LIGHT

5 02 2014

LIGHT

After going to see The Hunger Games in 2012, I got back into reading for the first time in years, (despite the fact that I had been unsuccessfully trying as well as struggling to read “the Smash Hit Debut Novel Mogworld by internet sensation Yahtzee Croshaw” – YAHTZEE). Since then I have regularly visited my local Waterstones looking for more books to read. One of the first ones I noticed was a book called FEAR. It was a round about the same time I was reading The Hunger Games that I noticed it, and the one thing that struck me about it was the front cover artwork. It looked interesting and so I went in for a look, and saw that it was part of a whole series of books, the first of which was called GONE. I was interested to read it, but I didn’t want to interfere with my current reading schedule at the time, So I just kept it in my mind. This past June after almost a year of wanting to read it, I started reading GONE, the first book in the series, and since then I have read through every book in the series. GONE, HUNGER, LIES, PLAGUE and I have just finished reading FEAR.

FEAR

This past Saturday I went into town, and it was a very auspicious (if that is the right word) moment as I purchased LIGHT, the final book in the series. Since June I have been consistently reading a thrilling and almost unstoppable book series, and now the end is coming. I have known about the coming of this day for a while, and it is one I am greatly excited about, and sad that it is approaching too. I feel like I am in this amazing world created by Michael Grant. I can feel like I am there and have my own feelings towards the characters and how I want their story to end, but also the world. I also have my thoughts as to how if I was in it, how I would want it to end.

GONE (Michael Grant)

One thing I am certain of though, is that whatever the ending will be, it will not be sedate. As the series has progressed, life inside the FAYZ has gone from bad, to worse than traumatic, and while FEAR has somehow ended the paranoia I have felt as the reader from LIES and PLAGUE, it is probably nothing more than the beginning of the end, a possible calm before the typhoon. But what that ending might be, I am sure it will be worth it.

GONE HUNGER LIES

The one thing getting to me at this stage though is; What am I going to read next? I have some ideas; I could finally get round to reading Mockingjay, or I could get back into The Spook’s series, or maybe read the copy of BATTLE ROYALE that is staring at me from my bookshelf. Or maybe, just maybe, I might take a gamble on a couple of books I have spotted, Stone Heart or The Fire Within. Will need to make a decision soon though.

Stone Heart

GENEPOOL





Top 10 Most Exciting Films in 2014

22 01 2014

Film Reel 2014

You may remember that last year when writing this post for last years films, I stated (more like implied) that 2013 was going to be rubbish compared to 2014. Well, since then the world has sort of changed a bit. Jurassic Park 4 (Jurassic World) has been pushed back to 2015, but at least it looks like it is finally going to happen at long last and Seventh Son which was due for release last year has now been pushed back to 2015 despite the fact that the trailer has already been released (which means the film is probably finished). When looking at the films due for release this year, I came to the point of realisation that there is only about 10 in total which look exciting (at least to me). While there is the upcoming Divergent which may apply to my interest, I don’t know much about it other than it being based on a book, which I got a mini supplement of when I went to see The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which I still have to read (the supplement not The Hunger Games: Catching Fire). I am also not planning on watching Captain America: The Winter Soldier or the next Amazing Spider-man film either. Even the bottom two at the time of compiling the list, I was unsure about, however the top 8 films look promising. So while the selection of films due for release is relatively short, the quality of the top lot, looks fantastic and so this could be one of those few years where quality takes over quantity.

Muppets Most Wanted (Walt Disney Pictures - 2014)

10. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Muppets Most Wanted – These are the bottom two films I mentioned in the above paragraph. They share this spot due to me being very unsure about them. Firstly, The Muppets. This is the sequel to The Muppets from 2012. Quite a good film all in all and very enjoyable and so when the sequel was announced I was already excited. This all changed though when I found out who was in the film; Ricky Gervais. The problem I have with him being in this film in particular is that I don’t think he can act all that well. My opinion on him being in it has lowered my expectations for the film overall. I did though see a trailer for the film a few weeks ago, and his position in the film is more clear, however, I am still very unsure.

