Some Games are worth Remembering (Part I)

So this is among my last posts and I thought I would make it a little more special by basically talking about some of the games that I loved as a kid and that I still enjoy to the max even now after so many years. Think of it as a retro games list review or simply a personal selection of titles, both old and new, good and bad, cause lord knows, we all have titles we loved, even though maybe no one else (especially critics) could enjoy. Thus don’t be surpised if you find some titles which are mediocre at best in their scorecard, because on my own biased scoreboard they are pretty high, simply cause they are mine and I can relate to them.

World of Warcraft

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Given the archives of this blog and the more or less suggestive density of tags this was basically a no brainer as for the first pic. Simply put I began playing WoW in 2007 and kept on playing to this day, with various pauses, longer or shorter in the meantime, when things got too boring or I just simply had to take some time off and do other things. I enjoyed the whole setting from when I first played Warcraft II as a kid and when a friend of mine recommended me World of Warcraft, I ws absolutely blown away upon first entering the world of Azeroth as a character of my own making. Now I had played RPG’s previously, but never anything of this scale and believe me when I tell you that when I first began playing, I had made a night elf hunter and it took me a little over 5 days just to finish off the Teldrassil quest chain. Certainly back then you had no quest helper and the xp system was a bit more different than it is today, but either way when I zoomed out and noticed that there were two continents each with their own zones and then another world altogether (Outland) to explore  … It was mesmerizing to say the least. I kept on playing and although I am a casual at best by today’s standards, I still enjoy coming back from time to time, at least to check whenever new content is released and why not admit it, just to relive some of the glory days, I even gave a chance to some private servers recently that run on the Wrath version of the game and it sure felt good to start fresh, but nothing can bring back that feeling of first having set foot into this massive fantasy world … For this and many other personal reasons I guess that World of Warcraft is and will be worth remembering, long after it will no longer be the top MMO on the market and the once roaring and vibrant servers will be nothing more but an empty memory of what they used to be at their peak.

Grand Theft Auto

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This one was pretty easy to choose as well, given that it’s the only game to which I actually dedicated an entire page right on top of my website since I began writing this blog 3 years ago. Now my history with GTA is as it follows: I played GTA 2 at my cousin and I sort of liked … I then played GTA 1 back home at some point on my old Windows 95 computer and I liked it a bit more (simply because it was much more bright and open in tone, although the overall quality is slightly lower than that of its sequel) and finally I managed to get my hands on a pirated and moded version of GTA 3 codenamed REAL that had actual cars in it and I played that for a while. Obviously it was pretty cool, but the real awesomeness came in with Vice City. Man that was one awesome game, miles away from the previous games in almost any regard. Then came San Andreas that had its own specific charm and the rest you all know of because by this time, internet was more or less ruling online communication, a thing which could not be said about the time when I first played these games back in the days when Google itself was no more than an idea and the iPhone a concept in Steve’s head … And if after all these years I still have a copy of some of them installed on my state-of-the-art gaming computer that tells a lot about their value and obviously with most of them it’s not just sentimental childhood memories, but to all gaming history.

Wolfenstein

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Well this be another one of those titles of which, if I think carefully I am way more emotianlly tied than I would care to admit it. Quite frankly I don’t care if the games are good or bad or in between (most of them are the latter), I like them and that is all that there is too it. This game I first played in its nice original 3d version on my first ever computer (that was a Windows 3.0? or something like that if I recall correctly). Back then I played it and it was pretty cool just simply to be playing it and not really think about it, but truth be told I would have never guessed that years after that computer had long been decomissioned I would end receiving a copy of Return to Castle Wolfenstein, which by the way was the first awesome shooter I ever played on my home computer and it was epic … Seriously it was so awesome and immersive that I actually got scared when I first entered the catacombs and the undead warriors started rushing towards me with their swords and axes. Thank the old gods I had the MP40 to keep me company in those dark momements and beyond … So awesome a feeling it still makes me laugh when I think of how easily I was scared as a child about almost anything. Anyways the game was cool and all that it stood for was pretty much iconic and it stayed with me to this day, thus ending up here on this list.

