Unforgettable: The Flying Shell of Rayman 2

I haven’t written a whole lot of posts for my Unforgettable series because something has to really stand out to me to make the list.  It has to be shocking, exciting, or just too awesome not to share with the world.  It is only fitting, then, that one of my favorite games of all time gets to star in one of these posts, Rayman 2.  To be honest, the entire Rayman series is filled with unique and unforgettable moments (for example, water skiing behind a snake), but there is one part of this game that has really stuck with me, and I find it unforgettable because it is just plain fun. Continue reading Unforgettable: The Flying Shell of Rayman 2

Youtube Time: The Duck Plays: Rayman Origins-Wind or Lose (Lum Medal)

Today in Rayman Origins, I get the Lum Medal in Wind or Lose (one of the many titles that sport silly puns).  There is certainly some wind in this level.  And some losing.  Especially when I kept trying to get this one coin….  Darn coin.  I cut out a lot of my attempts because I fell to my doom so many times. Continue reading Youtube Time: The Duck Plays: Rayman Origins-Wind or Lose (Lum Medal)

Noob Vs. Vet: What’s the Difference?

Last Monday, GamerCrash posted an intriguing article about the ways in which games condition us. It’s a subject that got me to think, and the more I thought about it, the more I realized just how strongly my current playstyle is influenced by learned behavior. So much of what I thought were my own ideas are really just reactions; everything from avoiding water in platforming games to exploring dungeons in the most inefficient manner possible. I definitely play games differently today than I did 10 or even just five years ago. Is it experience alone that facilitated these changes though, or could it be that there’s something else that separates us ‘pro-sauce’ players and the hordes of ‘noobs’ that jump in each year?

We gaming ‘veterans’ often like to make fun of new players. After all, ignorance is funny right? They don’t know that building your character(s) for magic is usually the easiest way to make them overpowered. They don’t know that advancing the story in an RPG often locks you out of side-quests. They don’t even know that regenerating health is a relatively recent invention. Sure, ignorance is funny. It’s also funny to see a friend fumble around in a game series they’ve never played before, but also one that you know backwards and forwards. It’s certainly funny and even frustrating to see at times. However, just like our previous experiences define the way we play, so too does their lack of experience inform the way they play. And the real kicker is that they just might be having a better experience because of it. Experience really does make all the difference there.

It really is just a matter of not knowing any better. Unfamiliarity with gaming conventions means that a player won’t spot them as easily, if at all. This means that they won’t be pulled out of the experience as often, because they won’t be noticing things like large open spaces or an over-abundance of chest-high walls. Dungeons remain cool labyrinths to bravely forge through instead of getting reduced to an exercise in picking out which room(s) will wind up being boss areas or points-of-no-return. It’s not that experienced players can’t get immersed in an experience. We probably wouldn’t still be playing if we couldn’t. It’s just that our knowledge makes it more difficult to achieve, and even then our actions and methods will still be almost subconsciously influenced by what we’ve played in the past. In the end, I believe this also creates a difference in what experienced and inexperienced players want to get out of their games.

It’s a difference of expectation. Those of us who’ve been playing for a while want to see new things. We want to see things that will twist or even break our expectations. We demand better, but are often disappointed when ‘better’ is interpreted as “the same as before, but prettier”. We’re the players that want to be challenged; who want to see new and experimental ideas come to the fore instead of giving way to that which has come before. New and inexperienced players simply don’t need those things yet. The large-scale, “play-it-safe”, releases are enough for them, because such games are still new to them. What need does one have for the envelope to be pushed if they haven’t caught up with it yet?

In the end, it’s really just a difference of perspective. Newer players simply see games differently than those of us who’ve been around the block before. We may find it frustrating that disappointing games are held up in large part by those who probably don’t know any better, but I believe that it’s important to remember that we’d probably be right there with them if we had only just recently started playing games. Playstyles, perceptions, expectations, and perspectives; experience is what makes all the difference in each case, and is ultimately the primary difference between new player and old.

