2017 Video Games Tag

Recently, this set of questions has been popping up a lot on Twitter. Although it’s not really classed as a tag, the questions seemed to be a good starting point for a blog, so here we are! The entire question list was pretty long so I’ve picked out some of my favourites. Enjoy!

Very First Video Game

Image result for twilight princessSo my very first video game was The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. When I was a kid pretty much all of the family games came from car boot sales, so when my stepdad picked up Zelda and brought it home I was thrilled to see a purchase that wasn’t Wii Sports/Party/Play. I was instantly obsessed with this game and finished Twilight Princess in under a week! It’s been nine years since I completed Zelda for the first time and its always stuck with me. It will always be the game that kindled my love for video games. Thank you, Zelda!

Best Soundtrack 

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To me, Journey is the game to play if you want to relax. It’s the game that I come back to when I want to kill time and just enjoy my surroundings. Whilst I was on my second play through I took a backseat from the story and began to notice how peaceful and moving the soundtrack was. Ranging from soft mellow tones and sudden louder tempos that mirror the mood of the game perfectly, the soundtrack to Journey is mind blowing. I’ve actually bought the soundtrack on iTunes and I listen to it when I’m working or driving somewhere because I find it so relaxing. Even if you haven’t played Journey (what are you waiting for?!) everyone should listen to Austin Wintory’s beautiful score, its simply breath taking.

Picture of a Game Setting You Wish You Lived In

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Abzu is a somewhat similar game to Journey, but set underwater. The use of soft colours and dreamy light makes the atmosphere in Abzu so calming and tranquil. I love swimming and the warm, tropical waters that fill the world of Abzu seem so peaceful to lose myself in. I’ve often found myself admiring screenshots of this game for far too long simply because I’m astounded at how good and well-executed the game design is. Similar to the game Journey, Abzu also has a soothing soundtrack which would make living in this watery world even more peaceful and relaxing. Sign me up!

Your Current Favourite Video Game

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At the minute I’m immersing myself in The Last Guardian and I’m absolutely in love with it! The graphics, the art style and the story are incredible. The seven year wait between announcement and release have been completely worth the wait for me, as the game delivers on the hype ladled on it effortlessly. Not only do I love the gameplay but I love Trico! The huge cat/dog/bird hybrid plays the role of your companion throughout the game. He acts so much like a real animal that I find myself constantly watching him, waiting for him to sneeze or scratch his ears so I can mew at him with adoration.

A Game You Thought You Wouldn’t Like But Ended up Loving

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As  I stated in a previous blog post Bloodborne is a game that I would have normally avoided had I not seen all of the rave reviews. On a whim I bought Bloodborne and that’s a decision I’ll never regret. On my journey into Yharnam I found myself unveiling a rich backstory and lore that was hidden behind the brutal slaughter of its fierce beasts. To this day, its my second favourite game of all time. which brings us to..

*drum roll please*
Your Favourite Game of all Time

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I had the good fortune of playing the Last of Us on both the PS3 and the PS4. Both times I played it I was astounded by the quality of story, gameplay and graphics. Naughty Dog have always produced fantastic games and The Last of Us is no exception. With incredible voice acting and a cast characters whom you feel a connection with The Last of Us is a first class game. I’m a sucker for post apocalyptic stories and when this was released I just knew that I would love it, and I did. The Last of Us is easily my favourite game of all time and I’m hoping that its successor, The Last of Us Part 2 will be a worthy successor. See you soon, baby girl.

 

 

 

 

 

‘You Died’ A Ranking of the Bloodborne Bosses, Part One.

As we all know Bloodborne is hard. In fact, it’s really, really,  frustratingly hard! Somehow however, I’ve managed to beat the entire game and its army of evil bosses. After all that effort it felt only right to talk about how difficult or easy each boss was. So, here’s a post outlining the bosses I found the easiest, with a second part detailing the bosses that killed me the most to come later on.

 

17- The Celestial Emissary

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Considering that this is one of the later bosses in the game, I found the Celestial Emissary rather easy to beat. In fact, I managed to defeat it on my first attempt. The boss shares its health with an ever spawning mass of Small Celestial Emissary’s which go down in one hit. This makes this boss pretty repetitive and therefore simple to defeat. Eventually one of the aliens will grow to twice the size of its minions, but because it doesn’t change the attacks or the speed of the main Emissary, the battle difficulty stayed the same and I guess that’s why it I beat it without seeing the infamous, ‘You Died’ Bloodborne catchphrase.

