I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! I had a lovely one, I ate so much food and watched so much TV (mine is a very chilled holiday). Back to the Creative Christmas questions now (from Later Levels) after a 2 day Christmas break…
Your help must have worked, because it’s now Christmas morning and presents are under the tree! There’s a fancy box with your name on it; which gaming-related item are you hoping is inside?
Ooh… Well this is more gaming merchandise than actual gaming but I think a year long Loot Crate subscription would be rather lovely (specifically the LootGaming crate), then I get a present every month so Christmas just keeps on coming! I am one of those people that gets super excited if there’s a parcel on the way to me, especially if it’s a mystery parcel. I did get a Loot Crate once to see if I’d like it but was really disappointed by how long I was waiting for it (it got delayed by about 3 weeks) and the contents wasn’t that incredible when I did get it because I only played 2 out of 6 games I got in it but I suppose that’s the risk. If it was a gift though then I would appreciate it so much more. If it was a themed box like the Harry Potter or Stranger Things ones the guarantee of me liking everything in it would increase tenfold as well.
This would be a pricey gift of course but the question says it comes in a fancy box so…
It’s Christmas Eve!!! So exciting! I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas!
Now on to today’s question…
You’re woken from your drunken haze by another frantic call from Santa, who’s worried he’s not going to make all his deliveries in time. Which video game item or vehicle would you recommend for him?
Uh… Isn’t it obvious? The Batmobile. It can transform into any vehicle he’d need, it’s super fast and the presents will just want to be delivered on time because they are being boosted by the sheer power of how cool their ride is. If presents were delivered by Batmobile rather than sleigh I think Christmas would be a little bit more interesting. He could even use the tanky cannon thing on top of it to to fire the presents into passing houses.
Have a look at Later Level’s blog for more Creative Christmas content!
Today’s Creative Christmas question is a little cringey, in a good way though! I’m looking forward to reading other answers for this. After re-reading my post I realised that it kind of sounds like terrible fan fiction so… Enjoy?
The party is still going strong and you find yourself conveniently positioned under the mistletoe. Which video game character would you call over for a cheeky kiss?
I’m stood in the corner of the party in my usual go-to party stance. That means I have a glass of Prosecco in one hand, a glass of wine in the other, and I’m standing strategically between the buffet and the bar. Once the epic tunes (mentioned previously) are put on I dramatically throw off the elegant cardigan that was concealing the full wow factor of my dragon scale inspired dress, it is quite sparkly and very pretty and it make me look awesome. I wish you guys could see it, I look incredible. Everyone goes “oooooh…” when I walk past them. It even matches my shoes. I make my way to the dance floor downing my Prosecco on the way to leave one hand free for dancing (because you need a free hand… What if you need to punch the air or something?) and I start throwing shapes to some Blondie when across the room I see him… It’s Link from Legend of Zelda, but not just any LoZ Link… Twilight Princess Link… In an attempt to catch his eye I clear some space on the dance floor and show off my best dance move: The Robot. It works, I see his eyes drift over to me as he watches my moves, clearly impressed. I mime lassoing him and then pulling an invisible rope and while he doesn’t really respond to it at first he eventually obliges and joins me on the dance floor. He’s got some pretty sick moves, he starts back flipping and even does some forward rolls. At one point he gets a bit carried away and rolls into a corner full of china pots. I run over to make sure he’s OK and as I help him up I realise we are stood under some mistletoe, I blush and lean in and as I do feel a strange force bitch slap me. It’s Midna, I didn’t know she was invited. God dammit she’s so cool and beautiful, her magical orange hair is still in the shape of a hand, is it even a bitch slap if it’s done with hair? She glares at me and leads Link away, chastising him. That’s fine, I guess if I’m going to lose out against a female video game character I’m glad it’s her. I start scanning the room for my next victim lucky man. Is that Prince Sidon from Breath of The Wild over there…?
Check out Creative Christmas creator Later Levels and see who the other bloggers would kiss under the mistletoe!
It’s now Christmas Eve and you’re throwing a lively party for all your friends, family and favourite characters. Which video game soundtracks would be on your playlist?
