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10:55 AM on 04.11.2010

E for Effort: Borderlands

Last summer was depressing. I had spent most of my time concealed in my bedroom whilst the sun blarred outside from behind my torn blinds. I have never been a very popular chap and the people that I did have and were interested in spending time with were usually 'busy' or sometimes simply content with lounging around in a state that i was involuntarily forced into. But rather than take the initiative and journey into the radiant weather that waited just beyond the walls of my cave I stayed indoors and browsed the internet on the Wii, yes the Wii, or just watched my holiday melt away in front of the Xbox and television screen. But then I discovered Destructoid.

After a while of 'lurking' around this excelent site I noticed a considerable amount of hype for a game I'd never heard of before, 'Borderlands', it looked absolutely mind-blowing when I witnessed the newest trailer released. To this date the trailer is my all time favourite videogame trailer, it was so well made. It featured a brilliant backing song that blended superbly with the gameplay, the tounge-in-cheek captions that represented blood splattering really set the tone for me. To me it looked like a light-hearted version of Fallout 3, for which I had recently completed a numerous playthrough, but with everything I had wished for out of a videogame. It had seemingly endless variation, vehicles, 4 player cooperative and a magnificent art style. This game had given me a reason to look forward to anything, as pathetic as that may sound, it had given me a reason to forget about the crushing loneliness I was experiencing.


I got so hyped for this game that once it was time to return to school I made it my personal mission to gather as many potential players as possible for that oh-so promising co-operative gameplay. I succeded in gathering a plentiful amount of comrades and the dream grow closer. I even purchased 2 special edition magazines featuring special gifts including posters and booklets. During the time of release, the Royal Mail were experiencing nationwide strikes and this began to worry me, in my anxiety to play the game I opted for a express delivery at a slight extra charge.

When the package arrived I was delighted to find a metallic-looking card sleeve house the box. I wasted no time in booting it up, but let me tell you this, the main menu is the perfect foregrounding for how this game was one of the biggest disapointments in my history of games. When you load it up you're greeted by the menu set in a desolate wasteland where depressing, droney music plays in the background. It makes you feel like you're in some kind of endless void. I begin a new character and I'm greeted with a background story of the planet and your objective, ok fair enough, but then it progresses into a cutscene with a cool little song and a bit of humour, that's more like it. After that you get off the bus you were riding and step into that same blank, boring, dull, depressing void and you never leave it. No matter what the game throws at you it feels exactly the same. The whole game I felt I was just holding down fire for at least half a minute at everything. There was literally no thought process, no strategy, just shoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooot. I might as well have been holding down a key on a keyboard.

The game is by no means bad, but it isn't good either. It's feels like changing the TV channel most the time, but the constant 'grinding' of the game does feel rewarding on occasion and there's always a warm feeling to progressing in a game with friends so it does have it's charms. But I was naive enough to expect a spectacular once in a lifetime experience.

Looking back at it now I feel almost embarrassed that I made such a spectacle out of it.   read

6:38 PM on 04.09.2010

I've just seen the most surreal ad.

Oh dear what have they done this time?
I don't even know what to say, partially as I'm exhausted, but it's so weird.
It's so unusual for me to catch a game ad on TV and to see this it's just, frickin' stupid.

So many questions!
Why is there some lonely old man comenting on a videogame as if it's some it's some national endemic? Who the hell would be filming this man? Why is there so much bloody inuendo for a shooter? Is it supposed to be an impetus ad vehicle or is it a frickin' joke?
This man is treating it as it's some worldwide furore.
Yeah, I know it's supposed to be funny, but for some reason it's just enraged me to some bitter shell and I, for some reason, have to tell this.   read

6:38 PM on 04.06.2010

Small hello.

Hello there Dtoid chaps.
For almost a year I have been 'lurking' around Dtoid with little more than a comment or two, but now I'd like to contribute to this wonderful comunity that has kept me informed and entertained for some time now as today I purchased my first laptop. Until now I had been using my PSP and various other forms of net browsing to get my gaming news fix.
Some of you may have read my short blog on a monthly musing a couple months back, that was my first blog and to my dissapointment was cast aside with haste, but I want to lodge my foot in the door and perhaps I can repay Destructoid for the good times it has given me.

A little about myself: Well my name is Jack and I live in Brighton, UK. I have been gaming ever since I was three. My interests vary from time to time, but to pin-point a few; music (particularly early metal, psychadelic rock, alternative, and I don't give a crap about most modern crazes such as RNB), nature, science, technology, writing, philosophy, and playing the guitar.

I hope to write some blogs soon, but for now it's one in the morning and I'm off to bed.

Gd'night everbody.


9:58 AM on 02.21.2010

My expertise: Single player

Back in the 90's I was growing up around two of the best commodities a kid could have hoped for, the Megadrive (Genesis in America) and the Nintendo 64. Although the technology was so simple and the graphics so primative, they managed to convey a magical adventure to me as a child was it the epic scene in Ocarina of Time where Ganondorf is first introduced or finally gaining that last hyper emerald in Sonic 3 & Knuckles. It was perfect and I would play the same games over and over for years to come.

Multiplayer was in an entirely different league than it is today with the rise of the internet. Now you can load up your console or PC and jump straight into a huge brawl, whilst when I was growing up I spent my whole week exciting over the prospect of playing Goldeneye four player with my older brothers's friends on an enormous 18' television screen.

I'm good at videogames, damn good. I can beat them on their hardest difficulty and I'll keep playing them over and over again, you see, I learn the game as if it's just another school subject. I know the map in GTA: San Andreas like the back of my hand and I like that, I enjoy beating the game at 100%. Some might say that I obsess over a game from time to time. Before everyone had the internet my friends would ask me how to beat a puzzle in Zelda or how to get that gold gem in Mischief Makers placed on a obnoxiously high platform.

There's this strange sensation I get from sitting alone, rain outside, heating up. It's cosy. It's nostalgic. It's just you and the game, no "FlyiNgFUcKfaCe1337 is online" notification.
Only two games have managed to give me this feeling in the last few years, Brutal legend and Darksiders, these games are doing it right. No single player for afterthought like the majority of recent popular games like call of duty or gears of war. Proper naratives to really imerse you into these games, just little things can really improve the experience like, I dunno, a charismatic villain with a English accent, yeah something like that.

Something else that really bothers me are achievements or trophies, whatever, they piss me off, why?
Well for starters, going back to my point of liking to get 100% in my games, there aren't enough to truly be 'achievements'. I can't help it because most of my friends play xbox and see achievements as the only way to really progress in games. Like a leach the xbox parasite has latched itself onto the gaming community. I miss the days of Timesplitters 2 where there was a page containg thousands of challanges to complete not to mention the huge amount of characters to unlock. Perhaps just as bad is when an obnoxious "Achievement unlocked" pop-up appears during a dramatic scene completely shattering the moment.

Argh! Achievements you've runined me for ever. (You too trophies)

Sorry, this kind of devolved into a rant.   read

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