Tag: Gaming

Role Playing Games – Or how I learnt patience

Role Playing Games were my first love when it came to computer gaming in general.

The first one I really remember was Shining in the Darkness, which I played on the Sega Mega Drive. I wasn’t that great at it back then, though. I didn’t realise that I would have to work to level up my characters and such. In fact, my Dad used to sit up late at night, reading a book after I had been sent to bed, and walk up and down a corridor in the labyrinth, dutifully killing as many enemies as possible for me, so that upon my return to the game the next day I could progress thanks to the extra levels he had gained for me. Thanks, Daddy!

Shining in the Darkness did teach me the value of levelling up. It also taught me how to draw out a map – a map which Dad and I worked on together until he found a book in a local bookshop that contained all the maps. Remember this was back in the days before the internet was a thing, so we all had to rely on gaming magazines or books if we wanted to get answers to things. Of course, working out the secrets for ourselves was way more fun. Even now, I will always complete a game before I even dream of googling it, just to recapture that old feeling of excitement through exploration.

Thanks to Dad’s good example to me, when I got around to playing Shining The Holy Ark, I’d gotten this levelling up gig figured out. I patiently walked around a labyrinth to level up my characters, and loved every second of it. As trite as it sounds, it’s a skill I’ve been able to take forward with me. I can easily fall into this mindset of working at a monotonous task with the aim in mind of getting better at something.

I still love RPGs even now my Dad has progressed to first person shooters, and I can generally be found playing an action based hack and slash game. I would also quite happily argue that we can learn life skills and lessons from computer games, even if they are seen as a leisure activity. Here are the things I feel I learnt through many different RPGS;

  • Patience. It *is* a skill.
  • Never go the obvious route.
  • Exploration is rewarding.
  • If at first you don’t succeed, level up to 100 and blast your way through everything.
  • The Shining series of games is still awesome. Play it.

Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture – I figured it out!

They’re all at the bottom of a ditch somewhere, since Shropshire apparently hasn’t figured out how to make a bike that has brakes.

They all disappeared. I blame the bikes.
They all disappeared. I blame the bikes.

I’m still at the relative beginning of this game. I’ll no doubt have more to say later on once I get further into it. But what’s with the 2D flowers?

My Dirty Secret

When I get to talking about the Final Fantasy series with fellow gamers, one thing always comes out – every one *loved* Final Fantasy 7, and it seems to be held up as the epitome of the series.

I confess – as much as I loved Final Fantasy 7, 9 is still my favourite. I should probably explain why.

Zidane is just a little bag of awesome. Throughout most of the story, he’s happy and upbeat, which was a welcome change from the brooding of Cloud and Squall. And although the storyline of 7 is definitely stronger – I like happy characters. The depressed tone of the other leads gets old fast. I never understood how Tifa, Aeris and Rinoa could have such a girl crush on such miserable characters. It made no sense to me.

That said, for the most part, I have loved most of the offerings from the Final Fantasy series.I 100% completed most of them across multiple playthroughs. The only one I really didn’t get on with (and didn’t bother getting 100% on) was 12. It was far too grindy trying to get the ultimate weapons. I think this was the moment that I realised achievement hunting was probably a waste of my time. I’d just spent 3 hours of my limited free time running around one area trying to get an item to drop from enemies 3 times, and asked myself – why am I doing this? I’m not currently enjoying myself. This is all rather silly.

And thus ended my love affair with the series. Don’t get me wrong – 13 was fabulous. I really enjoyed the character of Lightning. But now, I’m not so gung ho about getting the 100% completion of all the secret bosses, ultimate weapons, etc, because I just don’t want to devote my time to grinding levels or hoping for a random rare drop. I did still get the 100% on 13 though, because it didn’t make the mistake that 12 made – it just wasn’t so grindy, and thus, kept me engaged.

For the TL:DR crowd – I preferred 9 over 7 and 8, because the main character was not a complete emo. And that is pretty much it.

The Last 5 Computer Games I Played

It’s some list Sunday! Here are the last 5 games I played, and my thoughts on them.

Bloodborne

Probably my favourite this year. High paced game play, and player invasions. Fantastic bosses. At the same time, kind of depressing. Main reason I love this – I can run around with a pistol and whip. Which is awesome, and says nothing about my character.

Dragonage Inquisition

Kept me busy with side quests for hours. However, once I figured out that you could be invincible as a Knight Enchanter, Nightmare mode became a breeze. I’ve yet to play the new content, since my Dad has kidnapped my copy of it and won’t give it back until he’s bored of it.

Dark Souls 2

A good game. Not quite so tight in design as Dark Souls, but entertaining all the same. That said, I haven’t replayed this as often as Dark Souls, which says something. I think it’s because the Soul Memory system bodged up invasions and co-operative play.

Destiny

Very playable… once. Which is a shame, really. Should have been so much more than a grindfest in end game!

Dark Souls 1

One of my all time favourites. Lots of replay value, invasions are great, and the bosses still play well even after all this time. Praise the sun!

TL;DR

Play Dark Souls. Then Bloodborne. You won’t regret it.