“Bad” [bad] noun; adverb; adjective — 1. not good in any manner or degree.

When time flies it moves at warp speed.  We just celebrated our one-month anniversary in our new house (squee!).  We are also 11 weeks out from the wedding.  Did I mention that “my fiancé” will soon become “my husband”?   I know you’re like um, yeah, whatevs…games?  But seriously, 11 weeks is not a lot of time considering that I have to work, play house, plan, and try to maintain a modicum of calmness throughout.  Honestly, I still think about video games; I really do.  Maybe, someday, I’ll get to play them again.  Reading other blogs has helped me stay connected and remain grounded when everything else feels so up in the air.  Many thanks to the gaming blogosphere for keeping me in the loop and entertained!

Now on with it, shall we…?

Since a lot of (happy) crap seems to be piling up in my life right now, why not recall a game that was, indeed, a pile of (unhappy) crap.  E.T. the Extra Terrestrial.

E.T. The Extra Terrestrial cover art © Atari, whether they like it or not (source)

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Furthering the mayhem in Liberty City – Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

I don’t use the word “glee” much.  It’s just not a word that’s in my regular vocabulary and I don’t watch that TV show by the same title.  Still, if you were to be so curious as to ask me what’s the first thing that pops into my head upon hearing the word “glee,” my answer comes naturally…Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (2009).

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars cover art © Rockstar, Nintendo (source)

Spoilers ahead…yes, gleeful spoilers…but seriously, spoilers…

I can’t recall a game, a handheld game at that, that was more fun, more insane, and more of a surprise than Chinatown Wars.  Surely you’ve heard about the game’s oddness among other Nintendo titles, its M-rating, complete with some rather ruthless violence, drug running, and all.  Chinatown Wars was so, so, sooooo much stupid, twisted fun.

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Giving up on the ones Wii think Wii should love, or, Super Mario Galaxy was great at first, but then…

As much as I try to dedicate myself to loving every game of a particular franchise, the fact is that I’m a fan of video games generally; they usually bring forth lots of joy and happiness. And sometimes they don’t. And sometimes that really baffles me.  Looking back, there are still two titles, both for our trusty Wii that is still Skyward Sword-less, that I just didn’t enjoy as much as I thought I would. They were surely two of the better titles made for the system, and both came from two of gaming’s top franchises.  I was really, really, really looking forward to playing both games till my wrist arthritis set in.

Super Mario Galaxy cover art (c) Nintendo (source)

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The Robotrons of 2084 versus a human that was in all ways superior due to some sort of genetic thingy

It was nice growing up in a technophilic household.  Thank to the help of in-the-know family members and my own parents, we had various PCs and game systems to supplement our school days, He-Man interludes, My Little Pony adventures, and our infamous Barbie vs. Transformer battles (hey, two sisters, one brother…that’s just how we rolled).  My parents usually left us to our own devices, whether to play indoors or out, and they rarely joined in our sugar-fueled chaos. (Though, there were a few years when carob and unsalted potato chips ruled the house – they shall remain unspoken of from henceforth).

The one exception to all that “kids only” fun was our Atari.  It only happened very occasionally that my parents played with us, but it did happen.  We’d gather round the TV to play a few round of tennis, baseball, Pole Position, or E. T. (which one didn’t play as much as admire for it’s unplaybility).  But above all, the one game I remember us playing the most was Robotron 2084.

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Adventures in Albion, round 2

I was psyched to get Fable II at Christmas 2008 since I had been looking forward to it since completing the original Fable.  The game’s creator, the crazy yet loveable Peter Molyneaux, promised that the game would transform RPGs as we knew them, feed the children, and save the whales.  Or something like that.  All I knew was that, after playing the original game, I had to carve out a good bit of time to play.  Fable II was going to take time if I wanted to perfectly cultivate my most awesome RPGs character ever in the history of my awesome customizable RPG characters.  Yeah…it’s a short history, if that.  But still, I didn’t want any distractions, so it took me a few months to finish other games before starting Fable II.

Fable 2 cover art © Microsoft, Lionhead, etc. (source)

(I realize this game is, like, totally old news —  it being an ancient 4 years old and all.  Still, for those who want to play but haven’t yet, spoilers ahead, probably, in some form or another.)

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It’s not you, it’s me. My short and uneventful ride on the Spirit Tracks.

We just moved into a new place — a house! An actual detached house with a backyard and everything! I’m super tired, super exhausted, and super pleased.  Unpacking aside, there’s so much to do — repairs, cleaning, painting, more repairs, buying furniture, planning the garden, etc. etc.  ~happy sigh~

All this is to say that I’ve been out of touch with gaming, and just about anything current, for several weeks now.  (I’m also going to try to keep blogging regularly, but it might be a slow month.) It’s unlikely that’s going to change in the near future; and that makes me a little anxious.   Because the moment I got back on the internet it’s like Mass Effect 3 exploded its juicy awesomeness on ever single game site and blog.

And I don’t want to delight in a single bit of it.

No offense to any of you who have written about it but I WANT TO PLAY IT REALLY REALLY BAD!!!!!!

Ahem — composure…

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One moment in time and 10 years later with Final Fantasy VII

At the risk of sounding all Jerry Maguire up in here, in many respects, my fiancé and I “complete” each other. And while I might mean that in a mushy way, here it’s in terms of our culture at-large. As two people, we each have our own likes, dislikes, and prejudices; but together we make a fairly well-rounded individual. As an example, when we first met, our music tastes barely overlapped. But when we brought together his mostly punk/rap/metal collection and my mostly pop/classic rock/alternative collection, well, we suddenly had an extensive music library that covered a wide range of sounds. Our mutual love of art, with his affinity for the modern and my inclination towards the classics, meant we could both enjoy just about any art museum/gallery. And his love of meat and my willingness to cook meat (despite not eating it) sorta sealed the deal.

The same was true of gaming. I had my Super Nintendo and he had his Playstation. Together, we had plenty to play and explore. Since I had grown up with Nintendo, I was a bit reluctant to try the PS. It wasn’t my system for one, and the CDs and controller just felt so unfamiliar. In our early days together, I don’t really remember what we played as a couple – maybe a football or racing game? He already had a circle of gaming friends and I enjoyed more solitary gaming, so in that respect we were good and didn’t really step on each others toes much. But then, there came the game-changers…two games that forever marked (or marred, perhaps) our gaming futures. For him, it was Tony Hawk Pro Skater (1999). For me, it was Final Fantasy VII (1997). After those two games, he pretty much veered away from RPGs of all sorts and I gravitated right towards them. And FFVII was unlike anything I had played before.

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My glorious frustration with Super Mario 2. And some thoughts on Super Mario 3.

As much fun as I had had with Super Mario Brothers in the late 80s, I think the true love affair between Mario and myself began with  Super Mario 3.

We were first introduced on the NES and it was love at first play.  The 1990s were still young and I was still ~sigh~ young at heart.  Super Mario 3 certainly had the cuteness factor – I mean, he looks like a raccoon (sorta) on the cover of the game! Squeeee!  Well, okay, it wasn’t really a “suit,” but the tail and ears were enough for me.

Super Mario Bros. 3 cover art © Nintendo (source)

But really, how could I turn down the chance to fly around levels? (And this was before I had developed my ungodly fear of having to “fly” in video games.  I’m still not all okay with gliding in Arkham City.)

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