Recently my girlfriend who I love very much (just in case she reads this) told me that I buy too many games. Even before that statement left her lips I went on the defensive. Siting multiple reasons why I buy the games and basically justifying why a big chunk of my month’s pay goes into games and gaming hardware and accessories. But does that really mean I am addicted and if so, should I really do something about it?
The following few days after my girlfriend made the comment (which may I add was just off hand not really a dig at me or a big statement, she wasn’t being a bitch or anything) I started feeling that she may be right. Even before I get paid I plan out my money. I make sure I have enough to get the games I want, they seem to take priority. My excuse has always been, “it’s my hobby”. But it seems that it is a very expensive hobby. I think I have spent nearly £200 in the last 2 days on games and pre-orders alone. So now I have finally come to the realisation that yes I am addicted to buying games, but is that really a problem.
I don’t think it is, I always budget it right so that I can afford to live throughout the month, never have a problem with money. So why should I not buy games. I love games, I love playing them and I love the way they look on my shelf. Some people are proud of their book collections, I am extremely proud of my collection of games and blu rays. They take pride of place in my room on their multiple shelving units. I do agree however that maybe I do buy too many games each month as sometimes I may not even play the game or barely play it. For example I bought Dead Island as soon as I got home from Tunisia 3 weeks ago, played the game for approximately 5 hours and then received Gears of War 3. Now I haven’t touched Dead Island since and maybe never will.
I have therefore decided that I will now only buy games that I know I will enjoy and not buy a game “just for the sake of it”. This will hopefully cut back on my spending and leave me more time to really enjoy the great games. That to me seems like a great compromise and should save me a fair bit of money (which will probably go on nights out and beer….bet you can’t wait for my am I addicted to alcohol post).
From the title of this you will probably realise that I recently returned from Tunisia. Me and my girlfriend went on a week holiday. You know the stuff all inclusive relaxing in the sun. Messing around in the pool. For the most part it was exactly that and it was fun. Allot of fun.
But I am a British male and I love to moan so I thought I would take the time to have a little moan of some of the things that happened on this holiday that down right pissed me off or just annoyed me a little.
Okay well lets all start at the beginning (obviously). The plane ride was atrocious. I ended up in the middle seat on the plane because my girlfriend is an anxious flyer so wanted to be away from other people and near the window. So obviously being an amazing boyfriend that I am let her have her wish. That meant I would have to sit next to a stranger (I am not a people person, I hate people in fact. Problem). This person was rather large (he was a big fat fatty) and he took up half of my seat leading me to be uncomfortable for the whole 3 hours journey. Not only that but he bloody used my arm rest. Its a rule (Will Smith said it on tested) the middle seat has both arm rests. Its a unwritten rule people. That bloody arm rest was mine and that fat bastard stole it. Also on the same plane ride I had a teenage girl behind me who thought it was great to put her feet in my back and a ignorant twollock in front who put her seat all way back....even when I was trying to eat my in flight meal. Do you know how hard it is to eat an omelette when you don't have enough room to put that little table thingy down.
Anyway plane ride over I relax a little on the coach to the hotel. Pull up at the hotel and I have to say it is actually rather nice 4 star. Quite posh. I'm happy again. We check in and the bell boy takes our cases to our room. I see the room it is fucking tiny. Nothing like advertised. Unhappy again i payed £400 no chance am I staying in a room where I can not move. I go and complain. Simple. Bigger, better room. Happy again. Bellboy just stands there in our room until I realise oh yeah tip the poor bloke who had to go to two different rooms with our 2, 15 kilo bags. I go in my wallet asking if English money is Ok. He replies "yes". I give the fella a fiver thinking 12 dinars is a very good tip for 10 minutes of his time. At which point he sees £400 in £20 notes in my wallet and say quite rudely "NO!!!! one of those". Erm no chance buddy 44 dinar for 10 minutes fuck you. I politely replied "no 5 pound". He snatched the money out of my hand and stomped away. I think he then swore in arabic and slammed our door.
That may I add was a recurring theme throughout the holiday. If you do not tip the staff initially they are down right rude to you. I don't know how you guys feel but I think a tip should come after good service. Definitely not tip if you want good service. We ultimately found some nice polite staff and tended to sit at their tables and round the pool they worked on. So that wasn't all bad.
Around Day 3 also one of my 2 pair of swimming shorts were stolen while they were out to dry. That pissed me off a little. Also the food seemed to be the same every single day. It would have been nice to have a bit of variety.
Now I know that it sounds like I had a terrible holiday but I didn't. It was actually extremely fun. We went on nights out drinking, saw a drag show, took in a little culture at an amphitheatre relax by the pool, practised out bartering and found the best ice cream place I have ever tasted. It was fun however because we made it fun. I loved my first holiday with my girlfriend and I cant wait for the next. Although I will be taking extra swimming shorts just in case there is another thief around.
Nope, not when I want to buy trenched with my hard earned money but cant because of "distribution" reasons or some bull shit that is stopping it being released on the UK store. So what do I do?
