10 Things That Make Me Happy!

This is a big of a different style blogging tag, as it is not exclusively gaming related. I saw this tag back in April on the always- awesome blog of The Shameful Narcissist, and she left the tag open to anyone… so here I am, late to the party as usual! Hey, better 5 months late than never, right? 😉

Anyway, the whole point of this entry is simple: List 10 things that make you happy. Despite the fact that I think I am a bit of a realist and am often cynical (which some people see as me being pessimistic *rolls eyes*), I actually am pretty easy to please. I do look for the things that will make me happy, and I hold onto those things with an iron grip; in the end, those are the things that are most important. Besides, I don’t know when I’m going to croak, so I might as well focus on things that are enjoyable, right? Right! So here ya go: 10 thing that make me happy!

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1. Family and Friends

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Despite the fact that this is a numbered list, all the items are pretty much equal… except for this one! My family means the world to me, every single one of them. I was lucky enough to grow up in a fantastic (if not a bit unconventional) environment, and as a result am close to pretty much all of my family members. Of course, my husband is my family too, and I am grateful for him! With my husband came a whole new set of family members to get to know and enjoy, so when I say “family” here, I am referring to everyone on my side as well as everyone on his side 🙂

I also include friends here, because I do not have many friends. This is my choice… I choose to only have a handful of close friends over many acquaintances, because it just seems pointless to me to have so many people in my inner circle. I’m not really a social butterfly at all either, so my idea of friendship is often just texting, or chatting here on our blogs! 🙂

2. Video Games

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Well, obviously! 😉 This blog wouldn’t exist if they didn’t make me happy! Video games are my #1 hobby, and they pretty much always have been. I play when I’m happy, when I’m sad, when I’m sick, when I need distraction… etc. I just LOOK at my video game collection, and I am happy.

3. Reading

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Reading is also something that makes me very happy. I’ve always been a reader, too, and I enjoy picking up a book and being transported to a different world. For that reason, I prefer to read fiction, because I’d rather read some shit that is made up just for my entertainment!

4. Animals

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I am a huge animal lover. I love most critters- from the fuzzy to the scaly to the furry and everything in between! (Just… not some insects, okay? I’m talking about roaches in particular- those disgusting fucks!) Just being around animals makes me more zen. I have several pets of my own, but I’ve often been told that I tend to spoil every animal that I know.

5. The beach/ pool

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I’ve lived in Florida my entire life, so there’s always a beach or pool close by. When I lived at my grandparents’ house growing up, I could swim whenever I wanted since they had a pool! Anyway, I find that being out in the sunshine and near the water is very cathartic for me. If I could spend the entire day lounging on a raft, I would.

6. Music

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I love listening to music! I do it quite often- when I’m driving, when I’m cleaning, when I’m reading… you get the picture. I’m sort of becoming an old fuddy duddy in the fact that I don’t like a lot of newer music that has come out recently- I like to stick to my old favorites! My favorite genres are heavy metal and hard rock along with some reggae, but there are songs that I like in pretty much every genre. A special shout out to punk rock for getting me through my teenage years! 😉

7. Horror/ Skulls/ Other Goth Stuff

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I’ve always been drawn to the darkness, what can I say? 😉 I love horror movies and horror novels. The scarier, the better! I also love scary artwork. I’m endlessly fascinated by anything that goes bump in the night. And skulls? Skulls are my favorite. I have a lot of shirts and socks that have skulls on them, I have tons of skull jewelry… I even have a skull tattoo. I don’t know quite why the darkness fascinates me so much, but I just roll with it.

8. Writing

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If writing didn’t make me happy, I wouldn’t be doing this blog, but anyway… I love sitting down with a good old fashioned pen and paper and seeing what kind of crazy ideas I can come up with. Problem is, I am the absolute worst at finishing anything I start, so I have like 30 stories that aren’t done. Maybe one day I’ll actually finish one.

