Thoughts

Thoughts #11: Why I Love Video Games

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To me, video games come second only to books. But there are some cases where I actually prefer them over reading (gasp!), and today I just want to chat a bit about why I love them, and why I spend quite a lot of my time playing them. No matter whether you play video games regularly or not, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

 

They are incredibly immersive.

My favourite sorts of games are the ones that pull you right into the story: Dragon Age and Mass Effect are great examples. I think I actually get more attached to video game characters than book characters, because I feel more personally involved in their story through my character. For example, in Mass Effect I spent ages talking to my squadmates, helping them out, forming relationships with them and learning their back stories. So naturally I grew quite attached to these beautifully crafted characters – and if you know Bioware games or the Mass Effect series, you know one of the main features of the games. The decisions and choices you make can have huge effects on the lives of other characters, and when I lost a couple of them throughout the three games it actually hurt. And I’m not going to lie – the last scene between Commander Shepard and whichever love interest you pick (for me, it’s always Garrus) makes me cry. I actually care about the welfare of these fictional characters – a lot.

Commander Shepard

Plus there are games that are immersive for totally different reasons – games like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, which to me didn’t have an amazing story, but is completely and utterly stunning. It is the only game I ever play with headphones on – there is so much detail to the sound and the landscape, combine that with first person mode and I can get totally lost in Skyrim for hours on end, just wondering around, not even doing quests.

 

They are beautiful.

Video games are forms of art. As I mentioned above, Skyrim draws me in with its amazing design and landscape. Bioshock Infinite, a game which I completed only recently, is one of the most gorgeous games I’ve played. The beautiful city (at least in appearance…) of Columbia, floating in the sky, is the main setting of the game and is one of the most stunning game settings I’ve ever seen. So much work goes into designing a gameLeanne @ Literary Excursion has a feature where she discusses concept art – imagine doing that sort of thing for every character and setting in a game.

Bioshock Infinite

There are so many different art styles to video games too. Realism, like Skyrim, cell-shaded like Borderlands or Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, a gorgeous hand-painted look like Bastion, or an alternate take on a typical 2D side-scroller like Fez.

 

They tell their own stories.

The story-telling and writing in some video games can be just as good as one of your favourite novels. In fact, sometimes it’s like you’re part of this amazing novel and you get to take a much more active role. One of the most recent games I’ve played with a wonderful story is Gone Home, which is rather like a visual novel. You play a young girl, home from travelling after a year – but when she gets home, no-one is there. You have to wonder around the house (in the middle of the night, during a thunderstorm), putting the pieces together to work out where everyone is. The house was really creepy at first, but as I discovered more of the story, it became a lot less frightening – and very sad. The finale made me cry.

Gone Home

With other games, like Skyrim, you can create your own stories. The player has total freedom to do what they want, which means they can create a detailed back story for their character and act it out, making decisions that their character would make, if that’s what they want to do. And then there’s games like L.A. Noire – a brilliant crime noir story that has the player identifying clues, investigating crime scenes and solving mysteries. All these small stories weave together to make up the main plot.

 

It’s fun being able to reinvent yourself.

One of my favourite things about video games? The character create screen! I can spend hours and hours making a character (even though they tend to all look pretty similar, but I have to get things just right). Detailed character creation gives me very mixed feelings – I’m happy because it means I can make a character just as I want, but also it means I have to make the character just as I want, which takes forever, or I’m not happy. Yeah. Here’s a selection of my characters from various games:

Video games allow you to redesign yourself, add things that might not be possible in this world! Want elf ears? No problem. Want to be a hobbit? Of course! Whether you play as a super stealthy assassin, a peace loving merchant, a diplomat or something completely different, it’s up to you. For example, when I play Mass Effect I often pick the choices that I myself would never make, which generally results in hilarious consequences and a badass Commander Shepard. In Skyrim I love being able to play a sneaky assassin, dispatching enemies before they even catch sight of me. In Dragon Age II my Hawke is a rogue, teleporting across the battlefield and using tactics to deal damage and then disappear. And in Saints Row III & IV – although I can’t make many choices for my character, I like to imagine her reactions to things. She dresses in a practical way (practical for things like robbing banks, massacring aliens, taking out rival gangs… you know, the usual) yet with a feminine touch, I like to imagine that she’s a woman in control of a gang who completely respect her and are perhaps a little afraid of her. Apart from her closest buds like Pierce or Shaundi. Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that it’s really fun to be able to invent all these characters, with their different back stories and personalities.

Oh, and you know what else? Video game romances! Forget book boyfriends, video game boyfriends are where it’s at. You may have seen me and Paola fangirling over someone called Alistair, and occasionally Anders. No, these are not real men – they’re superhotandcoolandawesome characters from the Dragon Age series. I also absolutely love Garrus from Mass Effect

 

They are humorous.

This isn’t applicable to every game of course, but some are just crazy, wacky and totally over the top. The Saints Row series has some of the most hilarious games I’ve ever played – just take a look at these screenshots (NSFW!) –

saints row 2013-12-28_00001 2013-11-30_00008 2013-12-01_00003

Top left, was part of the Christmas DLC. You could go the easy way, or spend ages licking through the candy cane door and unlock an achievement. So of course I went for the candy cane door! Top right, you better get that reference. Bottom left, I don’t even know… and bottom right, there are twenty photo opportunities around the city of Steelport – I just happened to be streaking when I found this one, and the photographer didn’t seem to mind. The Dragon Age series also has some pretty brilliant quotes, and if you’re looking for a humorous game you can’t really go wrong with any of the Lego games out there!

 

You can socialise.

MMOs have, or more aptly were, a big part of my life for several years. I really can’t write a post about why I love video games and not include them, because they got me through a really rough patch of my life. Between the ages of sixteen and eighteen I suffered from depression, and my only happy moments were spending time with my guild on an MMO called Dream Of Mirror Online, which sadly shut down in 2009. I made some fantastic friends through the game, and although we’ve not managed to find an MMO we all like since, we’re still in contact in various ways. I even regularly play co-op games like Borderlands, Sanctum 2 (shown below) and Orcs Must Die! 2 with them on Steam. I’m super excited for the end of this year, when I’ll be FINALLY meeting up with a couple of them after seven years of friendship.

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And finally, the crazy statement… sometimes I just don’t feel like reading! Are you a lover of video games? Why do you think they’re so awesome?

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64 thoughts on “Thoughts #11: Why I Love Video Games”

  1. I absolutely love this post! πŸ˜€ It pretty much sums up why I love video games. I can be anything when I’m playing a game, a Pokemon trainer exploring and giving my Pokemon cute nicknames, a badass soldier in the form of Solid Snake, or the puzzle-solving sword-slashing Link from LoZ. πŸ™‚

    1. Yes, exactly! =D I just bought Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning yesterday, and I’m loving it so far. You can combine various traits/skill trees for 22 possible class combinations apparently, I’m going with a rogue/mage and it’s seriously fun being able to teleport around, sneakily attack someone from behind then disappear again.

      What are your favourites? (apart from Zelda!) =D

      1. Oh that sounds AWESOME! I really have to get into the spirit of MMORPGs and RPGs again.

        Of course, Pokemon has always been one of my favourites since I was a young’un. I had a soft spot for Ragnarok Online and Maplestory, but I don’t play either anymore. And Final Fantasy, mainly because OH WOW THE VISUALS.

        Do you remember your first video game?

      2. It really is! I was talking to a friend about it yesterday and we both thought that it felt like an MMO – but a really empty one πŸ˜‰ It has that sort of scale and amount of quests, apparently there’s 300/400 side quests?! And for me, the sort of person who likes to do them all, well… it’s gonna take me a while to finish this one. Not that I mind ;D

        Ahh Pokemon. Fond memories of playing Red on a ten hour coach journey =) Somehow I never bought the games myself – just borrowed them from friends for extended periods, haha! And MapleStory, ahhh! My first MMO, I absolutely loved that game =) I actually redownloaded it last year, and sadly the community really put me off – but all the new stuff was kind of fun. Remember jump quests and party quests??

        My first video game was either Return Fire, which was a capture the flag PC game that I used to play with my sister (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Return_Fire) or the original Tomb Raider. I had to get my dad to take down the T-rex for me on that one, cos it was too hard! Me and my sister used to play that ‘together’ actually – watching and taking turns, cos sometimes it could be scary, haha! I must’ve been 6 or 7, since it came out in 1996.

