Growing Up With Video Games: RPGs

Megaman X: Command Mission & Tales of Symphonia

Megaman X: Command Mission (XCM) is the definition of a terrible RPG. The combat brings the waiting to tedious new levels. XCM fails to have engaging combat or even flashy attacks; you shoot two missiles by pushing X and Y and then you push attack. That’s it.

mega-man-x-command-mission

You feel the “coach-ness” and interestingly enough, you could remedy this with the Tales of Symphonia mechanic. Continue reading

Growing Up With Video Games: Chess Vs. Checkers

I think I mentioned in my review/analysis of Chess, Worms, Advance Wars and the Turn-Based Video Game that I haven’t played much chess in recent times, but the chess I have played has been drunk and glorious.

Chess Vs Checkers

chess-vs-checkers

When I was a kid, the opposite of Chess was Checkers. Chess vs. Checkers was really a metaphor for Adult vs. Child. Checkers is simple, it’s immediate and to be frank, it doesn’t require tact. That’s why I still kinda like Connect 4 because it’s like an advanced checkers player moving towards chess.

Note though that I’m not saying Checkers requires no skill. Once you get down to four pieces per player and a few of the pieces are “kinged,” I’m sure you need some more tact. But even then, the rules are simple and the movements immediate. Continue reading

The Serpent and Eve; the Snake and Moses

Legless Lizard

Legless Lizard

It’s interesting that, for Moses’ first trick, he turned a staff into a serpent. Or maybe the Bible doesn’t call it a serpent, maybe it calls it a snake (like you know, how the “fruit” is something we think of as an “apple” because of several visual art pieces and of course, Milton… Even though the Fig makes more sense — especially since Jesus burns one later. Of course, I’d love it if they took it back to the Greeks’ tale of Persephone where she must eat in hell to remain in hell and even though she starves herself, she eventually eats a pomegranate, which — if you’re familiar with pomegranates — are extremely challenging to peel. So she either really wanted to be in hell, or was peeling it so that she could be thoughtful of it before she ate. Either way, it makes it so that Persephone was not ignorantly plucking a fruit, but deliberately peeling. If you applied that to the Bible, how much more sinister and intentional original sin would be.).

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I Felt Like Dancing (A Short Story)

beach-silhouetteBy: Derek Hobson

I’d known Jackie for about eight years. I’d tell you he was a normal guy, but I don’t gravitate to normal. Jackie had anger issues, although I never asked him what from. He would react defensively to certain comments and then pout for (more or less) the rest of the evening. It prevented him from enjoying some genuinely fun times.

Several times, I tried to sit back and observe Jackie’s behavior and maybe see what sets him off; what comments; statements; what have you. I found no through line. The best I could manage was that when he snapped, it was because he was in his own head. It was on the occasions where he was really quiet – not disassociated, but talking less than “normal.” Something would be said and that’d be the turning point. I’m convinced it was due to something he was thinking about.

No one else seemed too bothered. The rest of the group would refer to them as “Jackie fits,” a belittling term in an effort to pry Jackie out of it. It seldom worked, but always made his silence more noticeable.

However, anger was only one part of Jackie and there was a lot more to adore and love. He was creative. Not in a technical or engineering sense; his creativity couldn’t be measured in art, technology or academia, it was better served as ideas… and it got us into some bizarre situations.

One time, we were hiking along the tide pools – bare foot, I might add –which proved to be ridiculously painful. We had no destination in mind, but all powered through. Then Max was hit in the head with a rock. Not a big rock, but a rock nonetheless. He looked up – baffled – and there was Jackie. He was ahead of the group holding an armful of rocks with a smile on his face, “Hey guys!” he said, before any of us could say a word, “Let’s play rock tag!”

Dumb? Yes.

Painful? Yes.

Fun-tastic? Absolutely.

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Growing Up With Video Games

When I was a kid… and by kid, I mean age 4 to 9; I’m not good with time, just ask my brother about the time I forgot what year it was – but don’t ask me, because I still forget what year it was where I forgot what year it was.

I noticed the year in the credits of this movie.

I noticed the year in the credits of this movie… whenever that was.

When I was a kid, if you handed me a video game controller then I’d play whatever was on. I cannot stress this enough, the content, visuals, music, and controls did not matter. Video games were my escape. Now, there’s nothing wrong with casual escapism (say, one day a week, you crap-out on the couch and bingewatch Netflix) — I get that, I feel that. But when I was a kid, this dominated my life. Sure, I’d use my imagination outdoors, but with more and more travelling/moving, I stayed indoors (with or without friends).

What was I hiding from; from what mental anguish did I need respite?

Well that’s not what this post is about. Continue reading