Way back in April the wonderful NekoJonez nominated me for a Sunshine blogger award and I did write all my answers out, I promise, I just didn’t quite get around to actually publishing them. Then the also incredibly wonderful Hannie Corner nominated me a while ago too!
I can’t believe it’s already June! But I have finally got around to answering their great questions! It may take a while but I’ll do it eventually! Rather than make two posts I thought I’d merge them and make it a double whammy of Sunshine!
Neko Jonez’s Questions
1. Do you think that nowadays there are too many reboots and sequels to old games instead of new IPs?
This is a good question because I am so sick of movies and TV shows being rebooted, so many of which haven’t even aged that badly so there’s no point. Don’t get me wrong some are OK, I quite like the ones that are more “inspired by” than actually based on. We’re talking about games though! Weirdly, in contrast to my complaint about movies, I actually like that they reboot games. There are so many good ones out there that new gamers won’t play because they are too old and to be honest I don’t blame them. If you were born straight into a world of the beautiful graphic standards we are used to now would you really want to play a game that looks like this?
Probably not. So why not reboot it and let them experience it in a new, modern way? As long as it keeps the original charm and essence of what made it so great in the first place of course. You could argue that this is the same with movies but the artwork and quality there is so different; Think about Old Cinderella versus New Cinderella. It’s pretty much the same movie just different styles. In the old movie Cinderella isn’t pixelated and glitchy, she’s a drawing. The only thing that ages particularly badly is the speech and I never struggled with that when I was a kid (sounding old there).
Sequels on the other hand, I can give or take. Again, in games I’m much more accepting of them but much like movies, they’re never usually as good as the first.
2. Can the big studios like Nintendo, EA, Ubisoft… Make Indie games?
I suppose that depends on your definition of an Indie game. The official meaning of Indie is basically “independant” and not associated with a major company so in that case I guess not. I think maybe those companies could be involved in funding a game but not in the actual creation and it could still technically be an Indie game.
3. If one of the games you played in the past gets an HD remake, do you get excited? Would you play the remake?
This is similar to my feelings in the first question: I think that remakes can be very good because they let a whole new generation experience an old game like it’s new. Also, I can’t play a lot of games I used to love when I was younger because they’re too old and won’t play through new consoles or computers. Honestly if they announced an HD remake of Simpsons Hit and Run, Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly, Neverwinter Nights, Baldur’s Gate… I would die of excitement. I am extremely hopeful that they’ll remake the first two God of War games soon as the new one did so well. All I want though is enhanced graphics, don’t change anything else.
4. What do you do during a grinding session? Do you do something else while grinding for resources or characters or do you focus on the game?
I HATE grinding. It’s the main reason I just can’t get on with Final Fantasy games. I get so damn bored. The only one where I’ll do it properly is Pokémon, everything else I tend to suffer later in the game for to be honest because I can’t be asked to grind enough. If I have to grind for hours to manage to do something I just see that as game filler and I probably won’t even bother to be honest.
When I play Pokémon I’ll generally grind while I’m doing something else like watching TV or YouTube.
If it’s just collecting enough resources to do something though and I don’t think it will take that long I’ll usually stick it out and just play. Maybe put some music on. Or if possible just skip that mission…
5. How do you take notes for your articles? Do you write them down on a piece of paper while playing on the game? Do you record your gameplay and write down time stamps?
Notes? Recording gameplay? Time stamps? Haha! I am incredibly disorganised. Generally, if I take any notes at all, I’ll do it on my phone. However, I tend to forget about them. The way that I write is very tangent-y though and I honestly just write as I think and then edit it quite a bit afterwards. I feel like I write too formerly otherwise and it just doesn’t feel like me. The most that I have done is for a post that I’m writing at the moment where I’ve had to a fair amount of research and back up my facts with sources, so that one has got a notes section and a huge amount of random bits of paper scattered around my apartment with what seems like nonsense about dinosaurs and dragons scrawled on them. One day I’ll find them all and put them all in order…
6. What are your least favourite sections in gaming?
Filler. Specifically grinding and long cut scenes that don’t need to be that long. It’s one of the key reasons I have to mentally battle my way through Final Fantasy games, I feel like the majority of actually playing them is just waiting for your turn to attack or waiting for a gratuitous scene to end… Not to say some scenes aren’t worth it (and it’s not all just Final Fantasy games, but they were the first that came to mind) but I have been known to go make a cup of tea when a long scene comes on or even just get tired of grinding and leave the game altogether. At the end of the day I want to play a game, not watch one.
