Tag Archives: gamer

#972 – Pre-order Bonuses

7 Mar

We as humans love our rewards. We play games to acquire points, trophies, achievements and other trinkets. Sometimes the reward is just enjoying the plot or gameplay. It is in our nature to want stuff from our video games, be it virtual or tangible. But when we receive a reward before even stepping foot into a virtual world, we burst with glee. One of the greatest of all rewards is the pre-order bonus.

What is a pre-order bonus, you ask. Well, it’s usually a marketing tool to get gamers to pre-order a video game. A way to build up hype and generate more sales for a new game. Or if you would like to believe we don’t live in a world where consumerism exists, think of a pre-order bonus as a thank you for pre-purchasing a video game. It can be as simple as an in-game costume or weapon which seems to be the trend these days. Or it can be something physical like a poster or action figure. Better yet, it can be a whole friggin’ blue shell as was the case for Mario Kart 8. Whatever you get, be it at the time of pre-order or at the time of launch, it’s a bonus.


I have many personal favorites in my gaming past with pre-order bonuses, but number one would have to be the commemorative coin I received with Super Mario Galaxy. I remember waiting in line at EB Games all dressed up because I had an important presentation for school. I had to excuse myself from my group, the hype around the game had me a record level of excitement. Receiving this cool and unique coin with what happened to be one of my favourite video games ever is a memory I’ll never forget.


Pre-order bonuses have been around forever and don’t seem like they are going anywhere. Luckily for us, it means free stuff, either big or small. So head over to your local game store, drop a $5 deposit on a much anticipated title and watch that reward bring a smile to your face.


#976 – Club Nintendo

19 Nov

Yes I know, I might be living in the past with this post especially since what I claim is awesome is no longer available to the public. But let me tell you, Club Nintendo was a very cool loyalty program for all of us Nintendo lovers out there. So travel down the sweet path with me which is most commonly known as memory lane.


For those of you who don’t know (or were born in the past few month since it was recently discontinued), Club Nintendo was a loyalty program where you were awarded virtual coins for registering your Nintendo games and consoles. These virtual coins could then be used for amazing stuff, such as a massive AR card for the 3DS or exclusive posters. These were items you couldn’t buy at your local game shop which made you want them even more. Plus when you had enough coins to trade in for one of these gifts you didn’t have to pay anything extra, shipping was included which is always awesome (tsk tsk minimum balance required Amazon). And the awesomeness doesn’t even end there, there were extra gifts for certain members… let me explain.

Depending on how many games and consoles you registered people with high coin balances in a year were given a free gift as a thanks. These items were even cooler than the stuff you traded in coins for, such as a one-of-a-kind Nintendo figure (seen below) or an exclusive Legend of Zelda soundtrack. Unfortunately, all this awesomeness recently ended with Club Nintendo being discontinued, but they did say we will see a new loyalty program soon.


As you can see, a Nintendo fan like myself was in heaven with Club Nintendo and cherished every year the program was open. Do a quick Google search of some of the many cool items that were available, it will bring a smile to your face.


#977 – Hearing the Prince’s story in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

17 Nov

The Prince of Persia series is full of awesome things which I plan to highlight throughout my 1000 posts. But today I am here to talk about the fascinating way the plot in the award-winning The Sands of Time is displayed to us, the gamer. I won’t put any spoilers in here (even though the game is over 10 years old, honestly if you haven’t played it yet stop reading this right now and grab a copy!). It unfolds with your usual cut-scenes and gaming conventions, but the perspective at which it is told is what makes it awesome.

You play as the unnamed prince, bending time with the push of a button. He seems to be reciting his tale directly to the gamer while you play as though all these events have already happened. For example, you’ll hear a smart little quip when you die in the game such as, “That’s not how I remember it”. It breaks the fourth wall so well and will keep you enticed till the very end. It is a very clever technique that surprisingly hasn’t been seen in many titles.

I will now end off this post with one of the opening quotes of the game. If this doesn’t get you excited to partake in the Prince’s journey, I don’t know what will.

“Most people think time is like a river that flows swift and sure in one direction, but I have seen the face of time and I can tell you they are wrong. Time is like an ocean in a storm. You may wonder who I am or why I say this. Sit down and I will tell you a tale like none that you have ever heard.”


#978 – Transforming Kirby

14 Nov

Kirby is everybody’s favourite pink puff who can literally do anything really. He can easily fly with a touch of a button, suck up and swallow almost anything, spit out heavy objects, punch and kick, and break out in choreographed dance numbers (check out the video below). But the mighty puff can do so much more when he swallows an enemy with powers, he absorbs their power, essentially becoming them!

