Last week, I told you that after months of work and exams, I finally had some time to play video games again. Well that goes DOUBLE for this week, and let me tell you, I made excellent use of my time. I played more games during this week than I have in the months prior, watched some great series to boot, and even managed to finish some games that had been sitting in my backlog for just as long. Obviously, I won’t go into detail on all of them (yet?), but there’s a couple of comments I would like to make.
First of all, I spent even more time with Pokémon X. While last week I left you with the thought that I was standing in front of the third gym, but by now I’ve made a lot of progress. It turns out that after you get done with the second gym, Pokémon X and Y move really fucking fast. As a result, at this point in the game almost 30 hours in, I just beat with the seventh gymleader and her Psychic Pokémon. Now there’s only one left, as well as the ultimate destruction of Team Flare and the ass-whuppin’ the Elite Four will probably give me.
My team of six has seen some changes over the course of this week. And I do say “team of six” deliberately, because just a week ago many permanent spots in my party were still up for grabs. The guys and gal now look like this:
- Mithrandir the Braixen has since turned into Mithrandir the Delphox, and a combination of Flamethrower and Psyshock is wreaking havoc on anything that can’t be dealt with more effectively by someone else, not to mention that he is the bane of Toxicroak and Abomasnow everywhere.
- Oberon the Sylveon is also still with me, because I’d sooner give up an arm that go without my Eeveelution. By now he has learned the Fairy move Moonblast, which enemy trainers do not seem to enjoy very much. I wonder why.
- Glamdring the Honedge has now turned into Glamdring the Doublade, but I have yet to find a Dusk Stone to turn him into Glamdring the Aegislash. He’s still doing a great job, and he pretty much wrecked that Psychic gym all on his own. He was well on his way to wrecking the gym leader too, but then her Meowstic had Shadow Ball. That was just dirty.
- My Tyrunt has now evolved into Tyrantrum, and he has gotten a nickname to boot. His name is now Megatron, after Beast Wars, because I fucking lurve Beast Wars. He’s been doing a great job as well, and his Crunch, which gets powered up by his ability that makes biting attacks stronger, rips and tears through Ghost and Psychic types like it’s nobody’s business. Even non-weak Pokémon don’t enjoy an effectively 120 base power Dark move being performed by a Tyrannosaur with huge Attack.
- Because I wanted a Fighting type on my team, I caught a Hawlucha. She’s a female and her name is Juanita. A name which I’m not sure is just unoriginal or unoriginal and racist, but whatever. She’s been flying me all over the place (although for some bullshit reason she’s still not allowed in Sky Battles), and she is what mother Scrafty warn their children about when they go out at night.
- Finally, there’s another new addition: a Clawitzer named BFG, after Doom. I mean come on, a shrimp with a cannon that is like three times larger than him for an arm? Who wouldn’t want one of those?! I’m also really appreciative of his ability, Mega Launcher, which powers up all moves that have “Pulse” or “Aura” in the name. That means that a Water Pulse performed by BFG has the same base power as Surf, and it retains its ability to cause confusion. I can’t wait until he learns Aura Sphere; it’s going to be brilliant.
So as you can see, my Pokémon escapades are going pretty well. Although maybe you’ve noticed that I’m missing one key coverage on my team: I haven’t got anything to deal with Water Pokémon at the moment. A pretty major oversight, right? Nobody knows any Electric moves, and the only Grass move I have is Grass Knot. But then, the only Pokémon who can learn it is Mithrandir, and having a Fire Pokémon out to deal with any Water threats, with a weak move no less, works about as well as you’d expect. So I still need to come up with something for that, which may very well involve either Megatron or Juanita being replaced. We’ll see, maybe the current six can deal with whatever is going to come their way regardless. A Moonblast from Oberon is something not many Water Pokémon particularly enjoy, nor is a Flying Press from Juanita or a Shadow Claw from Glamdring.
