On the wings of death, by the hands of doom;
By the darkest light from the darkest moon;
On the wings of life, by the hands of hope;
By the brightest light from the brightest sun.
And vice versa.
I'm a Dutch law student who loves to play the vidya. I'm a Nintendo-fanboy at heart, but I don't feel that I'm blinded by that, at least not very often. I am also currently on the Cblog Recaps team for Thursdays, so if for some voyeuristic reason you want to know more about me, check out my weekly Shadeisms.
I'm obsessed with the Monolith Soft RPGs Xenoblade Chronicles and the Baten Kaitos series. I will not pass up the opportunity to mention them, ever, and I consider myself Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean's biggest fan. Finally, as is to be expected I'm super excited for the new WiiU "Xeno-" game!
The Wii is one of my favorite systems of all time, and my favorite games on this system include, but are most certainly not limited to;
Xenoblade Chronicles (see also: Baten Kaitos - Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean for GC)
Zelda: Twilight Princess / Skyward Sword
Super Mario Galaxy 2
Muramasa - The Demon Blade
Wario Land: Shake it!
and Metroid Prime Trilogy.
I love my WiiU as well, and even though the library still needs expanding, I had tons of fun with:
New Super Mario Bros. U
Mighty Switch Force: Hyper Drive Edition
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD
Super Mario 3D World
Apart from Nintendo, I'm a huge indie game enthousiast. Give me a game like Trine, VVVVVV, Sequence or Recettear, and you've made me a happy camper for sure. You can keep your shooters to yourself.
Favorite indie game round-up:
Trine (+ Trine 2)
Super Meat Boy
The Binding of Isaac
Dungeons of Dredmor
Thomas Was Alone
Mark of the Ninja
Cthulhu Saves the World
Recettear - An Item Shop's Tale
To The Moon
Orcs Must Die! 2
The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom
and many, many more!
Besides gaming itself, I like reading up on gaming-related news on my favorite website in the whole wide world: Destructoid. I love all the people here, and I'm glad that I get to be a part of this. Wouldn't know what to do without you!
So I figured that, after raving about how much I want this to become a real thing we do on Destructoid, I should probably do my own version of calling dibs. The very least I can do is complete the trio started by burningsoup and Pixielated. Seriously though; all of you go write these. Do one retro-actively for all I care. Just make it happen. I'll even get Holmes to give you a kiss.
Froakie, you say? Chespin? Come now. We know we can't all have the best starter for Pokémon X and Y, but is that really a reason to give up that easily? You didn't have to delude yourself into thinking that you want Froakie or Chespin; you could've fought for Fennekin, like he deserves. Well too bad, you're too late now.
Now I've got dibs on Fennekin, and there's nothing you can do about it. Why do I have dibs? Oh you ignorant fool, there are so many reasons that Fennekin beats all. But you know what? I'll give you a tiny sample, just to rub it in that you can't have him anymore.
- Fennekin can be both cute and badass. Even at the same time. Don't believe me? Watch!
Take careful note of those other two guys being not-at-all-badass
He is sleeping in a ring of fire. Have you ever seen anything that simultaneously cute and badass? Off course you haven't. Let's see Froakie or Chespin pull that off! So far Froakie has only been able to look like he hasn't got a clue about anything that's going on around him, and Chespin is so happy his parents should seriously consider a sugar-free diet. But Fennekin? Cute. Badass. DONE.
- Animals of the other starters already exist. Fennekin is unique. Completely and utterly unique. Unfortunately, that doesn't hold true for our Grass and Water friends. Let's take a look:
Froakie is, obviously, a frog. But wait, haven't we seen that before? In fact, yes we have. Politoed, Seismitoad, and Toxicroak are all examples of frog-Pokémon, only one of which isn't a Water-type.
Chespin fares a little better. He bears some resemblance to a squirrel, but this position is already taken by Pokémon such as Pachirisu and Emolga. But you know what, fair enough, he probably isn't a squirrel. The other thing he looks like is a mole. Sorry, little guy, but that position is already taken as well, and Drilbur wouldn't like you messing with his game.
And what about Fennekin? Entirely unique. Not once in the entire series of Pokémon have we seen anything resembling a Fennec, or even a fox, let alone a Fire type fox. Except Vulpi None at all.
- Fennekin is legit the best fire-starter since Torchic. Charmander was a great starter. Cyndaquil was noticeably less interesting, but the starters of the second generation were kind of weak as a whole. Torchic was great again; he was an awesome little fire chicken who could kick you square in the face once it grew up. But then came Chimchar and Tepig. Chimchar literally had a flame coming out of his butt, and Tepig was...a pig I guess? I'm sorry, but there's just so little to say about these guys. They're the vanilla of Pokémon, flavorless animals colored reddish to convince us they were Fire types. Besides, what the hell kind of name is "Tepig"? And don't even get me started on their evolutions.
Fennekin, however, has revived my love for the Fire-starter. Besides being cute and badass (see above), he is the first Fire-starter since Torchic to really have an identity of its own. It's based on a relatively niche animal compared to Chimchar and Tepig, and his large ears and tufts of fire-hair give him a charm that's hard not to appreciate. Moreover, Game Freak didn't feel the need to color him orange this time around, instead going with a much nicer yellow. They know he can stand on his own merits, that he isn't "random animal but now FIRE!" like his predecessors. He's a fennec and he's fire, and that makes enough sense as is.
- Nobody uses Internet Explorer anyway. Admit it: the last time you used Internet Explorer it was to download Firefox. Firefox is a good browser, Fennekin is a Fire fox. Quod erat demonstrandum, he said in Julius Caesarese.
Oh, and while we're at it, I've also got dibs on Zapdos.
- Fennekin may be a Psychic type and Psychic kicks ass. If the rumors are to be believed, all of the starters this time around may receive an additional type. So far, Bulbasaur is still the only starter with two types, because he hails from a time where Grass-Pokémon were obligated by law to also be Poison-type. But perhaps that will change in Generation VI. In fact, if the rumors are true, Chespin will be Grass/Dark, Froakie Water/Fighting and Fennekin Fire/Psychic.
You may recognize the Psychic-type as the type that was completely and utterly broken in the first Generation of Pokémon, where it devastated everything in its path. Off course, ever since then the type has been nerfed considerably, but as far as pure power, Special Attack, goes you still can't go wrong with a Psychic-type.
And Fennekin may be one. Apart from scorching its foes to a fine crisp, he may also have the ability to fling you straight into the wall with its mind. In fact, he'll even be able to fling Wailord around with his mind. Think about that. Yoda was able to lift a small spaceship with the Force, Luke could barely move his lightsaber, Fennekin FLINGS FUCKING WHALES WITH HIS MIND.
