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The ABC’s of Favorite Video Games! The Letter “H”

One of my favorite parts of games is decorating spaces. So when Happy Home Designer came out, I was bound to love it. Actually got this game as a gift, but I sunk many hours into it trying to make the nicest homes, shops, cafe, school, etc. It’s a spinoff of Animal Crossing, and though it is a letdown that it doesn’t actually matter what your space looks like as long as you put in the bare minimum, I find it relaxing. Yes, it could have been better and I fully recognize that. Even so, it’s a game I’ll gravitate to during poor mental health times.

For something of a way different speed, I loved the original Halo games (1-3) and Halo Reach. Halo 1 is full of memories for me, playing multiplayer maps with my best friend many times. We had a blast! The story, music, and atmosphere was great too. I love Halo Reach too, for much the same as well as the voice acting.

Harvest Moon is a “gateway drug” into addictive gaming. You can spend hours and not even realize it. It’s because of Harvest Moon that I decided to collect them all, as well as Story of Seasons (same type of game as Harvest Moon, since the devs lost the rights to the title), but after experiencing it on Gamecube, I’m almost too scared to try them because of the time sink. Which is probably ridiculous. But yes, this made me understand the appeal of the farming sim, and a big reason for why I wanted Stardew Valley (yes, another timesink, but dang is it fun!).

Honorable Mention:

Hotel Dusk: Room 215 had major appeal to me as it was an adventure game on DS you played holding like a book. It appealed to my geeky mystery solving side and it was my first point and click on the DS. It was also very good. Sadly there was no true sequel, but there was a related game released only in the UK, therefore I do not have it.

What are your favorite H games?

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The ABC’s of Favorite Video Games! The Letter “G”

Due to a new schedule last week, I didn’t manage a blog. So I’ll be posting 2 letters this week!

Okay, so I recommend this game to everyone with a DS/3DS all the time, but can’t remember if I did here. Anyway, it absolutely must go on this list!

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective was one of the few games that stuck with me, in that I STILL think back on the story years later. It’s not a long game, you only need about 10 hours max, but it has that emotional punch that all great stories do. The gameplay is interesting, puzzles are good, and the characters will leave you in tears. Yes, I sobbed like a baby at the end, but to say anything more would be spoiling. It’s an experience you won’t forget.

Gabriel Knight series. I was originally drawn in by the second game, The Beast Within, because it featured a writer, werewolves, and a mystery, which was all I needed. The FMV is probably one of the best ever made too, and it made me geek out that I had the same pen as Gabriel Knight and I would try to emulate the way he acted/walked (I was perhaps a strange kid). The first one was good too, but I played the second one about 3 times (always with a walkthrough, as the end maze is quite intense!).

Golden Sun series. Golden Sun was well…gold, okay? I absolutely loved this series, though Dark Dawn on the DS (which came years after the second) is the weakest. I started with the first, then played the second, and greatly appreciated seeing both sides as the second is the same game told through the view of the first game’s “enemy”. It brought up the idea of morals and that classic question of good vs bad. Yet overall it was just fun. I even named my ACNL town after the town I loved to waste time in, Tolbi. Collecting all the djinn was fun too, along with the powers they gave. Plus, they were cute! Hmm, maybe I should try to make an amigurumi of one…

What are your favorite G games?

The ABC’s of Favorite Video Games! The Letter “F”

We’ve made it to the 6th letter, which means we’ve got 20 more to go! Without further adieu, let’s get started. I’m covering a nice range of genres today.

Fantasy Life (3DS) was unbelievably fun and I was HOOKED for months. I loved this game so much. I only have crafting jobs left, as they tend to be more difficult. It has that addictive quality I love, fun quests, RPG elements, and a good story. I like that you see the monsters, so they’re aren’t random battles and you can go after what you need. I can’t speak to the multiplayer aspect, as I haven’t played it online, but I’d love to see a future Fantasy Life on Switch.

Forza Horizon (Xbox 360) is a game just makes you happy if you find joy in racing games with casual driving. I will fire up this game just to drive around at various speeds, and occasionally join races. I’m not sure why I find that so fun, but I do (perhaps this harkens back to my love of the Midtown Madness games). I haven’t played 2 or 3, just the first which is set in a fictional Colorado. I have no idea how accurate buildings or scenery are, since I’ve never been there, but it’s fun to stop and take it in after awhile.

