Sunshine Blogger Award!

We’ve been nominated by Frostilyte so shout outs to him! Here be the rules, in Frosti’s words:

  • Thank person wot nominated you
  • Answer the 11 questions
  • Nominate 11 victims
  • Subject them to 11 questions

As always, thanks to Frostilyte – his blog is full of gaming content, with reviews, opinion pieces, and most importantly, the “Ruining your Favourite Pokemon” series. He’s known for his honesty, and I enjoy his focus on smaller, more niche games/content, rather than the triple A fare. Go check out his blog if you haven’t already.

What are your Game of the Year contenders thus far? Note, you may include any game you’ve played this year rather than exclusively limiting yourself to games from 2020. If you would rather answer about films, books, or television please do.

The only game I can really consider my personal pick for Game of the Year thus far is Persona 5 Royal. Though Animal Crossing is the game I’ve sunk the most time into, it’s not really a title I would consider groundbreaking in any kind of way. Not that Persona 5 Royal is either – it’s basically a remaster with some extra content. But 2020 has been a rough year for a variety of reasons, and videogames are apparently no exception – nothing has really come out this year that impressed me, honestly.

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But for an opinion that nobody asked for: I feel like as the time gets closer, it’s going to be a showdown between The Last of Us 2 (which I haven’t played) and Ghost of Tsushima (which I was kind of disappointed in). Because TLOU2 has been so politicized, I feel like certain groups of people are going to push hard for Ghost of Tsushima to be Game of the Year, because this somehow means (or “proves”) that TLOU2, and games like it, are bad. Which isn’t the case. But clowns gotta do their thing, I guess.

What is the one thing you’re super proud that you’ve accomplished, or are in the process of accomplishing with the extra time afforded by quarantine?

Probably getting back into a more regular workout/exercise regimen. I went through a period when I was in university where I worked out so much that I made myself quite unhealthy – after that, I swung to the opposite side of the spectrum, and started eating terribly, while doing zero exercise at all. For the last 2 years or so, I’ve been trying to find a more balanced lifestyle – where I no longer obsess over calories/what I’m eating, and I’m exercising regularly, without taking it to extremes. Quarantine has been surprisingly helpful for this, because working from home allows me the time to workout whenever I feel like it, and focus on eating more healthily. I’m lucky enough to have a small space in my basement, with some free weights and a mat to work out regardless of the outside COVID situation. I prefer high intensity/shorter times for my workouts, and I usually do this about 4 or 5 times a week.

I’ll definitely admit, I’ve been generally unproductive since quarantine started; mostly because I was expecting to have a sort-of “extended” summer break, and return to work in September, so I just wanted to relax. But now that it’s looking more and more like I won’t be going back until the new year (Ontario’s COVID cases are on the rise), I’m starting to pick up some old projects again. I’m definitely ready to get back to some serious writing, to make better use of this time I have.

What is your favourite colour? Also, why?

I literally haven’t thought about this in forever, and I have no idea. Probably turquoise, or any kind of green/blue colour. Not really sure why. Maybe because it reminds me of clear oceans, skies, and other nice things WE CAN’T HAVE.

Is there a game that you repeatedly come back to from your childhood that you enjoy playing to this day? Tell us about it. Same as above, feel free to use a film, book, or television show in place of a game if you’d rather talk about one of those.

I am a hoarder of video games, because I’m the type of person who constantly goes back to replay older titles – I never give games away, or trade any in. There are countless games I’ve gone back to, and will keep going back to, from my childhood. Games like Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask, Diddy Kong Racing, Super Mario 64, and Mario Tennis. I go back to these games because I think they afford a certain degree of nostalgia for a time when things were so much simpler. I love the games themselves, but I think sometimes I’m just looking for the comfort of familiarity – especially in times like these.

Have you ever played a game that got worse the longer you played it? What was it, and why did it grate on you the longer you played?

Recently, I felt this way about Ghost of Tsushima – the endlessly repetitive side content just wore away at my patience and excitement about the game the longer I played it. Eventually I just didn’t feel like playing it at all anymore. I did finish everything, and beat the game, but by the time I did, I wasn’t feeling particularly fond of the title any more.

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The other game I felt this way about was Octopath Traveler. I can’t believe that this game is as beloved as it is – it has a phenomenal visual style, and fun combat system, but the story and characters were so subpar, it was astonishing. The structure of the game repeats for its entire 80+ hour runtime – if I remember correctly, each of the 8 characters have 4 tales that you must complete, for a total of 32 tales. Throughout their journey, the characters have little to no interaction with each other whatsoever, despite their travelling in your typical JRPG party. Imagine your favourite JRPG (for me, Persona 5) where the characters aren’t friends, and seemingly have nothing to do with each other. Like, if Joker helped Ann, Haru, and Futaba separately, and the group never had the close dynamic that they do. It would be incredibly lackluster. Furthermore, because of the structure of the game/tales, Octopath forces you to put characters on the backburner for long stretches of time. When you begin a new leg of a certain characters tale, you’ll literally get a summary of their story so far, in case you’ve forgotten their arc. Expecting players to be able to stay invested in all of their stories given this framework (i.e. completing Primrose’s 2nd tale, then going to complete the other 7 before returning to Primrose) is just a baffling design choice. Not that it matters, since all of Octopath‘s characters are dull and cliched as hell. I only had about 3 or 4 tales to complete before the end of the game when I gave it up – I just didn’t care anymore. While it started off quite promising, Octopath Traveler gets consistently worse as the game trudges forward.