9. Holidays

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What holidays make me happy? All of them! Holidays both big and small are a great excuse for me to get together with my family and have a blast. It doesn’t really matter what the occasion is! Plus, any holiday that gets me off work is a bonus! Just don’t make me choose between Halloween and Christmas. I can’t pick!

10. Chips/ French Fries

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This may be a stupid response to wrap up my list, but here’s the cold hard truth: I am human. I try to eat healthy, but I don’t always succeed. And sometimes all I want is a big bag of potato chips. Or a large fry. And dammit, I don’t care if it’s bad for me. There are worse vices in the world.

Well, there you have it! 10 things that make me happy. Honorable mentions go to nail polish, pens in many different colors, candles that smell like baked goods, and many other little things that bring a smile to my face.


Gaming Since 1986!

Another question The Well-Red Mage posed was quite the big one: What’s Your Favorite Game From Every Year You’ve Been Alive? Considering I’ve been alive for almost 32 years, that’s a lot of games to think about! I know a lot of others have done this post, and it was so fun to read what everyone’s picks were! I decided the easiest way to go about this task would first be to think of some of my all- time favorite games (i.e. Super Mario RPG, Animal Crossing, Donkey Kong Country) and immediately place those with the corresponding year. After that, I’d just look up a list of games that were released in a particular year and chose one! Sometimes, that was easier said than done… anyway, here is my list!

Oh, and since I live in the U.S., I’m going by North American release dates, just for consistency!

1986- Balloon Fight (NES)

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This has always been one of my favorite NES games. There is something both relaxing and challenging about avoiding all the little things that could pop your balloons and kill you! Plus, the music really gets stuck in my head!

1987- Arkanoid (NES)

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For some reason, I had a hard time choosing a game for this year, so I settled on Arkanoid, which was originally an arcade game. I like brick-breaker type games, so why not?

1988- Anticipation (NES)

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I actually didn’t play this game until many years after its release- my husband was the one that introduced it to me. It reminds me of a more simplistic version of Trivial Pursuit, though it gets pretty hard at the end!

P.S. The people’s faces on the cover of this box art are hilariously cheesy!

1989- Super Mario Land (Game Boy)

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I played this game SO MUCH on my Game Boy! I loved the idea of having a Mario game with me wherever I went. I thought I was hot shit when I brought my Game Boy and Super Mario Land to “show and tell” in 4th grade, ha!

1990- Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES)

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This is one of those games that’s fun no matter how many times you play it. I still remember playing it with my husband and the NES froze right when we got to the final battle against Bowser and erased our game… good times!

1991- Super Tennis (SNES)

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I don’t even know if anyone has ever played this game except me, but I love it! I can’t even explain why it appeals so much to me, because I don’t even like sports or sports games very much. But I played the hell out of this game when I was a kid, and I was convinced I was a tennis pro until I actually tried to play tennis for real. I discovered there was too much movement involved and I disliked the idea of a tennis ball flying toward my face at high speeds, so I stuck with Super Tennis.

1992- Kirby’s Dream Land (Game Boy)

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My second- ever video game that I owned introduced me to my favorite video game character: Kirby! I’ve played this game more times than I can count, and it still remains one of my favorites.

1993- Doom (PC)

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I have a special place in my heart for the first iteration of Doom. It was so fun and different and though we didn’t have a computer at my house when I was younger, I played this game in computer class at school. Take that, ESRB ratings! I blew up demons when I was still in elementary school, and I think I turned out all right…

1994- Donkey Kong Country (SNES)

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I was completely obsessed with this game. I played it and replayed it constantly, and spent many hours unlocking all the secrets I could find. I can almost play some of the levels with my eyes closed (not that I would try).

1995- Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest (SNES)

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I didn’t think any game could be better than the original DKC… and then this game came out! It was darker, creepier, and way harder than the first game, but I loved it anyway. The soundtrack to this game is still one of my favorites!

