So, non-readers, I’m still trying to get used to this whole blogging thing. So, I figured that a fun way to practice would be to create a top 10 list. That’s pretty much an internet staple, right? So, for my first list, I thought I would talk about something that often gets overlooked in video games: death. I know, fun, right? In a medium where death can often equate to resetting at the last checkpoint, and where it’s common to gun down waves of enemies without a second thought, there still exists the possibility for death to have meaning. Now, I’d like to preface this by saying that this is obviously a list filled to the brim with spoilers. So, you really shouldn’t proceed if you care about that type of thing. Also, this list only extends to games that I have personally played. So, if it seems like there are any obvious examples that I overlooked, it’s most likely because I’ve never played the game in question (for instance, anything Final Fantasy related). But, anyway, these are the gaming deaths I’ve witnessed that I feel have the most weight. Speaking of weight…
So, being a busy college student and all, I have had less and less time to play video games as of late. That being said, I have been very lucky this past year, having had the opportunity to play three games that I believe to be among the best I have ever played. I enjoyed each of these games so much that I am having a very difficult time deciding which one was my favorite. Therefore, because I’m such an indecisive person, here are my favorite three games of the year in no particular order. And, no, none of them are Skyrim. I know everybody’s all crazy about that recently, but I haven’t played it. Frankly, it doesn’t really seem like the type of game that interests me anyway. The following games, on the other hand, I was instantly captivated by. I’m not really very good at writing reviews, but I feel like I can give you hypothetical readers a general idea on what I liked about each of these games.
So, December on Facebook is one of those “change your profile picture to fit some random theme” times. Specifically, it’s Pokemon month, although it seems to be getting less popular each year. Anyway, this year, I decided to go all out for some reason or another. I decided to actually draw my theme picture and to make a new one each week. It was mostly a way to take a break from my actual art projects for school without getting lazy. They were quick projects, so I wouldn’t say there’s too much artistic merit to them. It was kinda fun, though. It seems that nobody really noticed them, which is probably for the best. Isn’t that right, non-existent readers? Anyway, these are those things.
Over my years of wasting time on the internet, I have become a fan of a fair number of web series, which have often become important to my sense of humor. So, I just thought that I’d list some that I’m particularly fond of. No real reason. Just getting into the spirit of this whole internet sharing thing. I’m sure many of these are already familiar to those who are more internet-savvy than me, but whatever.
Red vs Blue is a machinima series, which means that it uses footage captured from a video game to create an original story. It’s been going on for nine seasons now, and it’s probably one of the more well-known series on the internet. It’s about a group of mostly incompetent soldiers locked in an endless and pointless struggle. It’s really funny and, in the later seasons, it actually develops into a pretty interesting story as well.
TGWTG is a site that I originally went to only to watch the Nostalgia Critic, a series of comical reviews of bad movies from the eighties and nineties. However, over the years, the site has adopted a huge number of reviewers of various mediums who have varying styles. Some are angry. Some are analytical. Most are pretty funny.
This is the home of the Angry Video Game Nerd, who does angry reviews of old video games. He’s similar to TGWTG and occasionally crosses over with that site. He’s also often credited as the original person to do his style of angry reviews on the internet, though this is debatable. Regardless, I’ve been a fan of his for a long time.
A somewhat different type of angry review series for modern games. These are short, fast-paced, and almost always negative. I don’t always agree with the things he says, but I usually don’t care because he’s just too funny.
This is a strange one. It’s a series of bizzare flash cartoons that I’ve been a fan of since middle school. It doesn’t really update anymore, but I felt like I should include it since it’s pretty much the first web series I started following.
This series, I love because of how nostalgic it is for me. It’s my favorite of the various “Abridged Series” on the internet. It’s basically Dragon Ball Z, except shorter and funnier. Yeah, that’s basically it.
Probably the nerdiest thing I can admit to watching. And, even then, I’m on the fence about it. A “Let’s Play” is a like a player’s commentary for a video game. “Retsupurae” is like a commentary on a commentary for a video game. They’re sort of like Mystery Science Theater 3000, except they comment on horrible internet videos instead of horrible movies. They’re kind of mean-spirited from time to time but, overall, I think they’re pretty funny.
You know, I’m sure most gamers have a particular game or series from their childhood that started the whole nerdy thing for them. I’m no exception, but I feel that the place I started from was a little off the beaten path. For most people, it was probably something like Mario or Tetris. Statistically speaking, those games must have awakened the gamer in a very significant number of kids. For me, those things didn’t come until later. I had a SEGA Genesis growing up, so my options were slightly different. The most obvious choice, then, would be Sonic the Hedgehog. Well, I had that game, but it was never my favorite. Nope. For me, it was Gunstar Heroes.
This was where a pretty substantial amount of my free time as a child disappeared to. Gunstar Heroes was a side scrolling shooter, similar to the more popular Contra. The difference, though, was that this game was very strange. In fact, I have heard it described as anime Contra on occasion. You fought through waves of minions, giant (sometimes shape shifting) robots, an M. Bison lookalike with stretchy limbs, and an incredibly non-threatening face called Melon Bread.
Every stage was unique and exciting in some way, you could combine weapons to get creative with your carnage, and there were explosions everywhere. This was the perfect game for my ten-year old mind to become obsessed with. Sadly, though it is still well-remembered by some, it mostly sank into obscurity. Treasure did release a sequel / remake (yes, it was both) for the Game Boy Advance years later. That game was also good, but nothing is more nostalgic for me than the original. I will forever remember it in all its 16-bit glory.
So, here’s the thing. I’m a nerd. Or, I suppose “geek” is a more accurate term. I just hate the way that word sounds, though, so I don’t use it very often. I know that it’s less likely to be used as an insult, but something about the way it sounds out loud just annoys me. Really, in high school, I was the kid who was too socially awkward to hang out with the other nerds/geeks. But, I’m trying to get beyond that. I feel that it’s about time I stopped being embarrassed by my own… existence. I need to talk to some hypothetical person about nerdy things and this seems like a perfectly decent opportunity. I’ve developed a somewhat respectable amount of knowledge about video games, the internet, and other fun, but useless things. So, if I can talk with any amount of authority about anything, I suppose it must be this. I’ll call this my way to express the side of myself that I have a hard time letting people see.