Sunday, 31 December 2017

What this blog has acheived in 2017 and my plans for 2018

Ok so I have always done a sort of year in review post for my blog where I have talked either at the end of the year or the start of the new one about what I feel I have achieved and what I want to do with my blog in the following year. This time it seems like this will be my last post of the year as apposed to my first post of the following year, still for those reading this I would like to with you a happy new year wether it has yet to come or if your reading this well after the time I post it.

Well the first thing to say is that once again I dont plan any major giant changes, I will continue to talk about Games, Horror, and occasionally polotics or just things that have either grabbed my intrest or just pissed me off. I do have to admit that one area I have focused on less and less this year is the World of Wrestling, this has not been a concious decision it just seems to be the way things have gone, I dont seem to get time to watch as much as I once did and I found some of the posts I wrote like the ones on the WWE Hall of fame just took such an incredible amount of time to write that I could find myself slowly slogging away at the same post weeks later.

I still have not finished reviewing 150 SNES games, this has become a sort of never ending task, it was originally made as a way to keep me sane while I was unemployed, unfortunaly for the project I soon found work after starting it and then I felt that it would be letting down everyone who supported me if I just slung the idea, lets face it we have all heard that old chesnut about how we never finish anything we promise we will do or about how we flit from idea to idea never letting any of them reach there true potential.

I said at the start of the year that I was going to try my hardest to crack on with this task of reviewing 150 SNES games and that I hoped to review at least 25 new titles that I havent previously talked about and that if needs be I would buy more games in order to do it. I started out with enough games to complete the task but I found some were just to hard to review or I couldnt form a decent opinion on. As it stands I actually managed to review exactly 25 this year.  This means that if I want to finish this project before the end of 2018 I have to review 17 SNES games which actually sounds completely resonable and I will frankly be mad with myself if I dont manage this. I did just get an Everdrive for my SNES which could make this really easy however I promised to do this all with real carts on real hardware for those wondering if the Everdrive will come into play... No it wont, well at least not properly, if I review a Japanese game I may look at a translation quickly on the Everdrive to make some kind of comment but I will be playing and reviewing the real cart.

Last year I said that I had aquired the services of a guest poster who would be talking about various subjects both to give this blog a differing point of view and to keep it as regular as possible, unfortunatly I was let down on this front and as a result I really tried to push myself to post as regularly as possible. This did end up meaning that it was my year with the highest post count yet but I have to admit it was a lot of work and has left me with very big shoes to fill in the future. I cant promise that next year will be as busy, but I can say that I will do all that I can in order to make sure that this blog keeps on going and that it never goes too long without some new content.

I started a kerr900 Instergram account this year to act as an extension of this blog and this is something that I hope to carry on with. I also think that this place is in need of a redesign so will most likly look at working on a new backdrop with a view to replacing the current one in a few months.

I guess at this point what I really want to do is just to thank all of my readers and supporters for everything and stop and wish you a Happy New year and to hope that 2018 is a good year for all of us.

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Retro Game purchases: December 2017

So in November I only spent £47.55 on retro games and in all honesty coming in to this month I figured that my final figure would be pretty similar if not lower. Its just that its a busy time of the year and its one when your usually focused on either other people or buying the stuff you need to make a decent Christmas dinner. So I wasnt at all suprised that I made a\very slow to start my retro purchasing this month it wasnt until the 9th after work when I walked into an indy game store and made my first retro purchase of the month which was two N64 carts for £10 they were Mario Golf and Buck Bumble

On the 10th I got Mickeys racing adventure for Gameboy Color cart only through the post for £3, the postage was free so I thought this was pretty decent. Its made by Rare who I obviously have a lot of respect for so figured why not grab ahold of it.

On the 11th I went into an indy game store and I grabbed Dick Tracy for the Megadrive cart only for £2.50. This is a game that I both love and have a history with. I used to own a Japanese copy of it in fact it was the game which encouraged me to cut the cartrdige slot wider in my original childhood Megadrive. I use to use a little convertor to play foriegn games but I went to the toilet once when I had a friend over and he rammed my Japanese copy of Dick Tracy into my English Megadrive in an attempt to play it and got it stuck, and basically I struggled to get the cart out again and thought sod this lets eliminate the problem and cut the slot bigger so I never have to worry about this again. Unfortunatly on the 14th I went in the same Indy store and found Dick Tracy for Megadrive boxed but missing manual £5 I wish I had seen this before the loose cart but I thought what the heck and brought it anyway.

On the 17th I spent £10 on a bunch of stuff from a charity shop, I got Boxing Fever for GBA cart only, Planet of the apes for GBA complete, Crash Bandicot XS for GBA complete, Rocket power dream scheme complete for gba, and Harry Potter and the goblet of fire complete for gba.

On the 21st on the way home from work I went into an Indy game store and got Vegas Stakes, cart and manual for SNES £3. Maybe not the most exciting title but anytime you see a SNES game for less than £5 its not bad.

On December the 28th I visted a CEX after work and I spent £12 on Xcom Terror from the deep complete for PS1. The disc was in good condition and it had the manual and the sleeves but the case was a bit cracked and grimy. I did clean the case up but then I decided to swap the case for a perfect case I had on a sports game. This is one of the reasons I am quite happy to buy crappy PS1 games on the cheap if the cases are in great condition, heck sometimes I buy horrible compilation albums because they come in the same type of case as some PS1 games.

So in total I spent £45.50  if my adding up is correct, a whole £2.05 less than last month and this did not come as a suprise at all. Its not like there is a lot of things to choice from but as it stands my favourate purchase would proberbly be Xcom Terror from the deep with the boxed copy of Dick Tracy coming a close second. It wasnt exactly the most exciting retro game purchasing month but there is one thing which I didnt buy something which I got for Christmas which really is exciting and that is the Super Nintendo Everdrive my wonderful Fiancee got for me.

Now this does not meen that I wont buy any more SNES games but it does meen that I can have a lot of fun messing around with hacks and translations and prototypes on an actual SNES, why am I so sure this wont stop me buying SNES games? Well the easy answer is because getting a MegaDrive Everdrive has not even slowed down my desire to track down Megadrive games. Ok so thats the end for now, I guess we will all just have to wait and see what future retro purchases I make.

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

My Soap Box.... Discusions about things I would like to just piss off.

Ok so I wanted to do a post about things I would like to sod off, things that I would be very happy to see either none of or at the least less of in 2018. This post kind of comes off the back of a couple of discussions I have had with various people who have had a moan about this or that and as I am quiet good at jumping up on my little soap box and having a rant so I thought why shouldn't I have a piece of this?

A lot of people have said that they are fed up of everyone complaining about Trump and about online rants, articles and comedians going on and on about what a dick  he is. Well in all honesty as  repetitive as this can feel I disagree I think people need to keep getting annoyed and ranting when Trump is a dick and keep getting outraged at his stupidity, personally it's him I'd like to go away not his vocal haters. The man is a loud mouthed slow brained hate mongering weirdo who needs keeping in check. The worst thing that could happen would be for his shenanigans to become normalized, for him to go around acting the way he acts with no one questioning it or calling him out on it. Some things in life which might piss us off you actually have to try and live with for the greater good of mankind.

Another thing people frequently raised as something they wish would sod off is reality TV such as Big brother, I'm a celebrity get me out of here etc. Now this is a tricky one for me some of it is not it but how some people watch it, that sort of worship of fame and dickheadishness. It's the worship of stupid shallow people I'd like to see end not the TV that has spawned partly as a result of it. I enjoy watching a little reality TV now and again its easy to put it on and disengage your brain, if you blank for a bit when tired, watching it and you blank for a second it simply doesnt matter. I do hate that money is invested into this kind of stuff as a cheap get out, hey lets just film crap on the cheap instead of actually writing brave and intresting plots and filming new and unique stuff but I can see its benefits, I just wish we didnt as a society make heroes out of people who have no real talent.

Smug smartphone users, you see far to many smug gits go ''oh do you take applepay'' before cocking there wrist in a possing tosser way to simultaneously put it near the contact point but also show off there crappy wrist bling. Add on to this people who think they are superior because they have a Apple phone or an android phone or who otherwise find some stupid way to make out that they are superior because of there choice in purhaceses.

This gets me on to people in shops who can't or won't communicate in any way they either stay on there phone or remain silent throw there stuff on the till immediately hold a card against the contact point and keep a look on there face that says I'm far too important to have human interaction with someone in a shop, utter utter toss bags. You can add to this people who scream if the product they want is sold out or is not part of a promotion they wish it was etc.... Where has basic courtesy gone , I guess nowhere there have just always been aceholes about...