1996- Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars (SNES)

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No contest for 1996, since that was the year that my favorite game of all time was released! I’ve talked about it several times on this blog, but I’ll say it again: I LOVE THIS GAME!

1997- Diddy Kong Racing (N64)

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Sometimes fun, sometimes irritating, this is a game that my cousin Eric introduced to me, and we played it quite often. I loved how this game had a central hub and so many varied racing courses!

1998- Pokémon Blue (Game Boy)

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This is another game I didn’t play until many years after it came out! I loved Pokémon but held off getting a Pokémon game until Pokémon Crystal… anyway, years later I remedied my mistake by getting Pokémon Blue. I love this game so much but still haven’t played through to the end… I need to fix that soon!

1999- Mario Party (N64)

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Haha, I know. Mario Party cheats like a son of a bitch and causes rashes on your hands from rotating the stupid control stick too much… but I can’t help it, I love it. This was the first game I ever got for my Nintendo 64, and I remember playing first with my Uncle Steve, then with all of my friends… we couldn’t get enough of this game!

2000- Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 (PS1)

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This is another game I spent so many hours on, trying to complete every goal in every level and trying to beat my high score with the flying cheat (can’t remember exactly what it’s called). I loved skateboarding when I was younger, and this game allowed me to live out my reckless fantasies with all my bones still intact!

2001- Super Smash Bros. Melee (GCN)

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This game sucked me in and I found myself playing over and over again to unlock every character and every trophy. This game also holds a special place in my heart because this is the first video game I ever played with my husband!

2002- Animal Crossing (GCN)

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Everyone knows how much I love all things Animal Crossing. I couldn’t wait to check in on this game every day and see what was happening in my little town of Branvil! I loved the animals, all the cute furniture, and all the monthly events. This game started an obsession for me, and I don’t regret it for a second! 😉

2003- WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgames! (GBA)

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This game is… something else! Some of the mini games had me and my husband both saying “What the hell did we just do?” That’s the beauty of WarioWare- you never know what you are going to see next! I remember my husband and I being glued to my Game Boy Advance trying to unlock every last little game!

2004- Silent Hill 4: The Room (XBox)

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This game left it’s mark on me! I love anything horror, and there was something so weird and unsettling about this game that had me thinking about it long after the credits rolled.

Side note: When this game came out, I worked at GameStop, and employees were able to “rent” games by writing our names down in a notebook and bringing the game back after a few days. I rented this game out, brought it back and realized that the notebook had actually been tossed in favor of a new computer system… and my rental had fallen through the cracks, meaning I could’ve kept the game for free and they never would’ve known! Shit. Ah well, my conscience got the best of me, and I purchased the game like a decent human being.

2005- Animal Crossing: Wild World (DS)

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I was so excited for this game when it came out, I pre-ordered it! The idea of being able to play Animal Crossing on the go was so intriguing to me! I got many hours out of this game and still love it to this day.

2006- LocoRoco (PSP)

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LocoRoco is so wonderfully bizarre, I love it! Even the controls are weird, as you use the shoulder buttons of the PSP to control the world around the LocoRocos, which allows them to maneuver the levels. You can make the LocoRocos grow by picking up other ones, and you can also split them up into smaller pieces too! It’s a platforming game with puzzle elements that never feel too hard or confusing. If you haven’t played this game, I highly recommend it!

2007- Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)

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I was in awe of this game when I first started playing it. The planets were so beautifully crafted, the music was fantastic, and it was just plain FUN to explore. I got to the final Bowser fight and never finished him… oops!

2008- Kirby Super Star Ultra (DS)

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Kirby Super Star was a fantastic game on the SNES, so I couldn’t wait for this DS remake to come out. There are so many different types of games on this little cartridge, and the replay value is pretty high!

2009- Angry Birds (iOS)

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Back in the day when Angry Birds first came out, I loved it! There was something so satisfying about flinging the little birds around to destroy stuff! It really pissed me off when a pig would just roll around and not die, haha! There have been countless spin- offs (some good, some not) but the original Angry Birds is the best to me!