7. What is something unique/fun/interesting about your home town or community?
My home town is Bournemouth, South West coast of the UK! The only fun facts I could think of were “we have a beach and fun nightclubs!” which isn’t that interesting but after a bit of Googling I found out that JRR Tolkein liked to visit Bournemouth and eventually died here… Morbid fun fact?
8. What’s your advice to new bloggers, or even experienced bloggers looking for advice?
It sounds simple but don’t get stressed out about your blog. Unless you’re actually getting a decent amount of money coming in from it then it’s a hobby and you should be having fun with it.
Throughout my 2 years of blogging I’ve seen a fair few bloggers (myself included) have to take a step back and some time off and that’s absolutely fine, it shouldn’t stress you out so much in the first place though. There’s now a constant need to be a ‘brand’ rather than just a person even to the point where our hobbies have become a tool to market ourselves instead of simply something that we enjoy doing in our spare time. It’s hard to not get stressed about blogging when if you post regularly you’re more likely to get more readers, our blog stats are so easy to see, and you get notifications on your phone telling you when someone’s liked a post. If you got into blogging for the stats then great, but I think I’d be mostly correct in saying that most of us initially started because we enjoy writing about something we’re passionate about. Remember what your initial motivation was.
9. Can you answer this question with a wrong answer?
*Squints suspiciously* Probably…
10. Do you sometimes look back at your older articles and think “If I write another article about that today it would be much different”?
Definitely. I’d re-write my entire Nuzlocke Challenge so that it doesn’t read like a poor screenplay. If I do a Nuzlocke again (though I’m still emotionally drained from the last one) I’ll write it in some other format. I get a little stressed out with ‘proper’ writing so I felt safer with the script-esque format at the time but looking back it makes me cringe a bit, and as I got further into the challenge and had to unexpectedly keep introducing new characters I struggled to make it flow nicely.
The Hannie Corner’s Questions
1. What is the greatest weakness of your favorite video game of all time?
I’m not sure what my favourite video game of all time is to be honest. I sway between a fair few depending on the mood I’m in. Let’s say Neverwinter Nights, just for this question though I could change my mind easily. I think the greatest weakness is that it could be a little glitchy. Many times I would get stuck between a wall and some object I couldn’t destroy with no other option but to reload the game. Particularly annoying if I hadn’t saved for a while. I think glitches like that were pretty common back in those days though, it’s rare to have a glitch that impacts your game progress now.
2. What is the greatest strength of your least favorite video game of all time?
Really struggling to think of one here… I know there are much worse games out there but I want to say one I’ve played… I’ll say Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn which made me wish I was watching paint dry instead of subjecting myself to the torment of a mangled Final Fantasy chess game with way less impressive graphics. It does have good reviews though so maybe it’s just me. The greatest strength for it is that my sister really loves it and while I may have moaned at her about it and played it all the way through just to prove to her how easy it was (yes, I can be an arse to my sister…) it is nice to see her find something she likes.
3. What is your personal definition of a “perfect” video game?
I like a good plot. I don’t want to be confused, bored, overwhelmed, or feel like it’s getting strung out. It should have a reasonably simple hook but with a good twist ending.
I think there should be a good element of exploration, but it does need to be quite linear too, if that makes sense. I don’t want it to be Open World. It needs to be just the right size for me to be able to go off the main path and get to know the world I’m in a little better but then get guided right back relatively soon without going too far off track.
4. What is the most “perfect” video game that you have ever played?
Off the top of my head, and based on what I’ve played fairly recently, I’d have to say Undertale. I haven’t felt that immense satisfaction in finishing a game that is just so wonderful for a very long time. I was actually quite sad for a while because I know that it’s going to be a long time before I get that feeling again, if ever. I was completely drawn into the characters, even the minor ones, the graphics while retro and pixelated were still imaginative and ambient, the plot was fantastic, it was funny, the difficulty level was perfect for me, there’s so much to it… I could go on. I did write a post about just how wonderful I think it is if you fancy getting a fuzzy, warm feeling inside today.
5. How would you rank the following media formats in order from your favorite to least favorite to consume: Video games, Books, Movies, TV Shows, Music?
This is a really hard question, I really love all of these things!
I think that the thing I would miss most would be books. Out of all the above they were my first love and have brought me so much over the years. Even if I don’t seem to be able to read as much as I used to.
