Viridian Gate Online

An extinction-level asteroid is cannonballing toward Earth. In humanity’s final hours, a lucky few earn a one-way ticket to the brand-new, ultra-immersive, fantasy-based VRMMORPG, Viridian Gate Online. Making that leap of faith might mean survival, but it comes with a steep price tag: “Travelers” will forever be stranded as digital avatars inside a fantastical world filled with vicious monsters, all-powerful AIs, and cutthroat players. Let the games begin…

Recently I have been dipping my toes in something a bit different from my usual literary tastes.  As someone with little enough time for gaming, it is perhaps best that I live that life vicariously through the means of a humble book.

Having got my hands on two of the nine books in the Viridian Gate Online series, so far,  I am looking forward to immersing myself in this virtual world, whilst sagely nodding along to references that I may or may not quite get.

As the ever long, and still growing list of books continues to weigh heavy on my time, and my shelves, never let it be said that I don’t keep stretching my boundaries, in new and interesting directions.

Thanks to James. A. Hunter, and J. D. Harpley for securing me these copies, reviews will be coming just as soon.

Weekend Reviews Part 2

I used to love the old eight bit computers, with the bedroom coders, free of any strictures of company rules and management using their full creative talent to enrich the industry.  Lost to the gaming world for a while these inventive times of experimentation and the making of imaginative games are coming back most notably in the mobile phone gaming world as well as in the form of games like the refreshing The Unfinished Swan an indie game for the PS3, PS4 and PS Vita, that manages to delight and surprise in equal measure and is so far removed from the usual stuff that it puts your faith back in not only gaming but imagination.

It’s very rare that a game moves me enough to write about it but I was watching my friend play this at the National Gaming Museum (more of which in a later post) on a big TV with brilliant surround sound and it was the best thing I have seen in games in years, relaxing, fascinating and gentle.  Returning back to Tom’s house we immediately got a copy and proceeded to play it through like the dedicated people that we are.

The story is like an interactive bed time story, a boy’s mother dies and leaves lots of unfinished paintings because she hated to finish anything, the boy, Monroe is allowed to keep one,  he chooses The Unfinished Swan.  One night he wakes up and the bird has disappeared out of the painting but there is an open door which he hasn’t noticed before…

The screen fades to white and being impatient the first thing we did was press buttons – because that always helps the game load quicker – but you are already in the game.   As seen in the above trailer, paint bombs are thrown to reveal the hidden world around you.  It’s that surprising inventiveness that grabs you and ignites that child like feeling of being able to explore the magical unknown which is as addictive as it ever was. Continue reading “Weekend Reviews Part 2”

That Amstrad-itional Feeling!

Ninja Scooter Simulator, fun for the discerning covert mercenary.

“Don’t let me get in the way of your blogging” said Christina to me, as she notices the credits to Ninja Scooter Simulator flashing up on my screen.  For a split second, undeniable burning shame enters the fray, otherwise known as my face before withering in the path of defiance and nostalgia which quickly formulate a clever plan  that will lead to the inevitable blog post ‘research’ excuse.

Now that I’m actually thinking – and writing – about it though, it is a decent idea for my latest musing, as reliving   your youth is sometimes fun…especially when you can rewaste your time on all those old games you thought would be nothing but fond memories in your head.

Who knows if Chess will still be around in the year of hover cars and robots that do the housework, 2000AD?! Perhaps only Chessmaster Kris Kristofferson knows the answer....
Who knows if Chess will still be around in the year of hover cars and robots that do the housework, 2000AD?! Perhaps only Chessmaster Kris Kristofferson knows the answer….

Technology, the greatest amasser of wasted time in history, has happily evolved to the point where the thoroughly stupid loading times of 10 minutes plus are redundant.  So it’s time to crack out the Amstrad emulator and get involved in some 8-bit heaven.  On a side note those young people who complain about the loading times of these new fangled modern games, don’t know they are born….and other old person cliché ranty stuff.

And what a pleasure it is to instantly load up a pixellated passion of yesteryear, there’s a proper front end loading screen and everything!  If only it came with a green screen option, it would be the ultimate manly skip down Memory Lane. Continue reading “That Amstrad-itional Feeling!”