TMNT (Imagi Animation Studios - 2007)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles though sounded promising. My hope was that it was going to be like TMNT back in 2007. Brilliant piece of Animation and a generally fun film. I had hopes of this happening again, then I found on-set pictures; its live action. This has me in a nervous position. Either it could be, and probably will be CGI creatures, which would be a good thing, or if they are suits, it could be a bad thing. My opinion is still split, but who knows, it might work, or it might be the silliest film of the year, but on the bright side of all this, Michael Bay is producing it, and he did do a Great Job with Transformers.

Edge Of Tomorrow (Village Roadshow Pictures - 2014)

9. Edge of Tomorrow – Another film I am also not so sure about, but at the moment appears to have more legs than the above two films. I don’t know much about this other than from what I have read and saw in the trailer. The film stars Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt and is based on the Japanese Novel All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka and appears to be set in the not too distant future where Man appears to be at war with some alien race known as Mimics. However, Mr. Cruise is constantly caught in a time loop and keeps returning to battle all the while dying. From my first impressions, it does sound silly, but after watching the trailer, it brought me to think about Battle Los Angeles, and in particular the trailer for it. It got my interest just enough, to be excited about it. While I still don’t know all that much about the film, it does show a little promise, and who knows, it may be a great film after all.

Transcendence (Alcon Entertainment - 2014)

8. Transcendence – The directorial debut of Christopher Nolan‘s long time Cinematographer; Wally Pfister. Not much is yet known about this film other than a basic plot line. Basically Johnny Depp is an Artificial Intelligence researcher who is targeted by technology terrorists but this pushes him in his research, which as he continues makes him want to be a part of it. Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara and Morgan Freeman will also be staring and Christopher Nolan will be producing the film. Pfister is a great Cinematographer, as shown with his work alongside Nolan, but what is he going to be like as a Director. Well, it is more than likely that Nolan will be helping him along the way. Transcendence does look promising on all counts, but it is still a mystery and only time will tell if Pfister will be any good as a Director (especially seeing as I am getting the feeling that this is a sort of Black Sheep of all the films being released this year).

Interstellar (Syncopy - 2014)

7. Interstellar – Christopher Nolan returns with a brand new film starring Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway. Details of the film are being kept under wraps. The basic plot revolves around the opening of a wormhole allowing the human race to travel large distances and explore space. Sounds like a good version of Star Trek. While Details are currently sketchy, the simple fact that Nolan is Directing a new film is enough to get me excited.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (20th Century Fox - 2014)

6. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – After the success of the wonderful Rise of the Planet of the Apes back in 2011, it is nice to see that they are going ahead with this series, and that it has nothing in common with the Tim Burton Planet of the Apes about 13 years ago. Andy Serkis returns as the role of Caesar with a whole new male cast including Gary Oldman and Keri Russell and new Director in the form of Matt Reeves. Eight years have passed by since a deadly virus emerged and Caesar and his race of genetically altered Apes have reached a truce with a band of human survivors, however war is on the horizon to determine the new dominant species. With a great first film in a potentially new series, this film shows a lot of hope, and while it is very different to most of the films being released in 2014, that doesn’t mean it is an outsider in any shape or form, it actually has great potential in becoming one of the hit films of 2014.

Transformers: Age of Extinction (Paramount Pictures - 2014)

5. Transformers: Age of Extinction – I am a big fan of the Transformers series. Since watching the first one in 2007, I have been a loyal fan of the series. While I do prefer Megan Fox’s character over that of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s, to me, the main part of these films are the machines themselves. This time around though, it is a brand new cast (except for Peter Cullen of course), but thankfully not a reboot. It is Mark Wahlberg who takes the centre stage this time around with Michael Bay returning to direct. Not much is known about the plot so far and there is yet to be a trailer, but the title sounds interesting.

