j_unit2008

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Video Game Music as an Alternative to Replaying Games

Time is the hardest thing to come by for many of us that enjoy this hobby. Whether it’s kids, work, other hobbies, or any other myriad of reasons, we’re often forced to be intentional with our limited time.

To complicate things there have been numerous releases of remakes, remasters, and re-releases. In 2020 alone, we were bombarded with games like FFVII Remake, Tony Hawk 1+2 Remastered, Pikmin 3 Deluxe, Super Mario 3D All-Stars, and Persona 5 Royale. And like the rube I am, I bought all of them save for one: Persona 5 Royale. I spent 120 hours playing through the original release and this was my breaking point no matter how great this release was.

I will forever be curious if Kasumi would take the title of ‘Best Girl’ from Makoto
I will forever be curious if Kasumi would take the title of ‘Best Girl’ from Makoto

But that didn’t make me feel any better about my choice. I missed hanging out and doing heists with my Phantom Thieves buddies. If only there was a less time-consuming way to relive the magic....

(CONTENT WARNING: The next paragraph includes a brief mention of suicide)

Music has always played a large role in my life. Growing up, my big brothers were a huge influence on what I listened to (they were born in ‘79 and ‘80 so I’ll let you use your imagination) and I still have extremely fond memories of that time. Devastatingly, my older brother committed suicide when I was still struggling to grasp what life and death even were. I was 9 years old.

In finding ways to cope, I found comfort listening to music that my brother enjoyed. I can vividly remember listening to Phil Collins and allowing the music to transport me to a simpler, happier time. Life had cruelly wrenched time with my brother away from me, but I was able to go back and relive experiences that could have forever been lost to time. It was magic.

That magic is why I continue to value music so much in my life. I can put on a track and have an experience. In video games, the music helps center and connect me with what I’m doing and what’s occurring onscreen. I think that’s part what makes the medium so special. There are plenty of movies and TV shows with memorable music, but aside from their theme songs, they so rarely become imprinted in my mind. So now I find myself increasingly going back to those soundtracks. Over the course of the pandemic, I have even found myself picking up a keyboard to learn video game music which is especially nice because Nintendo hates us and only wants us to listen to music in-game (Damn you, Reggie).

Fuck ‘em!
Fuck ‘em!

I’ve come to realize that in many cases I don’t need to revisit old games anymore. Those moments and memories I’ve created over the years are still there. And I can go there anytime.

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I think I have a "new game" problem

As my hobby of gaming has progressed from childhood into adulthood I've begun noticing an annoying quirk that I have regarding gaming: I tend to focus entirely too much on new games. As release dates approach, my excitement and interest peaks. I check out all of the coverage on my favorite sites. Post-release I check all of the buzz around the best games and find myself wanting to play those even on platforms that I don't have access to.

This is all well and good until the excitement for games I currently own falls greatly. I tend to wish I was playing new games instead of the ones that I own even when I really enjoy my current library. This leads to having a backlog that I never intend to finish because there's always something shinier and better around the corner.

Now I'm probably not alone in this as Internet culture tends to gravitate towards things that are trending and forget them in short time. It's still a little disappointing to me because I used to enjoy really digging into games and finding all the little secrets it has to offer. Now I feel rushed to get through a game as fast as possible so I can experience the next new game in time for release.

That being said I think I have a couple ideas to kombat (sorry) this "new" problem.

  • Get organized!

Make a list of games that I want to play for the current year and edit it accordingly when games review poorly, sleeper hits appear, there are games I want to revisit, etc.

  • Be realistic.

I can't expect to play every single game that people get excited about. I don't have the income or the time and I don't work at Giant Bomb (and even they can't get to everything).

  • Don't pay too much attention to the noise.

This one is a bit more difficult since I like being connected with what's going on in the great and wonderful world of gaming. I think this is especially where my list could come in handy. It would guide my Internet perusing and prevent me from aimlessly looking at games (and losing valuable game time!)

  • Remember: It's a hobby.

Perhaps the most important thing here. My focus should always be on "fun." If I'm not enjoying what I'm playing, there's no shame in moving on to the next thing or revisiting old games. Besides, if I'm not enjoying what I'm doing the whole point in playing is lost, right?

So we'll see what happens from here on out. Maybe this will work and maybe it won't, but at least I'm trying something different and potentially sparking new ways to enjoy the games I play.

Happy gaming duders.

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DMX Goomba's Revenge: Replaying the Mario Series

With the recent release of Super Mario Maker as well as the events of The Ryckoning, my interest in the Super Mario franchise has reached a high that it hasn't been at for several years. Now unfortunately, I don't have a Wii U and am not in a position to get one for quite some time so I'll be unable to enjoy it for the time being . What I do have is an old SNES with Super Mario All-Stars, Super Mario World, and Super Mario World 2.

I haven't played through any of these in at least 15 years so I'm hoping that this will be a fresh experience for me. I'll be posting bits of my experience after I finish each one. My initial expectations for replaying is that I'm going to have a lot of trouble (especially with the first game) since current platformers are relatively forgiving when it comes to failure (and I'm just not that great at them). That being said I can't wait to dig into these classics.

"IT'S NOT A FUCKIN' GAME!!!"

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