Okami HD and Relaxing Gaming

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Okami  looks like a traditional Japanese painting and you control a magical brush that changes the world around you. You are Amaterasu, or Ammy,  the sun god in dog form and you and your tiny companion Issun must go on a journey to get magical brush techniques and fight to restore color back to the world.

Kamiki Village

The first village in Okami is Kamiki Village. The village starts out with the people being turned to stone. But as soon as Ammy draws the sun the people in the village return to normal.

The village becomes bursting with life. It feels relaxing to explore the town and help the people with tasks like fixing the windmill or causing trouble by competing with a child’s dog to dig up the most turnips. It is clear from this village that the game will be filled with humor and be light hearted.

When I got the bloom ability later on, I was able to also bloom all the little trees in the village and bring more life to the village. The village is a major part of the story so I came back to this village several times and enjoyed hanging out with the people there.

Shinshu Field

This area is the first large area in the game. At first, it starts out grey and devoid of life. I had to bloom a large Guardian Sapling tree in order to bring the area back to life. Every time I bloom a Guardian Sapling tree, a cutscene plays that shows life and color being poured into the area while beautiful music plays. After that, there was a large area to explore and lots of animals to feed in the game. There were also parts of the field that I could not get to but it hinted at future brush techniques I would learn, like the various cat statues in the area. It was so soothing to help create a beautiful world and take care of the animals in that world.

Orochi

I thought Orochi was supposed to be the big final boss of the game. He was the source of all the color being drained from the world. The dungeon started out funny because all the guards in the dungeon wear masks so I had to draw a mask. I drew a funny face so that Ammy would look absolutely ridiculous wherever she went.

Orochi was a tough boss. Orochi has nine heads and a bell. First you have to get the heads drunk and destroy the bell and then you have to knock out all of the nine heads. After that, there is a cutscene where you defeat each of the heads with a brush stroke. After all of that you think the game would be over, but there was still a large chunk of the game left to explore.

It’s Not Over Yet

The game continued to take me to new worlds and help out other people and animals while helping bring the world back to life. It was relaxing to play the game and change the world around me by helping out others. Okami is a long game with my game taking over 80 hours to complete. There is even a new game plus option where you can have Ammy look like different dogs so the game can be fun to replay. Okami is the perfect game to play when you need to relax because it is such a calming game.

My question for all of you is what video games do you find the most relaxing?

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Thero159’s Favorite Video Game Music!

I hope you guys aren’t expecting me to pick only one…

via 30 Day Video Game Challenge: Day 16. Video Game Soundtrack You Could Listen To On Repeat. — A Reluctant Hero

My last post was about Final Fantasy XV and I decided to share this post. I also love the soundtrack for that game especially “Somnus” which starts up when you first load up the game. I remember being absolutely mesmerized by the piece and had to listen to it fully before I would even start the game! Check out this article to learn about what Thero159’s favorite music from games are and think about your own favorite video game music. Besides Final fantasy XV, I also like the music from Final Fantasy 10, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, Super Mario Odyssey, Persona 5, and Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX.

Final Fantasy XV and My First Console Game

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I was introduced to Final Fantasy XV when I started watching someone play it on YouTube. I had never grown up with consoles as a kid, but the game was so beautiful and I loved the beginning of the game. Plus, there was a Christmas deal going on where I could buy the game and a matching PS4.  At the time, I was finishing up my senior year of college and commuting from home, so I begged for one for Christmas. Because I am known for being responsible, I got one for Christmas.

First Time Booting Up the Game

The game started up by playing an instrumental version of “Somnus”. The song was so beautiful that I just sat there and listened to it. Then I started up the game and was even more in awe.

The opening cutscene with the King and Noctis blew me away. They looked so real and lifelike. I was not used to games looking so real. I thought of the last games I played and how the characters looked cartoon-like such as Borderlands 2 on the PC. Then the game changed to Noctis and his friends pushing the car with “Stand By Me” playing.

First Area

First I was introduced to Cidny and started laughing because my mom was a huge car person so I showed my mom her and we both laughed over how much they both loved cars. After that, I was left to explore the area.

While exploring the area, I got to know the characters. Noctis was serious, Prompto was goofy and adorable, Gladiolus was a very tough character, and Ignis was serious and a big fan of cooking. Any time I camped, Ignis would make me hungry with his delicious looking meals.