Well if it’s a party then I would like to use the Driver: Parallel Lines soundtrack. Hits from the 70s like Blondie, David Bowie, The Stranglers… Then some hits from the 00’s like Kaiser Chiefs, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and The Dead 60s. If you’re not familiar with the game then the first half is set in the 70s and the second in the 00s, the music really helps to set the scene and it’s a really fun game… Coming from someone that does not usually play driving games that is something.
Is it cheating a bit to use that soundtrack as they aren’t songs made for games? OK how about a big mix of all the music from games? That would be pretty awesome.
As always, check out the Creative Creator of the Creative Christmas questions Later Levels!
You receive a call from Santa, as the elves desperately need a hand in the workshop getting all the toys ready. Which video game character would you recruit to help out?
This actually stumped me for a while, I spent way too long agonising over who I would choose, I then got delayed in terms of publishing my post because I was travelling but it’s OK because I was thinking about it in the meantime and thought of someone. However, after reading other people’s posts I saw that The Gaming Diaries chose my character before I could. How dare you.
Anyway, we can share because my brain isn’t working today… Mario would be the best helping out in the workshop. Much like Gaming Diaries pointed out he can do loads of stuff that would be helpful in a workshop. What can’t he do? He could use a power up thing to make him super speedy and I bet he could invite all his friends and make a new Mario Party game out of it as well just as an extra bonus.
I don’t know why I struggled with this question so much but there you go!
It’s Creative Christmas Day 2!!! This is helping me really get in the Christmas spirit!
You’re wrapping presents while listening to cheesy festive tunes, and start to reminisce about holidays past. What’s your favourite Christmas gaming memory?
Back a good few years ago when the Wii was still relatively new my mum, dad, sister, Nan and I were all playing the bowling game on Wii Sports while eating Christmassy snacks (Roses chocolates, mince pies… the works), laughing when someone made a terrible shot and booing because my sister had figured out the perfect place to stand and kept getting strikes. It’s a particularly prominent memory because it was so weird to see my Nan playing a video game (the same Nan who silently watched me play Dead Island for two hours before finally declaring “this movie’s a bit slow isn’t it?”), and it’s very rare to find something that all of us enjoy doing. It’s probably the only time that video games have featured as a family memory for me (as in the whole family, I have plenty of memories of them with my dad and sister but not so much my mum and Nan).
Check out Later Levels, the idea machine behind Creative Christmas and lots of other cool blogging events.
Kim from the wonderful Later Levels has created 12 video game related questions for Christmas and it’s such a great idea! Sorry my answer for day 1 is a little late but here it is!
You need to choose a gift for someone special and go online to check out the video game item catalogue. Who is this person and what present would you select for them?
I am going to be selecting a gift for my wonderful boyfriend and while browsing the video game section I come across the perfect game: Cooking Mama. Do you know what he had for dinner the other day when I was out for the night and couldn’t make him any food? 8 slices of bread. They might not even have been buttered. Thanks to this game he’ll be able to discover how to read a recipe, how to use an oven and most importantly… That mixing sweet chilli sauce into bolognese sauce is not a feat of culinary genius that deserves to be applauded every time he does it.
That may sound rather spiteful but he knows that I’m joking and that I don’t mind really as I actually enjoy cooking (plus he doesn’t read my blog other than when I make him spell check it so he’ll never know…)
I’d always sort of known about Kingdom Hearts and once I got into blogging it would crop up at some point or another so the other day I finally decided to give it a go to see what all the fuss was about. Now keep in mind I didn’t know anything about this game other than it’s a Disney/Final Fantasy game (so no spoilers please!). I quite liked the thought of playing a Disney game, I used to love Donald Duck: Goin’ Quackers and Sheep Dog ‘n’ Wolf (I know! I know that’s Looney Tunes and not Disney but they’re kind of similar, right?). Unfortunately for me Kingdom Hearts is literally nothing like either of those games. I’m not sure what I expected but it wasn’t this.