I had an idea, I am not sure if it is going to work but its worth a try i suppose. I do have a US account because sometimes games are free on the US Store and not on the UK one. So I decided to get myself a US gamertag. Now I am wondering if its possible to download the Trenched Trial on my US gamertag, lag back onto my UK one and upgrade the trial to a full game. Well its worth a try. I will update the blog if it works. I just want to play Trenched. God Microsoft just let me tranfer my £ to space money and give it to you.
Ok so why am I writing this? I can’t honestly tell you I guess I am just a little bored. Anyway recently I have completed Dirt 3. I have never been a rally game fan. Can’t say I have ever watched the sport on TV so why did I play that game. GiantBomb and Dirt 2. GiantBomb recently played Dirt 2 on their Thursday night multiplayer show. I watched that show and thought the game seemed interesting but there was no way I would pay full price for a game which covers a sport I have no interest in, in a genre I couldn’t really give a fuck about. Ok cutting a long story short I saw Dirt 2 in a local game store on 360 for a tenner. No chance I was passing up that bargain. I played Dirt 2 non stop for about a month, finished the game, played a little multiplayer and fucking loved it all. A week having completed the game I was lucky enough that Dirt 3 was released and I for the first time ever I bought a racing simulation game on release. I did this thinking that the games would be pretty similar and I would be able to extend my love for dirt 2. I was wrong. The games are so fucking different its unbelievable so in this blog post I aim to compare both games and hopefully pass on my opinion of which game is the better.
Don’t believe me? Then screw you. Seriously, anyway yeah why are they different? They are different in many ways. The first thing that jumped out at me was the UI (that’s user interface for the thick, which no one reading this is so we are still friends. That is if anyone does read this which I doubt) Dirt 2 is extremely over the top, bright colours and over exaggerated menus whereas Dirt 3 is much calmer, simpler and very minimalist and sophisticated. I have to say I much prefer Dirt 3 in this sense; there is none of the long winded RV menus and stupid cartoonized extreme theme. The simpler more sophisticated theme also boils down to the music Dirt 2 had loud pop punk playing nearly all of the time, the music in 3 is so toned down that you barely even notice it.
The games even differ in how they play. Dirt 3’s handling seems much stiffer and allot more controlled than the previous instalment. It seems like rather than drifting round the corners which seemed like the most effective method of cornering in Dirt 2 you actually have to slow down into the turn, because of this Dirt 3 seems slower and allot more controlled opposed to the arcade feel of Dirt 2. Initially I preferred Dirt 2’s method but after playing a fair few hours of Dirt 3 I started to appreciate it and like it even more.
Dirt 3 has an extra race type to Dirt 2 in the gymkhana mode which initially can be pretty perplexing and bloody hard to get used to but as soon as I realised how to control the car in this mode and start pulling off the tricks I loved it. I mean come on its fucking Tony Hawks with cars. Its great.
The story/career mode again in 3 is allot simpler, no more stupid RV in which you travel round the world (thank god), you have 4 triangles initially which are the 4 season and as you play through the races you unlock more to play and after winning so many races you will unlock another triangle to the right which has the DC compound in. The DC compound is a free roam area where you can pull off stunts and find hidden collectables (yep this game has bloody collectables). You also unlock another set of smaller triangles which let you race in specific areas i.e a rally set, trailblazer set or a gymkhana only set.
So which one do I prefer, that is a bloody hard question and although I did love dirt 2 I think that the third game just did everything so much better and even more on top so out of the two Dirt 3 is my favourite rally game.
As some of you may know I am working my way through my backlog one game at a time and blogging through the whole thing. Some of this will be a challenge but most of the time I expect this little task I have undertaken to be a fair bit of fun.
Anyway earlier in the week I completed Portal 2 (see earlier blog for views: http://www.giantbomb.com/profile/nutta27/challenge-acceptedwell-kinda-erm-re-accepted/30-81318/ ) , the next game on my list was The Shoot.
For people who don't know The Shoot is an on rails shooter for The Move on PlayStation 3. I didn't really expect much from The Shoot. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The career mode is extremely cool. Basically you are on a movie set for multiple action films and you have to work your way through those films shooting whatever is in your way trying to impress the director. This is pretty cool because it allows you to play through many shooting game themes in a single game with a consistent narrative. Some of my favorite "sets" were the mobster one and the under water level. I fucking hated......HATED the haunted house level. It was a pain in the arse shooting the zombies. The targets are also something I find really cool in this game because everything is a cardboard cut out. It just makes the game look amazing.
I have never really been a fan of on rails shooters but The Shoot really grabbed me from the second I started playing. The only negatives I have to say about this game are that there seems to be a slight lag from shot to screen. But that never really gets in the way and is easily gotten used to even though it is a little noticeable. The game is also very short single player wise but i guess it would be cool at parties, having me and a mate shooting up mermaids and gangsters after a few drinks sounds good to me.
OK so next. I am going to carry on with Tiger 12: The Masters but I soon expect I will be getting L.A Noir so the next blog will be about either or both of those games.
