Turning 30

*Today is June 6th. You wake up normally around 6:30am. Despite your efforts to try and go back to sleep, you give in to your body’s urge to get up. After performing your normal morning rituals, you open the blinds and look outside the window to view your normal surroundings. It is a hazy day where the sun has already risen above the other houses in the neighborhood. There is fresh dew on the grass and the normal traffic noise has been replaced with the symphonies of the local avian duet. This peace is broken by the sound of your phone going off. You checked the number to see that it is a call from…yourself? Curious, you answer the phone.*

Good morning birthday (checks notes) boy! Congratulations! You did it! I never imagined you would make it this far; yet alone reach the milestone that is thirty years old. How did you get this old? How have you not found a nice comfortable room somewhere and decided that that was our world for the foreseeable future? You have changed so much from the quiet, shy, timid, invertebrate that you were when you finished high school. You are now somehow a more confident, independent, vertebrate who is still somehow afraid to open his mouth. Don’t worry. I’m sure in the next ten years you will learn how to get that mouth moving more frequently.

–     Who is this?

–    Sorry wrong number.

→ Thanks…

What are some of the things that you have accomplished over the years? Well for starters, you were the first in your family to graduate college with a Bachelors! You might not have been the first or second person to graduate college with a degree, but it’s the technicality that counts. Music may not have been the best degree program to go into, but the experiences, people we met, and life lessons learned were well worth the debt. Besides, it’s thanks to that degree that you met your wife. Another thing that you can rub in your family’s faces is being the first one to get married. Sure technically your mom beat you to that, and you weren’t the first to give her a grandchild, but no one (especially you) would have thought that you would ever get married. It has been the highlight of your life so far and you could not imagine life without her. It was truly a chance of lucky events that made it all happen.

–    What do you want from me?

–    Wrong. My tuba was my true love.

→ Can you please move on?

Enough mussy stuff now. There are other accomplishments that you made that you never saw coming. You found a career that you enjoy and never thought you would have. The library world was something that you never considered, but it chose you after a wonderful student work study experience. If you didn’t fail that music praxis test by one question, you would probably have gone and done music therapy which was the plan at the time. Stupid Praxis. Why not get influenced by your supervisor and coworkers to pursue a Masters in Library Science instead? That way you don’t have to take the Praxis and can use your job experience to get through the program.* Which you did! Another star point on the board for being the first person (that you know of in your immediate family) to hold a Masters in a field of study! Surely this upward momentum would propel you to get a Doctorate at some point. Wait. Why are you shaking your head so fast? You’re done with school for the rest of your life? Cool. We will see how that changes in the next ten years…

*Different programs require different tests or other prerequisites. I just happen to find one that didn’t need any of that.*

–   I’m going to hang up now

–   Why ask mostly choir/vocal questions for an instrumentalist?

→ Please talk about something else

Enough about you. Let’s talk about other things about you that you don’t want to talk about. Look how much of a changed person that you’ve become. People would have sworn that you would turn out to be some weird outsider with no social skills, but you have come to surprise even yourself. You’ve met people who liked you for who you are and were not out to just get something from you (some of them did creep in). You’ve also found friends who you would consider true friends no matter what. This is something you are not accustomed to since no one has stuck around longer than they have outside of being in the same group. Your trust issues are still the same, but for once you have a pretty good support group that won’t let you down.

–   I don’t like talking to you

–   My friends are my true strength

→ Sir, this is a gaming blog

What? This is a gaming blog so we should talk about video games instead? Sure that seems like a good segway into a different topic. Your love for gaming was strong to begin with, but know now it’s astronomical! You used to be the kid who was intimidated by 3D console games and mostly stuck to your Gameboy Advance and DS. Now, no game seems to intimidate you after playing games like Monster Hunter, Dark Souls, and Metal Gear Solid. Those were the types of games that you would never think about picking up the controller to play. Horror games are still a pass and 3D platformers are still the bane of your existence. We are just happy to see that your gaming horizons have expanded over the past decade.

–    I’m going to hang up the phone now

–   Take me back to the good ‘ol days

→ A lot has changed hasn’t it?

Speaking of expansion (I’m not going to talk about your weight), you have become quite the collector of games. It’s hard to believe how your small collection of GBA and DS games turned into a big collection spanning eighteen different platforms with over 1000 titles. I guess this is what happens when your two main hobbies are playing music and video games. These aren’t just random games that you just bought willy nilly for the sake of having a collection. Every game you own has a story or reason why you added it. It’s more than just plastic inside of plastic sitting on a wooden shelf, or data stored on a mechanical device housed inside another mechanical device. These are the worlds that you have thrown yourself into. These are the connections that you have with other people near and far. It’s what helps make you feel comfortable in certain social groups. It makes your relationship with your wife even better since you two share in the hobby. You don’t collect games out of the habit of collecting. You collect games that have a certain interest to you so that you may one day share that with others.