What’s the dumbest shit you’ve read recently? All social media is a gold mine for terrible hot takes, so share your favourite.

So in trying to keep things *somewhat* gaming related I’ll avoid politics, because that’s just way too easy to make fun of – shoutouts to the Fabricland Lady though (I think you’ll be waiting a while for your apologies from those employees). I decided instead to share a lovely post from a dude I follow on Facebook (forgive my screenshot); he’s one of my favourite sources of extreme right-wing/incel propaganda:

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I love posts like this. I love posts that try to undermine general feminist principles or arguments by trying to present them as misguided or entirely wrong; because feminists are all extreme, and want to ruin everything that everyone else enjoys. This post in particular I found extremely funny because its a) its argument is stupid as fuck and b) its English is terrible, but whatever. To my point: show me a single Super Mario game where Princess Peach is shown ruling the Mushroom Kingdom in any capacity whatsoever. She doesn’t. That’s not a even a remote focus of her character. She’s a princess in name only. She’s a 2D, cardboard cutout prop to jumpstart Mario’s adventures by being kidnapped. And if you’re such an avid gamer, you would recognize this “damsel in distress” trope from decades and decades worth of gaming. Why wasn’t Princess Peach a male prince, if her being kidnapped has nothing to do with gender stereotypes, and is solely politically motivated? She’s a woman for a reason, and it’s because this is a common, lazy trope that is reserved almost exclusively for women. Don’t try to pretend it’s anything else, or present this trash like the writers have some secret “deep” agenda, and feminists are just being delusional and crazy, as per. Fuck off.

Going to the general comments on the post on Facebook include winners like: “Inaccurate depiction of feminist is inaccurate. Where are the extra 40 pounds and why isn’t her hair at least 4 colors or shaved on one side?” Gotta love social media!

Do you have any favourite Youtubers? If so, who are they and why do you enjoy them?

I’m not a big YouTube person, but since quarantine started, I’ve been watching a lot more. Two of my go-to channels I’ve talked about here before, and they are RKG and Critical Role. RKG is a trio of friends (Gav, Dan, and Rory) who do let’s plays of traditionally difficult games. They started out with “Prepare to Try” on IGN’s channel, before quitting the company and starting their own with the same premise. Critical Role is a group of popular voice actors (including Matt Mercer, Ashley Johnson, and Laura Bailey) that play through a campaign of Dungeons and Dragons. I’m super behind right now, but I’ll catch up at some point.

YouTubers

I also watch review channels for both games and books, my favourite probably being Read with Cindy. She’s absolutely hilarious. The other “review” based channel I enjoy is the Jimquisition; though he – Jim Sterling – can be a bit divisive, I find his scathing takes on the state of the gaming industry to be pretty spot on, and usually entertaining. I’ve liked him since he dropped a 7/10 on Breath of the Wild, and his website suffered a DDoS attack in retaliation.

What is the strangest thing you’ve eaten?

I feel like I answered this in a different award, but I can’t really think of anything. I’m a pretty bland eater.

Which of the seasons is your favourite? Why?

Autumn is the superior season, don’t @ me. It’s not grossly hot, or horribly cold, all kinds of tasty “seasonal” things make their comeback, and the leaves changing colour is absolutely gorgeous. It’s the perfect season to be outside, and (if you live in North America) there’s both Thanksgiving and Halloween to look forward to.

Cat, dog, or big chungus?

Doggos!

Pancake, waffle, egg, bacon, oatmeal, hashbrown, cereal, sausage, toast. Choose three to create the ultimate breakfast combination and defend your choice like your life depends on it because bacon, eggs, and toast is the only correct answer.

Assuming this is a one-off “special” kind of breakfast, I’d probably go with bacon, pancakes, and hashbrowns (sorry waffles). I eat oatmeal every morning for breakfast, and eggs are gross so those are both out. I don’t like sausage either. I eat toast all the time, so that’s just a bit boring. Pancakes are cool because you can flavour them however – I usually put cinnamon in mine, but blueberry is cool too. They are also one of the ultimate vessels for the greatest of Canadian exports – maple syrup. I feel like bacon needs no explanation (though as I start eating less meat, I do feel bad about having it) and hashbrowns are fried potatoes – does it get any better? Not in 2020 it doesn’t. I also have to state, due to the nature of Frosti’s question, that I will die on this hill.

So that’s that! I’m honestly too lazy to think up any questions/nominate anyone (Frosti nominated most of the people I would normally shout-out anyway) so I’m just going to leave it here. Feel free to answer Frosti’s questions in the comments below if you want! As always, thanks for reading.