Prince of Persia

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It wouldn’t have been a complete list if I would have somehow left out the Prince of Persia games, starting from the early 2d platformer created by Jordan Mechner (which I never owned, but got to play on a shared computer back when they still were a thing), up until the latest releases this game was a pretty awesome and unforgetable experience. For me at least it culminated in the 2003-2005 trilogy that just simply got me much deeper into the story and from the basic wall crawling of Sands of Time, to the ruthless and memorable combat technique of Warrior Within and ending with the stealth and aerial takedowns of Two Thrones, the series was not only reinvograted, but it was clearly taken to a whole new level of awesomeness. There’s no need to mention the fact that it sort of opened the way for the Assassins’s Creed franchise that became Ubisoft’s work-horse since those days up until today, but all in all with both good and bad sides it was simply great. And the girls … I mean come on, even the Farah from Sands of Time was pretty cool looking and then the babes from Warrior Within and the revamped versions from the last part, just simply added that epicness it needed, not to even mention I was in my mid puberty when I got to play to them, so you can imagine how that shot from the beginning of Warrior Within was received by my senses … Sure there are plenty of other pros and cons for these games, just as with everything else, but after all it comes down to a personal choice in the matter and I for one really enjoyed them.

Blood Omen

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Ah yes, the vampires, not the awesome japanese styled ones from Castlevania, although they are nice too in their own way, but the original arrogant bastards from the Legacy of Kain series. Staring into the past I actually come to realize that as with most of the games from the list the first contact with the series was much earlier than I was thinking when I first drafted the post. I got Blood Omen 2 as a gift when I turned 15 and I played the heck out of it since, a really fun and awesome game, even if it is quite mediocre by most standards, it was new to me and I enjoyed every last bit of it. Actually when I was even younger, my uncle who owned an original PlayStation had a game called Ajuki the Heatless, again a mediocre release, but as a kid you don’t really care about ratings, so I played it and I liked it, but as an extra content it also had demos for various other Eidos Titles, among them Tomb Raider and Soul Reaver. Certainly they were just short demo versions, but after I played Blood Omen 2 years after that old PS console had been decomissioned I come to actually learn about the story behind it and obviously then it clicked that I had heard of this long before there was such a thing as the internet and blogs and forums and videos to inform me of what was cool and trending. As I’ve said there were plenty of things that I liked about this game, but most of all I enjoyed the voice acting and personality of the main anatagonist (or protagonist if you will), Kain himself. Perhaps if I would ever end up being an immortal vampire with world domination dreams and the means to fulfill them I would be pretty cocky myself, but that just simply showed me how awesome it could be to be bad if there would be no one above you to question anything you would do … And that’s how far my wickdeness got, cause you know in the real world, you are accountable for everything you do, but in the world of Nosgoth an immortal lord such as Kain is judge and jury in all instances and has every right to allow mortals to live or slaughter them as he desires (or more precisely as I desired when I controlled him). To top it all of as gaming conventions would have it, you get to be Kain and every last moment is enjoyable from fighting your way through fanatics and monsters to draining their lifeless corpses of their blood …

This is quite it for now, but before the blog will be done for good in a few months, I still have a couple posts on mind which I will probably share at some point so if anyone reads them they might have quite a time revisiting the titles and remembering their own experiences of how it was when they first played them. Or why not if my audience is a bit younger and never got to play any of these titles or might not have heard of them, perhaps they might feel free to look them up and give them a try, using the proper compatibility settings obviously. There will be five more titles in a future post and afterwards one final goodbye and thank you post to all readers and passersby who might have stumbled across this mediocre gaming blog long after its owner stopped trying to attract visitors to it. Until next time then, enjoy your game!

