Good Gaming – An Update


Some time ago I wrote a post about my gaming history. Video games have been a big part of my life and have brought me hours of enjoyment over many years. This week a few uncanny occurrences caused me to rethink what gaming means to me today. So what happened,  you ask. Well…

Firstly, I came out of a post natal depression funk (the reasons I haven’t posed here for some months) and realised the thing I wanted to do most was play games. I’d been advised to ‘remember what I liked doing’ and ‘do it’ again. Depression has a way of sapping all your desire to do anything aside for feel tired and shitty, but somehow I scrapped together enough gusto to go out and buy a game I’d heard a lot about – Journey.

Secondly, I got a response back from a reputable game development company in Mexico (my most favourite place), after I’d offered my creative writing services. They were keen to have me collaborate on a game they were currently developing in Spanish with an aim to translate and localise for English speaking countries. Holy Guacamole!

Finally, a film producer friend contacted me and revealed he was making a documentary about women in games (players, developers, designers etc). After some discussion he suggested that I be the ‘backbone’ of the story – using my gaming history, career choice and recent dabbling in games writing as the core content. Exciting!

So, here I am again, reflecting on the role of gaming in my life. I thought I’d try and list the games I remember playing, despite knowing many have been lost to the foggy mire of my terrible memory. Anyway, here goes (in no particular order and not listing versions):

 PC  Arcade  Console
 Firepower  TMNT  Mario Brothers
 Packman  Golden Axe  Snack Rattle n Roll
 Tetris  Mortal Kombat  Yoshi’s Island
 F-18 Interceptor  Tekken  Donkey Kong
 Indiana Jones  Ghouls n Ghosts  Loaded / Reloaded
 Bubble Bobble  Time Crisis  Need for Speed
 Super Frog  Buck Hunter  Oddworld
Kings Quest  Duck Hunt  Crash Bandicoot
Quest for Glory  Galaga  Silent Hill
 Space Quest  1943  Assassin’s Creed
Heroes’ Quest  X-men  GT
 Giana Sisters  Point Blank  Halo
Road Rash  Tekken  Star Wars
 Kick Off  Street Fighter  Splinter Cell
 Marble Madness  Space Invaders  Call of Cthulhu
 Heimdall  Destroy All Humans
 Moonstone  GTA
 Lemmings Call of Duty
 Legend of Kyrandia  Red Dead Redemption
 Elder Scrolls  The Matrix
Curse of Enchantica  God Of War
 Prince of Persia  Heavy Rain
 Double Dragon  Borderlands
Altered Beast  Starsky and Hutch
 Myst  Portal
 Square Heroes  Journey
 Diablo
 Time Splitters

I know there are plenty more I have just forgotten about but still it was fun recalling those who have stuck with me. I highlighted some my favourites in each category. As you can see, my preferred platform is console but I’m planning on hitting the PC again since there is just so much awesomeness on Steam (I’m thinking Limbo next).

I hope this post has stirred up your gaming memories 🙂 Let me know if you think I’ve missed any epics.

 

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Square Heroes Release


Check out the latest release of Square Heroes – an AWESOME little arena shooter featuring Online, LAN, Co-op and local multi-player gameplay. I was lucky enough to write the in-game dialogue for this comical, yet addictive game so keep an eye out for my name in the credits!

http://store.steampowered.com/app/334560

Square Heroes Games Writer

 

Writing for Games


If you don’t put yourself out there, you can miss out on some amazing opportunities. I recently landed a fantastic writing gig by simply asking a small games company, who does your writing? The answer was, we are looking for a writer right now actually. Bingo!

I love gaming and I love writing and now an opportunity to combine both passions was dangling in front of me. Since I didn’t have any games writing experience to speak of, I offered to write some short bios for the foe AI in their latest game. They agreed that would be useful so I created some cheesy character histories based on a provided comic strip. To my delight, my contact reported that the bios were just the kind of thing they were looking for and that they, would like me to re-write the dialogue used in the game! Double Bingo!

