I think the most exciting thing about the trailer is that we finally get to hear the entirety of the new rendition of the main theme - RSE's version has always been my favorite, and Ruby being my first makes it very special. The trumpets sound intact, and that couldn't make me happier!
The most general and pretentious answer for me would be: because they're art! And I love art! You can look at a painting, read a book, watch a movie, listen to music - playing a game just happens to be my favorite way to experience artwork. They meld together visual aspects, animation, narrative, music, then toss in interactivity, and for me that's most enjoyable way to do things. They create these living, breathing worlds, which any other medium can do, but you get to be an active part of it! Look at a game like BioShock; if it were a movie would the twist really have had the same effect without you controlling Jack? Bastion's world could have looked beautiful if it never went further than a painting, but seeing it alive and moving makes it that much cooler. Super Mario Galaxy's soundtrack could totally stand on its own, yet it's that much better to hear alongside the game's visuals as you explore its worlds. It's combining all these art forms in a way that makes them compliment each other so well that makes me love video games so much.
And besides... they're fun! And fun things are fun!
Portal 2! I talked about it in the last 30 days event but I just couldn't not pick it. I love what a tease it constantly is: GLaDOS deletes Caroline, I thought she'd kill me. Door opens to turrets, thought I'd be gunned down. Rise out of the floor into a room packed with turrets, surely it's over. Animal King's turning on, it'll definitely end me. But no! I went with every expectation for a surprise downer ending because it fits so well into the kind of humor Portal thrives on and it just seemed like the only way to go. Instead you're treated with a really nice cutscene and a beautiful song, one of my absolute favorites out of a video game. It's the best possible way I could imagine to end the game on a happier note.
Some honorable mentions: BioShock for another happy ending I never saw coming and felt really deserved after the hell Jack and the Little Sisters went through; BioShock Infinite for what a tweest and somehow weaving everything together to finally make sense; Ghost Trick for its twist as well, and for giving us a glimpse at how our good work changed everyone's lives; Majora's Mask for what a reward it was to see all these characters it does so well in making you empathize for finally see a new day; and Super Mario 64 for that delicious-looking cake and the cutest music ever. I like happy endings!
I've only played two cases and part of the DLC case so far in Dual Destinies, but I'm preemptively awarding favorite cast to Ace Attorney. I couldn't believe how quickly the game had me fall in love with everyone; they're all more adorable than I'd ever have imagined before picking it up. All the banter is endlessly entertaining. I haven't gotten far enough for anything to be particularly emotional, but going by what others have said and my relatively early impressions, I can only imagine I'll be praising the characters even more by that time.
Runner up would be the Team Fortress crew, equally endearing even after almost five years of playing the game. That's impressive!
Day 28 - Most Anticipated Game: Clutching Straws Edition
I am a dreamer at heart. You can put these amazing concrete games right over the horizon but I'd rather long for the one far out of my reach. Sure, I'm excited to get my hands on OmegaRuby and Smash!
But I really don't think there's a game I want in my grasp more than Half-Life 3. The series is one of my favorites ever and Valve games are always high quality, so naturally I'd be anticipating it. What makes it so enticing though is what an abrupt end Half-Life 2 had. You spend all of Episode 2 introducing the Combine Advisors as now being especially relevant, but keep them relatively mysterious, you ramp up the Combine's invasion, bringing in the Hunters and finishing off with this huge assault on one of humanity's last strongholds. Then you throw in this fucking wild revelation that Aperture Science is now involved, Mossman's in danger, Gordon's off to the arctic, and end on the saddest cliffhanger possible. Wow, what a game! I can't wait for more!
Here we are, seven years later. Not a decent word on what's going on with it. Yet knowing Valve's dedication to putting out such fantastic games, and knowing Source 2's development is well underway, there's not a reason in the world to be anything but excited for what's to come, as painfully long as it may take.
Last time around I went with Valve, and I'm tempted to choose them again because they're undoubtedly an incredible company with a lot of talent and some really smart ideas about business. But as Jez discussed, they've been so painfully tight lipped about everything and it's made it hard to appreciate them lately.
So I'm going with good ol' Nintendo.