Then there is Brexit which so far has been a shit storm but you know what is possibly even more annoying than Brexit? People who take it to far blaming Brexit for everything. theres no marmalade left in the fridge its Brexit, the dogs taken a shit on the yard its Brexit, it just drags actual credible complaints about our current situation down. I guess this amounts to dick heads should think before opening there mouths and people should just remember that not everyone wants to listen to there shit especially when its just shat out there mouth without a filter. I voted to remain part of the Euro and I was dissapointed that leave won but there is only so much you can blame for this vote before you just start sounding like a complete idiot.

I'd also like an end to the monarchy, Terrisa May to sod right off and don't get me started on certain aspects of education right now. When you really cut to it though  I guess what I am saying is that I just want people to think a little more before they speak and for a bit of human decency, it wouldnt hurt to say hello and thank you and just pantamine it if needs be people should just stop and think of others now again and then maybe just maybe the world would be a better place.

Monday, 25 December 2017

2017 My Year in Games

So as another year draws ever close to its end, as the skies darken the frost twinkles and most look forward to a nice christmas dinner I want to stop and take a look at what the year has been like in the world of Video Games. I wont mention every single thing thats happend I just want to gloss over a few key bits here and there and give my thoughts on them. I could talk all day about things of this nature but instead here are just a few things from the world of games this year and what I think about them.

2016 was very much seen as a year absolutly filled with celebraty deaths but we had one in the world of Video Games very early on in January of 2017, as Masaya Nakamura, the founder of Namco, died at 91 years old. He established Namco in 1955 and as most will know Namco is responsible for the birth of Pacman one of what can be considerd the earliest Mascots in the world of gaming.Lets face it even if your the most casual of gamer Pacman will probably have come into your life at some point in some way, I type this with my daughter playing Pacman in the background on an Amazon Fire stick she recieved for Christmas. I have been a very big fan of many Namco games including the Rolling Thunder and SplatterHouse series as well as Pacman in all its various form during my time so before I go on Thank you Masaya Nakamura may you rest in peace.

Also in January Sony closed Guerrilla Cambridge the developers of Killzone Mercenary and the PSP version of Little Big Planet and Nintendo announced that they had officially stopped global Production of the Wii U, which I guess you can pretty much call the last nail in the consoles coffin, even if it has had a few post death twitches since. I really enjoyed my Wii U and feel that its a real shame the console never got the attention it deserves still I hope that one day people will look back on it and it will gain the same intrest the Cube did after its demise.

In February, Ghost Story Games was officially founded. It’s Bioshock creator Ken Levine’s new studio for those who missed the news. Also Peter Moore stepped down as head of EA Sports and left the company to become the CEO of Liverpool Football Club. Or for a game fan like me who cant stand football he left the world of games to do some crap I dont care about.

On March the 3rd: Nintendo launched the Switch it had the advantage of launching with a Zelda title The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild as well as a few other games, After floundering back and forwards on wether I should get one or not I ended up grabbing the very last machine from the HMV near where I work. I then Grabbed Zelda from Tesco's and Bomberman R from Argos. As of now I have about six games and havent really played it as much as it proberbly deserves, but in all honesty I have felt far more drawn to other machines. Breath of the Wild also recieved a release on the Switch which I think was a good move by Nintendo seeing as they had always promised it would come to the machine so it was good to see them keep there word. I have written a lot about the Switch this year and a lot of it has been about my lack of conection with mine, I havent personally bonded to mine really but I do think Nintendo have done a lot of things well and I hope that one day I gain a bigger appreciation for the platform I guess 2017 wasnt my year for this but I will have to see how 2018 goes.

At the end of March, Square Enix withdrew from IO Interactive. With a managment buyout happening in June, IO have retained the rights to the Hitman Franchise and announced that now its independent there will be plenty more Hitman to look forward to. This has made me very happy as although I was very late to the party with the last Hitman title waiting for the full season to relase on Disc I have been greatly enjoying it. Any move which helps the Hitman franchise is something I am going to be supportive of, I hope this is the start of something new and that we can all look forward to many high quality titles featuring agent 47 in the future.

March also saw the release of Mass Effect: Andromeda, I had been a huge fan of the Mass Effect games so I got this game near release but it turned out to be a bit of a letdown. It had a lot of the same gameplay as the older Mass Effect games but a lot of issues and well it just didnt have the same magic. It looks like this title has possibly killed the Mass Effect series which would be a real shame.

April was also a month which brought a lot of dissapointment for people , the dissapointment was brought by the release of Yooka-Laylee a spiritual sequal to the old Banjo Kazooie games. I had been looking forward to this but I saw some of the poor reviews that had come in for it and well I decided to give it a miss until I could get it stupidly cheap, so far I havent gotten it.

Skipping forwards a bit August saw the release of Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle a tactical strategy game in which Mario teams up with some of his typical friends as well as some of Ubisofts Rabbids. It is a bit like Mario meets XCOM with Rabbid crazyness thrown in for good measure. When it was annoucned it seemed like a really weird idea but in my oppinion it really works on so many levels. I am slowly playing this is bits and pieces here and there and recognise it as a great game but it hasnt been quiet enough to make me go hardcore Switch addict or anything.

Septemeber saw the release of Destiny 2 but in all honesty I didnt really see the fuss, sure I had played and enjoyed the first one a bit but I just didnt think I needed more of it this soon, not when the first one had been updated again and again with DLC but then again I have already said I am not a big multiplayer fan.I did nearly buy it at £20 but I knew my daughter would most likly end up playing it and she has been doing mock exams lattly so I went all responsible and decided not to bring something in to the house that I thought might distract her.

In October  EA shut down Visceral Games, and cancelled the awesome looking Star Wars game that they had been working on, this was very dissapointing, I have always been a huge Star Wars fan I have also never been much of a fan of mutli player online stuff, so to see this game die and yet to see Battlefront 2 launch instead well it was a heck of a pain. October also brought us a raft of new trailers, including one for The Last of Us Part II and also one for Detroit: Become Human a game which I have recently written about and feel could be very intresting.It was also in this month if I remember correctly that EA acquired Respawn Entertainment, the makers of Titanfall. I was pleasently suprised by TitanFall but havent had the chance to try its sequel yet. I hope that they do well under EA and dont suffer the fate other studios have after having been purchase by EA.

I havent had much time for reading about games in the last few months but I have grabbed a hold of a few titles around Christmas that I will hopefully be talking about in the near future.

Merry Christmas one and all.

Friday, 15 December 2017

Why I am not tottally thrilled about Christmas.

I have a quiet shocking admission to make and that is that I don't always find the idea of Christmas a wonderful and magical one actually at times I find Christmas pretty darn hard in all honesty. Yes I know that this admission is enough to get some people calling me Scrooge and asking me if I am dead inside, I also have to put up with constantly being told that its Christmas so I should be happy and that everything is oh so wonderful, its like being assaulted with the concept of  raw undiluted joy. So what is it that I don't like about Christmas? Well part of it is the fact that its busier and more hectic at work leading up to and surrounding the day. I used to work in a pub and you had drunks screaming saying how wonderful it was while falling into things, they were telling you how great it was to be off and to be having fun clearly not understanding the fact that you currently were at work and that being the sober responsible one in a room of drunks is about as much fun as slowly drowning. I don't work in the pub trade anymore, I now work in retail and although this feels like an improvement I now have to put up with people doing there Christmas shopping and believe it or not even though it is the season of good will people are so quick to call you a fucking moron or a shit head for things beyond your control. They have come in 3 weeks after you received your shipment of a product which was being sold for practically nothing but somehow the fact they didn't come in quick enough is totally your fault, you singularly have sold every single one of them, your responsible for how many have been made, how many have been sent to your shop, you could have personally held on to one and hidden it just for them using your secret physic future knowing skills and the fact you haven't done this makes you a prick who they feel totally justified to treat like complete and utter shit.

I have had a real love and hate relationship with Christmas. I loved it up until I was 15 what with getting loads of stuff and breaking up from school for a decently lengthy period. Then I started working and I didn't get much anymore and it became a pain in the ass. Then my daughter was born and it made it all ace again, no matter how bad work might be she made it great. I was unemployed for about a year, then worked in a nursery training to get a grade 6 in childcare, and then was unemployed for a further 2 years and during these 4 years it was ace. I could just sit back and enjoy all of it and spend it with my mum and dad and my kid and really soak it all in. Then my mum passed and I got a job again and my kid got older and knew it wasn't all magic and well it began to suck again. Part of what made it suck was that my mum had really loved it, she had thrown so much energy and love in to it. We had the biggest dinners so much choice there would be several types of potatoes loads of diffrent types of stuffing, it would quiet litterally be a feast, the kind of thing you only usually see in films and there wouldnt be a single thing that didnt look smell and taste amazing. I suddenly found myself responsible for the decorartions for preparing the food and for trying to basically do Christmas, to try and make sure that everyone enjoyed themselves and I guess this is when I really truly learned just how much work this had all been for my mum and how much pressure it really was. I find myself being the one who has to carry the torch, if decorations are to be put up I have to do it, I also have to sort out the food for christmas dinner, I have to pick it all, make sure I buy it at the right time so its ok for the day itself, I have to prepare it, cook it and serve it and then I end up doing 90% of the cleaning it up. I have to do all of this while being made more aware than I usually am of how much I miss my mum.