X-Men: Days of Future Past (20th Century Fox - 2014)

4. X-Men: Days of Future Past – The Sequel to one of the best Marvel films to date. X-Men Days of Future Past brings together the cast of X-Men: First Class with that of the original X-Men Trilogy plus some new characters to the film series including Bishop (but sadly no sign of Gambit). The film appears to take the point of view in three dimensions, that of the original trilogy, the future and the past. James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender return alongside their older counterparts, Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen for the parts of Professor X and Magneto. Hugh Jackman and Ellen Page return as Wolverine and Kitty Pryde (sadly Anna Paquin‘s scene has apparently been cut) along with Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique. This time The X-Men are facing potential extinction from the human race and must travel back in time to prevent the future from happening. The cast is great and it deals with one of the best known stories in comic books. Days of Future Past, looks to be the best Comic Book film of the year, I am really excited about this one.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay (Book)

3. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 – The series continues as Katniss Everdeen played by the terrific Jennifer Lawrence returns as the unlikely symbol of the suppressed regions of Panem and lead them into battle in the hope of bringing down the Capitol. Alongside Jennifer Lawrence, series regulars Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson return alongside the Legendary Donald Sutherland as well as new cast members including Julianne Moore. While I don’t like the idea of two films being made for the final book for the basis of money, I do like the fact that it is going to be in two parts……….because it prolongs the series. I have yet to read the third book, but the films and books are working in tandem quite well producing a great experience and from what the series has produced so far, I can’t wait for more.

The Host (ShowBox - 2006)

2. The Host 2 – Here we are again. Talk of a sequel to the magnificent 2006 South Korean Monster Movie directed by Bong Joon-ho; The Host (or Gwoemul as it is sometimes known) have been going round since 2007. It is very hard to find information on the sequel, mostly due to a film released in 2013 under the same name but shares no similarities with the far better South Korean film. But on the odd occasion where I am able to find information on the film, the release date for it points to this year. So with some hope, we should finally see the sequel/prequel to one of the best films of the last decade. It is likely of course to be released in South Korea first of course, but with hope there should at least a limited release due to the film’s popularity overseas. While I can’t provide definite information other than the plan for the film to actually happen, I really do hope this film comes out sooner rather than later. If you have not seen the first film, I recommend you do.

Godzilla 2014 (Legendary Pictures - 2014)

1. Godzilla – After long last, the Legendary Pictures Godzilla film is finally going to be released this year. After about 4 years of waiting, when the announcement came that Legendary had been given permission to do it, Godzilla is set to return to the big screen. This film (thankfully) has no relation to the 1998 film and is related to that of the original Japanese Monster. So far details of the plot have yet to be announced but it is stated that Godzilla will be fighting two other monsters and that the Big Lizard himself will look like the original Toho Monster. Just a couple of months ago, the first trailer was released, and it looks Fantastic, only a silhouette of Godzilla can be spotted in it, but it looks like he should. Along side the King of the Monsters, the film stars Bryan Cranston, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Ken Watanabe and apparently a cameo appearance from Akira Takarada (who appeared in the original film Sixty years ago). Providing that Gareth Edwards brings the film together, Godzilla will no longer have his name tarnished by a film in the late 1990′s, and possibly, a great film to celebrate his 60th Anniversary. 2014 is the year of The King of the Monsters.

GENEPOOL





Top 5 Films Of 2013

15 01 2014

Film Reel 2013

2013 has passed, and what a year it was for great films. We have seen visions of the Future, Conspiracies, Super Heroes, Monsters and Amazing Adventures and with the passing of the year, it is time to take a look back at the films that impressed us, the audience the most. So here are my Top 5 films of 2013.

The Wolverine (20th Century Fox - 2013)

5. The Wolverine – Upon first hearing about The Wolverine I was a bit worried that it was going to be nothing more than a bad sequel to a bad film. It wasn’t. Based on the comics of Wolverine (not just the comics), The Steel Clawed hero ventures to Japan to visit a man who owes him a debt. However, the feral hero soon finds himself in the middle of something more than just a mafia turf war. Hugh Jackman returned as the title hero that helped make him the actor he is today, in a film that became one of the best comic book films to date. easily better than any Avengers film and the best Marvel film since X-Men: First Class. Alongside a great cast of characters and other lesser known X-Men characters mixed with the sights and sounds of a brilliant country and action to back the film up, The Wolverine is The Comic Book film of 2013.