OK so lets take it back a couple of months. I might have challenged myself to clean out my backlog before August. Well how am I getting on with that you may ask. DON'T ASK!!!!
OK so I gave up after 2 games....Well I don't give up that easily. This list currently stands at 54 games. I decided to wave the time frame of August and buy a few games that I want but the challenge is basically back on.
The game at the top of my list at the moment is Portal 2. Currently I am on Chapter 6. Look out for my update blogs on that game and others from the list in the future.
Oh yeah just so it doesn't look like I just buy games and never follow through I would like to put it in perspective. I have completed 115 of the games in my collection. So thats around 2/3 by my estimation. Thats all. 27
Gaming is an obsession. If you are a member of giant bomb you have to agree with that. But it can be a costly hobby to be a gamer and just this month I really realised how expensive it actually is.
During the period from the 25th of Feb and Today I realised I have spent around £200 on gaming alone and this is supposed to be the quiet months for gaming.
Anyway in the next few paragraphs I will go through the things I have bought with the price and a small review on the product:
Killzone 3: £39.99
4200 Microsoft Points £30.00: with these i purchased
Stacking 1200 Beyond Good and Evil 800 Age of Booty 400 Lara Croft 400 (deal of the week this week) Torchlight 1200
The New Silver Xbox Controller: £35.99
Marvel Vs Capcom 3: £39.99
Like I said Gaming can be quite an expensive hobby but one I love so I am happy to part the cost. I have been throughly happy with every product I have bought on the list above. The new silver controller looks totally beautiful with the monochrome buttons. The twisting d-pad doesn't seem useful at all even with fighting games which i thought it would be but I will do further tests with games and maybe do an extensive review of the product in my next blog. Also what does everyone else think on this topic?
On my blogs previously I have been talking about my progress with the backlog of games I have. I recently finished Dead Space and have now moved on to Dragon Age: Origins. This is another game that I bought a while ago and never really got round to playing much more than a human mage origin story.
On Sunday I decided to start the game again. I am now an Elf Warrior. I have now played around 6 or 7 hours. I have mainly been sticking to the critical path and not touching many side quest with the aim to complete the game pretty quickly. Which I agree is probably not the ideal way to play the game but I have a hell of allot of games to get though if I am to complete my task of ending the year with no backlog except for what i get as gifts for Christmas this year. I think I may be extremely guilty and call this task "Project Clean Slate".
So what do I think of Dragon Age. I like it, allot. I am not really a RPG fan but i really do like this game. The combat feels good if not a little less action like than i prefer. I love the conversations and choices you can make which change the way the game runs. I have so far saved the Arl of Redcliffe and completed that quest and I am now moving on to getting these treaties sorted.
Like I said I am a warrior, I have sunk most of my points into the speed of my guy and the abilities into dual wielding. So now I am rocking a dagger and longsword and loving ripping fools heads off. I generally play as a mage in these games so playing as a warrior is a refreshing change that I am liking allot.
I cant really see much to moan about in this game so far. It does look like garbage but what else could you expect for such a massive game and the character customisation is extremely limited but as far as game play I love it.
I must also add that I will be buying more games throughout the year to add to the backlog...maybe a stupid idea but I have to buy big game releases. I just need to.
If you read my previous blogs you will know that I have recently been playing though the original Dead Space. Last night I realised that although I love the game I only seem to be able to play though one chapter at a time. Why is that?
Now I have to say that I am not easily scared so I don't really find Dead Space scary in the least but I realised I do find it extremely exhilarating. Constantly while I am playing the game my heart is pounding and I am on the edge of my seat. Be it because I have 8 necromorphs chasing me with no ammo or even when nothing is happening and I am anticipating what the game will throw at me next. I only seem to be able to handle that much excitement and anticipation in short doses.
That seems strange to me because I have always been able to binge on game and play them for a whole day straight and even though I love this game I am finding it hard to play for more than an hour. This left me wondering if other people are the same with this game or any other game they have played recently?
Is it strange that I have to wind down after playing Dead Space when generally I use gaming to wind down from work or other stresses in my life?
I have just been playing Gran Turismo 5 and unlike many other people I actually like the game, the addition of the top gear track, the mass array of cars and tracks and the game play style i find extremely fun.....but and this is a big but, i think racing games today should all have the rewind function. I loved it in Forza 3 and Dirt 2 and it came in very useful at times. By all means limit it to so many per race so I don't spam the button but atleast have it. Like I said just playing GT5 racing in an extremely long race and I am on the last corner. 20 minutes of game time in this one race alone. I am in 1st happily racing along. Oh no my head itches......do I scratch it yeah i need to its annoying the fuck out of me. But as soon as I scratch that bloody itch I am off. Last corner 3 people pass me no chance of getting back in it. So I turn the game off in frustration. If I had a rewind function I could have easily rewound that mistake and won my race and still now be happily playing GT5. Instead I am on here ranting to you.
What do you think should all racing games add a rewind function or is it just a pussy whimp out move?