Open World Burnout

Most people rather enjoy a good open world game, hence why so many games that come out now follow that format. You could play these games over, and over again and find things you never saw or knew about in your last playthrough, you could meet characters that you didn’t know existed before and maybe get some gear or side quests that weren’t available to you in the past… They’re definitely one of the best genres for replay value. However, I found myself thinking the other day that I could count on one hand the amount of Open World games I have actually finished:

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition
  • Borderlands
  • Batman: Arkham Knight
  • God of War

Depressingly I think that’s actually it. However, while the list isn’t extensive, and some are definitely more ‘open’ than others, I have played quite my fair share of open world games and here are the ones that I have not finished (off the top of my head):

  • Skyrim
  • Far Cry 3
  • Far Cry 4
  • Borderlands 2
  • Horizon: Zero Dawn
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Assassin’s Creed 2

The three key annoying ones for me on this list are Borderlands 2, Skyrim, and Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I am genuinely invested in the plot of these games and want to finish them, but I always get a little too into my side quests and wandering around not wanting to miss anything, only to then suffer from what I’ve been calling Open World Burnout.

This is when you get so overwhelmed with everything an Open World has to offer that you need some time away from it to play something a bit more linear, or shorter, for a while. You may come back to it later, you may play it on and off, but you need a good break from it every so often.

As the most recent example (and the inspiration for this post) let’s take a look at my experience so far with Breath of the Wild. I played Breath of the Wild for 9 hours straight once and achieved absolutely nothing in terms of plot, I was a little annoyed at myself. A) because time really flies when you play that game and I honestly believed I still had most of the day ahead of me, and B) because I could not tell you what I’d done other than run around collecting monster bits, cooking random stuff together, and finding koroks. I was just exploring and messing about and it felt like a bit of a waste. I haven’t played it for as long since, usually my sessions are max 3 hours and I have very slowly made progress but I get bored of climbing mountains only to find another bastard korok at the top shouting “Yahaha!” instead of maybe a shrine, or a fairy, or something cooler than an annoying, chunky stick chucking a seed at me. This all builds up until I need to take a break for a while. This is a problem I have in most open world games and it always annoys me. Granted some are much bigger worlds than others; Arkham Knight can’t really compare to Skyrim in terms of scale for example, and that’s probably why I actually finished it. Honestly, I do love Breath of the Wild, I think it’s gorgeous and fun in small doses but if it wasn’t a Legend of Zelda game and I didn’t have that nostalgic, loyal attachment to it I’m not 100% sure I’d still be playing it.

Korok BoTW

“Why not just focus on the main plot then?” I hear you cry. Well, wouldn’t that be lovely but every time I get a new quest I just have a desperate urge to finish it, every time I see a shiny thing I need to pick it up, even if I don’t know what it’s for but it might be important! I could be halfway to completing something big in the main quest when I’ll see something that looks like it might be interesting in the distance on top of that inconvenient mountain that will take me an hour to get to. What could it be? I must know. A temple? A crypt? *gasp* An incredible new weapon?!  “Yahaha! You found me!” *Throws controller across the room*. I just really want to know what is there, what if it’s something I’m missing or something that would make my journey easier? Sometimes that is the case but unfortunately not that often.

Another thing that I find to be incredibly tempting in Open World games is to start them from scratch, making a new character with the intention of playing it in a slightly different way. “I just need the right character for me and then I’ll finish it.” You’d have thought the largest and most obvious change would be through alignment which potentially affects the plot, choices and even the items you can acquire, but I find it very hard to play as a bad character in games so my ‘different way’ is generally playing as a different class and race, going to different locations first if possible, that sort of thing. Some games let these impact your gameplay quite well (Dragon Age is generally very good at this, especially the different races), others may simply change a little bit of dialogue but otherwise not let it effect the game at all. In that case maybe my “right character for me” is just an excuse to go back to the beginning.

Dragon Age™: Inquisition_20170319205311
Shawty is my third DAI creation, and most likely not the last

Other times I just grow to really hate my character. I played Borderlands 2 as the Mechromancer (how cool is that class??) and I had so much fun with her until, frustratingly quite far in, I hit a wall. Maybe I hadn’t built her skills up properly or maybe it’s down to an insane spike in difficulty but all of a sudden I was terrible. I would get through battles by summoning my robot and shooting stuff from a distance because if I was touched by anything it was instant death. If my robot was killed or timed out I was in deep trouble and had to hide until it was ready to summon again. All while being absoloutely baffled as to how I’d gone from kicking ass to hiding and praying I’d be saved by a giant robot. Not really the way you want to be playing. The annoying thing was I’d started a new game as the Mechromancer because I hadn’t liked my original choice of Assassin, and that my friends, is why I never finished Borderlands 2.

Mechromancer

I think that for the most part I want to start again because I get bored of running around but I’m not quite willing to give up playing yet and miss the days where side quests were just around the corner, I could learn all these new skills relatively quickly, and I was being introduced to this huge, new world before being let loose to do as I pleased. You tend to start these games near or in some sort of village or base with a fair few NPCs to get you started, but as you explore you often end up quite isolated. Then you do stupid stuff like get so unused to NPC interaction you accidentally back-stab an innocent guard thinking it must be an enemy because you didn’t realise you were near a town and now you’ve got a bounty on your head, alarms go off, you can’t sell anything. Disaster.