        What was yours?

      3. Ah, someone else who loves 100% completion in their games, eh? I applaud you! But whoa, over 300 sidequests? That is definitely going to take a long time. Sometimes I get so focused on the sidequests that I almost forget the main story! πŸ˜› Almost.

        I still remember playing Pokemon on my pink Gameboy when I was little. I didn’t interact much with anyone on MapleStory because I always felt like I was too low-level of a player, haha! I don’t remember jump quests or party quests, sadly. 😦

        I know the feeling of being scared by video games! The one time I tried playing Resident Evil on my brother’s console, I freaked out and tossed the controller right back at him. I was like… 6 or 7, and I am still a huge wuss. Which is why I don’t play horror games and why games like Amnesia would drive me nuts. (It’s ironic because I love Left 4 Dead.)

        My first video game, I’ll probably have to split this one. On handheld, it was definitely Pokemon Blue. On the computer, it was Starcraft. I have fond memories of being all entranced by how pretty Protoss things were. On a big console, I think it was Final Fantasy X or one of the mid-90s Tomb Raider titles.

      4. Yup, and I’m getting a little obsessive over achievements on Steam too =/ I completely finished one game 100% even though I got bored towards the end, just for the ‘Perfect Game’ thing on Steam…

        I played MapleStory with my boyfriend at the time and his friend, and only interacted with other people for the party quests. I remember they were so popular but only one party could go through at a time, so you had to track the people that went in before you, and when they got to the last map you had to spam-click the NPC that let you in, or another group would go first!

        Oh my god, I’ve never played Amnesia but I’ve WATCHED it being played at that was bad enough. It was with someone else, with the lights on, in the middle of the day… and the first glimpse of whatever those things are was just terrifying. Ergghhhh… I nearly downloaded this game on Steam, then I realised it was a Slenderman game and am so glad I noticed first, because then I’d have nightmares for weeks =o

        I never played Starcraft! Did you ever play any of the Doring Kindersley educational games? They were actually really fun, I loved World Explorer and Dinosaur Hunter – where you got to dig up dinosaur bones, put them together and watch them come to life in your own museum ;D

      5. I think one of the games that I would have a great time getting 100% completion on is Dust: An Elysian Tail. It actually has counters/percentages per area telling me if I’ve picked up everything or not, haha!

        Aw, that’s lame! 😦 It would be so easy for any other group to just steal your spot. I also remember back on other MMORPGs when someone tried to kill steal from me and take my EXP. I don’t think so!

        Same! I watched it being played and I couldn’t take it. Like you, it was with someone else, in broad daylight, etc. I can’t even watch LPs of certain horror games without freaking out. The Slenderman game freaks me out too. This LP duo I watch (Two Best Friends Play) played it and I got freaked out in-between laughing at all their screams. Will I ever play it? NO WAY. Even after watching that LP, I had to go camping and I became constantly paranoid I would shine my torch and suddenly see something I shouldn’t. *SHUDDER*

        Unfortunately, no. 😦 But it sounds really fun! I think my favourite educational game was Jumpstart 3rd Grade. It had all these things about history, math, astronomy, etc. πŸ˜€

      6. Nooooooooooo that makes it so much harder because then you HAVE to complete it, as the numbers are staring you right in the face xD I do that with the Lego games, I’ve 100%-ed the Harry Potter ones and still have LOTR, Star Wars and Marvel Superheroes to finish and 100%.

        Ah, kill-stealing! I know, such a pain! On more recent games I’ve played though, the exp is always shared out equally so in the end it doesn’t really matter.

        I like Two Best Friends Play – they’ve done some absolutely hilarious ones =D Which is your favourite of theirs? I think I watched the Slenderman one actually…

      7. But it totally saves me the trouble from fretting and going “… Did I get that one last treasure chest? I can’t remember. BETTER GO BACK!” Luckily, Kirby’s Epic Yarn (another game I really want to play), has that completion counter too so that makes things so much easier!

        This was a while back so I don’t know if they have that system now to foil kill stealers’ plans. I remember when that looting was also something that could get you kicked off RO. Ugh, looters!

        They have! I’m torn between their Donkey Kong Country one because they start talking about the enemy animals WAY too seriously. I like their Lollipop Chainsaw one because DANGIT MATT, I know you didn’t move that camera by accident! And I have a soft spot for their Scribblenauts one. How about you? Their Slenderman LP really got me. URK.

      8. The worst thing (as I recently did with Bioshock: Infinite) is exploring everywhere to get ALL THE THINGS, and then missing a few, being unable to go back and missing out on the achievement/completion by a tiny amount. So frustrating!

        Probably, that’s how it’s been on most recent MMOs. It wasn’t like that on the one I played for the longest though, and I remember some horrible people (mostly newbies who didn’t last long, it was a tiny community and everyone knew everyone) decided to annoy other groups or people by literally just attacking everything they saw. And I know you can’t claim a spot on an MMO, but if someone is levelling there it’s kind of etiquette to leave that general area alone, right? But there were occasionally those annoying people who just moved right in and forced you out =(

        My favourite was one where they played this Bear Grylls (I think??) survival game. It was hilarious! (this one, though there may be several parts: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBThUMHK948). I’m watching the Saints Row IV one now cos I love that game!

  2. This is such a creative post-I love it! I also love video games but never got much into the visual stunning ones like you mentioned. I was well enough impressed with the PS3’s Final Fantasy games xD I’ll have to check out the other titles you mentioned.

    1. Thanks Alise =D It’s true, I did pick some pretty ones – I’m really fussy with graphics. Hardcore fans will probably hate me for it, but I don’t much enjoy 2D games these days when there are so many amazing 3D ones out there.

      Take a look at Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning – it’s not on the list because I just bought it on Saturday, and I love it already πŸ˜‰

  3. Oh nooo, I think our previous thread ran out of replies because there is no reply button on your last comment! 😦 But no worries, new thread to the rescue! (I blame my constant babbling, I apologise.)

    Ugh, I know the feeling! It’s like “Oh, I missed a chest/item, no problem. I’ll go get it later– Aand the way there just crumbled. Oops.” My boyfriend is real big on achievements/trophies in games and he understands this feeling all too well.

    Definitely bad etiquette right there. It’s like being in the weights room at the gym and then this huge group of obnoxious people coming in and basically forcing you out by purposely stealing all the free weights, and then looking at you with a glare that’s like “You done with that?” It’s actually just bad form ANYWHERE, whether in the MMO world or in the real world.

    Omg, the Bear Grylls game. “What’s that?” “Spirits of ADVENTURE!” Or when the snake kept biting Bear in the crotch. I like going to their other channel and watching the longer LPs because the ones on Machinima are cuts of the best parts.

    Do you follow any other LPers? πŸ˜€

    1. Ah, I think I have it nested to six or eight – and it gets narrower with each reply so it’s probably best to start a new thread, or the last replies will be stick thin with one letter per line or something xD And please don’t apologise for ‘constant babbling’, I love chatting about shared interests ❀

      Those moments – ugh! If I have a save close enough, I will actually go back and start again, but most of the time I don't. And I'm not quite dedicated enough to go back a couple of hours of gameplay or whatever…

      Pahaha, that's a great way of putting it! The only MMO I've played in the past couple of years now (at least, for any length of time) is LOTRO, as we mentioned before, and I don't remember the community being too bad on that one. I know there were some annoying people (and oh my god a LOT of kin drama… it was ridiculous), but the community as a whole was generally pretty good. I do think that the game has a mature playerbase though. All these older Tolkien fans playing =)

      I rewatched it the video again – I forgot how funny it was! Those two are just brilliant. And when they had to redo the bit where you take shelter in the dead camel, and essentially pulled out several pairs of guts from the same camel cos they kept failing xD I need to watch more of them…

      Hmm, I don't follow any – but I know of a few. I've seen a couple of Dunkey's videos (I think that was his name??) and they were pretty funny. If I watch a LP, I want it to be a humorous one of course – or I'd just play the game myself πŸ˜‰

      A friend gifted me Civilisation 5 on Steam last night, so now I have that too! Talking of Steam, do you use it?

      1. Yay! I’m so happy to talk about video games with someone. πŸ˜€ It makes my list of “games to play” even longer. It also makes me miss playing longer games since I haven’t really sat down and played for long periods in a while.