Nintendo's franchises are some of the best, or at least certainly closest to my heart, enough so that I'm willing to shell out money for their consoles despite essentially anything else I want to play being available on PC. The way they've treated, well, just about all of them except Mario, Zelda, and Pokemon as of late hasn't been ideal, and I'm not sure how I really feel about what they're doing in terms of business, but the one thing in the recent past that's made me love them so much is their PR. I don't know what happened that made it so suddenly great, but the big guys at Nintendo are always entertaining. Videos like the one for Tomodachi Life or the one with the Reggie robot are unreal in how impressively funny they are. The fact that they're all having such a good time with stuff like this makes them seem really amiable and super adorable and even if their business model is garbage and they never make another game that's not Mario, I'll always love them.
No doubt the best. The GC controller is so perfectly shaped to fit in your hand that I don't know how any other controller could ever top it in that respect. The buttons are so intuitive that I don't know why four equally sized circles in a diamond is so standard today. That's not bad, and it may be so small of a difference that it seems insignificant but something about it just felt so much better. I nearly have to tie it with the 360 controller though, which comes close to matching it ergonomically and has the bonus of more versatility, but it just doesn't quite feel as great.
Day 25 - Least Favorite Character
This isn't something that I really have much of an opinion on. Characters that are meant to be hated are fantastic, and characters that are bad tend to not bother me much when all's said and done. I could whine about Samus in Other M but I am so much more than tired of even thinking about that game. I'm pretty much bullshitting this.
Fuck spiritomb. Nice design, nothing all too special. Cool backstory! The whole concept behind it is neat.
But fuck spiritomb. Whoever decided the method of getting this thing was out of their mind and it makes it even more frustrating of a pokemon to obtain than event legendaries because at least those aren't mandatory for the pokedex. I was so desperate to get this fucker - it was the last pokemon I needed for the pokedex - that I did the entire process by myself and it was the most stupidly arduous thing I've ever had to deal with.
Day 26 - Favorite Console Generation
And this is even more something that I just don't have any real words to offer for. I'm admittedly not into video games enough to pay attention to much other than Nintendo consoles and PC games my friends introduce me to, so the best I can do here is pretty much "best Nintendo console." I guess with that said I'd go with the DS and whatever generation that's from. The DS has to be Nintendo's best effort to do something different. The Wiimote felt tacked on to some games, even making a few outright worse for it (e.g. Twilight Princess compared to its GC counterpart), the 3DS's 3D is mostly pointless, and the Wii U gamepad has yet to do anything too particularly amazing while also being entirely useless in a number of games, but the DS's touch screen always felt like an excellent addition.
I posted a last time 30 Days rolled around, and I stick by all of them two years later, but Wind Waker's staff credits have withstood the test of time the best and I'm bumping it up to my number one spot. I don't have any new thoughts on it, but I wanted to have it here in my post as it is my best bet for my favorite song.
Instead, I'd like to add some new songs to that list:
No, not Elizabeth! The two tracks are equally good but AD stands out more to me due to its emotional impact in the game. The frantic, erratic strings, that gorgeous deep bass, it's absolutely beautiful. It made the most heart-wrenching moment so much of what it was.
A very recent addition; I don't know why I never touched the Ace Attorney series before but it's completely blown me away and music is certainly part of that. I'm very dumb and admittedly bad at figuring out the cases as they're going, so when I do finally get that a-ha moment I'm already pumped. When this music kicks in and I know I just turned the case around, it's a fucking thrill.
And of my new additions, my favorite! I've spoken before on how well TWD makes you connect to Lee and care deeply for Clementine - so this scene really hits hard. It's a depressing game overall, so what a reward it is to hear this song. You've done so much, you've come so far, and this is your moment. You hear this and you know: to that girl, you're a hero.
People talk about Okami looking like a painting (not that I'm speaking poorly of it !), but Bastion is one and for me that's so much cooler. Every environment is so gorgeously drawn, with such excellent use of color and brush strokes to give it a very painterly feeling. The design of the world, so intricate with its detail, feels like it goes hand in hand with the style, they just compliment each other so well and the result is really beautiful. In all honesty I didn't care enough for Bastion's gameplay to keep me playing but, along with the narration and music, the art more than made up for that, and made the game an incredibly worthwhile experience.
I hate to say it but deep in my heart I know it's true. Yes I... l-like Sonic...
Super Sonic's just fantastic (and of course I do mean in games where he's playable in-level. I just used a picture from Unleashed cause he looks cool..!) Permanent invincibility and super speed are a great reward for gathering the chaos emeralds, which isn't even mandatory so when you actually do it you get a nice sense of "hey! I didn't waste my time!" Certainly in some games permanent invincibility would be no fun, but adding in the ring mechanic helps keep things interesting because even if you're ignoring enemies now you still have to keep track of grabbing more rings. His slipperiness even makes some platforming a little trickier so it never actually feels like the game's turned effortless. Of course none of that really stops bosses from being pushovers, but breezing through them is well deserved.