Blogging Confessions Vol. II

Quite a long time, eh? Well let me begin by telling you that I am not very much able to keep this blog (or any other blog for that matter) updated anymore since I moved on to other money making sources and my passion for gaming is slowly reaching its saturation point where little to no games can actually give me that feeling that I first had when playing WoW or GTA as a kid many years ago. As such writing about games is becoming a sort of a semi-obligation given that I still have this blog paid for until next year and as most of you I don’t like doing things I’m forced to do any more than I would like to do hard labor for free at gun point (you get the point, right?). As a result the updates have been fewer and fewer and obviously at some point next year they will stop entirely and this blog will be nothing else, but a memory in the annals of the internet alongside the host of websites that are no longer working and that still have some working links pointing to them. But until then I will be as frank as possible and I will point out in this post whatever was going on with this blog in the years that have passed. It would be like a little introspection that I believe might serve some of you well. So here goes nothing.

Back in 2011 I learned about affiliate marketing and after a few failed experiments here and there with a couple random websites I decided to make my then passion for gaming into a minimal source of income and so I did by creating a blog on which I was supposed to promote offers which (if bought) would give me a hefty 75% commision. Obviously it took a ton of work to get things rolling from scratch, but eventually I managed to get a steady flow of visitors and some of them actually turned into buyers and made me some money every once in a blue moon. Sure things aren’t as easy as they seem and it was not long until I was stuck doing SEO and building links and also bothering myself with keeping the site updated with new content, most of which if you will check out the first posts through the archive section were very badly written sales letter to the various products I was promoting at the time. As time passed my traffic increased and I made a little more money, however I never did manage to break the 500 visitors mark on a daily basis, even though I did see some days with huge spikes of over 2000 visitors on various launch days and other important events in gaming, but it never became a regual website over in the search engines simply because it was condemned to mediocrity since its beginnings.

Then I did what any right minded blogger would do and I began working harder to pass that psychological barrier and I went so far that I actually ended up buying gigs on Fiverr (which were much more useless than you might think of) , but obviously to no avail. I resigned myself to the numbers I had and worked to help and maintain my steady flow of visitors and at this point my writing actually started to improve and I began writing posts on other gaming related topics and not just game guides (AKA commision products) while also dedicating a little more time to editing and proofreading my posts. As the job got harder I obviously started working more and dedicating more time to trying to make this work better, but clearly it was of no use as I would later realize that I basically did most of the things wrong … Like really wrong! So after 3 years of working on doing my best to enjoy what I was doing I had given up the “work” that was supposed to help the blog grow and I just went with the tide by simply posting various things I found interesting and from time to time keeping up with the news and various launches (mostly Blizzard related).

Things went on like this for a few months and just after Blizz had introduced the token service I actually managed to get myself to acknoledge the fact that it was all over since more than 80% of my income came from Dynasty’s Tycoon Addon for which sales were decent during the entire process and spiked around launches or patch updates. But as the company that made the game had finally found a way to stop the gold farming and guide scamming and also make a nice profit for themselves of the whole process so did the number of sales of the guide. After that there were a few sales now, but those could bearly cover my hosting cost, not to even mention getting me some pocket money for a change. After that moment my posting frequency started to drop as well and I did not post anymore once or twice a week, but once every other week or even rarer (as you can see if you take a look at the dates of my latest posts).

The primary thing that made me create and manage the blog was money and as the source of money got smaller and smaller up until the point where it will be eventually depleted entirely so did the interest in keeping the website online and updated. Now I would like to stress the fact that nothing or almost nothing for that matter in this world is done without money being involved in one way or another so the next time someone wants to sell you something for free (be it ideas, philosophies, politics, religions, economy or whatever else …) you should always ask: ”but what is the REAL cost of this FREE item that you sell me, eh?” And while we are at it, I might still post once a month some cool things I find on the interweb while this is still working, but you won’t see any other posts related to products and / or seller tickets on this one, because the time of these sales has almost passed and I don’t want to be the guy that flogs the dead horse in order to finish the race. In other words I followed the money and as time passes it will tell if my assumption is correct or not, but either way of what I am certain is the fact that this source is done for and the gaming guides as useful or useless as they might be have almost certainly went out of fashion long ago.