Environment affects it too. Generally you will be sent to every area on the map in the main plot for some reason or other and there’s always one which is bigger, boring, and just that bit more grueling. In Breath of the Wild when I was running through the desert it seemed to take ages to get to the Gerudo town, I just started to feel a little brain dead and fantasied about when life was simpler and the environment was lusher at the beginning of the game. I resisted and stuck with it though. It might be something about deserts, in Dragon Age: Inquisition it’s always the Hissing Wastes area that kills me off. It’s an absolutely huge desert, probably the largest area in the game, but there’s almost nothing there. Luckily the thought of traipsing endlessly through The Hinterlands again is usually enough to put me off. Not always though.

Hissing Wastes
Just look at all that NOTHING to explore

I am always in awe of those that can thoroughly explore these worlds, finish the game within a reasonable amount of time and apparently not suffer from burnout. Maybe I just have a short attention span. I still enjoy them though so while I may be incredibly frustrating to watch play an open world game at least you know that deep down I am actually enjoying it in my own way. I really need to finish off Inquisition so that I can start on some of the expansion I bought ages ago. Before I do continue with the plot though let’s investigate the top of that suspiciously shaped mountain… “Yahaha! You found me!”
KOROKS AREN’T EVEN IN THIS GAME!!!

Do you suffer from Open World Burnout? Do you often restart your game? Are you a fan of open world games or do you avoid them?

The Dragon’s Horde : March Edition

Welcome, puny human, to my spooky Dragon cave where I keep my Dragon’s horde. You may have ventured far and faced many perils to come here but now you meet your DOOM. Get ready for… You don’t seem very scared. Is the bunting and collectible teapots not quite what you were expecting? Is the pile of video game not the sort of horde you had in mind? I get that a lot. Well… While you’re here can I offer you a tea? Muffin? Try the sourdough crumpets, they’re amazing.

I thought I’d shake things up and make a new addition to my blog. At the end of every month I’ll write a summary post, invite the protagonists from the games I’ve been playing this month to join the Tea Party, talk about what’s been going on, and add a link to one of my posts that I particularly enjoyed writing this month. I always seem to miss some people’s posts so if you’d like to then please feel free to comment with a link to one of your posts from this month and I’ll give it a read! Similarly, if you’re a new Tea Party guest say hi!
So sit down, make yourself at home, grab a Hobnob (not the chocolate ones, they’re mine) and I’ll put the kettle on.

What I’ve Been Playing

Breath of the Wild

Our first Tea Party guest, who is unfortunately not much in the way of conversation we is Link. He’s going to be here a while as I am constantly on and off with Breath of the Wild. I’m so tantalisingly close to finishing the game but I’m still getting distracted by an insane variety of things to do… I feel like playing this game is actually quite exhausting sometimes and I find it hard to play for just an hour at a time. I need to make sure I have a good few hours set aside and unfortunately that’s kind of hard to come by for me at the moment. We’re getting there though, slowly but surely.
BotW

Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage

I’m trying not to get competitive with the other Dragon at the table, luckily Spyro doesn’t care about my video game and biscuit horde, he’s all about the gems and is quite happy to be the chatty, if slightly irritating, one at the table.
I’m really enjoying how easily I can jump in and out of this game, if I’ve only got half an hour I can generally complete the main part of a level in that time and it’s just so pretty. This has become my go-to game for when I don’t have that much time or brain power to offer. I’m on the last section of the game now so I should be able to finish this in April.
Ripto's Rage

Batman: Return to Arkham Asylum

Looking a little out of place surrounded by bunting, flowers, and a fairy lights, Batman holds a dainty pink tea cup and stays quite quiet. Much like Link, he’s also not much in the way of conversation and when he does speak he’s not particularly interesting. Maybe I should have invited Bruce Wayne instead, he’s a lot more fun…
There’s a story to me getting into this game: I bought the remastered Arkham series years ago after accidentally playing Arkham Knight first, I really enjoyed Knight and was excited to get started on Asylum and City but… Well, I wrote a ranty post back in 2017 about how much I didn’t enjoy it. Basically, I found it repetitive and kind of dumb. It’s sat in my library gathering virtual dust ever since. Recently though I finished watching the incredibly frustrating, but simultaneously addictive, Gotham. If you don’t know it it’s a TV show about before Bruce Wayne becomes Batman, with Jim Gordon as the main character. Like with a lot of American TV shows, they seemed to start with this great premise, fulfill it, then rather than just stop while they were ahead they got a new, bizarre plot line where you can’t really tell where they’re going with it and it’s pretty obvious that the writers don’t know either, but hey, they’re getting paid big bucks and they’re going to keep doing it until it’s so mind-numbing that the show gets cancelled or the kid that plays Bruce gets too old to be a ‘kid’ anymore. You’d have thought they’d just do 10 episode seasons with much more focused, better crafted story lines but what do I know? I could go on and on about Gotham, maybe I’ll write a post about it when it’s ended. The main reason I stuck with it is because I’ve always found the characters of DC incredibly interesting, far more so than Marvel (though I’d much rather watch a Marvel movie than a DC one) so luckily for the show’s writers they have a lot to draw from. Also, the best part about the whole thing is Penguin, who I never even considered a particularly interesting villain before but the actor (Robin Lord Taylor) and his portrayal is just absolutely brilliant and he steals every scene that he’s in.
Anyway… Sorry, went off on a tangent there… Once I exhausted the episodes of Gotham on Netflix I had a bat-shaped hole in my life and I decided to fill it by trying the Arkham series again. I only started Asylum a couple of days ago and haven’t got very far at all, but I thought if I get to a stage where I am not enjoying it I’m going to just stop and start Arkham City instead.
Image result for batman arkham asylum

My Favourite Post

I wrote a couple of posts that I really enjoyed this month but the one that surprised me the most was A Shout Out to NPCs. I asked some friends for help writing this and they were so enthusiastic about it, it was really nice to talk with them about it and see everyone’s ideas and opinions.

