Thursday, 15 September 2011

Seen a lot of my huge family over the past week and a bit, tricked my brother into drinking vodka, saw an Octopus go Jackie Chan on a crab, had Burn Energy Drink which was the best, survived flying Ryan Air and caught up with old Sheffield friends. Going back to Oxford for Jon's birthday. Not to mention Minecraft 1.8, Doctor WhoTorchwood,The Big Bang Theory and Celebrity Juice. Back at work on Monday which happens to be the same day my student loan goes in. Life is good!


Sunday, 7 August 2011

How could Gamer Score be such a headache?

Finally, the Moose is loose on here!
Goldfish finally sent me the invite to be unleashed upon the blog and so I thought I would cover an issue that many people must have encountered.

How is it that a number could rule your life so much? My Gamerscore on my xbox account has currently taken over my life this summer, I keep wanting more and more. Its insane! I also know for a fact that it isn't just me that has this addiction. Goldfish, Lemming, and Pie, they have it too alongside a vast number of the gaming community.

The craziest thing of all being of course that it all comes up for nothing, it's merely a number that either gets you some recognition, or a look that says "Wow, you really have no life at all do you?"

Both results usually end in going after more achievements, either for a bigger ego rush, or to make the pain of reality to go away. Comfort 'Chieving.
On the plus side, wanting more achievements has led me to try more new games, or go back to some old ones that I haven't looked at for ages. Mercs 2, great fun.


Monday, 1 August 2011

The Difficulties of Difficulty

Big post, but if I'm going to rant about videogames, here's a good a place as anywhere to do it. Here goes, internet!

It’s been my little project for the last few vacations to complete Halo Reach on the hardest difficulty by myself, for a cool 275 gamerscore. I’m just over halfway through, and progress thus far has involved dying an awful lot, moving through the campaign inch by inch. And this is confusing- aren’t the Spartans meant to be genetically modified indestructible super-soldiers, whose very presence inspires hope in his allies, and fear in his enemies? And yet, here I am, hiding behind a brick wall, because if I pop my head out to take a shot, I’ll be decapitated faster than you can say “This does not make sense!”

Yet another, more glaring problem is that making games harder by giving you less health is that it’s just dull and frustrating. For the most part, a hard difficulty run is a playthrough of a game that has already been completed, thus meaning the player is familiar with the surroundings. However, at the moment, all the harder difficulty means is that you spend more time either respawning, or analysing the excellent textures of the cover you’re using. It’s not offering you a new experience, or challenging you to employ all the skills you gained the first time round. Instead, it’s just an exercise in how many times you can throw yourself at a room of enemies until you load the next checkpoint.

And this has been the case since the dawn of gaming, when harder difficulties meant less health, fewer continues, and it’s an all-round archaic and outdated system. Personally, I feel that innovation in this field needs to move away from making the player weaker and less effective, to steepening the challenge the game presents. This could be as simple as adding more enemies, decreasing the amount of ammo dropped or making headshots count for more, in order to make gameplay more deliberate and considered, whilst not being outright frustrating.

Timesplitters on the PS2 had an excellent mechanic in which harder difficulties not only meant less health, but extra objectives, leading to extra experiences and challenges. I feel this could be taken further, by actually modifying the levels in the game, to give the player positional disadvantage in a firefight, as well as causing lack of familiarity with the environment, making the game more challenging. The AI could even be altered, making the enemies more aggressive, ready to flank and rush, and present a sterner challenge to the player. Also, the allied AI could be made nervier, so that the player also gains the experience of leading an army into battle, instead of hiding behind them because to rush in would spell certain death.

Needless to say, there are players that relish the challenge that harder difficulties currently bring, but I for one find them find them too repetitive and frustrating to rival the enjoyment I got from the first, easier playthrough. It’s basically the gamerscore and bragging rights that get me through the slogs of top-difficulty gaming.

Thank you for your time guys, tune in to see our attempt at magicka. And with my router problems, this could be very interesting.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

First Dislike

Got our first dislike the other day!

Haters gonna hate.

Got Portal 2 through the post. Completing the coop campaign with John at the moment. Wondering if I should record my single player playthrough. See how I feel later. Might get that Magicka game if everyone else is interested. I know Pie already has it. Made sure I mentioned him in the new video seem as though he did re-create Lava Pit for Halo Reach and named it Water Pit. Check it out

Monday, 18 July 2011

A wild Pie appeared!

'Ey up everyone, I'm Pieinthesky67 (a.k.a. the guy who got his xbox later than everyone else, didn't get the memo about the whole animal thing, and 800 MSP is a lot of money). Firstly, I would like to thank Rob for coming up with this idea, and for letting me contribute to the Animal Gamers blog. Like everyone else involved in this project, I'm still not sure what I'm putting on here, so essentially, I'm making this up. I've currently got a plan for a post, so watch this space for more from us. Here's a sneak preview of my next post...

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Legendary Campaign Start

This morning we posted our first video of let's play series for Halo Reach. First video doesn't get anywhere but we slowly progressed through the campaign. I will be cutting and rendering copies for Youtube but it's taking a long time so expect them in the near future.

About half way in terms of footage. Will have to carry on with the campaign and finish it off sometime soon.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Name Change

Felt a little left out, being referred to as "the occasional mattdriver123" so decided it was time to get a new gamertag... one that matched the animal theme...

Say hello to MenacingMeerkat! :)

(Took me ages to find a name that wasn't taken. You'd be surprised at how many penguins there are out there...)

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Disappointment and House surprise!

Today I went down to Oxford looking for a house to move into next year, was quite successful and found it difficult to choose. Took all day and I am currently drained. Hit a bit of a snag getting hold of the HD video recorder, won the bid for the Hauppauge HD PVR but "apparently it broke" so I have been refunded. It probably was "conveniently" broken because I got it at half its sale value which I was pleased about to say it was in good condition for second hand. Anyway the hunt will continue tomorrow and if all else fails I may look at buying a new one from Amazon.

Tired now so off to bed, ZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz 

Monday, 13 June 2011

Animal Gamers Up and Running

Allreeet guys (and girls), 

This is our first blog and hopefully this will become a full-time thing. We have just decided on our name for our youtube channel being called AnimalGamers. Unfortunately this does leave Matt Driver and Pie out of the equation. Hopefully they will understand, if not then I will just post videos from myself (NuclearGoldfish). We have a lot of fun playing games on the Xbox and quite recently Minecraft on the PC and want to share that with everyone around the world. I've just bought myself a new microphone and i'm currently looking into a HD recording device because my Dazzle capture card is a little outdated. Will keep you posted on future developments and when you can expect our first video.