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The Connections We Make Through Gaming

Howdy ladies and gents, how you been doing? So with my blog post about solo gaming, I just wanted to make another video game post and see if I could start up any more discussions, and the subject matter today is making friends through gaming basically.

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So I decided to talk about this specific subject after watching Video Games: The Movie, a documentary about the history, technology and culture of the games industry. And while it skipped over a HECK of a lot of details when it came to the 90’s, Sega’s involvement in the games industry, the 8th generation of consoles, PC gaming and some of the failed gaming experiments, at the same time it did well to highlight some of the major accomplishments, failures and entertaining aspects of the industry. The one thing that it got me thinking about is the culture, how’s it changed and the bonds people make through gaming.

Now I’ve not been on this planet that long to see the crazy highs and lows of the video game industry, however, I feel like I grew up at a really great point in time. I got to experience the last moments of 16-bit gaming, got to transition into 3D games and got to experience the best days of offline gaming without heavy impact of the internet. You see I remember a time when gaming used to be shunned, if you played games you were a nerd or were considered unsociable or uncool. However these days everyone is doing it, obviously loads of things have changed since the 90’s and 80’s, but it is interesting to how people come together to game, whether it is online, offline, at conventions or tournaments. I feel like video games, more so than other forms of media, has a gravitational pull that is too strong to ignore. And it is just insane to see how many people check out gaming-based events and become friends, events like Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Pax East, Games Developers Conference, Tokyo Games Show, Evolution Championship Series (Evo) or tournaments for Counter-Strike and Starcraft, it’s like gaming events as big as the Grammy’s or Academy Awards.

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As a gamer from the 90’s I can say that some of my best friends I have made through gaming or have had play games with me for extensive periods of time. For me playing games through local multiplayer has been some of the best gaming experiences of my life. I think things really came to high playing on the Nintendo 64, on that console I spent many days playing the FPS titles GoldenEye and Perfect Dark, both titles showed just how much of a crazy person I could be with rocket launchers and proxy mines. Then there’s the first three Mario Party games caused of the best and worst experiences with my friends (we pretty much broke up all the time when shit hit the fan). And obviously there is the first Super Smash Bros. which was some of the favourite four-player action in my childhood that wasn’t related to racing or shooting games. But when it comes to the good standard multiplayer action, the Mario Kart series is where life begins and ends. Whether it was in school, college or university, that racing series has always found a way to be part of local gaming experience. I played with friends, family and people I didn’t even know, it seems to be universally something that everyone can get down with and when you’re in a room together, things can get heated, electrify and crazy. Other games I’ve played with people and had killer times with is Halo 1-3, Call of Duty: World at War, Black Ops and Modern Warfare 2 and Phantasy Star Online Episode 1 & 2.

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Another aspect of gaming that I love is the fact that you can find friends is so many unexpected ways. Like when I’ve gone to conventions and had sessions with people I didn’t know or when I came to uni and found out one of the guys in my accommodation was a hardcore gamer (heaven!) or when joined a video game society at uni and found all of these beautiful people who were just as obsessed as I was. Best times ever. The only way I haven’t found friends through gaming is online, I know it has been done before, but I’ve not really played with unknown people that much online to point where we were friends, guess I wasn’t playing the right games lol. Going back to Video Games: The Movie, it just reminded me of how unifying gaming can be with people becoming friends online or getting married thanks to video games, it just makes me think of how beautiful this form of entertainment is and how some people will never understand the fun that comes from it.

So to conclude, gaming, it a great medium for gaming. Most people that I have met are just nuts about games and they can recognise their kind straight away and like to be in each others company. In the early days some gamers stuck together just because they could only find solace with their own kind, but times have changed and most people these days just like being around people who understand them. From an outsiders point of view us gamers can be a simple bunch of people, but there is so much more to us than that. Some are fairly complex, we can shy, a bit weird or have learning difficulties, so playing games and being around gamers can be the only way we can function. And thanks to groups, tournaments, conventions and your basic local and online multiplayer games, people have and will continue to find connections through gaming.

