As the title says, I had the interview and got the job. Thanks to all who wished me good luck.
When you're a kid, sat in class at School, all you ever want to do is wish away your life and finish School. Yet once you leave School, and enter the ever-changing real world, where you have to fight for jobs and earn money, you wish you were right back at School. Isn't it funny how your own perspective on life can change in such a short amount of time?
Since leaving School 6 years ago I've had 3 jobs, but none of them have come about as a result of an interview. I've had interviews, as I've applied for many jobs. But the first two jobs I had were both through firms that my Dad and Uncle worked for, so once jobs became available my Dad and Uncle both put good enough words in for me to actually get them both. The third job, which I currently still have, did have an interview of sorts, but I was all but assured the job before I even went to meet the boss thanks to a family friend who put a good word in for me.
On Monday I will once again have an interview. I'm not one to ever get nervous. I think nerves are a good thing, but too many people over-analyse things, and get too nervous. The best way to approach any instance in life is in a clam, clear-headed manner. My current job isnt the best, as the hours aren't consistent (a fact of which I didn't know when I took the job). I'm in desperate need of a better job with steadier hours, so I really need to impress at this interview. But nerves can stop you being yourself and showing off how you really are as a person. I don't see the point in going in to an interview and acting like how you envision the interviewer wants you to act. Just be you. That's the best approach.
Anyway, come Monday night I'll let you all know how the interview got on. Keep your fingers crossed for me.
The original launch of Final Fantasy XIV back in 2010 was terrible. In their attempt to beat World of Warcraft: Cataclysm to market Square let slip everything required to make Final Fantasy XIV a viable and, most important of all, enjoyable online Final Fantasy experience. I did eventually get hold of the game myself, brand new for only £3. But just as I was about to start the game up and use my month's free trial Square shut down all servers.
I haven't had the chance to play Final Fantasy XIV myself, so I can't really pass judgement on the title. I'm not that big on MMOs anyway, but playing a Final Fantasy game online has always intrigued me. I did buy Final Fantasy XI a few months before XIV launched, with the intentions of playing that, but I decided not to. This decision was mainly down to the fact that the game was launched a decade ago, meaning it would be hard for any newcomer to really get in to it when everyone else who plays it supersedes their level.
But with A Realm Reborn now on store shelves I'm in two minds whether or not to get it. Square have spend the last few years trying to take a terrible game and make it what it should always have been. From the previews I've read so far, they seem to have achieved their goal. A Realm Reborn is, from what I've read, now a playable and viable MMORPG, so it's probably the best time to get stuck in to it while the game is still new.
But should I?
I've been a stern critic of subscription-based games for a long time. Back when World of Warcraft was at its peak I refused to pay the subscription and play the game despite the fact that a large majority of my school friends were doing so. My brother did subscribe for a while, and it looked like a fantastic game that I would undoubtedly enjoy. But I'm old school. I feel that once a game is purchased no additional costs should be required to carry on enjoying it. Yet when it comes to A Realm Reborn I'm starting to feel like going against my morals, because Final Fantasy is a series that I adore. It has had its rough patches in recent years. I was never a fan of X, and XIII suffered from the same problems I felt X suffered. But Final Fantasy XII, which plays a lot like an MMO itself, showed me that Final Fantasy can still be a premier franchise even in the modern generation.
Another thing that is tempting me is that I can buy A Realm Reborn on PC, off Amazon, for only £16. It is dirt-cheap. Even if I buy it, use my 30 trial then subscribe for a month after that, the cost will only come up to less than £30. And is that really all too much for a game that you can play and enjoy for two months? I paid more than this for The Last of Us, and I finished that in only 12 hours over 3 days.
I'm still not totally decided, but the prospect of playing Final Fantasy online seems more appealing to me now then ever before.
Just thought I'd let you all know that I have placed a few pre-orders on games I want. My first is Rayman Legends, which launches in Europe on Friday. And the others are The Elder Scrolls Anthology, which launches 16th September, and Grand Theft Auto V, which launches 17th September.
I already own, and have played, Morrowind, Oblivion and Skyrim, but I really want to get my hands stuck in with Arena and Daggerfall, which is why, above all else, I NEED the Elder Scrolls Anthology. Grand Theft Auto V and Rayman Legends were in my top 5 most anticipated games at the beginning of the year (the three others are already available, and I already own... can you guess which they are?), so those pre-orders were no-brainers.
