PixelSith64. I've been using that name for almost six years now.
My first games that I remember getting (I think I had a GBC before this happened, not sure) were from my birthday at a restaurant called the Rainforest Cafe. I got a Hey You! Pikachu Nintendo 64, and my cousins bought me Pokemon Stadium, Pokemon Snap and Super Smash Brothers, all four games that I cherish to this day, and one of the many reasons I still love Pokemon to this day.
I started for a long time only really playing platformers, before being introduced to Star Wars Battlefront II. That got me into PC gaming and also FPS games.
I really owe gaming and that I'm here on Destructoid right now to a little game you probably haven't heard of called Portal, but more specifically a mod called Zombie Panic: Source. I discovered an awesome community of people on there, and through them I found Half-Life, Team Fortress and so many other games that I play today.
My favorite game? Hard to say, but it's between Minecraft and Team Fortress 2 most often. Right now I'm playing through Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Minecraft, TF2, Deus Ex and anything else I can get my hands on.
If you ever are up for a game, I'm on Steam under PixelSith64 (I change my display name often for fun, and will forget to change it back for days at a time, which is why at the time of typing my display name is JEFF BRIDGES). I have the entire Valve catalog, Bad Company 2 and some other games.
I wrote up my thoughts on it, but then realized that I had written five paragraphs, with more that I wanted to write.
Honestly Jim, I felt this the first times I played Portal and Team Fortress 2, both games that I love and adore now (And TF2 being the game I'm wearing a shirt of now). I didn't get what made them so good or so popular, and brushed them aside. Over time, I started playing them and actually got into them, so much so that TF2 became my most played game on Steam ([Steam Community Profile), a title previously held by Zombie Panic: Source.
I'm not saying that that's the solution in all cases, and there are still games I can't bring myself to enjoy. I've never been able to get into Final Fantasy, let alone most RPGs (Pokemon being one of the few exceptions). Never was a big Mario fan either, aside from Super Mario Brothers 3 and the Mario Kart games. And it really can be depressing to know that both of those are cherished by the gaming community, yet I can't get any satisfaction from playing them. It also feels like you're left out of some exclusive club. Someone can make a joke about Cloud and Sephiroth, and all I can do is pretend I get the joke if it's directed at me, or ignore it if it's not. If I go the unspeakable third option of saying I don't like Final Fantasy, I get stares and people crying for my soul
Grand Theft Auto or Red Dead Redemption? Couldn't enjoy after having a few hours playing in a sandbox.
Crysis? After getting past the impressive visuals, it really didn't offer much for me.
I'm not saying any of those are bad games of course. I'm saying I couldn't enjoy them past a certain point, if at all. And there is ALWAYS a difference between saying "I dislike X game because of A, B and C" and saying "I hate X game and think anyone that likes it is a dumbass". No two people have the same opinions, and I do find it depressing that some people still don't realize this.
Try going on Reddit and going to the gaming subreddit, and reading any comments of people saying they didn't like Half-Life, Portal or Bioshock: just to name a few. Even if they give their reasons why, and they're not assholes about it, they receive the brunt of a storm. The reason being is that Half-Life and Half-Life 2 are seen as examples of the finest video games have to offer. They're seen as the epitome of the medium, the be all and end all. It boggles some people's minds that someone can physically not enjoy those games.
Surely there has to be something wrong with you if you don't like Half-Life, right? How can you not like the Gman or not care what happens to Eli Vance in Episode 2? How can you not be in on the greatest gaming has to offer? How can you not like the hallowed halls of Rapture, or the shaking of the screen as a Big Daddy approaches? How can you not enjoy breaking the laws of physics to travel from point A to point B, with a sinister AI taunting you at every opportunity?
And the opposite is true too. I've been asked by people how or why I enjoy Team Fortress 2, Pokemon and Mirror's Edge. How can I like those games? Team Fortress 2 is, after all, just hats. Pokemon is a children's game and Mirror's Edge was horribly made. That's what some see these games as.
With situations like this, it's often a matter of bias, first and foremost. I'll be the first to admit, I'm biased to the side of Valve. I love Valve, I love their games and getting to play Global Offensive on a tour recently (Not to mention a free t-shirt) cemented my love of Valve even further. How can you not like Half-Life or Portal? They're masterpieces!
