Gamer for Life

Video Games over the years

When I was going through the garage in December to bring the Christmas boxes in the house, I came across our old Atari 2600, so I brought it in and sat it on our dining room table. I brought it in because I wanted to see if it actually worked, and naturally, I couldn’t find the power plug, so that’s a no. So I dusted it off so I could take a picture so I could tell you this story.

I was born in 1970, and the Atari 2600 came out in the late 70’s. My step father bought one, but kept it attached to the living room TV and wouldn’t let anyone play with it, so it sat there doing nothing. We would go to our cousins who had an Atari 5200, which in my opinion was way superior. Eventually in 1983 my step father put it in my bedroom, which was a walk in closet. Being “in the closet” took on a whole new literal meaning.

That was a decision I bet my parents would regret because I became unhealthily addicted to Pac-Man. Every level was the same exact level, the grid never changed. Here is how the game looked and sounded.

Moving right along…

We moved away from our apartment in 1984 to my aunts house in Simi Valley, and my beloved Atari was put in storage and I never saw it again. My cousins would eventually get a Nintendo Entertainment System, and they were 3 kids who all fought over it, and I wasn’t about to get into that fight because it was THEIR system, not mine. I decided that I didn’t really want to have anything more to do with video games until we were stable, so I didn’t want to play. They invited me to play Popeye, and I tried it once, but I didn’t care to invest my energy because I never knew if/when we would move away and I would have it taken away from me.

We did move away and into trailer parks where I played video games at their consoles in game rooms with quarters. I also had a little digital game that could fit into my pocket called Epoch Man that I enjoyed. I also had a Pac-Man watch with a joystick, so as far as I was concerned, I was set.

When I was 22 years old I got a Sega Game Gear with my 2nd boyfriend. We both bought them and we each had our own games. When he eventually broke up with me and I had to leave my apartment because I lost my job and didn’t even have money for food, I sold it at a pawn shop for a measly $20 for the entire package, including a case, several games and a TV tuner. That’s why I don’t have a picture.

When I was 24 years old I got a Nintendo Game Boy, which I still have with 1 game. We were always too broke for food and cigarettes for me, so every time we needed money, one game had to make a sacrifice, which is probably why I hoard games now lol. The Game Boy in its case along with a external battery that clips on to your belt as well as a cleaner disk is pictured above.

Some time in the early 2000’s, I had a website from a hosting company that gave me the option of selling web hosting to people. People would pay me the full price, and I would make a small profit every month. One of the hosting customers asked me if he could pay me for his hosting by selling me his Nintendo 64, and I said yes because I had always wanted one of those. I had a couple of games, but I did eventually sell it several years ago on eBay because I needed the money. It was fun playing it though.

I had played computer video games on my Apple //e in 1990-1992 when I had to sell that system. The one game I really had was King’s Quest 4 The Perils of Rosella. When I bought my computer in 1997, I found several Sierra game collections and bought them. I also played The Sims in 2000 and then in 2002 I started playing EverQuest and I played that for 6 years until 2008, which brings me to the PlayStation years.

In 2007 I bought a PlayStation Portable, aka PSP. I bought and still have 32 physical game UMD’s, and I don’t even know how many game downloads. I played that game so much that the power button barely turns it on anymore, and when it does turn on, the stick doesn’t work because when I try to go right, my character says “F you! I’m going left.”

In 2015 my partner bought me a PlayStation 4 for Christmas. I had asked for a PlayStation 3 because I thought it would be less expensive, but he insisted that if he was going to buy me a game system, he was going to buy brand new, not used, and it might as well be the most current system. Hey, I’m OK with pre-owned at Game Stop. Then I broke my leg in December 2016 and couldn’t play with my PS4  because I couldn’t sit straight up, so he took me to Game Stop in my wheelchair to buy me a PS Vita, which they had to order for me to be delivered to our house via UPS. I haven’t played with the PS Vita as much as I played with my PSP, but I do still play with it when I am not in my bedroom, which is where I play with my PS4 daily.

So that’s about it. That is my video game history. I have always been a gamer since I was a kid, and I will always be a gamer until the day I die.

By the way, the Atari 2600 you see in the picture above is NOT the same one from my childhood. My partner had that when we met.

Also note that I have also played video games on my smart phones over the years as well as my Nook HD+.

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PS Vita for Christmas

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Most normal people exchange Christmas gifts on or before Christmas day. We’re not normal lol.