Fortune Street (Wii) holds much memories of summer fun at a time that honestly wasn’t. It kept us sane and gave us some great moments playing with family. It is very much like Monopoly with a stock market. The game can be unfair, as you can lose at the very end no matter how well you’re doing. Even so, the memories make this a top game for me. Plus, you get to play with Dragon Quest and Nintendo characters!

Honorable Mentions:

Fable series. (Xbox 360) I haven’t finished any of the series, but enjoyed 1 and 2. I haven’t yet tried 3. I loved the freedom of choice, but due to my need to steal in RPGs, I’ve been hated in some towns lol. And then I kept being followed by a creepy guy in the second game, did all possible turn offs because he annoyed me, and he still followed me like a puppy dog, even when I married someone else. Then I never played it again lol. But really, 1 and 2 were fantastic, and I wish the series had kept getting better.

Fire Emblem series. Because I can’t end this without mentioning this. I loved Shadows of Valentia, and Awakening had a cool romancing aspect (but picking people’s partners and who should have kids was agonizing to me). I’m not so much a fan of the earlier games with permadeath, those kind of stress me out. I really don’t like permadeath.

So that’s it! What are your favorite F games?

The ABC’s of Favorite Video Games! The Letter “E”

E doesn’t have a lot of games (as I include whole series together if I played more than one), but there are some gems I’ve played. But here’s a confession: I have only completed one of these! One of these days, right? So I guess we’ll start with the one I finished.

Ever Oasis really excited me when it was first announced, so I got it day one. And then proceeded to play for 8 and a half straight hours, with some short breaks. If you know me, this is rare, I generally don’t spend an entire day playing games (I got it around 1 or 2 pm that day, still rare). I don’t think I have done so since ACNL. But sometimes, you just can’t put a game down. When I got stuck and looked up gameplay on Youtube, I came across SapphyStars, who is now one of my favorite youtubers so I’m thankful for that. The game was addictive, and I loved building up my village. Then I got to the post-game and I can’t even be bothered honestly. Post-game is a letdown, but main story is fun.

Etrian Odyssey series has to be on the list! I’ve played EOU1, EOU2,EO4, and EO5. Like mentioned, I haven’t completed any, but got the furthest in EOU1. This happens due to other games popping up that I feel like playing, it’s a notoriously bad habit when it comes to RPGs. My favorite part of playing is the map making, of course. I also appreciate that sometimes it requires more thinking than other RPGs I play. The challenge also leads to having to retry bosses multiple times, but it feels awesome when you beat them. I’m intrigued about what the Switch Etrian Odyssey will be like, and if I will enjoy it as much without the map making. But seeing as I’m a huge Atlus fan, you can bet I will continue to buy anyhow.

Honorable Mention:
Eternal Darkness on the Gamecube is full of memories for me. It’s the scariest I go as I do not like jump scares. This game got into my head, and it’s probably the only game that has made me scream (I refuse to play anything scarier). When the screen suddenly goes dark, when the “volume” control gets messed with, when bugs cover the screen, and more, I screamed. It was a masterpiece in horror, that even if it got a remake I might not be able to play it with modern graphics. But I will always have the memories!

What are some of your E favorites? I know a lot of people love Earthworm Jim, but I never got into it.

The ABC’s of Favorite Video Games! The Letter “D”

So, since I love a lot of games that start with D, this one was tricky… I have two series from my past that I have great memories of, two newer games, and one under the radar game that I wish had more attention. Honestly D could have been broken down to genres but we don’t have time for that. So let’s get to it!

Diablo was my introduction to online multiplayer and I spent a large portion of middle school playing the first game online with my friend. It was awesome to me, and I had many characters. Every time we summoned a skeleton, we’d name it Fred. We also cheated when we learned how to dupe, so our characters were super rich. It was just loads of fun to destress from life and chat while fighting demons in the catacombs. Then when Diablo 2 came out, it was years before I could play. At that point I was already with my boyfriend who became my husband, and so there’s some nice memories of playing co-op together. I have yet to play 3, but would like to.

Dungeon Siege was one of my first online games I played with my best friend so it also holds lots of good memories. I introduced this one to my husband and we started playing together but never finished. It’s very similar to Diablo so it’s no surprise I love them both.

