I have spent more time playing Pokémon games in my life than I’ve spent playing the top 5 games in my Steam library sorted by “most time played” combined. I could be considered an expert on Pokémon. I’ve played them all. I know them all. I know the community.
There has been an overwhelming amount of back and forth discourse in the Nintendo Switch gaming community lately about the removal of the National Pokédex from Pokémon Sword and Shield. Some fans support the change, but a majority of fans are vehemently against it. I want to dig a little deeper into the reasons why fans are so upset, and why expressing this outrage does not make them “entitled crybabies”.
Welcome back for Part Two of the Video Game Literary Classics Collaboration! This week we leave the bright, optimistic plains of Nippon and Hyrule of Part One behind and head into ancient kingdoms steeped in shadow and futures full of technology gone wrong. Thank you to my better half, Connor, for assisting with some of these titles that he has played and I have not. Let’s take a look at the next set of classics selected by the gaming blogger community!
It’s been over fifteen years since I discovered the land of Spira as a kid. My first Sony console was the PlayStation 2, so I had never had the opportunity to play Final Fantasy titles before X. Final Fantasy X was my first experience with them. Playing FFX again feels so comfortable and nostalgic that it easily brings to mind all those late weekend nights in the dim glow of the TV next to the fireplace with my dog curled up under my chair, occasionally nudging my leg for attention. Final Fantasy X is a game that, for me, fits like a pair of gloves I thought I’d lost long ago.
Honestly, I was taken with Bloodstained immediately! It has a fantastic art motif, Gothic atmosphere, and fabulous music. As someone uninitiated in the Castlevania franchise, I am expecting great things based on what I’ve heard. I’m not very far yet, but I love what I see so far.
I have always been a huge sucker for pets and mounts in video games. If I get to own, raise, ride, or play with animals of any kind, chances are I’ll love whatever game it is. When I used to play World of Warcraft I would spend ages running old raid content for the 2% chance of rare mount loot drops. As in “Sorry I can’t go out to dinner, gotta run Icecrown Citadel on my 10th alt before weekly raid reset.” (It was a sickness, really.)
When a mount system was finally added to Guild Wars 2 last year in the Path of Fire expansion, I was ecstatic! In developer interviews on the subject, ArenaNet calls their design philosophy the “Joy of Movement”, and it is indeed an absolutely joy to collect and ride these incredibly well designed mounts. Each type of mount has a specific mechanical purpose and handles very differently, rather than being a series of model re-skins as is seen inmost MMOs. Mounts in Guild Wars 2 are essentially a case study is how to do mounts right. Giddy-up!
One of the central themes of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is whether or not Blades should be considered a race of people rather than weapons or tools, or if it is fair to treat them as weapons even if it’s their nature. Are they slaves no matter how well their Driver treats them? Just because a Blade and Driver have a good relationship, even a loving one, does that make it right to use them? On the other hand, is it acceptable to leave them dormant forever, in effect unalive?
Originally released on the Xbox 360 and PC in 2007, BioShock has blown many minds with what is widely considered one of, if not the best narrative twists in video game history. It features the most well-integrated exploration of philosophy and morality/ethics in a video game story to date. If BioShock is still on your to-play list, beware of the MASSIVE SPOILERS ahead. It’s time to revisit Rapture!