Challenging games…

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Me enjoying a difficult game

These days, when I play games I don’t really tend to struggle (unless it’s killing that fucking first dragon in Dragon Age: Inquisition), I don’t want to say that it’s because games have gotten easier over the years, I think it’s more to do with the fact that I first put my hands on a games console controller when I was around 6 or something. What I’m saying here is that when games come out and I see the controls I feel that it’s kind of easy for me to adapt to them so if I spend a long time trying to complete the game, chances are that it’s based off me not playing it as regularly as I could be. It makes me miss finding games really challenging.

Games shouldn’t be ridiculously hard because we’re supposed to complete them but, I do enjoy having a bit of a struggle because it makes it that much sweeter when I complete the game. I miss the feeling of being challenged when I play a game, the last time that I decided to play a game to challenge myself was when I played Uncharted 3 in crushing difficulty, I did way better than I thought I would and fell into despair asking if this was the curse that was laid upon me… Minimal struggle in games. It didn’t really go like that but I couldn’t help feel a little disappointed by the fact that I didn’t have those frustration induced tears. When I play games, I find myself giving more focus to the story because they don’t seem as challenging these days (or maybe I’m playing the wrong games).

Games like the Grand Theft Auto series will always have a special place for me because they’re rarely easy (GTA 5 was a pushover compared to the other ones I’ve played but it wasn’t easy). Part of the reason that I look so forward to GTA releases are because I know that the game will have a bit of a challenge and that packs so much excitement into the game. Difficult games have always had a hold on me, I think it’s because sometimes my pride kicks in and it also gives the hours that I put in some purpose rather than leaving me feeling as if I wasted so much time. I’d even say that it slightly teaches us something about not giving up because something that seems difficult can be overcome and on the second playthrough it’s hard to understand why it seemed so difficult to begin with.

It can piss me off to play a game that’s hard, so much so that I might call the characters motherfuckers or something like that but it’s also engaging and in a weird way, I enjoy it. It makes the game really worth it when it takes so much of your time because you’re really engaging your brain and you can almost feel your reflexes getting sharper as well as that good feeling when you progress. When I play games like the Assassin’s Creed series I’m only playing them because they’re assassin’s creed games but they’re stupidly easy.

It is what it is though, if time is spent practicing something then the only thing that can happen is to get better even if it is at an expense.

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Quick thoughts about brand loyalty

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Games were probably the first encounter that I had with brand loyalty, I thought about it the other day and I realised that I’ve been a hypocrite when it comes to that stuff for a long time. When I see people say they’re part of team iPhone, team android, team Xbox and other nonsense like that, I tend to think they’re fucking losers. I reckon a lot of people have realised that brand loyalty can stem from anywhere, it doesn’t have to be shouted out or anything like that, it’s all about returning and continuing to invest in something despite the fact that you know it’s not going to be much different from the previous product.

Have you ever brought a game and then brought the sequel only to find out that it’s the same game? If you’ve done this, have you ever refused to return the sequel on the grounds that it’s part of the franchise and you want to keep it just to help make up the collection? I know for a fact that a lot of people do this, ask anyone who religiously plays FIFA, it’s so bad that they’ll convince you FIFA 17 and FIFA 18 aren’t the same game (they’re the same game). It’s crazy to think about it, the way that games can draw you in, so much so that it can lead to some people buying another game just because it’s been developed by the same company.

I may not speak about brands out loud or the love I have for them with other but I know that there are certain game franchises out there (SSX) which will release something and no matter the quality of the product I’ll buy it. If I’m being honest, I do the whole brand loyalty thing without  actually announcing it, there are so many other snowboarding games I refuse to touch just because, and in my head I’ll say “the only snowboarding game I acknowledge is SSX.” I’ve been like that for as long as remember and why it strikes a chord with me when it comes to games/gaming is because that’s about the only example that I can think of where my brand senses start tingling and I almost become like the fanboys/girls out there.

