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  • Writer's pictureJessica Nacovsky

81: My Ideal Game

Updated: Jun 12, 2023

Prismacolor Picture of Bellsprout
Prismacolor picture of Bellsprout

Howdy! I've been replaying the old Crash Bandicoot games, and found that they make me so much more anxious than my usual games. I'm cursing, physically tense, and leave off feeling frustrated with every fresh game over. Back in the day, I used to love the Crash Bandicoot series, and while I still like the games, they're not my favorite. I think a big part of why I held them in such high esteem was that I played them before I got into Pokemon, a comparatively calm series, ideal for playing at my own pace, before I'd even discovered Neopets.

So while I enjoy Crash, Sonic, Mario Bros and the like, I prefer Pokemon, Animal Crossing, Ooblets, and Tem Tem. The pacing a major aspect of why. The rush-rush-go of these level based adventure games is a bit more of an adrenalin rush than I'm looking for in my down time. As a creative type, I also really appreciate the ability to personalize my character, to decorate my space, to decorate and style my pets. And who doesn't love pets? The more, the merrier. Sonic Adventure Battle 2 is my favorite Sonic game because of the Chao Garden. I could collect little buddies, power them up, compete with them, and most importantly, impact their appearance. I really hope Nintendo eventually drops a Chao Garden app where we can collect, care for, and power up Chaos, maybe decorate their habitats too.

I picked up Cozy Grove, hoping that decorating the island and character would be enough personalization to hold me over during a break from Animal Crossing, but the character is too small to really invest in, and the island's appearance shifts so any the visual impact of decorations is diminished. The game itself is a never ending series of fetch quests as far as I can tell, which is a shame. I also picked up Little Witch in the Wood, in an attempt to support fun new indie game companies, and while the graphic style is cute, I've found that my characters ability to make potions requires me to either memorize recipes/steps, or to locate and read them right before performing the spells. That's a lot of work for a game, so I hope the makers find a way to automate the homeworky aspects.

Ooblets and Tem Tem are also by indie game companies, with Ooblets being a cross between Pokemon, Farmville, and Animal Crossing, while Tem Tem is basically a Pokemon knock off stylized a bit more like Crash Bandicoot. Both are fun games, but Ooblets, while smaller, is much less frustrating. Tem Tem makes it incredibly difficult to amass enough in-game currency to easily alter my character's appearance, purchase a house, etc. And if I can't buy a house, how am I supposed to enjoy decorating it? Plus, there are way less Tem Tem than there are Pokemon in the games I've grown used to, so when any one area only has like three different types of Tem Tem to battle, it becomes a repetitive grind to move forward.

Not being a fan of grinding is why every time I jump back into World of Warcraft, I drop the game once I'm get to around level 20. From then on, it's too much work to level up, when really, I want to be pushing ever forward, exploring the map. I'm very prone to dropping games if there is too much grinding, or if I find I'm getting frustrated every time I play. Not being able to buy a house is a big factor in why I never progress very far in Tem Tem before dropping the game again.

Neopets could make a come back if they could embrace the idea of an open world format, where our avatar, or a selected Neopet from our party, can walk across the ground in Neopia. Stagnate screens with dated graphics and a, now, very limited selection of mini games, isn't worth logging in to play for free, let alone a paid subscription. Hard pass.

I've been looking at that upcoming Harry Potter game, Hogwarts Legacy, and Rowling being a transphobic bigot aside, I feel like the premise of the game looks pretty lackluster. Like yes, the ability to make a very detailed character is appealing. The graphics for the castle look fantastic. However, the story begins with the player's character enrolling in Hogwarts as a fifth year. Like, not even in the middle of the player's education. That's the beginning of their education. Why wouldn't that have the player start as a first year, and then maybe toss in a mini game of sub-adventure for each summer? I'm not a game designer or a coder or any kind of fancy technical person, but with their budget, I don't understand why they couldn't simply age the avatar each year. The way a person's face changes with age is predictable. Surely they could have made the character taller, given them a slightly longer face with each new September. So right off the bat, I think the game would be a disappointment for me personally, even if I lived in a vacuum and knew literally nothing about the author's hate.

That being said, I play Ooblets despite it being an Epic game. While I don't follow the drama in the gaming community, I do know Epic has a well deserved bad rep for underpaying their employees, and that they have lackluster web security (so only use a username and password combo there that you don't mind getting stolen).

Smash Bros and Mario cart are great social games, for when my husband and I want to hang out, but I wouldn't play them on my own, much like the games.

My Top 5 videos games are:

  1. Animal Crossing: New Horizons

  2. Pokemon: Moon

  3. Animal Crossing: New Leaf

  4. Pokemon: Crystal (The last time a Pokemon Game included the entire world as well as the National Dex)

  5. Ooblets

Anyway, those are the sorts of games I like and look for, ones with lots of personalization, and where I can collect little buddies. If you know of any games like that that I haven't mentioned here, please let me know! I'm always on the look out for my next obsession. Thanks for stopping by. I drop a new blog post every Monday. Toodles!

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