All Thumbs: My Skills as a Gamer

Apologies for a lack of posts recently.  Laura has been visiting and I haven’t had much time to blog.  However, I do have something to talk about today.

I’ve been playing a few different games recently and they’ve all sort of been on my mind in one way or another.  As such, I don’t have a lot to say about just one subject today.  Instead, I have a few things to say about these different games with almost no connecting thoughts whatsoever.  It’s sort of similar in style to a partial series called Junk Drawer by MovieBob over at The Escapist Magazine.  (You can seen an example of this concept in this video right here.)  The general theme of this article is a simple fact:  I suck at video games.

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I’ve been playing Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune for the first time.  It’s not going at all how I thought it would be.  I thought there was more of a focus on wall climbing platforming and puzzles. I was (sort of) wrong.  While those aspects are present, there’s far more of a focus on gun play than I realized.  Honestly, it’s a little frustrating.  I don’t play many shooters and this game has been like 90% shooter so far.  It’s getting on my nerves.  Still, graphically, it’s a beautiful game, the story is interesting, and the non-shooting bits are fun.  So I guess I’m in this for the long haul.

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I got Pokemon: Omega Ruby last week (decided on that one since Laura wanted Alpha Sapphire).  Liking it so far, but I’m not all that far into it due to a certain delay:  I’m obsessed with finding shinies.  It all started when I started the game and did the soft reset trick over a hundred times until I got a shiny Treecko.  Then I received the free shiny Beldam that comes through the Mystery Gift.  Now I want more, more, MORE.  So I stopped for 19 hours of game time on Route 102 and went through over 1000 random encounters until I just gave up.  I couldn’t take it anymore.  But I’m still keeping a look out for any shiny Pokemon.  I’m told that, since my encounter rate is so high right now, it’s now more likely than utterly impossible.  I WILL find another shiny eventually.

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Guitar Hero is a franchise I always stayed away from when I was younger.  I have just never trusted my sense of rhythm and I’ve never really been interested in the guitar as an instrument.  Then Laura and I watched a guy named Spazz Master review every Guitar Hero game and suddenly Laura starts wanting to see what it’s like.  Long story short, I now own 2 copies of Guitar Hero 3 and one used but good Guitar controller for the PS2.  I’ve played the first 4 easiest songs of the game and good LORD do I suck at this game.  I feel like Fry from that episode of Futurama. I have stupid fingers.  My timing is constantly off by just a hair and I feel I have to work on my finger and hand placement on the guitar itself a bit.  But… It’s fun as hell.  As frustrating as it is, I just know that I’m going to keep trying simply because it’s a fun game.  Maybe I’m just a sucker for shiny, colorful buttons.

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A few friends and I were playing Super Mario World on a retro console recently.  And while I love platformy games, especially the Mario franchise, I realized while playing it that I just suck at gaming in general.  I just kept dying for stupid reasons, falling down easily jumpable pits, hitting enemies that were completely avoidable, jumping right into danger when I should slow down.  I felt like a total loser next to Laura, who was able to find a short cut to Bowser and beat his level and him all in one try without the aid of power ups.  I was in awe of her gaming skills and ashamed of my own.  Well, at least one of us is good at games.  And maybe Laura being better at me at every game will shatter someone’s stupid bias against girl gamers some day.

Yeah, I may suck at games, but I still like playing them.  I guess I just need more practice.  I’m just glad that my gamer pallet has become more diverse over the years.  Platformers, while fun, sometimes get repetitive.  Now I have all new genres and game types that I can suck at.  At least until I get better at them, anyway.

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