Creative Christmas – That Special Gift

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.


ūüéĀ¬†¬†¬†19 December 2017:¬†¬†¬†You need to choose a gift for someone special and go online to check out the video game item catalogue. Who is this person and what present would you select for them?

If I had the money, I would buy all the games for all my gamer friends and family.¬† I suppose this is a bit of a cheat with this question since I actually¬†have¬†acquired a video game for some, and conveniently enough it just arrived today (God bless you, Amazon).¬† I bought my brother the new¬†Assassin’s Creed¬†(and I¬†really¬†hope he doesn’t read this post lol),¬†because I’m having so much fun playing it, and I’m so super stoked that it takes place in Egypt, but isn’t whitewashed.

Speaking of AC: O, the whole reason your friendly neighborhood TSN wanted to play it was because I heard you could pet cats, and I was¬†all about it.¬†¬†Hell, I’d play a game where the entire object was to pet all the cats.

Seriously, I want to pet them all.

Why are we not funding this?¬† Seriously…can I get a kick starter?¬† Sadly, I don’t know how to program, so I won’t be doing this myself, but someone, somewhere who can must think this is feasible.¬† Me and my two BFFs would play the hell out of this game, and one of them isn’t even a gamer.

I hope this answers the questions satisfactorily.¬† There are of course games I think everyone should play (e.g.¬†Journey¬†and¬†Super Mario Odyssey),¬†but it’s fun and a bit challenging to consider games geared towards particular people.

Um, so I reread the question and it seems as though I could interpret it to include more than just video games themselves, but also items associated with games.¬† If that’s the case, I’d get LightningEllen all of the amiibo and probably the Lightning figurine from¬†Theatrythm Final Fantasy.¬†¬†I’d get my husband one of those¬†Destiny¬†beer holders (though he doesn’t really drink that much, but he plays¬†Destiny¬†a lot).


What would you buy for whom with your unlimited Christmas bonus?¬† I think I’ve covered all of my bases, but how would you cover yours?¬† Sound off in the comments!

30 Day Video Game Challenge: Day 23

Day 1

<–Day 22¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Day 24–>

Game you think had the best graphics or art style.


This really isn’t a simple question because “best art style” is entirely contingent on what mien you’re attempting to convey.¬†¬† You wouldn’t use the same style of art in Limbo that you would in Mario Kart, nor would you have Kirby masquerading as Dead Space.¬† The art creators use reflects the atmosphere they want to project, so it’s really hard for me to say what game has the best graphics, especially considering modern video games now look as polished as movies.¬† I suppose I could talk about which games art/graphic style best matches its narrative, and I’ve already mentioned a few of them above: Child of Light and Limbo.¬†

CoL uses a watercolor-like look for its graphics, literally painting a fairy tale picture,

and Limbo has a dark, minimalistic aspect that chills you to the bone whether you’re a child or an adult.

But I can’t and won’t say these are the “best” graphics; I just think they exemplify their miens.

I obviously think all of the Final Fantasies are stellar with their graphics.¬† Yes, even VII with its polygons lol.¬† The cut scenes more than make up for it ūüėČ

What game has the best art style in your opinion or whose art style best exemplifies its genre/subgenre?

<–Day 22¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Day 24–>

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30 Day Video Game Challenge: Day 21

Day 1

<–Day 20¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Day 22–>

Day 21: Game with the best story.


You guys already know I’m going to say Final Fantasy VII.¬†

“Silence like a cancer grows…” -The Sound of Silence

From my notes:

VII is a story of secrets, shadows, and silence, but it is the silence that echoes so deep. This is a narrative that seeks to fill the ubiquitous emptiness by ironically presenting it in full. Not only its characters, but also we are hollowed out by what is never said and never revealed, but many of these things are integral truth that in silence can only destroy.

FFVII is the story that not only captured, but held my attention for 20 years and over half my life.¬† It is the number one inspiration for all of my writing whether that writing is fictional, fantastic, essay or critic.¬† It came to me after the worst tragedy of my life, and while I can’t say it filled the void, it made me realize I wasn’t alone in the darkness of my own thoughts.¬† Even though I didn’t know all the details of much of VII’s own major inspiration at the time (and there’s no way in hell that event didn’t change the story, because it was going to be something entirely different before it became what is what, and events like that change you.¬† Yes, I’m being vague), I still knew there was something special about this game.¬† Even before I played it, it forced me to go beyond my normal genre since VII is firmly science fantasy or, as I used to call it, the fusion of fantasy and sci-fi.¬† From a game I had no interest in playing to my life’s obsession, VII’s story was the first narrative to make me question the meaning of the word “terrorist,” because the term is entirely dependent on point of view.¬† It also made and still makes me either face or push down dark truths about myself and what I would do if confronted with certain situations.¬† I always insist that I know I wouldn’t be fooled, but in all honesty, I don’t know and it scares me.¬† Do we really truly understand the darkness that could lie seething in our own deepest cores?¬† Or do we only think we do?

Puppy time!!!

I needed a drastic subject change, because that got way too deep way too fast, but that’s my relationship with VII.¬† There were almost some tears shed!¬† WTF, I don’t have emotions like some commoner *sniff*¬† Look at dem ears above though.¬† He could probably take off flying ‚ô•

FFVII isn’t the only game whose story I love.¬† I have to give props to the Legend of Zelda series especially with all the timelines and loops, Mass Effect of course, Child of Light with its fairy tale atmosphere, Super Paper Mario with the ending that literally made me cry, but Final Fantasy VII has the best story to me, but more importantly for me.

