Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Challenge accepted!

A month ago I got a question challenge thingy from Level Up, and it took a while again to get any inspiration to write, but here we are! The rules were that I should challenge other people to answer these questions, but I rarely read any blogs these days....I don't expect anyone to read mine either, I mostly just think this as practicing my english and...well, maybe that's it. Recording something useless for myself in the future to laugh about? So, no challenges from me, but anyone who reads this is welcome to answer in the comments.

Anyway, here are the ten questions with my answers.

1.When did you start playing games and on what platform?

 

I started my game "career" probably in 1990, or 1991, with the Nintendo Entertainment System. I have vivid memories of me and my mother playing Kid Icarus. We would take turns, but usually it was my mother who played through the "scary" dungeons. Another memory from 1991 or 1992, when we got the Ghostbusters game; it was my bedtime already but I wanted to play so badly, so I went to bed and waited for everyone else to fall asleep and then went to the living room and started playing. I didn't undrestand anything, and probably my dad woke up and I didn't get to play anything for a week (probably).

2. Your favorite game when you were a kid?

 

This is a though one, because it really depends on the year and the games. When I was ~8 years old, my favorite game was Sonic 3 that I got to play at a friend, then at 12 I got to play the first Metal Gear Solid and Ocarina of Time. I'd say it was Ocarina of Time, because that was a game I had for myself. The game is still my second favorite game, and who knows, if I had owned a PS1 myself as a kid and had MGS, that could take the place. Around those times I did play FF7 though...

3. Would you rather play single- or multiplayer games? Why?

 

I do enjoy singleplayer games more than multiplayer, usually because I like a good story. Having fun in multiplayer with some Co-op possibilities is a good choice  also, but I get more immersed in singleplayer stuff, and I like it. Competitive multiplayer is also fun at times, never turned my back to any PVP stuff in games. I've always enjoyed the invasion stuff in the Souls games for example.

4. What are you playing at the moment?

 

Well, about a billion different things. MGS3 HD on PS3, Talos Principle and Homeworld Remastered on PC, Majora's Mask on the 3DS, Wipeout 2048 on the Vita, MGS: Ground Zeroes on PS4, Diablo on PS4 and PC....and a hundred other things. Mostly focused on the MGS series now that V is coming. <3<3

5. What was the last game you bought?

 

Well, I pre-ordered MGS:V and bought the MGS HD Collection. Oh and also Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD 1.5 Remix.

6. What game are you going to buy next?

 

Most definitely Star Wars: Battlefront :)

7. What is the best thing about playing? What about the worst thing?

 

The best thing, well, usually the experience of going in another world to do something we usually can't. Experiencing thrills we couldn't in real life. Also the stories are interesting! Also I like to challenge my skills at times, and particularly my mental skills. Oh boy do I enjoy those puzzle games. The worst thing would probably be frustration at times, when in a particularly difficult scene in a game it can be really annoying, but then again when finally getting through the spot you feel amazing (usually).

8. Do you get your games digitally or the physical copies? Why?

 

Well, nowdays I do enjoy mostly digital purchases. On my 3DS I have Xenoblade Chronicles (that I forgot to mention earlier on the "now playing list"), Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem digitally and then a changeable cartridge for a fourth game. I don't always have to carry everything with me. Usually the price is the first thing I look at, if I get it cheaper by buying it as a physical disc, I'll go for it. But I'd rather get the digital one.

 

9. Any other hobbies besides playing games?

 

Movies? Well, no other "real" hobbies. I should try and learn coding as a hobby, and playing guitar would be cool too. But don't really have the time with all these games! And raising a child!

10. What does playing games mean to you?

 

It's all about having fun! Honing your skills, with difficult puzzles or hard platformers. Different games for different situations, the possibilities are endless. ;) What a crappy answer, couln't think about anything too smart. :p

There! Give your answers in the comments. I'll probably write again in a month or two..

Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Best Games of My Lifetime - Part 2 - 1988

So here we are. The second part. I'm amazed I was able to start writing this soon after the first part. Just a few days ago I bought Xenoblade Chronicles for the New 3DS and instead of playing that, I'm writing! Wow. Insane, right?

So, on to the topic, what happened in the gaming world in the year 1988? Well, let me tell you, the year was owned by Mario. Super Mario Bros. 3, that's considered one of the best games ever by some people, was published in Japan for the Famicom. Also, Super Mario Bros. 2 was published in North America and Europe, a game that the Japanese population had been playing for 2 years....or was it? Actually the western version of Super Mario Bros. 2 was a different game completely than the Japanese version, mainly because the original game (Later named Super Mario Bros. Lost Levels in the Super Mario All-Stars collection for the SNES) was too hard for westerners, and because people would think that the sequel would look dated. So instead we got a reskinned Doki Doki Panic. Found a video explaining it better...I guess?

Some other random stuff that came out in 1988 were the first Advanced Dungeons & Dragons PC game; Pool of Radiance, the inspiration for the Fallout games; Wasteland and Mega Man 2! Sports nerds might know that the first Madden game (John Madden Football) came out on the Apple II. Sega fans might also rejoice since the Mega Drive also came out in Japan. The console was released with Space Harrier II, Altered Beast and Super Thunder Blade. Didn't sell too well, because everyone was playing SMB 3. We also wouldn't see Sonic for another 3 years.

The Best Game of 1988


1988.jpg


Although Metal Gear (NES) and Metroid (NES) came this year to the European markets, this was also the year that I got to fly around in a spacecraft for the first time, which to me is more important than sneaking around in a jungle or exploring a maze. Well, I didn't really fly the craft this year, but it came out, and that's what we're picking, the best games of my lifetime (that came in Europe....that I played...and liked).

And the prize goes to...

Fuck yeah!

So Gradius, as the best game of 1988, was really great! It was the first shmup I played (or was it 1943..), and I've loved the genre ever since. I sucked at the game as a kid (and probably still do), couldn't even finish the game, but I still loved the power-ups and just going through space and blasting stuff. Never even used the Konami Code. And as I said, it kindled a love for the genre, but I wouldn't be able to play anything like it for many years because I never had a Super Nintendo or Sega Mega Drive, and the friend who had the consoles didn't play shmups, if I remember correctly...but hey! At least the good friend of mine introduced me to a different kind of space-flying-shooting-stuff-game-something called X-Wing....and TIE Fighter...

Couldn't get past this stage.
As always, this list is subjective as hell, as I'm letting my childhood memories place these older games in the list. I do realise that Metroid would be the crown jewel of the games this year in Europe, if looking at it with a more objective eye. With my limited knowledge of anything, living in Japan I'd say Super Mario Bros. 3 and in America I'd say Castlevania 2! So there. But please, tell me your choice of the best game in 1988 in the comments! I don't know anything.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Being Grand

Probably okay to share this photo.

A friend turned 30, I tried to be Grand Admiral Thrawn at the party. The party was great! A few Darth Vaders, some Jedi and even a stormtrooper! One ewok was running around "jub jubbing". Fun times. I had to shower over 30 minutes at 4.45am, drunk, to get the blue off my face. Whew. Been a while since we last were drinking with the wife, and will probably be a while again to the next time, which is okay. I no longer have the need to go out drinking every weekend, like I wanted when I was 10 years younger.




Some additions need to be made to the costume before the Episode VII premiere. The shoulders. Need some golden...epaulettes? Not sure of that's the right word. Good that there's still some time before december..

Monday, March 23, 2015

Updates on blog

Just realized that I had a million posts in drafts, all the Finnish ones, the really old ones. I'm not sure why I put those in the draft folders...I'm sure that all that shit is really interesting to read, for all the Finnish readers. Some 10 year old stuff there...when I was 18. Whew. Time flies.

ALSO! I'm not sure if you have noticed the "My Star Wars Game Collection" button up there. (Did I mention this already?) It has some pictures now. Yay. Click on those.

