trisaratops FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold proper adult

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from Australia

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    • Procrastigaming #2

      2 years ago

      trisaratops proper adult

      This article was originally published in 2016 through BIGBITE online. 


      You used to know a game series was successful when it finally got a Mario Kart-esque spin-off; the late 90s saw the release of Diddy Kong Racing, Mickey's Speedway USA, and, apparently, a metric crapton of Hot Wheels games.

       

      Mario Kart is fantastic, right? There's no disputing that. The feeling of Blue Shell-ing someone just inches from the finish line is one of the most addictive sensations on the planet. Everyone either owns some version of Mario Kart, or they're lying. It's a great series. But you know what's better?

       

      Crash Team Racing.

       

      The Crash Bandicoot spin-off was released in 1999, except for in Australia where it was released in 2000 (which comes as zero surprise to anyone who's ever actually lived in Australia). It's a pretty standard kart-racing game with power-ups, weapons, and speed boosts all available to help you utterly destroy your friend's day, but extensive research (on Wikipedia) indicates that even IGN thought it was great back in the day. And it still is.

       

      Crash Team Racing is probably in my Top 5 Games of All Time. It's 2016 but I'll still play through story-mode once every few months, or whenever I remember that my PS3 is still plugged in. Running the game through story mode isn't hard, because you're effectively just winning a race on each of the maps, and it won't take you that long if you're familiar with the tracks and know how to turbo boost in all the right places.

       

      But even that only brings you to about 50% completion.

       

      See, there are two other modes you have to complete if you want to actually finish the game. There are the Relic Races and the CTR Challenge on top of the standard adventure mode. Relic Races have items on the track that freeze time when you hit them, so the goal is to finish with the fastest time possible. The CTR Challenge makes you run through all the tracks again, but this time picking up the three titular letters along the way.

       

      Oh, easy. Sure. No problem. I can beat the clock. It's an original Playstation game, how hard can it be? That's what I always think, at least until I load up the game and try again because every game was stupidly hard back in the day (I know, sit back down, Grandma). Relic Races are challenging because just when you think you've won, you hit a power slide the wrong way and careen into a wall, or you a miss a crate and suddenly you've lost by an eighth of a second and you’re left wondering why you're still trying to beat this game in 2016.

       

      Don't even get me started on the locations of the CTR letters in Challenge mode. Most of them are next-to-impossible to collect while still completing the track in a reasonable time which, conveniently, is the entire goal. They're always hidden at the top of jumps you can only reach by hitting a power slide just right or in places so out of the way you'd just never bother with otherwise.

       

      I said it before and I'll say it again: old games are hard. They had to be, because there was nowhere near as much variety as there is now, and you definitely couldn't get anything free to play (except for shareware, but that's an article in itself because boy do I have some stories). Crash Team Racing was the perfect combination of kart racing done well, with a good story mode and challenging side-modes that still infuriate me to this day. That's the only reason I haven't finished it, because it legitimately is a challenge I don't have the patience to complete. I don't think that's a disadvantage, though. Not in this case. I genuinely enjoy Crash Team Racing a lot, and I think the Adventure mode is a brilliant way to spend a few hours on a weekend afternoon.

       

      Besides, who needs 100% when you can get the same level of satisfaction out of beating the main story?

       

      Thanks again for joining me on this journey into the depths of my game collection. I hope you'll stick around, because next time I'm going to be completely honest about why I never got around to finishing Fallout 4.


    • Procrastigaming #1

      2 years ago

      trisaratops proper adult

      This article was originally published in 2016 through BIGBITE online. 


      I'm just not good at video games. I enjoy them, don't get me wrong. I have a really great time with most of the games I play. The thing is, I don't play them well. I'm pretty terrible. I'm not great with shooters, I end up frustrated at puzzles, and I do everything but the objective in adventure games. More often than not, I'll play a game for a while and have a blast, but I'll never actually make it to the end. That's what this series is about. It's about all the games I've played and abandoned over the years because that's a thing everyone's done at some point, right?

       

      I have a lifetime of unfinished games under my belt. Games I played for, like, a week and forgot about, then there's some that I tried really hard to finish but never could for some reason (obviously the game was out to personally attack me but whatever, I don't even like having fun anyway). I'm sure there are even some I've forgotten that I own, so it'll be a real Experience™ checking the shelves for those.

