This fun little challenge started making its way around Twitter toward the end of last year, and while I managed to keep up for the first few days, the list escaped me shortly after. Basically, you start by answering question #1, and then continue along each day until you’ve answered all 30.
The 30-Day Video Game Challenge seems like a fun way to break the ice. I’m incredibly impatient though, so let’s go ahead and ignore that whole waiting thing.
Oh, and you’re supposed to just answer with an image, but I’ll go in-depth when… well, whenever I feel like it, I guess. Let’s roll!
Day 1 – Very first video game.
Super Mario Bros. on NES. My babysitter’s son got a Nintendo for Christmas the year it released, and I watched he and his sister play through Super Mario Bros. during an overnight stay. Having never played a video game before, I was awestruck by the concept of self-controlled games on the TV. But I was so fucking bad at it. It took me a few days of playing to finish World 1-1, and I didn’t even know you could run by holding down the B button until months later.
Day 2 – Your favorite character.
Link from The Legend of Zelda series. The Legend of Zelda on NES was the game that introduced me to fantasy worlds, environmental storytelling, and open landscapes, and spawned my appreciation for the importance of music in video games. I started off playing Super Mario Bros., but I never felt attached to the world it presented. The Legend of Zelda changed that.
With the game holding such a special place in my heart, I’ve quite a fondness for the Hero of Time. So much so that both of my tattoos are Zelda-themed.
Shout out to Sans and Papyrus from Undertale, Tharja from Fire Emblem: Awakening, Tingle from The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, and Feste from Dragon’s Dogma. I also love Prinnies from NIS games, so there’s that.
Day 3 – A game that is underrated.
Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE isn’t exactly underrated, as it currently holds an 80/100 on MetaCritic, but it’s definitely a criminally overlooked game. It’s easily my favorite game on the Wii U, and one of the absolute finest JRPGs I’ve played in the last decade.
Shout out to A Story About My Uncle, SOMA, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, Castlevania 2: Simon’s Quest, and Super Mario Bros. 2 though.
Underrated, underappreciated, same thing, right?
Day 4 – Your guilty pleasure game.
Widely seen as one of the worst games of all time, I love Friday the 13th on NES. I’ve always stood by the idea that we enjoy what we grew up with, and this was one of the few games I had at a certain point in my life. I’m a huge horror nerd, particularly the Friday the 13th series, and for whatever reason I’ve never been turned away by his comedic purple and blue color palette in the NES game.
It’s as if the developers never watched a single one of the source films and just threw a bunch of ideas together in a licensed cash grab. Regardless, the sprites used for Jason remains my favorite of all time. I’m weird like that, I guess.
Shout out to the Sword Art Online games, which I’m addicted to despite their mediocrity.
Day 5 – Game character you feel you are most like (or wish you were).
Luigi. He always seems to play second fiddle to his brother Mario, and I imagine he has a bit of an inferiority complex. I’m an only child, but I’ve suffered from self esteem issues, depression, and anxiety for most of my 35-year existence. I remember thinking “nobody notices Luigi in this game,” so I began playing Super Mario Bros. as a 2-player game where I’d kill off Mario and beat the game as Luigi instead. When Super Mario Bros. 2 USA released, I was ecstatic to play as Luigi from the jump (pardon the intended pun).
Even today, Luigi is my main in the Smash Bros. games he’s in, I play Dr. Luigi over Dr. Mario, he’s my favorite in the Mario Kart series, I enjoyed New Super Luigi U more than New Super Mario Bros. U, and Luigi’s Mansion is my favorite GameCube game of all time. There’s also a Year of Luigi poster behind my head as I type this.
Day 6 – Most annoying character.
Tama from World of Final Fantasy. There’s really no competition. They’re an annoying floaty furball thing that the-puts the word “the-” in the-front of the-everything and it’s the-fucking annoying. To make the-matters worse, Tama the-narrates the tutorials. I hate them and want them to die alone on the moon.
Unfortunate shout out to Resident Evil 4’s Ashley though. *shudders*
Day 7 – Favorite game couple.
Yrel and Vindicator Maraad from World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor. Though Blizzard never directly implied they were a couple, so to speak, they clearly cared for one another on a deeper level. They often referred to each other as “my love,” and had plenty of cute banter throughout the story quests. Unfortunately for Yrel, Maraad perishes during one of the most depressing major story arcs.
Along with Durotan, the three battled Blackhand in an epic showdown. However, in Maraad’s dying act, he used his remaining power to shield Yrel from harm. It was a gut-wrenching cut-scene and set Yrel’s path for the remainder of the game.