 

16- The Witches of Hemwick

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The Witches of Hemwick is another boss that I managed to kill in one go. I had a bit more trouble with this boss because she’s impossible to find. I spent more time running around the boss room looking for the boss than I did actually fighting her! The main problem you will encounter are the Mad Ones who continue to spawn during the fight, only problem with them is that they just don’t seem that interested in you! Once you find the Witch and whittle her health down a second Witch appears and resurrects her familiar, this causes you some hassle but thankfully, it doesn’t make the battle any more difficult.

 

15- The One Reborn

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The One Reborn is probably one of the most disgusting bosses in the entire game. It’s also a little bit intimidating as it’s A Great One. (basically a God in the Bloodborne world.) Grotesquely large and accompanied by bell ringers who shoot fireballs at you during the fight, The One Reborn can cause you some problems. Thankfully I accidentally managed to find my way to the upper level where the bell ringers were. Once I had eliminated them the fight became a lot easier. The One Reborn favours stomping attacks and a move that results in masses of waste being dumped on your head. I died on very first attempt, but found my second so much easier, giving this boss the number 15 slot.

 

14- Vicar Amelia

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This was one of the few bosses that I was actually excited to fight. Sadly, that excitement quickly turned to despair once she killed me within the first 30 seconds of the fight! I was so shocked by her speed and the amount of damage she did to me that I left the fight in order to level up and gain some more combat experience. When I returned the battle was a lot more fun and a lot less challenging. Apparently Vicar Amelia has a healing move which can make her quite a pain but thankfully, she never actually did this to me. Perhaps I got off lightly.

 

13- The Shadows of Yharnam

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For one of the bosses renowned as being a real nightmare I actually found this adversary pretty easy! I beat this boss after two deaths and honestly I think that I just got lucky, and the only reason I got lucky is that I spent a lot of time running away from the Shadows, running back to get a few hits in and then running away again. This tactic worked well for me until they started summoning those giant vipers from the ground and I was punished for my earlier cowardice. This battle was one of the first where I felt unable to cope with the attacks and the boss’s so beating them on the third attempt made me feel like some sort of absolute legend.

 

12- Micolash Host of the Nightmare

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Once again I think that I got lucky when battling this late game boss, beating him on my third turn. I had more trouble finding him than trying to survive his attacks. Although Micolash is annoying with his constant monologue throughout the battle, he is only a threat when cornered. Cornering him triggers him to cast Augar of Ebrietas or A Call Beyond, arcane spells that normally end with your death. I was exceedingly fortunate throughout his boss fight as I managed to escape almost all of his spells. Micolash isn’t very defensive and his weakness to fire means that if you can avoid his magic attacks, you should be able to easily take him out.

 

11-Darkbeast Paarl

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The very first time I stumbled across this boss I was under levelled and lost in the ruins of Yahar’gul. In an attempt to escape I ran outside and right onto the sleeping body of Darkbeast Paarl. Terrified that I was now trapped in an arena with this behemoth I freaked and died pretty quickly. However, I stilled loved this boss. I thought that the design was wonderful. I loved the electric attacks and the intimidating size of the beast. Even the story behind this boss’s creation was fascinating to me, the possibility that it was an experiment created by the people of Yahar’gul – an attempt to create a Great One. I struggled a few times with Paarl’s electric bursts but once I nailed the timing, I had no trouble putting Darkbeast Paarl out of its misery.

 

10- The Cleric Beast

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For the first boss in the game I struggled more than I should have done. I was still unfamiliar with the controls and the combat style and so the Cleric Beast quickly showed me that I wasn’t going to get through the game playing the way that I had been. I died so many times and for a while I thought that this would be the end of the game for me. I went in one last time after fully exploring Yharnam, finding the Hunters Set in the sewer and leveling up. I eventually beat the Cleric Beast by using visceral attacks and Molotov cocktails. In a way the Cleric Beast was my training wheels, the thing that forced me to git gud.

9- Amygdala

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Around Yharnam, after you gain forty insight you begin to notice these large spider-like creatures hanging off buildings and towers watching you. This is pretty eerie and I, like most players brushed it off and continued on my Hunt. In  Nightmare Frontier you can enter an optional boss fight with one of these strange creatures also known as Amygdala. I was absolutely obliterated by this boss. I struggled to escape its large form and found myself being stomped on and trampled during my first few attempts. Amygdala is already huge and throughout the fight its pulls off two of its arms to further its reach. After many failed attempts I returned to this boss fight equipped with the canon. A few cannon balls to the face soon ended Amygdala’s rampage.