... and if they do, then count me as another casualty of GameSpot f***ing up it's own site. If blogs disappear I won't come here any more. Losing Unions was one thing, but if I can't blog about the hobby I love there's no point in staying here. It's the reason I've stayed with GameSpot for over 5 years.
If blogs disappear you can follow me on tumblr, if you really want to of course. Add me, I'm the-game-geek.
I have been collecting video games for nearly 5 years now, so it's only natural that my collection would be quite big. Over the weekend a film convention was held in my home town, and there were a few stores there selling video games. So, upon finding these stores, I couldn't help but want to trowel through their selection of games to find ones that I want and still need. I bought a few games, nothing really too special, but the purchases did make my library of games pass the 900 mark.
After nearly 5 years of collecting I have, according to my owned games list here on GameSpot, and my own calculations, 911 games. That's quite a number, and a number a lot of would-be collectors would be proud of. But because I own so many games, passing the 900 mark doesn't feel special. I remember how excited I was when I passed 100, and then 500. But 900 doesn't really fill me with any joy. I'm certainly proud of my collection, and I don't regret purchasing any of the games I own, but until I pass that 1000 mark I won't really get the same sort of satisfaction that other milestones such as 100 and 500 gave me.
Just 89 more games to go.
Personally, I'd love to see Nintendo pick them up. What about you guys? At the moment it seems Sega are most interested, but the list of companies in the running to buy them is quite numerous, if you believe rumours. So who do you want to see Atlus bought by?
The Pikmin games are real-time strategy games, but they aren't true RTSs. When you think of strategy games, titles such as Civilization, Alpha Centauri and Age of Empires will probably come to mind first, not a game which was designed off the back of the lead creators love of gardening. Over the years Shigeru Miyamoto has pointed out many instances in his life that inspired his creations. The Legend of Zelda came from his love of adventuring as a child. The idea of Nintendogs came to him after he got a pet dog (he is now an amateur dog breeder). And Wii Fit came about after he quit smoking and decided to live more healthily in life.
Pikmin wasn't a massively in-depth strategy game, but it felt like a pure Nintendo experience. We all know Nintendo aren't shy about trying something different - something unique. One look at Miiverse shows this. Instead of copying the opposition by adopting a more standard online network with the Wii U, Nintendo came out with something far different, and as a result the Miiverse has become the best source of social media for Nintendo fans. Pikmin may never rank alongside genre-defining titles such as Alpha Centauri, or win as many fans as Civilization. But there's something joyful about Pikmin; something that makes them arguably the most enjoyable strategy games I have ever played.
Pikmin 3 was released on Friday in Europe. I ordered if from Amazon and got it for only £35 including postage, which I was very happy about. Britain's biggest video game retailer, Game, was selling it for £50, so I got a whooping saving. Unfortunately I was at work on Friday, so I couldn't get stuck in to it straight away. But once I got home my night was all set.
Pikmin was a great game, but its 30-day limit really restricted its appeal. Pikmin 2 was superior to the original in every single way, getting rid of the 30-day limit and allowing the players freedom to explore the gorgeously designed world at their own pace. Miyamoto said that he wanted some of the urgency of the original Pikmin game, which the second lacked, to return in the third instalment, which put some doubts in my mind as to how Nintendo would get around it. Pikmin 3 certainly has a more urgent feel to it compared to Pikmin 2, but it also allows the freedom the second game excelled in. The gap between 2 and 3 isn't massive; it feels more like a refinement of what has come before. But the experience is still quintessentially Pikmin.
The original Pikmin games were really great games because of the sense of joy they gave the players. The Pikmin all look adorable, and all of them are really handy in their own ways. For anyone who hasn't played the series, each type of Pikmin is resistant to certain effects. Red Pikmin are resistant to fire. Yellow Pikmin are resistant to electricity. And Blue Pikmin can wander to their hearts content through water. Pikmin 3 also introduced two new types of Pikmin, flying and rock. And unlike white and purple Pikmin in Pikmin 2, which are incremental upgrades, these new Pikmin are totally new types that have their own onions.
I won't say too much more about Pikmin 3, as it has still to be released in the US. But if you loved the first two then you will unquestionably love Pikmin 3.