I spent my recent holiday writing up the dialogue to describe each level objective while also moving the underlying game story along. I really enjoyed the process and certainly didn’t expect any mula for my efforts, but after handing in my work, I was offered some $$ AND my name in the credits. Wooot! I can’t wait for the new game release so I can see my character names, attitudes and dialogues in action.

game characters

Good Gaming – My Gaming Life


For the longest time now I’ve wanted to write about how games have been an important and joyous part of my life. I’ve put it off for so long because, to give it justice, I would need several hours of writing time that I just can’t justify stripping from the Ruthless series sequel I’m currently working on. After attending an amazing event at the University of Western Australia’s writers festival today, I’ve decided I’m just going to put down everything I can and add to it over time (as I slowly remember games I’ll no doubt forget to include below). Today was spent watching Hex and Bajo from Good Game, interview a number of amazing, interesting and super intelligent game designers and writers (from Bio Shock, Freedom Cry and Far Cry). So now I am inspired!

Below I will mention my most memorable games but I’ve played many many more. I have avoided some because of their addictive and all encompassing nature (I know my weakness and I’m not interested in waking up in a pool of my own filth one day). I hope my gaming story makes you remember your own and perhaps- encourages you to write it down and share it 🙂

I first discovered “video games” when I was about seven years old -that was in 1990. Every year, my family used to stay in a big camping and cabin resort in the South West of WA. We would stay there every Easter with a number of other family friends who all had kids around my older sister’s age. I was the youngest by almost three years, which at that age was quite a significant gap. While the other kids went horse riding, played tennis and pool- activities that meant my size (I was tiny compared to your average seven year old) and my intellectual age were a serious handicap, I preferred to spend my time in the games room- playing arcade games I could barely reach.

I remember wrapping my small, clammy fingers around the joystick of Ghouls and Goblins and plugging piece after twenty-cent piece into the machine. One year I was delighted to find that they had two new games at the camp- Golden Axe and Double Dragon. GA quickly became my new favorite and without fail I would chose to play as the only female character- slaying skeletons, using magic spells and kicking tiny gnomes in the tush for potions and chicken drumsticks. Arcade games were mesmerising to me and if I wasn’t playing them, I was watching someone else play them. Consequently, I had my 8th birthday at Timezone- an arcade where my four best friends and I had free reign to play any games we wanted for two full hours.

One magical Christmas, my cousins got a Commodore Amiga 500. Introducing the PC. Family interaction became secondary to playing Gianna sisters until I puked (I really did play for so long one afternoon that I was sick). My parents eventually caved and bought one for our family. That day I was lost to the world of games forever. The only known Amiga shop in Perth, which was not so close to our house, sold copied games on single floppy disks, second-hand adventures in frayed boxes and of course those awe inspiring plastic wrapped packages filled with disks, maps, code books and guides that had yet to be drooled on by pre-pubescent gamers. It was a good day indeed when my father took me to that shop. Even if we only came away with a $2 copy- I was ecstatic and couldn’t wait to get home and play it.

I played unknown games like Amoeba, Bally and text adventures such as Sorcerer but also the classics like Lemmings, Indiana Jones, Superfrog, Bubble Bobble and F18 Interceptor. My great love was for the epic Sierra RPGs like King’s Quest, Hero’s Quest, Quest for Glory, Space Quest and even Leisure suit Larry.

I had not yet discovered the console. I had only played Altered Beast on a Sega Mega drive at a friend’s house, which I found intriguing but I still preferred to play on my Amiga. I would play PC games from sun up to sun down and although my parents periodically protested, I am forever grateful that they recognized my passion and for the most part, let me be.

When I was twelve years old I made a friend who owned a Nintendo. I made sure that I maintained a friendship around the use of the Nintendo for fear that I would lose access to the Nintendo forever. Snake Rattle and Roll was my favourite. She didn’t have Mario brothers. I also made another friend who was completely uninterested in games but she had an older brother who was quite the opposite. Soon I was head-over-heels in love with him.

