Category Archives: Gaming

30 Day Video Game Challenge Day 5 – Game Character You are Most Like

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.


 So today, the topic is which game character I’m most like. Does my main in WoW count? Fighty, mouthy, drunk dwarf. Hilariously ineffectual. Sounds enough like me!

bjara

She’s cheering because she’s in a tavern, see.

Buuuuut I guess that’s because I created her. So she probably doesn’t count (sorry, Bj.)

There are not, to my knowledge, a lot of game characters that have personalities similar to my own. I’m not the type of person you put in a game. I’m the type of person you put in the back of a bar. Maybe a holding cell. I do feel empathetic toward Elizabeth from BioShock Infinite, dreaming about all these places all over the world but stuck in your own little tower. The similarities stop with the tearing rips through the space-time continuum, though. I’ve also never had a giant mechanical bird babysit me. I did have a babysitter who would let me eat all the Oreos I wanted, though, so I mean, you know. I feel like I came out on top, here.

But now if we’re talking about characters I would like to be like, lets go with Samus Aran. I haven’t played all eight hojillion Metroid games, but I’ve played a few, ever since the first one came out and I’ve got this picture of Samus as this tough, quiet, space-cowboy type. She fights space pirates, you guys. How awesome is that? I want to fight space pirates. She’s a bad-ass hero. She’d kick Master Chief’s spartan rear. I’m a little upset about this slinky Zero Suit thing they have her in these days, but that’s a post for another time.

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.


momdadarcade_zps68b71cd6

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.

Standard Action: Episode One – The Barbarian.

This is fantastic. Maybe I’m just biased because my D&D character is a powerful barbarian lady, I don’t know. But whatever the case, this is hilarious. Many thanks to Andrea for sharing this.

(My barbarian lady would never do this much talking, though. She would throw her Cloak of Many Squirrels aside and just punch the outhouse into a smoking ruin.)

Snow day

So we got an epic – for us, here in the balmy south, land of magnolia trees and trailer parks – snow. We were sent home from the office yesterday at 11:00 am, closed today, and god only knows what will happen tomorrow. Yetis, maybe. With all this new-found free time, I’m going to finally get around to waxing my floors and deep-cleaning my craft room.

Lol, no I ‘m not. This isn’t that kind of blog. I’m going to get drunk and play video games.

I’m still playing Black Flag off and on – it’s the only game that currently interests me for the PS4, so I’m trying to make it last.  At first I couldn’t tell if it was actually a good game or if I had been so blinded by the piratical aspect that I couldn’t form an accurate opinion. Apparently other people agree with me, though, which is refreshing – the last few Assassin’s Creed games have all bled into each other. Boring, repetitive gameplay, boring, repetitive plot – I never even finished AC III. I mean, mea culpa, but American history is kind of boring to me because it’s full of humorless, dour puritans and people who are not 17th century buccaneers, but even in the rich Old World setting of the previous games, AC III would have been too much like its predecessors to hold my attention.

But Black Flag is fun. The combat is still pretty easy  and I know that pisses off a lot of people, myself included, but the game is so much fun to look at. The ship battles are fun. The sea shanties are even more fun. The multiplayer is fantastic – I have no idea what the multiplayer community itself is like because I came from Xbox Live and just automatically muted my chat so I wouldn’t hear any twelve year olds tell me what they did with my mom last night .

Fan “Art”

I was digging through old files on my computer earlier and came across these. I get bored and/or drunk sometimes and make ridiculous fan art. I don’t know why people don’t recognize my immense talent, haha.

Ezio Auditore da Firenze. So noble. So graceful.

Ezio Auditore da Firenze. So noble. So graceful.

masseffect

This is from Mass Effect, which is probably my favorite video game series of all time. I always imagine my Shepard as a raging drunk. Much like myself, actually.

My Inner 10-Year Old Just Wept With Joy

Take a look at this! A 1990 Nintendo World Championship Cart has made its way onto eBay again. These buggers are rare. At the time I’m writing this, the bid is up to $6,001 and I’ve got to tell you. . .if I had thousands of dollars to throw around for a plastic hunk of childhood nostalgia, that cart would be mine. Unfortunately, it’ll just have to wait until I’m a billionaire and I fill my carriage house with rare games and gold-plated Neo-Geos.

