For this project to be successful, I had planned on saving all of my handheld games for days that didn't allow me to play any console games (vacations, special occasions, etc.), but alas, that plan has changed on only the second day. C'est la vie, as they say.
I have been plowing through Uncharted: Golden Abyss the last few days, getting back to it months after I gave up on it in the first place. The reason for me giving it another shot? Trophies, of course. And because it was free, thanks to the exceptional PS Plus service that Sony offers and opened up to the PS Vita owners. Now don't get me wrong, it's not a bad game, it just isn't very fun. And it's hard to invest tons of time into games that just don't entertain you.
Golden Abyss was as a launch day release for the PS Vita, and was seen as one of the few reasons at the time to actually plop down the cash for the newest handheld gaming device. Lot's of people loved it, and honestly, it is an AMAZING looking game. Yet all the gorgeous graphics in the world aren't enough for me to say, even as I play it now, that I enjoy playing it. I could play the first couple of chapters over and over because of the graphics, but once you get into the meat and potatoes of the game, you realize that the developers forced the issue with a lot of touch controls and gimmicky-feeling game play mechanics.
It's sad that I am literally only playing this game to go after trophies, especially considering that Uncharted 3, my first Uncharted game I played, was so amazing and allowed me to play through without thinking about trophies. The dialogue and voice acting is well done, but boring. I find myself skipping through every cut scene because the story holds no weight to me, and the frustration of having to play checkpoints over and over because the aiming/shooting is off or control of Nathan Drake is sluggish, is starting to boil over.
I guess I'm not saving this game for a rainy day of the project because I don't want to play it again, once I either get the Platinum trophy or stop caring all together. I can't wait to delete it from my Vita and reinstall Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale (thanks to having a small memory card ... why are the so expensive, anyway?). I don't know if I have it in me, a glorified trophy whore, to finish the damn thing. I want to, I really do. I want it to be fun and engaging, also, but that's not happening.
Sitting here, staring at the Vita screen makes me just want to go play something else, something I will enjoy. I can't wait for tomorrow to come.
My Year of Gaming – Project Stats
Games played: 2
Systems played on: NES = 1, PS Vita = 1
Total time played: 4.5 hours
For my very first game of this ridiculous project known as My Year of Gaming, I could have easily picked any game I wanted to. With a huge library of games, finding a game wasn't a problem, but finding the PERFECT game to be number one was a different story.
I could have chosen one of the newest, hottest games to be released to play, or one of the "Game of the Year" nominations. I didn't choose either, however, and instead opted for one of my favorite games of mine, and one I probably have the most fondest memories of ever. I chose Super Mario Bros. 3, originally released for the NES.
This game was the first game I remember actually going to the store and picking out myself as a kid, as all my games before that were just given to me by my parents or grandparents. I remember actually knowing about the game before purchasing, which seems ridiculous nowadays, but back then, that was a huge achievement for video games. Today, we know about games coming out several years from now and get every detail about it throughout its development cycle. But back then, in 1990, most people bought games because the box art looked cool when they were browsing at the store.
Man, I played this game almost to death as a kid. Remember those cleaning kits you could buy to clean the old NES game cartridges? I had to get one of those kits specifically FOR this game, because I played it so much, blowing into it to the point of saliva particles gumming up the board inside. When the Super Nintendo was released, my cousin got one, but I didn't for another year, and honestly, because of SMB3, I didn't mind waiting one bit.
Playing this game today brought back so many fond memories, some of which I think about every so often, but tons of others that I had forgotten about until this game brought them to the forefront of my memory. If I were to sit down and try to tell someone where all the secrets are in that game without playing it for years, there's not a chance I could do it from memory, but as I played it, I found secret after secret, effortlessly, as if I had just played it yesterday. It's an absolute phenomenon, one that I'm sure many people experience, and one I have encountered before, yet it is still mind-blowing every time it happens.
I also realized that this game may be responsible for the foundation of my gaming ADD. All the little nuances that occur throughout the game that are so obsessive compulsive is insane. Jumping at the perfect moment to grab the wand at it's highest peak? Check. Spinning the bolts on the airships as fast as possible to get it to the end of it's track before the screen pushes you off? Check. Timing your run at the end of the levels to hit the P-power and jump into the corner of the box to get a star card? Check. After defeating a hammer brothers stage, timing your jump from one side of the screen to the other to hit the chest the moment it appears (and not too early so that the chest appears on the side of the screen where you jumped from)? Check. And that is only a few of the many, many idiosyncrasies in the game that I still feel urged to do, despite them not altering the game in any way, shape or form.
The game itself is so smart, so groundbreaking for it's genre, and I'm really glad that the New Super Mario Bros. games have dove back into the well of creativity that SMB3 opened up and brought some of those ideas back out. Usually, I am opposed to remakes of games, but honestly, if they did a straight-up HD remake of this game, I wouldn't hesitate for a second to dive right in.
Another thing that struck me as I played through the entire game today was how short the levels are, with the exception of the Level 8 stages. I could easily run through the average stage in about a minute or less it seems, which was perfect back then in order to put in as many stages as possible into the the game. In today's standards, it would hardly be considered long enough for a downloadable title, but alas, our standards for games have changed just a little bit since 1990.
Yes, I finished the game. I skipped one or two levels, but refused to use the warp whistles at all, despite the need to collect every single one I could. Just like when I was a kid, I felt no satisfaction in beating a game after skipping through complete worlds, even after beating it countless times. I remember as a kid using warp whistles only when I had friends over, to show off how cool and powerful they were, but deep down inside, I felt ashamed of my actions.
I love this game, and always will. My seven year old son watched me play some of it today, and while he seemed interested in it at first, especially after finding out how old it was, he eventually got bored of it and went about his business. It makes me wonder if kids these days will ever be able to latch on and fall in love with games to the point where over 20 years later, they still love it. I question it because of the sheer amount of games available to play, the numerous systems and the speed in which big blockbuster, AAA titles are pushed out onto shelves. I guess we will see twenty years from now, but I do know one thing. Twenty years from now I'm positive I will still love Super Mario Bros. 3.
My Year of Gaming – Project Stats
Games played: 1
Systems played on: NES = 1
Total time played: 3 hours
Happy New Year's, everyone, and welcome to 2013! For an in-depth, full explanation as to what is going on here on my blog, head over to the "About..." section. For those unwilling or uninterested in clicking on another page, here is the short explanation for my year-long project.
I am planning on playing at least one different video game a day, every day, for the entire year of 2013. Each day I will play a video game, experience all I can in the time I have available, and then blog about it. By the end of the year, I will have played 365 different games, on all different consoles, new and old, with a full year of gaming experiences written about and shared.
It won't be easy, and it may not always be fun, but I see it as a realistic challenge that once completed, I will be able to say that I may have contributed something small yet unique to the community I love. I will need all the support and encouragement I can get, but honestly, if I am the only one to ever read and enjoy this project, I will be just as satisfied as anything. And trust me, I don't claim to know everything or have the most accurate opinions on the games I'm playing, so if you, the reader, has anything to share to the conversations I'm presenting each day, PLEASE feel free to comment, share and make your own noyse.
Thank you in advance for reading, enjoying/hating and supporting my year of gaming. Wish me luck ... I'm going to need it.
-Josh "The Noyse" Brown
XBLA = The Noyse
PSN = the_noyse
NNID = The Noyse
3DS F.C. = 3007-8109-2329
STEAM = TheNoyse
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Games played for project : 365