Responding to My Third Sunshine Blogger Nomination

Well, I find myself tagged once again with a Sunshine Blogger Award – this time by Matt (a.k.a. The3rdPlayer). As I’m always looking for interesting topics to write posts about, this is especially helpful. Thank you for the kind gesture!

The Questions:

1. What TV show, book or movie would you want to see turned into a video game?

Personally, I think John Wick would make for an excellent video game conversion. We’re talking about a film with an unstoppable protagonist who manages to gun down an impressive number of bad guys in his quest for revenge. That’s basically a first/third-person shooter plot right there.

For that matter, though I’m not sure if it would make for a good video game adaptation, Edge of Tomorrow manages to (inadvertently?) capture the feel of playing one with a protagonist who is sent back to a specific point in time every time he dies. I was very much reminded of Dark Souls when watching the various circumstances in which Tom Cruise’s character died in that film.

2. Are you a fan of any particular voice artists/actors?

Ooh, that’s a tough one. I think voice acting is an art not enough people have appreciation for with the unsaid implication being that it’s on a lower tier than “real” acting. I’m fond of Troy Baker, who voiced one of my favorite characters from Persona 4, Kanji Tatsumi, as well as Booker DeWitt from BioShock: Infinite. The Last of Us and Far Cry 4 both failed to receive passing grades from me, yet I have to admit he was rather good in those as well. Going back a bit further, there’s Robert Paulsen, who voiced Yakko in Animaniacs as well as Morte, one of the best characters in Planescape: Torment. Then of course there’s Dan Castellaneta, who voices Homer Simpson, one of the funniest characters of all time. Interestingly, he too voiced a character in Planescape: Torment.

3. Which game do you feel gets little to no coverage, retrospective or otherwise, that you feel deserves more love?

Considering that game journalists have been willing to write about how much of a triumph in storytelling walking simulators were throughout the 2010s, I’m still astounded what little attention they’ve given to OneShot by comparison. It would be like if film journalists in 1994 completely ignored Three Colors: Red or Pulp Fiction in favor of giving lengthy, positive coverage of Blank Check. But in all seriousness, there are certain things that I look for in story-driven video games, and OneShot managed deliver on all fronts, actively incorporating the medium’s oddities into its narrative and being better off for it than by using the walking simulator approach or the Hollywood-inspired approach the AAA industry latched onto after the success of Uncharted 2. Rakuen received a bit more coverage than OneShot, but I have similar feelings toward in that it managed to achieve something 99% of people attempting to go for an emotionally-driven narrative failed to grasp.

4. What is a vocal song, licensed or otherwise, that you loved as a part of the game it was involved in?

The ending song in Persona 4, “Never More” springs to mind. It was immensely satisfying to hear that song after working so hard to achieve it. Persona 4 already ranks as one of the best games ever made, but hearing that song at the end was the icing on the cake. The Metal Gear series has had some pretty memorable ones as well between “The Best is Yet to Come,” “Snake Eater,” and “Heaven’s Divide”. Then again, even if it was something of a letdown, Metal Gear Solid V had a rocking soundtrack, which included “Love Will Tear Us Apart” by Joy Division and it opens |and ends| with Midge Ure’s superb cover of “The Man Who Sold the World”.

5. One title from your favorite series absolutely has to be deleted from memory and history, but you get to choose which one. Which would you choose?

That’s easy – Metroid: Other M. If such a scenario existed, I would ask “What’s the downside?” Nintendo’s earlier games such as Urban Champion are objectively worse, but Metroid: Other M is the absolute worst thing they had a hand in creating after a point in which they should’ve known better. This would be like learning that James Cameron directed Battlefield Earth in between Aliens and Terminator 2. It’s inexcusably bad, being the worst story-heavy game I’ve ever played and having gameplay that doesn’t even come close to making up for it.

My Nominees:

Okay, the last time I completed one of these challenges, I elected not to tag anyone. This time, I’m going to make up for lost ground by tagging 20 people at once. There have been a lot of newcomers to the blogging sphere lately, and I’m going to give shout-outs to them along with many longtime readers. Without further ado, here is the list of nominees.

My Questions:

  1. What is the dumbest competition you ever got in with your friends?
  2. If you could form a band, which genre of music would you end up playing?
  3. What is the first film you ever watched in theaters?
  4. What is the oldest film you’ve watched all the way through?
  5. Have you ever fallen asleep watching a film before?
  6. What is your personal record for most number of films watched in a day?
  7. What is the single most heretical opinion you hold when it comes to video games?
  8. What is your proudest achievement playing a game?
  9. What do you believe to be one of the few advantages that gaming critics have over film critics?
  10. Have you ever binge-watched a show?
  11. Do you follow any webcomics?

Thanks once again to The3rdPlayer for the nod! I very much appreciate it.

43 thoughts on “Responding to My Third Sunshine Blogger Nomination

    • Thanks, and you’re welcome! I’d say you’ve earned it.