My partner bought me a brand new PlayStation Vita Borderlands 2 bundle at GameStop last week, and it arrived yesterday. It arrived at the house at 1:43pm, but there was nothing on the doorstep. I thought he got it, but hid it from me to give to me on Christmas, so later that night when Dominos rang the doorbell, I asked if it was UPS and he said it wasn’t. Long story short, our driver hid the package from us and it took calling them to file a stolen package report for them to reveal to us the location of the box. They’ve never done that before. Grrr! The note on the tracking said it was left on the front door, but it was behind our hose.
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So back to the PS Vita. I thought it would be much smaller from what I’ve seen in videos, but it seems to be thicker and it feels heavier than my PSP Slim. It does feel good in my hands, but I find myself punching characters out and accidentally tossing grenades when I don’t mean to because of the back of the device. I like that it gives you more options, but it’s too sensitive.

Games that are meant for the PSVita play great with the front and back touch screens as well as the 2 analog sticks. I actually like that I’m touching the correct tool or block on the front screen in Minecraft even though I can use the directional buttons. It just seems faster to touch the screen.

Some of my older PSP games don’t access these newer features. Like you can only use the left analog stick to move your character around. I think using 2 analog sticks is easier. My old PSP is temperamental though, so I’ll be running to the right, and my character is either running to the left or in circles. That’s why I love having 2 analog sticks because the one on the left is propelling you forward or backward, and the one on the right is allowing you to run in many directions. I also love that they made the R button your trigger as opposed to the X button to allow you to continue running while shooting.

The guy at Game Stop told us the 8gb memory card that comes with the bundle will be completely used by the game that comes with the PSVITA. Borderlands 2 comes with 6 add-ons and yes it does use most of your card, but you’ll still have a few gigs to add more games.

Anyway, I did buy a 32gb card on Amazon that night when we came home. It’s actually a pain in the ass to have to completely shut the PSVita down when I want to switch from the 8gb card to the 32gb card or vice versa. Why can’t they just give you more than 8gb knowing it will use most of the card? Or why not just sell the hard copy of the game instead of a download?

I was watching someone play the Vita version of Minecraft on YouTube, and there were moments when the game seemed to lag. I haven’t had that issue, but there was a moment when the game froze and I had to close it and I lost all my progress.

One of the reasons I wanted a PSVita was because of the remote play feature. I have a PS4 in my bedroom, but I spend a huge chunk of the morning and afternoon in the living room. I was looking for ways to play Destiny and Star Wars Battlefront in the living room. That feature is only available on Sony phones and PSVita. That was the huge selling point for me. I mentioned earlier that you accidentally throw grenades, I was referring to Star Wars Battlefront. No one said anything, but I kept doing it and I quit playing because of it. I don’t have an issue with Destiny. In fact, I actually love playing Destiny using remote play.

I think if you have a PSP and you bought this as an upgrade for the new games, go ahead and keep your old PSP and the old games. Don’t install your old games on the new system. Just switch back and forth I guess.

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I took 2 pictures of my PSP Slim with the new PSVita, and you can see that they are pretty much the same size, and I looked and they seem to be about the same thickness. The PSP Slim screen is much smaller at 480×272 pixels and 3.8 inch screen, and the PSVita has 960×544 pixels and a 5 inch screen.

The PSN membership gives you 2 free games every month. 2 free PSVita games, 2 PS3 and 2 PS4 games. So if you have all 3 consoles, congratulations, because you get 6 free games. Some of the games work on all 3 consoles. In fact, some of the games I bought for my PS4 have PSVita games, which is how I managed to get these on the Vita. I’m really enjoying the PSVita version of Minecraft and Terraria. This is an awesome gift and thank you to my partner for buying it for me, and thank you even more because I’m able to play with it during my broken leg downtime.
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PS Vita Borderlands 2 Bundle

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My partner didn’t know what to get me for Christmas, and I was dropping hints so big, I’m really shocked he didn’t get it lol. He finally did when I just blurted it out. A bit tacky, but whatever.

So he called Best Buy to find out if they had the PS Vita, and they said yes, so we got in the car to go and I told him that if truth be told, I honestly don’t want just the console, I’d rather have a bundle because it’s the same price, and you get a game AND a memory card. Best Buy only had the console, not the bundle. I looked on the Game Stop app and I thought they had the bundle, so we went to the mall and they said they didn’t have the bundle.

