Saturday, 30 April 2011

My first tentative steps into video (nothing kinky)



fishOk confession time, I have never put anything on YouTube. I know it is easy and ever one does it, but I guess I never had any cause to do it. However Hex has been badgering me to do some vlogging, which will probably follow. However what is below is my first YouTube video. It is my thoughts on Crysis 2’s multiplayer. It is predominantly for  Hex, as I think it is a multiplayer game he would like, though obviously everyone is welcome to comment.

Me getting killed a lot, well I begin to hold my own towards the end.

Friday, 29 April 2011

Accessing chat, Error you have been disconnected



fishI read Hex’s little story from Wednesday with interest, as I have had similar experiences, and though I am loathed to admit it maybe games have had a negative influence on my life. I obviously don’t mean in an aggressive tendencies, violence and murder spree kind of way, more that frankly I suck balls at small talk.

I went out last night with my other half's family as it was her mom’s 60th birthday. Now as they go on with the business of chatting about their holiday and their family in America and various other things. I pretty much sit there, not really sure I have anything of interested to add and not really being involved with what they are saying. This is in no way there fault, it is just because I don’t really have anything in common with them and i never learnt the trick of making a conversation out of nothing.

In fact the only time I got animated was when the Thor movie was mentioned, which I went to see and is greatthor-movie-poster-1, heh that was good for 4 or 5 sentences before I switched back off. Then it hits me, I am a gaming and pop culture train spotter. I can talk to anyone, about movies, comics and especially video games, but beyond that I am just not very good.

Perhaps this little issue I have has set me back in life a little, and maybe if I was a little less socially awkward I would have a better job etc. Is it gaming fault? No, well yes I think it probably is a contributory factor. However I think it is more down to the fact that I don’t really have an interest, or indeed an understanding, in what a lot of people do. I don’t watch soap opera’s, I don’t garden, I don’t follow sports (football being seemingly almost mandatory in the UK) and I haven’t been away on holiday for years. So while I am perfectly capable of being articulate and likable (I do record a podcast after all), most of my conversations with people I have just met/sort of know tend to run out of steam after 4 or 5 sentences.

Don’t get me wrong I do have friends and I would pretty much do anything for them, but I don’t really have many, humm what's the right word, acquaintances. Even at work there are only really a couple of people I work closely with that I get on well with, the rest of the team I pleasantly interact with when I need to , but don’t really chat with them.

Ah I think the biggest problem I have I am not really interested in anyone that isn’t interested in similar things to me. Is that me being a bit of a twat? Yeah probably but if someone moans about it, it doesn’t matter as i would have probably stopped listening my then.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Portal 2 Unboxing.

Granted, I've been getting carried away with this Youtube stuff but this you have to see, really, the packaging on the PC Version of Portal 2 is… just awful, its like a 3 pound DVD case you pickup form the ultra budget range at a supermarket checkout.

unboxing awesome

£28.99 and you don’t even get a postcard to show off, nothing. THIS is why retail is dying.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

A Slice life.


hex (2)He leaned against a tree outside the school, it was cold so he was wearing a long overcoat and a red desert scarf. His fingerless gloves where ideal in this situation, he could stay warm but still manage to tap the screen on his phone with a sense or purpose. This was mostly to make sure he looked busy, insuring that other parents would not feel the need to include him in their conversations. 2011-04-27 10-07-32.473

He watched his daughter run about in the playground while he waited for the teachers to signal that school was starting when they would all scurry in to consume todays serving of knowledge.

He noticed a young farther in a business suit wondering over to him. This was an age old social dance that was in play, everyone wanting to get in conversation to prove to themselves that they where the most successful alpha male.

He took some headphones from his pocket and plugged them in as the farther got close enough to say “Morning”. The ruse had not worked, only one ear was being injected with the grunge tornado of Nirvana’s Bleach album, the other was exposed enough that he could not pretend he didn’t hear.

“Oh, Morning.” He replied, that’s when it started, the Q&A session to prove superiority,

“Did you go away over the Easter break?” asked the farther, “No”. The farther was hoping for this answer “oh right, yeah, Tina and i spent the weekend in the Cotswolds, took little Abby hacking”, “Sounds nice”.

