Big series I’ve given a miss

Some series are considered classics that every gamer should play. It’s therefore a surprise when you meet someone who hasn’t completed at least one entry from them. For example, how many people do you know who haven’t finished at least one The Legend of Zelda release?

I have to hold my hand up here. Yes, I have fond memories of playing Ocarina of Time with my brother when we were kids and The Wind Waker with my stepson more recently, but that doesn’t mean we completed them. In fact, there are a number of well-known series where I’ve either not finished a game or haven’t tried one at all, because they’ve just not appealed to me or I’ve been distracted by other titles. Here are eight more franchises in addition to The Legend of Zelda that I still need to get my teeth into.

Assassin’s Creed

My brother gave me his copy of the first Assassin’s Creed game to try out over a decade ago and I do remember finding the first couple of hours enjoyable. I liked the contrast of the different story elements and the visuals were rather pretty. But my overall feeling was one of boredom: the missions were a rinse-and-repeat mix and I just couldn’t be bothered to complete any more of them. I put down the controller then, and that has made it hard to go back to the series since – although a lot of people have told me the later releases do get better.

Borderlands

I’ve never understood the fuss about Borderlands. Although I have friends who rave about the series, it’s not one which has ever appealed to me and I haven’t played any of the games. In fact the only dealing I’ve had with the franchise is briefly participating in a tabletop-RPG based on its world perhaps eight or so years ago. Dan over at nowisgames.com is a big fan and I’m sure he’s going to tell me I need to rectify my lack of experience; but after hearing his thoughts about Borderlands 3, it doesn’t sound like something I need to worry about too much right now.

Fallout

My stepson has been obsessed with its post-apocalyptic world for years; several blogger friends have told me I really need to play the series; and I previously promised a stream to Rob from Bandicoot Warrior. So why haven’t I started Fallout yet? After getting over the hype-train and subsequent shouting about Fallout 76 last year, I tried to install the original game on my PC and just couldn’t seem to get it working due to resolution issues. I’ve written before that I can’t play a franchise without starting at the first release so Fallout will have to wait until I spend some time on fixing them.

Final Fantasy

I used to watch a group of male friends play after school when we were teenagers, although I couldn’t tell you which Final Fantasy game it was. I also briefly tried to play Final Fantasy X over a decade ago. But as revealed in a post last month: give me a release which makes use of turn-based combat and you’ll be lucky if I even click on the start button. In some ways it’s a shame, because I’ve heard so many good things about the Final Fantasy storylines and I think I’d probably enjoy them. I just don’t want to have to sit through rounds of turn-based matches to get to the narrative.

Metal Gear

My dad was into technology when my brother and I were growing up so we had access to a number of consoles, handheld devices and PCs during the 1980s and 1990s. But I don’t ever remember playing or even coming across a Metal Gear game in all that time, so the franchise has completely passed me by. It does intrigue me now though and Athena from AmbiGaming encouraged me to try it; but if I’d want to go right back to the beginning if I was to do so. With over 20 titles in the series so far, that’s a whole lot of games to get through.

Pokémon

My younger brother loved the cartoon when we were kids and I’d often get roped into watching it with him. That explains why I was intrigued when a friend showed me his copy of the original Pokèmon game on his Game Boy (I can’t remember if it was Red or Blue). I borrowed the cartridge once he’d completed it and spent a few weekends chasing after the creatures; but ultimately, ‘collecting’ games and turn-based combat just isn’t for me. The nearest I’ve come to a release since was traipsing around my old town after my stepson and Pokèmon Go! until it rained.

Red Dead Redemption

I almost completed the first Red Dead Redemption title. I must have made it to only a few hours away from the end when I got distracted by another game (I can’t remember which now) and didn’t bother going back to finish it off. At some point I’d have liked to reunite with John Marston and fulfill his journey before moving on to Red Dead Redemption 2, but the hype surrounding it before its release late last year totally put me off. It eventually got to the point where I didn’t want to open the WordPress reader for fear of seeing yet another post about it.

The Witcher

My other-half was obsessed with this series when we first met. It wasn’t one I’d played or ever been interested in but he was keen for me to give it a go, as The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt had recently released and he thought it might be something we could play together. One day he left me with his copy of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings and told me to try it – but a few hours later, I grew bored and realised I’d much rather play something else. Although he was a little disappointed, he admitted it was kind of cool seeing his new girlfriend finishing Diablo III the next time he came over.



I’ve come to realise that the more hype there is surrounding the series, the less likely I am to play it. Perhaps that’s through fear of being disappointed – or because there are so many news articles I can read about the same franchise! I’m not the only one who still needs to get to grips with some big games though. While drafting this post last month, Will from Geek Sleep Rinse Repeat published his own article about the best titles he hasn’t completed so head over to find out what’s on his list.

Who knows, some of the entries on my own may soon be knocked off. Our upcoming 50-day challenge for GameBlast20 seems like the perfect time to get some of them crossed off the backlog.