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Me when I finally see a new SSX on sale

My thoughts concerning brand loyalty have been one of realisation to be honest. Every time I saw people describing the brands that they had so much love for, I always rolled my eyes, dismissing the situation as nonsense. I always thought that I was above all of the conversations because I tried to employ the mindset that if I liked something, I’d buy it regardless of the brand. When thinking about it, I still feel like it’s a silly conversation to have, I just don’t understand how we get to a point where we represent so much for one brand that we have to oppose others but as I said before I can’t deny that I’ve been loyal to a brand.

I want to say that I’ve learned from my past mistake and brand loyalty is now a beautiful thing but that’s not true. Just acknowledging my position in relation to this subject can put me on the path to truly not caring.

Nostalgia sucks…

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I don’t really play remakes of games unless they’re Pokémon ones, sometimes I wish upon a gaming star (or sometimes to the game lord) that EA would just do a damn remake of SSX Tricky but it looks like I’m going to have to pray harder and sacrifice more Bubsy 3D discs, anyway… When it comes to game remakes, I don’t always see the hype given that the original can still be brought and would probably be good fun to play. I went against my usual thought process on this when I found out about the Crash Bandicoot N Sane trilogy and eventually ended up buying it; what I learned from this is that nostalgia sucks.

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Motherfucker

Going through the games, I still got the same satisfaction from smashing crates, getting gems, and spinning stuff but I guess that’s to be expected. It made so much more sense as youngling, maybe because as kids we all like doing shit that’s kind of stupid upon further inspection (how do you even get rewarded with jewellery for breaking and eating shit?). When you look at how complex some games are today, you realise that nostalgia is the main fume that remakes run on so it really depends on your attachment to the original or it might actually seem as if these games don’t age too well.

I’m a big fan of the game (who doesn’t like themselves an orange Sonic the Hedgehog) but with the good comes the bad. When I first found out about the remake of the Naughty Dog trilogy, I was excited, I won’t lie but that’s because of the memories of how good I was at those games (except the original Crash Bandicoot), playing remakes gives you a dose of reality it seems. Once the nostalgia wares off then the frustrating reality sets in, there’s so many things that I could name about the game that pisses me off but that doesn’t really contribute much to the point of this post. The thing that I’ve noticed about remakes of games is how they manage to get everybody into their feelings about what’s to come and how you can have the joy of being your 8 year old self which is alright I guess, but at the same time I feel like it can throw expectations of said game out of the window.

I personally find it impossible to temper my expectations when I see games that I like making a comeback, but clearly doing that would help to avoid any ill feeling towards the game when it eventually comes out. There’s only so much that a remake has to work with and the rest of it is pretty much up to the consumer, the idea of not expecting a game to be like the original when it’s the remake of one is kind of stupid when you consider it but at the same time, expecting a game to be like the original means that you’ve got to adopt the mentality that you had when you first played the original which is impossible to recapture in my opinion.

I’m still hoping for that SSX remake but I don’t think I’m going to let nostalgia drive me a powerfully as it did before.

PES 2017 has taught me

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Since getting a PS4, I’ve been hooked on Pro Evolution Soccer 2017. I’ve been playing it on my days off work, on my work days before and after. I’m pretty sure that I’ve ignored a lot attempts that my brother has made at starting a conversation with me but in my defence the game is fucking annoying! My silver rule for football games is not to multitask whilst playing (If you’re wondering about the golden rule, it’s to never pause the game whilst the opponent is on a counterattack… I do this anyway because sometimes I’ve got to be a scumbag to win).

The thing about Pro Evolution Soccer is that it’s reminded me about the kind of person I am when I play football games. I can’t say that I’m the best kind of person when playing these games, I get so easily frustrated and this dark power comes over me which makes me restart matches because I’m sure that the AI has bribed the ref to make sure that I don’t win. AI’s got to look out for AI, am I right?