Welcome to the Punch (Momentum Pictures - 2013)

4. Welcome To The Punch – In between all the big action blockbusters of 2013 is what could be considered by some as a small film. A film that nobody could see coming, and they didn’t, even I didn’t……….until I saw the trailer. While I initially forgot the name of the film, it looked brilliant and the mention of Ridley Scott as the Executive Producer sparked enough to get me interested, and thanks to the film’s lead actor appearing on Top Gear, reminded me of the film’s name. Welcome To The Punch is a proper British Action Cop film. Starring James McAvoy and Mark Strong it follows a London Detective as he is trying to pursue a man he was unable to catch several years previously, it is not until he finally confronts the man that he discovers a major conspiracy within the ranks. While it maybe an independent British Film, Welcome To The Punch is a film that shouldn’t be ignored. One of the film’s major points is that of actress Andrea Riseborough who gives an amazing performance as James McAvoy’s aide. With great action scenes and a plot that you will find gripping and intense backed up by a great cast including David Morrissey, Welcome to The Punch deserves its spot as one of the best films of 2013.

Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa (StudioCanal - 2013)

3. Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa – Easily the funniest film of the year. instead of just being a cheap comedy film made only for the sake of making money, Alan Partridge is a piece of clever comedy with truly laugh out loud moments, I think the last time I saw a film at the cinema that made me laugh out loud was Tropic Thunder. Steve Coogan resurrects his fine comedy creation brilliantly as the former TV Presenter is forced to go enter a hostage situation being run by one of his colleagues. With jokes every minute and moments that make you want to call for a break just to calm down and with a great supporting cast including Simon Greenall, Colm Meaney and Anna Maxwell Martin, Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa is a proper comedy film and the best one in years.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Lionsgate - 2013)

2. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – The Sequel to the Best Film of 2012. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire brought me back into a world that had impressed me since the first instalment, but this time I had read the book before hand. While the first film (as the book) shows more of a perspective of what is going on in the current moment with the characters, Catching Fire goes on to say what happens next as well as explore the world of The Hunger Games. All the regular cast from before return to amaze the audience again. Of course the lead in this film no doubt is Jennifer Lawrence, but all the others give a great performance that cannot be forgotten including Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Liam Hemsworth and the legendary Donald Sutherland. With Great moments of both the humankind nature and action that is easily on par with the more action orientated films, backed up with a great story from one of the best book series to date, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is a truly Great Film that will have you pining for more, Guaranteed.

Pacific Rim (Legendary Pictures - 2013)

1. Pacific Rim – In my opinion, Pacific Rim is pretty much the Perfect film if it wasn’t missing one key ingredient. Pacific Rim tells the story of humanities struggle in dealing with a race of Giant Monsters called Kaiju, they do this by building Giant Robots called Jaegers to fight the monster threat. In what could be considered in many ways as a tribute to the Japanese Kaiju genre that both inspired and created the idea of it, Pacific Rim is a Monster Movie taking those influences and adding its own spin to it and creating moments that will not be forgotten. Splendidly directed by Guillermo Del Toro and starring Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi and Idris Elba with a brilliant soundtrack provided by Ramin Djawadi and visuals that rival Jurassic Park in terms of both Beauty and Scale, Pacific Rim is a titan of a film and possibly the fore-seer of Monster films to come. The Best Film of 2013.

GENEPOOL





Book Review – GONE by Michael Grant

23 10 2013

GONE (Michael Grant)

Title: GONE

Author: Michael Grant

Publisher: HarperCollins/Egmont Books

ISBN: 1405242353

Imagine you are a teenager (unless you are one), a time when you wished your parents and teachers would just leave you alone. Every teenager goes through that period, but imagine that it actually happens. A place where all the Adults have simply disappeared. What would you do? Eat all the fast food you want to, watch TV and Play Games day and night, it sounds perfect doesn’t it. Well, it turns out that it really isn’t all that perfect.

