When You Suddenly Don’t Feel Like Playing Games (or doing anything)

JUNE ISSUE: POST #3

I’ve hit a brick wall. Not literally, because that would hurt way too much and I don’t have enough money to buy new glasses again. But it’s gotten to the point where I look at a controller and I wonder how do I use this? What is this contraption that I hold before me? I start up a game on the PS2 and I’m fumbling around with a Wii remote bellowing why on earth won’t the dude on the screen run? I’m pressing ‘Y’ goddammit! I’ve literally become a temporary angry Granny at 22 years old.

I say temporary because this has happened before. I’ll suddenly lose all interest in what I’m doing, lose all basic skill and put my undivided attention into something else (although that new hobby hasn’t been knitting winter sweaters just yet). Although, thinking about it, I’m lucky that this doesn’t happen with people because I think both my Dad and my husband would be very upset with me at this point.

But with that being said,  I know that some people on this earth must feel the same as I do, right? Suddenly you wake up and you don’t feel like doing that one thing that you thought was your passion for the last month or something that actually made life enjoyable, and then you’re like, crap, well that’s the endI’m ready for the sun to explode and obliterate all existence.

But really it’s not the end. I know you must think I’m crazy, but if you’re anything like me, you just need a break (and a kit-kat).

I understand that some people never technically need a break though. They could play games (or do anything- …, no, not that) forever if they didn’t need to sleep or eat or, well, live, but we’re not infinite (unfortunately) and we’re not a cyborg. We’re like a Sim. That bladder meter is going to go into the red at some point, and if you don’t attend to that need, then someone’s gonna need to fetch a mop, and possibly a paper bag to hide your shame.
I understand also that there have been some stories of people actually dying because they get addicted and forget to tend to their basic human needs, which is a scary thought, and which is why the fact that I don’t really get ‘addicted’ to things doesn’t bother me as much as I thought. (I also would never put a hobby before food. Food is too important.)

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What I’m basically saying is, losing interest in something for a while is okay, and losing motivation is natural, and this is what I’m trying to tell myself (even though it is gaming, which should be a crime). I received some really lovely replies and messages from people, saying that it’s okay if I need to take a break from gaming or writing, and while I feel kind of defeated, they’re right. It’s hard to discipline yourself and do something day in and day out, without it getting at least 1% tedious. We’re humans, not a bloody machine. As much as we’d all probably like to sit mindlessly at a computer with a mechanical brain doing all the work for us, it wouldn’t make life very interesting.

I ramble a lot, I know, but whilst gaming and writing isn’t my biggest passion right now, I have been attending to some other hobbies that I’ve neglected, such as language learning and art (and eating spaghetti). I find it hard to stick to everything at once, but my interests are always deep inside me somewhere (which makes me slightly uncomfortable. I’m glad they don’t talk to me.) and they’re ready to jump out again at some point, I know it. They just need time to reflect.

Sure, it’s a completely different story when you’re talking about work versus hobbies, because sometimes we just can’t control what we have to do for work. But as for hobbies, we can do them as little or as much as we want. So we have to be kind to them, otherwise, we may burn out and lose them forever.

So please, don’t be like me and feel guilty for taking a break from an interest or hobby. You shouldn’t force yourself to do something, because it might take the fun out of it and then where would you be? You’d be a grumpy Granny, and nobody wants that.

Thank you for reading and Happy Gaming (or Happy whatever-you-do-for-fun!)

LDG

 

Six Horror Games from Different Countries

JUNE ISSUE: POST #2

My previous post that featured horror games is actually one of my more popular posts, so I figured, hey, why not do another post on horror games even though you never play horror games? Great idea if you ask me. But, this post will also be tailored towards people who like non-English titles (as in, created by people where English isn’t their first language. Since everything is translated nowadays anyway), or towards people who are studying languages (like me) or just like to experiment and be open-minded (I like those people.)

So, let’s begin and take a look at what I found.

Unforgiving – A Northern Hymn (Sweden)

The first game I stumbled upon is a Swedish horror game inspired heavily by Swedish folklore. First of all, this what I love about Scandinavian games, I swear they just try and fit in some folklore at some point, and I don’t blame them. It’s interesting, fascinating and downright awesome. (Also the studio that made this game is called Angry Demon Studio. I’d like to know why they have a demon, and why it’s so angry.)

Back to the game though. This game, in particular, is a first-person adventure that uses the folklore and mythology to scare your nuts off. There are a bunch of famous creatures from Swedish folklore, that have haunted real-life children for decades. The game is noted to have a great atmosphere, great music, and a great story. So, overall, it seems great. I also read that it’s not full of jumpscares and puzzles, which is something I like. It sounds unique and it seems like there’s a lot you can learn and take from this game. I hope I can play it someday, but to be honest, I think it would give me the willies.

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I just hope that’s a big fluffy teddy bear. 

White Day: A Labyrinth Named School (Korea)

Even though I love Asian games, I don’t know that much about the Asian horror market. What I do know if that there are quite a few that seem to be set in High Schools, but I mean, schools are creepy, I’ll give them that.

This game is a Korean title from SONNORI Corp, which follows the story of student Hee-Min Lee as she braves the horrors inside of the school. He slips into school one day to hide a box of sweets for a girl that he likes, but then he suddenly gets trapped (that’s what kindness does to you) and is locked in the school with goodness knows what (well, a ghostly dead janitor apparently).

Apparently, there are lots of puzzles, multiple endings, and difficulty levels which change how scary the game is. The reviews of the game are quite varied, but overall it seems like a decent title, and definitely something you should check out if you like this style of game.

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He looks like he needs some sleep.

The Town Of Light (Italy)

I had actually heard of this game before I was doing research, so I’m not sure if it’s one of the more popular titles or not, but it does seem to be getting a fair amount of good reception. Developed and published by Italian developers LKA, this game is set in a hospital in Tuscany, Italy. You play a 16 years old girl called Renee, who was a patient at the hospital in the 1940s. You explore the world around you and relive the history of the main character and her confusion of the world.

What’s interesting is that the story can develop in different ways and that the story is actually based on real facts and events, and horror games are always scarier when they’re supposedly based on true stories.

Also, this game supports VR. So, if you really want to be transported to the first half of the 20th Century to a place that actually existed, then this is your chance.

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Stifled (Signapore) 

Now, this next game’s design (from Singapore developers Gattai Games) looks so amazing.  You see and hear your enemies through your microphone input. Yep. You heard me correctly. This is a game where you use ‘echolocation’. You create sound waves to reveal things. How rad is that?!

The sounds made by your in-game character and yourself reveal objects, however, by doing this it also makes enemies and creature aware of you, which is downright terrifying in my opinion. You have to make the choice of being quiet and staying hidden or making noises to progress (of course, you don’t have to make noises. You can bind it to a key if you want instead. But where’s the fun in that? I want my neighbours to think I’m crazy.)

This game follows the story of David Ridley, whose memories of trauma are turning his world into darkness. The developers of this game previously also made a game called Lurking, so if this style of game appeals to you or you want to try something new, then I suggest you check them out.

