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About
Somewhere in the backwoods of California, in a cabin with 5 cats and little contact with the outside world. Locked away with nothing but a PC, a guitar, and an near limitless supply of spam. A small yet courageous man works day and night in order to make sense of humanity's greatest secrets. Using his abilities as a skilled video games player, amateur musician, and wannabe film connoisseur, he manages to keep himself busy with his work of saving the world through his studies of Heavy Metal, Silly Pop Culture, and Raccoons.
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ooktar
20 hours ago - 12:24 AM on 12.22.2014

2014 was a pretty good year for me as far as Video Games are concerned. I picked up a Wii U  back in June which has given me an excellent selection of games thus far with many more  promising titles to come. A number of games I was really looking forward to came out this year  and for the most part they all managed to meet if not exceed my expectations. while there were  a few disappointments throughout the year, I can't say there were any games that I outright  hated as opposed to previous years.

I generally have a hard time choosing any one favorite anything let alone 10 as my tastes are  ever changing. What I choose this week may very well be completely different the next. There  were a lot of games I played that I really liked and to only choose 5 or 10 games would mean  omitting other excellent games I want to highlight. So fuck it, I'm breaking the format and  just gonna list a bunch of games I liked from this year in no particular order.


Death Skid Marks


You wanna know how awesome this game is. I only bought it just last week and it's already one  of my favorite games of the year. Take the fun arcade action of Spy Hunter, load it up on some  Booze and Meth, and toss it in a heavy metal bar and you get Death Skid Marks. A roguelike  arcade action game that puts you in a world where you got to traverse a  long treacherous  highway filled with crazy religous fanatics, intolerant rednecks, crazed female groupies and a  slew of other undesirables in order to get to your favorite bands gig.

Pick up hitch hikers on the way and load them up with weapons and drugs to help you out and  upgrade your ride to take more damage and push other drivers off the road. A fantastically fun  silly and addicting game that I see myself playing over and over for a long time to come. As  soon as I saw this come out I knew I had to play it and I am not disappointed in the least.


Far Cry 4



While Far Cry 2 was a pretty vast departure from the first game in the series and Far Cry 3 a  pretty vast change as well, Far Cry 4 doesn't do as much to change up the formula this time  around as the previous two entries did. It feels more like an expansion upon the previous game  rather than a full sequel which some might view as a bit lazy.

Thing is though, Far Cry 3 was a fantastically fun open world action game game and Far Cry 4  expands on it just enough to manage to make a fun formula even better without overdoing it.  Additions like the Buzzer copter, Autodrive, special syringes, elephants and more make an  already fun experience even funner.


Fract OSC



I've talked about how much I love music in the past, so Fract OSC is a game that's right up my  alley. A game where you have to solve puzzles with music, Fract OSC puts you inside a TRON like  world where you explore the inside of a musical synthesizer. Progress through the world by  manipulating the landscapes by composing music on various sequencers.

As a big fan of both TRON and musical synthesis, this game resonates with me incredibly.  Exploring the world and watching it pulse to the music is a fantastic experience and the bonus  of an unlockable interactive studio makes for an incredibly unique game.


Captain Toad's Treasure Tracker



In my unpopular opinion, Super Mario 3D World was a tad underwhelming for me. It certainly  wasn't a bad game in any way but for some reason I didn't feel it was as fun as the reviews I  saw seemed. Funny enough, the biggest highlights for me though were Captain Toads bonus levels.  The fun little puzzles were a unique and fun experience in their own right and when I heard  that they were making a whole game based on his levels I was ecstatic.

I can honestly say that this is the most fucking adorable game I've ever played. Hearing  Captain Toad say "Ready for Adventure" never gets old and him and Toadette are the cutest  couple I've ever seen. The levels are all fun and the puzzles are the perfect combination of  relaxing and challenging. I hope to see more of Captain Toad's adventures in the future.


Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes



Ground Zeroes is regarded by many as a overpriced demo, and while I can't really blame people  for that based on the length, I feel calling it a demo is still a little harsh. To the average  gamer, Ground Zeroes may be pretty underwhelming, but to fans of Metal Gear Solid, there's a  lot more on offer than what's on the surface. For the avid Metal Gear Solid fan who tend to  take multiple playthroughs through each game to check out all the options available, the one's  who like to beat the game on every difficulty and find all the secrets, or the one's who just  like to have fun in the world, there's a little bit there for everybody.

