Quantic Foundry Gamer Motivation Profile

“What motivates you as a gamer?” – Several weeks ago Angie at Backlog Crusader posted her results of the Gamer Motivation Profile by the research company Quantic Foundry, almost being a “personality quiz” for gamers. This ties into a question I have asked myself at various times – “why do I play games?”. Being fully aware the simplest explanation to that particular question would be “I have fun playing them”, attempting a more analytical approach to what appeals to or “motivates” me in gaming sounded intriguing, though I still smirk using the word MOTIVATION as it refers to me, anyways…here are my results of the questionaire.

Results

The main categories in which the results are sorted into are Action, Social, Mastery, Achievement, Immersion, or Creativity. Do you play games to be immersed in a far away planet filled with all sorts of different characters and creatures or is gaming much more of a social activity in which you cooperate with or compete against others for a common goal? Do you view games as a puzzle to test your critical thinking or do you simply want an outlet to blow shit up? Here are my primary as well as secondary motivations…

How do you feel about your survey results?

I was not really surprised to see my survey results, my primary motivations are spread out across all categories, but lean most heavily toward the Action side. As someone who spent the majority of their life playing action/platform games like Mario and Sonic and also many FPS titles like the Call of Duty or Halo games. A couple of the survey questions were how much I enjoy explosions or “being an agent of chaos and destruction”, so…I had a hunch about what to expect in the results ๐Ÿ˜‰ Another slightly less prominent category was Creativity in which the secondary motivations are Discovery and Design. I love the element of exploration in games, which probably stems from all the time spent playing Metroid and Zelda games. I love being able to wander around the giant environments in open-world games like Fallout or Assassin’s Creed. Outside of Action and Creativity the other categories are pretty much equal; I like to remain open-minded about any genre of game and know I will enjoy some aspect of it. For every FPS there’s and RPG game I enjoy, or for every game focusing primarily on gameplay there’s a narrative-based “walking simulator” that provides just as much enjoyment and happiness.

Which category is most accurate and least accurate?

I feel the survey results are pretty accurate, games more action-oriented are probably my middle ground as game genres go. I know these aren’t defined boundaries of what games I’m SUPPOSED to enjoy or not. In surveys where your answer is on a scale of how much your enjoy or how important something is to you I find myself answering somewhere in the middle as I can usually come up with scenarios for every answer. I quite often wake up and feel like playing something completely different than the previous one. The survey results show Mastery as my lowest percentile, I mostly agree with that as I don’t do a lot of achievement or trophy hunting in games or spend a considerable length of time trying to get an S-rank on missions. There are always exceptions to this, like all the other categories. If I’m really really enjoying a game, I will spend the extra time to go through and get the platinum trophy or finish everything, like Horizon: Zero Dawn, God of War, Spider-Man, or Mario Odyssey and Breath of the Wild.

Are there any major exceptions to your gaming motivations?

Not really, this seems reasonably accurate. I actually took the survey a couple times and got the same answers

Do any of these motivations carry over to your non-gaming life? If so, how?

Umm…I guess scoring a bit higher in the Action category is perfectly in line with someone that at times demonstrates the attention span of a hamster or the Creativity category fits well as most of my pursuits in life are less physical and more of either creative or intellectual(Surely obvious, right?).

Which games in your experience best satisfy your gaming motivations and how do they compare to the “suggested games” list from the questionaire’s follow up page?

Most of the games on the Suggested Games list are of the open-world/sandbox variety and should come as no suprise I have played and really liked every one on the list. The only exception is Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, which I regretfully have yet to play. However, other titles like Half-Life 2, GTA: San Andreas, and Super Mario World are among my all-time favorite games. I have also pretty routinely mentioned how much I loved playing through Mario Odyssey. In describing games that best satisfy my gaming motivations I would probably use games like Metroid Prime or God of War(2018) as they are good examples of games that provide a little of everything in terms of action, exploration, and immersion.

