The Great Game Sacrifice

6 04 2016

My PS3 (and GameCube)

Since about 2009, I have owned a PlayStation 3. For many years I kept it in the front room of my house which enabled me to play it downstairs, as well as have a good internet access to enable the system to complete any number of the millions of system and game updates the machine requires on a too regular basis. Anyway, for some time my enthusiasm to play on the machine on a regular basis had begun to dwindle, and it had been a long while since I had bought any new games for it. I think the last time I bought a brand new game for it was when I bought Beyond: Two Souls back in 2013 (which then led to a reflective post on video games as a hobby). Well, roughly about this time last year, I decided to move the machine to my room, where I originally used to play on it when I first bought it. Putting the machine up there allowed me to give more of a part in the playing of games on the console, especially as I was no longer standing up. However, very quickly, my interest waned again and it was back to being a console in my room, just gathering dust, with a lack of enthusiasm with me to playing on it.

The issue really was that despite the games I owned for it, not many of them were games I wanted to instantly pick up and play at that time, and for most of the time I was either playing things that I had played too much, or stuff I did not want to play at that time of day/night. My interest had gone because I was not playing anything all that really interesting to me as a player. I needed new stuff to play really. Luckily, back in July I did pick up a bunch of cheap games I had not played before including Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Vegas and Lost Planet 2. I played MW3 and enjoyed the experience, but the other 2, I just found rather boring. Once again, playing on the console got un-regular, and on the evenings where I really wanted to play something, I would usually end-up on an entirely different machine. I t was sort of a never-ending sad story for my PS3.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (Infinity Ward - 2011)

Eventually, the penny dropped. One night, I was playing on Brütal Legend, a game I really like, but got to a point that I was not enjoying, and came to the conclusion that I came as far as I could. I tried looking at my other games, and choosing one to play, but came to the stark realization, that for a lot of them, games that I really liked such as Brütal Legend, Killzone 2 and even Far Cry 3 (a game I have considered for a long time as one of my top favourites), it was clear that I did not want to play them again, well not at least for a long time, time for them to get interesting, time for me to forget something about them to keep them fresh, because right now, fresh they weren’t. It was there that I decided to trade them in. I cycled through the games I had, kept ones I was sure of keeping at least for now, like Mortal Kombat 9, Killzone 3 and Fairytale Fights, but got rid of the games I have mentioned above, including those I got back in July, and some others I had got down the line.

Fairytale Fights (Playlogic Entertainment - 2009)

Pretty much the following day, while on break from my time working at Barnardo’s shop, I popped into CEX across the road, chose a few games for possible purchase, and traded in my old ones. It was a hard decision to trade in games I loved, but I thought I could buy them again down the line if I wanted too. So yes, I traded in those games, got an alright price for them, chose a game, took it to the desk where I was told it had gone down in price, so I got an additional one too. I also went into GAME where I got an additional game for just 99p. I was both Happy and Excited, I was about to play games I had not played at all. One was a game I had known about since it was first released back in 2009, while the other 2 I had known about for a while but had not considered buying until near that time. But I was happy and really excited to try out something new. Those games were; Haze, Blur and Dishonored.

Dishonoured

There was still a bit of an issue though. While I may have had cool new games to play, I was still unsure about a game I kept. I decided to keep ModNation Racers, a quirky and very fun racing game that was something of Sony’s attempt at making their own version of Mario Kart, which actually worked; quite brilliantly. I sort of decided to keep it as it could be a good multiplayer game to have, despite the fact that I hardly ever play online multiplayer. I decided to keep it as more a split screen multiplayer game. Anyway, one thing that made the game really work for me was the single player campaign and story, which was very in-depth and thrilling from scene to scene. Since completing that part though, repeating the campaign was just so easy, and out of everything about the game, it was the campaign that really stood out for me. So by deciding to keep it, I decided to make it fun again, by deleting all my data on the console. As a result, the story was fun but challenging again, however, due to the deletion, the game kept getting interrupted by a screen demanding I do an update. It was of course an option rather than a demand to be fair, but when I would click cancel, another would pop up less than 5 minutes later. Having had enough over the years of constant updates on the console and its games; I decided to switch the console’s internet access off. The decision and the action of doing such a thing were actually very easy to come to, and do. At the time I did not regret it, and don’t now. Turning it online hasn’t really been of any advantage for me in the first place other to play on MAG. The only thing that was a bit annoying was that I lost some vehicle bodies in ModNation Racers, but apart from that, have had no issues with games, the console, nor any annoying screens telling me that there is an update required. For the first time in a long time, the console is more or less at a stage with which I am more than happy with it. I can now just play games on it and not have to worry about additional issues.