–    …

–    I have spent so much money…

→ You’re right

Oh! Look at the time. I know holding conversations is a struggle for you, so we should wrap this up. The future is unknown at this point. Right now, there is no clear sign what direction we will take in the coming years. You have an idea what the next big step in life is going to be, but you are unsure when that will happen. It’s unclear if any of your goals will be met since life has a way of always being unpredictable. You used to never let this idea of uncertainty get you down, but I guess with age comes a more conscious awareness of things around you. I’m asking that you try and not let these unseen forces ruin and dictate how you go about your life. This is a tough request since anxiety has plagued us for a while now. Just try to take it one day at a time until you figure out what needs to be done and plan accordingly. You made all of your other accomplishments work this way; so I’m sure that your hidden talents will lead you in the right direction.

You never told me who you were.

–    I think this is going to be the best season yet!

–    …I’m scared.

You should already know that. I believe a famous video game series stated that “I am thou, and thou art I.” Just know that in the next ten years if you ever feel lost or unsure about yourself, look back on this exchange and hopefully this will remind you that you are on the right track. I may be your harshest critic, but I’m also your biggest supporter. Together, there is nothing that we can accomplish.

–   …okay.

Is this the part where we go and kill God?

–   Thanks.

Yes, Unknown to you. A Godlike entity has been waiting on the line to give you a cryptic message on where and how the world will be destroyed unless you found four elemental thingamabobs to seal him away. It is weak to lactose, so make sure that you keep a steady supply on hand. Now get out there and show the world what you are made of!

The phone call ends. You are unsure if all of this was part of a dream or if you are still just waking up. The sounds of hearing a cat scratch on furniture confirms that you are indeed awake. You reflect on the phone call and all the things “you” said to…yourself. Thirty years is a long time, but that just means the next thirty will have to be just as eventful as the last.

Backlog Report – May 2022

Holy Mayflowers Batman! What the hell happened to May!? One moment I’m celebrating that it’s finally May, and the next thing I know June is here. I swear the moment you finish grade school or college, time means nothing anymore and everything becomes a standard affair until something life changing happens that slows down time again. I’m still searching for my next big life changing moment; but I have a feeling that something will shake things up next year.

While May was a blur to me, there are some blog related items that I did accomplish. For starters, the blog has a fresh new coat of paint on it. I was growing tired of the old look for a while and wanted to make things more “pleasant.”  The only thing that I’m meh about is that I can’t change the background color to a slightly less bright white. Despite there being a setting to change the background color, it doesn’t work for me for some reason. Other than that, the banner is temporary until I get off my lazy arse and create one myself. I appreciate any feedback.


Finished This Month

Final Fantasy V Advance

Didn’t have my capture device set up

Continuing my playthrough of all the mainline Final Fantasy games, Final Fantasy V is the newest title to graduate from the backlog. Final verdict. It’s not one of my favorites. There was a lot with this game that did not intrigue me to pay attention half the time. The story is basic and only has a few standout moments. The job system in this game is fine, but once you know what skills you want each character to have, there is little point in trying out other classes if you are trying to master the ones you need. It’s not that long of a game, so grinding job points could be seen as a way to pad the game out. If that is the case, then it only makes the game even more boring since the focus is on the job system and not the characters or story. I will congratulate FFV for being so bland that it made me appreciate FFIV way more than I ever had (it was originally one of my least favorite FF games).

Elden Ring

Rise ye Tarnished. I’ve gone from maidenless to Elden Lord in record time for one of these games. I thought this game would take me months to finish based on my track record from Bloodbourne and Dark Souls. I think my play style and familiarity helped carry me through all the new challenges in this stupidly big world. Playing this alongside a friend was also the drive that kept me playing for weeks. I didn’t realize how much fun I was having with this game until I beat the final boss and my friend asked if I wanted to create a new character and play it over again. Elden Ring is the type of game that you can replay multiple times since there are so many character builds that you can experiment with and items to try out. You can even be like me and explore places that you completely missed on the first journey! So far this game is tied for my game of the year, and it’s going to be hard to decide which one will come on top.


