Too Awkward To Tinder

We live in the technological age where you can do essentially everything from your computer, you can talk to your friends, watch a movie and even kill your friends in a virtual world, all from the comfort of your own home. What a time to be alive, right?
A new ability has arisen from the information age, the ability to meet those sexy singles in your area without contracting a computer virus (though you may catch something else ifyouknowwhatImean? No? OK).

This is due to the creation of casual dating apps such as tinder (or grinder). On this app you browse through a gallery of faces and decide whether or not you would like to get to know the person attached to that face. If you both decide you have likeable and visually pleasing faces, you are thrown into a chat. Tinder is essentially the tech age of that weird matchmaker friend everyone has where they run around the party trying to find your perfect match. Or speed dating, except you don’t have to leave the house and admit you do speed dating.

It sounds pretty simple. As a single man in his early 20’s you would think it would be perfect for me, and it probably is. Though for some reason I can’t bring myself to ever use it.

Is it me trying to retain dignity? maybe, though if you know me, you’ll know dignity is not an issue. I do believe it is fear. The fact is, that when you remove the prospects of tinder, it becomes an online butchers, only the best looking cuts get snatched up whilst the weird ones get thrown into the dustbins at the end of the day to be left for neighbourhood cats. Everything is based on looks, it is a relationship in the most superficial form, and if that’s the case then I’m up shit creek without a paddle unless somebody happens to find the hell spawn of Ray Romano and David Mitchell to be their type.

If you do get past that first hurdle then you are thrown into a chat, a chat where first impressions are absolutely everything. Seriously, you need to be creative with your introduction. You can’t just start the conversation with a simple “Hi”.

Hi? Anyone can say Hi, you unimaginative prick!

I’m not what I would consider to be a shy man, but I do consider myself to be a man who’s brain goes to mush when under pressure in these situations. Seriously, it’s not pretty.

Actually, come to think of it, it may have something to do with pride. Going to a form of online dating feels like a retreat from real world interactions. I don’t blame those who do it, I mean we now live in a world where trying to strike conversation on the street is considered harassment, so meeting people in the real world is restricted to the more gentlemanly method of drunkenly grinding against somebody in a dark, sweaty club, because that method definitely isn’t harassment, but the former most certainly is.

I feel like I have been defeated if I choose to use tinder due to hearing how easy it is from friends. “You just chat to them and then meet them”.

I guess the simplicity in itself is scary, if you screw it up, you look like the mayor of Moronsville. The people will stop and they will point as they shout “He can’t even tinder right, it’s easy but he still fucked it up.” As you stand there with your pants around your ankles, sweating profusely with embarrassment… And…and I forgot where I was going with that one.

Sorry.

New Silent Hill and the ‘P.T.’ Advertisment

It seems the world is soon be graced with a new Silent Hill title oddly named ‘Silent Hills’ whether it is planning on being a sequel or a reboot of the franchise is currently unknown. One thing we do know is that the internet is currently going mad about it.

Since Silent Hill 4, the series has been stuck in a rut so usually the news of a new title in the series wouldn’t be a huge deal and for the most part would cause its fans to be very doubtful towards it, not this time, this is because Hideo Kojima of Metal Gear and Zone of Enders fame is working with brilliant Hollywood film director Guillermo Del Toro and The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus to bring this new title into fruition.

I’ll be honest; when I heard this piece of news, I couldn’t help but find it funny. The amount of collaborators involved with the project made me believe that the project sounded too big to be anything more than another game made by a Hollywood director that would end up being a flop (as much as I love Lollypop Chainsaw, it is a major example in this case):

Though this changed when I saw how this new team did their marketing, a few hours after announcing this new Silent Hill title, a free game appeared on PSN called P.T., otherwise known as Playable Teaser. Sadly, I haven’t managed to play this P.T. as of yet, this mainly due to the fact that I have yet to buy a Playstation 4 (reasons as to why will be mentioned in a future article), though if anybody is feeling charitable today, I would graciously accept a Playstation 4.

Instead I have had to do my research on this title by watching numerous LP’s on Youtube and Twitch to get an idea of what this teaser is like.

My answer: Pants shittingly terrifying. I have come to the conclusion that P.T. is probably one of the most effective ways to do marketing for a horror video game as P.T. proved itself as not simply a good piece of advertisement for an upcoming video game; but instead made a brilliant standalone horror title. It has a brilliant and downright creepy atmosphere; also the game gives nothing away. It starts with you waking up in a house and walking through the same L-shaped corridor over and over, each time giving you a bit more story development as well as some fucking terrifying surprises. It’s a title that feels very similar to an indie horror title; everything about it is so simple, yet incredibly effective.

