Thursday, 31 January 2008

Winter-een-mas - Night 6

As I stated yesterday, not a lot of gaming went on today since I had one of those rare things some people like to call a 'day off', within which I took a trip back home to pick up some things which my hungover brain forgot to bring up to Preston back in the days of Christmas Holidays.

It did however allow me to pick up The Sims 2: Castaway Stories, and while I had an hour or so to kill I played a bit of Family Guy on my dad's PS2.

Family Guy reminded me of the Simpsons' game recently released, where every line of dialogue was a joke or line from the show. When I played a demo of it, it took the combined efforts of 5 gamers to figure out what to do (which is a matter for another time), in which time we got the same lines pummeled into our skulls, so much so that what would have been one of the wittiest remarks of the century made us want to kill our firstborn and snap the disc in half. Family Guy was similar in the sense that it was a load of jokes made into a game with a slight plot, but in a way that the same lines weren't used over and over again.

The game is a typical platformer: 'Get from Point A to Point B. Oh, and between the two points are a lot of obstacles that don't make any sense and you could just walk around them or go a different way. Enjoy!' But I'll let that slide since making sense isn't one of Family guy's strong points. Actually, it's the main basis of the show, and the random 'plot' adds to the humour.

The combat system needs work, but then again I wasn't expecting sharpshooting from a toddler, so again, I'll let that flaw slide.

Another game I tried to play today was The Sims 2: Castaway Stories. 'Tried' being the keyword as it took me an hour to install it, and then it wouldn't run. The first installation failed at 98% when it couldn't find the uninstall program or help files from EA. Oh dear. I cancelled the installation. 5 minutes later and I was still waiting for the pain to end. I had been asked 4 times whether I wished to cancel the installation since it couldn't find crappyfile.somethingorother to which I replied yes on all occasions. In the end i gave up and restarted my laptop. The next installation seemed fine, as the game had magically found the files and completed the installation. I loaded up the game and viewed the EA opening scene. Sucess! It worked. Then I had the downright bad manners to click to skip the opening scene for the game. The game didn't seem pleased that I wished to miss out on what I suspect was brilliant footage as it locked up and wouldn't respond at all. A visit to the task manager later and it was gone. Thinking it might have just been a bug, I tried again. This time the game froze of it's own accord. After clicking randomly it took me to the menu screen. I thought we were progressing then and got ready to kill my sims2 minutes after creation. No such luck. I was staring at that pretty loading screen for what seemed like an eternity before task manager got involved again.

I was only trying to install The Sims and my computer acts like I was trying to install Crysis 3. This is why I like console games better. No installations.

For a non-gaming day this has been quite the long blog. I'm glad you all learned something today from this pointless rant.

Never buy The Sims. Ever.

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Winter-een-mas - Night 5

If it weren't for this education, I'd be getting a lot more gaming in. After lectures finished it was back to mine for Guitar Hero. I asked my flatmate to join us, as the gaming was just something to do before we all went out. Since he was more of a Po Evo kind of guy, we ended up playing that as well.

There is a reason I don't like sports games. The main reason is that I hate sports anyway, but there is another. The controls on this game were so weird I couldn't control them. As soon as the opposing player got close to one of my team members, it automatically switched to them, most of the time causing me to run in the wrong direction. It may have also been the fact that I lost 6-0, one of which was an own goal. Maybe if I won I'd have liked the game more.

As we went out tonight and I've already talked about Guitar Hero in a previous blog, I don't really have much to say game-wise. I know it was wrong of me to go out instead of gaming but who could resist 'Where's Mavis?' In retrospect I should have gamed instead. The new place isn't as good.

I'm going Liverpool tomorrow to pick up a few things from home, so I doubt I'll be doing much gaming again. I'll try to play a game I haven't talked about yet during the night though. Or I may not. Whatever I choose to do, no-one will care anyway. I doubt people even read this.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Winter-een-mas - Night 4

Yet another rambling from the Mouth (Or fingers) of Ryan. At the time of writing I have completed and handed in all my assignments to be handed in this semester. So the next hand in dates are after Easter. This almost makes up for the lack of gaming today. Although I did have a go on Bomberman and Worms on the Xbox 360 in the Computing Building. As well as more Guild Wars and Counter Strike.

Between bouts of HTML coding and making sure I had everything ready, I had a go at a LAN game of Counter Strike with some of the gaming group. We were terrible. Me and Dan vs 5 Normal bots = lots of deaths on our part. Then when we got humans in the mix, I did even worse. Though I did get Vanny a good few times.

Then I stayed in the CAT building, and it doesn't look like I'm leaving soon.
No reason.
I just like to be sociable. I also hate sleep. I'm too lazy.

Anyway, short blog as I'm too hot and not enough game related things happened today. So here's a video. Enjoy!

Monday, 28 January 2008

Winter-een-mas - Night 3

Not much went on tonight. After last night's escapades I didn't end up awake until 4pm. No-one was gaming due to assignments due in soon, so I took the time to play through Kingdom Hearts.

I've borrowed the game from my girlfriend, but not played it in months. Thankfully, I wasn't that far in so there wasn't that many controls to remember. All the positive reviews I've heard about it have been right. It's a great game, and even though I've not completed it yet, it's a good story so far. Before I knew it, I'd clocked up 6 hours of non-stop playing.