 

Part two which will see me tear my hair out at hardest bosses in the game will be uploaded to my blog soon, so stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

Joining The Hunt

Bloodborne is not the sort of game I would normally play. My PS4 library is bursting with action/adventure titles, open world games and artsy, indie gems. But positive reviews and internet videos enticed me to give this dark, Gothic game a go. I fell in love with it almost instantly.

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The story follows a lone hunter, a traveller from foreign lands, who has arrived in the world of Yharnam on the night of the ‘Hunt’. He aims to find a cure for a terrible blood-borne sickness, a hunger for tainted blood that has transformed the residents into terrible beasts.

Bloodborne was heavily influenced by its sister series Dark Souls. And from what I’d seen from gameplay I’d guessed that this was just a kill-to-survive type of game, I had no idea about the rich vein of story I was about to fall into.

Whilst I was in the midst of the Hunt I noticed that lore played a big part of the game. Optional areas such as Old Yharnam revealed conflicts between the people of Old Yharnam and the morally-corrupt Healing Church. I loved learning about the different factions involved, the class struggles and the story behind the hunters. I was also captivated by Gothic scenery and the Victorian style architecture. I began to appreciate every tiny aspect of the game; the weapons, the combat style, the old ruins and even the monsters I was hunting. Before long I was obsessed (in a good way!) and found myself reading into the non-playable characters and the ruins of the places that I travelled to.

In short, if (like me) you weren’t sure about this game because of its seemingly plot-less story then just pick it up anyway! It’s an incredible game, and beneath all of the violence it has some emotive stories and some truly fascinating characters. It’s definitely worth a play, and who knows, it might end up being your favourite game of the year too!

 

 

 

A Ranking of the Most Troublesome Enemies in the Wind Waker

As I mentioned in my first Wind Waker blog (http://bit.ly/1NNZZ9T) the game took me a whopping two years to complete, oops. Anyway, during that time I obviously had many, many encounters with the enemies and monsters populating the game, and I’ve decided to rank them on a scale ranging from minor irritation (10) to pure, unadulterated hatred (1). Whether they dwell in the sky or the surface of the Great Sea, all of the following monsters have had me yelling at my TV screen. A lot. So, without further ado, in ascending order of annoyance: A Ranking of the Most Troublesome Enemies in the Wind Waker.

 

Number 10 – Miniblins
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To say that I’m nearly eighteen I feel as though my fear of the common Miniblin is probably a little bit silly. But these things have always freaked me out. Technically they are the weakest member of Ganandorf’s army, but I’m still scared to death of them. I can’t decide if it’s because at first all you can hear is that creepy, ‘Deh- Lin, Deh- Lin’ chant, and you can’t see them. Seriously where are they?! Oh yes, there they are, jumping down the side of a wall and stabbing you with their little tridents like it’s the most normal thing in Hyrule. But it’s not, it’s weird, and I don’t like them. Ganandorf also seemed to create an infinite amount of these little blighters; so you can never really clear them 100% from a given room. They’re at number ten because they’re simple to take down at least. One hit and they’re gone, that’s the best thing about them.

 

Number 9 – Kargarok

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These Kargaroks have only annoyed me a few times during my Wind Waker game play, hence why they’re only at number 9. Once more, they don’t really pose that much of a threat but they are so irritating! I remember one crucial moment of game play; I was collecting the very last triforce shard, all my hard work was paying off! I arrived at Seven- Star Island and was greeted by a hoard of warships that started circling me like vultures. And then all of a sudden I’m being head butted into the ocean by these winged pests. I could go on and on about these Kargaroks but let’s leave it at I did not have fun getting out of the ocean only to be pushed back into it. Also these are a pain when you’re controlling a seagull, which, let’s be honest, is hard enough as it is.

(Also they make such a weird noise)

 

 Number 8 – Big Octocs

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Sailing in The Wind Waker used to be really fun and relaxing for me, I didn’t mind aimlessly drifting between islands. I used to set the direction with the Wind Waker and leave the game to it. This was a huge mistake, as when I returned my attention to the screen I’d been sucked into a whirlpool of death by this fiend. I’m also absolutely rubbish with the arrows unless I have a large amount of time to aim, and it’s really hard to aim when you’re in a stressful situation. Thankfully after the defeat of the first Big Octo I paid more attention to my sailing and from then on all my encounters with these ginormous squids were purposeful.

