Sean's Stories

Posted by sean on December 3, 2019 at 1:15 pm in Video Games with No Comments

… this bad boy went on sale in such, now deceased, retailers as Electronics Boutique, Our Price and Woolworths.

It would be another 18 months, until I was able to get my grubby little mits on one.

As anyone from the time will recall, there was always an agonising period of anxiety, at he “PS” logo, while you would pray for the game to launch and that the PlayStation would not fail. An all too frequent problem, especially as the old girl entered her twilight years.

Getting the machine chipped and burning games onto CDRs, probably didn’t help. Not that I ever partook in that kind of illegal activity…

Posted by sean on January 4, 2019 at 8:08 pm in Video Games with No Comments

I completed the story mode on Red Dead Redemption 2 ages ago.

Since then, I have continued to play the game on a regular basis – something which is no doubt a frustration of my wife, but also, surprisingly, me.

The reason for my impatience is that there are loads of little tasks to undertake, should you wish to reach full completion and a deep sense of satisfaction.

One of these tasks involves, to put it in basic terms, playing the role of David Attenborough. In case you were wondering, no, you don’t organise international campaigns, to clear our oceans of plastic bottles. Did plastic even exist in the Wild West?

The Sir David Attenborough Award (named by yours truly), involves locating and studying all of the game’s wildlife. It is also a requirement to shoot and skin most of the 170-plus animals, located in various spots across the vast virtual landscape – something more Bear Grylls than our Davey. I am making good progress with this task, although one creature has eluded me for ages – the Californian Horned Owl.

I’ve spent the last 3 days stood aimlessly, in a desert – the reported location for the owl. Sometimes a bird will appear in the night’s sky – it’s nearly always a bloody raven. Almost always a raven, never an owl.

I have only seen the owl a small number of times. However, whenever I try to study the damn thing, it flies off! Out of frustration, I did once shoot it, so at least I have its skin and feathers.

Maybe the game is teaching me a lesson in animal welfare? You killed that poor owl. You are a muderer! No more birdies left for you to study now.

As a result of this lesser-spotted owl, I’m  left with a dilemma. For how much longer do I continue searching for it?

I recently treated myself to a number of other games, as well as receiving a couple for Christmas. Do I call it a day with RDR2 and with a heavy heart, move on?

As they say, there’s plenty more fish in the sea, or in this case, games in my collection.

Don’t worry about me. Owl get over it.

Posted by sean on December 26, 2018 at 11:46 pm in Shopping, Video Games with No Comments

Across my lifetime, I don’t think that I have ever found a bargain or something worth having, in a shop’s sale – that includes Black Friday, Festive promotions and those DFS sales, which seem to be in place, every day of the year.

This changed today, when I found a PlayStation Classic, reduced from £90 to £50. I won’t give the seller’s name away, but will give you a clue… they have been in the news a lot lately, for not paying tax – and no, I didn’t buy the console from Gary Barlow.

Posted by sean on December 21, 2018 at 11:28 pm in Video Games with No Comments

I completed Red Dead Redemption 2 this week. Not a bad effort, considering that I have had the game since October. Then I read that loads of gamers had reached the end weeks ago.

To say that I completed the game wouldn’t be totally correct. I have finished the Story Mode. However, like most modern games, especially those made by RDR2’s creators, Rockstar, there are loads of extra bits and bobs to do, before you have achived full completion and salvation.

Now, if you are currently playing, or intend to play the story mode, stop reading this post now. It contains lots of spoilers…

At the end of the final mission, Arthur, the character you have been controlling for the last 100-or-so hours, dies. You are lead to believe that his cause of death is turbocliosis. Apparently this is contracted after kidnapping a man, who is vomiting blood, in an earlier mission – although, I’m pointing the blame at some crazy badger that bit me. Shame there wasn’t any badger baiters in the Wild West.

I think I was supposed to be upset by Arthur’s death. I wasn’t. I had used up all my virtual tears earlier into the mission, when my prized, beloved horse was shot and died. Now THAT was sad.

As Arthur is now worm food, you continue the game, playing as one of the few gang members he did not fall out with – John Marston. For those who do not remember, John is the charachter you control in Red Dead Redemption 1 (as RDR2 is a prequel). Don’t worry if you forgot – I did!

John’s earlier missions are a bit like The Sims. Build a house out of wood. Take your son fishing. Calm a horse, so it is safe for a child to ride. Put the recycling boxes out for the bin men. Finish the Tesco online shopping order.

If any kids are reading my blog and their parents are refusing to buy them RDR2, due to its violent content, just get on YouTube and show your mummy and daddy the mission where you take your son and pet dog for a walk. Just tell them that the entire game is like this. Good old wholesome fun. The don’t need to know about the shotguns, dynamite and meat cleaver.

Once you have recreated Little House on the Prairie, you’ll need to rescue your elderly friend, who is being cooked alive, over a fire. After saving the geriatric from becoming a hog roast, you must escape on horseback, killing a large number of his captors in the most imaginative and brutal way possible.

The final mission ends on top of a mountain. In typical Hollywood fashion, the baddie (Micah) nearly kills our hero (John), but is then unexpectedly shot by another character (Dutch), who features earlier in the game. It is the biggest plot twist, since a young Haley Joel Osment broke the news to Bruce Willis that he was dead.

So that’s it. The story is finished. A game I played throughout the whole of November, plus large chunks of October and December is over. That is, unless I want to find all the secrets – which I do. In which case, I had better say cheerio to remainder of December and January.

Posted by sean on December 13, 2018 at 11:20 pm in Video Games with No Comments

It was last night when I realised that I may be taking Red Dead Redemption 2 a little too seriously…

I had just completed a mission – the last one, before going to bed. The mission involved protecting a woman and her boyfriend, by boarding a steam train with them and shooting all the bad guys on horseback, who pursued the locomotive with the intention of killing everyone. Just your typical Monday morning commute from Bath Spa to Bristol Temple Meads.

After disposing of the baddies and safely driving the train to a station (I thought the lead character was a cowboy, not Superman), the grateful woman offers my character a gift to say thank you. The present is a bracelet, which she tells me is a family heirloom. You must then choose whether or not to accept the piece of jewellery. I accepted the bracelet.

Despite the woman continuing to thank me, before leaving and the mission ending (mercifully allowing me to save my progress and go to bed), I felt guilty. That’s right, guilty. Guilty for accepting a gift from an imaginary character in a video game!

What makes my feeling of guilt even more stupid, are the other acts I perform in the game. I do not have a second thought, when it comes to looting shop keepers, blowing the heads off innocent men on horseback and shooting a farmer’s livestock (in my defence, I ate the beef and mutton, I acquired as a result of my crime).

I have been slightly reassured, that while the game has given me faux guilt, many fellow gamers have been affected by RDR2 a lot worse than by some fuss over a bracelet.

Here are a few of my favourite posts from a Reddit forum. The thread in question is titled “This game is NOT good for addictive personalities.

I’ve been staying up until 2am practically every night since release day, playing the whole day on days off from work.

It seems like every minute I’m at home, I’m playing. I happily trade sleep for more time in-game no matter how early I need to be up for work the next day

Me every weekend: “I’ll only play for like an hour or two honey.”

“Crap it’s 4am”

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