Surviving Extra Life 2015

I think I became aware of Extra Life two years ago. At the time, I was happy enough watching people play video games on the Internet, and watching people go from being overly enthusiastic to fighting off sleep was an entertaining bonus. The idea of running our own Extra Life stream wasn’t really floated around until after the 2014 Extra Life, and as is the case with most events that are a year away, a Trello board was made for planning.

There were more than a handful of ideas that never made it into our stream. For example, we were planning to play a bunch of board games on the stream, as it’s allowed by both Twitch and Extra Life. We played some Cards Against Humanity and a little Who Want’s to be a Millionaire? on our test stream back in April, but there was just too much downtime with people going for food and messing around with cameras for it to really be worth it.

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Pokéwalker Challenge Update #1

It’s been nearly two weeks since I started carrying a pokéwalker around with me, and I think I’ve been doing a better job at forcing myself out of the house, taking longer routes and exploring this town I’ve lived in for 9 months. I’m now at the point where I need over 2000 steps per level, and while I’m averaging about 5000 steps a day, this is the part that I’m most worried about. If Snorlax isn’t levelling every time I connect to the DS, will that kill my interest? We’ll see. If you fancy seeing the stats so far, I’m keeping a Google Doc updated. It’s also pinned on my Twitter if you want to keep an eye on it and hurl abuse/encouragement my way.

Cool things I’ve found out because of Snorlax:

  • Toys “R” Us continues to have a shit amiibo selection.
  • Boonies Tesco has an amazing world foods aisle and I might just go there from now on.
  • Finding a thing on a map and walking to it is kind of fun.
  • Carrying my DS with me while Snorlax was low-levelled was sensible as it made the best use of my steps.

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A Pokéwalker Challenge

I don’t really get that much exercise. I have a desk job, and when I’m not there I’m likely sat at my desk at home, moving occasionally when the kettle needs boiling. On top of not being active, I don’t really eat that well, either. I love my junk food, and honestly, I don’t really care that much about my body size and what other people think about it. If stuffing my face full of Doritos and Mountain Dew continued to feel like a good thing to do, then there’s not a lot out there that can stop me.

So when I look at cutting out all the terrible foods and actually doing some exercise, it’s pretty easy for me to just laugh to myself and carry on as I am. Don’t get me wrong, I’d certainly prefer to be fit and all, but I’m also pretty okay with how things are.

That said, there’s obviously a point to this blog post that isn’t just “I’m fat and that’s okay”. I’ve been thinking about ways to shake things up in a way that won’t put me off healthy eating and exercise after a few days trying to stick to it, so on Monday I made a few changes. I’m not going to go into most of those changes right now, but I will talk about a certain part of it. There are a few ways I’m trying to do exercise on the regular without burning myself out and never doing it again, and of course, video games are involved.

I’m going to raise a pokémon from level 1 to level 100 by walking.

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The failed timing of the Game Boy Micro

The Game Boy Advance was the 32-bit leap for Nintendo’s flourishing handheld business, bringing the graphics of the Super Nintendo to gamers on the go. While the Game Boy Colour had a substantial library of games that weren’t painted in green and black tones, it was the Advance’s palette that truly brought vibrant worlds to a portable system. It was also a departure from the previous blocky handheld design, with a curvaceous and wide look that screamed “this is the future!”. Indeed it was, as the Advance made a memorable impact on the gaming world, shifting over 80 million consoles during its seven year lifetime. The handheld market proved that it could continue to thrive without a blockbuster game like Tetris helping to sell the units, and so long as they weren’t battling with sun glare, people were loving it.

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It’s finally cheaper to buy digitally on consoles

At least, that’s the case when it comes to importing games from countries outside the EU. A charge of £18.92 was ‘incurred’ when I imported a copy of J-Stars Victory Vs. from Japan for the PS3, adding to the 10,057 yen I’d already spent on it. This is a pretty hefty amount of money regardless of the customs charge, coming in at about £58, mostly because Japanese game software prices suck and I also decided to go for the anisong version of the game.

Yes, one way or another, I’ve spent about £77 on a game that is due to arrive over two weeks after release. My game has spent over a week of this sat in the customs office. It’s 7,980 yen on the Japanese PSN store, so buying it there would have given me a saving of over 2,000 yen on the software alone, let alone the fees from customs. Sure, this wouldn’t be the anisong version of the game, but considering there’s the option to import custom music (in other words, import all those anime openings because why wouldn’t you?) this isn’t such a huge deal.

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Finally Beating Kururin Paradise

My infatuation with the Game Boy Micro has continued into 2014. Not content with the defeat of Final Fantasy V being the final use of this pocket portable, I recently jumped back into Kururin Paradise. The first game in the series, Kuru Kuru Kururin, was one of the very first Game Boy Advance games I played, thanks in part to the abundance of emulators and a console that wouldn’t arrive until Christmas time. It was great fun, but back then I was terribly inpatient, so I never completed it. Purchasing a Micro was first and foremost for tackling FFV, but hey, why not go for the nostalgia trip and purchase Kuru Kuru Kururin? A few days after starting, I’d beaten this puzzler.

If you’ve not played this game before, the concept is quite simple. You control a helicopter-like ship, which you only ever see from a top down perspective. What you must do is move through each level without touching the walls, or any other objects placed in the level to obstruct you. Using the d-pad allows you to move the ship, although the rotors are always moving at a fixed pace. This means you have to time your movements well, because you’re in for disaster if you’re inside a corridor and you rotate into the wall. It’s simple, fun, and devilishly difficult.

What I didn’t realise back in the day was that there was a GBA sequel, only released in Japan. While I cracked on with my FFV playthrough, I ordered it from a seller on eBay. I did play it a little when it arrived, but I was ultimately distracted by other games. Kururin Paradise eventually became a game I’d play in bed, conquering a few levels before sleeping.

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