Now I do enjoy some things about Christmas, I do enjoy eating the meal, being with my family, recently I have really enjoyed helping my fiancee put up her christmas tree, I know the day will be great too, me, my daughter, my dad and my fiancee all togther in the afternoon watching Doctor Who and eating nibbles. I am not trying to ruin anyone elses day or try to make them hate Christmas quiet the oppersit in fact I just want people to realise that not everyone will be full of christmas cheer, it might be a hard time of year for some people, some people might need help or even just be allowed the right to moan and to sulk and to not have cheer forced upon them. If you still have all of your family and they are good people then enjoy them while you can, tell them that you love them, eat drink and be merry but remember for some people this can be a hard time of year so spare them a thought, try not to shout at them when your buying things or try to force them to smile if they dont want to.

May you all have the best Christmas that you can be it a quiet one or a loud one, but most of all remember ''Be Excellent To Each Other''.....

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

My opinion on The Mail on Line complaining about child abuse in the game Detroit.

The Mail Online has recently republished a story from the Mail on Sunday newspaper that takes aim at Detroit: Beyond Human, the upcoming game from Quantic Dream helmed by David Cage. I read the article and then I made sure to watch the games trailer and to watch as many interviews and pieces on it as I could because I wanted to comment on the game and the news story.

Unfortunatly the media can seldom look at a video game without going into controversy mode. The paper claimed that ''Abusers will get off on this stuff''' that the game was ''repulsive'' because it shows a girl aged 10 being beaten to death by her father. The founder of ChildLine Esther Rantzen has also urged the publisher to either remove the scene or withdraw the game and as both a gamer and a former volunter for two childrens charitys which unfortunatly no longer exist I think she is completly wrong and I will now try to explain why.

Basically as far as I believe the Mail Online's article is  presenting Detroit the game as something that is using child abuse for the purposes of amusement. To be honest I think its an old fashioned idea the concept that all games are is amusment. Video Gaming is one of the most popular forms of media at present and  before you judge it too harshly for featuring something you need to first stop and ask if you would judge another form of media the same way if it used the same subject matter and then you have to try to ask what kind of feelings is it trying to evoke, what kind of message is it trying to get across. I also think you have to ask if the event is avoidable in the game, are you taking part in the abuse, are you trying to stop it or are you an observer.

Ok so lets handle the easiest answer first and thats the fact that this abuse scenario is also unlikely to occur in most playthroughs, because it is the outcome of the player's complete inaction and is therfore avoidable. You get to see the way things are headed and can cut this off at the pass so to speak

Ok I think I need to stop and say that Detroit's trailer, first shown at the Playstation Experience at Paris Games Week, was proberbly made knowing it would achieve some backlash, its even possible that they are eating up any controversy generated as lets face it controvery sells, if people are talking about something then its gaining it attention.

Ok continuing on the player is not participating in the domestic violence scene but is in fact an observer, an android named Kara. I think its important to note your note the abuser, this game is not presenting the abuse as titilation, it is holding the scene up like a mirror that is reflecting something horrid and uncomfortable that actually happens in real life.

So the scene in question features a young girl and her abusive father. The fartheris in  a rage and at one point gets out his belt to beat the girl. Kara a home-help android observes this. One of Detroit's themes is self-determination, the ability to make choices, and this scene centres around whether the player in the role of Kara decides to break her programming and try to help the girl. The trailer goes to great lengths to show the amount of possible intervention points, and the way the story can branch off  including the above route where things go badly wrong as well as several other possible outcomes. The Paper and those who it has interviewed seem to be under the impression that the players character is the one commiting the violence. Now while I am not saying that you cant have an oppinion unless you have played the game (Obviously I wouldnt say that as I am talking about it and I havent played it) I do think its unfair to judge the game when you clearly dont really know enough about it, its just not fair to do and I am sure the paper nor these individuals would want me making a snap judgment about them without a full set of facts and a large degree of fact checking and recchecking and I think thats the kind of curtosy they should have extended to this game and its developers and publisher.  I am not judging the game yet, I am merly talking about it and about if certain areas should be taboo for games or for any form of media or not.

OK so I want to deal with what a few people have said about this game. I will start with the Conservative MP Damian Collins, Chairman of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, who said the following: ''It is completely wrong for domestic violence to be part of a video game regardless of what the motivation is. Domestic violence is not a game and this simply trivialises it. I worry that people who play this who themselves have suffered abuse will use this game to shape the way in which they deal with abusers. It’s dangerous to plant the seed in people’s minds that the way to deal with abusers is to use violence against them. It’s counter-productive and could put them in even more danger'. Ok so basically he says its wrong to have domestic violence in a game fullstop, and then worries that abusers might get attacked as a result of this game. I have a two fold answer to this. One, many forms of Media have dealt with difficult and distastful aspects of human life on multiple occasions, this is not something new at all. Games are a relativly new medium compared to books or even films and they originally started as something very basic, as a toy for children and those who liked to experiance new and diffrent forms of entertainment, but they are progressing and as they progress much like the other forms of media they will start expanding into new areas. Least we forget that Lee Harpers To Kill a MockingBird was once considerd incredably controversial for its tackling of racial injustice, for the fact it held a light up to the fact that we as people could judge people for the colour of there skin, that we could be taken in by a mob mentality. Some of To Kill A Mocking Bird feels kind of akward to read for many people but it is an absolute classic and it is a classic because it holds this mirror up which reflects some of the worse mankind has to offer. I would argue that this is exactly what this game appears to be doing, it is showing the player child abuse, confronting him or her with it and asking them how they feel about it, but more than this it is asking them do they really want to stand there and watch this or do they want to or even need to get involved? It is questions like these that need asking in order for society to change, for it to move forward and for us to tackle some of the darker issues. A whole wide range of people play games now, some of who would not dream of picking up a book, so why is it wrong to reach out to them and put these ideas in front of them, to confront them with them?

The journalist and presenter Esther Rantzen offered her perspective ''But I’ve never heard of little girls being beaten with a belt as part of a game. That, in my view, is not just savage, it’s seriously damaging. Who would play such a game for fun? People who are impervious to the suffering of children.We never want anyone to believe that beating a child to death with a belt is the stuff of entertainment. It should never be trivialised or turned into a game. I call upon Sony Interactive Entertainment to think again and withdraw this game, or at least remove this scene where a virtual child is put in life-threatening danger. If you don’t, real children may suffer.''

Again, Rantzen is mistakenly under the impression that the player is an active participant in the domestic abuse. Clearly she doesn't know much about Detroit beyond what the journalists interviewing her have told her and you need to remember they will have told her only what they know and more than that they will have told her what they want in the way they want in order to try to get some quoatable lines from her which will allow them to write the kind of report they want to write. Rantzen's suggestion that anyone interested in this game is "impervious to the suffering of children" isjust plainly wrong. Rantzen's position basically seems to be that child abuse should be a taboo topic for the most important entertainment medium of our age Video Games. Does she not realise that a lot of people simply want to deny that child abuse happens and that this game could not only confront them with it but it could do so in a way where they dont feel they are being preached at and it could actually make them stop and think about the situation. If she had shown a little more thought and looked into this in more detail I would like to hope she would have a morre balance opinion.

So here we have a game tackling a hot button topic, something which I think needs raising, needs debating, that we should no longer be silent about and people are trying to silence it. The game is not trying to turn a profit through abuse it is trying to produce a piece of entertainment which will make money, bring people enjoyment and hopefully make people stop and think. What is the newspaper trying to do? In my humble opinion it is grabbing hold of half truths and running with them to produce a story which feeds into a set idea, they are feeding a largly media created panic in order to sell papers so who is the real one exploiting abuse here?

Monday, 4 December 2017

My thoughts on the fall in school children who have part-time jobs.

There has been a recent newspaper article about how the number of school children who have part-time jobs has fallen by a fifth in the past five years. This has gotten people talking about how having a Saturday job used to be a rite of passage for many children and about how this might affect there future.

