Happy Saturday! For this post we are doing another tag response: the Sunshine Blogger Award. This puts a spotlight on various blogs around the community, asking a selection of questions so that everyone gets to know each other better. I know, how wholesome, right? Thanks to Frostilyte for tagging me for this, really appreciate it; if you don’t already read their blog then I recommend you go to their site via the link placed above. Also, they have written some insightful pieces on game design and mechanics, such as the underrated accessibility options of Shadow of the Tomb Raider and the compelling metagame/player investment of Hades – and you know how much I like those two games…
So, here is the drill: I answer the questions, then make my own questions and tag more people. It seems that this is a tag post that can be done multiple times if you get tagged more than once, so hopefully whoever I choose is not tired of being selected, aha! First, though, let’s tackle the questions that have been set…
1. What’s something from before the end times that you miss doing during the on-going apocalypse?
One that springs to mind is going to the cinema; whilst living in London in 2018-2019, I would often go several times a week to satisfy the film fan in me. With Picturehouse Central, Prince Charles Cinema, Odeon, and more within walking distance of my workplace, you could regularly find me on the way to one; and when the London Film Festival came along, I could literally spend a day walking from one to another to another. This has, sadly, been much less viable in the last year with the restrictions that have come from the COVID-19 pandemic; whilst I have gone to the cinema when the chance was there (such as around Summer last year, and a brief interlude in December when I got to see Wonder Woman 1984), the frequency has declined, and whenever I have gone, the cinema has been quite empty. It has actually led me to realise that you lose a bit of the vibe when there is hardly anyone in the screening – it can be nice sometimes, but not every time… The cinema is one of the places I cherish, so I am looking forward to a time when I can visit them more regularly again.
2. What’s a franchise (doesn’t matter what medium) that you’ve always wanted to get into, but haven’t been able to? (why)
There are multiple that this makes me think of, such as Final Fantasy and Metal Gear Solid, but those are more because I have not gotten around to properly devoting time to them. Instead, I interpret this as a series I have spent some time with but not connected to in the same way others have, and that is Halo. Back when I had an Xbox 360, despite playing Halo at other houses with friends and even purchasing Halo: Reach, I was never absorbed into the hype that surrounded the series. Rather, it always felt a bit generic-sci-fi in my opinion, so I never got around to diving into the story and universe. Maybe with my recent purchase of the Xbox Series S I will be encouraged to put more time into the series – and hopefully Halo Infinite delivers a fantastic experience. There are loads of fans for the series around the world, so I am slightly disappointed that I not feel the same way, similar to how the Uncharted series has always seemed a bit overrated to me even if I enjoy them to a certain degree.
3. What game are you most looking forward to this year?
Hopefully without sounding like a broken record (I’ve stated this more than once already), Horizon Forbidden West! I adore Horizon Zero Dawn, a game that whilst not necessarily innovative takes lots of modern action RPG mechanics and executes them in stunning fashion. After having a thoroughly joyous time with it, I am extremely excited for the follow-up from Guerrilla Games, which going by the material released so far, seems primed to expand on and continue the story, world, and game systems of the original. In addition, I am eyeing the release of the game as a potential moment to get myself a PlayStation 5; the game will be on PlayStation 4 too, but with how beautiful Horizon Zero Dawn is on my base PS4, the idea of the sequel on next-generation hardware very much appeals…
4. Hit me, once again, with the thing you’re most proud of accomplishing during the end times.
Genuinely, it has been getting back into writing via this blog. This is a story some of you may already know: after losing my job and finding myself suddenly with a lot of free time on my hands, I decided to return to my writing after putting it on hold for a couple years in London. It was something I could do to give myself a palpably productive task to do during my days of job-searching. Subsequently, I have rediscovered how much I enjoy having my own personal journal of opinions to look back on, and as a bonus it turns out some other people even seem to enjoy reading them as well (shock, right?!). It isn’t just the writing side of it; blogging has led me to find a wonderful community of people who are not just writers, but also video-makers, streamers, enthusiasts, and more (or all of the above)! Take this post; it wouldn’t have happened without the rewarding networking side of blogging I found in 2020. Gotta say, I am so looking forward to a time when events such as EGX happen again, because I might even get to meet y’all in person!
5. What matters more: the journey, or the destination?
In my opinion, the journey, for sure. The way we grow and learn over time is very human and the source of the emotional highs and lows of life. In media, too. character development is one of (if not the) most crucial factor to me that I am always looking out for. Of course, the destination and end goal has value, but in a way is there even an end goal? We’re always learning, in my opinion. Right, next question, before I get too philosophical with my unqualified opinions!