 

Number 7 – Armos Knights

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These big brutes are very common towards the end of the game especially in The Tower of The Gods and the Wind Temple. Once I’d confronted them a few times, I began to dread facing them again mostly when there would be other enemies in the room or more than one. The Armos Knights take up to much space in a room and make tackling other enemies impossible until you’ve destroyed this metal hunk of mean. Because of this, I find it hard to conquer these rooms without losing a lot of health. Honestly, I also don’t like the way they jump toward you with their mouths open (isn’t that an extreme design flaw? Ganandorf creating a monster that actually welcomes detonation, is this a wise idea?) I also don’t appreciate foes that chase you down even after you’ve defeated them. That’s not cool Armos Knights.

 

Number 6 – Dark ChuChu

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All types of ChuChus get under my skin. For such a small and weak foe they don’t half cause you problems. Some electrocute you, some try to evade your attacks, some jump at you like crazy when you come near them, and then there is the much rarer, but more annoying Dark ChuChus. These guys are basically invincible to all weapons and projectiles, until sun light is added to the equitation. But even then there’s still a lot of work to do. These guys require way too much effort!  You’ve got to lure them towards the sunlight, successfully redirect that beam of sunlight at the ChuChu with your shield, and only then you can finally destroy them. ChuChus do have a couple of pros though, you can use them as live weights for switches and it feels so good to smash them up with the Skull Hammer.

 

Number 5 – Floor Masters

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In certain temples In Ocarina of Time, Navi warns you about ‘The shadows on the floor’ and after facing both variety of the Floor Master and the Wall Masters in the Forest Temple I was a little apprehensive to meet them again. Part of me thinks that they’re really cool; I sort of want this dismembered ghostly hand to drag me to a random room in the dungeon, they look amazing and they have such a ghostly aura (plus that spooky noise!), it all makes the Floor Master such an interesting foe to face. What I don’t enjoy about the Floor Masters in this game is how they specifically go for your companion, either Medli or Makar. The section in the Wind Temple when Makar has to be captured by a gaggle of Floor Masters for the story to advance irritated me so much because I HATE backtracking. That’s the reason that Floor Masters are on the list. They made me backtrack.

 

Number 4 – Blue Bubble

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 The thing with Bubbles is that they themselves aren’t the issue. It’s what shrouds (fire or the dreaded curse) that make them such trouble makers. These cursed (or blue) bubbles leave you unable to use any of your weapons or projectiles after you come into contact with them. They aren’t particularly hard or even menacing, but they do have an annoying habit of appearing in situations, rooms and areas where a hundred percent concentration is needed, rooms where you can’t afford to be distracted. Therefore they have been strategically placed to be a nuisance. And that makes them irritating, and that, in turn qualifies them for the #4 ranking.

 

Number 3 – Seahats

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No part of me appreciates the Seahats in the slightest. When I’m sailing I do my complete best to avoid any island where I see them. These guys are territorial and they aren’t going to let you near that island without a fight. To me these foes are extremely menacing, they will not hesitate to knock you out of the boat into the sea. They’re pretty easy to take down, if you have a couple of bombs and good accuracy. But accompanied with the storms that seem to follow them and with their huge size they are undoubtedly a daunting enemy to face.

 

Number 2 – Wizzrobe

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I have to admit that I think that Wizzrobes are pretty cool. They look amazing and when compared to some of the other enemies on this list they have a less sinister look. In fact, they look downright flamboyant with their wafty robes and fancy dress head pieces, maybe even one of the most showy of Ganandorf’s comrades. However, Wizzrobes were created and introduced into situations to be a major annoyance. Mostly they appear when you find yourself locked in a room with other harder enemies; here they become an L- targeting nightmare! The pesky winged opponents employ an assortment of attacks, ranging from magical projectiles to the ability to summon other foes to swarm you. Overall pretty simple alone, but really sometimes tough and challenging when paired with other rivals.

 

Number 1 – Redeads

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Everyone who’s ever played any Zelda game will recognise the paralyzing high-pitched scream of the ReDead. I’m a huge gaming fan and I’ve seen some pretty scary monsters during my time, but nothing terrifies me more than these guys. Avoided when possible, faced grudgingly; the ReDeads are my most hated enemy in The Wind Waker. You can find them lurking in the depths and darkness of the Earth Temple, the Savage Labyrinth and the Ghost Ship. That means you’re going to bump into them at some point and you have no choice other than to take them down. Everything about their design is frightening; the combination of their giant tiki doll heads with skeletal bodies is bad enough but those monstrous red eyes, those earrings, those teeth! And the way they lumber over to you when you’ve been frozen so all you can do is watch your impending doom lurch closer and closer! Plus there’s the way they literally chomp on your skull to deal damage, it’s nearly enough to make you leave the game for a few days, weeks or months to recover from the abomination that is the ReDead.