Now I am not saying that when I was a kid everyone had a part time job but I certainly had my fair share. While I was growing up I had all kinds of jobs, I guess it started when I was really young with one of my older brothers giving me some of his paper round pay if I would help him, I had no idea what he was paid but if I helped him for a bit then he gave me enough for some sweets or a comic book. In all honesty it was kind of neat, I got to spend time with my brother and then could go home to watch Transformers. Years latter when I was about 15 I worked for an auction, I held things up, I took money on the door, I then made money by using an industrial carpet cleaning machine to clean shop carpets as my sort of own mini business on the side. I went from this to being a cleaner for Safeways, then I was a cleaner for an old peoples home and finally I was a cashier at a CO-OP, All of these jobs were before I finished my A levels.

So why are less kids getting part time jobs? Well according to Dr Angus Holford from the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex young people in compulsory education are fearful that a part-time job could hinder their performance at school he said that "Teens are being told evermore that you need to get good GCSEs and A-levels to get a good job in the long term," Now having a 15 year old daughter who is currently sitting a second bunch of mock GCSE's and has brought home what must be the 47th progress review. She seems to constantly be being reviewed in some way shape or form and being told how important her grades are, having each and every teacher try to tell both her and me how there lesson is the very most important lesson and how my daughter should do her very hardest to try and make sure that this is the lesson she truly excells in and gets the very best grade in. On top of this there is so much home work compared to when I was young, she proberbly gets the homework in a week that I would have gotten in a month. School also seems to have become obsessessed with both credits and demerits. You can get demerits and detentions for the stupidest of things, one PE teacher wanted to give my daughter a dention because she had forgoten a PE sock, one singular sock. When I was a kid you basically had to do something serious like tell a teacher to fuck off or be continuously disruptive in order to get a detention. Is it any wonder that lots of kids dont feel that they can or want to work part time on top of all of this? Also one of the major types of employment for youngsters used to be paper rounds and with the availability of news online paper sales are down so theres a lot lower need for delivery boys/girls.

Are kids missing out by not having a part time job? Well apparently research has shown that not taking on a Saturday or holiday job could be detrimental to a person later on in life. A 2015 study by the UK Commission on Employment and Skills found that not participating in part-time work at school age had been blamed by employers' organisations for young adults being ill-prepared for full-time employment. It also said this had negative implications for workforce productivity. I think the truth of the matter is that there are certain skills you learn in the world of work that cant be learned in a class room or from a book. I ended up being a supervisor when I was quiet young, but I had worked my way up from the ground, despite getting a degree I also became a manager off the strength of my work not from my studies and I think this made the people under me have a lot more respect for me. We got a lot of graduate managers come into the business and in all honesty they were often cringe worthingly bad because despite having one set of knowldge book smarts they didnt have a whole bunch of other skills.

So am I worried about my daughter? Not in the slightest as she took it upon herself to go and get a job working for a charity shop. Not only does this mean that she is working with diffrent people and learning skills she otherwise wouldnt the nature of the business and her volunteer status also means that they dont put undue pressure on her or try to get her to increase her work scedule. She gains the same skills she would from a paid job but is also free to say she wont be coming in around exam periods and on top of this she has the satisfaction of knowing that she is making a positive impact on the world around her while managing to maintain her studies.

I have to admit that I think more kids should get involved in charity work for the above reasons. So many people are focused on work for pay but the skills you can learn can be worth far more in the long run, charitys need volunteers to survive and kids need the experiance to develop its a symbiotic relationship in which everyone benefits. Not all kids are going to see the value in this but that proberbly says more for the bad shape society is in than anything.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

What I have been playing recently: One. Trials Fusion Awesome Max, Trackmania Turbo, and Ducati 90th Anniversary The Official VideoGame

So I thought it was about time to do a bit of a What I have been playing recently post. It has been awhile since I have done a post like this so I felt like it was about time. I have actually been playing a lot of different things so I am going to split this across a few posts.

I have spent a little bit of time here and there on Trials Fusion, well on its Awesome Max Levels Expansion to be precise. I basically tried to go through all of the Awesome Max levels expansion and get a medal on every track. For a set chunk of this you are a machine gun holding cat riding a Unicorn. Yes it is as crazy and as awesome as it sounds, its a thrilling ride as everything seems to shift around you in seconds, you will be in a lab and then in a spaceport then in a temple quicker than you can blink. It could be argued by some that this is a distraction which makes the tracks a little tougher than they otherwise would be but then Trials Fusion is at its very best when your screaming at it one second and then pumping your fist in the air in triumph the next. If I have one big complaint it is that your not allowed to use the cat and the unicorn anywhere other than their dedicated stages, you also cant use a bike on these Unicorn based levels, for me that would have been the ideal unlockable reward, finish all the levels as the Cat and Unicorn and then you can try them with a dirt bike and can take the cat and unicorn combo out onto the rest of the tracks the game has to offer. There are not actually that many levels with the unicorn but this piece of DLC also has 22  other tracks half of which was  created by the studio itself and the other half by the ''best members'' of the player community.I managed to get a medal on all of the Unicorn levels but found myself struggling on a few of the harder ones amongst the other 22.

I also tried my hand at Trackmania Turbo, it had been one of the free Xbox Gold games and to be honest at first I didn't much like the look of it but after trying it I can see that its actually not a bad game at all, it actually kind of has quiet a bit in common with Trials Fusion in that its a game where your using a vehicle to complete tracks and win medals. The faster you can finish the track the better a medal you get unlike Trials your racing in cars not on bikes or unicorns but its actually not a bad game at all. It has that same one more go sort of feel to it that Trials does but the difference is I don't think the controls are quiet as tight, this means that when things go wrong I don't always blame myself sometimes I find myself blaming the game where as every time I fail in Trials I am sure it is my fault and that's what has made me keep going back to Trials.

I guess I have been doing a fair bit of racing of one kind or another because I have also been playing Ducati 90th Anniversary The Official VideoGame a motorbike racing game apparently based on the engine from the game Ride but with only one brand of bike in it. In all honesty its not a bad game it was £5 during a sale and I figured I would get it to sort of test the waters, I thought that if I enjoyed it enough then I might actually get Ride. In all honesty though while the games a good enough game I think its scratched enough of an inch in the bike racing department that I will probably continue to ignore Ride and just return my attention to Forza and other various car racers.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Retro Game purchases: November 2017

I started Novembers retro game purchasing by getting Warlock for the SNES cart only for £5 (American), this was ordered just before Halloween with free postage but this is the date it arrived and I never count a retro game until its in my hands.

On the 3rd I went in to a pawn store and picked up the following games Super Monkey Ball Deluxe complete for XBOX for 50pence, 50 Cent Bulletproof complete for XBOX for 50pence, Sonic Heroes (classics version) complete for XBOX for 50pence, Project Gotham Racing (Classics version) complete for XBOX for 50pence, and LMA Manager 2002 complete for PS1 for 50pence. They also threw in a just the disc version of Sega GT2002/ Jet Set Radio Future (both games on one disc) for free. Ironically it was probably the freebie I was most happy about but overall I would call it a good day.

On the 9th I went into a charity shop and got Outlaw Tennis for xbox complete for £1 and Championship Manager season 01/02 for xbox complete for £1. I had played a lot of Championship manager back in the day so it was cool to grab hold of it again.

On the 10th I went to a shop which sold retro collectibles, most of it was old fashioned plates and various shop signage such as metal Coke and Pepsi signs but I did managed to grab Blast corps for N64 cart only for £3 and Wetrix for N64 cart only for £4. It was nice to go to a different place and I have my girlfriend to thank for finding it. I might not have got much and there might not actually have been a lot of console or computer stuff there but it was just a really neat place to visit. It also helped that it had a great coffee shop on the same plot of land.

On the 11th I grabbed Dance stage party edition complete for PS1 for £1 and Destroy all humans complete for Xbox for £1

On the 16th I received rugrats the movie for gameboy colour cartridge only £1.50, this was from ebay and the price includes postage so I cant grumble about it at all.

On the 17th I went to a charity shop where I picked up Killzone complete for PS2 for 30pence

On the 20th I got Ferrari Grand Prix Challenge for megadrive complete for £3 this was from an online seller and includes postage.

Then on the 25th I went into Granger Games and I got Free running complete for psp for £1. I noticed it was by Rebellion games and as I have really enjoyed some of there work I thought I would grab it. I also went into Game where I got Final fantasy tactics A2 grimoire of the rift complete for DS for £15. This Final Fantasy was my most expensive purchase this month but I don't regret it even the slightest bit as the PSP Final Fantasy Tactics game gave me 180 hours worth of playtime. I think this is quiet possibly my favourite purchase of the month.

