Well hey there, the name is Zwoooosh but of the internet, I'm generally called Nathan. It sounds a bit more normal I suppose. Anyway, I'm a 17 year old kid/manchild from Melbourne, Australia and I'm a gamer. I got into gaming as a young kid when my parents bought me a PS1 for Christmas all those years ago. God I remember playing the shit out of that. Any who I then moved on to the PS2 in 2002 and then onto my now current console, the PS3.
I'm into music and movies and am currently being self taught in visual effects as my friends and myself are heavily into film making ourselves. But you know when you have a dream and that dream then goes and bangs every idea you've ever had and then your just left with a bunch of idiotic thoughts and a lousy hangover? Yeah me either, but essentially we have so many projects under way, I don't know if we'll ever finish one of them. But enough about that, back to the games yeah?
A few of my favorite games:
The Uncharted series
Assassin's Creed series
Red Dead Redemption
Dead Space 2
Mass Effect 2
Oh hey! I write for Gamingbus now and guess what? We're hiring. If you are at interested, I implore you to take a gander right over here. I promise it won't hurt and you'll grow to love that probe like feeling. Journalism!
Jeez this has been a while hasnít it? Itís like a coming home party, dealing with mixed emotions and general confusion as well a strange feeling in my nether regions about that one cousin. Wait what? But anyway let me open up my saying: Oh how I hate being so busy all the time. But I have found myself free for one single day and I shall use this time productively writing utterly poor words for you people instead of working on that lousy essay for school. Or going on an adventure to my local strip club to see Starlet.
So I got a job. Actually as a writer at Gaming Bus and itís an interesting experience. Yes thatís right, Iím in da garme jurnalizm industry with fellow user cnshards and they thought my Kindergarden level of english was rather impressive to see in a 17 year old. Can't blame them really all be told, I'm constantly impressed with it myself. After having the position for about 2-3 weeks now, I have a new found respect for the writers here on Destructoid who post high quality pieces at such a high rate. Itís admirable thatís for sure. The best part however is that I now know how things work behind the scene and itís interesting to say the least. Joining a small team of writers who have been working together for a while now has been a great experience and as I continue learning the ropes, Iíd like to see what comes of it. But know this, a newfound respect has been infused into my very soul for the writers here.
I have trouble listening sometimes. Now I donít mean I have some kind of attention deficit problem, its just that when someone decides to warn me about something, I take it with a grain of salt and think ďoh it canít be that badĒ. Well Iím sorry to all my friends who said that the final year of high school is hard and I ignored with very little effort. You guys were right and if youíre ready to forgive me, Iíd like to buy you a nice big cup of coffee. Or maybe even a house if you write up all my major assignments for me. Itís rare I find myself with much free time anymore and as each day goes by, I am faintly forgetting what the sun looks like and the feeling of heat and wind on my skin. And I used to love the sunÖ
However enough of my boring life and onto those games that we all sometimes play yeah? After purchasing Skyrim recently, Iíve been putting heavy hours into it as of late. As someone who has never really been a fan of fantasy themed games, I really enjoy Skyrim and all its little hooks, bugs and crannies. I havenít been this immersed in an RPG since Fallout 3, which remains one of my favorite games of all time. There is just so much to do, itís almost overwhelming at the best of times, something thatís a sentiment echoed by thousands now. Iím also attempting to do a rerun of Mass Effect 2 in preparation of Mass Effect 3 coming in a week or so. It is easily my most anticipated game of the year and why shouldnít it be? Its got those pewpewpew Ďs in full force as well as space ships that make that weird sound the Star Wars drones make, you know the one Iím talking about.
I miss playing with the PS3 FNF group. Due to different timezones, shoddy internet connection (yeah fuck you Telstra, you assholes), work, school work and wellÖ This:
He knows what he wants and he ain't sharing shit. Also I just noticed he looks awfully dirty and sad. And after everything I do for him! Ergh
Itís been a hard time trying to find time to join in on a game of Battlefield 3 or anything else for that matter. Also I just realized I could have used this time writing thisÖ Mess of a thing to actually join in on playing FNF tonight. FFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUU
Well enough my inane rambling, Iím going outside to smell the roses or something rather corny like that. Hereís hoping I have more time soon to write and comment on all the wonderful blogs on this dear site.