6. Pineapple, kiwi, pomegranate?
Not actually that keen on any of them, but would go pineapple of the three. Also, in an ideal situation it would be on pizza, Hawaiian style! Then again, in an ideal situation it would actually just be a pepperoni pizza, so I don’t know.
7. What’s your favourite controller (or input device – anything goes really) for playing games?
I thought about this one a bit, and I actually think the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is my favourite. It has a nicely spaced layout that helps someone with quite large hands like me, and the substantial yet soft buttons are comfortable to use. Neither too big nor too small, neither too heavy or too light, and very durable, it additionally has a very long battery life when charged. I have only one significant issue with it, which is the lack of a headphone jack. This is quite nonsensical to me… Instead I have to plug the headphones into the Switch or the TV. It seems Nintendo, for all their brilliance, always has to have one quirk in there, huh? My Pro Controller is the Xenoblade Chronicles 2 variant, which looks very pretty; I am sort of surprised Nintendo has not done more custom designs for it, however I am confident they will come, haha! For the act of playing games, the Switch Pro Controller is my ideal choice.
8. What’s that one thing you can’t stand eating for really silly reasons?
Tomatoes, for sure. I am okay with tomato ketchup, and I eat pizza, but the act of eating a tomato itself is really off-putting for me. See, I think this is more due to the texture of them, how inherently soft they are – eating one does not compute with me, but when they are in other forms and combined with other foods they are fine. I realise I am being very fussy, but nope, I am not eating tomatoes! Don’t make me do it.
9. Motivations change over time. Why do you still write for your blog?
A very intriguing question, this. I explained earlier why I got back into it, but after finding another job, are my motivations different now, especially as my last long-term job led to me putting writing on hold? Well, yes: starting up again had me realising how much I missed writing, and so I am now more aware of making sure I do not back away from it again. There are gonna be times when I have less time to put into it, and that is fine, but I am determined to ensure there is a consistent frequency of posts going up on this site, and that isn’t to keep up views or appearances. It is more for me, to ensure that I have this journal of opinions that I enjoy so much, proving to myself I can keep it up.
10. What’s your dream vacation (pretend end times never happened)?
Well, going to Japan is definitely a target with how much the culture appeals; though, I am slightly concerned at how much merchandise I would inevitably impulse purchase there, haha! Sadly, a friend and I were actually planning to go to Japan around now, but everything was delayed and put on hold with COVID-19 interfering. It’s going to happen, though! Speaking of, I need to get back to learning how to speak Japanese…
11. Be honest: do you read reviews before or after you buy games?
Generally after. I tend to like to play a game and form my own opinion before hearing too many others that may pre-empt my own and affect how I approach a game. Sometimes I have quite contrasting opinions to others – e.g. Resident Evil 3 being my 2020 Game of the Year despite a generally mixed reaction elsewhere – but I am proud that they are my own honest opinions that I take time to deliberate over. If we all thought the same, the world be a lot more dull, right? After playing through a game and making my own decisions, I am then more open to reading other reactions. Whether they are similar or different to my own, I really enjoy seeing how they might make me think differently, and, as with blogging itself, that discussion can lead to meeting more people. There is also the aspect of reviews being a deciding factor in whether or not to buy a game in the first place, but I now rely less on them as the years go by and my confidence grows in deciding which games I am going to enjoy or not.
Time to Tag
Next, I have the daunting task of tagging people; I say daunting because it would be nice to avoid tagging people who have already been tagged before, but that might be a tough ask at this point. Ah well – I reiterate that this is a suggestion and not an obligation, so I hope you don’t feel pressured if you are tagged here. Right, then, here it is, my selection of five awesome bloggers:
1. Which is your favourite non-technological hobby?
2. Which game has been your comfort food during the last year? Not necessarily the best game, but effective stress relief.
3. If you were a character in a game, which would be your weapon of choice?
4. You can only play one game, watch one film, and one TV show for the rest of your life. Which would they be?
5. Is there an avenue of content creation you have not explored you would like to go into (e.g. streaming)?
6. Do you think there is still a place for stage shows such as E3, or should the gaming industry commit to all-digital reveals?
7. Which Pokémon type would you be?
8. Pancakes or donuts?
9. Is there one particular post draft you keep meaning to go back to?
10. Which is your favourite game you have played this year so far?
11. If you could move to a new home anywhere in the world, where would it be?
With that, we arrive at the end of another tag post. It’s always nice to be tagged for one of these, and this was fun to do; they are also very good at breaking up the rhythm of other posts such as reviews. Hopefully, this was entertaining to read and you found out a bit more about me! Now I am off to play some games. Have a brilliant day!