I’ve linked the site if anyone wants to take a look at the Gamer Motivation Profile for themselves. It’s interesting to look at how Quantic Foundry has compiled all of the information in regards to what is your primary areas of motivation for gaming versus others. That’s all I have for now! If you take the survey let me know your results below, it’s always interesting to see the results and what games are recommended to others. This coming week, I also plan to finish up my Real Neat Blog Award(x2) post as well as wrapping up my Layers of Fear summary as we enter this Halloween season. And now, I’m headed back to Koholint Island for the evening.

Keep on playing…

Linkโ€™s Awakening – My First Impression

The Link’s Awakening remake has been out for nearly a day and a half and I felt compelled to write out some of my thoughts on the game so far, it being far easier to express as a blog post than a rambling series of tweets. I have only played for a few hours and through a couple dungeons, but I can already tell this remake is something special.

Taking BowWow for a walk!

Ever since Nintendo announced they were remaking The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening during the February Direct I knew I was going to play this game(bold proclamation, I know). I was cautiously optimistic after seeing the announcement video showing a shipwrecked Link on the shores of Koholint Island; the animation style they decided to use which shows the environments and character models as glossy, cartoony, and look as though they are made from plastic. After watching more gameplay coverage as we approached release date I went from thinking, “I’m sure I’ll play it” to “I’m gonna buy it IMMEDIATELY” as I became more and more hyped for what could be dismissed as simply a remake of a 26-year old Game Boy game. In the meantime I played through the original Game Boy version of the game in anticipation as I had never played through the game before and wrote a blog post of my thoughts after completing if you care to read. I found myself really enjoying the original Game Boy version so much it made me even more excited to see what Nintendo would do in the remake.

I am thoroughly impressed with the work by Nintendo’s team and especially with that of developer Grezzo, who has helped in developing the solid 3D remasters of Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask for the 3DS. The game is pretty faithful to the original version, but added in some modern conveniences such as no longer spending much of your time going between actually playing the game and pressing the Start button to manage your inventory(as you could only carry two items at the same time) or the seemingly complicated way of saving your progress( pressing B, A, Start, and Select at the SAME TIME), whereas now you simply open up your inventory screen and select Save, nearly identical to Breath of the Wild.

If you’ve read anything about Link’s Awakening in the past few months, I’m sure a significant portion of it is about the visual style of the game, whether the animation style or the interesting camera angle being used in the game. You have also been inundated by descriptions of the game using the words ADORABLE, CHARM, or DIORAMA, and while the game is all of those things(it’s soooo cute!) I will simply say that this game looks, really, really good! Everything from the texture of the grass and trees to the shimmery sparkle of the water on Koholint Island is great. I walked past a tree that had three apples hanging from it and didn’t even realize I tried to shake the tree to pick up the apples as if it was an Animal Crossing game, there’s my assessment of the game I guess – “Zelda meets Animal Crossing!” Another interesting feature of the game is how it appears as if it’s being viewed through a camera lens with the focus always on Link and around the outer edges of the screen it appears to be a slightly blurred out-of-focus effect. This certainly adds to the unique charm(damn! I said it) and almost gives the perspective of the game being viewed through a set of nostalgia goggles, which I find ironic and clever, given the game series and company behind it ๐Ÿ˜‰

Where am I??

The music of the game perfectly compliments the visual style and overall mood of the game, the music is taken directly from the original game but the updated orchestral overtures greatly enhance the whimsical feeling of the game. While playing, the music provides both a sense of adventure as well as feeling of calmness and relaxation that really reminds me of old Nick Jr. shows like Little Bear or Max and Ruby – I’m surely not the ONLY one to remember those old cartoons, right?

The game mechanics are as fluid and responsive as ever and improved by having dedicated sword and shield buttons. I picked up Roc’s Feather already and excited to try it out in combination with the Pegasus Boots so I can jump over distances that had previously shown just a bit too far, there’s still Bomb Arrows and a Hookshot to have fun with too! I feel obligated to mention probably my favorite mini-game in Zelda games(or most others) – fishing. The fishing was super enjoyable in the original and is looking to be just as relaxing. One of the biggest surprises after bringing home Link’s Awakening was the fact that I was able to pop the nasty tasting little cartridge into my Switch and I was able to play the game IMMEDIATELY without any sort of patch or update first….cuz’ back in my day(angrily shakes cane)….