If, like me, you are new to Kingdom Hearts then allow me to paint you a picture of my understanding of the plot so far… All the planets (most of which are themed around Disney movies, which is awesome. Currently on the first world, Alice in Wonderland) are disappearing after being invaded by creepy shadow creatures that steal people’s hearts. You are given a sword that looks like a key and take on the role of the keymaster but I don’t know what that means yet… If I was told I don’t remember… Anyway, so also going on somewhere else in the Universe, King Mickey Mouse has set off alone to presumably stop the planets from disappearing and Donald Duck and Goofy set out to find and help him. Goofy, Donald and you all end up running into each other and they help you out in battles and become your companions. My theory so far is that Mickey is the final boss, why would he go off by himself? Awfully convenient that HIS world is still intact so far… hmmmmm…
I am enjoying this game so far but it’s weird… there’s some things that really frustrate me about it and I just have to get it off my chest… Time for a ranty post!
I’ll get the obvious thing out the way first: the Final Fantasy/Disney mashup. I’d been aware of this before I started and was curious to see how that worked out, turns out I don’t think it works at all. Sorry Kingdom Hearts fans. There’s just something so jarring about speaking to Gunblade wielding badass Squall (still stupid name, no matter how badass he looks), standing there all dark and brooding, dramatically telling you about the planets winking out of existence and shadow creatures stealing people’s hearts then the camera pans around and Goofy’s derpy face is there looking so out of place it’s like he’s a mod you can get to do a “silly” playthrough of the game. Oh, and not to mention one of the first Final Fantasy characters you meet is this fucking guy:
My video game arch-nemesis Tidus… If you’re new to my on-going feud with this character check out a couple of my previous posts for context (here, and here). I tried to beat the shit out of him with a stick but unfortunately I suck at this game so he beat me up instead, only fuelling my hate. The one good thing though is that I actually heard a character say his name for the first time, I had no idea it was pronounced ‘Tee-dus’ I’d been pronouncing it as ‘Tie-dus’ and now I feel a bit smug over the fact that he has a stupider name than I thought. At least he hasn’t found his leather lederhosen yet so there’s one less evil in the world (so far as I know anyway… Who knows? Evil leather lederhosen could be a mini boss in a game this wacky… Really hoping that’s a thing now).
Going back to my FF/Disney comparison… Why? I want to hear the pitch meeting for this game. Was it just two guys from each company that became friends and one night they had a few drinks and said something like “dude… my game franchise is super successful and your franchise is super successful… We smoosh the two together and they become double successful!” I mean apparently it worked because this game has a huge fanbase but you know… Each to their own. It just doesn’t make sense to me. In the first part of the game where Sora is having an acid trip and running around mosaics of the Disney princesses I assume he was thinking something along the lines of “wow, look at these poor, deformed women. Their arms are so skinny and their features are soft and delicate, why is their hair not spiky?” I guess I assumed they’d do something to the characters to make it look like they belong in the same game but no. It looks like they should be freaked out by each other’s appearance but Sora, who has never left his island and has therefore never seen anyone but the people that live with him there, shows no surprise at running into his future companions: a giant, talking dog and duck whose features are so unlike any dog or duck he would have seen before. Maybe I just need to get used to it…
Another thing that’s been kind of bugging me: Sora’s feet. It’s not just me, right? They are MASSIVE. Either he’s got huge feet or he just took to wearing clown shoes. I can only think that giving him some weird deformity like that is meant to be a way to get him to blend in a little more with Donald Duck and Goofy. All it does it makes me wonder how he isn’t constantly tripping over though. Right at the beginning when your creepy, misogynistic friend is like “hey, let’s race! The winner gets to share a paupu fruit with our friend who is a girl so that we can bind our souls together, forcing her to link her destiny with ours!” there is no contest. Of course he’s going to win. Have you seen Sora’s feet? It’s a miracle the poor boy can even walk, let alone run. (That fruit they have growing on the island is some hardcore stuff, if you think I exaggerated that thing about linking their destinies together by the way that is basically what he says, and they say romance is dead. Why bother seducing her when you can just trick her into sharing a destiny bonding fruit with you?)