Sometimes playing a game where the location is a replica of a real life place is what I need. Sure, there are times I want to escape from the world and go and traverse the galaxy with other alien races on my big pimping space ship or perhaps even run around in an underwater metropolis armed with a super powered wrench. Video games provide a multitude of ways to immerse oneself or cause general havoc. For me however, the games that generally suck me in more than any other are games with locations that are a duplication of some real world location. The only problem with this is that developers tend to reuse the same environments over and over again, with New York and the Middle East being the two most glaring examples that come to mind. One might say that weíve run out of real life places to base a video game on which is a total load of rubbish, but let's say for arguments sake that this is true, there is no reason why we couldnít use a different time period to explore a different, unique location we havenít seen before. Assassinís Creed II was one such game to me and the city of Venice in particular, remains one of the most memorable locations in a video game that Iíve played today.
The feeling of slowly becoming an assassin and feeling your improving at the gameplay as the game progresses whilst at the same time Ezio becomes more experienced himself is something none of the other games in the series was able to capture. This was amplified further by the fact that the story was the most epic of the series as we follow Ezio from his youth in Florence to the beautiful location of Venice as he rises up to the rank of Master Assassin. Yes, the original Assassin Creed had the same travelling aspect but I guess between the locations themselves not quite capturing my interest as well Italy did, coupled with the repetitive, uninspiring gameplay turned me off in truly valuing the detail and amount of work put into the location. Venice in particular is the most beautiful and immersive cities to me, not only in Assassinís Creed II but any game based on a real setting. My preference of Venice also stems from the fact that Iíve always wanted to travel there at some point in my life once I can afford it.
All the small tidbit facts on the landmarks, the countless view points and collectibles I devoured while enjoying myself because I enjoyed traversing the city and enjoying the unique opportunity to explore a city in a fashion I could not possible replicate in real life. Venice is the only location in the franchise that I read all the small tidbit facts for the landmarks within the game. The way the canalís were seamlessly added to a renaissance modeled town astounded me at the time and although each city has a different vibe and history from one another, it is Venice that is by far the most different and special in my mind. Plus after successfully assassinating your target in a badass fashion, followed by leading the guards to a rooftop, only to stop, turn around and face the guards briefly before diving down into the canals, evading capture once again is something that is incredibly satisfying to do.
At the time, I was currently studying the renaissance time period in history class, specifically how it influenced Italy and the rest of Europe architecture, art and all that jazz. Easiest marks I have ever earned to this day and another reason I appreciate and took note of how much work went into designing the city. Say whatever you want about Ubisoft and their business practices, shoddy DRM and their dynamite attempt at impersonating Activision by milking their franchises, they have created a series built upon some of histories most interesting locales that we might never have gotten to experience otherwise.
Am I gushing? Probably, but very few games have given me an opportunity to get a taste and experience a city that one day I would like to visit myself. The boost in my history mark also didnít hurt its chances in being memorable for me. I agree with most that the series as whole could use some serious shaking up, how an actual stealth system hasnít been added in a game where youíre an assassin is crazy to me but I for one canít question the amount of work that went into Venice, my favorite video game location.
Saying that almost everyone on this dear website has had some experience playing an online multiplayer game wouldnít be a stretch. There are millions of people that make up these online games and similar to reality itself, there seems to be certain stereotypes that players fall into. Only recently had I noticed this and I took it upon myself to look deeper into the matter. After drawing up numerous tables, graphs and crunching the figures, I have come across 4 common but no less dangerous, annoying (or hilarious in some cases) stereotypes that match up perfectly with characters from popular television shows. Coincidence? I think not. Spread the word folks, it may save somebodies life.
The Jeff Winger
Appearing seemingly uninterested and too ďcoolĒ to care, we all are divided between hating him and wishing we were him. With the ego the size of his forehead, the scary part is he can be half as good as he thinks he is. Deep down however he yearns for the approval of others and when staring into the face of defeat, donít be surprised if you see him step up to take on the leader role that has fallen into his lap and snatch victory.
The Barney Stinson
He may be one of your most loyal friends in the world or someone you have never met, this doesnít change the fact he has a weakness and for this particular character, itís women. You just played 14 rounds of your favorite FPS together? Boom and heís gone before you can blink your eyelids and starts flirting with the new person in the lobby who sounds just slightly feminine. (Beware; they do come in charming and disturbing variants.)
The Patrick Stars
How could anyone be this stupid? Youíre not entirely sure and it doesnít honestly matter. Although itís annoying you canít stay mad cause somehowÖ Someway you just picture this little kid with the biggest smile, struggling to understand what the online instruction ďPress the circleĒ means while running around in circles, maybe trying to shoot down The Jetsonís, who knows. Fair warning, if you care about winning; avoid this player at all costs.
