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I'm 21 and from the UK, I love all games and own most consoles that came from the SNES era and forward apart from a few I am still wanting to collect.

My favourite game series are the Final Fantasy's closely followed by Metal Gear.

My owned consoles:-

Super Nintendo
Sega MegaDrive
Playstation 2
Playstation 3
Sega Dreamcast
Nintendo Wii
Xbox 360
Nnintendo DS Lite
Gameboy colour
Gameboy Advance
Pc (It isn't technically a console, but I game on it)
Following (19)  

6:47 PM on 09.22.2008

Hey there fellow Dtoiders and Dtoidettes, it's been a long time now but I'd like to return to writing my blogs again now I've got a bit more free time on my hands. I've been reading the site and keeping up with all the podcasts videos and general awesomeness but I haven't commented or blogged since the end of 2008 so I believe a re-introduction may be in order as I've noticed a hell of a lot of new faces appearing in that time.

I will be continuing my running blog series called 'Have you ever #' where I generally pose a question about certain aspects of gaming I find a lot of people do and give stories about my own gaming career. Other than that I will mainly be ranting about what I love or hate on a weekly basis with both new and old games.

I'm not really able to pidgeon hole myself to one kind of gamer so I can't really say what to expect from me, I like retro games but more SNES and forward because I was too young for NES so if I talk about what games I think are old it's going to be 16 bit and more likely than not the Playstation era.

Looking forward to getting back into blogging and going to have a good deep read on what you lot have been going on about recently so if my comments seem odd forgive me because I'm not too used this again. Don't blame me if you get a "tldr" or a "Theoretically the concept of your blog is appealing to me but I find the execution in which you convey yourself is lackluster and pedantic".

Sorry for the short/quick blog, just wanted to put myself out there. See you all soon!


Let me begin by saying this is simply me having a rant about something that has come to my attention during my recent gaming outings that I wish to share and hear the opinion of my fellow D-toiders on so if your looking for something insightful, random or a numbered list of reasons to hate something then your not in the right place.

Recently I have been collecting some of my favourite games from previous generations and a few treasures that I hadn't picked up at the time, within doing so I have been noticing a trend with a lot of games where at some point a game falls into one of two categories.

(Note this is generally only in story based games like RPGs)

The first category: "We've started you off, now it's up to you"

In most games if I'm not instantly pulled in I'm tapping all buttons on my pad to skip through the dialogue and tutorial intros where I'm taken by the hand and babysat by the game until it lets me play, but what I found in a lot of games is that once they've gotten you to know what you doing they literally drop you into the game to sort the rest out for yourself.

Now at first I thought "Great let's go explore/kill stuff/carry on with the story etc" but then I found that if I'd just gone from one extreme to the other I lost my sense of goals. One of my old favourite games that did this to me was The elder scrolls (Morrowind and/or Oblivion). The game would give me a rough background to where I was what I was doing and where I should be heading and then let me to it, but as soon as it let me off my leash I wanted it all at once! I'd run around the town like an idiotic taking up every quest, learning every craft and eyed up old biddies I was going to kill for their loaf of bread and clothes. In a way I'd kind of burn myself out and find that now I just wanted to get on with "it" only there was no "it" now because I was supposed to make my own out of all the choices the game has given me. Since there was so much to customise and explore to this day I haven't done everything and only completed around 60% of the quests because I would just try so many different characters and styles and see what they were like. Even when I would get really into the story and be wondering what was going to happen next while heroically forcing my paint horse off cliffs and across dangerous lands (seriously those horses had ankles made of sponge) I would get side tracked and lose my drive for what I was doing completely.

For me freedom in a game is great because after the ancient retro games of only been able to move side on I had always wanted more but then found if I had more than one game on the go I would stick to something that game me goals that I had to accomplish. Perhaps this is just me and I like to be dominated who knows, but the second category would seem to negate that argument.

Second category: "There is only what you see here"

These are the kind of Shadow of the Colossus games where your given your task it all seems simple enough and all that's left is to do it. This is one of my preferred kind of scenarios if there is something about the game causing me to spend most of my time when I'm not playing it thinking about playing it! Be it the engrossing story, the action packed gameplay, the wondering of what will happen next? All of these make me want to push on with a game and when it's straight to the point and doesn't mess me around that's great.

But not without it's problems. The first game that came to my mind when thinking of this was Kingdom hearts, that game even though it gives you the choice of where you want to go when still makes it abundantly clear that you have to do the next world to proceed. "Fine by me" is the reaction your expecting, but no that's too cut and clear because in games too linear and so to the point that I start to lose my choice and individuality I begin to feel almost pressured in. In games that give you what you need to do and wait for it to happen there can be a mass of troubles awaiting; having to pass through a particularly annoying section, long drawn out sections, a different play mechanic and so on.

