Well it’s happened, I’ve become that guy! The one who’s besotted by every little mannerism or gestural nuance of their child. “Oh she gurgled. Oh he burped. Oh she plopped. Oh he projectile vomited in his mother’s mouth! So adorable. It’s these moments I cherish the most.” What’s worse is that my daughter hasn’t even been born yet. It’s evident that this obsession will only hasten as the baby begins to become a more realistic proposition. An infant whose preferred method of communication will likely be flatulence, that will no doubt endeavour to castigate any and all free moments to game with deliberate, infantile interventions. Yet I’m not put off, nor do I resent the lack of time that I’ll dedicate to gaming as much as I thought I would. Logistically I’ve been somewhat complacent too, dismissing the very existence of the steadily progressing growth that has bloated my girlfriends uterus. The spare room that has been acting as a storage facility for all our surplus bric-a-brac as well as my games room for almost 3 years is still stuck in a perpetual rift. It’s not decorated suitably, with one wall painted in a bright, rather aggressive hue of red. Nor is it equipped with adequate furnishings to accommodate the very singular specifications that a baby would need such as a cot. One minute everything is normal, then suddenly this innocuous bump has swelled to the point that ignorance is no longer an acceptable recourse. I don’t think I’ve been capable of processing that this is happening, that preparations for her arrival should be my immediate priority. Not the completion of Arkham Knight or waiting for the release of Uncharted 4, but this. A child! A matted culmination of my girlfriend and myself with diminutive proportions that will rely so heavily on the combined support of both her parents. It wasn’t until last Saturday that I finally understood the significance this tiny creature will have on our lives.
The pictures are a little difficult to see but I can confirm without bias, that she she will be perfect!
I’ve attended every routine scan since we found out about the pregnancy which has provided distorted images of our daughter. But without any clarifying features it still felt distant, like it was happening to someone else. The 4d scan has given a physicality to a previously formless entity, generating a palpable sense of clarity to something that had never felt real. With my mother in attendance, eyes glazed in tears, I got a clearer picture of our unborn daughter and how my mother will react every time she sees her. Apart from my girlfriends rather sordid comparison that described her as looking like the elephant man (the baby, not my mother), which now ruins the above pictures, I felt a tremendous sense of pride I’d never achieve from any platinum trophy, especially as she doesn’t appear to of inherited the terrifying snout that has cursed the bloodline of my family. Now I have this infatuation to mention her in every conversation regardless of context. “Oh you had pizza for dinner last night? Lovely. My girlfriend is baking a little pizza of her own!
Now with less than 3 months until her birth I’m feeling both terrified and excited. What carnage will ensue when this little poop suppository is born? Well I’m sure it will consist of feeding’s, butt wiping and sleep deprivation. And that’s just me! But if her mother is any indication of her potential stature, characteristics and personality then our daughter is going to grow into a capable, giving, bubbly and gorgeous young woman. Just like her mother.
Can you hear that?…….That tranquil nebulous sound? The vacuous ambiance? The rasping whisper of serenity? I don’t really understand why my mind interprets serenity as a personification of an elderly man with respiratory failure, but it does damn it! What I’m trying to say is that for the first time in a number of months I have the entire household to myself. Just me, my PS4 and enough sugar to put me in a diabetic coma! Of course my Girlfriend asserted with admirable verve that of course my domestic duties weren’t completely negated by her absence and my extended convalescence. This concession was by no means ignored, as I did eventually scoop up a bit of fluff that had been securely stationed in the darkened crevice of my upholstery. *Sigh* What a great couple of days it was. A weekend of excessive indulgences, of nutritious concessions and of intolerable cruelty (I’ll get onto that in a minute.) Now some people are averse to the emancipation afforded through solitary isolation, but I love it. My earnest desire for solitude really stems from my lack of society aptitude and the colloquial monotony of everyday interactions. Besides gaming with impunity is only possible with the abdication of prying appraisals. This was my time to self indulge in gaming that I haven’t really done since I was about 15, and I took full advantage.