On the 26th I nipped into an indy store where I got Street Showdown for PSP complete for 75p, WarioLand 4 GBA cart only for £5, and Sonic 2 for megadrive cart only for £1

I ended the months purchases on the 27th by buying Toy Story Racer gameboy colour cart only £1 from a charity shop.

If I have added up all of my purchases correctly then I spent £47.55 on retro games this month which is an all time low for me, but its been a busy month. I got engaged so obviously I had spent a lot of time and money on looking for the right ring for my wonderful lady, and I had also been spending time and money on getting ready for Christmas.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Tennis for Two, probably the first real Video Game.

So what was the first ever Video Game? Well that depends upon exactly how you define the term Video Games but there is a very big case to say that the first game was something called Tennis For Two which was made in October 1958 by the Physicist William Higinbotham. It was a very simple tennis game which a lot of people have proberbly never heard of. Every time I ask someone what they think the first game is I often hear Pong but that didnt come about until the 1970s, other will claim Space War which although it came before Pong was a full 3 years after Tennis for Two.

So the creator of Tennis for Two Higinbotham was born on October the 25th in 1910, the point where he becomes more intresting to gamers would proberbly be after he had graduated from Williams College (in 1932), and then went on to graduate school in physics at Cornell University. It was at Cornell as a graduate student he worked as an electronics technician. In 1941, he joined the MIT Radiation Lab, where he worked on cathode ray tube displays for radar systems. In 1943 he moved to Los Alamos to work on electronics for a timing system for the atomic bomb.

It was in 1948 he joined Brookhaven National Laboratory’s instrumentation group and he served as head of that group from 1951 to 1968. It was during this time that Brookhaven held annual visitors’ days, during which thousands of people would come to tour the lab. Higinbotham was responsible for creating an exhibit to show off the instrumentation division’s work. Higinbotham had felt that most of the exhibits were pretty dull and he thought that he could provide something which would better capture visitors’ attention.I have to admit that I love the fact that this guy was smart enough to be working on things such as radar and atomic bomb timing systems and yet didnt basically go sod people either there smart enough to want to come see and understand this stuff or there not, he actually stopped to think about how he could grab ahold of peoples attention in a new and intresting way. For me this is an excample of an idea of what I think should be at the very center of  both every lesson a teacher provides and every game idea a stuido comes up with ''how can I engage with my audience, how can I grab them and pull them in.''

In order to do this he created an interactive demonstration, what he created was the video game Tennis for Two . He later recalled in a magazine interview that he had thought “it might liven up the place to have a game that people could play, and which would convey the message that our scientific endeavors have relevance for society.”

The instrumentation group had a small analog computer that could display various curves, one of the things he realised he could do with this was to display what would appear like the path of a bouncing ball, on an oscilloscope. Apparently it took Higinbotham only a couple of hours to dream up the idea of a tennis game, and only a few days (with help) to actually put everything togther and get it up and working. Higinbotham made some drawings showing what he wanted, and blueprints were drawn up from these. Technician Robert Dvorak spent about two weeks building the device and after a little debugging,Tennis for Two was ready for its debut.

Players could turn a knob to adjust the angle of the ball, and push a button to hit the ball towards the other player. As long as they pressed the button when the ball was in their court, players couldn’t actually miss the ball, but if they hit it at the wrong time or hit it at the wrong angle, the ball wouldn’t make it over the net. Balls that hit the ground would bounce like a real tennis ball. When the ball went off the court or into the net, players hit a reset button to start the next round.

OK so Tennis for Two might not have been the most sophisticated games but look at the fact that the guy didnt have anything to copy when coming up with this idea well other than the actual sports game called tennis. It also had none of the fancy graphics video games have today, no soundtrack or achievments but it was a start and at the time it must have seemed like absolutly magic. The cathode ray tube display simply showed a side view of a tennis court represented by just two lines, one representing the ground and  one representing the net. The ball was just a dot that bounced back and forth.The game didnt even keep score, that was totally up to the players to do. The game circuitry was fairly simple, using mostly resistors, capacitors and relays, though it did use transistors for the fast switching needed when the ball was in play.

I know that there are proberbly people who hearing all of this would think that Tennis for Two sounds super lame butVisitors loved it. It quickly became the most popular exhibit, with people standing in long lines just to get a chance to play it.

The first version, used in the 1958 visitor’s day, had an oscilloscope with a tiny display, only five inches in diameter. The next year, Higinbotham improved it by putting in a larger display screen. He also added something to the game, he added the ability for the game to simulate stronger or weaker gravity, so visitors could play tennis on the moon, Earth or Jupiter. I guess if you wanted to you could say that this was the first ever expansion pass or DLC.

After two years, Tennis for Two was retired. The oscilloscope and computer were taken for other uses, and Higinbotham designed a new visitor’s day display that showed cosmic rays passing through a spark chamber.

So did Higinbotham make millions from this game, did it ever go into homes or set the world alight? The truth is that Higinbotham had already patented 20 inventions, and he didn’t actually think that his tennis game was particularly innovative. Sure he had seen that the Brookhaven visitors liked the game, but he had no idea how popular video games would later become. Even had he had the foresight to patent the game, since he worked at a government lab, the federal government would have owned the patent, so he wouldn’t have made any money from it. “It never occurred to me that I was doing anything very exciting. The long line of people I though was not because this was so great but because all the rest of the things were so dull,” he once said.

Higinbotham only became well known as the inventor of the video game after an article appeared in Creative Computing magazine in 1982, yet I would argue that he is a very important figure in the history of Video Games. He also helped found the Federation of American Scientists and served as its first chairman and executive secretary. Higinbotham died in November 1994 and unfortunatly I think there are a great many gamers who have never even heard his name. That is why I choose to talk about him today in Novermber and to say Thank you Mr Higinbotham, thank you for your contribution to one of the hobbies closest to my heart may you rest in peace.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

The things I dont buy retro Video Game wise and why.

Now I always talk about what I buy retro game wise and sometimes I can grab a lot of stuff, sometimes to the extent that people believe I simply buy every single old thing I see, and this is not the case at all.  I am very focused on price for me to buy something I have to see it as being sold for a good price, now obviosly price depends on the object but it also depends upon its condition, where it is being sold and all manner of other factors. Just recently I saw a Commodore64 for sale it was in  a charity shop for £195, it was the machine, its wires, its tape deck and about 30 boxed games some of them being the cassette sized ones some being the larger premium box ones. Now I love and support many charities , I buy from them, donate to them (both cash and items to sell) I even used to be a volunteer but I have to admit some of them at times can take the piss with over pricing and selling stuff in poor condition (stained clothes, very badly scratched DVD's). Now I am not saying that no one will buy the Commadore64 for that kind of cash but it is more than I would pay for the machine for a great many reasons, 1 its not a machine I have much history with other than playing it at friends houses when I was young, 2 no one has unlimited house space and thats something I will take into account when buying machines and such sure if the price is a teasingly cheap one I will throw caution to the wind, 3 Mainly I just dont think the machine and these games are worth that kind of money to me. I already have a sizable collection of home computers including a Boxed Sinclair Spectrum +2 , a boxed Dragon32, a boxed Vic20 and then some loose machines. In honesty I knew that if I had grabbed it then I would have taken photos of it, looked at it a little bit and then just put it away in a cupboard, buying it would have proberbly given me a huge rush for a day or two but there are just so many other things I could and should spend the money on, after all Christmas is fast approaching. I do hope that someone does get the machine, someone who it has far more emotional ties to, someone who will appreciate it, who will use it, and who will gain a lot more from it for a lot longer time than I would have done.

So some of the time there are issues which prevent me from purhasing certain items, one would be cost but in all honesty one of the simple issues is that so much of the stuff out there really is not suitable for anyones collection, you dont have to go far to find several badly batterd super scratched copies of various old Fifa games with cases coverd with a mix of cracks and stains and discs that dont look even playable. At the very least these games would need a resurface in order to play and resurfacing games is a risky busines, if you dont know when they resurface discs basically they skim layers off them in the hop of loosing the scratches along with the layer, take to many layers though and they are no longer playable. A lot of these games with extensive scrathes are not worth the cost of a resurface as it basically amounts to a gamble where at best you have a working copy of a worthless game and at best you have paid a small sum of money and still have a useless disc out the end of it, so its hardly a gamble worth taking. Sure if you saw a rare game with a high value going for a pound or two and it was badly scratched then it might very well be worth buying and taking the risk as yes you could resurface it and it still not work but at least there is a gamble there with a very positive outcome as one of the possibilities. I recently got a very badly scrathed disc only copy of Crash Team Racing for the original Playstation for 30p, and copies of this even disc only ones sit on Amazon with asking prices in the range of £30.