Gone fishin’

I know many have had issues with the frame rate dropping a little bit when progressing between screens, but I haven’t had anything happen yet, or just not noticeable enough. I guess maybe it could be that I haven’t come across the Pegasus Boots yet, so when attempting to move a bit quicker it can start to affect the frame rate(?). I guess I’ll have to keep an eye out for that. Another issue I’ve seen a few bring up on Twitter is the fact that Nintendo is charging a full $60 for a remake, and of probably the shortest Zelda title at that. That seems to be the only real drawbacks to the game I’m aware of for anyone still on the fence about buying the game. I do very highly recommend it as the definitive version of the game to play if you have the chance. I’m really really enjoying the Link’s Awakening remake so far and may end up as one of the favorite games of 2019. That’s about all for now, what are your thoughts on Link’s Awakening from what you’ve seen or played so far? Let me know in the comments below. I’m gonna go do some fishing and….”acquire” myself a bow and arrows from the shopkeeper’s store ๐Ÿ˜‰

Keep on playing…

Metroid Fusion

On November 17, 2002 Nintendo did something unique – releasing a pair of Metroid titles simultaneously with Metroid Prime being released on Gamecube and Metroid Fusion for the Game Boy Advance. While Prime went on to revolutionize the franchise, Metroid Fusion it seems has always been overlooked as the little brother to itโ€™s Gamecube counterpart, despite also receiving critical praise. I recently played through Fusion and it provides a gaming experience just as terrific as when it was first released nearly seventeen years ago.

same Samus, new fusion suit

Metroid Prime and Fusion were the first games in the series since 1994’s Super Metroid on the SNES, with Samus’ only appearance on the N64 being part of the roster of flagship characters in the first Super Smash Bros game. Prime made the jump from 2D side-scrolling adventure-platformer(titles falling within this subgenre will go on to be known as “Metroidvania” games) to first-person perspective, which many were skeptical about prior to its launch. Metroid Fusion in contrast to Prime, kept the familiar 2D camera and gameplay of Super Metroid while adding a few improvements. It’s certainly understandable, thought still unfair how Fusion would not receive as much attention as Prime as it didn’t present a radical change in the formula that fans had grown to love.

Metroid Fusion begins with Samus Aran accompanying a team from Biologic Space Lab, or BSL, to the Metroid homeworld of SR388. While on the surface, Samus is infected by an unknown parasite that attacks her central nervous system and later renders her unconscious and crashes her ship. The Galactic Federation rescues Samus, performing an emergency operation as the parasite, now known simply as “X” has FUSED itself so deeply to Samus that parts of her power suit were unable to be removed. A cure has been found however, as the cells from the infant Metroid that Samus has informally adopted(the same one from Metroid II) act as a vaccine and destroy the X cells as Samus makes note of the fact it has now saved her life twice. Shortly after regaining consciousness, an explosion happens at the BSL and Samus is sent to investigate; she is not completely alone this time as a new onboard computer AI is installed to assist. Samus decides to name the AI “Adam” and states the demeanor of this new partner is strangely familiar and sounds very much like her former academy officer, Adam Malkovich. Samus’ mission to investigate the disturbance at the BSL begins by cautiously making her way to the nearest navigation room to get a better layout of the facility; the BSL consisting of a Main Deck which is connected to six individual sectors, each one comprising of a different climate. Shortly after arriving, Samus learns the X parasite that nearly killed her has infested the BSL and Samus clone has been spotted destroying areas of the lab. The X parasite possesses the ability to copy the genetic makeup of its host and has created a duplicate of its most recent victim. Due to not operating at full power just yet, Samus is strongly advised to steer clear of this more powerful copycat and make her way through the research facility. Samus is able to recover her suit abilities as she progresses through the BSL before making the discovery of a secret area full of….you guessed it, Metroids. It turns out the Galactic Federation has secretly been working on a program to breed all different types of Metroids with the intent to weaponize their power. Further adding to the dangerous scenario is the fact the Samus clone, named SA-X has been alerted to her presence as has begun to hunt her down. After confronting Adam, Samus learns that the Galactic Federation has deliberately withheld certain information and power suit abilities as they feared if she were to know what was going on she would do her best to shut down the operation; they go so far as to order Samus to remain in the navigation room as Federation forces are en route to secure the facility and the SA-X, whose powers prove too enticing to resist. Samus knows the Federation will be walking into a massacre as they are no match for the SA-X, whose power will only continue to grow, putting the entire galaxy in jeopardy. Samus successfully reasons with her AI counterpart (then revealed to be very consciousness of the her former commanding officer Adam which had been transferred posthumously) and quickly devises a plan to propel the BSL down to nearby SR388 and annihilate any remaining X parasites in the process. Samus initiates the destruction sequence only after confronting and defeating the SA-X before heading back to her ship to escape the facility. Before she can reach her ship however, she is attacked by an Omega Metroid and nearly killed before the SA-X attacks the creature head-on and is destroyed, leaving Samus to finally return the favor and absorb the power of the SA-X and obtain the Ice Beam once again just in time to defeat the Omega Metroid and escape as the BSL crashes into SR388.

