All About danny_dm_moore
Hi, I am Dan, I am 31 with a full time job in IT support and a wife. I also do not have what is known as a 'Pile of Shame'. For those who don't know what I am talking about, the Pile of Shame is a collection of games/movies/books/albums that are considered classics or must haves that you know you should play/watch/read/listen to but simply haven't and that brings about a shame you apparently cannot escape.
Well you know what? You can escape it, and very easily. All you have to do it forget the concept of the pile of shame altogether and realise an inscrutable fact: There simply isnt enough time. Great works come out on a nearly daily basis - games, books, albums, movies - there is already a ton of these this year that will be great things that should be enjoyed, but you do not have the time to consume them all and that is no bad thing at all.
Life is a complex thing where everything is competeing for your time and attention. The things I have already mentioned, plus wifes/girlfriends/boyfriends, regular friends, family are all wanting to grab some of your attention, eating away at available time in any given day. How you deal with life relies your ability to juggle all these attention seekers and carve out your own way of dealing with each.
I spend time with my wife cuddled up on the sofa watching various TV shows, current favourites are The Walking Dead, Dexter, Arrow, Hawaii Five-0, Glee, NCIS: Los Angles. Some great things in there, some total fluff, but those are what I am into at present. They all allow me to spend time with the wife while also consuming some TV, killing two birds with one stone. Are they the truly important TV shows on at the moment? Hell no. Well maybe one is, but I dont have time to consume those shows, and I haven't seen anything in recent memory that fits anyway.
Those shows I miss out on would count towards my pile of shame. I haven't seen some of the truely great movies ever made: 2001, Apocalypse Now, Blazing Saddles, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Exorcist, The French Connection, again all adding to the pile. Movies I have seen include Space Balls, BASEketball, Die Hard 1-5 and hundreds of others including some of the big names. These are movies I can receit lines from off by heart but get no credit for, I just get crap thrown for not seeing the other ones.
I haven't listen to Dark side of the Moon, The Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack, Achtung Baby, Off the wall - great albums that haven't graced my ears before due to either a lack of interest or, more likely, a lack of time. My musical tastes are probably not worth going into in much since I am fully aware my affinities are not to everyone's taste, but those albums would make the pile.
I haven't played To the Moon, Psychonaughts, System Shock, Super Meat Boy, Katamari Damacy, Call of Duty 4, Nights Into Dreams and any Castlevania title. Do I still consider myself very knowledgable when it comes to games? yes I do. Looking down the list of 100 games to play before you die that I took the above examples from, there are just as many games I have played if not more, but because those are the cult classics, thats ones that people can trace most of moden game design back to they would go on the pile.
However, I chose to not have a pile of shame. I have limited time, and if I am ever graced with kids, that time will go down even more. If my job, like the good folks here at Gamespot, were games journalist, then it wouldnt be so much of a problem and I would be able to see many more great games than I get to at present. My job isn't that and it isn't for lack of trying, but I just accept that some things slip through the net.
These are things that will not radically change my life had I actually consumed them, and I can live happily in the knowledge that I have limited time and cannot see/hear/read/play everything I probably should. This because I consume enough for me, to make me happy and feel satisfied, and therefore I do not have a pile of shame.
My hope, as idealistic and futile as it is, is that people reading this editorial will say "Ya know, that dude is right. I don't need this pile of shame I have in my head or even physically in my room. I just need to be happy in what I do consume". It is not going to happen, but I hope I have at least given you some food for thought.
Augmented Reality is an interesting thing. The potential for amazing things is almost unchecked, offering a world where every day life can be seen in a whole new way, allowing access to data you didn't even know you needed, and of course, a brand new way to play games.
Ingress is one such game, using AR to present a fairly unique experience. I have to say the interface does look very cool, NianticLabs@Google presenting a way to make a GPS interface look slick and futuristic, while also adhering to the world and fiction they have created. Said fiction, is that Higgs-Boson research has created a strange side effect, a substance called Xotic Matter that is both energy and matter. This is seeping into our world via portals, and two factions are vieing for control of those portals, so that they may have control over the minds of people.
Ok, so its a bit hoaky, but it works in the context of the game. The interface presents a GPS view of your current position, and a blue circle surrounds your arrow. Floating dots are scattered around you, and any thay enter this circle are sucked to your arrow. This is XM, and powers a lot of your abilities in game. You must then find 'Portals' that can be hacked, attacked and linked to gain items and other goodies.