Ground Zeroe's map is ripe to explore multiple times through to try and perfect your strategies  and learn the ways of the new mechanics the upcoming game will have. It does exactly what it  was meant to do, to give players an idea at how The Phantom Pain will play out helping it  solidify itself as my most anticipated game of 2015.


Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor



They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and Shadow of Mordor wears that quote  in spades. While many of Shadow of Mordor's mechanics come straight out of other popular games  like the Assassin's creed and Batman Arkham series, it at the very least manages to competently  pull them off and pour enough of it's own personality into the mix to still make for a unique  game experience in it's own right.

The story melds itself into the lore of Middle Earth well enough and save for a few appearances  from Gollum, doesn't go overboard with fan service or anything like that. Plus the Nemesis  system makes for some interesting moments and unique encounters and overall Shadow of Mordor  was a fun game regardless of the originality of its mechanics.


Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus



Senran Kagura is one of the breast and funnest games I have on the Vita. It's mechanics are similar to that of the Dynasty Warriors games and are simple enough to grope and master but challenging enough for more experienced players to have fun with. The plot is silly and fun and the character's all have unique charms and personalities.

Tit's hard to think anyone could be offended over something that so clearly doesn't take itself  seriously. Between this and Senran Kagura: Bon Apetit, I hope this means we'll get to see more  games like this reveal themselves in the west.

......Boobies.


Jazzpunk



Jazzpunk is Pop culture references done right. While something like say Family Guy or recent  episodes of the Simpsons rely on Pop Culture as a cheap way to try and stay relevant, Jazzpunk  takes pop culture references to an extreme that it never get's old. Recreate Cape Fear in a  movie theater, Punch a car to death Ala Street Fighter II or play some Wedding Quake.

They say Humor is the hardest thing to pull off in a video game and Jazzpunk managed to make me  laugh from beginning to end. Some reviewers said that the games gags wear thin towards the  second half, but I myself was engaged throughout the whole game and would go as far as to call  this one of the funniest games I've played. Plus you can spray Cheese Whiz all over Jim Sterling.


Road Redemption



Road Redemption is currently in early access on steam and yet is more fun and addicting than  most finished games I've played. Road Rash is one of the few racing games I enjoyed as a kid and when I heard that a spiritual sequel was in the works I was immediately all over it and in no way am I disappointed. One of  the few games I've backed on Kickstarter, this is everything I've wanted so far in an updated Road Rash game and it's not even done yet

With fantastic graphics, fun driving mechanics, a slew of different weapons like swords, C4 and  sawed off shotguns and ridiculous scenarios including racing across roof tops and raining cars on the road, Road Redemption is a fantastic arcade style racing games that even people who don't normally dig racing games will enjoy.


Alien: Isolation



The Creative Assembly definitely had some pressure put on them to deliver the goods this time  around after last years disaster, and boy did they. Alien: Isolation is a nice return to form  for AAA Survival Horror games. With it's fantastically accurate representation of the Alien  universe and it's gripping and intense gameplay, it may easily become my favorite horror game  of all time.

The main thing for me is that after all these years of seeing the famous Alien so many times in  the movies and different games and such, I wasn't sure if I'd really find the Alien  intimidating. Creative Assembly however managed to make the Alien a truly formidable foe that I  was constantly on the edge of my seat when trying to avoid it. A true testament to both the Alien franchise and Survival Horror games.


The Wolf Among Us



Telltale's The Walking Dead was a fantastically gripping game that had me engaged from  beginning to end, but this years The Wolf Among Us really solidified Telltale's talent for me.  With a cast of wonderfully written characters and an interesting back story and world, Fables  gritty take on classic fairy tales resonates with me a lot as a fan of fantasy.

Telltale have solidified themselves as one of the best narrative writers in games today and I  really hope to see much more of The Wolf Among Us down the line. So hurry up and finish  Borderlands and Game of Thrones god dammit.


Final Fantasy X HD



I don't give a shit if the game actually came out 12 years ago, Final Fantasy X HD is a prime  example of HD editions done right. I missed the game back when it was initially released, and  though I did own X-2 I never got around to beating it either, so bundling both games in their  definitive versions together in one package is perfect for someone like me who missed out  inititially.

