This Month In Gaming (June 2016)

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It’s been one of those months where, despite my addiction to gaming, I found myself not really wanting to play anything. I’ve got a stack of decent titles patiently collecting dust as they wait for the day I give them some lovin’, but I just can’t muster the motivation or desire to play with them.

In desperation I turned to an old favourite of mine; World of Tanks. Having not played the game for months, I was met by the inevitable massive update – but was then pleasantly surprised to find that, for reasons unknown to me, I had loads of free premium days on my account. For those of you (bellends) that don’t play World of Tanks; It’s a free to play game where you can pay for, amongst other stuff,  “premium” on your account. It means you get 50% more rewards at the end of each game, meaning you can unlock stuff faster.

The result was twofold. I remembered how much I loved World of Tanks and was also compelled to take advantage of my premium time – as it’s a use it or lose it system. And thus, June has been a non-stop World of Tanks gaming session. From not wanting to play anything, to clocking up more gaming hours than usual and going to bed at 2am.

I’ve always found the “carpe noctem” side of gaming to be quite appealing. I think there is something a little mischievous and transgressive about it. Being awake while the rest of the country is sleeping, watching the progress of the moon against the night sky and – although knowing I’ll suffer for it at work the next (well, same) day – chancing “just one more round”, as I play a meta game of chicken against the clock in the front room. I may need to be up in four hours time – but what the fuck – I’m only 1000xp away from that tier VI tank destroyer I’ve had my eye on.

World of Tanks really is quite an oddity for me. The paid for stuff doesn’t offer value for money as far as I am concerned. It just speeds things up a bit when it comes to progression – It doesn’t affect gameplay at all. This is a great model when it comes to F2P titles, but I actually feel like I owe wargaming (the dev) money. World of Tanks is one of my most played games ever, and it’s cost me basically nothing. I think I may have spent £5 on some gold once for an extra garage slot, which in hindsight I didn’t really need. This makes it one of, if not thee most value for money title I’ve ever played! Possibly a reflection of the capitalist society we live in, but it feels a bit weird to have got so much enjoyment out of something basically for free.

Prior to rediscovering World of Tanks – as I say at the start of this blog post – I found myself a little bored of gaming and was turning to other stuff. A little while back I vowed to spend some time watching all of the gaming to movie crossovers, even though I know most of them aren’t exactly good. Five minutes into Mortal Kombat (one of the better ones, apparently) and I started back-peddling faster than a “Vote Leave” campaigner post EU referendum.

It’s cheesy and crappy, but to the point that those things quickly become the accepted and consistent tone of the movie. They don’t really stand out as bad points. My main issue was that I just couldn’t be bothered to watch it. Without realising it, my mind kept wandering off to other places; I’d find I was looking at the screen, but my mind was elsewhere or I’d ever start playing on my phone. That’s the trouble though – this is a film where you can miss 15 minutes and miss NOTHING. There’s no hint of depth, intrigue, plot twists or outstanding acting. It’s all just really forgettable.

If there were any redeeming…well maybe not redeeming. If there were any note worthy points to the movie they’d be the following. The actresses for Sonya Blade (Bridgette Wilson) and Princess Kitana (Talisa Soto) are both hot. Scorpion and Sub-zero didn’t seem to lose much of their cool factor during the transition to movie. The Mortal Kombat theme tune is badass, and I noticed that they used an Orbital track in the movie…which shows some good taste was applied. Last but not least, this film isn’t as bad as Street Fighter.

Although I wouldn’t recommend Mortal Kombat, I would say that it’s OK. If anything, I guess you could argue the two dimensional acting simply remains true to the source material.

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