The only downside is that it seems to rely heavily on jump scares, if that’s your thing; you’re in luck, jump away because this teaser offers a lot. Though jump scares aren’t very Silent Hill. Silent Hill tries to rely on the disturbing surroundings and absolutely fucked up creatures to make you squirm. Maybe this the new direction they are taking because remember; this isn’t Silent Hill anymore, it’s Silent HillS, emphasis on the plurality, more hills, more jump scares.

Though hopefully P.T. is meant to be something to simply wet our whistles whilst we wait for any new development of what sounds like a fantastic collaboration between Hollywood and Games developers. Hopefully it won’t turn out like the rest of them and can bring some respect back to the Silent Hill franchise. Oh wait, sorry. Silent Hills.

A Newbies Reaction to Metal Gear Solid

In this article I give a short rundown of my experience with the Metal Gear series, what I liked, what I didn’t and whether or not I recommend it to the masses.

No matter how long you have been playing video games, how many adventures you have completed and hours you have spent on Call of Duty; there will always be a widely popular video game series you have not played whether it be due to time constraints or simply the fact that it didn’t really appeal to you. For me, that was the Metal Gear Solid Series.

This was mainly due to the fact that I never actually owned a PlayStation console throughout my childhood years, I was exclusively a Nintendo gamer until mid-way through the previous console generation. So by the time I actually could play the Metal Gear Solid series, it was already on its fourth (and at the time; final) installment. Though a friend of mine would regularly recommend the series to me with the same line I fed people when I wanted them to play a Legend of Zelda title; “It’s absolutely awesome and I consider it the best video game series in existence”, and when you are given a recommendation as high as that, it’s very difficult to pass up.

A few months back I managed to pick up the MGS HD collection for my PlayStation 3, sadly this collection didn’t include the original Metal Gear Solid title released on the original PlayStation, so I started my playthrough of the series at Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, followed by Snake Eater and I am currently halfway through Guns of Patriots (or as some may call it; Metal Gear Solid: The Movie). Well, enough of my life story leading up to this moment. Here’s what I think:

The Metal Gear Solid series is a ‘Tactical Action Espionage’ game which means you have to spend most of the game avoiding encounters with enemies and trying not to raise any alarms through the duration of your mission. This doesn’t mean you can play the game as a pacifist akin to the original Deus Ex, there will be certain moments in the game where you have to kill bosses or kill a bunch of enemies in order to advance in the convoluted and at first very confusing story.

A gripe I found with the game early on is that even though the game tells you the very basic of things such as controls for movements, but most other things you just have to find out yourself. A good example would be the save system in Metal Gear Solid 2, I played it for 20 minutes at first and then decided that I wanted to stop, this meant I had to save but sadly the game didn’t inform me how to save the game which lead to me googling the phrase “How to save on Metal Gear Solid 2” which lead me to a forum of some moron asking the same question as me whilst millions of Metal Gear experts sniggered and laughed at this poor fellow. I then played the game for another hour before being told how to save.

In retrospect it isn’t a huge gripe and most certainly doesn’t justify the huge paragraph I typed out explaining the situation. In fact it is mainly a fault on my behalf for having the attention span of a goldfish with ADHD.

The next thing I’m about to say is something nearly anybody who has heard of the Metal Gear series will already know; and that is that there are a LOT of cutscenes in these games, seriously, if you and your friends ever feel like marathoning a TV show on Netflix but can’t figure out what, just pop a Metal gear game in and it will feel like a similar experience. Usually I don’t mind when a game features a lot of cutscenes, I talk a lot about my love for Telltale’s The Walking Dead; a game which is in its entirety just one giant interactive cutscene and also the Last of Us, a game which features roughly 7 hours of cutscenes. Cutscenes are brilliant ways to continue the narrative in a video game and can create some awesome and even some heartfelt moments, but when the majority of cutscenes take place in codec calls or is the cutscene equivalent to a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation or a phone call, it can get very dull after you realise you have been watching it for 15 minutes.

Though don’t get me wrong, those are my only gripes about this series. The rest of this article should be nothing but praise and recommendation featuring the odd humorous anecdote.

