Friday, March 8, 2013

Reading and Video Games

Since the World of fanfiction that I normally read has been rather "eh" lately I decided to move on to some books for a bit. Thanks to a friend who gave me a Barnes & Noble gift card for Christmas I was able to snag a few books without eating into my budget! Yay for gift cards! ~dances~

So, I grabbed three books for my Nook and started my tally for task #22) Read 50 new books.

The first one I read was Demon At My Door by Michelle A. Valentine. It was a pretty quick read and though it wasn't completely horrid, I was hoping for something a bit more intense for the plot description. If you want something for light reading that touches the Supernatural, it isn't a bad choice.

Now the second book I started on was much more interesting. I haven't finished it yet as I've had to set it aside to handle life, but I have read over two hundred of it's pages and I am greatly enjoying it. If you like Steampunk it is definitely a book for you! The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook, is the first in the Iron Seas Series and I just love the World and the characters in it!

Since I haven't made it to the third book yet I shall wait to mention which one it is until I have read it.

Since I have completed a few of my tasks already and many others are work in progresses as I need more time before they will be complete, I figured I might as well start progress on another.

Task #12) Learn to play a first person shooter video game.

I've always enjoyed playing video games, but I started out in a rather limited video game verse. I played a bit of the old Atari games, my favorite was Adventure, where you played this square that went through mazes, looking for keys to unlock doors, while fighting dragons that looked like sea horses with spears that looked like arrows, all while trying to avoid the damn bat that like to steal your stuff! If that description doesn't help here is a video of the first level. Though you won't see the bat, if I remember correctly that bastard was in the second level and up.

Anyway, I loved that game and it was also the start of my love for puzzle like games. I moved on from Atari to the Sega Genesis, never had a Nintendo of any manner, but I did play it some at friend's houses who did. That of course meant puzzle games and side scrollers. Oh and I did play Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter as well. (ABACABB <~~~ the internet for those who know what that was for!) My favorite game there was Columns. Similar to Tetris but you just matched jewels (Like in Bejeweled) as the jewels dropped down. Here is a video of Columns.

I was so good at Columns too! I could sit there for hours racking up my score and I played it so much I had memorized like the first 100 sets of jewels that came down so I already knew where to place everything ahead of time. I miss that game. :(

From there I moved on to PC games and PlayStation thanks to Sean who introduced them to me. That was where I began my love affair with the Diablo Series and Fallout, but only one and two because I suck at navigating multiple people and strategizing, so Tactics just made me cry.

This was also how I made the discovery that I absolutely cannot for whatever crazy reason understand or even grasp the ability to play a first person shooter style video game. I just suck. In fact to give you an idea of how much I suck let me tell you about my first experience with trying.

Sean was playing Half Life, remember that series? Same people who created Portal came up with that, but first. I use to watch him play it and think it was cool. So, he let me sit down one day to try it. I remember going around and having some trouble with the movement but figured I would catch on. Then I discovered I could use a crow bar for a weapon and I began to bash the ever living, well everything that came in my path with this crow bar because I thought it was so awesome. Keep in mind of the previous games I played, this type of game was completely new to me. Then I realized my problem, I was being eaten alive by the mobs. See, even though I would bash the stuff in front of me I wasn't actually paying any attention to my surroundings and thus getting swarmed. I had no understanding how to navigate the play style so I could keep from dying. The perspective made me feel blind because I didn't know the techniques to keep an eye on my surroundings. I knew then this type of game style wouldn't suite me. So, I've avoided them ever since.

Here's the rub though, many games that have come out since then have been so interesting that I have actually felt upset about the fact that I can't play them because I suck at that play style. I tried to distract myself with other cool games to not feel so bad that I can't play things like Skyrim, but no matter my love for World of Warcraft it can only take me so far. Then of course they created third person shooters and I still found I could not get the hang of it even with a bit more visual. So, when Mass Effect came out I just stood by and watched Sean play because I was interested in the story, but couldn't do the actual game play. Finally as a way of bonding we did a play through together of the entire series, I handled all the role playing and he handled all the fighting. It worked and was fun, but I found I wanted to go back and make other choices and so forth. Sean having already played all three of the games a thousand times wanted to play new games and so I just left it alone.

That is why when I created my task list I decided one of the things I wanted to learn was how to play these style of games so that I didn't have to be limited anymore. Sean was surprised that I had the interest, but he was more than happy to be my coach.

He decided to start me out with a third person shooter and we can work our way up to first person. So, as I write this the Mass Effect Trilogy is being downloaded to my computer for the purpose of my education in further gaming. I will finally be able to work on some of the other play throughs I wanted as long as I can get the hang of the play style. Sean feels confidant but all I can think about is crowbars and zombies eating my face.

Guess we'll see. :)

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