Achievement Unlocked

It was Dragon’s Tea Party’s 2 year anniversary this month! I know!!! That really surprised me. I still consider this blog as a bit of a novelty but it’s been with me through quite a lot now. I’ve had my ups and downs with it, the last few months in particular have been a struggle keeping it up to date but I feel like I managed to smash that writers block up in March and I’m looking forward to seeing what April brings.
What have you been playing this month? Is there anything you’re looking forward to playing in April? Have you written (or read) a post that you particularly enjoyed? Leave a link below!

My Top 10 Feelgood Games

Wow, so much for posting regularly again! I’ve had a pretty busy month with a fair few holidays, and more recently my other half and I decided to call time on our relationship. I may still be posting a little irregularly as I sort my life out but I’ll be back to normal soon. Needless to say I have been feeling a little weird so I made a list! I don’t know what it is but I like making lists. Sometimes we all need a bit of a pick-me-up. Whether that’s watching a good movie, re-reading the Harry Potter series for the 1,000th time, eating some damn good comfort food… We all have our ways. While I’m prone to all of the above gaming is something else that helps me to relax and feel better too (usually in the company of a Reese’s Pieces Krispy Kreme) in fact I can usually find a game to suit any mood; whether I want to curl up with a hot chocolate and play something slow paced and comforting, or if I had a bad day at work and just want to brutally murder the crap out of everything there is always something there for me. With that in mind I present to you Dragon’s Tea Party’s Top 10 Feelgood Games:

Number 10 – Kirby’s Epic Yarn

Image result for kirby's epic yarn

First of all, I’ve not actually played this but I really enjoy watching it. I never said they have to be feelgood games you’ve actually played! It’s impossible to feel bad while watching/playing this game. It’s just adorable, everything is lovely and colourful and it’s so imaginative. Maybe it’s because one of my hobbies is sewing but I really love the yarn-based aesthetic as well. If I’m having a particularly bad day at work I like to put on a Let’s Play of it in a cheeky small corner of my screen and it always makes me smile. Also, Kirby’s partner in it is called Prince Fluff and I think that’s adorable.

Image result for kirby's epic yarn prince

The only reason it’s so far down the list is that it’s lacking that nostalgia value for me as I always seemed to manage to avoid the Kirby games somehow back in my youth (totally unintentionally, they just never crossed my path). As you’ll see throughout this list nostalgia value plays a big part for me in feelgood stuff.

 

Number 9 – Skyrim

Image result for skyrim

Getting almost as far away as we can from Kirby’s Epic Yarn we have Skyrim next on the list!

Skyrim is notorious for people wandering around for ages after being distracted by something or other, be it a side quest, a dragon, or a cool looking building in the distance. It’s so easy to become totally immersed in the world and time can fly by at a scary pace. It’s also very relaxed in that, due to the size of the world, there is no pressure to actually complete the main quest until you want to. You can do anything you like and the game will just go with it. In all honesty I never actually finished the main quest but even so I clocked up an enormous amount of time on the game, I really don’t want to know how much. If you’re looking for escapism this is the perfect game.

Once I have my PS4 back I’m going to download Horizon: Zero Dawn, which is similar to Skyrim in the escapism, large map, endless quests regard so maybe I could swap these round once I’ve played it.

Skyrim loses points though for having so many damn crypts. “Ooh a cave I wonder what… Ah, Draugr. I don’t know what else I expected.”

Image result for skyrim draugr
I haven’t even played for years but I am pre-emptively sick of fighting this guy already

Number 8 – Dragon Age: Inquisition

Let’s stick with the adventuring theme for a bit here and talk about Dragon Age: Inquisition.

Image result for dragon age inquisition

This game was one of the main things that got me through my last year of University and stopped me from going crazy. If you did a course where almost all your grades depend on group project work you’ll know where I’m coming from. Never again. I’d come home after an exhausting day of fighting with my group about something stupid. We’d start off OK with everyone trying to be civil, but then along comes the person with the massive ego and they propose Stupid Idea of the Day. They stubbornly don’t drop Stupid Idea and eventually their egos unfurl to reveal their true Satanic forms: self-centred Harpies with sonar speech, draining the life out of me with every word out of their mouths, like mind vampires but 100 times worse. I’d return home a shell of the woman I’d been when I’d left that morning. I took my anger out on a much more manageable demon army in Inquisition and got a lot more invested in my team there than I ever was in any team I was in at University.