Added and Finished This Month *New Section*

*I needed a new section for games that I buy and actually finish in the month I purchase it. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does find it in this section!

Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin

Have you played anything that sounds ridiculous on paper, but actually works in some crazy manner? Well I played Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin so that you don’t have to. Silly jokes aside, I found myself enjoying this game even though I had no idea what was going on half the time. SoP takes aspects of the Nioh games and Dark Souls by making the combat all about action while having the punishment and patience to learn the mechanics. The game attempts to fill in the holes to its story by finding lore orbs(?) in the game and put the pieces together about how the Luferians are assholes and reset the world for their pleasure. I would be upset with their explanation on how Garland came to be, but then I remember that the original Final Fantasy had the flying tech fortress and time travel to defeat Chaos. The series has always been weird so just embrace the weirdness from time to time. I want to get the platinum trophy, but it requires a second playthrough on Chaos difficulty and I only have time for so much patience these days.


New Additions This Month

Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands

I have always wanted to join a tabletop RPG game. It has been an interest for some time, but living in an area where no one hosts games is an issue (I would have to travel at least an hour away). Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is far from a compromise, but so far it has highlighted what makes TTRPGs so much fun to play. The quest lines, unexpected twists and turns, and having a good time with the people you are playing with is what makes these games entertaining. The Borderlands formula also complements TTRPGs to the point where nothing feels out of place despite being based around a fantasy game. Kat and I have been streaming this game over on her Twitch channel every Wednesday. Just excuse us for being rusty at the whole streaming thing.

Prinny Presents NIS Classics Vol. 2

This is a collection that I’ve been waiting for. Prinny Presents NIS Classics Vol. 2 contains two games: Makai Kingdom: Reclaim and Rebound & Z. H. P.: Unlosing Ranger vs. Darkdeath Evilman. I remember really enjoying Makai Kingdom even though it is a bit dated these days. That doesn’t stop it from being an enjoyable game and funny writing as you watch the strongest being in the universe defend his title while stuck in a book. Z.H.P completely missed my radar when it first came out, but I was hooked after the tutorial. It is some of Nippon Ichi’s best comical writing with a premise that makes fun of the whole Super Sentai/tokusatsu genre. I didn’t know before playing, but the game is actually a rougelike RPG that uses the same tactical grid set up from the Disgaea series. I will have to sit and finish this game since it is too funny and stupid to not finish.

Cruis’n USA

Oh look. More N64 games. Acquiring Cruis’n USA completes the racing N64 games that me and my brother enjoyed playing. It has been a while since I’ve played this game, but nostalgia is a terrible disease and I’m sure I will enjoy this game again nevertheless.

Kingdoms and Castles

Now here is a surprise. I felt the urge to boot up my PC after what feels like a three month hiatus from it. While deciding on what to play on it, I discovered this game on the Steam store page. It has been a while since I’ve played a strategy, city building game, and this was charming enough for me to investigate.

I have become addicted to this game. There are so many mechanics in this game that keep your attention busy at all times. Peasants are needy peasants who need everything from you and the world. Dragons and Vikings will attack your village at certain times and will always outsmart you depending on where you set up your defenses, and the Witch will be your best friend if you tell your peasants to work harder! And this is only on the beginner difficulty! The Kingdom of Dommy has seen lots of hardship in the 100 years, but has sense sabled itself to a functioning city. With the acquisition of the Isle of Mommies, the kingdom is starting to grow exponentially and we are better prepared for Viking attacks. I have no idea what other ordeals are waiting for us, but it is equally exciting and terrifying. I know at higher difficulties there are A.I. kingdoms that you can interact with and could work with you or invade you. I’m serious when I say that this has become one of my favorite games that I’ve played this year.


Currently Playing

I am currently in the flux of deciding what I should finish next. Trails of Cold Steel IV is the obvious choice since I have been pushing that aside for a while now. I may have to strap myself in and just finish it once and for all. My problem is that I’m trying to accomplish as much as I can on the first playthrough so that my list of tasks are simpler during the Nightmare runs. I am on act three part 1 out of 4, with two shorter acts afterwards. I know I should just focus on the story and do all the quests in another playthrough, but when the side content does a lot to flesh out the world and characters, it is hard to ignore them sometimes.

Kingdoms and Castles will be on the daily rotation. Since it does not demand a lot of resources, I can easily play this on my laptop and continue the harvest wherever I go (now I have to consider a SteamDeck). Elden Ring isn’t quite over yet since another friend has the game and we will be cooperating to help him get through it. Like I said before, Tina Tiny Wonderlands will be every Wednesday until we finish that game. The only other thing calling me at the moment is my DS/3DS collection. It has been a while since I’ve finished something on the handheld, so maybe that time is now. I don’t know. Something will come along.


