Whilst waiting for my uncle to have some sort of eye drop test and a fitting for his reading glasses, I got bored. So when my mum came back from the little bit of shopping she had to do in town, we swapped places, and I went across the alley to the new Barnardo’s charity shop, on a previous visit one picked up a psychology book originally costing £18.99 for 99p so was interested to see if another bargain was to be had.
And another book was found, maybe a little gimmicky , but, foods that harm and foods that heal, is worth read to find out, and at 99p – a bargain.
But the best bargain was sitting on a low shelf half way into the shop.
I saw the Lord of the Rings box first, with my interest piqued I then saw the sword in it. If nothing else it looked like a good sword for my seven year old son to play with, However the sword was is just the prop for the game inside. It was the controller, no buttons, just sword. The camera sits in a tower top thing which in turn sits atop of the tv. The graphics on the box looked ok and at the price of £2.50 it was worth it for the sword alone, working or not. So I grabbed it.
Not really expecting it to work I plugged it in, then fiddled with the fittings in the tv, tried it in other fittings, looked at the box, fiddled some more, looked at the box again, and was starting to get confused. The graphics where much more blocky than on the boxes picture.
I went onto youtube to see if there was any vids, and the graphics looked just the same. So the game worked as it should. I have now decided my screen is too high def for the graphics and too large, so is showing the flaws.
But still it worked so far.
Now to test if it worked with the sword. All I have to do is place the turret onto the top of the tv. Bugger, my tv is also a slim one. The game came out in 2004, and I am guessing the tv’s back then where still the chunkier technology.
Keep it simple – Bluetack – a whopping big chunk of it – on top of the tv sticking/propping it in place. It worked!
All set up for my sons visit tomorrow.
His eyes lit up when I told him just what this short sword, well short for me, did. And he did what he has never done before. He turned with the look of wonderment, rushed me and gave me a big hug. He hugs me each time he has a gift, always as a thank you, but this was different, this was more than the gift itself, this was for being able to battle monsters; with a sword.
There is no difficulty setting on this game we found out after calibrating the sword to him, I taught him how to block so it got registered on the screen, multiple times, as well as keeping him in one area as he swung. Which by the way is full on swinging, no wii remote here. One swing went half an inch away from my throat and I swear that if it had made contact it would have sent me into, at the minimum, a choking fit.
For the next half hour he went over and over the first level, getting to grips with swinging like he is taking an axe to a tree to chop it down, jumping and hopping around to try and help, my nephew (nearly 3) is never being allowed to see my son play this, it would be too dangerous. Then there was the blocking, positioning, casting his first spell, he died on level two and placed the sword down, clammy and slightly out of breath.
I thought that might be it, it was too hard, even if he was a year older (recommended age is 8) it may appear too hard a learning curve. Was this the reason it was in the charity shop in the first place?
An hour later he was back on it, slightly better. Half an hour and he was off it again, greatly improved. He still has not got the timing for the block right, but he’s better.
We went to the park and fed the ducks and geese, came back and he had another half hour on it. There is one point he gets to set a high score on killing some birds (crebain), this I believe is enough for him to keep coming back to it and improving even more so as to get past level two.
When he went to bed I saw the turret had tilted backwards due to the heat of the room. I had to come up with a better platform for the tv. It just so happens I had an empty box.
This is the result…
It won’t win any awards but it works.
There are not many toys I would have liked as a child to have, proper toys that allow creative process of a child’s mind, we had a Binatone pong variant for computer games, but this crosses both realms. It is a computer game, but with it being physical it is still in the child’s imagination as to what kind of hero/warrior/ninja/whatever, they are. Yes I would have liked to have had this one as a child.
Tomorrow he is going to show his mum his new sword and tell tales of his swordsmanship.
I just hope everyone stays out of his way if he shows those skills off.