Words By Jennifer Dodd.
When you're passionate about something it is amazing to share it with someone, especially the people you're closest to! But what if they are dead against sharing your enthusiasm for gaming? What if they see it as boring..childish...a waste of time? Here's a few ideas for how you can change that!
I've come up with my top 5 ways you can try and encourage your partner/spouse or even just a friend to share your love for video games! This post has been inspired by so many people saying "I wish my girlfriend/boyfriend would play with me!" whenever I get excited that my boyfriend and I have conquered some new challenge in our gaming adventures!
Even people who don't like video games can be tempted by game apps on their phone. Words With Friends and Draw Something are still games derived from Scrabble and Pictionary. Games like these have brought the competitive spirit from the living room 'Parlour games' and made it so you can play with anyone, anywhere. I know couples who are constantly battling it out over these apps in the day when they're separated by work. Eventually, playing games with them will become so natural and using this gate way method will make it a lot easier to introduce more titles.
What interests do you share?
If you both love movies then why not start a game like The Last Of Us or the new Tomb Raider? If your partner gets bored watching you play video games when you're together they may not mind if the game is story rich and you're involving them in the game's choices. A brilliant one for this is Heavy Rain as it plays like a movie. One thing to consider is the difficulty level. Games can quickly become boring to watch if you're dying repeatedly and having to play the same part over and over. If you change your difficulty level to an easier one then the story will flow much more smoothly and will be more viewer friendly!
Offer help but be patient!
You might be the highest level now but you started out like everyone else! A lot of people can be put off by being dragged through the lower levels by their gleaming shiny-geared partner. I'm thinking of MMO's like Destiny and World Of Warcraft here. If you genuinely want your partner to have an enjoyable experience then you might want to start from scratch and play it through with them slowly rather than rushing around to get to the next part as quickly as possible. "Boosting" is not the way if you want them to discover things and learn to love the game like you do! Helping someone choose guns/gear and talking them through how the stats work is much better and develops a better understanding so that one day they can run around gleaming in shiny gear too ;)
Player Vs Player can be so disheartening.
If you've bought a video game and you play video games often then you're not likely to give up straight away. However if you don't usually play games and someone drags you into a COD game and you die 40 times without killing a soul it's bound to put you off. Playing a local game of you vs them and showing them how to use the weapons and getting to know the maps can be really helpful and they'll be fighting at your side (or against you!) in no time :)
Take a trip down memory lane.
Did your partner play any games when they were younger? Maybe Sonic the Hedgehog or Mario 64? These games are still available to purchase and play thanks to retro shops like Level UP. By breaking out the old consoles you can play together and have fun reminiscing about the simpler times! You would be surprised how competitive someone can get when you bring out a classic they aced as a kid!
Video Games aren't for everyone I know! These are just 5 small ways you can gently encourage your partner to take part! I know more and more couples who are playing together. I personally think it's a great way to have a night in but still have adventures! If this is something you're trying to achieve then I wish you luck!
Check out Jennifer's store and support yet another independent trade - CLICK HERE
I would just like to say a very serious thank you to everyone who has supported me and my shop for the past 5 years. I cant believe how fortunate I am to live my dream and interest with such wonderful incredible people on a daily basis. I am the luckiest girl in the world - Lucy x
Words by James Brookfield
Last Friday saw the release of Assassins Creed: Syndicate, the latest instalment in one of Ubisoft’s biggest franchises. There is much hype and anticipation surrounding this entry for numerous reasons such as; an attempt to rectify the mistakes and mishaps which plagued Assassins Creed: Unity, the location set within Victorian England and the opportunity to play as two assassins via twin siblings Jacob and Evie Frye. To celebrate the game’s launch this article will delve into the history of the first Assassins title, divulging facts that readers may or may not already know. So let’s re-enter the animus and uncover some tropes of the Creed in which to live by.
Firstly, Assassin's Creed was almost a different game entirely, originally intended to be a continuation of the Prince of Persia series. Initially entitled Prince of Persia: Assassins the plot was to be based on the life of Hassan-i-Sabbah, a missionary who converted a community in the late 11th century in the heart of the Alborz Mountains of northern Persia. He founded a group of fedayeen whose members are often referred to as the Hashshashin, or ‘Assassins’. Furthermore Patrice Desilets, Sands of Time director, believed a prince was not an appealing protagonist. As a result the prince would have been AI-controlled, thus creating a more interesting character in the form of the player-controlled Assassin. However Ubisoft did not want a Prince of Persia game where the focal point was not on titular character, therefore the game was given a new IP. Moreover it has been reported the assassin protagonist was female, switching the previous relationship dynamics of the Prince and his female companions. This is interesting given the continual debate of gender equality in gaming in addition to recent criticism of a lack of strong female characters within Assassin Creed games, prior to Aveline de Grandpre and Evie Frye. The major gameplay mechanic of Prince of Persia: Assassins was co-operative play, a feature that would not be established into the series until Unity. Test footage and early gameplay of Prince of Persia: Assassins is still available online which does, to some degree, demonstrate the basic outline of what then became Assassins Creed.