        If I’ve been playing for a couple of hours and haven’t really made a lot of progress (i.e. me getting lost exploring), I won’t mind going back to get something important. But if I managed to do something really good in that time period, I will be screaming but I won’t go back, haha!

        Oh wow, I would love to get around to playing that. I love it when other players are mature about the game and don’t spend their time just pushing you around/trying to get everyone out of their way. That said, I also had a nice conversation with a player who was trying to kill steal me in another game. He was new and had no idea where this particular monster was so I sent him off to a nicer area. Little moments like that make me happy in games. πŸ˜€

        I cannot get over “vomiting up my ball poison.” I also watched the HP Kinect one that you Tweeted me and I couldn’t stop laughing! Especially when they were talking about the Sorting Hat. Then the really broken Kinect controls appeared and their limbs were just going everywhere. I was so excited for the Kinect, but man, it just did not work out.

        I follow a few, and they range from actual 100% walkthrough/LP kind of players that give you nice tips and make you laugh. Then there’s Two Best Friends kind of humour. For the former, I like Chuggaaconroy, but I ended up on his Animal Crossing videos which is a very odd game to LP. For the latter, I like the Game Grumps (and the related Steam Train). Their episodes aren’t purely cuts of the best moments, so the humour can vary. I particularly like the Steam Train LP of Default Dan, this game that questions EVERYTHING I know about platforming games.

        I really want to, but I’m always afraid that either a) I will become addicted and not be seen by human eyes for days on end; or b) all my book money will become game money; or c) my computer will bust out on me after the first hour. Their deals are VERY tempting though!

      2. Pahaha, I know – I have a list written down and I’m never gonna finish them before I go off to uni! Not with all these books to read too, unless maybe I gave up my job and all social contact, as well as the blog =P I actually barely played games last year, apart from Lord of the Rings Online. It’s just over the past few months, maybe since September or October last year that I started picking them up properly again. I think the Steam sale is to blame – and particularly L.A. Noire.

        Yes! It’s so nice to be able to share knowledge about the game and teach people stuff =P We used to do runs in my LOTRO kin where we’d help lower levels with newbies and stuff on Saturday nights. Which was quite nice. I do miss being a mega nerd and knowing everything about an MMO though – where is best to level, what you should do when, how to play a class really well etc etc. I loved Minstrel (healing class) on that game, but oh my god it was stressful in the end game raids.

        Doesn’t that video just make you want to get a Kinect and that game just for the hilarity?? Omg the limbs, the flailing! It’s so hilarious xD I’m gonna go and watch the Scribblenauts one after this comment!

        Animal Crossing is indeed a very odd game to LP. Have you played that one? I have City Folk, and I loved it when it first came out (so glad I didn’t splash out on the version with the headset though), but now it’s kind of dull. How does LP work with that? o.o I’m going to have to look all these Youtubers up! I guess you’ve seen Gamer Poop too?

        Haha, it’s such a risk during the sales. In the Autumn and Winter one I think I bought maybe 10 games, and probably paid no more than Β£70 altogether. And then there’s the HumbleBundles, which are also amazing =D

        Just played a co-op Saints Row 3 session – that game is a DEFINITE recommendation πŸ˜‰

      3. I should really organise my lists by console, and if the games are available via Steam. And if I can borrow a few off my boyfriend. πŸ˜› Speaking of LA Noire, he LOVES that game. I should really get around to playing it to share his love of it. Playing alone is fun, but playing with a buddy can be super fun. πŸ˜€

        Aw, that’s so nice! I think that’s what I like about smaller MMOs. Being part of a small but tight-knit community, with everyone just ready to help each other out. I also like being a support/healing class, if I don’t feel like being someone magical on offense. Which reminds me, now I want to play TF2 because THE MEDIC, AH THE MEDIC. Have you played Team Fortress 2? πŸ™‚

        It makes me want to watch the whole HP Kinect game that they played, haha! And now, I present their video that started it all. It’s so funny to see how their gaming personalities have changed since then.

        Yep, I played the Animal Crossing on the Gamecube yeaaars ago. My best friends and I played it, and we got called out by Resetti. -_- Chugga’s LP was Animal Crossing: New Leaf, and what happened was that he would take suggestions from his subscribers about town name, tune, flag, and what public works projects they would build. He stopped after a certain number of days, but the whole thing was him and his subscribers building a town together. It was pretty cute! πŸ™‚

        I haven’t seen Gamer Poop, but now I’ll look it up! Have you heard of Hot Pepper Gaming? It’s a channel where various LPers review games after eating a super hot pepper. Something I want to try, but am also terrified to try.

        I am staring at the current HumbleBundle and I am so tempted. SO TEMPTED! Steam, you big money-sucking thing you. I predict I will have a love/hate relationship with it.

      4. Yes! If you get Steam, let me know and I can add you =D It has such a good catalogue and they just keep adding more. My only wish is that you could add a game on Steam and track time played etc even if you didn’t buy it via Steam. You can with a few select games, but I can’t do it with my copies of Assassin’s Creed sadly. I want more achievements to unlock!

        Oh my gosh YES, L.A. Noire is amazing. 1940’s L.A. looks gorgeous, the soundtrack is one of my favourites (genuine songs of the period), the crimes are interesting and although the investigative element can be a bit funny (like sometimes you tell Phelps to ‘Doubt’ a POI and he basically accuses them of the crime and they get really angry), but wow. I love it – it’s amazing to just drive around and explore too.

        I used to love playing magic classes, then I went for support, I was always the guild tank on Dream of Mirror Online (you could change classes at any time), but now I tend to play hunters/assassin type classes. I love them all really =P And yes! I’ve played TF2 – I played quite a bit of it a few years ago with my MMO friends, but I don’t really like playing it with random people, as they tend to get VERY competitive. We played the Mann vs Machine one which was really fun. I think my most played classes on there are Sniper and Scout.

        Now I’m watching loads of other Best Friends Play – I watched the Assassin’s Creed one you tweeted, then ACIII, and now Prison Break which looks AWFUL xD

        Oh I see! That’s quite cute. I guess it wasn’t a funny LP then, but more of a community-based one, getting everyone together =P

        Gamer Poops are amazing. Watch the Skyrim, Oblivion or Mass Effect ones… they’re so odd. And I’ll have to look up Hot Pepper Gaming!

        I’ve only bought one HumbleBundle, but it was so worth it. Orcs Must Die! 1 & 2, Sanctum 1 & 2 and a couple of others – but even just one of those games was worth the money alone.

      5. That would be so cool, having a centralised area for all your achievements. Steam’s catalogue does look so– Oh, would you look at that, Team Fortress 2 is free to play. Oh my. Oh dear. OH DEAR.

        I was telling him about this conversation and he started to fanboy over the game, telling me all about the story. He’s trying to get the achievement/trophy where you use all the kinds of cars in the games, I think? So now he has Phelps going around just going “Police emergency! I need this car!” It seems like he’s been playing it for so long. Is it a really long game?

        Omg, I remember wanting to play the archer/hunter class on Ragnarok Online because you got a pet falcon! Maybe I’ll break away from my usual magic habits if I pick up an MMORPG. Oh and YES, people can get really competitive in those kinds of games! That’s why I don’t like playing DotA or LoL with random people because I’m just a little newbie who will get run over by everyone else. Have you seen the Meet the Team videos? I love the sniper one, but there’s one for every class now. The pyro one is the newest and it’s… Trippy.

        I finished the Barbie’s Dreamhouse one, and I’m very surprised that Woolie knows so much about make-up and clothing. “Careful, you’ll get spider legs!” “Oohh, leopard print!” “Omg, can we get jeggings? I want jeggings!” “I WAS TOLD THERE WOULD BE JEGGINGS! *LEAVES*”

        He kept laughing at the bug/fish puns. I don’t really find him super funny, and his jokes are hit-or-miss. He’s more of a “let me show you how to get this treasure or other useful information and make funnies on the way” kinda dude.

        THE SKYRIM ONES. I don’t know what I was expecting for the rest time I watched. It opened and I went “Oh cool, like animation made with the game models?” Then the dialogue started and so did my laughter. πŸ˜›

        I think Steam’s going to be that kind of place where I go “Hm, I’m not sure if I’m very interested in this game… BUT LOOK THAT AT BARGAIN!” I am so in danger of impulse buys, haha!