The gameplay of Metroid Fusion is nearly identical to that of Super Metroid, and plays just as flawlessly. You navigate your way through the Main Deck and Sectors 1-6 and acquire various upgrades for your power suit, beginning with missiles before other handy powers like Charge Beam or Morph Ball Bomb to assist you along your way. You also earn power suit upgrades such as the Varia Suit which protects you from extreme heat or cold, or the Gravity Suit which enables you to move freely underwater. This is a central formula in Metroid games and even after multiple games still proves one of my favorite aspects of the game – finding a new toy and excitedly looking for an excuse to use it. There are many corridors and hallways to search along the way to your next objective point, with many doors being locked and only accessible AFTER finding the locking mechanism for the corresponding color; quintessential Metroidvania – exploring every inch of an area and then returning(backtracking?) to a previous section as you are finally able to see what’s behind the door or where it leads(remember that door that was locked at the beginning of the game…?). One nice upgrade is the ability to grab ledges and climb up, this replaces wall jumping as the only way to scale vertical passages, at before you get the Screw Attack upgrade(another favorite ๐Ÿ™‚ ).

The controls for Metroid Fusion feel right at home on the Game Boy Advance(or DS, as I used) and are blast to play. Super Metroid utilized the six buttons of the SNES controller, whereas Fusion accomplishes this while using only four. The L shoulder button serves as diagonal aim both upward and downward while the R button is held while pressing the B button to fire missiles. The only ability found in Super Metroid not found in Fusion is the X-Ray visor which I honestly don’t find myself missing all that much. Just like in previous games, your health and ammo are acquired from defeated enemies as Samus is informed that due to her power suit being inFUSED by the X, she is able to absorb the parasitic organisms as they float mid-air. The yellow X will replenish your health, while the green X will restock your missiles, but don’t wait too long to grab them or they will attach themselves to another nearby life form causing the same enemy you just blasted to respawn right in front of you. This is also used as a puzzle element in a couple areas as I couldn’t figure out how to proceed to the next room before realizing I had to destroy an enemy and refrain from grabbing the floating replenishment as you need to allow the X to replicate an enemy a few times before allowing you to pass.

The sound and visuals of Metroid Fusion still provide the ambience and atmosphere one has come to expect from the series and proves a worthy successor to Super Metroid. The feelings of isolation and trepidation have permeated through Metroid as a series. The Alien movies have been enormous influence on the Metroid series and the games have never shied away from showing it; Ridley – one of Samus’ most recognized adversaries is named after Ridley Scott, the director of Alien. Remember…in space, no one can hear you scream ๐Ÿ˜‰

While I love nearly everything about Metroid Fusion, there are just a few critiques.

