Tag Archives: video games

Even Heroes Lose Their Save Files

Master Chief and Mario, our heroes and the greatest protectors of life on earth, decided to unwind. They sat down to play video games.

***

Mario: “Heya Chief! Hows about we play Okami.  Take control of Ammy and let’s a go!”

Master Chief: “Sure, Mario I’ll show you my way mad skills. Is that what the kids say?”

Once there was a dark wasteland before the white wolf. The darkness threatened to consume the peace on the land. Then Chief took control of Ammy and suddenly blossoming flowers, flame and bright lightning cascaded together. A rainbow formed in the sky and everything shone brilliantly.

Master Chief: “I did it! I restored beauty to the land.”

Mario: “Chief, you da best.”

Master Chief: “Well, they don’t call me a master for nothing.”

Mario: “That’sa lame.”

Master Chief: “Well, I’m a professional hero who fights aliens; humour isn’t my thing. Lay off me.”

Mario: “Look! Something’s wrong with the screen.”

Master Chief: “Huh? Noooooo!”

The screen froze after Chief had unlocked the two trophies for catching all fish and beating  the last devil gate trial.

Mario: “Chief, is that a tear running down your visor?”

Master Chief: “N-no… it’s nothing” [sniffle]. Come on we better get back to work. My job is to save the world. I was a fool to think I’d be good at these stupid video game things.”

Mario: “Wahoo! Let’s ago!”

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Filed under Silly Video Game Inspired Fiction, Video Game Misc., Video Games I Play

What if a Video Game Final Boss Was Your Boss?

It might seem like a dream job at first. “Yay! I’m in the video game industry because I work for a final boss,” you might think. “I’ll get to play video games all day,” you might expect. Wrong!

You will be making coffee runs for a hideous fire-breathing monster, also known as Bowser, who smells like burnt rubber. You won’t have to think about video games when you do that. You will make many sacrifices.

Yes, you will have marathon sessions that last all day and night, but you won’t playing any games. Instead, you’ll play the role of a pawn who does the boss’s bidding during those hours. You’ll probably find yourself fighting your favourite heroes because the boss says so.

Welcome to the “real world” of video games. Don’t let the boss chew you up and spit you out.

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Why I Love The Super Mario Galaxy Games

Why do I love these games? I find it difficult to concisely explain all the reasons, but I’ll try. I mostly love the games because of their worlds, including the art and music.

Of course, the gameplay was excellent and attracted my attention. The game started simple and gradually became challenging. It never felt unfair. I could master the rhythm and jumps, beat the game and feel like I accomplished something. Then, if I felt like a challenge, I could find purple coins throughout the worlds. However, I didn’t keep playing — didn’t fall in love — merely to overcome a challenge, an uphill climb.

I enjoyed the sights and sounds along the walk. The worlds in the Super Mario Galaxy games are beautiful. The music helped to make the worlds worth exploring. The music was lush, grand and at times orchestral. It was grand enough to inspire me to be a hero and keep playing. The music also had bleeps and bloops, perhaps a nod to the past, that provided a spacey atmosphere. The developers created a good marriage of sound and world. I felt like I was in another galaxy full of whimsy and joy.

The bright colours of the worlds enticed me to travel and traverse them. Even the enemies were cool, colourful and demanded attention. This emphasis on colour, fun and whimsical music was refreshing. The Galaxy games weren’t trying hard to be a “mature” and bloody Hollywood blockbuster. The Galaxy games weren’t grey and depressing. They were transcendent as they took me to another realm of beauty and colour. The beauty of these games even cheered me up when I was sad.

Yes, the games made me happy, and they left me in awe. The change of perspective while walking around a three-dimensional planet, full of colourful plants and creatures, was incredible. I’ll never forget touching down on the first world and then realizing I could walk around the whole thing. What an experience!

The worlds remined me of planets from the story The Little Prince. You know, the ones where the prince meets adults living in their own little worlds. Wait, I figured out why I love the Galaxy games so much. They’re joyful and don’t take life too seriously.

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I Miss the Super Mario Galaxy Games

I have much to say about why I love Super Mario Galaxy and the sequel. Tune in for my blog post next week. In the meantime, I want to hear from you. Do you love or hate the Super Mario Galaxy games and why?

