A big thank you to Meghan Plays Games for tagging me! This is my first time being nominated so I was super hyped to join in! Alright, let’s get cracking!
In the spirit of the 25th anniversary of Pokémon: if you were the Champion of your region, which Pokémon would be on your team of 6?
After eight generations, there are a ton of viable choices for a champion worthy team. I’ve always gone for Pokémon that are powerful and flexible in terms of movesets and types but also aesthetically pleasing. In sum, the cute and cool type! Here are my champs:
Gengar – This mischievous devil has to be on my team. If you’ve read my previous post celebrating Pokémon’s 25th anniversary, you’ll know he’s my favourite Pokémon ever. A special attack powerhouse who can learn ghost, dark, and psychic moves by levelling but also poison and fairy moves by TMs, he’s a slippery trickster and that’s not mentioning his Mega or Gigantamax form, which literally looks like the gates to hell.
Gallade – A toss up pick with Sylveon (pretty fairy) and Gardevoir (pretty psychic), but I realised my team was lopsided with special attackers so I went with Gallade, who can bring a fight and look dashing.
Golisopod – Golisopod is the Gyarados of Gen 7. He starts life as the jittery Wimpod but completely hulks out after evolving. What I love is how under that hard chitinous armour, he’s still a bit of a wimp, as seen by his ability, Emergency Exit, that lets him tactically tag out when his health is lowered to half. He’s also a dual water/bug type, both very useful types.
Aegislash – Another favourite because of his Stance Change ability, which lets him switch between extremely high attack/special attack or extremely high defense/special defense. As a dual ghost/steel type, he’s immune or resistant to most other types so you can have a lot of fun strategising with him. Plus, he’s a sentient phantom sword and that’s awesome.
Charizard – Charmander was my first Pokémon ever and has been close to my heart ever since. He’s a badass dragon-not-dragon, who I’d love to fly around on. Mega Charizard Y is probably better stat-wise for his sheer I’ll-one-hit-kill-everything with sky-high special attack but I prefer Mega Charizard X’s look and the fact he rightfully becomes a true dragon.
Eelektross – Backstory: I wanted an eel as a kid before I learned they need BIG tanks. My backup is therefore Eelektross, based on an electric eel. You always need an electric type somewhere but what makes him stand out is his ability, Levitate, giving him immunity to ground types. With no weaknesses, Eelektross slithers into my final spot!
How do you feel about presentations like Sony’s State of Play and Nintendo Directs? Love em or hate em? Why?
I’ve never been one to ride the hype train. Don’t get me wrong, I love getting excited about games but I avoid bundling those feelings with a sense of expectation, which I think mostly leads to disappointment. As such, I’m neutral about presentations. I’ll watch them, usually the Nintendo ones, and anything that catches my eye is a bonus! That said, I’m generally up for most things, especially Japanese or indie games, so there’s typically always something for me to be happy about.
Video game movies are usually terrible, but which game would you like to see adapted on the big screen? Any dream cast members?
Generally, I think the beauty of games lies in its unique interactivity and that isn’t easily replicated, so I’m not keen on crossovers. That said, I watch a lot of anime and several great ones (Steins;Gate, Fate series, Higurashi…) originate from games but these are visual novels, which focus on narrative over interactivity. Even then, it’d be hard to effectively adapt a complex visual novel within the average movie time. If I had to, I’d pick a twisty psychological mystery – the more surreal the better – so maybe a game that involves time loops? I haven’t played the Outer Wilds but I think its grand space setting and sense of desolation and intrigue would make a good Hollywood blockbuster. Alternatively, The Sexy Brutale, where you relive a day trying to stop various murders occurring in a casino, could be an interesting whodunnit with a lavish set. I’m imagining it in the campy style of something like The Grand Budapest Hotel. No dream actors but it would be cool if they wore full-face masks like the game characters do.
If you were a video game character that had to use a mundane item (i.e. an umbrella) as a weapon, what would you use?
For someone like me with no technique at all, I’d go with a reliable blunt weapon. A cast-iron frying pan with a sharpened meat skewer for ranged prodding could pack a decent wallop. The pan could also be used defensively or as a support item to cook food – perfect for the question further down this list!
Have you picked up any new hobbies during the pandemic? If so, talk about it!
I’ve started juggling several hobbies in the past year. This blog is something I’m proud to have finally started. I’ve lurked around the otakusphere for a long time and always wanted to contribute but it felt scary actually getting my voice out there. Anyway, I bit the bullet late last year after some encouragement from my partner and haven’t looked back since! It’s especially fun because I write creatively as well and blogging lets me write in a different style than usual.
Other than blogging, I moved in with my partner during the UK’s first lockdown and took up cooking duty. One of my hobbies is reading recipe magazines/cookbooks and experimenting with new cuisines. I’m decent at savoury recipes but baking is a potshot. I’ve inadvertently turned cake into bread and bread into cake before.