Kirby has transformed into it all; he can become a fireball, don spikes, throw cutters, carry a sword, become a dolphin, get rock hard, be electric, become a massive tank… so many games and so many powers, the list can go on and on. So what Nintendo has fundamentally created is a living and breathing Swiss army knife.

Kirby isn’t powerless and weak before the transformation as proven by the list of abilities I mentioned earlier (see paragraph one) but he becomes a powerhouse when he transforms. This copy ability is his main fighting technique in the Super Smash Bros. series. You can be Link, Donkey Kong, Pikachu… anybody, just consume them and become them!  


Next time you play a Mario title and transform into one of his many different forms just remember that Kirby can do so much more. Not hating on the Italian Plumber, just stating the facts boys and girls. So be pink and mighty and take down those foes by transforming into so many wonderful possibilities.


#979 – Games that are hard

13 Nov

Remember yesterday’s post about easy games being awesome? Well, the opposite is true as well, hard games are super fun. No, I’m not contradicting myself by saying that, it just so happens that both ends of the spectrum are true. Sometimes challenge in life is very satisfying because of how rewarding it can be. It’s definitely not easy finishing school or conquering a mountain on a hike, but you can’t tell me you don’t feel better about yourself inside. The same holds true for video games, when we test our limits as gamers and succeed the feeling is euphoric. Life challenges us almost every single day, so shouldn’t video games too?

One of my favourite video games of all-time also happens to be one of the most challenging, at least to me, and that game is Viewtiful Joe. I can’t tell you how many times I must have replayed parts of that game over and over again on the harder difficulties. But I wasn’t frustrated because the game was owning me fairly, not cheaply. When you can best a behemoth like this, you feel like you can accomplish anything. Become president of the world? Check. Make a million dollars an hour? Check. Be the most awesome ballerina who can play the trumpet and knit a sweater while performing? Weird but check. You can literally do it all thanks to the feeling that playing and beating that hard video game gave you.


When you want to throw your controller because you have been defeated 107 times by that troll boss, just remember that as soon as you finally knock his health bar to zero you will forget all those failed attempts and cherish the accomplishment. You are a video game master; no challenge is too great for you.


#980 – Games that are easy

12 Nov

Video games come in all shapes, sizes, colours, flavours, smells, outfits (maybe I’m getting a little out of hand with this) and most importantly at least for this post, they come in different difficulties. We all like a good challenge once in a while, but it’s also great when we can do something easily. Having a drink, eating our favourite food, sleeping; for most people these are easy tasks and bring a lot of joy to our lives. The same goes for video games, easy games can be a hell of a lot of fun.


We have all played games that just so happen to be a cake walk. The Kirby series by Nintendo happens to be one of those series where the majority of the games are very easy and yet I love them. There is such joy to be had in the graphics, characters, gameplay, music, and a number of other factors that it’s hard to get mad at it being easy. Unfortunately, being easy has got a bad reputation in the industry as though it makes it generic or non-creative. If a game is fun, what’s wrong with it being easy? Nothing (responding with a different answer is incorrect).

Sometimes we just want to come home from an exhausting long day of work or school, kick our smelly feet up and play a video game without having to worry about getting our butts handed to us. Being transported to a far away land shouldn’t be a hassle, it should just be enjoyable and that’s why we play video games in the first place. So cheers to those games that are easy and focus on just being fun. There are too many things that are tough in life already anyways.



10 Nov

Confused by #981 on my blog of gaming awesomeness? If you are, you might not be a hardcore gamer and that’s fine, I’m not here to judge (heck, I’m just happy you are reading this, you are a nice person). Today’s post is about some dialogue that was made famous in the stealth classic Metal Gear Solid. Why is that awesome? Because it might very well be the coolest Game Over screen in video game history.

Solid Snake is the ultimate bad-ass hero in the MGS series. He fights humongous walking tanks, cyborg ninjas, vampires… honestly, the man is the definition of a super soldier. But in the end, Solid Snake is human (not a snake like his code name would have you believe) so he can come to his ultimate end in the battlefield. And trust me, he will succumb to death more times than you would like (especially if I’m the one playing). When that does happen, you will hear an absolute terrified companion on the other end of your codec yelling for you to respond. It sends shivers down your spine the first time. After a couple more times it is engrained in your mind.

