In an effort to write more without focusing too much on reviews, I wanted to tackle one of those 30-day game challenge lists that everybody posts on Twitter from time to time. Lists are always excellent cures for writer’s block, after all! However, the one that I found happened to be one that I had already completed before. Thankfully I stumbled upon a new list, courtesy of fellow WordPress blogger The Gaming Teacher (who obtained it from his friend at A New Game Plus).
I’m impatient, though, so rather than going through the list one day at a time, I’m going to push it all out at once. That sounds far more interesting than getting four or five days in and losing motivation.
Oh, right, the list…
1 – Favorite video game of all time
If we’re purely going by the amount of time played, World of Warcraft wins without question. I’ve been playing for the better part of 14 years, taking breaks from time to time, but I’d estimate my /played is probably somewhere in the thousands.
If we’re going by nostalgia, then The Legend of Zelda on NES. It wasn’t my first game, but the one that really stimulated my imagination as a kid and led to this life-long obsession.
2 – Game you love to play with friends
I’m mostly a solo player, but I do love a good co-op experience. I had a great time playing Destiny, Borderlands, and Contra with friends, and I’ve met some great people in my aforementioned World of Warcraft tenure. Growing up, my friends and I were super into the 2D fighting library of Capcom and SNK, but I think I’ve had the most friendly fun playing Diablo III: Reaper of Souls.
3 – Your video game crush
Either 2B from NieR Automata because android butts, or Fran from Final Fantasy XII because bunnygirl butts.
4 – Game you’d show aliens to explain humankind
Stardew Valley, I think? Humans like timesinks, helping others, becoming self-sufficient, and being part of a community. They also like to… battle… slimes… in caves?
5 – Favorite retro game
My definition of retro is anything three console generations in the past, so PS1 and beyond. My gut tells me The Legend of Zelda or Metroid on NES, but the retro game I revisit the most is always Contra. If I don’t know what to do with myself for an hour I’ll fire up Contra, tap out the Konami code, and clear it for the 200th time.
6 – Game with graphics/art that still mesmerizes you
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. SOTN showed how beautiful 2D games could look on the PlayStation during an era where developers were transitioning to the more “impressive” 3D space. The joke is on them, though, because retro 3D games look like garbage while Symphony of the Night still looks fantastic. And while this Castlevania entry stands the test of time just fine, let’s not forget the wonderful pixel art of the Turbografx 16’s Rondo of Blood.
7 – A game that needs to be rebooted/remastered
Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. Vampiric Zelda? Yes, please. This was one of the first games I played through when I got the original PlayStation and I still think about it quite regularly. Its sequel, Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, was also fantastic.
I’d also like to see a developer take another stab at the Clock Tower series.
8 – Your earliest gaming memory
Playing Super Mario Bros. on my babysitter’s NES whenever the console launched. I was awful at it, taking an entire day to beat World 1-1, but the thought of controlling something on the television with a controller blew my five-year-old mind.
9 – Favorite handheld/mobile game
Persona 4 Golden on Vita. Persona 4 was fantastic back on the PS2 and the remastered Vita port is the definitive way to play one of the best RPGs of all time.
10 – Game that made you pee your pixel pants
I don’t think a game has ever made me involuntarily urinate, but the P.T. demo is easily the most terrified I’ve been while playing something. Zooming into first-person mode with Fatal Frame’s camera and having a ghost staring me right in the face was also pretty scary.
11 – A game that got you through a tough time
Video games are as much about entertainment as they are escapism for me, so I’ve drowned my sorrows in plenty of them. World of Warcraft helped me get through a divorce, thanks to its “comfort food” feel and the friends I made along the way. It’s also the game I turned to after my dad passed away.
12 – A game you hope gets the virtual reality treatment
I’m not big on VR from a gaming standpoint, but I think a VR Fatal Frame would be nice a fit. Horror seems like the most ideal genre, as proven by Resident Evil VII: Biohazard.
13 – Favorite video game villain
I like a lot of the Final Fantasy villains, especially Ardyn and Kefka.
14 – Game that taught you something
I learned quite a bit about Egypt, thanks to Assassin’s Creed Origins.
15 – Game that you enjoy watching others play
Any of the Soulslike stuff. I always enjoy finding a new Let’s Play of Souls games since everyone approaches them so differently. As much as I like playing them, this is the one type of game I enjoy watching even more.
16 – Video game soundtrack you could listen to on repeat
Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, but only the Turbografx 16/PC Engine version. Every track is a masterpiece.
