Like last year, our good friend Jett over at InThirdPerson is hosting a 25-hour livestream for the charity Extra Life! It’s starting today at 9 am EST over on his twitch channel.
For those who may be unfamiliar with it, Extra Life focuses on helping sick kids in hospitals and is popular with the gaming community. It’s a fantastic cause, so if you’re interested in helping out a charity stream and enjoy video games, please go and hang out for a while if you can!
We’ll be making a remote appearance on the stream as well for a couple of hours, around 10 am to 1 pm, so come and join us! We hope to see you there!
Asexual Awareness week was October 20 – 26 and, as some of you may know, I identify as asexual. Representation of any kind of diversity has always been important to me, even before I realized my sexuality. In a belated celebration for Asexual Awareness week, this Friday Favorites post details a few characters that I headcanon as asexual.
Lukas (Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia)
Cool, calm, and collected, Lukas is a soldier of the Deliverance who invites the main character Alm to join the cause. While he ended up being a favorite for his personality in the game, there was a specific DLC support conversation he has with Python where Lukas confesses that he doesn’t feel the same kind of “fire” that Clive and Mathilda — the resident battle couple — has. That little nudge towards not experiencing that longing cemented Lukas as a favorite.
Miles Edgeworth (Ace Attorney series)
I adore Edgeworth’s character arc throughout the Ace Attorney series. Considering it’s canon that he’s not interested in marriage and turns down dates, he’s always been one of my favorite characters to headcanon as asexual. Focused on his work and his tight circle of friends (despite seemingly grumpy at times when he has to deal with them), Edgeworth is a character I can relate to.
Cyrus (Octopath Traveler)
Cyrus was the biggest dork in the bunch in Octopath Traveler, and he ended up amusing me to know end with his love of learning and absolute obliviousness to all the women trying to flirt with him. He was an easy character to headcanon as asexual due to said obliviousness. Even though romance wasn’t really prominent in any of the eight main characters’ paths, it was still rather nice to see a character who had no romantic inclinations whatsoever.
Do you have any diverse headcanons of game characters? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
It’s been a while since we did a baking post on the blog! We did want to do something for October, however, figuring it would be perfect to do something that showcases the Boo characters from the Super Mario series. Boos are a staple to the franchise, so we figured why not try to do sugar cookies decorated as them?
After a false start (let’s just say that if a recipe says to “stir” the ingredients together, don’t use a mixer, because the consistency of the dough will be all off), we decided to make some simple place-and-bake sugar cookies because those are delicious. They had little ghosts on them already, but we also wanted to try our hand at doing a little decorating ourselves.
We had a little bit of frosting and some icing to decorate with, so we slathered some of the white frosting on the cookies and delicately piped little details to make the cookies look more like the Boos from Super Mario instead of the squashed semi-recognizable ghouls already printed on the dough. Most of our Boos didn’t come out half-bad.
Even better, our cousin recognized that the decorated cookies were the Super Mario Boos (and then promptly ate one). That has to count for something!
We kind of cheated with our baking, considering we used ready-made dough, but it was a good time nonetheless. Rather than staring at screens and lamenting over day jobs, we spent a little while hamming it up in the kitchen, ruining our first dough before taking the simple way out and enjoying place-and-bake cookies. It was like switching to easy mode on a video game, just taking our time and relaxing instead of forcing ourselves to take a more challenging route just because we could. It’s important for everyone to take a break once in a while.
That, and those place-and-bake cookies are delicious!
Have you done any Halloween baking lately? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
I couldn’t do a Character Spotlight close to Halloween when Luigi’s Mansion 3 is around the corner without showcasing a special character from the series.
Professor Elvin Gadd, known as Professor Egad, first appeared in Luigi’s Mansion for the Nintendo Gamecube in 2001. He was an unplayable side character who helped Luigi find his way through the mansion to defeat King Boo and save Mario. Professor Egad is an inventor who created the Poultergiest 3000 that Luigi uses in the game. Professor Egad had the knowledge and tools to turn the ghosts back into portraits and to reverse Mario from being into a portrait and back to his human self.