GONE tells the tales of a group of teenagers who live in and around a town in America called Perdido Beach. One day all the Adults suddenly disappear, everyone over 15 ‘poofed’. Many kids see this naturally as an opening to do whatever they want, eating cookies and ice-cream till they are sick, watch TV and play games until they can’t stay awake, no one bossing them around, Great. Well not really, from the get go the school playground is multiplied by 10 as the bullies see a chance to take control and total anarchy commences. A fire is started and attention in the community focuses on main character Sam and his girlfriend Astrid. Soon control seems to re-emerge with the appearance of several kids from a local private school arrive to take control, but things only get worse. What’s more, there is a giant invisible barrier twenty miles in diameter blocking the community off from the rest of the world and kids have started developing abilities, Mutant Powers. And if things couldn’t get any more worse, there is something lurking in the wilderness, The Darkness.

I personally found out about these books when I first began to read The Hunger Games. I was in Waterstones and saw this interesting looking book called FEAR. The front cover got me interested and I looked more into it and discovered it was part of a series of bestselling books known as the GONE series. Several months later I finally get round to buying the first book GONE, but I did not start reading it until about 9/10 months later. At first I found it hard to get into, new book and all but I kept pushing myself to keep reading it. Eventually I got to the point where I could not stop reading it. I loved it.

The books main setting is that one a teenager wants, but the author goes into exploring the idea of no adults around, what would happen? In many a sense it is the school playground on a much larger scale. With no authority around, bullies can do whatever they want and the teenage utopia begins to crash. But there is more to it than that. You have the preschool children that need taking care of, if people get injured, they cannot be taken to a hospital because there are no doctors, food is abundant but will eventually run out, if a fire breaks out there is no fire brigade to tend to it and if there is a problem there is no police to call. Law and order will naturally break down until someone can step up. This idea is directed mainly at Sam who is seen as a possible leader; however he does not want the job despite constant poking from Astrid. A few days later though it is too late as the book’s main protagonists; Caine, Drake and Diana arrive to take control, and bring back law and order, but deep down they have sinister intentions. The books main point of chaos though comes from the strange new world that the kids inhabit. The barrier which prevents them from leaving, people gaining Mutant Abilities, creatures mutating, the approaching darkness and the fact that once your 15th birthday arrives you take the big poof. All of which takes place in an area that has become commonly known as the FAYZ (Fallout Alley Youth Zone).

For most of the book, the story is told in the third person point of view. Each chapter though tells the story in relation to how a character thinks or feels. One chapter could involve Sam Temple saying, doing, moving and thinking, when the next one could involve Astrid saying, doing, moving and thinking making her the central character of context. It is through these perspectives that other characters begin to emerge. Characters like Mary Terrafino who looks after and takes care of the day care centre as well as her own personal problems as well as Lana who for most of the early part of the book is completely separate from everyone in the FAYZ with only her dog Patrick for company. The central character context of the book also allows the reader to gain insight into the minds of the antagonists of the book like Caine and Diana.

The author also draws upon inspiration and real events from the real world using these events to shape some of the more horrific events in the books. Ideas begin to come across including fear of the unknown, racism, the horrors of war and slavery. The fear of the unknown is much in many a case like the X-Men as you have Mutants vs Humans, which is the case here but this mostly leads to racism but only on a partial level as many can see that they also need those with mutant abilities to survive this new world. Slavery is an area which the book explores with great detail including how people become slaves. This angle is not featured until the early stages of about last third of the book, but the whole experience when reading it made me want to jump in and stop it all, because the book also represents how horrific slavery is and potentially can become particularly at the levels it represents in this book. This all leads to the eventual conflicts between groups to which the author may be drawing from experience as part of a military family. In many a case throughout this book it is showing how kids have to adapt and grow up because their imaginary world can’t happen. In a sense it makes childhood look like a safety barrier to the horrors of the real world that the parents are trying to protect them from. This may be another reason for the title as not only have all the adults gone, but so has the world they live and more and more each day it is becoming a lot more hostile and cruel.

