Friday, 29 August 2014

Back on the Horse


Hello, it's been a while.

Four and a bit months actually, my biggest break from writing about, well, anything since I started this thing.  Life has been pretty hectic the last four months, there's a book there somewhere, maybe, but it has been fun.  It's also been kind of gameless.  Those shiny new consoles have seen little to no action apart from the odd bit of COD and my weekends have been filled with a girlfriend, friends, family, kittens and Festivals instead of a game pad.  Then about two weeks ago I had my first weekend at home since the end of May and I put Watch Dogs back on.  It sucked me in a little, I actually forgot how much I liked the online aspect, the ability to hack and be hacked by other players and the story is kinda fun.

Then I received a text, 'Are you getting Diablo 3?'

I'd not even realised it was about to come out.  A game I'd deliberately avoided buying on PS3, because I knew it was coming out for next gen (or this gen, you know what I mean).  So I said yes and bought it on XboxOne.

Firstly, it's gaming mana.  Hitting things, lots of spells, collecting stuff, hitting some more things,  manage an inventory, craft things, hit that thing over there.  Lovely.  Secondly, it's gorgeous.  It might be a game with an isometric POV but it just sings on my One.  And at times there's a serious amount of stuff going on, like, an insane amount and there's no slow down, none.  It's the first game I've bought for one of the new consoles where I've really felt like I'm playing something worthy of the grunt under my TV.

Then there's the social bit.  Now the One, despite the annoying dashboard, does this better than the PS4, and the headset that comes with it is miles better than the one the PS4 ships with.  But all that aside the social bit of Diablo 3 is just a joy.  Playing with a friend, in this case @ben_cameron from Twitter, has been really good fun.  We've been playing through the story together and when we've not been able to, we've been building up another character each in a different class to the one we started with.  It's geek heaven, obviously, but both hitting the hell out of waves of demons and then both saying, 'Hang on, I need to check my loot,' is a genuine gaming marvel.  Yep, Diablo 3 is an old school dungeon crawler but it's just got so many layers.

So there you go, I'm back on the horse.  Bring on Destiny, Dragon Age 3, FIFA 15, The Division, The Witcher 3 and all.

I'm back.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Music and Games


For maybe three weeks I've been listening to a song on Radio One.  I liked it, and I finally got around to tweeting that I liked it without really knowing what it was.
I know, I'm quite the wordsmith.  The thing is though after a bit of digging and after buying Half Moon Run's album,  I realised something.  It wasn't Radio One that sold the song to me, it was Assassin's Creed IV.

I mean obviously this had happened surreptitiously.  Which is probably how advertising is supposed to work or something, but I must have seen that ad half a dozen times at the cinema and turned to my mate and said, 'I can't wait to be a pirate' before hearing it on the wireless.  The song had floated into my receptive subconscious and sat there for a couple of months until Nick Grimshaw unlocked it on the breakfast show.  I can't get 6 Music in the car, stop judging me.

So a song and a game. Together as one, exciting and of course a one off.... BUT IT'S not.

You see last year I bought FIFA 13, or was it the year before?  I'm not sure.  Anyway it was FIFA 13 and I bought it somewhen between the years 2012 and 2013 and it had a song on it.

FIFA, you see, has menus screens between matches of the soccer and when you're on those screens, songs play.  Beautiful songs.  Most of them are a bit rubbish and not beautiful, you know, chart stuff that no one over 25 cares about.  But there was this one song, with admittedly a terrible middle eight, I really liked.  If I'm honest, because of the nature of gaming, I never quite got to the terrible middle eight while playing FIFA.  That's the trouble with gaming, no time to enjoy the soundtrack... Unless you're playing a Nintendo game and then all their soundtracks are brilliant and you love them... and you are mad.  Anyway the song was called G#.  It has a hashtag in the title so I was immediately drawn to it because I use them all the time, particularly on facebook.  I think deep down because the hash tag is after the 'G' I was duty bound to like it because that's not how you're supposed to do it and I like not doing things the way you're supposed to.  It turned out the song was by this little band from the States called Kitten and I bought a couple of their EPs.  I know, people still make EPs.   Who knew?  They're virtual EPs these days though which is much better for a reason I can't explain here.

Here is G#.

The video is terrible but imagine winning the Champions League with Colchester United and hearing it.  I know. Amazing.  (That actually happened.  Still skipped the middle eight.)

I love games.  I love music.  And now I'm finding music because of games.  It's a wonderful life.

Hurrah.