  • The story is a bit weak(story never being the strongest aspect of any Metroid game)
  • Navigation and save stations: There are numerous save and navigation rooms scattered throughout the BSL facility, almost too many. The save stations are never far enough apart to make you moderately uneasy about losing any of your progress, a contrast to other Metroidvanias where being given the opportunity to save your game is a welcome relief. This would definitely be considered a very minor nitpick, as it was a bit of a stretch to find things I disliked in the game.
  • Difficulty spike during boss battles: The overall difficulty of the game is pretty moderate, but the boss fights can prove to be surprisingly tricky. A lot of the difficulty is the fact many bosses take up the majority of the screen leaving you a very small window to maneuver around, usually sticking to the corners of the screen in Morph Ball mode.
  • Perhaps my biggest critique is the game can at times, tends to do too much “hand-holding” in regards to mission objectives. In Metroid Fusion, your AI companion Adam frequently acts as a compass by pointing out exactly where your should head next and reminding you of details that you shouldn’t overlook. The fact there seems to be a navigation room where you are told exactly where to go every few minutes. While this may have been a decision to make the game a little more straightforward or accessible to Metroidvania newcomers, it feels like one of my favorite aspects of the subgenre has been diminished in encouraging you to explore every nook and cranny of the area as you discover health tanks and missile expansions, along with clues as to where to proceed next.
saving the day against the Omega Metroid

To summarize(finally!), Metroid Fusion is an excellent entry to the series that is every bit worthy of being called a successor to Super Metroid, which is still considered one of the greatest games of the Super Nintendo, if not all-time. The game plays every bit as well as its 16-bit predecessor and the controls, along with sound and visuals are superb considering the limitations of the Game Boy Advance 17 years ago. My favorite moment of the game is facing off against Ridley X, who is defeated rather easily by a constant barrage of missiles, before absorbing the floating X to finally receive the Screw Attack. This always represents the greatest feeling in the Metroid games, the moment when you’ve upgraded all of Samus’ weapons and power suit abilities and relish the feeling of power provided by your new toys as you go to confront the final boss of the game. There’s also the fact you can connect your GBA and Fusion to a Gamecube to unlock the Fusion suit in Metroid Prime, as well as a full-version of the original NES game to play on your Gamecube, which was pretty awesome. Metroid Fusion may not have reinvented the franchise, but it certainly is among the best the series has to offer.

Have you ever played Metroid Fusion or Prime? If so, what did you think? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to go through and write a post for every Metroid game, if nothing else to pacify myself until Prime 4 Nintendo decides to re-release more Metroid games. Well…that’s another week, another Nintendo game for show and tell ๐Ÿ™‚

Keep on playing…

Thoughts on 9/4 Nintendo Direct

Earlier this evening at 5pm(CST) Nintendo broadcast another of its Direct presentations. Speculation about a September Nintendo Direct had been circling around social media for a few weeks before it was announced that a 40-minute Direct presentation was indeed happening, this brought upon a wave of speculation(with a dash of skepticism). It had been announced that we would be receiving more footage and information about upcoming Switch releases like Luigi’s Mansion 3 and Pokemon Sword/Shield, as well as word on the release date of Banjo & Kazooie as the newest characters in the Smash Bros. Ultimate Fighters Pass. Any time a Nintendo Direct is announced, gamer’s imaginations run wild fantasizing about what was in store, everything from earlier than expected release dates for the Breath of the Wild sequel or Animal Crossing: New Horizons to remasters of older titles to sequel announcements(Spoiler: No Pikmin 4 ๐Ÿ˜ฆ ). While most what Nintendo showed may not have been a huge surprise, here’s a few things that I’m excited to see or find interesting…

More Switch Ports – I’m not going to get too excited simply about more games being ported to the Switch, but Overwatch being released on October 15 on the Switch is still pretty cool. Overwatch is still my favorite multiplayer game of the current console generation(Lucio main and proud!) and Blizzard taking advantage of the enormous user base on the Switch makes sense. My only concern is….the game is several years old already, I feel like I got into the game a little late and that was a couple years ago so I’m curious to see how that plays out. I’m also excited to get another chance to play Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast when upon it’s release for the Switch. I only played the game for a very short time when it was first released, so I’ll gladly take any chance to play more Star Wars games on the Switch. I also think that if EA were to change their mind and realize the units they could sell if they released something like the Battlefront OR The Sims games on the Switch, but alas, they don’t think their player base has any interest in the Switch(I guess EA is suddenly against making that extra cent?). Another Switch port that isn’t much of a surprise – Doom 64. A listing for the game was found on an Australian ratings board a couple weeks ago so the game being formally announced wasn’t entirely surprising, but still welcome. I bought a copy of Doom 64 from a local retro game store a while back and had a bit of difficulty seeing anything in the few moments I spent playing the game, the brief shots of the upcoming Switch release appear to have fixed what I had always heard was the biggest problem facing the game “I can’t see a damn thing!”. Doom 64 will be released on November 22 and hopefully won’t have the Bethesda.net login issues that infuriated everyone after original Doom, 2, and 3 were re-released digitally.

