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5:53 PM on 12.12.2012

Ultra-Ballz: Falling in love with Pokťmon, again, aged 20.

So hereís the thing. Growing up as a kid, then pre-teen, then teen - my life appeared to revolve around the good olí GBA (thatís Game-Boy Advance in case you forgot!)

Hours, collective weeks and months spent with hands clung around that little beauty, all the while thanking Nintendo for their common sense and decency to put GBC games backwardly compatible for the then, new handheld sensation.

In those years I was happy. I was like a kid in a badly guarded porn shop who sneaks in undetected and loses all innocence and bollock-restraint immediately. Not that Iím unhappy now you understand I was just making a point about how giddy the whole thing made me.

I had Silver, I had Crystal and I...had little social interaction for quite the while too!

But then things changed. Consoles came and went, the old battery consuming beast that was my GBA was forgotten about for some time. Until about a week ago, aged 20 as I am now, I stumbled across a diamond in the rough at my local Cash Converters in Chelmsford. For there, lying in a display case in all its glory, was the upgrade from my original GBA; The Game-Boy Advance SP.

Iíd heard many a thing in my youth of it; its option for battery-less running, it's charger, itís built in light for the screen and utmost convenience and most cool of all (for the kid inside me at least, the practical one at that) an awesome clam-shell/flip-lid design. I was in awe.

I picked her up for a cool £10 bargain and skipped home. Well, I say skipped, I got the bus home that day so maybe I skipped onto the vehicle itself, but after that I was sitting ,so no skipping to be had.
I played on her (thatís right Iím gonna refer to it as a lady for the remainder of the blog now - her name is Lolita and she is fabulous) all the rest of that Thursday when I bought her, and then a little more Friday and then a lot on both legs of my journey to visit my girlfriend, and then a long while when I was there too! It appears the Pokeí fever got the drop on me, and I was a sitting Psyduck.

Although I consider myself a fan, my interests are quite niche, in other words, Iím all about Gen. II.
So it must be said when I say Ďíback into PokťmonĒ I have very little knowledge past that second generation. Primarily, at least, because 251 Pokťmon is more than enough to fucking handle Sugamori you anthropomorphic-beast-crazed psycho! I take that back...sorry Ken. Secondly, however, itís more likely that I grew up with the second gen, the first gen was certainly around when I was growing up but I never got my Gameboy Ďtil that wonderful Christmas in 2001 when my parents surpassed themselves and got me my first ever Gameboy; The Advance. It feels much closer to home, like it was MY generation.

I was recently left distraught by the loss of my Silver data and the loss of itsí functionality to hold and successfully register a save game data. Further saddened was I to discover a replacement cartridge brand new, would cost just shy of a £120 English pounds-Sterling. An awful lot of money even for something that had been the latest craze once, not just a passing folly but now is viewed with a sense of irony when played.
But before I start to ramble Ė tongue firmly in cheek Ė Iíd best wrap this one up, thanks for reading and staying with me in this self-indulgent ramble through nostalgia. As before, comment if you want all feedback welcome, but as itís only blog nummer zwei, the less brutal the better.

Prof. Oakís rating: 51 lines written. 2 of them read. ďGive up kid!Ē   read

4:54 PM on 10.16.2012

Bethesda: the half finished story.

Hello folks,

This will be my first ever blog here on the fine website that is D-toid. Iím a little new to this sorta dealy, so please bear with me, and donít be too barbaric in the comments for now! (At least wait Ďtil Iíve posted some real crap.) To start with Iíll have to give you the brief Turpin life-story then weíll get right into the seemingly misnomer-laden title above. First things first, Iím Rob or Turpinator as stated above or left or north by north-fucking-west, wherever the hell it goes on these blogs (first blog excuse primed and ready.) Iím 20, live in the delightful county of Essex in the United Kingdom (or England for people who actually live here, Ďcause thatís what we fucking call it.)

I guess thatís enough meet & greet for now but the introductions lead me smoothly to my point in thisíee here blog! I love Bethesda games. Love Ďem. In fact, I am so enamoured with Fallout I have my pinkies crossed for an atomic war to end all wars just so that I can enjoy a frikkiní Nuka-cola Quantum and make sweet music to Sierra Petrovita in Ďsunnyí Girdershade!

Sierra Petrovita, wouldnít mind ploughing her bean field, eh Ronald Laren? *4*

On that note, when finding the picture above I found a very grim but also, I must say, very well done ĎFallout Fan-porní image of the fictitious Siera above, entitled only as ĎA Quantum Leakí Ė own conclusion to be drawn please, but I digress...

