Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The importance of a video game wish list


I love making lists. I love video games. I love making lists of video games I want. I recently wrote a blog post (in two parts) about games from E3 2014 I want. The problem is I want so many games, across different platforms, it's hard to keep track of it all. Usually I would write down all the games I wanted in one of my many notebooks I use for gaming notes/ideas/list making. This worked for a while, but it wasn't an efficient or organized way to keep track of everything.

Steam lets you create a wish list, as does the 3DS and the Wii U. But what about my 360 or legacy systems? I do use Amazon to keep track of some games I want (mostly it's games I want people to gift me). Yet there are a ton of games I want and I would prefer to keep it all in one location to better organize, catalog, and update as easily as possible.

So I created a spreadsheet in Google docs. I know it's nothing revolutionary, and I'm sure thousands of gamers have use a word processor before, but that's what this blog is about. I'm learning how to be better in all aspects of gaming. Having a wish list, something I've always had in some form or another since I was a kid, is very important for being a better gamer.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Why I won't write game "reviews"


Reviewing games for a living does not seem like much fun. I'm sure there are some neat perks like early access to major games, invitations to private events, etc. But if you work for a major game magazine or website, chances are only one or two people are allowed to review games they actually want to play. Most of the time you have to review whatever your Editor-in-Chief wants you to. And if you don't particularly enjoy the game, it can make it even harder to try and finish it in time for your deadline.

Rather than waiting to land their dream job at a gaming website or magazine, a lot of gamers have started their own blogs and youtube channels to promote their own content. I follow a lot of these self publishing games journalists, critics, completionists, or whatever they may call themselves. I'm also trying to become a self publishing games whatever I may call myself with this blog. Practically all of the gaming channels on youtube I follow or independent blogs I read do video game reviews. Some review new games. Some review classic games. Everyone has their own scoring system, whether it be a 5/5, 10/10, stars, letters, thumbs, etc.

Are these gamers doing reviews in hopes they can one day write content for Gametrailers or Game Informer? Or are they doing it because they think their reviews are better than major publications? Or do they just want their opinions and criticism recognized? I don't know. I wish I knew. I simply don't understand why video game reviews matter.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Why I don't understand the Club Nintendo 2014 Elite Status rewards


I love Nintendo. I really do. I don't love them as much as say, my wife or my kids (they are a company after all). But I love 'em. The love comes from an appreciation of how much their products bring me happiness. I don't blindly pledge loyalty to them, but I do find myself playing Nintendo games more than Microsoft, Sony, etc. I am simply a consumer who enjoys spending money on Nintendo games.

Just because I love these companies, doesn't mean I always agree with what they do. And if I do disagree with their decisions, I don't turn around and suddenly hate them. I can't hate these companies, because at the end of the day it is a business, and what they do isn't only centered around my world or how I feel.

All I can hope to do is observe and try to understand the decisions companies like Nintendo make. I've been playing games for over 25 years, so I know the industry doesn't try to make only Jose (that's me) happy. There are millions of people who enjoy video games, and billions of dollars to be made. Sometimes companies can be very harsh and blatant about milking every penny from their consumers ::cough Activision cough:: Other times they can be clever and make us feel very excited and happy about throwing all our money at them ::cough Steam sales cough::

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wii U games I need to play before Super Smash Bros. is released


Another character reveal trailer for Super Smash Bros. launched Monday. As I predicted this past weekend at my local game store, Oogie Games, the reveal was for characters from Fire Emblem Awakening. Robin and Lucina join the fray, and in the video they mix it up with Captain Falcon, confirming his return as well. An old character being featured in today's video was another prediction of mine, but I was hoping for it to be Ness. Oh well, he's coming back too...unless Nintendo hates it's Earthbound fans.