Image result for dragon age inquisition characters

One of the great appeals of Dragon Age is the characters. I am a sucker for games with good character interactions and relationships and I would devote a lot of time to making sure I could do everyone’s side missions and be besties with everyone as much as I could.  I’d chill and eat cookies on the roof with Sera, admire Cassandra’s love of trashy romance novels, and just plain admire Dorian (that sass!) If only socialising IRL was as simple as that.

Number 7 – Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly

I did not realise until I googled it for this post that this game has pretty dire reviews all around but I don’t care. I really, truly loved this game.

Spyro enter the dragonfly

This is the first big nostalgic game on this list. I don’t care what the reviews say, to me it was delightfully colourful, extremely fun, and the different levels were just wonderfully varied. I would spend hours trying to beat my previous time on the ice slide at the Monkey Monastery, the platform puzzle in the Thieves Den, or just swimming around Luau Island which was my favourite level because it was a beautiful tropical island where you could play the bongos, and the first time I was able to overcome my fear of in-game swimming. (For more about this weird fear you can have a read about it here.) I think that a lot of my enjoyment came from the childlike wonder at all the pretty colours and different locations available. It was just a nice, relaxed game where you blew bubbles at dragonflies and glided around cartoonish but beautiful scenery.

Image result for spyro enter the dragonfly bubbles
Looking a bit grainy now but still colourful!

Hardcore Spyro fans may be horrified to discover that Enter the Dragonfly, and A Hero’s Tail (which I didn’t like, although that has much better reviews than Enter the Dragonfly, so goes to show what 9 year old me knew), were the only Spyro games I ever played so while I’m looking forward to the re-mastered games coming out it will be my first time ever playing them! I’m hoping I’ll like them as much as I used to like Enter the Dragonfly.

Image result for spyro enter the dragonfly gamecube

Number 6: Pokémon Sapphire

Ah, Pokémon. Capturing wild animals and forcing them to fight for money is so serene. In all seriousness though I do find Pokémon relaxing, probably because of the nostalgic value but I also like the mellow plot (you don’t always want something complicated), the niceness of the world in general, and the adorable little creatures you raise to be powerful companions.

Image result for pokemon sapphire

Right now the only console I have with me is my Nintendo DS so I’m working my way through Pokémon Y but as a dog-type only playthrough (don’t get me started on Smeargle… I should have done cats instead.)

I picked Sapphire in particular though because it’s the first one I remember seeing in colour, which at the time was absolutely incredible to me. My friend had it and until that moment I had only played Yellow so I didn’t know the joys of having a secret den to decorate, seeing the Pokémon world in such colourful detail, or even having a starter choice other than Pikachu. I was very jealous of my friend and used to play it at hers, if she let me. I eventually got my own version and it is definitely my most played Pokémon game, and possibly my most played game overall ever. I really like what they did with it in Alpha Sapphire too so that was nice.

Image result for pokemon sapphire
Look at those graphics! The water ripples!

Number 5 – Dead Island

Back to the action now! Another game linked to a stressful time at University (last time, I promise)… It was second year and that is the year where your grades actually count and people start taking group work more seriously. Always wondered what it would be like to be on The Apprentice? Do an Advertising degree and it’s literally exactly the same but instead of earning a significant of money at the end of it you end up in a significant amount of debt. My group work in my second year was actually miles better than it was in my final year (see Number 9) but it was still enough to annoy me enough to vent my anger on Dead Island after a long hard day of pointless squabbling.

Image result for dead island

I run the risk of sounding a little psycho-esque here but killing zombies in a gruesome assortment of ways is very therapeutic and when you pick up random items like wires, saw blades, nails, bleach, duct tape… You just can’t help but imagine what weapons you’ll be making at the workstation when you get back to the base. My personal favourite was the electric katana.

As the zombies run towards you, screaming that horrible zombie scream, you think about your day and swing your wire covered baseball bat *Thwack!* “fuck you and your stupid idea but stubborn personality Group Member 1”, *Boom!* “fuck you Group member 2 who obnoxiously designated themselves project manager even though there is not meant to be a project manager, it’s all shared work” *Crack!* “and fuck you Group member 3 who hasn’t actually even showed up yet”. Aah… Now doesn’t that feel better?

Image result for dead island

I’m sure most hack and slash zombie games could be in this spot but Dead Island was there for me when I needed it the most and I will always be grateful to it for that.

Number 4 – Undertale

There’s no denying that Undertale is an extremely well written game and I really can’t praise it enough (if you are looking for a bit more though here’s a post I wrote about it a while ago). The characters are just wonderful and time after time as I wandered through the monster world I kept wondering if I could just stay there, though I guess that wouldn’t be fair to my monster friends who were all eager to return to the surface.

Undertale_20180109232704

Why isn’t it just a little higher on the list? Well… It’s emotionally devastating and some of the fights are far from relaxing (looking at you Muffet) so that counts against the more chilled out side of it somewhat. It is such a nice game to wander around in though and every character has something to say, every enemy has some funny quirk, it was just made with so much love and thought and to be honest that knowledge alone is quite relaxing.

Undertale_20180111200603

Number 3 – GTA

I don’t know what it is about games where you dangerously cruise around a city in a car but I find it very relaxing. Maybe it’s the sudden freedom of being able to drive on the sidewalk to avoid the traffic or just the ability to do almost anything you want. It’s a bit like a modern Skyrim, if horses were cars and dragons were the mafia.

