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DarthJohnova Blog

Kid Icarus...why?!

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I am afraid I must admit defeat, Nintendo. Never have I encountered a game with such dreadfully thought out controls. Unfortunately I am going to have to give in at the meagre distance of chapter 10, and trade the game in, which is a great shame, I simply cannot play it anymore.

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Kid Icarus, in my opinion, is one of the most frustrating games I have ever played. There has clearly been a lot of love put into it; the throwbacks to the original, (which whilst I don't quite understand as I never played the original), are charming...the dialogue is witty, the characters loveable (even the villains!). Furthermore, the on-rails flying portions of the game are great, the customisation is vast, the replayability is very high, the 3D effects are wonderful, the humour is genuinely funny without being crude...basically, there is a whole lot to love about the game.

The problem for me is the controls. Now I know that others have merely seen the controls as teething problems, and will probably say that the controls are my problem, not the game's, but I would have to disagree. In my experience, being 10 chapters in and still finding them cumbersome is a problem. I scoffed at seeing the stand included with the game, but suddenly realised how essential it is, and how inconvenient that is for a portable game. I have been unable to play Kid Icarus on-the-go, simply because I need to be sitting at home on an even work-surface, with the stand, for me to truly play the game properly and without strain.
As many of you know, the stylus controls the reticle on screen and the direction Pits faces; this is a problem, as I have found holding the system with one hand for extensive periods of time to be a strain on the hand. I am aware of the alternative controls, but they did not work for me either. It is a real shame that the CCP, which I did buy, didn't support the second analog stick for movment of the camera, like the second analog stick is used for on the Vita, and on any sensible home console.

It is with great regret I give up on this game, it truly feels like a great game that would have benefitted from the Wii/Wii-U treatment, and I hope there is an installment on either, but the controls have killed it for me, it feels almost unplayable on the ground portions, and that is a real shame.

Difficult times, as ever.

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I have never been good at dealing with breakdowns in friendships, and I can't say I am getting any better at it. About four-ish years ago, I was arguably at the height of my life in terms of day-to-day enjoyment; I surrounded myself with loads of friends and we all did things often. Things were much more simple when I was 17. However, in the final year of sixth-form, before we all came to University, things turned unsavoury. People drifted apart, it happens, but more or less everybody drifted from me. I went from being this social animal, to social abjection. 

The first year of University was difficult for me. I lived away from home, in flats with some pretty awful people, and for the first time in my life, felt truly alone. I had never had no friends to turn to. it was a pretty low moment in my life; I took anti-depressants (which didn't work) and attempted suicide a couple of times. But of course other than my girlfriend, who to be fair is wonderful, ( but was in my home city, a couple of hours away), nobody knew and nobody was there for me.

It's probably a major reason I stick with being here, I'm sure there are a few in the same boat and I do find the community here to be a comforting bunch, not that I have shared this with people before. The community is great, but unfortunately with nobody on GS living anywhere near me, it isn't quite a substitute for meeting up with people and doing stuff together. 

I am graduating this summer, and I look back on my three years and notice a major problem; I virtually have no friends anymore. I have made one or two friends at University, but they only really talk to me when I make first contact. I have a friend in another city, who I never talk to, but when he's home, we're okay. There is just the one friend who I would say I have regular contact with, but that is on the phone.

The thing is, I am not the social man I used to be. Social situations distress me, I just shut down. I don't want people to desert me again, yet I crave the feeling of friendship and the major plusses that come with it. The disappointing thing is, it isn't a simple case of 'moving on'; people have of course moved on and made new friends, but they have also kept their old ones. Mine would appear to have just moved on without me. Sure, I could be emotional baggage at times...sure, I was a little cynical...sure, I was insecure. But these things stem from social dissilutionment, and it would be in people's best interests to help me out, rather than shirk me. I now look back through my Facebook photos at this happy kid from four years ago, photos with all my friends having fun, but they aren't there any more.