I would like to say I have exact hard and fast rules on what I do and dont buy but I suffer from a lot of stress and anxiety and what I buy fluctuates, obviously I never buy absolutly batterd in crap for loads of money, but sometimes I will grab a cheap game I dont even need, sometimes I will grab a second copy of a game I own just because its cheap I am feeling low and I need the little pick me up purchasing it will provide. I never pay over the odds for anything and I always figure that I can always sell a little bit of stuff if money is ever tight. Recently I have started trying to be harsher with myself trying to hold the purchasing desires in check and I think I have been doing a decent job of it, sure you will still see that I buy quiet a bit every month but its the things I dont buy that have increased, I try as much as I can to fight the urges to spend so that I control the hobby and the hobby doesnt control me.

I do have a lot of hard and fast rules that I am not trying to complete any set of games largly because I dont want to feel forced into a corner where I have to pay a crazy amount for something that is basically regarded as being a great big turd. I grudgingly admit I already have enough stuff sat in cupboards seldom even looked at without adding to the pile by adding stuff I dont even really want to look at.

A lot of people will note that I seldom sell or even trade games and this is still true, mostly because a lot of the businesses which operate in game trading operate by really ripping people off but I have at times been very generous. I gave a coworker a megadrive, a master system 2 and a playstation and a few games for free because I could see someone who had a simmilar sort of drive and intrest in the hobby as I did but had not really started collecting. I lost heart in this though as I had given him a fair few N64 carts, nothing that great or valuable but just a few things to get him going and then he ended up spending a lot of money on drinking and found himself short of his rent and food money and he sold the N64 with the games I had given him as well because of this. This is after I had lent him little bits of cash here and there in order to make it to his next rent day without having to miss meals or face too much hardship.  This had a pretty bad effect on me and has made me less likly to give people stuff in the future. Although I did recently get given a great game for free by someone from a new forum I am on and that does make me want to see if I have any bits and pieces I can offer up to others on there to sort of keep the spirit going

Monday, 13 November 2017

Antibullying week

So it's antibullying week and I felt compelled to post about it as it's a topic very close to my heart. I was bullied a fair bit as a kid and this has always made me want to reach out and help others, to try and make it better for them. To this end I took on two voluntary jobs as a mentor for young people who were bullied and/or who sufferd from mental health issues. I donated both my time and money to the cause. I talked to a lot of young bullied kids and did my best to try to help them both to feel better and also to better there situation, it was some of the most rewarding, worthwhile and challenging work I have ever done in my life. The thing is though not only did I make other people's lives better but through doing this I helped myself.

I can remember the first ever time I was actually aware that someone  was being bullied, I'm sure it had proberbly happend before then but I had been too young and too self absorbed to notice it. The first time I saw someone being bullied and knew enough to know they were being bullied and that it was wrong I would have been around 6. It was a girl and I think her name was Ruth. She was in my class at school and she had epilepsy (something I have) she had seizures during the day and she had sufferd some at school and other kids were basically calling her a spastic and a mongaloid and various other hurtful things and while I knew this was wrong and knew enough to realise that I shouldnt do this I basically stood by and ignored it. I ignored it because I was epileptic but at the time was fortunate enough to only have fits from a sleeping state at least as far as anyone knew and I didnt want to be treated in the same way as this girl. This deeply effected me not only did it cause me to hide my epilepsy from people as much as I could for years but I also felt a lot of guilt for letting someone else be mistreated when I could have stood up for them.

I was scared that just like the girl I had seen being bullied that I would be bullied for being diffrent and the honest truth is a few years later I was badly bullied for being diffrent for a completely seperate reason. The thing I have learned the most as an adult which I try to take forwards and teach to other people is that there is no shame in being diffrent, the very fact that so many of us are so diffrent in so many fantastic ways is one of the things that makes the world a bright and intresting place. So much of the time people are told to knuckle down, to fly straight and to live up to expectations essentially to be normal and to fit into a mould but the real truth is that those who really go far are those who fly without limits those who chase there dreams who soar and plummet and twist and barrel role and I think the key to this is in excepting your diffrences and in ignoring those who want to pin you down to hold you back to stop you from gliding amongst the clouds.

So how did helping others who had been bullied help me? It helped me to better love myself, to forgive myself for past wrongs (such as not stepping in to help the girl being bullied when I was 6) it made me feel like a better, stronger person, it gave me an improved sense of self worth and it helped me to see a better side of life, a side where if we all stopped and helped each other just a little bit we could make things better for everyone. My charity work also had the very pleasent effect of helping to round out my CV and helped me get new paid employment, which certainly helps me to have the time and resources to keep posting on here.

I am talking about this during Antibullying week as I want to try and inspire my fellow man/woman to try to do the same, no you dont have to run out and work for a charity or even donate to a charity just stop and think about those around you, throw out a compliment or a kind word, pass on some good will and tell others to keep passing it on. If you have children in your life though be you a mum or dad or grandma or auntie or uncle or god parent just take a moment to talk to the young people in your life and get the message out to them, treat others as you would wish to be treated and dont be scared of diffrences, try to be kind and in this way through small good deeds, kindness and acceptance help to make the world a better place for all of us.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Talking about the leaked N64 Mini game list

OK so the SNES mini classic hasnt really been out that long but recently we had what could best be called an indirect confirmation of a N64 Classic Edition, now on top of that it seemed that there was a list of potential games.This list came from the fact that someone noticed a list of 19 N64 manuals which were available for download on Nintendos website. 19 seemed like a workable number given the fact  the mini NES had 30 and the SNES mini had 2. Apparently though after everyone got excited it was pointed out that  this list of games simply coincides with the previously released catalog of N64 Wii U Virtual Console titles in the UK. So most likly this list was just a hold over from that but I would argue that if they had these games up and working on the Wii U virtual console via emulation and have all the rights for them then odds are good that a lot of them if not all of them have a high chance of ending up on a Mini N64 So I will list them and then talk about the choices.

  • 1080° Snowboarding
  • Bomberman 64
  • Donkey Kong 64
  • Excitebike 64
  • F-Zero X
  • Mario Golf
  • Mario Kart 64
  • Mario Party 2
  • Mario Tennis
  • Paper Mario
  • Pokémon Snap
  • Sin and Punishment
  • Super Mario 64
  • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
  • Wave Race 64
  • Yoshi's Story
  • Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards
  • Star Fox 64
Well I kind of think we would be lucky to get 19 games in all honesty, look at it this way the 8bit machine had 30 games the 16bit dropped to 21 so to only drop to 19 would be pretty good really. I know that when it comes to the N64 Rare were pretty much as important as Nintendo themselves, a lot of Rare's games like Golden Eye and Banjo Kazooie are rememberd just as fondly and seen as arguable being just as important a part of the N64 Experiance as Mario and Zelda. Pretty much everyone knows that Rare is owned by Microsoft though so that stops most of them from being used (Donkey Kong 64 is an exception as Nintendo own the rights to it).

All things considerd though when you look at the above list of games I think it touches all major bases you have Mario 64 so Mario's platformer on the system, you have Kirby 64 so Kirbys N64 game, Star Fox 64, both of the Zelda games as previously mentioned Donkey Kong 64. The list is very Mario heavy what with there being paper mario (the mario RPG for N64) Mario Tennis, Mario party 2 and Mario Kart64 but then there is seldom a bad Mario game so its not really anything to moan about. The thing is that unlike the SNES and NES where 3rd party support was very strong it largly was Nintendo alone who kept the N64 alive and kicking so its not surprising that a possible list would be so first party heavy. In honesty though if a Mini N64 did come out and the above list of games was the actual contents of the console then I dont think people would really have much that they could complain about.

Would I buy a Mini N64 with these games on it for £80 though (my guess at the price) I dont know, the thing is I own a few N64's and apart from Paper Mario, Mario Party 2 and Sin and Punishment I actually own all of the titles listed above (and a lot that are not). I guess if there is a mini N64 it will end up being just as hackable as the Mini NES and SNES and you could therefore add the missing Rare games and such. There is one thing that might make me appreciate the Mini N64 though and thats the fact that I could most likly just use the Wii Classic controller on it and as I hate the N64 controller so much this might actually help me to enjoy the games a lot more.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Why I am proud to live with my Dad: Why I shun the stigma of living at home.

I recently read an article about more people living with there parents than before, for once though it was a positive news peice it talked about the advantages. Now I personally liked this article because I live in my father's house, it's me, him and my daughter under one roof togther.  Originally this started as a temporary measure, after being assaulted by my at the time wife I took my child and we moved back in with my mum and dad. It was a tough time for me as I had to attend court to gain permanent custody of my daughter and due to issues related to both the split and my health I was well to put it simply in need of help and support. It started out as a temporary measure, I was going to apply for a flat or a house but then things changed again.

