Have you ever had a dream so weird, that it just had to have been inspired by a video game?
How boring might our dreams be if we weren't gamers? Do you ever think about how different your mind might be if you'd never picked up a controller?
Well, enough of that important-sounding stuff. Let's talk about me.
I've always been a little odd when it comes to dreaming; I love dreaming, lots of people do. But, unlike most people, I also enjoy having nightmares. Nightmares give me a sensation of fear and excitement like even the best horror films and survival-horror games can't come close to. And I'm a BIG survival-horror fan.
Last night, as you might surmise by the title of this blog, I had an intensely awesome nightmare. I wrote it down when I woke up because it was cool, but it wasn't until a little while ago that I realized (or, rather, had it pointed out to me by sonofbaconsandwich) that it was quite similar to Oddworld. I have video game-inspired dreams all of the time, but I found this one weird because I hadn't played (or really thought about) Oddworld in YEARS.
The dream started with me in my house, watching TV. That's strange enough as it is, since I'm living at school right now, and don't even have cable in my house. But, that's not important.
I was watching the news, and they had a piece on a brand new type of meat, that they claimed was the most delicious thing we had never discovered. Despite not being a big meat-lover, I had to admit I was intrigued.
So, what was it? Human? Mudokon? No. It was polar bear meat. Or so they advertised. Why? I have no idea. But, according to my dream, polar beat meat is the most delicious on the planet, and had suddenly become widely available.
Now, here comes the important part. They were recruiting people to taste-test various polar bear meat products, and put up a number to call and join. I, being extremely hungry in my dream, decided to phone them up and try this stuff out. The buffalo wings made of polar bear meat sounded especially delicious.
Soon after calling, I was knocked unconscious by an unknown presence. When I woke up (still within the dream, of course), I was in a very large white room with various meat-processing machines and lots of people lying (some awake, some not) on what resembled operating tables. Most of them were strapped to these tables; some of them with their eyes sewn shut, and some with their lips sewn together. Those with open mouths were being force-fed this strange meat, which more closely resembled dog food than any of the delicious things that the news had advertised.
Somehow, I was one of the few who was still standing. I wasn't strapped to a table, and I could see. However, when I went to move my mouth in an attempt to shout for help, I realized that my mouth was indeed sewn shut.
I wandered around the room, examining all of the other taste-testing volunteers and their various forms of torture (one of them was actually being fed the meat through holes that were cut where his eyes used to be), all while trying to remove the stitches from my mouth. I don't remember that being particularly painful, though it was the most uncomfortable sensation I have ever experienced; dream or not.
Eventually, I got my mouth open and found someone else who wasn't tied down. I proposed that we try to escape together, and he agreed. There didn't seem to be any guards; just the men in surgeons' uniforms who were feeding the ones on the tables. But as I turned to escape, I was frozen, and soon realized that my body had been run through with a long blade. I turned around to see the man who had agreed to help me holding the sword, with the most disturbing smile on his face.
I fell to the ground, and managed to stay conscious just long enough to see the doctors surround me and lift my body onto a stretcher, beginning to carry me into the room with the giant meat-processing machine....
This is totally late because I've been busy as hell the past couple weeks, but just had to share this.
So, this cool guy by the name of Tray Ben had a little contest a couple weeks ago, to win this Persona 4 poster he had laying around. The deal was to write a comment stating your favorite Persona female-character, and why.
Being the selfish, contest-winning bastard that I am, I decided to enter and left a comment about my undying love for Chie, who is a real person and not a made up character at all.
It went something like this:
I planned on saying something about Naoto being a sexy trap, or making a joke about Fuuka's god-awful voice...but Chie is honestly my favorite video game character ever. I was never the type to be all "[CHARACTER NAME] IS MY WAIFU YOU CANNOT HAS", but...well, shit, I actually feel some kind of connection with Chie, stupid as that sounds.
I almost never get attached to characters in fiction, even in intensely realistic or plot driven games. But when Chie said "I love you" at the end of her Social Link path, I couldn't help but just leave it on that screen for a while and think about how much hearing that actually meant to me.
