Author Archives: Emmie Mei

What makes a gamer a gamer?

Happy September, my gaming friends! It’s getting to the season of happenings, such as the start of school, Halloween, and the SEASON OF SICKNESS. Here on the Illinois and Wisconsin border, everyone and their mother has been getting sick! I was of course a causality to this, which is why last article I brought you back into the past and showed you an old Sonic Heroes review I had written years ago. But since then, I have healed! Hazaah!

As you can imagine, being sick not only took me away from my computer, but I had to spend a lot of time in bed. Unfortunately, I don’t have access to a TV in my bedroom, so I was left to play with my favorite bed time gaming device: my 3DSXL! While my 3DS game section of my collection isn’t lacking, I unfortunately had already played almost all my games. I tried starting a new file on Yo-Kai Watch 1 & 2, and it just didn’t feel right starting a game with a story when I was too tired to focus. Sure, I had some short indie games to play but they’re, as I said, short. Nothing could keep my attention for more than 20 minutes at a time. I shuffled through my games, until I came across a game that I had bought but never really got into; Style Savvy: Trendsetters.

“EM. What the actual hell, you are NOT going to tell me about some sissy girly game, are you? Don’t you just play dress-up with dolls? BORING. It’s not even a real game!” Well, thoughts in my head that I assume I’m sharing with my dear readers, no. I’m not going to talk about Style Savvy– at least not today. You see, when I started playing SST, my mind flashed back to all the times I’ve heard people say that girly games, simulators and even some phone apps don’t count as real games and that the people who play them can’t be called gamers. I couldn’t help but wonder why a lot of the gaming community thinks that, so I’m here to break some stuff down with you all and see if we can figure out if liking and playing games that may not be challenging or played on a typical gaming device makes you less of what we call a gamer.

We’ll, let’s go to Google for a second. I looked up ‘gamer definition’, and it told me that a gamer is “person who plays video games or participates in role-playing games.” Well, what qualifies as a video game? I looked that up as well, and Google said that it was “a game played by electronically manipulating images produced by a computer program, on a television screen or other display screen.” Some examples of an electrical display screen that come to mind are projectors, a TV, monitor, tablet, a phone, hand held device such as a 3DS or even a knock-off brand gaming system, and more. So by the definitions provided to us, phone game apps are considered games. So are FPSs, RPGs, JRPGMMOs, indie games, puzzle games, dating sims, simulations, genres of all shapes and sizes no matter how odd, bland or educational they may be.

What have we learned though? We learned that all games are different, and that gamers should all bond over how they all get enjoyment over silly pixels on a screen rather than fight over what pixels are better than others. Odds are that if something is labeled and sold as a game, it’s a game no matter how bad and horrid it may be (MOST of the time).

Some people play God of War, and some people play Cooking Mama. Anyone can play League of Legends for hours on end, and then finish their night playing a dress-up game like Style Savvy or a phone game like Candy Crush in bed on their 3DS or phone before they sleep. We’re all one in the same, and we should all step back and see that we should all unite, not fight.

So next time you meet someone who says they like games and they give examples like Nintendogs, Bejeweled or some fashion game they downloaded on their phone for free off the app store, remember that just because they may be in a different part of the gaming community than you, doesn’t mean they aren’t part of the community at all. Who knows! Maybe you can tell them about some of the games you like and make a new friend, or even take a second to learn about why their game is so special to them!

Until next time!

-Em

Review Rewind: Sonic Heroes

Hello lovely gamers and readers alike, Emmie here! I had an article all planned for you all this week, but I got sick out of no where, and there was a casualty with the artwork I made for said article (AKA spilled water all over my papers). But fear not! Before I worked for Gamer Logic, I had my own articles that I wrote in my free time that didn’t really get so see the world, so I’m bringing it back from the dead for you guys to check out! I’m hoping to be better by next Wednesday for you guys so I can release some new material, but until then, here’s a blast from the past; my review of Sonic Heroes from 2013. Enjoy!