Switch Cross Play/Cloud Saves – This ties in a bit with a few of the newly announced Switch ports, namely games like Divinity Original Sin 2 and Dauntless. Both were announced during the Direct, with Divinity Original Sin 2 being available immediately. I think the most interesting aspect of this is Nintendo’s willingness to embrace the idea of cross-play between consoles. Titles like Overwatch, Divinity, and Dauntless having the ability to play across platforms will be a huge feature, they’ve already found a large audience across PC/PS4/Xbox One but will now add the enormous Switch user base. I’m still a little wary about playing a game on my Switch against someone playing on their PC, especially with the Switch being WiFi only. I mean, playing Overwatch at my local Starbuck’s SOUNDS COOL…but isn’t really the way I prefer to play online multiplayer games, especially FPS games. During the announcement of Divinity Original Sin 2 being available today on the Switch, it was announced that you will be able to use your cloud saves between both Switch AND Steam; this is an incredibly user-friendly aspect that I’m really glad Nintendo is open to embracing. Nintendo’s past hasn’t always reflected an attitude of embracing change within the gaming community as technology advances. I myself haven’t played Divinity Original Sin 2(yet…) but have heard many people praise the game since its release and being able to access my profile between Steam and Switch is a step in the right direction for integrating user bases.

Switch Online SNES – Ever since Nintendo launched their Switch Online service offering the ability to play a select library of NES games, many have anxiously awaited for when Nintendo would inevitably expand that library to include other past consoles like the Super Nintendo or Nintendo 64. A few months ago a patent for a wireless SNES controller was spotted which further amped up anticipation, this along with the fact Nintendo was releasing NES titles for its online service much too seldom, and many games were seen as questionable choice as they were fairly obscure. During the Nintendo Direct it was announced that gamers would finally be able to play SNES games as the Nintendo Switch Online service will now include SNES titles beginning tomorrow. The list of games includes essentials like Super Mario World 1&2, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and Super Metroid, along with more obscure titles like Demon’s Crest or Stunt Race FX. The two games I’m most excited to check out right away will be Breath of Fire and Kirby’s Dream Land 3 – a game that gets quite expensive in used game stores. Nintendo also unveiled a wireless version of the iconic SNES controller to be used alongside the retro games; the retail price for the SNES controller will be $29.99 – exactly HALF of what the wireless NES controllers cost. Of course, you need to be currently subscribed to the Switch Online service to be able to purchase either controller. I was still hoping for ANYTHING Metroid-related to be announced during the Direct, so I guess another place to play Super Metroid will have to do for now ๐Ÿ™‚

Banjo in Smash Bros! – Banjo & Kazooie were unveiled as the 4th DLC character in the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Fighter’s Pass during Nintendo’s E3 Treehouse event to the elation of all those behind the #BanjoForSmash hashtag and today, we were finally given the release date for our beloved bear and bird. Shortly after the Nintendo Direct, Banjo & Kazooie will be available to use in Smash Bros. Ultimate, with a short segment after the Direct being hosted by Masahiro Sakurai himself showing the new in-game moves and soundtracks. I also love how Sakurai stated how Banjo & Kazooie were first introduced in Diddy Kong Racing on N64 in 1997 but are now currently owned by Microsoft and even though this was part of a Nintendo Direct, he encouraged gamers to check out all three games(Banjo-Kazooie/Tooie/Nuts N’ Bolts) on Xbox. Hearing a Nintendo executive telling people to go play a game on a Microsoft console is pretty funny and shows just how far along the relationship between the two Redmond, WA neighbors has come.

