Here’s something a little different.
In this post—and any post like it, should I continue with it—I will detail the accounts of my gaming in any individual day, whether it be progress reports, general thoughts, or the primary intention behind the creation of this post: sharing humorous stories. I feel a lot goes unsaid with video games, especially when talking of it online. There are a lot of strange moments to be had when gaming, whether it be due to a game’s glitchiness or a perfect “Right place at the right time” sequence that produces a hilarious outcome. I felt, in-between the constant focus of reviewing and critiquing almost everything I decide to write on, that I could relax myself a bit, invite people to join me around the campfire, and share some of my personal stories with a pastime I’ve had since long before the internet’s boom in accessibility. I realize not everyone will understand some of the things I have to say, so I’ll do my best to make every situation clear and have the context be resolute.
For the rest of this post, I will be organizing said stories and impressions based on the game I was playing at the time.
I wrote a post about this game a couple days ago for those wanting some more juicy description as to why I adore the game so much, but early this morning, I beat the game for the fourth(?) time within my lifetime. I find it fascinating how I always seem to drift back to this game whenever I feel in the mood to play something fun and impressionable. Doubly so knowing of my own quest to cement a certain game as my all-time favorite, something I’ve been trying to discover for years now. With my most recent playthrough, Metroid Prime is in a comfortable spot, seeing as other contenders such as Custom Robo and Paper Mario: TTYD proved to be less than stellar after recent replays. Still, games such as Soul Calibur II, Vigilante 8: 2nd Offense, Super Mario Sunshine, and Glover need to be tested before I crown any one game winner.
I will comment on some ironic twist of fate, as while Metroid Prime‘s opening sequence is little short of brilliant, its ending area and boss fight are incredibly lackluster. The final area, the Impact Crater, is only five rooms long, not including the Missile Recharge Station. Only one room among these five rooms will last more than a minute to get through, either. While the beginning had a slow, but gradual build-up of suspense and intrigue, the Impact Crater has one of the most irritating enemies in the game in the form of Fission Metroids, Metroids capable of splitting into two and are only susceptible to certain beam weapons (And Power Bombs, thankfully). They inhabit one huge, empty room with little to take in. It feels more like a placeholder area for game testing than anything, with not a lot of narrative intrigue or need to use many accessories.
And the final boss? Should one know what they’re doing, the final boss is a pushover. Sure, knowing the game makes most bosses easy, but there are a few, such as Meta Ridley or the Omega Pirate, while easy to analyze their weak spot, make that weak spot hard to access. The final boss shoves it front and center, and its second form (because no Japanese game can go without another form) is essentially a waiting game. It doesn’t have that epic feel that the designers were going for, and is a far-cry to what the game could’ve accomplished with some finer tweaking. Still, this doesn’t soil so much as it does dull the experience near the end, as the game is still a very solid experience regardless.
On the complete opposite spectrum of Metroid Prime, Animal Crossing gives me that escape whenever I’m not in the mood to play something that requires a level of efficiency and attention to gameplay. A fun little slice-of-life-esque game about living life and updating a town only a villager knows how.
I’ve been playing Animal Crossing for about fifteen years now, dating back to when I first got the game around 2002. That isn’t to say I’ve had the same file since 2002, but I recently started up another town to relive the memories of my younger days. As a kid, I liked to dub myself the “Fish Master,” as I always loved to fish, no matter what. I would fish in my spare time and fish quite often, selling them to Tom Nook for about 1,000,000 bells (The game’s currency) at a time. No matter how much I fished, unfortunately, there was always one fish that alluded me: the Stringfish! A rare fish that never seemed to want to show itself to me. Even worse, my brother caught one! I was the Fish Master and he caught the one fish I was missing! Years would pass, and I never caught that accursed fish. All these years and I could never find it. Not even once.