Blog Update

By my records, I managed to post at least one item per week. This is a goal that I’ve been trying to work myself up to, and I think it wouldn’t have been possible without the many topics that I’ve started and slowly worked on. I have nine finished games that I still need to talk about, some fun posts that I’ve wanted to write, and more stories about certain games in my collection. I hope I can keep my productivity high while still improving my writing. Be on the lookout for two new Backlog Tales, a post about some of the games announced over the month, and a special post for a special day.


And that is all that I have for this month. Thank you for reading and your support!

Yu Gi Oh! Random Nonsense Go! (Backlog Tale)

I have been a fan of the Yu Gi Oh! Trading Card Game (TCG) ever since middle school. Something about the monsters, gameplay, and hair made me really enjoy the struggle of wits between two opponents. While Magic would become the dominant TCG, Yu Gi Oh! would still be my choice of card game since I was most familiar with it and Magic still intimidates me (plus the few people I encountered who play it were arrogant AF).

Playing the TCG in a video game format has been the way I’ve played for years. When you have no friends or acquaintances who have an interest in Yu Gi Oh!, video games become your best way to learn and enjoy new things. From Duel Academy on the GBA to Legacy of the Duelist on modern platforms, I have tried to keep up with the current changes to the game to a point. The introduction of Synchro monsters was the last update to the game that I really got into. XYZ (pronounced X-C), Pendulum, and Link monsters made the game too complicated for me. For that reason, I would keep my strategies close to the third generation and make due there.

Enter Yu Gi Oh! Master Duel; the new free-to-play online Yu Gi Oh! game based on the current TCG. Up to this point, I have mostly played against AI opponents. This game focuses on online battles against real people worldwide. Going in, I expected to get my ass handed to me a couple of times before I found the right deck and strategy that fits my playstyle. My cocky attitude was quickly shattered when I started to lose over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over again. I wasn’t expecting to get destroyed this badly, but this assured me that this was not the same game from my time with Legacy of the Duelist. I had entered the new meta of the Yu Gi Oh! game where getting the most out of each turn and dominating your opponent is key.

In the past, if you were going first, it was a normal play to set up your defenses and prepare for whatever move your opponent was going to make on their turn. The meta now seems to be summoning as many monsters as possible to the field and playing your most powerful monsters at the start. Laying down your strategy at the start with the right countermeasures could mean that victory for you is a guarantee. For a defensive player like myself, I now have to come up with unorthodox strategies that seem strange to me, but are vital if I want a chance of winning my matches. And for me personally, I don’t mind that one bit.

I will fully admit that my struggles come from not keeping up with the current status of the game. The introduction of new monster types and summoning methods was overbearing for me and I never took the time to understand their application in the game. In Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution, I breezed through the first three arcs of the story since I was very familiar with the cards and strategies. When I got to Zexal and XYZ summoning, I started to struggle since I was using my old strategies that were easily overcome by XYZ monsters and their effects. Things got even more difficult with Arc V since every type of summoning method comes into play along with Pendulum summoning (which is still the only summoning method that I try to avoid). The game was no longer something that was easily predictable with the old cards in play. You now have to content with not knowing what summoning method your opponent will utilize the most; not including if they use a mix of all seven summoning methods.

What is this nonsense?

This is the exciting (and frustrating) part of the game for me. The core game that I enjoy is still there, but my understanding and strategies have to change in order for me to win my matches. For some of us, that makes complete sense for any game that has been around as long as this one. The game needs to change and introduce new mechanics to keep the player base interested enough to keep playing the game. In some way, Trading Card Games have been the original Live Service games that continually introduce new content, game modes, and microtransactions that keeps the game living and thriving to this day.

From a mature standpoint, I should take my time to learn new ways on how to play the game and adapt to modern times, but the whiny baby inside of me hates this new kind of play. Old decks that I used to have fun with aren’t as viable since they took some time to set up properly, or contain no abilities to deal with the new bullshit that some of these cards have. You almost have to have cards that can negate abilities in order to stand a chance against certain archetypes. If I see one dragon maid or anime girl wearing an airplane, I almost want to surrender immediately since the people using those decks know how to pull a win out of nowhere. 