Here’s a link to the past entire Nintendo Direct if you’d like to check it out yourself as there’s too much to go over right now…I didn’t even mention anything about the Dungeon Builder in Link’s Awakening or Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition either did I? Either way, I’m going to kick back with my Switch and play some Smash…Guh-HUH!

Geek Out Challenge – Day 30

We are approaching the final day of the Geek Out Challenge. We have already discussed our geeky favorites such as movies or games or detailing our earliest or most recent fandoms. For the Day 30 challenge question we’re discussing what fandom is it that you’re most obsessive about.

Most obsessed-over fandom? – Video Games

It should come as no surprise whatsoever that my biggest obsession in life, followed by Star Wars and pizza, most likely. Video games have been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember, with my earliest gaming memories playing Mario on the family NES. I couldn’t possibly fathom the number of hours that I’ve spent throughout my life playing, reading about, or talking about video games(not sure if I should be proud of that?). I have many memories of my younger brother and I reading Nintendo Power or EGM magazines, and then sit around talking about what games we wanted to play, before figuring out how to get our parents to buy the game for us. Some of my greatest childhood memories would be things like finally getting an N64 for my birthday, or times my friends and I would stay up all night guzzling cans of Mountain Dew and playing Smash Bros and Mario Party around the living room tv. In school there were other kids that played video games, but mostly as something you would play a little bit of here and there, with the notion that gaming was simply something you would eventually “grow out of”. Fortunately the general perception around video games and those that play them has progressed significantly and with the rise of platforms such as YouTube and Twitch, gaming is now a social activity more so than childish hobby. I could into much greater detail( and length) discussing video games and what precisely they mean to me; this being largely why I started my own blog site to ramble endlessly about games.

That’s it for the final day of the Geek Out Challenge, a huge shout out to Megan at A Geeky Gal for initiating this month long challenge! I was able to participate in just about all of the daily topics which provided a genuinely fun experience as well as valuable practice writing on a daily basis, so I’ll pat myself on the back for that too ๐Ÿ˜‰ What is your most obsessed-over fandom? What do you spend more time absorbed in than anything else? Let me know in the comments below. Thank you for reading and goodnight!

Weekend Gaming Review – August

The summer is coming to a close and the excitement is building as we near the autumn season and with that comes the primetime game releases through the rest of the year. With this year looking to be another great one, I usually find myself trying to hurry and finish up many of the games I’m currently working on knowing all too well what happens as we get into October and November. This year the gaming scramble begins a bit sooner as the remake of Link’s Awakening and Borderlands 3 release on the very same day. I’m also looking forward to picking up and playing a couple RPGs on my Switch that I haven’t gotten around to playing yet – Dragon Quest XI and Ni No Kuni. Because I’m the best there is at starting RPGs…and then never finishing them ๐Ÿ™‚

In the meantime, I have been playing Fire Emblem: Three Houses and I absolutely love the game! I had been planning on picking it up for a while as I kept hearing about how impressive this game was going to be. I have stated in the past that while I’ve played started playing many Fire Emblem games, for one reason or another, I never end up completing them. This trend becomes especially true when it involves any game involved turn-based strategy elements; the genre of game I’m usually terrible at. Three Houses however, has been a blast to play and I fully intend to see this one through to the end. I love the combat elements within the game as the battles have become my favorite part of the game. I love the choice of picking one of the three houses at the Garreg Mach monastery – Blue Lions, Golden Deer, or Black Eagles. I decided on the Dimitri and the Blue Lions as my typical choice of combat in most games is close quarters combat with swords and axes over bows or magic. I love the soundtrack in the game and how it adds drama during the battles and cutscenes. I’ve played about 28 hours of the game, so I’m roughly half-way through, I think?

All the cats…

This weekend was another Tetris 99 Maximus Cup in which you earn a Fire Emblem theme to use in game. I’m STILL playing Tetris 99 fairly regularly and have collected the Splatoon 2 theme as well as the retro anniversary theme. I feel like I’ve played an excessively amount of Tetris as my Switch profile says I’ve put 55 hours into the game, but then I notice others after the round has finished who are 30 levels past me at 80+.

