Monthly Archives: December 2011
It’s that time of year again. When the cupboards are full of mince pies, the shops are full of people hunting for that perfect last-minute present, and us gamers are sat here wondering what joys await us in those video game-shaped presents that are currently sitting under the Christmas tree. It is also, if all the Christmas cards I’ve sent out are to be believed, a time when our gardens should be covered in snow. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case and with nothing but rain promised for the rest of December, any hopes of a white Christmas in Warwickshire seem a lost cause. It’s a shame, but there’s no room for negativity in the holiday season. Positivity is key. Maybe next year we’ll get our White Christmas! But the reason for this post wasn’t to talk about mince pies (although they’re delicious) or the weather, so let’s move on to that now.
Firstly, I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I feel that over the past two months my blog has started to become more like I had imagined it would when I first started it back in July, with posts being added on a fairly regular basis. Writing has become one of my main hobbies over the past few months, so I’m confident that as the New Year rolls by I’ll be able to meet the writing goal I’ve set myself for 2012 of publishing 2-3 posts most weeks. There will, of course, be times when I’m unable to post as regularly as I’d like, but I can promise that there will be no 3 month long disappearing tricks in the coming year.
Before 2011 gracefully bows out I have two more posts planned: The first is the next edition of Musical Monday; the other is a look forward to 2012, where I’ll be going into depth about my targets and goals for the upcoming year. I have quite high hopes for the coming year, so I feel this post will be particularly interesting.
For now though, there’s mince pies to be eaten and roast turkey to look forward to, so thank you as always for stopping by. Merry Christmas and Happy Gaming, from Madhatters13 and his secret alter-ego FormulaMagician!
Mondays are depressing, there’s no denying that. But they don’t need to be, because another video game soundtrack visits The Formula Magician to help lift the mood and wash away the stress.
This week’s edition brings the clocks forward to early 2009, when a game known as Persona 4 landed on our shores. Before reading its review on Game Central I had never heard of Persona, or its parent series Shin Megami Tensei before. Over the years I have come to be very trusting of Game Central and it’s reviews, so when I saw that it had received — if memory serves me well — a nine, I knew it was a game I had to keep an eye on.
In the weeks following this review readers of GC were writing in to sing the praises of Persona 4 after purchasing it on their recommendation. I started to feel like someone stood looking into a room full of people laughing and joking. What exactly am I missing out on here? There was nothing to do but hit the internet and get myself a copy.
Fast forward a few days and a familiar sound comes from downstairs. Why, it’s the sound of a game crashing through the letterbox, so like my cat when he hears biscuits pouring into his bowl I was downstairs in a flash to collect the game that had occupied my thoughts since the moment I ordered it.
Before placing the disc into my PS2, I stopped to think for a moment. This was the moment when, if asked if I’d played a turn-based RPG before, I could give a better answer than “Well, I helped my sister raise her Blastoise to level 100 on Pokémon Leaf Green.” Considering all the highly regarded turn-based RPGs out there, this answer never seemed to be received too well.
There were two key factors in ensuring that this soundtrack was going to become one of my favourite of all time. The first was the intro music, which was so upbeat that I couldn’t help but love it. This game had me hooked before I’d even gotten to the main menu! Every time I play Persona 4 I will always watch the opening cut scene, and I often find myself cranking up the volume too (it’s not known whether my neighbours appreciate the free sample of the soundtrack). The other key reason was that every copy came with a soundtrack CD, something which is often reserved for special editions, sold separately or just never makes it into existence. In the following days I wasted little time in putting the soundtrack on just about everything capable of playing music that I could lay my hands on: my iPod, PC, PSP and a few weeks later, my PS3 (it might be incompatible with PS2 games, but Sony weren’t stopping me from listening to the soundtrack on it). It’s a real shame that more games don’t come with soundtrack CDs, because as I’m sure you can guess, I’d certainly appreciate it.
With next Monday being Boxing Day I have something a little different planned to mark the occasion, but I think I’ll step aside now and let you enjoy some of Persona 4’s music.
[Video credits: Uploaded by Zaramie and Slayer0]
Over the weekend one of the YouTube gaming commentators I am subscribed to, who up until now had been gaming solely on a PS3, uploaded a short video telling their subscribers that they’ve just bought an Xbox 360. After making this announcement they went on to say something that I just wanted to talk about quickly. This statement was: “Don’t worry guys, I’m still playing on my PS3. In fact, I was playing Call of Duty on my PS3 just before uploading this video”. While I can understand why they made comments like this — anyone who has an interest in gaming knows just how easily arguments can be sparked — I found it saddening that they felt they had to defend the decision to buy one of their first console’s ‘rivals’ to fellow internet users.
After watching this video, I started thinking about how unlikely it would be to hear someone talk about similar situations in a manner like this:
“Hey, I just bought a new Vauxhall!”
“Awesome, let’s go for a ride.”
“Sure. Don’t worry though, I still love my Ford. Why, just yesterday I took it to the car wash for a hot wax polish.”
“Umm… okay… nice.”
I, for one, would love to be around when that conversation took place.