Chespin's going to fight like a cheating bitch, Froakie thinks he's Kung Fu Panda, Fennekin outclasses Yoda. There's just no contest here, honestly.
But that's not all. If Fennekin turns out to be a Fire/Psychic, there's only one other Pokémon that (consistently) shares his type. The only Fire/Psychic Pokémon currently in existence is Victini, a Legendary Pokémon from Black and White. So not only will Fennekin have a cool typing, he'll only have to share it with a Legendary who is also the Victory Pokémon. Froakie, on the other hand, will share his type with a tadpole, and Chespin will share his with a cactus and a tree. Not quite the same, is it?
- Fennekin will not be a Fighting type because I will personally punch the entirety of Game Freak in the face. 'nuff said.
Alternatively, I will hug this baby fennec... No, that has nothing to do with anything; I just wanted an excuse to hug him.
- Fennekin has hair coming out of its ears that is also fire. Did you know that unicorn earhairs cure every disease known to man and can grant eternal life to penguins? It's true! Point is, ear hairs are awesome, and Fennekin's got them in spades. What's more, his ear hair is fire! He has the best fire-hair this side of LeChuck, and that's gotta count for something.
- Fennekin has the most potential for evolutions. When we first saw Charmander, how many of us could've imagined that he would evolve into the awesome dragon that is Charizard? Torchic is an even better example; how many of us foresaw that tiny chicken turn into a fearsome combination of fire, chicken and Bruce Lee?
The thing is, Fire starters have a history of turning out more awesome than you would think, whereas the others just tend to turn into a bigger version of themselves. I'll grant you Snivy, but otherwise the point more or less stands. At this point, we can only imagine what Fennekin's evolutions are going to look like. Still, it is very clear that we can expect something awesome, whatever it is. I could see him going the route of Amaterasu, and I'd be all over that.
- Red was my first ever video game. Yep, it was. Pokémon Red was the first real game I've ever played, and it was what got me into gaming in the first place. Pokémon Red also had the final evolution of the Fire-starter on the cover. So, in a strange and entirely roundabout way, Fire-Pokémon are what got me into gaming. With that in mind, how could I possibly not love Fennekin?
And last but not least: - There’s a Fennekin plushie. Can’t argue with the plushies.
And that concludes it, you can't possibly need any more evidence than this. As you can clearly see, there is only one real option for a starter in Pokémon X and Y, and that is Fennekin. He's cute, badass, may be Psychic, is entirely unique, has massive potential, and has a plushie. In short, we all want him.
Well, sucks to be you then, because he's already mine!
As most if you will probably know, I don't tend to blog all that much. This is mostly due to time reasons, and because I don't always have anything interesting to say. I often write something when something specific has popped up that I want to talk about, but that only happens every once in a while. With this blog, I want to try things a little bit differently.
I've often made it a point that I love to share the things I like. There's just something about giving other people the chance to fall in love with the things I've been enjoying for so long that makes me want to do it time and time again. Besides that, it's also a great way to show my own appreciation of the things that mean so much to me. Finally, this allows you guys to get to know me just that little bit better. So I've decided that, rather than doing posts based on random things that pop up every now and again, I'm going to start a sort of series of just me sharing good shit. Or just regular ol' shit, if I feel so inclined. I'm not going to promise that these are going to be weekly (God knows I can't), or even monthly, but I hope to be able to update this whenever I have time and inspiration.
Here's how it's going to work. In every new edition of Shade Shares, I'm going to pick a particular theme. These can be genres, gameplay elements, plot points, or anything else really. In the blog, I'm first going to try to explain why this theme is so important to me, followed by as many of my favorite examples as I feel the need to share.
"So basically it's a top 10 only you call it something else?" Shut up, you.
Seriously though, these are not actually meant to be Top 10's or anything like that. I don't intend to claim that the things I post here are the best, or the only good ones.
Basically, if I'm going to sum it up, it's this:
"Look you guys, these are things I like, have some." Simple as that.
Anyway, let's be off! For the sake of trying the new site with Youtube embedding and because of the already large number of posts regarding OSTs in the past week, this time Shade Shares Soundtracks!*
Shedding a Light**
Ah, the soundtrack. Was there ever a greater piece of music than that? Beethoven, Mozart or even Justin Bieber, all the greats have nothing on the likes of Koji Kondo, Hans Zimmer or Nobuo Uematsu. Personally, I can't tell you how much I love Original Soundtracks, and those of video games in particular. Currently, I have over 14GB worth of soundtracks on this computer alone, spread over almost 4500 files spanning well over 50 games, including some that most people won't even have heard of. It's gotten to the point that I rarely listen to anything else anymore. I can hardly remember the last time I listened to an actual band and I can't for the life of me tell you which "hot" songs are on the charts right now. I guess "Gangnam Style" is on there? Is that still a thing? If "Call Me Maybe" still is I might have to go and punch something.
Either way, what is it that I love about video game soundtracks? There's a couple of reasons for this, actually.
Most importantly, it's because they bring back great memories. With one exception which we'll get to later, all the soundtracks I have belong to games I've played and loved. Because of this, I can listen to any song on its OST and instantly be transported back into the game. Hyrule Field is only two clicks away, as is World 1-1, Phendrana Drifts or any of the other worlds I've had the joy of visiting in all my time as a gamer. Even when I don't actually remember hearing a specific song in the game, just hearing it and recognizing its style is enough for all sorts of great memories to come rushing back. Once we get to my actual sharings, I'll be sure to give you some which invoke this particularly well. If you love playing video games, wouldn't you want to take that feeling with you everywhere you go? Off course you do, and that's what OSTs are for. Either that or handhelds I guess.
Secondly, I believe that video game soundtracks are developed in a unique way, like no other music before it. Above anything else, game music is designed to be listened to on repeat, more so than any other type of music. Think about it, if you've created a three-minute song for the Obligatory Fire Dungeon of Dragons and Lava, how are you going to deal with a player that takes an hour to get to the end? There's just no composing against that, so you do the only thing you reasonably can do; you make your song loop. And don't even get me started on battle themes, which you have to hear hundreds of times in a single playthrough! But then, that poses a new problem. How do you make a three-minute song play twenty times in a row without it becoming annoying is hell? Honestly, I couldn't tell you how. I have the musical ability of a deaf chimp on crack, so you really shouldn't be asking me these things. Luckily, less crappy people than me have managed to find a way, and they are the greats that we all remember.
All of this results in music that you will know by heart at the end of the game, being exposed to it for so long, as well as music that you can always listen to without any problems. Video game songs are rarely linked to specific scenes, as movie OSTs so often are, so they will invoke the general feeling of the game without causing a disconnect if you don't have the game itself in front of you, and you can listen to them as many times as you want, because that is exactly what they were designed for! That really is unique in the music world, and it's just another special factor in my undying love.
