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When You Have a Gaming Addiction/Obsession

Howdy ladies and gents and welcome to another blog post. Today’s subject matter is one I wanted to write back December during the Christmas season, but I never got around to discussing it until now. Video games are one of my favourite forms of entertainment and at several points in my life I how found them consuming my life to the point of addiction and it took me til 2014 to realise that I’m totally obsessed with it all over again.

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Now gaming addiction, anyone within the gaming community knows of it and has seen what it has done to certain gamers when there is no moderation or control. And while the media have tried to understand/show what it is through the news and documentaries, it is mainly just the dark/sad side of things shown and while some of it is true, it isn’t the only form of gaming addiction. To me I think that there are different levels and types of addiction and it also doesn’t have to be so much an addiction as an obsession that just needs to be fed.

So what’s my gaming addiction? Well I think it is just the need to play games and obtain more to extend my super fun time experiences.

th1You see gaming, it makes me feel like this.^^ Milhouse knows. ūüėõ

But in all honesty my obsession comes from childhood. I’ve been gaming since around the mid to late 90’s with my Sega Mega Drive and Nintendo Game Boy Pocket, and then with my additional sessions with Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64 and Sony Playstation. From Sonic the Hedgehog to GoldenEye to Mortal Kombat, my life has been full of video games of all genres and sometimes it can just be like the best feeling ever. Just you and your games, it can be one of the most engaging experiences and people who haven’t played games can’t begin to comprehend how satisfying a good gaming session can be. But it doesn’t have to be alone, it can be done with friends and family. Besides having some of my favourite gaming memories with my friends, at the same I have shared a lot of my gaming experiences with my sister. We both played game franchises like Pokemon, Mario, Sonic, Kingdom Hearts and Zelda to name a few either together or individually. It is one of our major bonding points.

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This was pretty much me and my sister in the late 90’s to early 00’s along with the sleeping father in the background too haha. ūüôā

But growing up into my teenage years, I was able to full dive into the world of gaming and find myself getting lost in gaming for days/weeks/months/years on end. I think it was towards the end of my college years in 2010 when I started to move away from gaming and started getting more interested in films, this was mainly due to my only consoles being my Wii, PS2 and DS, so I was limited for choice when it came to new and varied games. But it wasn’t until late 2011 when there was a resurgence and again in 2013 when my gaming fire was relit. By 2014 I was back to being the gaming madman that I remembered from my youth and it was a gorgeous feeling. Going to uni definitely helped as it reminded me why I loved video games and how it really is the best thing for get together or solo activities. But what’s become clearer to me in recent years is that gaming experiences doesn’t end with one game, you need to have more. I mean sure you could play a really good game and you play it anywhere from a few days to a few years, but, once it is over you know you need to find the next best thing, whether it is the same genre or a different one. I’ve always had more than one game on the go, sometimes even leaving a game to play a new one, but the point is that I’m never locked into one game, I’m constantly looking for new experiences and that’s half the fun of gaming; find something new and becoming obsessed all over again. I even buy games when they’re on sale just because they’re games that I like or could want in the future.

Now I just want to talk about some of the games and franchises that have made me feel that insatiable need to play and find similar experiences:

Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II

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In the summer of 2004 my friend lent me this game for the Gamecube and it left the biggest impression on me. PSO Ep¬† 1 & 2 is one of those kind of games that hooks you and never let’s go. Once you get into the game mechanics you want to level grind, find better items, beat more enemies and just see how far you can get. Make no mistake the game is not easy and you’ll get beat a lot if you’re unprepared, however, even in defeat you jump back in because you want to do better and get stronger. This is one of the best RPG’s I’ve played as the combat is real-time, challenging and best experienced with others. I lost weeks of my life to this game and I am not ashamed, that was addiction.

Sonic Generations

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I’ve always loved playing Sonic games especially the games on the Mega Drive and the Adventure re-releases on the Gamecube, but it wasn’t until Generations came out in 2011 that I found that I’m still just as obsessed with Sonic games as I was as a child. Generations was the best of both worlds; the classic gameplay from the 90’s mixed with the modern speed-based gameplay from more recent games like Rush, Unleashed and Colours. I bled through the demo, bled through main game in a few hours and played so many of the stages on repeat because I loved the music, gameplay and nostalgia.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

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If you’re a regular on this blog then you would have seen my recent post on Skyward Sword, but for those who didn’t read it to put it bluntly, I really like this game. Sure it is not the best Zelda game when it comes to the difficulty, side quests and introduction to the game mechanics at the start of the game, at the same time the game was a very refreshing take on the series with motion-based combat, a different approach on dungeons and a more lively and character-based story. I think the game is charming, fun and interesting. The main things that keeps my coming back to the game is the combat, inventive boss battles, character interactions, item crafting and the presentation. I have spent an absurd amount of time just listening to the music, riding on the Loftwing and exploring the different locations below and above the clouds for treasure chests, that stuff is super addictive.

