The Year of the Crow

If the Chinese Zodiac is anything to be believed then they would have you think that we are in the ‘Year of the Monkey’.
This roughly translates to saying that people born in these years are often: enthusiastic, self-assured, sociable and innovative.

But, I don’t think that I agree.

Personally, I would be more likely to fall into the category of ‘Year of the Crow’. To be born within the confines of the Crow roughly translates to: making snap judgements on things (mainly games) and then having to deal with the consequences of said judgement.

Following the release of Overwatch and the realisation that it is actually very good (much to my shock, after having slating it), I have become increasingly aware of my terrible judgement when it comes to games.

So, here is a countdown of times in gaming that I have eaten crow* that I’m more than willing to admit to.

(*to eat crow: Admitting that you are wrong and sucking up all of the hot piss that eventually comes your way)

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Let’s start where this journey through the depths of my mind began.

I’ll admit it. I was one of the most vocal abusers of Overwatch: ‘it looks baws’, ‘the gameplay is awful’, etc
But, having bought it recently and played it a lot since then, I can safely say that it is probably one of my favourite games at the moment (coming from a guy who owns: DOOM, Uncharted 4, Dark Souls 3 and The Witcher 3)
The fact that it actively rewards you for playing a part in the support of the entire team is excellent and it doesn’t feel tacked on and annoying like Battlefield support classes are. I’m more than happy to pick Torbjorn and set up turrets and even provide armour for my team-mates, the reason for this happiness is that you feel like you make a genuine impact on a game with that assist – I hope that this buzz lasts though, I really do, it’s so refreshing to play something that doesn’t bend you over and leave you with a baboons arse like COD.

Shovel Knight

Initially falling foul of saying that it was a step backwards in gaming and that there needs to be 2D side-scrolling platform games of that ilk being made,but since I have become a lover of the shovel.
With one of the catchiest soundtracks in all of gaming and packed with hilarious dialogue and challenging gameplay at points, I’ve ploughed many hours on car journeys and on planes playing it on my Vita (people still own them) and I loved every single second of it.
Admitting this, however, was a difficult task in itself. Gaming Reel’s own Liam has given me pelters for enjoying after being so insistent of my disregard of it.


Dark Souls 2

I had bought Dark Souls, I had played Dark Souls and I had died in Dark Souls. I had died in Dark Souls so much that I hated myself for it. I hated From Software, I hated bonfires and Estus Flasks and I hated Praising the Sun.
Countdown to 2014 and Dark Souls 2 came out, after initially stating on the record that I was done with the series and that I was never ever ever ever ever ever going back, I bought it. On release. When Game opened that morning.

Shut up.

I had ploughed through Majula and was successful in beating ‘Anus Face’ (The Last Giant) and even some of the other bosses. I think I even managed to get to some weird dual wielding guy that has bodies on both side in a pirate ship (what?) and beat him. I got distracted by something else after this and never went back, but I will…. I will.


The final game that sticks in my craw is an oldie, but it is a goodie.


Super Mario Bros 2

Now, this is one that I’m most concerned about myself.

I had played it as a wee guy and hated it. I had no idea how to play it. I went Luigi/Princess and done their floaty/running things and that was me.
At that age, I thought the best part was the big ‘POW’ boxes and the way that they would obliterate things in their path.
I hated how hard that game was. What was the deal with the floating masks? Why did they chase you when you picked up the key in the vase? WHY wasn’t I fast enough to get away from them?

Let’s bring us back to 2016. I now own a SNES and a copy of Super Mario All Stars and recently fired on Super Mario Bros 2, expecting to feel the molten rage in the pit of my stomach, but was surprised to find that it was excellent.
The music, the scenery and the gameplay are what you would expect from a Mario title. But, the secrets throughout the entire game and Birdo, BIRDO!, are amongst many other things that make it a fantastic game.

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Do you have any ‘Crow’ moments in gaming that you are willing to share? Drop us a comment or fire over a Tweet to us at our Twitter page and tell us!

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