Since then, I have been happily playing on my games. So far I have been playing the story/campaign mode in ModNation Racers, played a few levels of Haze, and am some distance into Dishonoured, which I am really enjoying. Have yet to play Blur, but am sure will get round to it sooner or later, well more sooner than I was before getting it. I don’t know what will happen after I complete those games, whether I’ll keep them or trade them in, but now, am happier than I was before, and am more up for game trading than I was before, because without doing it, the PS3 in my room would be a lot more dustier now than it was less than a couple of months ago.

My PS3 Games (at the moment)

GENEPOOL (Did you notice the dust claw marks on my PS3?)





Top 5 F-Zero Cars/Racers/Vehicles

3 02 2016

F-Zero GX Race

I love F-Zero. My introduction to the series began very early into my ownership of a Nintendo 64 when my Mam treated me to a game, for which I chose F-Zero X. To begin with I was alright, and wanted to be a bit sillier than play it to the full, but when I really got into it, I really enjoyed it. Definitely one of the standout games for me on that console. I then followed it up with F-Zero GX on the GameCube, which also happened to be my favourite game on that console. It’s a game I continue to play and enjoy to this day.

 F-Zero GX

For anybody currently wondering what on earth I am talking about, well, F-Zero is a futuristic video game series from Nintendo. It involves anti-gravity vehicles racing around futuristic locations. The series was a big hit from the start, spawning numerous sequels and was a base inspiration for the Wipeout series on PlayStation. The reason for me doing a post on it is due to me just finding out about Fast Racing Neo, a new video game for the Wii U, which from first glance to me looks a lot like F-Zero. Instead of going into it and trying to find similarities, I thought I would do a post on my favourite vehicles from the game series. This list is mostly based on GX (just thought I should point that out), but that is the one where I have the most experience of the vehicles and the series. Anyway, here are my Top 5 Favourite Vehicles/Cars/Racers from F-Zero (GX).

Wild Goose

5. Wild Goose (Pico) – When I first played F-Zero X, Wildgoose stood out to me for one big reason, because it was Green. Upon realising that cars can change colour, I discovered other Green Cars, however I always had an affinity with Wild Goose for that reason. Upon beginning GX, and having to start from scratch unlocking new vehicles; while the magazines (such as CUBE) suggested using Fire Stingray, I went back to Wild Goose, and for most of the time when I was racing to earn points to unlock cars, I would pretty much always use Wild Goose. Since then the affinity I have had with this vehicle has made it one of my favourites…..and also because it’s a very reliable and easy to control machine…most of the time.

Magic Seagull

4. Magic Seagull (Spade) – When I began to unlock new vehicles and try out new things, I always liked to try out vehicles that had a certain look. The look of something streamlined, and from pure looks looked fast; Vehicles that looked like Planes (or mostly) Jet Fighters. I just thought at the time that in a game where all the cars float off the ground, that something that looks more like it was designed for flying might be an advantage (as such this is one of at least two vehicles in this list that fall into it for that reasoning). Anyway, one of the ones I kept returning to was Magic Seagull. It has this sleek-looking design, with pointed out front wings, and three boosters out the back. It’s maybe not the coolest looking vehicles, or maybe the most beautiful, but it is one of the sleekest, and one of the coolest when under power. It’s also very easy to control, especially on maps that involved curved rounds, and by that I don’t mean they have turns in them.

Rainbow Phoenix

3. Rainbow Phoenix (Phoenix) – One of the most beautiful racers in the game by far. Rainbow phoenix is as true to its name more than any other vehicle (ok Magic Seagull does look a lot like a Seagull). The charm and love for this vehicle comes in what it can do. When changing colours, the shading is not necessarily mat or plain, but rather elegant and bright. The colouring of the vehicle is as it says, a rainbow, and they are nice and bright and very beautiful. While black may be unavailable, a bright Green, Blue, Yellow and Red more than make up for that, even surpassing it. The other side to the vehicle is in its look and one additional feature. The body is shaped like a bird, much like a phoenix, and has two booster engines at the back, like fleet of flames when passing bystanders (although you don’t get to see that). But the additional thing is something no other vehicle has in the game. When you initiate a boost (something all vehicles can do), the wings on the side of the vehicle sprout out. That is as in the fold out from an angular position to a more horizontal position with the bird like wings. It’s a nice additional feature that makes this racer stand out more than others.