Terraria

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Before Terraria, I’d played a few games on Steam like Microsoft Flight, Super Crate Boy and Fieldrunners, but this game was the first to change my opinion on games that could be fun on PC for me personally. This game is like the 2D equivalent of Minecraft, but for me it was way more interesting for me. What I like about the game is the crafting, exploring and fighting, it is simple and yet so gratifying, plus even you really get into the game then you can get lost in it for hours and that’s happened to me on many occasions.

Pokemon series (Pokemon X & Y)

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It wasn’t until I started playing Pokemon X upon its release that I realised how closely I’ve been associated with this series since childhood. I spent the majority of my childhood and teenage years with the Pokemon series on my Game Boy Pocket, Colour and Advance. I mainly have love for the first two generations mainly because that was when the series was still new, special and crazy popular, and when you’re young, Pokemon just seemed so much more fun. Pokemon X brought me back to my childhood and gave me that same sense of discovery, mystery and fun that I felt was missing from previous entires. The graphics and music was incredible, the online features were awesome, the new region was fun and the game mechanics had changed just enough so that there was new things to experience for veteran characters. I wasted so much time listening to music and trading random Pokemon with people online, it was great while the fun lasted.

Super Smash Bros. series (3DS & Wii U games)

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Then we have the Smash Bros. series, oh how I love it. Since the first game on N64, the SSB series has become more and more dense, inventive, fun and addictive. I have to say that the peak of my SSB obsession was with Melee due to the fact that I played it for so many years before the release of Brawl and still went back to it because of the faster and more chaotic gameplay. But with the release of SSB for the 3DS it felt like I was getting back to basics with the game, having fun and beating up characters with stylish attacks. Playing Smash on the go was something I wasn’t sure that I would love but I honestly couldn’t get enough and the Wii U version is no exception. With the HD graphics and 8-player fights, stage builder and additional music, I find myself getting lost in this madness.

Fire Emblem: Awakening

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Now we move onto my most recent obsession. I first played this game in the early part of 2014 and I was addicted. Not since Pokemon X had I felt such a rush and a need to play a game nearly all of the time. I never played any FE games prior to this but since there was so much hype behind it I decided to give it a try and I can say that the hype was to be believed. This is one of the best games I have ever gotten into thanks to the game mechanics, leveling up, various weapons, character relationships and job classes. I spent 47 hours on my first playthrough, but then I had to get rid of it. However a few months ago I bought the game and fell in love with it all over again, my current playtime is around 54 hours. This game is the main reason I turn on my 3DS these days as I love to come back to the game mess around fighting the Risen or Streetpass players.

To conclude video games, they have become my jam again and while I still love my films and going to the cinema, I have really gotten back to gaming and am not satisfied with having one good experience. I need more. I’m constantly on the hunt for more games that will feed my obsession/addiction and I love it. Well that’s another blog post done, thanks for reading and I’ll catch ya later!

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Posted by on April 30, 2015 in Life, Media, Video Games

 

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Pokémon X Review

Hi people of the internet, time for me to do something I haven’t done for a while… A GAME REVIEW! AND IT’S A NEW ONE! Holy man, now don’t blow up ladies and gents, but I don’t really review any new games because I’m always broke or don’t have a console to play the games that I want. But anyway, today I want to talk about¬†Pok√©mon X, a game I wanted to play for a while and just wanted to play for the sake of nostalgia. So now that my addiction for the game has died out, I think it’s time to review the game.

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There is a story in this game and as usual its kind of linear and never really overshadows your main playing experience. You mainly run around with four friends and from time to time they’ll show up out of nowhere and interrupt your fun to battle or join you on your adventure. Your rival is especially annoying because her timing can be particularly troublesome. Outside of that you’ll have to take on your typical evil¬†Pok√©mon¬†organization and there’s some crazy backstory involving¬†Pok√©mon¬†thousands of years ago in war and death, it is kind of surprising, but if you’re like me and only play¬†Pok√©mon¬†for the gameplay then the story won’t amount too much.