Speaking of misogynistic people (which I kind of was), Donald Duck surprised me a little by pulling the ultimate “you look so much prettier when you smile” thing on Sora. Sora’s just found out his planet’s been destroyed, his friends are most likely dead. His parents and everyone else that was on the island are dead and he’s been thrown into some quest to destroy shadow creatures that like to steal people’s hearts… He’s understandably a bit upset. But Donald Duck doesn’t want sad people on his space ship! Goodness no! Can you imagine?! So, in a manner which is all too familiar to me as a woman with a severe case of resting bitch face which seems to attract men that think they have any right to tell me what to do (although, thankfully this hasn’t happened recently), Donald tells Soma “no unhappy faces are allowed on the ship! You’ve got to smile!”. To my delight Sora then pulls this face:
I might adopt this as a future deterrent.
My last sort of bad point about this game (sorry, it’s all been a bit negative so far) is that I am finding it really hard to control. I find fighting quite difficult, the targeting system is a bit confusing and I seem to die very quickly. On top of that the jumping is also hard, he seems to only jump properly if I hold the button in for quite a long time and it seems kind of unnatural. That’s probably just something I need to get used to though, I haven’t played on a PS2 for a while and despite being a regular PS4 player the controllers have evolved discreetly, but enough to feel quite different.
Much like in many of my rants I sound like I hate this game. I don’t, I’m actually weirdly enjoying it in a way, there are just many parts of it that I dislike quite intensely. On to the positive side though!
I like what I understand of the story (so far) and the shadow creature things (aka the Heartless) are really cool, the way they sort of melt into the ground and re-form is a really good effect. Looking forward to seeing more of them…
I’m also a bit of a Disney fan so I am loving the cast of villains and all the different worlds you can visit. I may have only been to Alice in Wonderland’s world so far but again, I’m interested to see where they go with it.
Those are the redeeming features. Yes, that’s it. It’s hard to write a lot about the positive things when I’m still reeling over the madness that is this game, OK? I’ve only played it for a couple of hours and the negative/bizarre things always stick out more than the positives first off in games like this for me. I need a while to warm to it. Maybe if I keep up with it in the future I’ll have a bit more to say. Again, I like it and I want to see where it goes.
Have you played Kingdom Hearts? What do you think of the FF/Disney mashup?
*slips on sunglasses* I’m not sure anyone will know about this game, it’s just one of those things I found in the back of the internet, the graphics are really retro, so old school… *adjusts man-bun* It’s basically a Sandbox Video Game, I totally knew that already and not because I Googled it just now *sips pumpkin spice latté* It’s called Minecraft but you’ve probably never heard of it *eats a whole avocado, including the skin and stone*.
I jest of course, I don’t like avocados.
I honestly don’t know how I managed to avoid Minecraft for such a long time because it is EVERYWHERE. I knew about it of course but another game always came along instead and it kept getting pushed aside. I think what pushed me over the edge was the excellent Rick and Morty episode “The Rickchurian Mortydate” where they talk about Minecraft and it just put it in my mind. Later I was browsing the Playstation Store, drooling over games and imagining having time to play them all when I came across the “recommended for you” section. “Because you played Stardew Valley… Minecraft”. Well maybe I’ll just try the free demo, just to see what all the fuss is about, I mean I love Stardew so why not this? About an hour later I’d bought the game and was happily setting up my shelter.