I also loved using a controller. I loved pressing the buttons and seeing how my character reacted and that I could sit on the couch while I played the game. It was also really cool how the controller would rumble sometimes when I dealt damage or got hit. The buttons were easy too because they were so close together unlike a keyboard.

Final Act

Yes I am skipping to the end after the beginning but, this was another big moment for me. There will be spoilers!

So at this point I had seen the characters mature and their bonds grow. Noctis was much more than a grumpy kid, he had grown into a mature man. Prompto was much more than just a goofy character, he acted that way for a reason. Ignis showed how kind he was and how much he wanted to help Noctis. Gladiolus showed his loyalty and how much he cared for Noctis as well. These four characters had grown into their own tight knit family and they were faced with their final challenge.

The final area of the game is where Somnus comes back, this time with words in Latin. You also see Noctis’s home town destroyed with monsters all around. The game gets challenging here with all kinds of hard bosses so I ran to the end instead of fighting them. At one point Noctis has to go alone and it is emotional seeing him separate from his friends. Then the game has you battling the main antagonist. The battle involves you flying around and it is challenging. But, I eventually beat the main antagonist.

Then the game gets really sad.  After all this fighting, Noctis has to die. It is the only way to save his town and defeat the main antagonist. The game ends with the dialogue from the car pushing and the credits playing “Stand By Me” again as you watch the pictures you have taken appear. It reminds you of all the time you have spent with Noctis, Prompto, Gladiolus, and Ignis watching them bond and grow together. They have really “stood by you” the entire game.

Funny enough, this was the first game my friend also played the first time he got a PS4 so that made the game even more special. The friend that has “stood by me” in college was also playing the exact game I had on the PS4.

My question for you guys is what was your first console game?

Characters That Well-Red Mage Would Like to See in Super Smash Bros Ultimate

Marvel: “Avengers Infinity War is the most ambitious crossover in history!” Me:

via “Twenty-Four Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Fighters Yet To Be Revealed, If Ever!” — The Well-Red Mage

Since my last post was about a Nintendo game, I decided to share The Well-Red Mage’s post on Nintendo’s recently announced game, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. I unfortunately have only played Super Smash Bros a few times in college. But, I would really like to see Sephiroth and Midna in the game. Toad will also be a fun choice for the game. Check out the post to read The Well-Red Mage’s thoughts on characters to add to the upcoming game.

 

Super Mario Odyssey and Childlike Wonder

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E3 was this week and Nintendo’s showcase reminded me of the first game I beat on my Nintendo Switch, Super Mario Odyssey.  The game was fun because it encouraged me to explore. It is a game for all ages and encourages you to let out your inner child and explore the world with a childlike wonder. I decided to talk about exploring the world by examining my top three favorite worlds in the game.

Cascade Kingdom

This is the first kingdom the game takes you to after finishing the introduction. The world was breathtaking to look at with the waterfalls and the sleeping dinosaur. You stay in this world for a little bit while you collect enough moons to move on to the next world.

As soon as I could, I took control of the dinosaur with Cappy, the hat that helps you transform into creatures. I felt like a kid playing with dinosaurs again while I explored the world as a dinosaur and broke open areas that I could not initially explore due to them being blocked by breakable rocks.

This section of the game also introduced the first retro sections of the game You have to go to other areas of the game by entering a pipe and playing Mario in a 2D landscape. It was fun because it felt like playing an old Mario game with the retro looking Mario and retro music and sound effects.

Seaside Kingdom

Seaside Kingdom was fun to explore because it was like going to the beach as a kid and it lets your imagination run wild. The beach area allows you to play a game of volleyball for a moon and it was like playing games in the pool as a kid.

The underwater area is really where the game gives you a sense of childlike wonder. Mario only has a little bit of time to hold his breath underwater so you must capture a fish. So, you basically get to explore the entire underwater section as a fish. It lets you imagine what it is like to swim as a fish and explore the world as a fish with all the little caverns to explore. It is like swimming around as a kid and pretending that you are a fish when you swim around at the beach.