When you do actually learn the controls and sit through enough hours of cutscenes to actually play the game; it makes a very fun game. The controls are pretty tight and movement is very precise which means it will very rarely be the control’s fault that you were spotted, it will be your fault; because you are clearly terrible at this title. Its combat is also decent enough for a game that often advises you not to engage in it though if you are like me and prefer to shoot people using the click of a mouse rather than the pull of a trigger; gunning down your enemies may resort in you pumping many rounds into the walls surrounding your foes.

The story of Metal Gear Solid is made for anybody who enjoys story driven titles. They’re long and full of enough plot twists to even make M. Night Shyamalan jump excitedly in his seat like a child.
The game itself also has an element of cheese to it, especially in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater; which has seems to resemble the cheesiness of an old James Bond movie (awesome 70’s soulful intro song included) some of these moments would make the more serious gamer place their head in their hands and sigh, but I found them absolutely hilarious and made a nice to break from the more serious sections of the game.

The main question is do I recommend it? Of course, if you like cinematic gaming experiences such as Wolf Among us or the Uncharted series then this is for you, it’s essentially the father of cinematic experiences in video games and also offers a fantastic, lengthy story to engorge yourself in all summer long. Seriously, go play Metal Gear Solid.

Nobody Gives a Shit! Click Here to Find Out Why! (Fighting Back Against BuzzFeed)

*This week I write about how infuriating clickbait/buzzfeed articles are and how social media is changing for the worse.

Well it seems I have fooled you, this isn’t one of those clickbait articles full of gifs of your favourite sitcoms followed by a caption about things you can all relate to, instead it’s an article about my distain for these articles and how they are clogging up people’s Facebook timelines.

Yes there is the age old argument of “If you don’t like it, don’t read it” and you’re right, I don’t read them because once you have read one, you have essentially read them all, except replace some gifs with a different set of gifs and give it a title like “This cat stands on a piano AND WHAT HAPPENS NEXT WILL BLOW YOUR MIND!”

There’s also the obscene amounts of “which (insert popular TV show/Film) character are you?” which everyone takes in an attempt to make themselves more interesting by associating themselves with a fictional character on a public level.

Facebook used to be the website where we would post interesting statuses or pictures from our nights out and parties to assure the rest of the world that we are actually interesting. Instead, the popular way to show how exciting you are is by posting content from other websites and by taking character quizzes, we can’t even be interesting with our own lives any more so we hide it behind a wall of silly pictures and shit.

Perhaps I’m being slightly over the top, you still see people talking about their lives and posting pictures of the fun things they do, but it’s starting to become noticeably fewer and further between, whilst poor attempts of journalism (like this one) clog up the rest of the timelines.

Facebook isn’t alone in this situation; Twitter has also began to morph into a horrible mess in comparison to the social media platform it once was. We still have our usual tweets of people trying to squeeze a unique moment of their lives into 140 characters, these used to be separated by the odd ‘suggested’ tweet which was actually an advert in disguise. Now it’s a bit different, every time people buy things they have to tweet the company to let them know they are wearing/using it in the hopes for a sweet, sweet retweet. If this trend to gain more Twitter followers continues, we will turn Twitter from being the online ‘Yelling at the clouds Simulator’ to the internet equivalent of an advert break.

Perhaps I’m going crazy, perhaps you haven’t noticed it on your Facebook, that’s probably because you’re friends with interesting people.

 

 

I Thought About Starting a Tumblr Once. Once.

In this post I bitch about social media pages, despite being a part of a literal fuck-ton of them.

I must admit, I’m a slave to social media. I use the term ‘slave’ because it’s essentially doing work, you work to create a profile, to make friends and to make yourself known to the lovely conglomerate of strangers that is the internet; and in return you get nothing, except another time waster.

I’m a slave to a lot of social media sites, I have my Facebook as a personal ‘get to know me and everything about me’ page, an Instagram as my ‘let’s pretend I’m a professional photographer and not a wanker with a Smartphone’ page, a LinkedIn so people can see I actually have a professional life and also a Twitter; a page where I mainly complain and give snippy little remarks as if I was a popular girl in secondary school (I’m not). Hell, even this blog is considered a social media page, except I don’t act social on it, I write roughly 500 words of nonsense and then I leave it for a few weeks.

A few weeks ago I considered signing up to Tumblr, for those who don’t know; Tumblr is a website for people to make their own personal blog web page and post silly gifs, pictures and fan art from their favourite bit of media (I say bit of media because it would take forever to go through all forms of media covered by this site)… oh, also a bit of actual blogging takes place.