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Among the Innocent: A Stricken Tale (South Africa)

Then we have the walking simulators of horror, although I believe that this is more of an adventure thriller game. Plus, there’s also point & click aspects, so it’s not entirely a walking simulator. I read that this is basically a ‘spooky adventure game’ with puzzles rather than a thrilling game with jumpscares, so that makes a nice change. The aesthetic of the game is inspired by horror though, as is takes place on an abandoned farm in the eastern Free State in South Africa. And nobody likes abandoned places.

The game follows struggling writer Peter York who becomes trapped in this place and has to confront a dark history in order to have his freedom. Your character is dealing with pain and loss, and you’ll be engaged in a story which spans multiple decades.

This game is the first of five planned instalments to the series, so I think it’s worth keeping an eye on (or two).

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Doorways (Argentina)

Doorways is an episodic first-person horror game, filled to the brim with horror and atmosphere. Again, this is a game that doesn’t seem to focus on jump scares but just makes you feel more and more uneasy as you progress. So that’s lovely.

You play as Thomas Foster, a special agent who has to find and track down four psychopaths. I always wondered what it would be like to have that kind of job, and now I can experience it virtually. The best chapter with the highest reception seems to be Chapter 4: Holy Mountains of Flesh (which is a great name for a chapter, by the way). All of the chapters are available in English and Spanish, so if you’re learning Spanish and like horror games (and tracking down mean people), then perhaps you should give this game a go.

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So there are some horror games that I stumbled upon this morning! I really enjoy looking around and searching for games like this, it really makes a change and some of them are really really awesome. Especially ones that incorporate history and mythology into them, I would certainly do that if I knew lots more about that sort of thing. I really need to crack out some folklore books.

Thank you for reading and Happy Gaming!

–LDG

Looking Back at May and A Fresh Start

JUNE ISSUE: POST #1

Recently, I’ve been in a bit of a rut when it comes to writing. I’m not sure how often or how much I want to do it, and I don’t know what to write about and if it’s even good in the first place. But, I woke up today feeling like writing about something. So here’s a post for you. Apologies for not posting much this last week, but it’s June now so perhaps I can have a fresh start (hence part of the blog title, “A Fresh Start”. I knew the title would link to this post somehow). Although I guess I’m on a semi-hiatus? I’m still experimenting with my hobbies and every now and then I need a break to rethink things, since writing is by no means easy (for most people anyway), especially when it’s only something you got into a few months ago.

I do enjoy writing stories, however, and I was thinking about writing some based on video-games, but whether people would enjoy them or not, I have no idea. But again, I just want to do what I feel like doing, even if one day I have passion and other days I don’t, I think it’s okay. If one day I want to try something different- I want to be open-minded and give it a shot. So that’s what I’m aiming for. Perhaps you’ll see more stories and artwork on here for the month of June. Maybe even some photography. Or something completely different. But, whatever I post, I hope I’d have some support. Even knowing that one person is supporting me makes me happy. So thank you. And here’s to another month!

That means that yes, somehow May is already over, and if you look over at this post Ten Gamer Goals for May you’ll see that I was trying to complete some goals. And, I think I failed. A lot. But nevermind, I’m going to be trying out some of these same goals for June, so perhaps it’ll go better this time around! Let’s have a look back at how I did.

1) Do a video game book reading challenge

I didn’t read as much as I wanted to, but I did finish the novel adaptation of Alan Wake by Richard Burroughs. It was pretty good. I really felt like I could imagine the whole game while reading (it’s a great game, by the way). The writing could have been better, but I’m happy I read it nonetheless. Next up I want to read the books for BorderlandsDragon Age, and BioShock. So, wish me luck!

2) Read Game Studies books/articles

I didn’t do this at all. I really should have since I have some Game Studies PDFs and all, but it’s okay. It’s just another fresh goal for June. Bring it on.

3) Read Game Magazines

I didn’t really do this that much either, but luckily I did pick up a few more for super cheap. So even though I didn’t read many, I did improve my collection at least. (Picking up more things instead of playing them? I think everyone can relate, right?).

4) Beat 5 Games

Last month I beat, let me see… 3 games. Which is a lot less than I wanted to beat, and a lot less than I was beating monthly last year. But hey-ho, they were games I really wanted to beat so I’m cool with it. They were the Dreamfall Chapters, Beyond Good & Evil and Edna & Harvey: The Breakout, so I’m pretty happy. I recommend all of them, too.

5) Earn one Platinum

Nope. Noppity-zero-none-nope. Nowhere near, unfortunately. This month I will conquer a game once and for all! (I hope.)

6) Play Silent Hill

Well, I did play it. I played some of it. I tried it. I was terrible at it. I really am not used to those controls. This isn’t going to be a goal for June since I’m probably not going to pick it up again for a while. Not until I do some hand exercises anyway.

7) Get 50 WordPress followers and maybe some gamer buddies? 

Oh! Neat. I actually did get over 50 WordPress follows, so that’s awesome. I won! I completed a goal. Now, am I trying to get to 100 follows in June? We’ll see. (Thank you to all my followers and readers, by the way).

8) Become more knowledgeable about games in general

I probably am somewhat. I read about games every day so I’m pretty sure my stats in gamer knowledge have risen. So, yay for that! More stats!

9) Watch some tv shows/movies based on video games

I thought I did this, but I actually didn’t. I went on a Jimmy Neutron binge instead. Oops.

10) Have fun!

Oh, I try. It’s hard, but I try. I need some tips to try and have more fun. How do people have fun nowadays? Please do let me know in the comments.

So, yeah! Those were the 10 gamer goals that I had set up for May, aaaaand I didn’t do so swell. But that’s okay, I mainly want to focus on beating more games and reading and trying to write what I can for this next month. Having goals is nice but you shouldn’t let them control your life.

What goals do you have for June? Let me know and we can support each other!

Thank you for reading and Happy Gaming!

-LDG

 

My Favourite Songs on Rock Band (Wii)

MAY ISSUE: POST #30

Since I lost a lot of motivation to write anything today, I thought I would do a simpler post and also share some good (or good in my opinion at least) music while I’m at it. I like rock music, and I like Wii games, so when I finally received Rock Band for Christmas one year, I didn’t put it down for months. Years, even. I was constantly rocking. I didn’t actually play Guitar Hero at all until 2016. I was a full-on Rock Band person.

The first Rock Band game was released on Xbox 360, PS3, PS2 and Wii around 2007/2008. It was developed by Harmonix, distributed by EA and published by MTV Games. The game allows you to play with up to four people (or you can wing it solo, like me. Because I didn’t have friends that were as cool as me. Cough cough). You can play guitar, bass, drums or sing (if you want to deafen your neighbours), and even keyboard in the later editions of the game. The great thing about it is that you actually play physical plastic instruments, and that was the real fun part.

So what songs can you expect from Rock Band? Well, I’m mainly talking about Rock Band 1 and here, although there is, of course, another two games and Rock Band: The Beatles and Lego Rock Band to browse through if you so wish.

Let’s have a listen. Here are some songs that I played many many times.

Thank you to all the YouTube channels I got the videos from, and 
thank you to all the bands for making these great tracks in the 
first place.