One thing I’ve learned, living as part of a gamer couple, is that if one of you is playing a game chances are the other person will also want to play it. Sure enough, within an hour of my game time my Companion Cube had also downloaded it and an eerie silence had settled over our living room, occasionally interrupted by something like “how did you make that?” and “don’t you dare you damn Creeper, get away from my house you green twat… GOD DAMMIT!!!”. We played it in our own separate worlds for a bit and after a few days we decided to have a shared world where we would make a huge castle together. We found the perfect spot and started building… Dan had a specific design in mind for our castle and that was fine with me because to be honest I’m not much for the building side of games, I get bored of big projects very quickly but if someone is directing me I’m more likely to stick with it. Now we come to something else I’ve learned as one half of a gaming couple: One of you tends to get more into it than the other. I thought I got easily hooked on games but Dan takes it to a whole new level (pun intended). I love sleep too much to sacrifice too much of it to gaming time and sometimes I prefer to just put on Ru Paul’s Drag Race and paint my nails or something rather than game but I genuinely worry that if I didn’t put food in front of Dan sometimes he’d rather die of starvation than miss out on gaming time by getting up to cook. My point is he got so into Minecraft and completely took over the construction of our castle. He wouldn’t let me touch anything in case I did something wrong. You should have heard the horror in his voice when I said I’d made some floorboards to put down because it didn’t go with his plan. I eventually drifted away from the castle and left him to it, occasionally returning to explore some mines with him and stuff.
Instead I started a new world and got Dan to choose a place for me to build an epic house in Creative Mode, once that was done I closed my eyes and was placed somewhere else random on the map and then began playing in Survival Mode. The plan was I’d build up all my resources and set out on an epic adventure to find my lost temple. This was somewhat anti-climatic when I found the temple about a 3 minute run away from my starting point hidden behind a big hill. Never mind.
On this particular map I was really well placed in that there were loads of caves nearby that were full of ore and monster spawners (and therefore lots of treasure!) so I ended up with loads of awesome stuff… Or rather I did temporarily. I have a terrible habit of dying a lot in Minecraft and losing all my loot. It’s a bit weird, I’m quite happy above ground pottering along with my animal pens, farming, fishing, protecting my house from monsters, etc but as soon as I get into the caves and have to face a horde of zombies and lava I just lose all gaming ability. I’m actually pretty bad at the mines in Stardew as well so it seems like it’s a recurring theme.
My addiction to it lost steam pretty quickly to be honest, but it’s one of those games that I can just pick up and wander about doing whatever if I only have 20 minutes to spare so that’s good. I guess now I just need to play some Pokémon Sun and Moon, Mario Odyssey, Breath of the Wild and Animal Crossing to catch up on the gaming world.
To tie off this post here’s a couple of pictures of actually cool things my other half made in Minecraft that don’t have dick shaped buildings in them!
Are you a Minecraft player? (Or were you?) Do you ever start playing games ages after they came out? What would your man focus be in Minecraft? Exploring, building, survival? or just a big mix of everything?
After many years of not playing PC games I finally downloaded Torment after many recommendations, I feel like I should love it and I kind of do but I just can’t get into it. Maybe making it my re-introduction to RPG PC gaming wasn’t the best move, after my many years of PS4 gaming I found it quite difficult to figure out and I keep getting stuck in places that have embarrassingly obvious means of leaving. Right now I’m in The Dead Nations and I have NO IDEA WHAT I’M DOING. No one will say anything useful to me, I can’t leave, I’ve done everything I thought I needed to do to get an audience with the Silent King but no, still nothing. I’m too proud to look up the solution yet, I feel like as a seasoned RPG player I should be able to figure this out but it looks like The Nameless One is going to die down there… (Is that what I need to do? Die and then wake up somewhere outside of the Nations? I feel a bit like I’m clutching at straws with that theory…)
I should have re-introduced myself to RPG PC games with something a bit more familiar, something that despite years of playing it I still have many things that I never discovered or as it’s been such a long time since I played I can’t quite remember everything about it… If only there was such a game…
BAM! GUESS WHAT! THERE IS! Long time Dragon’s Tea Party readers (and early 00’s RPG players) may know that logo and they may inwardly groan somewhat as they realise what this means. NEVERWINTER NIGHTS RETURNS, BITCHES!!! For the record, this is entirely the fault of someone that commented on a post I did a while ago telling me I could buy NWN on GOG, so you can all blame him/her for rekindling my obsession and probably the many related posts to follow (I tried to find the comment but it must have been a while ago now because I can’t find it, if that was you then thank you). Not only did I buy the first game but I got its’ 3 expansion packs too (Shadows of Undrentide, Hordes of the Underdark, and Kingmaker) all for a measly £7.99. I never finished the expansions for the first one so I am very excited.
