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November 29, 2015

Operation: Get Back Into Gaming (Report 1: Why I Love Gaming)

Okay, so ignoring the fact that this post is two days late, for which there's no excuse other than my incredible laziness, we shall skip introductions and get straight to the meaty conversation.

My journey with gaming started at the age of 3 with a cheap PlayStation knockoff console thingamajig which my mother got me for Christmas in 1998, the year we first moved into what would become our home for 13 years.

The console only contained NES games and SNES games if memory serves accurate. The first game I remember playing was Contra. There may be countless others before that, but it's the only game I can remember with any real clarity.

I got into PC gaming shortly thereafter with the first Age of Empires, a strategy game which I never finished and don't seem to be on my way to finishing any time soon. (This bad habit of never finishing strategy games persists; I've only ever finished two of the many strategy games I started.)

I never really got into shooter games until I turned 13, at which point I discovered Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault at a friend's house. I'd viewed shooter games as detrimental to one's mental health, until I saw that there was far more to the experience than just violently murdering people over and over.

Battlefield 1942 was next on the queue, supplied courtesy of my uncle. I'd been meaning to get the first Call of Duty, but as my attempts to explain it to him failed, he got me the first Battlefield. I knew it wasn't the same, but I didn't mind; the game was a ton of fun. I eventually got him to lend out Medal of Honor: Allied Assault as well, which can only be summed up in one word: Brutal.

My obsessive passion for shooter games continued into the Call of Duty series, with Modern Warfare 1 being my first real M-rated game. The second Modern Warfare was next, and then I got the Orange Box near the beginning of 2010.

Half-Life 2 was the first real game which went beyond mere fun and made a definite emotional connection with me. Since Half-Life 2, I've been playing games out of seeking a deep, heavily emotional connection with the world, characters and gameplay.

I mostly replayed Team Fortress 2 over and over again, whilst watching countless Let's Plays of mainstream video games. As I was unable to play these games due to religious intolerance, I resorted to watching them instead with the cheap excuse of "research" as an...excuse.

The disconnect from the gameplay made me seek an emotional connection with the game even more, concentrating my passion for gaming around the experience, and not a brutal, crushing challenge.

It's with this rather picky attitude with which I ended up distancing myself from gaming, due to my depression zapping the joy out of life in general and making me unable to do anything besides sit in front of the TV all day. (Or rather laptop, since that's the only TV I have.)

A year and a half later after leaving gaming behind, I can safely say that I'm on my way back, but some things still persist: I can't seem to switch off my perfectionism when it comes to games. Unless it deeply moves me, the chances that the game will end up getting played in it's entirety is slim.

This whole operation is based around dropping the severe pickiness and being able to find fun in the game, but also being able to identify which games will give me the emotional connection I seek, without being too picky if it doesn't happen immediately.

That's it for the first report. Tune in Friday for the second week's report, as I try to play more casual games as a way to base my gaming more around fun at first, before diving into more challenging games in the third week.

November 22, 2015

Tales From The Borderlands (Review of Game)

"I am become death, destroyer of rebels."

Release Date: November 2014

Developer/Publisher: Telltale

Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation Vita, Windows.

Genre: Point-and-Click Adventure

November 21, 2015

Tales From The Borderlands (Content Guide)

Reviewed By: KVR (Head Writer)

Intro: A simplified spin-off of the popular (and insane) Borderlands series, Tales from the Borderlands offers a more story-driven experience compared to Gearbox's main franchise, but one that manages to reach the same heights in terms of entertainment.

Gamers and parents should know that the Borderlands franchise is known for it's crude, moderately sexualised humour and graphic, cartoonishly over-the-top gory violence. Tales of the Borderlands is milder than the primary franchise in this regard, but there is still content of note.

Characters are sliced and cut apart with swords and machine guns, and other characters crack crude jokes in-between the bloodshed. For more information, hit the jump-break...

Verdict: Caution Advised (For Strong Gory Violence and Crude Humour)

Recommended Age: 16+

Strongest Content: Violence

November 20, 2015

Operation: Get Back Into Gaming (The Challenge)

After weeks of deliberation, planning, soul-searching and all-round nothing-doing, KVR has finally come up with an ingenious plan to complete Operation: Get Back Into Gaming, an covert operation set up a few months ago by one KVR, to attempt and turn the tides against severe burnout, and become an avid gamer once again.

The mission fell apart after a few months of gaming, due to KVR's persistence and obsession over getting his personal life in order, leaving little time for gaming in the wake of all the chaos. However, due to serious mental health issues, KVR has decided that the best course of action, would be to reduce the depression by getting back into gaming, a medium which helped him through serious loneliness, rejection and loss in the past before, in the absence of a proper therapist or medication to counter said depression.

(Please note, that if you're suffering from this mental disorder, the best course of action would be to consult an actual therapist, doctor, psychiatrist or related. Don't sit in the pit just because you want to look "strong". This "operation" is based around getting my life back to where it used to be before my severe depression.) 

This operation will take place over the course of four weeks, with a seperate plan for every individual week. The aforementioned plans are as follows:

Week 1: Get Infatuated 

Instead of just jumping in and grabbing the moose by the antlers (I'm pretty sure that's not a valid expression outside of Canada), KVR will take an indirect approach by taking a look at what got him into gaming in the first place and using it as inspiration for the next step.

Week 2: The Casual Approach

KVR will test the waters with a couple of casual games, whether it be on Facebook, Armor Games or Steam/Origin, to get back into the rhythm of playing a game, even if it isn't as deep and complex as mainstream fare.

Week 3: Shooters! (Alcohol-Free Edition)

With a couple of casual games under his metaphorical belt, KVR will proceed to make the transition to more hardcore fare by playing a couple of loud, bombastic shooter games, a step up from casual games, yet not as deep and intricate as RPGs, RTSs and MMOs. The intensity of said shooters will probably be the catalyst for a leap into more serious gaming, which leads into the final week...

Week 4: The Deep End

Here, KVR will take a huge leap and attempt to complete an RTS, RPG, or even a complex, frustrating puzzle game, in order to fully cement his transition back into serious gaming. The success of the entire operation hinges on this final week, so KVR will have to prepare an entire month in advance for the last big push for the completion of his mission.

A post containing a status report for each week will be posted at the conclusion of said week, detailing the steps taken towards realising this complex, multi-faceted operation. The operation will commence today on the 13th of November. Regular blog posts will continue as follows, except when status reports for this operation need to be posted. 

This is KVR signing out, and wishing you good luck, and happy gaming!

November 04, 2015

KVRGaming's Ultimate Top 13 Games of all Time (2015 Edition)

From the most ancient of titles...No, I'm lying, we'll probably not go that far back. But we'll go a small way back. Probably. Most likely not. But either way: 

From the most moderately ancient of titles to the most budget-affordable of modern classics, we will take a look at the very best of gaming from the perspective of someone who has a rather odd taste in just about anything, including gaming, which makes the statement about "very best" extremely subjective. 

Nevertheless, we do actually have a criteria for selecting the Top 13 titles we'll be presenting to you this week:

1. Nothing too old. Only millennial games will be featured in this list.

2. Must have completed the game. This one is a no-brainer. Duh.

3. PC Games only. Sorry console gamers, but we won't be fair to you in this regard. (Titles which are cross-platform are allowed, of course.)

Tune in for our somewhat epic countdown of everything gaming has to offer, no holds barred, no punches pulled, and no cookie jars left undefiled. 

Hit the jump break, and let's get counting...