They say the problem with first impressions is that you only get one. Rubbish, the problem is that these initially “favourable” impressions distort the true nature of a specific incident or in my case product. “There once was a game called “Speed Devils”, that I used to play with much revel. Having played it since, I’m still not convinced that it’s actually as good as I remember?” Not entirely sure why I composed that as a rhyme, it just made as much sense as the memory I have of this guzzling turd extractor! Having dusted off my DreamCast I wanted to reminiscence. Big mistake. I recall it being an energetic thrill ride, with courses riddled with environmental obstacles. Once I’d wiped the lenses on my rose tinted glasses however I soon realised that these ambient obstacles are as hazardous as a squirrel in mittens threatening you with a shiv crafted from cotton wool! Rather than being crucial element that dictates the course of the races, it felt more like decorative accessories. You had boulders that would suddenly pepper the track, but could easily be averted with just a minor turn to the right. You’d come across a mechanised creature like the T-Rex and Jaws. Yet the T-Rex would simply cross the road or stand and shake it’s head from side to side, again easily avoided. And Jaws would just kind of bite the sterile scenery and was, you guessed, is easily avoided. Damn my childish sentiments! You had one job brain! Preserve my immaculate perception of my memories. Anyway the tracks are pedantic and ass numbingly long, vehicles are progressive and adaptable yet show no significant signs of engineering alterations other than admittedly striking structural cosmetics. Almost every manoeuvre feels stilted. Yet what disappoints me most is the lack of creativity implemented into the one feature that could, nay WOULD have elevated this mediocre Ubisoft title out of obscurity; variable environments. Environments that actually impede drivers, obstructing competitors, altering the surface terrain, reducing visibility and drivers composure as you travel around.
Motorstorm Apocalypse is the only game I can think of that utilised it’s adaptive environments effectively, influencing races with shifting localised storms. In the same way that in Mario Kart you were at your most vulnerable when leading, the altering environments in Motorstorm enabled competitors to reel you in like those frustrating blue shells. Changeable weather conditions that prevented expedient acceleration, obscured you’re vision while maintaining a competitive speed against a field of participants who want to kill you! And when I say that these weather patterns become hostile I don’t just mean you’re need window wipers on full, I’m talking anus clenching Tornadoes! Road splitting earthquakes! Buildings collapsing as you skirt across the rooftops. Cataclysmic devastation that makes the old testament look like the very hungry caterpillar! Cats and dogs living together, mass hysteria! A meteorite shower is like a pleasant stroll through a field of boobs in comparison to this Hell! Getting you’re nose picked by Freddy Kruger would be more preferable than negotiating some of these tracks! It was utter carnage, provoking genuine intimidation. You panic; do you turn left or right at the Tornado? Before you have time to plan you’re trajectory it’s too late. The intensity, the anguish, the euphoria of just completing the track without hitting a single hazard was rewarding. It handled subtlety about as well as Zack Snyder, yet the epic journey you undertake in only a five minute race is like writing The Winds Of Winter in a day (Hey George, hurry up!). I feel out of breath just describing it. In fact I think I’ve done that for long enough. I’m sorry but you’ll have to excuse me but I feel the need for slightly angry speed!
Out of pure curiosity I decided to begin expanding my modest game collection, fuelling my already habitual need to fill those pesky storage gaps on the shelves. I’ve accumulated a rather expansive library over the years, largely consisting of PlayStation games and it’s various iterations, utilising my antisocial behaviour effectively but sadly deficient in many of my childhood endeavours. Most of the classic games I played as a younger man are safely secured in my mother’s loft, with an estimated value of roughly £10 trillion (at least by my standards). As ever I, being the concerned son that I am felt obliged to appropriate this collection of clutter from my mother’s house. Yet despite my gracious and fervent protestations to procure them my mother, having technically purchased the majority of these games…..that by rights should have reverted to me!…..*cough* excuse me, declined my generous offer. So until I can deploy an elaborate scheme to acquire them without her consent, all I’m missing is peppers, paint, a camel suite and a copy of Time Out magazine to accomplish it, I felt it was time to branch out on my own and I’ve got to say that logistically speaking it’s very difficult to begin.
You immediately attempt to acquire those obscure titles you have vague recollections of as a kid. “Oh yeah I need to get that one with the corpse, mummy…..thing that threw skulls, or something? Or the one with the Coca-Cola insignia on a beach that exposes crustaceans underwear, wore trendy sunglasses and was a complete commercial whore?” These primitive notions emphasis you’re puerile affection and incentives, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You certainly don’t want to be making random purchases that share no affinity with you’re nostalgic predilections, but at the same time it makes things rather more difficult, by which I mean expensive. After you’ve isolated what platform you wish to start a collection, which is no easy feat and determined what games specifically you wish to bolster you’re collection, you then have to decide precisely what it is you want from the games. I know you’re probably nodding courteously the way a parent humours a child talking about a monster hiding under the bed, but hear me out.
