I'm currently 25 years old. I like video games, music, podcasts and tend to dream a lot, which means I don't get much done apart from the things that are absolutely necessary. I do have a job though, so that's something.
Hi! I do not know if I mentioned this before, but I basically donít know anyone in real life that talks about video games so I felt like writing a blogpost about the games I have played recently.
Tales of Eternia (PSP)
This is the first game I bought for my PSP and Iím glad I picked it up. It has a nice story, beautiful graphics, a great soundtrack and a rather unique combat system. It is very long though, like most RPGs. Iíve put in about 50 hours so far and Iím not done yet. It certainly provides a lot of value for money that way, but I prefer it when games are shorter because I only have a limited amount of time to play. Despite that fact, Iím determined to see it through to the end because I absolutely love the magical 2D world they created for this game.
Assassinís Creed (PSP)
I had a lot fun with the first Assassinís Creed game on the XBOX 360. The second one was ok but didnít really entice to buy more of them. I was however very curious to see what the PSP game is like and I must say that I am impressed by the technology. They managed to recreate the basic atmosphere of the XBOX game on this handheld device. The core gameplay is familiar, but a lot easier and smaller in scope than the first game. Although it is enjoyable, it feels more like `A Sequence Of Rather Aimless Murders` then `Assassinís Creed` as defined by the first game.
Loco Roco (PSP)
Alright so this is where itís at. A wacky 2D platform game starring tiny singing colored blobs with a mission. Since you basically only use the triggers to control the game, I feared the level of engagement would be rather low, but that is not the case. Thus far everyone who has seen me play the game disliked it, but I would recommend trying it anyway.
I remember reading a preview about this game in a magazine many years ago and I also remember being disappointed when it did not get released on the GameCube (and PS2 in fact). I never forgot about it and recently had the urge to try the game so I ordered it on Amazon.co.uk for a whopping 0,01 GBP. Add 4 GBP of shipping to that and you still have a very cheap game :-)
Galleon is an action/adventure game about a classy pirate and takes place in world where magic exists. It is designed by the guy who came with the concept for Tomb Raider if I understood correctly. The art style and character animation are striking and look amazing. I am playing on an SDTV though, it will probably look shitty on a HDTV just like all old games. Right now Iím about half way through and I will definitely finish it.
So, what do you think about these games? If you have any recommendations based on these titles, please let me know.
Iíve enjoyed consoles for many years now, but when it comes to the new batch ( Wii U, PS4 and the new XBOX ) Iím not really feeling it anymore. My main reasons are
-Iím on my 4th XBOX 360
-I have bought more than one console specifically for games that never got released
-Iím intrigued by digital purchases but price, service and quantity and future-proof support is quite poor on consoles
There are still a lot of current generation games on my wish list for the consoles I already own, but I will most likely shift towards a PC by next year. The only thing that would stop me from doing so is being forced to break up my digital collection between several providers in order to play all the games I want. If it turns out all major publishers will force me to install their specific software suites, I will not make the jump and clear my entire wish list before buying new hardware because itís the games I love and not the hardware.
This weekend I spent some time on investigating what kind of PC I would buy to use as a game platform / media center. It has to fit he following requirements
-Small case, I do not want to put a tower next to the television.
-Low power consumption (Yes, Iím one of those people).
-Run most current games in 1080p at 30 fps using relatively high settings.
-Relatively low cost (around 500 Euro)
Iím not looking for ultimate performance here, just something that is significantly more powerful than 360/PS3 so it can keep up for a while. As time goes by resolution and settings can be dropped down on newer titles. As far as I know, most 360 games run at resolutions below 720p and hover around 30 fps.
Games are usually benchmarked using incredibly taxing settings. Cheaper graphics cards or processors may seem worthless in such benchmarks, but in fact you can get really good performance out of them by dropping the settings just a little bit. For me that is just fine, and the graphics will still be far superior to those of 360/PS3 on a technical level. If you are someone that wants absolute top of the line performance, this build is not really meant for you.
Case (includes 200W PSU) - In-win BP655 - 53 Euro I found a very interesting cheap mini ITX case from in-win. It has room for a standard sized hard drive and optical drive, one low profile expansion slot and a 200W internal power supply, which is sufficient for this build.