I didn’t actually buy this just because I was struggling with Torment, I also started up a Dungeons and Dragons game (working our way through the Mines of Phandelver campaign) with some friends recently and while I have been playing for a while on and off now with the same group of people none of us are entirely sure we’re playing right, I guess D&D is a lot easier if you know someone that already knows how to play to get you into it. It’s pretty surprising how little explanation there is for D&D online, my instruction manual is not 100% clear on some points and my friend that wanted to be a wizard was bombarding me with questions about her spells (as I’m the Dungeon Master and the buyer of the 5th edition starter pack I am the most responsible for knowing this sort of thing, this means I spend a lot of time flicking through my manual and Googling stuff) to which all my answers were “I think you do this thing… Maybe… Wait no… Fuck it, just do it this way, that seems right”. NWN is set in the same world as D&D (the official one anyway) and uses the same rules, so for example on screen you’ll see loads of text scrolling with things like ‘Wolf attacks Tomi (5 + 3) = 8 does 8 damage’ so the 5 is a dice roll and the 3 is a strength bonus (or something) to the attack and later when you get more advanced stuff more things can be applied to these rolls. Back in the day when I used to play NWN, having never played D&D I never really understood what that all meant and I was also really nonstrategic in picking my feats and skills because I just thought “whoa, that thing sounds awesome, let’s do that one” but now, reading through everything it all makes so much more sense. I’m hoping that as I play through it I’ll be able to better understand how things work in D&D, although it’s not exactly the same of course but for basic things like attacking, spell casting, attacks of opportunities, etc it’s a pretty good base. Another thing I’m really loving is that the map that came in my starter set is the same map used in the Neverwinter Nights game in the intro video, it’s set in exactly the same universe and I’m loving picking out all the little bits that I recognise from the video game.
Weirdly, about a week after I downloaded my nostalgia infused NWN, I got a text from one of my D&D friends (the same one who was asking me about wizard spells) who is also very into Dragon Age and the like asking me if I had tried the Neverwinter MMO. Immediately I got flashbacks to the time I did try it, I had my headset on and – forgetting I had the microphone attached – started cursing and ranting to myself because I didn’t know what I was doing. This went on for a loooooong time until I then saw a message appear on screen from another player saying “we can hear you” turns out I was connected to the area chat thing… Oops. I turned it off immediately and never touched it again in an attempt to bury my shame. Anyway, my friend said she would give it a go and then that night I got in from work and my other half was playing Neverwinter on the PS4 (despite me nagging him almost since we met to try the original game he still goes and tries the ‘new, shiny’ one rather than take my advice… Don’t know why I bother). I assumed they had both been talking and decided to try it but no they both just randomly decided to try it on the same day. So my bestie and my boyfriend are playing it… How could I not attempt it again? I picked back up where I left off with my character (the dramatically named Fade, a trickster rogue) and was surprised by how quickly I got back into it. Unfortunately there’s always just a little something that puts me off about MMOs and that’s the money, money, money element of the game (iplayedthegame recently wrote a post about this). Oh you’ve run out of inventory space? That’s OK! You can buy a new bag for £5! You’ve collected 84 Merchant Prince Lockboxes but can’t open any of them? That’s fine! Just buy the keys! I guess Neverwinter is free to play though so that’s how they make their money… Would still rather just buy the game though than have all the little bits add up. I am enjoying it though, not sure how long I’ll stick with it but my other half is pretty addicted. Again, despite me telling him for ages to try out any Neverwinter games because they have great storylines, he enjoys D&D, the characters are great, there’s no reason he shouldn’t like them, etc, etc he still seems surprised by the good quest lines in the game and the story so far (I had to hold back an ‘I told you so’ but it was very difficult so I just settled for an eye roll).
So there we go, the tale of how Neverwinter burst back into my life quite suddenly. Are there any games from your youth that you have an urge to take up again? Are you a Neverwinter MMO player? Does anyone know what I’m supposed to do in Torment?