The calling out to a fallen hero might not sound awesome, but it is a small detail which really brings together the whole cinematic feel of MGS. It’s awesome for what it makes you feel for failing as the legendary Solid Snake. As well, it becomes quite comical hearing it over and over again, so it works in a serious tone as well as something light-hearted. No other Game Over screen can do that, at least in my eyes.

Please take a moment to appreciate what has become one of most popular audio clips in video game history. You know it’s…


#982 – Inflating an enemy until they explode in Dig Dug

10 Nov

Time to go old school with this post, boys and girls! Video games were once a simpler pass time where all you could really do was move and shoot (or move and eat, looking at you Pac-Man). Stealing cars and escaping vaults were just the things of dreams as they wouldn’t arrive until years later. One legendary arcade game from the early 80s is Dig Dug. As the name entails, you do a lot of digging, that is all you really do actually… until you get to an enemy. Now, most games would have you fire a gun to defeat said enemy, but not in Dig Dug. No pumping characters full of lead, just pumping them full of air until they explode!


Yup, you heard me right, you fill these guys up like they were an air mattress on your family camping trip. But instead of having it at the perfect firmness for grandma, you keep going until those cheap “Made in China” seems burst. The satisfaction of seeing them inflate is quite unique to Dig Dug, less violent and yet at the same time more violent than most games. How so? The lack of real weapons such as guns and bombs seems less violent but seeing an enemy grow to a ridiculous size and then blowing up… seems a little bit darker to me… just a tad bit.

Violent or not, Dig Dug is awesome and the way you dispose of your foes is even awesomer (it’s officially a word in my book). It may be old but it is still fun to defeat enemies the non-old fashioned way, trusty air. Next time I get into a fight (which I hope is never) I’m bringing my basketball pump, so bad guys watch out!


#983 – So many new releases during the holidays

7 Nov

Being a gamer is awesome for many reasons (1000 to be exact, if you consider my blog to be the end all and be all of video game awesomeness) because we get new video game releases all the time, much like the movie and music industry. But there are dry spells and they unfortunately tend to be the majority of the year. It’s not always a bad thing because sometimes your backlog is huge and you need some time to catch up on it (I’m definitely the biggest culprit of that). Yet, when September rolls around all the way until Christmas, we are hit with blockbuster after blockbuster after blockbuster, in what is known as the ‘holiday release schedule’.


The holiday schedule sees some of the greatest AAA titles being released as well as smaller titles that also deserve a play-through. Just take a look at some of the amazing releases that have passed and are coming up right now in Holidays 2015; Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, Halo 5, Need For Speed, Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, Just Cause 3, Fallout 4, Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash, Star Wars: Battlefront, Rise of the Tomb Raider… I can go on and on, but you get the idea. It’s as though game developers forget that there are 8 other months in the year!

This time of year can be overwhelming with all the shopping, cooking, decorating, etc. that is custom for this time of year. But who cares when you have so much to choose and play from in the video game universe. Just make sure to ask Santa for those new releases or at least some money because when January comes around you might be penniless. But deep inside, you’ll be richer than all the richest kings put together (figuratively, of course).


#984 – Getting away from the cops in Need For Speed

6 Nov

You are driving down the street, probably much quicker than you should when you hear a siren directly behind you. You go stiff and pray that you get let off the hook with merely a warning. The cop approaches your car door and you lower the window… let us stop there. No matter what the outcome is, how sweet would it be to drive off as fast as you can to avoid this confrontation. Pretty sweet if you ask me, especially if the only consequence was a virtual non-real fine and then you are back on your merry way. Well, in the wonderful world of Need For Speed, you can do just that. And boy is it more fun than stopping and getting a ticket.

Let me make this clear, I by no means condone running away from the cops in real life. But in Need For Speed, please go wild and break every road law in the book. That’s one of the amazing details that makes the video game world so fun, the chance to do something you only wish you could do in real life. I’m such a bad boy in this universe, aren’t I?


NFS makes these virtual chases exciting every single time. In some games in the series, you can fight back with pre-determined areas that blow up a bunch of cop cars at once (a la pursuit breakers in NFS: Most Wanted). Or what about attacking the police by equipping weapons on your vehicle (a la NFS: Hot Pursuit). Or just the good old-fashioned way of driving as fast as you can to lose those suckers.

Whichever way you choose to defeat the law enforcement, that moment where you are in the clear is a proud achievement. Take a breath of fresh air, you are now a free man or woman… at least for another 5 minutes.