The last major one is learning Japanese. I won’t lie and say it’s not because I like various Japanese media but I also think the language itself is very beautiful and completely different from other languages I’ve learned. I’m a weirdo who enjoys picking apart grammar and vocabulary so Japanese is right up my alley. I’m currently very much a beginner and I haven’t dedicated enough time to it in 2021 but I really want to pick it up again, even if I only progress slowly. I definitely recommend it, if your brain needs a bit of stimulation!
How did you get into video games in the first place?
Honestly, I can’t remember not being into them! Two of my older sisters used to play games and they passed down their old handhelds, which is probably why I have a fond spot for portable systems. I grew up with the Game Boy/Game Boy Advance and played whatever I could get my hands on: Pokémon, Legend of Zelda, random JRPGs. By the time I got a Nintendo DS, I was hooked and saved all my pocket money to buy games. The collector in me is sad that I threw away so many old boxes and manuals back then (not that I intend to sell any now!)
Who is your least favourite video game character of all time?
Hmm, this is pretty difficult… I tend to obliterate things I dislike from memory. I don’t feel like this now but back when Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney came out, I had a big chip on my shoulder for Apollo, simply by virtue that he wasn’t Phoenix Wright. I’ve mentioned Ace Attorney in about a quarter of my posts so that indicates the depths of my obsession. Apollo Justice isn’t even a bad game in retrospect. The gimmick of looking for visual tics, a non-hostile prosecutor, and Phoenix’s redemption arc were done well but I remember being so galled that Apollo had replaced my favourite spiky-haired lawyer and where the hell was Maya?! I still played it till the end though 😂. Anyway, I think Apollo has absolutely redeemed himself by Spirit of Justice.
Does pineapple belong on pizza?
Sure, Hawaiian isn’t my go-to but you do you! Pineapple adds a nice touch of sweetness and goes well with many savoury flavours, especially when chargrilled and slightly caramelised. Alternatively, make a dessert pizza. Anything goes then.
A lot of video games incorporate some form of cooking – if you had to cook a signature recipe in a game, what would you choose? What stats would it boost/what would it do for you?
Ooh the opportunities! Since rice is a staple food I can’t go without and I’m too indecisive, I’d go with a rice bowl that heals on a basic level but buffs different stats according to which toppings are on it. Something meaty like a beef or pork bowl would buff strength. A vegetarian bowl bestows resistance to status effects like poison. A calorific tempura bowl increases HP. A light sashimi bowl gives a speed boost. I’d probably be happy eating a different rice bowl every day.
Has there ever been a game that you decided to walk away from before completing? If so, why?
There are so many games I’ve dropped. I don’t believe there’s any point in forcing yourself to play a game if you don’t enjoy it or aren’t currently in the mood for it. I try to give most games a decent go (i.e. a few hours) but I’ve accepted that not every game will vibe and time is more precious. Likewise, I’m happy to put aside a game I’ve liked but had my fill of. For example, Hollow Knight is one of my all time favourites and I came very close to the end before I hit a wall. I realised that I could force myself over it but this felt different from the trials I had overcome before. The frustration outweighed my enjoyment and I didn’t want to dampen my experience when it wasn’t necessary to complete the game. For me, completion doesn’t really matter. I’ve enjoyed the journey and that’s enough.
Have you ever been talked down to, or insulted for playing a certain game or genre? How did you respond?
This hasn’t happened to me, probably because I’m not very social, avoid conflict and only the people I’m closest to know I play games. I think gatekeeping and judging people for their individual preferences is ridiculous. If something makes you happy, that’s great! We could all do with more positivity, so don’t stomp over other people and what they like.
Thanks again to Meghan for the nomination and interesting questions! Please check out her awesome blog as well. Now, that’s enough gabbing about me. Onto the questions! I’m going to nominate a few people whose posts I’ve enjoyed reading recently. If you aren’t into this, please don’t feel pressured to respond. Of course, anyone else who wants to join in can as well!
Two Happy Cats rings the bell for oji-san fans
cublikefoot with some great VN recommendations
gamergal.exe spreading the otome love
AHappyGamer [videogamesmakemehappy] reviews the zany wonder that is Disgaea
pix1001 [Shoot the Rookie] narrows their top five games from the last five years
1. If you were hosting a dinner party and could invite up to three characters from video games or anime, who would your guest(s) be?
2. Would you prefer to play games exclusively from one genre or games of a certain length, either short (1-10hrs), medium (30-50), or long (70+)?
3. The pandemic has been stressful. What do you do to de-stress?
4. Which game was your biggest surprise (good or bad) in 2020?
5. What would be your secret semi-mundane skill (e.g. carving fruit, rolling your tongue, etc.)?
6. Which game do you think everyone should try?
7. What untapped franchise would make a great game?
8. Do you collect physical editions of games? Describe your ideal collector’s edition. What would it contain and which game would it be for?
9. How do you feel about your backlog?
10. What tip would you give to new bloggers?
11. What is your ideal spirit animal? Now, what are you really?