With a slew of extras and enhancements thrown in and all sorts of new endgame content, I'm  still chipping away at the game after nearly 9 months and haven't even started X-2 HD yet. Between  these and the Kingdom Hearts HD collections, I hope this is the start of more remastered games  being made for new audiences.

Super Time Force Ultra



Capybara games over the top game about travelling through time and causing mayhem across the  world is one of the funnest sidescrolling shoot em up platformers I've ever played. Using time  control to use past versions of yourself to progress through levels and beat bosses, Super Time  Force Ultra is a truly original experience that for me came out of no where.

With an incredibly funny plot that had me laughing out loud and a whole ton of unlockables and  extra's, Super Time Force Ultra is definitely going to be in my memories for a long time.


Mario Kart 8



8 games later and the Mario Kart series manages to feel fun and fresh in arguably the best  entry in the series since Double Dash. Admittedly, I haven't kept up on every entry in the  series, but Mario Kart 8 feels definitely has the vibe earlier entries in the series which as  someone who still plays the classic N64 version regularly is fantastic.

Similar to Road  Redemption, Mario Kart 8 is the perfect racing game for people who generally don't like racing games. A bunch of unlockable drivers and customizable karts make for a fun replayable experience and  the combination of new levels and updates of classic levels make for what seems like the Greatest Hits of Mario Karts along with some excellent DLC done right.

Hyrule Warriors



Combining Dynasty Warriors and Zelda sounds like an awesome formula on paper, but could've  easily gone awry if not done right. Tecmo Koei manage to combine their Hack and Slash formula  with Zelda's universe in a way that they meld perfectly. The Dynasy Warriors formula works  perfectly with Zelda's universe and there's plenty of fan service for Zelda fans

With a fun story that contains my favorite Zelda antagonist to date, several game modes and  tons of unlockable content, and some excellent DLC to check out, Hyrule Warriors is an incredibly content rich game that I'll be playing for quite some time.


South Park: The Stick of Truth



South Park is one of the few TV series that I've watched consistently since it aired. I  remember watching it with my family during christmas time and the shock they were in when  Cartman proceeded to sing "Kyles mom is a big fat bitch". So when I heard that the creators  were working hand in hand with Obsidian to make a full fledged South Park RPG I was absolutely  stoked.

While I agree with the most common complaint that the game is a bit short, fact is there's at  least a full season's worth of content in the game and it is in every way shape and form what I  wanted from a South Park game. Explore the whole town, interact with it's characters, fight  zombie nazi's and homeless people, everything that someone who follows the series would want to  see is there.


Shovel Knight



While I may not have been born in the 80's or grew up during the so called "Golden Age of  Gaming", I nonetheless started out on the classics while many other kids my age had already  moved on to the age of polygons. Duck Tales, Mega Man, Super Mario Bros. 3, Castlevania, I grew  up on all those games and each one had their hand in influencing Shovel Knight. A fantastic  love letter to the 8-bit era of gaming.

Taking classic simple video game mechanics and updating them for a whole new generation, Shovel  Knight is a game that'll appeal to those who grew up on the classic platformers of old as well  as a whole new audience of gamers.


Olli Olli



While the Tony Hawk series took a steady decline towards the end, I was loyal to the combo  based skate boarding series through and through. I still go back and play the first couple of  games with my friends for fun and even later entries like Underground and American Wasteland  were fantastic as well. So now during a time when skateboarding games are as dead as Western  Movies, Olli Olli comes out of the blue with a fresh take on the classic combo based skating  games that I grew up on.

While the game may only take place in a 2D perspective, there's just as much depth to the  tricks as any one of the Tony Hawk games and makes for both a challenging and addicting game.  Another game that I hope to see more of in the future.


Octodad: Dadliest Catch



I said above that Captain Toad's Treasure Tracker was the most adorable game I've ever played,  but Octodad comes in a pretty close second with his fatherly antics. Just the idea of a game  where you play an octopus trying to go about an average persons day to day life without people  finding out is already an incredibly ambitiious idea on paper. To actually pull it off though  is something else and they managed to pull it off.

