June 15th, 2014
So this is my first week here in Cali so I haven’t had too much time to play games, but thank God for portables and long car rides! Earlier in the spring I thought I’d give everyone’s favorite plumber another go with Super Mario Land 3D. I quite liked it for a while and cut through it like a hot knife through butter (I guess this comes with growing up… man i must’ve sucked at games way back when!) but after a while it just grew repetitive. It’s the exact same formula I’ve been playing since I was 6. And while I was given something fresh with Mario Kart 8 earlier last week (it feels like a worthy sequel rather than a revamp), I set 3D land down after I finished a level and am not really itching to get back to it.
Do crane games count as games? I won an Angry Bird in one this week… that’s the most rewarding, when you actually get something out of the game, mentally or physically.
Casually I’ve been playing Words With Friends on my iphone with Mary Crylen and Collin Gallivan (also in this course, let’s see if he finds this) and I guess it’s nice just to keep my mind sharp and have a carefree contest to collect the most points. I tried Republique and a Jousting Game, both also on iOS, and I didn’t much care for either. There used to be a great treasure trove of games on the app store, but they seem to have faded into an “oh, what looks like the best one this week?” kinda thing. Where’s the next infinity blade? Angry Birds Epic came out this week (for free! no more money to the sell out Rovio!) and I’ll give it a try for my next journal entry, and i intend to play the DS version of Chrono Trigger for my course-long game experience.
Oh wait, just reread the rubric, I’ll be designing a game for my final presentation, and I’ll probably just play Chrono Trigger for fun ^_^
SO! This week I was able to relax a little more, and, with access to Mr. Zach Ehrat’s PS3, Alex and I embarked on our typical “see how many people you can kill before dying, then trade off” sprees in GTAV. I know, it sounds horrendously demented, but people do it. We start off entering a barrage of cheat codes into the game, then, all super-powered up, we embark on a quest to cause as much mayhem as we can. It’s like a Michael Bay movie mixed with Roland Emmerich- much destruction and a high death count. I feel so bad writing about it… we usually play for around an hour or two, and we’re quite shocked at what kind of an experience we can produce. Sniping atop the train is a favorite.
But I wonder why we see appeal in things like this. If anyone came up to you in the street and said they like to do things like this, you’d have them locked up in a padded cell! What makes the digital version ok? I think the possibilities and the physics are quite hilarious (it’s astounding how high people can fly, or watching a helicopter plummet to the ground, just as you leap out and deploy your chute). I’ll continue to ponder this as I play again tonight.
Recently I replayed “Happy Wheels,” an internet game that’s available for download. It’s quite simplistic in it’s design. it lends you the wheel to a stereotypical character: a very large woman in an electric shopping cart, a tattered old man in a wheelchair, an ordinary dad on a bike with his toddler strapped into a seat on the back, among many others. Then the user catapults these characters into all manner of dangerous situations. The level editor allows players to create and share whatever they can build, with access to a plethora of dangerous traps said characters must avoid and make it to the finish line.
Some of these levels don’t even have a visible or accessible finish; they’re only purpose is to cause as much mayhem as possible and create the most shocking “replays” to share with other players or online. They exist solely to present you with enough opportunities to make the goriest playback you can, and it is insanely entertaining. It’s in the same vein as playing GTA with cheats and seeing how many people you can kill (which i indulged in a few night of this week, as well as some COD sessions with Zach). I feel like a bad person when I laugh at all this gore, but when my character becomes immobilized I restart and try again. The deaths are somewhat more satisfying than crossing the finish line. It’s a very weird feeling, one that I intend to look into this week and see if I can uncover any reason as to why. It reminds me of slapstick; it’s often hilarious in movies when characters get injured (strike that, i should say comedies), and I don’t have an answer as to why we as human like to laugh at fictional pain, but revile seeing real injuries.
SO I started Chrono Trigger last night! After I finished Metal Gear Solid 3 I haven’t been able to crack into mobile gaming as much since it all feel just so… inferior. And my pokemon game is finished. I have nowhere to run out here. BUT I brought my friends copy of Chrono Trigger, and I’m so glad I finally sat down to give it a go. It’s refreshing to me to get out of the realm of nintendo properties, and it’s my first Square Enix game actually! But this one actually has a very engrossing story about time travel and a daughter’s relationship with her father, and while I step into the shoes of a character with a name (I could name him after myself, but i stuck with Crono), I connect very well with the in-game characters, Crono’s friends. They almost become your friends in a way (NOT LIKE I HAVE NONE IN THE REAL WORLD, OKAY), and I haven’t really felt that was except with Zelda games, particularly Wind Waker.
