Tea: Jasmine Green Tea
After being nominated for an award I was not aware of existing, I find myself in the position of having to answer some questions, pose new ones, and force them upon others. All of that sound rather negative now, but anything does, if the words drip from my hateful feather onto the screen. The idea behind the award is not a bad one, to get to know more blogs that might share your enthusiasm for games. Yet I find this weird chain-like rule structure to be uncomfortably binding around the wrist. So in true free will fashion I will mould this award into something I deem acceptable and cut out everything I don’t like, basically. I was nominated by Gamingpicks whom I thank at this point, since I felt both surprised and honoured. Without further ado, let’s answer some questions:
- Do you prefer reading gaming related non-professional blogs or big gaming sites? And why? – Non-professional blogs, of course, I am one of them. I believe big gaming sites are never honest in their opinion and always feel the need to cater to the studio that gave them the free copy of the miserable game they just played. I somewhat speak out of experience, since I wrote for a semi-professional site once and was not allowed to publish an article in the fear of upsetting PR-relations. Free speech ho!
- More moving game you’ve ever played? – Either Silent Hill 2 or Spec Ops: The Line. While I do enjoy contemplative games like Journey and the like. Nothing has ever touched me in those games and stayed with me longer than say a day or two. But both Silent Hill 2 and Spec Ops still follow me around to this very day. Silent Hill 2’s oppressive atmosphere is still a standard a hold other games to and the strong writing and generally excellent execution of a survival horror scenario is something one can only look up to. Spec Ops on the other hand is one of the best games that can only be a game and will only and really only work as a game and in no other medium. It has exceptionally strong writing and one of the best ending sequence I have ever seen. Aside from that it also kicks you in the stomach and makes you physically sick during some parts. And just between us: a game that has touched me strongly on an emotional level to the point of almost making me cry: Nier.
- Favorite game soundtrack? – Two actually, depending on the situation. Background music goes to Silent Hill 2 (again), since I can listen to that soundtrack on loop during writing and it never gets stale and is so vibrant in its melancholy (that sounds weird, I know). It is simply amazing music and if you do not believe me, listen to Love Psalm and tell me otherwise. For a more conscious listening experience, I would pick Undertale. The soundtrack is simply superb and works great inside the game and outside giving the scenes it is used in an excellent background and often undermining certain events in an effective and impressive way. Brilliantly composed and with lots of references inside.
- Do you try finishing all the games you play? – I usually try to, yes. There has only ever been one game that bored me so much that I cut it off and that was Resonance of Fate. Too long and too lacklustre, it just kept going without anything interesting happening at all. The combat system carried the game through the first swamp, but even that got stale after a while and I simply felt bored and aimless, thus I set it down, never to be touched again.
- Which movie do you think could be a perfect game adaptation? – Depends on what we are looking for. A simple mindless game with no real depth could easily be made out of any big Hollywood blockbuster. Sucker Punch, for instance, in parts feels very much like a video game and thus would probably be the perfect candidate for that. But since I believe adaptation is a difficult concept and will elaborate on that in the next question, let’s leave it at Sucker Punch for now.
- And which game do you think that could be a great movie? – None that I would consider good. Video games are an entire new medium and cannot be mindlessly transferred from one medium into the other. A movie is a passive experience with emphasis on visual on audio input, a game feature interactivity in addition. Games that rely more on the latter to tell their story, characterize their protagonists etc. are the ones that rank higher in my book, since they make the most of their medium (cough Spec Ops: The Line). There are certainly games that do not take advantage of this and might just was well be a movie, since they feature so little interaction anyway. A big linear RPG like Final Fantasy might as well be a movie (and it actually is with its 24h cutscenes), simply due to the lack of interactivity. But as a whole, I’d answer none at all.
- Do you think we spend (I included) more time discussing about games (blogs, forums, Twitter) than playing them? – Well, I cannot speak for others, but I myself tend to play more than discuss. I never try to persuade people into having my opinion. I show them why I hate/love (mostly hate) a certain thing and leave it up to them to decide what to make of it. If someone is having fun with a game I despised, that is fine, but if they come at you and attack you for not enjoying something that usually means that they are really insecure in their opinion and probably convinced themselves that they are having more fun than they actually are (Fallout 4 springs to mind). The question here is whether one is inherently wrong, since for me it is not. If you like talking and discussing a game you played and it ends up taking more time than finishing the game itself, then this only speaks favourably for the game and your enthusiasm/hate for it and a strong opinion about anything is something I enjoy to read far more than just mindless banter.
