|12-17-2012, 10:22 AM||#1|
Hi, my name is Richie and I like long walks on the beach, candle lit ... oh wait sorry wrong website.
I'm an aspiring writer who after years of dead end jobs (and there will be others no doubt) has come to a moment of clarity, the one thing I love doing is writing be it to entertain, inform, persuade, etc etc.
I remember when I was young there were two things in my life I was good at and they were computers and English and for some reason along the way I decided that either I wasn't good enough or there wasn't a chance that I could follow either of those paths to a career. I've made my mistakes but haven't we all? This isn't a "poor me" post, quite the opposite in fact. I've been through a lot this year and it has made me a stronger person who is more aware of his strengths and indeed weaknesses. Anyway that's enough of that because it's starting to sound like the dating ad again though it's purpose will become clear as and when you read on.
My story begins in March/April of this year when I was forced to do something I had never contemplated before which was to sell my PS3. As an avid gamer I had always owned the latest console/computer from the age of 4 when I inherited my older brother's Amstrad 464. I realise that a lot of you from a later generation may not be aware of the 464 so here's a quick review. That bloke who screams "you're fired" at everyone on the apprentice (Alan Sugar) well in 1968 he founded a company called Amstrad (now belong to Sky I believe and make digiboxes in the main). The 464 was a cumbersome in every respect of the word, hard built, clunky screeching machine that played 64kb games by virtue of a tape deck. Tapes also known as cassettes are those things we older people used to listen to on Walkmans (mine was red had the equaliser on the outside and headphones that would snap if you looked at them the wrong way).... oh alright that's enough if you want to know more regarding this history lesson then look it up!
Anyway as always I digress, I was forced to sell my PS3 for fiscal reasons or to put it another way a lack of a pot to relieve myself in. So what did this mean? Well it meant for the best part of 7-8 months I was on the outside looking in, when I went to a game shop I felt like someone picking family up from the airport, watching all the happy people going on journeys that I couldn't partake in but in my case I was picking someone up over a period of 8 months.
My agony seemed to last forever but then finally I had enough dollar to go out and get back my PS3 but as the time drew closer I began to think, what is it I missed most? Then I asked myself another more important and relevant (at least to this topic) question. What had I missed, I extrapolated on this thought process and realised that there was a whole world of games I had missed and why? Simply because they were on a different console. I had segregated myself reminiscent of a fanboy and that wasn't something I wanted, I'd never closed myself off to other experiences or cultures in my life in any other way so why when it came to gaming? My mind was made up, no longer would I act like one of those tech West Side Story-eque gang members, I was going to buy an XBox 360.
With my mind made up I still had to buy my first new game for the console and after an in-depth chat with a very helpful sales assistant I settled on an early title from the Xbox 360 catalogue (developed 2005 released 2010), Alan Wake, it was to be a decision that would not only reinvigorate my passion for gaming but take it soaring to a whole new level.
Alan Wake was a game I had previously dismissed after a 10 minute play midway through a level in a friend's house, I would now like to recant my original protestations namely "not my cuppa tea" and in its place give the game the eulogy it deserves which is to say it's a masterpiece. One of the best blends of game play, creativity, writing, voice acting and soundtrack I have ever had the pleasure to play.
Alan Wake had aptly (could only have been more apt if it was called Richie Wake) awoken the desire of gaming within me not only because it was such an excellent game but because it made me want to play it as the creators had intended, in other words watch the cutscenes and those weird little tv shows based on "The Twilight Zone". I had an affinity with the characters that I'd never known before, I was intrigued and genuinely concerned as to what was going to happen to them before my quest was at an end. In a strange way the more annoying the challenges became the more determined I was to complete them, it felt like some sort of gaming purgatory I need to endure to get to gaming heaven and I loved them for it. I'm not sure what that says about me or those like me but there it is.
Instead of watching those passengers in the airport all brimming with glee set to embark on their journeys I was flying right alongside them only this time I was flying first class.
With my passion stirred and with Alan Wake completed I returned to the shop and decided to continue in the same vein. The same sales assistant greeted me and after a chat about my recent conquest and a heartfelt thank you we were looking for the next instalment of Richie's gaming rebirth.
After much deliberating I couldn't make my mind up, all I knew was that I was seeing the shop as a buffet and not just going straight for the desert (COD and FIFA or high priced new releases), I wanted to sample everything on offer so with that in mind I bought some games I wouldn't have and indeed didn't look twice at. Nier (garbage), Gears of War (was enjoying it till it crashed and I will go back to it at some point), Deus Ex (thoroughly disapointing compared to its younger brother) and Bayonetta (very good game).
After Alan Wake the chances were that all of those games were going to be a step down and so it proved but one game entertained on its own merits and that game was Bayonetta. It's not the kind of game I'm used to so it was an education as much as anything but it was a nice little not much thought required button basher. The storyline was quite good and the characters although cheesy had a certain manga type charm to them. The bosses were tricky enough to test but not hard enough for you not to kill after a few retries in some cases and the graphics and soundtrack while not spectacular were solid and added to the experience. I love the use of "Fly me to the Moon" (being as I am a Sinatra fan) and was impressed by the arrangement and how well it fit the game and it's one of few games where I've listened to the ORIGINAL sound track outside of the game (the other being ... yep you guess it Alan Wake). So once again I was pleased with my purchase (paid 10 quid for Bayonetta and Alan Wake) and I was to return to the games shop, this time to get Hitman: Aboslution.
While being a break from my new routine of playing older games, it was 20 quid and given that I'm a big fan of games that require thought as well as action I was given little to no choice in the matter.
To be continued ....
I hope you enjoyed reading that as much as I did writing it.
Last edited by HE153NB3RG : 12-17-2012 at 12:39 PM.
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