Super Sunshine Blogger Award!

They said it was impossible; that it simply couldn’t be done. But here I am with a long foretold destiny at my fingertips. You see, this isn’t simply a Sunshine Blogger Award…it is a SUPER Sunshine Blogger Award! Two SBAs crammed into one! I know, I know, please hold your applause. I’m sure it might seem the stuff of fiction to behold such a glorious WordPress posting, but I assure you that I am not bluffing. Please keep reading and take it in for yourself. The truth will out as you absorb the words I leave for you, in turn left to me by the mystical and mysterious Red Metal of Extra Life Reviews and Kelly of Why We Play Games.

Red Metal’s Questions

  • What do you feel is the ideal length for a studio album (or LP)?

Well, more music on an album is not always a good thing! I would much rather have a handful of focused, quality songs than a smattering of excellence and mediocrity. But if I had to give a particular length, I would say anywhere in the ballpark of 50-60 minutes of music is a solid amount. It’s too hard to measure by number of songs because some bands I listen to release tracks above the 10 minutes mark, and obviously you get a smaller song total in those instances 😛 

  • Have you ever accidentally rendered a physical copy of a game/film/album unplayable?

I once wore out a cassette tape as a child because I rewound it too much. There was one song in particular that I just couldn’t get enough of and as soon as it would end, I took it right back to the beginning for another go round! I can’t remember what exactly the album was as I was only 5 or 6, but I quite literally wore it out to be unusable.

  • What series do you feel has a confusing naming convention?

Kingdom Hearts is probably the most convoluted series ever when it comes to naming its entries. I mean, Kingdom Hearts 1, 2, 3, sure, but then you have Birth by Sleep, Re:Coded, Dream Daddy Simulator, Chain of Infection, 365/24/7 Days… can you see why it gets confusing???

  • What critical darling do you feel completely failed to live up to the hype?

Middle-Earth: Shadow of War felt like a carbon copy of its predecessor, Shadow of Mordor. While it certainly wasn’t a terrible game, it came off to me as a scenario copied and pasted into new regions with slightly more variety and color. Some series, like Mario and Zelda, feature similarities between entries while still shaking up the formula or adding significant new mechanics. Shadow of War felt much too familiar to its forbear to elicit such an experience.

  • Which work do you feel should have deserved more attention?

Since I wasn’t provided a specific medium to restrict myself to, I’m going to take advantage and go for a few different answers!

Video Game: The Golden Sun duology for Game Boy Advance features a refreshing take on the JRPG formula, featuring Psynergy powers that can be utilized for both combat and world navigation. While the dialogue sequences can be painfully long at times, these progress-compatible entries (via unlockable password at the end of the first game) shouldn’t be missed by fans of the genre.

Movie: I cannot state enough how underrated 2018’s Annihilation was. Despite being a quality film with an intelligent story, relatable characters, and unique premise of otherworldly encounters both mystical and terrifying, this sci-fi/horror gem was largely snubbed by the public and couldn’t even recoup its budget at the box office.

Music: Citadel, the second full-length album by Australian metal band Ne Obliviscaris, is pure musical genius. As with a lot of underground metal, however, it flew pretty far under the radar. Every member of this band is a master of their craft: from the composition, lyrics, instrumental delivery, and cohesiveness of the complete sonic package. If you have an open mind for extreme music (or even if you are just looking for something different), I would highly recommend checking it out!

  • Do you prefer a foreign work to be subtitled or dubbed in your language?

I was a “weeb” before the term even existed, and so I spent much of my teenage years tracking down subbed anime on the internet long before it ever saw the light of day in the United States. Given that propensity, I much prefer the purer experience of hearing the original language of a live film/show and simply reading along with subtitles, as opposed to choppy dub work. If the it’s an animated feature, though, I don’t mind either way.

  • Can you remember an instance in which you managed to succeed in a game by the skin of your teeth (e.g. beat a difficult boss with barely any health remaining)?

