It’s Konami’s 50th anniversary apparently, which has them feeling a bit sentimental for the bygone days when they released video games. As a result they’re re-releasing collections of some video games they’ve made over those 50 years, including a nice little bundle of Castlevania titles, one of their most well-loved franchises.
None of this has anything to do with what I’m ACTUALLY talking about in this here blog post, which is a snack produced by Brad’s Plant Based. I was walking through the grocery store when my Video Game Sense started tingling. What I saw was a bag of dried kale emblazoned with VAMPIRE KILLER right on the front. I was intrigued. I buy stupid snacks all the time but usually they’re garbage food because I’m a garbage person. Would I buy a Healthy Snack just because someone at the company named it after the legendary weapon of the Belmont Clan?
I’ve loved games for as long as I can remember, and I’ve loved collecting things I don’t need for basically the same amount of time. As you can imagine I’ve wound up with a lot of cool gaming stuff around my house over the years, so I decided to share some of that stuff with you guys! Let’s start with…
One thousand twenty-eight hours and thirty-three minutes. That comes out to just shy of 43 days, or almost a month and a half. That’s how much time I spent playing Animal Crossing: New Leaf for the Nintendo 3DS over the course of about five years. Why did I spend so much time in a single game, much less one that’s reviled as hardly a game at all?
Animal Crossing, for those who may not know, can best be described as a series of life sim games. You play as a young human who moves into a small town full of animal villagers and spend your days fishing, digging up fossils, decorating your house and making friends with your neighbors. There’s no end to the game and no set goals to accomplish. It goes on forever, and it moves along in real time. If you start playing at 3pm, it’s 3pm in your village. It’s designed to be relaxed, easygoing and something that doesn’t demand very much of you.
Animal Crossing is my favorite game series. I’ve played and loved them all ever since the original game hit the GameCube back in 2002. It’s a story for another day, but I owe some of my best friendships and my marriage to Animal Crossing. It’s incredible how much it’s steered my life.
I don’t really know how to get this post started. I’ve written so many parts of it in my head the past couple of weeks, but stupid ol’ me kept forgetting to imagine the beginning. I guess that’s how most of my projects go in my head: think of the cool parts but don’t bother with how to get there.
BUT. This isn’t about me not following through with something and ending it. Oh no. This is about me following through after a long time of not following through!
Let’s be honest, unless you’re an asshole 2018 hasn’t had very much good news to go around. All most of us reasonable people can do while we wait for either things to get better or for the universe to mercifully implode in on itself is to bury our feelings in creature comforts that make us feel as safe and warm and full of pizza as we did when we were naught but children. My friends, I am absolutely delighted to inform you that my, and probably someone else’s, prayers have been answered and we can relive the wild 90s with the return of Pizza Ranch. …
My daughter is 15 months old now. Things like time and money are at an all-time premium in my life, which is not a situation that lends itself well to playing lots of video games, my pastime of choice before I fell in love with chasing a screaming gremlin around my house so she doesn’t slam her fingers in the kitchen drawer again.
It’s funny how quickly you can adapt to huge life changes like this. Sure, I’m exhausted all the time and broke most of the time but I’ve really come to love and appreciate My New Normal. I don’t really miss all the time I used to spend playing games, which probably sounds crazy, especially if my mom is reading this. What having so little free time and money to spend on games has done has actually gotten me back to a point that I’ve been wanting to get back to for years – really appreciating everything I’m playing.
Today, five years to the day of when I officially launched the first episode of The Backlog, I’m publishing my final video and hanging it all up.
I know this is confusing based on what I’ve been saying on Twitter since I posted that teaser a week ago. I said The Backlog was BACK BAYBEE and we’d have a new channel and be kickin’ butt all over again. Unfortunately, this was another instance of me getting overexcited and announcing plans before they’re really thought through. You’d think I’d have learned my lesson by now.
The plan was to start it all over again, right where it originally began with Trog! for NES. Instead, I’m ending back where I started and to be honest I like how that feels much better. …
Summer is in full swing and we’re all looking for ways to beat the heat. Brands are our friends, and our pals at Pepsico have our backs with a new soda that’s the equivalent of someone shoving a hand grenade stuffed full of Hot Tamales candy into your gullet and pulling the pin.
A little bit of background info on me: I’m a huge soda guy. It’s my biggest vice. I don’t much care for alcohol and I’ve never smoked or done drugs. When I come home from work on a Friday night soda is the thing I want to crave to help me unwind and relax. Does that make me sound super weird and lame? Probably. Who cares. Let’s move on.
Today is basically Christmas Eve, because tomorrow will mark the day Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age, the remastered version the secret best Final Fantasy game, will be released for the PlayStation 4. It boasts fancy new graphics in the H-est of Ds, an orchestral soundtrack and an expanded Job system that was previously exclusive to the Japan-only rerelease of the original game, Final Fantasy XII International Zodiac Job System.
To say I love Final Fantasy XII is a bit of an understatement. I’ve been known to shout from the Twitter rooftops about how much I love composer Hitoshi Sakimoto’s work and the soundtrack for Final Fantasy XII is just sublime. The game’s soundtrack has a very distinctive, ethereal arrangement of strings and winds that’s so awe-inspiringly beautiful that I just want to swim in it.
I’m listening to the soundtrack as I write this and I think I’ve said the phrase “God I’m so happy” about twenty times, no joke. Ask my wife.
When Ecto Cooler returned for a brief period last year it was nothing short of magical. Even though I wasn’t the hugest Ghostbusters fan as a kid (which, honestly, baffles me to this day) Ecto Cooler was THE flavor of Hi-C that I wanted in my school lunch. Tasting it again two decades later and immediately recognizing it, as if seeing an old friend, was something I’ll never forget.
It wasn’t the perfect relaunch, though. It was damn near impossible to find in stores which meant you had to fight the online crowds whenever the cans came in stock on Amazon. My wife was the MVP that one fateful day.