Alternatively, you get a 20-minute song like "Dancing Mad", that also works
There are many other things that I love about these pieces of music, and I'm constantly finding more. The fact that you can interact with the music in many games (you know that at some point in your life you tapped the fire button in time with the music, don't deny it), and their ability to have an amazing variety of songs (tied to different areas in the game) but still maintain a single general theme are just some of the things I really like. All in all, we should always cherish all the great things about this hobby of ours, and the video game soundtrack is one of those things that deserve our recognition.
Well, here we are! Hopefully this is what you've been waiting for. Now that I've tried to explain my thought process regarding game music, allow me to share some specific ones that are special to me. There are many more were these came from, and they aren't even all my favorites, but I picked these because I had something specific to say about them. Well, that, and the fact that they're awesome. So yeah.
Ocean Theme - The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
This is bar none my favorite song to travel to. I honestly can't think of any song that sounds more adventurous than this one. And how could it not be awesome? After all, it plays when a young boy and his magical talking ship take to the seas on an epic journey across the seven seas (or one giant one)! I've never found anything quite like it, and that speaks volumes for this song. Not even other Zelda themes like "Hyrule Field" can compete. Whether you're traveling by plane, bus or even by foot, every mile will feel like an adventure with this in your ears. You'll almost be able to picture the Great Sea, and the many tales you have to tell about it.
People's thoughts about The Wind Waker are mixed. Hell, mine are. Many people thought that the sailing in particular could be kind of boring, and should have been sped up. Me, personally? Not once have I had any problem with any of the sailing I had to do. And I'm sure you can already guess why.
Kainé~Escape - NieR
Above, I mentioned that almost every OST I have belongs to a game I've played, but for one exception. NieR is that exception. I never actually picked this game up myself, but I did watch a Let's Play of it. Normally that wouldn't be quite enough to make you fall in love with a game or its music, but it was for NieR. This song in particular stuck out for me, and I honest to God believe that this is one of the best songs ever in video games and perhaps even beyond. I wish that there was more that I could say about this one, but I really can't. It's just great and that's what it is. So beautiful and great that I never even cared that I haven't played the game.
Ironic, for a theme based on one of the most sluttily-dressed and foulmouthed characters in video game history.
The Lost Court of Mushroom Caves - Trine 2
I wish I could post all of Trine 2's music, I really do. I had an easy time picking one song from each of the OSTs I featured here, except for this one. If there ever was such a thing as "hauntingly beautiful", I think some of these songs would definitely be it. This one right here caused me to take my hands away from the keyboard for a second just to sit there and listen. I still get the urge to do that every time I'm playing this level.
The unfortunate thing is that the music from Trine only really shines when combined with that game's awesome visuals. Regardless, this is still some of my favorite music from video games, and a big reason why I love the Trine series as much as I do. (which is to say a lot)
Soul - Madworld
I included this because it really shows how powerful video game OSTs are for me. Why? I hate rap music. Despise it. I can comfortably listen to almost any kind of music. I might not also exactly like it, but I can stand it at least. I can't stand rap music. I couldn't exactly tell you why, but just take my word for it here. So what's the deal? I actually like Madworld's soundtrack, which consists entirely of rap music. Not only can I stand it, I genuinely enjoy listening to it. I never expected to, that's for sure.
I wanted to try this game for its hilariously violent gameplay and its artstyle, but from the beginning I was set to mute this game whenever the music would start to suck. It never did. I liked all of its music, and that completely stunned me. I'll admit that this isn't my favorite soundtrack by any means, but just the fact that I like it at all is amazing. Again, I'm not sure what it is about it, but I just think its catchy and fun.
But it really is about the big picture here. Apparently video game OSTs are so great, that they not only make a genre I normally actively hate tolerable, but they even make it good.
Nega-wisp Armor Phase 2 - Sonic Colors
I love it when video games do this.
Picture this: you're fighting the final boss, big orchestral music in the background telling you in no uncertain terms: "You are fucked, my friend." This music plays throughout about 80% of the fight. But then at some point, when you get really close to beating him, the music changes. The haunting music from earlier is no more, and in its place you get awesome victory music even before the fight has actually finished. "Holy shit, you got this man, go for it!"
I remember that Super Castlevania IV did it (just watch this), but other than that I can't think of many, which is a damn shame. Recently though, I've found a new game that also does it, and it is none other than Sonic Colors.
This is the victory music that starts playing near the end of the final boss. As such, it brings back so many memories that it's not even funny. Colors was a great game, and this was a great boss, so that just happens without even trying.
But actually, there's another thing that's special about this song. It's actually a orchestral version of "Reach for the Stars"! If you don't know, "Reach for the Stars", besides a Will.i.am song (thanks for that, youtube), is also the main theme of Sonic Colors, performed by Cash Cash. It is one of the cheesiest songs ever in a Sonic game, only outdone by "Speak with your Heart"...which is also from Sonic Colors. I'm not going to lie, I like both of those songs in that special "so bad it's good" kind of way, but this version is just something else. I don't know how, and I don't know how anyone even thought of doing it, but somehow the composer for this game managed to take that horribly cheesy song, and managed to turn it epic. That's one of those things that's just crazy enough to work, and apparently they went with it. I love it, is all I can say.
Engage the Enemy - Xenoblade Chronicles
This song. This song right here. Man.
I'm going to try to be coherent here, but I can't make any promises. It's just...I mean...damn. This song gives me the chills.
Okay, I'm going to make a fair warning here. If I do make more editions of Shade Shares, expect to see Xenoblade on it more than once. I'm obsessive about that game, and I love everything about it, so don't be surprised. It's going to happen, just so you know.
This song, "Engage the Enemy", is basically the "shit is going down" song of Xenoblade. Whenever a particularly plot-important scene starts to play, this song plays with it. It works particularly well, because the song actually scales up as it goes along, so it will always coincide with the scene too. When the scene picks up, so does "Engage the Enemy". After my 120-hour playthrough of this game, some scenes will forever be etched in my mind in the best way possible. As a result, so is this music. From the two minute mark onwards, I completely lose it.
I know full well that this is not a song that is really suited to be listened to by anyone who hasn't played the game yet (even though you should), but this is still a song I wanted to share with you guys. It may very well be my favorite one ever, and at the very least it's the one I'm the most emotionally invested in. If that's not a cause for sharing, I don't know what is.
And there we go! Shade has now officially shared soundtracks! I hope you've found things to enjoy, but even if you haven't I still hope that you've learned just a tiny bit about my own interests. That's why I do what I do, and hopefully I get to do more editions of this in the future. There are still some topics up here in that brain of mine, so maybe I'll get them to come out at some point in time.
