Video Games – Better Together

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I am a social gamer. I enjoy talking about video games more, oftentimes, than actually playing them. I also prefer playing through a game co-op versus playing single-player. Unless the single-player mechanics/gameplay are mind-blowing, then sign me up. There is something compelling about sharing a game experience. Whether that is shooting aliens together in a Halo game or operating on a patient in tandem in Trauma Center. Video games are best played with one another.

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Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance and Halo: Combat Evolved were two games I played through with my friend Cory. Fun times where we would purposefully get together, drink the soda, and push through the game at hand. Finding/equipping new gear, fragging enemies, and general friendship created fond memories for me. I miss those times.

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When we first started dating, I brought my silver GameCube over to Tabitha’s house. She was not a gamer, but I wanted her to fall in love with video games, like me. So I introduced her to The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. I can still remember her trying to get through the pirate ship’s hold. Lanterns swaying, platforms threatening to disappear, the game proved challenging for her. And yet, she made it.

Our gaming together has continued since we married.

  • Super Mario Galaxy
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
  • Tomb Raider and the Guardian of Light

The above are a small sampling of series that we have played together. Sometimes even playing with a walkthrough in hand. Don’t judge.

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My son and I have started our own tradition of playing video games together. With him, just as with my wife, I have had to learn to chill out and watch how I talk while playing. I hope that:

  • Memories are being made. Good memories.
  • Muscle memory and skills are developing
  • My love of virtual worlds is being passed on

Surrounded by people, encouraged by friends, gaming together is awesome.

Let the Mario Parties begin.

Race the Sun

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The sun travels across the afternoon sky. Flying along in your sleek solar craft, you race towards the horizon. Will the sun set before you complete your trek over many regions? Depends on how bumpy your flight is.

Speed, Glorious Speed

Race the Sun has been a joyous surprise for me. Coming as a free downloadable game on PlayStation Plus, Race the Sun features gameplay hooks that sink deep.

Race-The-Sun-Logo-BlackBGRace the Sun is an endless runner platform game, much like Temple Run. Your solar craft is forever racing forward, unless it hits something and explodes. These Tron-esque explosions happen often. Learning from failure is the name of the game. Race the Sun features simple flight controls of moving right to left as well as a single jump button. As you weave your way through shape-filled mazes, power ups such as speed boosts and jumping litter the game world. Sounds easy, right?

The further you rocket into the distance, the closer the sun comes to setting. Shadows begin to cast off of the minimalist but deadly landscape. As your eyes struggle with the speed, obstacles, and route decisions, death is but a heartbeat away.

What keeps me coming back to the party?

  • A world that randomly generates every 24 hours
  • A sense of speed that I have not felt since F-Zero GX on the GameCube.
  • Fun objectives to complete
  • Personal high scores to beat

Race the Sun is the experience I needed to renew my faith in videogames–seriously, I’ve felt burned out. I can’t recommend it enough. Definitely worth the price of admission if you happen not to download it this month (May 2015) on PlayStation Plus. Come on, you owe it to yourself to race the great ball of fire.

DEFCON 5wavesplinter5/5 – Just buy it already!

Wave SplinterTitle: Race the Sun
Developer: Flippfly
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Vita
Reviews on: PlayStation 4
MSRP: $10

The Metroid Mindset

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The trees have finally become green once again, Spring has finally arrived.

The weather in East Texas continues to baffle this Southern California native. In January of this year, we experienced tornadoes. February and March brought along colder weather with snow (at least twice). For some, this may not seem too out of the ordinary. For someone used to 70 degree winters though, tornadoes and snow just don’t make a whole lot of sense. The longer I live here – going on 5 years – the more and more I miss the weather of my youth and the proximity to the coast.

The one game to rule them all...

The other night, I dove into Super Metroid on the Wii (Virtual Console) for the first time in awhile. I had bought the game over a year ago — on a whim — and had quickly decided that it was not what I wanted to play at the time. I don’t know about you, but I have to be in a specific mood and mindset to play through a Metroid game. The tension, loneliness, and endless expanse of corridors have to come at a time when I am seeking a little adventure and exploration. Otherwise, I’d much rather play something that is a little less tense.

My first Metroid game was Metroid Fusion on the Game Boy Advance (GBA). Well that is not true, as a kid I played the original Metroid on the NES. I remember at the time thinking the game was slow and boring — still true! –. For some reason I couldn’t wrap my little head around the game. Perhaps the game design not being as straight forward as a Mario game had something to do with it, who knows. Metroid Fusion though marked my entry into the series. Metroid: Zero Mission and Metroid Prime followed soon after.

  • Metroid Fusion (GBA) – First Metroid game I ever played and completed.
  • Metroid: Zero Mission (GBA) – My second experience with the world of Samus Aran.
  • Metroid Prime (GameCube) – First 3D Metroid game. The game did a great job capturing the feel of the older 2D games. For me though, Metroid is meant to be played in 2D and on a handheld.

For years I have read of how Super Metroid is the pinnacle of the Metroid series. Slowly, I am beginning to see why.

Love, dislike, or hate the Metroid series? Tell me about it below.