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So About Them “Videogames” May 2013

May 15, 2013

おっす! May is about half-way finished! I’ve had tons of free time lately, and while a lot of this time has been spent digging through the ol’ backlog (this month’s anime post is going to be a doozy), video games have somewhat fallen out of my interest compared to how things used to be.
“So About Them Videogames” is a thing I guess I’ll do around midway through the month from here out. It won’t necessarily be focused on covering new trends or news, or on reviewing the things I’ve been playing, but I figured It’d be cool to share what gaming-related thoughts have been ricocheting about my brain cavity over the course of the month. I’m unsure why anyone would be interested, but it gives me something to talk about videogame-wise when new releases are as slow as they have been recently.
A word of warning though: These won’t be based on mini-reviews like the Anime posts are, and instead they’ll be more ranty, so if that isn’t your thing here’s your ticket to avoid them.

But about them videogames… The new Xbox announcement is right around the corner, and E3 is next month(!). The Playstation 4 announcements were great, but a lot of the new features (all of the streaming business) are completely uninteresting to me, due to my horrendous ISP. How well  could all of that Gaikai stuff work on a sub-par connection, really? And how much of an impact is that going to have on someone like me whose internet speeds can sometimes be comparable to 56k?
As far as the actual hardware goes, I’m ecstatic to have the opportunity to replace my current box. This console cycle has been fruitful, but it has gone on far, far too long. Hell, I was still moping around in high-school when the 360 was first being talked about. It hasn’t been that long I suppose, but it still seems like an eternity ago.
I don’t want to speculate on what sorts of new services or perks the next Xbox will come with, because for the most part I don’t care. I buy consoles to play games on. If there are new hooks in there to make things easier to say, be able to play a digitally purchased game before it’s finished downloading (as they talked about at the PS4 thing), that could be cool and all, but again, would it work on a crappy connection?
I would be entirely content with a box that plays video games and does nothing else but play video games. (Remember the Genesis?) As long as the thing works without red ringing or (insert any number of error messages here), I couldn’t care less.

So that’ll be interesting, I suppose.

_-Freedom-Fighters-PC-_I’ve mostly been playing League of Legends, as the usual (I’ll save the nitty gritty for when I can formulate enough coherent thought to devote an entire article to that), but I’ve also been peppering some other stuff here or there.
Freedom Fighters was a game I had been aware of since the Xbox 1 days when it was new, but I never got a chance to play it. It seemed interesting enough in concept (essentially Red Dawn: The Videogame), and I’ve always enjoyed on-ground squad-based action games such as the Brothers In Arms series, so mechanically it was pretty fun to play through, even if the story was dull and almost entirely uninteresting.
The game holds up pretty well (I played the pc version on a Windows 7 machine with no notable issues). Good snow effects. Parts of it could be pretty irritating; such as wandering around an area for 20 minutes looking for C4 to blow an objective before realizing you were expected to leave that level, load up another one, grab some C4 from (what I understood was) the only place that it could be found, before returning to the previous (fully repopulated) level to finish the mission.
For a 10 year old game though, it was perfectly playable, and mechanically sound. Quite short though. I finished it up in the matter of an evening, but I’d still recommend it. I’m happy to have finally gotten around to playing it.

3dblastI also brushed off the Gamecube copy of Sonic Mega Collection that I throw in from time to time and played through Sonic 2 again.
Am I crazy, or doesn’t the American version of that game have Eggman juggling the chaos emeralds you missed after the Credits screen? I had assumed the rom of Sonic 2 found on the SMC disc was some other version, but I could very well be mistaken. All I know is that post-credits, Eggman did not make an appearance. Maybe I’m going out of my mind and just make the whole thing up. Who can say.
While I was at it I booted up Sonic 3D Blast, and feel I should make a public apology to Sega and all involved in that project; that game is perfectly fine. I had always brushed it away for being “not the same 2d style as the others”, but it’s surprisingly good. It also has some of the best looking faux 3D sprites I’ve ever seen. Those spinning spiked balls on chains? Get outta here.

That’s pretty much it though as far as what I’ve been playing. I used to put tons of time into video games, but lately I hardly touch them.  I’ve given this a bit of thought, and I’ve come to a few conclusions for why that might be.
I’ll try not to be too overbearing with my personal life or whatever, and feel free to stop reading now or scroll down a bit if you’re uninterested, but some of the reason I used to play games was to escape the world around me.
Sappy, boring, pathetic, or lame, it’s true. Video games helped me ignore the noise my parents would constantly kick up while they were in the throes of their divorce while I was growing up, as well as all of the embarrassing  hiccups that particular event trickled into my own social life.
It’s an unhealthy way to tackle life’s problems, and I’d recommend if you’re young and reading this and are experiencing the same sorts of things, try and find a more social solution to the problem I guess? Ignoring your issues or the issues of those around you by shutting yourself in a room with a box that produces brilliant colors on your tv probably does more bad than good.
Anyway. The point is, I guess, that I haven’t had as much reason to evade the real world as of late. In fact, since I’ve been studying 日本語 and Japanese culture, the world seems like a pretty exciting place.
Hey, the video game consoles I grew up on originated in Japan, so I guess the interest has come full circle in a way.

Since I’m on the topic of 日本語, of which the interest stemmed from my anime habits, another thing I’ve realized was how entirely uninviting video games are. Or more specifically, everything orbiting in the periphery of playing a video game.
From the hood-mentality dimwits inhabiting fighting game culture, to the egotistical “e-sport” centric jagoffs of strategy games, to the stereotypical 14 year old trying to recite as many vulgarities as he can into his mic over Xbox Live/PSN, the types of people you run into while playing video games are completely insufferable.
Anime fans may seem like weirdos, what with their hug pillows and their cosplay and their… もえ (pleading the fifth on that last one), but I’ve yet to be insulted by one, and I only very rarely see vulgarities from them. (Those are all being aimed at anime fans by video game fans in most cases)
It’s a more inviting culture, and a more inviting community of people is what I’m getting at; and since I’ve been burning through my backlog, watching a metric ton of anime, I’ve been feeling more drawn to that crowd than those inhabiting the dark reaches of TF2 or LoL servers.

So I guess it’s a lot of little things adding up that are causing me to avoid spending my free time with video games, but I’m still finding enjoyment in what I do happen to play.
This is a tragic topic for the first of what I’m hoping will be many of these videogame related posts I suppose, but this is legitimately where my mind’s at at the moment regarding games.

And I just realized: This is the first brand new post I’ve made since moving my blog to WordPress. I hope I haven’t made a bad first impression on anyone…
I’ll try to brainstorm up more more structure for the future video game monthlies. If I can’t get together enough to ramble on about each month, I may not continue to bother with them, but as of right now you’re safe to expect one of these next month at least, what with E3 and all.

From → Games, Rambles

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  1. Spitz’s Year-end Wrap Up 2013 | Spitz's Soapbox

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