Hyper Speeder

2. Hyper Speeder (Beastman) – Upon deciding that Airplane/Jet Fighter based aircraft might have an advantage over others, I immediately started using Hyper Speeder, because if it’s a Jet Fighter you want, what not better than the vehicle that best resembles one (even though it has no wings)? Hyper Speeder is as its name suggests a very fast car. With most vehicles it more comes down to the skill of the driver than the performance of the vehicle, and Hyper Speeder can be a hard one to control due to its enormous length. Time turns can become perilous, however, when driven to near perfection, it is one of the best. I especially look forward to sections of track which are like flying through the air, because then there is a certain level of actually feeling like I am flying a jet fighter. Apart from all those things though, it is a very cool vehicle to look at and race with.

Green Panther

1. Green Panther (Antonio Guster) – Out of all the vehicles I have played with, I think I have used Green Panther the most. It is a very cool car. It’s easy to control, and doesn’t lose control all that easy, it is very durable and can take quite a few big hits before getting into trouble, its fast either from simple acceleration or boost speed, and it has this rather cool paint job, a military camouflage like colouring, which even comes in a cool purple configuration. It’s hard to say why exactly I prefer this one, other than in a race, it is the best one I have used, and continue to use due to how easy it is to control, and how reliable it is. No matter Win or Lose, it always performs, and is always both cool to look at and fun to play with.

GENEPOOL





“It’s A Fix!”

28 10 2015

Mario Kart: Double Dash‼ (Nintendo - 2003)

Recently I have been getting back into racing games. Well, I say getting back into racing games; I mean I have just been playing racing games recently after a while of not playing them. Anyway, I have been getting back into racing games. So far I have played F-Zero GX (which is also my favourite GameCube game), Trackmania 2: Stadium on the PC and Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (back on the GameCube). It’s been a lot of fun playing these games again. So far I have still yet to complete all Grand Prix difficulties on F-Zero, have yet to get all Gold on Mario Kart, and while Trackmania doesn’t work like that, it’s fun to go up the European ranks. For this post though, the game that I want to concentrate on is Double Dash.

I have had Double Dash on my GameCube since the Christmas it first came out, I have had a lot of fun on it, and while it has been a few years since I last played on it, playing it again in the last few weeks has been a lot of fun, except for when I have been on one particular mode. One option the game has as a special unlock is the opportunity to compete for the chance to win a trophy where you race on all 16 tracks across its four cups; otherwise known as World/All Cup Tour. It’s a nice fun idea, if a long one as even on the fastest mode it can take more than 40 minutes to complete. But still it can be fun, but recently when I have been playing on it I have noticed something rather unfair.

King Boo and Petey Piranha

The winning two teams in every race I have done while playing both at 150cc and Mirror Mode are teams that include the tandem of Petey Piranha and King Boo. During neither games of that mode were the two characters in the same car despite being the same team when listed in the menu and having cars of roughly the same design. No matter how hard I raced, even if I came in 2nd at best, one of those teams would be in first and the other third. It became obvious that in the first game I was not going to catch up, and in the mirror mode game I just couldn’t be bothered.

King Boo

The issue with these two beyond most things is that they can use any special ability usually given to no more than 2 characters. Most of the time I am not too bothered by this, but when something like I have mentioned above does, something just doesn’t make sense. Also, why is it that there is no real randomness or other races giving a surprising win, it’s like the minute the first race is up, the winning team has been announced. Ok, one problem relating to this is the fact that whatever order the previous race was won, is the order the next race starts. So if you are last, you are at the back. There is some randomness to the AI in later races, but it’s just usually mid way up, no surprise wins. It’s not like F-Zero GX where if you win the previous race yo go to the back. It’s a bit more even Steven’s.

MKDD!!

Ok, Double Dash is more a family game than a serious racer, but when you play alone, it just doesn’t seem right that the races seem fixed from the moment they start. I will probably get round this as the game’s progress, but it would be nice that even if I don’t win, I don’t lose to the same AI characters. Maybe lose to my favourites: Koopa Troopa and Paratroopa.