      6. Steam games have achievements, but not non-Steam games, even if you add them to Steam =( So I can at least obsess over my Steam ones, haha. And yes, it is =P Did you pay for it??

        Yes! I have that achievement. On the Rockstar website you can log into your profile, and it tells you exactly what you’ve already found (cars, film reels etc), what else you need to find and the general area that you might find it. I used this to get the achievement – it doesn’t give you the exact spot so you have to do SOME work and it doesn’t really feel like cheating, plus I think without would take so long. The game itself is probably 30-40 hours or so, I’ve got 53 clocked up in total – that’s from the main story, all the side quests, collectables, DLC and repeating a few missions (my next aim is to 5 star each case), as well as a little bit of random driving around. So it’s a long game, but not Skyrim long =P

        Yes, hunter classes often seem to have pets! I played a Ranger on Guild Wars, that was really fun. I played some DotA 2 and had NO idea what I was doing – I was thrown into a match with a load of people at the same level, there were no tutorials or anything and we just had no clue. I haven’t touched it since, haha! I’m quite tempted by Smite though, have you heard of that one? It’s a similar thing, but you get to play gods from all different religions.

        And those TF2 vids are hilarious! I remember seeing the Pyro one when it came out and oh my gosh – poor poor Pyro ;D But also poor everyone else…

        HAHA I wondered who knew all that! They actually seemed to kind of enjoy the game… I wish they’d shown more of the dancing minigame though, those always tend to be funny. I’m trying to catch up on a load of their videos now. I wonder how long they actually played for…

        Did you watch the Mass Effect ones? ;D ‘We’ll bang, okay?’. Oh Shepard…

        Yes, it’s VERY dangerous around sale times. I would say so are the HumbleBundles, but they are really worth it and so cheap.

      7. Nah, I just didn’t realise how tempting an offer of “FREE TEAM FORTRESS 2 HEEEEY” would be. I’ll have to clean up my computer to make it less temperamental, and THEN get on it. πŸ˜€

        Lucky! I’ll have to tell him that tip because he can’t remember which cars he has and hasn’t used yet. I totally get going back to five star each case. Are you also one of those gamers who MUST get gold rank/max stars on each level/area? It feel so good to just have all the areas in the gold. Skyrim-long, haha! The only way to finish that thing in a semi-reasonable amount of time is to abuse all the glitches in it.

        Smite looks really good! πŸ™‚ My only fear is because it’s a team arena combat game, I feel all this pressure not to be that person who brings down the whole team. I think that’s why I like exploring/roaming more because I can go at my own pace and not be that person who makes the whole team lose. (But TF2 is just WAY TOO FUN.) Also why being the healer class is cool, because everyone needs you. πŸ˜›

        Now I know what goes through the pyro’s mind and I am terrified. HAHA! Meet the Soldier was pretty funny (and freaky) when the camera panned out to reveal who his troops were.

        I checked out their main channel and there doesn’t seem to be the unedited playlist there. Which is too bad really, because I agree that I would love to see more of it. More of everything, I say!

        I’m so going to watch them. New video game videos to watch, along with my long list of ones to watch!

        It seems that they have sales ALL the time? Or is it really big at holiday times?

      8. Haha – there’s also a new game on there (free!) called Loadout, which looks kind of similar but even crazier, if that’s possible!

        Yeah, I am =( If I don’t get it first time I feel a little disappointed and also think ‘oh no I have to do it again!’. I played the Lego Harry Potter games like that – I completed the story of one, then moved onto the next game and did the story, whilst trying to get 100% on each level of the previous one. Now I have to do the same for Lego LOTR, Marvel Heroes and Star Wars =D That can be time consuming! You don’t even get anything for it, just a smug sense of satisfaction =P Plus there were no achievements for the HP games, but there are for LOTR and Marvel – which means I have to get 100% and ALL the achievements! Aaah!

        Yes, that’s exactly how I feel in those kinds of games. And that I’ll get thrown right in at the deep end and not have a clue and people will laugh at and insult me, haha =( Because, from previous experience, people on that sort of game aren’t always the most… understanding. Going at my own pace is also why I hate being forced to team up right away in an MMO. I want to get to know things first, rather than just bashing away at content without taking anything in.

        Ugh, now I want to play the Lego games… and Civ5… and Kingdoms of Amalur – all at once!

        They often have weekly sales, so a couple of items reduced a bit – there always seems to be at least 10 games or DLC on sale. Then they sometimes do developer or catalogue sales. And then they have the seasonal sales, which is where you get the crazy deals. Each deal generally only runs for 24 hours, so the sale items switch everyday (but during the sales everything has AT LEAST 10% off), and the sales normally last for about 2 weeks. So you can imagine all the amazing games you can buy for super cheap in that time!

  4. First of all: I have to apologize for not visiting more regularly. I just realized that my feedly wasn’t subscribed to your blog. I don’t understand how it keeps dropping my subscriptions. 😦

    Secondly: I love your new(ish?) blog design!! So clean and spacey and purpley!

    Third: I love video games too! I agree: they are so immersive. In fact, sometimes when I find a book or book series that I really love, I’ll daydream about how awesome it would be to have it translated into video game form, so I can dive into the world and get to know the characters at an even deeper level!

    My husband and I played Gone Home together recently and we loved it! I really wish there were more games like that, because they’re so enjoyable. You get a nice mix of story and music and video-game without it being too taxing in the video-game department. Plus, they’re often beautifully voice acted and have fantastic soundtracks! Have you played Dear Esther or The Stanley Parable?

    Being able to reinvent yourself is also fun, but you know what’s weird? When I play a game with choices involved, I usually tend to follow one of two paths: the choices I personally would make, or the choices that I believe my character would make (maybe it’s the D&D-player in me). I have a really hard time making those choices that seem WRONG, usually. One way I was able to explore this, though, was in Long Live the Queen, a game that basically encourages you to replay it and make different choices every time. (Have you played it? SO MUCH FUN!!!)

    The social part of video games is a tricky thing for me. I think that a lot of people (parents and non-gamers, especially) don’t realize just how healing it can be to play an MMO with a group of online friends. World of Warcraft substantially helped me AND my husband weather some serious depression years ago (before we ever met!). I do find it irritating the way game developers seem to want to turn EVERY EFFING GAME into some sort of social encounter, because goddamnit, sometimes I prefer to just play ON MY OWN, but it can be nice too. In fact, I met Leanne playing Everquest 2 years ago, and we’ve been BFFs ever since!!

    Awesome post, Rinn! I loved this. πŸ˜€

    1. Leanne had that problem too, so I think it’s something to do with the change from Blogger to WordPress… I would’ve thought it would be okay though =o And thank you! =D I’ll probably keep it this way for a while, because I’m lazy like that and I quite like it too πŸ˜‰

      I maaaaay be doing a post on that idea πŸ˜‰ I’m trying to do more posts weaved into my interests, like video games and museum/archaeology stuff, so the blog feels more personal =) And it’s so nice finding out how many fellow bloggers are also gamers!

      I’ve played the demo of the Stanley Parable, which just left me thinking ‘Whaaaat the hell?’ (which I guess it’s meant to) – and for some people maybe that sells the game to them right away, but not me. And I’ve heard some good things about Dear Esther actually, maybe I should take a closer look at it.

      AAH, I DO THAT TOO! Sometimes I want a character to be me, sometimes I invent their personality (like I said above). And I always think Commander Shepard will make the tough choices in Mass Effect, which is why I can never go Paragon. I have to confess, when I first saw Long Live the Queen I thought it was just a visual novel – then I looked into it properly the other week, and thought it sounded pretty clever and also quite witty! Is it even possible to win that game?!

