confessions of a returned gaming noob

video gamesSo I spent large chunks of the weekend playing video games, putting Lego together (and then taking it apart again... and rearranging my minifigs) and watching cartoons (Futurama).

And I turn 40 in 2014...

But just getting back to video games for a second...

It's not really surprising, given my purchase on Friday, that I've kind of had video games on the brain a little bit over the last week or so. And it made me think about my general video game history.

This is the first time I've played a proper video game consol in a LOOOOONG time.

But I've had a few over the years:
  • my gaming historySuper Nintento Entertainment System
    My favourite game from that, The Secret of Mana, is now available for iPhone which is a little scary
  • Sega Game Gear
    For some reason I remember playing a Jurassic Park game amongst other things
  • PlayStation
    BlueDragon bought me that along with Final Fantasy VII when he was here
  • Game Boy Color
    Which was purple, was also bought by BlueDragon after he was back in the states and I only ever had Pokemon Yellow for it.
  • Pokemon themed Nintendo 64
    It's blue and yellow and has Pokemon on it... and the only game I owned for it was Pokemon Stadium
Of course, it you count the iPhone as a gaming device, I've been using that for the last couple of years. And then in February I downloaded Steam so I could play/experience Dear Esther... which I actually really liked.

I've never been particularly good at finishing any of the games I've had though...

I did finish The Secret of Mana back in the day, but Final Fantasy VII, The Legenda of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Pokemon: Yellow are all on my Pile Of Shame. With the former two I got right up to the final battles, but just couldn't make it through them... and my interest in Pokemon waned eventually and by the time I came back to it I couldn't remember where I was up to and couldn't be bothered starting over.

And now I have a PS3... which is so much prettier than all of them! And it sits so nicely on the shelf next to my DVD player.

Weirdly, my hands/brain remember the feel of the controller though... especially with that vibrating dual shock thing. The whole wireless controller thing is really nice too... especially when it comes to getting up mid-game to do something... I like that.

I swear there used to be something you could do on the old PlayStation that would take you back to the menu/reset the game... but I can't seem to work it out on the new one... was it Start + Select + R1 + L1?

And I also remembered really quickly that I kinda suck at the majority of action games... I'm much more of a RPG/Fighting/Puzzle kinda game person.

assassins creed brotherhoodI don't know if it's because it's the third game in the series, but I really do suck at Assassins Creed... or at least the single player campaign... I still haven't made it through the first section following the old dude through the streets... I keep getting turned around or running up walls by accident and... yeah, I suck so very hard.

Oddly, I'm doing better at the multiplayer campaign... True, I've been slaughtered a lot, and I still can't get the circle button/stun thing to do anything useful... but I enjoy the sneaking around thing and I'm starting to get the hang of other bits and pieces.

The other game that came free with the PS3, the Sonic racing game, is beyond horrible, so I don't know that I'll bother playing that ever again.

journeyOn the flip side, Journey really is an amazing game.

Not only is it exquisitely beautiful (light, design, sound, music... everything is amazing), but it's genuinely moving.

I had two "moments" the first time I played it. The first was riding on the head of a "fabric whale" around the Arabian Knights inspired chamber... I was just struck with this incredible sense of awe at what I was seeing, and doing, on screen.

And the second time was right at the very end of the game as everything started to fade to white.

But I have to say that I enjoyed my second time more than the first. Partly because I knew where I had to go and what I had to do (and the fact that I lost all of my flying ability the first time through and had to restart that level), but I also had better companions the second time around... two of whom were with me for a whole level each essentially.

It's amazing to me how quickly the single method of communication available to you becomes a language all of its own. A set of quick chirps meaning "come this way", or a set of spaced out chirps meaning "wait for me"... or just the single chirp to check in with the other player.

And dealing with other people's play styles... the first time through the snow I was with someone who didn't seem to want to collaborate and just rushed off on their own at a certain point, but the second time (partly because I knew what I was doing I guess) we stayed together much more and were both better for it.

It was funny actually... we made it all the way through that level together and started the final level together... and somehow got separated... but at a certain point I stopped at I point I knew they'd have to appear at and waited for them, chirping loudly so they might hear/see me... and I had the best sense of relief when I saw/heard a returning chirp headed in my direction.

That all ties in for how much you feel for this robed and hooded character that you play as... it has no features beyond eyes, no speech beyond the chirps... it doesn't even have any arms. But very quickly I became incredibly fond of it.

I can see myself going back again though... partially because there's one of the special symbols I still haven't been able to reach (which is either going to take cooperation with another player or some precise timing to get to)... plus there are a bunch of trophies I want to get.

portal 2Then on Monday I picked up Portal 2 (I need to check and see what other games Good Game have given 10/10 to)... and started playing it a little on Monday night, then some more last night and I'm up to Chapter 4.

Bits of it are kind of frustrating, especially when you know what you have to do but can't quite work out how to do it. Plus I hate the fucking turrets. But I will admit to a bit of a crush on GLaDOS... she's so sarcastic and insane!

Essentially, she's me if I was a homicidal computer... or possibly just if I was a computer...

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2 comments:

yogabbagabba said...

Don't always pay attention to good game, they favour games more than others, they have liked some SHI*! x

yani said...

Like I said... I just wanted to check what else they'd given 10/10 to... and given that most of the others are games that don't really appeal, it's not really an issue.

And as they say, one man's crap is another person's 10/10...

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