stories, but the emphasis was on the actual game). This is the only event I know of where Rockstar founders like Terry Donovan (who left the company years ago) and Dan Houser mingled with us press types. The Houser’s have given maybe 15 interviews since 2002 and only a handful of those were of the kind where they openly talked about the company and the business and not just about the next Rockstar game. Edge’s Tony Mott conducted one such incredible interview a few years ago.

So this was in the summer of 2002. Grand Theft Auto 3 had blown up and the PlayStation 2 was changing the video games landscape. Everything was changing in the industry: we were on the cusp of a seismic shift and Grand Theft Auto would be the key driver of this. You could feel this at this event. We all felt something great was going to happen – that Rockstar and GTA would become even bigger. We were priviledged to be there, not just due to the fancy event, but what it entailed and started.

For me, I worked months behind the scene’s to get to see Vice City and be able to cover it for the magazines I was working for. I spent months on the phone and email. Grand Theft Auto 3 blew my mind back in the day, but as I love the 1980’s, the sequel was The game for me. The music, the colors, Miami Vice, the opulence and excess. So for me, Vice City was of great interest.

I also love Miami and South Beach. Miami was the first US city I visited with my parents in 1990. It’s left it’s mark on me and I really love Miami Beach and have gone back several times. Partly because of the great experience of the press trip, but in general, I just love the vibe of Miami and of course, the climate.

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On our way to the mansion in a limo.

We stayed at the Delano hotel. I stayed in room 1412. The room’s decor was completely white. One of the coolest hotel rooms I’ve ever been in. I’m actually decorating my new house’s bathroom in a similair way to what the Delano’s bathroom was. We all got gift bags with a dope Vice City sweater (still use it), Vice City towel (still drape myself in it), copies of Midnight Club and Smugglers Run, Vice City money clip and sun tan lotion which was pretty handy since July is fucking hot in Miami. Each room had a PlayStation 2 hooked up to the TV so we could play the games on our downtime.

We were split into three groups and during three days we saw 45 minutes of the game. The rest of it was about getting into the mood.

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Tommy’s mansion facing the beach.

The kick off was at this dope mansion (Tommy’s, 155 Ocean Blvd) and it was here where Terry Donovan and Dan Houser talked for a good hour about Rockstar Games and what Vice City was going to be about. I still have this entire session recorded on a Minidisc! Donovan was so amped up, so ready to take on the world and show a big fat middle finger to the stagnant games industry that he barely could contain himself. I’m so glad I got be there in the beginning to hear him talk before all the Hot Coffee and media bullshit and in-fighting at the company which drove him away. As a millionaire of course.

They revealed the amount of research that was going into the creation of Vice City and how the 1980’s were so ripe for Rockstar to take aim at and satirize the period. Rockstar played a showreel which was a combination of footage from several 1980’s tv show’s, especially Miami Vice (which actually is quite late 1980’s) which were the inspiration for the game. I always wished they would have put this this video out as it really gives off the vibe they wanted to achieve in the game.

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The mansion from the outside.

They revealed Ray Liotta’s involvement and thus the lead character Tommy Vercetti. Donovan talked a lot about the soundtrack deal, which was pretty massive 10 years ago. Seven or eight cd’s, I cant remember, but I do have some of those cd’s.

The game was demoed to one or two journos at a time so while that was going on, the rest of us were split into groups and different activities. I remember when I actually got to go to the suite at the Delano and watch the game being demoed, I was concentrating so hard in burning every little detail into my memory and scribbling furiously into my notepad (we wrote with a pen back then son!). I remember how awesome it was to see you now had helicopters in the game and they showed how you could fly around Vice City, which was pretty impressive back then. I cant remember what missions they demoed, but I remember being impressed at how much Rockstar North had managed to get done in less than a year at that point. Also, the visuals were really good in terms of capturing the vibe of Miami. I think the demo was done by Jeronimo Barrera and Jeff Castaneda.The latter runs communications at MTV and the aforementioned is the VP of development at Rockstar Games. One of the very few people who have stuck around at R* for so many years.

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We were taken to this private gun range at Trail Glades Range and they had a huge amount of different types of guns that were going to be in the game. We got shoot any gun we wanted and ammo was no problem. “Can I have guns in both hands?” “sure”. “Can I spray around with this Mac-10” “sure”. Everything went. I’m not american so I’m not that terribly into guns; Igot used to them in the military, but I cant deny it was pretty exhilarating to bust a few caps. Especially since we could spend as much ammo as we wanted. I shot this massive sniper rifle which left a hole in the car on the range the size of a fucking tennis ball.