Professor Egad shows up again in Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon with upgraded, new and improved, inventions to help Luigi find his way through yet another mansion. The same goes for Luigi’s Mansion 3.
He created F.L.U.D.D. that Mario uses in Super Mario Sunshine, though the professor doesn’t make an appearance himself. There are a few other Mario games he appears in as well with his inventions.
While Professor Egad tends to show up in random places with wacky inventions and he doesn’t do too much (other than when he’s in the Luigi’s Mansion series), he’s certainly made a name for himself and everyone seems to know who he is.
I’ll admit, when I first played Luigi’s Mansion back in the day, I thought he was a bizarre character and I didn’t care for him too much. I did enjoy his speech and the theme song of his bunker though. Over time, this character has grown on me. He’s iconic with the various tools and machines that pop up in Mario games and if he himself makes a cameo, people instantly know who he is and where he came from.
I love Professor Egad. He’s a loveable dope, in my opinion. He’s definitely grown on me and I always enjoy seeing him pop up somewhere. I would totally play a game where he is a protagonist.
Do you like Professor Egad? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
One of my favorite genres of video games is RPGs, mainly due to the storytelling elements and the choices I get to make while exploring said story. Interactive storytelling is on the rise in other mediums rather than just video games.
Has anyone ever read Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury? It’s about a “fireman,” whose job is not to prevent fires but to burn books. One of the mindless ways of entertainment that is described in the book are these parlor walls, giant televisions that span across entire walls. The main character’s wife in particular really enjoys the programs, particularly some family sitcom-like shows that the viewer “participates” in by reading from a script at designated moments in the show.
I was reminded by that detail of the book when I saw that YouTube debuted a trailer for “A Heist with Markiplier,” an apparent choose-your-own-adventure YouTube series that will start streaming this week. Markiplier has reportedly done other choose-your-own-adventure series on YouTube, and I know Netflix has series as well that use the viewer’s input to help determine the course of the story.
Interactive storytelling is popular in its own right, and one of the reasons why I adore video games, even in games where the plot is fairly linear. To see that method used outside of video games — and the book series’ that made it popular — is interesting, especially with television. A click of a button to make a choice and alter the outcome of the show is something that I believe will become more popular as time goes on. Nowadays, people want the interaction and to be part of their favorite universes.
Still, I find it odd regarding television shows, as there’s not much for the viewer to do other than clicking a few buttons and making a choice here or there. Case in point, Rachel and I did a short review on Minecraft Story Mode last year for Netflix. It… wasn’t that great, but it could have been due to the story aimed probably at younger viewers than ourselves. We found it a bit boring and redundant with the choices, even if we admit that was well-done for the medium.
With that said, I suppose one could say the same for the visual novel genre of video games, a genre which I generally enjoy. It’s also probably why I’ve been enjoying Dungeons & Dragons. It’s a wonder what other kinds of shows that both YouTube and Netflix — and, presumably, other streaming services — will imbue with interactive storytelling in the near future.
What do you think of interactive storytelling in television and movies? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
Our next Would You Rather post has to do with the little holiday that happens at the end of this month but likes to invade everything earlier and earlier each year… Kind of like Christmas, actually. Anyway, we’re going to try to put a video game twist on these Halloween questions. For example, Rachel, would you rather explore Luigi’s Mansion on your own or help Link navigate the Shadow Temple in Ocarina of Time?
I would rather explore Luigi’s Mansion on my own. It’d be creepy, but it’s really not that big of a place. And yes, while there are ghosts, there are no redeads, so… that makes it 10-times better already. Kris, would you rather get stuck in some horror game and have to beat it to get out or try to make it through the house in Hello, Neighbor?
So, my choice is either Hello, Neighbor or some other random horror game? I’ll take my chances on another random horror game. At least the majority of those have weapons and such for me to defend myself instead of a creepy guy with a secret in his basement. Rachel, which Pokemon treat would you rather have your trick-or-treat bag filled with: various poffins or malasada and curry?