“Looking forward to the wedding” asked the farther as if there was no point talking holidays because he had already won, “Not really my thing” – The wedding in question was a rather big talking point, some English royal prince was marrying a pretty young aristocrat, He failed to see the intrigue that everyone else did, if we lived in the 1800’s it would have been an awesome spectacle that people travelled to see as it was many people would get an extra day off work and have a party while watching it live on television, some would see it live on youtube from the office but that was the extent of the event. He planned on skipping the whole thing as much as possible.

The Farther had played the patriotism and holiday success cards so now he moved onto the Job card “How’s work going?” everyone knew that this farther was a well respected young hotshot in middle management. “It’s going okay, i keep busy”. The farther looked frustrated.

He had been dropping his daughter off to school once or twice a week for a few years now, he managed to avoid telling the competitive parents what he did for a living by waving his had and saying “this and that” dismissively every time they asked the truth was that he worked for a logistics company tirelessly working an administration role with some really nice people.

He didn’t tell many people the truth of this, not because he had any shame. he liked his job and all those people he worked with and was proud that he provided for his family but the question was always phrased in a way that bothered him “What do you do?” he worked at a desk. but “what do you do?” was a profoundly deeper question. What he did was work when he had to to earn money for his family, when not doing that he wrote and played games and recorded podcasts and wrote blogs. What he did was exist with a passion for creativity and a love for story’s that manifested as a serious video game love. The socially expected response was “i work in logistics” – screw that.

The teachers blew the whistle and his daughter waved with delight as she scurried into the prison like building in hopes of discovering wisdom, or as she was 6 maybe she wanted finger paints and cookies.

The farther waved goodbye and jogged with intent towards his sliver BMW where he would drive too fast to his place of work, a place where he would find no joy or delight, a place where he would wish moment by moment for release. 2011-04-27 10-11-11.797

He, well, He turned up the headphones that where delivering Nirvana to his mind, he adjusted his gloves and buttoned up his overcoat, then he thought about all the things he could do today while he slowly wondered back to his house. the School yard was already empty, every one was in a rush to go somewhere. where where perks to having a weekday off work.

2011-04-27 10-07-06.352The walk took him about ten minuets, he burst into the house to be greeted by a dog that needed to pee a little more than usual. His wife was still sleeping.  He opened the door for the little fella and hung his coat up on the rack, he unplugged the headphones from his phone and tossed it onto the fridge where it would live for the rest of the day. The coffee pot he had left filtering burped as the last drop fell from the machine into the large glass vestibule. He found his retro Pacman cup and filled it with swirling dark liquid. he walked up stairs and wrote this blog. Then as he typed ‘He’ became ‘Me’ and now I am sharing this little story of my morning with you.

It’s interesting how people are fascinated with each others lives but they are so quick to judge you for having interests that are not what is considered to be ‘normal’ i am often told my colleagues that i waste time playing video games while they feel no need to defend an evening of Coronation street and spooks. i find that my love of gaming and writing and sharing my thoughts gives me more satisfaction than any TV show.

I am also proud that my daughter does not sit staring a box in the corner of the room hour after hour, she interacts with her entertainment with youtube and educational websites. As such he is more inquisitive than other children of her age, she is interested in ‘doing’ things and not just letting things wash over her. she wants to play video games, play music and sit with daddy while we play LotRO together.

Life is good for me and i am sick of people asking about my world then judging me for it.

strangely this only happens when out in the world. Even with trolls and rage posters and all the angry people on the internet i am at least left alone to happily explore the digital frontier and share my blogs, tweets, vlogs and rants, some times i even meet a like minded person to come on this adventure with me for a while.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Vlog–No time to Vlog, life too awesome!

Yeah, i created another Vlog without actually talking about any games. this is the last time i do this i promise. but i had all this awesome coverage video and to vlog to paste it into so i just compiled it into a random mess of win.

So, that happened….

As usual thoughts and comments welcome both here and on youtube.

LotRO– The rebellion has began!


hex (2)“Holy Monkey crap on a stick batman – Turbine are coming to save us!” – is literally what i said moments ago when those fine folks at ‘A Casual Stroll to Mordor” tweeted a link to a post of the Turbine website that says will all clarity that on June 1st of this year turbine will be reclaiming the European service from the evil governing body and tyrannical empire that is CodeMasters.