Iíll admit I donít love everything those determined men & women of my favourite developers do; despite their immense popularity and undoubted qualities, I just canít get into the Elder scrolls series. (Remember, donít be barbaric yet!). I bought oblivion the 5 year anniversary a year or so ago because I felt like I was seriously missing out and had several friends, work colleagues etc thoroughly recommend it. Iím gonna say I didnít dislike the game. Which is true, I didnít dislike it, which is to say, I didnít think it was a pile of wank. I thought it was as well made as any (for itís time it was 5 years old when I bought it) and it functioned well. To the call the game expansive would be an understatement; itís still unfinished as of present. I suffered very few technical issues when playing Oblivion which I suppose makes this title of the blog seem inaccurate to a degree. However, what puts the above into context is that such experiences are few and far between with Bethesda games of recent.

Continuing with the Elder Scrolls, if I may; although I never had the 20-gazillion hour immersion into Skyrim that appears to be required to really Ďget ití Ė or so Iím told- I have heard that some people somewhere really like it (It sold some 3.4-3.5 million copies in its first 2 days apparently! Huh!) However, I wanted to play the shit-ton of other games on my shelf before I did *1* but I hear some of the issues to put it mildly, were numerous to say the least. Seemed to be console specific mostly, and also a case of Ďworse for some people, than othersí but shit like enemies just suddenly appearing like they were command Ėdropped in or the classic Bethesda freeze or the even more prevalent; screen rate dropping to one frame per fucking hour.

This is what Iím hearing and it seems the Sony crowd Ėfor which I am a proud member- were the real sufferers. This is taken from a BBC article in December 2011 around what I'm on about;

'...users complaining the title is "unfinished" and "broken"....Gamers have complained of dragons flying backward, spells not working as they should and computer crashes.
However, user-feedback suggested that the biggest problem was that the game slowed down to the point it became unplayable on the PlayStation 3 as players progressed through the title' *2*

Kinda case in point really, but yeah seems the Playstation users got screwed. I mean thereís a much bigger picture to what I just touched on there but I havenít really played enough Skyrim to really go there, so thereís our first port of call if you wish to comment. Tell me your Skyrim woes and bugs etc. and weíll have a good olí bitch.

Either way, the storyís very much the same on a pair of games I do know a fair bit about; having clocked up a good near 600 hours of game time on them combined (might even be more but I ainít ferrrr shurrre yeeet) and that is Falloutís 3 and N.V Ė thatís catchy, someone should put that in a song. Comment port of call two. If you can put that in a song you have my respect, itís not worth much per se, but it oozes with sentimental value. Anyway, on-topic yes!

Just these very last 5 minutes my New Vegas had one of its trademark frame rate drops. They seem to make the game unplayable at times, as if one had smeared treacle all over the disc. The issues seems to arise (at least on PS3 however) when the player-character hits the higher -levels 25+ etc.- and seem to be more prevalent on the PS3 DLCís. Some are worse then others, Fallout 3ís The Pitt for example was particularly troublesome, and also seemingly inconsistent. The glitches/bugs occurring sometimes hours into your loaded game sometimes 30 seconds etc. One minute youíd be hoofing it around looking for steel ingots for a rather ungrateful slave driver *3* and the next youíd be stuck in a open-topped sewer with ĎGolum-esqueí troglodyte looking you in the eye as if to say ĎIím gonna rape your face then eat it. Howís about that then?í

It could be that the engine is to blame. Although that could be judged inconsistent. Both Falloutís 3 and NV (again rhyming is catchy) use the Gamebryo engine and have numerous issues across consoles but primarily noticeable in the Playstation platforms, but Oblivion also uses Gamebryo and far less issues have been reported. - Point of discussion 3 or 4, or whatever, have you uncovered any real problematic issues with Oblivion that Iím missing out on? Then let me know below folks.

All in all, as great as the RPGís Bethesda are putting out in the last decade and beyond (and they really are great) there still is that frustration Ėfor me certainly, and perhaps for fans of the Fallout and Elder scrolls franchise Ė that the software appears half-finished sometimes, especially when enough patches are thrown our way to make for several makeshift blankets! But I donít want this inaugural blog to feel like a rant itís more like a plea to Bethesda (not that anyone is gonna read this from there I sincerely doubt) please for the love of god, donít make us love the lag!


1- I wonít name names Iím tired as hell...but there were lots okay?! Believe me!

2-From Article: Skyrim wins Spike VGA awards despite PlayStation glitch

3- They rarely are grateful these days.

4- *Cite*   read

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