Tag Archives: Video Games

If It’s In The Game

I like to play sporting video games a lot more than I like to play actual sports. As a lazy Western European, this isn’t perhaps unusual. The kinds of sports I play virtually are often ones that I wouldn’t have a passing interest in normally and similarly, there are sports that I follow that I don’t spend much time on in their digital form.

I follow NFL, though as a fan of The Dallas Cowboys some people might challenge that. Aside from EA’s Madden series, there isn’t much else to choose from. I’d rather dabble with Fantasy Football leagues instead of going on Xbox Live and getting creamed by some foul mouthed 8 year old – especially likely if I play as Dallas!

I like playing bowling games, in fact if Wii Sports bowling could be played online then you could close down all the bowling alleys in the land. I also find myself playing a lot of Shuffle Party these days, admittedly in bowling mode, but there little chance you’ll ever find me within a mile of a real life shuffle board! I used to be hooked on Championship/Football Manager too, which I’ve always thought should be used to train actual managers. Maybe if it was, the ‘beautiful game’ might be a little bit more… well, beautiful…

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Posted by on April 18, 2013 in Gaming, Sport, Technology, Wii


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Time To Tidy



I’ve heard it said (probably on the One Life Left podcasts – that all classic videogames are based around the idea of ‘tidying up’.  Space Invaders, Tetris, Pac-Man… all of them require that the player takes their cluttered environment and cleans away the stuff that fills it, be that aliens, bricks or pills.  This weekend, when I should have been doing some actual tidying up, I’ve been playing a lot of Pac-Man.  There are about a squillion different versions of Pac-Man and its many spinoffs/sequels but the two in particular that have been occupying me are the Gameboy version and the impressively titled Championship Edition DX.


Instead of digging my classic monochrome Gameboy out of the garage, I’ve been playing the Virtual Console version on my Nintendo 3DS.  Like most Virtual Console games, it’s a good conversion that’s overpriced, looks a little odd on the widescreen topscreen of the 3DS, but overall plays very well.  There are two viewpoints to choose from – a zoomed in mode that allows you to only see a small area around Pac-Man and a zoomed out mode that is the traditional perspective.  Using the Gameboy’s lo-res display, this takes away a lot of the graphical detail, so I use the zoomed in mode.  This also makes the game more challenging as you can’t see where all the ghosts are at the same time.


The other version of Pac-Man I’ve been playing is the big, brash and shiny Championship Edition DX on my Windows 8 PC.  This is the same version that Xbox gamers have had access too, but now it’s getting the Windows 8 app store love.  This game harks back to the original’s 10p munching roots, but it’s been given a visual makeover that makes the game looks more like something from Tron Legacy.  The bass-driven techno music also takes me back to the old video arcades, with their blaring coin-ops that could be felt through the floor as much as they were heard.  It just goes to show, there’s still life in the old yellow pill-gobbler yet.

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Posted by on January 20, 2013 in Gaming, Music


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Senseless Violence

I enjoy a violent video game or an action movie as much as the next person. Only yesterday, I was gunning down a digital army of the undead. I think it would have been physically impossible for one person the carry the amount of ammunition I emptied into wave after wave of brain eating zombies. Does that make me a violent person though? Does that mean that I’ve got a weapon wielding maniac tucked away in my psyche just waiting to be released? I think it’s unlikely, just as much as it is unlikely that there are going to be any invasions of skeletal monsters on the horizon. Maybe if I was put in the actual situation of fighting off a load of zombies I would be able to fall back on my Nintendo training. Years of aiming for head shots and making do with clipping a shoulder could pay off.

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Posted by on August 28, 2012 in Monsters, Technology, TV, Wii


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Oh no!

Back in the 90s I used to have an Amiga 500 computer, without a hard drive but I had 2 floppy drives to cut down on all that disk swapping. There were some excellent games available for the system, plus a thriving scene for tech and music demos.

One of the games that ate up a lot of my time was Lemmings (and its many sequels). The tiny characters spilled out from one end of the screen and your objective was to save them from being squished, burnt or drowned before they reached the other side of the screen.

The music was a mix of traditional and Christmas midi tunes which should have been unbearable but at the time was difficult to get out of your head. Later games in the series lost their simplicity and charm but the climbers, builders and diggers of the original were always the best.

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Posted by on July 17, 2012 in Socks


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