Another fact regarding Assassin Creed is upon hearing Desmond Miles speak for the first time most gamers instantly recognised the vocal talents of Nolan North, famed for other roles including; Nathan Drake, Deadpool, The Penguin (from Batman Arkham Series) and Dr Edward Richtofen. However most may be unaware that Desmond’s likeness was provided by Francisco Randez, a French-Canadian fashion model with a Spanish background. In a somewhat more familiar area Kristen Bell, well-known for Veronica Mars and Frozen, lent both her voice and likeness to the character of Lucy Stillman. This marked the first time Bell had voiced a character in any medium
Eagle-eyed gamers may have spotted in the first Assassins Creed game Altair is missing a finger. Subsequent assassins did not need to follow suit due to Altair modifying the hidden blade to operate effectively, without the removal of the ring finger, prior to his death. Resultantly this also enabled any assassin to further avoid detection; many early Levantine assassins were recognised due to a missing digit.
Finally, concluding on a rather humours note, the inability to swim in the first game is due to an apparent glitch in the Animus matrix and not a gameplay mechanic limitation, honestly.
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Article written by Andy Jones.
'My Friend Dahmer' a graphic novel by Derf Backderf. Published by Abrams.
As a comic reader of many years, the urge to push comic books onto other people to read(and then discuss) is a strong one, but its rare that I NEED someone to read what I have. My friend Dahmer, is one of those books.
the writing and artwork are both by an Actual school friend of Jeffrey dahmer, and reflect an insight into a person, that police and media profiling cannot offer.
While it is easily said that 'serial killers' are a pop culture mainstay, and that we take an almost vulgar interest in their life's, this book is NOT what that is about. The writer takes lengths to point out that while any sympathy for Dahmer is lost as soon as he crossed a murderous line, and that he is to be pitied, not revered, his early life deserves to be documented. This being said, i will admit i shed a tear reading this book for the first time, and i was definitely moved. Now i don't sympathise with a murdering cannibal, but end the tale before any 'impulses' are acted upon, and its the story of a very poor home-life, and detail of a social outcast.
Coming in at just under 200 pages of art, the book is well written from a standpoint of an observer, and makes no attempt to lead you one way or the other on your feelings towards the Protagonist, but details accounts and observations of their shared childhood. The author will at times use gathered information to fill in blanks as necessary for a smooth read, but will include details of these accounts at the end of the book, so as to eliminate the 'you weren't there, how do you know what he was doing' moments.
The book is Black and white throughout and don't be expecting any Alex Ross artwork here! This is the all encompassing work of one guy, his life and his vision, and thus the artwork is more Schulz than anything! With this in mind it works well, and will attract both comic fans and 'coffee table aficionados' alike. The book is laced with photographs and actual paraphernalia from the time, and ends with a section of sources and notes that the author had gathered before putting his final draft together.
In Summary, If you want a dark retelling of murder and savagery, this is NOT the book for you, but if you want an insight into a person, and first person accounts of their life, and indeed staggering points of 'you could have prevented this', then this is a definite recommendation. I would go as far as to say its one of the best things i have ever read as far as comic book work goes, especially on the side of Indie books.
You can buy this book on Amazon HERE
You can find Andy's review page HERE
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We've all been there! We all have regrets, but what collecting mistakes have you made that you just cant get over?! Well here's Lucy Myatts, AKA TorAthena's 5 greatest mistakes.
WRITER & CREATOR - James Tynion IV
ILLUSTRATOR - Michael Dialynas
COLOURS - Josan Zonzalez
PUBLISHER - Boom Comics
The Woods, is a fast paced story created and written by James Tynion IV (also known for Batman Eternal). Starting off on a normal day in High School. It introduces a variety of characters from students to teachers in quite a comical way. It quickly sets its progression speed as a massive flash illuminates the school, upon leaving the building to investigate, everyone quickly realises they are not only far away from their normal home, but it appears they are not even on Earth anymore.
As the school descends into panic and mayhem, one student not only seems to have a plan, but an almost deluded idea of whats going on, they are being tested and they need to venture out into the wilderness to complete whatever mission has been set on them. Into the Woods. The story follows the students who brave it outside to discover the truth behind this abduction and the people who stay behind and how the school forms alliances and rules to deal with the situation.
Michael Dialynas (Amala's Blade) has an incredibly easy on the eyes, animated style that almost reminds me of the Saturday morning cartoon, Recess. Even though the story is quite dark with it's terribly brutal twists that unfold after every other page, Josan Zonzalez uses beautifully bright colours in almost everything without ever overloading it, making everything seem a little lighter and more manageable compared to the brilliantly written but terribly heavy, Walking Dead
The writing itself is incredibly jumpy, every other page leaves character A in a sticky situation, only for the next page do the exact same with character B so it can jump back to resolve A's situation. Some may find this slightly irritating as it can disturb the flow of the story. However, as its evenly spaced with its plot frequency of twists I never got annoyed, but actually more and more engrossed.
The Woods Is quick to the point, comical with delivery and simply impossible to put down once you've started. Everyone needs to read this.
Lucy's score (based on #1-4) - 9/10
Staff of Level UP and sometimes fellow guests will use this page to speak their mind on the products they play and read.