And now I'm going to stop writing because I sound like some horrible desperate neckbeard who only has virtual girlfriends.
But what I said still stands. :3
Anyway, I apparently won, or something. So I went to check the mail the week after, and there was a poster tube STUFFED in my tiny-ass mailbox, desperately crying for me to let it out.
Upon opening said poster tube, the first thing I noticed was not the poster, but a very crumpled piece of paper.
I was about to read the greatest letter I have ever received in my near-20 years of existence.
Needless to say, I'm totally in love with Tray Ben now, and I just wanted to say thanks with a proper blog. Here's a better picture of the dollar:
And, for the record, the poster itself was actually pretty sweet. It's hanging on my wall right now. :D
I started writing my entry for this contest, and I...got a little carried away.
So I decided to post my entry in blog form. Here you go!
When I was little, I was always scared of things. I refused to go to haunted houses on Halloween; I refused to see any scary movies. As for scary games...well, I was always a gamer, but my parents were somewhat strict about me playing M-Rated games as a child.
Thus, the scariest thing I experienced in a game at that point was most likely the level in Crash Bandicoot where you get chased by a polar bear.
I had nightmares for weeks.
Anyway, at the end of 2003 (when I was 13), a very interesting-looking game came out for the Playstation 2: Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly. I hadn't played the first one, but the camera-based fighting sounded so interesting to me that I figured I was finally ready to try a horror game. My parents apparently thought so too, as they bought it for me for Christmas that year, despite the Mature rating.
So the first horror game I ever played was also the first M-Rated game I ever owned. I had no idea what to expect, but I can say that I did not expect it to be as scary as everyone said.
I was wrong.
I turned off all of the lights, started up the PS2, and waited for the game to start. The big red Tecmo logo came up onto the screen, and I shivered. Then the intro video played, and I promptly shut off my PS2.
I was terrified, so much so that I could not bring myself to play the game I had been waiting for. The next day, however, I gave it another try.
And I was hooked.
The experience was unlike any game I had played before. The terrified feeling turned to excitement as I progressed further into the game, learning how to combat the ghosts instead of simply running away.
After that, I went on to play the first Fatal Frame and loved it just as much.
I wanted to experience every horror game that I could, looking to replicate that feeling of true fear that I felt the very first time I played Fatal Frame II.
I'm not sure if I'll ever feel quite that way again, but it goes without saying that the Fatal Frame series got me hooked on the horror genre.
Thanks to that, horror movies no longer have any effect on me. Experiencing fear in a game is something much greater than can ever be expressed in another form of media. You're not afraid that someone on screen is going to be killed; you're afraid that YOU are going to be killed.
It is an experience unlike any other, and it is the reason that Horror games are among my favorites.
When this meme started up, I didn't post anything because I thought it was just taking up space. I thought everyone was doing it just for the sake of doing it; just to participate in the meme.
But after reading most of the blogs, I feel the exact opposite. Everyone here genuinely loves this community, this site, and everyone involved with it. We aren't just a site on the internet where people post interesting things; we're a group of friends.
I've met numerous people on Destructoid whom I actually consider to be my friends; who I can go to for advice, or laugh with over Skype.
I can't write a "Why I Love Destructoid" blog quite the way everyone else has been because I can't quite put it into words, just how much I love this community.
I've only been here a little over two months; I don't have any funny pictures from meet-ups (though I hope to sometime soon), and yet my love for this site is already overwhelming.
I've never been on any other site that feels this way. I've been to a few forums before, and I've quickly left all of them out of boredom. There was nothing on any of those sites that I felt attached to, and I didn't feel emotion towards anyone on them.
Here, I could not possibly feel any stronger about the exact opposite.
So...Destructoid and, more importantly, everyone who I've met here: I love you.
I thought about it a lot, and I'm really satisfied with the list I came up with, so I'm posting it here.
