Super Smash Bros. and Pokemon are my two favorite video game franchises of all time. However, whenever bringing up these two amazing games with anybody (save for a select few), people will usually react in one of two ways. People will either tell me the games are stupidly simple for only kids to enjoy or they will say that the competitive communities for these games overcomplicate what is supposed to be simple in concept. As someone who has been a huge fan of these games since their humble beginnings, I do not believe these people in the slightest. While yes, these are games marketed towards children and yes, there is a huge competitive aspect to Super Smash Bros.… Read the rest
Behind all the smoke and mirrors, what are video games but lines of code with high aspirations? Unlike with movies, which for the most part share this relationship with coding to the point of visual representation and no further, video games aspire to simulate living, breathing situations through a responsive world that will change both with and without user interactions. Even if you set down the gamepad without pressing pause to fix yourself a tuna melt during a rousing bout of Super Mario Bros, the Goomba, Koopa, Koopa Paratroopa will all still algorithmically waddle and hop about, all for the sake of simulated agency. … Read the rest
I hope you’ve all braced yourself for the weird, because it’s time for us to once again discuss the stranger side of the Pokemon universe!
Previously I wrote about how many of the Pokemon you know and love are based off the terrifyingly, bizarre creatures of Japan known as Yokai. As a quick refresher Yokai are Japanese monsters, spirits, and other sorts of strange phenomena. These beings can be all-powerful gods, super-powered animals, deformed men and women, goblins and ogres, various kinds of undead and literally anything in between. For a more detailed explanation on Yokai check out my original post here.… Read the rest
This past weekend I attended an anime convention at the National Harbor in Maryland known as Katsucon. As with every anime convention I got to experience many weird and wonderful panels, merchandise and cosplay.
One panel I thoroughly enjoyed during my stay was Kowai: Ghosts, Yokai and Japanese Monster Culture, a lecture done by Charles Dunbar on the cryptic creatures of Japan known as Yokai (check out his blog here: http://www.studyofanime.com). What are Yokai you may be asking? Well the short definition is monster but as Dunbar has said the term Yokai is a broad one and therefore has no precise meaning; other definitions include (but are not limited to): spirit, goblin, ghost, fantastic being, a strange unexplainable experience and even just changing thing.… Read the rest
Perma death, or permanent death, is a difficult concept for many gamers. Some series use the death of characters to enhance the storyline, but they then bring the characters back in interesting ways in order to appease the gamers who grow connected to the characters through the story. Games like Demon Souls and Dark souls actually over use death to frustrate the player and allow for more difficult gameplay.
And then there are games like Pokemon that are at such an easy difficulty that it is rather rare for an experienced gamer to “die.” When games like this are created and overplayed, like they are, players get creative in order to enhance their gaming experience. … Read the rest