      You’re quite right there. I was suffering with quite major depression when my MMO friends helped me through, and at the time my parents didn’t understand, nor did they understand why I was always on ‘that game’ as it became known… I actually had counselling in my second year of uni, because feelings began to resurface, and one of the things I did was write a letter to my parents explaining things, why I was always playing that game, how much my online friends meant to me – and they’re so much more accepting of it now. My mum is even beginning to learn some of their names, haha – I have most of them on Facebook and other sites too =)

      Bahaha, I get what you mean about wanting to play by yourself though. I’ve tried a couple of MMOs recently and as soon as it’s said that I need to team up for this or that, I immediately get put off because I’m so used to playing those games with a group of friends already there xD And wow, I never realised that was how you met! =D

      Thanks Kelley ❀

      1. So, Stanley Parable… I have to say, the demo was entertaining, but the only reason I bought the game was because my husband wanted it. He friggin LOVED IT and wanted to play it all the time, but honestly that damn game got on my nerves. I mean, it’s like Groundhog Day (I HATE that movie) so I told him he could only play it if I wasn’t in the house lol… Dear Esther was much calmer, sort of like Gone Home, but not as much “content” I guess.

        Long Live the Queen — AAHHH so good! Yes, it’s possible to win! I love it because there are SO MANY OPTIONS, that you can reply it dozens of times and it’s always fun! On top of that, it’s cute, visually appealing, humorous, and it’s got some really interesting things in it. Lots more “lore” than I would have expected. Definitely worth picking up if you see it on sale again! πŸ˜€

        The MMO thing, yeah. I mean, I LOVED it years ago. I had a group of friends that I always played with, and we’d travel from game to game together, then I met an entirely new group of friends (a family, really) later on in WoW. ❀ But these days, I just don't want that anymore. I don't want to be FORCED to team up with — and depend on — someone else to accomplish something! I think that's one of the MANY things I loved about The Secret World (have you played that? OMFG). My husband and I were able to play it with just the two of us, and it was almost like we were playing an offline RPG co-op! Definitely one of my favorite games ever. I wish there was more content!

      2. The demo kind of annoyed me, but I kept playing cos I wanted to see what you could actually do, so I guess it worked in some way =P Noooo! I love Groundhog Day! So the game is super repetitive then? Is it actually like the demo? Because that annoyed me…

        Haha, all the stuff I’ve seen about it is the various ways people have died, and what changes they’ve made for the next game. I may have to look out for it cheap on Steam – there’s gotta be another sale soon, right??

        Yes, that’s what we did too after Dream of Mirror Online closed down – we played that for three years. We moved onto another game but many of us got bored of that, and we’ve tried various others since. I’m just glad we have all these ways to keep in touch, and that we can play other games together because MMOs take up so much time! And I totally get not wanting to be forced into teaming up with someone – always makes my heart drop a little when I see that in the early levels of an MMO. I want to get to know the game by myself first, and I like to get on and do things. I remember when The Secret World was first announced, I thought it sounded amazing – and it still looks so good! I almost bought it when it was in the Steam sale… maybe next time? =P It sounds so amazing, being able to explore familiar places in a fantasy theme.

        Yay! I’m glad you found this post =D What are your favourite games ever? (big question, duh duh duhhh)

      3. The demo for Stanley Parable is EXACTLY like the actual game. The narrator narrates what you are doing, effectively telling you what to do, and getting mad when you DON’T do what he says you did/should. Amusing for a little while, but yeah just… annoying eventually.

        It’s great that you’ve been able to keep in touch with your MMO group of friends, even if you don’t all play the same game together anymore. There are few people I’ve kept in touch with, but for the most part, the only one I have left is Leanne. (Most of it is a long, sad story, and so now WoW conjures up a lot of painful memories for me. Sigh.) But you should definitely grab The Secret World if you see it on sale! It’s free to play, and it’s SO worth getting.

        I’m glad I found this post too! I love talking about video games! πŸ˜€
        ______________
        Favorite games? Oof. Ummmmm… A LOT?!

        First: Final Fantasy 9. It’s what turned me into a rabid, voracious gamer. It’s my favorite RPG ever, and it’s the one I’ve replayed the most times. I’ve listened to the soundtrack so many times I basically know all the songs by heart. ❀

        I'm a huge RPG (especially JRPG) fan, so some of my other favorites are Shadow Hearts (1 & 2), Lost Odyssey, the Xenosaga series, and Dragon Age Origins. As far as MMOs go, I really loved The Secret World.

        Recettear is also a STRONG favorite of mine, but I don't know how to categorize it, really! Then there's To the Moon, which I guess is one of those story-driven games, but it has a bit more gameplay in it than Gone Home.

        ALSO: I really enjoy the Metal Gear Solid and Assassin's Creed games, but I just watch my husband play those because it's more fun that way. πŸ˜›

        Oh, I could go on, but I'll stop now! What are some of your favorites, besides Mass Effect and Dragon Age? Do you like any of the Japanese games?

      4. Oh… yeah… I don’t think I’ll enjoy the actual game then =/ Another thing that frustrated me was all these potential things you could do but you actually couldn’t. I like games that let me press buttons and pick stuff up!

        I think it was about Β£7 on Steam before which is pretty good. I played an MMO called Atlantica Online for about 3 days before, and you could visit real locations in that which was cool – but the Secret World has them on much grander scale.

        The music to Final Fantasy = <3. But the games… not so much. I'm sorry, I could just never get into them! I've played VIII, X and XII – VIII I think I got halfway before I just decided to quit as I found it dull. I'm not really a fan of turn-based combat to be honest.

        Have you played Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning? I just got that one that other day and now I'm telling everyone about it, because it's brilliant =) You've probably seen me playing it on Steam a lot, haha!

        Recettear… is that 'The Item Shops Tale'? I played the demo but don't think it's really for me.

        I have Assassin's Creed I, II and Brotherhood but haven't completed any of them yet – but I'm working on it! Or rather, working on getting through my game collection. And now I have Civ 5 which basically never ends… aagh! But it's fun, I'm enjoying it more than I thought I would actually =)

        Japanese games – Tales of Symphonia is a total favourite. I also have Fragile Dreams for the Wii, but haven't finished it… I'm sure there's plenty more that I've forgotten! Oh – Shadow of the Colossus was pretty cool though I only played a small part of it. I spent the entire first Colossus running around and screaming, much to the amusement of my then-boyfriend (it was one of his faves). I also played Persona 4 quite a bit, but never finished it. The game belonged to the aforementioned boyfriend, and I still had it when we broke up. The breakup was pretty messy, and I passed the games (Persona 3 as well) onto a friend who would use them πŸ˜‰ Funny thing is the exact same thing happened with his PREVIOUS girlfriend, so he lost two copies of the same game to exes, haha!

        My ultimate list is: Mass Effect series, Dragon Age series, L.A. Noire, Tales of Symphonia, Saints Row 3 & 4, The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, Borderlands 2 and Skyrim. Bioshock Infinite was also pretty amazing, and so is Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning although I haven't finished it yet (it's a massive game). I did a Fantasy Friday post on my fave fantasy games the other day.

        As for co-op games: Dungeon Defenders, Orcs Must Die! 2, Sanctum 2 and Borderlands are awesome ❀

      5. Oh my gosh, I’m sort of old-school or something I guess, because I prefer turn-based combat! Maybe it’s because I got my roots in games like Final Fantasy IX and Kessen. (Also, if you’re willing to give any other FF game a try, please let it be 9. It’s the best. So full of awesome gameplay and character!) X and XII were definitely not my favorites, especially XII. I found it completely boring, and I only finished the game on principle. Sort of the same with X although I do think it was better (and I absolutely loved the sequel X-2 — another one of my favorites!).

        I do have Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, but I ended up quitting it after a while. I have no idea how far into the game I got, but I just came to a point where I couldn’t handle it anymore. It’s weird. It’s the same reason that I quit Skyrim, even as much as I loved that game. Eventually they just caused me too much anxiety and I couldn’t continue.

        Real-time combat is stressful for me, especially because of all my wrist issues. It’s hard for me to make quick, reflex movements, or lots of button mashing (I HATE it when games make you mash a button to accomplish something). So turn-based is much easier on me, and ultimately allows me to keep playing the game longer.

        First-person games are also problematic for me, which added another layer of anxiety onto Skyrim for me. My husband still can’t understand why I quit that game (my character was effing badass), but I just can only handle so much! This is another big reason why I just watch him play games like the MGS series instead of playing them myself.

        Yay for Assassin’s Creed. Those were a lot of fun to watch him play (there’s no way I would choose to do all that fast jumping and climbing and shit — let him do it!), but we haven’t gotten to III and beyond yet. And Civ V? OMG. See you next year, lol. That game is ridiculously addicting!