Don’t get me wrong, I like the game but I end up saying “THIS IS BULLSHIT!”, “FUCK THIS!” and “Oh my God!” a lot. It’s a learning experience in a way but I’m going to be honest, I have no intention of looking deep down and accepting that I was bested on the day, if anything I might have to make a couple of YouTube videos showing what I mean. Speaking of YouTube videos, I’d say that this guy is kind of like me when it comes losing games only that I wouldn’t throw abuse at other players.

5 Things I hate when playing games

Just thought I’d do a quick post for the games category of my blog because Lord knows that section needs a lot of love. I really don’t remember when the last time I wrote something for that section was, anyway that doesn’t matter, what matters is the present (some words of wisdom for all of you reading 🙂 ). A while back I thought about some of the things that really piss me off when I’m playing games and I thought why not share it because there are probably people who have experienced the same feeling.

When the game freezes:

This really got to me when I was younger (like how stuff grinded Peter Griffin’s gears) because I wasn’t a guy that valued the importance of saving every now and again. It’s very easy to get immersed in a game and forget that saving actually does a world of good. I’d always look at the screen and ask ‘SSX Tricky!? Why are you doing this?’ It’s a good thing that nowadays games have an autosave feature just so that when the game freezes you can stay calm with a smug smile knowing that you haven’t been set back far.

When a boss is too hard:

This is just me being a sore loser but even with that being said, I’m sure the purpose of a game is to complete it (or is it for the company to make money?) and I can’t complete the game if the God damn boss is getting in my way. To the developers of those hard to beat bosses, thank you for adding to my gaming experience and fuck you for all the stress.

When I’m playing a multiplayer game, I’ve had enough but the other player wants to keep playing:

I beg you, leave me alone.

When the game glitches:

I’m not talking about Pokémon style glitches because those glitches are awesome, I’m talking glitches that don’t benefit my game (not that all Pokémon glitches do). If only you knew the amount of times that I’d play SSX Tricky, uncontrollably crash into a wall and fall into a void of nothingness whilst I went from 1st place to last. The pain, the motherfucking pain.

DLC:

Ok, this isn’t really something that I hate, I just wanted to call out Capcom because I’m admittedly still butthurt about what they did with Street Fighter X Tekken. I think both Street Fighter and Tekken are amazing series’ but that game was undeniably crap, and what makes it worse is that they tried to make people pay for DLC that was already on the disc? I don’t know what’s worse out of that and day one DLC, seriously. I have content on a game that I can’t access because I didn’t pay enough? I’m pretty sure that Capcom stole £21 from me when I brought it, if anything I’m owed that DLC.

I won’t get into a rant about DLC because I feel I’ve already done that before but I will ask this, what annoys you when you’re playing games?

SSX series appreciation post

I don’t think I’ve made it clear that I’m a huge fan of the SSX series. This is the first series that I truly got into, as a child when a lot other kids were playing FIFA I was playing SSX and I don’t regret it at all. I have fully appreciated things this month like I said I would but I won’t let this month pass by without appreciating this game.

SSX is where it all began and that’s all I need to say about that!

SSX Tricky was the first game in the series that I played fully (although I did play the SSX demo and later on ended up buying it) and this game was a huge part of why I like to play game and I like generally insane stupid shit. This game had everything, great tricks, great track, rival interactions and a brightly coloured palette to keep me interested. My words couldn’t do this game enough justice though.

SSX 3 wasn’t an improvement on Tricky (in my opinion) as it brought through a concept that I wasn’t a fan of, having every event on one mountain. I have to admit that I liked the introduction of a variety of events, and the customisation options because SSX Tricky didn’t have these but my favourite thing was definitely the soundtrack. There are too many songs that this game introduced me to like Jerk it Out and A is for Action, something I learnt to appreciate a lot later. Only SSX 3 could have you doing crazy tricks to an anti-government song but anyway this was my favourite song from the game.