At the same time, I'm biased against Activision. Their DLC's prices grinds my gears, and makes me wonder why someone would pay $15 for a few maps. Why would someone buy the same game over and over again, year after year, with little different between each? Show me a picture of Modern Warfare, Modern Warfare 2 and Black Ops, and I'll be able to tell the difference as well as someone with complete color blindness can tell blue from red from green.
On the flip side of the coin, show someone who doesn't like Valve games pictures from Half-Life 2, Episode 1 and Episode 2, and they can't tell the difference either. It comes down to what we're familiar with. I could tell you which map is which on Team Fortress 2, but would have no idea which map is Rust.
I'll close with something I posed earlier. Why do I enjoy Team Fortress 2, Pokemon and Mirror's Edge?
Team Fortress 2 I enjoy for the varied gameplay. Every class has a customizable loadout, with each weapon offering a new gameplay possibility. If you want to increase your mobility as a Medic, you can go with the Overdose, at the downside of doing 10% less damage. If you want to be able to escape from situations where you've been compromised as Spy, you can use the Dead Ringer to do that, sacrificing being able to cloak whenever you want. No two games are the same, and I'm constantly tweaking my loadouts to figure out what I like the most, or at least what is the most fun to use that day.
Pokemon is constantly improving on its mechanics, EVs and IVs being things that have really helped the competitive nature grow. While I absolutely suck at competitive play, despite trying it numerous times, I still enjoy the Pokemon games. There is something fascinating with being able to customize your team out of over 600 choices. I can pick and choose my team out of my favorites, or what is most useful.
And Mirror's Edge, a game that I played through twice the same day I got it. The game had flaws, but what it did get right was downright fun. The story wasn't much, but the gameplay was what got me. I could leap from roof to roof, run from a helicopter, jump off of a wall to get on a ramp, and always able to find new ways to get from point A to point B more efficiently or faster.
In closing, Jim wrote a damn fine article, and as I said above: give it a read. Or, if you don't like Jim Sterling or his articles for whatever reason, then skip it. But don't try and force your opinion down someone's throat.
It must have been June or July, 2009. I was on Steam playing God knows what, when someone that I normally couldn't stand sent me a link to some game called Minecraft. He rambled about it, and told me I should play it.
"Okay". I said, multiple times. Just some crappy game I assumed, like a lot of the other useless crap he sent me on a near-daily basis. I put it off for a few days, but he kept pestering me about it. I finally caved in, and asked him what to do. He told me to register an account, so I did. He told me to go to the server list.
There are about 40-50 servers, if even that many on the list. I was seeing 0/64, 0/32, 13/32, and so on. He told me to join a server, [SNiPS] Water Build (I believe that was the name). I joined, saw a loading bar thing as I joined the server, and saw I was surrounded by a deep black colored box, with a few other boxes connecting it. They were tiled with silver and gray. I had no idea what to do, and walked around in the box for the better part of a half hour. There was nothing to do in here, there was a little pit of water that I went down, then had to build to get out of.
I was confused, I didn't know where anybody was, or what I was supposed to do.
I got back up to the top from the shaft of water, and saw someone building a treehouse or something like that, or at least trying to in the limited space (About 5 blocks high). I walked around, while one of the players was saying "guys, press enter to set your spawn and then press R and you can get out". I didn't know that you had to have built blocks where your spawn was to use this spawn glitch (Which I didn't know was a glitch at the time), and so continued for the next five minutes to fail miserably at trying to get out through his method.
Luckily for me, I failed at that. The people who had done so were banned immediately by an admin. I can only imagine now that, had I been able to get out with them and be banned, my introduction to Minecraft would have been much later, if at all. Finally, the time came for me to be let out. It had taken over a half hour, but I would finally see what this game was all about. The admin came over, destroyed two of those strange indestructible (Adminium, or the official and boring name, bedrock) blocks, and moved out of the way.
My mouth literally dropped as I walked out. I was on a small island of grass, with flowers on it. There was a large prison behind me, where I had just come from. In my view were tall buildings, many magnificent creations. I just looked around for a second, taking it all in. In the chat, I posted "whoa".
