Monday, 22 January 2018

30 Days of Video Gaming

30 Days of Video Gaming

I don't really have any time for gaming these days, but all the games of my youth still have a special place in my heart. And one distant day, when Shenmue and FFVII are finally remade, I will even buy a new console to play them on...

1. What was the first console you ever owned? 

Sega Mega Drive (Genesis for readers in the USA). One of my older cousins gave it to us in the mid 1990s when they upgraded (presumably to the Saturn and Playstation), and my brother and I quickly became addicted.

Sega Mega Drive

2. Which is your favourite games console?

Sega Dreamcast. It was ahead of its time!

3. PC or Console?

Console. PC is fine for a little time sink game like Farmville or something, but for something you really want to focus on I think a dedicated console is better.

4. Your favourite childhood game?

Sonic & Knuckles. Like regular Sonic but better, because you could play a character that was red. Also it was the first game I ever bought new, with my birthday money no less, so it was kind of a big deal to me. (We're probably talking 1996, I guess.) Of course, I almost instantly spilled blackcurrant squash all over the cartridge and it spent the first few days of its life drying out in a dish on the windowsill...

Sonic & Knuckles

5. Game with the best soundtrack?

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater Series. My teen years were all about skate punk! You can find a track listing for each game HERE; it's nostalgia central.

6. Game with the worst soundtrack?

Toejam & Earl. My brother was obsessed with that game and would play it for hours every night. It brings me out in a cold sweat just thinking about it.

7. Best Bad Guy?

Dr. Robotnik!

Dr Robotnik

8. Do you watch or skip through the cutscenes?

Skip through wherever possible!

9. Do you use cheats?

Er, yeah.

10. Watch playthroughs online?

Nope. Just not my kind of thing.

11. Sonic or Mario?

Sonic, obviously. How could you even ask such a question??

12. First game you ever played?

One of the 126 'classics' included on the TV Boy - remember those?

13. Have you ever been in a video game fandom?

I used to read fic for FFVII but that's about the extent of it. I was wrangling the Crash Bandicoot fandom over on AO3 until recently though. Some people clearly saw those games more, er, creatively than I ever did.

Crash Bandicoot

14. Longest consecutive hours you've played a game?

I dread to think! Probably 8 hours or so, back when I was a kid.

15. What is the most addictive game you've ever played?

Tetris! So simple, so all consuming.

16. If you could one game into a movie, which would it be?

Shenmue. I love Shenmue, it's one of the best games ever made. No contest. It's set in 1986 and you play as a teenager named Ryo who has sworn to avenge his father by tracking down his killer, Chinese crime lord, Lan Di. That noble quest mostly takes a backseat however to collecting capsule toys, playing his new cassette tapes for the crazy old dude in the market, and training to protect himself from the local girl gang. If that's not the plot of an 80s feel good movie, I don't know what is.


17. Do you use subtitles when playing?

Yep. 99% of the time game soundtracks suck and I want to play my own music.

18. Most Underrated Game?

EA Theme Park or something like that. If the industry was making games to appeal to me it would be out with first person shooters and fantasy epics, and in with Sims-esque micro management on an open world basis.

19. Favourite Online Game?

The now defunct Resort World, a game very similar to the kind of thing I was talking about in my previous answer. I had many happy hours pointlessly rearranging the must see destinations on my island resort - if they had that with cool graphics on a console without micro transactions, I would be there! Back in the real world, I played it via Gaia Online which is a brilliant time sink for mini games and unnecessary accumulation of virtual goods.

Resort World

20. Mobile Games - Yay or Nay?

I used to like Snake... I was into Pokemon Go for a little while but, for the most part, I hate trying to play a game on such a small screen. I will always prefer TV console gaming.

21. What's the most bizarre game you've ever played?

Banjo-Kazooie is pretty weird. I wrote more about it in my Top Ten Video Games post.

22. What do you think of arcarde gaming?

I like the retro idea of it but the reality is way too expensive! I do love all the urban legends around Polybius though, it would make another really cool movie.

23. What's the coolest looking console?

I'm not sure it's cool, but it is adorable - I loved my old Pikachu N64. With the Pokemon Stadium Transfer Pak you could play the gameboy games on your TV too which was awesome because - and I've probably mentioned this like ten times already - I hate playing games on tiny little screens. For more on me and Pokemon, check out my 30 Days of Pokemon Blogging Challenge.

Pikachu Nintendo 64 Console

26. Favourite piece of video game trivia?

The 'Se-Ga' chime at the beginning of the Mega Drive Sonic the Hedgehog game took up 1/8th (some sources say 1/19th) of the space on the cartridge. To help put that into perspective, you could store that 27kb sound over 37,000 times on a freebie 1gb memory stick you picked up at a some marketing stall.

27. Do graphics matter?

Not really - but they can add a special something to the experience. I mean, if Atari had had access to modern style graphics back in 1982, Custer's Revenge would have been a very different game...

Custer's Revenge

28. What's the worst game you ever played?

Ecco the Dolphin. My grandparents had it for the Mega Drive - another cast off of older cousins - but the instruction booklet was missing. As this was pre-home internet we had absolutely no idea what you were supposed to do. You just kind of swam about for a couple of minutes and, well, that was it. Later I had it on Dreamcast and, to be honest, it wasn't a whole lot different.

29. A game you will never forget?

Digimon World. The reason? Sukamon. If you don't look after your rip-off Pokemon it will digivolve into a monster made of sewage. Literally. It then goes around eating more of it until you go visit the King of the Sukamon to beg for it to be turned back. I don't know what the developers were smoking, but it must have been some serious sh, er, stuff.

30. So come on, what's your favourite game of all time?

Final Fantasy VII. I don't care that it's a completely unoriginal answer, it's true. Plus check out the remake graphics. It's gonna be amazing.

Final Fantasy VII Remake

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