So thank you for reading and please take time to learn from this and remember that money, although necessary for a decent life mustn’t become the primary driving force in life, because depending on the context and choices you will either end up having a lot or having very little … But that should never define who or what you are. Now if you like to play games, then play them, if you enjoy reading, please devours all the books you can get your hands on and if you like anything please enjoy doing it, but keep in mind that all things are to be enjoyed in moderation and a truly powerful and meaningful life is one that is filled with diversity!

WoW Youtube Channel Picks

Well this was odd enough … Took me quite a long time to figure it out if it might be worth still keeping the blog and eventually I decided to keep it alive and kicking for one more year and then be done with it, cause you know … It was all nice and I enjoyed my traffic spikes and all the issues that come up once you own such a tiny marvel of technology like this, but I feel like I outgrew it and it is time for me to move on to other things … Like free blogs without any obligations, but that remains to be seen … Anyways I am avoiding the subject here … The idea is that since I have another year of subscription on this I might just make the best of it and share a few thoughts on whatever games and gaming related topics I am still currently interested in. Today on the table we have the WoW channels that I follow and enjoy watching from time to time … And not just any channels (certainly not my channel you can find there on the right), but the best channels with some of the most engaging content for World of Warcraft (and other cool games in most cases). So here you have my top picks of channels that I still follow to see what happens to the game as I for one was among the many millions who quit the game not long ago and I will not go back until they finally get some new cool content like the one hopefully provided by this Legion expansion that everyone says will be the reason for saving WoW (again) cause it does nothing but please the fans (apparently). Anyways here’s my first pick:

Nobbel87’s Channel

It goes without saying that whenever interested in WoW lore there are a few people to whom you can go and adress your questions, people such as Chris Metzen or Mike Morhaime, but if they can’t be reached, cause you know they are rich and hard to get a hold of nowadays you will always have Nobbel around. Now this fella has been doing videos in which he explains all that there is to know about the story of the vast world of Warcraft for quite a long time now and he most certainly knows his storytelling and youtube video making by now. Among his lore videos that are the most famous and watched he also makes QA’s, Playthroughs, How-to-Solo and other stuff and although he recently featured other games as well such as Telltale’s Game of Thrones the main content on his channel is still WoW related in a wooping 90% rate. So check him out, subscribe and enjoy!

Danger Dolan’s Channel

Now DD has been around for quite some time now and although recently he has been more into actually making videos than playing I still remember him from back in the days when he was much more WoW focused in his tops (like this blog wasn’t and now is … just the other way around … but nevermind!). Anyways since he started out he now owns 3 youtube channels that mainly feature countdowns on various creepy or intriguing topics from the world wide web, gaming universe and movie central. Still for the fact that he still makes WoW videos from time to time I decided to include him on this list as well with his Danger Dolan Gaming Channel. So enjoy and if you are into light countdowns that are more or less acurate and more or less true to enjoy while eating something or not having anything better to do. If you have time and this top is good enough for you you might want to check out some of his other channels as well, you might just like them.

Preach Gaming’s Channel

In case you didn’t notice this guy is awesome … Seriously if you are playing for quite some time and you haven’t seen any videos from this guy ranting about how stupid and overly idiotical things have become in the world of Azeroth, you have most certainly missed out on a very nice laugh and at the same time on a good lesson if you need someone to motivate you in taking your game just a little more seriously (in case you want to do that obviously and you are playing with people who do it themselves). Preach has been doing videos for almost as long as he has been playing WoW and that means he got some years under the belt to brag about and even if his videos aren’t as successful as DD’s for example, he stays true to this WoW heritage and only makes related content without really spending to much time on other games as well. If you like people who rant a lot and swear a lot at the prospect of losing a game, but who do so with an outstanding finesse.

