Childhood is calling

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I am fortunate enough to have an older brother who loves video games. I don’t recall which console I played on first or what my first game was, but it is safe to say that the Super Nintendo made a huge impact on me. I remember how we had games without the cartridge casing (so basically the green piece of metal), and I remember my brother playing Secret of Mana and battling AIs in Street Fighter. Chun Li obviously is the best character.

Why the sudden nostalgia? Apparently my brother’s friend has been holding on to my brother’s SNES games and he finally returned them. I didn’t even realize we owned so many. After rediscovering the console amongst many cable wires a couple years ago, I plugged it in to see if it still worked… and it did, and still does.

I guess what I am trying to say is that despite the graphics looking primitive in comparison to today’s video games and despite the console being clunky, the Super Nintendo is timeless. These games laid out before me are timeless… well, some of them. I literally feel like I am four again as I am clutching these SNES cartridges.

If you don’t hear from me in a while, it’s safe to assume that I am engulfed in a 16-bit world.

What was your first video game you’ve played? Do you have a favorite game and console?

King of Tokyo

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Okay, confession time: I’m not as huge a fan of board games as I am of video games; however, I believe this is due to our household owning only Monopoly and Seven Wonders. So when Amazon had sales on popular board games, I jumped on the chance and bought King of Tokyo and Tokaido (which I will review for another day).

Name: King of Tokyo
Publisher: IELLO
Play time: ~30 minutes
# of players: 2–6

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999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors

999Name: 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors
Developer(s): ChunSoft
Platform: Nintendo DS
Mode: Single-player
Genre: Graphic adventure, visual novel

REVIEW
My Sunday school teacher lent me her copy of 999, and I am surprised that I spent a whole day playing it, managing to witness three out of the six possible endings. Who knew it could be so addicting?

999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors has a very interesting story. The game revolves around nine individuals who are kidnapped by an enigma by the name of Zero who forces them to play a life/death game on a cruise ship. You play as Junpei and collaborate with the other characters to escape the cruise ship within nine hours by finding a door marked with the number nine. Each character has a mysterious past which is revealed as the story progresses. As mentioned before, 999 features six possible endings, which is determined by the choices you make. I’ll leave it at that, and hopefully this synopsis piqued your interests.

It reminds me of Battle Royale because the novel-part of the game can sometimes be quite graphic (gore-wise). The difference is obviously the characters are working together to escape rather than kill each other. The game is different from other visual novel games I’ve played (e.g. Phoenix Wright/Ace Attorney series) in that 999 involves a lot, and I mean A LOT, of reading.

The puzzles are fun and not as frustrating as some puzzle games I’ve played before. They range from simple mathematics to utilizing morse code. Crazy, huh? I find 999 somewhat educational because it presents a lot of interesting theories, which I won’t delve into because they all, in some way, relate to the plot. More reason to play the game 🙂

I like the style the characters are drawn, but sometimes they look awkward in some screenshots/ cutscenes. The graphics in the background look like they were created for the computer. I would have preferred if they were drawn the same way as the characters, but it does give variety to the game. The music complement some of the screenshots/cutscenes and gives the story a decent pacing.

I recommend 999 to anyone who is into playing puzzle games or likes reading an intricate (visual) story. I think there are a few plotholes in the story, but I think this could be resolved after I achieve all the endings (and read more into it on gamefaqs or wikipedia).

Grammar Games

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Back when computers were slow, bulky, and taupe, I played this rainforest game with a toucan and red helicopter. I recently googled this game and discovered it is called Grammar Games; I was surprised my library owned a copy so I checked it out. So.much.nostalgia. Looking at the graphics and comparing them to PC games today, it seems so primitive. Nonetheless, it was fun playing the mini games I played when I was little, granted most of the time I unknowingly was hacking the keys.

Grammar Games, created by Davison & Associates Inc. in 1995, is divided into four mini games—Rainforest Rescue, Falling Fruit, Hidden Wonders, and Jungle Gizmo—each focusing on a particular aspect of English grammar. There are three levels to each game that the player can adjust by going to the menu bar. This game can still be played on Windows XP, and is a great game for children 10 and up (according to the box) and for ESL students.

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