Welcome to my “Head in the Game” blog, where I talk about whatever video game(s) I have thoughts on and share them with the world.
To give you some perspective on my angle on gaming, let’s start with where it all began, the first time I picked up a video game.
Surprisingly, my parents were very anti-gaming for the first seven years of my life.
You know what I’m talking about: saying that video games cause your brain to rot and make you violent sociopaths (flack with no substance).
Of course, when I went to first grade, video games, particularly Pokemon, were all the rage. But my parents never let me anywhere near a video-game system, much less let me play one.
And then on one unsuspecting summer week, my uncle came to visit.
My uncle, for reference, is the most technologically adept member of my family by a long shot – and a casual gamer.
When he came down to stay with us, he let me play on his “Game Boy Advance.”
I was amazed.
Although it was just a mediocre racing game, something with a Hot Wheels license, it was still like nothing I’d ever seen.
That I could change what was going on, even just to make my car go backwards and forwards, blew my mind.
Six months later my parents gave in and bought me “Pokemon FireRed” for my birthday, and I fell in love.
I don’t have time to go into everything that made Pokemon so amazing to second-grade me, but there was one aspect that stood out.
The game wasn’t about some character or person I was watching going on an adventure. Instead, I was that hero.
That little guy traveling the world was me. I decided where to go, what Pokemon to catch and train, and what I was going to do.
This, again, blew my mind.
For the next year of my life, I became more than a little obsessed with Pokemon.
I was on Pokemon fansites, never participating in discussion (as my parents would kill me for “talking to strangers”) but reading about all of the different games and hearing Pokemon news.
This obsession lasted until third grade, when there was a new “cool” game that dominated the class: Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
For five months, which seemed like an eternity to third-grade me, I wanted this game.
The images of Pokemon fighting in 3D looked awesome, and I was ecstatic.
Long story short, my mom didn’t want to buy it because it was rated T for “violence,” I convinced her it was a mistake somehow, and I got the game.
I put it into my Wii that had thus far only been used for Wii Sports and looked at the character screen.
The first thing that hit me was the number of characters.
I recognized Mario up at the top, but besides him and the Pokemon characters, who were these people?
It took me a while to find the story mode of the game, but when I did it quickly became my new favorite.
Every level there would force me to play as characters. In one there would be a wizard girl and a pink blob; in the next there was an elf guy and a dinosaur.
But again, I kept wondering, just who were these people supposed to be? Was I missing something?
Then I found the Masterpieces section. This is how Brawl blew me away.
Every one of those characters had their own game. Every single one.
The wizard girl and elf guy? Zelda and Link from“The Legend of Zelda.” Pink blob? Kirby.
All of those games were, of course, only on Nintendo systems. Probably had something to do with the fact that Nintendo made them all, but I digress.
Basically, that’s how I became a Nintendo fan: with Brawl as a launching pad.
My, for lack of a better term, fanboy-ism isn’t as strong as it was back then. In fact, as I type this I’m staring at my PS4 longing for a game of Rocket League before I go to bed… but I’m digressing again.
Now that we’re done with that, let’s talk about the blog.
There is only one cardinal rule: posts focusing on a single game can be about only games released at least one year ago.
The purpose here is twofold.
First, it gives people time to “get past the hype,” to let the game sit for a while and give it a good second look.
Second, it allows me to focus on the whole history of video games that exists, instead of just talking about every new release. I’m not a reviewer.
It’s definitely not an excuse for my untimeliness. Not in the slightest.
There are two other “guidelines,” though, that I’ll try to follow: I’ll try to talk about games you might not have heard of, and I’ll try to stay positive.
The logic behind the first is that if I recommended a game everyone’s played, the recommendation is useless.
The second’s a bit more complicated. You can find plenty of cynical video game critics on the Internet, and I don’t want to just echo them.
I want to talk about video games. I like video games. I’m normally a cynical person, but this is something that I do that makes me happy, and I want to convey that to you guys.
Anyway, that about wraps it up. Join me next time, when I’ll talk about one of my favorites: “Metroid Fusion.” See you next mission.
—By Mac Scott