The bulk of my weekend was liberally dispersed between my rejuvenated lust for “Hotline Miami” and revoking the imposed limitations of alcoholic abstinence. Trust me, when you’re attempting to A+ every chapter in Hotline Miami you’d drink a ravine streaming with beer and JD! Unrestrained by the social etiquette of having to wear formal garments to conceal my natural nakedness around the house, with my girlfriend admonishing my congenial liberation from underpants because according to her it isn’t “appropriate” for me to stroll around our residence with my billiards hanging loose like swaying pendulum (I’ll just leave that image with you for a moment). I tried, oh did try to convert my ambition for A+ propagation into tangible success, but I was defeated more times than Newcastle United! Wraith was my consummate liaison, guiding me through each chapter with chortled belligerence. It was as though it had taken physical residence behind me, massaging my shoulders as I continually failed, urging me to relinquish my aggression and give in to the dark side, to which I complied by hurling cushions across the room with the resounding *poof* as they hit the floor. My convalescent peace was shattered by the barbed trolling I was experiencing from Hotline, as I moved from a reclined state of respite to being perched aggressively on the end of the sofa screeching with sniggering anguish. So I relied on a more affable contingency; food.
With the discretionary consumption of food already available to me, I began foraging through the wilted remains of our preserves. Sifting amongst the jutted remains of frozen suppositories I felt it best to bolster our sensible repository with a favourable supply of fish, chicken and pizza. Hastened by repeated gaming discontent I ventured out periodically to acquire much-needed sustenance, with no calculable barometer for just how much nutrition was being extracted from chicken wings and other reformed poultry. But who cares, you’re not my mother! There was no one there to restrict my consumption of these detrimental substances. Moreover there is no better food than chicken when trying defeat a game as nefarious as Hotline Miami. After devouring the breaded flesh of numerous unspecified chickens, with their splayed carcasses garrisoning my plate, I persevered with my exertion to at least obtain 2 or 3 A+ rankings. I had determined that achieving individual trophies would yield diminished returns, so I instead decided to condense my arrears into one manageable sum. After hours of hollowing, swearing and a few cushion throws my voracious gaming appetite was finally sated at around 2am, with no paramour to chastise the lateness of my completion.
Its been a long time since I’ve been presented with such ancillary time to dedicate to a computer game. It was akin to when your parents left you at home for the first time believing you to be a responsible teen, before you seize the opportunity to play ball in the house. Just with less collateral damage generated to family portraits and ceramic owls. Of course any evidence of my listlessness was now concealed, with all of her speculative accusations directed at my perceived sloth now just oblique, circumstantial conjecture. What a lazy, forget the hindrance of underpants weekend it was. But I’ll admit that being afforded such abstinence from the monotony of routine is refreshing, but the seldom allures of such isolation does help me reflect on just how much I do the miss the company of others. Just a little bit.
What has been your most memorable gaming weekend? Let me know. Cheers.
At the expense of much perishable time–much of which was allocated to subverted allocation of free time–I recently received my 19th Platinum trophy courtesy of Tales of Xillia. Please, please reserve your applauds and informal plaudits. Oh, you are. Well this Platinum, though tenuous at times was largely fun at around 75 accumulated hours and certainly an influential advocate for monetary restraint as your likely discover enough salient time to accomplish all the necessary accolades to achieve the Platinum. A cursory advisement that is always a consideration when acquiring any Platinum is at least a meagre deviation from your intimate proposed stipulations and some minor capitulations and compromises, though likely numerable alterations have to be applied in the procurement of trophies. But the most common attribution that can be derived from your resilient endeavours is repetition, often postured as “grinding”. It’s a lamentable parity affiliated with almost every game; collect specified antiquities, ascend to stipulated level, participate and win regulated events etc. But nowhere is the relinquishment of sanity and tenuous grinding more apparent than in my projected 20th Platinum trophy, GTA V.