Video game items that need to exist in real life

I may have already written a response post to a very kind Sunshine Blogger Award from Ian over at Adventure Rules in response to his question about endings and beginnings. But he asked another one of his nominees that deserves some consideration: which magical item or technological marvel from a video game would you use for completely selfish purposes in real life?

Ian himself said he’d choose the Ocarina of Time from The Legend of Zelda for several very good reasons. He’d be able to teleport to work so he could sleep in then make the day go faster to get home sooner; and as I’m sure many other parents could appreciate, hold the ability to instantly put his son to sleep whenever he needed a nap. This got me wondering which items other bloggers would pick – so it’s time for a little collaboration article!

Pokéball from the Pokémon series

Chosen by Lucius P. Merriweather from A Most Agreeable Pastime

Pokémon, Let's Go, video game, Pokéball, stars

“The first item I thought of was the hidden blade from Assassin’s Creed for some reason. Probably just because it looks cool. But then I actually thought about what it would be like in real life and I quickly realised that having a hidden blade would be a terrible idea. I’m sure it would keep going off at inopportune moments. I could easily see myself spearing the toaster by accident while making breakfast, or gouging a hole in the sofa as I reached for a cup of tea.

“But then I thought of something that would be really useful – a Pokéball. Granted, there aren’t many Pokémon in Darlington, but the physics-defying properties of these seemingly magical balls would be useful in all sorts of other ways. I’m presuming that they’re able to suck in things other than Pokémon, in which case they could have all sorts of uses. Struggling to move house? No worries, just suck the sofa into a Pokéball and spit it out in your new house. Can’t afford two tickets to a concert? Easy, just capture your friend or spouse and then extrude them again once you’re safely inside the gig. The possibilities are endless.”

Radiant armour from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Chosen by Luke from Hundstrasse

The Legend of Zelda, Breath of the Wild, video game, Link, amour, glowing, skeleton, Radiant, rain

“… and up next we have a very special item; Link’s Radiant Armour from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Yes, this item has freshly been shipped into our warehouses directly from the Gerudo Town Secret Club and until this moment was exclusive to that location, but can now be yours for the low price of two-thousand, four hundred rupees and of course the nine luminous stones required to produce this dazzling and classy effect. So let’s take a look at it in action!

“As you can see this is clearly evening wear with the glowing skeleton motif being visible only in the hours of darkness. I guarantee that from the moment that you slide this form hugging ensemble on you will feel compelled to bring mischief and mayhem to any and all settlements on your route. The anonymity afforded from the hood and the playful yet far fetched visage of a glowing skeleton climbing over rooftops, looting chests, and cooking fried wild greens will undoubtedly aid you in remaining both anonymous and mythical. That’s not all, order now by calling the onscreen number and we will enchant the item to afford the wearer an extra level or stealth! So what are you waiting for, call in now for the finest costume available in the Hyrule region!”

Navigator Head from The Secret of Monkey Island

Chosen by PiecesOfKate from Musings of a nitpicking girl

The Secret of Monkey Island, video game, voodoo, dead, head, eyeballs, Navigator Head

“I would love my very own Navigator’s Head from The Secret of Monkey Island. Navigation isn’t my strong point, so I would find it very handy as my own, personal GPS system for getting around. Not sure what street to turn down? Simply check which way the head is pointing. No more relying on having a fully-charged phone with internet connection – as long as I’ve got my head, I’m sorted.

“Of course I’d have to carry it around in a Sainsbury’s bag or something, so not to alarm people. And when I’m not using it I’d display it in a cabinet and tell people it’s an artefact from pirate history. It’d make a nice alternative to a pumpkin at Halloween – and no, it’s not watching you as you walk down the driveway, you’ve just had too much punch.”

Chocobo from the Final Fantasy series

Chosen by Pix1001 from Shoot the Rookie

Final Fantasy X, video game, Chocobo, bird, chicken

“If I could choose any item from a video game to have in real life it would have to be a Chocobo from the Final Fantasy series. Strictly speaking this is a bird, not an item, but I don’t just want it as a pet. They have practical uses too.

“As someone who doesn’t drive, having a Chocobo would allow me to get around town easily without wearing through shoes or getting squished using public transport. It would also allow me to travel out of town. I live pretty near some really beautiful places, but at the moment it is difficult to get to them because of things like rivers, mountains, lochs and other forms of wilderness. Some Chocobos however can cross rivers and climb mountains and even cross seas, which would really open up the world. Whilst out exploring they also have an uncanny ability to find treasure, so it would be good for my bank balance too.

“When travelling in these inhospitable environments it is possible that we might meet scary creatures like lions or bears, but a Chocobo would come in handy here too, as some of them will actually help you out in battle. Finally though, as I said at the start, they are not just items; they are also wonderful companion animals and if I had one I think it would be the start of a beautiful friendship.”