In the mean time, don't hesitate to share any songs you like, because I like receiving just as much as I like giving!
*insert sex joke here*
*Also, one of these days I'm going to find a less obnoxious way of incorporating my name into this, but for now you're all stuck with this crap right here, so there you go. ** I warned you.
This is not a blog I was planning to do, really. But holy shit does this feel awesome. If there was ever a thing I wanted to share with you guys, this is it.
So, I just got mail. Normally this wouldn't be anything special, but today is different. Just now, I received my new favorite pieces of video game swag. I'm psyched! Here, let me guide you through it. Also, excuse the quality of my massively shitty camera phone. I was way too excited to take the time to look for a better camera.
So this was the first thing I saw. At first I wasn't exactly sure what it was, because I didn't remember ordering anything from Club Nintendo.
But it started to dawn on me soon enough.
Which is to say it hit me right around here. I hadn't ordered anything recently. But there was still something special I was waiting for. Something I had already ordered months ago. Something exclusive as fuck. This had to be that something.
So, a little backstory. I'm pretty sure that everyone still knows what Operation Rainfall was all about. Three JRPGs: Xenoblade, The Last Story and Pandora's Tower, which were already out in Japan to great reviews, weren't going to make it to the US or Europe. However, RPG fans everywhere weren't going to take this. Operation Rainfall was launched to get these games overseas. In a stunning turn of events, it worked, and in an even more stunning turn of events, Nintendo of Europe just ran with the entire thing. Europe was the first, after Japan and way before the US, to receive Xenoblade and The Last Story, and as of yet is the only one to receive Pandora's Tower. But NoE, infamous for not getting several great games released over here, decided that this wasn't enough. Almost as if they had something to make up for (they did), they went further than ever expected. They hosted a Let's Play-contest for Xenoblade, for one thing, and even seemed to support Pandora's Tower, the least requested game, quite a lot.
But they weren't done.
As a final measure of good will, they decided to go all out. They knew that there were still hardcore JRPG fans out there, fans who weren't waiting for one of these games, or even two, but all of them. Nintendo of Europe had something in store for those exact people.
This is that something. They were going to give away an exclusive set of coins based on all three of the Operation Rainfall games to the first people who would register all three games on Club Nintendo. As far as I know, this was only done in Europe (although US may still follow, I guess?), and I'm not sure how many exactly were made, although I don't expect more than a couple thousand.
Either way, you have already guessed it: I'm one of those people.
Did I mention I'm excited as fuck right now? Because that's what I am.
So, what next? Roll call!
First up is Xenoblade Chronicles. As far as the three games go, this is definitely my favorite. I was the most excited for this one, and it did not disappoint in the slightest. The story's great, the characters are pretty good, the combat is great, the art direction and music is great, I just love this game to death and then some. This side of the coin has the title logo, which you can barely see because I suck at this. That's going to be a theme here. Also, each coin is going to have a title logo side and a symbol side. You'll see what I mean in a second.
This is Xenoblade's symbol side. The design isn't all that special, as it's just a Japanese character, but this is still my favorite. I've already said that Xenoblade is my favorite game of the three, and if you love the game, this symbol is really clever. The game's combat is completely focused on so-called "Arts". These are basically special attacks which you can perform during combat. It's difficult to explain, but it works fantastically. Shulk, the main character (with a stupid name, can't be helped), gets a set of extra-special Arts, which are activated by using his legendary sword. Upon activation, the sword will show a different symbol depending on which power is used. This is one of those symbols. It's the symbol for "Monado Enchant", which powers up your teammates and allows them to hurt the otherwise-impervious "mechon". It's the first power you gain, and completely vital from start to finish.
Artwork of Shulk performing Monado Enchant
So yeah, a great choice for this coin's symbol. Off to a good start here!
The Last Story's title side. Of the three, this was my least favorite game, although I really wanted to love it. The combat didn't feel right for me, and the story was only so-so. I did like the characters though, and overall I still consider this a good game.
While I really like the design of this one, it actually took me a while to figure out where this symbol came from. I don't remember The Last Story as well as Xenoblade, for obvious reasons, and the symbol isn't as clear as the one coming up. I finally worked it out though. At the start of this game, Zael, the main character with a much less stupid name, gets a power called "Gathering". With this power he can pull the enemy's attention to him and he can command his allies more effectively. When that power is activated, this symbol appears on his hand. The flame actually technically isn't part of the symbol, but you can see blue "flames" rising from his hand whenever he uses Gathering, so that's where it came from. It's quite difficult to see in-game, but this pic should show what I mean:
Note the blue crap in the middle
I think there probably would have been better choices for this one, but it's still cool in my book!
This game was actually quite a bit better than expected. The story's quite good, despite that fact that this is the least "RPG-ish" of the three. The girl you have to rescue from a horrible curse, Elena, is the sweetest damn thing ever seen in video games (to the point that I felt just as strongly about saving her as the protagonist did), and other characters are good as well. The bossfights are nice and cool, and the dungeons have some interesting ideas behind them. This game does have some problems with the camera and combat, but I otherwise found it to be a very solid game, although I was expecting this to be the least good of the three.
If you've played this game, or have even just seen some official art, this symbol should be instantly familiar to you. Of the three, this must've been by far the easiest choice for the designers as well. This symbol is featured in the game's logo, for one thing. But more importantly: this is the symbol of the curse that has been put on Elena, the one you're trying to rid her off. The symbol on her back shows that she's still under the curse, which basically means that the entire story revolves around it. It actually has a double meaning as well if you've played the game all the way through, but that's not something I'm going to spoil here.
It was a no-brainer of the best kind
By your powers combined, we are:
Fucking awesome is what we are. So yeah, this is basically what I wanted to show you guys. I'm probably one of the first people to receive these, and as far as I'm aware there aren't that many to go around in the first place, so this is completely sweet. And considering that I like each of the three games to a more or lesser extent, these commemorative coins are just icing on the cake. Well played, Nintendo of Europe, and keep up the good work!
...Wait a minute, did I miss something?
This is a poster I won several months ago, signed by Hironobu Sakaguchi, who created a little something called Final Fantasy. Like I said, The Last Story definitely isn't my favorite game by any means, but I do really like the art here. Besides, that's not the least of names on the bottom there. Unfortunately I never managed to get my hands on Xenoblade posters, which I know are going around, because that would've been even more awesome.
Anyway, that was basically it. I'm going to find a nice place for these three coins, because these are going to get me all the ladies. I mean, ladies are into that, right?