For those who don't know, it's a Square-Enix/Disney creation, so there are a few Final Fantasy characters as well as Disney characters. I had a strange urge to play some Final Fantasy games, as well as the urge to watch some Disney films whilst playing. For example, Aladdin, which I used to love.

I'd recommend it to anyone who hasn't Played Kingdom Hearts before. I'd also recommend it to any who have.

I just hope Winter-een-mas picks up from it's day off today.

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Winter-een-mas - Night 2

So after a 8 hour shift which should have been a 7 hour shift, I came home to find the games night at Paul's had been moved. Horror struck! So I watched bottom since I didn't know where they were. It was a good episode. I was about to go to sleep and sort out my sleeping pattern, when Paul rang and dragged me out. All in the spirit of Winter-een-mas of course. So after dragging Mo out, finding Ricky's flat, and being forced to cook food for everyone, it was time for gaming.

By the way, I cooked the food because I ended up having some for myself. I'm not that generous. Mo helped as well.

Halo 3 was the game and though I'm not much of a next gen player, I gave it a shot. I went in the 'Pirate's team because pirates are awesome. We ended up destroying the Ninja team, further proving my point.

After we all got bored of Halo, it turned out it was 5am. Everyone left and I woke up at 4pm.

So much for sorting out my sleeping pattern.

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Winter-een-mas - Night 1

I know I keep going on about Winter-een-mas, but it's my blog so meh. Besides, I'll stop talking about it in a week's time.

All in all, it wasn't a bad start to the holiday. Had a few hours of gaming in the games lab. "But Ryan," I hear you cry. "That's how you spend most of your waking moments! What gives?" Well today was the day I stepped into the world of MMOPRG's, or Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games to the common folk. It was Guild Wars to be exact. All in all, not a bad game. I like the idea of just paying for the licence key, and the lack of monthly subscription costs. To be fair, I wasn't really paying as I was creating a character on a mate's account, but I'm considering buying it now. 2 hours after starting and I have a level 5 Warrior Necromancer. Called Gerald Shlong. Because I'm ace.

After my little trip to online-land I invited some mates round and we had a go on Guitar Hero 3, which I've neglected for the past few weeks. I apoligised to it by cracking open Co-op mode on Hard difficulty. All was going well until we got to 'One' by Metallica. We got to 80% through and my screen 'lit up like a christmas tree'. We had a good laugh about that, rested the fingers, and then tried 'Knights of Cydonia' by Muse. This time there was less lighting up, more manic button thrashing. Yes, we failed again. The main problem with Guitar Hero (not that there are many) is that once you get to hard difficulty, the songs near the end get impossible. This has been said time and time again, but the further you get in the game, the less fun it gets. This is a shame because most of my favourite songs are at or near the end of the game. I only hope Guitar Hero 4 is more challenging than impossible. Yes, there will be a Guitar Hero 4, who are we kidding. After such a successful franchise I doubt they'll stop until the game has been bled dry. It's happening with Halo, and it happened to Tony Hawks.

Although there is a game franchise which has never stopped being fun for me. Final Fantasy. I have been getting a lot of criticism from my girlfriend saying I spend too much time doing sidequests. I'd already completed the game before, but I figured I'd stop with the sidequests in Final Fantasy 9 and see if they had actually made a difference to the difficulty of the final bosses. They were mightily easy. What used to take me an hour of careful planning and strategy became 10 minutes of using high level magic and constant attacking, with very little healing. It was in that moment I felt like a god. A powerful god who destroys anything in it's path, but a god nonetheless. And that's how a game's meant to make you feel.


Friday, 25 January 2008

Obligatory 'Hello' post

Now that I've gotten used to the site and personalised my page, I'm obligated by blogging law to at least say hi, and welcome to the blog. This is where I'll vent all my words that never got to see the light of day in the real world. So let's start shall we?

So as you may have told from my last blog, it's Winter-een-mas. This is a gaming holiday celebrated from the 25th January until the 31st. If you haven't heard about it, I'd go read Ctrl+Alt+Del. Right now Tim Buckley has started his Winter-een-mas comics so you're in for a good read, as well as an educational experience. Be sure to look through the archives to get the full story.

Since I'm a gamer on a games course, I thought it would be appropriate to actually celebrate this year, instead of just gaming alone and reading webcomics. Sadly, that last sentence describes the rest of my life, but that's a different story for a different blog.

Happy Winter-een-mas to all!

It was the night of Winter-een-mas

And all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, except for a computer mouse

The games were piled on the shelf with care
In hopes that the gamers would soon be there

The fraggers were all nestled all snug in their beds
While visions of headshots danced through their heads

When out on the games lab there arose such a clatter,
I jumped on the LAN to see what was the matter

To open the Steam window I flew like a flash,
Fragged a few noobs and caused quite the clash

When all of a sudden I knew I should go
There was a Halo tournament in the room below

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
Good Lord, Winter-een-Mas was here

Merry Winter-een-mas, and to all a good frag

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

The story of my blog.

Well a university assignment required me to start up a blog and start telling you all some juicy bits of info about me and my days. was recommended, and here I am. Expect more stuff later on when I'm awake, and I've had a play around with the site to see what wonderful things I can do.