CPU ( Cooler Included ) - Intelģ Coreô i3-3220T - 114 Euro AMD offers very interesting APUís, but I would like even more graphics power than they provide which means Iím not limited to choosing a CPU with powerful integrated graphics. And that is where Intel comes in. They provide processors that deliver great performance and draw little power. I chose a T variant of the last i3 generation. This CPU has a maximum power draw of 35W, which is really good for the performance and features it delivers. As opposed to the cheaper Pentium branded chips based on this technology iteration, hyper threading is present in this dual core chip. It also has integrated graphics but those are not adequate for demanding polygonal games.
Motherboard - B75M-ITX - 75 Euro These days it is possible to find mini ITX motherboards for basically any socket and budget, which is great! I chose a fairly basic board from ASRock that provides a PCI-e slot, two RAM slots and supports USB3.
RAM - Kingston HyperX red KHX16C9B1RK2/8X - 50 Euro I decided to go with a pair of 4GB sticks from Kingston running at 1600MHz and made sure their latency is not the worst. Iím sure there is faster RAM out there, but this seems like good value for money.
HDD - Western Digital WD10EZRX - 62 Euro SSDís are nice, but expensive per GB and games take up a lot of space so I decided to stick to a traditional 1TB SATA HDD. I donít think it matters too much which one you pick, but I went for a low power model from Western Digital. I uses about half the power of a normal drive under load.
Optical - Liteon iHOS104 - 51 Euro Since this PC is meant to be hooked up to a TV, I might as well throw in a Blue-ray player.
Graphics - SAPPHIRE HD 7750 1GB GDDR5 LOW PROFILE - 105 Euro Now this is where it gets tricky. We are working with a very small case, having only one low profile expansion slot and a 200W power supply. It may seem impossible to get some decent graphics going, but Sapphire has a solution. They sell a low profile version of the Radeon 7750! This is possible because AMD did such an amazing job with this chipset. It only draws 55W under full load. Considering the performance it delivers, that is amazing. It also offers huge over clocking potential, but considering the small space and lightweight PSU, I wouldnít do that in this particular case. Donít be fooled by its appearance, graphics cards do not need lots of colored plastic and badass words on them to perform well.
Input - Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard k400 - 40 Euro Ok, Steamís big picture mode works fine with a controller, but I want to be able to navigate every type of application, should the need arise. A wireless keyboard with touchpad seems perfect for this specific use.
Totals Total price : 552 Euro, would be roughly the same amount in USD I guess.
Total peak power consumption: 138W
Variations As you can see it is perfectly possible to build a cheap, small PC that is capable of HD gaming while working within a very reasonable power envelope. Keep in mind the 138W is applicable when all components are under full load. It will consume drastically less power in most scenarioís. This proves the 200W power supply is a valid choice in this case.
If youíd like to kick it up a notch (BAM!), Iíd advise getting the amazing Bitfenix Prodigy case, dropping the low power CPU, getting a normal power supply and topping it of with a radeon 7850. That will add about 130 Euro to the total but perform significantly better. If you donít mind the power consumption, the performance gained from spending a bit more is absolutely worth it.
The last meaningful upgrades would be a i5 CPU and a SSD drive, which will increase the cost by another 150 Euro. Personally I consider components that are even more powerful to be a waste of money because at a certain point you start paying loads more for stuff that is only slightly faster.
Those who want to go even cheaper than the base configuration, could drop the Blu-ray drive and get a Pentium branded CPU like the G630T. That will save you about 80 Euro.
As far as the operating system goes, I personally feel Windows is still the way to go for PC gaming because only a fraction of the games available support other platforms.
By the time I finally get around to building a PC, this document will most likely be out-dated but I had fun working through this. Iím interested to see what other people think about this build since it is so specific.
This year, I want to experience the PSP and play as many different games as I can on it. Hence, 2013 shall be the year of the PSPÖ.well for me anyway. I intend to write a blogpost about every PSP game I play and hopefully get some interesting conversation going that way.
Introduction Back when Crash became popular on the PS1 I was at Nintendo kid. Although I would not have admitted it at the time, I always thought Crash Bandicoot was a cool game. Now that I'm over three times older then I was when Crash Bandicoot released and I no longer feel the need to swear alligiance to one particular maker of plastic boxes - cubed or otherwise - I can play Crash Bandicoot without feeling like a traitor.
