Showing posts from April, 2013

The Return of the Portable

I spend my daily commute behind the wheel. After a great deal of experimenting, I have found that this arrangement is not well suited to playing 3DS or Vita. Back when I commuted by train, I had about an hour a day for Nintendo and Sony on the go, allowing me to enjoy my DS and PSP without cutting into home console time or running the risk of crashing into a tree. Once car replaced train, handhelds became a far less important part of my video game routine. However, this has started to change over the last couple of months. I've been spending evenings playing my portables on the sofa, in bed and sometimes even standing up, resting my elbows on a windowsill or other surfaces of a similar height. Like a kitchen table, for example. I like having something that is instantly accessible, a game and platform for when I have only fifteen minutes to spare. I'm not going to turn on my PS3/WiiU/360 for anything less than thirty minutes, as by the time I've sat through the s

Monster Hunter: Let’s try Again

I have always struggled with Monster Hunter. I’ve made a number of half-arsed attempts over the years to play and enjoy the series, but each failed miserably. As with Dark Souls , the idea of getting into Monhan has proved far more appealing than actually playing it, yet I keep wanting to come back and give it just one more shot. My relationship with MH goes something like this: Stage 1 : I’m not interested in Monster Hunter Stage 2 : Other people get excited about Monster Hunter, and their enthusiasm is infectious Stage 3 : I commit to giving Monster Hunter a(nother) chance. I write an excellent blog post about this decision Stage 4 : I give up after a couple of hours Stage 5 : I’m not interested in Monster Hunter This sequence of events repeats every few years, and all I have to show for it is a couple of blog posts and some extra copies of unloved games. You'd think I'd learn from my mistakes, but I really don't. Welcome to Stage 3, the 201

Persona 4 Golden: A Year in Inaba

After three and a half months, Person 4 Golden has finally left my Vita. I imported a copy for Christmas, and spent more than seventy hours playing on the sofa, in bed, on Tokyo trains and in Russian airspace before reaching the true ending just last week. I'm referring to the ending that follows the other finale that comes after the first ending, which was actually just a glorified game over screen. It is done, and now I don’t know what to do with myself, other than write some nice words about a game that would not let me quit. And I tried to quit on a number of occasions. I wanted it to end at forty hours, but it wouldn't comply. I'd had my fill at forty and was concerned that another thirty odd hours would dampen my enthusiasm for one of the finest portable games I've ever played. More than once, I was tempted to throw in the towel instead of grinding out another half a dozen levels in order to beat a problematic boss. Instead, I stepped away for a couple o

Time Wasting '97

If I were allowed one stopwatch related wish, I’d ask for a life-long game clock that could travel back in time and record every last minute I've spent playing video games and consoles, from the Master System 2 to the Wii U. If this dream watch were to become a reality clock, and given the gift of speech, I’m convinced its first words would be “Matt, you’ve played an awful lot of video games”. And I have played an awful lot of video games, some of which weren't Call of Duty. A recent thread on the Play Station forum got me thinking about the highlights of my twenty plus years of button bashing and stick fiddling. The subject was favourite games by year, looking back as far as you dare. I spent some time on Wikipedia and Moby Games before committing to my yearly favourites, and found some years more difficult than others, thanks to an overabundance, or sometimes lack of worthy options (I have included my selections at the end of this post). While compiling my list, I wa

Musings of a Gamer XXIV

1. The Walking Dead I'm sorry The Walking Dead, I misjudged you. Zombies are my least favourite undead-type by a country mile, and I thought your text heavy, QTE ways would bore me rigid. As it turns out, I was dead wrong. I spent the last week playing through all five episodes and can’t remember the last time I was so engrossed in a video game narrative and cared this much for the characters featured within. TWD boasts an outstanding ensemble, but it’s the relationship between protagonist Lee and a young girl in search of her parents, Clementine, that really stood out. Time sensitive dilemmas and dialogue options brought out the best (selfless sacrifice) and worst in me (meat locker, pre-emptive noggin smashing), as I looked to protect favoured characters whilst plotting the demise of anyone who looked at me funny. The first two episodes are sublime, but it took a dive through parts three and four, before picking up again for the fifth and final episode. I enjoyed th