Image result for gta vice city

I do find driving games or racing games weirdly relaxing overall, even though I rarely play them, and when you add in those side quests and the occasional murder spree it just makes it really.

I’ve just put the franchise of GTA rather than any specific one because any of them could fit the bill here really. Feel free to mention your favourite in the comments!

Number 2 – Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

Yes, this is on almost every list I’ve done on this blog so far, if not all of them, but you can’t deny it’s for good reason! I will make an effort to actually expand make a list that it’s not included on one day. Just listen to this start up music though!

Do you feel jaunty yet? Feel like exploring the seas? I do! Let’s go and chill on Outset island where you can chase mini pigs, or we can go see the adorable forest people, or how about sailing, sailing over the bounding waves until you find an unexplored island, have a little look around…

Image result for wind waker leaf
How gorgeous is this?

A recurring theme for the more nostalgic games on this list: it’s so beautiful and colourful! I must have been very attracted to colour as a child. The sea is a beautiful blue, as is the sky and the grass is the greenest shade of green… I mean there’s this big impending apocalypse that Ganon’s wanting to bring about but if you don’t collect all the triforce pieces he’ll never get to that stage, right? Just explore away for ever.

Image result for wind wakerImage result for wind waker sailing

And then of course there’s Link’s expressions…

Image result for wind waker link funny face

 

Drumroll please…

 

Number 1 – Stardew Valley

How could it possibly be anything else?

stardew

Yes, maybe it’s obvious but there’s just something about this game that is incredibly serene and just lovely. It’s like the game version of The Great British Bake Off. Everyone is generally nice (except maybe Shane at first but he could be a lot worse) and you can help them out and eventually get to learn more about them, some of the stories are surprisingly touching and really look at real world issues like depression, suicide, and PTSD. That part doesn’t seem “feelgood” but then you can help them to find their way out of it, or just help as much as you can and I think it’s very rewarding to see the characters grow.

Image result for stardew valley character stories

The way of living in the game is so enviable, everyone sends each other gifts and they all come together at the village fairs and events, the farming is addictive and making your farm look pretty/organised becomes hugely important (or it does for me anyway). Are you bored of farming though? Why don’t you explore the mines for a bit of action instead! Or you could try to catch the legendary fish… You can give yourself a task or a goal and it feels so rewarding when you manage to achieve it, even though it seems so insignificant when you compare it to other game achievements like dragon slaying or getting from A to Z in a specific time. Wow, you robbed the tomb of a lich king and got his staff of ultimate power? That’s cool but I made cranberry jam so who’s the real winner here?

Stardew Valley_20170502204818

 

So there you have it! What are your feelgood games? Do you agree/disagree with any on the list? Have you got any feelgood recommendations games, movies, or otherwise?

 

Gamer Confession Tag

I wanted this month to be a big month for blogging but what with me playing Pokémon Silver and then deciding to start a new farm on Stardew Valley, then playing God of War 3 again for the hundredth time (this time it’s on Titan mode though so it’s different) I don’t have a huge amount of new content in my brain right now… I’ve seen the Gamer Confession Tag floating around a lot though on blogs like Codex Online, A Geek Girl’s Guide, and Extra Life and it seemed like fun to do so I thought I’d give it a go!

 

A game everyone loves that you can’t stand

Sonic the Hedgehog. He’s such a dick. I never liked the character, even when I was little I thought he was a bit of a butthead. I have never managed to get the hang of the games either. So with the fact that I’m not big on platformers in mind, add going really, really fast to that. It’s not a good combination for me. I will say that I’m enjoying the weird way they’re taking these games though recently like Sonic and The Black Knight and Sonic Unleashed… I mean I think they still look awful and I would never pay for one of them but it’s awful in a funny way now and kind of fun to watch.

Image result for sonic the hedgehog

A game that you love, but no one else seems to

Dead Island. No one seems to like this game very much, either waving it aside with an “it’s OK” or just not playing it at all. When I asked my other half why he was so reluctant to play it he said it’s because the zombies are tacky. Is that really it? People think the zombies are tacky? How are they any tacky? They act like any other zombies I’ve seen in other games. I think some of them are pretty scary too, the Infected that sprint at you are pretty terrifying, sure you can just aim a well aimed swing at their head and decapitate them easily but if they come at you in a group you’re basically screwed. The island is a really fun place to wander round and explore, the trophies are fun (Karma-geddon, for example, where you have to run over 250 zombies with a car), there is literally nothing more therapeutic than this game after you’ve had a crappy day (it helped me get through many frustrating group projects at University), the weapons you can make are amazing, I feel bad for anyone that has not fought off a zombie hoard with a hat stand then upgraded to a baseball bat with a rotating saw attached to it. It’s a good game!!! Reading that paragraph back I’ll admit that I do sound like a homicidal maniac but when the zombie apocalypse happens you’ll all want me there with my modded kitchen knife staff and Molotov cocktails.

Image result for dead island funny

An older game you haven’t finished, and probably never will

I was 8 or 9 when this was out (in 2003) but I had a PC game of The Hobbit. I loved it, it was such a brightly coloured game and so true to the book (or what I played was anyway). I used to just run around the Shire for ages, it was all so pretty. I would occasionally venture out to start the adventure but I could always sense when Gollum was going to appear and that creeped me out so I’d stop. Looking at a few YouTube videos it doesn’t look like it’s aged that badly but I’m kind of worried about ruining the memories that I have of it by trying to play it now.