So now things move to you, have you found friends through video games and if so was it online or offline? Also what do you think of video game culture with tournaments, conventions or marriages? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Until next time peace out people! 😀

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2015 in Life, Media, Video Games

 

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Month of Nostalgic Video Game Reviews 2 – Perfect Dark

Howdy peeps and welcome to Day #28 of Month of Nostalgic Video Game Reviews 2! This is a blog series where I review video games from my childhood. Today’s game is one that provided me with many occasions of fun and arguments with my friends, I am of course talking about Perfect Dark!

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Perfect Dark was a first-person shooter game developed by Rare for the N64 and released in 2000. This game is owned considered to be the spiritual sequel to GoldenEye 007 due to it also being developed by Rare and using a modified version of the game engine that powered GoldenEye.

Perfect Dark featured a single-player mode consisting of seventeen missions in which the player assumes the role of special agent Joanna Dark, an operative for the fictional Carrington Institute, as she attempts to stop a conspiracy by rival corporation dataDyne.

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The game was a first-person shooter game and like many games of the genre it included a range of weapons to collect, enemies to defeat and varied environments to explore. This game shared many similarities to GoldenEye 007 in the sense that the gameplay was very similar in terms of the ability to use stealth and tackle objectives that vary with the difficulty setting (in this case there were four). You have the choice to try out  a number of tutorials and training activities by exploring the Carrington Institute, which acts as the game’s central hub. The most substantial of these activities is the firing range, in which you’re proficiency with each of the game’s weapons is tested against specific targets.

The game boasted a great deal of weapons to choose from, 30 to be exact and all of them featured various individual features that were balanced but not overpowered and the weapons ranged from modern stuff to more futuristic ones.

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The game’s multiplayer mode was Combat Simulator. Game’s could be played with up to four human players and eight computer-controlled players and if more than one human was playing then the in split-screen. is used if more than one human is playing. If three or four humans play, the screen is divided into quarters, with one quarter left blank if necessary. Players enter the game unarmed and with a certain amount of health. Weapons and ammunition are scattered around the level in preset positions. Once a player is killed, they are regenerated elsewhere in the level, once again unarmed. The overall objective of the game is determined by the scenario being played.

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Ah Perfect Dark, if it wasn’t GoldenEye 007 that everyone was going on about when it comes to FPS games then it was this game instead. Perfect Dark is one of the finest FPS games of its time, everyone goes on about GoldenEye 007 like it was the only FPS on the N64, sure it changed the way we looked at FPS game and set the foundation for all games that followed it. But Perfect Dark took was good about GoldenEye and upgraded it by ten times, this was a much tighter and more layered experience. If you had a N64 it was mandatory for you to own this game and while I never owned the game myself I went over to my school mate’s house and played it all the damn time. As with most FPS games I mainly played them for the multiplayer and that’s exactly what I did with this game. OH MY GOD! Perfect Dark had one of the greatest multiplayer modes of any game I’d ever played, it was deep, customizable and fun as hell. James Bond session were good, but this was on another level! The games I had with my mates were incredible, we’d always customize things beforehand which kept matches interesting. We either played individually or in teams and if we were in teams me and my mate would always be aliens and it was just kick ass.

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These aliens were the best!

So in conclusion Perfect Dark had a great gameplay along with a fine single-player mode, an epic multiplayer and wonderful presentation. If you missed this game back in the day try and get a hold of it and play it, either on the original N64 or on Xbox Live Arcade fi you’re an Xbox 360 owner. Honestly this is a great game and you’d be foolish to miss out on this killer FPS game and this is coming from a person who really doesn’t like the genre that much.

