Creative Christmas – Games of Christmas Past

Tis the Christmas season (or Advent to be theologically accurate), and in the spirit of the season, the lovely blogger over at Later Levels has decided to celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas a few days earlier with 12 gaming related questions for all of us good, little gaming elves out there.  These are my responses.

ūüĎ™¬†¬†¬†20 December 2017:¬†¬†¬†You‚Äôre wrapping presents while listening to cheesy festive tunes, and start to reminisce about holidays past. What‚Äôs your favourite¬†Christmas¬†gaming memory?

I’ll never forget the Christmas I received my (at time) favorite game ever.

I’ve already talked about this in my 30 Day Video Game Challenge, but I was as obsessed with this game then as I am now with¬†Final Fantasy VII,¬†speaking of which, I received¬†that¬†for Christmas one year, too, the Eidos version for the PC.¬† My brother got it for me, though I had no interest in it at the time, because I thought it was “too sci-fi.”

Talk about a life changing experience

SMB2 is my first favorite game, and I think I was so obsessed with it because one, you could play the princess (she¬†wasn’t¬†a kidnapping victim, whoohoo!), and two, it was different from the other Mario games.¬† I know now it was supposed to be a game called Doki Doki Panic, and of course only fits into the Mario canon because it was “only a dream,” but I love how quirky and different it was.¬†¬†Like FFVII, I’ve never finished SMB2 myself, though of course I’ve seen the ending.

Even though¬†Final Fantasy VII¬†is my forever favorite game, I have more fond memories of the year I received¬†Super Mario Bros. 2,¬†because VII came to me at a much more tumultuous time when things were…different.¬† SMB2 has the innocence of youth splashed over it with far more rainbows and far less ash.

What’s your favorite holiday gaming memory?¬† Let’s hear about it in the comments!

30 Day Video Game Challenge: Day 24

Day 1

<–Day 23¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Day 25–>

Day 24: Favorite classic game.

We need to define “classic.”¬† What do you consider to be a classic game?¬† How far back do we go in order to classify a game as classic?¬† If the PlayStation era is considered classic, then my favorite classic is my favorite game:

but if we’re going back further then my favorite classic is my first favorite game/obsession:

I have a thing for numbers…

I can’t go back much further than that, because no older game sticks out enough for me to say it’s my favorite, but I think I’ve talked about SMB2 before, and lord knows I do nothing but talk about FFVII.

What’s your favorite classic game?

<–Day 23¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Day 25–>



The State of the Gamer: 12/13/16

<–The State of the Gamer: 12/6/16¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† The State of the Gamer: 12/20/16–>

A weekly post updated every Tuesday detailing my current gaming projects.¬† I have quite a backlog of games to either play or watch, and I’m hoping a weekly article will assist with my progress as my other accountable posts have done with reading and writing.
I have an account at Grouvee, which is a essentially Goodreads for gamers, so please feel free to friend me there!
Original source of the banner art is located here.

Title: Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls
Series: Final Fantasy
Genre: RPG – Fantasy
Developer: Square/Tose (GBA)
Original Platform: NES
Original Release Date: December 18, 1987
Current Platform: Gameboy Advance
Current Platform Release Date: July 29, 2004
Date Started: November 20, 2016


I…don’t think I played this at all this week.¬† Last I remember was beating up Bikke and his pirate gang, and then planning to sail to Elfheim to grind for new gear and spells.¬† I might start doing a DS/GBA schedule like I have with my reading.¬† I was trying to play DoS and FFIV on alternating days, but it might be easier if I put it on my to-do list, since things are more likely to be done if that occurs.

Title: Final Fantasy IV
Series: Final Fantasy
Genre: RPG ‚Äď Fantasy
Developer: Square
Original Platform: SNES
Original Release Date: July 19, 1991
Current Platform: Game Boy Advance
Current Platform Release Date: December 12, 2005
Date Started: October 24. 2016


I’ve made quite a bit of progress on this, which is funny, because I’ve beaten FFIV, but never beating FFI, the DoS version or otherwise.¬† Logically, you’d think I’d focus on the path not traveled, but Taurus-logically, it actually makes more sense that I’m sticking to what I’m familiar with and greatly enjoy.

I finished up the a batch of side quests.  Final Fantasy IV has those in short supply, and really the only legitimate side quest is looting Eblan Castle (maybe collecting pink tails counts, too).  You have to visit Agart later in the story, but having access to the Enterprise just means you can go there sooner and get it on the map for easier access later.  Mythril is more of a locale to peruse because of the better equipment you can find there.

My next task lies in Troia then the Dark Elf’s Cave where Edward actually proves himself useful.

Title: World of Final Fantasy
Series: Final Fantasy
Genre: RPG ‚Äď Fantasy
Developer: Square Enix
Platform(s): PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
Release Date: October 25, 2016
Date Bought: October 21, 2016
Date Started: November 5, 2016


This is pretty much what I’ve been spending all of my time on.¬† I took off Friday of last week and Monday of this (not just to play!¬† I had two days left, but I wouldn’t be ashamed of taking off work to play Final Fantasy and you know it lol) and spent pretty much the entire day playing WOFF.¬† I neglecting my responsibilities (e.g. working on my “Half a Tragedy” essay) and had a damn fun time dong so.