I hadn't seen something this amazing in a game before. Something so simple a concept, and these things were built. I walked around, and I saw a beautiful underwater tunnel. I destroyed the top block to get in, not realizing that the water would flood it. Suffice to say, I wondered why the tunnel was filled with water when I went in (If the person who is reading this is the person who made that tunnel, sorry!)
I walked around, from place to place. I saw the buildings underwater, I could see the creations underwater. There was a thrill I hadn't experienced in a game before this. It was a sense of wonder, of amazement. The submarines, the towers, lighthouses, underwater homes, glass domes, spleef arenas, ruins, airports, ships from Star Wars, hotels, Tetris, almost all of these were there at the time, and the ones that weren't were built later on in time.
I didn't build the first day, I simply went from building to building, looking at the structures from the inside, taking a new look at them. On the second day of me playing, I started to build. A hotel, a simple one, but something that I have built on every server I have gone on since then, because of this server. It was simple, but I loved it. Soon after I joined, music was added, player collisions were added. I have seen most of the updates to this game that most people joined after.
This was the first game I was able to see from near the beginning and see the changes overtime. Even looking back, I am amazed of how far this game has come, from two block types to what it is today.
The Global Trading Station was added in Diamond and Pearl to make trading easier. Now you could trade halfway across the globe, without ever needing a friend code! It had some flaws, but for the first time out, it worked pretty well, and all I could assume was that Game Freak would improve on it.
Platinum rolls around, and it's still the same... Oh well, it'll get better.
Now we're on Black and White, which are the 6th and 7th games to have the GTS (HeartGold and SoulSilver before).
First off, it should not be this hard to trade a single Pokemon. For those unfamiliar, when using the GTS, you have two options: Seek Pokemon or Deposit Pokemon. With Seek Pokemon, you can do one thing: Find the specific Pokemon you're looking for. With Deposit Pokemon, you can only deposit a Pokemon and specify what you're looking for.
Now here is where it gets annoying. First off, people put down the most stupid of things, clogging up the system.
Idiot A wants to trade a level 1 Oshawott.
Idiot A is looking for: Level 100 Reshiram
My first search for Oshawott gave me all 7 slots full of stupid offers like this. 1 for Cresselia, 2 for Reshiram, 2 for Zekrom and 2 for a few other level 100s.
It gets worse when you realize that you can't refresh searches. There is no "New Group" button or anything to show a new set of players from a different pool. If I want to try and get rid of these, I have to narrow it down by gender, level and country of origin. I had to go through 9 different countries, ending up with the UK being the last I needed, before I finally found someone that was trading what I wanted and wanted what I had.
It wouldn't be so bad if we could choose from a new pool, but it is when you get the same people, over and over again. A blacklist feature for traders like this would be nice, as I don't want to bother with their trades in the future.
Also, why is there no system where I put in the Pokemon I want and the Pokemon I'm offering, and it matches me up with the people who have the same prerequisites? This would make trading using the GTS much simpler and faster.
How about tags such as "Don't show offers involving legendaries" "Don't show offers +level 50". I can specify what level Oshawott I want, but I can't specify what level Pokemon I'm willing to offer up to?
Then there are the ones that ask for impossible leveled Pokemon, such as a "Level 7 Haxorus". Fraxure evolves into Haxorus at level 48. Why did they not make it so that impossible levels such as that could not be chosen?
Now, for another complaint. How come I can't choose a Pokemon, say, Tepig, and see what people are offering for Tepig? This would make filling up a Pokedex much simpler, as instead of having to have the data on that Pokemon, if I know Pikachu exists, I can search
"Trainers looking for: Tepig", and go from there. But no, that option does not exist either. Why not?
That's the end of my rant. I do love the Pokemon games, I love the series as a whole, but this one little thing has bugged me since Diamond and Pearl, and I'm getting tired of having to spend 5 minutes narrowing searches to find a reasonable trade.
Usually I don't go to game stores, because 90% of my gaming is done on a PC, so I purchase off of Steam. Of course, having a Wii and DS also, I do have to venture to GameStop sometimes to get games for those systems. (PS: Cave Story for Wii is amazing. Must have!)