What’s your favorite game story?¬† Why do you hold it so close to your heart?¬† Feel free to share as much or as little as you want!

<–Day 20¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Day 22–>

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30 Day Video Game Challenge: Day 18

Day 1

<–Day 17¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Day 19–>

Day 18: Favorite protagonist.


Why is this question harder than favorite antagonist?¬† Athena from AmbiGaming asks the same thing in her post to the same, so if you’re seeking some clues to the answer, I’d suggest you look there.

For Final Fantasy, it’s a toss up between Cecil Harvey from IV and Celes Chere from VI.¬† Cecil manages to fight and overcome the darkness that threatens to consume him and manages to consume *spoiler* his brother and his best friend *end spoiler* at least for a time, because Cecil is a literal white knight at heart.

Then there’s Celes who went from general to prisoner to rebel to depression/suicidal after she lost everything.¬† I never realized how deep that part of the game was until I was older, but if certain things go awry (even after the world ends), Celes throws herself into the sea.

For non-Final Fantasy Aurora from Child of Light is up there.¬† She’s brave, resourceful, and compassionate, much more mature than her years even in the beginning when she’s a little girl.¬† She’s the best fairy tale heroine I’ve ever come across, doesn’t¬† bleed “damsel in distress” in the least, even throughout all the trials and heartbreaking revelations in Lemuria.

Favorite protagonists are hard to pick.¬† I can’t pinpoint just one like I can with villains.¬† I think it’s because with villains we pick our favorites based on what qualities inspire the most sympathy and connection.¬† In a way we may fear falling as they did, so we might be more forgiving for our favorites because we see a reflection of ourselves.¬† There are many different ways to be a protagonist (not saying there aren’t many different ways to be a villain), and each one we find will have qualities we like and can look up to.¬† This may be why we’re more likely to like different types of protagonists, but generally prefer one type of villain.

Let’s hear your favorite protagonists in the comments!

<–Day 17¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Day 19–>

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30 Day Video Game Challenge: Day 9

Day 1

<–Day 8¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Day 10–>

Day 9: Saddest game scene.


You know what I have to mention first…the first game scene to ever completely shock me, that was not only sad as fuck, but also became sadder when you found out more information about the creator.¬† But like most instances of death, it’s not really the act itself that’s sad, it’s the burial when you’re forced to reflect upon and deal with the reality of it.

This is universally considered one of the most if not the most iconic scene in video game history, which either grants it laud or earns it the derision that some give to what’s popular.¬† Knowing some of the background of what more than likely inspired them to go in this direction, I unequivocally would tell those deriding it to fuck off.¬† Ironically, I did not cry when I first saw this.¬† I was in too much shock; however, there are other scenes from other games that did bring me to tears.

In Child of Light when Aurora delivers some devastating news to a little girl, she plays the most beautifully plaintive song on her flute.  The child understand what truth is being conveyed, and she begins to weep.

Finally and surprisingly, Super Paper Mario’s¬†ending, which I wrote a brief post about, made me cry my eyes out.¬† I did not expect that from a Mario game.¬† Even the end of Chapter 8 made me a bit misty.

What game scenes have brought the tears for you?¬† Let’s discuss and don’t be shy.

<–Day 8¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Day 10–>

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Question of the Week: 5/22/16

<–Question of the Week: 5/15/16¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Question of the Week: 5/29/16–>

The Question of the Week is posted every Sunday and will consist of a question followed by my answer and explanation to the same.  Some questions will only require a simple answer that could potentially be followed by an explanation.  Many questions will be writer oriented, but not all.  Everyone is encouraged to answer in the comments and discussions/follow up questions are more than welcome!

What’s the last video game you finished?

The last game I finished was Child of Light, which I wrote a glowing review for here.¬† Like all my other reviews, I included an analysis, too…though I didn’t deliberately intend to rhyme hehe, which is even more interesting as all the dialogue in the game (save one character who doesn’t for comedic effect) does so.

While looking for this picture, I stumbled upon the Child of Light tumblr page, which I immediately followed.  The internet has been kind to me today.

I say this in my review/analysis, but this game is fantastic.  It has a haunting story, a female protagonist, and gorgeous music by Couer de Pirate, among other things.

There have been fantastic cosplays of it.

Aurora

Aurora grown up

No source on this one, though I did look.

Thus it can never be said that I don’t play/enjoy any other RPGs besides Final Fantasy.


What’s the last video game you completed?¬† Was it of the type you typically play or did it deviate from your norm?¬† Would you recommend it?

I look forward to your answers in the comments!

<–Question of the Week: 5/15/16¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Question of the Week: 5/29/16–>

Child of Light

Spoilers are marked.

I convinced my husband to download Child of Light not long after its release date of April 30, 2014. It was a late birthday present. The instant I saw the trailer, I knew I had to own this game.

Even now after finishing, this still gives me chills. I love, love, LOVE fairytales and Child of Light is reminiscent of Snow White, which is one of my favorites. There are also shades of Sleeping Beauty (Disney’s version named the princess “Aurora,” too) and Pan’s Labyrinth, as well.

So…this review shall be in three parts, and in three parts shall be this review.¬† Gameplay and music and best of all story shall all be showcased for you.¬† For now I present Child of Light without any further ado.

Gameplay
Child of Light is a 2D platforming, puzzle RPG developed by Ubisoft Montreal (which is exactly why all of the French names now make sense) and published by Ubisoft. It was released for PS4, PS3, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PS Vita.

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