Plasmids from BioShock

Chosen by Nathan from Hurricane thought process

BioShock, video game, plasmid, fire, hands, palms

“The item I have chosen to bring into the real world would be the plasmids from BioShock. Not only would they make life a bit more fun, they would also have their uses. Just think about the fire and telekinesis powers, along with the swarm or bees! And as for the side-effects of going insane, well I think I’m already halfway there.”

The Groovitron from the Ratchet & Clank series

Chosen by Chris from OverThinker Y

Ratchet & Clank, video game, Groovitron, disco, dance, robots

“I think it’s kind of heartening that, while Ratchet spends a lot of his time shooting aliens with a variety of shotguns, laser beams, flamethrowers, missiles, plasma whips, and, uh, beams that turn people into ducks or sheep, one of the most powerful tricks up his sleeve is the power of dance.

“The Groovitron is a recurring gadget in the Ratchet & Clank series, and it’s basically a portable disco: engage the device, and it’ll shoot out a floating disco ball complete with party lights and funky beats. Every enemy in the area will just be compelled to get their groove on, including a lot of bosses, which leaves you totally free to wail on them until they explode in a shower of funk. The fact that the Groovitron works on almost any enemy in the series, and will give them a unique dancing animation to boot, makes it one of the single most useful bits of kit in Ratchet’s arsenal, proving that sometimes you’ve just gotta take a break from blowing stuff up and have a bit of a boogie.”

Paraglider from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Chosen by Carla from Pop Culture Literary

The Legend of Zelda, Breath of the Wild, video game, Link, Hyrule, flying, trees, sky, hang-gliding, Paraglider

“If I were to choose one video game item to use in real life, it would probably have to be Link’s hang-glider from Breath of the Wild. I’ve always liked the idea of being able to fly, and jumping off of things and gliding is a very close second to this concept. Yes, I know there are real hang gliders that I can learn how to operate. However, based on video game logic, Link’s glider seems to collapse instantly into a pocket-sized item, and it pops open equally quickly. You can’t exactly make a quick escape out of a tall building and pull out a real-world hang glider to save your life mid fall!

“I would understand, however, if the powers-that-be wouldn’t grant me the glider due to popular demand. My second choice would have to be the pocket tool from the LittleBigPlanet games. Imagine having a closet in your pocket all the time? Sudden wardrobe changes for breakout musical numbers would never be a problem again. This tool also offers environment-enhancing decorations that would allow me to do any number of things, from beautifying my surroundings with baubles and stickers (hey, it’s not vandalism!) to manipulating the landscape to my advantage (I’d have a pop-up hiding place anywhere I went! And fences would no longer be an obstacle).”

Dubstep Gun from Saints Row

Chosen by Brandon from That Green Dude

Saints Row, Saints Row IV, dupstep gun, dancing, twerking

“I choose the Dubstep Gun from Saints Row IV. It allows you to defeat your enemies with the power of dubstep. It’s a really funny and cool weapon and even though you are just shooting music at people, it’s incredibly powerful.

“There is DLC that allows you to change the genre and I would choose rock and metal. If I could shoot people with the power of Jimi Hendrix’s music, Motörhead or Queen, I would be very happy.”

Pip-Boy from the Fallout series

Chosen by Edu from Random Select

Fallout 4, video game, Pip-Boy, computer, arm, screen

“I chose the Pip-Boy. The main reason is that with smartphones and wearable sensors today, it seems more likely than ever to have a device that monitors your vitals, can tell how you’re injured, and how much XP you’ve collected (based on age and other metrics like your job, marital status, etc).

I’d love to have the added functionality of managing my inventory: I’d like to know how I’m doing with groceries before having to reorder (or, you know, go scavenge at the local supermarket). Most of all, I’d love to be able to keep track of all places I’ve visited, see places nearby that may be interesting to visit, and of course FAST TRAVEL!!”

Save points from most video games

Chosen by Kim from Later Levels

Rise of the Tomb Raider, video game, Lara Croft, base camp, save point, fire

“They say you should never have regrets in life but we all have at least one. Whether it’s that time you called your teacher ‘mum’ in school in front of your friends, texted the worst possible message to the wrong person or walked out of the ladies with your skirt caught in your knickers, we all have an experience we look back on and feel embarrassed. You don’t have to worry about that any more however with your very own portable save point!

“Go back in time and correct those mistakes using this handy tool. A save point would allow you to record a ‘version’ of your life so if an event didn’t work out in quite the way you wanted it to, you could return to the past and make whatever corrections you needed to. And if there was a particularly awesome day you wanted to relive, you could experience it all over and over again providing you don’t save over your previous file. It’s like time-travel but without the messy space-time-continuum thing.”

So there you have it. I think we can all agree that there are some excellent items here, none of which could possibly cause any kind of accident or harm to life in the real world… ahem. Which video game object would you pick for yourself?