After I first read The Hunger Games and the books I have read since then, I did not know if I would find a book that would be better than it, but I think I have. GONE, while being a larger book reveals more of the world than The Hunger Games. The Hunger Games is taken from the first person perspective and shows the world around the main character while GONE takes a step back and looks at the world that has been created, but it also creates more than one story too. Each character has their own part in the story while also telling their own story, one that you want to keep reading to find out what happens. GONE is one amazing ride, from  the point of the world’s formation, through it’s struggles and hardships to it’s eventual dramatic conclusion, GONE is a book that everyone should have on their bookshelves.

GENEPOOL





Talking About My Generation

16 10 2013

GameCube

This past week, I reached what was possibly a sad milestone in terms of my love and interest of Video Games. I bought Beyond: Two Souls for the PlayStation 3. I have been looking forward to the release of this game for a long time, even before it had been announced or known about. Why?, it was produced by Quantic Dream who back in 2010 released Heavy Rain which remains one of my favourite games on the PS3. But you may be asking, why am I sad about a game I have been excited so much about. While my love of Video Games has flourished over the last 7/8 years, I am reaching a major stage in my life. For about the last couple of years I have begun to play less and less video games and do more things of different kinds. If you were to look at me in 2010/2011, Video Games were my main hobby and had been that way since 2001. But now, due to new interests, it no longer is my main. While I continue to love Video Games, I don’t have as much passion as I used to, new interests such as Board Games which I have loved since being a boy as well as my new-found interest in books again which was something that had laid dormant in me for a number of years now, has begun to flourish.

Beyond: Two Souls (Quantic Dream - 2013)

Purchasing Beyond: Two Souls is sad for another reason also, it represents the end of lifespan as one of the main consoles. The 8th generation has already begun, but it will enter full swing in a few months’ time and the PS3 will no longer be one of the main consoles on the market, and for me that feels sad. The enjoyment I have received out of it and will continue to receive will begin to die out as the new consoles take centre stage. But for me, this is not the first time this has happened.

PS3 Controller

Since being a boy I have loved playing games. Games are fun, exciting, enjoyable experiences. During my early youth I have played on many game consoles belonging to friends and family members including Sega Master System II and Sega Mega Drive. My first personal console was a Game Boy, an original one and it was big and yellow and I had a couple of Mario Games for it. However this got stolen (along with my copy of Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins) when the house was ransacked by a bunch of thieving burglars which is pretty self-explanatory but several weeks later I got a replacement in the form of a Game Boy Pocket which was Red and a lot smaller than my nice chunky Yellow Game Boy. But I still had a great time playing games with it. I loved making movies with my Game Boy Camera, took on pirates in search of a treasure in an attempt to build my own private castle in Wario Land and I hunted, caught and trained several pocket-sized monsters in Pokémon Yellow. I even got to smash-up boulders and punch monsters with a Godzilla Game Boy Game. Those were great times when I could lose myself in a personal game and go on adventures and even have little projects to myself with my Camera. Those were great days and while other Game Boys were released such as the Game Boy Colour, Advance and Advance SP. I was pretty much content with my little handheld.

Pokémon Yellow

In late 200 when just starting at High School I received a Nintendo 64 from a friend of my Brothers. With it I got several games including Star Wars: Squadron and Goldeneye 007. My collection of games for it grew and grew with purchases of games including F-Zero X as well as presents at Christmas and Birthday’s with games including Pokémon Stadium 1 and Pokémon Stadium 2. I also was able to borrow games for the console from Blockbuster. It was a great multiplayer platform with a lot of fun crafted into the games produced. I went on a shooting spree in games like the Brilliant Goldeneye and The World Is Not Enough ( starring the unkillable Ape Face). I whizzed past my rivals in F-Zero and Mario Kart 64, and I battled Tooth, Nail and Electric Shocks as well as try powerful Sushi, learned how to dance, chopped logs and delivered Christmas presents in Pokémon Stadium 1 and 2.