Erm. Probably okay to write short stuff sometimes? Would maybe be more motivated to write about my personal life more, because I can't write very long texts about uninteresting things. Or well, there are a lot of things on my mind and in my life, but I couldn't tell random people everything.

Today I am glad that I got some writing done. Leo fell asleep at the table where he was eating his supper(iltapala?) while I was writing the last text. Oops.


The Best Games of My Lifetime - Part 1 - 1987

Hi there! I once thought about writing this in Finnish somewhere, but I guess I'll take this as practice and try to produce it in English here. The idea now, is to list the best games (in my humble opinion) from my lifetime, the best game of every year, starting from the year I was born; 1987. I'm trying to grab the European release dates, but there can be some errors, because I'm not always sure about these dates. When I wrote the first one in Finnish, I read that Castlevania (NES) was released in 1987 in Europe, but then I found out that it was really a year later. Oh well, maybe we'll hear about it more in the next part...maybe....

It will be a lot less confusing later on, when globalization took over and games are released almost on the say day! Think about waiting for 2 or 3 years for the localization....


The Best Game of 1987


1987.jpg

1987 was a brilliant year for gaming, I couldn't ask a better year to be born....or well, maybe it would have been better if I was maybe in a playing age rather than a newborn. Aaanyway, a great year! Some of the great games and series that started in 1987 somewhere around the globe were Contra (Arcade), Double Dragon (Arcade), Metal Gear (MSX2), Street Fighter (Arcade), Mega Man (Famicom/NES), Final Fantasy (Famicom), Leisure Suit Larry (PC), Phantasy Star (Sega Mark III) and Maniac Mansion as the first game to use the SCUMM engine! Thanks to Aric Wilmunder and Ron Gilbert at Lucasarts, we now had a system which would later be used to make some of the greatest games in the world possible! There are so many things where George Lucas has influenced my life indirectly...

So what's the best game?


The Nintendo Entertainment System also came out in 1987 in Finland. I probably should ask my parents when they got it, but it was probably around 1990-1991 that we got it, and there was one game that I liked to play with my mom.

As we've ruled out Castlevania, that came the following year, and looking at the European releases, I'll have to go with Kid Icarus, as the best game of 1987. I have many fond memories playing it, usually with my mom. We had some notebook full of passwords and probably even maps of the dungeons. It was always so exciting to get to the dungeons, and the bosses were heart-pounding. The music in the levels had a really adventurous feeling in them, the dungeon theme really felt like we were exploring some mystical place, and even though it sounds more Egyptian than Greek now that I listen to it, it didn't really matter as a kid. Listen to the adventurous Underworld Theme.

The game has some really difficult platforming, jumping around, and it can be frustrating when the screen scrolls and the platform that was safely there just a second ago, was swallowed by some unholy darkness and you miss a jump and get consumed by the same demonic darkness. And then start the level over. Lots of trial and error, but eventually you get better in anything you practice, and I got through the game all by myself. I do remember that I eventually even got the good ending...because I remember that Pit transformed into an adult. And got the girl! Hooray!


Maybe I should have picked The Legend of Zelda, which is by far the better game objectively, but this is a really subjective listing, and truth be told, even as a quite huge Zelda fan, I've never played the first one that much.

So that's it. One down, 28 to go. I wonder what games were released in the year I turned a year old. Maybe we'll find that out....eventually. Don't know if it'll take me a month or a day, but I'll try to write this thing to the end.

Please let me know about your pick for the best game of 1987 in the comments. If I was going by the North American released, I would have said Castlevania, and if I was in Japan I'd probably say Final Fantasy. So there.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Getting ready to party!

Just 3 more weeks and I'll attend my first ever...erm, masquerade? Well, a friend turns 30 and she wanted to have a Star Wars themed party, so (almost) everyone is going to dress up as a Star Wars character, made up or "official". And I'm loving it. I've never had the pleasure to put on a costume anywhere (except for that one time I was the Grim Reaper at a halloween party 5 years ago..)

