So this week I've actually been a little more active on the gaming front, having secured another job for now, and I've really been working on some games that have needed work done.
1. Back to the Cave: This week I got back into playing Cave Story, which I hadn't played in a while due to being stuck on a boss for ages. Because I realized that I didn't have it on this laptop, I decided to download the game again and give it a fresh start. I'm glad I did.
So far this run has really been going a lot better than my last one. I got the best weapons in the game, and I'm going after the best ending (which, ashamedly, I found information about how to achieve online. But I'm happy I did since I might not have thought to do some of that stuff.), and the people of the floating island don't seem quite as hopeless this time around. I think my only qualm is that the game seemed a lot shorter this time, but maybe that's just because I knew what to do from experience.
I'm pretty much back to where I was before on the game, but there's this tricky little cave with spikes and monsters standing in my way. I could very well have the game completed anytime, if I work on it some more, so we'll see.
I think I've pretty much come to the conclusion that Cave Story is one of the best games of all time, and a true inspiration due to being the outstanding work of one man.
2. Breaking Out: I've also really sat down and devoted more of my time to downloadable Vita title Escape Plan. I hadn't really made any progress on it since late August, so I think my return to EP was due. When I got back into the game, I was somewhere in the Trash Dump stages.
Right now I'm in the midst of the Workshop stages, nearing the end of the main story of Escape Plan. Every now and then the game will mix things up and throw a new kind of puzzle at you, but there are still some pretty simple stages as well. Actually, I can't complain too much about the difficulty of the game, because getting the characters to do exactly what you want them to do on the screen sometimes can be a battle. But, I will say that I've noticed some improvements with the game's touch controls since the last update.
I'm wondering if there will be some kind of showdown with Bakuki (the game's villain), in the last puzzle. Or, if perhaps there will be some sort of plot twist or unexpected ending to things. I shouldn't have to wait too much longer to find out. And of course, I'm not sure if the DLC continues the story, or if it's just a fun stand-alone addition.
I still have a lot to accomplish on the game, and I went ahead and purchased the latest DLC, Director's Cut. And I'm not sure, but I think it might actually be the last DLC for EP, at least for now. It promises to have the most challenging maps of all in the game, which should make for an interesting endgame. I figure this is the game I'm working at right now on my Vita, so I might as well give it some kick.
3. Bloon Busting: Continuing from my last blog entry (or the one before that?), I've made some progress on Bloons Tower Defense 5 since the other day. I completed the hard mode of the next two beginner maps, and now there is only one newer beginner map for me to conquer set on the first four planets of the solar system.
I figure I'll beat that one on all three difficulty modes, and then move on to the intermediate maps. Of course, I'm not sure what to expect from any of those since I don't think I've actually tried any of them yet. I'm hoping that I'll save a lot of monkey dollars between now and then, so I can buy power-ups to help me with more difficult tracks.
Oh yeah, and BTD5 is now also available on IPhone and IPod Touch. Pretty awesome. I don't know if I'd actually buy that or not, but I think if I were to buy any IPod game again that would be the one. We'll see...
4. PSASBR on the way: Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale comes out in just 3 days. and two last-minute additions to the game have been announced as DLC - Kat from Gravity Rush, and Emmett from the game Starhawk. The best part is that the two characters will be free DLC for a limited time, for two weeks after they are released next year. So, I know I'm planning on downloading some PSASBR DLC whether or not I have the game by that point!
Of course, this news hasn't been enough to make most people happy. Most fans on the forums act disappointed because they aren't really popular characters like Crash Bandicoot. A lot of people are still criticizing the number of characters in the game, which imo over 20 is plenty. And most people are just putting the game down for either being a Smash Bros. clone, or else for not being enough like Smash Bros. I honestly don't care if these people play the game or not, and would actually prefer they didn't tbh. I think PSASBR is going to be a good enough game, and I think this temporarily free DLC is another great incentive to buy it. (Even if, I think they should just make both characters permanently free, but I'm not complaining.)
5. Are Gamers Really Mature?: My last topic for this blog deals with gamers and their level of maturity. Now, this topic came up unexpectedly for me earlier, when I stumbled on to this picture. Apparently it was making rounds earlier this year on the web.