Koopa and Paratroopa

GENEPOOL





MotorStorm: Pacific Rift

4 12 2013

 MSPR5

When the PS3 was launched, it started that age-old school tiffle taffle about which console people were going to get. By this time I already had a Wii, but most people’s attentions were drawn towards the successor to the highly successful PlayStation 2. When the launch games were first revealed, I got the distinct impression that it was all the same and that despite the consoles extreme power, nothing would live up to it, and none of them had me interested in the least bit, except for one, the one that everyone had an eye on as it was the only game that as yet showed what the new console was capable of, that game being MotorStorm. While at the time I did not want a PS3, I did want to play MotorStorm, and I did, at a branch of Curry’s. A couple of years or so later, a sequel game was Launched in the form of MotorStorm: Pacific Rift. About less than a year or so later, I bought my PS3 and about a month later, got MotorStorm: Pacific Rift.

MotorStorm Pacific Rift (produced by British Studio Evolution Studios) in Essence is a Racing game, but is different than any other. The game’s setting follows on from the previous game where an annual motor rock festival takes place and drivers from all around the world come to celebrate. You play one of these drivers as you race across the landscape in a variety of vehicles on a variety of courses. The gameplay is different to that of other racing games as others such as Gran Turismo, Project Gotham Racing, Need For Speed or Forza Motorsport usually take place in a city or on a track in a stadium. In MotorStorm the racing takes place on a deserted island in the Pacific Ocean, an island with many hazards including, abandoned buildings, volcanoes, rivers and trees. So as the player is racing on this island, he has several different elements to look out for and avoid, but it’s not as easy as that.

MSPR2

There are 8 vehicle classes to choose from when in a race. Motor Bikes, ATV’s, Buggies, Rally Cars, Racing Trucks, Mud Pluggers, Big Rigs and Monster Trucks. While it is technically possible to use your vehicle anywhere on the course, different vehicles prefer different areas of the track, and there are usually 3 type areas that most vehicles prefer. The lower areas such as large amounts of water and mud suit the bigger vehicles such as Big Rigs and Monster Trucks while the higher areas of the course such as hard ground and less room between obstacles suit the smaller vehicles such as Bikes, ATVs and Buggies, while the areas in between those are more suited for vehicles that need fewer obstacles so they can go faster such as Rally Cars, Racing Trucks and Mud Pluggers.

MSPR1

Each vehicle has other particular strengths and weaknesses. Smaller vehicles are very fast, but are very easily bullied by vehicles such as Monster Trucks (And also, ATV and Bike Drivers can punch each other off their vehicles). Rally Car’s are also very fast, if not the fastest cars, but are very fragile and if they took a hit, it would be game over pretty much for them (If it wasn’t for the re-spawn tool in the game where your car magically is restored and can continue in the race). Racing Trucks are possibly the best all-rounder, strong body so it can take a beating, but is also very nippy. Big Rigs and Monster Trucks meanwhile are pretty much unstoppable, while not being the fastest vehicles on the circuit, nothing gets in their way and can easily, just run over the competition.

MSPR4

Tactics in racing is always important and in Pacific Rift, it’s the same. You need to know what land is best for the vehicle you have chosen, but you need to remember a few other things also. You get a nitrous booster on your vehicle allowing you to speed up, but if you use it too much, you will blow up. If you are on a course with a lot of lava, the booster will heat up quicker and you could blow up sooner, or if not watching the road clearly, accidently drive into the lava, don’t worry, you’ll re-spawn (But I can not help think that there must be some cloning conspiracy behind this whole festival). If you drive through water though, you can cool yourself down, and the boost will last longer, however it is not advisable that you drive through water if you are a bike or ATV (please do so if you want to, but you won’t win the race).

MSPR3

MotorStorm: Pacific Rift is amazing fun. It is great to play a racing game that does something different. Instead of being on a track it is in the wild or in the middle of a lava flow or torrential river. Instead of being tied down to certain classes (at least not for the most part) you can choose a whole load of vehicles. You can drive really fast and dodge all others, or you can just drive right up and over them. It’s also a great multiplayer experience as you don’t need all that skill to play it, compared to other racing franchises. Much like ModNation Racers and Mario Kart, MotorStorm is very easy to pick up and play. Give it a go, its brilliant fun.

GENEPOOL








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