I was literally speechless. i have dreamt of this moment for years. finally we will get updates on time, have the same store service as US players and be able to use the My-LotRO service. we will even be able to play on the legendary landroval server. all of us LotRO player will be together at last.


(click image, or here for link to source website)

It may not go as well as I’m hoping but damn, long term, i can see no downside. How do we all feel about this?

I have  instantly posted on the official forums about this mater, as CodeMasters have yet to announce it i am not sure if my post will be left there or removed by a moderator but here is the link anyway. CodeMasters have always been terrible about keeping us informed so i am no expecting an official update from them until some time next week.

Personally i think this can only be a good thing for the games life span and i can see myself exploring a few new servers and meeting some new people that will enhance my game experience. i just hope that it goes smoother than when Turbine took over DDO and everyone logged in naked with no equipment or bank items. I assume from the FAQ (linked in image above) that they are taking a little more care because of the size of the player base for this game.

Was this forced upon CodeMasters or have they willingly let it go? will any EU based support people be kept by Turbine? will be get any great subscription deals from this? – all these questions should be answered in the coming weeks.

Please post your thoughts here or in my forum topic, i would love to hear everyone else's views.

if nothing else its big news and its exciting news.

*This post was typed in a real schoolboy homework style frenzy. i wanted to post it… i was excited like a child… so it reads like it was written by a smack head.. just ignore that. the information is good.

Quest Hard Audio Blog–Rocketman?


In this new episode of the Quest Hard Audio blog we walk about how we love dragon age, Photo boothing, games that sometimes end and why Magicka was a let down. We talk about why people can not enjoy PlayStation network and how it maybe Valves fault

Its hip, its cool and my co host is not a Rocket-Man!  

You can have an MP3 by clicking on the word (or acronym) MP3. I’m sorry but we have no MP2’s left at this time and frankly OGG is too much hassle  

Visit us over at:

Our RSS is here:

Hex Twitter:

Fish on Twitter:

Possibly available on ITunes…. yeah, let me know about that guys!

Monday, 25 April 2011

Give us a break



fishThe games industry is growing faster than a erm, well something that grows really fast. I am looking at the upcoming games releases and I can’t help but still being surprised. You see as little as a year ago nobody, and I mean nobody, release games in the summer. You would get a few big titles in April and then nothing until the end of August, with the odd tycoon game exception.

See I wouldn’t normally moan about this, but there are still games from last winter images (2)that I want to play (Assassins Creed Brotherhood springs to mind). And looking at the games coming out in the next couple of months we have Witcher 2, Hunted: The Demon’s Forge, Dungeon Siege 3, LA Noire, Brink and Dues Ex, to name a few. I used to look forward to the hunted-the-demons-forge_12866summer, it was my catch up time.

It used to be that I would get all the games I wanted by Christmas, with the exception of one or two titles around April, and I would play this games over the summer (its not like I would go outside). Now this little tactic has been working out ok, to the point that when September comes round I am usually reasonably bored with the current collection of games I have. However this year (and the following years I am guessing) there doesn’t seem to be any rest for the wicked, erm the gamer.

I suspect that this is partly my own fault. You see I fire my gaming love all over the place with a grin on my face (evocative imagery right?). My other half, the Lady Fleata, is, shall we say blessed, in that she is predominately only interested in rpg’s (or at least games with a strong, mainly fantasy story, preferably with a female protagonist). Now I have encouraged her to try a few games which I thought she 65369_SupremeCommander2-Wallpaper-02_normalwould like, like TF2 (she thinks it is ok) and Supreme Commander 2 (really liked it). Myself however will try any game that I think will be good, regardless of what type of game it is. Shooters, rpg’s, action adventures, sand box games, puzzlers, strategy and platformers, I will give them all a shot.

I think maybe that this is why another mmo since WoW has yet to sink it’s teeth into me. I don’t like being constrained to one genre, let alone one game. I don’t think that there is a mmo out thtoo much stressere that is good enough for me to want to spend 10-15 hours a week playing it, to the point that while I really like DCUO, I have barely touched it for about a month. Maybe I should try and narrow my gaming choices, however I often feel like a gaming magpie, easily distracted by a new feature and a polished idea. Humm think it would be easier to just give up sleeping entirely, that should free up some spare time right?