Well there’s another game review done only 2 more to go! If you have experiences with this game or any of the following ones do comment below! I’ll see ya tomorrow with another nostalgic video game review yo! 😀

 

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Month of Nostalgic Game Reviews: GoldenEye 007

Howdy ladies and gents and welcome to Day #29 of my Month of Nostalgic Game Reviews where I’ll be giving you reviews of some of my most nostalgic video games from my childhood. And today we have one of biggest games from the 90s, one of the most talked about games in history and probably the most well-received movie-in video game of all time. Welcome to legendary game known as GoldenEye 007 for the Nintendo 64!

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Okay now we are talking big, I mean this game is one that everyone and their father knows. Obviously it’s based on the success James Bond film of the same name that came out two years before, but the game in a lot of ways is much bigger than the film. It carries its own history. And if you don’t know about the original you at least know about the remakes on the Wii, Xbox 360 and PS3 right? GoldenEye 007 for the N64 was one of the most successful games of the decade, it was critically acclaimed by many gaming publications, won several game awards and propelled developer Rare into the stratosphere. The legacy this game left behind is massive and constantly comes up in “greatest games” or “most influential games” lists. This game was and still is hot property. So what’s the deal? Well read on to find out.

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So GoldenEye 007 was a first-person shooter game developed by Rare which was exclusively released for the Nintendo 64 in the year 1997. The game was obviously based on the 1995 James Bond film GoldenEye, but featured a few variations to the story. In the single player campaign you took control of James Bond as he fights to prevent a criminal syndicate from using a satellite weapon against London to cause a global financial meltdown. The gameplay took place in a 3D free-roaming environment, and in each level you had to complete a specific task in order to advance. This could be anything from collecting or destroying specified items, or rescuing hostages, or meeting with friendly NPCs – and then exiting the stage. You also had access to a variety of weapons including pistols, throwing knives, assault rifles and grenades, there were also points where you’d be able to use certain gadgets for specific missions too.

In addition to the single player you also had a split-screen multiplayer mode in which up to four players can compete in different types of deathmatch games. The modes that could be played were as follows: Normal, You Only Live Twice, The Living Daylights (Flag Tag), The Man With the Golden Gun, and Licence to Kill. And you could also customise the choice maps, weapons and set the winning conditions too.

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GoldenEye 007 for the N64 was big deal when I was young. I don’t really recall when I first came across the game, but I remember it was through my school friend that introduced me to Bomberman 64, Snowboard Kids and Mario Kart 64 among other things. Me and my friend would normally take on the single-player campaign in turns or in co-op (I’m sure you could play the single-player in split-screen co-op). It was amazing to see all of the scenes from the film recreated in the game and I loved how diverse the gameplay was from stealth missions, to blasting stuff in a tank to the chase after Trevelyan before having to kill him off, man this game had it all. And then there was the multiplayer. MY GOD! Back in the day the multiplayer for this game was so addictive! With all four people the multiplayer just turned into chaos! And when you set the rules and set which weapons would be available for matches, then things would just turn into filthy madness! Matches with just rocket launchers was the best, that was when I developed my suicidal method of playing FPS games by running up close to people and blowing both of us up! I really liked playing this game with my friends and it was fun to pick camping spots in your favourite levels just waiting for someone to come by and then go and take them out!

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In conclusion GoldenEye 007 for the N64 was a big deal. It was the first successful movie-in video game, it also set a new standard for first-person shooter games and did I mention the fact that the game kicks ass? The game had varied and interesting gameplay, graphically it was the top dog on the N64 and the music was bloody impressive too. Many of us 90s kids lost anything from hours to days playing GoldenEye 007 either in single player or in split-screen multiplayer. If you want a game that’s the definition of classic and nostalgic that still holds up pretty well after 15 years, look no further than GoldenEye 007. It is some badass stuff, play it now if you have yet to experience this legend of a game.

Well that is video game review 29 done, tomorrow we will conclude this month of video game reviews with one of my favourite game ever. 🙂 I’m sure some of you out there must have played this game at some point back in the day so share you memories in the comment section below! And make sure to come back tomorrow for your last piece of nostalgic pie! 😀 😀

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2012 in Films, Game Reviews, Media, Reviews, Video Games

 

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