1. Dani California – Red Hot Chili Peppers

No, I’m not singing along at all. Why would you even think that?

2. (Don’t Fear) The Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult

This song was on the first Rock Band but I’m linking this video because of the good quality. I love this song to death. This is probably one of the songs that I’ve continued to love and listen to for years and years.

3. Detroit Rock City – KISS

Can’t go wrong with some KISS. I remember buying the song after I played it in the game, although I don’t really love it as much recently. But, of course it’s still great, and I would love to be able play it on guitar one day.

4. Foreplay/Long Time – Boston

Boston is a great band. ‘Nuff said.

5. Tom Sawyer – Rush

This song is one of the best songs in existence though, to be honest, and I’m going to bless you with Rush playing it as well as the song itself. I’m too kind. Please, rock out all you wish, but don’t give yourself a concussion.

6. Welcome Home – Coheed and Cambria

I definitely played this song the most. Oh man, this was one of my favourite bands for a while, and a lot of their songs are still my favourite songs to date. I really need to play this on Rock Band again. I’m ready for some nostalgia.

7. Aqualung – Jethro Tull

I actually have a big history with Jethro Tull and his music. My Dad was and still is an avid fan, and he passed that onto me. So, I’ve seen him live numerous times. He’s incredibly talented.

8. Eye of the Tiger – Survivor

Come on, you have to mention this song. I’d be a criminal if I didn’t.

9. Man in the Box – Alice in Chains

Alice in Chains is another great band. I’m so glad this game introduced me to a lot of this genre music, whether it’s good that it was the game that did that though, I don’t know. But, hey, at least I got into rock even when I was a weird looking nerdy kid.

10. White Wedding – Billy Idol

And finally, don’t lie and tell me you don’t do a little shakey-head-nodding thing at the opening guitar riff.

What were your favourite Rock Band songs? Comment below!

Thank you for reading and Happy Gaming!

-LDG

A Few Video Game-Related YouTube Channels You Should Watch!

MAY ISSUE: POST #27

I’m looking at the clock, and I literally have one minute to type this post. The reason being that I didn’t sleep too well and I woke up late and I missed my deadline, but since this is the first time ever that it’s happened since creating this blog, I’m allowing it.

Therefore, (as much as I don’t like YouTube anymore), I thought I would write a post about some YouTube channels that I don’t mind watching.

I used to be on YouTube myself and I used to use it probably close to 24/7, but its changed so much in recent years, and with all the drama that goes on behind closed doors, I don’t really feel comfortable browsing around it anymore. Of course, this is just me personally. It’s like this nostalgia thing. I love nostalgia, and YouTube is so different to when I used to use it back when I was an early teen. It seems crazy that so many people now use YouTube to earn money or to spread so much good or bad information, and that you have to have the most high-tech equipment and well put together videos to be popular and- no, it just doesn’t feel right to me. I miss the bad quality microphones and video. But of course,  I do respect people who do earn money from YouTube, don’t get me wrong, it’s awesome. But I personally only stick to channels that I like and make me feel good and happy or nostalgic. I do also watch a number of gameplay videos in other languages, mainly Japanese, but I won’t be mentioning those this time around.

So, without any further delay (since this post is already late) let’s get to it.

MetalJesusRocks

This is my ultimate favourite channel, which weirdly I only started watching no more than half a year ago. MetalJesus‘s videos feel more like a chill TV show of some sort (with a rad opening tune), and this is why I like it so much. He puts a lot of time into his content, and he has a crew with which he often records videos with and a massive growing collection which is a must-see. There’s a lot of information to be gained from this channel, and it’s entertaining and funny, and it’s easy on your ears if you want to leave something on in the background for a while. He currently has 538K subscribers, and I think he deserves way more as his videos often revolve around hidden gems on different systems, buying guides and pickup videos. My favourite videos, in particular, are the pickup videos with Radical Reggie, which is another channel you should check out because he seems like such a chill and nice dude, and definitely needs some more support. Let’s give these channels some more love, people (I’m counting on you!)

Yogscast/Angory Tom

Now I’m really opening up the doors to nostalgia. Oh man, the Yogscast channel is the channel I binged watched for years and years since around 2009. I watched right through their original Minecraft videos, and right through all their other early gameplay content as well (I even experienced their face reveal days! I also have an old t-shirt. I’m not trying to brag or anything). Recently, I haven’t watched their videos as much as their content has changed quite a lot, and I for one, love Lewis and Simon the best, so it’s been sad to not see them be a duo as much anymore. However, the whole crew is great, and they’re always up for a laugh and that’s what makes the channel fun to watch. I for one, will always watch their old videos and listen to their old podcasts, but as a channel as a whole, and with 7.2M subscribers to date, you can’t really miss out on giving them a watch.

Simon of the Yogscast has recently been in videos with Angory Tom a lot (fyi. who’s also part of the Yogscast), and Tom has one of the best voices for laid-back videos ever. Seriously, not being weird, but you could fall asleep to it. I absolutely loved his City Skylines and Planet Coaster and Parkitect videos, and now I’m obsessed with any new video which features Simon as well. He currently has 141K subscribers, but with content on the Yogscast channel as well, you can’t really miss him.

Game Grumps

Okay, I admit it, I haven’t been watching Game Grumps as much recently, and only because I haven’t been watching YouTube in general recently. I do miss them though, and although I’ve only been watching them for a few years, I do prefer a lot of their older content (Danny is my favourite. Just to say. I fangirl). One of my favourite series by them is, of course, their Sonic Boom series. It’s hilarious, and you really should take a look if you haven’t seen a Game Grumps video before. With 4.5M subscribers, you could also say that they’re on the popular side. They’re super nice people though (or so it seems), and they contrast nicely with the Britishness of the Yogscast, and Danny is also part of a band called Ninja Sex Party (you know you want to click that link).

ProJared

Last but not least, let’s go for another pretty calm channel. ProJared is definitely a smart guy though, and his videos are a great insight into a lot of games, and he gives very professional opinions (but also whilst being comedic. Which is important.) With 1M subscribers on his main channel, he talks to us as if he’s having a conversation with us, and that’s always nice when you want to feel less lonely but also want to become more knowledgeable about certain games (and also be a nerd). He uploads gameplay videos on his other channel, and they’re definitely work checking out too. Again, ProJared’s videos are nice to leave on in the background if you want to, for example, play games while listening to something. Then you’re double gaming almost. Or not. Just go watch his channel and stop reading whatever I’m rambling on about.

Something I’ve noticed with all of these channels though, is that they’ve been on YouTube for a long ass time. And maybe that’s why they’re so good. They’ve been through it all, so to speak, but I also believe that there hasn’t been much drama revolved around them, which is also nice. People have tried to show me other channels, but I’m pretty darn picky, and that’s okay. We all have our preferences. So with that being said, what are your favourite gaming-related YouTube channels? Should I go out of my comfort zone and check them out? Comment below!

Thank you for Reading and Happy Gaming!

