What’s in the disk tray?

Quick confession before we begin. The idea for this post, and it’s title, is courtesy of my brother’s blog, The Blog of Neil. If you are into gaming of the tabletop variety, then he is your man/orc/space marine. Every now and then he will post about what miniatures he is currently working on and titles it “What’s on the painting table?” This got me thinking that I could do the same about what I’m currently playing as a quick way of updating you all. And by all, I mean both of you. Now, with my slight plagiarism addressed and a hat tip to my sibling delivered, I shall crack on.

So, what is in the disk tray? Well despite her best efforts, I’m pleased to say it is not the remains of my two year old daughter’s half eaten biscuit. It is however, only a matter of time before games console and soggy indistinguishable food collide in a match made in my nightmares. It’s like death. You know it’s gonna happen one day, you just don’t know when.

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Happy Birthday John

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Today is apparently the original Xbox’s 15th Birthday. Yep 15 years ago Microsoft launched their gaming behemoth with its ridiculously oversized controller on the gaming world.

You will probably read a lot of tributes to original Xbox today, and rightly so. I had one (the see-through special edition, baby!) and loved it, but whilst it started Microsoft’s journey and gave us Xbox Live and the stepping stones for Xbox 360, Xbox One and the soon to be Project Scorpio (they have to change that name because every time I hear it I think of a big 80’s Ford family hatchback that is being restored in an old man’s garage) the lasting legacy of what this bad boy bought to the table was Halo: Combat Evolved, which is also 15 years young today.

Now, there are plenty of articles dotted around the web about Halo’s origin and how it came to be on Xbox and went on to become a game changing FPS and blah, blah, blah. All very true but rather than paying tribute to the game itself, I want to raise a glass and cut some cake with the big man himself: Master Chief.

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Where to start…

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The (very) few people who follow this blog will have noticed that my productivity has been absolutely non-existent of late. When I started this whole “I’m gonna write a blog” thing I said to myself that there is no point doing it if I wasn’t going to post regularly. I never wanted to post for the sake of it (quality outweighs quantity and all that) but I wanted to make sure that I kept content coming.

The problem with this self-imposed set of rules is that the trouble with a gaming blog is that you have to actually play games to have something to write about. Whilst it was never my intention to write about the latest release (can’t afford to for starters and I didn’t want to write about a point in time) I felt I would have to play or replay any game I was planning to write about (I know, makes sense, right?). Trouble is as a father of two gorgeous little time consumers and the holder of one of those pesky job thingys I have a bit of a backlog of games at the moment.

So, now the excuses for writing the sweet sum of bugger all are out of the way, I thought I might let you know what is on my gaming to-do list. Continue reading “Where to start…”

The Force is strange with this one…

 

It has been a while since my last post and whilst there are many excuses for this blog’s lack of content over the last two months (general laziness, work, house work, bloody kids, life getting in the way, a healthy dose of writers block) my lack of output comes down to two reasons, one occurring before Christmas and the other after.

Before Christmas: Fallout 4 – My last post went into how I had fallen for Fallout 4’s charms in a big way. Well since that last post I played Fallout 4 pretty much exclusively up until Santa’s arrival. My thoughts being, “why write a blog when I could be exploring the wasteland?”. The Fallout fans amongst you will no doubt approve of my choice.

After Christmas: Star Wars Battlefront – Yep, that beautiful fat red bastard stuck a copy of this EA delight under my tree. And I’m hooked. Proper hooked.  My thoughts being, “why write a blog when I could be flying an X-Wing?”. In fact since unwrapping Battlefront, Fallout has been, dare I say it for fear of internet fury, pushed to the side and not touched since.

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Falling in love with Fallout


Confession time: I am not a Bethesda fan. In fact the only Bethesda game I ever had any time for was the non-RPG, critically panned, geek fest that was Star Trek Legacy (slate me all you want, but getting to drive the Enterprise is cool).

Being brutally honest, I’ve struggled to see what the fuss is about. I’ve tried Oblivion, Fallout 3 and Skyrim but none of them got me hooked. This may well be a lack of patience on my part, but I’m all for the slow burn and gradual build up, however if I’m not invested after putting 5+ hours in then you’ve lost me. Maybe I’m missing out, maybe if I had just given them one more hour I would have been hooked and away. These three games are considered classics and have huge fan bases, Christ, I even saw Skyrim referred to as “the divorce maker” due to the amount of time you would be spending on it rather than your loved one. But for me when turning my Xbox on they were never in the “must play” pile of games. They were always started yet found themselves put in the “can’t be arsed” pile until they got traded.

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Backwards to go forwards

So the New Xbox One Experience was released yesterday and with it the 360 backwards compatibility feature that we are all so excited about. You will find plenty of articles on the web about the dash and the first games supported by backwards compatibility so I’m not going to go into them or the outrage that your favourite game didn’t make the initial list (for what it’s worth, mine didn’t either).

What I am going to dive into is why backwards compatibility (henceforth to be known as BC as I really can’t be bothered to keep typing it in full) seems to be such a big deal two years into the Xbox One’s life cycle.

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Press A to continue…

Escapism. That’s why I love video games. When playing you are not thinking or worrying about anything else. A good game can completely immerse you in it, and during this time it can feel like nothing else matters. All you are worried about is completing the level, scoring a goal, taking the next lap faster or swearing across the Internet at the person/cheat/no life sad bastard in a faraway land, who has bested you in online competition. Except he/she didn’t best you. They cheated. You’re sure they did. Probably.

Therefore, as I’m sure you may have worked out, this blog will mainly, alongside a few sci-fi musings and odd things that piss me off, be about video games. This won’t be about games in general on different formats, it will be about my experience with a particular game or format based on what I am either currently playing or what I have played previously.

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