Gaming With Those Special People – EXP Share Post #4

I’m back with another post on this month’s EXP Share topic. I decided to take a page from what a lot of you have been doing. I’ll be paying tribute to several people that I have a special connection to. Gaming would be a lonely hobby if you couldn’t share it with someone, so I’m blessed that I was able to have these experiences.

Kat (aka MinxtheShadowThief)

I would be doing a disservice if I didn’t mention my partner Kat. We have been together for seven years, and the one thing that has been constant in our relationship is how much we enjoy playing games. A very early memory that I have when we started dating was finding a game that we could both enjoy. She will mostly roll her eyes at games that I consider a great multiplayer experience (Dokapon Kingdom, Kirby Air Ride, Monster Hunter), but one game that I could finally get her to play with me was Pokémon Puzzle League. If you have not played this game, I highly recommend fixing that. Kat enjoys puzzle games, so this Tetris Attack/Panel de Pon game spoke to her. After getting her hands wet, she quickly became a fierce competitor. We will still sometimes boot up the game and play a few rounds since its just a fun puzzle game with Pokémon aspects from the anime. A fun side story is that originally I only had the virtual console version of the game on the Wii since my older brother had our original copy. For some reason, Kat thought I didn’t have the original N64 version, so one Christmas she surprised me with a physical copy. I had to burst her bubble a bit when I told her that I had a copy back home, but was happy to now have two copies of it. That, and she won me over with a second copy of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles; another game she thought I didn’t have, but I didn’t care since I now had an original case and manual! She was already a keeper, but that act made her a permanent keeper.

My Friend Laha

Laha has been a friend to me and my brother since high school. He was our first friend who was black like us that shared the same interest as us to this day. He was a real inspiration to me by showing me that I didn’t have to be someone I wasn’t to fit in, and that there are people I can be friends with by being myself. We would alternate between houses on the weekends and decide who had to pack their consoles and stuff to the other person’s house (the days before we had similar consoles). One of the first games I can remember us bonding over was Sonic Advance 3 on the Gameboy Advance. Since we were all in band together, we needed something to do on long band trips to competitions. Sonic Advance 3 had a simple multiplayer game you could play via link cable. Basically all you had to do was grab the Chao on the map and be the last one holding it to win. A simple game that you wouldn’t play for long, but we turned it into a spectacle. We called it “Chao Football” and would be our own announcers when possession of the Chao changed. This would go on for a while until we either wanted to move on or someone would ask us to stop (we didn’t really). Other than that, he introduced us to Dokapon Kingdom, a friend destroying party game that has somehow only strengthen our friendship.

My Friend Eric

Eric became a fast friend when we meet in college. He was part of a fraternity that I ended up joining, and since, we have been the best of friends. He would invite me over to his dorm room before we became roommates to play games like….like…..uh, I actually forgot what was the first game that we played. I do remember playing games like Shadow of the Colossus, Soul Calibur 5, and Mortal Kombat, but I’m sad that I don’t remember the first game that we played. Needless to say, we still hangout when we can even though he lives in a different state now. We meet up online these days to play rounds of Overwatch, explore Eorza in Final Fantasy XIV, and dominating the world in Total War: Warhammer.

My Older Brother, Super CJ

You’ve heard me talk about this guy constantly (I need to go back and finish the series I started last year). I would not be the gamer or person I am today if I did not have him in my life. We don’t get the opportunity to play games often as much, but we make the most of it when we can get together. I want to save most of my stories with him for another time, but I will share our time playing Pokémon Puzzle League. The reason I am good at that game is because of him. We might be a bit rusty, but we have been able to make one round in a three round match last over 30 mins (in 3D mode). Most rounds end about 10 mins, so for us it was always fun getting past the 30 minute mark. Fun fact, the game does not like it when it has to process faster than it is capable of. There have been times where we thought the game would break since it was trying to process everything and drop all the frames to try and do so. If I can capture it on camera one day, I think it would be entertaining to watch.

So that is my short tribute to some of the people I care about the most. People have come in and out of my life countless times, but I’m glad I’m still able to hang out and play games with these lucky few.

Thank you for reading,


The Co-op Tales: ONION!

Last weekend, I had the fortune of hanging out with one of my best friend from high school. Laha (his nickname) and I have been friends for over 13 years. There were times where we were out of each others lives, but over the years we have reconnected. This year, I am trying to host more hang outs at my house, since I now have the space and resources. It amazes me that after all these years (and now that we are all almost close to our thirties *rip*) we can just hang out and be goofy without our parents trying to get us to do something else instead of playing video games.

The original plan that day was for him and my brothers to come and hang out for the day. My brothers could not come unfortunately, so it was just Laha, my wife, and myself. This did not stop us from having a good time since we had all the entertainment we needed. I was in the middle of playing Dark Souls 3, so I got to show off my sick cool moves on how to die in different ways. After that, we decided to increase the chaos by playing New Super Mario Bros Wii U Deluxe Special Edition Gaiden Arcade Edition 2: Electric Boogaloo Featuring Dante from Devil May Cry with Funky Mode & Knuckles. I still believe a game like classic Mario was not meant to be played with four people, but it does make for a chaotic time.

