The purpose of this blog post will be to provide a(n extremely) rough overview/summary of my PS3 gaming up to the point I started this blog. This will be far less detailed and representative of the auto-ethnographic entries that will populate my blog from this point going forward (beginning with the next post), but I still think it’s necessary to cover the historical background of my venture into the world of gaming.
As I said in my last entry, I bought my PS3 in the summer of 2010 when D came back from SD for the summer. We lived together in my small one-bedroom apartment that summer and spent a lot of time using his PS3 (which he had brought back with him from school). Because of this, we decided that I should get one too, so that we could continue to play together once he moved back to SD in the Fall. However, I bought it before he left and for a brief period of time we had two PS3s hooked up in my apartment, and began experimenting with the types of games we would be playing LD.
The first of which was Fat Princess. Sidenote: I acknowledge the troubling anti-fat premise, but (oh god, am I really one of those gamers?) by and large our enjoyment of this game had little to do with fattening the princess. At any rate, what was fun about this game were the customizable characters (in a rare moment, I was actually satisfied with the ‘female’ options) and snarky commentary, the humorous ways to kill one another, and, of course, the online multi-player options. There are multiple modes of gameplay – our favorites being “Snatch’n Grab”, resembling a capture the flag set-up but with the opposing team’s princess, and “Invasion”, in which you attempt to take over and hold on to more outposts than the other team.
|FP end game screen shot - Source: http://theinquisitiveloon.blogspot.com/2010/10/fat-princess.html|
|FP Character classes - Source: http://www.gameandplayer.net/articles/2009/08/fat_princess.html|
We played this game separately so that we each had a full screen to ourselves, because playing on a split screen obstructed our views and made playing more difficult. (Which we’ve discovered about quite a few different local multi-player games.) We eventually stopped playing this game because the other people who played online stopped playing the actual games and just slaughtered everyone on the other teams without any strategy. We have found other games like this that we like and play – about which I will not go into specific detail – but I feel like this one is particularly representative of the early stages of our PS3 gaming.
We have also played different trivia games online – including Buzz! Quiz World. This is a game we had a lot of fun with for several different reasons – including the fact that we could play online with one another and other online players, and both download user-generated and make our own quizzes. The host, Buzz, was also hilarious and sarcastic – but then annoyingly repetitive.
|Buzz with the Buzz! buzzer, used for gameplay - Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/video-games/6671060/Top-10-video-games-for-all-ages.html|
More recently we’ve been playing You Don’t Know Jack – another trivia game we can play together online, with an even more hilarious and snarky host, Cookie Masterson, and much more adult-themed quips and questions. YDKJ has been featured on this blog previously (and used to be the inspiration for my blog title) because this is a game we still play somewhat regularly on our standing Gaming-Date Nights (GDN).
A similar game (or set of games) that could somewhat fall under this same game ‘type’ are the Hasbro Family Game Night games (there are four different versions out at this point) which we have played both on the Wii and the PS3, both together and apart. This is actually a game that made an appearance in our GDNs from almost the beginning and up to now. However, the AI is a notorious cheater and often the games are hard to play fairly even with the two of us – leading to a great deal of frustration. Along this same line is Monopoly Streets, which we also played online for a significant period of time, and quit playing for almost the same reason – a notoriously horrible and frustrating cheater AI.
But, one of the platforms we used the most after I got a PS3 and D returned to California was definitely PlayStation Home (“Home” from here on out). This is a social gaming platform developed for PS3 owners and PSN members (it requires a strong Internet connection) which (from my limited experience with SL) seems to be similar to Second Life.
|One of my Home Spaces, the two black rectangles are photos of D and I, but didn't screen capture.|
|D and I at one of his Home Spaces - one of the better glimpses of our avatars.|
As Home has continued to expand, it has become an incredibly cool virtual world. D and I each created as lifelike avatars as we could with the available options, and have invested money into creating our own environments and Home gaming content. For quite a long time (until my weakening Internet connection made it too difficult), we had weekly dates in Home where we could see one another (via Avatars) and hang out while talking on either the Home voice chat function or on the phone while we played. I won’t go into too great of detail about Home in this blog, because I will be doing an entire blog dedicated to Home, next. (Which I just decided as I was trying to briefly explain how we use(d) Home.)
Other games we’ve spent time playing online include the different variations of the Magic the Gathering online version of the card game (which we spent a lot of time playing together in person). I get somewhat of a temper when I play this game because I’m new to it and D has been playing for most of his life, so I can only handle it in bursts and prefer to physical card game. But we do return to this from time to time. We also played DC Universe Online (a MMORPG) for a significant period of time, but I didn’t have the time (or energy) to dedicate to it that was necessary for it to be worth its membership price (not to mention the fact that my lack of time spent in the game left me waaay behind in levels and experience to be competitive with other players) and I eventually stopped playing. Without me, D lost interest (not really by choice) and stopped as well.
At this point it feels like this blog could become a neverending list of games, but I’ll wrap up soon so as to move on to more timely blogging. It’s just that looking back on the games we’ve played together while in a LDR, I have so many fond memories that I don’t want to forget anything we’ve played or forget to mention it because that feels like forsaking important experiences (shout out to Castle Crashers, Journey, and Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure, which will pop up later anyway). The last game I’ll discuss before I actually wrap up is Portal 2.
|Main character, Chell, whom you never actually see, and antagonist super-computer, GLaDOS - Source: http://thewayofthegame.net/?tag=portal-2|
|Co-op characters, ATLAS and P-body - Source: http://portal2walkthrough.org/|
We played this bother together in co-op mode and separately while on the phone. Portal 2 is a puzzle-platform game that is insanely hard to describe and confused the hell out of me for a decent amount of time when D was describing it to me and even after I bought it and had been playing it. So, I won’t really describe it. If you’ve heard of it and/or played it, then you know what I mean. If you haven’t, look it up and buy the shit out of that game, because it’s amazing and funny and so, so fun. My fondest memory of playing this game was one weekend in late May, 2011, when D and I stayed up all night playing it so that we could see the apocalypse if that crazy church was right. They weren’t, of course, and it was a great (somewhat darkly comedic) night.
In addition to the above types of games we played, we also spent time talking on the phone while individually playing other one-player games. One such game was Costume Quest, which we played around Halloween 2011.
|So freaking fun! Source: http://www.ugo.com/games/costume-quest-double-fine-preview|
Unlike the other solo games that we play while on the phone (like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim), we attempted to match up our game play so that we were essentially playing through the same game at the same time. However, I played as the female character, while he played through as the male (siblings). There was only a slight variation to the gameplay based on the character chosen. We did not play the entire game this way, but this was a lot of fun, and I wish we could play more games like this – but they tend to be slightly more involved. Skyrim is a game we currently play solo, but while talking on the phone both about it and whatever else pops up. Blogs from this point forward will likely feature some discussion of this game, so I will not go into more detail now. Also a game we currently play is Gotham City Imposters, a first-person shooter (FPS, which I normally stay away from) game that we can play together online which consists of misfit Batman and Joker vigilantes. This will also pop up in future blogs.
Whoo, so there you have it! An extremely abbreviated (if you can believe it) history of our (mostly) PS3 gaming experiences up to the present moment. After the Home blog, I will be entirely caught up with where we are with our LDGR at this point in time. *Sigh* This blog has made me extremely nostalgic for some of these old games… perhaps I’ll go play something now.