For newer games, Dragon Quest Builders became an instant favorite when I bought it for the Switch. It’s a good game to relax with and I love playing it handheld. Though a spin-off, it’s my first Dragon Quest game technically, since I only played DQ9 for maybe 2 hours (and yes, I do plan on going back to it, along with 5, 7 and 8, all of which I own. Backlog is massive!). There’s just something really addictive about Builders.

Dust: An Elysian Tail really impressed me on every level and I’m still blown away by the fact that it was made by a single person. It was among the first games bought on GOG and I loved everything about it. It’s deep, gorgeous, has stunning music, has a lot of soul, a lot of heart, and I think everyone should try it out. If you like indie games, it is simply a masterpiece.

For my honorable mention, Drakan: Order of the Flame wowed younger me when I learned I could have a dragon friend and ride it. Seriously, that was just the coolest thing to me as I love dragons. This was one of the first games to do this (to the best of my knowledge), as dragon riding wasn’t really a thing, and even now it remains rare. I haven’t played the sequel, and the PS2 versions are difficult to find, but hopefully copyright issues can be worked out for a remake someday.

I could list so many more, like Duke Nukem 1 and 2, Donkey Kong, etc, but like I said, I had to narrow it down. What are some of your favorite D games?

The ABC’s of Favorite Video Games! The Letter “C”

It’s time for the next letter! This one wasn’t too difficult as it contains one of my top RPGs.

That’s right, my top pick for this letter is Chrono Trigger! It was my first game involving time travel and I absolutely loved the concept. It was a blast to play. Lucca, Frog, and Robo were my favorite characters, Ayla was my least favorite. The music is great too. I first played the DS version, as the vast majority of my console gaming life came much later due to not being able to afford stuff in childhood. I was so happy to get it since I’d heard so many great things, and it was worth all the hype.

Honorable Mentions:

Captain Toad Treasure Tracker. Adorable, fun puzzles, what’s not to love? The upcoming Switch and (surprising) 3DS versions were just announced, but I played on Wii U. Buy it if you didn’t, great game!

Chocobo’s Dungeon. Okay, so this was a Final Fantasy spinoff game on Wii but I thought it was adorable and enjoyed my time with it though I haven’t finished. It’s a good pick up and play rogue-like RPG, which is always nice to have in a game collection.

What are your favorite C games?

The ABC’s of favorite video games! The Letter “B”

I want to try to post these more often (or it’ll take ages to get to Z), I’ve just been quite busy! Anyway, I have more games for this letter than the first, so had a bit of going back and forth over what is my top pick. But as much as I enjoy Breath of the Wild, I went with the game that created a love for match-3 games.

The Bejeweled series was amazing at the time. My boyfriend (now husband) gave me a copy of Bejeweled 2 years ago, and then we went on to play Bejeweled 3. I loved Zen mode just to relax with the soundtrack, and loved the puzzle mode in both. It’s a game I really need to install again as I still haven’t since getting this computer. It was just so addictive.

I want to talk about Breath of the Wild too, because I just enjoy climbing mountains, riding horses, and paragliding as I discover the world. I also love to bomb the enemies, even if it’s a slow way to combat. I’ve barely made progress, because when I play, I just busy myself with exploring. I will probably never “beat” it, as my joy comes from just seeing the weather elements and searching areas. Though I can’t stand when rain stops me from climbing.

Honorable mentions:
1. Bastion was a beautiful game, and I loved the story. It was well done and sometimes I still think about it, like a good book.

2. Bayonetta, because I love her. She’s pretty epic and it’s just plain fun to play.

3. Bravely Default was great, until you hit the halfway point where it gets repetitive. Up until that point though, I would have sung praises. It’s still a great game though, and I did buy the sequel to try. Unfortunately I’ve taken quite a long break because of that repetition so I still need to finish the game.

The Alphabet of Favorite Video Games – Letter A

I saw someone doing this on Twitter and thought it was a great idea for the blog. I’m going to dedicate regular blog posts every week with a new letter until the alphabet is finished. So yay, more activity on the blog. Now let’s get right to it!

For the letter A, I obviously have to go with Animal Crossing. I started with the original game on the Gamecube and loved the relaxing gameplay, collecting fossils and interacting with my villagers. I was into it enough to get an extra memory card for a second town to trade with. And then New Leaf came out.