This is where my current problem with the game stands. With over 10,000 cards to pick and chose to create a 40 card deck, I don’t have the time to learn and figure out what each and every card can do and try to predict how that will work in my deck. With card descriptions ranging from lite flavor text to terms of service agreements. For me, the simpler the card effect, the better it is for me to use it effectively. This doesn’t work when your opponent uses cards that have multiple effects and you have to read through them carefully in order to not trigger any of them. It slows the game down for me and makes me waste a lot of time trying to understand if I’m going to screw myself over. At least when cards had one or two effects, I could keep track of what card effects to look out for when planning my next move. Now with effects that can be triggered from the hand, graveyard, extra deck, and kitchen sink, I have no idea what I could be going against unless I know the archetype well enough.

Then why don’t I take the easy way and learn how to use “top-tier” decks? Because then I’m not playing using my own skills and playstyle. There is an option in the game to copy deck recipes from other players and use decks that they have created. It is a nice way for new players to test out new decks and get ideas on how to create their own in the future. I am the type of guy who doesn’t like to be handed a game winning deck and feel good about it. At least let me earn it after proving myself first. The decks I create go through many trial and error phases until I constructed something that suits me well. I much prefer this style of play over copying someone else’s work. It may not feel good getting beat down constantly, but at least I’m getting beat with something I believe in.

Now for the opposite. It feels so good when you outsmart an opponent and win a match. My low self-esteem will make me cautious with every move I make, but that doesn’t stop me from throwing it out the window when I know I have someone beat. It is a genuine good feeling when you are playing against another good player and emerge victorious. I feel like all of my hardwork has paid off when everything goes according to plan.

A good example of this happened when I was going against someone who was using a Kaiju deck. Kaiju monsters are special in that you have to use monsters on your opponent’s side of the field in order to summon them. After realizing this trope, I had to find a way to get around this condition. After noticing that my opponent was tossing cards out of their deck in order to find what they needed, I knew exactly what I needed to do. I began to do absolutely nothing. When my turn began, I would draw my card and then end the turn. My opponent had fewer cards in their deck than mine, so all I had to do was wait until they were out of cards in their main deck and I would win. I took this gamble anticipating they didn’t have any low level monsters to summon and chip away at my life points; which to my luck they didn’t. As each turn went by, I imagined my opponent would think I would get cocky at the last minute and summon my strongest monster to finish them off quickly. But no, I took the most megamind approach to defeat them and just watched as they ran out of cards to draw. I give mad props for them not surrendering through all of that and accept their defeat to the dumbest of all plays. They might have had a winning move on my final turn if I actually did summon a monster, but I didn’t take that chance and laugh demonically over outsmarting them. Hopefully, they adjusted their deck afterwards to fix such a blind spot in their deck.

So how do I conclude my time with this game (from daily bases to a here-and-now game)? Originally I wanted to reach Platinum I in rank duels and call that a victory. Seeing as I could never get out of low Gold V, I wasn’t going to get there anytime soon. With other games to play and me not wanting to strangle every Kuribo I saw, I thought it was best to add this game to my casual game rotation. There’s still plenty for me to do and one of these days I will settle with a second deck to add to my rotation. If you are a long time fan of the series or someone new to the TCG, then this is a game worth playing. It may not teach you everything that you need to know about the game, but the tutorials give you a great start and you can obtain structure decks just to get you started. I do wish the game had an unranked mode where you could challenge random people without having to create a room and hope someone joins it. I also wish they would fix the damn timer for each player so that it actually goes down during each turn. If Konami continues to support the game, I could easily see this as the go to online Yu Gi Oh! game for the next few years. If all the changes feel alien to you, I could recommend Rush Dueling since it takes out all the complications of the main game. It was literally created because the main game was getting too complicated. Other than that, nothing is stopping you from playing older games in the series if seeing a link card sends you into a dark place.

Play Time Stats:

Game Started: 1/19/2022
Game “Ended”: Ongoing
Number of Cards Obtained: 2529
Highest Placement in Rank: Gold 3
Trusty Deck: Sync-In (Synchro deck focused on summoning Synchro and Stardust monsters)
MVP Cards: Satellite Warrior, Junk Speeder, Clear Wing Synchro Dragon
Favorite Summoning Method: Synchro
Least Favorite Summoning Style: Pendulum

Bonus Gallery

Opinions Are Just That – The Hype Killer

It has been a while since I did one of these opinion pieces, so let’s do a fun one!

