It has begun. The snow, that is. A journey and brief stay in the snow. A snowjourn?
Here in the American southeast - with the exception of the Appalachian portion of the region - people flip out at the slightest hint of frost, ice, snow and lots of things get canceled. We're supposed to get six to eight of inches of snow where I live today, but then, two inches seems enough to qualify as a blizzard for Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Yes, they really see it that way.
The extremely rare tremor is also a HUGE deal here, too
I was actually in Florida once when a real freak blizzard hit in 1989. They didn't raid the grocery store for milk and bread or just buckle down and continue life as usual. I saw people go to the pool and outdoor hot tubs and party because why not? Snow! How often does that even happen there? Its certainly rare in NC, I don't think we've had a serious snow since the 80s and we still treat each instance like the blizzard of '88. We got three feet of snow then, so at least my childhood got massive loads of wintery fun.
I never saw the big deal about snow, at least as far as canceling things goes or it being "bad weather." Maybe its just I have mountain people in my lineage. Maybe I just like cold weather. I know I liked it for more than school or sometimes work cancelations. Plus I went to college in a mountain town, they didn't cancel anything for snow - and it was fun to see the kids from Charlotte complain and have difficulty adapting. Or slip and drop a bag of groceries.
Snowy levels and areas in games seem to be more rare these days. I'm talking more about other genres besides platformers as the ice levels there are predictable. I guess that's why I get happy when there's a snowy area or large portion of a game's world set in the ice and snow. Sure there may be bears, skeletons, werewolves or sheegoths and ice golems in it, but snow is still pretty.
I loved how Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow had a wintery backdrop and how even the main theme
of the game itself feels wintery. The initial outdoor area and occasional looks outside never forget it. The again, Dracula's Castle just shows up wherever it likes, doesn't it? At least the setting helped justify Soma Cruz's odd affinity for fur coats.
Its a game coming up in my rotation soon, but I'm tackling Aria of Sorrow first.
SSX 3 probably remains my favorite game in that series, mostly in how it built its way up in the theme of conquering the mountain. I tend to be averse to trick-based games now because they murder my hands, but the pay-off of riding the mountain from the top to the bottom was worth all of it. I never took well to skiing, snowboarding and the like. I fell down a lot and walking around in the Robocop boots killed my legs. I like the other parts of snow better, but still, rinding the final level of SSX 3 is rather breathtaking. I could never do that kind of thing even without SSX's over-the-top antics.
Skyrim and Metroid Prime are more my speed for snowy adventuring. Then again, I do love exploration and discovering things in a more isolated way. Unless you're a sexy, friendly vampire named Serana and are voiced by Laura Bailey, then you can come with me.
Phendrana Drifts in Metroid Prime is probably my favorite snowy area of all, but I have little to say about it. Its just a beautifully crafted area and the music for that area
suits it perfectly. Electric beats and piano, particularly piano, fit snow so well.
Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey (pictured up top) also takes place in a snowy world, at least at first before things get really, really weird. Most main series SMT games take place in and is about Tokyo and her people. Strange Journey drops the focus on Tokyo and Japanese characters and trades it for Antarctica and an international cast in a game that references a lot of western sci-fi and horror flicks/shows like 2001, Aliens, Star Trek, The Thing and more. Shit gets weird fast and you find shopping malls and red light districts where icy tundra should be.
Still, its got the forces of Law and Chaos at work, so it still falls within the main series
Louis Cypher also decides being an old man is boring and becomes Louisa Ferre just to change things up. She cosplays Lewis Carroll's Alice, too. Notice how this "Lucifer" idea just keeps getting reinforced? IT'S SO SUBTLE!
Anyway, I'm okay with some snow and watching the world panic as I just relax and watch it all fall. I'm hoping we get a bit, particularly since we get three inches or less when we get snow at all. This time we're supposed to get six to eight. Still not quite the three feet I saw as a kid, but its something.
I know it won't last or remain unblemished for long, but I'll still be able to romp around in video game snow any time I need to.