When it comes to the gameplay, there is a basic mixture of old and new implemented into this game that adds some welcome changes, but at the same time has some of the series’ problems still haven’t been rectified.

Firstly let’s talk about the new gameplay features and they include:

  • You can customize your character’s appearance (clothes, accessories, skin colour etc.)
  • Certain¬†evolved¬†Pok√©mon can use Mega Evolutions that make them more powerful during battle.
  • Also introduced are Sky Battles, mid-air trainer battles that only flying Pok√©mon can participate in, and Horde Encounters, in which players must battle against multiple wild Pok√©mon at once.
  • You’ll be able to choose from one of the classic starter Pok√©mon from Red & Blue later on in the game.
  • A new type of¬†Pok√©mon is introduced in the form of¬†the Fairy-type which were added to balance the Dragon-type.
  • Then there’s¬†Pok√©mon-Amie which allows players to interact with their¬†Pok√©mon, you get to play games and give them food that strengthens bonds.
  • Super Training features various mini-games that help build the base stats of the player’s Pok√©mon, which in turn unlocks training bags that can be used by Pok√©mon to grow stronger on their own.
  • The online experience has been streamlined and made absurdly convenient, allowing for trading and battling to be done in a quick and seamless manner.

Then you have some small variations to basic rules of the Pokémon series that make the experience move a lot faster and smoother than before especially for veterans. But outside of those differences/upgrades, the core gameplay of Pokémon X is exactly the same as it was before. You still start off as a little trainer who goes off and explores the world, catches and trades Pokémon, battles other trailers, takes on 8 gym leaders, take on an evil Pokémon organization and go to the Pokémon League and take on the Elite Four.

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As a person who’ been playing¬†Pok√©mon games since the 90’s with¬†Pok√©mon Red, I have experienced¬†Pok√©mon in every form. Generation I and II were my favourites in the series, Gen III was good, but wasn’t leaps and bounds better than Gen II, Gen IV was okay, but very unremarkable and Gen V while different was not nearly as engaging or cool as previous entries. So I was SO glad that Generation VI was WAY more engaging and fun than any game I’d played in ages. I felt an immediate wave of nostalgia mixed in with whole new experiences that made me fall in love with Pok√©mon again! I liked training¬†Pok√©mon again, I loved battling and going through the Kalos Region was just a delight.

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However for all those good aspects, there are a number of issues I have. Firstly the game is a bit on the easy side and while that’s not too much of a problem at first, it became noticeable towards the end of the game when I was pretty high level and took out the Elite Four pretty easily. Secondly and this is the biggest issue for me, THE GAME LOOSES SERIOUS STEAM AFTER THE MAIN GAME IS OVER! This has been an issue for most games in the series for a while now, but other than Gold & Silver, there hasn’t been a game in the series that has had a lot of replay value outside of the main campaign. Once you beat all the gym leaders and then take out the Pok√©mon League¬†there isn’t much to do in the main campaign besides the dabble in some mundane tasks, get more Mega Stones and try out the Battle Masion. Unless you’re a completist or love battling and trading online, then this game will run out of steam very quickly.

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Presentation-wise Pok√©mon X¬†is simply insane and never has the¬†production values for a game in this series looked or sounded so good. Visually the graphics have had a major overhaul with the world and battles being completely rendered in¬†polygonal 3D graphics!¬†The world of Pok√©mon¬†has taken a MASSIVE step forward in the graphical department and I say that is ABOUT BLOODY TIME! For the longest time I have been waiting for the series stop using sprites and go full-on 3D and now it’s finally happened. Seeing all of the Pok√©mon rendered in cel-shaded 3D models in battles with specific animations really make them stand out and emulate their traits from the anime shows. Outside of battles the new overworld looks brilliant, lively and more dynamic than ever with the varied camera angles, depth of field and a great deal of scope, especially with all the different NPCs on-screen in addition to these different environments.¬†As for the audio it is pretty impressive on this side of things too. The soundtrack for this game is probably the best one I’ve heard since Ruby & Sapphire, it’s so different, realistic and upbeat, it is just a song for every scenario. My personal favourites would be the battle theme,¬†Professor Sycamore’s theme and the gym leader music (which is totally badass). I think my only issue with the audio is the fact that not all of the¬†Pok√©mon¬†have voices like the anime and still rely on those terribly outdated sound effects (well, besides Pikachu).