It was during my play time on Nintendo 64 that rumours started appearing as to Nintendo’s Next Console, the Nintendo Dolphin. I had no idea what it was going to be like, but it was appearing at a time that other new consoles started to appear. In late 1999, Sega released what would be their last major console in the form of the Sega Dreamcast which while it was short-lived, has been regarded by many as one of the greatest game consoles and it introduced and pioneered many elements that would become standard with in the industry including online gameplay. Around about the same time as the release of the Dreamcast, the long-awaited PlayStation 2 was released which became the number one bestselling console of its generation. The Nintendo Dolphin eventually arrived in the form of the Nintendo GameCube in 2002. I asked for a copy for the following Christmas and received one with a copy of Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee.

Dreamcast Logo

This was the point that Video Games would become my main hobby. I would come back from school wanting to play some more on it over and over again. Soon after getting one I got an extra pad, memory card and some shelves for games for about £25. My game collection for it grew over time with me acquiring copies of games like Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Sonic Adventure 2 Battle. I got to try out games from Blockbuster and sometimes bought those that I like a lot. Over the 4 years that I had the console my collection continued to grow more and more. My multiplayer experiences were very enjoyable with games like the amazing 007: Nightfire. I was whizzing around tight bends and almost crashing cars in Need For Speed: Underground, Mario Kart: Double Dash!! and F-Zero GX. I was going on adventures in Sonic Adventure 2 Battle and Sonic Heroes. I was battling to stay alive in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, I was fighting on the frontline in Battalion Wars, I wrestled to become World Champion in WWE Day of Reckoning 1 and WWE Day of Reckoning 2, I collected Stars and Coins in epic multiplayer duels in Mario Party and I was even milking Cows in Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life. While there were those at school who said it was stupid to have, I did not care; I was having fun, lots of fun. Not only that, but the GameCube did have some things over its rivals. The Memory Cards were small and cheap but had plenty of rooms for games and the pads had built in Rumble Packs meaning a cartridge did not have to be bought for them to feel like you were in the heat of the moment. And even after the Xbox was released and had built in memory and had games on it like HALO: Combat Evolved, I was still satisfied with my little GameCube. Others could play DVD’s on their consoles; I didn’t really have any DVD’s so I saw no point in having that feature. I remember a time when I played for hours on F-Zero GX (My Favourite GameCube Game) including not realising the passage of light or time as it was once 11:00pm when I finally stopped playing it, did I mind, no, I was happy.

F-Zero GX (Nintendo - 2003)

At the time of all this I used to collect CUBE Magazine which sadly ended in the blink of an eye in 2005. CUBE magazine offered many in-depth news of Games coming out in the near future and easy to understand reviews. It was when reading it in about 2004 that I heard about the Nintendo DS. What I thought was going to be the next home console turned out to be a hand-held that would take the world by storm. In mid-2005 I first heard about the Nintendo Revolution. This would become the next home console for Nintendo when released in late 2006.

My enjoyment of the GameCube still continued, but over time, its oncoming end was apparent. I could see it particularly with how hard it was to get new games. By June 2006 my concentration had now turned its eyes to the Nintendo Revolution, now known as the Nintendo Wii. As the excitement grew to this new console, the more and more I could not wait for its arrival. However, being a Nintendo Console, the criticism came in thick and fast before the consoles eventual release (which still happens to this day despite the company’s illustrious career). But most of everyone’s attention was more on the release of the Xbox 360 and the soon to be released PS3. How wrong they were when the Wii started breaking all records. Its appeal came from its more casual gaming approach allowing more people to play games, different groups of people too, older people, mums and dads. Whole families could play games together. The Wii became a must have toy for everyone. It became a party tool for when numerous people were round. Whole hosts of games were developed for it from Party Games for the whole family, to shooting games for the more hard-core gamer. And this came from the Wii’s pioneering Motion Control feature meaning that games were no longer about causing thumb seizures and more about being part of an experience. Nintendo opened up the Games Market to a whole new world, one that the competition did not even notice or think about.

