Those Were The Days…

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There are only a few games that carry tremendous nostalgic value, regardless of how ancient the game has become. Recently I tried revisiting some of my past favorite games but my eyes couldn’t handle it. It would only take a few seconds before they would repudiate the pixelated polygons and lead me to never touching the game ever again. It’s hard to imagine how 10 year-old-me had the patience to adapt to the controls, gameaplay, and visuals. Granted, technology has evolved exponentially over the years but it’s mind boggling to see how reliant and dependent we’ve all become within video games.

A few weeks ago I attempted a play through of Final Fantasy 6–an epic I’ve yet to complete. With a game like this, I can get by the visuals as I think the 16-bit art style is still relevant today. But what I couldn’t get by was the discordantly slow-pacing text and plot. Understandably the series is usually a slow-burn but time is valuable and I don’t have the patience for a 5 hour exposition of textual dialogue. I’m sure it’s a worthwhile RPG but considering how conservative I’ve become with my time, I’ve got better things to do. And let me also come out and say I had the same exact experience with Xenogears.

However, there has always been one game I can go back to: Metal Gear Solid. It comes with great hubris when someone asks me what game I would wed if I had the chance (a bit exaggerated, sorry). Few games rarely capture story and character immersion hand-in-hand so well. With Kojima and Metal Gear Solid, it’s not just another stealth-espionage game for me, it’s my childhood. I’m somewhat relieved my parents were clueless about ESRB ratings because I would have not had the chance to play the game that helped mold my perspective on video games. For every “SNAAAAAAAAKE” and every codec alert, the more I wished all games were as accessible as Kojima’s masterpiece.

For me it’s very sentimental when it comes to personal games like MGS, and we all have games like that. Whether if it’s Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out or Borderlands, the efficacy that video games produce is an experience encompassed around nostalgia and memory; which is probably why I didn’t enjoy FF6 and Xenogears–nothing to drive that experience.

In other news, this blog has now become a one-stop acrimony for all crazed RPG fans.

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PAX Prime 2012

I’m back. After a 2 week hiatus from writing anything that stimulated my brain, I feel more refreshed than ever. Although I can’t say the same for my aching legs that are still recovering from PAX.

I like to think of PAX as a 3 day party where all nerds and geeks alike gather in the heart of Seattle to celebrate everything from video games to even weddings. It was my fourth PAX and every year it still feels like the first. However this year it was a little different–a lot more personal and memorable. Why?

After spending nearly 2 hours in line for the MGS: Ground Zeroes panel, I frantically made my way to the queue room to spend another 2 hours in line to meet Kojima himself and get this little baby signed. It doesn’t get much better than this. If there was any developer I wanted at PAX, it was Kojima-San. Considering that I spent most of my childhood playing Metal Gear, it was unreal to meet the creator himself.

Outside of the convention center, Valve was hosting the DOTA 2 Internationals. I’m not a DOTA player but from what I saw at the finals, I’m convinced enough to start playing this worldly popular game. Furthermore the vibe and energy during each match was incredible–much like an actual sports event.

At this point, I’ve experienced most of what the expo has to offer. Panels are usually rest stops for my group to recuperate from all the tedious walking; the swag show floor is mostly a spectacle of what the booths have to offer. Although most utilize the show floor as a haven to play unreleased games, I was never one to stand in line for hours to play a game that’s coming out in a few months–unless it’s game I’ve been absolutely sold on. But don’t get me wrong, for me it’s not all about the games or panels–it’s the vibe and environment you’re surrounded by for 36 hours. Regardless of how many League of Legends cosplays I see every year or the lack of proper hygiene of 70,000 attendees, it’s what makes PAX, well, PAX. And with the expo now being extended to 4 days, I get to experience extra dosage of body odor I’ve become oh so accustomed to. Can’t wait.