-LDG

My Sims Game Collection

MAY ISSUE: POST #36

Hello everyone, and welcome to another collection post, where I showcase a random selection of my gaming collection. This post, in particular, is all about my Sims collection. Of course, The Sims series is huge, with a few spin-offs too to keep you going. This time last year, I actually only really had The Sims 3 games on PC, but my interest in the series grew and I scoured charity shops and car boot sales and this is what I’ve managed to pick up (so apologies for any ugly stickers. I know, I’m a mess). I think, surprisingly, the console editions were the first games I ever played from the series, and then I played The Sims 3 on PC through my teen years after that. I remember coming home sometimes and being obsessed all night. As a lot of people were. Ah, good times.

I still have a long way to go (miraculously) and unluckily, I’m currently in a bit of a pickle with The Sims 4 game I purchased (I hate how it’s the only one in the series where you can only register the code once) so I won’t be including that in this post (since it makes me sad- especially with the recent announcement of The Sims 4: Seasons).

But enough of my wallowing, I still have enough Sims games to last me a lifetime (actually, you can never have enough). So, let’s take a look at what I own.

First up, is, of course, the first Sims. I actually really enjoy this game a lot and I was playing it on my Windows XP computer not so long ago (as in, half an hour ago). It really was an absolutely great start to the series, and actually, some of the items that are available are better than the items in the games that follow (in my opinion). I feel like this Sims was the most mature in the series too since the more recent releases definitely have taken a more family-friendly turn. I’m missing only two more main expansion packs for The Sims, and I can’t wait to grab them and finish off this particular part of the collection.

Then we have The Sims 2. What interests me the most is the giant leap between the games, since it’s pretty incredible how far they’ve come. I actually only have one main expansion pack missing (I have The Sims 2: Fun with Pets Collection but forgot to include it in the photo) but it seems to be a tad more expensive and a little hard to find. This is a really great set of expansion packs though, and overall, you get a game full of lots of content. I personally really like Seasons, because I like seeing my Sims trying to work out what on earth to do with all that snow (and slipping over. I think I’m a sadist).

The Sims 3 definitely has my favourite cover art from the series, and I also remember explicitly when I first tried to play the game on my PC and it ran terribly. But then I came home from school one day and my Dad had installed more RAM or something like that, and it ran smoothly from that day forth. I had never been more excited, and that’s when my addiction began. So thanks for that, Dad.

Now moving onto a series that I want to get more into. I’ve hardly played any games from the Sim City series, but I know I love city building games, so I can’t wait to dig into these. The whole idea of the games is great, and it seems like another set of games that has developed a lot over the years.

Let me just say, I LOVE the MySims series. Well, the two games on Wii anyway. I played them so much when I was a kid, and I beat them both earlier this year for nostalgia reasons (and because I genuinely think they’re great). I don’t know what it is about them, especially MySims, but I find them so relaxing and the feeling I get while playing them makes me feel pleasant and happy. You really have to give the Wii ones a try if you love cute and laidback games. I really need to get Agents, Skyheroes, and Racing.

And, lastly, we have the console editions of The Sims series. I only recently got The Sims: Bustin’ Out, but I can’t wait to try it. I also haven’t really played Urbz much yet either, but from what I have played, I know I’d love it. As for The Sims 1 and on PS2, I played those quite a bit when I was younger, and they were so cool to me. To be honest, they still are. The fact that they had story modes and that I actually found the first game difficult was shocking to me, and I had so much fun with it. The Sims 3: Pets to me was a lot to be desired, but it’s still cool that there are console releases like that, and I never say no to adding them to my collection.

And there we have it! Those are all my Sims games so far! I think I have a pretty neat collection built up (and they definitely take up quite a bit of space on my shelf). Maybe one day I’ll have a full collection, but until then, I really should focus on playing them more. 

Oh, and of course, with rumours spreading about EA being an apparent bitch recently, we probably won’t be getting any more Sims games apart from the mobile ones. Which is pretty sad, but, maybe it has run it’s course. The older ones will always be my favourites anyway.

What is your favourite Sims title? Let me know in the comments!

Thank you for reading and Happy Gaming!

-LDG

Minimalistic Games on Steam

MAY ISSUE: POST #34

Much to my excitement, there’s actually a ‘Minimalist‘ tag on Steam, which means you can browse games with a minimalistic style, and that’s pretty awesome. Some days you just wanna throw away all that chaos and be a minimalist (at least I do anyway).

For this post, I’m going to be choosing ten of the interesting-looking titles, and showcasing them to you. Keep in mind that these are games I haven’t played yet, but I will probably play them pretty soon since I’m choosing them to share with you guys.

Flower Design

If you like Viridi, then you’ll probably like the game Flower Design. It looks like a simple flower arrangement game, where you, well, arrange flowers and change colours of flower pots and stuff like that. Frankly, it looks very relaxing. Even the style of the game puts me at ease. All in all, if you want a game which provides you with a cheaper alternative to real flower arranging, then this is for you.

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Mini Metro

Mini Metro is a strategy simulation game which involves designing a subway map for a growing city. The goal is to keep the trains, routes, and lines efficient, without running out of resources. I’ve only ever gone on a subway about two or three times in my life, but this game seems like it would make you never see maps the same way again. Even though it seems like a puzzling game, it’s also apparently relaxing, and definitely minimalistic, so you should give it a try.

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Maciej Targoni’s Games

Do you want really cheap puzzle games with lovely aesthetics? Then klocki is one the games you should be looking into. The maker of this game is called Maciej Targoni, and his other games Hook and PUSH are minimalistic puzzle games, as well. So do yourself a favour and look into all three. They’re all simplistic of course, but klocki i, in particular, has a very bright and heartwarming style, and I think the guy who designed these titles is a genius.

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Absolute Drift

I actually really like minimalistic driving games (not that I’ve tried that many), and now I really want to try this one. Oh, and I also really like drifting, so why wouldn’t I add this to my wishlist instantly? (And that’s exactly what I did). There are plenty of events and tracks to try out, and I think you could especially have fun with this game whilst listening to music or listening to a podcast or something zen like that. Because, after all, the game is also the ‘zen edition’ too. It would be a shame not to take advantage of that.

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Warcube

This game made me audibly say ‘aww’ when I saw it because I love games that feature cube characters (reminds me of Unbox, which is another great game). This game states that you can ‘crush your enemies, siege castles, and bring glory to your six-sided self!’ which sounds extremely exciting to me. And did I mention that you play as cubes? In medieval times. Yes, cubes. Adorable little cubes. Cubes cubes cubes. They should just take my money now.

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Seek Etyliv

I think it’s time we brought even more RPGs to the list. Seek Etyliv is a very recent minimalistic experimental puzzle game where every move counts. It combines poem storytelling and dungeon crawling, and the style and interactions that you face are all very unique to the game. I bet it’s a great experience. The whole game also takes place on a 3×3 grid, so you have to be careful. I for one would love to try this out.

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NO THING

Now, you can’t have a list of minimalistic games without something weird and surreal, because honestly, if you want to make a minimalistic game, then that’s a perfect opportunity to make it weird too. This game is set in 1994, but strangely, it’s the future. It tells the story of an office clerk who is sent to the Queen of Ice with an important message, whatever that may be. There’s simple controls, full-voiceovers, bright, colourful graphics and wave music. So, if you enjoy a simple yet really intriguing, difficult, out-of-this-world game, then this is for you.