17 – A gaming accomplishment that you’re proud of
Finishing Celeste earlier this year without caving and turning on any of the assist modes. Super challenging platformers aren’t really my bag, but I related to Celeste’s themes of depression, anxiety, and self-doubt, and watching Madeline rationalize it all was inspiring.
18 – Favorite sidekick/pet/companion
Certainly not Morgana from Persona 5. I DON’T WANT TO GO TO SLEEP RIGHT NOW! I think Vaughn from Tales from the Borderlands was a great side-kick and nearly pissed myself when he took off his shirt in the desert to reveal his surprisingly buff abs. As for pet, that’d have to be Galford’s husky, Poppy, from the Samurai Shodown series.
19 – Game that you started but still haven’t finished
Final Fantasy XIII. It’s been an ongoing theme with this game where I’ll start it and eventually get sidetracked for just long enough to forget everything. Then I start over. It’s an incredibly shitty case of Groundhog Day.
20 – Favorite controller or peripheral
My favorite modern controller is the Xbox One S model. I love the clicky d-pad, rubberized analog sticks with their diagonal placements, and textured grips on the bottom. It’s the epitome of comfort, at least for me. The Switch’s Pro Controller is quite nice as well, particularly its battery life.
21 – Oldest game on your backlog
Physically, I have a few Dragon Quest games on DS floating around and a handful of PSP stuff. Digitally, I have absolutely no idea. Probably one of the NES Dragon Quest games?
22 – Perfect video game snack
For me, it’s all about finding something that doesn’t leave gross stuff on my fingers that’ll transfer over to my controller. Sure, I can wipe my hands off, but snacks are meant to be eaten without caution! I’m a big fan of Swedish Fish and Red Vines, and plain ol’ pretzels when I’m craving something salty. Side-note: I watched someone stream Dark Souls once who ate Cheetos with chopstix, which I thought was pretty ingenious.
23 – Game world you would love to explore for one day
If all of the menacing inhabitants were removed entirely, I’d love to explore the world of Xenoblade Chronicles 2. Sailing the cloud sea on the back of a Titan and wandering around each of the different zones… it sounds great. Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE also has a pretty rad version of the city I wouldn’t mind exploring.
24 – Favorite indie game
Celeste instantly comes to mind. Challenging 2D platformers aren’t normally my jam, but I really enjoyed pushing myself to see Madeline’s tale of battling self-doubt, depression, and anxiety. A Story About My Uncle is a close second. It’s a very under-the-radar first-person platformer that’s equal parts Gone Home and Bionic Commando. Sounds weird, but it works.
25 – A video game moment that totally surprised you
I don’t want to spoil BioShock, so if you haven’t played the game then would you kindly skip along to the next question?
26 – Your favorite video game movie
Mortal Kombat. I was obsessed with the original trilogy of games and I remember going to see the first movie adaptation on my birthday. I liked it so much I bought tickets to the next showing. I still think it holds up pretty well! Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, though? Not so much. If we’re talking anime films, then either Street Fighter or Fatal Fury by a significant margin.
27 – A game that you play to relax
If I’m currently a subscriber, World of Warcraft. I know the game inside and out and can easily unwind for a few hours fishing, farming old raid content for transmog gear, or collecting battle pets. If not, I usually just fire up Contra on the NES and cheat my way to victory.
28 – Character you wish you could cosplay as
Iori Yagami from the King of Fighters series. Whereas he’s tall, skinny, and has hair, I’m quite the opposite in every regard.
29 – A warm, fuzzy early gaming memory
I remember struggling with Zelda 2 on NES, particularly in obtaining the downthrust attack. My babysitter was godlike at the game, so after complaining to her she visited my house on her day off and got the ability for me. I was so happy that someone stepped in and helped destroy this awful roadblock that kept me from progressing.
It’s not all candy and nuts, though! A week later, my neighborhood friend stopped by and tripped over my controller cord. This sent the console tumbling off the end table and crashing onto the floor. My cartridge ejected and my (and my babysitter’s) hard work was immediately erased forever.
30 – Game that you’re most excited to play
Most of my big “can’t wait!” releases came out within the last few years, namely The Last Guardian, Final Fantasy XV, Persona 5, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Horizon: Zero Dawn, and Super Mario Odyssey. Right now, I’m just waiting patiently for Octopath Traveler on the Switch. Metroid Prime 4 would easily take the top spot, but I haven’t seen anything more than a title screen. I’m also morbidly curious about the Final Fantasy VII remake.