Image result for the hobbit pc game

A guilty pleasure game

I don’t really get embarrassed about anything I play, I’m very of the ‘each to their own’ opinion. I guess if I had to choose I’d say Dream Daddy because… Well just read the title. If you ever mention that’s what you’re playing at the moment people tend to jump to some really weird conclusions. Anyone that’s played it though knows how awesome it is. In case you need a reminder here’s a link to my post about it.

dance5
Just one of the many wonderfully comic situations my character found himself in.

A game you really love but haven’t played in a long time

Legend of Zelda The Wind Waker. I really wanted to get the HD remaster of this but I didn’t have a Wii U. I would love to get it though, it was such a good game and while I got very close to the end when I was younger I never actually finished it. One day I will though!

wind waker pigs

A game you never play seriously but others do

Any Final Fantasy game. I can’t not take the piss a little bit whenever I play them. The most fun I’ve ever had playing Final Fantasy games is when I play them with someone else and we just have a good laugh about them. I find them to be good games but the characters/enemies are so over-dramatic, complicated and just ridiculous sometimes. I could give hundreds of examples. Unfortunately this annoys people (like my other half) who act like Final Fantasy is the Messiah of video game franchises, oh and god forbid I say anything against VII, I would probably be hunted down and sacrificed to Cloud’s hair.

Related image
I mean… Really?

A game you completed but hated it by the end

Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn. Back when I was still living with my parents and sister I sort of played this out of spite because my sister was playing it for ages but would keep starting the game over and over and over again. This would be on the big TV so I would often end up watching her play as I waited for my turn. It was infuriating. One day I decided to do it just so I could say “Please don’t start again, you don’t have to, it’s not that hard.” It was horrible. It was like playing wizard chess with Anime characters that vented their personal drama to you before stepping on the battle field. You’d move someone to a square to attack an enemy. You’d sit through the “woooosh here we go, it’s a battle!” scenery showing battle opening for about 20 seconds. The green haired dude would kill them easily in a second, then the camera would focus on him for a good 5 seconds as he did some squats, then we’d see the experience and loot, then it would go back to the chess board, then we attack again and the whole mundane cycle repeats itself over and over until you die of boredom. I finished it though. I may have gone slightly mad but I finished it, and you know what? I don’t remember anything about it other than those flashbacks to the square covered battlefield that make me rock back and forth on my heels muttering “not the squares, no more squares…”

Image result for fire emblem radiant dawn

A game you thought you’d enjoy, but didn’t

Going to be a little controversial and say Bloodborne. Hear me out! I like Bloodborne, I love what I can understand of the story, the creative scenery, the Lovecraft inspired monsters… I think it’s truly an incredible game. It’s one of the few games that I like to watch other people play. It’s just that I am not very good at it… To the point where I no longer enjoy it. I like games to be challenging but there’s challenging and then there’s almost impossible. It took me so long to kill Vicar Amelia and even then I only managed it because I had help, I felt so numb to it afterwards and I have absolutely no wish to pick up the controller and continue it. It felt like a chore to play and I started to find that the more frustrated I got with it the more mentally exhausted I was getting. I think everyone should try it, you might find you like it, but I just think it may have been a step too far for me. Maybe I’ll go back to it one day if I’m feeling confident.

Related image
Seriously though, this game is gorgeous.

A game you didn’t think was for you, and then loved

Stardew Valley. It’s the sort of game where, when you watch other people play it you start thinking that watching paint dry would genuinely be more entertaining. I was introduced to it by my other half who I watched chop wood and mine rocks for about an hour as I fought the urge to fall asleep out of boredom, finally I declared it wasn’t my sort of thing and I thought that was that. A few months later I tried it myself and was immediately sucked into it. I think that’s the same with most simulators though, they seem to be horribly boring until you are the one playing. I love playing The Sims for example but again, watching someone else play it is mind numbing for me.

Stardew Valley_20170729190546
Slaaay Farm in Fall

A game you are still excited for that hasn’t come out yet

God of War 4!!!

 

So there you go! Let me know your own thoughts in the comments, I’m keen to hear what other people would say to some of these questions, they were fun to answer.

 

Want to do the Gamer Confessions Tag? Here are the questions you can copy.

A game everyone loves that you can’t stand
A game that you love, but no one else seems to
An older game you haven’t finished, and probably never will
A guilty pleasure game
A game you really love but haven’t played in a long time
A game you never play seriously but others do
A game you completed but hated it by the end
A game you thought you’d enjoy, but didn’t
A game you didn’t think was for you, and then loved
A game you are still excited for that hasn’t come out yet

Creative Christmas: Day 5

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…?

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "link twilight princess"
Yes Link, work that camera!

Check out Creative Christmas creator Later Levels and see who the other bloggers would kiss under the mistletoe!