Dragging your tenacles one by one trying not to attract attention is just an incredibly  humorous and silly experience.


Super Smash Bros.



Super Smash Bros. is a series that I've adored since the beginning. My friends and I grew up  and still smash on the N64 version to this day and Super Smash Bros. for the 3DS and Wii U is  just about everything we've wanted to see in a new Smash Bros. game. An incredible roster of  characters, customizable moves, A slew of game modes, more fun and unique arenas, and 8 player  battles all make up arguably the best entry in the series.

Like Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros. almost seems like a Greatest Hits collection for the  series taking all the best elements (except unfortunately the Ice Climbers) and combining them  into one amazing game.


Bayonetta 2



I know I said that I had a hard time choosing one single favorite game, but I'd be lying if I said that Bayonetta 2 wasn't the game I was most looking forward to this year. Not only did she  exceed my expectations, she took them, slapped them around a bit, did a nice sexy dance, and blew my expectations out of the sky.

I don't think I've talked about my adoration for the Devil May Cry series, but next to Metal  Gear Solid, it may be my favorite game series of all time. When I was a kid, Dante was the most  bad ass character I had ever seen and hacking and slashing enemies was my favorite thing. The  series went on to become my favorite action game series and while games like God of War were  fantastic action games in their own right, none of them quite had the flair the Devil May Cry  series had.

While Capcom's been busy trying to reboot the series when it didn't even need one, Platinum Games went ahead and filled the void with Bayonetta. Bayonetta's combat and tone feel much more  like a proper Devil May Cry sequel than last year's disappointing reboot. The controls rock  solid, the difficulty challenging but fun, the character's interesting and memorable, and the  amount of content is incredible.

So Bayonetta 2 was obviously a must-buy for me. While I bought the Wii U for a number of  different games, the main reason was most definetly Bayonetta 2 and it was in every way shape  and form worth it. Thank's to Nintendo for making it possible and Platinum Games for being experts at their craft


So there you have it, my way too long list of fanastic games from this year that I played. If  you managed to get through all that let me know what you think.

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Yes, this is a real thing that is coming out.

I for one look forward to stepping on her big metal penis and making her squeal with my guitar.

Korg Hatsune Miku Guitar Pedal

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ooktar
11:39 AM on 05.06.2014

10: I live in a cabin in the woods.

With Shitty satellite internet with a daily bandwidth cap, Fuck Hughesnet.




9: I'm an avid musician.

I play Guitar, Bass, Drums, and Keyboards, but my expertise is the Kazoo and the Rain Stick.

8:  I'm 22 5'4", 125 lbs, Long Hair, Hazel Eyes, and a nice trimmed 6.5 Inch....

oh wait, that was supposed to go in my craigslist ad.

7: My favorite game console is the PS1.

Followed very closely by the N64, but I had a bigger library for the PS1. Metal Gear Solid, Spyro The Dragon, Medievil, Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, Crash Bandicoot, Final Fantasy IX.

6: Frank Zappa is the Greatest Musician Ever. Period.
If you don't know who that is, go to the record store right now and buy every album of his you can find. You will become a better human being.



5: I got 5 Cats.

Their names are Boo Boo, Kisses, Spooner, Fuzzy Butt, and The Claw.

4: On Second Thought, My favorite game console is the N64.

N64 had the better games. Goldeneye, Super Smash Bros, Mario 64, Paper Mario, Banjo Kazooie, Perfect Dark, all some of the most memorable games I've played.

3: This one time I was at a party, and me and my friend were drinking, and we were doing shots together when then we decided to make margaritas, but we didn't have a blender or any ice. So we just started doing shots of tequila and chasing them with Margarita mix. The last thing I remember is waking up on my friends couch wrapped up in a towel with no pants on. Apparently I had thrown up and fell on the kitchen floor, where I then started to roll around in my vomit. My friend kindly undressed me and layed me on his couch while he washed and dried my clothes.

You know you have a true friend when he's willing to wash your puke stained clothes and let you crash on his couch in nothing but your boxers.


2: I have a metal plate holding my hip in place.

I was born with my hip pretty much backwards. I can walk and run fine mostly, but it does feel sore every now and then.


1: You know what, fuck it, its all about the Virtual Boy.