How have you changed as a gamer over the years? How have your own expectations changed as you’ve played?

Featured image from Flickr user: Shaunté Symone (cc)

Saturday Video Round Up: January 3 – 16

The following post was submitted by Gamer Crash. See more trailers and news at GamerCrash.com!

Happy New Year everyone! Hope your holidays were bright and merry and as the gaming companies awake from their slumber, so to does the Video Round Up! This is the weekly series that captures all of the best trailers and gameplay footage from the past seven days and places it all neatly for your viewing pleasure below. So lets have a quick look at some of the things waiting for you below.

Well, actually things are a bit different this time, aren’t they? You may have noticed that the round up is a little bloated this week and is pulling in two weeks worth of video content. Hope you all enjoy this special treat!

Arguably the biggest trailer this week came from Ubisoft who released a brand new gameplay and story oriented trailer for Tom Clancy’s The Division. If you want to know more about this world, what you’ll be doing, and how you can (hopefully) repair and fix the issues currently plaguing New York, then this is a must watch trailer. Frankly, I feel that it’s a must watch trailer anyway.

After a long time in the shadows, Homefront: The Revolution has resurfaced with a new trailer, an actual release date, and news of a closed beta coming next month on the Xbox One. The trailer will give you a good look at occupied Philadelphia and the Yellow Zone, one of three which the player needs to take back from the KPA.

I’ve also got new videos for Mortal Kombat X Kombat Pack 2, EA Sports UFC 2, Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 and so much more after the break, so come check out this week’s batch of trailers!

The full list of videos await you after the jump…

Continue reading Saturday Video Round Up: January 3 – 16

Point and Click Adventure games – Making a come back in a brand new format.

Point and Click Adventure games broke on the gaming scene somewhere in the 80’s. Focused on story driven games that allowed players to follow a story full of lush text, cutting edge animation and voice over performances. These games allowed the player to select objects in their “environment” to interact with and progress through the main story.


The point and click adventure games lost momentum in the gaming world due to the brilliant and exciting adventures waiting in the world of FPS.   It was harder to sell a game to a generation so used to the new dynamic in gaming. It was completely different and ported very well over to consoles, thus the gaming market opened up to more people and pushed Point and Click adventure games to remain on PC. Continue reading Point and Click Adventure games – Making a come back in a brand new format.

A New Gaming Challenge: Making Nice With The Twilight Princess

Image from Flickr user Thiago Borbolla (CC)
Image from Flickr user Thiago Borbolla (CC)

Since giving up on not beating Metroid Prime, I’ve been wary of challenging myself to complete old, unfinished (or never started) games in my backlog.  Or, I should say, wary of challenging myself and then making myself accountable by documenting the process in writing, i.e. blogging about it.  But even though my Metroid Prime challenge didn’t have the best ending, from the experience came a number of thought-provoking…err…thoughts that I hadn’t considered when I first played it. Plus, sharing the game here provided much needed support that helped propel me to its almost-end, for which I remain grateful. And since it’s the start of a new year, why not resolve now to work through a game that’s been itching at the back of my skull for several months now…

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.

Continue reading A New Gaming Challenge: Making Nice With The Twilight Princess

The Great Mysteries of Rayman 2

After spending the last several hundred hours of my game time playing RPGs (no joke), I needed a break.  The only games currently in my backlog at the moment are Final Fantasy IV and V, so I decided I would instead need to revisit something I had played before.  Being in quite a Rayman mood after replaying Rayman Origins, I decided to connect the good, ol’ N64 and replay some of my old favorites, Rayman 2: The Great Escape and the Banjo-Kazooie games.  (Obviously, Banjo-Kazooie in no way relates to Rayman, but I may as well play them while the console’s plugged in.)

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve played this game, but I didn’t find it one bit less enjoyable than every time prior.  I mean it, I had a great time with this game, and there is one thing that always struck me about this game that really makes it stand out from anything else I’ve ever played.  The mystery. Continue reading The Great Mysteries of Rayman 2