At the end of the year 2003, Sega released a brand new Sonic the Hedgehog game for GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox and PC. Japan got the first taste of this newly released game on December 30, 2003 while America was given the game on January 5th, 2004. Europe then received the game a month and a day later, and while everyone was excited to play Sonic Heroes, little did the world know how much a mess this new game would be.

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I remember it being sort of a rainy day outside when my little brother and I went to GameStop to pick up the new Sonic game, and while at the time I didn’t think anything of the weather, I now think the world was trying to tell me something. I would always look at the manual and case of any new game I bought, so I recall looking at the back of the Sonic Heroes case and thinking how awesome this game was going to be. “They brought back old characters from Sonic Adventure and the Chaotix team?! You can play as 3 at a time?! New levels & new music?! I can’t wait to get home! Maybe this game will have a Chao Garden!!” (Needless to say, I was very disappointed when I discovered that there was no Chao Garden.) I don’t remember much of when I played Sonic Heroes as a kid though. In fact, all I remember is getting really angry (which is strange, since I’m not an angry gamer). So recently, almost 10 years after Sonic Heroes came out, I was talking with my significant other about how much they and other players hated Sonic Heroes. I didn’t understand why, and it bugged me that I couldn’t say if I hated Sonic Heroes or loved it. Not knowing bothered me so much that I picked it up for this weeks review.

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There are 4 different teams to play as, meaning that there are 4 different story lines to play through. Each team consists of 3 characters, each having their own special trait. One character will have a flying trait that allows them to fly to high places and shoot down flying enemies. Another character will have the running trait, so when they’re selected, your team moves much quicker. (WARNING: When going through loops and different parts of levels with the speed trait, be careful! The game can be very glitchy at times, and will send you right through the stage if you’re going too fast or if you move your joystick the wrong way.) The final trait is the power trait that allows the 3rd team mate to smash through obstacles along the way. The power trait is very over-powered (no pun intended), since the character with this trait can kill enemies much faster and easier than the flying and speed character.

I decided to start with the Sonic team, since it’s first in line. The story line takes place a few months after the Sonic Adventure 2: Battle plot, where we find Sonic running through a canyon of some sort. His best friends, Tails and Knuckles, fly down next to him in Tails’ plane to give him urgent news: Robotnick, their worst enemy, has returned! Robotnick sent Sonic and his friends a letter explaining that he has finally created the ultimate weapon, and that in 3 days, he will take over the world and he invited Sonic and his friends to try and stop him. After reading the letter, Sonic gets excited and goes “Sounds like an invitation!” Wait, hold on, pause. I don’t know about you guys, but if I had a device that I was completely sure could destroy the world, I wouldn’t invite the one guy who has foiled ALL of my past attempts at ruling the world to try and stop me, since odds are that HE’S GOING TO STOP ME.
CAM01051CAM01053While you can switch between characters at any second, you can only be one character at a time. Each different character also has their over team fighting stance. For example, when you play as the speed trait character, your other two team mates will follow directly behind you. If you’re the power trait character, each teammate will stand on either side of you, and when you’re the flying trait character your teammates hold onto you from below you. These different stances can make it easier for you to get rings throughout the game.CAM01065CAM01054In Sonic Heroes, there were a lot of moments where fighting enemy robots could get very overwhelming, especially since the game can sometimes flood the screen with them. The solution to this problem was to level up your characters to fill up your team blast bar. “How do I level up my character to raise my team blast bar?” When you kill bad guys (or occasionally when you go through a checkpoint), colored orbs will be dropped for your characters. These orbs raise your characters level, making them more powerful while raising your team blast bar. Each character has a special colored orb: Speed has a blue orb, flying has a yellow, and power has a red colored orb. Once your team blast bar is full, you can press the Z button to use a special move the destroys all enemies near you. Note: Some of the levels in Sonic Heroes are very long (10-15 minutes depending on how fast you go), so I suggest that if you want to just get through the level as fast as possible, don’t kill enemies unless you absolutely have to. (There will be plenty of areas that won’t let you through without killing some robots blocking your path.) You’ll still get plenty of orbs along the way to use the team blast move, so don’t worry about that. If you’re going for a good grade on the level, good luck to you. There’s a time bonus at the end of the level that helps a lot, but if you’re sticking around killing robots for points, it’s going to slow you down by quite a bit.CAM01074Now I do have some little, nit-picky things to complain about with this game. For starters, the controls are extremely slippery in this game. There are lots of moments in the game where it wants you to come to a sudden stop, but since you can’t just stop on a dime, you end up slamming into a wall and sliding around until your characters decide to finally stop.  Also, unlike other Sonic games, enemies need to be hit multiple times before dying. They have a health bar, and can take up to 3-4 hits to finally destroy.This can prove to be rather obnoxious. My final complaint is the fact that the voice acting is just flat out awful. I know a lot of people complained that Sonic Team got new voice actors for Sonic, Tails, and others, but that’s not where my problem stands. It’s not that I’m not used to the new voices, it’s the fact that the new voices are wheezy, nasally and sound like they’re 4th graders having to read out loud in English class. Knuckles sounds like he’s screaming the word “Shit!” when he punches enemies, and when Tails flies he shouts “WHEE”, making him sound like he’s going to lose his voice from yelling. It stresses me out.