- Do you like watching games related videos? – Yes, I do. While I try to steer clear of any extensive pre-launch coverage and keep my opinion as neutral as possible. I do quite enjoy let’s plays of games I have either played myself, to get a new and interesting opinion on it or simply watching people struggle at the same portions I have, or have no intention of playing at all (at least at the start of the let’s play), but still enjoying other’s enthusiasm for it. What I don’t watch are news videos and the like since they generally rub me up the wrong way.
- If you watch game related videos, do you prefer them with or without voice-over or commentary? – Definitely with, otherwise there would be no value in them and I could just play the game myself. Watching a walkthrough of something without any voice-over would return us to the movie comparison utterly negating the interactive portion of this medium we all so love. I like hearing thoughts on things to broaden my horizon and get new perspectives or simply be entertained.
- Confession time. Are you addicted (like me xD) to in-game Photo Modes? – No, sorry for not joining the support group. I have seen quite a few funny ones, no doubt. But taking a photo inside the game destroys the illusion for me and would only shatter any immersion I might have had to begin with. If I ever think “man, I should take a photo of this” then the game does not immerse me properly. A thought I often had during my Shadow of Mordor playthrough. I can see the appeal in something like GTA, since it is already mimicking the real world and therefore the inclusion of a photo system comes very natural, but in all other games I have played that have featured this, it felt rather out of place.
- Have you ever travel to a place because you saw it on a game? – Oddly enough, yes, I have. I have been to Monteriggioni, Ezio’s home town in Assassin’s Creed 2. It wasn’t because I played and thought that I immediately had to visit it, but since I was traveling around Italy anyway, I thought I might as well pay it a visit. Sadly, it was somewhat underwhelming. Nice architecture for sure, but it all loses something when you cannot climb around the place and hop from one rooftop to the other.
Here comes the hard part: Nominating other blogs. Since I do not have 11 blogs that I would like to nominate, the list contains only 6 and I am not even sure whether all of them are still active, but regardless, they deserve a visit and if they actually answer my questions doesn’t matter all that much. I apologise if any of these blogs have also already been nominated before. Also, I like a lot of other blogs, but sadly they have already gotten their share of the award-cake. And being the unique and special snowflake that I obviously am, I am simply going to break the rules:
- Gamer Theories
- Thinking Inside the Box
- Tilting At Pixels
- Theory of Objective Video Game Aesthetics
Now my combatants, here are you 11 questions to answer:
- What game melts your cold critic heart? Meaning a game you know is flawed and has issues, but you cannot dislike it and will defend it until the end of time.
- What was, in your opinion, the greatest invention in the video game market? This can be hardware, mechanics, and engines, anything that revolutionized gaming for you.
- What game was your first addiction? Not just a game you would play, but a game that stuck with you and you could not wait to get back to, and you put hours upon hours into it.
- Did a game ever punch you in the guts (metaphorically of course, although I’d love to hear any literal cases)? Meaning a moment (can also be an ending) that made you feel sick/bad/sad/lifeless.
- What abstract concept needs a playable version to better understand it? Can we make people understand what depression is like by letting them play it, for instance?
- What was the best soundtrack-visual-gameplay combination moment in a game for you? A moment where music, gameplay, and visuals amplified each other to new heights.
- Which sequence would you have loved to play, but sadly it was only a cutscene? Keep in mind that the sequence should also be playable, theoretically at least, within the boundaries of the game.
- What was the best and worst line of dialogue in a video game for you? Can also be a piece of a conversation.
- A game you would force upon every person to finish, because it would change their life?
- Who is one of the best voice actors in video games for you, plus the performance that sold you on his/her talent?
- Are video games art for you and why / why not?
So there you have it, 11 question to chew on. If anyone else would like to break the rules and answer them, even though they were not nominated, I would be more than happy to read the answers. I humbly bow again and thank Gamingpicks for my nomination and all the blogs that take the time to answer my questions. Enjoy a cup of tea (or any other preferred beverage).