You’d imagine that the on-line portion would be a personification of the singular brilliance of GTA V’s sardonic observations of modern recognition. The morose subjugation of the impoverished inhabitants, exacerbated by the extravagant disparity of glitzy Vinewood that looms over their corrugated habitations with strangulating earnest. The glamorised perception of fame coveted by so many vacuous cretins with aspirations of falsified notoriety, via exploitive TV shows such as “Fame or Shame”. The lavished extravagance of narcotics, the pervading infidelity and invasive conduct of the press are satirised with attentive accuracy. However none of these evocative observations overtures are accounted on-line, which diminishes the potency of the objectives which is primarily a compilation of mini games– and the acquirement of trophies that simply force you to perform the vapid tasks and recreational activities that no one wants to do. Participating in Golf is mildly entertaining, if irrelevant, sure. But to obtain the “Numero Uno” trophy for instance requires that you play–and win–at darts, the shooting range, arm wrestling and tennis? Tennis. In a GTA game! Really?! All these events are largely superfluous activities that people reluctantly sample, and quickly evacuated (not rectally…..I hope). Another Bronze trophy requires the auxiliary assistance of *sigh* other players, and you know how I feel about that sort of thing? Most of whom possess all the willing compliance of someone receiving a struggle cuddle. But the award for most derivative, protracted, elongated, obtuse, soul-destroying, grind, goes to…….(opens figurative envelope)…….”Above the law”. Congratulations you hermetic little annoyance, take a bow!
It’s not difficult to achieve level 100 in the conventional sense, there’s no reticulated barrier restricting me and not some masochistic boss that impedes my progress, but progressive fidelity becomes stifled by assertive repetition and linearity. When you’re relying heavily on your own conviction to succeed rather than the game enticing you to explore its concealed labours with your own collaborative volition, or probing affiliated forums for a concerted cheat that you can exploit that grants special dispensation, then you know you’re in trouble. You can’t detach yourself from the community to concentrate focus purely on development because the community is always there, probably right behind you attaching an incendiary device to the base of your $800,000 car! Even though engaging with other adversaries in competitive terms is suitably balanced, restricting the more financially robust philanthropists with a neutrality extending to the armaments so that individuals advanced repertoire of stylised logistics or personalised artillery are rendered negligible, but is largely bereft of incentive. The retention of RP (the commodity required for level development) is an according capitulation particularly exploited in Rooftop Rumble. Comprised of a simple shoot the bad guys, extract the required Intel for your client and successfully evading your aggressive perusers, thereby accumulating affluent financial compensation. “Great” I hear you rebuke, “what’s the issue?” Because its simply an alternate variant on a pre-existing grind, provoked by similarly established players hitting the restart button at the conclusion. And in fairness why shouldn’t they when other more aggravating and needlessly tenuous missions offer less compensation for your efforts.
And it’s that contradictory subtext that remains a perpetual blemish for me. How can it be less profitable to procure a cargo carrier full of ballistics, guarded by a small militia, than beating a prostitute with a blunt phallic in some concealed alleyway? You maybe shocked to learn that GTA On-line has suffered from an abundance of problems, so I’m sorry for the clarification here. As a result–for the game to even function for longer than it takes flies to fornicate–RockStar have frequently released patches, or band-aids to stem the crimson coagulation from permanently staining their beautifully rendered city. As significant as these intervening patches have been, even bolstering the expansive range of vehicles, residencies and other amenities; each new update is usually accompanied by a clandestine limitation that reduces the applicable currency and experience received. It’s almost as though they want you to extend your funds by using real money? Say what you will about Resident Evil 5 (which I cite as one of my most enjoyable platinum’s), but for all its vocal criticisms it was a contrasting dynamic in comparison. Because for all of its erroneous fables, regulated repetition, the intentional mirroring of its predecessor and Jill’s (stupid!) blond follicles the attainment of accolades felt naturally progressive. You recouped them so regularly and consistently that its repetition was negligible in contrast to the evanescent sophistry of GTA. Their were no attenuated offline trophies like regulating a submersible to collect……toxic waste? Which was only suitably surpassed by the cranial haemorrhage caused by the monotony of assassinating 400 pigeons in GTA IV. Is it too much to ask that a game presents interesting trophies for me to collate and reward my continued patronage rather than inhibit it? Of course its my decision to collect these largely superfluous accolades and that its my own submissive narcissism that motivates me, and that’s partially affable. But complacency is inevitable too, especially in a game that relies repetition and on the enmity of greed and the consolidation of the mentioned sin…..So in actuality, the requisite grinding required to attain level 100 is rather applicable, unfortunately…..