They said they just had the blue PS Vita, so we were just going to buy it on Amazon later, but I decided that I didn’t care about the bundle, I just want it, so we went back. They explained that I needed a memory card since the 1GB on board is used for the Vita OS, and it was too much for my partner, so we ordered the bundle to be shipped, and after shipping and the warranty, it came out to the same price lol. Oh well.

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The guy at Game Stop said Borderlands 2 will consume the 8GB memory card that comes in the bundle, so when we came home I bought a 32GB memory card for $62 and change, plus tax, plus shipping, and it will be here on Wednesday. The PS Vita will be here on Friday.

Today I went on the PlayStation app on my phone to see what games I already own that are compatible with the PS Vita, and it turns out I have quite a bit of games that will work. I listed them. I bought 2 extra games that I have many add-ons for that will work with the
PS Vita, so I figured I might as well have those games too. A lot of these games are on my PSP, but some of these games are only available for the PS Vita. I already own them, so now I can actually play them, and some of them I’ve played on my PSP, so I can play them again, but with an extra stick since my PSP only has the one stick on the left, and the PS Vita has the stick on the left and right.

PS Vita game list

I used to make PSP gameplay videos and post them on YouTube, and I was quite proud of them, but I stopped doing it because so many people made fun of the fact that my hands shake (I was born with a tremor in both hands, actually my entire body shakes). One or two people commented on how I was playing a game wrong since I wasn’t properly killing the monsters the way they would have killed the monsters. Talk about picking your battles. Dude, we all play games our own way, you play your way, I play mine. No one plays wrong. One person actually called me a pedophile. As if only children are allowed to play video games, give me a break. That was my deciding factor in quitting.

I discovered a device that you can plug your PSP into that will record your gameplay, which cuts out the need for a camcorder pointing at the screen, so no hands in the way, but I don’t know if it works with the PS Vita. If I can find out what other people use to record gameplay with the Vita, then I may consider doing that because I’d really love to record some videos again. I had so much fun doing that, and I love watching other people playing video games, so I want to do that again. If I need a device then I will buy one, but if you can do it directly from the Vita without the need for extra hardware, then I will do that instead.

So the 32GB memory card comes on Wednesday and the PS Vita comes on Friday. I wanted it so when I am in the living room, I will be able to play Destiny and Star Wars Battlefront using remote play, but I really want to play the other games like Borderlands 2 and some of these games I’ve listed. I will post again when it comes and after I’ve played around with it. Catch you on the flip side!

PSP Back In Action

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Being disabled and not being able to work has it’s disadvantages, and it’s boring, so when you are bored, you watch TV, read a book and/or play video games.

I bought my PSP back in 2007 and had such a fun time. I compared it to my Nintendo Game Boy and I always wonder how I was ever able to see the Game Boy screen since the PSP screen was so huge.

Why did I ever stop playing my PSP when I have not finished playing 99% of my games? They were either too difficult, or I got bored and moved on to another game. I do believe I managed to complete one game all the way to the end credits. The Lego games were so fun and some were easier than others, yet I still have not finished them all. Some of them are just about finished, but I never finished them 100%.

I wanted to get a PS Vita because that talks with my PS4 and I already have PS Vita games in my library from games that I got for free with my PlayStation Plus membership. But the problem with me buying a new PS Vita is that I haven’t earned it and I still have a perfectly good PSP that I stopped playing, and I have loads of games I never finished.

Yesterday I brought my PSP to the gym with me so I could see if there were any system updates, and there were. I had to bring it with me to the gym because I haven’t been able to get online with it ever since we got our Bright House Wi-Fi box. The security is not compatible with my PSP, so I guess I figured it was too out of date for my Wi-Fi. Last night I Tweeted Bright House and they actually fixed it, so now I can get in the PlayStation store again and do updates and even use Skype, not that I ever would since it’s audio only.

I have 2 Star Wars Battlefront games for my PSP, and I’m anticipating the new Star Wars Battlefront game for my PS4, so I figured I would play the PSP version while I wait. Yeah, I remember why I stopped playing now. The little analog stick on the PSP is so difficult to play games with because it sticks. You will be trying to run to the right, and you end up running to the left. Or you won’t even be touching the analog stick, and your character is running in all directions, and you can’t do anything about it. I also have a bad habit of pressing the power button while I’m playing and it shuts the PSP off. Also, the battery doesn’t keep its charge. It says it’s a 5 1/2 hour battery, but I might get 2 hours, if that. I could buy a battery on Amazon that doubles the power.

