Archive | November, 2015

#986 – Getting a new video game for your birthday

4 Nov

Reality check. Every year we get older if you like it or not. It is what we as humans refer to as a birthday. Now before you start crying about how old you are, just remember that it also means that once every year is a chance to receive presents in honour of another year on our lovely planet. And what are the best presents to receive on these wonderful occasions? Clothes? No. Toys? No. Money? No. Video games? Of course! (did you expect otherwise from a gaming blog?) Don’t get me wrong, those other gifts rock as well, but the joy of getting a brand new video game is, for lack of a better word, awesome!

girl-looking-at-birthday-present

Every birthday that I have received a video game I will remember until the day I die. Let me take you down a few of the more memorable birthday gifts I have had the pleasure of receiving. I once received Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat for the Nintendo GameCube with the included bongos; cheerful excitement ensued. Or the year I received the port of Super Mario World for the GBA; to own a copy of one of the greatest games of all-time on a handheld made me over joyous. Or the birthday one of my best friends Arun got me a copy of Comix Zone for the Sega Genesis, I knew nothing about it and then was blown away by it. And who can forget my birthday earlier this year when my loving girlfriend not only surprised me with a pre-order for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain but also a Retron5! I’m a lucky man for sure.

So make sure to embrace the day you entered this world by begging and pleading with all your friends and family to buy you the latest and greatest video game or an old school classic. Whatever you do get is an automatic win!

AWESOME!

#987 – Playing Wii Sports for the first time

2 Nov

A little bit of a history lesson for you all before I get into the meat of this post. The Nintendo Wii was originally called the Revolution. End history lesson, begin post. The Wii is a system that was loved and hated for many different reasons. And though it had a solid first party line-up, arguably the most important game released for the system was Wii Sports. It showcases what the unique technology of the Wii is capable of. When you play it you realize you’ve played nothing like it ever before.


Story time yet again! Let me take you back to 2006 when the Wii was about to be released. I wanted the system really, really, really badly. Unfortunately, the system was so popular that supply couldn’t match demand (basic economics, my school lesson for you all today). One of my friend’s though was lucky enough to get the system at launch and I convinced him to haul over that special white box to see what all the fuss was about. We plugged it in, turned it on and Wii Sports sealed the deal for me. At that point I knew Nintendo had something really special. When I finally got the system many months later I would pour many hours into the title and use it to show people how cool the Wii was.

I will admit that over time the simplicity of Wii Sports has made that initial magic worn off quite a bit. But you can never forget that first time you swing for the fences as though you are a real MLB player. Or when you tossed up a tennis ball and hit a perfect serve. Or when you rolled a bowling bowl for your first strike. I think you get the idea by now, so I’ll stop with the memories. But please never stop forgetting that awesome feeling that went through your body.

AWESOME!

 #988 – Sega Genesis game cases

2 Nov

Since the dawn of the home video game, boxes or cases were how these games were packed and stored. They are just like humans, coming in all shapes and sizes, big and small. Different materials were used as well (unlike humans), mostly paper and plastic. Cases have evolved and changed over time with less emphasis on them as the digital era takes over. Every period in video game history has it’s own wonderful game cases, but the most awesome has to be the ones for the Sega Genesis.

The beauty of a Sega Genesis (known as the Mega Drive in Europe and some other parts of the world) game case is something to behold. A book shaped hard plastic which meant your game was always protected. Seriously these things were tough, like a bomb shelter for your cartridge. Look at any collector’s collection and more likely than not they have their Genesis games in prestige condition thanks to those miraculous cases.

It’s awesomeness doesn’t end there though, with some other great features about them as well. They fit perfectly on a shelf showcasing the game’s title on the spine for easy storage. Plus some games would do some crazy stuff, like be a totally different colour than the usual red of most games. And some were even crazier, being made of paper much like its competitor at the time, the Super Nintendo. All in all, these things did a lot more than just hold a game until it was ready to be played

I will always hold a special place in my heart for the Sega Genesis, as it was the first home console I owned. But nostalgia or not, you have to agree that those cases are super cool and definitely…

AWESOME!

#989 – The abundance of indie games

1 Nov

Take a moment and list all the video games you played in the past year. Yeah I know I’m making you do a little work with this post today but it’s to help prove my point so please won’t you oblige? Pretty please with a cherry on top? Cool, thanks! Now how many of these games are indie games? If you are like the majority of gamers than the answer is sure to be quite a few (if not my experiment right now just backfired).

Once upon a time video games were created by small teams if not just one person. Over time budgets and teams grew and now many AAA titles are made by big corporations like Electronic Arts and Activision. Yet in today’s industry many of the most popular games are going back to their roots, small independent development teams.

Gone Home, Thomas Was Alone, Tiny Wings, Papers Please, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, Five Nights at Freddy’s, Shovel Knight, Guacamelee, Don’t Starve, Fez, Braid, Super Meat Boy, Journey, VVVVVV, Spelunky, Flower, Hotline Miami… honestly this list can go on forever so I’ll stop here. What do all of these extremely popular and well received (some so well received that they were nominated/won game of the year awards) games have in common? They are all indie games made by small, mostly unknown studios or individuals.

This explosion of indie titles can be credited to the many inexpensive and simple platforms where people can release games these days such as Steam, PlayStation Network, Xbox Store, and App Store just to name a few.  It’s truly amazing that few barriers are present for these awesome individuals to make awesome games, which means everybody wins! It’s a great time to be alive boys and girls.

AWESOME!