What’s the most annoying grind you’ve ever experienced? And don’t say this article. Cheers.
Anyone who has attempted to acquire a Platinum trophy, will testify to how exceedingly exhausting the process can be. The Patrick Jane like acuity needed to determine the most proficient means of gaining these prizes with the minimum of repetition, adopting a hermit persuasion to snare the more resilient accolades, and the necessary skill and the ability to deter cognitive deterioration caused by the seemingly unobtainable trophies, that persistently elude you like the digesting of processed horse meat in your local Tesco’s beef burger (other proprietors are available). But on occasion it’s not the difficulty of the trophy that prevents you from amassing an extended collection of Platinums, but the ludicrous absurdity of some of the less apprised possessions.
Bronze trophies are the natural result of progression of a game, the simplest of tasks are rewarded with that little chime and meager the possession of the top, right side of the screen. Ding! You discovered this destination. Ding! You acquired a hidden treasure. Ding! You pressed a button on your Playstation, and well you get the idea. Many of the Bronze trophies serve as a distraction to assure you that you are making progress with your chosen exploits and ensure safe, progressive passage through. Their hardly difficult acquisitions, they should be readily obtainable, most without prior consensual digressions, or through randomly occurring events. But sometimes these insignificant panderings require incredulous patience, and in my case, the manipulation of a glitch to obtain.
Recently, in nostalgic fascination, I purchased the Ratchet & Clank HD collection, which to my surprise has aged like a Helen Mirren wine, encased in the arctic ice, preserved with unblemished results (in other words well, if you’re a little confused by this admittedly, misleading analogy), but the one figurative obstruction that prevented that Ding of satisfied credibility, that can only be obtained from acquisition of a platinum (or sexual congress with Kat Denning’s) was the arbitrary, and distinctly malicious Bronze, that was necessary for the above confirmation. This one, seemingly modest trophy required a glitch to achieve. The defendant in question required me to accumulate 1,000,000 bolts, which for those unaffiliated with R&C, is the fictional currency used to purchase numerous, elaborate destructive weaponry. Which is ultimately achieved with a suitably resilient Playstation capable of enduring an extended, 7 hour application, a suitable controller resistant to repetitive strains by continued diligence from an exceedingly weighty dinosaur cereal bowel, acquired from a museum specifically constructed for the education of paleontology, that could evenly distribute pressure to the appropriate button, all whilst I slumbered, presumably dreaming of more consequential use of my time/life.
Without elaborating further (for your own benefit you understand), it was a gratuitous and tedious expenditure of time, electricity and my sanity, but seemingly the only justification to avoid unnecessarily tedious repetition of a game I love. I verbalised many baffled expletives, all expressed because of a bronze that seems superfluously difficult in the context of your objectives, there just seems to be little logistical continuity?! Many trophies are dependant on your own tolerances, and the perpetual reluctance you’ll likely encounter as you progress. With Silver’s, you expect to achieve with relative ease with only moderate inconveniences, Golds by their very definition require more meticulous command to obtain, integrated to challenge your resolve with standardised pressure. So why is it some bronze trophies, much like the one I’ve referenced with numerous displays of folly, and particularly in regards to online trophies which are equally restrictive in design, requiring a level of dedication few possess, are so masochistic to retain?
Have you had trouble with trophies/achievements that felt harsh? Or do you skip such accolades in favour of gameplay? Let me know what you guys think.
The interactive entertainment afforded by games, you would rationally assume are exactly that; alternate, conventional means of distraction. Accessible little moments of engaging scenarios, captivatingly rendered to induce and sway your emotive bonds between satisfaction and contentment, at least that’s how things used to be. During my youth, and I’m hesitant to use the words era at the spiritedly age of 26, gaming was far simpler; a typical controller consisted of fewer than 3 buttons as well as the standard D-pad, any subsequent stories that were attempted to accompany any given title were arbitrary and as thought-provoking as a Paris Hilton illustration, and the closet anyone came to a touchscreen or player interface is if you smeared congealed chocolate on the bulky television, which required an industrial strength crane and an operator with immeasurable dexterity to competently maneuver the plastic behemoth through the now exposed wall of the living room, that looked as though it housed a small migrant family. I don’t want to sound disingenuous to an industry that I have profound consideration for, but when was the last time you experienced proficient stimulation from a game, without the discomforting humiliation from self obligated continuation?