Secondly, Music. I really love music. I usually always have some on and I sing all the time, a fair few drivers have seen me on my commute really going for it, I know because I have seen some laughing.
Third, TV Shows. This one was tough, I very nearly put Video Games but sometimes I do just need to shut my brain down and look at something and put in zero effort. There are some great shows out there as well that I would happily watch over and over (Firefly, New Girl, Spaced, Brooklyn 99, Final Space, How I Met Your Mother etc I’m a bit of a nerdy sit-com with a hint of sci-fi fiend) and I really love discussing theories and talking about it with my friends.
Fourth, video games. Is it bad that it’s so far down my list? I love video games (obviously) but I’m not quite as into it as some people. When I was younger I spent ages playing but now that I’m an adult (ugh) my whole lifestyle has changed, I actually exercise now for example, hell I teach exercise!!! You’d never have looked at teenage me and thought that. Being a more active person with actual fitness goals and other hobbies that take up most of my after-work time I find it really hard to find the time for even an hour of gaming, I know that I can’t just play for half an hour, it’s too addictive and, being the vaguely responsible adult I am I actually have a bed time now or I get too tired, I can’t lose that precious extra sleep time to “just one more side mission…” I need to have a nice chunk of time set aside for me to get into it, and like I said before, sometimes I don’t want to have to think, sometimes I just want to sit and watch.
Fifth and final… Movies. I rarely watch movies any more in all honesty. Like with video games this is another ‘I just don’t have time’ thing. Movies are so long now I rarely have time to sit down and watch them. I’ve actually found myself judging if I want to watch a movie based on how long it is, if it’s over 2 hours that’s a point against it. However on the bright side they’ve become more of a sociable thing where my friends and I will have movie nights or I’ll go to the cinema, it’s quite nice really, it makes it feel more special.
6. Have you ever regretted buying a video game on day one? If so, which game and why?
I think the only video game I bought on day 1 was the new God of War game and I didn’t regret that at all. I like to wait for them to get cheaper first to be honest. Though I will be at the front of the queue when the next Dragon Age comes out.
The closest I’ve got was when I bought Dark Souls 1 and returned it three days later.
7. What is an indie game release that you are eagerly anticipating?
I’m not really… I usually discover indie games through the Playstation store and think they look like fun. Considering I have a video game blog I’m pretty behind on the up and coming stuff.
8. What video game traveling party would you like to join?
The crew from Dragon Age Origins. Allistair, Morrigan, Leliana, Zevran, and best of all, my dog. That dog was the best.
9. If you had unlimited funds, talent, and technology to create any game you could ever dream of, what would you create?
So. Much. Choice. I love the idea of being able to develop something where you’re actually in the game, Sword Art Online style but without getting trapped and stuff. I would love a super advanced Pokémon game where you have your own house that you can alter Sim-style into whatever you want to fit your lifestyle in the game. You can go out and catch Pokémon, or befriend them if you prefer, and you could choose to battle with them, or breed them, or just train them. Whatever you want to do. I guess a Sim/Pokémon hybrid with a higher element of adventure.
10. Your favorite video game protagonist and antagonist get pitted together in a deathmatch. Who would win?
My favourite protagonist would probably be Link. He’s been with me most of my life, we’ve been through some stuff together.
I’m going to revisit Undertale for the antagonist *SLIGHT SPOILERS*
The battle with Flowey was so intense and crazy, I loved it. I’m not sure how Link would fare against Flowey the Flower but I think he’d come out on top. The key to Undertale is determination and Link has that in droves.
11. What is your favorite video game genre?
I like RPGs but the sort that aren’t massive Open World. I like creating my character, gathering a party, and watching the character grow from the lowly village sheep herder or something to the fiercest warrior in the realm.
- What’s been your favourite movie released in the last year?
- Does tea taste better from a pot or from a cup? (Genuinely going to be testing this myself at some point because I have genuine theories)
- Which biscuit do you dunk in tea/coffee?
- When it’s a sunny, warm day what do you like to do?
- What’s your comfort food of choice?
- How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
- Which game gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling inside?
- What was the last game you rage quit?
- What’s your feelings on Harry Potter: Wizards Unite?
- It’s your birthday and you can have any cake you want! What do you go for?
- Name your snacks and beverages of choice for while you game.
I’m not going to nominate anyone as honestly I’ve been quite off the grid so far this year and haven’t been able to spend much time reading blogs anywhere near as much as I’d like to. Please feel free to consider yourself nominated and have fun answering my questions!