Unfortunately while I was still dealing with court my mother was taken into hospital suddenly and unexpectedly about three weeks latter she passed away. This rocked the whole family, everyone was so upset, myself my daughter and my father all of us worked together to support each other. I love my dad a lot but I'd always had a closer relationship with my mum but in the last few years my dad had been a real rock for me and we had gotten a lot closer now as we supported each other through our pain this bond became even stronger. I had lost my mum but I had gained a better relationship with my dad. This is when I decided I wasn't going to and couldn't move out and leave my dad on his own.

My dad is a very strong and proud man despite having various disabilities, he would never ask for help or admit he needs something and yet he has stood by me and supported me every time I have needed help, so regardless of if he asks for it or not I am going to do the same for him.

I know that it helps my dad not only having me around but also having my daughter around, she may be a teanager now but with age comes it's own issues. She gets as much help and support from him as she does from me and she keeps him nice and busy, she has the benefit of his wisdom and experience and she constantly shows him new things with the fresh perspective of a young whiper snapper.

I suffer with Epilepsy and I have fits and vacancies, I also suffer from stress and anxiety as a result of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and my dad keeps an eye on me, he reminds me to take my pills offers me support if I am feeling ill or worrying but its not just a one way thing. My dad suffers with various issues including a lot of pain in connection to an industrial injury and diabeties, so I keep an eye on him as well, both of us would be a lot more worried about things if we were not toghther. To me this is exactly what family should be and should do.

I know there is a lot of stigma attached to living at home as an adult but I also know that family's come in all shapes and sizes. I know some people think if you live with your parents it's social suicide and that you will never get a date but I don't think it's true. I think if someone is not interested in you because of your particular living arrangements and writes you off because of this without getting to know you then that says a lot more about them than it does about you. When I met my wonderful girlfriend I never hid my living arrangements I let her know who I live with and why and she appreciated how important my family is to me because she loves and values her own, this is one of the many many reasons I love her as much as I do and part of why I see her as part of my family.

People are too quick not only to pick on others but to beat themselves up abouty all manner of things nowdays from living arrangments to type of employment to physical attributes and its something which needs to be curbed were possible as life is hard enough with out all of this shit. If you enjoy how you live be it with friends, family, a partner or on your own if it is what is currently best for you, best for your health, for your needs then dont let anyone put you down for it, life is hard enough as it is and you need to do anything you can to make it easier to enjoy your life and if you can help someone else at the same time then all the better.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Pokemon the Movie: I choose You! Review

So on the 5th of November I went to the Cinema with my daughter to see Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You! So this is going to be a short  review of the film. Now its important to note that despite not saying everything that happens in this film, there will be spoilers here. First things first despite being something like the 20th Pokemon movie this film is actually an origin story essentially retelling the early days of Ash's Pokemon adventure, including Ash & Pikachu's first meeting, him getting his Caterpie, it growing up, him getting Charmander and it evolving, this makes this film very much a reimagining of some of Ash's earliest days.The retread nature of this film might make you love it because it hits many of those warm and fuzzy moments from your childhood all over again or it might make you hate it as it basically tells a whole new story just with certain key elements still in tact. It is a little like I went and told someone what happend in the first year or so of Pokemon and they decided to remake it just with notes from what I had said and then there own imagination filling in the blanks.

The problem is one moment this film delighted me by reminding me of all the good times I had watching the show but then it went on to simply piss me off because it had essentially rewritten Pokemon history, Brock and Misty have been tossed aside and replaced by two diffrent trainers who are pretty decent but still I couldnt help but miss Brock and Misty. Ash and Pickachu's interations and relationship stayed pretty much the same and this made it a darn cute film for young kids, there was some adorable shouting from the smaller members of the audience who got worried for the pair but some of my favourate Pokemon and moments were missing, I got to see Charmander and his various evolutions but  Ash never got a Squirtle, yes they still had the old bye bye butterfree moment from the series in it and well I am sure something got in my eye during that part,it wasnt tears from a fully grown man honestly it wasnt.

 The cinema release of this film was extremly limited but I am sure it will make its way to disc soon, wether you should get it or not depends on a bunch of things one of them is how much you care about the original series and wether your willing to see a slightly diffrent version of the tale. If your the kind of person who goes in to a white rage when something you love is changed and you had a lot of fondness for the old Pokemon episodes then you might want to save yourself the trouble of watching this because it could send you into the kind of white hot rage you see from the Han shot first StarWars crowd, but if your willing to enjoy a slightly diffrent version of events or just want something thats decent to put on in front of the kids then this film gets a thumbs up from me.

Just to end this, Yes Han shot first and missing out the Squirtle Squad is a crime against nature.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Is it worth getting a Switch yet?

Well I got asked recently by someone if they should buy a switch for there kid and I quickly found myself saying no. Now I got a Switch on release, I also got a Wii on release and a GameCube a week after release but I just find it hard to support the Switch too strongly right now. 

I was sat one night in front of my laptop thinking how little I had used my switch and how few games I had, so I started looking online at games that were already out and stuff that was coming out soon, I basically wanted to see if there was anything that could get me using my machine a little bit more. I saw 3 games which were either just out or coming out soon the cheapest of which I could find for £23.99, now considering the fact some of the Switch games are more around the £50 mark this didn't seem too bad but then latter on I happened to look at what was on sale on the Microsoft Xbox under the deals of the week heading and that is when I saw something that shocked me a lot. I saw 3 of the games I had been looking at for the switch and here they were on sale on the Xbox One all available now 2 of them for only £6 and the third for only £10. So I could either buy all 3 of these for £22 or spend like £70 or more to get them for the switch.

One of the Games was a driving game called Monster Jam Crush It which is not out on the switch here until the 14th of November yet here I am playing it now for £6. It is not just stuff like this though Switch users are being sold stuff I have been playing for ages on other platforms for lots of money as if its new, I am talking about Doom and Skyrim for a start, yes they are good games but there old games now and I cant help but feel like you take away the old over priced stuff and you take away most of the Switches library. If you are thinking about getting a switch then you need to think about the exclusives such as Mario Odyssey, Zelda breathe of the wild, Mario and Rabbids kingdom battle.

I think if you should get a Switch or not depends heavily on how much you want to play Nintendo's first party games, if you really want these then buy a Switch but for general gaming you can proberbly get a lot of the other stuff cheaper elsewere.

Friday, 3 November 2017

Microsofts Xbox One is now backwards backwards compatable kind of..... (Some Xbox games are now playable on the Xbox One)

Towards the end of 2015 Microsoft idea of Xbox engineering boss Mike Ybarra broached the subject of making original Xbox games playable on the Xbox One through backwards compatibility he said that the feature hadnt been ruled out, but that we shouldn't expect it to come anytime soon. Well I guess if he was right or not depends largly on your definition of soon as now towards the end of 2017 we now have original Xbox games on the Xbox one through backwards compatability.

Xbox One backwards compatibility works by emulating the Xbox 360 operating system and then running the games through this apparently, well after having tried one of the Xbox original games on the Xbox one it would appear that they are doing the exact same thing as when you go to play the game you see the original Xbox start up screen.

Currently there are only 7 original xbox games in my country at least which are on the list of those which are currently playable via the Xbox one, and there are basically two ways to play them. One is you simply buy them on the Xbox store and the other is if you have a copy of the disc you can put that in. If you put the original disc in though you dont actually play the game of the disk, the disk simply proves that you own it, you are then allowed to download it but can only play it while the disk is in the slot, still its great that they have made it work in this way because if you have the game your not forced to pay for it again and even if you dont have the disk you can look if its cheaper to source a copy before paying for it digitally.

So far the original xbox games are Black, Ninja Gaiden Black, Crimson Skies, Fusion Frenzy, Psychonauts,  Sid Meiers Pirates, and Grabbed By The Ghoulies. Now with the exception of  Fusion Frenzy I think they are all darn fine games some of the best from the machine. I would argue that now you can buy Rare Replay which features Grabbed by the Ghoulies and a whole other bunch of games its a bit of a redundant purchase but I guess if you have it laying around then its free and you cant complain about free. For those of us who collect old games though this is a great thing, it might not be a lot of games now but it will be great to see which games end up on the list. I have noticed while looking up Knights of the old Republic that game is also on the xbox store and you can buy it to play on your Xbox one, I have this game on disc but I havent gotten round to trying it yet.

