Thursday 15 November 2007

Look, Just Belt Up!

Okay, so I'm going to start with a bit of personal indulgence. At the weekend, more specifically Sunday afternoon, my social status upgraded quite significantly. After spending nearly 4 hours in a Birmingham sports centre, I attained a frankly dizzyingly high qualification in my other main chosen sport and past-time. I became a 3rd Dan Black belt in Karate. There are not many things in life that I can honestly say I have stuck with over the years of my existence. But I have been into Martial Arts for a very long time. Somewhere in the realms of 22 years. I love it as a sport and method of fitness - and to be quite honest, if I didn't partake in Karate, I would be completely obese, I'm sure of it. I'm also fairly sure that if it wasn't for games such as Streetfighter 2, Final Fight, Virtua Fighter and Double Dragon to name but a few, I would not be where I am today.

Anyway, on with today's post. I think I'll try doing it in a fighting pose.

Max and Baz came over Tuesday night. This is my allocated games night. My significant other works in the evening, so once I have put the kids to bed, the night is my own. This week, it hailed the return of the Dreamcast.

Now, I play practically nothing but fighting games when Zig graces my humble front room, but when party no. 2 come to visit, there is really only one game that will do. Toy Commander. Now I know that there are many games out there that would wipe the floor with this little DC title, but as I'm sure most gamers will agree - sometimes a game just fits the bill perfectly. And more times than not, it's one that you least expect. Between us, we have really clocked up the man-hours on Toy Commander. It's a wonderful game. You can choose between ground-based vehicles such as tanks and Jeeps, helicopters and aeroplane themed vehicles. Ground vehicles are a little boring, unless you like being strafed to death. Helicopters tend to be sitting ducks, so we spend most of the time in aeroplanes. The fantastic thing about Toy Commander though, and the thing that constantly brings us back is the fact that the game is played from a child's perspective. Planes don't stall, you don't blackout pulling a 9G dive. If someone is chasing you down, you simply nose-dive the ground and turn on a dime to face them. Try doing any of that in Ace Combat! Ammo comes in the form of pencils, erasers, drawing pins and firecrackers. Wonderfully harmless - and the whole game gives you the feeling you had when you were a child, running round with a matchbox aeroplane making engine noises with your lips. While at the same time, it is one of the most engaging games when it comes to dogfights. But best of all, this game has no online function. Which means it is played with people in the same room as you.

Don't get me wrong. I have nothing against online play. I do think that it leads to total social deprivation though. If I shoot someone in Toy Commander, there's something quite fulfilling about having them swear at me from a distance usually not more than 2 yards away...

HIYAAAH!! (Crick) Ow.

- Galford.

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