Over the weekend, I began the demo for Dragon Quest XI that was released a few days ago. Dragon Quest is another game franchise that I have been interested to play for some time as it’s loved and revered by many gamers out there but I’ve sadly never played any of the games. I remember seeing the box for the first Dragon Quest game on NES(listed as Dragon Warrior in North America) and have known of the games, but sadly just that it was another JRPG series similar to the Final Fantasy games. I have only played the Dragon Quest XI demo for a couple hours, but I really really like what I’ve played so far. The fact that I can keep any progress I make on the demo and play from there when I get the full game when it releases on September 27. That blue slime Switch-exclusive controller looks pretty cool as well, I’m a sucker for weird controllers…

I also began a play through of Twilight Princess on my Wii with hopes that I can finish that before Link’s Awakening comes out in a matter of weeks, I usually try not to have more than one Zelda game that I’m working on at any given time. I brought my Wii console out into the living room a couple days ago, and woke up this morning feeling like I wanted to play a Zelda game…so I sat swinging my Wii-mote and nunchuck around for about 4 hours today.

I haven’t been playing as many different games as I normally may be, but the ones I have been playing are the kind of games that you need to devote a certain level of time to. Fire Emblem has been consuming most of my time playing games and I can’t say enough positive things about it. What games have you been playing recently? Or what’s a game that you’ve been meaning to play for a while, whether first time or a replay? Let me know in the comments below. I’ve been keeping up with the Geek Out Challenge questions on a semi-daily basis and didn’t have much lined up for a weekend post, so I thought it would be fun to do a recap of what I’ve been playing recently.

Keep on playing…

Geek Out Challenge – Day 19

There’s always going to be the game, movie, or tv show that you absolutely love, but don’t come across many others that have the same level of appreciation(obsession?). Our newest challenge question for Day 19 of the Geek Out Challenge is discussing what series do we find underrated.

What series is underrated? – As a surprise to absolutely NO ONE, my pick is a video game series. While I could probably spend a considerable amount of time on different games that I think are a bit underrated. The first games that come to mind for me are the Sony-exclusive inFAMOUS series, which is developed by Sucker Punch Productions – the studio that created the Sly Cooper games of the Playstation 2 era. The first inFAMOUS game was released in 2009 on the Playstation 3 with its sequel inFAMOUS 2 being released in 2011 and inFAMOUS: Second Son in 2014 on the Playstation 4. The series itself received critical acclaim, but it remains a series of games that I never really hear many people talk about. I have always been a huge fan of the PS3 exclusive games like the Last of Us, Uncharted, Resistance, or inFAMOUS games. While the former two received much critical praise and word of mouth amongst gamers, the latter two it seems were relegated to “lesser status”. The first two inFAMOUS games tell the story of protagonist Cole McGrath – an everyman bike messenger in the fictional city of Empire City who is caught in an explosion which infuse his body with a set of electricity-based powers. The setting of the game at first glance seems nothing more than that of a run-of-the-mill comic book story set to a video game. I certainly understand that perception, that is essentially what I though about the game before I ever played it, however it was how well the game works within that setting, in both gameplay mechanics and story. The central theme of the game is the question “if you found yourself in possession of powers far greater than the average person, how would you use them?”. The inFAMOUS games feature a Karma meter similar to the light side/dark side element of the Knights of the Old Republic games, you can simply take anything you want and destroy anyone standing in your way, or you can use your abilities to help and protect those around you; this would be the “with great power comes great responsibility” theme of the game. I also really enjoyed the storyline throughout the game as it establishes Cole’s relationships with his best friend – the slightly meddlesome, yet well-meaning friend Zeke, as well as with his girlfriend Trish. The climax of the first inFAMOUS game features one of the biggest plot twists I had played in a video game in quite some time. Between the seemingly generic superhero sandbox setting and the fact the PS3 was well behind the much better selling Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii at the time the franchise seems to get forgotten quite easily. I heartily recommend the inFAMOUS games to anyone looking for an under-appreciated gem on the PS3.

What are some movie, tv show, or game series that you feel are getting nowhere the appreciation they deserve? Let me know in the comments below. See you tomorrow…