2010- Donkey Kong Country Returns (Wii)

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I dreamed of the day when the original Donkey Kong Country series had a sequel, so I was thrilled when this game came out! Upon playing the first level, I knew I was in for a treat. This game is thrilling, difficult, and fun! I just miss the Kremlings from the original series, though.

2011- Mario Kart 7 (3DS)

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I don’t know why, but I had a hard time picking a game for 2011. There were several games I liked that year, but none really stood out to me as something I completely loved while making this list! In the end, I went with Mario Kart 7, because Mario Kart is always an excellent choice!

2012- Kirby’s Dream Collection: Special Edition (Wii)

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This game just makes me smile. It has several of Kirby’s best games included on the disc, plus tons of extras! I really liked the soundtrack that came with the game as well as the little history booklet. This game is a must-have if you are obsessed with Kirby like me, haha!

2013- Animal Crossing: New Leaf (3DS)

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Besides the GameCube version of Animal Crossing, New Leaf is my favorite version of Animal Crossing to date! It’s like they took all the great features from previous games (plus many new added features) and put them into this game, and the results are amazing!

2014- Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (Wii U)

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Oh, Captain Toad, I love you! Toad had always been one of those characters that just kind of got on my nerves, but Captain Toad is so charming and cute you can’t help but love him! This game is really fun and even though it has some irritating moments, it’s a great game to play when you just want to chill out!

2015- Yoshi’s Woolly World (Wii U)

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This game is so adorable and fun! The graphics are so cute, the levels are fun and unique, and I really enjoy collecting all of the yarn to make new Yoshis to use!

2016- Kirby Planet Robobot (3DS)

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When I bought this game, I put it in my 3DS with the thought that I would play it just to try it out. But I got totally hooked and played the game until I beat it! It is so fun and even though the final boss is annoying as hell, I loved the game! There’s still so much I have to unlock and uncover.

2017- Super Mario Odyssey (Switch)

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Super Mario Odyssey is fantastic! I love the different worlds you get to explore, each one more different than the last. Collecting power moons is fun and addicting, and the added use of Cappy just makes this game even more fun!

2018- Kirby Star Allies (Switch)

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Okay, so I haven’t played too many games that were released in 2018. In fact, I’ve only played the demo of this game (though I do have the full version) but what I did play was really fun! I love the idea of turning enemies into your friends and creating all sorts of different power ups. Hopefully I’ll play through the game soon!

So there you have it! 32 different games that I love for one reason or another. There are so many fantastic games I didn’t even list here, and in the SNES years, it was REALLY hard to pick favorites! I guess I’m a bit stuck in the past that way, as I often prefer games from that era versus newer games. Also, I know this list is Nintendo- heavy, but I am who I am, and I love Nintendo games. 🙂 Thanks for reading!

Which IP Would I Bring Back From The Dead?

Image respectfully swiped from The Well-Red Mage 🙂

The Well-Red Mage is always asking great questions, and one he asked a few months ago was “Which IP Would You Bring Back From the Dead?” I always love answering these questions, even though I’m sure I don’t have the most interesting responses! 😉 This made me think about all my favorite video game franchises… and I realized that I am blessed, because many of my favorites are long- running series that keep coming out with new entries. Nevertheless, there is one game I played for hours and hours in my youth and keep wishing for a true sequel (or, at the very least, a remaster!)…

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Zombies Ate My Neighbors is an excellent, challenging game that was released in 1993 for the SNES (which is what I played it on) and well as on the Genesis. I received it as a Christmas present from my uncle Kevin in 1995, and I was hooked! Even as a kid, I loved anything that was horror-themed, so for me, the zombies, demon dolls, werewolves, etc. were all right up my alley! I thought it was really bizarre (but fun) how pretty much everything could be used as a weapon- forks, plates, blow up clowns that stopped chainsaw- wielding maniacs… this game really was something unique! The music was pretty good, as well.