Anyway, that about does it for Pokémon for now, although I’m sure I’m going to be updating you next week. Beyond that most addicting of games, there’s a lot of other stuff I’ve been playing. I’m getting very close to 100%-ing Super Mario 3D World, for example, which still provides some of the most fun I’ve had with video games in ages. I’ve been playing even more platformers in Rayman Legends, which is also tons of fun but not quite on the same level. However, any game that features a Mariachi version of “Eye of the Tiger” wins at video games forever.
- I would have paid my 45 euros just for this level.
I’ve also been playing a lot of Dust: An Elysian Tail, which is basically Muramasa: The Demon Blade with furries. Although to be fair that’s not quite doing the game justice. It has a perfectly serviceable combat system, great art direction and really the furry thing isn’t that bad. I long for the past in which we could look at a game like Dust and say “anthropomorphized animal” rather than “furry”, but there you go. Still a fun game though.
And perhaps most importantly of all, I finished Bioshock Infinite.
Ages ago, I asked you guys whether someone who doesn’t normally like FPS should give this game a chance, and many people argued that I should. I wasn’t quite ready to spend money on it though, but through the many wonders of Steam Family Sharing I managed to beat this game without having to spend a penny on it. In hindsight, I’m quite happy for that. Don’t get me wrong, Infinite is probably a fine game, but I really didn’t like it all that much. The story is quite great (up until the ending, which I thought went way too far in trying to one-up the plot twists from the previous games) but the shooty bits just aren’t my cup of tea. I thought they were out of place in the narrative and I simply didn’t enjoy them all that much. Certainly not nearly as much as GODDAMN MARIACHI VERSION OF “EYE OF THE TIGER”. Most of the time I would just use my Possession Vigor on one of the dudes closest to me so that he could sort some of these things out. Considering that he automatically commits suicide after the possession ends and will have shot some of his friends in the process, you’re easily rid of several guys for mostly free. Besides, anything for not having to participate in the shooting myself.
But if nothing else, I liked Elizabeth. I liked her as a character, as a plot point, as a gameplay element and really I just liked Elizabeth’s sass a lot.
- Pictured: sass
As far as video games go, that was mostly it. But beyond video games themselves, this week was also the first week of my month-long free subscription to Netflix (it just got introduced in the Netherlands), which I used to watch pretty much all of Sherlock within three days. It’s pretty great! Mycroft Holmes is my favorite character so far, as he is just absolutely wonderfully brilliantly smug in the best way possible. On the one hand you want to punch him in the face, but on the other hand you can’t help but enjoy seeing him on screen.
And with that, I’ll stop rambling, at least for now. It’s safe to say though, that this week was the most relaxing week I’ve had in ages. It was awesome, and I hope to be able to do this more often.
No matter what the experience was or which game or genre left that strong first impression, such experiences have the potential to open our eyes to the rich history of a series or genre. With any luck, we might find even more to love or something better. A great first experience with RPGs could lead to an undying love affair.
Sometimes a first kiss can be so impactful that the game gets placed on a pedestal and enshrined as a gold standard, which has its own pros and cons. I mean, it is nice to have a basis for comparison, but some folks take it too far. There are people who loved Half-Life, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, or Final Fantasy VII so much that nothing after them really got a fair shake.
So first impressions matter -- they can shape and inform our gaming habits. I grew up on arcades, Nintendo, handhelds, and eventually into RPGs, so much of what I play will be influenced by how I acquired my tastes. I probably like Overwatch a ton because it has a passion for RPG roles, but contextualizes them closer to older shooters focused on objectives more than gear builds and grinding out perks for better killstreaks.
So for this month's Bloggers Wanted, we'd like you head over to the community blogs write about your first kiss, the games that positively influenced you or maybe biased you a little too much for a time. What turned you on to a series or genre? Was it love at first sight? Did it set any expectations in stone or possibly lead you to something better?
Whatever the case might be, remember to use the title "First kiss" and place "Bloggers Wanted" in the tags!
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