I spent so much time in Animal Crossing: New Leaf, nearly 500 hours. The ease of multiplayer was a blast and I made a lot of friends, had great conversations even within the limited text space, and there was more to do than ever. It barely left my 3DS for a very long stretch of time. It is my most played 3DS game, and most definitely my most played console game as a whole. The only possible exception is casual games over several years, but that hardly counts.

Some honorable mentions: Age of Mythology, Age of Empires II. Both of these introduced me to the RTS genre and I had lots of fun using the cheats. Anyone remember the flying purple hippo or the lazer bear? Those were my favorite.

What are your favorite games that start with A?

A Quick Review of Hey, Pikmin! -My Initial Thoughts

I finally finished up Monster Hunter Stories (not all quests or monsters, but main story and Poogies), so I popped in the game I got for the holidays, which is Hey, Pikmin!. I’ve just gotten to the second area.

So let’s chat! First thing I realized is there is so much similarity to Chibi Robo: Zip Lash. This could have just as easily been a Chibi-Robo game in that vein, it’s simply been Pikmin-fied. The collection now is random real world items versus real world candy. You use Pikmin instead of Chibi-Robo’s plug.

This sounds like a complaint, and it kind of is. Yet I enjoyed Chibi-Robo and I’m enjoying this too, I definitely understand why it was a disapointment for Pikmin fans. I feel like I’ve already played this game. I could show screenshot comparisons and it seems an obvious copy and paste job with Pikmin art instead. Granted, there are some differences, but they’re pretty minor. I do enjoy the item descriptions, as they are often amusing.

I would say that if you loved Chibi-Robo, you’ll like this but maybe don’t play them back to back. If you hated Chibi-Robo, there’s a good chance you won’t have fun with this one either.

Some secret stages are locked unless you have certain amiibos. You can use the Pikmin amiibos released for the game, Super Mario Bros series amiibo, Animal Crossing amiibo (figures only), Splatoon series 1 amiibo to unlock these stages, where you can receive the amiibos as statues in game with each one equaling 200 sparklium. Sparklium is the fuel you need to collect throughout the game, but it can easliy be achieved without using any amiibo.

I will finish the game (minus some secret stages) as I find the style of gameplay relaxing and enjoy seeing my Pikmin Park fill up. Also, I love collectables and having complete in-game collections, so that’s going to keep me playing as well. I haven’t decided what I’ll play next on my 3DS, but it might just be a replay of Radiant Historia, as the 3DS version comes out really soon! Radiant Historia is one of my favorite handheld RPGs, and I highly recommend it!

Recent Movies I Watched

I haven’t been reading sadly, and I’m still playing the same games, but I’ve watched 3 movies I’d love to talk about (1 is a rewatch).

Unrest. This documentary on CFS/ME was relatable to me and a very good glimpse into the life of chronic illness. If you know someone or are someone affected by chronic illness (doesn’t neccesarily need to be CFS/ME, I have neither), it’s a great watch. I don’t care about the Oscars in general, but it deserves an Oscar.

Phantom Boy. Found this movie on Netflix, and quite liked it. I didn’t love the art style (think A Cat in Paris, which makes sense as it is a French animation from the same directors), but the story was good. It follows a sick boy who discovers that his illness allows him to astral project. At first, he uses this ability to look in on his family at home and help guide patients back to their bodies in the hospital he stays in. Those patients never remember him, until he helps a cop. This leads him into playing the cop’s partner to take down a villain threatening the entire city. It never states what the boy’s illness is, but that doesn’t matter. It’s explorations of family, the effect on his little sister, his helping the cop (in more ways than one) was handled pretty well. It was a simple movie, but I enjoyed it.

Big Hero 6. I forgot how much I love this movie. I still want my own Baymax. Rewatching this movie made me want the sequel even more. But upon rewatch, I noticed some things… I won’t write them here for the sake of anyone who hasn’t seen the movie though. Anyways, I love the setting, I love Baymax, I love the group dynamic.

I don’t remember if I wrote about The Last Jedi, but I’m pretty sure I did. If I didn’t, I loved it! The Porgs and crystal foxes were so cute, and I really didn’t have any issue with the story. What movies did you watch this month?

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