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Zombies Ate My Neighbors supposedly had a spiritual successor, but nothing tops the original game for me. I highly doubt we’ll ever see a true sequel, but I can dream!

How I Overcome Writer’s Block!

The Well-Red Mage loves to ask great questions every now and then, and I’ve answered a couple of them in previous blog entries! His 3rd question (he’s up to 6 now… one day I’ll answer them all!) was this: How do you overcome writer’s block?

Image borrowed from the Mage 😉

I’m by no means an expert on writing, but obviously I enjoy it. Writing is something I’ve done since I was a kid… I wrote my first story when I was 5 about a frog named Jimmy 🙂 I’ve got a whole collection of stories I’ve written since then, including many unfinished works. Plus I write blog entries of course 😉 But like everyone else, I occasionally have the dreaded “writer’s block.” So what do I do? My answer is actually pretty simple: I don’t write.

That may sound weird, but I am a firm believer in “you can’t go forcin’ something if it’s just not right.” (Thanks, Green Day!) I often solve my problems by not thinking about them. Sounds counterintuitive, but I feel like focusing on something else for a little while somehow provides me with my solution. So when I want to write but I’m having trouble, I put the pen/ keyboard away for a little while and do something else. Eventually inspiration will strike again! 🙂

Are Video Games Art?

Back in September, The Well-Red Mage asked another thought provoking question that I thought would be fun to answer! Took me long enough to answer, right? *rolls eyes* Anyway, his question this time around was quite simple: Are Video Games Art?

Obviously not my photo… credit belongs to the Mage 😉

There were many people that gave excellent, thoughtful responses to this question. If you haven’t yet checked it out, click on the link in the first paragraph and go read them! Anyway, I’m not going to give some long, philosophical response on what is considered “art” and why something should or should not be considered art. For me, the answer is simple: yes.

To me, video games are considered art because they are created for us to enjoy. That creation (whether it ends up well-received or not) is the result of someone’s hard work and dedication. And yes, every part of the game is art to me- from the graphics to the musical score to the story- it’s all art. Of course, whether we like the game or not is totally subjective, just like every other artistic medium. Not every type of game will appeal to everyone, and that’s okay! 🙂

30 Day Video Game Challenge: Day 30!

Day 30: Your Favorite Game Of All Time.

Well, I’ve spoken of it many times before:

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Of course it’s none other than Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars! I’ve gone into detail about why this game is my favorite, so I won’t repeat myself. Please click here if you haven’t read my post dedicated to the game that I’ve loved since it first came out in 1996!

And that wraps up the 30 Day Video Game Challenge! It was a lot of fun, and most of the questions were pretty easy to answer.

I have quite a few posts planned, but the first one I am going to put out is a First Impressions post of Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp! I’m probably going to be doing some behind-the-scenes work with my blog, too: cleaning up categories, maybe changing the layout, etc. I’m also going to do more posts dedicated to Kirby games since, you know, I’ve totally sucked at celebrating his anniversary! I had plans to play all of his games and I’ve played like 2 of them. Whoops!

Anyway, thanks so much for reading! 🙂

30 Day Video Game Challenge: Day 29!

Day 29: A Game You Thought You Wouldn’t Like, But Ended Up Loving.

Hmmm…. another difficult question! I don’t typically buy games unless I’m sure I will like them, though I have taken chances on games every now and then (but that’s only when I THINK I will like the game). However, one game comes to mind that I never really considered playing when it first came out:

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Smuggler’s Run: Warzones. It’s not that I thought I wouldn’t like this game, but it just kind of flew under the radar for me for awhile. Then one day my cousins came over with a bunch of their GameCube games, and this was one of them. Turns out it’s a pretty fun game! You spend a lot of your time driving illegal contraband to drop off points and of course, there are many complications that can arise from doing so! I borrowed the game for a few days, but my husband (who was my boyfriend at the time, haha) and I were enjoying it so much, we bought our own copy!