Overall, this isn’t a bad game, but it’s definitely not a game I would want to voluntarily play again. While the game play itself isn’t the greatest, the soundtrack is one of my favorite soundtracks from any Sonic game. I can now understand why I would get so angry over this game, especially after all the countless times we’ve fallen through stages due to a glitch, or have gotten killed due to cheap hits that the enemies got off on us. The story line is nothing special, and is in fact extremely predictable. (Hmm, I wonder if the guy who get’s defeated in every Sonic game got defeated this time! Probably.) Sonic Heroes is available for less than $10 on Amazon for GameCube, but unless you’re a Sonic fan who hasn’t played this, I wouldn’t buy it if I were you. Try it out at a buddies, or watch game play of it. Don’t put yourself through the amount of frustration this game creates.”

Thanks for reading!

– Emmie

 

Revisiting MMOs: Sometimes you CAN stay friends with your ex’s!

It’s been years…. but you can never forget your first love. That feeling of infatuation, the hours of sweat and tears put into your new blossoming relationship. You blew off plans with friends just so you can spend time together, and your PDA (Private Displays of Addiction) were intense… But sometimes, feelings fade. You look down the aisles of stores and find so many new options; new adventures. Next thing you know, you and your very first MMORPG drift apart….—

Wait, you thought I was talking about a person? What on earth made you even think that?

Any who, my point was that you never forget your first MMORPG. However, while you may never forget it, it’s commonly said that going back to your first ever MMORPG doesn’t feel the same. While you may try to replay it after years of a hiatus, the slight feeling of nostalgia doesn’t compare to the excitement and sense discovery you had when you had first made your account and character. In some occasions people have even gone back to their first love for a few months, but even in those cases the game-play doesn’t last long. The game-play is outdated, and MMORPG’s themselves tend to have communities full of veteran players that tend to not be friendly to noobies (this isn’t ALWAYS the case, but it’s defiantly something people have noticed, including myself).
Although the chances are low, it is still possible to go back to your first MMORPG and fall in love all over again. Maybe you see a new appreciation for the game, or maybe at the time you first joined, you were young and dumb and didn’t even know how to play the game properly. Maybe the game did a brilliant job at keeping the game play fresh and up to date, or has a formula that other games just haven’t been able to pull off. While unlikely, sometimes you can be friends with your ex! Just remember, an ex is an ex for a reason!

Have you guys experienced anything like this? I know I have! (Rest in peace Mabinogi…) Did it work out for you guys, or were things just not the same as they once were? Let us know, and thanks for reading!


– Emmie

Splatoon 2: A look into Splatfests.

 

Let’s talk Nintendo for a moment here. Splatoon 2 is a third-person shooter that was released for the Nintendo Switch on July 21, 2017. Today, however, I will NOT be talking about Splatoon in it’s full glory. Instead, I’m going to be talking about an event that is held once every few weeks in the Splatoon series: Splatfest.