I will fully admit that I am the type of person who can get caught into the hype of something. It can be fun sometimes chatting with people about their excitement about something at the time of learning about it. While most big named things may make the collective populace lose their minds, it takes a special game to be announced that makes me lose control. I don’t have a game I’m currently hyped for at the moment, but once announcements are made at the beginning of Summer, I will most likely have something to look forward to. While it is easy to build up hype, it is also easy to destroy it. There are many ways the hype for something can flicker out. So for fun, I wanted to talk about some of the ways the hype for certain games is ruined for me. Some of these aren’t complete deal breakers for me, but it does stop me from acquiring the game sooner than I anticipated. If you participate in any of the behaviors that I’m about to list, please don’t stop for my sake.

False Advertising

This is a simple one to explain. You hear that a game is being announced that is right up your alley. Let’s say that it is a remake/remastered that you love and that it is getting new features that make it accessible for today’s standards. The day finally arrives where you can purchase the game and enjoy the things that you were promised, only to find out that that is not entirely true. You either notice that a key feature in the old game is gone and replaced with something that ruins the essence of the original, or you notice that your brand new game has a bunch of microtransactions that were not mentioned in the advertisement. Suddenly, your game is ruined by additions or subtractions that don’t make it worth playing at all. This is a hype killer that I’ve been running into a lot recently and has become one of the reasons I wait for sales or buy used copies when a game looks like trash.

My example for this is of course Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered that came out a few couple years ago. I will never stop talking about my disappointment with this game. The day before the game was released, people discovered that one of the key elements of the game was gone: local co-op. Yes co-op was there and they took it an extra step by implementing cross-platform play, but they got rid of the option for you and your friends to start in the same village together. The idea of the caravan was to set out together to protect your village; not just jump into someone’s game and help them complete dungeons. I am going to stop here before I get into another rage frenzy about this game.

Bad Business Practices

While I’m on the subject, let’s talk about the other thing I pointed out in false advertising. Companies sure do love them some money. I mean as a business you want to make money, but there are times where it just feels like greed. Practices like Battle Passes and Microtransactions are not inherently bad, but when the game revolves around it, or some of the best items in the game are locked behind it, then it just comes off companies wanting you to spend more money after you already purchased a $50 or $60 game.

Oh look. I’m beginning to see a pattern. The latest game that made me feel this way was Chocobo GP. I was excited for this game since I enjoy kart games and Final Fantasy. Things were looking good for the game, until reviewers started to point out that the game was heavily bombarded with microtransactions. Not only did the game cost $50 USD, but on top of that Square wanted me to spend more money on in-game currency and a season pass on a game that wasn’t working properly at launch. This was the easiest nope for me when I learned about it, and also one of the more disappointing ones since from what I can tell, it is a fun racing game. I just can’t get by supporting business practices like this even when it happens to the cute and adorable Chocobo.

Social Media/Nobody Shutting the **** Up About Something

This is where things get personal. I like talking about video games with people. I like sharing the joy and excitement with others when a new, fun experience is happening. What I absolutely dislike though is when everyone is sharing, jamming in your face, constantly referencing, praising something to the highest level, and berating others for not appreciating how [insert game here] is/will be the best game that ever exists. I can handle it to the point where I feel like I’m being oversaturated with seeing it everyday and feeling like I can never escape it. Any interest I had in playing it is suddenly gone since the fans want me to believe that no other game can compare to their prized possession. I will recognize that the game is good, but I will not play a minute of it if I can help it. 

I’m going to get a lot of hate for this, but there is one game that I have absolutely no desire to play ever since it came out in 2015. That game is Undertale. Do I think Undertale is a good game? Absolutely. Do I think it is one of the best games ever made? Debatable. Do I think Undertale is the pinnacle that all games should try to be? No. For a good while it felt like I could never escape any discussion about this game. Don’t get me started about the whole thing about Sans being Ness because I will just argue that they are all just code in a game that can be easily beaten with a BACKSPACE button. Everything is Undertale and everything that comes out after it is essentially Undertale as predicted in the Tale of Under. Jokes aside, I don’t want to hate the game for being what it is, but it really sours my mood when it is in your face everyday. 

The Last of Us can go in this category as well. I played the beginning and felt nothing since the internet kept talking about it and you could see it coming a mile away.

General Loss of Interest Over Time

This feels like the most natural way that hype can die over time. Something gets announced one day and then the final product doesn’t come out until 3+ years from now. You like the idea that something is coming when it is announced, but start to get impatient when it takes forever to come out. I know people like to pull up the quote about rushed and delayed games, but if I’m still waiting for a game announced in 2016, then I’m going to start focusing on the games around me.

I don’t have any good examples for this category personally. Metroid Prime 4 is a good example, but I’m convinced that it is going to get canceled at some point; so my excitement for it is pretty low. 