My excitement for this game grows everyday. I'm most excited about the For Fun and For Glory online modes. Playing random matches with people all over the world was something I was most hyped about before Brawl's launch, but we all know how that turned out. Friend codes and random two minute time matches was not helping spread the joy of playing Smash with others. It actually hindered my enjoyment of the game. A lot of my friends I played Melee with during high school weren't around anymore, and unfortunately I didn't meet a lot of people at college who wanted to come over to my house and play Smash Bros. Brawl until 2am. Pfft, whatever.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

I don't know if I will ever buy the Xbox One

I moved into my new apartment this past weekend. Achievement unlocked! My wife and I are really excited about our new place; we are closer to downtown Buffalo, each of my daughters now have their own room, and the rent is cheaper. Life is pretty good right now, and has been for the past few years. I spent all of last week packing, and most of this week unpacking. My new place is starting to look and feel like home, and I am just now getting caught up on everything video game related I missed in these past couple of weeks.

They say Summer is the slowest part of the year for games, but in my opinion things never slow down in the gaming world. Even if it is a slow news week, there is always my backlog of games waiting for me or gaming events to watch. Last weekend I managed to watch the Pokemon VGC tournament while I packed, and this weekend is EVO. Hopefully my internet will be up and running by then. I managed to keep my bank account safe from the Steam sale, but this week Xbox is having their Ultimate Games Sale. They usually have these "ultimate sales" one or twice a year, and they always sneak up on me. 

Like the Steam sale, there are quite a few titles I would like to buy, but I don't know if I would have the time to play them now so I think I will wait until the end of the sale to make any purchases. Besides I just moved, so I don't want to go throwing money around, even if I do got it like that (I don't). But every time I see a game for the 360 I've yet to play, like Skyrim or Witcher II or Dishonored, the question always comes into my mind: will I ever get an Xbox One?

Thursday, July 3, 2014

To be the best no one ever was...in 2015 (probably)

I love setting goals. Do I complete them? Not really. But I love telling myself I will. My philosophy in life is "shoot for the moon, even if you miss you'll land among the stars." So I create different lists of goals for myself across different aspects of my life, as far reaching as the moon itself. Video games are no exception. There are a ton of things I want to achieve in the realm of video games. Blogging here every day is a goal of mine, as well as creating a podcast and streaming on Twitch. I also want to clear my backlog, reach 100,000 gamerscore, complete my Rock Band collection, and do so much more.

But one goal I've had my eye on since 2009, is competing at the Pokemon World Championships. My love and passion for Pokemon is no secret: I've been playing since Red/Blue and haven't skipped on any entry or generation. The main Pokemon series is one of my favorite franchises, and one of the few games I'll go out of my way to have at launch. In 2009, Play! Pokemon held the first ever Pokemon Video Game Championships and it opened my eyes to the world of competitive Pokemon. Platinum was the game of choice for that tournament, and I had extensive knowledge of the meta game and considered myself a decent battler, but watching the tournament finals I was amazed at the level of skill those players had achieved.

Monday, June 30, 2014

How (and why) I didn't buy anything from the Steam Summer Sale 2014


Going into the Steam Summer Sale of 2014, I had 35 games on my Steam wishlist. Nearly every item on that list was deeply discounted, as was most of Steam's catalog. Bank account's and backlog's of gamers everywhere groaned. I know mine did: during the 2013 Holiday Sale I purchased seven games and spent $53.23. Not a bad amount to spend for that many games. Yet since the Holiday Sale I've played two of those seven, and completed/beaten ZERO of them.

I felt so proud during the weeks of the 2013 Holiday Sale. I was sticking to my budget and only buying games that were part of flash sales or daily deals. I spent the weeks leading up to the sale cultivating my wishlist, and only bought games from that list as to not fill my collection with games I didn't really want. Every game I bought I was excited to get them for the price, yeah, but more excited about the hours of fun I had yet to experience. The Holiday Sale was going to be different: every game I bought I would have beaten/completed by the Summer Sale 2014, where I would reward myself with a new batch of games.

That plan didn't go as well as I had hoped. A lot changed in my gaming lifestyle since the start of the new year, and as excited as I was to start playing my backlog, I barely touched my Steam library all year. Which is a shame as there are a lot of great games I have that I should be playing. But that can be said about my entire backlog of games. At the beginning of the year I made a promise to play my Steam games, and that would be the only way I can justify spending money on a ton of new games. I essentially broke that promise, which is the main reason why I didn't buy any new games this Summer sale.