Well, it's finally decided. I'm getting an Xbox 360. I have the urge to finally move on from the PS2, so when I finish playing through Okami, I'm retiring the console and finally getting my hands on a 360. I'm HD-TV ready and urging to play Tekken 6 and Marvel vs. Capcom 3!!
Yeah, I know it's not much of a big change from before, I still take my time to make an average score in my head when giving the rating, but the new simplified rating system here on Gamespot is just so annoying. It's not like before when you rated Graphics, Sound, Value, Tilt, etc. separately and then automatically got a total score, no. You just move a little bar to a number. It's alright when I really think about it, cause it kind of throws away the idea of arbitrarily rating games only for certain aspects like the graphics. Because, honestly, a game is definitely much much more than just pretty graphics and functionality. Functionality shouldn't even be a determining factor. A game HAS to work. Rating a game for it's functionality is like saying your father is the greatest dad in the world, cause he feeds you.
When I rated Doom 3 for the Xbox, I stood by the rating I gave it (5.8 Mediocre). I considered it an overrated game with really good graphics. Yet, I personally didn't like it. The areas were dull and dark, the AI was stupid and predictible, the story was so-so, the main character had no personality, no voice, nothing (He wouldn't even react to the fact he's fighting demons on Mars). I still consider my review to be just. But that doesn't change the fact that it was only recommended by 1 of 6 users.
What does that have to with what I'm complaining about? Well, for one thing, if I had rated that game now, I would've been forced to give it a 5.5 or a 6.0. It's a simple difference in decimals, I know, but it doesn't say the same as the 5.8 I gave Doom 3. With a 5.8, I'm saying "This is Mediocre. It's not completely bad, but it isn't passing either. It's still missing something." Maybe I'm just spurting nonsense, but I preferred it for that reason. At the same time I at least now feel the freedom to review a game for whatever reason I want, even the miscellaneous factors and make them count. That's why now I will remember to evaluate the rating I actually give the game and not make it so inflated. People whine sometimes as if a 6.0 is a bad rating. I can't bring myself to overrate games any longer. That's why I'll take my MGS2 review, an honest to God example of extremely ridiculous undeserving praise, and Doom 3 as my example of harsh yet justified scolding and find a mark in between. Start reviewing and making sure I'm being unbiased and not being influenced by public opinion. Otherwise I'm no better than the rating system itself.
It's was so obvious, I can't believe I didn't figure it out sooner. I thought I needed to keep up with gaming by buying a next gen console. Join the team. Get a PS3 or a 360 and fit in with the console crowd. It seemed like a good idea, afterall, I've played games on consoles all my life, ever since I got a Super Nintendo. Now I've come to the conclusion that even though console gaming is stronger than ever, my attraction to a console isn't. I get this *blah* feeling everytime I turn mine on. PC gaming has always been popular but it wasn't really my cup of tea.
Okay, that's a lie, I just didn't give it a chance. After being invited several times to internet gamer cafes by friends, having the chance to play games like Left 4 Dead and Bioshock, I have to say that I really enjoy PC gaming! There are no bounderies to it. I thought I needed a PS3 to play Devil May Cry 4 or Resident Evil 5. All I needed was a PC! So I got my hands on one and started playing everything I've ever dreamed of playing. That of course includes The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblvion. I had been playing Morrowind for four long years just waiting for the day when I would get a taste of what Oblivion was (I am currently working on a review, I just got sidetracked by Shivering Isles). It didn't stop there. I wanted more and the titles just keep coming.
Steam made one of my wishes come true when they announced that they were giving Portal away for free (I now have a review up for that). Now I'm convinced that even if there was a PS3 waiting for me around the corner, I'd have to think it over a few times before letting go of my new PC (originally, I was going to put my money down for a PS3 only if it got one more exclusive that would have me aweing. The first was MGS4 and the second was FFXIII. Unfortunately the second one is now on the 360. No biggie though. I'm too busy having fun right now to care.)
The following blog is about how my life actually improved after playing Persona 3. First off, in 2008, my life in general, or at least the way in which I tried to live it, was a complete mess. I failed in school and they kept me behind a year, I was having trouble at home and problems keeping up with my friends and family. It wasn't till I started the new year and started playing Persona 3, that I woke up. I saw how easily managable things in one's life really are. I said, "Wow, if my main character can handle juggling his school life and social life, and still have time to battle the forces of evil, why can't I?" Well, of course I don't have to defeat shadows or traverse dungeons in Tartarus, so apparently I shouldn't have any trouble handling the other two things.
I began by mapping out my life. What I mean by that is that I drew up a calendar and kept track of my school work. I'd study when a test was coming up and I'd sleep early on school days when there weren't. I even mapped out my "social links" or my relationships with other people and made it a priority to spend time with the individuals closest to me. Sure, it sounds crazy that I'd basically try to live out my life like a videogame, but the truth is, that apart from making my life easier, it also made it more enjoyable.
I began to get better grades in school. I began to understand why friendships are so important and even started to treasure precious moments I used to take for granted. My new way of seeing things helped to boost my self esteem and gave my days more importance. I now see things like extracurricular activites as more of a social advantage and not just a hassle. It also helped me to think about setting and achieving goals, not for someone else, but for myself. Something I learned from Persona 3 is that time is short, and everyday should be lived to its fullest. One should be as productive as can be and strive to do better. I guess that's something obvious to some people, but it had been a concept so elusive to me until now.
Don't get me wrong. My lifestyle isn't going to be limited to that of a videogame. I just see it as an expansion pack that helped fix some bugs. I've played games since I was five years old, and after all this time, I never thought that I'd ever get something out of a game that I could apply to life.
Well, this year has been cruel to anyone who has yet to get a next-gen system. I'm still in the past and it'll be a while till I get out. So, I came up with this crazy idea of how I could add at least 400+ hours of stuff to do with my PS2. The other day I was looking up news on Final Fantasy XIII, when I came across something that made my stomache churn. It was Final Fantasy XII: International Zodiac Job System. I was impressed with it's ridiculously long name and I was angry that it hadn't come out anywhere but Japan. Luckily this has been my second month studying Japanese and whilst I only have down my Katakana, I'm starting to get somewhere.
What I'm saying is that I'm planning on getting my hands on some J-RPG exclusives! What better way to work on your Japanese than by playing a videogame. The games I really wanna get are FFXII: IZJS, Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix+ and Persona 3: FES although I'll just get that one in English to save me the trouble. With those three games and a couple of flings on the way, I'll be good till the holiday season where I plan to get me a Playstation 3 and enjoy all it has to offer by then which apparently is ALOT!