        The Tales games always catch my eye. I can’t even tell you how many of them I’ve bought, played for a while, and then traded back in. Again, it’s that real-time combat. I do have Tales of Vesperia for the Xbox360, but I like it because I can do the combat co-op with my husband, so he does all the harder stuff, lol!

        I really want to play LA Noire eventually. It sounds really interesting. The Saints Row games don’t really seem like my style, but I was surprised to see how much humor there is in them, thanks to this post! I love it when games make jokes like that. πŸ˜€

        Sounds like overall, you and I have pretty different gaming styles and tastes, but I love that we can come together and still geek out about gaming in general! ❀

      6. Actually, I think it was X-2, not X that I tried! Any time I tell someone I don’t like FF they also tell me to play VII. But I doubt I’ll ever give the games another try, sadly =/

        Oh gosh, I can see why then! I’ve not had problems like that despite spending way too much time playing games, fortunately. And I get what you mean about long games like Skyrim – I actually recently went back to Skyrim and just found it too open, although I have finished the story on there so it was mainly side quests, which get repetitive. I do have a new character, who I’m trying to make into a stealthy assassin, so I’m doing all the appropriate quests – but since I already did them on my first char it doesn’t feel that different…

        I didn’t think I’d get that into Civ 5. The actual game still doesn’t excite me that much. But once I load it and get into my city – ‘Oh I’ll stop in X turns when Y is built’, ‘I’ll just see what happens if I do this’ etc etc – agghh! It really is addictive in a sneaky way!

        Go for L.A. Noire for sure – it’s such a clever game, and it has a great immersive element, plus exploring 1940s L.A. is really fun =) I actually only bought Saints Row because I downloaded the character create on Steam, and had so much fun building a detailed character I decided to try the third game, as it was Β£4.99 on Steam at the time. And I got kind of addicted – I never thought it would be my sort of game, I thought it was just some GTA ripoff, but it’s very much its own thing. It may be about gangsters in big cities, but the humour is just brilliant, if sometimes a little immature =P So then of course I had to wait for SR4 to be on sale too. You have superpowers in that one so it’s amazingly fun ❀

        Yes! We probably cover all genres and types between us! ;D

      7. Yeah, seems like EVERYONE touts Final Fantasy VII as the best one ever, but it still remains the only FF I haven’t played. So pffft. πŸ˜›

        LOL Civ V is addicting especially for that reason! I can’t even tell you how many nights I stayed up WAY too late because “just 2 more turns” lol…

      8. Oh really? Haha, maybe it’s your new favourite just waiting for you ;D I always loved the music for those games, and I recognise a lot of the characters, but some how I just never got into it. I think because of the series title, I was expecting this big traditional epic fantasy series so I was really disappointed by VIII. Plus turn-based, you know…

        Haha, I had good fun continuing my game last night. I’m allied with Songhai, and we’re slowly taking over the world, but I think they’re going to turn on me… D= I took over Dublin, so now I have an interesting assortment of cities: Athens, Sparta, Argos, Mycenae, Knossos and… Dublin. Monaco and Sydney love me, and China absolutely hates me ;D I also love that you can build any wonder no matter what civilisation you are. I have Big Ben, the Kremlin, Brandenburg gate, Notre Dame, Hague Sophia and so many more… haha!

      9. If they did a remaster of VII I would be all over it, but as it stands right now, I just can’t play the game. I did buy it and try it (after I devoured 9 an then 8), but the graphics & camera angles were so clumsy that I got really irritated and quit it, lol.

        I remember in Civ V my husband and I had this huge game going, and then Bismarck had it out for me, for some reason, and waged this huge war against me along our entire border (the rest of my territory was bordered by water). I fought him off for a long time, and he wasn’t just attacking me either. Then, one turn, I attacked him, and everyone else got mad at me and called me a warmonger! I was so pissed that I quit the game and I don’t think I’ve played it again, lol!

  5. Oops, we ran out of replies! When you played VII, was it the console version or the new PC port (at least I think that’s the one that’s on Steam now?)

    It does get frustrating! All the empires wage war on the city states, and then I attack one for a quest and suddenly everyone hates me. I just played it for another two hours or so and basically did nothing. I started a new game as Rome this time, and I don’t want to fight, I’m concentrating on culture and trade. So I linked up all my cities by roads and it doesn’t seem to have recognised it? Ugh. But… even though it’s really not exciting, I still want to keep going. I had to forcibly close it, haha! I think what I really want is a detailed city builder, not empire builder… and where I can customise things to how I want.

  6. Omg, I watched Loadout being played on Steam Train and it does look like fun! It looks like CRAZY fun! Although I will have to ask my friends to play it with me first, because I think trying out a new combat game on my own would result in me getting my virtual butt handed to me. πŸ˜›

    Haha, I played the Lego Star Wars game and I always have to keep going back and trying to get the components. The Lego games are really just kinda fun, with the visual style and all. Oh, my boyfriend says thank you for the tip about the cars achievement in LA Noire! πŸ˜€ He’ll get around to trying it out soon.

    People on that sort of game can get very competitive. I’ve been around when internet cafes had dudes playing the same game, and they would just fill the air with swearing and insults at each other. My experience would go “I’m in! … I’m dead.”

    This is what talking video games does to you! All this talk about sales, Steam, new games, is making me want to play everything all at once! Speaking of talking video games, the guys behind Game Grumps made an album featuring songs about video games. There’s a lot of crass humour and dick jokes, but it’s still pretty funny. I think only one song got an animation so far, and it’s Luigi’s Ballad. πŸ˜€

    1. Well if you get Steam and download the game, let me know and we can be newbies together! I wonder if the characters are as customisable as the weapons?

      I know, and it’s also cool being able to play in those familiar environments. No official Harry Potter game lets you explore Hogwarts as much as the Lego games do! I think I’m gonna go and play the LOTR one now πŸ˜‰ And good, I’m glad it’s useful – it also gives film reel locations too, and other stats like your best case etc.

      Oh wow… no I never liked PVP. On any game. I tried it on various MMOs and it was just the same. Full of people who’d played the PVP side for ages, had gear for it and knew exactly what they were doing. Then they’d pick on newbies for the easy points, which resulting in me never being able to actually learn how to do anything, and just giving up.

      HAHA that video – I laughed so much when Mario appeared! I’ll have to look at the others.

      So I played two hours of Civ5 earlier, and then Kingdoms of Amalur after that… now Lego, I’m in the fickle phase, ahhh!

      1. Definitely! I’ll try to wrangle my boyfriend in too so we can all be newbies together. πŸ™‚ Based on Leo and his David Attenborough-like narrating, I think they are customisable but only if you pay real money for coins for clothes?

        That’s awesome! πŸ˜€ I have a New Zealand guidebook that is basically a guide to all the filming locations of LOTR. The Hobbiton tour is way expensive though, but my friends went and it looks really good! Though when I’m road tripping through New Zealand, everything looks so beautiful and full of nature, it’s no wonder they filmed it here.

        Ugh, that sucks! 😦 It’s one thing to beat down a player at your level for points, it’s just totally jerkish to beat down a newbie for easy points.

        I think they’re going to come out with some new animations for the various songs, but my other favourite is Crasher-vania. Or if you like FF, “The Simple Plot of Final Fantasy 7.” Haha!

        Switch between everything, I say! πŸ˜€

      2. Haha yes! Yeah, I asked a friend who has played it and he said it’s real life money and REALLY expensive. It looks it…

        I’ve rewatched Leo’s videos so many times now. I may have to watch another… I don’t even watch half the time, just listen to his voice. AAH HE’S DONE GTAV http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URpq5lrdfEc

        I’m so jealous, I’ve wanted to go to NZ for so long! And of course it’s nothing to do with LOTR… *looks around shiftily* Such beautiful landscapes. There’s a wood near here called the Puzzlewood which apparently inspired Tolkien (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puzzlewood) – I can definitely see the Mirkwood and Old Forest in it.

        I have decided on a structure, though it depends on my mood. Casual gaming – Lego LOTR, hardcore – Kingdoms of Amalur, somewhere in between – Civ5 =D

        What are you playing at the moment?

      3. Leo did say that they are pretty expensive, but his avatar looks so FASHIONABLE! πŸ˜€ Also OH MY LORD, THIS GTA VIDEO. It goes so deep into the game, and into the characters. His voice is just so soothing. I like his Stanley Parable video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6WpW_P8HK8) because that game is just MIND-BLENDING. I watched the Steam Train dudes play it and it was just so confusing and fun to watch THEM go nuts.