Sure there is sufficient satisfaction to be garnered from persistent determination to succeed, where previous attempts failed, a catalyst that is a response to methodical resilience. It’s a chance to demonstrate your own versatility as a gamer, to adapt to the varying array of circumstances that circulate and require sensitive, but tactical negotiating. But such drastic alterations to your own developed style of play can be rather intrusive, and invariably provoke aggravated reactions to a game, that previously enveloped you. Games such as GTA IV and Heavy Rain are so heavily narrative orientated, that they offer little flexibility from serious complexities. The often complicated nature of modern titles can often obscure our responsibility, by taking considerable pride in hard-fought grievances rather than enjoying the experiences afforded. But perhaps this is just a misinterpretation on my part, maybe attaining Platinum trophies is just as intricate to immersing yourself into a developers creative imaginings, and the stringent eclectic work that has gone into designing the product. It would be totally irrational for me to even suggest that games no longer retain the same engrossing elements from my era (that makes me feel sooooo old). So hold off with the straight jacket and utensils to assist me with dining on my own fecal matter, because I am still hopelessly devoted to interactive musings. But you have to admit that there is an apparent, unavoidable aversion to fun, and an amplified focus on anxiety and frustration, ruthlessly more unfair than a cycle race against Lance Armstrong.
Are games becoming too accomplished for their own good? Or are Trophies/Achievements an added bonus? Let me know your thoughts.
Motivation is an important sustenance when attempting to complete a potentially stubborn game, which requires an abundance of mental flexibility, a frightening degree of patience and an attitude of unrelenting desire. Without the stimulation to achieve your aspiring intentions, your concentration will likely wane and the enthusiasm that was so apparent initially, clearly dictating your propensity to succeed will dissipate, on account of the seemingly hopeless display of stubborn, relentless retaliation from your game. Theres almost a blind ignorant determination from you that generates a powerful sense of euphoria and aptitude for domination, like a bitter boxer attempting to reclaim his respective belt from an inferior, less worthy opponent, at least that’s a similar experience to what I’ve been engaged in recently.
A couple of months ago, prior to my PS3’s expectant demise, and the acquiring of a new more sophisticated version, I declined the option of transferring my previous saved data, partly due to my moralistic desire to begin everything fresh and not a scrambled mess of incomplete data, but mainly because of some irrational, inexplicable notion that the transferring of data from one console to another, was some form of technological interpretation of how sperm enters the uterus, like some kind sick, violating explicit transference of data (I am currently seeking professional assistance with this). But despite a couple of successes in obtaining Platinums (Sleeping Dogs/ Resident Evil 5), Skyrim is proving to be a highly disobedient title to dominate.
It’s not necessarily the level of difficulty, which is easily manipulated to suite your approach, nor is the exploring the plethora of rapturous locations which is simplicity itself, but more the recurring magnitude of crippling glitches that still force me to return to 5 hour outdated files, because a person of interest has somehow become lodged inside an impassable chasm, due to a previous dragon attack. I’m in constant danger, not from deplorable dragons, ice wraith or any number fictitious antagonists, but from glitches that could impede my process and prevent me from obtaining my third platinum. Theres an overwhelming sense of failure which needlessly summons me like some promiscuous vixen, beckoning me with her enticing voluptuous cleavage, whilst leaning on bars of gold bullion and holding a box full of Jaffa cakes. Perseverance is more imperative now than it has ever been if I’m to succeed in obtaining my third platinum, that and an astute mastery of probability. Note to Bethesda: Skyrim doesn’t need patches, it requires urgent but efficient medical resuscetation….preferably from the cast of scrubs.
Have you overcome challenges or glitches presented by a game? And are you as embittered by Skyrim as I am? Let me know what you think.