I found a really awesome tipster on YouTube EnterJayMent (who has some Final Fantasy XV videos up, too) and realized I’d missed a lot.¬† I had no idea there was Holy Dragon in Icicle Ridge, nor did I realize that the quests you complete in the Girl’s Tearoom opened up new Mirages: Princess Goblin and Undead Princess among two of them.

When I first started playing, like most, I was on a learning curve, and that initial arc didn’t realize that you can catch a Mirage as soon as you engage it in battle.¬† I thought you had to fight it first in order to obtain its prism then find it again in order to imprism it.¬† This is how I missed Yurugu(sp?) in the beginning (unless that’s just a tutorial and unimprisonable).¬† I also believed you had to have an empty space in the case you take with you, not knowing that after catching the new Mirage, there’d be an option to leave it with Serafie.¬† I also didn’t take advantage of all the Mirages you can catch in the coliseum; therefore, I didn’t have Chocobo or Valefor even though you can easily catch them early on there. Speaking of the coliseum, I manged to unlock and capture Ramuh and Adamantoise, though with the latter, you can find and imprism one while traveling through the channel on the Rainbow Coast, while riding on the back of the talking Adamantoise.¬† The Coliseum one was just easier (one try!)

I missed the Ghost Pirate ship puzzle on Saronia Docks with the Kupicaroon you can catch there and never knew that if you run around the secret spot in the Nether Nebula that Fritt (baby Ifrit) will eventually show up.¬† I still need to get Zapt (baby Ramuh), and I’d love to grab another Bablizz since I was able to transfigure the one I won from beating Shiva into Mishiva.¬† Having a medium and small Shiva/Ice based¬† Mirage would be bad ass.¬† I believe you can grab them later in the game, though there are a ton like the male Shiva, Shivalry, and the female Ifrit, Ifritta, whom you can’t ensnare until after the first ending (apparently like XV, there’s a lush after game to World).

I am finally caught up or as caught up as I’m going to be for now.¬† I’m just about to enter the dessert, so I foresee some cactuar hunting in the near future.¬† I’m going to try to catch two because I believe that’s what cactrots can transfigure into, and I still never found another one of those little guys in the Pyrefly Forest.

I’m really wondering though if there’s a way to get rid of extra Mirages.¬† I tried trading and failed miserably at it.¬† I have two Mandragoras and a Malboro.¬† Mandragoras transfigure into Malboros so it’s not like I need to keep one as it is and transfigure the other.¬† I suppose I could eventually have two Malboros, which would be fine, but I’d love to give it to some other needy gamer, and maybe get something in return.¬† Apparently, my trade didn’t go through because the Mirage I’d have received in return was of a lower level than mine???¬† I don’t know, and the internet hasn’t been very forthcoming with information.¬† There isn’t a lot on World yet, because people are still going through it and figuring it out.

I have found this site that has comprehensive information on Mirages as well as the Mirage “family” they belong to and this site that’s a continually updated Coliseum guide.¬† I like the info on the latter site, but it’s one of those that constantly runs (like many wikis), slowing down your computer.

Whew…so yeah.¬† Lots to say about WOFF.¬† I absolutely love it.¬† I’m enjoying the cameo appearances from all the characters, the references are nostalgically wonderful, and the puns are just great.¬† I love that Rydia hated and feared fire just like her character did in FFIV, her original game.¬† I love that Snow had the Shiva from his game FFXIII and used her to created ice bridges (also “Snow” “ice,” “puns”).¬† I love how Quistis had a similar boat to what the sEEDs used in FFVIII.¬† I love that Sephiroth summons Meteor, and I cannot tell you how much I love/appreciate the Japanese option with English subtitles.¬† It feels very anime like during cut scenes..

I’ll be playing again this Wednesday and hope to catch some good Mirages in the dessert.¬† My play pattern is generally do the next area then go back to the Tearoom and Coliseum to take care of what new quests and fights might have opened up.¬† I’m hoping “catch up” next time won’t take as long, since I now have some better resources.

Games Currently Watching

Title: Mass Effect II
Series: Mass Effect
Genre: Action RPG – Sci-Fi
Developer: BioWare
Original Platform(s): Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3
Original Release Date: January 26, 2010
Let’s Player: Olizandri
Date Started: November 19, 2016


I’m getting into some creeptastic territory with this game.¬† I just watched the part where Shepherd and crew find the abandoned Collector ship and learn the truth about that species.¬† I also read a bit of a spoiler today when I googled “Who made the Reapers,” because I wanted to see some theories/speculation about that.¬† I wound up on Harbinger’s page, but stopped reading before I could spoil it too much.¬† I’d rather see it in game then read about it.¬† Since the Reapers are machines albeit sentient, I believe they could have a creator (this could become philosophical and theological for our own creation very quickly, and it also puts me in the mind of that episode of Futurama where the professor leaves the Earth because no one believes in evolution and winds up being the progenitor of a robot race, but now is not the time), and I wonder if it’s suppose to imply that eons ago, when they achieved sentience, they turned on their creators, killing them all to begin the cycle of purge and regrowth that’s been occurring since time immemorial.¬† It certainly paints a grim picture of limits or lack thereof of AI.