If for example you felt like you were about to uncover the secret of X or almost rescued Z but then had to fly a space ship through Legoland on ecstasy then your bound to lose your drive for a game.


What it boils down to though is simply the game, if you get say a final fantasy and you know you've got somewhere to go but are given a choice of mini games, side quests and locations to visit at your leisure your onto a winning plan of action. I like having the choice of how I play my games, it's why I've never enjoyed Sim games too much because I get bored of having to make my own fun but at the same time need my experienced to be catered for me. Mass Effect, Final Fantasy, The Legend of Zelda, these are the kind of games I can play start to finish and play through multiple times because of how there set out.

Do you guys ever find yourself in a similar predicament? Finding that you've got too much of a good thing or even too much of a strict set of rules? It may turn out it's just me and because I've been playing so many different game types at the moment I'm just sorting them out in my mind into which I enjoy the most but hopefully someone will read this and think "Dear god I hate paint horses too" or something will equal meaning.
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Thought I'd share this collection of nintendo themed flash videos to my fellow Dtoiders! No idea whether it's new or old but I showed it to a few of my friends and they liked at least one or two of the videos.

But as with all Nintendo videos/games/parodies there was a lack of Captain Falcon for my liking but then there always will be . . . . . . God damn you Nintendo why won't you reply to my ideas.

Obviously they lost my idea for this in the post

If only they'd just sell me the rights . . . .
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Now I'm quite sure we've all been there, it's just a bit of fun you don't care if you A) Win B) Get the high score C) Beat the boss, but you get to your second round/attempt time is ticking on and you start to forget that your playing a game to have fun in your spare time and you start to tense. These are the telltale early signs of gaming rage.

Speaking from my own experiences it seems to get better with age, you stop caring as much and will simply play something else. But when I was younger and I had more pride in my gaming (never thought I'd call it that) if someone was to beat me at something be they artificial, online, or even sat beside me I would need my revenge!

Sometimes it's the simple throw the pad down and say something a bit inappropriate for an empty room, "God damn it you spunk eating zebra!" but that's not so bad you can cool off and try again. But when it happens repeatedly and it just eats away at you, you will realise that your no longer just talking to yourself but you are losing control of your actions (the vbest being the sag your limbs back and look away from the screen in disbelief so as to not "lose it").

But does this happen to everyone? I mean come on now, were adults, we don't need to give in to the stereotypical papers that label us as impressionable saying that games make us violent. I always get by any anger I have with games in another way now . . . I just don't accept it.

"My blue buttons gone weird I totally got that note!"

"I shot you like ten times in the face what the fuck, stupid laggy bastard get a better connection from your shitty country"

"You can't hit me when I'm down! I can't even press anything then you cheating piece of shit!"

"Aww come on now stop using the machine gun you sad sack of syphilis! Let's all camp and use that and then no one will have fun you fucking goomba!"

Here's someone who seems to share my shouting policy . . . . .

But it never lasts, it's not like true rage/anger. I've seen some bad cases of it where people break pads and games because there so annoyed, but deep down it's because they know themselves it's just because they couldn't do it, there isn't anyone else to blame. We don't become hooligans from this, like football fans (soccer to you yanks) I remember my dad telling me on his way back from a match against his teams' "rivals" that he punched a bus window in. Just to put this in perspective, my dad still acts like everyone is a young lad and that there is no evil in the world and has only said "shit" about 5 times in my life span he isn't a violent man (Not that im relating violence and swearing).

I think we all get it but I'd like to hear from you guys, 'cos I know there are a lot of "hardcore gamers" out there who won't take a loss easily and then there are you guys who just sit back and enjoy and laugh it off. I like to think I'm a bit of column A and a bit of column B when it comes down to it, I don't get mad I just like to talk to myself.

Just laugh it off
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6:15 PM on 08.31.2008

A moment can do many a thing for a person, invoke in them countless different emotions, last for what can seem like hours even when only a few seconds in reality. But in a game a moment can make all the difference from a categorized genre that falls neatly in with the rest to the monumental accomplishment that becomes the new bench mark for comparison.

Now with all this vague description aside what I mean in gaming terms is that simply; if you play a kind of game for a kind of feeling the games that give you this feeling are the ones you will want to re-visit, it's common sense. But with a lot of games it's not quite as simple as that because when a moment that is just perfect for someone occurs they will forget about so many other problems or dislikes the game entailed.

In my personal experience I find games with a great story are the best for the moments that pull back to live through the game once again but it doesn't have to be a story based event taking place, sure theres always going to be more drama when a deep story envelops you but if the moment your looking for in a game is much simpler than these sequences can be holding you away from your goal.