There's also the some pretty painful family issues going on at the moment, but unless you're willing to tolerate more, I shall spare the reader for now! This has been rather difficult to air. Apologies if it comes across as a whiny, self-deprecating part of growing up, but it's something I feel strongly about, and I don't think it is a problem I should be having at 21.

 

Needless to say, in my 'IRL' friends' absence, I really appreciate the community here, and though we cannot neccessarily do 'friend' things together, I do truly see the select few here as friends. So thanks for making me feel welcome.

 

The Last Story so far...

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So far, I'm about 8 or 9 chapters into The Last Story and I am thoroughly impressed.

Do you remember those JRPGs of old, the ones you would pour hours into and they would possess the charm that would keep you playing, and remind you thatthis is one of the games you will hold in your heart forever? Well, this is one of them.Granted, from what I have gathered, the story is a mere 20 hours long which is a shame...however, it would appear that this is a JRPG without all the fluff. Sometimes fluff is good, but often fetching water for grandma can get tedious.

So far, the game has done away with the tedium and instead focusses on the building of its characters, who due to a fantastic localisation, really come to life. I can't help but feel that perhaps a US audience won't 'get' the nuances of some of the characters, as they constantly use colloquialisms from various areas in the UK, but luckily for me, I am from the UK so this isn't a problem. If anything, it makes the game so much more endearing.Sure, there is your standard JRPG fare of 'motley bunch of oddly clothed young people', some sort of Princess, doors that don't open e.t.c, but it is handled in such a charming way that you can't help but love it.

I will have to inform further once I have finished it, but it's a wonderful title so far.

Woe is me.

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I have a creative writing assignment and I haven't really started (5000 words).

It's for a 'creative writing' module, so therefore should be easy, right? Incorrect! In essentially being told you can write anything, (though I must write in at least two of the disciplines of scriptwriting, poetry or prose), the scope feels too wide; I cannot get a single piece down.

I took a script that I wrote to the tutor a couple of weeks ago and was basically told that it wasn't very good; I wrote 500 word flash-fiction story a couple of months ago but it got slaughtered. Now I cannot think of anything to write, and it's all very well blaming "writer's block", but the truth is, I'm just a very poor writer, inept, dreadful.

I took this module, hoping it'd help/force me into writing more often but it hasn't; I sit there with no idea what to write, where to start, and when I do write it out, I can't stick with it, and decide it's dreadful. Until now I have just said that I had writer's block, but really...it's not, I'm just plain awful at it.

I am so fvcked for Monday.

/mylife.

DarthJohnova's Birthday and The Week of the Cow

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So this week I took the plunge and picked up a Playstation Vita on Black Friday; I got the NFS: Most Wanted bundle for £154 which came with a 4GB memory card (I've since purchased a 32GB).

I've also come to the conclusion that PS+ is a service that now suits my needs, I was against getting it before as I didn't like the idea of not actually owning the 'free' content. Furthermore, my broadband is just too slow to be downloading 10GB+ PS3 games. I still don't think I'd subscribe for just PS3 solely, but being able to have a host of PS3 AND Vita content, it seems reasonable enough to me. It obviously depends on said gamer's situation and needs.

Now that the service has been rolled out on the Vita too, I think it would suit me for the following reasons;

  • Vita games are pretty expensive at the moment, Gravity Rush and Uncharted would probably put me back around £50, so in getting to play these for £40 along with a host of other content, it's already paid for itself.
  • It saves me from 'bad purchases'; I might hate some of the games, which will have saved me paying more for them.
  • In one year's time, the games will be cheaper, so I can pick and choose which ones I want to buy permanently later on!
  • Who is to say I'll still be playing these games in one year's time?