Hell, I teared up all over again watching the cinematic just now. So good.
Day 8 – Best soundtrack.
This answer could change on any given day, really. I think Undertale is likely my all-time favorite, but I’d be remiss not to mention Risk of Rain, Crypt of the NecroDancer, Shovel Knight, Mega Man 2 and 3, Chrono Trigger, and Axiom Verge, along with the Legend of Zelda and Final Fantasy series. Last year’s Doom reboot has a pretty incredible OST as well.
Day 9 – Saddest game scene.
Pretty much the entirety of The Last Guardian, particularly the ending cinematic. The last half hour of Final Fantasy XV also hit me pretty hard. Other notables include the end of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons and Mordin Solus’ tough choice in Mass Effect 3.
Oh, and there’s always…
Day 10 – Best gameplay.
Super Mario Bros. 3. No series defines their given genre quite like Super Mario Bros., and while the first two games are great in their own right, the final game in the trilogy perfected 2D platforming and remains the genre’s landmark title 28 years later. Some would argue that the series’ iconic gameplay was perfected in Super Mario World, and that’s a fair opinion that I’m okay with.
Day 11 – Gaming system of choice.
I’m fortunate enough to own all of the modern consoles and handhelds, but lately I’ve felt more at home with PlayStation and Nintendo. I’ve fallen out of love with Xbox over the years, mostly due to their focus on online multi-player experiences and the console’s exclusive games falling in to over-saturated genres or ones I have no interest in.
Nintendo is what got me in to gaming in the first place and the PlayStation brand matured along with me through my teenage and adult years. It’s safe to say most of my time nowadays is spend on PS4, Vita, Wii U, and 3DS.
Day 12 – A game everyone should play.
Tetris, although I hate it. If you’ve never played a video game before, Tetris is a great point of entry. It’s accessible, teaching you how to use your brain, overcome challenges, solve puzzles, and trigger that whole fun factor thing in the process. Once you realize “wow, games are fun escapes!” your entire world opens up.
Day 13 – A game you’ve played more than 5 times.
Contra on NES. There’s no game on the planet that I’ve completed more than Contra, which I’d realistically count in the hundreds. I’d muscle through the game as a kid on a near daily basis using the 30-lives cheat, and it later became a drinking game when I was old enough to do so (playing co-op with the cheat activated, where 1 death = 1 drink).
Day 14 – Current (or most recent) gaming wallpaper.
Day 15 – Post a screenshot from the game you’re playing now.
Day 16 – Game with the best cut-scenes.
Day 17 – Favorite antagonist.
If I posted a picture of my favorite antagonist, it’d spoil an entire game’s plot, so I’ll just go with the runner up.
Day 18 – Favorite protagonist.
Day 19 – Picture of a game setting you wish you lived in.
Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE’s Shibuya. It’s bright, bustling, has tons to see and do, but I could definitely do without the whole monster invasion thing.
I would mind the beautiful seclusion of Dragon Age: Inquisition’s Storm Coast or Emerald Graves either.
Day 20 – Favorite genre.
I’ve been obsessed with RPGs since the SNES days. They’re my primary genre focus, giving me memorable characters and scenarios that I’ll remember for the rest of my days. RPGs are gaming’s version of a good book.
Day 21 – Game with the best story.
SOMA is incredible and everyone should play it, be it on PC or PS4.
Day 22 – A game sequel which disappointed you.
Day 23 – Game you think has the best graphics or art style.
I think Final Fantasy XV has some of the best graphics I’ve ever seen. However…
Persona 4 Golden has my favorite art style. It’s like an overly stylish anime come to life, with eye-popping color, a brilliant sense of style, and some of my favorite character and monster designs of any game in existence. Persona 5 may dethrone it, though. We’ll see.
Day 24 – Favorite classic game.
Day 25 – A game you plan on playing.
I’ve been pretty vocal both about my dislike of The Elder Scrolls Online and my adoration for Morrowind. Sure, I’ll endure TESO’s mediocrity to revisit one of my favorite gaming locales of all time. Why not?
Day 26 – Best voice acting.
Day 27 – Most epic scene ever.
Day 28 – Favorite game developer.
Nintendo, without question.
Day 29 – A game you thought you wouldn’t like, but ended up loving.
On paper, I should have hated Dark Souls. A vague, Spartan-approach to storytelling, a cryptic narrative and lack of direction, a somewhat sluggish combat system that severely punishes the player’s mistakes.. yeah, not for me. But I fucking LOVED Dark Souls.
Day 30 – Your favorite game of all time.
And that about does it. Agree or disagree with anything? Have you done something similar to this already? Sound off down in the comments!