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In conclusion¬†Pok√©mon X is one of the best experiences I have had with this series in a long time. For the first time in ages there actually feels like there’s some actual change, innovation and rectifications to the franchise that it so badly needed. The fancy new graphics, refined gameplay and killer online features make it one of the most addictive games for a while. That being said, this game still lacks a good offline mode once the main quest is finished and unless you’re in love with trading and battling the fun factor runs out very quickly. When all is said and done¬†Pok√©mon X is still a great game for newbies and a fun time for veterans too.

Rating: 8/10 (It may be easy and lacking in offline department, but there’s enough new features to make it a game worth playing)

So have you played Pok√©mon X & Y? And if you have, tell me what you think of Generation VI as a whole, was it everything you hoped it would be or did you want more? Whatever your thoughts drop them in comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review yo! ūüėÄ

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2013 in Game Reviews, Media, Reviews, Video Games

 

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Pok√©mon X has taken over my life!

Hi ladies and gents, just thought I’d do a quick blog post about my current status in the world of life and all that jazz. Basically I was meant to go to the cinema recently but because a little pair of new games by the names of¬†Pok√©mon X and Y was released my time has been eaten up completely.

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Never thought a Pokemon game would get a would have my life again like this one has.

So yeah I’m back on the Pokemon hype. I have technically played at least one game from each generation of games right from the start of those pixelated games on the Game Boy back in the 90’s. In recent years the games haven’t been on my radar because there’s been a severe lack of innovation and no hook or addictive nature that the older games had. Both Diamond and Pearl and Black and White failed to do anything for me, but then comes X and Y which really has gone above and beyond to change the basic conventions of the series and it has done so very well.

The differences from the older games to this new game is insane! Just the small things from character customization to the cel-shaded 3D graphics in and out of battle to the new online features that make connecting with other trainers SO much better than before… My god the initial hours of this game have been some of the most addictive stuff ever. Me and my mate Craig got the game on Friday and was have the best times ever just talking about the new stuff and trading Pokemon.

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This was me and my mate right after we got our copies of the game. Such a happy moment!

I’ve been playing Pokemon X for two days now and I’ve been having a great session with it so far, but I’ve already fallen behind loads of other people who got the game when I did. My house mate had already gotten his mega evolution for his Blastoise and I’m sure there’s bare many people with stupid amounts of free time. I’m gonna fall so far behind yo. That being said I’m not in the mood to get into competitions with people, especially not when it comes to Pokemon. It’s just not my style. But all I know is that this’ll take up a lot of my free time so I’ll be a little late when it comes to reviewing, so sorry in advance.

But when it comes to Pokemon X¬†I’m gonna be having a great session and I’ll take my damn time! ūüėÄ

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2013 in Life, Media, Video Games

 

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Nintendo Direct E3 2013 Round-Up

Oh man, I wasn’t sure what to expect today from Nintendo’s E3 Direct video, but what we were given was surprising, interesting and frigging mint. Some elements were just throwaway bits and bobs but for the most part it was a huge improvement over last year and it has definitely got me hyped for the future. So let’s start talking about the games yo!

Pokemon X and Y

The latest Pokemon is looking good and we’ve found out the game will be released on October 12th of this year. The new features we learnt about in the game include the new Fairy Pokemon type which is effective against dragon types and includes new Evee evolution Sylveon. Another feature that was showed off was a virtual pet feature known as ‚ÄúPokemon-Amie‚ÄĚ that allowed you take care of your Pokemon. All in all the game still looks awesome, probably will get it when it comes out.

Super Mario 3D World

Now this was a nice little surprise. In this new game we have not only Mario, but Luigi, Peach and Toad, the game can support up to four player simultaneously and each of the characters have different traits that make them unique. The latest new Mario game takes inspiration from Mario 3D Land and Super Mario Bros. 2, and there are other neat references from previous games in the series too. But the main cool new feature is the Cat Suit that allows you to climbs up walls and pounce on enemies. The game basically looks great in HD and looks like it could be a fine Mario game.

Mario Kart 8

When I saw this I noticed the improved graphics but then was like meh. But then I saw watched the rest of the video and I then I got interested. In this game we have hover karts and tracks that use anti gravity that means you can race all over the place, even upside down! While I’m not as in love with the Mario Kart series as I was a few years ago I’ll gladly check this game out when it eventually launches.