I won a prize, hooray.
Anyway, planning my upcoming costume and making stuff for it has been fun. Although the birthday hero herself is stitching/sewing the dress itself, I've been finding and doing little stuff. I wonder, can you guess the character I'm going to dress as from the following pictures? Shouldn't be too hard.




 I tried to paint my face a little, got a new belt buckle, and tried to make a rank bar to fit the costume. Rank bar looks like shit in light, but luckily it'll be darker..




 


I also made "blasters" for my wife's costume, end result on the left, starting point in the right.



 





 Thanks to the highly trained male model and a professional photographer, I got an early glimpse of the costume in progress. Thank you Atte and Anniina! You guys are the best.







 And finally, boots for the costume. 12€ with postage. Buckle was 15€ with postage. Materials for the rank bar 0€ (from work). Blue face paint with some powder to attach it better, and contacts were about 45€ with postage. Materials/fabric for the costume we're about 40€. Whew. I still need a wider leather belt...

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Marching on

Did I already say that I have the New 3DS XL? Probably not... I think that every time I try to write anything, something else comes up. Just like now, I should go and do something, but I won't, because I started to write this. It's funny how it always comes up when trying to write, but when I'm aimlessly surfing around the internet, I'm okay and don't have to do anything.

Anyway, the N3DSXL Majoras Mask Edition is cooool.

Goodbye
Hello!


It was a stroke of luck that I got it. I even got the Skull Kid statue as a surprise bonus with the console, but because I don't have too much money, I had to sell the statue. I naturally also sold the old Pikachu 3DSXL to fund the new console.

Goodbye kiddo.
I even made a video of the unboxing process (I know, boring as hell, probably shouldn't watch that..). I also show how to change the MicroSD card and make the system transfer. But it's in finnish!

So, naturally I've been playing the new Majora's Mask 3D game that came with the console, and it has been great. Two of the temples are completed, and next up is defending a ranch from aliens.

I feel like I'm being rushed so I have to go now. Ah well, maybe I'll try to write more often. I also started a project to list all the Star Wars games I have here, you can see the link up there.



Sunday, January 4, 2015

Looking forward in the gaming world

2015. New year, new tricks. I wonder what announced games are coming that I'm interested in, let's see.

January


We have a bunch of updated versions of old games (again) Resident Evil, Grim Fandango and Heroes of Might and Magic 3 are the HD titles I'm waiting for. Might some day get GTA V for the PC to try out some mods that are definitely coming there. Most excited for Grim Fandango, as I've never played the original. My birthday is in 4 days (28 woo!), so I might as well get something for myself. *wink wink, nudge nudge* (Well, not really, as I got a controller for the SNES and SMW2 already, as a gift for myself)

February



Steampunkish glory in this month, as The Order 1886 is coming. Somewhat interested in that one, although not a real fan of 3rd person shooters. Not a day 1 purchase for me, but definitely on the radar. Another shooter, Evolve coming too. A little interested in that one, but again, shooters are not a personal favorite anymore, so might skip this one. Resident Evil: Revelations 2 is also coming out, but not really interested in that one, as I'm more a fan of the original trilogy. It might have the same atmosphere(?), but the general more "actiony" gameplay of the new RE:s are not interesting to me.

March



Probably a better, and more "steampunkish" title, Project S.T.E.A.M for the 3DS coming in this month. Really looking forward to it, even though I'm not a big fan of the artstyle, I'm a fan of the more strategic games. Sometimes maybe too much of a perfectionist, as I got a little stuck in Intelligent Systems' last strategy title (Fire Emblem: Awakening) because I didn't want anyone to die. Damn permadeath. Another title that probably will require some thinking, is Bloodborne. I was a big fan of Demon's Souls (not that much of Dark Souls), so I'm really interested to see where the new-gen title goes. Haven't been following any news or anything, so I'm not even sure if it's an open world again or more something like in Demon's Souls. We'll see. Project CARS is also coming, which interests the car loving side of myself (that's not that big, but still exists, thanks to Gran Turismo on the first Playstation).