Picture courtesy emuparadise.me

Picture courtesy emuparadise.me

I remember the Nintendo World Championships. I’m that old. I was eight years old in 1990, but already very attached to my NES, which explains why I grew up so chubby and pale.  The Wizard (it’s not THAT bad) had just come out, so the idea of video game competitions was already something I was familiar with. The closest competition to us was in Atlanta, and I begged my parents to let me compete. I had some pretty vivid daydreams of standing on a platform with my medal, Mario and Princess Toadstool standing on either side of me, and an adoring and stunned crowd gazing upon this ingenue of an eight-year-old girl. I had no idea what the prizes were. Apparently it was a Geo Metro, so it’s a good thing I didn’t take the world by storm with my leet gaming skills.

Still, I can’t help but to entertain a fantasy where I grab a few of my gamer friends, fire the cartridge up, and hold our own damn Nintendo World Championship.  Instead, I’ll just have to settle for digging the NES out of the closet and making them play Excitebike until their eyeballs bleed.

EDIT:  The bid is up to $30,000 now. I don’t even know that Alternate Universe Millionaire Casey would pay that much for a cartridge with the label torn off.

The One About Cosplay

Making a misshapen and horrific abomination of a felt doll is the extent of my sewing skills, I’ll tell you that right at the start here. That doll, man, it was like Phantom of the Opera all up in my craft room for a while until I finally put it out of its misery.

The point is, I can’t sew. I am surrounded by fantastic seamstresses – no less than three  of my dearest friends, my mother, some lady at work. . .and yet it is a talent that forever eludes me. My fat little hobbit fingers can’t work the needle and I end up with a yard of taffeta sewn to my thumb.

So that, in part, is why I am amazed by excellent cosplays. I firmly believe that cosplay should be for anyone – any size, any gender, any race, any skill level – but damn if it isn’t satisfying to see a really well-done cosplay.

I am particularly fond of Warcraft cosplays, because I played WoW from about 2006-2010, with occasional bouts since. It holds a special place in my geeky little heart. The lore does, too. I don’t strictly play games for the storyline OR the gameplay – they’ve really got to have a perfect mix of both for me to enjoy them; ie, the Mass Effect series, Red Dead – oh lord don’t make me cry about cowboys – Redemption, the first twenty Final Fantasies or whatever. Now if you know anything about Warcraft’s lore, you know that it can be shoddy at best in parts, there are retcons everywhere, characters are seemingly forgotten about, almost all of the female characters are either vilified or marginalized. However, there are some really good story hooks in there – like the Scourge and the fall of Prince Arthas Menethil and his transformation into the Lich King.

It’s not an original story. Fallen heroes abound in literature and other media. I don’t really have a problem with that, though. Almost everything has been done, these days. Just. . .you know, do it well, and most people are not going to have an issue with it.

Here’s a short version of the story: Plague is attacking Arthas’ homeland of Lordaeron. It’s turning people into ravenous undead ghouls. It’s called the Scourge. Arthas goes a little nuts, burns down a town – even the innocents – to keep the plague from spreading, follows who he believes is the mastermind behind it into the snowy wasteland of Northrend, finds a magic sword that steals his soul, becomes a death knight, becomes part of the Scourge, goes back to Lordaeron to butcher everyone including his dad. And in addition to destroying his own homeland, he pretty much obliterates a kingdom of elves, which makes the survivors all bitter and sad of course.  It’s pretty grim!

I digress, though. What I would like to show you is an excellent Arthas cosplay created by Chris Vernel, a French crafter. I’ve seen plenty of Arthas cosplays before, but they all looked kind of cheap. This guy has put a lot of effort into his costuming and appearance – and it shows. When I first saw the pictures, I gasped. To me, this is exactly what Lordaeron’s fallen prince should look like.

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Here are the rest of his Arthas pictures. He’s done plenty of other great cosplays too, including an especially nice Lestat.

Vernel’s deviantart page is here, and his Facebook is here. Do check both of them out because it seems like there are slightly different pictures on each one.