        NZ is really pretty! πŸ™‚ My friends have gone all the way to the south and seen huge snowy mountains and glaciers, and we’ve seen the sand dunes where you can sand-board down. Most of the sights in the road trip are rolling hills, sheep, green fields, and small towns. At least when you’re not in the big cities.

        I’m in the casual gaming mood too! Right now, I’m between those “I’m gonna play this forever, aren’t I?” games like Harvest Moon, and others like some Kirby and Mario, haha! πŸ˜€

      4. Haha, so deep and philosophical! I already watched the Stanley Parable video, I love him ignoring everything the guy says. ‘No. Nobody asked me to be in the game.’ ‘You can’t tell me what to do, voice!’ ‘Cor it’s lovely in here, innit? Glad I made that detour. They could do with a better coffee machine.’ I did play the demo for that game and found it kind of dull =/

        One day, when I have the money and time, I will take a long, long trip to NZ and just soak in the sights. Explore the gorgeous landscapes and track down some LotR locations… ❀

        Ahahah! Skyrim feels like that, I think that's why I haven't played my second character in ages. I think Kingdoms of Amalur is that sort of game too, since there are a million billion side quests that I want to finish. As well as Saints Row 3 and 4 if I want all of the achievements… which I do, ahhhh! But first of all, it's time to finish the main story of LotR Lego so I can start unlocking stuff =)

      5. When the narrator gets distressed and sad at the end, my heart went out to him. “Do you REALLY hate my game THAT much?!” I watched Markiplier play it and it gets pretty crazy. At one point, they have you playing Minecraft and Portal. Then if the player keeps going into the broom closet, the game boards it up next time. There’s an achievement for not playing for FIVE YEARS. That game is just so much wtf in one place.

        Yes! I totally agree that you should do that! πŸ˜€ Take a trip to Weta, the studio behind all the costumes and special effects. I hope they’ll still be doing studio tours. Then go out and go nuts in the beautiful landscapes. Also Hobbiton, but it costs a pretty penny and I’m still saving up for it, haha!

        It totally does, with the BAJILLION things you can do. Also all the fun glitches. Best of luck with the achievements! My boyfriend is gunning for the last three in LA Noire, haha, so he totally understands your achievement-hunting.

      6. I know, that is sad =( Even though he’s probably faking it for Stanley’s attention! Wait… so you play two games, within the game? And hahaha, I looked at the achievements – apparently you can do the five years one by changing your PC clock. But that’s a pretty crazy achievement nonetheless!

        I think I may have to rewatch the LotR movies this weekend. It’s been too long (i.e. several months)! Every time I play Lego LotR I get this urge to watch and read the series again – but I’m trying to work through review copies at the mo so I don’t want to re-read it just yet. Plus I also have the Kindle versions, so I could read it in the Netherlands too =) If you ever go to Oxford, make sure you visit the Eagle and Child pub – inspiration behind Tolkien’s Bird and Baby at Michel Delving, and where him and C.S. Lewis used to meet. It’s got all these quotes from their works around it =)

        Oooh – which ones does he have left? Does he have the DLC cos that adds EVEN MORE!

      7. At some point, when the narrator detects your indifference towards his game, he tries to show you more interesting games in attempt to keep you from quitting. He’s either this really nice and lonely guy, or a crazy psycho bent on your destruction. Like all narrators, really.

        I support this idea! πŸ˜€ One must refresh oneself with LotR every now and again. πŸ˜› I’ll get around to rewatching the movies soooooon! I shall visit it! Hopefully in costume. I would love to do that.

        The last one he earned was Bulletproof Windshield, and (according to him) 61 trophies marks his 100% completion. *GAMER CONFETTI*

      8. Oh, haha! You know I haven’t watched a Leo video in about two days? Maybe I should correct that =o *puts on the Omsi video* I totally tried to find a demo of Omsi 2 but had NO luck. I found another bus simulator that IMMEDIATELY gave me game over when I ran people over (boooooo!), and another that was in German which I thought would be fun, until I realised it was a really complex one and I couldn’t work out how to move the bloody bus. I JUST WANT TO HELP THE VIRTUAL PEOPLE REACH THEIR VIRTUAL DESTINATIONS! So I played Euro Truck Simulator instead which is strangely enjoyed: hilarious if you drive badly, and weirdly relaxing if you drive well (you can listen to real radio, so I was playing a Dutch radio station to practice my Dutch).

        Haha yes! I bet the people of NZ are sick of tourists obsessed with LotR, and fed up with seeing elves and hobbits. Did you see the Air NZ advert that was sponsored by The Hobbit though? So amazing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCbPFHu3OOc

        YAY! *throws more confetti and presents controller shaped cake* Ugh does that mean he’s 5-starred every case?! Jealous, I have to do that still! =(

        I’ve been playing a bit of Neverwinter, it’s quite a nice MMO. Pretty, not sure how grindy it gets, plus I get to be a halfing hunter, yay! =D

  7. This is an amazing post! I love love Video Games. I play them constantly and all the time. I have a problem with Steam… I have a MacBook so I am not able to play all the games available. I just finished playing Last of Us which is amazing if you haven’t played it yet.

    1. Yay, another book blogger/gamer! =D Yeah, some Steam games are available on Mac but sadly not all – they’re just not built for gaming I guess =(

      I really want to play The Last of Us, but it’s PS3 only and unfortunately I don’t own one! I do however, own Lego Marvel Superheroes, so I’m going to check out your review and see what you thought πŸ˜‰

      What are some of your favourite games?

  8. I also wonder sometimes why I so love video games, I guess for me it’s an escape from my sometimes boring and monotonous lives. Like you I also feel attached on my character, they give me a sense of accomplishment. As much as they get criticized by parents, it’s been helping me sometimes to get out my frustrations in a healthy way.

  9. I’m watching his Next Car Game (aka CRASHY CAR FUN) video, and his smooth voice is perfect against the backdrop of crashing cars and their “broken husks.” I JUST WANT TO RACE THE TIME BUS, OMSI. WHAT’S SO WRONG WITH THAT?! 😦 Haha, I miss playing games on the arcade machines where you actually sit and drive with a wheel and pedals. I was never that good at those, but I managed. πŸ˜›

    I don’t mind the tourists much. They bring in the MONEYS HAHA! Yes, I’ve seen that safety video! πŸ˜€ It still plays on Air NZ flights, at least on the domestic flights. I saw it and started giggling in my seat. I was even here for the Elvish weather man. My friends and I when to the premiere of The Hobbit when it was here in NZ, and we pretty much nerdgasmed all over the place.

    *brings out the Wii party games that will end in much drinking and screaming* He probably has, since he goes pretty slow and steady with games. I’m just kind of “YAAAAAAH, LET’S DO THIS, LEROOOOOOY JENKI– Oh, I’m dead.” At least when I’ve had a few drinks.

    Niiiiiice! πŸ˜€ Have you heard of Heroes of Newerth? Is that like just a DotA-looking kinda thing?

    1. THE TEMPORAL TIME BUS! I bet all his passengers got on the temporal time bus and got stuck in the time loop! =o We actually had a steering wheel at home for the PC, it was the best thing ever playing Driver with that. It felt so authentic to my ten-year-old self, haha! But yes, I loved those arcade machines too.

      I’M SO SILLY I DIDN’T REALISED YOU LIVED THERE AAHHH. I’m even more jealous now. I thought you were talking about going out there for a trip! Also that video is PERFECT for tomorrow’s Fantasy Friday – the main highlight I can think of from the weather section over here is when Prince Charles presented it xD I wanna go to the last Hobbit premiere in NZ! But nope, not gonna happen =(

      Bahaha, we have the same tactic. I never get tactical or sneaky until I’ve attempted something head on several times and failed. I need to finish the Assassin’s Creed games and I feel like I’m gonna suck at them for that very reason.

      Ah Heroes of Newerth certainly looks like a DotA sort of thing! I’m so scared to go into those games, haha =( Have you tried it?

      1. They didn’t like it when he went through buildings, I bet they don’t like it when they get stuck in time loops! These commuters, can’t please them! Aw, I miss those peripherals in video games. I need to get myself to an arcade and play those driving games!