Today, I booted up the game and time traveled backwards because I forgot to turn on the lighthouse the night prior (Optional sidequest). After turning it on, I made my way up the town’s acres, walking along the river in case anything of interest caught my eye. Something did, as a large shadow loomed in the middle of the river around Acre D-4. “I swear to God, if this is a tire,” I said to myself as I got my fishing rod out and cast the lure right in front of the shadow’s face. It went for it immediately, hooking onto the lure on the first nibble. I managed to reel it in, with the time signifying that it wasn’t a tire. Once the reeling process was complete, the fish turned out to be…
I laughed, laughed to the depths of my soul, for I had finally caught the one fish that had alluded me for so many years, that I had meticulously hunted until my will had broken into two. It was a momentous occasion and an ironic one, with the sound of my laughter filling the quiet basement around me, my brother (the one who had caught it) laughing with me. I time traveled for the sole purpose of turning on the lighthouse, and here I was avenging my younger self for the time wasted searching for it. Mirthful and satisfied, I continued to walk up the acres. With just one square north, wouldn’t you know, another large shadow! “This one looks pretty big, too,” I said aloud. I cast my rod, getting it just out of sight of the shadow. I reeled in and cast again, this time getting it close enough to fetch the shadow’s attention. This one was a little more hesitant, taking three or four bites before sinking the lure. I managed to successfully catch the fish, and with the time spent reeling signifying again that it wasn’t a tire, the fishing Gods smiled down at me warmly. As if making up for the time I had spent years before, while also giggling mischievously at the absurd odds of what was to come, the fish turned out to be…
Tales of Zestiria
Whoa, dude! Isn’t this a currently-airing anime? It is! And I just so happened to get my hands on a copy of the game it was based on for the PS4! I wasn’t even aware it had an anime, either. Must’ve been why I looked at the title and thought, “Damn, why this look so f-a-m-i-l-i-a-r?” Helping to buy a PS4 for the family just last Christmas, I needed something to add to the collection, so that I wasn’t just using the console as a paperweight. Tales of Zestiria, it is!
It kinda blows. I mean, technically, there doesn’t seem to be much wrong with the game on its own, but there are a lot of little nitpicks here and there that make the game hard to even sit through. First of all, the dialogue is incredibly cheesy. Some of the most cliché and predictable sentences come out of every character’s mouth. Secondly, the facial structure of the characters hardly move, so a lot of the dialogue with added feeling, such as anticipation, fear, irritation, or loneliness are met with a stone-faced, ever-blinking character model. It looks horribly unnatural. Thirdly, and I may have gone into some detail with this before, but I really can’t stand most English voice actors for Japanese-based games/anime. It sounds unnatural to me, for English actors to voice lines that may not be intended to be voiced in the way they perceive it. Not to mention, I feel the voice acting in the game overall is mediocre. Whether it be the case of overemphasizing or underemphasizing, each line or three are delivered with a sense of forced bravado or aloofness that supposedly suits the character, I guess? I also don’t find the combat all that entertaining. You’re essentially hammering a single button with directional combinations, then guarding when the sequence is through. (Or just keep hammering it down. Whatever works!)
Of course, I’m only an hour into the game, so as the game goes along, perhaps the combat and story will improve to some extent. As the saying goes, unfortunately, the beginning is only a precursor to more of the same. I won’t keep my hopes up, but I’m expecting to have some guilty fun out of it, whether it be being immersed in the story or making fun of it.
Metroid Prime 2: Echoes
You didn’t think I’d just stop with the first game, did you? Heavens, no. I plan to play each game and find out where they fare when compared to my favorite games ever, as they do have some nostalgic value to them, as well. However, Metroid Prime 2 is a game I never actually finished in its entirety, only getting as far as the second main area or so before quitting to watch my brother finish the rest. Funny story: I get too involved with watching others play the same game to finish the game myself, as I feel if I play the game too soon after watching someone else play it, I won’t enjoy it as much. I ended up waiting about ten years after he completed it to continue.
This is a story, however, as I’m not too far into this game, either. I was playing the game at a brisk pace, somewhat struggling to remember what exactly to do in each room. I had gotten to a room within the opening area where I first discovered a creature called a Green Kralee. As I always do, I scanned the creature first to read up on its data and weakpoints before destroying it. I had gotten about one sentence into scrolling through the text when, within the blink of an eye, the TV screen went black. The TV didn’t randomly shut off. The power didn’t go out. I never clicked any button to reset the game. The TV remotes were untouched upon the room’s coffee table. The screen just went blank for seemingly no reason.
With two of my brothers in attendance, I slowly looked over at one of them, dumbfounded, as he looked back at me with a nervous smile. Just as he was about to say something, the TV lit up again. On the screen was the Wii’s Youtube browser, showing the front page trending videos. The one that stuck out to me was Trump’s Inauguration Concert. (Why do Presidents need concerts at their Inauguration, anyway?) All three of us immediately start laughing, as the level of “WTF?!” was off the charts. Here I was, enjoying a nice game of “Blow different alien species up,” and the Wii has the gall to take me to Youtube to watch Trump’s Inauguration! It seems his reign will include taking over electronic devices to watch his progress at every turn! Thankfully, my brother picked up the TV remote and set it back to the default source, which immediately brought me back to the data on the Kralee. As if nothing had happened. It was a delightful intermission that reeked of outside sources fucking with my hardware. Though, one of my brothers stated that it may have been his phone taking voice commands for no reason.
That’s all I have this time. Thanks as always for reading and I hope you enjoyed the tales I had to tell today.