      Whenever I ask questions in these tags, I like to ask about a variety of topics so as to not let one become stale. I look forward to reading your answers!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. thanks for tagging me and looking forward to answering your questions. I am slowly building up a backlog of responses I need to do for this sunshine blogger award.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congrats on another award!! Great post. Homer Simpson is my favourite cartoon character so good choice with Dan Castellaneta.

    Thanks for the nomination! I’m a bit behind on responding to these, but I will make a response post soon 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Well done on the award mate you deserve it for your good work! Nice answers too.

    Honoured for the nomination and look forward to answering your questions as they’re rather interesting. Already got some answers ready in my head and wish I wasn’t at work so I could respond at once!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congrats on another well deserved award! I loved your answers!! Hmm… I’d love to see a game adapted from Edge of Tomorrow- if done right it could be pretty awesome! And thank you so much for the nomination, I’m very flattered!! I will definitely get to your questions soon- some of them are really going to make me think! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! I could see an Edge of Tomorrow adaptation working in the hands of a skilled developer. One thing it would have going for it is that, like Dark Souls, it would have an in-universe explanation for why its protagonist possesses knowledge from unsuccessful runs.

      Hope you have fun with these questions!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ah, not only am I nominated, but I’m the first one listed! Most excellent!

    With how slow I’ve been at getting to the last one, I may combine your questions for a singular post.

    Great answers to all of these, as always, very insightful. Other M is such a stinker. At least the Mario edutainment games and the Zelda CDi titles can be laughed at. Can’t say that about Other M.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Indeed, you are!

      And that’s fine. Answering these questions takes a lot of thinking, I find.

      I didn’t even consider the Zelda CD-i games or the Mario edutainment games, but even after having been reminded of them, I still wouldn’t erase them from existence because, at the end of the day, they’re harmless. They’re pretty much universally mocked, and many people didn’t even know they existed, meaning the amount of damage they did to their respective franchises was minimal. The same couldn’t be said of Metroid: Other M, which does have defenders (though it has fared very poorly in hindsight), and succeeded at killing the otherwise excellent franchise for nearly half the decade.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Congrats and thanks! I’ll respond in kind as soon as time allows. You’ve certainly posed some very thought-provoking questions, and I can only hope that I’ll have some equally provoking answers. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Love the answers and glad to give you something to discuss a little!

    I haven’t seen Edge of Tomorrow yet, but I watched John Wick with the groomsmen at my friend’s wedding. One thing that came up was how it would make an awesome game, ao I agree! I think they did a VR John Wick title but I know nothing about it and I’m a little dubious about anything VR for some reason.

    Voice actors are so celebrated and so overlooked at the same time. I’m so glad you said Troy Baker with Persona 4, as one of my favorite VA’s, Laura Bailey, acts as my favorite character in that, too (I’m kind of a big Rise fan, but Kanji is a close second). I’m hurt that I just found out Rob Paulsen did Mort’s voice before this, though. I loved him as Wakko and Donatello!

    I literally loaded OneShot into Steam last night because of you. I’ll be gushing about it soon, I’m sure. 🙂

    All of the vocal stuff is great in P4, and interesting that you chose Metal Gear and Snake Eater because that was one of the songs that sparked this question! I’ll have to check those other tracks out, too.

    I don’t know that I’ve heard one good thing about Metroid: Other M. I’m not a huge Metroid fan but it’s only due to lack of playing the games extensively. Guess I won’t be hitting that entry in the series if I can help it.

    Glad to be able to highlight your blog and excited to see what you come out with in the future!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I highly recommend Edge of Tomorrow; it really is a great film. So is John Wick; it was one of the greatest action/revenge films in years – possibly decades.

      Laura Bailey is great too; she voiced one of my favorite characters in Virtue’s Last Reward. Planescape: Torment had an incredible voice cast, which is amazing considering how few people ended up playing it back in 1999.

      Ah, great! I look forward to reading what you have to say about it. I’m glad I’ve been getting more people interested in playing that game.
      The Metal Gear series has always had great music – even in later titles that were more focused on immersion.

      The internet loves to hand out hyperbolic statements like they’re going out of style. That said, every horror story you may have heard about Metroid: Other M is only barely an exaggeration. It really is the worst story-focused game I’ve ever played and shows how such an approach to game design can backfire horribly when nobody on the team has the qualities required to pull it off. It had a few scant defenders upon release, but even just eight years later, it has not held up well at all.

      Thank you for the nomination! I won’t let you down.

      Like

  8. Congratulations on your award, and thank you so much for your nomination. Looking forward to answering your questions 🙂

    Enjoy reading your posts, this is much deserved. I have to say, I was also very disappointed in Other M. But hey, we got a new Metroid coming soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, that means a lot! And I hope you have fun answering these questions.

      Yeah, Other M would’ve been an exceptionally sour note to end the series on, so I’m glad they bounced back with Metroid: Samus Returns. It’s not as good as Metroid Fusion, but it was doubtlessly a step in the right direction. Here’s hoping Metroid Prime 4 continues that momentum!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m late to the party this week on all of my blogosphere things between working, and life stuff. So a belated congratulations to you!