Any opportunity to compare notes on a PC game we were both playing (because I had found out what he was playing and saved up to buy it myself) was a heavenly and uplifting moment. As a serious teenage gamer- one that had money to spend on games and time to expend in a dark, smelly room- my crush was an inspiration and a guide into my own teenage gaming life. When he bought a PlayStation and let me play Loaded and then Reloaded with him and two friends on a Saturday night, I started saving my pennies.

I eventually saved up and bought a second-hand Super Nintendo and Yoshi’s Island. I played that constantly until I finished it. I later brought Donkey Kong, which I also obsessed over until I’d finished. By this time, I was about fourteen years old and I’d made plenty of girlfriends who had no interest in games. Eventually when I realised my crush had no interest in me, I suddenly lost interest in games myself. I didn’t play games of any kind for  five long years. 😦

When I was nineteen or twenty, my boyfriend bought me an Xbox for Christmas. That was a pretty awesome gift (I consequently married him nine years later). I was back on board. I started playing Starsky and Hutch, The Matrix, Call of Cthulhu, Splinter cell, Time Splitters, Halo, Halo and more Halo!

From then on I dabbled in games between computer-science university lectures, worldly travel and eventually a full time job. I began as a web developer and consequently met plenty of like-minded gamers (to varying degrees) in my career. Gaming was no longer an obsession but an excellent casual pastime, a great conversation topic and I’d even roped my partner into playing with me, so occasionally it was a fun Saturday night in.

At around twenty-seven, I discovered DOSBox. So many of those old games still tugged on my heart strings so I revived a few such as Elder Scrolls: Daggerfall and Legend of Kyrandia. They weren’t quite like I’d remembered them (how times had changed) but I still thoroughly enjoyed the trip down memory lane.

Back to consoles- I ended up jumping a generation or two and finally purchased a PlayStation 3. Again I fell in love with games. One of the first games I played was God of War. Wow. How I love that game. I was later gifted Heavy Rain for Christmas by my super husband and that is what I played exclusively until I finished it. I dabbled in Little Big Planet (everyone should) and got more deeply involved in Borderlands 2 and then Portal 2 (angel harps playing here).

Right now, as of February 22nd 2014 I am working my way through The Last of Us. All I can say about that is I am no good at being stealthy and I therefore attract clickers like flies to poop. Speaking of poop- The Last of Us is a truly pants-pooping game.

I am ashamed to say that I already have my eye on another game and will likely get my hands on Gone Home much before I finish The Last of Us. In fact, maybe I’ll just download it now…

Good Game Host

Still in love with those nerdy gamer dudes. My hero- Bajo from Good Game

 

Mortal Kombat Komplete Review


Released all the way back in 2012, this game is worth playing anytime you can get your hands on it. Whether you are a fan of the series or not, this is a great place to start or get back to your MK roots. The story mode gives you a good back history of the series and slowly- each of the characters. You also have the good ol Krypt that allows you to unlock some sweet stuff like new endings, costumes and best of all – kick-ass character fatalities. There is some lame stuff speckled amongst the screaming tortured souls of the Krypt so I  suggest having a look at a walk-through site such as this, so you avoid the crud and only spend your hard earned coin on pure awesomeness.

Speaking of pure awesomeness… Freddy Krueger and Kratos. Need I say more?

Kicking ass has never been more fun with improved beat-down moves and x-ray attacks, which are hilarious because the character on the receiving end somehow manages to keep fighting with a broken neck and two broken legs- hardcore! Best of all, you’ve got some really gory fatalities that will make you scream “Yes!”

On to graphics- zero complaints. The backgrounds are really interesting and ghoulish (if you have time to sneak a peek mid-match). The characters look amazing and in my opinion- realistic (or as realistic as you want them to be). Their movement is fluid and adds to the awesomeness of attacks.

All previous DLC is included in this Komplete edition so you just put it in and play! Be prepared for some sore thumbs-ups.