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Ballz: Farm

You have to admit that the graphics look cute in this game, and I’m a sucker for cute graphics. Plus, I like the title. Apparently, you control a paddle, and you attempt to make it bounce against a number of objects, causing them to disappear. So, you have to keep hitting objects until every single one of them is gone. Simple! And definitely minimalistic (and apparently it has fun farm music too, which means I’m instantly sold).

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Burly Men at Sea

Finally, it’s time for a visual novel/point-and-click game, and this one looks like it has absolutely great visuals which represents minimalism really well. The game follows a folktale about a trio of bearded fisherman, who seek adventure. I for one love games which involve folklore, especially Scandinavian folklore. It’s so fascinating to me, and I’m really happy that I stumbled upon this. Also, I like the fact that it’s the second game made by a husband and wife duo (called Brain&Brain). It seems absolutely great.

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So there we have it! I thoroughly enjoyed writing this post, and all these games have those particular atmospheres to them that just draws me in. I can’t want to try them all one day. Games games games. I love games.

So yeah! Thank you for reading and Happy Gaming!

-LDG

Music Spotlight #7: Benny Oschmann

MAY ISSUE: POST #33

I always struggle with these posts, not because they’re difficult to write, but because it’s hard to choose a composer in the first place. I look at the games on my shelves and I think to myself ‘who’s going to be the lucky sod this time?’ But today, miraculously, I thought, why don’t I do a post on one of my favourite game series? I haven’t done one on the series really, so this is a perfect opportunity to at least feature some of the music.

That series is The Book of Unwritten Tales. It makes me sad that the series, from what I know, isn’t really well known when it should be. It’s one of the wittiest, unique-looking point and click series I’ve ever played. I had tons of fun with it, and I’d play it all over again.

But this post, in particular, is about the award-winning musician who made the music for this series, and of course, plenty of other titles too. He’s taken part in projects such as Kinectimals, Toy Story 3 – The Video Game, Hitman Absolution, Angry Birds Toons and The Raven – Legacy of a Master Thief. This composer I speak of is none other than Benny Oschmann (which is a great name if you ask me).

Name: Benny Oschmann
Country: Germany
Links: Website  

Thank you to the YouTube channels for providing us with the music!

Of course, first of all, I want to remind myself of the great music from The Book of Unwritten Tales. The game follows the story of four characters, whom you play as, named Wilbur, Nate, Ivo, and Critter. They exist in a world torn by war, and a particular artifact in the world is about to determine everybody’s fate. There are great puzzles joined by amazing voice-acting, and of course, music. So let’s have a listen.

I don’t know about you, but this gets me pumped up for the game, especially the beginning.

This one actually feels really nostalgic. It’s really rememberable, and even after a second (or a millisecond) I could tell you which game this piece comes from (if I’m just hearing it that is. Looking at the video would be cheating).

These two tacks, in particular, fit the game perfectly. When you’re playing, they really set the mood and the atmosphere. It’s perfect.

Unfortunately, the soundtracks for the other two games aren’t really uploaded well onto YouTube, but here’s the full soundtrack for The Book of Unwritten Tales: The Critter Chronicles, which from the get-go, you can hear it’s brilliant. It’s a light-hearted and fun game, and you can feel that through the music, which is so important, in my opinion. The music of a game can leave big impressions.

I really want to play The Raven: Legacy of A Master Thief, and the music gives me a pretty good first impression (and reminds me of The Book of Unwritten Tales as well. It’s strange how you can recognise someone’s style across different projects). If anyone has played this game, please let me know what you think of it!

He also composed the music for a game called Black Mirror which released late last year. It currently has mixed reviews on Steam but I think it looks pretty interesting, however, it is a re-imagining of a gothic-horror adventure series, so I think I would want to try those first. But yes! Since this post is about Benny Oschmann, I thought I’d finish off with this beautiful piece for Black Mirror. Please do enjoy.

Thank you for reading and Happy Gaming!

-LDG

Old Cartoons and Their Video Games: Part #1

MAY ISSUE: POST #31

After video games, cartoons are my next passion. Or animated media in general. I think animation is so imaginative and creative, and there are so many different styles and unique artists out there to look out for. I remember growing up with all the old Cartoon Network shows, and I still love them to death today. I personally am starting to collect VHS tapes, and I would love to own some cartoons on VHS one day as well. Then, oh boy, I could have a proper nostalgic evening.

Therefore, today’s post will be about cartoons that aired around the 90s and the video games that were produced along with them. Whether they were good or not, well that’s another question, but it’s still so much fun to be able to step into the shoes of your favourite characters.

I could probably make a series of posts called ‘A Blast from the Past!’ I mean, I’d enjoy it for sure, and I’d hope that you would enjoy reading too. But anyway, enough of my ideas, let’s get onto this post in particular.

SpongeBob SquarePants

SpongeBob definitely has a lot of video games that you can collect if you so wish. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that Spongebob’s first appearance in a video game was in Nicktoons Racingand after that he started to appear in his own games such as SpongeBob SquarePants: Legend of the Lost Spatula, SBSP: SuperSponge, SBSP: Revenge of the Flying Dutchman, SBSP: Battle for Bikini Bottom, SBSP: Lights, Camera, Pants! and much more.

The most recent release, which I own and have earned 100% trophies for is called SpongeBob HeroPants, and it’s safe to say, that the video games have slightly decreased in quality. While the gameplay was fun for a while and it is a nice light-hearted title, I really thought the graphics could’ve been a tad more up to scratch. Plus there were a few bugs. Whether there’ll be more video game releases in the future, I don’t know. But I’d love to see a modern SpongeBob game with a lot of love put into it.

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SpongeBob SquarePants: The Movie 

The Simpsons 

The Simpsons has many great (and not so great) video games and old retro arcade titles, and I for one would collect them all. It’s not surprising that the longest-running American sitcom and animated program has had many video games over the years. To be honest, I really love the look of one of the earliest games, imaginatively called The Simpsons, which was a beat ’em up Arcade game ported to the Commodore 64 and MS-DOS. I’m just going to leave a couple pictures here for you to drool over.

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The other first few games mainly featured Bart, with Bart vs. the Space Mutants, Bart’s House of Weirdness, Bart Simpson’s Escape from Camp Deadly, Bart vs. the World, Bart vs. the Juggernauts and quite a lot more leading up to the late 90s. After that, we were blessed with releases such as Krusty’s Fun House, The Itchy & Scratchy Game, The Simpsons Road Rage, The Simpsons: Hit & Run and The Simpsons Game.  Unfortunately, the most recent game we have is only on IOS, although Tapped Out isn’t bad at all. I would love to see an HD release or remake of some of the PS2 titles, or a new game altogether. I’m sure they could conjure up something really amazing if they went the right way about it. I’ll pray every night onto my pillow until the day comes.

 

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The Simpsons: Skateboarding

 

Rugrats

The next set of games is actually from a series which I don’t remember much of, which is crazy. I know I watched it a little growing up, but I don’t have many memories of it, which is a shame. I really want to watch it properly at some point though, because it would still have that nostalgic feeling attached to it.