Hey everyone, guess who's writing again? I've been busy with my studies for quite a while, and on top of that my personal life got massively shaken up a couple of months ago. Luckily, everything is back in order, leaving me with time to write a piece that I had planned to do for some time. And considering all the recent comments that the community needs to step up its game again, what better time than this to finally do it? This blog deals with a more personal side of my (gaming) life.
This is a story about me, about my life and about my experiences with video games. It is also, as so many are, a story about a girl. This girl is in a strange way special to me, but not in the way you might think. Now stay a while and listen, for I will tell you all about the girl with the Triforce bag.
Does anyone know what the absolute best way to play video games is? How can you have the most fun playing video games? Actually, let's go through some of my own experiences and see if we can find out.
A controller is in my hand. In twelve seconds' time I will put it down because I'll have beaten the game. Ten seconds now. It is 2011, and I have just defeated the final boss of Xenoblade. It took me over a hundred hours to get this far and I had an absolute blast. This is a great game and at the very least one of the best RPGs ever made. And yet, something is missing...
It is August 15th 2012, and I am at home alone. One hour ago, I achieved 100% completion on The Binding of Isaac. It's a really (really) addicting game, in which I happily invested all the time and effort I could spare. And yet, something is missing...
It is July 11th 2008. I am playing as Luigi in Super Smash Bros. Brawl because he has a killer air-game. Four years from now I will still be playing as him and loving it. I can already beat several level 9 cpu's without too much effort. I like to think that I'm pretty good at this game. And yet, something is missing...
It is October 16th 2011. Me and my friend have just finished the last co-op room in Portal 2. This is more like it.
Hopefully you can already see where I'm going with this. But just to really bring it home, let me show you what I think the best way to play games is:
But on the off chance that you don't have personal Black Cat and X-23 cosplayers, this will do:
So, while I am madly in love with a great many singleplayer video games, nothing in the world will ever beat the joy of on-the-couch multiplayer. If that's not available online multiplayer works too, at least as long as you can opt to just play with your friends. Whether it be a versus mode in Smash Bros., co-op in Portal 2 or a mixture of both such as in New Super Mario Bros. Wii, it's all great. If you have ever experienced it, I'm sure you know what I mean. The only thing you need are friends to play with you.
And that's exactly the problem.
I've mentioned this before in my 10 things blog some time ago, but I feel the need to go a bit more in-depth. When I was still in high school, I had several friends who played video games. We'd share experiences, hold get-togethers, all the good stuff. I still remember fondly one special multiplayer session where just me and the girl I liked spent all afternoon playing Smash Bros., during which I secretly let her win on several occasions, much to her amusement.
After high school though, over three years ago now, we all went our separate ways. Myself, I moved to a new place about 100 miles away to attend university. And while 100 miles may not sound like much, it is literally half the country over here, so it feels huge to us. As a result of this, combined with everyone having a busy schedule these days, I don't really know the guys from high school anymore. I only managed to keep in touch with my best high school friend, and he is now the only gaming friend I have. I do still know the girl I mentioned above, but our schedules prevent us from getting together all that often and she's not that big of a gamer either way. I am giving her Portal 2 for her birthday next week though; hopefully something will come of that.
When in doubt, Portal 2.
Off course none of this means that I'm a lonely person (none of you should be worried), just that I'm a lonely gamer. I've made lots of great new friends at my new place, guys and gals I wouldn't trade for the world. None of them, unfortunately, have any real experience with gaming, or particular interest in it. They accept the fact that I'm a gamer and they will listen to me when I tell them what I've been playing in my spare time, but that's about the extent of it. I have yet to seriously ask them to play with me, because I'm not quite sure how they'd respond, but I'm thinking of buying New Super Mario Bros. Wii if they would be up for it. Right now they are the people I hang out with the most, talking about all sorts of crazy stuff. Little of that crazy stuff involves video games though.
As it stands, my experiences with multiplayer games are lacking as well. I love to play co-op with my gaming friend: we've played Magicka, Lara Croft, Portal 2 and recently Orcs Must Die 2, and we had a blast during all of them. But here too the lack of gaming friends rears its ugly head. I personally love the Trine series...but he doesn't. This means that even though those games are supposed to have a pretty fun co-op mode, I won't be able to experience that. Similarly, he will never get me to play any RTS with him, because I can't manage to play an RTS for more than 5 minutes without getting bored for the life of me. Still, there are a lot of games we can play together, and this is closest I can get to the experience I want: it's pretty damn close. Nevertheless, none of these online experiences can ever match the chaotic joy of a 4-man Smash Bros. match or similar games. This has become painfully obvious to me after watching several Let's Plays of a bunch of guys playing multiplayer games together; a series of every (console) Mario Party being the highlight. They laughed together, cursed together (because hey, it's still Mario Party, if you're not swearing you're not playing it properly), and in the end had tons of fun together. As I was watching it, the same feeling would keep creeping up on me: "Man, I wish I could be a part of that..."
I would absolutely love to have more multiplayer sessions, but that just doesn't seem possible right now. I want to laugh at my friends when I beat them in a fighting game, I want to think of clever ways to get that out-of-reach Star Coin without someone dying, I want to give them Luigi's weird-ass Final Smash right in the face, I want them to tear me a new one at any shooter ever, and I even want to get a Blue Shell up the rear end when I'm just about to cross the finish line. I want all of that and more.
Alas, that was not meant to be.
But perhaps...perhaps I know what the problem is. Perhaps I know why I don't have enough gaming friends.
Maybe I'm simply lacking the confidence to declare my gamerness to the world. Maybe I'm simply not as courageous as the girl with the Triforce bag...
Technically it's the crest of the royal family of Hyrule, but eh, same difference.
I "met" this girl about a year ago. She was walking around town, apparently heading for the book store. She had dyed red hair, gothic-style clothing (but not too overdone) and, off course, a bag with the famous Zelda emblem printed on it. Now, I say I "met" her because I don't actually know anything about her. I don't know who she is, where she lives or what her major is. In fact, I have never even spoken to her, nor do I even know her name, so I'm going to have to disappoint all of you that were hoping for me to reveal a secret crush. Really I didn't so much meet her as see her walking down the street. Still though, seeing the Triforce on her bag struck me. "Wait, did I just see that?! Because it be pretty awesome if I did!" After that I didn't think too much of it, though. "After all", I thought, "it's a pretty cool looking symbol, so perhaps she doesn't even know what it's from." My doubts where quelled about two weeks later. I saw her again, a little closer up this time, and I noticed that besides the bag, she was wearing another special item. On her jacket she had a picture of the 1-up Mushroom from every Mario game ever. This could not be a mistake. You don't just wear that without knowing what it's from.
I reached a conclusion then and there: This girl is a gamer, and she's proud of it.
