Happy New Year everyone! I have very few traditions on the blog but this is one I enjoy, always a fun way to kick off the new year. Alas here I am with preparing for my only end of the year tradition and I discover I didn’t even do one of these for last year, 2017! *sigh*
Never mind though and we’ll press on in the spirit of renewal. 2018 was a bit of an odd one: an unreasonably large number of the games I played in the first half of the year were disappointing. A lack of inspiring games is partly why I blogged very little – my socks just weren’t being consistently rocked by the stuff I was playing.
Then in the second half of the year things changed when I finally picked up a Switch. At the same time, reluctantly, I packed away my old CRT TV. Some weeks later I decided to re-dedicate myself to blogging, and since then I’ve been more thorough than ever before in terms of my output, writing about most of the games I played these past few months.
Given my journey this year and how consistent I’ve been with blogging lately, all of the games featured here I played in the first half of 2018, prior to my Switch purchase. Enough pre-amble, bring on the highlights! Continue reading
Recently my music habits have changed. It used to be that I rarely listened to videogame music outside of playing games. For a long time the only game music I had on my iPod were a few select tracks from the original Cho Aniki game. (That’s no joke by the way – that’s a really good soundtrack!) These days though, I’m finding videogame music dominating my listening time in way it never has before. Rather than speculate on the reasons behind this shift I thought it a good idea to capitalise on it by spotlighting some of my favourite Nintendo composers and ranking them by impact! I had to limit myself to talking about Nintendo just to set myself some boundaries, otherwise this list would go on and on and on and on… as if it isn’t going to do that already. Ahem. Continue reading
This post was inspired by a couple of recent things: A Most Agreeable Pastime’s post on the impact of the decline of the Japanese gaming industry discusses the heightened prominence of Anglo-American narratives in games. On Nine to Five Gamer too was a post on race in videogames which discusses the lack of non-stereotypical representations of black people in videogames. I’ve noticed though that the question of representation often gets bogged down in the issue of character attributes, so in this post I don’t want to focus on characters at all but instead common narratives, settings and themes which are pervasive in Western culture. These narratives are often Eurocentric in their repetition and emphasis of certain historical events to the exclusion of countless others. Continue reading
Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance on Gamecube is one of the most expensive games we own so I was naturally a little suspect of it, sitting there on the shelf, looking innocuous and yet oh so smug in the way expensive things do. But you know what? I loved this game. As a girl who is obsessed with any decent combination of meaningful subtext, storytelling and engaging gameplay, Fire Emblem delivers on these fronts and many more. Crucially (listen up Persona), the translation was phenomenal; it nails the “ye olde” fantasy setting perfectly, and manages to be poetic without being hokey or overwrought. Continue reading