Nintendo Wii

I was one of the people who felt the benefits of the Wii. I had a great time Boxing and Playing golf with friends in Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort as well as drive around corners in Mario Kart Wii, take on the Yakuza in Red Steel, lead a Nation in Little King’s Story, take on Savage Rabbits in dancing contests and played with them in rock bands in Rayman Raving Rabbids and attempted to keep fit with Wii Fit. It was a great time to be a gamer.

But part of me wanted to play other games too, games that were not as available on the Wii, games like Motorstorm or the upcoming MAG. So in 2009 I bought a PS3 with Killzone 2 and Far Cry 2, eventually getting Motorstorm Pacific Rift for my Birthday. The PS3 would eventually become my main console as while the Wii was fun, it did not have much for a solo gamer. While I did not have much of a Multiplayer Experience with the PS3, it was like playing my GameCube all over again, getting lost in the game, in the story. While Shooting games like Killzone 2 and Killzone 3, Battlefield 3 and Far Cry 2 were mainly my favourites. I thoroughly enjoyed a range of other games too. Adventure Games like Brütal Legend and Fairytale Fights gave me new worlds to experience and Heavy Rain showed that games could be more than just games. But there was always some room for some racing with games like Motorstorm Pacific Rift, ModNation Racers and Test Drive Unlimited 2. It was still a great time to be a gamer.

So what changed, how did I go from being so incredibly happy playing games, to games no longer being my number 1 hobby? 2012, in March 2012 I saw The Hunger Games at the cinema, I loved it so much I bought the book and got back into reading, I got lost in an amazing world and over time I began to read more and more. At the moment I am reading the Incredible GONE series by Michael Grant. In turn I began to write more and recently entered some writing competitions. But it wasn’t just books and writing. I started to play Board Games more and more. Board Games was mainly a thing I did once, maybe twice a year at Christmas and on Holiday, but after finding a group at a local café in my home town, I started playing them week after week and still do. I spend less of my pocket-money on games, and more on Board Games. But another reason is that in 2012, there was hardly anything that I wanted to get. The Wii was on its last legs as there was hardly anything worth getting, particularly with more attention on the upcoming Wii U. I only bought 2 new releases in 2012, Twisted Metal and Far Cry 3. Even in 2013, there was hardly nothing I wanted with most of the games I bought for the PS3 being old second-hand games. Beyond: Two Souls was really the only new release I got. Most of my attention on Computer Games I want to play turn to the PC with Games on Steam. Nowadays, when I walk into a GAME Shop, I just look at old stuff that I could get cheap. I spend more time looking at Board Games, than I do at Video Games. When I was studying Video Games Development, I always assumed that Video Games would be my Major Hobby, but now, it isn’t. It still is a hobby, but not my major one. When you are young you don’t see how you change as you get older, it is only now I see this change.

Far Cry 3 (Ubisoft - 2012)

Video Games will always be a part of me, this blog started as a result of my Interest in Video Games. I look forward to games to be released on Steam and GOG. I play some games multiple times; I still look at Games I want to play and continue to look forward to and enjoy E3. I have a Nintendo 3DS which I play Pokémon SoulSilver on every now and again, I even want to give Ouya a go, as for any of the other consoles, well it depends on whether or not a game comes out on one that I really want to play, maybe a Wii U or a PlayStation 4, probably not an Xbox One though, unless I am extremely desperate to play Titanfall. For over 10 years, Video Games have been my interest, hobby and passion. While I feel like that this part of my life has now ended, I am thankful for experiencing it and having so much fun in the process. But this is not the ultimate end as I will continue to play Video Games, have fun with friends in multiplayer, experience stories and great characters while also getting involved in these amazing worlds and experience the escapism and involvement that they include. I love gaming, and a part of me always will.

GENEPOOL (Don’t forget to have a look at my article celebrating the 5 year Anniversary of the Nintendo Wii).








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