But at the same time I reached another, less happy, conclusion: I am nowhere near as confident as she is.
The Triforce of Courage was never granted to me, it seems.
In a way this also relates to a question Dale North asked just last month: "Do you wear video game t-shirts?" He answered his own question right away: "I suppose that's a silly question. Of course you do. I do. We all do." I don't. I have never worn any video game related clothing, and I'm not entirely sure why. I'm always tempted to buy one, but then I back down at the last second. I don't even give a single fuck about fashion whatsoever. I can barely tell the difference between any of my jeans, wear nothing but old shirts, and my only accessory is my digital watch which I never take off and is apparently so horribly out of fashion that nobody even sells the damn things anymore. Besides, it's not even like there aren't any cool t-shirts available.
I like this one, simple and to the point, but instantly recognizable.
I think what it ultimately boils down to is that I'm not confident enough to wear video game t-shirts, despite the fact that I would really like to. I just don't think that I'd feel comfortable wearing one, which I admit is pretty damn stupid. As much as we like to deny it, gamers still tend to get looked down upon, and I don't think I have the heart to test my luck in a crowded city. I'd feel weird shouting to the world that I'm a massive geek, even though I'm perfectly comfortable doing it here. Hell, I even assured my friends (gaming and otherwise) that "I have reclaimed the word 'geek'; it's now a compliment". However, when it comes to everyone outside my circle of friends, those bold claims tend to leave me...
But I am a gamer, and everyone who wants to hang around with me is going to have to accept that fact one way or the other. And yet I hardly ever tell it to anyone I meet for the first time. For fear of ruining my first impression, of them judging me? Perhaps so. In the end, I may be just a bit ashamed of how important games are to me. The fact that I prefer Nintendo games to all others also really doesn't help matters. Imagine this scenario:
"Oh, so you're a gamer are you? What are you playing now?"
"...Kirby's Epic Yarn" "I'm sorry, what was that?"
"...I'm playing Kirby's Epic Yarn right now...but it's actually really good, honest!"
Pictured: Your first impression going out the window
On the other hand, maybe being more confident in myself as a gamer is exactly what I need! At 21, I'm too old to be ashamed of what I do...aren't I? I've got my life on track, I've got my priorities straight, my studies are going well, and I just so happen to really enjoy video games. There's nothing wrong with that, is there?
In his blog, Dale also talked about some stranger coming up to him to talk about his Prototype 2 t-shirt. Personally, I would love something like that! Maybe if I had worn a Zelda-themed t-shirt I would've had the perfect opportunity to compliment the girl with her sweet bag. Who knows, maybe I would have gained a gaming friend from something as simple as that. In fact, maybe the city is full of potential gaming friends but I just never really bothered to look. Just walking around town when all of a sudden a fellow gamer compliments you on your "kickin' rad" t-shirt would be pretty damn awesome if you ask me.
Ultimately, I think I need to learn to be more open about what is and will be for a long time to come an important aspect of my life. Gaming has changed my life and made me who I am, and I owe it to myself to make the most of it. Playing Smash Bros. against CPU's is no fun at all compared to the real thing, and letting more people know that that's what I want is the simplest solution I can think of. Off course this doesn't stop at wearing a new t-shirt, I need a boost of confidence all around, but it can be a nice place to start. Another step would be to simply ask my non-gaming friends to play a game with me. They can't hate Mario that much, can they? Hopefully this will pay off in the end.
And as it is written in ancient gaming law, I get to be Mario, they get to be Toads.
All in all, I think I've gained some new insights over the past year. My experiences with my co-op buddy, the Let's Plays I've been watching and, most importantly, the girl with the Triforce bag have all helped me to realize that I'm not as confident being a gamer as I would like to be and, moreover, that this is something that I should work on. It can only go up from here because, let's be honest, having most of your playtime in Smash Bros in singleplayer mode is at least a little sad.
I would also like to ask you, fellow 'toiders, what you think of my plight. Does anyone else recognize being the only gamer in a group of friends? What do you do in such a situation? How does one boost his gaming confidence; where does one find his Triforce of Courage? What tips can you give me for my next course of action? In short, what Wisdom can be found here on the Dtoid Cblogs, and where do you find the Power to live your life fully as a gamer?
Either way, I only have one thing left to say to round this off:
I don't know where or who you are, Triforce bag girl, but I just want you to know that your bag is friggin' sweet!
The stage is set: E3 2012. It's the fifth of June, and Nintendo's press conference is about to start.
They are going to nail it this year. Yesterday Microsoft once again fell flat on its face, and while Sony did well, it was nothing that can't be beaten. Nintendo has a fresh new console to promote: all the more reason for them to knock it out of the park today. They've got this one in the bag.
The show starts: a nice little video featuring Miyamoto being followed around by pikmin. Man, they're starting off with Pikmin 3! I told you this was going to be glorious! I can't wait to hear what else they have in store! "You've got to have a Mario game", Reggie says a little while later. He's right, you know. New Super Mario Bros. U is shown, people like it. A little Van Gogh there in the background, Nintendo? Nice. The game looks good, but it's not that spectacular. Also, Nintendo really needs to work on its naming conventions. Harley Quinn starts talking to Reggie. A little bit of disguised DLC promotion? Oh well, it was a clever little segment, so we'll let it slide. Warner Brothers comes up to show a few games. Arkham City looks great, but it was already great on the other consoles a couple of months ago. People are largely unimpressed. A nice little trailer reel. It includes Trine 2, but nobody seems to notice despite the fact that it's goddamn TRINE 2 FOR WII U!
About half the show is over now, and it was alright, but nothing stellar. Nintendo's saving the big guns for last. Or Wii fit U (naming conventions!), I guess? Well, Reggie admitted that his body was ready, so it's all good. Wait, singing? People are looking over to the person sitting next to them: "why would they show this?" 3DS is next, that apparently also exists. Couple of Mario games, couple of trailers, pretty okay. Wii U is back. Ubisoft? That looks promising, let's see some more Rayman! Oh, dancing. Drat. ZombiU looks cool though. Also naming conventions.
We're nearing the end of the show. Those big guns are coming any second now. But first, Nintendo Land. Bunch of minigames that will surely be sold together with the console. Nobody really cares at this point. After more Nintendo Land, Reggie is thanking everyone for coming? Wait, was that it? No big guns? Fireworks play. They're blasting away Nintendo's major E3 victory. People are standing up, a little disappointed. It wasn't a bad show, but Nintendo didn't nail it like they should have. And what was up with ending with Nintendo Land? Sighs are heard as people stand up to leave.
But then it happens. The lights dim again, the screen goes black. "Wait, what's happening?"
Music starts playing. Awesome music.