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Filed under Video Games I Play, Video Games: Reader Q&A

Stopping the World to Play Video Games

I finished all the dishes, took out the trash and cleaned the floors so well that I could see my reflection. Then I don’t have to clean or move for another two hours. This was the perfect time to sink into a couch, to dive deep into a video game for some time. In truth, I wished to never leave that couch. I sat down, put my feet up and flipped the power switch hoping to stay put.

“Huh? What’s the ear-grating sound?”

There was an irritating buzzing that may have come from inside my apartment. The sound moved closer, becoming intense and then faded into obscurity. As I moved closer to the window, the sound’s origin was clear: race cars zoomed up and down my street. Their tires screeched as they rounded corners and left dark streaks on the already black asphalt. When the racing stopped, I imagined they understood my plight and stopped for me. They care about me. Thinking warm thoughts about humanity, I crouched above the couch and got ready to play.

That’s when I heard a far more annoying sound than racing cars. It was whiny teenagers.

“School sucks. Homework sucks and you can’t tell me what to do!” they yelled.

“Oh, knock it off, quit your whining, go back home and do your homework. I am trying to play video games. You have absolutely no respect for the older generations, do you?” I said.

I turned away in disgust, took a deep breath and sat down to start playing. Then I heard an eerie sound that gave me goosebumps. I shivered as I turned around to see a large object levitating outside my window.

I peered through the window’s blinds and saw a flying saucer full of little green men. I heard people yelling, from the open windows of the apartments surrounding me, “This is incredible! They really do exist.”

I huffed and puffed and said, “That’s it. I’ve had it! I am trying to play here. Can the world please just stop for a second or at least keep it down while I play? Is that too much to ask?”

The saucer moved away slightly and the noise seemed to disappear.

“Thank you!”

I collapsed on the couch, the steam dissipated from my ears. I tapped the start button, and everything went black. The lights died. The power was out.

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A Conversation with A Video Game Zombie

“Hello everyone and welcome to another thrilling episode of ‘Behind the Video Game.’ I’m your host Chad Baker, and I like to interview the talent behind the video games you love. I also like to search out the unknown stories behind your favourite games. Tonight, I’m speaking to ‘generic zombie #099.’

But, hey folks, I’m gonna quit yappin’ so we can start the interview.”

***

The zombie’s exposed skull is dripping wet. A large chunk of brain falls from its head and splats on the ground.

Chad: “Oh, I think this belongs you.”

Chad picks up the chunk of brain and plops it back into the zombie’s hollow head.

Zombie: “Err” [grunts].

Chad: “So, tell me, how did you get started in this business? What was your big break?”

Zombie: “Grrrrrrrrrr”

Chad: “Ha! Ok, not everyone likes to talk about their past. I get it.

I understand you appear in an upcoming game. Tell me about the work you’re doing on the new Left 4 Dead. How’s that going?”

Zombie: [Screeching and hissing].

Chad: “I see. Boy am I hungry! Let’s you and I get a bite to eat. That’ll help break the ice, and maybe make you feel a little more at home.”

Suddenly, the chain tying the zombie to his chair snaps. The undead monster lurches forward with an outstretched and rotten arm.

Zombie: “Brrrrraiiiins!”

Chad: “Oh my! This interview is over. Tune in next week, folks, when we talk to a Goomba. In the meantime, run!”

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Filed under Video Game Misc.

My Video Game Console Talked to Me

“One more level.” That’s what Jimmy told himself forty-two levels ago.

He ordered his digital character to jump over fire pits, glide over tempestuous tides and flatten deadly turtle henchman. The turtles seemed innocent on the outside, but Jimmy prided himself for noticing they were evil on the inside. “These dastardly reptiles are not going to stop me,” he said.

Several thousand dead henchmen later, Jimmy’s eyes became as heavy as a massive boulder. First one eye closed and then the other stubbornly fought to stay in the game. The boulder soon weighed down both eyes until Jimmy was snoring, drooling and dangling a controller in his right hand. No one know how long he was out.

But the video game console didn’t stop, didn’t sleep. The console magically grew arms and legs and its yellow light split into two bright eyes. This machine unplugged its cord but kept running; it ran to Jimmy and shook him wake.

“Wake up and keep playing. Come on!” it said.

Jimmy somehow shook himself awake. He rubbed his sore eyes open and stumbled into his bed with a thud. The wind whispered through the open window, and he swore he heard the console say “Come and play.”

This dazed man gazed at the console that lay motionless on his bright red bookshelf. There were no arms, no legs and the power cord was still plugged in. The yellow light on the machine blinked at him a couple of times. Was it all dream?

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