The World of The Wind Waker

The Legend of Zelda is easily my favourite video game franchise. In times of sadness, loneliness or boredom, I’d often go to the spare room and escape into the kingdom of Hyrule. These days I play on a more competitive level, meaning that I’m challenging myself to complete as many Zelda games as possible, the most recently completed: The Wind Waker. This game is amazing. Honestly, one of my favourites.
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I know that Wind Waker gets a lot of mixed reviews, mostly due it its extreme change in style (the cartoony theme was a significant alteration from earlier games such as Ocarina of Time or Oracle of Ages) and for some reason, lots of people didn’t like this.
I, however, love it. When I first got into LoZ over six years ago I believed that the current game I was playing, Twilight Princess was a unique individual, so when I came across the other games I was amazed. Since that moment I decided that I wouldn’t be happy
until I got to play Wind Waker.

It took me three years to save up and then find a working GameCube and game. And I finally got my hands on the combo after my sixteenth birthday. Annnnd two years later I’ve finally completed it. My exams annoyingly detained me from enjoying myself. That’s student life for you. Anyway that’s all beside the point. The Wind Waker has left a lasting impression on me; I want to talk about it!

By the time I’d completed The Wind Waker I already had finished, Twilight Princess, Ocarina of Time, Skyward Sword, Spirit Tracks, Oracle of Ages, Majora’s Mask and A Link between Worlds. I guess that this meant I found the actual game play easier to grasp which lead me to pay more attention to the world. Here are the three sections that I found the most interesting.

Travelling

Sailing was super-fun for me, I used to aimlessly float around in the ocean and visit all the different islands just because I was in utter awe of how expansive this world was. Within my first four hours of the game I’d achieved little of the story line in favour of mass exploration. I loved that each separate island – and there’s forty nine islands all together – had a completely different theme and feel. The treasures that can be found in them, the mini games and new enemies you encounter, it all made sailing to new places exciting and alluring for me. My personal favourite is the infamous Forsaken Fortress. It shows how the islands can range from completely eerie and dark to homely and bright. Some players don’t enjoy the sailing aspect, but without it you wouldn’t be able to fully explore the world, all the treasure charts and the watch towers would be pointless and I personally believe that the game would be much less without it. So sailing gets a thumbs up from me 😀

The Enemiesmoblin

The foes in Wind Waker are hilarious. If you are familiar to Zelda games and of course their enemies you’ll know that they come in increasing difficulty. The enemies in Wind Waker though have an added sense of humour. So that even within the peril of battle you can have a slight giggle when they lose their weapon, gawk and then run over to it sweating with arms raised in the air. And who hasn’t done a fist pump when a clumsy Moblin takes out its own comrades with an attack aimed at you?! It’s not just the added comic effects; to me the foes seem much more realistic, in the sense that they seem to complete tasks. For example, when you come across them on their floats, they appear to either be searching the sea with their telescopes or having a snooze. This makes sneaking up on them and taking them down even more thrilling!

Triforce Charts and Shards

Arggghh. This is the bit that I hated the most from the entire game! Once you reach a certain point in nearly every game (this is not just reserved for the Legend of Zelda series) it suddenly takes a turn from being fun and entertaining to suddenly hard and sometimes, a little boring. For me it was the tedious section after the defeat of Molgera and the completion of the Wind Temple. I made the mistake of not collecting information on any of the islands on my journey except for the main ones so I had to go back to every single island. That’s at least 46 pieces of All- Purpose- Bait for that stupid fish lurking around each bay. And that’s over two hours of my life gone. It’s fair to say that it may have slightly tinted my love for Wind Waker. I still love it. It’s still a brilliant game, but I did not enjoy going back and forwards across the Great Sea, being chased by Seahats and Sharks and constantly being pulled into the path of Big Octos. So it’s fair to say that I didn’t really like collecting the Triforce Charts and even then after that collecting the Shards and enough rupees to decipher said charts! Urgggh. I’m assuming that the next time I play this game I shall hand the remote to someone else to complete this bore some task.

Overall though it was a fantastic game, I loved so many things about it and, as expected so many things about it annoyed me. But none of the things that annoyed me will put me off this amazing game and I’m certain that this won’t be the last time that I type up a blog about The Wind Waker.