Even in games where he's only "unlockable" in the sense that you have to beat the main story(ies) for the one chance to play as him, I think he's an absolute blast. Powering up to beat the big bad is just exciting!
Some honorable mentions:
- Pokemon, which doesn't usually impress with its endgame unlockables, does have a few gems. Emerald's Battle Frontier had a great novelty to it and a greater variety of more challenging facilities than later frontiers, so it was super cool to get to. Something about the smaller size of Sinnoh and Johto's Battle Frontiers and the fact they were just kind of there didn't carry the same appeal. Hoenn's was like going to a theme park! It was an exciting moment.
- Gold, Silver, and Crystal had by far the coolest unlockable on paper. Congrats on beating the game, here's a whole extra region to explore with a whole other eight badges to collect - it was fucking awesome. In execution, Kanto's pretty barebones but it was still a fun time revisiting it three years later.
- More recently, Black and White 2's shiny charm! After so many years of not a single substantial reward for the progressively more massive feat of completing the national pokedex, to finally have something was about the coolest thing Game Freak could do for the series, and they've even carried it over to X and Y! It's probably the most worthwhile reward they could've given, or at least I certainly can't think of a better one.
- And lastly, Super Luigi Galaxy was one hell of a sweet unlockable. Who doesn't love Luigi more than Mario, after all? I hadn't spoiled the fact that he was playable so there was a real moment of disbelief before I eagerly jumped back in to play the whole game again with the man in green. Considering he'd never appeared in a 3D Mario it came totally out of left field and I'm elated that it turned out to be a trendsetter.
Today's been probably the most difficult day of the event so far. It took me forever to almost decide of Kafei and Anju from Majora's Mask... but in case we have a favorite side quest day on the horizon, I thought I'd save them. I'm not really sure if the Lutece twins are my absolute favorite side characters but I'm drawing a blank on anyone else so I'm sticking to it.
They're such a great mix of quirky and odd but incredibly intriguing at the same time. They start off as a really curious pair, popping up all over the place to bother you, always quarreling over something or other. I honestly thought they were just meant to be amusing, not even making the connection that they were the couple in the boat. They seemed like just some strange characters roaming about Columbia. Of course, you eventually catch on as things start to get weirder. Their mystery builds up well late into the game and it was hard to piece together completely, but as you start gathering bits of their story from the voxophones they transform from a charming, cryptic duo into a really fascinating set with a great backstory. Filling in all that with everything else you learn in the last bit of the game (which is mind blowing in its own right anyway) they end up being every bit as interesting as Booker and Elizabeth's story and with their adorable love of science as an added bonus.
I think I mentioned before: No game has made me hate its villain as quickly as Half Life 2. I originally tried the game at a friends house, and the moment I stepped off the train into City 17 and heard that condescending voice I turned to him and my first question was when I would get to fight him because goddamn did he piss me off. I think part of what makes him especially effective as the big bad is Half Life 2's design itself. You walk out of the train station and see the citadel looming there with Dr. Breen inside, and the game then whisks you far off until you come back to the city the long way around in the end. It teases you, it makes Breen feel untouchable, but makes it all the sweeter to storm the citadel to face Breen after everything you've fought through. And even then, as easy as it is to hate him, there's still the fact that everything he did was in what he believed to be humanity's best interest. Tasked with handling Earth's dealings with a super-advanced multidimensional empire, no decision he made could have possibly been an easy one. He may have been selfish in some ways but he truly meant to ensure humanity would survive, and it's almost tragic that that makes him such a despicable person from the player's point of view. He's really excellently written to have me both hate him with a fury but admire, to an extent, his actions at the same time.
Video games or not there's nothing I love more than big stupid dorks and Pit is one of the best. He's got a heart of gold and a charming sense of humor and his loyalty to Palutena is the absolute cutest. His banter's endlessly entertaining and his positive outlook is beyond adorable. I just loved hearing all he had to say throughout Uprising. Coming from a company not exactly known for its talkative protagonists, he's kind of a breath of fresh air on top of being a total cutie.
Speaking of dorks, my runner-ups: Luigi, the dork to end them all, and Phoenix Wright and Apollo Justice, despite only being two cases into Dual Destinies and it being my first Ace Attorney game. AA is just chock-full of dorks and they're all cute.