       

      But for today, let's start simple. Let's start at what is probably the beginning of my exceedingly mediocre handheld gaming career. That seems like the best place to start.

       

      I first played Pokémon Yellow during the Christmas of 1999. Like literally every other kid who had that game, I did it over and over until I could make it through Rock Tunnel without bothering to go and collect the Flash HM. Until I could catch Moltres and then go on to the Elite Four without getting lost. Until I knew where all of those dropped items you can't see were hidden — you know, the ones where you just tap “A” in front of a pole or fence and find a Potion for your efforts? I played Yellow over and over until I knew how to catch Mew, because he's under the truck, right?

       

      Man, times were fun when your only game guide was the school playground.

       

      Here's the kicker: it's been seventeen years and yet I've never completed a Pokédex.

       

      I've always felt that completing your 'dex was the ultimate goal in any Pokémon game. I mean, it's the tagline, right? “Gotta catch 'em all.” It's not even that hard if you only count the regular, in-game Pokémon. It's a totally achievable thing. Or, at least, it should be.

       

      However!

       

      Here's a list of the original 151 Pokémon who have evaded me to this day: Arbok, Nidoking, Nidoqueen, Wigglytuff, Persian, Poliwrath, Alakazam, Machamp, Golem, Mew. See? The only one on that list that should have ever been a problem is Mew. The ones you had to trade with a friend so they'd evolve are understandable, because I had to borrow my cousin's link cable to trade anything at all, and even then I only really had the option at Christmas or Easter. But Nidoking? The game throws Moon Stones at you like crazy. Wigglytuff? Wigglytuff?

       

      Look, I've never skipped a Pokémon game. It's probably the only series I come back to time and time again. But it's been seventeen whole years and my Pokédex remains incomplete. I mean, sure, the entire premise here is that I'm not good at finishing games I start. But not many people are, and the ones that do are usually doing it for personal pride or to see that sweet, sweet gamerscore rise. And let's face it, I'm kind of on a roll here. Going back and attempting to finish any of these games I've never finished would ruin my current record of not finishing them.

       

      A personal best I've held onto since 1999? Come on, as if I'm throwing that out the window.

       

      Of course, Pokémon Yellow isn't the only game of mine that remains woefully incomplete. It's like I said earlier, I've got an entire lifetime of them. Next edition of Procrastigaming I'll tell you all about what's probably my number one game and why, despite that, I've never made it to 100% completion: Crash Team Racing.

       



    • 30C? On the Island?

      3 years ago

      trisaratops proper adult

      Here are my resolutions. They're not New Years ones, because I'm far too late for that. Maybe it's better to call this a To Do list instead. So in no particular order, I present to you my current To Do list:


      1. Put away my Christmas tree before March.

      2. Do real adult groceries.

      3. Find out if the weather hitting 30C today is actually a record for my part of the Island.

      4. Write that damn novel.

      5. Recycle more.


      I feel like those are all achievable things. There's nothing on that list I think is unreasonable, or asking too much of myself, or anything like that. I mean, one of them at least is going to be a challenge but it's not a good list unless you're pushing yourself.


      I mean, I have a 6ft tree and I am a tiny, tiny, less than 5ft person, so.

    • 'It's Been a Little While and I Know It...

      3 years ago

      trisaratops proper adult

      ...but you'll never, never, never, never, ever let me down.'


      The funny thing is that I looked up the lyrics there to check how many 'nevers' were in that line, because it's been stuck in my head for days. It's from a song called Voodoo Economics, by Faker, and the album it's from was basically the soundtrack to my summer 2007. I really enjoyed them. They were one of those bands that had two main albums, got a few tracks into the charts, then faded into obscurity with little to no fanfare. I do miss them terribly sometimes.


      But in looking up the song to find out how many 'nevers' were in that line, I discovered that a multitude of those old song lyric websites still exist, that people still maintain those sites, and they still try and sell you that song as a ringtone, even though that's not a relevant service in 2015. It was a nice little moment at the end of a bit of a rough day for me (I keep getting ants in my house and I just cannot stop them, so I've called in a professional but it'll be a week before he gets here. I had to clear out the entire pantry unexpectedly).


