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The Importance of the Solo Gaming Experience

Howdy ladies and gents and welcome to another blog post from your online friend, the Hypersonic55! Today I wish to talk about something that’s been on my mind for a few days now and that is the importance of the solo video game experience.

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Now in recent times my sister has started playing Kingdom Hearts again (Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix to be exact) and it’s fun to watch her play and I would like to join in but I know I can’t because it is her game. KH is her game series and while I’ve helped on occasions, this has been HER thing and I know if I jumped in to progress the game she’d be pissed. Much like I would be if she impeded on my Zelda gaming. The thing about us is that since video games were introduced into our household my sister and I shared our games. Sure there were certain games that were exclusive to each of us, but a lot of games we shared like Streets of Rage, Super Mario Sunshine, Sonic Adventure 2: Battle and the Super Smash Bros. series among others. But what has become apparent is when I went to university, people asked me about the games I’ve played and I told which ones I’d played, but when we talked about certain games and specific things like completion, I realised that I hadn’t finished these games or experienced them for myself properly because I’d only played part of the adventure and my sister or friend had done the rest.

Now don’t misunderstand me, I LOVE playing video games with not only my sister, but my friends and people I don’t know in general. These days there’s barely any games that exist without a multiplayer component, especially when it comes to online gaming. That being said, there are those who still appreciate a solid solo gaming experience with a good main campaign, and I am one of those people.

The reason I like playing games on my own is because you get to experience the game in its fullest capacity. You get to take in the story, check out every inch of the gameplay, find out the secrets and see if what the replay value is like. With platforming games like the Sonic the Hedgehog, Super Mario or Mega Man series, it is fine to play the whole way through or just come back to in short bursts. The rules apply to racing and fighting games. But when it comes to game genres like adventure and RPG with story elements, that’s when it becomes a different kind of experience to other genres. The Legend of Zelda series is one that really requires just one gamer because most games don’t have multiplayer elements incorporated. Sharing my early years of Wind Waker with my sister was fun for sure, but these days I feel like I missed out on so much by taking it in turns to play the game. That’s why I had so much fun playing games like The Minish Cap, A Link Between Worlds and more recently Skyward Sword. RPGs especially are all about story and solo gaming and none of those games would be a complete experience if you switched between you and another player. RPGs require strategy, concentration and determination to solve puzzles, fight bosses, use items effectively and find secrets, etc. Playing games like Final Fantasy IV, Golden Sun, Fire Emblem: Awakening or the various generations of Pokemon would not be the same if I gave the games to someone else to play with me. Even some of the 3D Sonic the Hedgehog games would not have the same level of satisfaction if I had shared it with other people, playing through Sonic 4: Episode 1, Adventure 2: Battle, Colours and Generations on my own was great experiences.

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When you share a solo-based game with someone else, some of the game’s experiences aren’t your own and while it may not matter to some; playing games to completion on your own is a big deal and some consider your game experiences hampered by playing it with other people. There is just something super satisfying with playing games on your own and experiencing everything that game has to offer for yourself without the aid or the distraction of others. These days I take my solo gaming quite seriously and try to take on most games when I can.

So going back to the Kingdom Hearts series, seeing my sister go through Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix has been fun, but at the same time has been very saddening as I would love to have played it all myself, but I can’t, because this is her game series, it is her experience and all I can do is occasionally level grind, and that sucks. I adore this game series, I love the gameplay, characters, replay value and story (though it is complicated and messy as hell), however, I’ve barely played any of the games myself. I’ve played good portions of KH1 & 2, but I still have tried the Birth By Sleep, Chain of Memories, Coded or Dream Drop Distance. The only game in the series I’ve played is 358/2 Days, the game that’s regarded as the worst in the series and I only got to play this because it was exclusive to the Nintendo DS. Most people despise that DS entry, but I quite liked it, 358/2 Days felt like a simplified version of the first game with a different kind of progression and levelling up system. Some of the portable games I should be able to play for myself, however I fear that when Kingdom Hearts 3 comes out I’ll probably not get to play that to the degree that I want unless I get a copy for myself or create a separate save file.

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Anyway to conclude I just wanted to point out that gaming, as fun as it is to play with others, I still value the solo gaming experience and would like to make sure that I get around to playing as many solo games as possible without having to share some of these experience with my sister.