To find these portals, you must walk. A lot. In a noble effort, however, portals are generally located on either art projects or post offices scattered around various towns and cities around you. This is all well and good, but at present, at least in the UK, there simply isn't enough of them. I don't live in out in the sticks, my town, Birstall, is pretty central to no less than 3 large cities, all in easy communting distance, but I can only collect XP locally. There is a large statue of Joesph Priestly in Birstall (he discovered oxygen), but that doesnt count as a portal. Neither does the post office or anything in a 3 mile radius.
I understand that the point is get you to seek out art in your local area, but first starting out with the game can be confusing and with little do if you don't live in a major city the game becomes boring. This is a shame, because despite some GPS lag that means your arrow never, ever, appears to be on a road, the game is very cool.
All of these things can be addressed as the beta progresses, and I personally think the look of the game is awesome and so doesn't really need much improvement. The problem is the lack of things to do if you don't live in major metropolitain areas, and Ingress unfortunatly falls down here, with even the cities I do go to not having enough to do within the game to warrent the battery drain.
I you live in a major city, give the beta a go, its free and can be fun. If you live anywhere else though, give it a miss, you just won't make any real progress at present, try it again later in the year.
Christmas is here, almost, and the game of the year lists are showing up already. I don't normally do such lists, but I have decided that this year will be the first time I will partake in the festivities. So, presented below are my Top Ten games of 2012!
These are games I played in 2012, though they may have been released earlier and I was only able to get around to them during this year, but I really enjoyed them so here they are. I doubt you will be surprised by the number one, but hey, I thought it was the best so monkeys!
10. Rayman Origins (PS Vita)
I don't play a lot of Platformers, but when I do I try play the best ones I can find, and Rayman Origins is certainly that.
Challenging, but not overally so, it controls really well on Vita and that screen really makes the absolutely stunning artwork pop. I had no idea what was going on and why I was running around the levels, but it didn't matter, the game is just a joy to play and provides everything you would want from a platformer. The sequel is due sometime in 2013, and I am very much looking forward to it!
9. Pullblox/Pushmo (3DS)
Pullblox (Pushmo in the US) shows the genius of Nintendo, plain and simple. That last word is actually very apt, as the game itself is easy to pick up, but boy, it can be hard to master.
You control Mallo, who has to save kids trapped inside puzzles made up of push and pullable blocks, each of a different design. The objective is to figure out what to pull/push and when, to allow Mallo to ascend each puzzle and rescue the kid. It sounds simple, and to be fair a lot of the puzzles are, but some are an absolute nightmare. It really tests your spartial awareness, and, more importantly, the 3D actually helps the game and you to solve the puzzles.
I haven't finished it yet, because I am stuck and get very confused on the particular level I am on. I must finish the whole game though, I am addicted to it, and that is why Nintendo are geniuses.
8. Mark of the Ninja (XBLA)
I have played all of the Splinter Cell games, most of the Metal Gear Games, along with many others that were considered Stealth titles. I recognised that some constraints of what that word means had to be made in those titles but the core idea is still there. Mark of the Ninja is better.
It shows that being seen isn't an automatic game over, and that if you give the player all the information needed to set up their run through a level and how to sneakily take out enemies, stealth can be a hell of a lot of fun. The fact that the game looks gorgeous, like a saturday morning cartoon, and sounds great only adds to what turned out to be one of the best downloadable games ever made, and the best stealth game ever imagined.
7. Trials Evolution (XBLA)
The first game I ever reviewed semi-professionally was Trials HD. It was great, though I recognise now that I had an abusive relationship with that game and unfortunately, I was the one getting getting the abuse.
Knowing this, I still went ahead and bought the excellent sequel Trials Evolution, and once again started getting a beat down. However, Evolution does improve on HD in every way, from more varied enviroments to an easier learning curve and greater length. I did get to a point where I just had to walk away before I killed myself, but I enjoyed it up to that.
6. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (PS3)
I knew Skyrim was a great game when I was playing one night and I heard a rustling from upstairs. I carried on thinking my wife was just restless, but shortly afterwards she appeared at the living room door and said 'Get to bed!' I looked at the clock, and it was 3am. Oops.
Skyrim sucks you in like nothing that came before it, thrusting you into a world of dragons, vikings and magic. Even though the PS3 release was plagued with problems, and still hasn't had the DLC releases enjoyed elsewhere, it served me well for the 100+ hours I put into the game. Whats depressing about that is that I have barely scratched the surface of the content in the core game, let alone expansion packs. I just had to walk away at some point, my wife was getting seriously annoyed.