Bad Timing

Sometimes a game comes out at the wrong time. This is an aspect that most people don’t consider a lot. The timing of a game’s release is a crucial part of game development. If you are confident in its sales, releasing a game during the peak holiday times will lead to better sales. If not, then it gets drowned out by better titles. Sometimes releasing a game at a random point in time is a gamble since you may have no idea how sales will go; unless you are very cocky about it selling well. For me, if multiple titles are coming out around the same time, I will pick and choose which one I’m most looking forward to and then place the other title in my wishlist. Other times, a game will come out that I would be excited for if it came out one or two years prior.

The perfect game that I can use for this example is Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate. Monster Hunter Generations on the 3DS was a sour experience for me since they opted to exclude G/Master Rank out of the game. The base game was fine, but the exclusion of the challenging part of the game made me resent the title. When news dropped that Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate was coming out only in Japan, my hype died instantly. This was fine since Monster Hunter World was coming out soon and filled that monster hunting itch that needed to be scratched. What baffled me was that a few months later, Capcom released Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate that same year. Talk about bad timing for those who were already playing World. I could have given Generations Ultimate some proper game time, but with me fully invested in World, I did not have the same hype for it when it was first revealed. 


So those are my hype killers. If you share similar feelings with me or have other examples, please share with the rest of the class.

Mini Backlog Tales Collections Vol. 1

There are some games that I finish that I really don’t have a lot to say about. It is kinda unfair that they don’t get the same treatment like others, but with this I hope to rectify that a bit. These mini compilations will feature some of those games that don’t need a whole dedicated post to them. There will be some that I want to talk about more in length, so if you don’t see it mentioned in this post, then chances are I’m working on a larger post for it.


Pokémon Trading Card Game

Starting things off is the Pokémon Trading Card Game for the Gameboy Color. I played this via the 3DS Virtual Console release, and it’s one of those games that didn’t take long to finish. I did have to start the game over since I did something stupid that the game warned me about. Apparently there is an NPC who will trade you one card for all the other cards that you have in your trunk. Not knowing this, I accepted the trade and lost all my cards not in my possession. I was also bad and didn’t manually save since the virtual console version will suspend where you last left off. So I just thought it best to just start from the beginning again.

This is a solid representation of the early card game. If you are like me and never knew how to play the game (but like collecting the cards), then this was the game to have back then. The card game itself is pretty simple, but can be challenging towards the end. Since the game only covers the first edition of the TCG, there are a limited number of cards that you can use at your disposal. Even with the small amount of cards, there is enough possibility to create decks that focus on one element or help feed to whichever Pokémon is your ace.

In order to beat the game, you need to defeat the eight club leaders and then defeat the four masters at the Challenge Hall. If you have played a Pokémon game, this set up feels familiar. Instead of walking around a region in order to catch and train new Pokémon, you instead just select where you want to go on the map and it will take you there. I wish each locale had something different an unique to them, but all the entrances and side rooms look the same. I also wish there was a way to buy card packs instead of only getting them from defeating other players. It makes searching for specific cards hard since you have to find the right player who will reward you with the card pack you need, and then hope that you get it. In most cases, you will probably rely on your starter deck for the first three areas until you build up enough cards to create different decks.

All in all, Pokémon Trading Card Game for the GBC was a fun time. I wish we got the sequel that came out in Japan since they added new cards that were current at the time. I also wish we would get a new standalone game that wasn’t Pokémon TCG Online. I may give the online version a try one day, but if Yu Gi Oh! Master Duel taught me anything, it’s that I’m probably out of my prime when it comes to current trading card games.

Game Stats:

Game Started: 1/27/2016
Game Finished: 10/31/2021
Total Play Time: 21 Hours


Astro’s Playroom

This is a great tech demo. This game is preinstalled on all PS5s, and it does a great job of showing what the PS5 Duel Sense controller can do. I know the game is supposed to demonstrate how awesome the PS5 is, but if you’re someone like me who does not have an eye for fancy tech words and numbers, then this plays just like a fun game. 

The thing I enjoyed the most about this game are all the references to PlayStation’s history. The main collectables in the game are all past and present PlayStation hardware and accessories; going all the way back the original PlayStation to the current PlayStation 5. I didn’t grow up with a PlayStation, but I still found this interesting to see all the past accessories, handhelds, and iterations of all of Sony’s gaming products. Once collected, the items are displayed in a museum and can be interacted with as a little touch to see how these items worked. Again, if you have no attachment to the PlayStation brand, then you may not find it interesting. Other than that, there are Easter Eggs that represent classic PlayStation games in each stage. These were fun to find and try to figure out which game they were from.

