14
Jun
2010

Ocean Fears

Posted by Cha

I'm having a quiet long weekend, and so I've been on a bit of a game binge the last couple of days. This may have been a bad idea, as my shoulder now hates me.

I have another guest review up on Game people, for Endless Ocean 2.

Yes, I really am afraid of the ocean. I quite enjoyed writing about that. Thinking about it now, I suppose I'm interested in the relationship between games and fear. Not so much intentionally scary games, but how elements in games relate to facing fears. Is a virtual world an easier place to deal with things? I suppose Endless Ocean 2 is an example where this applies for me, though I wouldn't say it made me any more likely to seek out ocean experiences in the real world.

07
Jun
2010

Guest Reviewing

Posted by Cha

News today is that I have a guest review of Sleep is Death on Game People. Game People is a site aimed at providing intentionally anecdotal and subjective game reviews from different types of people. So, I fit in there and am intending to write more reviews for them in the future. This will (and has been) impacting my post frequency here, but isn't the death of my blogging by any means.

Sleep is Death was a strange game, and I'm feeling a bit mixed about my review of it. That is perhaps appropriate, since I was also pretty mixed about playing it. I'm very glad not all games require quite so much work from me.

28
May
2010

Time Passing

Posted by Cha

If there's one thing that annoys me more than fishing mini-games, it's game mechanics based on real-time instead of game-time.

Having worked through at least some of my Monster Hunter Tri obsession, I returned to Nier this week. Of course, my carefully laid out plants had withered and died while I was away. There is no real need for this. Nothing else in game changes while it's turned off. No one dies because I'm not there to save them, and no one gets annoyed when I leave their errands incomplete for weeks or months. It doesn't really make sense for just one element of a simulation to keep going while the simulation is turned off. It's just a cheap trick to keep me playing, and I don't appreciate it.

I enjoy games, and I hope they can enrich life. But I don't want them to dictate to me how I should spend my time. As someone who often flits between a few games at a time, I don't understand why I should be punished for my preferred gaming behaviour.

26
May
2010

Game Fears

Posted by Cha

Over-developed anxiety can have some odd side-effects. Normally, I'm most anxious about social situations and my issues are not too obvious in other contexts. But sometimes I do have anxiety spill over into gaming, in the form of unreasonable fear of character death.

Games are often designed to build tension, and that works incredibly well on me. It's taken me a long time to really feel capable and willing to play some game genres. I remember trying a demo of Unreal briefly in high school, which put me off just with atmosphere and shock tactics before I even reached the first enemy. I thought escaping the crashed prison ship was cool and interesting, I just couldn't quite overcome my own apprehension.

23
May
2010

Still Here

Posted by Cha

There is a good reason for how quiet I've been this week, I promise. More on that soon.

I visited some friends yesterday to try out some Band Hero. I have managed to avoid the rhythm game trend thus far and so I'm a bit out of my depth with them. I would have expected a party game to be a bit more accessible for a newcomer like me, though I can certainly see the fun that could be had with enough time to get the hang of things. I wasn't feeling brave enough for singing, and the guitar felt slightly awkward in my little hands. I probably had the best time on drums, but I was keeping to beginner mode where it doesn't matter at all which drum I hit. Some things really do bring out the newbie in me.

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