Well, AK from Everything is Bad for you has tagged me once again. Like last time, I suggest following his blog because he talks about a wide range of stuff. The fact that, in stark contrast to the gaming press, he actually acknowledges the indie scene counts for a lot. This time, he asked seven questions, so let’s get right down to it.
1) Have you played a game that was so immersive and compelling that you ended up feeling disconnected from the real world while playing it? If so, what was it and what do you think drew you into its world?
The first game that springs to mind would be OneShot. Considering the sheer avant-garde nature of its narrative, anyone who gives it the time of day will be completely mesmerized by it. I know I was; it’s easily one of the most immersive, compelling story-heavy games out there. Not sure what I’m talking about? Guess you’ll just have to experience it for yourself, huh?
2) Is there a game that’s had a profound impact on you, either as a kid or as an adult? What was that game and what influence do you think it’s had on you?
I’d say Undertale had a gigantic impact on me. It’s one of those games that really seemed light years ahead of what the AAA industry was doing at the time in terms of storytelling (or the films industry, for that matter). While the AAA industry attempted (in vain) to recreate what made Hollywood such a force way back when, Undertale made a very strong case that such an approach was unnecessary. Indeed, after playing it and the Zero Escape trilogy, I began to realize how behind the curve the walking simulator movement was. You see, those games along with OneShot have a real minimalistic approach. Walking simulators such as Gone Home, on the other hand, made the rookie mistake of throwing the baby out with the bathwater in their attempts to promote a minimalistic ethos. Knowing the difference is key to success in the indie scene.
3) Is there a game that you loved as a kid but that disappointed badly when you revisited it as an adult? What do you think appealed to you about it then, and why do you think that appeal’s been lost?
Oh, that’s easy: Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures. As a kid, I loved its unique gameplay wherein you don’t really control the title character as much as you guide him through his world. I was especially amused by the sheer amount of ways in which he could get in trouble – many of these situations were unavoidable, in fact. However, nowadays, I realize just how poorly designed of a game it is. This was cemented when I saw a particularly amusing Let’s Play of it and I proceeded to watch the two players completely grasp at straws the entire time. To this day, I have no idea how I managed to complete it without a guide.
Another good example is King’s Quest V. Despite the fair amount of acclaim it received back in 1990, it really has not stood the test of time between its puzzles that don’t make any kind of diegetic sense (and others that lack plain old common sense) and its absolutely horrid voice acting. To be fair, it was one of the first games to feature full voice acting, though that doesn’t excuse Cedric.
4) How do you feel about the use of subtitles in games? Would you want every game made in a foreign language to be dubbed into your native language if possible, or do you prefer subs?
When it comes to gaming specifically, I actually prefer it to be dubbed. I’ve always found the difference between languages to be a fascinating subject, and I enjoy seeing how translators deal with aspects that don’t otherwise translate well. If the option is available to me, I like to see what the original lines were whenever I suspect there was an invention for the dub. My views on anime are similar – I generally like them to be dubbed, though in both cases, I realize one set of voice actors are superior to the others. Which one it is tends to be on a case-by-case basis. Conversely, when it comes to live-action films, I always prefer subtitles because I like seeing the original performances as they were.
5) Have you ever sold a game, game console or handheld, accessory, or similar object that you later regretted selling?
Honesty? Not particularly. I kind of regret selling my copies of rare games such as Super Mario RPG, but I was able to get a majority of them back in the end, so it’s not too big of a loss.
6) With the dominance of Amazon and digital game markets, do you think brick-and-mortar game stores will be able to hang on for much longer? If they can’t, will we lose anything meaningful as a result?
I have heard the argument that the potential loss of brick-and-mortar stores will deprive gamers of a chance for human interaction and that opportunity to espy an overlooked classic. Then again, that argument was made by Bob Chipman – an individual who I feel has a lot of problems with interaction and the art of negotiation.
Therefore, I seriously question the validity of his argument. I find that while I did get into some interesting conversations with the clerks over the years (one even pointed me in the direction of Treasure of the Rudras, one of my favorite Square games when I mentioned Live A Live to him), I find randomly browsing the internet and hearing suggestions from you guys works just as well (I found out about OneShot through fanart). I do like getting physical media from the stores because I can check for damages, but if they disappear, then there’s not much anyone can do about that.
That said, I do think that there is a possibility that Amazon and digital game markets will overstep their boundaries, thus making brick-and-mortar stores relevant once more, so we’ll just have to stay tuned.
7) Your government approaches you with an offer: join its upcoming first manned mission to Mars. You’ll receive a large salary, and if you have a family, they’ll be very well compensated. If the mission is successful, you’ll be away from them for at least three or four years. However, the mission is so dangerous that there’s a high chance (let’s say for the sake of the hypothetical 70%) that you will never return to Earth. No matter what happens, you’ll be immortalized in history if you join this mission, and if you end up dead or stranded, your family would continue to receive a large pension. Would you take them up on the offer? (Assume also that you have skills that would be essential to such a mission, but that other experts would be equally able to perform the same functions, so the mission would still proceed if you decline to join.)
I do like the idea of interstellar travel (or traveling in general), but I think I would miss the Earth too much to risk a 70% chance of never being able to return. Guess I’ll just have to find some other way of obtaining notoriety, huh?
Here are the questions you get to answer:
- Have you ever been involved in an emergency situation (e.g. a burning building/an earthquake)?
- What is the worst film you’ve ever seen in theaters?
- What is the best film you’ve ever seen in theaters?
- What is the strangest method by which you discovered a work you enjoy?
- What do you feel is the greatest compilation of collected works in your collection (of games/films/music/books/etc.)?
- Have you ever re-experienced a work you enjoyed a long time ago only to determine it has not aged well?
- Have you ever re-experienced a work you hated (or were indifferent towards) a long time ago only to warm up to it?
- What is your favorite opening theme to a television show?
- Excluding Western comic books, what series with a single, ongoing narrative do you feel has (or had) gone on for far too long? In other words, I’m not counting shows or other forms of media with entirely self-contained episodes such as The Simpsons or anthological works such as The Twilight Zone with this question.
- Have you ever been invested in a series only to be heartbroken when it was cut short with no resolution?
- Do you prefer hardcover or paperback books?
Here’s who I’m going to tag this time:
- Comma Eight Comma One
- Book Beach Bunny
- Gaming Omnivore
- The Brink of Gaming
- The Olive Unicorn Beauty Review
- Hamlets & Hyperspace
- Silver Screenings
- Wizard Dojo
- The Below Average Blog
- Geek Blogger UK
- Swords & Spectres
- Mid-Life Gamer Geek
- Way Too Fantasy
- Honest Gamer
- Short Prose
- The Shameful Narcissist Speaks
- Jaunts & Haunts
- Monsterlady’s Diary
- MIB’s Instant Headache
- Becca Leighanne
- Professional Moron
- Lost to the Aether