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That’s Dan Houser. The dude who has written all of Rockstar’s games since Vice City. I spent hours with him on the beach in front of the Delano hotel talking about Rockstar, his career, life. Single most inspiring discussion I have ever had.

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So, while still waiting, I spent half of another day going to Monument island near downtown Miami. We got to hang out in this huge boat with my fellow journos, getting to know them and the Rockstar folks. I think we all got a crush on the blonde Rockstar PR girl who melted my heart with her sexiness and coolness. We got to drive jet skis and just swim around for a few hours.

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Final night at the Mynt Lounge. It was like walking into a million dollar hip hop video. Everybody looking crazy good, the ladies were hot, the fellas doing they thing and me looking around in amazement. I’ve since gone back to the club on vacations and it’s always been incredible. The restaurant we went out to eat, Joia,  was towards the end of South Beach

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Me, when I didnt know how to dress properly (most game journos still have that problem) and was still so young and innocent.

Getting back into games: PES 2013 and Borderlands 2

I think for the first time in …I dont know, 10 years or even more, I think I had a period of over 4 weeks that I didnt even turn on any of my consoles. Didn’t play anything. Could have been more than a month really.

I once had this when I was much younger and I freaked out. Was I losing interest in video games? What the fuck else would I do in life if that happened?

It’s good to have a break once in a while. I had other things going on in life that gave me fulfilment and joy. Now I have sorrow in my heart again.

So now, I’m playing Borderlands 2, trying to play some Walking Dead and I got New Super Mario Bros. 2 on the 3DS. Really though, I’m mostly playing Borderlands 2 and then some PES 2013. Also, since it’s taking so damn long to wrap up this blog, I started playing Assassins Creed 3 (yeah buddy, I’m still connected like that) and also Dishonored. But let’s save those for another post.

PES 2013

I played PES hardcore on the PlayStation and the PlayStation 2, but as many of us know, the series has been rubbish on the current generation. Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 is finally an awesome game in the series, but it’s amazing it took Konami from the begining of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 generation to get back to being good. They still do not have the technology or presentation that FIFA has, but at least the gameplay is  damn good again.

I’ve been playing quite a lot online and it seems this version of PES suits my style. The pace is relatively slow and it’s possible to hold onto the ball quite well in the midfield so one can actually construct plays pretty well. Still, through balls are too powerful of a way to get past one’s defense.

I still find it incredible how stuck in the 16-bit era some of the design is when it comes to being user friendly. The game does a poor job of selling it’s new features. The practice mode is just really tough and the controls are explained badly. Like, I have to watch a separate demo of how the controls work when pulling of a certain move. I should be seeing this animation while I try to beat the challenge. Poor design to say the least. Also the challenges are quite difficult. That’s the problem – it’s not a tutorial or practice, it’s a challenge mode.

There’s a staggering amount of different tricks and moves you can pull off, but I really cant do anything else but the R2 dribbles when playing and the usual one-two’s. Trying to put the ball through players legs etc flicks, I just cannot remember how to do them. I should.

Borderlands 2

Played the first on the PS3 and it was as Unreal Engine 3 games tend to be on that platform, not so great. Gameplay was damn good though, the sequel just pretty much fixes everything. I dont dig the driving model that much, but it works.

The feel of the gunplay is so much improved. I thought the action felt a bit flat and repetitive in the first game, but based on my experiences of the sequel, every combat scenario feels really good even if they are quite lengthy. The interface is so good, it’s so easy to start sessions with friends and random Xbox Live folks can easily get into your game. It all just flows in such a lovely fashion. I’m really digging this game.

The combat scenarios, I’m on level 24, offer enough variety so far. I can totally see myself replaying this game once I’ve completed it at some point. Hopefully in 2012.

I’ll talk about The Walking Dead, Dishonored and Assassins Creed 3 next.

 

 

 

One year since I quit being an videogames magazine editor

I quit my magazine (Pelaaja) in August 2011 after having been it’s Editor in Chief and Creative Director since 2002. I was and still am an entrepreneur, but for over a year I have not been part of the daily grind.

I’ve never had so much fun outside of work in my life as I have this year.

I have never had a real personal life outside of work until now.

I never really hung out with people.