      This is that time of the year where school is over (for the teachers, too), and it's not past Christmas yet so I don't feel bad about taking some down time before I go into using January for lesson and unit planning for 2016. I've had Netflix running for most of the afternoon; I've gone through National Treasure: Book of Secrets, School of Rock, and now I'm watching one of Jimeoin's stand up shows. It's been nice.


      What else has been nice is the RT Secret Santa gift exchange. I've been running Admin for the Oz region and with a day to go before the shipping deadline, almost everyone has played their part and sent their gifts off, which is fantastic. I participated last year and so when there was an offer to help out, it seemed silly not to volunteer - organising and running admin is part of my regular, so it wasn't going to be too tough. It's been great fun, and I'm totally glad that I put my hand up to help out. I didn't participate, because that felt like it would be a bit of a funny thing to do? Like, I genuinely think I would have felt a bit funny if I'd had my own name in the rotation. But people are getting their presents now and it's so much fun to get the happy messages saying the gifts have arrived!


      I'm going to RTXAU in about four weeks. It's a bit hard to imagine that it's only four weeks away and I'm getting antsy about it because I'm going to PA and it feels like such a big job but it's one I'm totally blown away I was selected to do. That's a thing that's happening, and I am just so excited.


      This Jimeoin show is going forever, by the way. I've stopped writing this and come back to it about three times while this has been playing, which is why it's so disjointed, sorry about that.


      It's been a little while.

    • 3 years ago

      trisaratops proper adult
    • The Future is Finally Here

      3 years ago

      trisaratops proper adult

      The 21st of October, 2015.

      When I was a kid, I had two videos I watched on repeat. They weren't official videos, they were taped off tv at some point in the early 90s and had the little tabs on front altered so we wouldn't accidentally record over them. My Jurassic Park tape had a torn label from where other labels had been layered previously, and only one set of ads was paused out of the recording - it even had the end of an episode of Third Rock From The Sun at the beginning, where we'd started recording a little early (it was a Christmas episode, and John Lithgow left the car headlights on so they'd be able to find the car and dig it out of a snowbank). The other one was Back to the Future Part 2.

      I don't remember seeing Part 1 that often until I was older, when I had it on DVD after that became a thing. But Part 2, I watched religiously. This is something that I feel like a lot of people did. It's a good film. It's a really significant film in terms of pop culture and how it's been remembered and how it lives on, to this day.

      This day. October 21st, 2015.

      It's two hours until it hits the 21st, and I still don't feel like it's the future. Thirty years ago, 2015 seemed like an impossible dream. No one in 1985 knew what to expect. How could they? How would they feel if they knew what was to come? Did they think about 2015 they way we think about 2045? I always thought I'd know when the future was here. Little things have stopped me along the way, mostly technological, but it's never really felt like The Future.

      You'll never know The Future though, because to you, it's always the present.

      It's October 21st, 2015, and it's my present, not my future.

      And that is so, so strange to think about.

    • Spring Has Sprung, But It's Still Cold As Shit

      4 years ago

      trisaratops proper adult

      It's been Spring here in Oz for about a fortnight now and that means a whole lot of different things depending which end of the country you live in. I'm sure that up in Far North Queensland, it means nothing. It's either raining or it's not up there and that about as much seasonal variation as you're going to get.

      Here, however, I can still see snow-capped mountains.

      It never really gets hot here, not like it does in Melbourne. Summer maxes out at around 26 or 27 Celsius, with a disgusting amount of humidity, but the cool ocean breeze keeps it tolerable. We're not quite there yet.

      Yesterday was the first day I've opened the doors to let the breeze in since the beginning of winter. It was warm, comfortable, but still only 14 degrees for an hour or two before dropping again.

      The point is, things change. Things will always change and you've got about as much control over that as you do over the shift of the seasons. I got a bit of a reminder of that this week, that the biggest changes have nothing to do with you and are always unexpected.

      You just have to roll with it.

      You can fight it, like those snow-covered mountains are fighting spring, but they'll adapt.

      Just roll with it.

    • Visit Home to Melbourne: RT Ladies and Noel Fielding Edition

      4 years ago

      trisaratops proper adult

      It's almost the end of first term holidays for me. I've been home on the mainland for a few days now and I've done the usual series of events - go to the Japanese place I like, get Nandos, accidentally go to Daiso alone and manage to spend about thirty bucks on hairclips and lunch accessories. Today was probably the best though. Just saying.