SSX on Tour made me do something that I thought wasn’t possible. It made hate a SSX game, which I still can’t understand. The thing is that as much as I try to find something to appreciate, there is nothing that I can say to praise this game. I personally thought it could have destroyed the SSX series but luckily EA didn’t let this game destroy the series as they bounced back with blur which I didn’t care about.

The new SSX was a good game for sure. I liked it a lot especially because I spent a lot of the time playing it online and I was better than most people that I faced off against (I’m just that good!). This game took a different direction but gave me hope because it showed that EA learnt from SSX on Tour which is saying a lot given how gamers view EA.

This series has a cult following but it really should be acknowledged on a wider scale given how good the games are.

My 5 favourite songs from the Sonic series

I like video game music and I like Sonic so I thought I’d post my 5 favourite songs that I’ve heard from the series (this only includes the games that I’ve played). I promised that would never do a post like again this in an earlier post but I lied. This was actually hard to choose from because there are so many favourites.

If you don’t like or appreciate VGM then this post isn’t for you.

5. 

4. 

3. 

2. 

1. 

The worst part is that these will probably change, except no. 1, that’s always going to be there.

I don’t like DLC

I hate DLC (although I buy it), I really fucking hate it. DLC serves a good enough purpose which makes it appear noble (honestly can’t find a better word) but it’s evil I tell you.

Completing a game isn’t enough sometimes and it’s always good to have more things to do in terms of a storyline, or even just to have access to other features and this is what DLC provides, it’s the answer to the prayers that many gamers had when they were playing Playstation 2, Gamecube, Xbox and other consoles of that generation.

DLC has definitely been exploited by some gaming companies (EA Sports) which is frustrating. At this point in time I’m not sure if its point is to provide players with more hours of entertainment or if it’s just another way for gaming companies to make money.

EA Sports has sinned various times with DLC and their antics are known throughout the gaming community (EA’s sins could make another post). Ubisoft are another company that has done gamers wrong with DLC, in this case I’m talking about Assassin’s Creed. Anyone that’s played the series will remember Lucy, one of Desmond’s (the main character) allies being stabbed for what seemed to be no reason. If you didn’t buy the DLC for Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood then in Assassin’s Creed 3 it will magically turn out that Lucy was a templar. Something that important to the story should be put in the game rather than as an add on for £9.99 (as a wrestling fan, I don’t like that number).

Sometimes DLC is forced upon gamers (anyone that has Super Street Fighter IV will definitely understand this) and this shouldn’t be the case, DLC should be advertised in a way that makes players want to buy it but is shouldn’t impact so deeply on the game if you don’t have it.

Looking at it, it may be time to get out my PS2 (and stop bitching) because fuck DLC.

Street Fighter… Awesome!

The cast of Street Fighter 2

There are way too many games that I forget about and by doing that I disrespect them, so that’s going to have to be corrected. Most of those games will probably continue to receive disrespect from me just because… but that’s not the point, the point is that Street Fighter is no longer on the disrespect list!

We all know what Street Fighter is about and if you don’t, well go and have a fight with somebody and you’ll understand instantly (alternatively you could play the game, or look at the wiki to find out the back story). Needless to say it’s a fun game and all of that jazz plus it’s pretty easy to get to grips with (despite the God damn analogue motions), it’s not one of those games where understanding the story is crucial to enjoying the game (probably because it’s badly written), it’s simply something to de-stress you.

I haven’t played all of the Street Fighter games unfortunately which sucks, but they are more or less the same thing with a few tweaks.

Despite being violent, it’s got such a childish feel to it which makes the game more appealing because children that aren’t supposed to play it will play it anyway and really take to the game (like a lot of other games). The characters are fun as well which is probably why I don’t mind that a lot of them have back stories that absolutely suck!

In all honesty, I can bash a lot of things about Street Fighter and the game will still be awesome.