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You may have noticed that I've been doing videos over on Destructoid's YouTube channel recently, all of which have been let's play content that has soared in views all the way up to somewhere around 300+ views (watch out PewDiePie), but now I'm debuting a new (hopefully) series called Beard View.
Beard View will be short previews of upcoming games, currently focusing on Nintendo 3DS games that I've imported from Japan. The first Beard View is Puzzle & Dragons Z, a game that is like a love child of Pokemon, Bejeweled, and an elderly Jeff Gordon. Nintendo didn't really do a great job of giving you an idea of the overall game, such as it having a story, RPG elements and ya know...not just being a Bejeweled clone, which it really isn't.
Anyways, check out Beard View: Puzzle & Dragons Z, opening with a theme song written and performed by one Jonathan Holmes and an intro video made by Bill Zoeker himself. Feedback welcomed, always!
If that wasn't enough for you, you can check out a replay of a live stream of me checking it out for the first time with my viewers. Played for around an hour, and fell in love. I personally can't wait to fall in love all over again in May this year, only on Nintendo 3DS and with the added Mario Edition content!
I've been pouring over everyone's lists of games of the year for 2014 and I'm shocked by one glaring omission that was easily my game of the year. A game that takes hundreds of hours to finish, that has amazing writing, fun multiplayer, lots of replayability, is portable and has extensive download content.
A game where you can be most anything that your heart desires. My boyfriend chose to be a tailor, I was a paladin, then we mixed it up and I was a lumberjack while he was a wizard who could sew a mean outfit. Later on I took up fishing while he was a miner, getting his rocks off hitting chunks of rocks off. A game that can be described as Chibi Skyrim, or Harvest Moon, meets Skyrim, meets Monster Hunter, meets Animal Crossing. My game of 2014 was hands down, Fantasy Life for 3DS.
Chibi Skyrim, or Harvest Moon, meets Skyrim, meets Monster Hunter, meets Animal Crossing.
Fantasy Life, developed by Level 5 whom are known for such classics as Dark Cloud, Professor Layton and most recently Ni No Kuni, is a cross between a life simulator and a fantasy RPG that mixes in just the right amount of story. While the game looks visually similar to Animal Crossing titles, you won't be playing for short bursts or sticking to the same town, as the map is huge and there is plenty to do. At the start of the game you select a "life", which is the term applied to class in this case. You can switch lives pretty easily at most any time with no penalty for doing so.
Lives include common fantasy RPG classes like paladin, mercenary, and magician but also include things like tailor, blacksmith, miner, alchemist and angler. Each live will teach you different skills that can be used across each life, and skill levels carry over when switching between lives. The combat lives have you venturing out into the world to kill certain creatures, pickup bounties dropped by larger enemies, and exploring different areas of the map. The more job like lives have you collecting supplies and performing button mashing mini games to create potions, clothes, armor, weapons and furniture, or just fishing.
While on paper the job like lives may sound boring, they are anything but that, especially when combined with some of the skills from the other lives. Perhaps as a blacksmith you'll be tasked with getting a few minerals from a nearby cave, so as a miner you go spelunking until you've got an ample supply. After going back to the guildmaster's you then get to craft a bad ass sword to use when you are switched to the paladin life. It all flows together so nicely and feels so rewarding and fresh along each step of the way that it never seems to get boring.
Meanwhile you'll also be doing story missions, most of which is just dialogue with various characters, but fret not as the writing is on point. The game will make you laugh, make you cry and almost certainly make you "awwwwwwwwww" at least a few times. While the story can essentially be done in a row, you will bore yourself a bit if you only do that so be sure to break it up with missions along the way, as like I said there is very little combat in story missions. The story centers around a talking butterfly, scary rocks falling from the sky, and kingdoms with bad blood, all presented in the cutest way possible.
The online multiplayer is a great distraction, allowing up to three players to team up and take down the biggest monsters together that would otherwise be nearly impossible solo. There is no voice chat, but players can communicate with text or emotes, which works alright, or you can always hop on Skype obviously. Overall the process is seamless, with the only negative being that you can't complete story sections together.
Having put over 80 hours into the game and still loving it, I can easily say that Fantasy Life for 3DS is my game of the year for 2014. I haven't even reached the main portion of the download content which I've heard is a nice extension of the story and has a few added mechanics. I am seriously surprised this has seemingly missed everyone's game of the year list, which can seemingly only be blamed on lack of marketing, even though it was the top game on GameFaqs message boards for some time. Also, speaking of Level 5, I can't wait to get my hands on the US release of Yokai Watch this year, a game that is aiming to be the "next Pokemon" for 3DS. I have a sneaking suspicion that it may be my game of the year 2015.
So most of you probably saw the post about yours truly playing Titan Souls and are thinking...who the fuck is this guy!? Well, I'm Jed and I used to write here a lot and it was pretty meh at best. I figured it would be in my best interest to update this with a new introduction post as A LOT has changed since my original.
First things first, let's get them labels out of the way: 27, bisexual, bearded, man, polyamorous (eventually), partnered YouTuber and Twitch streamer. I have a lovely boyfriend named Gage that I've been with for over a year and a half, he is what they call "rather fem" and adorable, I love him. Gage mostly plays RPGs with his current addictions being Dragon Age: Inquisition, Fantasy Life and Smite. I mostly play... everything. Recently it is almost exclusively Super Smash Bros. and Pokemon though, as that is what my viewers want, plus I'm pretty okay at Smash.
I've written for a couple of sites that are now mostly defunct. Girls Entertainment Network first, then here on the cblogs, and then I started my own site Tomodom, a site dedicated to given underrepresented voices in game journalism a place to make their voices heard. I had started to plan for a Kickstarter to be called DIG: Diversity and Inclusivity in Gaming, that was to be a series of games with unique characters with unexplored stories. Sadly both projects are now put on the backburner, though may be explored in the future. I plan on writing a bit about them and lessons learned in future cblogs.
Currently I mostly do let's plays / live streams of games at least 5 days a week typically at 12am EST. I've went from 600 followers to 6,500 and partnered within a year on Twitch, and have been able to pay my rent ($250, it is split 5 ways) just from the ad revenue / subscribers between that my 2 YouTube channels. Currently I put in 40 hours a week at my boring corporate IT desk job, and at least 30+ hours a week on Twitch / YouTube. So as you could imagine, I don't have much free time or social life outside of work.
But it is all worth it. Besides being something I can see myself doing for a living in the future, I get to have a positive impact on people's lives. I'm very open with who I am in everything I do, and especially on Twitch. I know as someone who didn't have many friends when I was younger, and when I was closeted, I wished someplace like the community in my Twitch channel existed. There have been people come out gay, trans, etc. for the first time in their lives in our chat because they feel at home, safe, welcomed. People send me messages of thanks for providing them entertainment, or a safe place. Others lurk in chat and randomly make donations to ensure I can afford to continue doing what I do (without me asking). Honeslty I don't have much of a social life to begin with working a late second shift, so Twitch has kind of given me one, as well as a lot of the people in my chat.
Anyways, I plan on starting to writitng here as often as I can and making Destructoid my home again (not that it hasn't been my home page for years). I've always liked this place. Also, cocks.
I leave you with a quote:
"If you love something, go do it. If you want to get paid to do something you love, don’t wait for someone to pay you to do it, do it until someone pays you to not stop doing it." - Max Scoville