Game concept Crash of the Titans is a polygonal 3rd person platforming game in which you progress through rather linear levels.
Evil mutants of different sizes will get in your way. Once such a mutant has been knocked out, you can take control over it and 'work your way up the food chain'.
Good and bad aspects The platforming sections are enjoyable and are what drew me to Crash in the first place. The only thing that annoyed me from time to time is that Crash lacks a shadow. I don't really care about the aesthetic aspect, but it can be hard to judge jumps when there is no shadow to indicate if it's safe to land.
Fighting a mutant, taking control of it and checking out it's different abilities can be fun, but it is overused in my opinion. Certain levels are all about fighting enemies and hardly about platforming, which is a shame.
The graphics look good on a technical level and I like most of the characters. There can be some slow down, but nothing major in my experience. From time to time the dialogue is a bit funny which is nice.
Conclusion It's ok, but for some reason I feel like the original Crash Bandicoot was more fun...
I'm always hopelessly behind when it comes to playing the latest games. I very rarely buy a new release. It's not that I don't want to play new games, but I have such a huge list of games that I still want to buy and play that it does not make sense to go out and buy the very latest, most expensive ones. If you are interested, you can check out this google doc that contains all the games I want to buy and play some day.
Last year, I heard Sony would replace the existing PSP by a newer, less capable version. Which meant that if I was ever going to buy a PSP, I had to buy one before they got replaced. I ended up buying a new black PSP type 3004 for 75 EUR, which is a great find considering the latest, inferior version was priced at 99 EUR. Over the past couple months I spent some free time on researching PSP games because apart from LocoRoco I basically had no clue about the PSP game library.
During the active years of the PSP I always heard it was a failed system, but from my current perspective that is not true. To me, the hardware itself feels like a natural evolution of the original GBA (which I loved) and the game library is expansive, varied, interesting and mostly dirt cheap. So this year, I want to experience the PSP and play as many different games as I can on it. Hence, 2013 shall the year of the PSPÖ.well for me anyway.
I intend to write a blogpost about every PSP game I play this year and hopefully get some interesting conversation going that way. Although I don't know exactly how I'm going to tackle writing about them just yet, it will not be a review. Finishing a game takes time so I won't be posting about a new game every day.
If you think there is a game I should absolutely play, please tell me and I will add it to my list if it is not already on there.
This started out as a comment on a blogpost by PhilKenSebben, but it became so big I decided to post it as a blog.
I don't know exactly how it is decided what the main character in a video game will be, but the result is indeed often very unimaginative. Settings are often exotic, but the player character usually isn't. Instead they find a reason to get an old world deserter to travel to said location and - at best - be presented in such a way that he appears at least vastly superior to the natives. An explorer, an adventurer, a colonist or mass murderer of both beast and man? Hard to tell.
I imagine people working on big budget games are told what the character should look like based on 'data'. It saddens me to a degree, but it goes far beyond games of course. Personally I don't get why things like skin color, same sex marriage, religion, gender,... are (still) such a point of discussion. You'd think the world would have passed that stage by now, but no.
For some reason I feel like this is a somewhat cyclical thing. Past civilizations and still existing, perhaps semi-isolated cultures have different views on those things, but there is probably not one in which discrimination, for whatever reason, does not exist.
I think it all comes from people's drive to be the superior one. The ubermensch, yes. Although one might not have an inherent problem with others doing something different, looking different etc...they look for the differences and attack those that are different to be able to form (closed) groups in which they tell each other they are right or better. Gender, religion, skin color,...motorcycle brand preference, anything will do to feel superior. That same drive is probably what got the human race where it is now, bringing along good things and plenty of horrible things as well.
I takes a lot reflection to find joy, success and recognition in things, life especially, without having to feel superior to the people around you. It takes a certain willingness, an effort.†Not everybody has the capacity, whatever may be the reason, to come to terms with this and some simply give in to their natural urge to feel better.
