The Real Neat Blog Award, round 1

You all know how much I like to go on about the games and other works I like.  So I’m always grateful to get tagged with awards like the Real Neat Blog Award (the rules: answer seven questions, ask seven more questions, tag seven bloggers.)  And since this week’s episode of Cop Craft is a recap show that I am going to completely ignore because recap shows are worthless, that frees up some time for me to take on the questions that have been put to me.  I’ve been double-tagged, in fact — the first nomination comes from Frostilyte, who maintains a very interesting blog dedicated to video games.  If you like my material, I know you’ll like Frostilyte’s as well.

Here are Frostilyte’s questions and my responses:

1. What is a game coming out in 2020 that you’re excited for?

Nobody will be surprised to hear that I’m looking forward to Persona 5 Royal.  It’s just an expansion of Persona 5, but it promises a lot of new content, and Atlus hasn’t disappointed yet when it comes to Persona expansions (see Persona 3 FES and Persona 4 Golden, both well worth checking out if you haven’t.)  P5 also had some weird pacing issues that I hope might be fixed in Royal, though I’m not hoping very much.

I’m also looking forward to N1RV Ann-A, the equally annoyingly-titled sequel to 2016’s drink-mixing life-changing visual novel VA-11 HALL-AI loved Sukeban Games’ first big title, and I’m expecting a whole lot from their second when it hopefully drops sometime next year.

From their site.  I already love the game’s style.  Also, this place looks a lot classier than the dive bar Jill works in VA-11 HALL-A.

2. Ninjas, or Pirates? Why?

I’ve always been a fan of pirates — all the horrible murder and ravaging aside, that bravado and complete “fuck you” attitude they had towards the authorities is a lot of fun to read about, even if some of the common stories are made up or exaggerated.  On the other hand, if I had to choose which one I’d be, I would go with ninja for sure.  As far as I know, ninjas usually didn’t end their days at the end of a rope.

3. You won a life time supply of the last thing you spent money on. What is it, are you excited, and how do you intend to use your comically overstocked collection of this commodity?

I just bought a cup of coffee at the cafe where I’m writing this post.  A lifetime supply of coffee is very exciting — it means I’ll basically never have to sleep again.

4. God almighty above. They were right! AI took over the world and started building mecha-style enforcers out of the factories. Which billion dollar software company is responsible for ending humanity and do you submit to our AI overlords, or rebel against them?

It’s the conglomeration of Google-Apple-Facebook-Amazon.  And I absolutely don’t submit to them.  As much as I might be into futuristic technology, I also don’t like the idea of having to submit to an evil AI empire.  Give me the chance to become a rebel living in the forest and waging a guerrilla war against our mechanical overlords and I’ll take it, even if it ends up with me getting filled with bullets by a killer robot.

5. What was the reason you started your blog? Feel free to be as detailed as you see fit with this one.

When I started at law school, I felt the need to do something that wasn’t law-related to help keep my sanity.  I knew I liked writing, so I decided to start a free WordPress blog and write about video games.  It’s really as simple as that.  I continue to write here for the same reason I started.  My experience with the practice of law has been fucking miserable, so I’ll do anything I can to take my mind off of my profession.

Later on, I took up the idea of presenting my own views of games that might be considered niche or controversial, games that I feel are too often unfairly smeared by a particular group or school of professional game journalists.  Swing a stick and you’ll probably hit one of these assholes, there are so many of them, and all with the same bland, safe viewpoints that allow them to keep their jobs (to be fair to them, writing about games is their day job and it’s not mine, so I can afford to admit I like games featuring busty ninja girls and catgirl maids whereas they probably can’t.  But I think my point stands.)  There are also some interesting indie games I try to cover that tend to go ignored in favor of mediocre or merely standard-quality AAA games.

6. You wake up one day and find that you are now your least favourite character from your favourite television show (use a video game if you don’t watch TV). Who are you and how do you feel about it?

My favorite TV show is probably The Simpsons up until season 10.  But I don’t really have a least favorite character in that show.  I don’t even dislike Lisa, as annoying as she could be sometimes.  So I’ll go with my favorite game, one I will never shut up about: Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne.  I do have a least favorite character in that game: Hikawa, the dickhead cult leader who purposely triggers the apocalypse near the beginning of the game.  Hikawa’s reasons for ending the world aren’t that different from your standard JRPG villain’s: it’s rotten and needs to be cleared out to be reborn in a pure state, etc. etc.  Makes more sense than Sephiroth’s stupidity, but it’s still a terrible motivation.  Even worse, what he wants to create from the ashes is a terrifying world of stillness.  (I wrote a whole thing about Nocturne and the ideas behind the Reasons here if you’re interested.)

Fuck you, Hikawa

If I were Hikawa, though, I’d be pretty happy assuming I get to keep my own personality, because I’d be able to just not trigger the apocalypse and stop the game before it starts.  The protagonist would never become the Demifiend, he’d just go to college and become an accountant or something mundane like that.  Not sure if that’s necessarily a better outcome for him, but at least the world would be spared that whole genocide thing.

7. What’s a skill you wish you had, but can’t find the time in the day to learn or master?

I have to second Red Metal here and say drawing.  I dabbled a little in it as a kid, and maybe I’d be better if I’d kept at it.  I know exactly what kind of stuff I’d draw, too, if only I could.  And these days, I have to fight tooth and nail to get any time to myself anymore, so I really have no opportunity to learn it.

Thanks again to Frostilyte for the tag and for the questions!  I bothered to follow the rules this time, so here are my seven:

1. What’s your favorite game genre?
2. Is there a game genre you will never touch, no matter how much praise a game in that genre might receive? What puts you off about it?
3. What’s your favorite controller?
4. What’s your least favorite controller?
5. What game would you like to see get a full-scale remake? Complete with any updated graphics, features, and game mechanics you’d like.
6. How do you approach difficulty levels in games that offer that option? Do you like to jump into the deep end right away or take a more measured approach?
7. How do you feel about the “casual/story mode” difficulty levels that are easier than the standard easy mode? Is there any situation in which you’d play a game in that mode?

And my marks this time are:

Blimps Go 180

Why We Play Games

The Brink of Gaming

Meghan Plays Games



Gaming Omnivore

And of course anyone else who wants to join in.  I’ll be back in a few days for the second round, when I’ll answer the questions posed by Red Metal.  Until then!