Olizandri, the irrepressible Let’s Player is doing a bunch of the DLCs right now, and I’m hoping he gets to more of the loyalty quests soon.¬† I want to see Jack’s and Grunt’s.¬† He just finished Jacob’s and wow, so fucked up what his father did.¬† I really like Jacob’s character, and I’m more cautiously curious about Miranda’s.

Also on my list of things I can’t look up is the Illusive Man.¬† I really want to know about his glowing, mechanical looking eyes, but I don’t want to have anything spoiled by looking that up.¬† If the story doesn’t reveal it, then I will.¬† I suspect it’s some kind of biotic.

I’m still hoping Wrex will show up again at some point.¬† While I like Jacob and think Jack is an unmitigated bad ass, there really hasn’t been a character I say hands down is my absolute favorite in this game.¬† Grunt is a krogan, too, but he doesn’t have the same sarcastic, get-shit-done attitude that Wrex was gloriously burdened with.

Title: Legend of Zelda
Series: Legend of Zelda
Genre: Action-Adventure/Puzzle
Developer: Nintendo
Original Platform(s): Nintendo Entertainment System
Original Release Date: February 21, 1986
Let’s Player: Hungry Goriya
Date Started: Unknown
Date Finished: Unknown

This is a Let’s Play by fellow blogger Hungrygoriya who is the queen of finding retro video games.¬† I was lucky enough to catch a bit of her playing Earthbound on Twitch a few weeks ago, and I’m hoping she does a full play through of that game for YouTube, as well, since then I and others will be able to watch the whole thing.

I don’t want to make her blush, but I have to mention that she has a great voice and attitude for Let’s Plays, and I think people underrate how important that is.¬† You want to watch and listen to someone you know cares about the game their playing, and for me personally, it’s not really a matter of getting it right the first time; it’s about how you act and react while you’re going through.¬† Her voice is super soothing, and I’m really impressed with how well she knows the land of Hyrule.¬† I’m terrible at direction and would probably need to be consulting a map the entire time.

I’d never seen the entirety of the very first Zelda game, and I’m happy to say that that’s under my belt, and I was able to accomplish it by watching a great Let’s Play.¬† I also now understand the “hungry goriya” reference!¬† I didn’t know that was an enemy in Zelda.¬† They’re called moblins now, and the “hungry” refers to one in a dungeon you have to feed before you can get through.¬† Old school games were fantastic for challenging your problem solving skills lol.

I also watched her play through of Super Mario Bros. 2, which I can’t believe I didn’t mention!¬† SMB2 was my first favorite game long years before FFVII ever existed, and it still holds a special place in my heart.

Games Added to Playlist: 2

  1. Final Fantasy Type-0
  2. Final Fantasy XV

Both of these were added because of Cheap Boss Attack.¬† You blogger friends are going to be the death of me!¬† Or rather the death of my time hehe.¬† CBA wrote a kick ass, spoiler free review of FFXV that convinced me I should at least give it a chance.¬† My biggest reluctance is due to Squeenix moving away from turn based, which I much prefer and love (it was a major draw for me to the Final Fantasy franchise) to more action based.¬† I was fine with the gambit system of FFXII, but I really don’t like this migration from strategy/turn based.¬† When I play an RPG, I want to play an RPG.¬† Sadly, this is the main reason I don’t play Mass Effect as much as I love it. Anyway, owing to the information that you can play FFXV on “easy” where Carbuncle will resurrect you if defeated, I might be able to handle that so I can see what all of the hype is about.¬† I still have some trepidation, but I don’t want to base my opinion on what’s come into my ken by hearsay.¬† I’d rather play it myself then read the critiques and decide if they align with how I took it.

The only convincing I needed for Type-0 is that is has a dark mien.¬† My Gothic heart is already drawn, and my wordsmith soul is trying to make a bad a bad pun using the word “typo.”¬† I’ll try not to keep you in suspenders.

Games Bought This Week: 1

  1. Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture – the Well-Red Mage informed not just me, but the world that there was yet another PSN sale, this one for the holidays.¬† I may have missed the lowest price of $5.99, but $8.99 for a game that’s the spiritual sequel to my arguably favorite modern title by The Chinese Room, Dear Esther, is a small price to pay.¬† Hm, I can’t find the original post on the blog, ,but I’m sure it was there!¬† Either that or the information just came to me through the Lifestream.¬† That would explain a lot.

What are you currently playing and/or watching? Is it something new or old?¬† Is it a first time run or a replay?¬† What’s the genre?¬† Would you recommend it?¬† What’s on your radar to play next?

<–The State of the Gamer: 12/6/16¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† The State of the Gamer: 12/20/16–>