There were surprisingly a lot of video games based on the series, on a number of different consoles. The first game was called Rugrats: Search for Reptar which was released on the PS1. Games that followed included Rugrats: Scavenger Hunt, Rugrats in Paris: The Movie, Rugrats Totally Angelica, Rugrats Go Wild, Rugrats: Royal Ransom and Rugrats: Time Travelers. 

Of course, the Rugrats have been in other games too such as Nicktoons Racing and Nickelodeon Party Blast. I do own the disc of one Rugrats game on PS1, but apart from that, I don’t have much knowledge of the series. But, that’s all about to change in due time. Soon, I’m going to be a master of old cartoons and the Rugrats. I will have power.

 

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Rugrats: Studio Tour (I know, this picture is terrifying.)

The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius

I love this show so much. I actually only started watching it a few years ago, but better late than never right? You have to love a show that has a kid who’s a genius, with some stupid friends to contrast with him perfectly.

A personal goal of mine is to own more Jimmy Neutron games, and frankly, there aren’t actually too many, so it shouldn’t take too long. The video games released include The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius: Attack of the Twonkies, TAOJNBG: Jet Fusion, Jimmy Neutron vs. Jimmy Negatron and Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius. Jimmy Neutron has of course also starred in a lot of Nickelodeon games too, such as Nickelodeon Party Blast, Nicktoons: Attack of the Toybots and Nicktoons: Freeze Frame Frenzy. Of course, those three titles feature a lot of great Nickelodeon shows and characters, including the aforementioned SpongeBobThere’s also the game Nicktoons Unite! which I personally own on PS2 and can’t wait to beat, since it seems really fun. You can’t go wrong with starting up games like this every now and then, it really makes a difference from other modern games released recently, and I think that’s a good thing. Plus, who doesn’t love some good ol’ nostalgia?

 

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Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius

 

 

The Powerpuff Girls

Last but not least on this list, is the great show that is The Powerpuff Girls. I don’t own any games based on The Powerpuff Girls series, and it makes me pretty darn sad. But, hopefully, soon I can pick some up.

The first game to come out was The Powerpuff Girls: Bad Mojo Jojo, and the next game was TPG: Paint the Townsville, which were both of the Game Boy Colour. Games after that included TPG: Battle HIM, TPG: Mojo Jojo A-Go-Go, and TPG: HIM and Seek. On console, there were the titles TPG: Chemical X-traction and TPG: Relish Rampage. Again, I don’t own any of these games and I’m not really sure how they were received, but coming from someone who loved Cartoon Network and who wants to own every game on this list, I don’t think you could go wrong.

 

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The Powerpuff Girls: Mojo Jojo A-Go-Go

 

So there we have it! I really do enjoy experiencing a blast from the past, and I think now, I’m going to go ahead and play some retro video games to end my day.

What was your favourite video game based on a cartoon? Let me know in the comments!

Thank you for reading and Happy Gaming!

-LDG

 

The Beaten Diaries #12: The Voices Behind Uncharted 4

MAY ISSUE: POST #29

The second game that I beat in 2017 was Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. In my opinion, it was a good addition to the series, but not my absolute favourite. The graphics were stunning and, of course, the voice acting was still as great as ever.

A few posts ago I wrote about the first Uncharted game as I beat that near the end of 2016 in preparation for the fourth (and don’t worry, I’ve beaten the second and third before too). The charm of Nate and all the other characters (especially Nate) has stuck with me for a long time. Those characters are hardly forgettable, and any game from the Uncharted series is a joy to play (if you enjoy the genre that is. And gaming in general. But who doesn’t love gaming?)

Uncharted 4 follows the events of Uncharted 3, and Drake has finally managed to settle down with his wife Elena (yes, I squealed when I realised that they had gotten married). However, while Drake is missing the life of adventure, excitement and nearly getting killed, his ‘supposed to be deceased brother’ shows up at the door, explaining that he needs to find some treasure and so off they trot to do that. I must mention that the game has a lot of cool parts in it though, like playing Crash Bandicoot in-game with Elena and being able to play as Drake and his brother, Sam, as kids. The game took me nearly 20 hours to beat because I like to take risks and I was playing on hard mode.

This post, however, is going to be about the voice actors (who were the motion capture actors too, which is exciting). I haven’t written a post about voice actors yet, and it’s about time I did. So let’s get to it.

Nolan North

Born: October 31st, 1970 (oooh, spooky!)
Links: Twitter

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Nolan North is one of my favourite voice actors ever, and not just because he voices Nathan Drake (and does an exquisite job of it), no, it’s because he voices so many great characters and has an awesome history of voice acting.

First, he majored in journalism and then worked as a reporter for almost a year before moving on to pursue comedy and acting, although, obviously, in the end, he stuck with voice-acting. His voice has appeared in animated shows such as The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, Ben 10, Regular Show, DreamWorks Dragons, Clarence, Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness and Rick and Morty. Even if it’s just additional voices, he has quite the resume.

The main work I want o to talk about his is voice performance work in video games. He has provided his voice and talent for games such as EverQuest II, Guild Wars, Gun, Saints Row, Yakuza, Assassin’s Creed, Final Fantasy XIII and XIV and, of course, the Uncharted series. To be honest, it has gotten to the point where I’m playing a game and I’m like ‘is that Nolan North?’ because I hear him all the time. Even when it isn’t him. His voice is just something I remember (I’m getting creepier by the day).

Emily Rose

Born: February 2nd, 1981

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Now moving onto my next favourite character (although a lot of them are my favourites). Emly Rose voices Elena Fisher in the Uncharted series, but also has taken part in other notable works too, but mainly in television.

She graduated with a degree in Acting from UCLA, and then graduated again, but with a degree in Theater Arts, so she’s already worked harder than I ever have.. She’s appeared in many television series including ER, Two and a Half Men, Ghost Whisperer, Graceland, and Haven (as the main role).

I personally really think that she fits the voice of Elena perfectly. Elena is strong yet gentle, and you can tell that she and Nate fit together like two peas in a pod.

Richard McGonagle

Born: October 22nd, 1946

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Richard McGonagle has one of those filmography lists on Wikipedia that makes it almost impossible to choose what to showcase. He has been in so much stuff that it’s ridiculous (or, more so, a blessing). In the Uncharted series, he voices Victor Sullivan, one of Drake’s closest friends and the guy who also acts as his father figure. I’m so happy that he appeared in all of the games, I honestly love him to bits (along with Drake. I love everyone, okay.)

He has appeared in TV shows and cartoons such as Animaniacs, Chowder, The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, Regular Show, Pinky and the Brain and also in an episode of Seinfeld.

Again, he captures the role of Sully perfectly and I can imagine the way he acts and talks in my head pretty easily. And also, he looks adorable. Yes, I just called an old man adorable.

Troy Baker

Born: April 1st, 1976 (what a joke)
Links: Twitter

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I’m actually pretty excited to write about Troy Baker too since he voiced a few of my favourite characters from other games (Booker DeWitt) as well as Drake’s brother, Sam, in Uncharted. He’s also done a lot of voices for anime so a lot of you anime loving readers will be happy as well.

