Here, There, or Somewhere Else Entirely

July 19, 2011 at 6:27 pm (Gaming) (, , , , )

This post was originally to be about the five persistent goals I am to have for the rest of the summer, but after writing a lot of drafts and just generally not enjoying the thought process, I’m not going to post about that.

Instead, I’m going to strike out on a separate path and write about what I feel like writing about.

First off, I just got my computer running again last week. It’s running as well as it ever did, so I’m pleased with that.

Now, this blog may not have a clear topic or intention but that’s what this blog is for, sharing the aspects of my life that I enjoy.

I’m about 95% sure that the name “Minecraft” is one that you’ve heard, and if you haven’t heard it, you’re missing possibly the greatest sandbox game ever created.

I recently wrote a review for Minecraft on the Metacritic website and wanted to share that with you.

Minecraft is a simple game, not to be taken for it’s face value. It’s a game that is only limited by your imagination. The graphics seem poor, but add to the charm. You start off in an empty world, inhabited only by animals. As you explore this vast world, you collect the resources needed to build your first shelter, perhaps a bed as well. As the night falls upon your world, the creatures of the night come out with only the intent of killing you.

These guys are a nightmare

Past this first night, you return outside to collect more resources. This day, you decide, will be the day that you craft your first set of armor. Or maybe it’s the day you first begin your expedition into the depths of the world to uncover more valuable ores. Whichever you choose, the ambient of the world gives you a sense of loneliness, but then the wonderful and peaceful music comes in and you realize that you are not alone, no, instead you are at peace with your surroundings.

As you delve into the depths, you encounter dungeons and lava. The darkness surrounds you making torches a necessity. You keep traveling through the natural cave systems, breaking down walls with your pick until you find what you’ve been looking for. This simple gem represents the entirety of your struggles through your world. These diamonds will allow you to craft the most powerful tools possible.

Sometimes you start with an amazing sight

With these diamond tools, you begin to harvest obsidian. You craft some flint and steel and get to work building a portal. As you light that portal for the first time, excitement runs through you. You step into the portal and are transported to a new world, a world full of flame and lava. Where the creatures are deadlier. You have arrived in the nether. This place can be used as a way to quickly travel around the surface world, or can be used to gather strange new blocks. But soon even this place grows boring.

Once you arrive at stability, with a constant source of resources that you can gather with ease, the game becomes less of an adventure. Now that you have all that you could want, all that is left is to build. You can build anything. Your mind’s eye sees this world as a canvas, your blocks as the paint. You build structure upon structure, bringing your world to life. You have farms full of wheat, a dense forest with mushrooms covering the ground, a small village, perhaps a castle with a moat, your mine shafts.

Or maybe you build something more impressive

And now, you step back and look at your expansive creation. You marvel at your handiwork, despite a few flaws that you see. And then you realize how much time you have spent in this world. Hours upon hours, wasted to most. But you remember; Time you enjoy wasting, isn’t time wasted.

Minecraft is a simple game, a game that is only as incredible as you can make it. The game is constantly being expanded with content updates, the Multiplayer allows you to experience this vast world with your friends. If there is one thing that Minecraft is not, that is that this is not the game for those who lack imagination. You must have a drive to create, and only then will you truly see Minecraft for the masterpiece that it is.

When I originally wrote this, I felt a simple flame inside of me. I am the kind of person to take something I enjoy and let it flow through me. I immerse myself in the sounds and the outside world becomes irrelevant.

That is what gaming is. When you lose yourself to the world, when that becomes your world for a time.

And now, this post has run on long enough, I think. But before I go, I’d like to share one of the greatest music albums I’ve ever listened to. C418’s music really helps you immerse yourself in the world of Minecraft and to me, it brings peace and inspiration.

You can listen to it and buy it at http://c418.bandcamp.com/album/minecraft-volume-alpha

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Game Review – Alliance of Valiant Arms

February 5, 2010 at 7:10 pm (PC Gaming) (, , , )

While I know I haven’t posted in a while, I thought I’d start out with a bit on what I’ve been doing lately.

Alliance of Valiant Arms is an online MMO FPS from Ijji.

While it may not be the best game out there, I find it much more friendly admin-wise in comparison to games like Combat Arms. The Ijji admins are quick to respond to issues and are often seen in game, making sure that no one is misusing the game. I sent in a ticket about how I was having a bit of trouble joining a game, expecting an answer in a few days or so. What I got was an email notification saying the my ticket had been answered, the time stamp was two hours after I logged the ticket. My opinion of Ijji  immediately rose, having been through the issues of Nexon taking weeks to answer a ticket.

But enough of that, onto the actual game. Compared to any retail games, such as Modern Warfare 2, AVA is a joke. Compared to other free MMO FPS games on the market at the moment, AVA is great. I personally prefer the game style of Combat Arms, but the state the game is in makes AVA a sort of paradise for me.

You can have 3 load outs. A Pointman, who uses SMGs and Shotguns, a Rifleman, who uses Assault rifles and is good with grenades, and a Sniper, who [obviously] uses Sniper rifles and pistols. Each of these classes can be modified and changed to mid game in between lives. All weapons are permanent, but require repairs when the durability drops. You can customize the grips, barrels, sights, stocks, triggers, or even give it a custom paint job. All of these attachments will affect the weapons performance.

Currently there are a few game modes;

  • Annihilation (Team Deathmatch)
  • Escort (Get the tank from A to B to C in the given time/Stop the tank)
  • Demolition (Search & Destroy)
  • Convoy (A VIP sort of game play, with an object as the “VIP”)
  • AI Missions (A team of players vs AI opponents, like a campaign)
  • Domination (Single point, hold it till you win).

All maps have can only play one of the above modes, which leads to a bit of staleness.

Controls are pretty standard, WASD to move, space to jump, mouse to aim. One thing that bugs me is the fact that you have to double tap “W” to sprint, I prefer a separate button, but oh well.

Over all it’s a pretty good game.

  • Graphics: 8/10
  • Sound: 6/10
  • Gameplay: 8/10
  • Community: 8/10
  • Hack Protection: 9/10

Overall score from me: 7.8/10

Give it a try, and if you see Renzar in game, that’s me.

http://ava.ijji.com/index.nhn

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