So, yeah, I will be playing with my PSP here and there now that I can connect to the Wi-Fi again, but I still would like to buy a PS Vita to be able to play all those free games I’ve gotten this year with my PS+ membership. Also, the Vita has the 2 analog sticks like the PS4 game controller that I am now used to playing with. I don’t want to buy a used one because I’ve had bad luck with used electronics, but I will have to wait until I’ve saved some money in my Amazon account. Until then… I want to try to finish all of my PSP games.

Lego Games

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When I was a child, I LOVED playing with Lego’s. I mean, sure I loved playing with a lot of my toys like Light Bright and my Construction Set, but Lego’s were what I really had fun with. I would literally be in my bedroom playing with them for hours. You know when you don’t hear a child, something’s up, they are doing something bad, but I wasn’t because I was building houses or robots or whatever.

I don’t recall when it happened, but my mother took away some of my toys to make room for newer, more mature toys, and the Lego bricks all disappeared. Sad but true Sad smile .

I have loved video games since I was 12. When I was 37 and bought my PSP, I found out they had Lego games. I was sure they were too juvenile for my age, then again I was a grown ass man age 37 playing video games, so I’m pretty sure I was the juvenile one lol. I actually loved it more than words can say. That first game by the way was Lego Star Wars II. I bought more as they released them.

This Christmas I got a PlayStation 4 and naturally I wanted to buy some Lego games. I was a bit disappointed that they were $60 though. Lego The Hobbit was $50, and I had $10 credit with my new PlayStation and I had $20 in PayPal, so all I needed was $20 which came out of my bank account. I just had to buy it. Lego Marvel Super Heroes was only $23.89 on Amazon and The Lego Movie Videogame was only $24 during a recent flash sale in the PlayStation store.

There is a huge difference in the games design from the PSP and the PS4 Lego games. For example, in the PSP Lego games, you find yourself in a specific building, or in the Star Wars case a ship and the Harry Potter games you are at the school. The PS4 Lego games are different in the sense that when you finish your level, you are back on the trail onto the next spot. I’ve played the Lego Hobbit game all the way to the end where you see the credits, as if it were the ending to a movie, but I’m only 23% into the game. I’ve finished story mode, I just haven’t gotten to any of the free play modes. I am not quite sure how to go into free play though. I did figure out how to get back to Hobbiton since they have a spot where you can fly with an eagle to wherever it is on the map that you want to go, but I still don’t know how to get to the free play mode. I have only finished the first level in the other two Lego games.

There are more Lego games I want to buy, like Lego Batman, but I will wait for that to either drop in price or be on flash sale. Lego Jurassic Park is coming this summer, and that will also be $60, so I will most likely have to wait for that to be on flash sale or $20 – $25 on Amazon.

I really love the Lego games, unfortunately I can’t afford to pay $60 for a game that I may or may not play and/or finish. I say that because I still haven’t finished any of my PSP Lego games. I’m at 98% with the first Lego Star Wars game, and around 95-98% with the first Lego Indiana Jones game. I haven’t finished them because it’s hard lol. Most of the other ones aren’t even close to 60% because I may have gotten bored with them or because I was more interested in something else.

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Lego Video games are cool, but I really wanted some actual Lego bricks, so I bought this little Minecraft Lego set. It’s very small and it sits on top of my PlayStation 4 on my desk. I really like how it looks and I would love to buy more sets, the only issue is that they cost a lot of money. This set was only $20 and I was very shocked at how expensive it was, but when I saw how expensive the other sets were, I was like screw that noise, I don’t want them THAT bad lol. I saw many Lego Star Wars sets for $10 each, and those would be cool to buy, except where do I have room for them? No where, that’s where. My bedroom is already bordering on hoarding. I think the Lego video games are the best use of space for me lol.

Lego’s are awesome.

Update: I finally figured out the PS4 Lego Games. You have to travel via eagle, which I figured that out already, but then you have to go on the map and click on the white bricks and the doors and the people and anything else that is on the map, then have it lead you to that spot. Once you get the white bricks, they disappear from the map. Once you get to a person and buy that person, I know that sounds funny, then that person disappears from the map. Once you get to a door and go into freeplay mode, well, that door doesn’t disappear because you have to have many chances to get in there, even if you’ve gotten everything out of there in story and freeplay mode. I went back to the very first thing in the story, but in freeplay mode and I missed something, so I have to go back. I did manage to get about 4 white bricks while I was back in Hobbiton. When I finished that freeplay, they teleported me back to the end of the game at the mountain where you find Smaug. It just sucks they didn’t add the 3rd movie to the game.

