Saturday, 12 October 2019

Going in a slightly new direction.


Since I'm not really doing anything games development-wise at the moment, I thought I'd put my blog to a different use and start writing about games. I've been a gamer since the late 70's when my parents bought me a Binatone games console thingy that had 10 different variations of Pong under the names of different ball sports installed into it, and from there I wandered into home computers like the ZX81, C64 and Amiga, and games consoles like the Atari 2600, Sega Mega Drive and Playstation. I now have a PC and a PS4, and I also dabble in games development.

So, as you can see from the above paragraph, I have quite a bit of gaming experience, 40 years of it in fact, but I also have a problem... I've started to get a bit bored with games. It all started last generation when I had my Xbox 360. I was buying games for it, many of which were getting top reviews and other gamers were raving about them, but they were leaving me feeling a bit deflated. Sure, there were a few titles that kept me engaged, but most of them just left me feeling a bit dissatisfied. It was a bit like being at a massive buffet but most of the food tasted like cardboard.

You may now be wondering why, if I've got such a downer on games, I've decided to write a blog about them. Well, 40 years is a long time to be a gamer and I don't really want to just pack it in. I've been buying a lot of games for PC and PS4 recently, and I have a load of older stuff for both machines that I've bought but never played, so I thought I'd play them and then take the time to write up what I thought of them. I used to write reviews for a little place called Student Center back in the early 00's, so I've got some experience. However, I don't want to take this into the usual review format of writing a few lines about something and then giving it a score on some arbitrary scale. Instead, I'm going to forget review scores and just give an honest assessment of the game as I see it. So, they're not really going to be reviews, more of my thoughts on the experiences I had while playing the games. Think of it like a diary of a guy who's having a hard time liking something he once loved and he's writing about his attempts to rekindle his love of it.

Now, I'll just add that my opinions on games tend to be a bit wide of the mark from the majority of people that play them. For example I wrote a review for Half Life 2 back in the day that was less than glowing because I found it a bit bland. I actually still believe that it's not as good as the first game. I don't think it's a bad game, and it's certainly grown on me more over time, but I didn't really get why people were so taken with it back when it was released. This is one of many examples I could give where the mainstream gaming press, and the gamers who follow them, have rated something very highly that I've thought of as merely okay. This isn't me trying to be controversial and get people thinking I'm deliberately being awkward to hype up the blog (afterall it's a piddling little blogger site on the very fringes of nowhere and not likely to have much influence, so hype isn't going to do much good), I generally just have a different view of the majority of games out there than most other people. I guess I'm just wired up differently and not so easily impressed anymore. Maybe I'm just old and grumpy.

I'm aiming to do one blog post a week, maybe more if I can really get into it, but I have to try and fit all this in with some complicated real-life stuff, and I may get back to games development at some point, but if you think a grumpy old gamer complaining about games (or not as the case may be, there are a lot of games out there that I do like) is something you'd like to read, you might find something here to amuse you.

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