30 Day Video Game Challenge! Day 24: Favourite Classic Game

Not quite sure what exactly is meant here by ‘classic’, retro or a staple game? I’m going to say The Legend of Zelda because if anything’s a classic it’s that series. Picking a singular game from that series as a classic is tricky though. Weirdly I haven’t actually played that many really old games at all, I missed the boat on all the classic games a bit, including the super old Legend of Zelda games! I’ve played some of the remastered versions recently like Ocarina of Time and Majoras Mask but I didn’t enjoy them quite as much as The Minish Cap. I just asked my other half if The Minish Cap counts as a classic because it was the first Legend of Zelda game I ever completed and he said it was too recent… But it came out in 2004, that’s 13 years ago which is pretty old now so I don’t know. I also Googled ‘Classic Games’ for inspiration and have not played ANY of them, except Pac Man and Super Mario, and I’m afraid I was never really into those. For me The Minish Cap is a classic, I remember feeling so pleased with myself when I managed to to beat the game, it was probably the first time I ever completed what I deemed to be a ‘proper’ game, I know it’s not really difficult but at the time my gaming wasn’t very varied and The Minish Cap was the most difficult thing in my gaming library.

Any other Minish Cap fans? Would you say it’s a ‘classic’?  Which is your favourite classic game?

Minish cap.jpg

 

30 Day Video Game Challenge! Day 19: Picture of a Game Setting You Wish You Lived In

I think Outset Island from Wind Waker would be a lovely place to live.

I used to spend ages just running around, messing about on the little island. Look at it, it’s gorgeous. There’s sun, sea, sand, rock climbing, a pretty forest at the top, adorable little pigs… It does need a good bar/club or something for the nightlife but I bet they have some crazy BBQs.

outset island.jpg

wind waker pigs

 

 

30 Day Video Game Challenge! Day 18: Favourite Protagonist

I will have to say Link from The Legend of Zelda is probably my favourite protagonist, if you saw my posts about my Comic Con cosplay (see them both here and here!) you may have guessed this. Despite the fact that he’s a silent character, which usually prevents me from creating a bond with the silent protagonist, he’s still got personality, I just can’t put my finger on how. Wind Waker Link is probably my favourite Link though, he has some good facial expressions going on and he’s adorable too. I love the cartoon look they used for that game. He’s also just a very selfless, brave and generous character, again despite his silence this all comes across somehow in his reactions to situations and the side missions he can do, although sometimes he has a cheeky side as well, like in Skyward Sword when you can choose to give Cawlin’s letter to the ghost hand in the toilet rather than the girl he fancies and then the hand falls in love with him and haunts him, I thought that was funny.

Oh yeah, and he can TURN INTO A WOLF!!!

 

Who’s your favourite protagonist? Any Link fans out there? What’s your fevourite Legend of Zelda game? (mine’s Twilight Princess)

30 Day Video Game Challenge! Day 6: Most Annoying Character

Sit down, shut up and let me tell you about Fi from Skyward Sword.

Fi
Look at her creepy, stupid face, I want to punch it so badly

After my latest rant you may have thought Tidus from Final Fantasy X would have the starring role here but oh no, I would rather have to listen to his stupid laugh from the “HA HA HA” scene (If you don’t know what that is, Google it, it’s bizarre) on a loop than have Fi as a companion on an adventure. I don’t think any character has ever annoyed me as much as Fi. I’ll take Navi over her any day. When Link’s health drops to a certain point it’s all “Master, imma let you continue playing in a sec but your health is low, maybe you should replenish it” Wow no shit, thank god you’re hear, that tense heart beat noise didn’t warn me at all.

 

NPC: “So basically you need to go here next”

Fi: “Master, I just calculated that we need to go here next”

“I KNOW HE LITERALLY JUST SAID THAT”

 

*Finds object*

Fi: “Master I have just calculated that there is a 99% chance that the object you are holding is the item you have been looking for”

“PLEASE LEAVE ME ALONE STUPID FAIRY COMPUTER”

 

I got stuck in Skyward Sword in The Silent Realm of the Lanayru Desert and if it had been any other LoZ game I would have soldiered on but I was so pissed off with Fi that I got to a point where I didn’t really care enough to continue. I don’t think I’ve ever come across a more annoying character. Here are some little comic strips I found to illustrate my point.

Fi comic 1Fi comic 2

Someone actually created her and thought it would be OK.

Which character annoys you most? Any other Fi haters out there?

 

Panic and Swoosh – An Accidental 10 Year Anniversary Post for Phantom Hourglass

Looking over my recent posts the other day I realised that, despite being a gaming blog, I haven’t actually talked much about the games I’m currently playing. Unfortunately, being the busy bee that I am at the moment what with leaving my job, sorting out new flat details, making another costume (I’m going to be a unicorn this time, stay tuned for that) and various other things that I have given myself to do despite my lack of time, my gaming life has had to take a back seat. I intend to remedy this as soon as possible but for now the only thing I have time to do is get killed by the Blood Starved Beast (yep, STILL on that dude, it’s getting embarrassing) in Bloodborne over and over in half hour sessions occasionally and play The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass on my way to and from work. I haven’t actually talked about Phantom Hourglass yet and I wasn’t going to, mainly because it’s really old now and therefore not exactly hot off the press “check out this amazing game!” but, maybe because it’s old now, the more I play it the more I realise that Phantom Hourglass is VERY into using all the features available to the Nintendo DS and it’s been a really long time since I have played a DS game that has done that, I know that back in the day when the DS was first a thing we had games that used all these features but now I have my 3DS with various Pokémon, Mario, and some other LoZ games but I rarely use the stylus, microphone or camera and when I do it’s optional (usually). As this keeps tripping me up – I didn’t expect to be doing things like shouting at my 3DS to get a low price on a salvage arm for my ship (among other things) – I thought, why not? Let’s post about it and give it some love! Also, this is a total coincidence and I didn’t realise until I Googled the release date out of curiosity, but it will be 10 years since Phantom Hourglass was released on the 23rd June so this can count as an anniversary tribute post!