5. Mass Effect 3 (Xbox 360)
Mass Effect is about as close to the Star Wars films as gaming is going to get. That might be controversial, but its true, and I for one am very happy about that.
The beauty of the series is that each game is a continuation of your sheperds storyline, the choices from previous games carry over and you build up your version of the story. Of course, major plot points will always be there, but friends might be killed or survive and your abilities will improve. Its great, and while Mass Effect 3 had its fair share of controversy this year regarding the series finale, I for one enjoyed every second of it. Roll on with the next game and a new character to build up!
4. Transformers: Fall Of Cybertron (Playstation 3)
"Metroplex heeds the call of the last Prime" with those words, I knew I had to play Fall of Cybertron. I am a massive Transformers fan and this game didn't disappoint from a fiction stand point.
It did, however, have some technical issues on the PlayStation 3, but I forgave it due to the great story and the fact it had a) Metroplex and b) you can play as Grimlock. I was sold. The fact that it was actually pretty good really helped. I ended up buying a Metroplex G1 figure from Ebay after playing this, and he now stands pride of place in my computer room, surrounded by all my other Transformers.
3. Borderlands 2 (PlayStation 3)
I didn't play the original Borderlands, but I kinda wish I had after playing 2. Its fun, silly and awesome at the same time. The variety of guns and abilities on offer, as well as different characters to try, make it cool to just tool around in the world, and Pandora is a big place.
Admittedly the story is stupid and can be pretty much disregarded, but everything else, from art style to how the weapons feel make it a very special game. I liken it to Skyrim in terms of tooling around in the world, but its sense of humour really helped take any pressure off and let you just enjoy, the fun in Skyrim tended to come accidently.
2. Halo 4 (Xbox 360)
343 Industries officially took over the reins of Halo this year with the release of Halo 4, and what a release it was. Halo is my favourite franchise in gaming, the universe is so rich with lore and stories to tell that I cannot get enough of it, especially the expanded universe books.
Halo 4 looks awesome, the details on everything are amazing and when it manages to make even the lowly Covenant Grunts look menacing you know it is on to something special. It feels like Halo, but fresh and modern at the same time, and while the story has a few missteps, it is still probably the best in the series and really shows that an old dog can learn new tricks. I am also pretty good at multiplayer, which is nice.
1. The Walking Dead (PlayStation 3)
What can I say about The Walking Dead that hasn't already been said? Quite frankly, it is one of the best games of this generation, let alone this year.
The story is truely gripping, and the fact it can play differently depending on choices you make allow for those 'Water Cooler' moments where you discuss with friends about what happened in their game compaired to yours. It isn't based on the comics storyline or the TV show storyline, so is free to tell its own tale, and it does so with aplomb.
It looks great, sounds even better and plays like a point and click adventure. The story is the stand out here though, Telltale crafting a yarn that is terrifying, pointant and exciting all at the same time. Each episode has its twists and turns, and though some are better than others, they combine to make a truely stellar game.
So there you have it, my top ten for 2012. As I said at the start, you could probably predict the number one slot going to the Walking Dead, but you can also do it with a lot of professionals lists too. If you take anything away from this list, can I request that it is an desire to go play The Walking Dead? It is special for so many reasons, but I genuinely believe it is a landmark moment in the mediums history, one that even if you dont like how the game plays, you should see to the end so you an appriciate what it does for gaming. See you in 2013!
My Recent Reviews
Apr 26, 2013 11:34 pm GMTdanny_dm_moore began Following The Bureau: XCOM Declassified
Apr 15, 2013 1:07 am GMTdanny_dm_moore reviewed BioShock Infinite and gave it a score of 9.5
Mar 25, 2013 6:10 pm GMTdanny_dm_moore posted a new blog entry entitled On Not Having a Pile of Shame
Mar 21, 2013 2:48 pm GMTdanny_dm_moore began Following BioShock Infinite
Mar 21, 2013 10:03 am GMTdanny_dm_moore reviewed DmC: Devil May Cry and gave it a score of 8.0
Mar 19, 2013 4:21 pm GMTdanny_dm_moore began Following Thief
Mar 13, 2013 12:57 pm GMTdanny_dm_moore began Following Dishonored
Mar 6, 2013 11:56 am GMTdanny_dm_moore reviewed Dishonored and gave it a score of 8.5
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