Duuum-duuum-duuum-duuum-dum-dumdum-duuum-duuum-duuum-duuum-dum-dumdum Several people start wooing: they obviously know what's up. The rest hasn't caught on yet.
Until, out of nowhere...
SHOW ME YOUR MOVES! The guitar comes in, the Mute City theme in full glory! The crowd goes wild! Some people are playing air guitar along with the music, others are applauding and being otherwise just excited as hell.
And on the screen? Gloriousness. It's a short trailer, but it's showing off nothing short of a brand new F-zero game! The game looks fast as hell, and the visuals rock! Captain Falcon is back baby!
At the end the screen simply says: "F-zero UX". Naming conventi-ah screw it. New F-zero!
Everyone finally leaves the Nokia theater, ecstatic: Nintendo has won E3.
At least, that's how it went in my imagination. Off course we all know that it didn't really go this way. Now, I've gotten over my disappointment and am now able to see that Nintendo still had a pretty decent show, even without a big surprise. Still though, many people were hoping for something really exciting, and while any of the "big guns" would've done fine, I believe F-zero in particular would have been completely perfect, for Nintendo's sake as well as ours. In fact, here are three reasons why.
1: We haven't seen it in forever Many people of the internet have already pointed out that maybe it was too much to ask for a new first-party title right away. The last Zelda, after all, was only a couple of months ago. Yes, we're getting new Mario games, but those also aren't really what we were talking about. Off course, Pikmin 3 will also be great, but we already knew about that one. We wanted to be surprised.
And what would be more surprising than reviving the series that has skipped the Wii entirely, despite launching one of the most meme-worthy characters in Nintendo history?
With F-zero making up one of Nintendo Land's minigames, it's clear that the big N hasn't forgotten its racing franchise. Unfortunately though, the only video of it we've seen so far shows that it's much slower than an actual F-zero game would be, and the racetrack seems rather bland. Why not go all out with it instead? Hell, you could even get cameo racers in there. Have Samus unlockable in her gunship, Olimar in his rocket, Star Fox in an Arwing. Go for it! Nintendo fans would love it. Seriously, show that in an E3 trailer and watch the crowd completely lose its shit.
A small step in the right direction
2: It is "the hardest of the core" Did you know that F-zero is hard? Like, really hard? Because it is. Only the most well-trained and experienced intergalactic racers had even a chance of beating F-zero GX for the Gamecube on the harder difficulties. This actually makes F-zero a great game through which Nintendo can show that the WiiU is indeed intended for the hardcore audience. Your grandpa wouldn't play F-zero (and if he would, he's awesome!) and neither would your little sister. No, F-zero is for us, and for us alone. We'll curse and scream when we just barely finish in second place. We'll spout memes like it's nobody's business. We'll post our records on youtube for others to tell us we suck. We'll do all of that and more, because this, well, this is our game.
In fact, this would be a great series to use with Miiverse. We've already seen that future games may get some sort of achievement system, and racing games are quite suited to that, as beating a certain time is half the fun of playing it. Actually, why stop at achievements? Get full-on online multiplayer in there! Man, if you can get a fast-paced racer like F-zero running online, no one will ever doubt the WiiU's online functionality again!
3: It could show off the WiiU's graphical power The common consensus right now seems to be that the WiiU is about as powerful as the other consoles, perhaps slightly more. Because of that, people fear that Nintendo will be left behind once the new consoles come out.
Nintendo has a few tricks up its sleeve though. As Jim Sterling recently pointed out, gritty shooters don't make for very beautiful games. If you get a bit of color in there, you can actually get a much better looking game. Nintendo has always been able to make "outdated" hardware sing. Mario Galaxy, Metroid Prime 3 and Skyward Sword all looked better on the Wii than they had any right to. Monolith understands it as well, as evidenced by Xenoblade. And finally, Pikmin 3's visuals also managed to wow people, despite WiiU apparently not even being all that powerful.
F-zero is the perfect series for Nintendo to show that they can still do it. It's bright and colorful, with lights everywhere, and different racetracks can be used to showcase all kinds of different visual splendor. If you want to show what WiiU can do, let's say in an E3 presentation, this is one of the best ways to do it.
You want to play this in HD and you know it
All in all, the WiiU's launch line-up seems pretty good. A couple of first party games, one of which has been awaited for a long time, and some nice-looking third parties too. Some of them show off what WiiU can do better than others, but still. Nintendo's E3 presentation, however, was kind of underwhelming. Ending with Nintendo Land was especially hard to swallow for some people, but that game was somewhat saved by the inclusion of an F-zero mini-game. Could a full F-zero have saved the conference too? Yes.
F-zero, or even a small trailer, could show off the WiiU's graphical power, show that the WiiU is for the hardcore gamers and would have ended the show with a nice surprise to have them go home feeling good about life again.
In all honesty, I'm not sure how F-zero would utilize the new functions of the Wii U Gamepad. Then again, does it need to? Maybe it would be good for Nintendo to show the world that not everything needs to use the Gamepad for something special. Simplicity has its own charm, and the fact that the game could be playable on the Gamepad itself could also be a nice bonus in its own right. At the very least it would quell some shouts that every WiiU game is going to be "gimmicky" if Nintendo itself came with a game that didn't use the controller as much, but used its newfound graphical power instead. At any rate, a well-made trailer showing off cool stages, online play and whatever else Nintendo could come up with would have been eaten up by the crowd and would have surely won it some confidence.
Pikmin 3 is cool, but Captain Olimar can only get you so far. Perhaps it's time to call on the other Captain as well.
I’m liking this recent surge of information on the Cblogs. It's nice to see what kind of little, and not so little, things you can learn about your fellow gamer. So what the hell, time for me to chime in!
Look everyone, it's a phoenix! Oh, and some guy in the background I guess. Not sure what that's about.
1. I don’t watch TV, ever. I don’t even have access in either of my regular homes. There’s simply nothing on TV that I can’t watch more easily online and everything else is just crap. The Daily Show, Colbert Report, My Little Pony, I can watch all of those practically in realtime. I don’t deal with commercials, godawful people who have gotten famous for literally no reason whatsoever or any of that crap. Instead, I bought a television set to serve as an external monitor for my laptop, and I watch everything I could possibly want on that.
2. I hate giving myself compliments for fear of becoming arrogant People have told me that this is an “age thing” an “intelligence thing” and even a “Dutch thing”. Honestly, I’m starting to think it’s just a “Shade thing”. My studies are going really well, and I’ve made some nice achievements here and there. I was the top-scoring Law student during my first year (out of about 600 people), and I’m still in the running to graduate Cum Laude at the end of next year. But when people tell me that I’m “smart” or anything, I just feel like backing down. I feel like an idiot much more often than I feel even remotely smart. I just so happen to like what I do and I work hard for it. That really makes all the difference in the world. Above all though, I’m scared of becoming arrogant. I’ve seen people change once they got it into their heads that they were one step above the rest, and I don’t ever want that to happen to me: I’d absolutely hate myself for it. So while I can fully admit that I’m doing well in my studies, I’m more than a little hesitant to call myself smart or intelligent or whatever. It’s not in my nature to do so, and I don’t really want it to be.