I’ve written before about overcoming The Nameless King in my Dark Souls III New Game +2 run on my very first try. Some details I left out were that I was completely out of Estus, and one more hit would have ended me. I came out of that encounter by the skin of my teeth and it only made the victory that much sweeter.

  • Can you remember an instance in which you got completely robbed playing a game?

Alma in Ninja Gaiden for the original Xbox still haunts my darkest nightmares, as I struggled against her for a full year before finally throwing in the towel. My final attempt saw her one hit away from defeat while I had a full health bar. Victory was surely within my grasp! And then she used her ultimate attack on me. Twice. In a row. As soon as I stood up to recover from the first, she immediately launched into a second rendition. It was the saltiest loss I’ve ever tasted in a game, and it made me give up entirely on my dreams of becoming a master ninja.

  • What is your favorite arcade game?

While I mostly played it on my NES at home, I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game. I played it over and over both with friends and on my own.

  • If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

My biggest vacation goal is visiting Ireland. I want the stereotypical tourist experience of visiting a small town in the midst of rolling hills of green, walking into a cozy pub, and enjoying a true Irish beer while chatting with the locals to hear their stories.

  • What critics (in any medium) do you find to actually be reputable?

I think critics of any medium are always bound to some degree by personal preference, regardless of a product’s overall quality. I personally find that video game journalists tend to have fairly accurate takes when recommending a title to their audience, but as with anything, opinions can be skewed or influenced by factors behind the scenes.

Kelly’s Questions

  • What is your favorite theme song from a video game?

The opening track for Chrono Trigger is a masterwork in getting the player hyped for the grand adventure that awaits.

  • What is your favorite video game soundtrack?

I could never choose just one, so I’ll leave a link here to a post I made on the topic. 

  • What is your favorite video game genre?

No other kind of game compares to the thrill I get from beginning a brand new, large-scale RPG adventure. From Dragon Age to Dragon Quest to Dragon’s Dogma, I love just about any experience that throws me into a world full of swords, monsters, magic, loot, and…well…dragons, obviously! 

  • What is your favorite place in a video game?

I would quit my job and sell everything I own if it meant I could live at the Corvo Bianco estate in The Witcher III’s Blood and Wine expansion. It’s a paradise! Well, once the vampires are driven out 😛

  • What is your least favorite place in a video game?

I might have to make this into a full-fledged Top 10 list at some point, but I would venture to say that Hollow Knight’s Deepnest has a good chance of taking the top spot. It’s a claustrophobic cavern full of creepy-crawlies with a chaotic cacophony drowning out any faint whispers of hope. It’s pure misery from start to finish, but in a well-delivered way.

  • What video game did you find visually stunning, such as the landscapes or art style?

Modern realistic graphics might be incredible to behold when compared to their 16-bit ancestors, but I do still love games that shoot for unique art styles. The Studio Ghibli-esque characters of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild melded perfectly with its bright, vibrant realization of a sprawling Hyrule and made for one of the most enthralling open worlds I’ve ever experienced.

  • What video game food would you like to try?

I would be lying if I said anything but the Potage le Magnifique from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Minus the Jarrin Root 😛

  • What is your favorite video game series?

When it comes to consistent fun and quality across every entry, there is little else that matches up to The Legend of Zelda series for me. I can’t say I’ve ever had a bad experience in the land of Hyrule.

  • What fictional game character would you like to hang out with?

I would love spending an afternoon Talsgar the Wanderer from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. I’d want to find a tavern just off the road where we could sip some mead, share stories about our adventures, and sing the songs of Skyrim with the other patrons.

  • What deceased video game character would you bring back to life?

*SPOILERS* Perhaps it’s cheating to answer with two characters, but I don’t care: I would bring back the couple Dom and Maria from Gears of War. Poor Maria was tortured to insanity by the Locust Horde, whereupon her husband Dom chose to end her suffering with a bullet than have her keep living as a broken soul. In the next installment, Dom then gives his life to save his team and rejoin his wife in the beyond, his finals words “Never thought it would end like this, huh? Huh, Maria?” Seeing stone-faced Marcus break down from his friend’s noble sacrifice left my co-op friend and I openly bawling on the couch: two twenty-year-old dudes. I’d want to bring them back so they could finally live a happy life together in more peaceful times.

