Why Video Games are the hardest thing for me to consume

I am addicted to progress. Or at least, the illusion of progress. I love checking things of a list, or crossing a task of any do. It makes me feel like i’m not wasting my time.

Books feed me this sense of progress perfectly. I can always see the amount of pages i’ve read, chapters etc.More importantly, you can finish a book. Just like you can finish a movie, a episode of a tv show which leads me to the next point…

There is no clear indication of when you are finished with a game. Perhaps that’s a good thing, and one of the strengths of our medium, but to me it hampers my progress. Sure a game can have a story mode, but what if it has a multiplayer? What if it is a sandbox game like Minecraft and has no clear finished state? These questions stump me when I try to come up with a definition of “finishing” a game, and another reason why my library of hundreds of games on Steam goes untouched.

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The social evolution of gaming

***This post was conceptualized during the summer of 2012. Although I made a post everyday, it never made it around to making this. So today, on my little “creation day” im finally going to get this out of draft limbo***  

Over the summer I realized that my gaming experience had become more social than ever. More and more I abandoned my haven off single player games to play games with my friends. Great examples would be left 4 dead 2 and League of Legends. For the entire summer I never played alone. We explored these new worlds together.

It was not limited to that either, when friends came over we played games split screen using controllers. It brought back memories from my youth where my brother and I continuously played n64 and ps2 all day.

However the term social gaming has taken for the worst in the form of Facebook games. Big companies farming the public with in game purchases. Notifications and updates. Ugh.

Although solo games offered an arguably more immersive experience  if continually choose “social games” over them. I suppose it had something with the wanting to fit in with them, or it was fun to do just about anything with them.

Mobile gaming also had a resurgence this year where I live, in the form of the games Candy Crush and Puzzle and Dragons. Everyone. I mean everyone played it. It was a fad, but while it lasted everyone had some common ground, something to talk about and share.

Thank you for reading my unorganized thoughts on how games have evolved into my social experiences.

Bastion: A story driven Action-RPG

Bastion Title Image

Bastion is an isometric story driven action RPG developed for PC by Supergiant Games. It is set in a post apocalyptic world, after an event known as the “Calamity.” You play as a young boy soldier who has survived the calamity and must help fix and protect the Bastion,    the last hope of humanity. Along the way you will visit exotic locales, use satisfying skill-based weapons and fight diverse enemies.

***Bastion was the first game I finished under my new school year initiative. I was to intentionally sit down to play a game with no distractions. Just me and my game. Bastion was the first game I finished successfully this way.*** 

Story:- Gives the game direction, and holds it together

Without spoiling too much I would like to talk about the story, which is arguably one of the biggest strengths of the game. It’s well written, compelling and ties together really well. Characters are deep, and can be related to… everything eventually get its small, important spotlight and it just synergies together to make an unforgettable experience. Bastion is quite literally a small island of hope in an ocean of indie games, a speck in the night sky, a blooming flower in a sea of grass. A Bastion.

It’s not only the writing that’s top-notch, but also the method of delivery. A narrator, commentaries your adventure, commentating on what you do. What’s really genius is how he reacts to your actions. Make it through an entire section without damage, and he’ll say something along the lines of “Boy, walks out without a scratch.” Sticking with one weapon for a while, constant smashing of the scenery, all warrant a witty and insightful line from the narrator.

Gameplay:- The most important part of a game

 Bastion has satisfying, skill-based and well paced combat. The game introduces new concepts to you slowly and allows you to try them out soon after. It does an amazing job of giving you a weapon, and giving you a few perfect scenarios for using that weapon. For example when I got the mortar, I was able to practice on clumps of enemies on the other side of a wall.

Continue reading

Assassin’s Creed: My Personnel Sotry

This isn’t an overview of the entire game. In fact, it’s more of a short story of my personnel experience near the end of the game, focusing on the last few assassinations. Warning: Contains frustration and spoilers.

I almost never finished the game. Trouble started as soon as I sat down and decided, “I AM GOING TO FINISH THY!” The game would lag after every kill. Movements where stilted and awkward. How could a game, that I had played perfectly a few months before be so broken? Turns out it was Ubisoft’s notorious DRM. It was trying to connect to the internet after each kill, lagging the game. Switching off my internet, and making some progress within the game fixed this.

According to my last briefing I had to kill two more people. Two more people and the Templar menace would be destroyed. Or so I thought.

The First Kill

Before I left the Assassin’s stronghold I learned two new fighting techniques or rather rediscovered them. Combo kill allows you to kill an enemy in a quick combo if you are able to time three perfect sword strikes. Defense Break allows you to catch tougher enemies off guard and kill them. Continue reading

Midnight Gaming Session

I thought I had failed. I was planning the entire night to play games, and by midnight I had only played two rounds of love. A lucky break, I could stay up. Here is how it went.

Assassin’s Creed

This game had been frustrating me for a while but today it finally decided to give me a break. No weird crashes. No glitches. Almost no clunky controls. Instead of assassinating the target, I decided to make it easier for myself. By saving citizens I created groups of vigilantes that help me against nearby enemies (I found the easiest way to do this is to using throwing knifes). They grad onto guards allowing me to  walk over casually and stab them. I don’t even have to worry about hitting the vigilantes, because they can’t die!