This is honestly more for my own archiving purposes than anything, but feel free to comment if you want. :D
10. Metroid Fusion
If you don't get goosebumps watching that, there is something wrong with you.
My #10 spot was almost taken by The World Ends With You, but I decided to replay Fusion last night and realized just how incredible it was.
Hiding from SA-X (easily the most exhilarating moments in the game) is only the icing on the cake. Everything else about the game is so new, and done so well.
It was just enough of a departure from the series to feel new and exciting, but at the same time managed to keep the classic Metroid feel.
This is an example of what any sequel should be.
9. Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow
Hm, I guess I like Metroidvanias.
Aria of Sorrow is the only Castlevania game that I've beaten to 100%. Every item, every Soul, every corner of the map. And I enjoyed every moment of it.
Between the characters, music, and environments (not to mention all of the great new weapons that exist because the game takes place in modern day), this is easily the best game in the Castlevania series.
8. Ninja Gaiden (XBOX)
This is probably the only game that's on this list for gameplay alone.
I didn't care all that much for the story of Ninja Gaiden. But it didn't matter.
All of the gameplay, from exploring beautiful environments to the most fun combat I have ever experienced in a game, is absolutely incredible.
I mean, just watch the video.
7. Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance
Skip to 3:50 for the good parts
Yeah, yeah, everyone else thinks MGS2 is the worst game in the series, blah blah blah.
When I first played this game, I was absolutely blown away when the scene in the video up there started happening.
I had no idea how to process it. I had never seen anything like it in a video game before.
It still holds a BIG place in my mind as one of the most disturbing (but simultaneously awesome) things I've ever experienced in a game.
Oh, and VR Mission Mode is really fun.
6. Mother 3
I cannot believe this game completely slipped my mind when I first created this list. There is no way in hell I like .hack//INFECTION (cool as the story was to me) anywhere near as much as I love Mother 3.
It was the most touching, fun, and thought-provoking narrative I've ever seen on the GBA.
Also, Kumatora is sexy.
5. Final Fantasy VIII
The scene with this song is enough to give this game a place on my Top 10 by itself.
People like to complain about the graphics in FFVIII, but when this game first came out, these graphics were incredible. It didn't seem possible that anyone could make a game so beautiful.
I first played it on the playable demo that was included with Brave Fencer Musashi (also a really great game), and I was blown away.
Needless to say, the full game did not disappoint me.
Also, say what you will, but Squall is easily one of my favorite characters from anything, ever.
4. Megaman Legends 2
I honestly can't think of anything wrong with Megaman Legends 2.
As much as I love the classic Megaman gameplay, Legends 2 is easily my favorite game in the entire series.
There is hardly another game out there with such fun characters. The voice acting was incredible for the PS1 era, the music was epic, and the gameplay was fun.
Can't ask for much more than that.
3. Klonoa: Door to Phantomile
I just looked that video up and watched it for the first time in years.
I'm crying a little bit now.
I think that speaks for itself.
I first played The Longest Journey a very long time ago. I, of course, got stuck on a puzzle and never played it again.
Then, a sequel came out: Dreamfall. It looked great, so I decided to give it a try, even though I hadn't finished the first game (the main character was someone new, and the plot stood on its own).
It was decent. The gameplay was bad, but the story was VERY compelling, so I decided to try The Longest Journey.
I won't go further for sake of spoilers, but seeing the ending of The Longest Journey, after already having played Dreamfall, was probably the most emotional experience I've ever had with a game.
1. Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix +
I don't think anyone saw this one coming.
Kingdom Hearts II, when it first came out in America, was a HUGE disappointment for me, to say the least.
Not because I didn't enjoy the story (oh god yes, I did), but because the game was too fucking easy. There wasn't a single thing in the game that was even remotely a challenge, and I remember thinking "I could probably beat this whole game at Level 1."
Then, Final Mix + came out, and it let me do just that.
Critical Mode, all of the new bosses, and the new areas are amazing additions on their own; but coupled with the ability to set your Level so low that the weakest enemies in the game kill you in one hit makes it my favorite game of all time.