I'll probably delve into some of the PS3 content if I can, the main problem is having a 0.3mbps internet speed :P

Oh, it was also my Birthday last week; I was Twenty One on the 22nd November. It was a day predominantly spent at University and none of my friends were in as they had skived/were ill, so it was pretty boring to be honest!
However, I came home and my girlfriend showered me with presents, as did my mum and all was well. I even had an 'Amazing Spiderman' birthday cake which was pretty sweet ^_^
I suppose the only downside was that my Dad couldn't be there, in fact hasn't been able to be there for the past 12 birthdays or so. A shame.

On a brighter note though, I'm having a party this saturday on the 1st December; having a BBQ of all things, a winter BBQ with plenty of cider! ;)

Dissertation - Stage One

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Today I started my final year university dissertation. Well, I began drafting it anyway. I'm doing it onF. Scott Fitzgerald's Critique of The American Dream, which should be interesting; he's my favourite author and I love the themes and how they're applied in his texts.

So far; it's not going too great...I have the plan, it's just getting the bare bones down and refining them and obviously the first part is going to be the most difficult. It's an interesting topic (to me anyhow) so writing 10,000 words on it should be fine, but I'm at that stage when you begin writing something where you want to say everything, but consequently struggle to get anything down. So far I've got about 1000 words done, which I guess is okay, I should give myself some credit. It just needs some work on it :)

I have until May, I tell myself, but I have a funny feeling that'll creep up rather quickly :P Updates shall follow; I'm sure I'll find it interesting reading myself come July/August when I graduate next year.

What does 'poorly written' even mean?!

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It's inevitable, a book hits the mainstream and becomes a bestseller (i.e. Harry Potter, Twilight, The Hunger Games, Fifty Shades...e.t.c) and I see the same argument pop up of 'well it's very poorly written'. Suddenly out of nowhere, these nonchalant literary scholars appear and beat their chests announcing how well or badly written said book is; it's bizarre.

Is it to further their own ego? Perhaps!

Is it to make themselves look intelligent? Perhaps!

Is it because said 'literary scholars' have only read Victorian prose (probably in school) and suddenly cannot understand why the Weasleys don't address their parents with 'Mama, why doth you cloth me in thy ugly rags'? Perhaps!

From the void beyond comes the infallible and damning cries of 'poorly written' and the book is suddenly cast aside by the elite readership of glorified Hipsters. Lets put this into perspective; 'bestseller' does not mean 'the best book ever and you must enjoy it or else'. Neither does it mean 'you must like the style that this book is written in'. If the argument of 'poorly written' constitutes as attempting to undermine J.K Rowling/E.L James/Stephanie Meyer/Suzanne Collins' integrity and usage of basic spelling and grammar, then they cannot be more wrong. I honestly don't think people understand how hard it is to get a book published, particularly as a first time author. It's not a case of writing some nonsensical crap, chucking it at Penguin and asking them to publish it. Illiterate, poorly spelled writing and poor grammatisation generally does not get published, it absolutely just doesn't.

Back to the issue of 'well written' and 'poorly written'; look, I'm a Literature student and I don't have a clue how others manage to assign a meaning to how 'well written' a text is. The way I see it, if someone reads a book and they enjoy it, well of course they're going to say it's well written because they enjoyed reading it. Not enjoying a book is clearly going to have the adverse effect and the reader is going to tell everybody how 'poorly written' it was. Neither of these are in any way indicative of the quality of somebody's piece. Just because I may think Joseph Conrad and Daniel Defoe write absolutely boring tripe and get praise for it, means nothing in terms of the 'quality' of the book; many others disagree with me, thus a medium of 'well written' or 'poorly written' cannot be established.

Essentially everything is relative and subjective, making the 'poorly written' argument completely redundant. A book is only as 'well written' as one allows it to be (inelligible exceptions aside, though as I previously noted, such grammatical abominations aren't published).

Hello Again GameSpot

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After a minor break from this place, with a view to never come back, I've changed my mind. Props to Enforced + Bruno via Enforced, for convincing me it was worth it. Thanks guys.