I've been through death before but this feels particularly strange. The final day of the school's half-term, just before my current holiday started, I spoke with my math's teacher on catching up with maths work after the holiday. Afterwards, I said goodbye to him and wished him a happy holiday. I highly respected my maths teacher and he was a really nice guy at heart and it's made me realise just how much of a caring and fantastic teacher he was to me and my classmates.
The irony in this situation is unbelivable.
So I guess all that's left to say is that I wish you, Mr. Roberts, a long and prosperous holiday away from all the troubles of living. Farewell.
It is curently the 21st of Ocotber, 00:20 AM (GMT). It is my sixteenth birthday.
While I don't see sixteen as much of a deal as many a people think it is, I do think that it's a great time to reflect on one's self and look towards the future.
The past sixteen years seem to have gone in an instant as it seems only yesterday that I was blowing out my first candle on my first birthday cake. (That's the first memory I can actually recall.) I'm currently in my final year at secondary/high school and will be moving on to do my A Levels at college in less than a year. I am very excited. College always seemed lightyears away and now that it's almost here, it feels very strange.
It may also be the fact that I almost felt like I'd not make it to college. You may or may not have seen my previous blog post from a few months back but I came to an encounter with death earlier this year. I was stabbed in the lower abdomen whilst I fought against being mugged. I was lucky as the knife didn't penetrate particularly deep into my body nor did it cause any major damage. I do now, however, have a small scar where the wound once was. This year has taught me more than any television show, movie, book or game that your life can almost disappear in an instant. It's not a fairy-tale, it's very real.
In terms of celebration, I won't be doing much. Like I said I don't see sixteen as that big of a deal. However, I do plan to spend the majority of the day playing Fallout: New Vegas which should be fun. (I mean, who doesn't like running around with the 'Bloody Mess' perk? Am'right?!)
I hope you all have as good as an October 21st as I plan to have.
I recently began to start making small wiki edits across a number of pages and I came across the Dungeon Keeper 2 page which was quite bare. So I decided to mark down information as I played through the game, which is one of my favourites of all time, and then plant them into one giant wiki submission in hope of completing the 'Tactial Nuke' & 'Big Fan' quest.
I had a lot of editing the page and recording details as well as playing the game but unforuantely I was 120 points short of the 'Big Fan' quest. I don't mind too much though. Knowing that I'm the top editor on the DK2 page is pretty sweet for me. Though I'm not quite finished as I'd like to add a number of images to make the page seem less like a wall of text.
Do any of you have a particular page that you're proud of editing?
Continuing from my last blog post I will be discussing my favourite games of the past half-year of 2010.
In Second Place...
When I first heard that Rockstar was developing a new game outside of the Grand Theft Auto or Manhunt franchise and I became excited. However, the more I began to learn about Red Dead Redemption the more I began to loose interest. I had never been a major fan of the Grand Theft Auto franchise and I still have trouble getting into Grand Theft Auto IV and what I gathered from the news, interviews and other sources of information that I viewed, I dismissed Red Dead Redemption as Grand Theft Auto set in The Wild West.
Now, after buying and playing the game a considerable amount, I can say that I was mostly wrong.
Red Dead Redemption is still Grand Theft Auto at heart in terms of gameplay mechanics and the way that its open-world is structured. However, it expands upon these elements in a way that made it accessible to me and allowed me to become fully immersed in a world that I knew little about. Also, John Marston is far more likeable than any of the Grand Theft Auto protagonists (including Niko Bellic.)
As I played more and more of Red Dead Redemption the more I came to appreciate how much work Rockstar had put into it. Whether it was the characters, the missions that I undertook or the sheer brilliance of the visuals, Red Dead Redemption was a nice breath of fresh air and whilst it isn't my Game of the Year thus far it is definitely an honourable runner up and it would take a game of great magnitude to knock it from the top spot.
So, with the first half of 2010 coming to a close I took a moment to reflect on some of my favourite games which have really made gaming worthwhile during these first sixth months of what could be a very succesful year.
In Fourth Place...
It was all there:
Two of the greatest Sci-Fi franchaises, ever.
Two of the greatest Sci-Fi creatures, ever.
A studio returning to a franchaise who had already made one succesful installment.
Well, personally, I didn't enjoy the original Aliens Versus Predator (PC) and massively preferred Monolith's sequel. However, from the trailers that were being shot out to promote the game I had some hope at least. (This was despite the fact that I knew that Rebellion released the train wreck of a game Rogue Warrior recently.)
There are many reasons why the game was nowhere near as good as it could have been. The main reason for me personally, was that Rebellion didn't take full advantage of what each of the Alien and Predator franchaises had to offer. In both the Alien and Predator franchaises there are interesting characters that we grow to care about as well as becoming interested in the xenomorph enemies. The game offered none of that and didn't take full advantage of what each of the franchaises had to offer. I never really saw the interesting characteristics of the Predator or the fear factor of the Alien come into play during any of the campaigns, which were all far too short.
I could go into huge detail about everything that was wrong with Aliens Vs Predator but there are a couple of reasons that I have included it in this list.
I love both the Alien and Predator film franchaises, (except Ressurection, that was just awful), and in turn loved Aliens Versus Predator 2. And whilst Rebellion could've done a massively better job in terms of taking advantage of all of the characters it was still very cool to sneak up behind an unsuspecting Marine and rip out his spine... and then stroke it.
In Thrid Place...
I was, and still am a long time fan of the original BioShock. BioShock was so unique of a title that I couldn't possibly have not fallen in love with it. The unique setting and interesting characters really drew me into the world of Rapture, as well as its well told story. Whils it might not have been the game that Ken Levine promised me it was still a blast to play through. (So much so, that I went back and immediately played it again after finishing it.)
So, when BioShock 2 was announced, like the majority of the community, I was sceptical. I just didn't see a need for there to be a sequel for BioShock and that if there were to be a sequel it would only tarnish the sparkling goodness of the original or fall short of its predecessor. Then, when I heard there would be multiplayer (which was being developed by Digital Extremes) I thought that all hope was lost.
Thankfully, I was proven wrong, for the most part. Whilst BioShock 2 inevitably fell short compared to BioShock it was still a good game in its own right. 2K Marin had successfully expanded on what made the original BioShock so good whilst introducing new mechanics to the gameplay at the same time. Though I do believe that they could've done a few things better, (I really didn't find Sophia Lamb a particularly interesting villian), they could've done many things a lot worse.
This achievement is awarded to those who complete Batman: Arkham Asylum 100%. I feel pretty proud, as I only used a Riddler Guide to find 5 trophies. I did leave one thing unfinished though, the 'Party Pooper' achievement. I honestly don't mind going back to complete the game again just for that one achievement, it'll be a blast to go through it once more.