        YES, I LIVE IN MIDDLE-EARTH! I’m usually secretive about my location but it’s alright to reveal it in little conversations like this. πŸ˜€ Wait, the premiere for the last movie is being held here again?! YEEEEEEES! I AM SO GOING IF IT IS! I’m going to PARTY! And by party, I mean line up at ungodly hours just to get a good spot.

        I think that’s why I fail the sneaking around required in Metal Gear Solid! πŸ˜› I want to play video games when drunk someday. I want to see if I do any good. Not puzzle games because that would take so much of my brain power to accomplish.

        No, mainly because of that whole “I’m a newbie, I don’t want to lag behind!” thing we talked about. I’m intimidated!

      2. No, I can’t imagine a time loop is a nice place to be… especially if you have to spend the rest of eternity stuck on a stuffy bus with smelly and/or crazy passengers (because buses always have at least some, right?!). If only arcade games weren’t really expensive, or at least worth the Β£1 or so per turn – that much for 3 minutes of gameplay is rubbish =( I say buy yourself a steering wheel and a fun driving game or simulator! Oh the temptation…

        Oh I’m so jealous! I went out to a family dinner today and my cousin said he was surprised I still haven’t been out there, haha. All throughout my teens I was known for being a little bit obsessed with LotR (and Red Hot Chili Peppers…). I’m assuming it is, it only seems fair when NZ IS Middle-earth! Haven’t they held massive premieres there for each of the films? If I happen to fall into some big money by that point, maybe win the lottery, you know the usual, then I shall join you!

        Pahaha, video games when drunk would be hilarious! Mario Kart, Smash Bros, or something that requires sneaking skills for sure ;D Or maybe Guitar Hero/Rock Band? That frustrates me enough sober! Rainbow Road on Mario Kart when drunk would be the ULTIMATE challenge. That or doing a really hard raid on an MMO. Actually I did a few raids on Lord of the Rings Online with a guildie who was drunk – and he was our healer. Oops. And then you have to film it all.

        So I’m really enjoying Neverwinter (download it!), and I actually did a skirmish the other day which involves joining other players. Duh duh duhhhh! But it was really easy and everyone was non-communicative. I’m still terrified to try PVP on there…

      3. Before long, a society will form in the bus. And then an uprising. Then the temporal time bus will become a smoldering heap. Then it will reset and start ALLLLLL over again! I miss when arcades were cheap. :/

        Someday, Rinn! SOMEDAY! I know the last LOTR movie definitely had a premiere here, and the first Hobbit movie had a huge premiere party red carpet dealy-o too. The second Hobbit movie premiere was in LA, I think? No idea where the third one is going to be. My friend has her fingers crossed for London so she can go! πŸ™‚

        Rock Band drunk would be AMAZING. It’s like drunk karaoke! I was just watching Markiplier’s lets play of Drunk Minecraft with his friends. It usually devolves into them just beating up their one friend. Haha! I hope your healer still managed to get help to y’all! “You *hic* NEEEEDZ DA HEALS? Youuuu… Gets da heals! *heals enemy*”

        Awesome! Definitely going to try it, as soon as my project of fixing up my machine finishes. πŸ˜›

      4. And it will split into factions: The Lower Level and the Upper Level. And the poor bus driver will be like an evil overlord to them, but he won’t know it. He’s just driving… and driving… and driving…

        Oh, I didn’t realise that! I just thought there was always a big premiere in New Zealand. If it’s in London then I am DEFINITELY going, even though I won’t be living in the UK then… I’ll just have to fly back ;D

        He was surprisingly okay for a drunk person – the heals came, just a bit slower than usual =P I don’t think we wiped or anything… And the voice chat was… interesting. Oh I miss raiding =(

        I have a feeling Neverwinter isn’t too demanding – at least a friend of mine is playing it on a lower end machine. Obviously it doesn’t look as nice though =(

      5. The bus driver cannot leave. The bus driver must keep driving. The bus driver IS the bus. *spooky ooky noises*

        If there was always a big premiere in New Zealand, we would have CRAAAAAAZY tourists seasons in December. All the Hobbit fairs and events and things that pop up around Wellington (where the Embassy Cinema is and where the premieres happen) should just stay up all year round, haha!

        I can only imagine! There are a lot of fun games to play drunk. Have you heard of Prop Hunt? It looks like SUCH a fun game to play with fellow hammered friends.

        Ah, the sacrifices I make for the game to work properly. I’ll give it a try soon and cross my fingers that my machine will run decently. πŸ˜€

      6. PAHAHA! The passengers are the bus driver. The bus driver is the passengers. The bus both always and never existed.

        This is true – but wouldn’t that be amazing? Oh, to live like a hobbit. One day.

        Prop Hunt – nope. What’s that? I had a friend to stay for the end of last week, and we always end up playing 32 man Smash Bros Brawl matches. We thought it would be hilarious to play a 32 man Luigi vs Luigi tournament because he has some of the funniest moves. And oh god it was hilarious but we didn’t quite make the full 32 matches, haha! Spoiler: Luigi won.

      7. The bus driver is you. The passenger is you. The bus is you. The bus is nothing but at the same time everything. BE ONE WITH THE BUSIVERSE.

        To chill out on bales of hay while becostumed children dance around a Maypole. Oh, and there was a dude sculpting dragons out of sand. And of course, Weta Studio selling props and replicas. I know a few people who own a replica One Ring. No word on whether they turn invisible or not.

        Prop Hunt is basically… Well, it’s a mod for a game and it’s hide and seek. Teams get formed of Hunters vs Seekers. Seekers get turned into a random prop on the map, whether something innocuous like a cup, or something stupid like a huge mannequin. They can move around, change into other props, and the hunter has to seek them out and if he suspects the prop is a hider, he shoots them to make them run out of health. It gets pretty chaotic because sometimes changing into something else makes a glitch occur so you end up having two tables merging and stuck together. Usually everyone plays with like Skype or Teamspeak in the background so you can give hints and things about where you are. It’s also up to the hunters to look at weird differences in the map, like a chair in the wrong place or a file cabinet facing the wrong way, etc. I watched Markiplier’s Prop Hunt, and it had HILARIOUS results.

        What a wonderful thing to do to cap off The Year of the Luigi. :’) Brawl is amazing with multiple people. Chaos happens. CHAOS.

        Speaking of chaos, have you heard of Twitch Plays Pokemon?

      8. You are the busiverse. The busiverse is you.

        I WANT A SAND DRAGON!! AND PROPS AND REPLICAS!! I did have a replica One Ring, although it came with my Lord of the Rings Monopoly, so was of a slightly lower quality. It’s also gone missing, probably of its own accord…

        Oh my god I watched the Markiplier Prop Hunt and I NEED IT. But I do think it’s definitely a drunken game. I’m not sure how fun it would be sober?

        I have, but I haven’t been following it. I think of a friend of mine has been taking part. Have you?

  10. The entire busiverse contained within cells in your head, an infinite number of tiny busiverses continuously going through time loops. That’s some freaky shiz right there.

    SOMEONE STOLE IT. Someone has taken the ring to Mordor! Or an errant house pet or pest has decided to reenact the movies. Who knows what those kooky animals are up to.

    YES YES YES. I need it in my life! It’s a great and forgiving drunk game! No major consequences if you fail or anything, lots of room for hilarity, etc. No need to worry about dropping items or whatever, just shoot suspicious objects that may be the opposing team.

    My boyfriend’s been keeping up with it, and it’s pretty much chaos. Chaos everywhere. But even so, they’ve been progressing rather nicely!

    (Omg love the new layout! :D)

    1. THE CONCEPT OF THE BUSIVERSE HAS MADE YOUR BRAIN BOTH SIMULTANEOUSLY IMPLODE AND EXPLODE. BOOM!

      I know! That’s what’s so funny… it makes me sad though, it was pretty cool. I would say I’m sure it’s somewhere in my room, but I’m kind of a neat freak and know where *everything* is. Except my precious, apparently…

      I’ve been playing Lego Marvel Superheroes lately – must get all the achievements! There are sooooo many things to collect, and the Lego version of New York is pretty cool, and surprisingly detailed. Not so much realistic as just huuuuge and there’s a lot to do and find. It has its glitches though =(

      Thank you! =D

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