Lazy Peon’s Channel

A fairly new channel that I began following just a few months ago, the Lazy Peon is your average WoW gamer that started out not too long ago, but really liked the game and decided to tell his thoughts on it in video form and had a fair amount of success by doing so. Similar to Danger Dolan he too has plenty of countdowns on his channel and so far has only tackled WoW related topics, but as always whenever I get nostalgic about why I liked the game or I come to my senses and realize why did I quit, he sort of reminds me all the reasons in most of his decently wrought videos. So check him out and if you enjoy his style of making videos and presenting them why not make the man happy and subscribe, eh?

Nixxiom Machinima’s Channel

One other channel that I also enjoy watching that features more or less 80% WoW related content is Nixxiom. He too started out a bit late just like the aforementioned fellow, but as luck would have it there was a following for his type of videos as well, mostly comments with gameplay footage, but anyways decently made and worth wasting on the usual 5 to 20 mins that the videos are running for. Basically among various comments and tops his most viewed videos or the How-to: <insert class or raid or something in here> where the dude takes an aspect of gaming and explains it well enough for any noob to understand it and learn how to make the best of it and slowly slowly become a pro (results basically depend on the individual not necessarily on the quality of the video) … All in all ’tis a good channel with plenty of resources that make it worth checking out.

Fatboss TV’s Channel

The name says it all. For the more specialized info that not too many of the previous channels are dealing with, as in raiding and raiding strategies we have Fatboss, another fairly new title that sprung from the need to know how to bring down bosses without dying and wiping a couple more times before figuring out the gig that each of them comes up with. As such for gamers such as myself who only play every once in a blue moon and don’t really have time to research strategy myself with me guild as we were doing back in BC, the Fatboss videos are more than useful for those triumphant returns to the world of Azeroth directly to Heroic (or is it Mythic? I really can’t tell anymore) raids and dungeons. Also the fact that they do the testing on Beta and by the time the bosses are released on live servers the strategies are already done for is also kind of taking away that pleasure of the first encounter with the unknown, but anyways I guess that whenever I’ll get back to hardcore gaming I won’t watch them anymore and that should solve the problem and increase the number of wipes my raid takes too. Still up until that happens (if ever) we have Fatboss and his team to thank for the recent raiding successes of most guilds and lfr hero wanabe’s. So keep up the good work and  hard raiding fellas!

Panser’s TradeChat Channel

And finally keeping last for best or whatever way you want it, there’s the news channel where we don’t get raiding tips and we have few countdowns and very little pics and images, but that don’t really matter all that much since the host is one of those cute nerdy girls that plays video games and also makes youtube videos about them and she enjoys a more or less moderate success in the business. Her name’s Panser if you are wondering and she also does modelling in case you are into her … I’m just saying you know … Lately she’s been hosting a show on Wowhead as well and we all know that Wowhead is the place to be in terms of everything related to Wow (or almost everything). And other than that her channel is going pretty strong as well and she still keeps it updated with all the news and releases that you could want from such a niche channel out there. What I noticed is that once you’re not actually logging in daily into Wow anymore and you kind of miss news every now and then this channel is quite useful to keep you updated as Panser does her best to feature everything of note from the azerothian perspective. So if you enjoy her … I mean her channel, but then why can’t you enjoy both, right? Scoop her out and have fun watching them videos that wink at you!

With this I take my leave for another over extended time period that might or might not last for a month or more while I attend to other serious businesses in the life of man … Stuff like college and work and dating and all the other stuff for which there is little to no time left when you are stuck playing games on hardcore mode. But still I’ll always check back in to see what comes next and who knows maybe some day I’ll return for a few more spins on the newest content in the history of the whole white world … of warcrft. Take care and enjoy your activities, whatever they may be cause as luck would have it for now you are stuck with them and you can’t really change them now can you? So you could at least have a good time doing them!