And so the curtain closes on yet another year, so it is about this time I look back and reflect on the past 12 months. 2010 has been a year of change for me, a change in my personal life with meeting my girlfriend and a change in myjob situation, that is to say, I now have one. But this has also been a year of other changes. Changes of my opinion and point of view.
This first started quite late in the year when I got my iPhone. Being vocal about being anti-Apple for many years seemed to come back to bite me with this new purchase asI was forced to eat, not just a mere slice of humble pie, but more like a whole bakery. That is not to say my stance on Apple marketing has been wrong all these years and my views on the 3G iPhone were completely incorrect, but having now had the iPhone 4 for a few months now, I have come to realise that they do make good products. Unlike many phones where your love affair with them comes screeching to a halt after a month or two after you find a fatal flaw.
It is this purchase that has lead to many of the changes I have gone through this year. One of them being social networking. This is something I never really got into before, becauseif I wanted to get into the Twitters or the Facebooks, I had to use my laptop. Now, I am able to use them on my phone at any time. I have never been a fan of Facebook though. For me, it seems like a networking site where friends are a form of currency to prove your popularity, where you seek approval from your friends on the comments you make, i.e. "2 people like this comment" and where anyone is able to find you. Because of these factors, I chose Twitter as my social network of choice and so far, I'm enjoying it. I care not about how many people follow me or like my comments, but I use it as a tool to get news from SMH, Gamespot, IGN, 10 News, Playstation and SEGA.
The iPad. This is something I just didn't get. Why was it so popular? It cannot do the things that a laptop can do, like downloading, burning cd's/DVD or even viewing videos if they were in Adobe Flash, but never the less this was the hottest product of this year. After having the iPhone 4 for a few months, I have noticed that I don't use my laptop as much anymore. I used to carry my laptop to work every day without fail. I'd browse the internet, watch a few epsiodes of something or maybe play a game or two. I can honestly say though, now I "get" the iPad. If you don't want the expense and hassle of owning a laptop, you no longer have to. You don't have to do virus checks, rebuild it every year (although I've heard you don't have to do this as much witha Macbook anyway) or have the extra weight. Its easy and simple to use with the only limitation being on what apps don't exist to cater for your needs, which I'm sure there aren't that many of those.
Last but certainly not least, the other change in opinion of 2010 is mobile gaming. I have always owned a dedicated portable gaming device, from Nintendo Game & Watch, Gameboy, Gameboy Advance, PSP and DS. These have always brought me joy as I'm able to get my gaming fix during my 10 hour weekly commute to work. Games like God of War and Professor Layton have been my staple for a while and, for the most part, these games have made spending hundreds of dollars for the device worthwhile.....sortof, well, maybe not the PSP. But my opinion of these dedicated gaming devices has always remained high.
But now mobile gaming has gone through the roof. Whether you're on an Android phone or the iPhone, game fixes anytime, anywhere have gone to the next level. A while back someone in the media (can't recall who said it) said that games on the iPhone were better than that on the DS and PSP. Needless to say this got a fair few comments on the forums, including some negative ones from myself. Whereas alot of people agreed that they may have had the addictivness of the games licked, the complexity, storyline and depth were seriously lacking. Since I've had the phone, I've been addicted to many of the games on offer. These don't have complex storylines, many button combinations to master or even much development, they have been fun........and extremely addictive. These have satisfied my gaming fix for a time until I get bored with the repetition and move onto something else. There was very little to master in these games, these were point scoring games where inevitably it would end with you saying "just one more go". And there is nothing wrong with that. For a gamer that loves my Asssassins Creeds or Arkham Asylums, it was good to get back to the core workings of a game, addictivness and fun.
However, this was soon to change with the purchase of Infinity Blade. This is not a cartoony, point scoring game, this was a mature game with graphics that beat God of War on the PSP, one of the best looking games on that device. Where it may be true that you could say the Retina display may have a hand in its looks, you can't put it all down to that. The sound is something else to behold, put a decent pair of headphones on and what you have is a addictive, mature game that you can get hours of enjoyment on. There's no denying that games on mobile phones have a way off the maturity and complexity that the DS and PSP offer. If you look at the iTunes store, you'll find about 90-95% of the games are cartoony time wasters, but when you consider that games on the phone started about 10 years ago with Snake and look at where we are today. If you compare that to 10 years in a console cycle, from the PS2 to the PS3, the only real change has been graphical, the games at their core have remained the same. And with the demand for mobile games on the rise, you can only expect the quality and diversity to improve. So as to the comment that iPhone games are better than PSP/DS, I would say there a way off in terms ofdepth and maturity but only time will tell if dedicated handheld devices will stand up to the challenge of this new wave of casual gaming. Afterall, why pay $300+ on a dedicated gaming device when you can get your fix for a fraction of the price.
So that is it, 2010, the year of change for me. Change is good I've found, it can affect your life in very positive ways and even give you a different opinion on things you used to hate.