Speaking of anime though, he has provided voices in Fullmetal Alchemist, Peach Girl, Naruto, One Peace, BLeach, Code Geass, Soul Eater and one of my favourites, Eden of the East. So, you know, not many popular anime shows at all.

In terms of other animation, he has taken part in Regular Show (which keep popping up, if you haven’t noticed), Generator Rex, Monster High, and Clarence, and as for video games, well, there’s a long list here, and I mean a long ass list. I mean, even his twitter bio says “don’t worry, I think I’m in too many games, too.” Why yes, Troy Baker, yes you are. I don’t even know what to mention really, but I’ll try my best. He’s been in Tales of Vesperia, Persona 4, Prototype, Darksiers, Final Fantasy XIIIXIII-2  and Lightning Returns (wait, he voiced Snow?! Well,blow me down.)Fable III, Catherine (he did Vincent too?! Wow, I really need to observe better), Saints Row: The Third and IV, Binary Domain, Diablo III, Skylanders, Tales from the Borderlands, The Last of Us and finally, God of War, which I’m sure you’re all very exted to hear me mention.

But my word, seriously, who wouldn’t hire him after all of that? It’s inhumane.

Warren Kole

Born: September 23rd, 1977

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Warren Kole studied acting at Boston University which lead to his start in performing in local theater productions. His film debut was A Love Song for Bobby Long, next to some pretty highly acclaimed actors and actresses.

Now, his list isn’t as long as Troy Baker’s (in fact, I don’t think anyone’s is) but he has been in a few films and television shows, including The Avengers, CSI: Miami, Cold Case, Rizzoli & Isles and Stalker. He clearly likes to act in crime dramas.

He voiced Rafe in Uncharted 4 and for that being his only voice-acting role, I think he did a great job. Considering that Rafe is a bitter and mean guy, I think it would be very hard to provide a voice for him, and Warren Kole provides it for us really well.

Laura Bailey

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Laura Bailey felt inspired early on in her life, making her attend a theatre program in Texas, where she participated in many productions. Someone spotted her during one of these performances and invited her to audition for Dragon Ball Z, where she got the role as KidTrunks. Afer working at Funimation for a while, she moved onto some other shows and has built up a pretty decent resume.

Since Dragon Ball Z, she has provided voices for other anime, such as Fruits Basket, Fullmetal Alchemist, Gunslinger Girl, School Rumble, Naruto, Shin-Chan, K-On! and Soul Eater. She’s also taken part in a few more animated shows such as Monster High, Winx Club, Ultimate Spider-Man and, of course, Regular Show. Why is Regular Show so popular among the Uncharted crew? Well, it is a great show so I can’t blame them for taking part.

In terms of video games, she’s had a great time with those too, voicing for creations such as BloodRayne, Klonoa, League of Legends, Nier, Valkyria Chronicles, Street Fighter IV, and Tales of Vesperia and Persona 4, much like Troy Baker. And, also, much to my surprise, she voiced Serah Faron, the partner of Snow in Final Fantasy XIII etc. AND Catherine in CatherineAND Lady Comstock in Bioshock InfiniteHonestly, the list goes on (just take a look back to Troy Baker for a moment. Small world). 

And finally, even though she only appeared in the multiplayer mode in Uncharted 4, I thought I’d include her anyway since she’s definitely a main role in the series.

Claudia Black

Born: 11th October 1972

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One of the main things I read about Claudia Black is that she has lived for extensive periods in Australia, New Zealand, Spain, the UK (woo!), Canada and the USA- and that’s really darn awesome.

OF course, the work she has done over her life is awesome too, as she has been in films, television and, of course, video games, which are the best. She has been in TV shows such as A Country Practice, City Life, Farscape, Stargate SG-1 and Rick and Morty.

Apart from voicing the badass Chloe Frazer in the Uncharted series, she has also taken part in Crysis, Dragon Age: Origins and Inquisition (Morrigan, yay!), Mass Effect 2 and 3Destiny, Rage, and Gears of War 3 and 4.

I actually really like her voice and even though I didn’t like the character Chloe too much, to begin with, I warmed up to her. I really can’t way to try out Uncharted: The Lost Legacy one day, because who doesn’t want to play as two badass females from Naughty Dog? I know I want to.

And there we have it! Those are some of the main voice actors in the Uncharted series, and I was very happy to finally write a post about the people who talk in video games, because they’re really important too.

Thank you for reading and Happy Gaming!

-LDG

 

Expensive Games for the Rich (i.e. not me)

MAY ISSUE: POST #26

Oh, here we go, I apologise in advance. Let’s take a look at the stuff we can’t afford and wallow in sadness. Actually, it’s probably not as sad as it is funny. How some of these video games became so expensive and how some of them are actually sold in the end too beats me. Some people must desperately want some of these games. I’m guessing because it’s either very special to them, they own a museum or they want to brag to every nerd on the planet.

This post is to show off the games that you can buy if you have a thousand pounds of loose change in your pocket, and just to say, I’m using the ‘worldwide’ option on eBay (which is very useful actually). Also, because I am merely looking at eBay, some of these prices may not be exactly accurate, but they’re definitely a good estimate.

So let’s take a look at what we can waste thousands of coins on.

Stadium Events 

Released: December 23rd, 1986 (JP)
Developer: Human Entertainment
Publisher: NES
Selling For: Approx. £1000, I believe. Although it has been sold for 
upwards of 10,000/20,000 dollars before, since it's less rare in Europe.

This game is basically a sports fitness game, where you can take part in events such as the long jump, triple jump and, of course, the 100M dash. You can play with friends, or you can try and beat the computer. When you defeat an opponent, you receive a medal or a trophy, so that’s nice. I like awards. Apparently, this game is the rarest licensed NES game available in North America, hence why it’s so expensive, so I don’t think I’ll be adding this to my collection anytime soon. Especially since I don’t even own a NES to begin with. Although I must admit, the graphics of this game look pretty neat for a game back then, and I bet the sound effects are just as charming too.

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Final Fantasy 

Released: December 18th, 1987 (JP)
Developer: Square
Publisher: Square/Nintendo
Selling For: Nearly £4000 (new and sealed)

Of course, we all know the Final Fantasy series, but did you know that you would have to pay nearly £4000 for a new and sealed copy on the NES? I didn’t know that until now. The game follows the story of four young people called the Light Warriors, who each carry one of the earth’s four elements which have been unfortunately darkened by evil. So, they must all go and restore the light and defeat the evil. ‘Dadadada da da da dada!’ Of course, just because this version is super expensive doesn’t mean you can’t play the game. I personally have it on PSP, but it’s always a shame when you can’t try out games on their original consoles. There’s always some magic when you do that.