Nintendo, a week before Splatoon 2’s release, put up a free demo of the game to spread word of the game itself. The catch, if one can really call it that, is that you didn’t play a demo of the story mode of the game. Instead, you got to play 3 free hours of Splatoon 2 during a Splatfest. “But.. What IS a Splatfest?” A Splatfest is when the game divides itself divides into two teams, each representing something different per Splatfest. Some examples of past themes have been cats vs dogs, winter vs summer, ect. The Splatfest that demoed the game, however, was ice cream vs cake.

Here’s a bit of general knowledge on what a Splatfest is: you go to a booth in-game, and pick what side you want to win. Once you pick, there’s no going back, and you now represent that certain team when Splatfest begins. You get a t-shirt with your teams name and logo on it, and into the fray you go! You pair up with 3 other people who have chosen the same team as you, and you fight 4 members of the opposite team for 3 minutes. Who ever wins gets points added to their team, and the winners are revealed an hour after Splatfest ends. Unfortunately, to prevent people from just picking the winning side, you don’t actually have any real idea of who’s winning or losing the Splatfest until the end result. I think it adds to the fun and excitement though. Why stress over something you don’t know and can’t control?

Everyone wins upgrades for their gear at the end of Splatfest, but the winning team gets more than the losing. I think it’s a nice touch for those who put hard work into the Splatfest. Overall, I think Splatfests are a great way to bring those who may stray away from Splatoon 2 back into the game for a weekend of fun. In fact, there was a Splatfest just this past weekend: ketchup vs mayo. I’m team ketchup, but what side would YOU pick?

Video Game Summit 2017 – Villa Park, IL

The Video Game Summit is a retro video game convention that I’ve been trying to attend for the last several years, but for whatever reason I always happen to have something big going on that weekend and I’m forced to miss it. This year, I almost missed it again; but thanks to my wife reminding me about it I was finally able to attend the Video Game Summit 2017. I checked with a few friends to see if they were interested in going and as luck would have it, fellow Gamer Logic admin Emmie was wanting to check it out as well; so off we went.

The VGS took place this year at the Odeum Sports & Expo Center in Villa Park, IL and admission at the door was $10.00. For those of you who attend video game conventions like the Midwest Gaming Classic, the small size of the event may surprise you at first; but the event still packs a lot punch. Housed in the Odeum Upper Convention Hall, one can walk through the entire convention in minutes; but doing so would make you miss what over 40 vendors had to offer. If you’ve been in the hobby long enough, you know you must look at a vendor table at least 5 times to really see everything. Just exploring the vendor tables alone; Emmie and I spent about two hours searching for things and we both ended up with an excellent number of pickups. Many of the vendors were very friendly and the first thing you heard most of them say was that they were flexible with their prices. Bundle deals were being made left and right and there was plenty of variety to found at the seller tables.

The Summit attendees were also very friendly and I had several pleasant conversations with them at random moments during the event. That’s something I don’t think you can really experience with many of the larger gaming conventions these days. Perhaps that’s due to people just wanting to get to point A to point B and get out of there, but that wasn’t the case at VGS.

“Hey guys, Emmie here to interrupt this program to give a lil’ bit of my side of what happened at the summit! At one point, Mike & myself came across a table with TONS of Amiibo cards for Animal Crossing and Yo-kai Watch medals (both of which I collect!) While looking, I said hello to the vendor, and he ended up being Paul Zimmerman; one of the Berserk world champs! He was extremely kind, and even gave me a deal on the cards and medals! I even looped back around to his table after browsing the other tables and spent the rest of my cash there, not just because of what he had to sell, but because he was so nice to me as well! He helped me sift through his card decks to look for a specific neighbor to add to my collection as well! I definitely look forward to going back next year, and I hope Mike & I will be able to help out at the event, instead of just being attendees! Alright, back to you Boss! Emmie OUT!”

I’ll be attending the VGS again next year! Even though the event is small, I walked out of it with a pretty positive experience. Perhaps Gamer Logic will even have a presence there next year. We shall see.

Check out the official VGS Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/VideoGameSummit/