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Sebadonut's Awakening

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I cant remember much about being ten years old. I can't remember much about last week really, if I'm honest. But despite my awful memory, I can vividly recall my love affair with the Nintendo Game Boy like it was yesterday (I can just about remember yesterday. Pretty much).

I remember how the weight of the console felt in my palms, how the A & B buttons clicked, and how the Start & Select buttons felt soft and smooshy (best non-word I could use to describe the sensation). I remember, very clearly, how the lid of the battery compartment broke and wouldn't stay in place and how I would continuously have to repair it using sticky-tape. I recall pestering my parents daily for this electronic wonder, and despite their low-incomes (to which I was childishly oblivious to) they managed to grant my wish.

Mum & Dad, I love you.

As with a lot of Game Boy owners, my first game was Tetris. You may have heard of it. It's a puzzle game that has a variety of blocks falling down the screen and by creating lines you can make them disappear. Trust me, its pretty fun. If you were blessed with a friend who also possessed a Game Boy, and a copy of the required game...and a connecting was possible to play 2 player on certain games. I don't recall the name of the football game me and Douglas from down the street played, but it is clear to me, as it was then, that the original Game Boy was not designed for football games. It was utter ****. But it kept us captivated for a whole summer.

The thrill of the match!! Erm. Yeah. ^

Recently I had the good fortune to have a quick play on an original Game Boy, but I quickly found the blurry little green & black screen to be a real strain on my ageing eyes. It was practically unplayable compared to modern standards, and I started wondering how this blocky handheld had kept my attention for hundreds and hundreds of hours back in my youth. Fortunately for this blog, I know the answer to this question. It was all thanks to this little game:

The Legend of Zelda: Links Awakening

Oooh yes. Links Awakening. Yes indeed sir. I remember thinking Nintendo must have to use some kind of magical enchantment in the process of fitting this entire epic adventure on one small, grey cartridge. The game starts with Link washed up on the shores of Koholint Island, a place of mystery that has been engrained deeply in my gaming psyche. He is led by the cryptic guidance of an owl and must find eight legendary instruments in order to wake the 'Wind Fish' and escape the island. Looking back, Links Awakening seems like a bit of a testing playground for some of Nintendo's more far-out storytelling ideas. The inhabitants of the island are nothing short of wacky, and there are even cameos from the likes of Yoshi and Chain-Chomps from the Mario series. I can clearly remember huge amounts of this wondrous game and decided I would replay the adventure in its entirety again if I had the chance to. Sadly, I had to resign myself to the fact it wasn't to be.

But wait!

You see I recently decided to reacquaint myself with Nintendo with the purchase of a 3DS, and soon discovered that there were a number of original Game Boy titles available to download at a price. Scanning through the list of titles I spied The Legend of Zelda: Links Awakening DX and within an instant I had decided this was a purchase I had to make.It is a dangerous proposition, returning to a beloved game after many years have passed. Maybe we will have grown apart, and attempts to try and rekindle the relationship are just folly. But it's a risk I have to take. Playing Links Awakening will literally be a link to the past for this gamer.

Possibly to be continued…but that's not guaranteed!!!

A sword stands over a shield, and goes through the letter

Be excellent to each other

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*This is a rant. It's my own fault for looking at article comments & forums. They angry up the blood, dontcha' know.

I can understand why some people feel inclined to behave like real pains in the ass on the internet. For one thing, it's so easy. There a millions of people out there, each with their own thoughts & opinions, and all it takes to get a reaction is one brainless confrontational comment at the foot of an article and BINGO!

Plus it's completely anonymous. Hiding behind their Username and Avatar, the internets angry population can fling poo at each other with no danger of ever coming face-to-face in that other reality (the one that isn't virtual and in which you have to be polite to people). There are no consequences, except for maybe having your account suspended. And if that happens, they just set up a new account (I assume using a different email address) and they can go right back to their pointless un-constructive trolling.

Although I can understand why this happens so painfully often, I by no means condone it. I think you should behave yourself on the internet in the same way you should behave in real life, and you should treat others with respect and empathy. Especially when you are contributing to a community of like-minded people who share a common interest or passion.

Cant we all just...get along?

There is nothing wrong with disagreeing with someone, as long as you accept the fact that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Why do gamers feel they have to squabble amongst themselves? Just because I brought a particular console why does that mean I'm in competition with people who brought the other one?

Why do gamers feel they have to squabble amongst themselves?

PS: I don't care how passionately you love your console/favourite FPS etc- the moment you become downright offensive (racist/homophobic/whatever) you have crossed the line. Don't do it. Be excellent to each other.

PPS: I'm pretty sure none of my Gamespotter friends are capable of being that nasty. You all seem lovely.

Is a general update, innit...