I love this shirt. Honestly, I think a little self-deprecating humor is healthy for everyone
3. The word “flick” is awful and should be banned Yeah, everyone has those one or two words that he just hates with a passion. I hear that “moist” is a favorite for many. Mine is “flick”, as in the action movies. Damn it. Damn it to punishment and pain eternal. Call it a “movie”, a “film” even, call it “a series of rapidly changing pictures to give the illusion of movement” for all I care, but just for all that is good in this world don’t call it a flick. And yes, I know Destructoid’s sister site is called Flixist.
4. Hypnosis helps me relax What can I say? It really does. This will sound weird, but I’ve actually gone through a time where the concept of “sleeping” really bugged me. Trust me on this, you should never think about what actually happens to your body while you sleep. I mean, going into some kind of unconscious state until the morning, and you won’t even know how or when it even happens? Creepy stuff. I have some hypnosis sessions on mp3, however, and it’s the most relaxing stuff ever, I’m not even kidding. They can really help me forget about the worries of the day (video games do that to me too, but in a different way somehow) and get me relaxed and ready for sleep in minutes. I don’t have any sessions with a man’s voice though, because a guy whispering into my ear to lay back and relax creeps me the fuck out.
5. Clumsy is my middle name And I don’t mean clumsy like Bella from Twilight is clumsy. This is not a flaw that is kind of cute when you have finally accepted it. I just break things. Any and all things, everywhere. I can’t draw at all and am even worse at arts and crafts. Something, somewhere will always go wrong. Hell, I can barely assemble a piece of Ikea furniture. I trip, I drop things, my balance is terrible, I make even the simplest solutions incredibly convoluted and it’s all just completely UGH. If I ever get a job offer as a waiter for December 2012, I'll be sure to turn it down, because I think that is what the Mayans were referring to.
Strangely though, I do consider myself good at video games: I’ve even finished the original Ninja Gaiden and 100%ed Super Meat Boy. So apparently, I am still really skilled with my fingers. (Ladies.)
6. Let’s Plays have recently taken up more of my time than actually playing games I’ve made it a point in #2 that I work hard for my studies. This has been doubly the case in the last few months. I’ve been working on several important essays which really take up quite a bit of time. It doesn’t help that academic works often take an half hour of research for writing one sentence. At the end of the day, when I’ve finished all of my work, I just can’t bring myself to stay in front of my PC playing a video game. My other option is the Wii, which also isn’t all that when you’re tired. So instead, I hook up my laptop to my TV, search through the Let’s Play Archive, drop on the couch and watch away.
I’ve actually come into contact with many games that I wish I could play, but can’t. I love Muramasa, for example, but I don’t have the console to play its predecessor, Odin’s Sphere. Let’s Plays truly save the day here. I’ve even put a game on my “must play before I die”-list, based on what I’d seen in an LP. I’m hoping that once I have more free time on my hands I can go back to actually playing games again, especially my massive Steam backlog, but for now I’ll settle with a nice night on the couch watching a guy play Super Mario 64with his feet.
7. When it comes to girls, I’m a walking friend zone I like girls. That sounds like me trying desperately to convince myself that I’m not gay, but that truly isn’t the case. I just so happen to really like talking to girls, more so than guys I would say. I pretty much have more girl-friends than guy-friends too. Only rarely do I meet a woman I dislike, especially if I get a chance to talk to her one-on-one. And it works too: I often get along quite well somehow, despite (or because of?) I’m somewhat overweight and haven’t inherited anything like bbain’s staggeringly awesome beard. I don’t even do anything besides being me and being friendly (both of which I think you should always be regardless) but often it seems to click rather well.
As friends, that is.
For as good as I like to believe I am at generally being friendly and making friends, I’ve never been romantically involved with anyone. I’ve been in love several times for sure, but always ended up in the dreaded friend zone. And as it is written in the story of my life, my gift then instantly becomes my curse.
8. This one is blank What did I tell you about living by my own rules!?
9. I am currently trying to memorize Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door
“‘Tis some visitor”, I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door”
Only this, and nothing more.
Ah, distinctly I remember, it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Anyway, you get the point. The first time I read this poem I was absolutely stunned. I’m not much of a guy for literature, and poetry even less so, but I found The Raven to be just completely gorgeous in every way. I can recite the first 9 stanzas (out of 17) pretty consistently. The rest hasn’t been that easy yet, since English isn’t my first language and there are some pretty obscure words in there. Really now, “Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe”? What does that even mean? The point being, I really liked it, and some of Poe’s other works as well (be sure to recommend some!). My favorite part is, I think, where the Raven’s name is first asked:
10. Out of all of my friends, only one is a fulltime gamer It’s true, unfortunately. I have a friend I share all of my gaming-related stuff with. We’re on Steam together, host co-op sessions, et cetera. All of my other stuff I just saddle onto all of my other friends. They don’t seem to mind. A lot of them have played some games in the past, so they can understand what it is that I do. And really, they are getting good at being interested/feigning interest when I talk about “what I’ve been doing all week”.
Still though, I wouldn’t trade these guys and girls for the world, but it would be nice if I could get any of them to play Smash Bros with me.
11. I’m actually typing this using Dvorak for the first time Okay, no I’m not. There’s some potential in here for sure, but holy crap this is going to take a while to learn.
12. My dream is to become a judge for the European Court of Human Rights (or for a not-even-in-existence-yet Universal Court of Human Rights) Talk about shooting for the stars, eh?
Nonetheless, I’ve been interested in the law for years and years, but during my actual studies in this field I’ve found that human rights are my true passion. They are, quite simply, the very things that allow us to live the lives that we do, and that’s something very special. I’m writing a thesis right now on whether or not access to the internet should be a human right (my supervisor wouldn’t accept “the right to visit Destructoid”) and stuff like this is what I could see myself doing in god knows how many years. Seeing as how the European Court is the single most successful human rights court in existence that is really what I should be aiming for. I believe I'm getting a feeling for human rights and the law in general, and I'm willing to do all the work it takes, so I don't believe this is impossible in any way. It’s a long ways away, surely, but dreams bring out our full potential, do they not?
Besides, Xenoblade has made it to Europe, so apparently anything is possible.
Yes, that was a set-up just so I could use this picture.