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Long is good but when does it end?


hex (2)As regular readers will know, i have been playing Dragon Age Origins for a while now and little else. one of the things about it that first attracted me to it what its epic scope and large sweeping story (as well as getting ultimate edition for £14) but as i have played i have had some observations about the game that i felt i must share.time_Homemade_Motivational_Posters-s750x600-24434-580

A long game is a good game, No argument here, usually i shout from the hill tops with joy when a game is good value for money and with Dragon Age i have got fantastic value, i have to be 35 Hours in (and that’s being conservative) with no end in sight. the game is vast, i like to finish everything in an area before moving on but this is vastly hindered as new quests pop up depending what other quests i have done in the story, so no area ever seams to be dry of content.

as i play through the game i am reaching key areas that seem to eat massive amounts of time, with no grinding i have managed to plough through the content available at a pace that feel natural and never once just moved on to get XP, in fact XP is no motivation in this game at all (why can’t MMO’s do that?)


One thought has been popping into my head as i have been playing I’ll catalogue my internal dialogue for you

Me – “This game is awesome its so long and grand and epic and brilliant”

Brain – “yes, that’s true bit this damned thing is eating your life, you may as well just start taking heroin, it would be over sooner”

Me – “no brain your silly, a long game that’s actually good, its the holy grail of entertainment”

Brain – “your learning nothing, our not honing any hand to eye skills and you've not read a book in like a month”

Me – “Yeah but its like a story that no book could match!”

Brain – “ill mention that to Tolkien and Philip K Dick next time i see them”

Me – “Shut up, i like this game”

Brain – “yes, but when its over you can play Mass Effect two and portal two and the new section 8 game is out in a few weeks. and you have writing to be done and books that need to be read”

Me – “shut up brain. Your a stupid ass hole!”

Brain – “Bite me”

Contact PosterThat is pretty much what’s been happening as i have been playing. I want to finish it, its excellent and i honestly am enjoying every moment, but on some level i want it to be over so i can move on. The last time i felt like this was during that movie Contact (its great but damn…. finish already)

Am i a hypocritical gamer or this this how everyone else felt as they worked their way through it?

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Vlog–Rage, Fail!

So, I wanted to record a Vlog about becoming a veteran blogger. I all went wrong and the video is a mess. so i did the only thing i could and uploaded it anyway. i was really getting angry at one point.

It was less than fantastic

Yeah, its pretty bad, nothing went right and i should have deleted but i thought, screw it, i worked hard and what footage i have will be inflicted on the masses! also, i am ware that it doesn’t make allot of sense.

Personal social macroscopic evolution.


hex (2)The internet appears to be really large, in some cases it appears to be an infinite overlap of ideas and concepts sorted only by the monolith that is Google. but this is not as true as you think.

For instance, at any one time there are only about twenty bloggers out there who contribute with any regularity, some end up working for some set up their own blogs and some fade away just as they are gaining momentum, there are a few who are just not very good at writing and have no developed opinions to make their work worth a read (I call them Turkeys)

As you follow the work that these people create you often see them diversify, they start making web comics, set themselves writing challenge's, join or start a podcast. Eventually they either return or enter the You Tube arena (yeah, I’m doing that at the moment i suppose)


So, as you can imagine the pool of gamer writers rises and falls in quality depending who is contributing at the time. was once THE hub for blog/vlog/podcast creativity. Now it sit’s on the internet as a monument to faded glory and forgotten days.

My point is that with a few exceptions internet thinkers have a limited life span, their tastes and thoughts do not move with the times and they stop being current. I myself have become stagnated in the MMO genre, i stick with LotRO and all other MMO’s i play fail to interest me in any long term fashion. Life’s responsibility's prevent me from forming any connections of note in games as i simply don’t play enough.

I statement that i hear from other veteran bloggers and some times my own lips utter this phrase “The golden age of MMO’s is behind us” this statement is in many ways correct, those 48 hour gaming sessions and epic guild friendship's are behind us and they really don’t make games like they used to.

