Which Game was Your Greatest Disappointment?

I recently hopped into No Man’s Sky. I’m usually late to a game, but in this case the wait was very intentional. You might remember that when the game came out it was met with bile and vitriol. To listen to early reviews and discussion, this game apparently lacked in quality in every way. On the dart board of wild, speculative expectation, the game hit the wall and bounced off.

I’m having a great time with the game, but I’ve jumped in four years late. A mountain of content, patching and tweaks have been made to the game in that time. “No Man’s Sky is good now” is a reoccurring suggestion online, a point which most people agree with. I am very happy I waited, and I was very confident I was going to have a good time.

The real reason I waited, however, was not just because of the early criticism. I’m pretty certain I could have enjoyed the original version. It’s definitely the sort of game I enjoy. No, the reason why I waited was because that original divide between ‘promise’ and ‘expectation’ was something I had seen before. As the game was released, I had a grim sense of déjà vu…

I was so disappointed by a game in my youth, that it makes me doubt that quality of games 12 years later.

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Late Review: The Last of Us

Most people can simply enjoy what they do.  I nitpick, poke fun at things I enjoy and appreciate them even more so, whilst others are quite content to be content. Yet there are those vocal few that find it difficult to just have fun.

There are those that like to take the adversarial stance. The more a game, a movie or a show is popularised, the more likely they are to find fault with it. On the other side, some people cannot enjoy something if they know critics find fault with it. You can usually find these two groups bickering about their most/least favourite thing online, whilst everyone else enjoys that thing without issue.

The Last of Us is a hill on which many people have squabbled. I’ve heard the words “prefect game” and “total garbage”. It cannot be both of these things, and its really neither. No game is without issues, and something so popular must have merit…

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Show, Don’t Tell: Do Games Talk Too Much?

At some point, it was decided that every modern video game needed to include additional story in the form of collectables. As we wander the world, we come across audio and/or text files. We can pause our gameplay to open up the parchment or ‘press play’, at which point we are told a little bit more about the world or given more flesh for the bones of the story.

Sometimes, it’s implemented well. Other times, the extra information is dull or unnecessary. Far too often, the added collectable stories feel forced, as if the developers felt obligated to include such things – All the other games are doing it.

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Late Review: Final Fantasy VII Remake

I recently replayed Final Fantasy X, and when I was nearing the end I made a comment to a non-gamer friend that I might play Final Fantasy X-2 again.

They immediately had questions:

  • Why is it called ‘Ten Two’? Why not call it ‘Eleven’?
  • Why is only one of the numbers in Roman numerals? Were they worried people would see ‘X-II’ and think they had skipped a game?
  • Why is it written as “X-2”? Looks like ‘ten minus two’. Is it secretly Final Fantasy 8?

I didn’t have the heart to break it to them that there are actually three Final Fantasy XIIIs. With all the other spin-offs, prequels and pseudo-sequels out there, I honestly don’t know how many Final Fantasy games are out there myself.

And now we have Remakes in the mix.

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The GamerPeak Quiz #4 – Magic

The theme this time is MAGIC. Special powers, wizards, magic in games, movies, literature and history.

6 rounds, 60 points, slightly less than 20 minutes in length. Have fun, share with friends and family, use it as a resource if you are a teacher!

I’ve got a few ideas for the next few quizzes, but if there’s something you’d like to see, let me know!

Ready to Quiz?

The GamerPeak Quiz #3 – Science

The theme this time is science, including biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, geology and scientific achievements.

6 rounds, 60 points, slightly less than 20 minutes in length. Have fun, share with friends and family, use it as a resource if you are a teacher!

I’ve got a few ideas for the next few quizzes, but if there’s something you’d like to see, let me know!

Ready to Quiz?

The GamerPeak Quiz #2 – Animation

The first quiz was fun to make, so I made another one! The theme for this one is animation – comics, tv shows, movies, video games and Disney Classics.

6 rounds, 60 points, slightly less than 20 minutes in length. Have fun, share with friends and family, use it as a resource if you are a teacher!

These were made for the fun of it, and because they are bound to be useful later on, but I still managed to pick up a few likes and even a couple of subscribers! If you enjoy these two quizzes, why not like and subscribe too?

Ready to Quiz?

Can a Game Review be Too Late?

I’m thinking of trying something different. Since I returned to my blog I’ve already branched out into talking about table top games , and since I became a dad the perspective from which I write has shifted somewhat. Yet there is still one more thing I want to try: game reviews.

I have never written a review before. I have plenty of reasons why I’ve not thought of doing it before. Firstly, reviews have always felt like a professional writer’s task. My understanding is that reviewers lock themselves away with a game for a long weekend, surging through a game at break-neck speed to meet a deadline. Every week, a new game and a new review added to the catalogue.

But does that matter? It’s nice to know the reviewer has experience, but a review is a stand alone thing, the only reason that a series of reviews are useful is for context. It allows us to see how the reviewer scores games, what a 3 out of 5 actually means from that author, what kinds of games score higher with that reviewer, etc.

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Why should YOU play D&D? Reason #3

People play games for different reasons. Some people play to win, to fulfil their need to triumph through a show of skill, logic or chance. Others play for the simple joy, unphased by who wins, uninterested in the finer points of the rules. For many, games are simply something to do with friends enjoying the social side.

That last point was the basis for my second reason for why I think you should try out Dungeons & Dragons. It is one of the most sociable games out there. I also believe that the other factors above are especially true for D&D; it can be played competitively or for the simple fun of playing a game.

Which leads me to reason #3:

Reason #3 – It has Something for every kind of Gamer.

Even if you take away the social side of gaming and strip away the inevitable fun that comes with playing any good table-top game, D&D at its core is something that can appeal to all gamers. No matter how or why you play games, Dungeons & Dragons has qualities that will appeal to you.

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When Do Young Geeks Make You Feel Old?

I am still a decent distance away from considering myself ‘old’. I turned 32 last week, I don’t get confused by modern technology, I get very few eye-rolls when I reference popular culture around my students. My five month old daughter definitely makes me feel youthful, if a little tired sometimes.

Nevertheless, from time to time, I experience events that give me the sense that I am old, or at the very least getting noticeably older. This happens to us all in various ways. You might hear yourself saying things your parents exclaimed when you were little, or react to what you see on the TV with the disgruntled attitude of a person past their youth.

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