You’re be observing several retailers for the best deals, with many trusted proprietors extending very generous prices, yet at the same time deceiving the goods by subverting the additional postage and packaging fees. A specific game, maybe valued at say £5 or the equivalent could have an attached P&P of the same price. All of a sudden that bargain has escalated. It’s still affordable but still a little jarring. Purchasing old games requires a cautious degree of restraint so as not to make a decision based purely on spontaneity. You have to consider a litany of aesthetic variations too. The cartridge may be in full working order, yet may contain a tear on the box or worse devoid of any case at all. It’s far cheaper and easier to purchase just a cartridge/disc, but there’s certain romanticism about having the original facilities like the case and booklet. It’s also worth noting that you may fraternise with various titles and which to get first, but more than likely the most desirable software is reasonably priced, which is odd considering their popularity. I don’t know why but you’d expect the likes of “Sonic The Hedgehog” to be more valued as a collector’s item than say “Mega Turricane” (whatever the hell that is?) but it’s the more abstract titles that are worth there weight in pixilated gold. I guess that’s because people with any sense already own Sonic The Hedgehog, but I digress. The majority of your purchases will likely be submitted through on-line suppliers, making it difficult to certify the quality of the product beyond the vaguely defined surmise written by the distributor. What the individual would consider acceptable maybe less than suitable for you so as much as anything you’re taking gambles, making this hobby something of significant risk.
I guess initiating a new hobby isn’t as straight forward as I thought it would be. I’m still conflicted on where to start, how to start and what a start entail? A new hobby that will be funded on a shoestring budget in between those pesky spells of domesticity and fatherhood, but one I’m excited to comprehend. Sure it may take sometime to amass a collection worthy of being deemed a library and something that will be advised on in a limited capacity, but that’s part of the appeal. It’s like getting a sticker album for the first time, slowly dedicating time and money to invest in its expansion. Filling in the gaps, getting that shiny you so desperately craved, before the euphoria of finally completing the entire book. Much like any embellished story; it’s not about the conclusion, but the journey. Now, to Mordor!
What games would you like to add to you’re collection? Let me know in the comments below. Cheers.
Because I was a little bit bored, perhaps even a little tired I decided to compose a fictional account depicting what would happen if Doc Brown from “Back To The Future” travelled through time and encountered the PlayStation VR for the first time. Oh and if this is the you’re first visit to this site I can only apologize. My content is normally a little bit better than this.
Good day sir and welcome to the PlayStation VR exhibition. Would you care test one of our new, exciting products that replicates an environment with artificially generated sensory stimulations, that allows users to interact with with immersive hilarity?
Things have certainly changed around here.
Oh really sir, how so?
I remember when this was all EA as far the eye could see. Old man Peabody owned all of this. He had this crazy idea about breeding identical products, repackaged as completely new an original material. Oh well I’ve finally made it. I’ve finally done it. I’ve made it to the future!
You certainly have sir, and the future is PlayStation!
What is this thing this young lady is wearing on her face?
Oh that’s a VR machine.
Of course ocular protection! Because of all the nuclear fallout from the console wars.
No umm…. Dr Emmett is it? This is the latest variation of VR for the PlayStation.
It appears to be some kind of portable television studio?!
Actually it’s a virtual reality or VR device that simulates a place, real or fictional for the purposes of education and fun.
There’s that word again, VR?
But why is it so bland?
Listen the way I see it if you’re going to build a VR machine, you may as well do it with some style.
Well I’m sure the designers will take that observation into consideration but for now wouldn’t you like to……
What’s it powered by, plutonium?
Plutonium?! God no. No?!
So how do you generate the necessary 1.21 giga watts required to power VR?
What’s a giga watt?!
Did you enlist the aid of Libyans? Trust me they are difficult business partners.
What are you talking about?! Look we just use regular domestic power sources to produce the requisite energy to power the devices.
So if my calculations are correct, once this baby hits 88 mph you’re going to see some serious shit!
I guess? Look I think you need to leave now before I call security.
Great Scott! I almost forgot why I came here! For you!
Me? I’m going to regret asking this but why me?
It’s you’re hardware Marty. Something has to be done about you’re hardware!
First of all its Ben and what do you mean my hardware?
Now listen. According to my theory, you interfered with Sony’s and Nintendo first meeting. If they don’t meet, they won’t fall in love, they won’t get married and they won’t have consoles. That’s why Atari is disappearing from that photograph. Sega will follow, and unless you repair the damage, PlayStation will be next.