Metro Kingdom

The Metro Kingdom is New Donk City which is basically modeled after New York. I was able to explore New York on my TV and on the go through the Nintendo Switch. I had been to New York twice before the game came out so it allowed me to revisit the excited feelings of seeing a big city for the first time. The game encouraged me to jump on all the skyscrapers and climb the highest skyscraper. It was fun for me as a kid to imagine flying around the skyscrapers and seeing what the top of a skyscraper would be like and I was able to do that in Super Mario Odyssey.

The game also features a festival where the game’s theme, “Jump Up, Super Star”, plays. You have to go through a retro 2D side scroller and beat Donkey Kong just like in the very first arcade game. I am too young to know the original arcade game, but it would have brought older gamers back to their childhood of beating Donkey Kong in the arcade.

It’s Not Over Yet

While I did beat the game and saw the credits, the game does not end there. Super Mario Odyssey still encourages exploration with post world content. The game wants you to continue feeling that childlike wonder as you explore more of the worlds you have seen and new worlds that unlock as you collect more moons.

My question for this week is what game worlds do you like to explore the most?

Plyasm’s Thoughts on Persona 5: The Animation

That was freaking awesome! There was basically no information given other than that this was to be an adaptation of the game. I went in with relatively low expectations, given how badly A-1’s first adaptation of a Persona series went(according to general reviews), but this just blew my mind. The first thing that would come […]

via First impressions: Persona 5 the Animation — Plyasm’s wormhole

Check out this article on Persona 5: The Animation. I wanted to draw attention to the anime since I talked about the game in my last post. I have been watching this anime every week on Crunchyroll and I enjoy how the anime tells the story of the Phantom Thieves. It feels like I am reliving the video game again without having to replay the game again for 100 hours! Enjoy the article and check out the anime if you are interested.

Persona 5 Provided Comfort While I Was Sick

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I preordered Persona 5 and was excited to get it a few days after my birthday. Unfortunately I had a flu that just would not go away.  The game was instant comfort for me especially since I got the special Take Your Heart edition so I also received a stuffed Morgana (the cat who is not a cat), an art book, a soundtrack, and a tote bag. I was taking undergrad classes at the time so I generally did not play games on school nights but I made an exception with this game because I needed something to help me feel better.

Introduction

The game was immediately trying to pump me up with good feelings from the catchy “Wake Up, Get Up, Get Out There” in the intro cutscene that plays when the game starts. Then, once I played the game it again gave me another catchy tune called “Life Will Change”. I love to sing so I sang along with the song and would listen to it while I was dealing with my weird flu that turned out to be acid reflux. The song was a reminder to me that eventually my acid reflux would heal and I would feel better. I decided to play the game on Safety because I like playing games on easy (yes I’m one of those people and even my best friend wishes I would try the game on harder) .

First Dungeon

Now around this time is when I found out that I actually had acid reflux for the second time. This was terrifying to me, it was my biggest fear. I had only just gotten off my medicine a few months ago. Acid reflux is hard to deal with especially since my second bout had been giving me flu like symptoms. I would have to wait for the medicine to kick in and help me which takes a few days to settle down the acid.

Persona 5 was so comforting to me during this time. Even though I was powerless over my body becoming ill again, I was still powerful in the game. I went through the first dungeon sneaking up and getting rid of bad guys. I solved puzzles. I was so strong and I was working with my friends, Ryuji and Ann, in the game to take down the first boss.

Kamoshida was tough to beat. But, Morgana kept pushing me on and encouraging me and I had him steal the crown from Kamoshida to change Kamoshida’s heart. I beat the first boss after several minutes of slowly draining his health and celebrated my first victory. Then, he confessed to abusing his volleyball players at Shujin Academy and he was arrested. It felt so empowering to help these students and change the course of their lives. I may not have power over my acid reflux coming back but I did have the power to help people in this video game.

Continuing the Game

Every dungeon in the game was like a health tracker. Every dungeon I blasted through every night playing I would feel a lot better than the last dungeon. I started to feel more like myself the more I played through the game.

The game helped me feel better while I was going through a scary time and towards the end it felt like a celebration. I had reached the end of the game and I was almost feeling like myself despite the acid feeling in my throat that lingered for a bit longer. The game also symbolized the end of my college career. Just as my main character would be separated from his friends returning back home I would be separated from my friends graduating from college but, in both cases, we would always be close.

What games help you when you are feeling sick or need comfort?