Wario Land for Life!








ooktar
3:18 PM on 12.25.2013

Just figured I'd add in my Christmas Wishes to the wonderful people here. I've only been here a short while, but in that short time I've come to love the community here and am very fortunate to find a place as welcoming as Destructoid. Thank you all!

And now as a special Christmas Treat, I Present the Christmas Miracle that is the origin of ooktar. Enjoy.











So I wanted to do a blog about choices in video games and games where your decisions in the main game can affect the gameplay, game world, ending, etc. But I don't feel like I could tackle it in one blog, so instead I figured I'd start smaller and work my way up from there. To start out, I'm a huge fan of RPG's, specifically one's where your actions choices in the game can affect the overall game. I've been fascinated with the concept since playing games like Planescape: Torment and Fallout when I was a kid. I played those games over and over just to see the different possibilities.

That's not to say that I don't love other game genre's, Despite RPG's being my go to favorite, I love games of all different genres. One such game that I loved recently was Bioshock: Infinite. Everything from the story to the game world I thought was fantastic. But one thing that started to bug me while I was playing it was how I constantly have my gun out. Now I know for the context of the game that it is understandable for Booker to have his gun at the ready at all times, but I couldn't help but feel this awkward feeling that I had when I wasn't allowed to put my gun away in situations that it felt appropriate to do so. Lets face it, its a little hard to focus on Elizabeth's fear of Violence when your waving your gun around in her face.





I realize that all in all, this is just a minor pet peeve that doesn't really take anything away from the game, but I couldn't help but feel that the game would feel just a bit more intuitive if I had the option to just holster my weapon. While I can't say that adding the option would instantly make the game that much more amazing, it would at least help draw you into the world a bit more, especially when the world has so little to interact with. Since you don't really have the option to talk to anyone or have a direct impact on the games story, at least being able to holster your weapon would help give people the option of being able to immerse yourself in the game world a bit more.

I think that just little details like that can make a game more unique and interesting, especially when their built upon. One of my favorite memories of Fallout was having to holster your weapon when you enter a town. You can either holster it and not deal with the townsfolk gunning you down, or you can keep it out and try and take the town out (usually ending in disaster). Or even more subtle as to how certain characters react to you whether you got your gun holstered or not, like being more or less friendly, or even not willing to talk at all.



Details like this in my opinion really add to the games immersion and overall charm. It proves that even the most subtle additions can add quite a bit of depth to a game. So get your gun back in your pants.
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I was young when it happened to me, maybe 4 or 5, I can't remember exactly when. Some of the images are fuzzy now, but there are still things that time will never erase. I've learned to live with the memories, but I've yet to forgive those involved in scarring my mind and forever changing my life, and probably never will.

I guess the full story goes back to before I was born. My parents fell in love quickly and did not take long to marry. They were an incredibly happy couple until one day, My dad introduced my mom to a "friend" of his. He told my mom that he was in the plumbing business and how much fun he was. My mom was very much intrigued with his friend and they quickly hit it off.

Mom hung out with similar friends before. She remembered her old friend Harry who unfortunately died in the jungle after falling into a tar pit, and that one girl with the Pink Bow on her head that popped pills and said she kept seeing ghosts. But of course this new friend was different. No one quite like him had the charm and experience that anyone else had at the time. He was a well known and established figure by then, but was still humble about where he came from.



Mom, Dad, and the plumber were always getting together to have a good time til eventually, I came along. Once I was born, my parents priorities straightened out which meant less time with the plumber. It wasn't long after that Dad started to lose interest in the plumber altogether, which only made Moms relationship with the plumber grow and before they knew it, she was spending almost all her time with the plumber.

Of course my dad grew jealous and he attempted to find new friends to sway her attention. There were plenty of great contenders, like his elf-like friend who liked to wear green, or his masculine hairy friend with the red tie and faux-hawk. And while mom did find mileage in these newer friends, none of them quite lived up to the same standards that the plumber had placed.

Unfortunately, while she was always happy to spend time with the plumber, she did not quite have the patience and they never actually made it all the way. She continued to spend time with the plumber on and off through the years til one fateful evening.

My parents did good to try and keep their friends secret from me, fearing who knows what kind of influence they would have on me. Knowing their own behavior and feeling towards their friends, they decided to wait til a more appropriate age to introduce me. Unfortunately, they couldn't keep it secret enough.

