dankempster's forum posts

#1 Posted by dankempster (2268 posts) -

Nice list Sparky. Some solid predictions and a couple of admirable crazy pipe-dreams on here. Here's hoping some of it comes to fruition, especially that Rare point - those guys have been criminally underused of late, and I hope their next outing isn't something Kinect-centric and more in the vein of what they do best.

I don't really have any hopes for the upcoming year myself. Which is crazy, because this is the year that I'm most likely to drop some cash on a hot new console. I should have desires coming out the wazoo in preparation for that, but to be honest, my wishlist amounts to little more than a Fallout 4 announcement and Final Fantasy XV being above average. If both of those things happen then you can call my planned PS4 purchase a certainty and my 2015 a good one.

Oh, and a Happy New Year to yourself, Captain Sparky. It's good to see you back to bloggin', sir.

#2 Posted by dankempster (2268 posts) -

The last game I played in 2014 was Pokémon Y. I had a couple of competitive battles with my friends at our New Year's Eve get-together, at which we also busted out the old Nintendo 64 and played a bit of Goldeneye and Diddy Kong Racing. Say what you like about online multiplayer, but I still think nothing beats the joy of four friends sharing a sofa and shouting at both the TV and each other.

I'm yet to play anything in 2015, but I'm pretty sure it's going to be either Pokémon Red (I have a Randomizer Nuzlocke in progress on that at the moment, about to get the sixth badge) or Tomb Raider: Chronicles (which is my main 'in-progress' game right now, I'm about two hours in and... yeah, I think it's definitely the worst of the Core-developed PS1 games).

#3 Posted by dankempster (2268 posts) -

If pressed for a quick answer I'd say that 2014 wasn't a particularly great year for music, but when I stop and think about it, a lot of decent stuff came out this year. Without repeating anything already mentioned above, these are a couple of my favourites.

Black State Highway are a five-piece hard rock band from Brighton, here in the UK. I stumbled upon them purely by chance a few months back, and since then their self-titled debut album has been a frequent fixture in my listening schedule. I don't normally go in for female vocalists in this style of music, but this chick more than carries the songs, and the band are no slouch either. Really hoping I can catch them live some time next year.

I was into Rival Sons' stuff before 'Great Western Valkyrie', but this album just blew me away. Whereas I thought Head Down was a bit bloated and over-long, GWV is a much tighter, slicker and more concise record, and it's much better off for it. I said when the album came out that Where I've Been would be a shoe-in for my favourite song of the year, and I honestly can't think of anything I've heard since that's come close.

Kamchatka are an awesome Swedish rock band who released their fifth album 'The Search Goes On' at the start of this year. I was fortunate enough to catch them live in a very small, intimate venue in London earlier this year, and they completely blew me away. Thomas 'Juneor' Andersson, the guitarist and singer, is a phenomenal player, and their new bassist Per Wiberg (who I believe used to play keys with Opeth) is fantastic too. Really hoping they come back to the UK next year so I can see them again.

I love Elbow without reservation. I think these lads are some of the most talented people making music today, and their latest record 'The Take Off and Landing of Everything' is another piece of conclusive proof. The album became the soundtrack of my summer, and by the end of August there wasn't a single track on it that I didn't adore. It doesn't quite reach the incredible heights of 'Build a Rocket Boys' for me, but that was always going to be a tremendous ask, and it doesn't stop it from being a fantastic record in its own right.

#4 Edited by dankempster (2268 posts) -

I bought Ni no Kuni from the PlayStation Store a little while back, around three days before we had that 'Big in Japan' sale and its price temporarily plummeted to £3.99 (yep, I'm still a little bitter about that). I had a quick peek at the game's opening minutes and was impressed with what I saw, so it's definitely high on my list of games to play soon(-ish). The revelation that it's chock-full of pun-derful wordplay has just bumped it even higher up that list. Having read this blog I'm really looking forward to sinking my teeth into it, hopefully later this year.

#5 Posted by dankempster (2268 posts) -

Really sorry to do this last minute, but I'm not going to be able to make tomorrow evening I'm afraid. I've just had to spend £140 I wasn't expecting to part with, and it's cut my expendable income for this month down to zero. Again, really sorry, I was looking forward to meeting some of you guys and having a few drinks in Ryan's name. Hope y'all have an awesome time, and that I can make another one of these in the near future.

