Thursday 8 November 2012

Gifts for Guys - And The Boy Within Them

   It's something that is often said by women, and by a few men themselves: men never grow up. And if I look at my dad, and then look at his dad, I would say it's true. In fact, I'd also say that Seeg's dad was the same, and, of course, Seeg himself.
   While it may not count for crafties like ourselves, it does seem that, based on the men I know, a man would love to be given something creative to dive into, more than a woman would. Be it working on a car, or putting together an airfix model or painting Warhammer, most of the women I know would prefer clothing, jewellery and books. Nothing messy. That's not true for me, of course, and as I said, probably not for you all, but it seems that toys (men wouldn't call them that) are still on their lists.
   For example, Halo Mega blox. Halo has an age rating (here in the UK, at least) of 16. While I'm sure a 10 year old would enjoy the guns and aliens of the Halo Mega blox sets just fine, the branding actually points it towards older people. And yes, I have seen Seeg looking at it. He almost bought it once. Hell, even I wanted it. But having said that, I still have the Pound Puppy Play Van from when I was little. I love that thing.
   But due to the age and nature of the game, Halo Mega blox would probably be appreciated much more by adults, in much the same way that the Star Wars Lego sets would. I love Star Wars, personally, and, barring the accompanying issue of standing on pieces of Lego, I love Lego too. So I just love that sets like the above and below are available.
LEGO Star Wars Super Star Destroyer

   I don't remember who said it, but I was told by someone that by the age of two, even a toilet roll became a gun as far as their little boy was concerned. Slightly alarming that at such a young age they would instantly jump to guns, but nevermind. Toilet rolls rarely kill people. But, considering that in just about every single video game, the aim is to kill people (I'm struggling to think of anything other than Wii Fit that doesn't try to get you to kill people...yup, even Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom has you kill things), it's not surprising that guns are on kids' minds.
   I'm not personally a fan of guns - not real ones, anyway. I've been shot at once by my mother, but it was with a spud gun. Hurt, though. But, despite it, I thoroughly enjoyed Laser Quest, and even since I was little (and did so just the other day), whenever I carry around the small wooden foot stool my mother made, I can't help turning it so that the legs are facing outwards, and shaking it and making "rattattattattatt" noises as if it was a machine gun. I really don't know why, and I only noticed myself do it when Seeg saw it happen a few weeks ago.
   And so, that is probably why I'm quite drawn to these nerf guns, and I know that if I were to hand one to Seeg we could probably have a pretty stupid time.
   In fact I'm quite inclined to get one now...
   Swords are the same. But at the same time a nerf gun is more likely to be dodgeable. You can't duck behind a sofa in a sword fight. I want a nerf gun.
   Seeg and I are both big video game fans (you know, just in case you hadn't noticed anywhere along the line), and so it's obvious that I have a few games to recommend you.
   Dishonored recently came out. The graphics are cartoonish, but in a gritty way. Features are accentuated - cheekbones, noses, eyes, wrinkles and so on - and each individual has a lot of physical character to them. Game play isn't half bad either. It's not perfect, but it was an entertaining game to watch. Yes, I watch them, sometimes. I'm happy to sneak around as a Dark Elf assassin on Skyrim, but stick me into a game that has been designed, specifically, for sneaking, then things will go wrong and I will get angry. As such, I mostly observe the story and watch it unfold. Dishonored lacked enough depth for me personally, but what surprised me was the difference between the endings of two different run-through, and the reactions you got from NPCs (Non-Player Controlled units) after behaving differently and making different decisions.
   All in all, a good game. Not one I'd scream about often, but a good game.
   Assassin's Creed 3 came out only days ago. We've not finished it yet, but the game play is so smooth, the story is amazing, and after having played and witnessed the four other games that came before this one (AC1, AC2, AC: Brotherhood, AC: Revelations), I was nothing but shocked after the first four hours of game play. And it's such a long and engrossing game that it took us seven hours just to truly begin the story. Multiplayer is wonderful as well, as good as the two before it - of course, it's let down by the lack of understanding other players have for it, despite the very clear tutorials. Most multiplayers have you run in and kill your opponants. AC is exactly the opposite. If you walk and behave like an NPC, you get the biggest bonuses and scores. You're an assassin, you're not supposed to stand out. Climbing on rooftops and running is unusual. Who does that out in the street, anyway?
   It's a fantastic game which, after 20 hours, is only getting better. Not to mention the voice acting. They have actual Native Americans speaking their language, and despite the fact that the game takes place in North America during the beginning of the revolution, few people have American accents - why would they? They're mostly English, Irish and French. Even the Pound(£) is still being used. The game is also as historically accurate as they could make it (aside from the Assassins and Templars, of course), the same as all of the others. I'm learning a lot. I never knew what the Boston Tea Party was. Now I do.
   And also, in case anyone was interested in the awesomeness of the story but is not a game-player, there are novels available of the story of each game: Renaissance, Brotherhood, Revelations, Forsaken. All the story, with none of the consoles.
   Skyrim. I know that this is sort of an "old" game now, but it's no less as awesome as it was when it was released. Set in Tamriel, in the province of Skyrim, the Nords are fighting against the Empire for freedom from their laws, to remain a free country - but then the Dragons returned. They were never truly dead, but they were gone for so very, very long, that they faded as far as myth. It's not until you're about to have your head cut off that you spot, of all the dragons, Alduin, the World Eater. As with all of the Elder Scrolls games, you begin as a prisoner, and turn out to be the individual prophesised in an Elder Scroll who will save civilisation. For the time being, anyway.
   You are Dragonborn - someone with the blood of a dragon, who can master their language with no difficulty, while it takes others decades to just learn it. You're able to use these words as Thu'um, The Voice, and as you speak the words, they carry power. To put it in a simple way, it's like magic, but it's not classified as such in the game. There are numerous races to play (I've always been a dark elf, I don't know why), and numerous groups to join, and, as in Oblivion and Morrowind, you can also become a vampire - but, you could become a werewolf instead in this game. Or neither. It's your choice. I find the vampires too high-maintenance, personally.
   It's a wonderful game for fans of fantasy, even if you've not played the predecessing games. The Elder Scrolls games are set on the same continent, but in different provinces, and are something like a couple of hundred years apart. I loved Oblivion, despite how much it scared the crap out of me, but Skyrim stole my gaming heart. And not just that but they're releasing their second DLC (not counting Hearthfire) soon!


  1. I've been a huge fan of all of these for, well, forever so they are definitely gifts for girls as well. :D I love weapon related anything, which is why Jen and I own airsoft guns, have a baton, and we each have a few real swords (my favorite is my katana) but I do agree: NERF stuff is AWESOME. Same with video games, and computer games, of course!

    Jen is a Mega Bloks fangirl and I often fall more for Legos. She collects Halo Mega Bloks and we both collect the new World of Warcraft sets, Star Wars is also one we'd like to start collecting! I hope LEGOs and Mega Bloks stay around foreva!

    1. There's no worries about that, lego will be around for eternity! And I agree with you, I want everything on this list too! I love weapons, but I don't have any. I used to have a set of Samurai swords but I lost them in a long overdue break up. I'm not that bothered xD


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