So what do you think of this post? Do you agree that solo games should just be experienced by one person or could those games be shared with other people and still be a rewarding experience? I would love to read your thoughts below. Until next time, laters! 🙂

 
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Posted by on March 8, 2015 in Life, Media, Video Games

 

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Games I’m Looking Forward to in 2012: Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance

Now out of all of the games I am looking forward to, this happens to be one of, if not the highest in my list. I have been following the Kingdom Hearts series for years and while I haven’t played all of the games due to console availability and lack of funds I can honestly say that I have emotionally invested my time in this series. While my sister is actually the primary player of the games, I have played my fair amount too. Playing the games in a weird order me and my sister started when I bought Kingdom Hearts II, then went back to the first Kingdom Hearts and then in 2010 I played through 358/2 Days on the DS. The games I have missed out on are Chain of Memories (or the remake on the PS2), Birth By Sleep & the remake of coded (Re:coded). So I have missed a few, though again if I could afford all video game consoles and games I wouldn’t have this problem lol. But now we’re going off topic. The reason I made this blog is because I’m totally hyped for Dream Drop Distance.

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When it was announced that this would be a continuation in the series rather than another prequel or bridge between KH1 & 2 I was extremely excited. Finally getting a continuation in the series after so much backtracking is very exciting and makes you ask so many questions as to where the series is going to go with the story and main characters Sora, Riku & Kairi along with all the other Disney characters. And while this new game isn’t quite Kingdom Hearts 3, I wouldn’t expect it to be announced so soon, so Kingdom Hearts for the 3DS is better than nothing, plus with KH3DS tieing into KH3 it makes the new game even more intriguing to play.

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I’ve been following this game for a long time so whenever new screenshots or trailers were released I was super hyped. I think the first debut trailer for KH3DS came out just over a year ago back in January 2011 and left us wanting more for ages. Then some way down the line in 2011 the first gameplay videos showed up showcasing Sora and Riku’s individual fight styles against the new enemies known as Dream Eaters as well as showing off new attacks and stuff of that nature. Then in September 2011 when the Tokyo Game Show came around we got a new cinematic trailer and some gameplay footage that was streamed from the TGS too and the excitement grew. With that trailer we got see so many new gameplay elements like Sora’s ability to bounce from wall to wall, swing on lamp posts or glide on railings and his ability to ride the fat dog-like creatures and use them against other enemies. While on Riku’s side of things he has an ability to charge at enemies while flying (or at least not being on the ground) and deliver some pain. We also saw the confirmation of the new world from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. We also saw something that looked like augmented reality with those Dream Eaters possibly with those AR Cards that’s been used on other games with the 3DS. But the best part was the appearance of Neku from the game The World Ends With You, I was like “Okay this game just got absurdly better just from that one scene!” We also got a little bit of info about the plot of the game too.

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But don’t think it was until just a little while when the 8 minute Jump Fiesta trailer showed up and showcased of the best things about the game so far. So far this game looks really interesting especially from a story standpoint, the new worlds that you’ll be able explore look great, with the world from The Hunchback of Notre Dame already confirmed we were treated to additional worlds rom the films Pinocchio, Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers, Fantasia and very interestingly the digital world of Tron: Legacy. Seeing all of those cut scenes play out looks great especially the recreations from The Hunchback of Notre Dame and of the scenes from Tron: Legacy look pretty epic. The characters all look pretty interesting, we have a lot of returning cast members like our main people Sora, Donald, Goofy & Mickey, along with old enemies like Master Xehanort, Vanitas, Maleficent and Pete. But then there are new appearances from the cast of The World Ends With You and there’s also new faces that comes with new Disney worlds too, one part that stands out for me is the scene where Axel makes an appearance nad I was like “Woah! Holy cow!” Was the most amazing I saw and I got so hyped, obviously if you played KH2 then you know what happened to him, so I’m glad to see him make another appearance in a new KH game.

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There is a lot going on in the world of Kingdom Hearts, it happens to have one of the most intricate storylines set over several games I have ever come across. I have only played 3 of the 6 games out because I’m not one of those rich people who can afford to have multiple consoles to play each new game on, so my knowledge is still fairly fuzzy on this game series, but thanks to Wikipedia and the info my friend gave me I’m filling in holes. Luckily for me KH3DS is coming to a console I should be able to afford and play this year. I’m really excited for this game and I want to play it now, but going from the history of the KH series this game will probably show up in November for Europe and the United States. I just hope when it comes out in March in Japan Famitsu gives the game a great review so it’ll be good indication of what to expect when we obtain the game on western shores.

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2012 in Media, Video Games

 

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