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Relegated: Gaming on Holiday


If only all holidays seemed that interesting. But nope, I'm visiting relatives. And as a teenager, there is very little to do. I am not young enough to find the mere act of going on holiday thrilling in itself, nor am I old enough to have developed a distinct idea of what I find ‘fun’ as a person. I know that I love gaming, but that is just about it. The television and radio remain silent, my relative’s dog doesn’t seem interested in doing anything. Being here is not all that entertaining - but social obligation calls nonetheless.. But I have ‘borrowed’ my Dad’s MacBook Air for the holiday to keep myself busy. Some favourites have emerged.

Bubble Tanks Tower Defence 2: When I was about 12ish I spent quite a lot of time playing online flash games and among the best was Bubble Tanks. Bubble Tanks is a flash game where you control a tank-like thing made of bubbles that goes through the bubbleverse destroying other bubble tanks. I would play that again but a touchpad is hell. It is unresponsive and the controls are slightly different to that of a standard windows laptop. Not by much, but just enough to be annoying. So Bubble Tanks was out. But then I noticed ‘Bubble Tanks TD 2’ on the side of the page: ta-da! Entertainment for a long time. The music is a bit irritating, but it demands sufficient thought to entertain, and to avoid watching crap daytime TV. Cheers, Hero Interactive - you made me less bored.

The game follows a standard tower defence formula: thing comes at you, you stop it with stationary turrets. But Bubble Tanks TD 2 does that just right. The enemies are colourful, so it is nice to look at, the sounds of popping are satisfying without being annoying after the millionth pop. There are enough mechanics at play to demand attention, and attention is what I have been giving it.

Kerbal Space Program: Until recently this was the only mac compatible game I owned (though Elite: Dangerous recently joined it) and as such it was the logical first choice. However I quickly gave up on the Kerbal’s space based aspirations. Firstly, I cannot for the life of me find any camera controls. There is no numberpad, and the touchpad does nothing. This makes building difficult, I like to design from many angles and ensure that the craft is both very functional and not an eyesore but the real pain is flying. Without being able to move the camera the game is horrible, I cannot tell where my craft is pointed without spending several minutes trying to compare the navball with my place in orbit to guestimate where I’m actually pointing. That can be done, but in EVA? Nope!

Also, after about 30 minutes the fan decided to go absolutely nuts. Imagine some bad fan coil from an old and clearly overtaxed PC. It is not actually that loud, but the heat is disconcerting. I promptly shut down KSP and went to get some chocolate whilst it cooled down. Maybe Elite will go a little better. (It won’t)

Elite Dangerous: Started up Elite Dangerous. Heard the fan. Noticed that some chocolate next to the laptop had slightly melted. Stopped playing Elite Dangerous. Oh and fuck the touchpad.

Aaaand that’s basically it, just messing around with flash games and crawling back to tower defence games. Games like KSP and Elite are clearly just too cool for this mac. Both KSP and Elite cause its cooling to go insane (and worryingly loud) and the lack of any means to control a camera means that I couldn’t play most games even if I was willing to sacrifice the structural integrity of my chocolate. Even writing this is a pain in the arse. This thing does not like the blog editor at all. I am seriously struggling to even get it to upload an image above 360p. Sorry. 

Or it could be Destructoid, I've been having trouble with my blogs staying published.

I should have brought my PSP...

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About James Internet Egoone of us since 2:56 PM on 04.21.2015

Howdy! Welcome to the little corner of the internet that a part of me calls home. Here's some stuff about me.

Occupation: Student

Hobbies: Videogames, Chess, Philosophy

Interests: Law, Philosophy, Gaming

Chores: PC maintenance, Uni prep

Current Thought: Damn you Witcher 3! Damn you Crones to hell!

Favorite Game: KotOR 2 for reasons, but Witcher 3 is now joint first, bloody marvelous game.

Current Game: The Witcher 3

I am a fan of the written word as well as the spoken variety, so you'll find me doing a lot of written stuff. Every couple of days hopefully.

Here is a nifty list of what I think is my best stuff.

Destructoid C-Blogs
How Cities: Skylines Almost Screwed Up My Exam
Why the PR Man Can Lie
On Mods and Money
How Mass Effect Made Me Like Music
Questing For Immersion
An Afternoon With the SWG Emulator
How to Buy a game in 2015
Some Upbeat Thoughts on Bioware
The Pain of Playing Old Games
Why Citybuilders Are Not ABout Building Cities
On Valve's Inability to Follow The Law
Band of Bloggers: KotOR

Some Written Word on Game Design
Ambivalence and Not Caring

Front Paged Things
Bloggers Wanted: KotOR 2

Kotaku UK
The Best Zombie Game Out There

That covers the bio, right?

Oh, right - name. I'm James, in case you couldn't guess.