I remember going to bed early and laying there tossing and turning trying to fall asleep. I'm not sure what kept me up but perhaps it was fate that I happened to not fall asleep that night. As I stared into faint darkness, I suddenly heard noises from downstairs in the living room. At first I could not make out what it was, til then I realized it was my mom. I could not hear what she was yelling, only that it sounded strangely frustrated yet joyful at the same time. I creaked open my door and tip toed to the top of the stairs where I could finally make out my mom's words.

"Dammit Mario, Jump you fucker!". Mario? Who was Mario and why was my mom angrily yelling at him to jump? "

Get out of the way you Bitch! Ah Fuck!". At that point, I had seen my mom yell at people, but not with this level of ferocity

"Yes Finally, Almost There". Almost where? Of course my youthful innocence couldn't picture the risque scenarios that could've been taking place.

At this point I could no longer just listen and had to see for myself what could possibly be happening. Slowly crawling down the stairs, I crept through the kitchen into the living room. Skulking behind the couch as to not be seen, I peered around the corner.

And that's when I saw him...



He almost looked like someone out of my dreams. The Mustachioed man in Blue Suspender Pants, (Which I happened to have several pairs of at the time.) and the big M on his Hat. It was nothing like I've ever seen. He ran back and forth across the screen, jumping to and fro. As he kept running towards the right, a turtle walking upon hind legs appeared, to which he jumped on his head, grabbed his shell, and threw it across the screen.

It was unlike anything I had ever seen, the world was colorful and beautiful, and the music was catchy and amazing. I had never seen Pixel Art before and was immediately drawn to the style. No cartoons or movies or in fact anything at that point were remotely close to what I was witnessing. 

Then I remembered what brought me there and looked at my mom. She was unaware of my presence and completely enamored in what she was doing. I then noticed in her hands was some strange thing with buttons that had a long cable connected to it. As she kept pressing buttons I kept looking at the screen and finally put it together that she was in fact controlling Mario's actions. I was in shock and awe at what I saw. Interactive TV? Being able to control what's on the screen? The very Idea was almost too much to handle.

Still cussing to herself, she was completely focused on the screen almost immersing herself in the game. When Mario would run right, she would start leaning right and every time Mario jumped, she would jerk the controller upwards as if she was having an effect on the game. Finally, Mario shot across the screen and through the goal at which my mom jumped from her seat in a heat of excitement. She had been playing for years at that point was finally near the end of the game.



As she settled back down, I finally decided to come out of hiding so I could inquire about what I had witnessed. I stood and walked around to the front of the couch, startling my mom and causing her to jump. I inquired about what I had just seen, and knowing that I wouldn't let up til I got an answer, she explained to me how she met Mario and that she was going to eventually introduce me. Of course I was still in awe of what I saw and didn't care about why she didn't tell me about him.

Finally she sat me down next to her and let me try it. She started me on the first level and taught me the controls. I was frustrated at first taking me several tries just to beat the first level, but once I got the hang of it, then it was over, I was hooked. Of course I wouldn't give back or put down the controller and after my mom left for bed finally, Mario and I stayed up nearly all night. Before she left though, she turned to me and told me "Just don't let your dad know".

The next day, I spent nearly all day with Mario, pretty much only getting up to eat and use the bathroom. By the end of the day, I had managed about half way through the game. My mom who was impressed decided to let me help her on her save file. By the third day, me and my mom were taking turns trying to beat the game. When we finally got to and beat Bowser. My mom hugged me with both a sense of relief on her part and a sense of pride on mine. I'm proud to say the first game I ever beat was Super Mario World with my Mom.



My mom introduced me to all her other games after that. I quickly likened up to them all and many of which I still enjoy to this day. The next year my dad got me a computer which opened me up to a whole other world of games, but I still continued to play my SNES. My mom has since moved on and while I still occasionally get her to play as well, she now finds joy by herself playing solitaire and browser games.

Would I enjoy games as much as I do now had I been introduced to them differently? Who knows. My parents, though they don't really play them any more, are still both fascinated by video games so It's likely inevitable that I would've learned to love them eventually.

Of course though, I'll never forget that my mom was the one that started it all. Her and that filthy plumber.
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