Monthly Archives: March 2014

30 Day Video Game Challenge Day 4 – Guilty Pleasure Game

Almost everybody hates Dragon Age II. I can understand why. It’s nowhere near as deep as Dragon Age Origins, the combat is simplistic and you run the same five damn dungeons OVER AND OVER again. However, I like it. No, it’s nowhere near as great as DA:O, but on it’s own, it’s a fun little game. I like the story.

But really, I like it because it is, as I call it, my angsty mage dating simulator.

Anders is an idiot (for reasons I won’t go into in case you haven’t played the game), but I am a sucker for angst-ridden romantic interests.

“For three years, I have lain awake every night, aching for you.” – I mean DAMN, Anders. You smooth devil. The most romantic thing anyone has ever said to me is “I’ll buy you anything under $20 at the liquor store.”

30 Day Video Game Challenge 3 – Most Underrated Game

Is Katamari Damacy underrated? I guess not, not by people who have played it. But it has attained something of a cult hit status. I first heard about it when I was a junior (okay, I had probably been a junior for two or three years at this point thanks to numerous changes in major and one school transfer) in college.

Look at that shit. And that’s just the intro. I sat there on my bed after I’d fired the game up on the PS2 for the first time watching this and just sort of. . .gaping at it, like what in the everloving fuck is this? And I’m pretty sure that’s a common reaction to the game.  I mean, listen. I don’t watch anime. I’m not an otaku. This was my first introduction to this kind of tomfoolery!

Katamari Damacy is awesome in particular because it’s got gameplay that’s extremely easy to learn (you use the controller to roll a ball around and that’s basically it), but still challenges you as you go through the levels. The premise, for those of you who haven’t played it, is that you are The Prince of All Cosmos, and you’re rolling up shit – like, ALL the shit – for your dad, the King, who is the giant purple-and-blue thing coming out of the sky in that video. You start out rolling up garbage, people, pets, animals, plants and then graduate to rolling up islands, countries, and eventually the moon. Or the sun. Some planetary body. I can’t remember. But you’ve got time limits and size limits and that can get real tricky in later levels.

And the music. The intro song, though particularly catchy, is just a taste. It’s all bizarre and awesome and you’ll find it getting stuck in your head at the worst times.

Katamari Damacy was followed by a bevy of sequels, but this one and We Love Katamari are definitely the most worthwhile (though to be fair, I haven’t played the PSP game.)

30 Day Video Game Challenge Day 2 – Favorite Character

I found a 30 Day Video Game challenge on Tumblr, but I’m so wordy that it would be impractical to post my thoughts there.  So instead, it’s going to be a series of blog entries! Enjoy.

I really did try to come up with a different answer for this one.  Ezio Auditore. Lara Croft. Arthas Menethil. The guy from Guilty Gear with the giant hand that bursts out of his chest. These are all great characters and they’re all on my list, but I can’t lie. I tried to come up with a different answer because I know mine is going to be the same as a lot of folks’:

Why is there a cross on your shield, li'l Hylian bro?

Why is there a cross on your shield, li’l Hylian bro?









Link, from (of course) The Legend of Zelda series.

On my old blog, I wrote a bit about how much the Zelda series means to me and I imagine it’s the same for lots of gamers in their thirties. We were little when the first Zelda came out. It was the first game that truly captured my attention. I spent hours mapping out the dungeons on graph paper.

I think for many of us in our early thirties, we connected with Link because Zelda was the first RPG to hit the system I believe, even if it isn’t an rpg in the most traditional sense. In most of the games, Link was a kid, like us – nine or ten years old; he wasn’t some plumber or grizzled badass axe slayer. Just a little boy. He didn’t speak in the games, so his personality was a blank slate onto which we could write our own traits. We were Link.

When I was a lonely, weird kid, I would pretend to be Link. I’d run around in the woods behind our house slashing at trees with my plastic sword, pretending I was fighting moblins. Link was cool. He was a kid, but he could and did do something about the scary situations he found himself in. It was a little empowering.

(Okay, I’d also pretend to be Zelda too, when I did stuff I wasn’t supposed to. I was all “okay, Princess Zelda wouldn’t bite her nails” or “Princess Zelda wouldn’t draw on her desk and get Ms. Price mad at her.”Like I said, weird kid.)

I’ve grown less attached to the series over the years, partly because of the changes in the actual games, partly because I’ve moved on to Xbox and Playstation as my primary gaming platforms but man, basically the only reason I still have my Wii is the Virtual Console so I can go back and play those old Zelda games and be Link again, just for old time’s sake.

30 Day Video Game Challenge – Very First Video Game

I found a 30 Day Video Game challenge on Tumblr, but I’m so wordy that it would be impractical to post my thoughts there.  So instead, it’s going to be a series of blog entries! Enjoy.


Beauty and the Beast, 1981.

Listen, I may have mentioned this a few hundred times before (because it’s my favorite thing), but my parents owned an arcade when I was little, so when I say I grew up on video games, I mean I grew up on video games. My dad would put his big dad-like hands around my waist and hoist me up on top of one of the stools so I could stand there and play Donkey Kong or Centipede or Joust. I’m as bad at Donkey Kong now as I was when I was two, pretty sure – never can time those damn jumps right. Fuckin’ barrel-rolling monkey, I swear to God.

I feel a little sorry for the woman Mario is rescuing in that one, though. What’s her name? Priscilla? Talk about being left in the dust. I like to imagine her as Mario’s bitter ex girlfriend, seeing all these games featuring Mario and Princess Toadstool Peach and just. . .seething. Thinking maybe she should have gone off with Donkey Kong anyway because at least he was dedicated to her, unlike some tubby little assholes she knows.

(I’m not speaking from experience, I swear.)

But those are arcade games. My first video game? Surprisingly, we did not have an Atari. But in 1987, I got an NES for Christmas. It was the Mario Brothers/Duck Hunt pack with the bright orange zapper. I still very vividly remember taking the console out of the styrofoam packing with my mom’s help. We plugged up the RF switch (remember those?) to our huge, bulky tv and fired up the Nintendo and I was in love. The graphics amazed me – they were so much more detailed than the little colored blips and squares I was used to with arcade games. And I don’t have to tell you how catchy the music in Mario Bros. was. Everybody recognizes the theme, even these kids who have never actually played the game. Damn shame.

(I know. Shut up, grandma.)

Mario was amazing. Now, back in my day we didn’t even know what save features were, so I didn’t get frustrated when I died and had to start the whole game over again. That’s just how it was. Later, when I was introduced to the save features in Castlevania and my beloved Zelda, I was retroactively pissed off, but all the same – at the time, it was just how things were.

But Duck Hunt. Oh man, fuck Duck Hunt. Fuck Duck Hunt and fuck that snarky ass dog. I think that dog is at least partially responsible for turning me into the horrible person I am today. That dog is the reason I am a cat person. That dog is the reason I am an atheist. I wish I had known swears when I was little because I feel like letting out a good, strong “GOD DAMMIT” at the screen would have saved me a lot of internal anger.

As an aside, that reminds me of this video. NSFW toddler language ahoy!

I understand your pain all too well, little girl.