I never knew I could have other things keeping me busy than video games.

I never knew how much life outside of work could give to me.

This past year when I’ve gone to video games events like E3, DICE and GDC, people have come up to say to me that I look slimmer, younger, not so incredibly stressed and annoyed all the time. Same things my mother says to me – now I can apparently be talked to as I’m not so curt and annoyed all the time. I have felt it too. I’m still often very melancholy and emotional, but I feel that for the first time in 15 years or maybe ever…I’m alive. That I have arrived.

I do miss my old work, but it’s …I dont think I can explain what it was like to carry not only the magazine but the company on my back and I dare say that because most people at Pelaaja would agree. I loved the pressure and responsibility in a way because it made me feel important. It made me feel that I had something worth living for, I had something that made it ok for me to exist. The circumstances why I left I explained in one of my first blog posts, in Finnish though, but 2010 can go fuck it self. Time heals some wounds though. Scars stay, but you can move on to some extent. So from being three weeks way of moving to work at Naughty Dog to things collapsing and leaving my mag and doing other things…the journey is the interesting part.

The important thing is that when it comes to my past work I do not regret it, absolutely not.

I would not change a thing.

I got to be part of something incredible and the work gave me so much and so many incredible experiences and friends. I know I’ve been incredibly lucky.

I absolutely think the 9 years I spent on Pelaaja were some of the best times ever, but it came with a serious cost for many of us at the magazine and company. I dont see any other way of doing the work but having given it my all (along with others) and did my best, but it drained me completely.

I know I will never be able to put in the kind of hours, effort and work mentality I did for so many years. I do not have that left in me. I know that. I try not to feel bad about that. I felt unstoppable for many years. Not anymore.

I believe in few things but one thing I do believe is that one cannot have everything in life. That I’m sure of.

You dont need everything.

For me, I think being able go develop a normal relationship seems like it’s not going to work out for me. I have also become okay with that, finally,  after having spent so long dreaming about it. I think I wont ever be content. I have go and do something to prove myself to other people soon again. For a long time I wished, I was regular or normal, whatever the fuck that is..but deep inside I knew and I know I would hate being regular. I want to be different. Fuck normalcy.

I feel that if you get everything, your hunger will stop.

At the end of the day, I wake up most days and remind myself what it was like for me in school the early days. I got picked on and I got my ass kicked because of my foreign background. I was terrified of going to school.

That didn’t last too long, but then people laughed at me for being into video games. “When are you gonna stop that shit ?”.

My school counselor / psychology teacher told me on our graduation cruise that “you wont mount up to anything” to me and my friend.

I will never forget that.

Never.

Maybe it was reverse-psychology, but that’s giving her too much credit.

Vincent Hanna said it well in the movie Heat:

“I gotta hold on to my angst. I preserve it because I need it. It keeps me sharp, on the edge, where I gotta be.”

That is how I feel. That is why I keep the the angst and pain because it’s what gives me strength. It keeps me sharp, on the edge, where I gotta be.

I just remind myself of that when I feel down and remember that every day I have to prove myself. So in that way, I turned that negativity into positivity, but I’m also never content with what I’ve done and have achieved.

So, never stop wanting to do stuff, experiencing new things and going out there and trying to get what you want, what makes you happy.

(…and hey, I work on daily basis on next-gen consoles, so things are pretty good :))

On the road with Roope Salminen ja Koirat

So what is life like on the road?

Long time ago I got to know a very cool kid called Ossi. Then I got to know his also cool brother Mikko. Then after a while, I got to know the, also cool, extended family, which brings us to an awesome band called Roope Salminen ja Koirat. They are a collective who play hip hop covers and generate good vibrations like Marky Mark in his “musical prime”. That’s understating things though – these guys rock the shit out of the songs the play and get the crowd crazy. I love hip hop and a good live performance and how awesome is it that it’s your friends who deliver a great gig after a great gig and I get to be there most of the time to enjoy it?

So the band had two gigs in the city of Turku here in Finland. Turku is an awesome coastal city that also held the Ruisrock-festival during the same weekend. It was my birthday earlier in the week, so I thought why not go along and celebrate and also help the crew out by driving them to the gig and spend the weekend in Turku.