I was originally going to create a page simply to whore this blog out to another variant of social media in the hopes that people will actually read it. I was also going to make it a more personal blog, like a small diary of some of the things I’m working on and events of my life (perhaps I was a bit quick to shut down that ‘teenage girl’ analogy.).

In the end I decided not to, because I realised that Tumblr has not been an actual blogging website for years, people don’t visit it to hear about the problems of others or to read an intriguing article on the media (which to be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever written, despite trying). I’ve visited a few Tumblr pages in my time on the internet and it has always consisted of one thing: Fandoms… and tits, I guess that’s two things.

Fandoms are basically the love of a TV show, film, character or even person to an uncomfortable extreme; and Tumblr is full of this.

The best way I could describe Tumblr is that it feels like going to a convention for something you know nothing about, you walk around aimlessly whilst everyone around you talks about a little in joke about a character or about how they “can’t even” (whatever that means). It can be entertaining to watch but at the end of the day, you’re just wandering around aimlessly, scared and alone… That’s life.

Did I Just?! I did.

Though Tumblr is not all bad, it actually features a gaggle of creative people, people who take their fandom and turn it into art or literature or music, you can see some great unique creativity on tumblr… also there is a tumblr page dedicated completely pictures of kittens and pictures of tits, so it’s essentially a tumblr plage to sum up the entirety of the internet. That’s dedication.

In conclusion, I don’t think I will get a Tumblr page, though I’m a fan of certain things, there is no Fandom I can see myself taking part in, I can lurk but I won’t touch. That and I don’t find that my content would be suitable for Tumblr mainly because it’s all in writing, if I ever release an article made entirely of .gifs, then perhaps I will but due to my lack of creativity and unique talent, I think I’ll just stick with the rest of the literal fuck-ton of social media sites that I’m part of because as Tumblr goes, I can’t get into it.

I guess I really can’t even.

MrGseff

Battlefield Hardline BETA Review

Oh golly! A new Battlefield game is in the works, this time it is being made by Visceral Games; developers of the Dead Space series so while DICE work on another Battlefield title; or continue to attempt to fix Battlefield 4, they’ve let another company make what I really hope doesn’t become an annually released franchise.

While most Battlefield titles put you in the role of ‘Cannon fodder soldier #158542’ and drop you in a war zone of modern times, because modern shooters have become the new WW2 shooter because WW2 was totally old school but not old enough to be retro and vintage and therefore deserve a comeback. Hardline has decided to crank it up one preverbal notch and place you in a jolly old game of cops and robbers meaning you either play a justice loving police officer or a cold hearted criminal who steals money, says bad words, refuses to say please and thank you and looks at his phone in the middle of a conversation; in other words, a very bad person.

For those who didn’t watch EA’s E3 conference, the closed BETA for Hardline is now available, it’s not exactly difficult to get into; you simply register for it on Origin and then you can access it.

Anyways; a bunch of my friends and I got access to this BETA and decided to play a few rounds of this new game

The BETA currently has one map available; this map takes place in a portion of a large city which means large skyscrapers, busy streets and shopping centres; it’s essentially 3 Call of Duty maps thrown into one. Sadly the game doesn’t use the destruction engine used in the superior Bad Company titles and instead opts for the Battlefield 4 ‘Levolution’ style which means instead of buildings being destructible, the map features one big set piece that when triggered; alters the gameplay of the map. It’s a nice little feature, but it always makes me long for the old ways of the Bad Company series.

The map also comes with two game types, one called Heist which is the Hardline equivalent to Rush, the robbers must steal two packages from two vaults whilst the police stop them. The game ends either when the robbers secure the packages or when the police violently gun down enough of the bastards. This game type works really well when you communicate with your team and have a good squad set up, it’s tactical and entertaining and if you do have a good squad/team; you can end up winning a round in a matter of minutes. If you don’t have that then the game usually results in the police winning more times than in a series of Judge Dredd comics.

The second game type is Blood Money. A new game type where you’re team has to secure more money in their vault than the other team. It begins with a mad rush to a big money pile, when you get to this money pile you grab as much of it as you can and then run back to your vault. It sounds very straight forward but Visceral kept it interesting by allowing you to steal from the enemy vault, if you see the opposing team is gaining the upper hand, you can get your squad to rush their vault and completely deplete their money. It’s basically thieves stealing from thieves and I found it to be a genuinely entertaining game type.