Some love the epic fights with huge monstrosities that give them that feeling of accomplishment after having to put all their concentration and skills to the test while others rack their brains on that seemingly impossible puzzle that once complete gives them satisfaction beyond that of which their daily tasks can bring them. Moments in games vary as much as games and gamers do, but if I had to say what I thought was a moment that brought someone back to a game it would be a moment in which the gamer feels a connection to the game.

Going back to some of these bosses still makes me tingle with excitement.

Since games like Half Life 2 and Bioshock showed gamers a new depth of being immersed in a game people believe you have to think like you are the character you play as to be immersed. But to me you simply have to forgot about anything else that is going on and just think about the fun your having with a game. Whether it be a death scene in a final fantasy, to the escape from an exploding planet if the player feels so dedicated to the game that they must concentrate and sit on the edge of their seats to give it their all I feel they are immersed far more than been able to see a world as a character would.

The nuke on COD4 was a great scene to be part of, especially during the aftermath.

Now I know this is a pretty vague description of what I think gives the best replayability for a game but I hope that in reading this you will think of the moments in gaming that always do make you want to go back to your favorite classics. For some it can be the thrill of pushing their skills to the limit and being rewarded with a completion, for others it's the feeling of embarking on an adventure they are deciding. It doesn't have to be a story they follow, but as with the best of stories, if told right they are likely to make the gamer feel more connected and want to go back for this feeling than any other media since you yourself are taking part in it.

Before I go, here are a few more pictures from some of my best gaming moments that I love to go back to:

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For this installment of "Have you ever" I decided to take a topic that I myself normally stay clear of and see what my fellow Dtoider feels about this particular subject.

The last time I can remember importing a must have game because I was so hooked on the idea was the original Pokemon blue (yes captain obvious that explains the picture) but when I originally imported it back in the gameboy era importing wasn't such a huge and controversial idea. I remember I had just been on holiday to Florida and was quite young at the time so decided to take in some good old fashioned american cartoons that us limeys didn't get to enjoy. The biggest one at the time was a little show called Pokemon, which was the abbreviation for the Japanese franchise Pocket Monsters which I'm sure you'll all know, well most of you. I'd become so addicted to the show that when we left I decided to start up the old 56k modem (which of course meant mining some coal and fueling the steam powered engine that was on the back of it) and investigate how I could get more of this fix. I was so happy to find that Sky One was showing Pokemon and so I could continue watching Ash's journey of getting gym badges he never deserved and barely ever capturing any pokemon due to him been too busy making friends.

At the same time that my investigation took place I saw that there was also a game for my favourite (and only) handheld console that was rather cheap even including shipping. So I pleaded my mum for her card and then went back to the internets! This attempt was sadly thwarted due to the address requiring a ZIP code and not allowing me to put in my Postcode. So I was defeated . . . . .

Until a shiny ray of light came to me from the back of my GamesMaster magazine. Amidst the porn, ringtones and pictures of Mr T readily available for download I saw an advertisement for cheap imported games to the UK.

As you can tell the story ended happily and I got my game months before the show started airing on SM:TV which was a saturday morning show here in the UK and I had already caught as many pokemon as I could from the blue version before my friends could even buy it yet!

At the time I knew nothing of whether my consoles were region locked region free PAL NTSC, I'd never looked into that kind of thing because I didn't need to. Nowadays though this is the main concern and/or problem with importing games. When Super Smash Brothers Brawl came out in America, everyone in England who was after this game was given no reason as to why we had to wait nor why it was taking so long to get to the rest of the world after Japan had been happily brawling away for months. Some tried importing the game after doing dubious things to their Wii's and for what? To get the game earlier because they didn't want to wait.

So let me ask you this, first of all have you ever imported a game for whatever reason it may be (the most legitimate of which been that only the country it was imported from got the game), do you stand by your action and believe you would do it again because it was worth the extra work and cost? And lastly do you think that if games were given more availability at the same time with world wide releases would it stop importing or will certain countries still get screwed over by been left in the corner for no reason other than the fact the games companies don't have to supply their products to everyone.

I myself think importing is a waste of time now, I had gotten my pokemon game back when I was younger because I never knew it would be coming out for the UK, but now that it takes illegal means to set my consoles up for imported games to get them earlier I just don't think it's worth the hassle. That's just my opinion though, at the same time I'm outraged I had to wait so long for SSBB to get no extra content or even an apology/reason for the wait. Stupid Reggie, I hope he fornicates himself with a wii motion plus peripheral until he dies of exhaustion from been a big meaty bastard.
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