#6 Posted by dankempster (2268 posts) -

I'll do my utmost to come along to this. It would be awesome to meet a few duders and put faces to names, all while playing some video games and having a few drinks to honour the late great Ryan Davis. I'm assuming it'll be an afternoon/evening thing?

#7 Posted by dankempster (2268 posts) -

@video_game_king: Because he's not a bag of stolen goods being carried off in the night by a comedy cartoon burglar, and that is the only acceptable context for that word.

#8 Posted by dankempster (2268 posts) -

Great blog as always, Colorwind.

I can definitely empathise with you on the 2D Zelda versus 3D Zelda thing. I felt similarly after playing through both A Link Between Worlds and Link's Awakening through late 2013/early 2014, to the point where I actually wrote a blog about it back in January trying to put my finger on the reasons why. I will say that you can't go wrong with The Minish Cap, that's a fantastic (and hugely underrated) 2D Zelda adventure. I also recommend Link's Awakening, if you can find it on the 3DS eShop - it's a really well put together Zelda game, with a fairly novel world and atmosphere.

I commend you for going back to Pokémon Blue, especially after spending time with the latest generation of Pokémon games. I've sunk an obscene amount of time into Pokémon Y in the last six months and I'm pretty sure I would find it almost impossible to go all the way back to the franchise's origins at this point. I definitely think the best approach to getting through Pokémon games is to catch 'em all but only train a few, and I can definitely see how your previous method of playing the games might have soured your experience with X considering that game throws about half a dozen new Pokémon at you on every single route. That's a pretty solid team you're rocking there at the moment, and I hope you'll keep us updated on your progress through the game.

#9 Posted by dankempster (2268 posts) -

@sparky_buzzsaw: I always find it weird when people call out the 3DS for not being ergonomic. Since October I've put 540 hours into Pokémon Y (no, I don't know what the fuck is wrong with me either), and I've got no complaints about cramps or even mild discomfort from spending that amount of time with the machine in my hands. I guess it could be more ergonomic if Nintendo threw some controller-style contours into its shape, but its existing dimensions are a non-issue for me.

Great blog Colorwind. Having only just finished Revelations myself, you've actually made me feel a little better about how far behind I am with the Assassin's Creed series! ACII remains my favourite game in the series at this point - although I am happy to acknowledge that Brotherhood is mechanically superior, its story was a real let-down for me, whereas ACII just felt like a perfect overall package at the time I played it. Admittedly I had the Complete Edition, which includes both DLC packs by default, so I didn't suffer from that disconnect when it came to "missing" DNA sequences. Maybe if I had, my stance would have been different.

I watched some of your Final Fantasy IV Let's Play and it's succeeded in making me want to drop everything else and focus on replaying that game, in spite of the frustration I associate with the game (I originally played it on PS1 - think the SNES version, but with drastically worse load times). I've owned the PSP version for quite some time now and hope to get around to playing it soon. The fact it's bundled with The After Years, which I am still yet to play, is just an additional temptation.

As for what I've been playing, I've been juggling my gaming time back and forth between Pokémon Y and Skyrim. A few of my friends and I are setting up a little Pokémon battling league due to kick off next month, so I've been working on putting together a new battling team for that. When I haven't been training and breeding, I've been losing myself in Skyrim. I rolled a new character, a stealthy Argonian, and I've been going through the Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood quest lines which I skipped over when I first played the game two years ago. Man, stealthing and thieving your way through that game is tons of fun.

#10 Posted by dankempster (2268 posts) -

Great write-up Arbitrary. As you highlighted, a lot of what I've read about Thief seems to have been from the perspective of players who've wanted it to be some choose-your-own-path action RPG where stealth is an option rather than the intended playstyle. In light of that, it's refreshing to read something written by someone with... dare I say realistic expectations? You definitely make the game sound like a three-star experience by Giant Bomb's review code (by which I mean, it sounds like something fans of the series or genre will probably find a lot to like about, in spite of its problems).

My experience with the Thief series amounts to dabbling with the original for an hour or so as part of a 'deciding what to play next' session. I definitely enjoyed what little I played of it, and would like to return to it and play it through properly at some point. Reading this may well have just provided me with the impetus I needed to actually do that. I just need to stop stealing shit in Skyrim first...