This is all very complex, because it you take this thought of equality and respecting other people to the extreme, you are no longer able to assign importance to issues. I would have to provide equal empathy to a rich man becoming one of normal wealth as to a man of normal wealth who ends up on the street. Did they not both get 'demoted' in life? What if I threw in a third person: a 3 year old from the middle east who lost her one and only teddy bear when her family was forced to move - again - because it got too dangerous. From my personal perspective these†rank as follows from unimportant to important : rich guy, girl, normal guy. You may not share this opinion, which is valid in itself.
Not allowing yourself to prioritize issues means you cannot consider them properly, let alone try to fix them. If we were to treat all people and their issues equally, we would not make any progress. We cannot fix it all at once. We must collectively agree on what is most important to us and try to move that issue forward.
It saddens me deeply to have to realize I personally cannot fix the way things are. I can only try to do the right thing, or what I consider to be the right thing, and try to find some joy in life while doing so. I do feel it is very important to decide for yourself what you stand for and then meet some people who are like-minded, and not the other way around. I'm also convinced it is important to welcome contact with people who are or think different. It keeps you perspective in line, provides impulses and can be though provoking.
There will always be people actively fighting against your personal beliefs, but that should not stop you from who you are. Not everyone has it in them to be the person a the forefront of a movement - whatever the goal - and that is fine. You don't have to be out there, metaphorically fighting for it as long as the actions you carry out in your daily life fall in line with what you believe in, you are doing it right.
Games are one of the many, many ways in which a set of virtues, principles, ideas etc are condensed into a product. A product of society, not the other way around. The fact that people question what goes on in their video games, means they actually question society. Which in turn is wonderful to see, certainly for a medium that is said to your brain!
I feel like it's time to stop rambling now. Allow me to share some random opinions and ideas with you and end this post on that note. Feel free to reply, for I do not hate.
- Racism is wrong.
- Same sex marriage is ok with me, hell it's been legal since 2003 where I live.
- Becoming rich through making the poor sweat and keeping them poor is wrong.
- Rape and other forms of violence against women and men should be taken more seriously.
- Wasting stuff is wrong, but determining what can be considered wasting is very hard.
- The five days on, two days off cycle and obligation-ridden society is stress-inducing and makes you lose creativity and imagination
- Justice is unjust and geared towards the upper echelons of society
- I feel like I'm paying way too much taxes, yet I have enough money to live
- I think it is important to see the enjoyable sides of imperfect things
... and so much more...
Keep on playing, keep on thinking and be yourself!
Over the years I have created and helped create a couple websites from scratch with varying degrees of success. Each and every time I quit the project because I felt like I wasn't able to put it the amount of time I actually wanted to. It's been a while since I last started such an endeavor, but a couple of weeks ago I started feeling the urge to give it another go. This time around I decided not to reinvent the metaphorical wheel, but rather join an existing, established ecosystem. I really like Destructoid so the choice was easy.
Although I know what I want to be writing about in the (near) future, I'd like to go over some more high level stuff in this first blog entry. Allow me to share with you some games and bands I like. Maybe you have some neat recommendations for me based on this list! I did not order anything or think too long about it because that goes against the natural spontaneity that I feel should be expressed in this context.
Super Mario 64 (N64)
Link's Awakening DX (GBC)
Prince of Persia Sands of Time (NGC)
Perfect Dark (N64)
Super Smash Bros (N64)
Shadow of the Colossus (PS2)
Rayman 2 (SDC)
Zelda : The Wind Waker (NGC)
Tales of Eternia (PSP)
1080 Snowboarding (N64)
Gears of War 2 (X360)
Excite Truck (Wii)
Burnout 2 (NGC)
Golden Sun (GBA)
Sin and Punishment (Wii)
Fragile Dreams (Wii)
Another Code (Wii)
Deadly Premonition (X360)
Eternal Sonata (X360)
Sega Rally (X360)
Conker's Bad Fur Day (N64)
Sly Cooper (PS2)
Starfox Adventures (NGC)
Killer 7 (NGC)
F-Zero X (N64)
Tony Hawk 2 (SDC)
Beyond Good & Evil (NGC)
Donkey Kong Jungle Beat (NGC)
Kirby Power Paintbrush (NDS)
I think I got carried away a little there, I hope I didn't bore you. I'll cut the list of bands so this post does not go on forever.
Sunny Day Real Estate
Life Of Agony
Florence + The Machine
There you have it. I hope you were able to find something you like in this post or can point me to something I might enjoy and may not know about.