Xbox Adrift: Can Microsoft save the Xbox One? Should they?

An Xbox One X floats across a stormy sea.

Xbox One has the smallest presence in the gaming industry that the brand has ever had. It’s plain to see that while SS Microsoft sprouts wings and sails towards the clouds, Xbox is a raft floating hopelessly adrift in a choppy sea of home consoles. Microsoft are an astonishingly successful company who have been more than happy to abandon unsuccessful side ventures. Yet despite Xbox costing the company billions and forcing them to obscure the financial performance of the division every annual report, they remain committed to the brand. With the battle for the living room over and lost, it’s time for Microsoft to let go of consoles and reposition itself in the gaming industry. Continue reading “Xbox Adrift: Can Microsoft save the Xbox One? Should they?”

Completing the Pokédex: Gameplan for the last 28.

This is really a personal entry, but by making it public I want you to hold me accountable. People who tell others about their goals are 70% more likely to complete them, or at least that’s what I’m told in the pop-psychology self-help blogs and diary products I have found myself glazing over during this now prolonged unemployment. Earlier I mentioned that part of the problem for me was the open-ended nature of Pokémon and by having partially complete save files across several games I’m left unfocused. In this entry I will delineate a path to follow through the games while leaving myself the flexibility to keep them fun and give myself multiple chances to pickup missing Pokémon along the way. This entry will be regularly updated with a checklist at the bottom crossing off accomplishments and in-game milestones outlined under each game subheading.

Last updated 11th of August. 9 Pokémon remain.

Continue reading “Completing the Pokédex: Gameplan for the last 28.”

Completing the Pokédex: Learning to let go.

When we last spoke, I had just added Manaphy to my Pokédex and had another eighty odd monsters left to collect. It’s been a year, and progress as been slow but as of today I have just 28 left. Of the 58 caught over this time about 30 came in the last week due to a recent bout of motivation. Today’s update isn’t about those captures though, it’s about the sheer mental disarray these games have left me in due to their convoluted systems, open ended nature and emotional hooks. If I’m going to finish this job, and I must, I need to learn to let go.

Continue reading “Completing the Pokédex: Learning to let go.”

Completing the Pokédex: Manaphy

The other week I achieved something I hadn’t since I was 12 years old; I completed the Pokédex, I caught them all. Technically though, it wasn’t them all. It was only the 301 available in the latest game. Nintendo long ago realised the insanity of capturing now 802 Pokémon and dropped “Gotta Catch ‘Em All” from the branding, providing smaller, region specific Pokédexs in the game. The importance of the complete Pokédex, or National Pokédex as it is known, has been downplayed too, a post-game unlockable in recent generations and not appearing at all in Pokémon Sun and Moon. Completing the Alola regional Pokédex didn’t provide the satisfaction I thought it would, and the in game reward, a stamp in my in-game passport, was as hollow as the certificate of completion I received 18 years ago. I have decided that I will not be fulfilled until I really have caught them all. All 802 bastards, including the worst thing in Pokémon, “event” Pokémon, so yesterday I dug out my Pokémon games from the last 4 generations to figure out how to get Manaphy, the seafaring Pokémon. Continue reading “Completing the Pokédex: Manaphy”

Crash Bandicoot was shit 20 years ago and is still shit today.

I was disgusted today to see that the remaster no one asked for, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, had sold out of pre-orders at some stores. As someone who played a lot of video games in the late 90’s, I can tell you that these three games are shit. Outside of Japan, there were precisely 20 days when Crash Bandicoot was relevant as a fun, 3D platforming game. But then Super Mario 64 came out and shat all over not just the original Crash Bandicoot but all future Crash Bandicoot games. Continue reading “Crash Bandicoot was shit 20 years ago and is still shit today.”

Those gaming thoughts and feels: Quadrilateral Cowboy

Sometimes I half-jokingly tell my friends I think gaming is a degenerate medium. Obviously I cannot claim to truly believe this as I spend so much of my time playing games. But really I think the lived experience of most games is that, played in excess, they are an affront to the human spirit and mind. That is because many games require you to repeat a certain enjoyable task over and over, training you to be dumber and less expectant of creativity and originality in the fictional world.

Continue reading “Those gaming thoughts and feels: Quadrilateral Cowboy”