      I dropped by the Roo Teeth meetup hosted by @Hanabee this afternoon for a BBQ and to give the lovely @Barbara and @Arryn a small goodie bag of Aussie gifts to remember their trip by; I even managed to not get hit by the football, so bonus there.

      Then.

      After eleven years of waiting I finally saw Noel Fielding live on stage with my own eyeballs. My real eyeballs have seen him make jokes and perform what was almost an episodic skit that was well worth over the decade of patience.

      It's back to the island tomorrow night. Back to work, to adulthood, to making jokes at teenagers to pass the time between recess and lunch.

      I hope I remember to do the groceries on Friday morning. Should've brought a notebook at Daiso.

    • Being a Teacher in 2015

      4 years ago

      trisaratops proper adult

      Is it hard? Yes. Am I about to complain about how hard it is? Nope.

      It's the beginning of the year here in Australia, and the kids are only just settling into the routine of things. Every year it takes them a while to get organised and by the time do all the important things, like opening assemblies and so on, it's already a fortnight in.

      Every year I get new kids who all ask me about why I'm a teacher, and every year I tell them the same thing - teenagers are hilarious. For the most part, you actually have a lot of fun when you're at work. There's planning and marking and boring meetings, sure, but the actual teaching part of it is a riot. This is my fourth year and there are some kids I've taught for all four years. You spend a lot of time with them and you really get to know them. You know when they're having a bad day and they know when you're having a shit time of it.

      That's probably the most important part of teaching, I think - the relationship. Adults often forget that teenagers are explosions of ideas and hormones and they actually have no concept of what they're doing a lot of the time. I ask kids what they're doing, or why they did something, and they don't know. They say silly things and make you laugh, and it's important to recognise that.

      Are there bad kids? Not really, at least not in what you'd think of as bad. There are annoying ones. Shit at school? I don't care. Come in, sit down, have a go, and don't be a dick while you're doing it. But come in and start mouthing off, being deliberately irritating? Forget it kid, check that attitude at the door because I've got 24 other kids I'm more interested in dealing with.

      I like it as a job, I really do. It's pretty great. If I'm ever having a bad class and kids are just being shits, I know that in the next periods someone's going to say something absolutely ridiculous and we're all going to have a good laugh.

    • The Holiday Is Over, But Summer's Not

      4 years ago

      trisaratops proper adult

      We've established by now that I live in regional North-West Tasmania and that means that I live approximately half a meter from the sun. On top of that, there's the hole in the ozone layer to contend with on a daily basis.

      Despite the awful combination of these things, it's not usually that bad. Being on the coast on what is the last habitable land before Antarctica usually adds up to pretty mild weather. Winters are long, cool, dark, but manageable. They're more about frigid winds than anything else; it snows high up in the mountains and rains most days on the coasts. Summer is relatively cool; it maxes out at about 23 degrees, in Celsius, but that doesn't take into consideration the sun, the ozone hole, and the humidity.

      Year round, the humidity is high. In winter it helps keep a lot of the sharpness out of the air. But in summer, you combine around 90% humidity with ozone holes and unnecessarily high UV, and you end up with something just awful. It could be worse, sure, but I grew up on the mainland in a dry heat and that's a whole different ball game. Dry heat is bearable because unless there's a strong wind, or you can't find shade, it's not so bad. But hot, humid air clings to your lungs and makes every movement sticky.

      It's already the end of February, though. A few more weeks and the night chill will settle back in and we'll shift back into shorter, darker days, and forget about the nights spent tossing and turning in the thick air. Instead, we'll spend the winter months under blankets and doonas and lying in bed in flannel pyjamas and three pairs of socks to keep our toes from going numb.

      Look, what I'm trying to say is that it's hot, I don't like it, and I can't wait for winter.

  • Comments (4)

    • swordsmanjeb FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

      2 years ago

      Hey! FU! Happy featured user day!

    • Glo0m.bot ImAWeirdooo

      5 years ago

      Welcome to the site! smiley0.gif

      • Glo0m.bot ImAWeirdooo

        5 years ago

        no problem smiley1.gif

      • trisaratops FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold proper adult

        5 years ago

        thanks!

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