The game itself also runs quite well on PC though that is probably due to the fact it is just a BETA and therefore only a small portion of the game, but when playing it on my rig I didn’t notice many framerate drops even during the Levolution sections.

There are also a variety of vehicles to drive such as cop cars, motorcycles and SUV vehicles, they handle like any of the vehicles in Battlefield games, so no complaints from me there.

One improvement in this game is the guns feel like they have a weight to them, because you are pitted against policemen and common criminals they tend to fall down far easier than the beefy soldiers of Battlefield 3/4 which means killing enemies will be easier even if (like me) you’re absolutely shit at the game.

 

IN SUMMARY: Is Battlefield Hardline any good? Hell yeah, the two game types they have introduced have been very entertaining and the map that comes with the BETA is a great introduction for the rest of the game. My only gripe is that it’s great, but it feels like it would be better suited as an expansion pack similar to Bad Company 2: Vietnam, it adds a nice amount of new gameplay, but not enough to justify a £40/$60 retail purchase. Of course the full game will come with more maps and gametypes but with the major two of this title already available in this BETA, I can’t help but feel that Visceral are going to need to bring more to the table to make this game go from Payday: Battlefield Edition to something bigger, better and more unique.

 

 

E3 2014 Summary: Nintendo

Though Nintendo’s conference was the last major conference during E3, I’ve decided to talk about it first.

Nintendo decided not to do a live conference like the rest of the major companies and instead opted to create a short digital conference to show off their games; too be honest I believe they benefited strongly from this digital event. There was no awkward stammering on stage, no crazy developers attempting to be funny and failing miserably (I think we can all remember the enthusiastic announcement for Peggle 2 last year). Instead we had some Robot Chicken animation that pokes fun at how people see Nintendo, we had a Robot Chicken animated Reggie on an E3 stage being berated by an audience member who makes fun of Nintendo for the similar reasons we all do at times; they always make the same games. It’s hard to disagree with such a statement but when Nintendo releases delightful games such as the newly released Mario Kart 8, Donkey Kong Country Returns Tropical Freeze and Mario 3D World; it’s hard to hate them for it as there is always a charming uniqueness to Nintendo titles.

The conference started by announcing that you could play as a Mii in the new Super Smash Bros title. Though it’s a nice feature; it isn’t the biggest reason to buy a Smash Bros title.

We also received a plethora of new titles, and when I say plethora; I mean 4 -5 new titles. The strangest of these titles has to be Captain Toad. In the Mario universe there is a wide range of characters that easily deserve their own video game; I never believed Toad was one of them. Toad always felt like the character you had to play as in New Super Mario Bros if you couldn’t be Mario or Luigi, and now we have to play as Toad, we are all the players 3 and 4 and now we have to suffer.

All jokes aside, it looks like a fun little isometric puzzle and platformer and also looks like a game to watch out for as it may surprise us all, it’s just a strange choice of main character.

We also get a sequel (sort of) to the N64 sickeningly adorable game; Yoshi’s Story. Yoshi’s Wooly World has a similar playstyle to the N64 title but the art style of Kirby’s Epic Yarn, as it also uses a textured wool/yarn visual style. It seems interesting, but it is probably made more for the younger audience rather than those who originally played Yoshi’s story on the N64, ; let’s just say we won’t be getting a dark and brooding Yoshi game on the Wii U, but then again who the hell thought we would? I hope the game won’t be as easy as the original Yoshi’s Story and will have some element of challenge to it, though I doubt it.

Now for the big stuff, mainly a new Legend of Zelda title for the Wii U, it hasn’t got a subtitle yet so as of now it’s just called The Legend of Zelda, so far we’ve only seen a small amount though it promises an open world and a new game style which will probably be similar to A Link Between Worlds in the way that you can tackle the dungeons in any order you wish. The visual style is very similar to Wind Waker mixed with Skyward Sword. So don’t go expecting an ultra detailed Twilight Princess style because once again we’re getting a lovely coloured and bright Zelda title. Sadly no release date, all we know is it’s coming in 2015.

Lastly we have Splatoon; a new 4 v 4 shooter which focuses on covering a map with your team’s colour of paint. It’s one of those simply Team Fortress-esque shooters and it does look like fun, though it doesn’t look like it will be a full physical release and will most likely be a game on the WiiWare store.

That’s it from Nintendo’s conference, as E3 conferences go; Nintendo made sure there’s was entertaining and definitely showed us that the Wii U does have a fighting chance and actually made me retract my comments of regretting purchasing the console.

Well played, Nintendo.