So, howís about that GTAV everyone? Itís pretty great eh? What with the whole thefting of grand autos and all? Let me tell you, I thefted the absolute grandest auto just the other day.
Öoh fine, no I didnít. I donít particularly care for the GTA franchise myself, nor any sandbox game really. What tends to happen is that I just dick around for a few hours and then lose interest. I might be convinced to give the Saintís Row series a try just because of its sheer insanity, but even thatís kind of a long shot.
So while everyone was out playing GTAV (perhaps explaining the lack of blogs today? Seriously though, only 5?!) I was doing other things. For one, Iím getting increasingly more addicted to La-Mulana. By now Iíve defeated 4 bosses (something that only 11% of Steam players managed to do) and found a good number of secret items that should help me explore the remainder of the dungeon. The verdict I gave last week still stands: itís not all that difficult of a game, but itís incredibly cryptic. Itís a lot of fun too though, and itís incredibly rewarding when you start to figure out how this game thinks or when you start to internalize the dungeonís layout.
Besides that, I have been spending a lot more time watching movies lately. Donít ask me why or how, I guess itís just my pop-culture crush acting up again. This week in particular I watched a bunch of Disney movies that I know I saw at some point but could barely remember a thing about. And a couple I never watched in English because back when they came out I didnít speak it yet. Mulan, for example, falls in the latter category.
- The translation is pretty spot-on, and yet it still canít match the English version.
Other Disney movies I watched were Dinosaur (anyone remember that one? No? Thought so.) and Atlantis: The Lost Empire. The former was alright but nothing special, and there were some spots were the CGI seemed a bit dated. Itís no surprise that this one has been all but forgotten. The latter was pretty great. This was another one I never saw in English before; it was well worth checking out for that alone. The soundtrack is also pretty great, and I thought it was well animated. The story is mostly unremarkable, but the characters make up for a lot.
And now for the final movie. Treasure Planet. Holy hell did this one surprise me. First things first though: I know I saw this movie before, in theates even. By now, thatís a good 12 years ago at least. In fact, itís been so long that I remembered exactly nothing from this movie. Not the characters, not the plot, not the music. I literally remembered nothing except having seen it. Well, okay, I did remember one thingÖ.the alien who speaks only in fart noises. I was 10 when I saw it, alright? What do you want from me?
Anyway, having watched it againÖitís great! I loved it!
The plot will be instantly familiar to anyone, as itís just Treasure Island in space. I mean that very literally. The pirates are space pirates, Long John is a cyborg with a metal peg leg, instead of a whirlpool the ship gets stuck in a black hole, treasure island isÖwell a treasure planet obviously, and the entire voyage takes place upon a space ship in the most literal sense of the word.
That alone makes for a pretty interesting setting if you ask me, but what really stood out for me were the characters. Long John Silver in particular has a very interesting character arc. Heís obviously the villain, but only somewhat. Letís just say that this version is incredibly likable all throughout the film, and it turns out that this is one Disney villain who is far from irredeemable.
The other character that I fucking LOVED was Captain Amelia. Sheís a quick and agile feline alien. She also kicks major ass and is wonderfully sassy. Her character and lines are incredibly well written and voiced, and while she does get captured late in the movie she never comes across as a damsel but rather as someone who can hold her own despite momentary adversities. In short, from the moment she is introduced she completely steals the show, never to give it back again. I can watch her scenes over and over again without getting tired of it, and I had the biggest smile on my face during every one of her scenes. Sheís by far the best thing about this movie, and I might go so far to say sheís one of my favorite Disney characters ever now. I really did like her that much.
Ö.And to my great shame all I used to remember from this movie was the farting alien. 10-year-old Shade was a fucking idiot.
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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