If for one second you outplay this guy, you will regret it. He becomes beyond obsessed and forgets all about the objective and does everything in his power to take you down. Team killing. Elaborate traps. Suicide runs. Nothing is out of the question as long as he gets his target in the end. It is hilarious to witness, and even funnier if youíre able to outwit him constantly as he becomes more desperate.
These were just 4 stereotypes I came up with a incredibly sleep deprived brain so go ahead and add any more that you can come up with in the comments below! Even better, what type of player are you?
Iím not sure how Iíve even managed to last so long without it happening to me. Deep down I knew that I couldnít be called a honest to god gamer until it did and trust me, I have done some truly awful, awful things to many people I care about just so they had a reason to do it. Iím not proud of it but itís the truth. I have seen things that canít be unseen due to the chasing of this obsession. And then it happened. On the merriest day of the year to boot. This year in fact and by god, it was glorious. Iím talking about some good olí teabagging.
Let that sink in. I, a gamer of many years, has only recently been exposed to another avatars crutch. I wish I could tell you how Iíve avoided it for how long, I really do but I canít. You see, after a long, brilliant family get together for Christmas, I found myself in a particularly good mood and unable to get to sleep, so I chose to play some Battlefield 3. All was normal; I was playing terrible as per usual, unable to hit any target that wasnít any further than 3 feet in front of me until my second last match of the night. After beginning to hit my stride I was abruptly shut down by a young man in a tank. After belittling the person and his/her mother, I began to watch the kill cam. I was confused as he approached my unmoving body, as quite a few of my teammates were around the corner and were sure to quickly come to inspect my sudden death. The character, a Recon to be specific, stopped right above my head and paused for a moment and as if the person on the other side of the screen was able to control the camera, the soulless eyes of the soldier met mine. It was at this point he began crouching repeatedly on my head. Moving up and down in a mesmerizing fashion. I dropped the controller and my jaw simultaneously. I was both amazed and disgusted at the same time. After all these years it had finally happened! Someone had finally popped my cherry and tea bagged me and let me tell you, it was better than I could have ever imagined. I began laughing whole-heartedly and I vowed that I would soon get my revenge. Unfortunately I never got that opportunity as he left the server shortly after. I feel I should thank him/her for finally bringing me up to date with the worlds ability to taunt each other and if I could go back, I wish I had taken note of the PSN name of my assailant so we could become best friends for life or something.
This event, although probably annoying to most and I can see how it could lose itís novelty quickly, was something that brought a smile to my face and is surely one moment Iíll remember for a very long time. My question is do any of you remember the first time you were tea bagged or even just humiliated in a humorous (or rage inducing) fashion that has stuck with you ever since?
Also, as is the spirit of the holiday, Iíd like to say a few things about this community. I havenít been here all that long and there are many people who I still havenít gotten to know well or who havenít gotten to know me either but despite this, I have never felt so welcomed to a group of individuals so quickly before. Not only was I welcomed, but also the members who make up this community are some of the funniest people Iíve had the privilege to read from. This extends to my initial experience with FNF. Although I was the new guy and didnít know anybody, I quickly felt comfortable to speak and even say a pathetic joke every now and then, a testimony to how amazing this community is as Iím generally very shy around new people. So thank you Destructoid and let me tell you this, I can honestly say that I want to get to know every single on of you much better next year. Letís make it happen. Together.
You know those type of people that almost always play on the hard difficulty on a game, just so they can boast about how much larger their e-penis is bigger than us mere mortals? Now I donít have an issue with people who play on the hardest difficulty, heck I like to play on it most of the time myself, but sometimes I have to wonder why there is even a hard difficulty in certain games where it just doesnít fit. Iím talking about games where youíre supposed to be THE badass, the toughest S.O.B who ever ruled the land who doesnít give a crap about anyone else. It may just be me, but in these types of games, I can never play on the hardest difficulty.
This is for a simple reason really. It takes away from that feeling of being the strongest, biggest character in the world, something I sure as hell never experience in the real world because wellÖ Wearing a toga and dual wielding axes never goes down well with your parents. Embarrassing family reunions aside, when I have attempted to play on the hardest difficulty, my badass of a character with all the power in the world quickly becomes a cowardly little pre-pubescent girl and itís this disempowering of the player that turns me away.
