First Impressions

Hello! So, this is my first blog post and the point at which first impressions are made. You might begin to make them when I say I will be writing about gaming, football, film and television.

If you’re still here, cheers.

So I’m going to go straight into talking about the football team I support, Swansea AFC. I can’t speak for other fans, but I was devastated when I heard the news that Brendan Rodgers had left for Liverpool. It wasn’t just that he’s been a great manager, but the news hit hard because he said he’d stick around. Nevertheless, I wish him and Liverpool all the best. I’m hopeful for what the future will bring for Swansea with Rodgers gone, as according to The Guardian (1) the next manager is set to be Michael Laudrap. Considering that he likes the Barcelonian style of play that Swansea has employed, he’ll likely keep that. If he does do that but improves the team’s finishing, then the next season could see Swansea rise higher in the Premier League.

Gaming is normally the preserve of the screen for me, but I will be returning to the tabletop as I partake in a bit of Magic on Friday (not Friday Night Magic, as this is not an official event). Magic the Gathering is still immensely popular, and I look forward to (re) learning the ropes. Having played several years ago, I know how friendly players are and how accomodating they are to newbies.   

I have been doing some gaming on the screen too, and have finally got round to having a proper sit down with Sonic CD. If you’re not familiar with it, it is a 2D Sonic game that was developed around the same time as Sonic 2 but by an alternate team, hence differing from that game hugely; it’s time travel element was just one differentiating feature. It is touted as one of the best Sonic games of all time, though I went in with some bias against it because I see the height of the series as being Sonic 3 and Knuckles. Having played a demo of the game when I was younger, and been preoccupied with the series at various times of my life, I have some prior knowledge of the game but lacked a critical eye when I initially had a go. Experiencing it now, I’m being more analytical in my approach but I am only at the second boss battle – it’s still far too early to comment on the game in its entirety. 

One of my initial thoughts was that thought the level design a little slapdash. It seemed less carefully constructed than that of Sonic 1, 2, 3 & K. It also lacked the instant familiarity of a Sonic game, due to differing sound effects and motifs. I quickly came to realise that the level design I’ve seen is not slapdash, rather, it is freeform. There needs to be an element of exploration because of the time travel element, which allows you to go back in time in each level to find a machine to destroy – destroy each one in every non boss-battle level allows you to recieve the canonical ending. For this to be any sort of challenge requires you to search the levels for them. Having just a few usually distinct branches, as per the numerical games, doesn’t allow for that. In regards to the sound effects, you quickly become used to them, and I would argue that most of the music I’ve heard so far ranks among the best of the series. One motif that I particularly love is the boss theme, as it is brilliantly chilling.

Anyhoo, thanks for reading my first post. I’ll get back to you with some more updates from my various exploits soon!  

(1) http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2012/jun/13/swansea-michael-laudrup-manager?newsfeed=true

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