I hardly play anything that doesn’t feel like it’s missing something or the length should be altered. Astro’s Playroom is one of those games where I felt like I was playing a perfect game. All the components of the game felt perfectly tuned to make the game feel complete. The length of the game felt comfortable, the levels had enough challenge to them without making them feel too easy or too challenging, and the reward for collecting everything felt rewarding. Not many games have been able to achieve that feeling nowadays, but this game was a perfect introduction to how the Duel Sense controller works and feels. Of course their may be others who found problems with the game, but during my entire playthrough, there was nothing that I could find to complain about.

Other than that, this was a fun, small game that came along with my PS5. I can’t claim that I got all the achievements on my own since Kat took the game from me and played half of the stages (even though she created her own account and did everything on her own). There’s not much to go back and replay once you’ve collected everything, so it becomes a fast uninstall once you’ve done everything (which you can do in half a day). This is the type of demo that I wish newer consoles would include just to give the player an idea of what the new console can do. It was definitely better than Nintendo asking you to buy a $50 game that could have easily been included with the system.

Game Stats:

Game Started: 7/31/2021
Game Finished: 8/8/2021
Total Play Time: Between 10 to 15 Hours
Achievements Unlocked: 45/46 (have the Platinum, too lazy to do the speed run achievement)
Puzzle Pieces Obtained: 96/96
Artifacts Found: 46/46
Favorite PlayStation Console: PS2


Mario Party Superstars

Nostalgia is a dangerous weapon. If you use it incorrectly, you risk damaging a cherished memory by trying to cash in on that past magic (insert your own personal betrayal here. There are plenty to choose from). Mario Party Superstars was one of those games that I was cautiously optimistic for. It was like Nintendo was actually listening to the fans for once and were giving us a traditional Mario Party game without motion gimmicks, car gimmicks, or microphone gimmicks (I actually liked the microphone games). This was a return to form quite literally since it was a collection of boards and minigames from previous games in the series. This “new” game was set to highlight what made the series fun to begin with and try to gain faith in the series. 

Mario Party Superstars is by far one of the best Mario Party games that has come out in a while. While I did enjoy Super Mario Party, I felt like the boards were lacking, but the minigames were great. Superstars comes with five classic boards from the first three Mario Party games and refreshes them up with some updates from Super Mario Party. Each board feels unique and fun with their original concept still intact. The minigame collection contains games from all the numbered games with only a few of them being boring. The minigame collection is what Mario Party: The Top 100 should have had, but didn’t and caused it to be a flop in my opinion.

There are a few things that I wish this game included or had at this point. I feel that the roaster is small compared to other Mario Party games. I know Toad and Bowser can’t be playable characters, but there are other characters they could have added like Shy Guy, Koopa Troopa, or Bowsette. This may sound blasphemous, but this game would benefit greatly with DLC or free updates. While the board and minigame selections are great, this game would be so much better with one or two new boards. I am mostly a quality over quantity person, but this game has great quality and just needs some more things added to it.

In a great surprise to all, the online function actually works! A game like this is meant to be played with others on the same couch, but online play works just as well. Players can either que up with friends or join random people in a fifteen or twenty turn game. If someone leaves the group, they can either rejoin or a computer player will take their spot. For most of my games, we would start with four people and then around turn three we would be down to just two players. The only time I would experience any slow down in a game was when someone was leaving; other than that the gameplay is smooth. Another component that makes playing online or locally fun is the sticker mechanic. Nintendo is still afraid someone is going to learn the autonomy of their mom one day, so instead of a voice chat feature the game uses stickers to communicate with others. While screaming at someone is always the superior version of communicating with others, something about spamming these stickers just feels like a fun game mechanic. How else can I congratulate someone with a straight face when someone loses their stars to Bowser?

Mario Party Superstars was a surprise success for me. The game has other minigame modes that you can participate in, as well as an achievement system; but the party mode is still the best mode to play with others. It is fun to play with others or complete strangers locally or online. I don’t know what else to say about a good Mario Party game except to play it for a month and then move after you’ve cursed your friends and family out for landing on Chance Time and screwing you over on the last turn. Good family fun from your friends at Nintendo.

Game Stats:

Game Started: 10/29/2021
Game Finished: 11/15/2021
Total Play Time: 16 Hours
Achievements Unlocked: 24/50 (Offline) ; 0/10 (Online)