Posts Tagged ‘ gaming ’

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 11,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 18 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

One year since I quit being an videogames magazine editor

I quit my magazine (Pelaaja) in August 2011 after having been it’s Editor in Chief and Creative Director since 2002. I was and still am an entrepreneur, but for over a year I have not been part of the daily grind.

I’ve never had so much fun outside of work in my life as I have this year.

I have never had a real personal life outside of work until now.

I never really hung out with people.

I never knew I could have other things keeping me busy than video games.

I never knew how much life outside of work could give to me.

This past year when I’ve gone to video games events like E3, DICE and GDC, people have come up to say to me that I look slimmer, younger, not so incredibly stressed and annoyed all the time. Same things my mother says to me – now I can apparently be talked to as I’m not so curt and annoyed all the time. I have felt it too. I’m still often very melancholy and emotional, but I feel that for the first time in 15 years or maybe ever…I’m alive. That I have arrived.

I do miss my old work, but it’s …I dont think I can explain what it was like to carry not only the magazine but the company on my back and I dare say that because most people at Pelaaja would agree. I loved the pressure and responsibility in a way because it made me feel important. It made me feel that I had something worth living for, I had something that made it ok for me to exist. The circumstances why I left I explained in one of my first blog posts, in Finnish though, but 2010 can go fuck it self. Time heals some wounds though. Scars stay, but you can move on to some extent. So from being three weeks way of moving to work at Naughty Dog to things collapsing and leaving my mag and doing other things…the journey is the interesting part.

The important thing is that when it comes to my past work I do not regret it, absolutely not.

I would not change a thing.

I got to be part of something incredible and the work gave me so much and so many incredible experiences and friends. I know I’ve been incredibly lucky.

I absolutely think the 9 years I spent on Pelaaja were some of the best times ever, but it came with a serious cost for many of us at the magazine and company. I dont see any other way of doing the work but having given it my all (along with others) and did my best, but it drained me completely.

I know I will never be able to put in the kind of hours, effort and work mentality I did for so many years. I do not have that left in me. I know that. I try not to feel bad about that. I felt unstoppable for many years. Not anymore.

I believe in few things but one thing I do believe is that one cannot have everything in life. That I’m sure of.

You dont need everything.

For me, I think being able go develop a normal relationship seems like it’s not going to work out for me. I have also become okay with that, finally,  after having spent so long dreaming about it. I think I wont ever be content. I have go and do something to prove myself to other people soon again. For a long time I wished, I was regular or normal, whatever the fuck that is..but deep inside I knew and I know I would hate being regular. I want to be different. Fuck normalcy.

I feel that if you get everything, your hunger will stop.

At the end of the day, I wake up most days and remind myself what it was like for me in school the early days. I got picked on and I got my ass kicked because of my foreign background. I was terrified of going to school.

That didn’t last too long, but then people laughed at me for being into video games. “When are you gonna stop that shit ?”.

My school counselor / psychology teacher told me on our graduation cruise that “you wont mount up to anything” to me and my friend.

I will never forget that.

Never.

Maybe it was reverse-psychology, but that’s giving her too much credit.

Vincent Hanna said it well in the movie Heat:

“I gotta hold on to my angst. I preserve it because I need it. It keeps me sharp, on the edge, where I gotta be.”

That is how I feel. That is why I keep the the angst and pain because it’s what gives me strength. It keeps me sharp, on the edge, where I gotta be.

I just remind myself of that when I feel down and remember that every day I have to prove myself. So in that way, I turned that negativity into positivity, but I’m also never content with what I’ve done and have achieved.

So, never stop wanting to do stuff, experiencing new things and going out there and trying to get what you want, what makes you happy.

(…and hey, I work on daily basis on next-gen consoles, so things are pretty good :))

PlayStation Vita does so many things right but so does the 3DS

In the last couple of months I’ve spent quite lot of time on airplanes. While years ago I stopped playing videogames on planes, because I had to always write or I’d rather watch a movie, I made a concentrated effort in playing on the Vita and 3DS recently.

PlayStation Vita and the 3DS

I like Sony’s hardware and the Vita is pretty sweet. The best thing about the Vita is that it certainly show’s that’s Sony’s learnt about what Microsoft has done with it’s Xbox Live and OS in general and obviously Apple. The Vita OS seems pretty good with lot of programs being able to run in the background and switching from each is quite fast, though what I hate is that whatever program you want to start or go back into, you always have to tap in the middle of the screen after you’ve already tapped the software icon. Completely unecessary, one tap should be enough.

The Vita is almost too good. The group chat etc features, well I just dont see too many people playing on the Vita unfortunately. So not sure how many of these features will be used, but the OS is definitely great. Being able to play a game, go to Twitter, Settings and then back into the game is great. Sadly the Facebook app at the moment is just super slow and crap. Also the wifi doesn’t seem too strong, I have trouble getting a good signal in area’s where I got a good signal with my iPhone. I’m able to type a lot better on the Vita than on the iPhone, but mostly due to larger screen size which allows for larger virtual keyboard.

The hardware feels good in your hands and the screen is really great. The game’s are good too, but here’s the dilemma. They are good, yet…I feel better playing the 3DS games like Super Mario Land 3D and Mario Kart 7 – they just seem somehow better built and more unique experiences than what there is on the Vita. There’s a huge variety of games on the Vita and in general a lot of the downloadable smaller games are really good.

But somehow, the Vita feels like …too much of a “professional, big console experience”, whereas the 3DS feels…it’s own thing. Inferior graphics-wise sure and the battery life is absoutely horrible, but somehow it feels more unique.

I only recently “got” the 3DS Mii friends thing and Spot Pass/Street pass. Having the 3DS in my pocket while in Tokyo, I got like 50+ people in into my 3DS and it’s fun to see their Mii’s, where they are from and also play with them in that simple game. You get really good visual feedback on who you have met, it feels fun. Now with the Vita you got Near, it tries the same thing, but with too many stats, who is playing what, in what area and you only see the avatars and the service is slow, like almost everything with PSN, which is annoying. Near is a good idea, but again…the simplicity in the 3DS sort of works better, even Near is able to give you downloadable things and friends over wifi and not just by having someone in the console’s close proximity. When I get some Near gifts, I just dont get a good sense of what I got in games, whereas on the 3DS I do. Also have I shared gifts with anyone? How do I know?

I love Sony, so I’d want to like the Vita more and I do love it, but I was surprised at how much fun I had on the 3DS in Japan. Now, in Finland when I have the 3DS with me, I’ve gotten one friend on it in six months – these types of features that really depend on actual physical proximity of the console, only work in Japan and at show’s like E3/GDC, but here in Finland and I guess most of Europe, it doesnt. We just dont sit so much on trains with everybody owning a handheld console where they could communicate.

I do love the customization on the Vita. Being able to put in your own wallpapers and taking screenshots of games is awesome. Also, like I said, the OS is good and really bodes well for the PlayStation 4, but also…it feels Sony is following, not leading. Putting two touchscreens etc onto your device doesnt necessarily make it better.

Still, the only time I use the 3DS is when there’s great games like the two I mentioned. Now the machine sits collecting dust, while I do mess around with the Vita and keep it with me on most work days.

But, there’s New Super Mario Bros 2 coming for the 3DS in August, that’s the next time I’m gonna use the device I think. There are quite a few promising Vita games in the pipeline from some internal Sony developers. I cant say more, but there’s some new IP stuff coming that should do good.

 

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