I picked up Phantom Hourglass in a second hand shop a while ago and as soon as I started playing I hit a block. I couldn’t get Link to move. None of the buttons worked. As it was second hand my first thought was that the game was broken but then, after an embarrassing few minutes of me just raging at the screen, I had a “could it be..?” moment, dusted off the stylus and tapped an area on the screen which Link then moved to. Yes, it was super dumb of me, I groaned and face palmed too. It wasn’t long until I realised that EVERYTHING in this game relies on the stylus. With most of my aforementioned games I must admit that on the rare occasion I need to use the stylus for a quick tap on something (e.g. choosing a Pokémon move) then I will just tap it with my finger. This is obviously not the best way to keep my Nintendo in pristine condition but it doesn’t really do it any harm either. I feel like styluses seem to have been phased out of most Nintendo Games at the moment with it being more of an optional feature than a game dependant one. As a result I am really unused to using it constantly like I need to in Phantom Hourglass, and when I actually have to attack something poor Link ends up swinging his sword around in a battle technique I like to call the ‘Panic and Swoosh’, it’s usually accompanied by equally panicked, incessant yells of “HYAAA KYAA HYEEEEEH AAAAH!!!!”, pretty sure this translates to “WHAT ARE YOU DOING, CRAZY BITCH?!” I think I’m pretty far into the story though now though so I must be doing something right.

Tetra
Still want a game where we can play as Tetra, but I think that ship might have sailed (pun unashamedly intended)

Another feature this game makes use of, which I don’t think I have ever used on my Nintendo 3DS, is the microphone. This was an embarrassing moment. I was on the train sat in one of the areas with the table and there was another three people I didn’t know sat around it with me. Everything was very quiet. I was happily plugged into my 3DS and Link was running around outside the Temple of Wind. I realised that to get the temple door open I had to get some windmills spinning. Guess what you have to do to get them spinning? You have to blow on the mic. After realising this I had a sneaky look round and tried to blow, very discreetly on the mic. It didn’t work. That’s when I had another, worse, realisation: you have to make a blowing sound because it’s a mic, it can’t feel you actually breathing on it. I sat there for about 10 minutes trying to get those damn windmills turning by fake coughing, sighing very loudly, and even fake sneezing on the mic to no avail, after the fake sneezing I started to get some odd looks so I stopped and spent the rest of the journey sulking that the world was not yet ready to just accept a woman blowing loudly on a Nintendo 3DS in public (that line will come back to haunt me completely out of context at some point in the future, I’m sure).

Despite my reserves about playing it in public – it’s rare enough to see anyone playing 3DS in public, let alone shouting into the mic and blowing on it – I am enjoying this game. Like its predecessor, Wind Waker, it’s a lovely, colourful world and it has some really good characters in it too. Linebeck, your travelling companion is great, even though at first I was put off by the fact that he’s meant to be the comic relief with very aimed-at-children humour (which is ridiculous, who would think to aim this game at children?!) but he’s grown on me. Plus he has a sweet-ass coat.

Linebeck
Look at his little booties! They almost look like hooves

While we’re on the topic of characters, I just want to bring up this weird but AWESOME side quest. I met an old dude who lives alone on an island (who, by the way, has a wife and son on a different island, but that’s none of my business…) and he tells you how he would love to meet a mermaid. When you leave his house lo and behold a mermaid appears. She kept diving away from me and out of frustration I chucked my boomerang at her, not expecting it to do anything, but it did! So I hit her round the head but she seemed to get over that pretty quickly. She then reveals to you that she is not a mermaid she just likes dressing up as one and she is using a swim tube to float. That made me love her so much. She’s living the life, who wouldn’t want to do that if they could? THEN I went back to the hut and set her up with this gross, wife cheating old man who thinks she’s a real mermaid and now she lives in a paddling pool in his house!!! That is hands down the best side quest I have ever done. Except maybe the one where you get drunk in Skyrim and marry a hag, which was also very fun. It was super easy and quick to do, not to mention I was hooked on all the drama, but I think I’ll have to keep coming back to it in the future as the game goes on, kind of want to know what happens next, does his wife find out? Does mermaid lady get bored, meet a merman and leave? Do they get married? Scandal…

Another little thing I’m enjoying about this game; like in Wind Waker, Link has some incredible facial expressions. In Wind Waker he had quite a sassy look which I always thought was funny, but in Phantom Hourglass he is a bit goofier, maybe because his head looks like it’s been squashed Hey, Arnold style from some angles.

So in conclusion, if you fancy an old (feels weird calling it old, still feels like the DS only came out a couple of years ago) game that is a bit of fun and goofy but also sometimes quite frustrating give Phantom Hourglass a whirl.

Are there any old games that you’ve been pleasantly surprised by? What are your favourite 3DS/DS games?