But do you know what is more chaotic than that? Mario Maker.

After getting past the first world in NSMBWUDSEGAE2EBFDDMCFMK, we switched over to Super Mario Maker 2 and played each other’s levels. Once again, adding multiplayer to classic Mario is a chaotic time. We told each other that we would have to create new levels in order to top the craziness that we have already unleashed to the world.

Give Laha’s level a shot!

The real MVP of the evening however went to a little game called Overcooked. If you have not played Overcooked before, it is a cooperative game where you have to work together to fulfill customer request. Each stage has you preparing something different or adds new items to the menu as you progress. It is everyone’s job to work as a “team” in order to get a high score in order to advance. The first two stages are simple enough and allows players to get the hang of things and to assign roles. After that, good luck trying not to kill each other.

By stage 1-3, we had gotten the hang of working together and working at optimal pace. When it came time to splitting the room apart and us going back and forth, that was when the real fun began.

I will now provide a transcript of how we communicated to each other:

Cat: We need an onion!

Laha: Onion!

Me: Onion!

Cat: Onion!

Me: Onion on the floor!

Cat & Laha: ONION! ONION!

Cat: What is this mushroom in here!? I need ONION!

Me & Laha: ONION! ONION!

Cat: No! We need tomatoes for tomato soup!

Laha: ONION!


Laha: #$&#%^@&

Me: $*&#%#*&$


Laha: *send soup out* Here you go $^#%#&




Me: *chopping meat* I’M BEATING THE MEAT IN HERE!



Me & Laha: ONION!



This continued for the rest of the night. I love these people ❤

The Co-Op Tales: A Party of BS

When you think of games like Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros, or Dokapon Kingdom (for those who know what this game is), you think of party games that can get competitive, but at the end you have a good time with who you are playing with. You may play one game of Fortune Street and get mad at your friend for making you play Fortune Street, but in the end, your friendship is still intact but questionable for a while. However, there exist on franchise that no matter who you play with friendships end, controllers get destroyed, and lives end.

I am talking about Mario Party. Maybe Monopoly on a bad night, but for this story I am talking about Mario Party! We all have our own horror stories of how someone screwed you over or the game decided that it was your turn to experience Hell on Earth. This post alone may trigger some repressed memories that you may have. I guarantee that most people do not walk away from a game of Mario Party without some hatred toward the people they played against.

This story takes place back when I was in college. I had a friend that I would hang out with regularly and we would play games on her Gamecube often. For the purpose of this story, let’s call her Buttons (because of all the ones she pushed for this one). The Mario Party of choice that evening was the fourth installment, a personal favorite of mine. I represented ya boi Luigi like I tend to do and Buttons was fond of Peach. The setting was with computers set to hard and the board was Shy Guy’s Jungle Jam I believe. We played for twenty turns with no handicaps. From there the game played out normally with races to the next star and one upping each other in mini games.

The turning point of the game came at the end of the game. With two turns left, we were tied for first place. Last turn she had managed to obtain a magic lamp, which takes you automatically to the star. When her turn came, she used the lamp to teleport to the star space and was able to collect one.

Then came the real scummy part.

After collecting a star, a scene is played showing where the next star location is.

The star spawned three spaces away from her. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?

Photo by Pixabay on

It is at this point that I wanted to start calling hacks. What are the chances of something like that happening!? And of course Buttons was sitting over there with the biggest **** eating grin on her face and saying the game knows who the queen of Mario Party is. But, the game was not over yet. The star was three spaces away and there was a chance that the die could roll a 1 or a 2. I had seen crazier things happen in Mario Party, but something like this was what I needed to not throw my controller across the room. Buttons goes to roll her die…..

She rolls a 10.


Photo taken at the time

At this point I am out of my seat and calling all of the hacks. Buttons is dying of laughter in her seat. It was as the game just knew it had to piss me off somehow and rub the salt into my wound. Buttons goes to collect her star and I was left to watch as Peach pranced around the board like she owned it. In the matter of one turn, I went from being tied for first to second in the blink of an eye. The star respawned to the other side of the map far away from the harpie queen that and took my life and turned it upside down. Surely, the worst had to be over by then right? Right?

It got even worse.

Peach took her last seven moves on the board and landed on a blue space. Then, a hidden box appeared……….

There was a star inside the box.


Photo by Skitterphoto on

I believe I walked out of my apartment when I saw that. As the door closed behind me, I could hear the shrieking laughter from Buttons. The game stared at me and asked itself how it could ruin my day further. It handed Buttons a golden gamecube controller that had the power to make others bend to her will, and gave me a gigantic middle finger. Never had a game targeted me specifically and decided that it would do everything in its power to humiliate me. I returned to the room with Buttons sitting high on her throne; laughing at the insect who would try to dare take her status as ruler of Mario Party.

The game ended with Buttons winning two extra stars during the Bonus Star section. She won 9 to it doesn’t matter.

We have not played Mario Party together since.