  • What abandoned video game series would you like to see come back?

Without a doubt, I want a new Fable game! My journeys through Albion were always a riot, from vulgar gargoyles and Demon Doors to cursing out civilians and kicking chickens…Yes, I was quite evil in those games 0:) But their light-hearted take on a corrupt world always made for an exciting, irreverent time, and I’d love to travel to that world again with a fourth main entry!

And now, for a surprise bonus…

TheGamingDiaries- Versatile Blogger Award

 TheGamingDiaries recently nominated me for this writing opportunity, and I thought it would be perfect to include in this Super Q&A post! The VBA challenges the nominated party to present seven interesting facts about themselves. As such, I will do my best to think of some good ones! Thank you for the nomination, TGD!!

7 Facts About Myself

  • I’ve gotten 5 tattoos. -My first was a simple black tattoo of a shark on my left shoulder, which looked more like a dolphin. I then got a cross with song lyrics circling it on my right outer leg to reflect my Christian faith, Majora’s Mask on my right shoulder for conquering my anxiety of playing the game, a Cat Knight on the back of my left leg to memorialize my favorite pet growing up that passed away, and finally a half sleeve on my upper left arm of The Nameless King as a tribute to beating him on my first try in Dark Souls III on New Game +2 (it also covered up the “sholfin” as I used to call it).
  • My first game was Super Mario Bros. on the NES. -Despite being born and raised in the SNES heyday, my first gaming console was its pioneering predecessor. My stepfather introduced me to the NES and the wonder that was Super Mario Bros. before I was even close to entering Kindergarten. I played over and over, never getting much further than a few worlds in… unless I used the Warp Zone, of course! These early adventures gave birth to my love of gaming and I wouldn’t be the person I am today if not for them!
  • Cats are my favorite ‘pet’ animal. -Everyone has preferences when it comes to pets: cats, dogs, snakes, birds, or maybe even none at all! I’m definitely clawed into the cat camp. I enjoy animals that generally do their own thing, but occasionally come around for some attention. It definitely vibes with my introverted lifestyle.
  • Sharks are my favorite ‘wild’ animal. -There was a time when I wanted to be a marine biologist, and its largely thanks to these dangerous denizens of the deep. I used to watch every video about oceans and marine life I could get my hands on! They’re sleek. Strong. Scary looking. Plus they are one of the least-evolved species on our planet: a testament to their legacy as being some of the most effective predators in nature.
  • I love metal music. -My love of heavy music started when I was 11 and I haven’t put it down since. To get a good picture of my overall taste, look no further than the bands Dark Tranquillity, Demon Hunter, Insomnium, Killswitch Engage, Kamelot, Ne Obliviscaris, and Trivium.
  • I have very long eyelashes. -I’m not sure why I was “blessed” with this particular trait, but I carry the torch as best I can. Older ladies used to scare me because they constantly ogled my eyes and said things like “I’d love to steal those lashes!” As an adult, I get it. But I was terrified as a child! 😛 I thought they meant it!
  • I cannot play any musical instruments. -Despite my attempts at learning to play both guitar and piano, I never stuck with them long enough to consider myself a proper musician. I’ve always had a hard time focusing enough to practice every day. It hurts to be such a big fan of music and not be able to play anything myself, but it definitely helps me respect the people who CAN play even more!

If you’re reading this, thanks for sticking around! I hope you enjoyed getting to know me a little bit more through the questions and facts! Due to a very busy schedule and the enormity of this post in itself, I won’t be posing any further questions for the time being. Sorry!! I want to thank Red Metal, Kelly, and TheGamingDiaries again for all including me in their own posts so that I could create this mega-post in the first place! I had a blast putting it all together! Thanks for reading, friends, and game on!


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