    As for your questions, I’ll take a stab at them here 🙂

    What is the dumbest competition you ever got in with your friends?

    Probably the backyard wrestling we did in our late teens. Nothing as over the top, as kids jumping off roofs through glass tables. But
    I was put through a plastic picnic table once. And there was the one match I interfered in by putting a plastic trash can over my friend. Then
    kicked him causing him to Flair flop while the garbage can was still on him. It was goofy, stupid, mildly dangerous fun. But at least we weren’t
    eating detergent right?

    If you could form a band, which genre of music would you end up playing?

    It would likely be a band that would fuse elements of pop punk, and new wave together. Some of my favorite bands are
    The Mr. T Experience, The Replacements, The Dollyrots, Gin Blossoms, Green Day, The Network, Fastbacks, Duran Duran, DEVO
    Buzzcocks, The Ramones, and The Jam to name but a few.

    What is the first film you ever watched in theaters?

    Star Wars! Though I was an infant when my father took me, so I don’t know if that counts. Though I did see all of the original Trilogy in the theatre
    when they were released.

    What is the oldest film you’ve watched all the way through?

    Probably The Wizard Of Oz? That one came out in 1939.

    Have you ever fallen asleep watching a film before?

    I have. I don’t remember the movie though, I just remember it was a drama that wasn’t jiving with 15 year old me.

    What is your personal record for most number of films watched in a day?

    Probably 3. Likely one of the times I watched either the original Star Wars Trilogy, or Back To The Future Trilogy movies in a row.

    What is the single most heretical opinion you hold when it comes to video games?

    A handful of RPGs can feel so stat focused they feel more like a Spreadsheet than a game. But I don’t know that would brand me
    a heretic, as these titles depth basically makes this a key part of the experience. It’s not a bad thing, but it’s not for everyone either.

    What is your proudest achievement playing a game?

    There are so many. Beating Ninja Gaiden II. Managing to complete Giana Sisters Twisted Dreams on Hardcore. But I’d probably go with people
    noticing how well I did in Unreal Tournament 2004, and inviting me to be in their clan. I’m not someone who is by any means a professional player.
    But when people who were good enough, that they could have saw potential in me, that was a great feeling. After the third game didn’t do as well, we disbanded. But those were some of my proudest quasi-competitive days.

    What do you believe to be one of the few advantages that gaming critics have over film critics?

    I don’t know there are very many. Both are going to look at structure, performances, writing, which audience it seems more geared toward, etc.
    Critiquing a game you find that story might be important in one game, where in another it’s all about mechanics. Or in another case a game may be more of a competitive e-sport, so balance, latency, and visual aid are more important. With film, a critic is going to analyze the story. Are there holes in it? If so are they so big, the average person is going to call things into question? This stuff can take a lot of people out of the story entirely. Is the dialogue believable? Are the performances convincing? Did the A-list actor they hired make the critic believe that for 90 minutes, they were this fictional character? How good or bad were the visual effects? Are the CGI effects or practical effects obvious? Does the direction really move what’s happening along, or does it jump around in ways that confuse you? How well does it all come together?
    One could argue either medium is harder to analyze.

    Have you ever binge-watched a show?
    Fairly often. I like a lot of animated comedy, and shows I grew up with. So Archer, American Dad, South Park, Magnum P.I., The A-Team are but a handful of them. Also some anime. Cowboy Bebop, Trigun, Samurai Champloo, Voltron. etc.

    Do you follow any webcomics?
    I did read a lot of David Willis’ Shortpacked! when he was doing the strip. It was a funny, exaggerated look at retail life that I could relate to in many ways.
    Occasionally I would see a Penny Arcade strip that made me laugh, though I haven’t kept up with them. I was also a big fan of What’s Your Tag? which was on WordPress, which had some funny strips when it was around. I haven’t really kept up with the scene, though I know there are millions of great indie web comics out there. I do like getting comic books in trade form from time to time though. I’ve enjoyed Jeff Kline’s INDESTRUCTIBLE. I met him at last year’s ConnectiCon, and picked it up. It’s a really interesting take on the superhero genre. I’ve also gotten a lot of entertainment out of Mark Bussler’s comics. He’s known for producing Classic Game Room on YouTube, and Classic Game Room 2085 (it’s current iteration) on Amazon Prime. But a lot of folks don’t realize he’s also published a lot of his own books. Heyzoos The Coked Up Chicken is a fun read though, and there a few volumes now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I too ended up seeing the original Star Wars trilogy in theaters when they were replaying them in the nineties. Good times.

      The Wizard of Oz was the oldest film I had seen for the longest time until I saw M last March.

      I have to admit I kind of zoned out watching American Hustle, though it wasn’t because I thought it was bad; I was just inexplicably tired on that day for some reason.

      I think three films in one day is my record.

      Yeah, with the gaming critical circle being so young, I feel they don’t really know what should go into parsing interactive narratives. It’ll be interesting to see how it ultimately evolves.

      I once binge-watched Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. That was an incredibly good show. I have Cowboy Bebop on Blu-Ray; I’ll get around to watching it eventually.

      Like

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