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?

Question of the Month: November 2017 edition

The question of the month is back and will see us attempt to answer a quandary that has been puzzling the gaming community since it first found itself standing in an open field west of a white house, with a boarded front door. We’re going up against our friends and blogging neighbours in order to find the ultimate response in less than 100 words – and we’re asking you to choose the winner by voting in our poll.

But first, let’s take a look at last month’s question and find out who won!

Results: if you needed a mercenary, which video game character would you hire?

We received 21 votes in our September poll and you lovely people voted for the following…

question of the month, QOTM, votes, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Devil May Cry, Grand Theft Auto IV

Congratulations to Athena from AmbiGaming and the Iron Bull from Dragon Age: Inquisition for being our winners! A big thank you to all of our competitors for taking part and to you amazing people for voting. Now let’s see the competition start to heat up for the next question of the month

November’s question: which game character wears the least appropriate clothing for the activity they’re doing?

We’ve all made a dodgy fashion choice at least once in our lifetime: greying socks with sandals; brightly-coloured velour tracksuits; shell-suits that rustle when you walk. But there are video game characters who dress even more inappropriately for their job! Let’s reveal our contenders for the November 2017 trophy…

Answer 1: The Xanthous Set from Dark Souls

Kevin from The Mental Attic says: “It really doesn’t matter how skilful a warrior the chosen undead is, or how many souls they’ve acquired and consumed, because wearing a cloth armour with a headpiece that looks like a gigantic yellow lollipop (or a giant wooden spoon) is bound to get in your way. It has to mess up with your balance at the very least… it also offers no real protection to speak of and try to get up after falling, your massive head will make sure you can’t! The Xanthous Set, look at it and laugh.”

Answer 2: Alice from Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward

Want to know why Ian has chosen Alice as his answer this time around? Go say hello to him over at Adventure Rules and read his argument for this character.

Answer 3: Donkey Kong from the Donkey Kong series

Head over to Power Bomb Attack to visit Imtiaz, where he’s discussing why he’s chosen Donkey Kong as his answer this month.

Answer 4: Vega from the Street Fighter series

This month, Luke from Hundstrasse has decided to go for Vega as his answer. Head over to his site to read about his reasons why.

Answer 5: Jack from Mass Effect 2

Kim from Later Levels says: “Jack from Mass Effect 2 was way ahead of her time when the game was released in 2010. Seven years later, it’s estimated that a third of the UK population have at least one tattoo; and celebrities such as Kate Hudson and Cara Delevigne are making the buzzcut popular. But wearing just a set of thin leather straps to cover your modesty? It’s surprising that someone as private and troubled as Jack could wear such an outfit. Forget her being wanted for crimes including piracy, vandalism and murder – what she should really be banged up for is crimes against fashion.”

Answer 6: Link from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

NekoJonez from NekoJonez’s Gaming Blog says: “There is an armor piece that explains my point: how does this protect Link against the heat of a desert?! While the armor sets in Breath of the Wild have a nice look to them, they seem unpractical to carry the huge inventory you can carry in the game. You would think that he has a carrying bag or something, but he seems to put it all in his side pocket. Why does Link have no survival outfit?”

Answer 7: The Boss from Saints Row IV series

Chris from OverThinker Y says: “The Boss of the eponymous Saint’s Row crew gets up to a lot of fun things over an illustrious career. Gang leader, bank robber… oh, yeah, President of the freakin’ US of A. When we join the story in Saints Row IV, the Boss is wearing a hilariously bad suit, as befits a ridiculously unqualified leader of the free world, but pretty soon events conspire to trap them in a simulation world run by evil aliens. Once you’re in the simulation, you can change the Boss’s appearance and wardrobe as you like, meaning that you can quite easily create a POTUS who’s beating up aliens with a dildo bat in full gimp gear, a panda suit, or naked as the day they were born. Fitting accouterments for a ninja superhero gang boss alien murderer, less so for the most powerful person in America.”

Answer 8: Violette Summer from Velvet Assassin

Athena from AmbiGaming says: “Really obscure, but Violette Summer from Velvet Assassin, who is a character based on WWII British spy Violette Szabó. During special bullet-time sequences, all her clothes fall of and she becomes inexplicably more powerful. I mean, it ‘makes sense’ in the game insofar as it’s given an explanation but, when playing the game it’s really weird.”

Answer 9: Ada Wong from the Resident Evil series

Adhiraj from Gamers’ Nation says: “If you love survival horror games then you would have definitely heard of Resident Evil. For us this is definitely one of our favourite franchises. Part of this very franchise is the character Ada Wong who is by all means a complete and total badass. However we feel she has to be one of the most inappropriately dressed characters for the task she is doing, considering that most of the time she is fighting or killing zombies, monsters or some weird combination of the two. Ada is always dressed in cocktail gowns and hot V-neck blouses, like she has to go to a ball but needed to kill zombies before going. Now of course we don’t know what the real reason for her dress sense really is and we may not find it appropriate for the task, but you won’t find us complaining while paying the game.”

So who’s got it right, and who’s got it so wrong that they deserve to wear armour that barely covers anything for the rest of eternity? Place your votes in the poll opposite or give your own suggestion in the comments below, and we’ll reveal the most popular answer on Friday, 01 December 2017 along with the next question.

