Monthly Archives: February 2017

Switch *Click*

Cancelling my Nintendo Switch preorder felt like a turning point for me. It wasn’t just opting out of the newest handheld console from the same company that had me hunched over the monochromatic screen of a Game Boy for more than a decade, in my mind it was the moment I decided that it is time to call time on writing about video games.

In many ways it feels right to make the switch.

The Nintendo Switch is everything I’d have wanted when we started this blog.  Nintendo handhelds have always been a big part of both why and how I play video games. And from moment I received a Game Boy for Christmas 1990 it was rare to find me without a handheld somewhere within arms length. Whether it was a well-worn copy of Super Mario Land 3: Warioland on the Game Boy or the balls-to-the-wall-nuts spin-off WarioWare Inc. Mega Microgames! on the cramptacular GBA Micro, handhelds were where I spent most of my video game time.

Which is why the decision to not buy it was so symbolic. Not feeling the need to embark on the next stage of that handheld journey meant something more than just saving $500-odd. It meant acknowledging that I was ready to let go of something I’d carried with me for the better part of three decades.

And I couldn’t let completely let go without cutting the cord completely. And that means also letting go of writing here.

But oh what a time I’ve had. Like the time I wrote about Warioware being my Nintendo nostalgia. Or when I had an existential crisis playing The Talos Principle. Or of course when I wrote about parental sex. These are all pieces I had a ball writing and I hope will stay here for more people to read and enjoy.

Most importantly I hope you’ve all enjoyed this as much as I have.

So it is with part sadness, part trepidation and part grief that I sign off here for the last time.

It’s been grouse.

Sir Gaulian

*Click*

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Spiffing Reads: Geralt in Real Life, Trump vs Final Fantasy VII and Bye Bye Wii U

This week on Spiffing Reads, we start with a look at who Geralt is in real life…

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The voice behind The Witcher (Eurogamer)

Even though I’ve never played any of the Witcher games (except the board game), I found this a fascinating read. Partly because it turns out that Geralt lives in Bournemouth. It was also fascinating to read about the divorce between Geralt as perceived by the game-playing public and the actual nature of the voiceover job – just a few days in a sound studio that was quickly forgotten about as the actor moved on to other projects.

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Punching Nazis (Eurogamer)

Last week I featured a well-written article from Mr Biffo about his uncomfortable feelings surrounding the internet celebration of the smack in the face received by neo-Nazi Richard Spencer live on TV. This article by Alexis Kennedy covers the same topic with some excellent, well backed-up points. It turns out that Nazis really WANT to be punched – because it means you’ve given up arguing against their skewed world view.

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Love, Loss and the Human Threads of The Banner Saga (Kotaku UK)

This article passed me by last week, but I’m glad I discovered it – it’s another very well written piece by Sam Greer, who wrote an excellent article on Shadow of the Colossus a while back. This time she muses on what makes The Banner Saga so damn good – and after reading it, I’m itching to sample the game for myself.

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20 years after its release, Final Fantasy VII’s Trumpian dystopia has arrived (A.V. Club)

At first glance, this article seems like a very stupid idea – a comparison of the Donald Trump administration with the imaginary world of Final Fantasy VII. But if you ignore that and read on, the author makes some really interesting points and covers some political ramifications of Trump’s presidency that I hadn’t even considered. Splendid stuff.

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Video games don’t love or hate you – they’re just built that way (Eurogamer)

RIP Wii U: Nintendo’s glorious, quirky failure (The Guardian)

And finally, we have a couple of great articles by Keith Stuart. The first pulls back the veil on video games and reveals the simple programming tricks that can fool us into thinking computer opponents in games have some kind of personality. The bit about how AI racers are programmed in Micro Machines is fascinating – it turns out there’s no AI at all.

The second is a bittersweet look back at the Wii U, a machine that no one seemed to understand, yet still had some of the best games released in the past five years. Bye bye Wii U, I for one will miss you.

Sob.


Spiffing Reads is a regular feature where we pick out the best gaming articles of the week. If you’ve read anything interesting, please let us know in the comments.

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