I have tried Crimson Skies though and it worked a treat, I enjoyed playing it again and it ran perfectly, if every single game runs like this then it will be awesome. So I guess the last thing to say is what games would I like to see on the list next right? Well I am going to do that but I am going to stick to games which already appeared on the list of Xbox original games that you could play on the Xbox 360 as well I think these are the most likly ones we will see.

  • Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance
  • Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II
  • The Bard's Tale
  • Blinx: The Time Sweeper
  • Blinx 2: Masters of Time & Space
  • Blood Omen 2
  • Brute Force
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds
  • Burnout
  • Burnout 2
  • Burnout 3: Takedown
  •  Conker: Live and Reloaded 
  • Dead or Alive 3
  • Dead or Alive Ultimate
  • DOOM 3
  • EA SPORTS Fight Night Round 3
  • The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
  • Evil Dead: A Fistful of Boomstick
  • Evil Dead: Regeneration
  • Fable
  • Fatal Frame
  • Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly DIRECTOR'S CUT
  • Future Tactics: The Uprising
  • Genma Onimusha
  • Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee
  • Godzilla: Save The Earth
  • GoldenEye: Rogue Agent
  • Grand Theft Auto: 3
  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
  • Indigo Prophecy
  • Jade Empire
  • JSRF: Jet Set Radio Future
  • Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis 
The truth is that I could go on and on listing games I would like to see on backwards compatability but the fact I have already made quiet a bit list very quickly shows that there is a good catalog of games for them to pick from. Part of the fun though will be to see what comes up as playable in the future and run to my retro game collection to see if I have a copy of it sat there.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Retro Game purchases: October 2017

My first retro purchase of the month was on Tuesday October the 3rd. I had been to work and was about to go to my girlfriends house to feed her cats, she had taken ill and was in hospital, and I had visited the day before but basically I had a lot of time to kill before visiting hours so decided to hit a few shops before going to feed the cats and I walked into a Cash Generator store. They had a cart only copy of Teenage mutant Hero Turtles 4: Turtles in time for the Super Nintendo (pal version)and they wanted £40 for it. As I visit the shop quiet often and do spend a fair amount of money there I managed to talk them down to £30. I got it with the full intention of playing it that very night  but something even better happend that afternoon my girlfriend was let out of hospital so I took her home and spent the night cuddled up with her instead (happily playing turtles a few nights latter).

The following day the 4th I popped into an indy store on my way home and grabbed nba jam tournament edition boxed complete for SNES for £9, GP-1 for SNES cart onyl for £5 and Tetris cart only for gameboy for £2

On the 6th of October I got something in the post, I got Super Genjin (Bonk) for the Super Famicom cart only for £5 (including postage), I was happy to get this as its something I have seen a lot of but havent had much opportunity to play up until it arrived at least.

On the 8th I went to a local indy shop and I got Equinox cart only for SNES for £5 and Bomberman Hero cart only for N64 £8, its more than I usually spend on N64 games but if I think a game is worth it and its the right game then I will pay a bit more and I am a big fan of the Bomberman franchise so I guess thats what pushed me to go a bit higher.
On October the 9th Plok for the SNES cart only arrived in the mail, it had cost me £5 including postage, which in honest I think is a great price for any none sports Super Nintendo game to be honest. I also went in to a local indy shop and got Phantasy Star portable, Dark Stalkers the chaos tower and Final Fantasy Tactics all for psp all complete for £15.  I think its prime PSP buying time really as a lot of places deem it sort of too old to bother with but yet not old enough to have reached that deeply desirable stage, but its going to get there given time I am sure.

On the 13th of October I had Spiderman and the Xmen Arcades Revenge (American) boxed for the SNES arrive in the post, it cost me £9 including postage. I wanted to get this as it is something I had as a kid, it wasnt a favourate of mine or anything but it was something I had put some time into and I wanted to take a look at it again.
I actually had a bit of a pause then as it wasnt until the 18th when I got my next games, I got Desert Fighter for the SNES cart only for £5 and World League Soccer Snes NTSC American cart only for £3 both of them were games I had puchased online and both were sold with free postage

On the 20th on the way home from work I popped into CEX and grabbed Extreme G cart only for N64 for £1.50 and Top Gear Rally cart only for N64 £1.50, both of them are pretty darn decent games but yeah they are usually cheap when you see them.

On the 23rd I got a few more games through the post I got Pugsleys Scavenger hunt for SNES cart only for £5 and Fighters Destiny for N64 cart only for £2 both games were with free postage which strikes me as strange as that means the seller must have made more or less nothing on Fighters Destiny.

On the 24th I went to a local indy shop that I havent visited in quiet a long time, while there I picked up sonic rivals for psp complete for £3, crazy taxi fare wars complete for psp for £2, Simpsons hit and run (players choice version) complete for gamecube for £2, Ice Age 2 the meltdown complete for gamecube for £1, Harvest Moon a wonderful life (players choice version) complete for gamecube for £6, Sega game pack 4 in 1 cart only for gamegear £1 and freedom wings cart only for ds 50pence.

I also visited a charity shop just down the road from the above shop and picked up International cricket captain 3, dynasty warriors 2 and dynasty warriors 3 extreme legends complete for ps2 for £1 for all 3.
On the 26th I went into a charity shop where I got wwe raw for xbox complete for 50p, brute force for xbox complete for 50p, prince of persia sands of time for xbox complete for 50pence and Myst 3 exile for xbox complete for 5opence

Then I noticed a box of stuff on the floor in the same shop, it was apparently not for sale yet but I made them an offer for it and so I got all of the following for £20 Final Fantasy IX complete, Final Fantasy VIII (Platinum edition) complete, Resident evil directors cut complete, Resident evil 2 complete, Resident evil 3 Nemesis missing manual, Tomb raider (platinum edition) complete, Tomb Raider 2 complete Syphon Filter 2 missing manual, Monsters inc scare Island complete and then the following games disc only in a black disc box. xmen mutant academy 2, tomb raider revelations, driver, driver 2 (both discs), syphon filter, syphon filter 3, dino crisis, dino crisis 2,worlds scariest police chases, medal of honour,smackdown 2,colony wars red sun. There was also an xbox 360 disc for resident evil 5 with them as well and a pc disk for starwars rebel assault. The shop said they would have sold the games at £2 a piece after having gone through them and having chucked all of the loose discs into the bin. So I feel really happy about this as not only did I get some games I really wanted but I also saved perfectly good condition game discs from being trashed and part of the reason I am so into retro games and consoles is the preservation of them so I hate to think of games or machines getting thrown away and I helped to stop it happening here.

On the 27th I went in to a charity shop and managed to get the following from there, Loco Roco 2 for PSP complete for £1, Syphon Filter Omega Strain for ps2 complete for £1,Ecco The Dolphin defender of the future for ps2 complete for £1,Crash Bandicoot the wrath of Cortex (platinum edition) for ps2 complete for £1,Mafia for Xbox complete for £1, Toy Story for megadrive complete for £1, Sonic Adventure 2 Battle complete for Gamecube for £1 and Space Invaders complete for PS1 for £1. I guess my favouate purchase of all of these was Toy Story, after all its not like you find megadrive stuff cheap all that often.
On the 29th I went into a local CEX and grabbed Kingdom hearts birth by sleep special edition for psp complete for £8 I was pretty surprised at this price seeing as it had all the special edition stuff still with it. I also went into a charity shop and grabbed  Formel 1 98 for Playstation complete for £1 (the weird spelling is what it says on the box as I guess its not english),Super Monkey Ball Deluxe for ps2 complete for £1, and Wolfenstein tired of war for xbox complete for £1.

On the 30th  I went into a local cex and noticed a copy of Parasite Eve 2 complete for the PS1 for £15 I asked to have a look at it to see what condition it was in and I was very very happy with it as it looked completely brand new and so I purchased it.

On the 31st I ended the month by buying  buffy the vampire slayer (classics version) complete for xbox for £1, Burnout 3 Takedown complete for xbox for £1, WWF Warzone complete for PS1 for £1 and Men in Black complete for PS1 for £1
So total for the month I spent £187.50 which feels like a heck of a lot but I kind of am not that surprised when my first purchase out of the gate was a £30 purchase, my first purchase was possibly one of if not my favourate as its a game I enjoyed a lot as a kid and that I have wanted back for a long time, I have seen it go for a lot more and so I had sort of given up on the idea of ever getting it. I also have to admit to being really happy about my £20 lot of playstation games partly because I think I got a lot for my money but also because I am very happy to have gotten Dino Crises 2 even if it is only a disc. I imagine that as Christmas gets closer and closer I will have to spend money on other things, there are also a lot of modern games coming up which intrest me so I think this might be this years last big retro hurrah.