But, and there is always a but. we don’t game binge any more because we have jobs and kids and responsibilities, they don’t make games like they used to because they make newer better games that us old folk have no nostalgia for.

growing_old_is_not_for_sissies_manThe golden age is behind us but there is a platinum age to come. we are here at the forefront of the World of Warcraft Rebellion where games want something new and fresh. when gamers are ready to play games like Guild Wars 2 and The Old Republic.  todays MMO’s are about action and interest not grinding and raiding. if as writers and bloggers we don’t move with the times then we will fade away and rightly so.

Maybe that’s why i opened a Facebook account and started using Daily booth, Maybe its even the reason i have got a HD webcam and a Youtube channel. I don’t want to stagnate, i want to be here bashing away with my over opinionated arrogance for the rest of my days, so like any good Pok√©mon i am willing to evolve.

What social services and gaming tools do you use to stay current? are you gathering dust or burning your way to the new frontier? – think about that.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

The joy of aging



fishAs I mentioned in my previous blog I am now the grand old age of 35. Ok that isn't that old, but it never the less got me wondering. Will I still be gaming in 5 years time, without a doubt, what about in 15 years time, I would be surprise if I wasn't. I find it highly unlikely that as I get older, I will start to develop an interest in gardening or what is happening in the most recent soap opera. Now I certainly can't be the only gamer to be thinking this. Many of the "professional" bloggers out there are into 29216-JohnCarmacktheir thirties and forties, and many of the legendary game developers like Will Wright or John Carmack are into there fifties.

This leads me to a question, if so many of the high profile bloggers, journalists and developers are of a mature (using the term loosely) age, why does the general media, TV and newspapers predominantly, still think that video games are mainly for kids. Hell from what I understand the average gamer is now around the thirty mark, far from the age that needs protecting by the likes of Fox News and the Daily Mail.

It, unfortunately, is going to have to be something that video games are just going to have to ride out. It happened with the video nasties of the 80's, now no one bats an images (1)eyelid at gory horror movies. It happened with comic books in the 60's, now each year a dozen films are released based on comics and they are largely seen as a fine past time.

So am I suggesting that all we can do, as gamers, is continue to ride out peoples bias and perceptions until they come to accept gaming as a decent and respectable hobby? Humm well I guess the only other thing we as gamers can do, its what I am doing right now. Spreading the good word. If people ask what you like to do, tell them. If you have something to say about gaming then spread it, be it via a blog, on Facebook or just in a conversation.

I have a feeling that gaming's acceptance will come a lot faster than comic books (another hobby whose name implies something childish), purely down to the fact that communication is so much faster than even just 5 years. The number of gaming websites, for instance, has grown hugely. So how long until the likes of the daily mail stops vilifying gaming and starts spreading hate on something else? At a guess I would say we will still have about 10 years of unfair and biased reporting. That may seem like a long time but compared to how long some other medias struggled (pretty much every media after books and paintings).

One thing I am sure of is that when the time of gaming respectability does come, I will still be gaming.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Happy Portal 2 day!


hex (2)Well, its finally here. Its portal 2 day and just about everyone in the world is playing it with gusto. I happen not to have purchased yet as I'm pretty addicted to Dragon Age at the moment but as soon as i have some free time I'll be jumping on into that game.


The marketing for Portal 2 has been a little creative to say the least. Valve have selflessly used their own hype machine to fuel the sales of a bunch of indie games as well as giving customers some really great prices, for some reason it was all potato themed as well

Are potatoes the new lying cakes?

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Who am ?


fishI have noticed that my blogs have been getting more and more personal, and now hex has convinced me to post on daily booth I feel that now is the time to write a bit more about me (also being drunk right now probably helps).

So where to start? I am 35, in a stable relationship (with our very occasional co-blogger lady fleata) and have my own house. But that is the boring stuff, you want to know how I became obsessed with gaming (i really don't want 2225272020_8a6e2b18e5to use the term obsessed but every other word I can think of doesn't seem strong enough).

Well the very first computer (i use the term very loosely) I owned, or more accurately was brought by my parents, was a Commodore 16 (as in 16 kilobytes), which allowed me to play such great games as centipede. There were other games but I really can't remember them. In fact my early days were filled with British computer, erm classics. I had not one but 2 ZX-Spectrum-128k 2aSpectrums, and often played on my best friends Amstrad and then Atari.