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A few things have been occupying my mind this week. Firstly, the new Xbox 360 dashboard went up with a few new interesting features, gizmos & dohickeys.It looks nice, and aesthetically pleasing is always a good start. I'll be honest there have been a few times when I've been a bit confused where to find something. I cant see a simpler way of looking through my games library than scrolling through each one... but maybe that's one of the areas where Microsoft have included Kinect functionality with voice search. Not being a Kinect owner (and I still don't see that changing anytime soon) I feel a lot of the changes are going to pass me by. I was particularly looking forward to the inclusion of TV broadcasters like the BBC iPlayer and 4od but it would appear that's not going to happen until later, along with the also disappointing absence of YouTube. Still, LoveFilm is up, and I might give that free 30 day trial a whirl. Last time I signed up with LoveFilm my discs kept disappearing in the post before they even reached me (and it happened too many times to be a coincidence, Mr Postman) so streaming on my 360 may be the answer I'm looking for. Cloud storage is also now available, but for me it has come several months too soon having upgraded to a 250GB slim. Storage is no longer an issue, and I never have the need to access my saves anywhere away from home. Still, I can see it being a nice feature for those who need it.

In the world of gaming, I have been busy trying to avoid Skyrim. I put 40 hours in to that game so quickly it scared me, so instead I'm working my way through a slew of shorter games before playing anymore of Bethesda's epic. I got through Shadows of the Damned on the hard difficulty in about 10 hours- very fun game that doesn't take itself serious at all and with some great boss battles. Sometimes you don't need a game to last forever or outstay its welcome. Much like the punk aesthetic its creators have woven in to the very fabric of its DNA, Shadows of the Damned is short, sharp and to the point. And its silly. And its cheap. So buy it.

I also picked up Alice: Madness Returns. I expected a pretty-looking yet simplistic platformer, and while that is exactly what it is I am finding myself enjoying it more than I thought. It keeps making me think of Banjo-Kazooie because of the simple double-jumping gameplay and the myriad collectibles to be found. After Dark Souls and Skyrim, linear feels good as I don't want to spend hours exploring and backtracking right now. Its dark, it's pretty, and it is easy to pick up and enjoy. Tasty.

Ummmm, what else...what else...Oh yeah! My 3DS got lost in the post! Bums! A replacement has been dispatched but I'm still pretty disappointed. I have orderedOcarina of Time and will be picking up Mario Kart 7 & possibly another game at the weekend. However its unlikely I will get to take it for a spin any earlier than Monday, so any 3DS related blog posts I had planned are temporarily postponed. Oh, and also ordered Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor to get an RPG fix. Always wanted to play it, now I have the chance! I have also only just realised that Links Awakening is also available to download from Ninty's eshop, so that will probably be the first thing I do when I get the 3DS in my sweaty palms. I have previously admitted my ignorance of handheld consoles and this only provides further evidence...

Christmas is just around the corner, and I'm very thankful there are no further 360 games I feel the need to purchase right now. I've got plenty to work through beforethe Witcher 2, MGS HD collection and Catherine arrive on these shores. Its been a busy close to the year, and I guess I'll have to start thinking about a 'top 5 games of the year blog' or something to that effect….

The pointless but entirely necessary levelling up celebration blog. Whoop.

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A dog-like enemy representing the Plutonium Boss is in the center of the image with a large, red crosshair above and off-center of the boss. Below the boss is yellow text that says

Lvl 22. Nice! Always find myself wishing that levelling up would mean a new perk. Or special Hat.

Blaster Master, eh? Never played it. But that monster on the box art kicks ass.

Anyway....proper blog posts will resume shortly.....for those who read my last blog, I am still waiting for my 3DS. Might be nearly time to make an angry phone call to the post office. Grrrrr

Wanted: 3DS advice

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I was hoping I could get some advice from my fellow Gamespotters regarding the Nintendo 3DS. More specifically, whether I should take the plunge and pick one when I go shopping next weekend. I have just seen a preview video of the new Mario Kart 7 game and it looks amazing, and along with the handheld version of Ocarina of Time I am finding myself really tempted....and feeling completely nostalgic for Nintendo games.

However I have a few reservations that are holding me back and any advice would be greatly appreciated. Firstly, does anybody have a good guess as to how long Nintendo are going to support the 3DS for? I would hate to make the purchase only for the games to stop being made all of a sudden.

Secondly, I have heard there is a new peripheral add-on that will give the 3DS dual circle pads. Do you think this likely means Nintendo will eventually release a new styIe of the 3DS with dual circle pads built in?

Lastly, it's December and the January sales will soon be upon us. Do Nintendo products ever have a price crash after the Christmas period? There's nothing worse than making a big purchase only to see the price take a massive drop a few weeks later....perhaps I should wait and see?