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD

This game basically looks awesome in HD, the new make over makes for a much more beautiful game with better textures and facial expressions. The new features being added to the game is the ability to speed your boat up while travelling (thank god) and the Tingle Tuner¬†returns but this time players will also be able to post messages to Miiverse, which exist within the game world as notes in a bottle. Notes will then wash ashore in other players’ games. Overall the game looks awesome and I can’t wait to touch it in October.

The Wonderful 101

This game just looks like chaos and that’s something I like. The only new feature announced about the¬†game is the fact that it will now support up to five players locally in a co-op mode. I was proper hyped about the game a few months ago but now I’m not too sure that this is a game for me, either way I’m glad to see something different in Nintendo’s line-up of games.

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

It seems like Retro Studio’s new game is apparently another Donkey Kong title and to be honest that kind of caught me by surprise. The game looks awesome though, the HD graphics look incredible and al the new camera angles look fab and that fact that Dixie Kong is returning is nice for nostalgic purposes.

Bayonetta 2

This game looks like a over-the-top¬†action hack-and-slash kind of game in the vein of Devil May Cry. Bayonetta herself is rocking a new haircut and costume, but is still sexy as hell. The gameplay, style and adult nature of the game still looks intact so I’m happy with what I’m seeing.

Super Smash Bros.

Jesus Christ! Nintendo saved the best for last and took me by surprise with this video. Basically what we see here is the Smash Bros. 4 for the 3DS and Wii U. The 3DS version looks nice with its little cel-shaded graphics and what not, but the Wii U version looks¬†GODLY with some very clean and sexy graphics.¬†It also looks like all the basic game mechanics are the same and the gameplay looks as hectic as ever, but the new additions make the game all the sweeter. Having The Villager from Animal Crossing was the most random thing ever but at the same time its great because his unnatural moveset… But then the new challenger approached and holy fuck it was frigging Mega Man. FRIGGING MEGA MAN! WINNING! He seems to retain a lot of his classic traits from his old school games including his dog, Rush. This was the best thing ever and it made the whole Direct video worth it.

So to conclude while I didn’t get any F-Zero or Star Fox (AGAIN), I am pretty impressed with Nintendo’s presentation though I hope they have much more to offer over the next two days.

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2013 in Media, Reviews, Video Games

 

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Pokemon X and Y Announced For 3DS Out In October 2013! With Awesome New Tailer!

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Well this was a nice surprise to wake up to. I knew that there was going to be some big news for the Pokemon series announced this week, but to find out that it was a new Pokemon game for the 3DS, that was in full 3D and that it was also going to be out by October this year? Cool. While I wasn’t fussed about the whole Black and White series, I decided to wait for the next set of games that would show up for the 3DS… Then today I saw the announcement trailer and I basically blew up! Just check it out below:

Damn. All I can say it’s about time. Pokemon has needed to make that graphical leap from 2D to 3D for quite some time and the end result in this video looks incredible! I mean this is the exact style which I thought the game would take; taking on the new 3D graphics but with the 2D look still intact similar to cel-shaded visuals. If I had to compare this new look to other games of a similar style to Dragon Quest IX and Golden Sun: Dark Dawn for the DS where the 3D visuals are dominant but still have the 2D elements still there too. Pokemon X and Y seems like it has a lot of the 3D visuals that were implemented in Black and White when you’re running around in the overworld, but now it’s all 3D, colourful, dynamic and fresh.

The changes in camera angles and the way that you move throughout the worlds looks even fancier than before. And then the in-game battles… HOLY CHRIST WHAT AN UPGRADE! Visually the Pokemon characters look classically 2D but are not in full 3D sporting even more animation and style than before. Even the environments look vivid and support and dynamic camera that follows the action. There are all of these new and fancy animations like Pokemon land on the ground grass appears beneath them, Pokemon attacks are now in 3D too, Pokemon also move when it comes to physical attacks and support damage animations when getting hit (like in Pokemon Stadium and Pokemon Battle Revolution).

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Here are our three new starter Pokemon in the form of Chespin, Froakie and Fennekin.

Along with the trailer Nintendo announced that Pokemon X and Pokemon Y would be launched together exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS. Well since this game is coming in October that means the game must have been in development for quite some time, Nintendo and Game Freak are always working on new Pokemon games releasing them annually and while I wasn’t fussed about Black and White, but still want to try out Black and White Version 2, Pokemon X and Y could be some interesting stuff. While there’s no word on whether the game mechanics have upgraded or changed, al I know is that October 2013 will be an important point in the year for us gamers yo!

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2013 in Media, Video Games

 

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