Monthly Archives: May 2012
Hello, folks, and happy Memorial Day to you! It’s a day we all get off, to drink beer and eat some delicious barbeque. If you’re lucky, you get to play some Halo, CoD, or Super Smash Bros with people you’re fond of and have a good time.
But, loyal readers: let’s not forget the reason why we have Memorial Day. Sure, we talked about the heroes of video games last week. We should all acknowledge the fact that there are real heroes in real life, and they are the ones who fight to preserve this nation and who gave their lives in that same service. Be proud of them, even if you don’t support the military goals of whatever country you happen to be from. Armies are made up of people, and people who do THAT MUCH willingly are people I’d buy a beer for if I had the chance.
Go out and have fun today, but don’t forget to remember. Happy Memorial Day.
P.S. In the interest of not being a complete buzzkill, let’s not forget all the heroes of video games that gave their lives in service of, well, YOU!
Kaidan Alenko/Ashley Williams
All the people who die in ME3 (whose names I won’t mention)
Cortana (kind of)
Tellah, from Final Fantasy IV
Tidus, from Final Fantasy X
Uther Lightbringer, from Warcraft III
Tassadar, from Starcraft
Everyone who ever helped Link in any of the Zelda games
The Metroid from… Metroid
Crono, from Chrono Trigger
And all the nameless heroes from games I haven’t played. You went into that fight knowing you weren’t going to be in the sequel. We salute you. Happy Memorial Day, or whatever the heck they have in the Mushroom Kingdom.
Now, if you’ll recall the last post’s heroic exploits and explanations, you’ll remember that we talked about how video game heroes, with a few notable exceptions, are just a little more hero-y than the protagonists of most other storytelling genres (I realize “heroic” is actually a REAL word, but “hero-y” just sounded better in my head. Critics, I swear). We have lots of strong, silent types. People who get the job done. People who, let’s face it, just DON’T die, no matter how much they really ought to. The world of video gaming is a bright and magical place, full of wonder and people with ridiculous amounts of survivability and tenacity. That’s the first time I’ve ever used “tenacity” or any of its conjugations in a way that didn’t refer to Jack Black. And, coincidentally, that makes the perfect transition into the suitably epic topic for today’s post: the music of heroes.
Hooray for Hero Week, where we delve deep and discover the true awesomeness that is a video game hero (or heroine). “But, dear blogger,” you say, “your delightfully witty and well-written blog only updates twice a week!” To that, I say: you’re right! But I had an idea for two posts that were related, so why not make a week out of it? Pure blogging gold, right there. And that idea, of course, is to write about those fabulous doers of good, those just and fearless warriors, those people who horrifically skew the “Number of Princesses Rescued per Capita” rating of Hyrule and the Mushroom Kingdom.
I know you’re all shouting “Hooray!” right about now, but let’s be honest. For a blog that updates only twice a week, writing something about Diablo four days after its release would be like updating your Facebook status through snail mail. It’s a day late and a dollar short (because postage is expensive!). But, you know, I’m gonna do it anyway. Because the blog-gods have blessed me with the ability to write exhaustively about nearly anything. And to what greater purpose can I devote my abilities (superpowers, really) than to the GREATEST GAME TO COME OUT SINCE the greatest game that came out before it, whatever that was. Probably some Poke’mon game or another. And while this may seem to be exactly the same stuff as is in my blog about the Diablo 3 beta… it’s, well, not. I’ve played it more, seen more of the game, and have more to say about it. Much to your enjoyment, I’m sure.
We’re grownups, we have responsibilities! You know, when we were four, we dreamed of growing up to become a firetruck. Then, shortly after realizing that becoming a Transformer/Megazord is slightly out of our range of career options, we decided on something slightly less awesome. And we slowly but surely worked our way through being picked on, then puberty (oh god), then all that great stuff that happens after, like getting a job and going to college. And none of that has to do with video games. But you remember when you were __ (insert your appropriate age here) and Poke’mon Blue came out? You flipped your frickin’ lid. You saw a video game cartridge that was BLUE. It was blue, folks. And you had to have it. You pestered your _______ (insert appropriate family member or figure with money here) so much that he or she took you to Toys’R’Us and just bought you the damn thing. Score one for kid you!
I figure if you read this blog you either owe me a lot of money and are trying to get out of paying me back, or you enjoy playing video games. I’d say “Hopefully you’re in the second category,” but honestly it’d be kind of nice if more people owed me money. But for the sake of the topic, we’ll pretend that you ARE indeed in the 2nd category and you play video games. What kind of games do you like? Classic games? New games? Games that you can get for 6 bucks at GameStop? Those are my favorites, because they remind me gently that while the most awesome games get awesomer and awesomer as time goes on, people will never stop making really bad games. Gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling. But honestly, how do I have so much cash to blow on awful 6-dollar games? The answer lies in one simple word: Achievements.
The Norse were frickin’ amazing. A thousand years ago they were regaling each other with stories of Odin’s many glories and drinking lots of mead. The beat the crap out of each other, each with hopes of being killed in glorious battle and being taken by a beautiful Valkyrie to end their days at Valhalla… drinking mead… and fighting. I don’t really think they noticed that their concept of heaven was exactly what they were doing here in the first place… But hey, if that’s where your religion is at, more power to ya! Now, in terms of video games, the Norse religion has absolutely nothing to do with this lovable genre about which I blog, right? You say contemptuously, “Fool! I fight with my enemies in the hope of NOT being killed in glorious battle! Valhalla awaits me not, only the depressingly beautiful music of the game over screen. And none of my characters drink mead! When I’m playing video games, the only mortal imbibing that liquour of the gods is me!” (I certainly hope you actually say it like that. It’d make my day). But you’d be wrong anyway! Except about the mead thing. Norse mythology is so much a part of video games that often they’re quite inseparable. I’m going to talk about three RPGs, however, because Grand Theft Auto actually lacks much of a mythological theme. These RPGs are Final Fantasy, Tales of Symphonia, and World of Warcraft (yes, I know. It gets old after a while).
No, I’m just kidding. As if I didn’t spend enough time making awful jokes, bad puns, and groan-inducing plays on words. Unfortunately for you all (actually, unfortunately for mostly me), it’s my day off. I’m a college student. Finals week is almost here. Most people in my boat would say, “Dude, you still have hours you spend SLEEPING, right? Stop wasting them and do something productive, man.” Apparently most people in my boat sound like they’re stoned all the time (a relatively accurate assumption).
So. I think you folks just deserve a game or two for checking in on the blog. You folks are what make me wanna keep doing it (even when I’m stupidly busy). Good news is, in a week or so, I’ll be home free (and Diablo 3 will be out, so I’ll have plenty to chat about). I bet you can’t wait till then. Better dust off your reading glasses, it’s gonna be good!
The Enchanted Cave is one of a genre of games that basically present you with a very difficult dungeon, and an unlimited amount of tries to get through that dungeon, but each time you go through, you collect resources and items that make your next try more successful. It’s fun. Addictive, and fun. Enchanting, you could say (but please, don’t say).
Music Catch 2 is a game where your level is basically a song, and the notes you have to catch are produced by the beautiful, soothing music the programmers wrote just for you. Nevermind that you’re waving your mouse around like a psychopath, it’s soothing and you know it. Enjoy. 😀