Probably various poffins. I feel like those are sweeter than malasada, which isn’t my usual. However, I think I’d be more inclined to like how those taste more so than malasada. Of course, they all come in different flavors. Would you rather have Halloween night be infiltrated by ghost Pokemon or by the ghosts from Luigi’s Mansion?
My first instinct is to say Pokemon, but some of the ghost-type Pokemon are actually pretty creepy. Have you ever dived deep into the Pokedex entries on some of those? The Boos and other ghosts from Luigi’s mansion may be tamer… You know what, though, in the spirit of Halloween, I’ll stick with the Pokemon. From Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask, would you rather have to work with the witches Koume and Kotake or with Dampe the Gravekeeper?
Dampe the Gravekeeper. I don’t know why, but the witches seem to actually know what they’re doing while Dampe seems to derp around. Also, I might as well stick with my ghosts. Last question, would you rather play Hello Neighbor in VR or some sort of zombie game in VR?
Again with the Hello, Neighbor? I’m going to go with the zombie game, haha! The undead can be scary, yes, but I presume I’ll have some chainsaws or something to deal with them in VR. The neighbor is just too creepy for me.
What are your answers? Do you have any other questions for us? Let us know about them in the comments below! If you like this post, please share it around.
I’m doing a little something different this month in regards to Flashback Friday. Instead of celebrating an older game, this post will be about a person who has influenced the history of technology with her contributions in the field.
Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace — also known more simply as Ada Lovelace — was a woman born in 1815 and only lived until 1852. She is often credited with creating the first computer program, creating an algorithm designed to be carried out by a machine.
Ada’s father, the poet Lord Byron, disappeared out of her life only a month after she was born, separating from her mother. Considering Lord Byron fled from their family to sire more children — and having fathered one, most likely two, other children before Ada with other women — Ada’s mother was bitter and encouraged Ada’s love of mathematics and logic to steer Ada away from Lord Byron’s way of waxing poetics. Despite this, Ada still admired her father’s work, requesting to even be buried next to her upon her death.
With her skills and learning in mathematics and logic, Ada’s studies helped her meet fellow mathematician Charles Babbage, who is considered the father of computers. Indeed, he created the first Analytical Engine, piquing Ada’s interest. Babbage’s notes had fragments of programs, but Ada’s was the first complete algorithm to be written and published.
Aside from publishing the first program, it is also written that Ada was the first person to see greater potential in the Analytical Engine. Rather than just performing logical equations and math, it was Ada who expressed that the Engine could potentially create music and art with the right programming. Considering the major steps programming and computers have taken within the past couple of centuries, Ada Lovelace was definitely ahead of her time. Can you imagine if computers and algorithms were mainly used just for number-crunching? How video games would have been affected?
Due to her feats in this field, every second Tuesday of October is Ada Lovelace Day, an international celebration of women and their achievements in the STEM fields. I am sad to only have just discovered this. To see an event that promotes women in typically male-dominated fields and, in turn, tries to encourage more girls to join these fields and helps to sponsor them.
I remember vividly in college that I was one of only two woman in most of my computer networking class. While the majority of my classmates weren’t bad, there were a couple of instances where it was joked that I did well on a project here or there because I was a woman and the professor was male, a suggestion that may not have been made had the men known about more women in technology fields. I hope that Ada Lovelace Day, which is only a decade old, continues to reach, support, and encourage people — women, men, and others alike — in the coming years.
Have you heard of Ada Lovelace? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
The Nintendo Wii and Wii U are sort of old news at this point and I know they’re not favorite consoles for most people. However, I still enjoyed my time with them. One of those reasons was because of the Mii Channel on the Wii.
The Wii, which originally came out in November 2006, added a new thing to the Nintendo world – Miis. Kris and I use our own Mii all the time on this blog if you haven’t yet noticed. Miis weren’t exactly a revolutionary thing. They were simply Nintendo’s way of creating avatars for their console and games.
However, I great up in the 90s so when the Internet became a thing, I played Dollz. A quick Google search will show you what Dollz was, I’m not going to explain it here. But it was a lot of fun and those Dollz were often used as my profile picture or to create characters in various role-playing websites I was part of.
Needless to say, when the Mii channel was introduced, I was in love with it.