Minecraft pocket edition was updated this week, with a plethora of new bricks and various new landscapes and biomes that expand upon the “lite” version of MC. It made the game a little more interesting, but as I was playing it it felt a little too much like Survivalcraft, another knock-off sandbox game that builds upon the basis of Minecraft but with all the features that were just added to it, along with a slightly different aesthetic. I’ll probably be more immersed in it when I’m a little less busy.
I also played a mobile Sonic the Hedgehog game called Jump Fever, and I grew rather bored with it after a short while. It felt just like an overly complicated doodle jump, and it doesn’t let you unlock things quickly. I also read once that to make a successful game you have to have an in-depth but simple tutorial, and JF didn’t give me that great of a rundown. I ended up deleting it after a day.
Two iOS games that blipped on my radar this week were an Assassin’s Creed game that has really crappy dialogue scenes but superb and fun controls for various pirate ships. Being on set I didn’t have much time to play, but I’m very intrigued. I will revisit this one later. Another game I played today on the iphone was Dino Hunter (yes, very generic title) that is made by the same creators of a Deer Hunting game I became addicted to last fall. It’s very easy to learn, and easy to gain money and points to upgrade your rifles. This is a carbon copy of it, but with big-ass guns, crossbows, and rifles and replacing deer, elk, moose, bears, and wolves with various creatures of the before time. I was itching to play a casual shooter again, and this seems to fit the bill.
Apart from these small games, I began Peace Walker on the PS3. It’s incredibly fun and easy to control, but sometimes incredibly dense that it’s not easy to understand unless you know the historical backstory Hideo Kojima bases it on. I love that it makes me wide eyed with tension though, it’s a real payoff to finish a level!
I have never been more bored this week than in my entire life. So what better to stave off boredom than cracking out the old iOS and PS3!
This week I continued playing Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker, and they don’t exxagerate when they say that Hideo Kojima is just a director who makes games. I have never felt so many chills or learned so many short lessons in a game before this. “Big Boss” Naked Snake has every reason to be battle hardened and shut off from the rest of the world, but he still has a heart of gold. And to know your character has his head in the right place and to have the privilege of accompanying such a legend on such a mission is so enticing. I can’t wait to play again tonight.
I also gave Minecraft PE an extensive look since it’s update, and I loved flying around in creative mode checking out what new it had to offer. It has infinite worlds now like the PC version, and it brought back that feeling of exploration that I love about it so much. I found biomes that had previously been unavailable to this version, including deep forests with giant mushrooms, rivers, and VILLAGES! I was so suprised when I came across it. I was like, “I DIDN’T BUILD THIS!” It was really fun, and I hope I get the itching again to play a mode of survival again. It seems very greatly tweaked, but at the same time, it’s getting a little big for a pocket edition. I’ll make that judgement later though.
Jeezus i can’t believe it’s the 27th already! I’ve been playing through Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker like a mad man trying to finish it in time for my final paper. At every juncture I’m met with similar gameplay to what i’ve experienced before, but it is never any less thrilling. I surprise myself with how quickly and effectively I can take down an enemy non-lethally now. I used to get alarms raised on me all the time but I am a freaking stealth MASTER now! The plot also continues to thicken, bringing back some elements from the first game chronologically that i’ve also played, and it added so much gravitas to the game. I got chills, and I rarely get them while playing video games as opposed to watching films. I did miss one crucial cut scene cuz an acquaintance I never talk to called me up and asked me to call him in as a guest to Oakwood, where I’m staying. Hell hath no fury like Austin missing plot.
I also gave minecraft some more time, and I quite like the new worlds, especially the mesas with different colored rock and the thick jungles. I remember when I purchased it a few years ago, and my god how it’s changed. I’ll probably play it more extensively when (IF) I have time this coming semester.
On the none video game side of things, do Nerf gun wars count as a game? Cuz my roommates and I had one of those. With thumbtacks taped to the front of bullets. yeah…
(there were no needle sticks, thank god a little foam bullet isn’t enough to propel a needle to pierce skin.)
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