I’m sure it will take me a long time to finish the game. It took me about 6 months to get where I am in the Lego Star Wars II game on my PSP. That’s what I love about these games, they keep you playing for a long time, unlike some games that are so easy that you end up finishing them in no time.

No PS4 for Christmas

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Well, I am a bit sad and disappointed tonight. My dream of getting a PlayStation 4 for Christmas has been squashed. It’s at its lowest price, $399 with FREE shipping on Amazon for Black Friday, but unfortunately, there is no money for it. I highly doubt it will be this cheap for the rest of the month, but it wouldn’t matter anyway because we just don’t have the money for it. I was considering putting it on my credit card, but I don’t want to end up having to pay for the interest. The credit card that I have doesn’t charge interest for 3 months. I could pay $100 off every month, but as it is I already have $200 charged and my limit is only $500. It was a nice dream, but it will have to be put on hold for another time. Perhaps next Christmas.

black friday couponIf for some reason people feel like buying some of my jewelry and/or keychains in My Etsy Shop, then perhaps I might be able to buy it. I have a coupon code for Black Friday for 35% off which is TGIBlackFriday with a minimum purchase of $10. I will have a new holiday coupon available soon.

I have some really good quality items and they are not too expensive. Everything I make is made with love and most everything is custom-made, so it is made however you want it to be made. Think of me as the crafter version of Burger King. Have it YOUR way! It’s not made until you order it, unless it’s already made, and in that case it will be easier for me.

So help a fellow gamer out. All of my shop items make great stocking stuffers, and there is something for everyone. My stud earrings are plastic, so anyone can wear them because plastic is hypoallergenic. My hook earrings (dangle or hoops) are surgical steel hypoallergenic. I’ve tested them out on myself to make absolutely 100% sure they are safe for everyone. I have really bad metal allergies, so if it doesn’t make me break out, then I feel comfortable selling them.

So for now, I will just continue playing with my PSP games. There are still a few I want to buy. I have my PSP Wish List on Amazon and I found out that the digital download versions are cheaper, and I don’t even have to wait for them. For anyone wondering, if I have a PSP, why would I want a PS4? Well, the PSP is nice for playing with on the bicycle trainer and for trips, but I would also love to play the games on my TV. I’ve never owned a TV console. I mean, I had an Atari 2600 in my bedroom when I was 13 in 1983, but that technically was a loan from my parents, and I didn’t have it for very long. I would love to have my very own TV console gaming system to play games in higher definition and to be able to play games with other people. I don’t need it, it’s just something that I wanted because it’s a cool thing.

PSP Game Wish List

I recently bought 3 new PSP games on Amazon. I didn’t think to check the PlayStation store first because I prefer to have games in their hardware form, like UMD’s. Of course, I guess it doesn’t really matter if I download a game or if I have the UMD. If a SD card fails, I can download the game again.

The 3 games that I recently bought were fortunately a good price to buy the UMD as opposed to the digital download, so I’m not stressing out on that. I went through my Amazon PSP Wish List and found several that are actually cheaper to download. Games like Dungeon Maker: Hunting Ground which is $19.99 on Amazon, but the digital download is only $9.99. Sonic Rivals in UMD format on Amazon is $24.89, but the digital download is only $6.99. Had I bought the UMD and then found out it was much cheaper to download, I probably would have beat myself up over that.

I counted at least 5 games on my wish list that were way more expensive in UMD format, but there are a few that are not available as a digital download, so those games I can buy in UMD format, like Assassin’s Creed: Bloodlines. I had no idea that was even available for the PSP, PS Vita sure, but PSP? Who knew?

It is actually a better idea to buy the digital download of some games anyway because if I eventually do decide to upgrade to PS Vita, I will be able to download and play these games, because they are compatible, but I won’t be able to use the UMD on a PS Vita. So much for being Universal (UMD = Universal Media Disc).

The only unfortunate thing is the security protocols on my home’s wifi cable modem/router. I cannot connect to the PlayStation store directly from my PSP. That’s actually not a problem because I can buy the games from the PlayStation Store website, then use Media Go to download them onto my PSP via the USB cable. It sucks that I have to do that, but it gives me the chance to back up my game data to my computer anyway, so it’s actually a win/win.

I currently have 3 new games to play, plus some new games that I bought from a pawn shop, so I have more than enough to keep me busy, but I still wouldn’t mind buying a few of these digital games because I still want to have the option to play them. I will when I have some extra money.