I created myself. Kris created herself. I made my mom, dad, and my other sister, Lisa. My cousins created Miis for themselves. We had a decent amount.
Now, at this point in time, I preferred to watch Kris play games rather than me play them myself. There were a few games I played such as Pokemon Ranch, Pokemon Rumble, and Paper Mario when we downloaded it from the virtual console. For the most part, though, I played the Mii Channel. Usually, when I waited for Kris to get home from work or finish her homework, I’d be playing that.
But what was there to do on the Mii Channel? Create Miis. That’s it.
Needless to say, I had a lot of Miis. You can imagine how disappointed I was when the console capped me at 100 Miis. Yes, the Mii Channel could only hold 100 Miis. And yes, I had created 100 Miis.
I can’t remember who I had created. I don’t know 100 people, that’s for sure. All I remember, aside from making my family and probably a friend or two, was that I made the Ninja Turtles. I had Raph, Donnie, Leo, Mikey, Splinter, Casey, and April. The turtles even joined me, Kris, and Lisa as ranchers in Pokemon Ranch.
I had a lot of fun with it and spent many hours using the Mii Channel when the Miis couldn’t even really do anything. They were still fun to make though. It was like a game itself to me.
Someday, the next time I turn on the Wii, I’m going to have to go onto the channel and see them all. That would be a real blast from the past.
Did you use the Mii Channel a lot? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
The Nintendo Switch Lite has been out for a month and we’ve figured out ours. When the Switch Lites were first announced, we pretty much knew we were going to get them. We did, however, think about whether or not they were needed, especially since we were concerned with how the save data would work between our original Switch and our Switch Lites. We did eventually figure it out enough to start enjoying our Lites, even if there was a bit of a hiccup when it came to having them delivered.
We pre-ordered the Switch Lites on our own Amazon accounts. Unfortunately, Amazon has been messing up many of my orders all year. So, it wasn’t much of a surprise to me when my Switch Lite never arrived. Kris got hers on September 20, the same day it was released. Mine came a week later after reaching out to Amazon twice. Better late than never, right?
I did wait for Rachel to receive hers so we could open the Switch Lites together. The size of the Lites versus the original Switch weren’t too bad, with the Lite fitting comfortably in both of our hands and the screen being a decent size for handheld gaming, neither of which were very surprising. We turned them on and dived into setting them up, having slight difficulties in connecting with the WiFi because our network extender was apparently tired, and it was absolutely strange to see a blank slate where we were used to seeing… I don’t even know how many games we have on the original Switch.
I’m pretty sure we have well over 100 games on the Switch and now my Switch Lite has… maybe ten? It certainly is weird to see the lack of games that makes it seem like I don’t own too many games when I do. However, when it came to setting up the Lite, we had to download our saved game data from the cloud. I thought we could do this with every game, but… we can’t.
Yes, if a game cannot have save support through the cloud, we cannot download the data onto our secondary Switches, which is what we’re using the Lites for. While I don’t think there’s too many games that have this restriction, it’s still annoying. The Lite may be easier to carry around due to its smaller size and lighter weight, but there are a few hoops to jump through in order to prepare it for playing. Even still, once you do redownload the games and the save data through the cloud, the Lite likes to be connected to WiFi — or check to see if you’re connected every three hours or so — in order to play. It’s a little difficult to be connected constantly if you’re using it on the go.
We have well over 100 games on our main Switch and while some of those games were gifts to each other or from other people, we usually go in 50/50 on the games. However, even though we both pay for the games, we usually downloaded them from the eShop of Kris’s profile. So, the majority of those games, I can’t download on my Switch Lite. I don’t know what I’m going to do with that because there are some games I would love to have on the Lite, my own Switch, but would it make sense for me to download it when I could always just pick up the regular Switch and play it on that? As for the wifi… I don’t know why they advertised it as portable if it can’t hold onto the Internet or needs to check it every few hours. I’m looking forward to testing that out in the car when we go away for Thanksgiving.