Well, more than that I like to organize and just take care of things for people so they can concentrate on the real task at hand. I get a lot of pleasure out of making sure things work as they should, taking care of the those little details that I feel are important. So I sort of decided to half-jokingly become the Road Manager. I created these plastic cards that you see artists and the road crew having when on tour, gotta have those right ? Then you know, making sure everybody gets to the venue on time, doesnt end up doing stupid shit, get water bottles to the guys, make sure there’s enough clean towels, keep things flowing, act important around the backstage area and just make sure everything runs smoothly.

Not that I’m actually that useful. These guys might be young, but they are pro’s. I’m just lucky I get to hang out in the background and try and be useful.

Music and me and is weird in the way that my parents were professional touring musicians for quite a while when I was a kid. I played the guitar for a while and one of my biggest regrets is that I quit playing. I do love being on the road though.Way back in the day when I was active in the demoscene, I was always the guy who setup things, picked up people from the airport, housed them etc since I could not code or make music. Somebody’s gotta take care of the boring stuff right?

I’m also fascinated by band dynamics. Part of is that I worked for a long time within an editorial enviroment with friends and that’s one of the toughest things you can do. The dynamics between people at work, under pressure and people who you know well – that’s a very complicated enviroment to operate in. Playing gigs, travelling, lugging equipment, not getting paid much, working other jobs – that’s hard and that brings pressure alongside with it. Then of course there are ego’s and in this case, people are still young and and look at things in a very different way than when you are more experienced. Of course, this was only a weekend instead of weeks and months of being together on tour. That’s a whole different thing.

So being able to be with the band and having been there since almost the inception is exciting. I’ve read so many biographies on bands and invidiuals that surely if one has read those books enough times, you’d know how to avoid problems huh? So it’s fun to see these young guys and gals doing their thing. I’m grateful I get to be there.

Backstage second gig. Spirits were high! And quite sweaty.

Rolling to the gig. I tell you, getting this many people to move at the same time – not easy.

Having breakfast and getting ready to roll out and get back home. Everybody in good spirits since the second gig on Saturday went smoothly and there were lots of people watching and enjoying themselves.

We drove to Turku on Friday, set up, rehearsed and just waited for the gig. Most of Saturday was spent recuperating and just hanging out about town at the river. Turku is really a very beautiful city and it’s main feature, the river Aura that runs through the city is a great hangout spot. There’s lots of  restaurant boats alongside the river – it’s very chilled out. So we spent Saturday mostly chilling and then eating well, getting some rest and some of us went to watch a local soccer match against the Helsinki team, which was good fun. After that, it was time for the second gig which went down supremely well.

Onto the next one.

 

 

Thoughts on Euro 2012 and adding 8 more teams into the mix in 2016

Pretty good Euro 2012 so far huh? Sadly the tournament structure is going to change.

16 teams is enough. I used to love Michel Platini when he weaved his magic for Juventus and who can forget his silky skills and bad haircut at Mexico 86, Spain in 82 and 84. However, I really do not like how he’s running UEFA and soon FIFA, though I’m sure I’m not aware of countless things that affect his decision-making.

“The best things in life should enjoyed in moderation”, which is something most US folks could keep in mind and me when it comes to dessert. That reminds my mighty colleague Sampo brough me a cupcake to work, sweet!

The next European Championships in 2016 (held in France) will have 24 teams instead of the current 16. That will dilute the quality of competition. Sure, some countries are catching up (Finland not being one of them), but for the near future 16 teams is enough. There is not enough quality out there for eight more teams. Like Finland.

Platini can wax lyrical all he wants about how more European teams (like Switzerland, Belgium, Hungary etc) should have a chance of competing in the Euro’s. Why? Only the best should compete. I’d love to see Finland in the Euro’s, but the best have to be there and we are not good enough. Simple as that.

Money and greed drive football these days. At least Platini has been quite straight forward in saying that this is also about money. More teams means longer tournament, which in turn means more matches, which in turn means more television and per match income.

It will also give us meaningless matches and make the tournament too long when the top players schedules is too congested anyway. The players like Christiano Ronaldo and Messi already clock in like 70 matches a year which no matter how healthy you life, surely will lessen your career. Then again, you make so much money that who cares.

Right now, as Euro 2012 shown, there’s hardly any meaningless matches. You have three matches in the group stage and if you lose one, you are already in trouble, which makes for an exciting tournament. Even when teams are out after two matches and we end up getting a meaningless France – Sweden, it’s still fun to see since the team going out will surely want to go out in style as Sweden did.

Eight more teams? We dont need them for now.

From the Champions League final I was lucky enough to attend.

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