I have never cried as a result of playing a video game. I have come close. The emotional ending of Ocarina of Time made me fill up. When Zelda is talking to you, telling you to go back in time and live the life she didn't allow you to have. That got me. And the fact that it signalled the end to the best video game I ever played also played a role. Then there was the death of Aeris in Final Fantasy VII. When I completed Final Fantasy VII for the first time I already knew Aeris died, and despite the poor localisation that Final Fantasy VII is known for the writing and the music got me. Hearing Aeris's Theme playing, while reading what Cloud had to say to Sephiroth, again made me fill up.
But until The Walking Dead no other game had ever brought to fully to tears. The entire game is about survival, and building strong relationships with your fellow survivors. A lot of other games have tried to push emotion on the players, but The Walking Dead took it one step further. It really got to me. I have the up most respect for Telltale Games as a developer.
Also, remember when I did my lost of my games of the year, from every year from 1977 to 2012? Well, after playing The Walking Dead, Journey has just been knocked off its perch as the best game of 2012. The Waking Dead wins it, hands down.
Winner: Xbox 360
People have voiced criticisms for the fees Microsoft charges for Xbox Live Gold, and others have criticized their lack of first-party games in comparison to Sony and Nintendo. But the Xbox 360 has been my main console of choice for the last few years. Xbox Live is certainly a great online network, and although it lacked as much compelling exclusives, the third-party support on Xbox 360 was vastly superior to the PS3. The games simply felt and played better on 360. Also the controller is fantastic, and the achievements system far outshines the trophy system found on PS3. The only main criticism I have of the Xbox 360 is that, alone, it probably won't satisfy your gaming needs simply because of the lack of exclusives. Halo and Gears of War are OK, but they certainly aren't as compelling as anything exclusive to the Wii or PS3. But the Xbox Live Market Place has been home to the greatest Indie games on consoles; despite the criticism a lot of Indie developers have levelled at Microsoft's policies.
Winner: Nintendo DS
It wasn't a difficult choice. In fact it may well have been one of the easiest decisions I have ever had to make. I don't dislike the PSP, I have played some great games for the system. But the DS has destroyed it. It hasn't even been close. Despite the superior hardware, that many stated back in 2004 would see the PSP outsell the DS, Nintendo have managed to create one of their all-time greatest systems, and unquestionably the greatest portable video game console ever made. In fact, across both home and portable consoles this generation, the DS has been my absolute favourite piece of hardware. And the competition wasn't even close.
Nominations: BioShock, Fallout 3, Mass Effect 2, Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, Portal 2, Rayman Origins, Super Mario Galaxy, Super Mario Galaxy 2, The Walking Dead: A Telltale Games Series and Xenoblade Chronicles.
Winner: Super Mario Galaxy 2
Forced online/co-op multiplayer modes. Exploitable, on-disc DLC. Micro transactions in full price games. The hate publishers have for used games. Online passes. These are, for better or worse, what the seventh generation will forever be remembered for as far as I'm concerned. As a community we've been chewed on and spat out by the major publishers, and all the while they have the gall to blame us for all the woes of the industry. But, casting these ridiculous aspects aside, the seventh generation has also given us some fantastic games; and none more so than Super Mario Galaxy 2. Galaxy 2 was the culmination of Nintendo perfectly honing their mastery of the platform genre. Nobody does the genre quite like Nintendo, and Galaxy 2 is the best example of this in the modern era. The game was precise, intricate and above all fun. It showcased a level of design that no other company this generation has managed to compete with. As good as titles like Portal and Mass Effect were, they pale in comparison. Sure, you could argue that Galaxy 2, Portal and Mass Effect are all different types of games, offering different experiences, and therefore incomparable. But Galaxy 2 took its genre to new heights. It's so good, in fact, that it's difficult to see where platform games can possibly improve in the future. And Galaxy 2 also proves, beyond all reasonable doubt, that Nintendo EAD truly is the greatest development team in history. It's true, it isn't my favourite Nintendo game, or my favourite Mario game. But if any game in the last 7 years has been perfect, that game is Super Mario Galaxy 2. And, above all else, it achieved all it has done by being nothing more that a video game. There were no fancy cinematic sequences. There were no forced multiplayer features. There was no on-disc DLC. No micro transactions. No over-reliance on fancy visuals. It was just a video game in its purest form. And above all else, that is something Nintendo must truly be applauded for.
I'd be lying if I said the seventh generation was the greatest there ever was. It doesn't even come close to matching the third, fourth, fifth and sixth generations. But the seventh generation has given us some great game highlights, and has given us some games that we will never forget. My thoughts going in to the eight generation? Apprehension.