My first introduction to consoles was with a friends Sega Master System. This basically led to me begging my parents to buy me a Sega Megadrive (a Genesis to our American readers) when it was launched and basically playing Sonic the Hedgehog for an entire Christmas holiday.

Acorn_SRP26A1My first proper PC was a Intel P75 brought for way too much from Curry. It introduced me to windows (95 shudder) and to the Internet (sort of) through AOL. My fondest memory of this machine was playing Little Big Adventure, a true classic. After that I had two or three different computers, which I loved but I know now that  I didn't use them top the fullest.

So we come to one of the most important parts of my gaming/computing life, I meet Hex. Now I am sure you have all figured out by now that me and Hex are not just Internet buddies, but real life ones. Not wishing to get all mushy on you but he is my best friend and there isn't a thing I wouldn't do for him.

Anyway I am fresh out of University and I get myself a job in a computer store Birmingham city centre. This is were Hex also works. I will be honest I was a little intimidated by him at first (don't think I have ever told him that), but we rapidly became the best of friends. The amount of stuff I learnt about computers from him was massive and I still learn bits and bobs from him to this day (he had this weird affinity for technology, he just seems to understand it). Here a link to where the store was for this interested, it appears to be  restaurant now. Ah happy days

We both moved on from the computer store, but we obviously stayed in touch and talk at least two to three times a week. It is also through Hex that I meet lady fleata, the woman that I have now lived with for a good few years. She fits with me so well it is almost we are designed to be together.

I will leave that there before you all get bored to tears. It is funny I never realised how dramatically different my life would be if I had never met Hex.
Humm I just reread all this and realised I started off talking about games and then got distracted by more personal stuff. Maybe after after 35 years I am finally getting in touch with my feelings.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Vlog– time, little. Games, many

I talk about how thanks to a Steam sale I have far too many games and far too few hours available to play. I talk of my purchase of Magicka and its subsequent crashing, my joy of Dragon Age and my lack of time to play Mass Effect 2. I also talk about a new found love for daily booth, even if it is filled with Emo’s.

Go on, watch it… you know you want to.

Comments are very welcome.

Sigh I know I am a fanboy


fishI am sorry but it looks too fekkin awesome to ignore. I would do anything, I mean anything, to be able to play Battlefield 3 right now.

Magicka, a triumph of fails.

Magicka Update 1-SKIDROW

hex (2)I purchased Magicka in the recent Steam sale. For those that don’t know Magicka is a cute little XNA game where you play a wizard on a daft quest filled with random events. The game has a wonderful look and a quirky sense of humour that makes it a really fun experience. in order to make any actual magic in the game you must use the Q,W,E,R,A,S,D and F keys (each corresponding to a magical element) combining up to five elements then setting off either a spell, a self cast spell or an area of effect spell. 


My first impressions was that the game was really fun, the controls are purposefully magicka1complicated to make sure that you often get your actions wrong, resulting in random magical events some times better than you intended but often killing you instantly in a fairly entertaining fashion. The game is filled with obscure movie quotes butchered in a way that rarely fails to make you smile.

The ‘Magicka complete pack’ that i purchased from steam (for under £8. I can’t remember exact price, sorry) came with the original game, a small expansion giving my little wizard a hat and cane and the rather bat crap crazy Magicka Vietnam content.


The Vietnam content satires battlefield Bad Company 2’s recent expansion perfectly offering and online experience set in the Vietnam war with music and weapons to match. there is even a skill called ‘napalm’ that does pretty much what it says on the tin. the little wizards all run about the jungle defeating wave after wave of aptly dressed trolls and ratish looking things picking up rifles rocket launchers and obviously using magic.

maicka1The game would have been a wonderful investment if it where not for the constant crashing in any online mode, I’m not sure if this is a result of the restrictive XNA code that it is based on or genuinely terrible net code but the game randomly crashes to desktop while playing online, there is no reason for it, no error message and no logic. you play then randomly your on desktop. its irritating and considering the fact that the game as been out a while not its inexcusable for the developers not to have fixed this. magicka

What makes it worse is that the online co-op is most definitely the games strong point. so as much as single player is entertaining the games best feature is something i will have to miss out on making the Vietnam expansion pretty useless unless i can find a way to fix this, but, as a game i should not have to search the internet for solutions to problems that the developer can patch with ease.