Also, if anyone could recommend any good RPG titles that would be cool too! Thanks :)

EDIT: I was thinking about getting this one

Forty Thousand

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I don't play games to get achievements or increase my gamerscore, but I've always sort of liked how they can provide an extra incentive or goal to aim towards outside of any given games main objective. I've found that sometimes aiming for a few tricky achievements can provide a little extra replay value to a game that would have otherwise been traded-in or simply left on a shelf to gather dust. Of course, I can see

the negative impact that achievements and gamerscores have had on some games and sometimes its a little too obvious that the developers have shoe-horned in 1000G just for the sake of it. I cant see it happening, but would I miss achievements if they were left out of the next generations Xbox design? Maybe, for a short while, but more than likely 'cheevos and gamerscore would quickly become a nostalgic memory....

Anyway, the point of this blog is not to go too deep in to the pros and cons of this topic, but to merely mark the 40000 gamerscore milestone that I have reached this evening. I stand at 40060 to be exact, and I was playing Shadows of the Damned when I realised I had reached that number.

It's a nice milestone to look back and reflect on all the gaming I have done over the past three and a bit years (approx) since I picked up my Xbox 360. I have played a lot of games since my first achievement popped which happened to be the 'Escaped the Imperial Sewers' (50G) achievement in Oblivion. And much like my character emerging from that murky sewer and embarking on a great adventure, I too was embarking on an adventure through a generation of great gaming.

So here's to the next 40000 eh?

There's nothing reformed about this meat boy

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I am currently experiencing what is known in medical circles* as 'Gamers Thumb'.

It's a condition that is often caused when a video games player uses an assertive and repetitive movement, most commonly with the right thumb, over long periods of time.I have not had a case of Gamers Thumb as bad as this since the mid-nineties and as bad as my thumb feels, I fear the 'A' button on my 360 controller has come off worse.What game could have inflicted this particular pain upon my dainty digits? Look at my last blog…Yup. It's the super meaty boy himself (?)…… Super Meat Boy.

It's a long time since I've played a game that had this level of 'Just one more try' addictiveness - no sooner than those words have passed my lips I find another hour has passed and my dinner is sat looking sadly at me, cold & uneaten. In a strange way, I'm finding I love this game in the same way I love Dark Souls. It's a very specific love, like that between a man and a fine Cuban cigar**. I actually don't mind dying in these games. Each death means I have tried a new approach to a problem or obstacle and inched ever so closer to success. And it feels so rewarding when everything clicks, and you time your jumps, leaps and glutinous bounds and make the perfect A+ run through a level. The controls are so tight and responsive you never have anyone to blame but yourself each time you dive off the screen or head first in to a meat grinder.

I know I'm a bit late to the party (I'm starting to think that will be the epitaph that goes on my gravestone) but better late than never, right? Scooping SMP for 400 Microsoft points last week was a rare bargain and certainly a purchase I'm pleased with. It's even halted my Skyrim progress for the last couple of days (that and a few frustrating cave-bear related deaths on the approach to the Throat of the World).

So Super Meat Boy is great. Yes. In other gaming news I've finally put down the money for Shadows of the Damned which should be working its way through the postal service as I type. I'm looking forward to some mindless shooting action, cheesy dialogue and crude willy jokes, and since Saints Row the Third has lost my interest completely I'm having to look elsewhere for a bit of stoopid fun. I've also ordered a copy of Alice: Madness Returns now the price has dropped suddenly to £12. Despite the tepid reviews on release, this sequel to the 2000 American McGee's Alice has been on my wanted list for a while mainly because of the pretty art styIe And besides, if the platforming gets too light & flaky I can always go back to Super Meat Boy.

In the real world…, you don't want to hear about that stuff. Soooo boring.

Game On people.

*I may have made this up.

**In fact it's nothing like that. Its much more like the creepy love I have for Kevin VanOrd – I'm still trying to learn to whistle Star Wars tunes. But impress me by naming that quote, if you can!

Super Meat Boy is 400microsoft points!

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Just a quick post to let you know I have just seen Super Meat Boy for just 400 msp on xbox live this evening. Looks to be part of a week long sale that includes lots of other offers and promises of extra one-day only deals. Ive been meaning to pick Super Meat Boy up for a while so this offer has come along at just the right time!

Admittedly I shouldnt be picking up any more games until Ive worked through my current backlog, but I cant resist a bargain. And Super Meat Boy is great!!