April



Our son turns 5! Yay! Might get something for him....like maybe Dark Souls 2 for the PS4? No? Okay then, I'll play it myself. Played some of it on the PC when I had a working Steam family share thingy set up with a friend, but that's gone now, so I'll probably get this and try to continue the crappy video series I started doing a while ago. Nothing else interesting announced to this month yet.

May



Although The Witcher 3 is coming this month, I'm not that interested in it. Why? Well, haven't played the first 2, that's why. It looks really great, but I need to get through the first ones before getting this. Where can I get more time?

The rest of the year



Couldn't grab anything else from Wikipedia. Probably more interesting stuff will be announced during the E3's in June, but we'll see about that in the summer then.

Now the more interesting stuff that have been announced for this year, but no month yet, are as following:

  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Broken Age Part 2
  • Journey (PS4)
  • Metal Gear Solid 5
  • Might and Magic Heroes 7
  • Star Fox (Wii U)
  • Zelda (Wii U)
  • Battlefront
  • What the hell, I just found out that there's a Syberia 3 coming! Fuck yeah!
  • Majora's Mask 3D
  • Xenoblade Chronicles X
Looks like a good year I'd say. Not so hyped about X anymore, but still looking forward to it! It was silly to say that Nintendo would win anything because of one game (and to make such a prediction this early in the generation), especially now that Final Fantasy XV looks so much like XCX, but hey, Final Fantasy will probably still be a worse game, even if it comes out on platforms with more power. Power is not everything, mechas are! Om nom.

But damn! That Zelda map sure looks big.


And talking about Zelda, probably really the next game I'll be able to purchase after Grim Fandago, will be Majora's Mask 3D. Oh how much I want that limited edition....must....buy....I'm glad I bought Pillars of Eternity almost 2,5 years ago (What?!) so I'll be able to play it no matter what. Not too much money to spend around.

Too much stuff! Head exploding, more coffee, less writing. Sorry for the mess.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Modding a PAL SNES

Hello. I've been quite busy with the PS4 lately. Much Dragon Age, such pleasure. Om nom. But hey! I went some time ago to a place far far away, just a few kilometers, and there was a gathering of great things, it was called the RETROPELIMYYJÄISET VANTAALLA. And after checking it out, got out of there with a brand new old Super Nintendo. I've wanted one of these suckers for a long, long time. I was always jealous to my friend as a kid who had one, but never had the chance to get one myself. Finally the stars were in the right place and after the exchange of 30€, I was beyond happy. The money got me just the console, no controllers, games or wires. As I have a NES, N64 and Gamecube already, I had the necessary wires, but I bought a controller and the best game for the system from a neighbour (and the organizer of the retro gaming flea market). The game was Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island (although german). I then thought, what could I do to maximize my enjoyment of the system? Mod the hell out of it! Well, just a little, so I can play all the Super Famicom games, and the NTSC SNES games. It required some work, but got it done (thanks to a friend, this couldn't have been possible without him).

Following the Mmmonkey guide. (Took over 5 hours, btw)


 Took the system apart. The heat shields too.





Took the RF unit out. (No need to, you can put the switches wherever you feel like)











 Fitted the switches.













Lifted the legs of the chips (as in guide).











Wires as in guide.
Carved the cartridge slot.












So that the NTSC game fits.












Put the thing back together and voilà! Region free PAL SNES. Thanks and praises to Jani!














Japanese Super Mario World (CIB) coming in the mail any day now...and maybe that controller too! C'mon Riku! Step on it! Must be a busy man..

I do enjoy the thought that I can give Leo the gaming pleasures of ages gone, with the original systems, and not with some crappy emulators. Really the only console that I'm missing now that I'd like, is the Dreamcast, but that's a story for another night.