Anyway, so I went into GameStop and browsed through the sections of games, multiple times. Seeing mostly shovelware game after shovelware game, I looked at the used games with no boxes. I found one containing Metroid Prime Hunters. "Ooh" I say. I heard it was a good game, so I picked it up and walked to the front counter. $20. I had a printout Edge card with $14 on it, so I walked up to the counter and handed it to the guy.
"You know, we have a buy one get one free going on right now." Oh, interesting I think. I walk back over to the DS games and look through, find Kirby: Super Star Ultra and pick it up. $26. That's fine, I think. I'll cover the expense for the $12 and get Hunters free.
I go back over there, and then he tells me "You know, we have a buy two get one free offer for used games. I just don't wanna rip you off". I walk over there again, realizing I don't have enough money and don't want to give them more money to rip me off (Wouldn't do the buy one get one free thing twice I would pay the same amount, but get an additional free game? Silly GameStop people).
I walk back over and tell him "I just realized I don't have enough money to pay for both of them." "Okay, so which one do you want?"
I thought I'd enjoy Metroid Prime Hunters more, so I got that one (Forgetting about the buy one get one free, which he didn't seem to offer this time). I gave him the Edge card, for some reason it did nothing, so I just footed the bill in cash, handing over $20.
Once I got home, I quickly opened up the case, noticing it said "Metroid Prime Hunters: First Hunt" thinking that might just be another part only on the game cartridge, I think nothing of it and just pop it in.
I immediately get into the training modes, thinking one of them might be singleplayer.
Then, after I finish the survival mode because I jumped into a pit, a cutscene plays, and then says to get the full game.
At this point I'm mad. I just paid $20 for a game, not knowing I was buying a demo of it.
I'm going to be taking the receipt, case and game back to GameStop and complaining later this week. Any other suggestions on getting my money back?
The year was 2009. December, I think. 20th. I walked into a GameStop, $30 on hand, browsing through the games. PC games? Nothing I was interested in or had enough money for. Sensor bar was broken for the Wii, so I quickly looked and walked on. I browsed through the DS games, looking for a game that would keep my attention longer than the other ones I had. I browsed through several times, taking note of several games.
Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks was the first I looked at of the several I thought about getting. I decided not to, deciding I'd get it some other time and moved on. New Super Mario Brothers was next, but never being a big platforming fan, I put it back after about 30 seconds of though.
I went through several other games, putting each back in succession. As I had run out of games, I ran through again, looking for anything I may have missed.
It was actually by accident that I had gotten the game I had bought. As I was trying to walk around someone who was blocking my path, I knocked down Hotel Dusk: Room 215 with my elbow. I picked it up and it was love at first sight.
I'll admit now, I'm a mystery fan. Sherlock Holmes is one of my heroes, and how I missed this one is beyond me. At first I considered putting it back. An interactive storybook game. Oooh, so exciting. As I was about to put it back, I pulled it back to me and went up to the counter and bought it.
I started playing it. It started out boring, going through the routine of things and not knowing what to do next. I tried exploring, only to stop and talk to the red circle on the bottom screen in a hallway (Rosa) telling me to ring the bell at the counter. I did, and after a few minutes of playing through it (that puzzle was tough!) I fell in love.
It took me about four weeks to beat the game, not because it was hard (Well, it was sometimes) but because I wanted to go slowly and enjoy every bit, and I did.
I wanted more and searched up Hotel Dusk 2 on Wikipedia, to find the Last Window: Midnight Promise page on Wikipedia. I hoped and prayed and blackmailed people that it needed to come out soon, as Hotel Dusk had been the most fulfilling game I have played on the DS.
If Last Window: Midnight Promise does not come out, people will bleed.
Well, as some of you may have heard, Conan O'Brien, the current host of the Tonight Show, might be out of a job soon. Conan has been assaulting NBC more than he usually does lately. If you haven't heard, here it goes. Sponsors weren't seeing high enough ratings for shows, so they complained to NBC. NBC wanted to move Tonight Show to 12:05 and move The Jay Leno Show to 11:35, the original Tonight Show timeslot. Conan refused and now they're having a bitter fight to the death.
So anyway, I just found out tonight that Conan O'Brien has put the Tonight Show up on Craigslist, along with himself. Here are the links to the two posts: