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My name is Dallas and I was born a gamer, well, at least in the sense that I’ve been playing video games since my stubby little child fingers could grasp a controller. Believe it or not, as a child I was prescribed video games by my pediatrician as a way to help deal with ADD. Back then though, it wasn’t called ADD, I just heard my parents tell people I was “hyperactive”. Well, getting me that first games system (it was an Intellivision because it was a little cheaper than the Atari at that time) worked. I learned to sit still for longer periods and it improved my hand/eye coordination substantially. I fell in love with portable gaming from the moment I first saw the original Gameboy. Despite it's greenish screen and horrible battery life. I carried it, and about two huge packs of AA batteries, with me wherever I went. At some time or another I have owned every single portable system, with the exception of the Neo Geo Pocket Color. I have plenty of nerdy gamer love for both Sony's and Nintendo's handhelds.
Almost as long as I’ve been a gamer, I’ve been a fan of gaming publications. It started with the first issue of Nintendo Power (which I still have) and grew from there. I’ve always enjoyed reading and writing so the desire to enter the crazily competitive world of video game journalism seems a natural fit for me. I have done freelance work for various websites, both paid and voluntary, and enjoyed all of it. I am currently the National Nintendo 3DS Examiner for Examiner.com.
I am married, and have been since 2006. We met in middle school, went our own ways and married other people, then ended up back together. Funny how stuff works out like that, isn’t it? My wife had a stroke the day before Valentine’s Day of 2010 and we spent a large amount of time in physical rehab. Since that point, she continues to make a little progress all the time and goes to outpatient therapy regularly. Other things about me; I'm a recovering MMO addict, I’m fairly patient, have a great sense of humor, love a good beer (one or two a day is good for you!), I’m an introvert by nature but will be outgoing with people that share the same interests as I do, and I hate discussing politics or religion with friends. I’m also a huge Penny Arcade fan with a lot of respect towards Mike and Jerry for what they’ve accomplished and support the Child’s Play charity whenever I can.
It’s often considered an insult amongst the gaming community. To call someone a “casual” gamer is a way of saying that those people that enjoy the occasional game of Farmville or Words with Friends are less of a gamer than those that devote themselves to the “big” games for the major consoles. I suppose I’ll have to just be insulted, as my life and technology has made me a casual gamer.
It began with my wife’s stroke in 2010. After she was left with only her right arm being fully functional, she was unable to play most games on the Wii let alone the PS3 or 360. From there, she began playing the “casual” games offered by Facebook. Farmville, Cityville, Frontierville, and many others let her continue to game (and thus, in my eyes, continue to be a gamer) because of their simplistic point and click controls via the mouse. Of course, you can’t accomplish squat on those games without friends to help you and being her husband I was quickly recruited to help. Something happened; I realized I was enjoying a few of them. I can’t stand Zynga’s business model, but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying a few of their games. They’re quick, easy, fun, and I can quickly grab a game whenever I have a spare moment.
As I have gotten older, I find myself facing a few results of gaming on the “major” platforms. One, most of the games bore me to tears. It takes a unique game to hold my attention. Something like Portal and Portal 2 are the kinds of games that get my gaming mojo flowing. Two, I don’t have the time to sit down for hours upon hours. Three, I have other hobbies that I enjoy just as much and sometimes more than gaming. Reading is one of these hobbies. I’ve always been an avid reader. I want my children to be bookworms too and I encourage people that don’t normally read to give it a try even if it’s a comic book (another hobby of mine).
This is where technology has come to my rescue. Thanks to the invention of tablets, I can now do almost anything I enjoy anywhere I happen to be. Reading via the Kindle or Nook apps is just a touch away. Email, web browsing, and just about everything else you use a computer for on a daily basis are right there. Not only do I have access to all of those features but some pretty unique and fun to play little games as well? It doesn’t get much better. Currently today on my tablet (an Archos 70), I have played Cyberlords: Arcology, Fruit Ninja, Karoshi, Moron Test, and Pocket Legends. I haven’t even touched some of the games I’ve downloaded. I’ve also read Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan off and on all day.
So, label me a “casual” gamer if you must. I’ll accept that stigma with pride as I enjoy another clever level of Karoshi, the Shadowrun-isqe (Genesis version) Cyberlords, and franticly slice up some flying fruit like a damn ninja.
Hello everyone. Again, this will be another short post as I am still without an internet connection. My power has been restored after the tornado. I have gone out a few times and each time I do, I realize how lucky I am that my neighborhood did not take a direct hit. The neighborhood just right across the way, less than half a mile, is almost leveled. Town, at least the main business district of it, is nearly gone. The older, more historic, part of town is untouched for the most part. The police still have town closed off unless you have a reason to go in, like to collect your belongings. My mother, who works at the Super 8 in town, was at work when it hit. A man she had never seen before ran into the office, shoved her into the tiny lobby bathroom and they held the door shut while the office as pretty much wiped. She still hasn't been able to sleep. She keeps hearing it when she tries to rest. When I have an internet connection, I will be posting pictures and stories from the local area.
This will be short guys as I'm posting from my phone. My home town of Ringgold GA is gone. For the first time in my 33 years, the town was destroyed by a tornato. No reports of fatalities but there is nothing left of the town. Until I get power, I will probably not be posting for awhile to conserve battery power. My family and our home are alright. Shaken, but alright.
Well my friends, my luck just did not hold out. Even after selling off various items around my house, I am sad to say that I must sell my 3DS after all. If any of you were thinking of buying one, here's a great opportunity. I will ship to the US and will take PayPal. I hate selling my 3DS but I don't have a choice. For now, this will also put a hold on any writing for Examiner but I'll leave the links up for future reference.
In other news, I managed to land myself a free copy of Portal, Portal 2, and Left 4 Dead 2. I've never played Left 4 Dead so I'm actually looking forward to it. I have them downloading on Steam right now. Are people still playing it much? I'm horrible at FPS games but since it was free, what the hell? I intend to play all the way through Portal before starting Portal 2.
EDIT: I forgot to add that if anyone is interested in purchasing my 3DS, send me a PM here on Dtoid or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will send you a PayPal invoice and mail out the 3DS with all the extras in a large flat-rate USPS box. Insured, of course. Shipping should be around $15.
It would appear that every gamer has their eyes and ears trained on Nintendo and their potentially new HD console called, tentatively, Project Cafe. Apparently, this thing has a screen in the controller? So, it's a home console with a "portable" built right in? If Nintendo does indeed reveal a new console at E3 this year, the results will be much like they were when the 3DS was announced. Jaws will drop, the gaming population will foam at the mouth, and gaming media will be in a frenzy to uncover everything they possibly can about the new console. But, what will this mean to Sony and Microsoft? Probably not much as they already have HD consoles on the market with the PS3 and Xbox 360. I'm sure they will be watching what Nintendo does very carefully with that new controller though.
Looks like my Blu-Ray player.
Nintendo releasing a console with more powerful hardware and HD output is running seriously behind. That, in itself, is not impressive to me. They should have done with the Wii and they know it. What concerns me most is the online aspect of this new HD console. Will we finally see an online service from Nintendo that is on par with what is currently offered by Sony and Microsoft? I certainly hope so as it is one of the most demanded things from Nintendo fans. But, all of this is just speculation as to what this new console can do. For all we know, it could give us 3D on our TVs without the need for an actual 3D TV. With Nintendo, you never EVER know what they're going to do and I bet that makes their competition very nervous.
Today was just a completely non-creative day for me. Every single word that I have written today has come at the cost of large amounts of brain power. I, personally, hate days like that. Days that you wrack your brain just to think of the simplest of sentences? Those days are the worst.
I still love this video!
I'm still playing and enjoying Okamiden quite a bit. For me, the remake of Ocarina of Time means a great deal. Unlike a lot of gamers out there, I never replayed the game. Once I beat the original, I never returned to it. I have forgotten a large portion of the game as a whole so, in a lot of ways, this will be like seeing the game for the first time. I remember loving the game and I remember some details about it but the finer points have slipped my mind over the years. I am very much looking forward to replaying OoT.
Thank you to everyone that has been visiting my Examiner articles. I feel like I have to apologize for the site's crappy publisher. When I wrote for them before, I could add pictures to the article itself. Now it would seem they've disabled that ability all together, requiring me to make pictures in a slide show. I am unhappy about it as it makes every article look like a wall of text and no one likes an unbroken wall of text. I have a ticket into support regarding the issue and hopefully I will get the answer I want to hear.
Have you ever read The Art of War by Sun Tzu? In it, Tzu states that; “Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance”. With the NGP, this is exactly what you have the chance to do. With the time you have remaining in the development of the NGP; you have the perfect opportunity to take advantage of every slip that Nintendo made during the launch of the 3DS. I hope this is what you’re planning on doing as you would be a fool not to. But, perhaps I can help? Offer a little advice coming from the perspective of a gamer and consumer? In order to attack Nintendo’s foothold in the portable game market with the NGP, perhaps you should consider the following few points of wisdom:
1. Price – The Nintendo 3DS launched at $249.99. Almost the entire collective gaming population shat a brick. Despite the 3DS having 3D with no glasses, improved online functionality, much more powerful hardware over the DSi, the ability to take 3D photos, promised movie playback, and an improved eShop. Gamers and the collective gaming media both cried about the cost. This is to your advantage, Sony. Keep the cost down on the NGP. Yes, you’re providing us with a great new and powerful portable with much improved features over the PSP but take careful note of what sort of reaction your enemy received by the masses. If you launch the NGP at anything more than $249.99 (I saw you eying those $299.99 and $349.99 price points!) then you can expect much of the same results that the 3DS was given.
2. Launch Titles – This one is simple. Have a system selling game good to go at launch. Not a week, or a month, or two months after launch but the minute the system hits store shelves. Make it an all new title of one of your best franchises, not a port! Little Big Planet, Uncharted, God of War, or Killzone just about any of these would move a great deal of NGPs. Again, not a port of a current title!
3. Online services – Another simple task for you to take advantage of your enemy’s weakness. Have your online functionality working, completely, at launch. Have the Playstation Store ready to go with plenty of good titles, movies ready to be watched, offer something free to early adopters of your system via online distribution. Anything and everything you have planned for the NGP’s online abilities, have it ready for the general public from the word go.
I know that you might be thinking that these points are all very obvious and, indeed, they are strikingly mundane on paper but do you think you can actually follow them? Given the track record you have with PSP pricing, your portable remained more expensive than its competition for a very long time. At launch it was, on average, at least $100 dollars more then the Nintendo DS. The same can be said for your home consoles as well. Most consumers now believe that consoles no longer launch with system selling games in their initial offerings. This is, for the most part, quite true. Do you think you can change that? The Playstation Network is a great online service; if you can continue to update its functionality then the NGP should easily have the best online community. If you can just manage to follow these three simple guidelines, you will give gamers a better portable launch than what they received with the Nintendo 3DS.