On not Blogging, and 'Fave Game Quotes

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I have been taking a little break from blogging. Despite having a week off work I have found myself with very little time for blog activity, and my birthday was also last weekend (28 years young). I have been reading other gamespotter blogs still and keeping up to date with current events. I have also found myself with a whole bunch of new games to play through including Battlefield 3, Portal 2 (at last!), and Skyrim. Oh and Im still slogging my way through Dark Souls and have Crysis to continue. Its been a while since I have had so many to play through- its quite daunting. I knew Skyrim was going to be frikkin' massive, but its shocked me how engrossed I have become in Dark Souls. Man that game is deep. Its sucked me in and just wont let go. I was really hoping to enter in to the world of online gaming with Battlefield 3, but honestly I dont know if I'll have the time....Whilst Im not blogging though, I thought I would post an entry that I hadnt got around to finishing. It was just sat on my laptop so I thought I would upload it rather than let it go to waste.

To anyone reading, hope you are well & happy gaming!

My Favourite Game Quotes

I have recently played through Resident Evil 4 HD and some of thefantastic cheesy dialogue got me thinking about video game qoutes. Here are a few ofmy personal favourites. Although they are great I wont include some of the more obviousqoutes such as 'Hail to the king baby' or 'Get over here!'

Bioshock,Little Sister: "Look Mr B, an angel!"

Deadly Premonition,Francis York Morgan: "My coffee warned me about it"

Red Dead Redemption,Seth Briars: "I dont eat, I dont sleep, I dont wash and I don't care!!!"

Rsident Evil 4,Leon S Kennedy: "I used to be cop myself. Only for a day though..." Luis sera: "And I thought I was bad..."

Resident Evil 4,The Merchant: "Got a selection of goods things on sale, stranger"

Resonance of Fate,Zephyr: "That wasnt a battle, that was assisted suicide!"

The Secret of Monkey Island,Guybrush Theepwood: "Thats the second biggest monkey head I have ever seen!"

Starfox 64 (aka Lylat Wars),Peppy Hare: "Trust your instincts"

Worms Armageddon,"Revenge!"

...and just about everything the Joker says in Batman: Arkham Asylum :D

hotwire my heart

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I love Grand Theft Auto 4. Its one of my favourite games of this generation & indeed it must be somewhere around my all time top 20. Maybe. To actually work out in which position it would rank would take considerable time & effort, and there is a slight possibility I would explode. Besides, the time could be spent replaying GTA4 or even a new release.

But I digress....

I thought GTA4 was great. I could start picking at its Nico's bizarre ideals and morals or those annoying friends of his who want to go bowling every 15 minutes and get all grumpy when I turn them down....but I'm not going to because the rest of the game was pure gold. Liberty City is a glorious believable game world that I spent hours exploring and goofing around in between missions (and bowling) and the vehicles were just so much fun to drive. The humour was cutting & brilliant; I must have listened to every radio show & watched every TV show multiple times and still found them funny. Speaking of which I really hope the newly announced GTA V has some special guest radio announcers & cameos. My favourites from 4 (as far as I can remember) where Iggy Pop (see my previous blog 'the song the band the game', I'm a fan) and Juliette Lewis.

Okay, its confession time...deep breath...I have only played the following GTA titles:

Grand Theft Auto (and the GTA London expansion. It was an expansion, right?)

Grand Theft Auto on GB colour

Grand Theft Auto IV

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

Notice any glaring absences? Yes that's right, no GTA 3, Vice City or San Andreas. I know it's ridiculous; you can shake your head as disapprovingly as you like, but they came out at a time when gaming wasn't high on my list of priorities, okay? Stop judging me!! Seriously though, I feel I missed out on an important stage of the series but I just can't bring myself to go back and play them. For the same reason I'm not going back to play other key titles (Max Payne, I'm looking at you) they are looking a bit ropey and there are just too many great modern games vying for my attention. Its a shame, I get the feeling I would get a real kick out of the humour in Vice City, not to mention the soundtrack.

So Grand Theft Auto V then. The trailer looks good, I like the look of the setting and the tone the reveal trailer has set. I'm hoping for more of that trademark GTA humour to make an appearance, and in contrast to what seems to be popular opinion I'm actually hoping for a more grounded serious plot & characters. I'm aware GTA IV was criticised for not being as wacky as previous games, but I think that should be left to Saints Row now. I like the idea of a hard hitting GTA title with dry wit & black humour. Again, may not be a popular idea but I'm not running for election here so what the hell...

I did like Nico but I felt his character was a bit unbelievable. He would swing from super nice guy to a sociopathic killer at the drop of a hat, and I just never really felt any emotional attachment to the guy. That strikes me as being rather important since you can end up spending hours upon hours with a particular protagonist in these sorts of games.

Anyhoo, it's fast approaching the witching hour & I have a full working day ahead of me tomorrow. One last thing about GTA IV- the first time Nico & Roman went drinking and stumbled around drunkenly outside the bar I nearly died laughing. And those hilarious physics when pushing people down stairs ROFL. I'm crossing fingers, toes, legs etc that the next instalment in the series has at least one of these moments!!! Night all.