When I get into the assassin’s creed mood I feel great. Everything seems so smooth and done expertly. I casually pickpocket knives. Hide last-minute on a bench as guards run past. Take on groups of 20 guards or more without getting hit once. It makes me feel like an awesome bad ass!

Then I moved onto Sanctum

This was the game I wanted to finish next month, a hybrid fps and shooter. I did not like it at first, I was overwhelmed by its complexity and the enemies abilities to waltz through my defenses. But once I got into it, it became an addicting experience. I learned to time my upgrades with the waves and work alongside the turrets; Slowing bigger targets and taking down their shields so they could tear them up. I breezed through the first level, completely losing track of time.

September Accomplisments

Starting this month, I had decided to have some goals for each month. Having something to work for, think about and accomplish has allowed me to do some interesting and fun things. Without further ado, the accomplishments of September.

  • I read Book Thief and Lord of the Flies
  • Beat the game Bastion (First Game I’ve Beaten in a while)
  • I became less sexist and tried to be nicer to girls
  • Learned the lyrics of “Am I Psycho” and “Dani California”
  • Sky jumped of the highest bungee jump tower in the world
  • Kinda moved into the book room

There you have it! My small yet satisfying list of cool things I did this month. Hopefully there will be more to come in October.

 

 

 

Almost been a month: The Fourth Week of School

Monday

Today I was able to finish two of my goals for this month. A beautifully written book called “The Book Thief” and another equally beautiful game called Bastion. I’m going to write individual articles for both, culminating my experiences. Both where simply amazing. Today was the day we also received our first test of the year. Toke them awhile didn’t it? Some minor hiccups along the way but it was manageable. We were also briefed on how difficult A/s Level English was going to be, which made some people quit on the spot. Despite this, he said that the Jargon of English where simply complex words for simple things. The real problem, is remembering them. Continue reading

Day 55: Picnic Day: The Last Major Excursion of Summer 2012

A polar opposite of the day before I slept like a baby. A solid 10 hours of pure, unadulterated sleep. It prepared me well for the day ahead.

One of the first things I head in the morning was that Tata was staying full-time. Great thing to hear! Let’s me worry less about how the house isn’t going to burn down and more about studying and improving stuff.

I spent the early morning gaming and revisting an old favourite. I played a quick game of League of Legends simply to get the win of the day bonus. I couldn’t decide who to get next. Garen or Singed? One is a bruiser that swings in circles to damage people and the other runs around with chemical fumes. Perfect time to try the poll.

I also revisited one of my old favourites. Day of Defeat Source. I started straight where I left off: Mastering the M1 Garand on Donner on a server that only plays that map.

I then had the quick lunches and along with some last-minute sandwiches made by Tata and the snack from yesterday I was off to met Marilda.

We all met up by a hotel known as Altira which was near the picnic destination. It was the largest gathering of friends yet. Everyone had returned from summer holiday and it was good to have a get together. We were going to have a picnic at the top of the hill nearby Altira (we did not know the name, which would hinder a late friend from joining us). It would be apparent soon that it was a mistake.

It was so hot. The park was a good twenty minutes and the heat was killing us. When we finally reached the park, all the boys just threw their shirts off! Lyka had made some brownies with marshmallows on top which melted into a layer of white by the time we reached the top. Still tasted great though :). We didn’t do much up there, simply due to they insane heat. We listened to music using my Boombox, toke photos with a compact and fooled around. Currently we are obsessed with this song:

Eventually we couldn’t take the heat. We retreated to McDonald’s to hog up space and eat some of the food we prepared. We didn’t even order anything. Soon afterwards we all split up to get showered and ready for John’s F4 Graduation Party. Joel and I went to Liam’s. We had some Mac n Cheese, watched some Youtube. Then Joel decided to start a Game in Nba 2k12 as Larry Bird. During his game, I was called repeatedly by Joao and John. I kept telling them we were at the bus stop and we ended up being about an hour late. Whoops.

When we were all gathered, it was decided that we should have something to eat before going out. The rich ones among us went to Fruitarian and the rest ended up in McDonald’s (again). While eating Liam noticed that the “rich ones” had taken a photo of them eating. We decided to counter by all posing (there were about 3 times more of us) , taking a photo and tagging them. The power of 3G!

We then bought drinks for the Party and were off!

*** For my own safety reasons (lol) I have censored this part of the story until a later time, at the discretion of my wise friend Miguel. I shall post it privately and reveal it later.***

Read tomorrow’s post on the party’s aftermath.

It’s hard writing a blog for a few days before (no idea how im going to do the China trip ones.) Hopefully I haven’t forgotten anything.

Day 33: Total Recall: Ruined By a persitant Grandma

Recently I reached 10 followers on WordPress. Hooray! Thank you for reading my random stuff :), it’s much appreciated.

Almost nothing happened today except that me, my bro and my pops went to see Total Recall. It was a mediocre, but not enjoyable. I really liked its mech robots and hover cars and the dystopian setting. It kinda pissed me off that someone was using their smart phone to check Facebook DURING the movie. My grandma also called me a total of three times during the movie (and at the worst part). She wouldn’t stop, calling my dad a few seconds later. Whats even more frustrating was that we had already told her we were in the movie before. Gosh. On a side note I saw Mondass with his girlfriend Charlie. Of to play League of Legends. Tata!