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Super Mario 64

Released: June 23rd, 1996 (JP)
Developer: Nintendo EAD
Publisher: Nintendo
Selling For: Approx. £500  (new and sealed)

If you want to snag Super Mario 64 on the Nintendo 64 sealed, then you’ll be looking to pay around £500 pounds for it. I personally grew up playing this on the DS, and I do still own it too, however, I don’t think I’ll be splashing out £500 for a boxed copy on the N64. But it is pretty neat, and I would understand anyone who would pay that for it. It’s not too expensive for what it is, but it’s still a lot more than us people have to spare. This game obviously features Mario, who has to obviously rescue Peach from Bowser. We know the story, to be honest, but this game in particular really did impress us all with its 3D design. Even to this day, it holds up pretty well. (But don’t ask me why I selected this image. I just had to.)

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Tetris

Released: June 14th, 1989 (JP)
Developer: Bullet-Proof Software
Publisher: Nintendo
Selling For: Approx. £1000 (new and sealed)

Oop, another game for around a thousand pounds coming through! If you want a copy of Tetris sealed, for the original Gameboy, then you’ll have to sell a lot of your furniture. To be honest, I haven’t played too much of Tetris and because of that, frankly, I’m terrible at it. However, my husband loves it, and it’s quite saddening that I won’t be able to get him the sealed version anytime soon. Or ever. I don’t think he minds though since I think breaking into it would be a legitimate crime. Tetris itself was originally created by Alexey Pajitnov, and this was the portable version of his idea. The fun of the game is to stack the shapes and stack the blocks until you make a complete row and the blocks disappear. It’s, of course, one of the most widely-known and addicting puzzle games to date.

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So that’s a short list of games that are a bit too expensive for my liking. However, there are still games for around the £100-£200 mark, which is expensive but are obtainable in time if you want to save up. However, most of the time, these prices are for boxed and new versions of games, so if you’re happy with owning just the discs or cartridges, then you’re probably going to save a lot of money. But, as a collector myself, I understand the frustration.

I personally feel like this post was a little lacking, but nevermind, I’ll definitely make another part in the near future if any readers are interested. I’m sure there are hundreds of games that are expensive to get, whether that’s sealed and new or preowned.

Thank you for reading and Happy Gaming!

-LDG

5 Indie Developers You Need to Check Out!

MAY ISSUE: POST #25

I always want to give independent game companies all the respect that I have. Indie projects are usually made by a small team or group of people, without much financial support from an outside source (like robbing a bank). This means that a game can take many, many years and can be extremely challenging to complete. Of course, during recent years, there has been the ‘indie movement’, which means that a lot more indie titles are being released on systems such as PlayStation and Xbox and, of course, Steam.

This post is an insight to some indie developers that I know of. Some of their games are pretty popular already, while others, maybe not so much. It really must be a ‘trial and error’ and ‘hit and miss’ sort of thing with these sorts of teams and games. They could put so much work into a game and then not really get much recognition for it. Which is really sad, in my opinion. These teams probably need all the feedback they can get, so they can grow larger and flourish and release more of their creativity into the harsh world.

So, without any further ado, I’m going to share with you some indie developers. I hope you’ve got socks on because I’m about to attempt to blow them off.

Amanita Design

Website | Twitter

You may have heard of the little point and click adventure game called Machinarium or the game series Samorost, or even Botanicula. All of these games were released by the company Amanita Designwhich is a small studio based in the Czech Republic. The company was founded in 2003 by Jakub Dvorsky and has won many awards for its releases (which is highly deserved, to be honest).

Machinarium was the first full-length game released by the company, and I think that the beautiful and dark style of the game is unique and total a must-see. You can’t miss out on following the story of a little robot who wants to save his girlfriend who has, unfortunately (I mean, very, unfortunately) been kidnapped.

Recently they have released a title called Chuchel which is a comedy adventure game and needs lots of love. I can’t wait to try this game out sometime soon. Plus, the special edition on Steam is called the ‘Cherry Edition’ and I don’t think I would want to skip the opportunity to own an edition with that sort of adorable title.

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Fishing Cactus Games

Website | Twitter

The company Fishing Cactus Games (which is by far the most awesome company name) is a Belgian independent video game company created back in 2009. They have more than 15 years experience developing games, as the team was first working inside a big AAA studio at first, but after working there for a while and experiencing a series of unfortunate events, they decided to build up their own studio, and I’m very thankful that they did.

This is definitely one of my favourite indie developers, mainly because I played the crap out of their current only released title, a typing action adventure game called Epistory: Typing ChroniclesIt’s absolutely beautiful, and I find it such a joy to play. Fortunately, there is another game due to be released this year called Shift Quantum, which appears to be a cyber-noir puzzle platformer where you do a lot of, you guessed it, shifting. I really can’t wait, and I really can’t wait for what else is in store for the future.

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Ink Stains Games

Website | Instagram

This particular company, founded in 2015, is a Russian indie development team that successfully kickstarted and launched their first project, a top-down shooter called 12 is Better Than 6 back in 2015. They also have a turn-based RPG coming up called Stoneshard, which looks promising, in my opinion.

12 is Better Than 6 revolves around the story of an escaped slave making his way from Mexico to Texas in the year 1873, and you have to kill lots and lots of people (because killing is fun. In video games that is). The gameplay is challenging and the style is extremely distinctive and cool. The gameplay is what made the game addicting to me personally, as it’s one of those titles that makes you say ‘just one more try!’ after you die, and trust me, you die a lot (or I did anyway, you’ll probably be more skilled than myself).

I’m really looking forward to what else this game company has for us in the future, and I think keeping up with them and supporting them on Kickstarter is the right thing to do.

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Texel Raptor

I’m not just mentioning this team because of my love for theme park simulators. I promise. Although, that is the only kind of game they’re working on at the moment, but ssshh, I’d support them no matter what they’d do.

Texel Raptor is a development team based in Canada and Germany (how they communicate across seas is beyond me) founded back in 2014. Their current only release is none other than ParkitectOh man, I want it so badly, it’s insane. I feel like my childhood obsession with theme park simulation games would come back with a vengeance, but a good vengeance.

I actually find it surprising that a game of this quality is not only the first game of an indie development team but also, a game of an independent development team. Granted, it seems like it’s been in early access for a long time, but that’s what’s great about it, I think. Because they’re actually listening to our feedback and criticisms, and that’s what’s going to make the game brilliant when it’s out of early access. To be honest, if they keep working hard like this, they can take all my money for all I care.

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SMAC Games

Website | Twitter

I like indie teams that are made of only a couple of people, and this is one of them. SMAC Games is an indie team which consists of two brothers originally from Cape Town and now based in North London. I do wonder if there is any sibling rivalry, but even so, their first game Tokyo 42 looks incredible. The style especially. It’s been on my wishlist for a long time, and the fact that it’s also come to PS4 and Xbox One is awesome.

Tokyo 42 is a hyper-stylish isometric open-world shooter, and you really don’t see those every day. You dive into the world of assassins in the beautiful world of micro Tokyo, and as someone who loves Japan to pieces, this went on my wishlist straightaway.

With a game with a style such as this, I can’t wait to see what else they’re thinking of creating in the future. I recommend you keep an eye out too! Also, is it possible to live in this sort of world? Please tell me it’s possible.

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Please comment down below some indie games that you enjoy! I’d love to try out lots more. 

Thank you for reading and Happy Gaming!

-LDG