One side of the picture shows a group of young adults who are, presumably, gamers dressed in cosplay as the cast of FFXIII. On the opposite side, it shows some young adults getting drunk and partying. The picture's message is that cosplaying and gaming are considered socially unacceptable. But drinking and partying is considered to be socially acceptable. And, that you don't need drugs and alcohol to have a good time.
Now, I want to start by saying that I pretty much agree with this message. When I first saw the picture, I had to agree that it's really double-standard and weird how it's considered normal for young people to act like idiots and get smashed, but not for them to be reclusive and enjoy playing games. I think it's one of the great flaws of society, the message that drinking is something normal people do.
But, as you all know by now, there is always a second opinion to my rants and raves. Maybe I just always have to go against the grain, I really don't know. But I think there's a little more to be said for the other side - even if I don't agree with drinking, drugs or partying.
Now, looking at it from the other side... Is cosplaying really all that normal? And are gamers, really that much more mature than kids who like to drink and misbehave? I'm not completely sure. I don't want to be biased towards gamers here. I mean, I went to a cosplay convention twice now. I really didn't 'get' it. Maybe it's a generational thing and I'm just too old for it. But those kids didn't necessarily strike me as being more mature than others. And, furthermore, I'm not even 100% sure why cosplaying is linked to gaming.
Without getting too far off-topic (we are still talking about the above issue), I wanted to post this image as well. Now, this was probably made by some gamer. You have undoubtably seen several pictures like this on the Internet before, with so-called 'gamer girls'. Most of them are racier than this picture. But, many of them seem to have this one stigma attached to them. And no, I'm not talking about the girls all being attractive, though that is another one of them.
I'm talking about the message. That "all men who play video games, want a woman who can kick his ass at gaming." I don't know about all of you, but this has never been the case for me. I honestly don't feel more attracted to girls who are better at games than me. In fact, I might actually be a bit intimidated by them, or might think that they are more like a robot than an actual human being. I'm not saying I'm uninterested in girls who play games - I would like to be able to talk about games with my girlfriend, and play them with her even. I just don't necessarily want a girlfriend who only plays video games and does nothing else, and thinks nothing else.
My point is that, it's easy for gamers (and people in general) to say something and make it become the norm. You can say that a girl who whoops you up and down at gaming and gets into games more than you is "hot", and even if that's really just an opinion that only some people share, it can become what all gamers believe to be true through the Internet. Because, of course, most gamers have a lot of time to spend on the Internet, making pictures like these.
Getting back to the topic at hand, I'm not so sure that gamers are mature. If you look at most of the stuff online made by gamers, it's usually very immature. Heck, if you come here to Gamespot and read what all of us write everyday, it isn't always that mature. I think maybe the creator of the first image is mistaking caution and escapism, for maturity and good decision-making.
Sometimes I think about people who are older than me, who maybe grew up with or without games, but still never became a raving fan of them like myself and most of you. Most of them did go out and actually socialize with one another. Most of them learned from doing things hands-on in life, and learning things from experience. Most of them seem to understand the working world and the way things work better than I could ever explain it. Maybe those people didn't all make the best choices for how to go about doing stuff when they were younger. Maybe a lot of them still don't. But you've got to admit, they still seem to be a lot more mature than a bunch of people who play dress-up, and argue over which games were good and awful.
It's also kind of alarming, because more and more these days I hear about how young people want to be video game designers. I'm not saying that's bad, it's just that when I was a little kid and I wanted to make cartoons or video games, I was one of the only people in my school who was strongly interested in that kind of stuff. Most other kids wanted to be policemen, or doctors, or cooks, or mechanics - stuff that is, in all actuality, much more realistic and important for society. I'm just worried that enough kids aren't being realistic these days, and they're dreaming of some happy, easy-going future that is never going to happen. And when the going gets rough, they won't be ready.
So, I've kind of come to the conclusion... That one side is really just as immature as the other. I really don't think gamers are more mature than people who drink and do drugs, but I don't think they're really less immature, either.
What do ya'll think?