One recent example that comes straight to my mind is Infamous 2. You play as Cole, better known by the citizens of Empire City and New Marais as the ďElectric ManĒ. You are presented as an extremely powerful conduit with the ability to save a city or destroy it on a whim. This holds up on the normal difficulty, as your attacks do enough damage to make you appear somewhat superhuman, whilst not taking an excessive amount of damage. After completing the game, I decided to play again on the hard difficulty. This changed everything. No longer was I able to fight with some flair and finesse, using all my powers at once, instead the game became a cover-based shooter, and a poor one at that. The melee was deemed useless as two or if Iím lucky three shots would kill me. Cole had morphed from Rambo to that Private from that one movie. You know, the one that hides in the barracks and starts crying immediately after the bullets start flying? Yeah, that one. I then quickly changed the difficultly back to normal and continued on my merry way.
Exactly 0.0374 seconds before Cole ran away with his tail between his legs on hard difficulty
God of War III is another example of a character that is presented with such brute power, but is a character that quickly becomes incredibly weak when outside of the normal difficulty. It is entirely possible that I am just utterly terrible at this game and it probably is true, Iíve seen it. I sucked. There are some games that actually benefit from playing on the hardest difficulty, at least in my eyes. These are generally games where you play as a character who is fighting against the odds and is the underdog who has to rise and beat insurmountable odds. This added challenge, if implemented well, I believe makes the eventual success that much grander and is why I sometimes prefer to play on the hardest difficulty.
I donít want the option to play on the hardest difficulty in certain games to be taken out. That would be beyond ridiculous and only serve to alienate a whole audience of customers. I may just be the weird one who goes against the grain; it wouldnít be the first time. Iím only interested to find out if Iím the only one who follows some kind of rule as to whether to play on hard difficulty or not, whether that be due to genre, preferences or how changing the difficulty affects gameplay or any other reason that someone might have.
We all know what it is. Itís what we essentially came for isnít it? Itís in place so that the story can be wrapped up in a nice, tidy, neat bow or as the current trend of sequels being released also indicate, ending on somewhat of a cliffhanger, leaving us with more questions then answers. It is the end goal of the all the previous hours work, unraveling the story and experiencing all the games qualities, both good and bad. Now I donít aim to critique how good or bad the final cut scene is in todayís games or how predictable and clichťd it may have come across as. Iím purely here to highlight an ending cut scene that I genuinely canít get sick of. It comes from a game I recently completed for the 5th time, that the in-game stats state that Iíve played over 30 hours of, whilst barely touching the online segment of the game. Thatís right, a primarily single player game, at least for me and a game that still today, remains one of my favorite games of all time. And that game is Uncharted 2: Among Thieves.
I think itís obvious that I will be talking about the ending of Uncharted 2 so here is a SPOILER WARNING.
Now I will be the first to admit that the ending is about as clichťd as they come and thatís because itís an ending popularized not only in games, but film as well. From misleading the players into believing that the funeral was for Elena to the overly happy tone the game ended on with Drake and Elena seemingly beginning a relationship together, itís all rather expected. While some may have an issue with this, I do not. Why is that? Because itís exactly what I wanted. After playing for 8 or so hours, I had built such a tight bond with these characters that I could only want the best for them, the best ending obtainable. A lot of credit has to be given to Naughty Dog and their ability to tell a story that compels players while also creating likeable characters. However its not the fact that the ending was what I wanted that makes this cut scene really hit home for me. Itís in the final dialogue and interaction between Drake and Elena.
Iíll be completely honest; Iím not exactly sure why this cut scene stands above others in my mind. The fact only after watching the cut scene 5 times until I realised I it was somehow significant to me proves that even more so. It could be because I consider the interaction between Nate and Elena to be one of the most human interactions between two characters that Iíve ever witnessed in a video game. I wouldnít be surprised at all if it wasnít scripted and was purely improvised by the voice actors. Sure, I might be seeing something that isnít there and I may be the only one who truly finds this scene special. It may even be because the playful bickering and bantering between the two characters reminds me of how my previous and current relationships have been like and that relatable factor is something I am drawn to instinctively and seeing two characters happily together cracking the same lame jokes I do makes me feel validated in a weird way. Or it might be because Drake and I share the same first name and Elena is a stunner and a win for the team is a win for the team, who really knows.
That looks and feels so familiar to me.
I think we all have that one game where the final cut scene stuck with us and is regarded as a personal favorite. It may have gone or exactly how you wanted or been a surprise twist you never saw coming. This was one such cut scene that stuck with me and at least in my opinion, did not falter in its execution in the slightest.