Got a question you’d like to see us struggle over next month? Or would you like to join in and add your own answer into our polls on a regular basis? Leave us a message or get in touch, we’d love to hear from you!

If video games have taught me anything…

We’ve been fortunate enough to be nominated for seven blogging awards since the beginning of the year. We can’t thank our followers enough for their support! We held our first blog party on Friday to show our appreciation (look out for the next one in the summer).

A common theme of many of these awards is helping new bloggers find their feet and giving those that have been around for a while a bit of well-deserved acknowledgement. Nominees are usually expected to give one or two pieces of blogging advice they feel their readers may benefit from; but what about the life lessons we’ve learnt from playing video games?

I asked several friends about the most ‘useful’ things they’ve ascertained through gaming and here are their responses*. This post is dedicated to DJMMT from DJMMT’s Gaming Blog, who nominated Later Levels for the Blogger Recognition Award earlier this month.

Tip 1: ask anyone nicely enough and you’ll get what you want

BioShock, video game, would you kindly, writing, wall, photographs, paperwork

Manners are important: they’re a sign of courtesy and professionalism, and having them will go a long way to increasing success in both business and life. Ask someone to help you with something in the right way and they’ll be more willing to give you a hand. Just take a look at BioShock for instance: add a ‘kindly’ into your question and you’ll have people bringing down planes, heading to specific destinations, killing your enemies and generally eating out of the palm of your hand in no time.

Tip 2: the government are totally in cahoots with aliens

Beyond Good & Evil, Jade, alien, DomZ, eye

Tim from GeekOut South-West says: “The world can be a truly terrifying place. To make it even more frightening, how about if I were to say that the government is looking to hand us all over to our alien overlords for a boatload of cash? What if I told you that all it would take to overthrow said government is a camera? Well, that’s exactly the lesson I learnt from Beyond Good & Evil: our leaders are going to sell us out to the DomZ. We’re all pretty much doomed.”

Tip 3: the more ridiculous something is, the more likely it is to work

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

Chris from OverThinker Y: “If games have taught me anything, it’s that there’s a direct correlation between how ridiculous something is and how likely it is to work. For example, I struggle no end to overcome foes in Saint’s Row IV using a pistol or rifle, but give me a giant dildo bat and a dubstep gun and I’ll be laughing. Or Portal: overwhelmed by an angry AI? No problem; just warp it to the moon! I do try to apply these valuable lessons in life, but there are sadly few opportunities to do so.”

Tip 4: The Legend of Zelda has all the answers

The Legend of Zelda, A Link to the Past, video game, Link, dungeon, chest

Kevin from The Mental Attic says: “There are so many things that can be learnt from The Legend of Zelda. Such as the quiet ones are usually the chosen ones. Or if you see a Gerudo man, you should kill him because he’s probably evil. Faeries are crunchy, and there’s always time for a harp solo. Lost in the woods? Then follow the music! It’s called Death Mountain for a reason; villains laugh in surround sound; and finally, most importantly of all: it’s dangerous to go alone, so take this.”

Tip 5: think outside the box to solve life’s problems

Metal Gear Solid, video game, Snake, box, cardboard box, sneak, hide, enemies

Nathan says: “Metal Gear Solid has taught me how to get creative in order to get out of sticky situations: whether it be using a Japanese model magazine to distract your foes whilst hiding in a locker, or using a cardboard box to sneak past enemies. This game and many others like it encourage you to think outside the box to solve life’s issues. When you walk down the street and catch the eye of someone you don’t fancy, pull a box out of nowhere and watch an exclamation mark appear over their head – problem solved!”

Tip 6: hooking up with work colleagues is never a good idea

Mass Effect, video game, Kaiden, man, male, topless, muscles

Getting it on with one of your co-workers is never recommended: one moment it’s all flirting by the water-cooler, and the next staplers are flying across the office in an all-out war. The space dating-sim Mass Effect teaches us about the dangers of conducting a romance in the workplace. Have an illicit encounter with a colleague and they’re more likely to bite the bullet – and there’s always the chance that a horde of highly-advance killing machines will be unleashed by the Human Resources department. It’s far easier to just stay away, regardless of how hot your co-workers are.

Tip 7: it’s good to be bad

Dungeon Keeper, video game, vault, casino, demon, devil, roulette

Tim from GeekOut South-West says: “Dungeon Keeper was a game that allowed you to be as bad as you wanted and rewarded you with points for it. This meant you’d be compensated for imprisoning fairies and knights, wizards and even the lord of the land. You were really aiming to be as bad as you could be – and it’s a-okay to do so. I guess it’s time to go slap some imps, dig some rooms up, make casinos and rig them so my minions spend all their money in their work time. It’s good to be bad!”

Tip 8: girls act all nice and then WHAM!

Mario Kart 8, video game, Princess Peach, racing, car, go-kart, motorbike, track

This piece of advice actually came from my stepson Ethan and was the inspiration behind this post. After a particularly difficult race in Mario Kart 8 where Princess Peach had got the jump on him at least once in every lap, he said: “Girls act all lovely and nice and then WHAM! They hit you over the back of the head with a blue shell.” This boy is wise beyond his years and has offered a life lesson that many a man may wish they’d paid attention to.

* Later Levels and its associates cannot be held responsible for any monetary losses, bodily harm or other unforeseen consequences arising as a result of taking our advice. Thank you.