Yes, for some reason, we heard that the games downloaded from the eShop are “locked” on the primary Switch’s account that bought it. There are a couple of more things regarding that issue that I want to test, but at the moment, it seems like it’s to prevent people from sharing games, which doesn’t make sense. I understand that, to be fair to developers, people should buy their own games rather than share, but if a game was bought for a family, then I do not understand the restriction. I’m hoping there’s a workaround considering that Rachel and I are on the family online plan, but we’ll still have to see regarding that. Despite all that, we are actually enjoying our Lites, even with these hiccups. It’s nice to be able to play our own games at the same time!
Hiccups indeed, though I am happy to finally have an extra console or two so we can play games together. Considering I get a lot of review codes and Kris has been addicted to Fire Emblem: Three Houses, we don’t need to share the Switch to play what we want or need to. Plus, I can’t wait to play Pokemon Sword and Shield together! Something else we need to look out for, though, is that some games aren’t available in Handheld mode. For example, we still can’t play those certain mini-games on Super Mario Party where you connect the Switch consoles together.
Yes, that’s another downside to the Switch Lite. Which is a bit of a shame, as I feel like we’re only talking about the Switch Lite’s cons rather than pros. Granted, I don’t believe the Switch Lite is something that everyone needs. Considering we do both enjoy playing games at the same time, it’s something that we’ve obviously been using, but the constant WiFi, some games missing from the cloud, digital games unable to be shared between Switches and accounts, and some games not having a handheld mode may very well be big deal-breakers for consumers. Not only that, the Switch Lite has only 32 gigabytes of storage, making it necessary for the majority of gamers to invest in SD cards. While those aren’t as expensive as they used to be, it’s an additional cost with the $200 console whose first-party games tend to run at about $60. With all this said, the Switch Lite is being loved in this household, haha!
That’s fair, we are talking a lot about the cons rather than the pros. However, we’re still enjoying the Lites and I definitely do not regret buying them. While the cons are pretty big, I do think it’s nice to have an extra Switch around that’s $100 cheaper. Even though I can’t play most of the games we already own, I can still use the big Switch. However, there will be some games we may buy two copies of… Stardew Valley, for example. We’d love to play co-op in that game but we can’t because I can’t download it onto my profile. (Also, then two profiles would technically be playing the same copy, so… I understand that one.) Still, the Switch Lite overall is pretty great. I’m enjoying it and have played it a lot.
Do you have a Switch Lite? What do you think of it? Let us know about them in the comments below! If you like this post, please share it around.
In the spirit of Halloween and the fact that I don’t play horror games, I thought I’d give the spotlight on some scary and creepy bosses from Nintendo games.
Majora (The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask)
The Skull Kid and Majora’s Mask aren’t creepy or scary, per se, but Majora himself is. The final battle between Link and Majora isn’t too bad but Majora himself looks creepy. The different forms of the mask are weird, especially the second form, Majora’s Incarnation. He has arms and legs and an eye sprouting at the top of his… head? He’s a mask, I don’t get it, but it’s creepy looking.
Scarecrow (Batman: Arkham Asylum)
I have fond memories of Batman: Arkham Asylum. It’s been a long time since I’ve played this game. It also took me a long time to beat the final boss, Scarecrow. His design is scary – I mean, he’s a humanoid scarecrow. Technically, he’s human-looking like a scarecrow, but hopefully, you get what I’m trying to say. His final boss battle stressed me out so much that it took me so long to get through because I had to keep pausing. His design creeped me out and, to top it off, his eyes were like spotlights so Batman had to stay clear out of Scarecrow’s line of sight. When it comes to creepy bosses, Scarecrow is one for the books.
Zant (The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess)
This game is pretty dark to begin with and Zant, the main antagonist of the game is a creepy guy. Everything about his design is freaky. I don’t understand him. He has no hands, his face looks like a mask or maybe it is a mask. But then he has a mask over that, though I guess you could call it a helmet. The helmet always looked like a fish to me. (I don’t know why.) I think Zant is a pretty cool bad guy, but he’s definitely up there on the creepy scale.
The Piano (Super Mario 64)
Don’t lie; it freaked you out as a kid too.
What are some of your favorite scary or creepy bosses? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.