Welcome to Boss Fight Friday, a weekly video game hot stove where the writers of Game Savvy give their take on video games and where you, the reader, get to start the weekend off right. Last week we discussed all things Pokemon!
This week we got to discussing what we as gamers see as “gems”. Everything from past games to gaming companies to the game we’re most looking forward to. So without further ado, let’s get into and of course, feel free to leave your answers in the comments below!
Q1: From the earliest point you can recall, what was the first game that got you hooked into video games?
Nathan: Earliest for me was Kirby for the Game Boy though my dad told me we use to play Mortal Kombat together on the Genesis and I would play super Mario world at a friend’s house.
Dennis: That game would probably be Mario Kart 64. I remember the day my Dad got it for me one day in summer at Walmart after getting an N64 for Christmas months before. Before this I did have an NES I had a hand-me-down, I played games like Mario Bros and Duck Hunt, but they did get me invested in the medium known as video games.
Mario Kart 64 itself didn’t hook me but the memory of the day playing it with my Dad and whining that he beat me in the first race we played together is what hooked me into video games.
Steven: The earliest memory of gaming I have is the game Sonic The Hedgehog on Sega Genesis, My brother and I would race home every day to watch the animated Batman series and then play Sonic for hours!! But I think the first game I was hooked into was probably A Link to the Past.
Em: My dad had an NES, so some of my earliest childhood memories are of playing Mario Brothers and Duck Hunt with him. That NES was what I had until I was around 10, so I got a lot of miles out of Mario.
Christian: For me as I’m almost 100% sure my first video game was Pokémon Red but I was only like 6 or 7 when I got that. I think Jak & Daxter was the first game where I was really invested into the lore and everything about that series.
Nana: I would Say Sonic Colours. Sonic was my gateway into Gaming.
Tyler: Super Mario World hands-down. I didn’t have a Super NES growing up but I got to watch my cousin play through Super Mario World and it just got me hooked. The colors, the levels, the secrets… there was just so much surprise and delight in that game that I truly believe it’s one of the greats. My cousin and I would spend hours trying to recreate a lot of the music in Mario Paint as well.
Q2: Everyone is entitled to their opinion but you might like a game that most disagree on. What game do you think fits that category?
Nathan: Starfox Adventures I really enjoyed though a lot of people hated it for its Zelda-ish tones. It’s the first game I’ve ran from start to finish with my fastest time being 9 hours.
Dennis: I don’t know. I don’t play a lot of bad games that I think are good. Final Fantasy wise, well it’s not Final Fantasy XIII because that’s just a terrible one in my mind, but another one that comes to mind is Final Fantasy XII.
I remember when it came out in the early days of the internet, people talking really bad about it. I mean sure it didn’t have a focus on who the main character of the game. There were at least maybe 3 or 4 characters in the roster you can consider the center of the game, and that’s one part of the charm it had to it plus the storytelling that had a political focus to it, which I liked along with the gameplay.
Nowadays, I see the game is looked at kind of like WindWaker is now looked at to a lesser degree. People don’t hate on it too much now, but in my mind, it’s still my #5 in my top 5 main Final Fantasy games list.
Steven: I think Emily and I would have the same answer here, Mass Effect Andromeda. At launch, it was on a rocky road but immediately Bioware started pumping out updates for the game to fix a lot of the issues.
Em: Two of my top 5 games, Dragon Age 2 and Mass Effect: Andromeda, get a lot of hate. I think they’re amazingly replay-able games with fun mechanics and fantastic stories. Yeah, lots of dungeons in DA2 are repetitive, but I’ve never been drawn into a character’s story the way I was with that game. Andromeda was just such a fantastic example of an open world game. I’ve put more hours into those two games than everything except Skyrim.
Christian: ANTHEM IS A GOOD GAME AND I WILL STAND BY THAT STATEMENT.
Nana: Final Fantasy XIII is a masterpiece in my opinion, but a lot of people think it’s the worst Final Fantasy.
Tyler: I was really into The Division when it came out. Love the looting and the combat and customization. I get the criticisms of it but I honestly think if they keep building on that franchise they could have something special. Although I don’t know if The Division 2 solved any of those problems.
Q3: Games are meant to be enjoyed and light-hearted but some games have dark undertones with some tracing topics that are considered taboo. What game(s) do you find to be the darkest?
Nathan: Drakkengard and NieR have really dark tones with even more taboo subjects in the manga. In fact, NieR has two variations because Japan has a different way of how siblings are treated compared to the US.
Dennis: I mean it’s hard for me to not bring up The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, right? It’s not the scariest game, but as a kid, it was a creepy game to play adjacent to the light-hearted game(in certain aspects) that came before it, that being Ocarina of Time.
It’s just a tone shift that I didn’t expect at the time. I don’t play a lot of dark games, so that’s the only one that pops out of my head right now. Also, shout out to Inside too.
Steven: I don’t really have an answer for this one… I’ll think about it.
Em: I don’t play dark games because I like entertainment experiences to be lighthearted and fun, so I guess the darkest themes I experience are stories about war and loss. Games are a good way to tell difficult stories, it just isn’t what I search out.
Christian: The first time I played Kingdom Hearts (this year) I was very surprised at the dark undertone that a game with all of these bright and cheery Disney characters had. That being said, I’m a chicken that doesn’t like scary/dark movies or games.
Nana: Horror games tend to be the darkest for me. I played Wings of Glass and that is a horror story underneath cute and play graphics.
Tyler: What Remains Of Edith Finch was hauntingly beautiful. Not only did it revolutionize story-telling in games for me, it dealt with death (many deaths) in a weird, lighthearted and beautiful way. A truly special game that was pretty dark. Also Ori And The Blind Forest. I got choked up when I found out the main antagonists true motivations.
Q4: What company or developer do you find to have the best library of games available?
Nathan: I love Nintendo and have always been a fan. I don’t have specific developers I like but when Nintendo comes out bam that’s going to be my first choice.
Dennis: There’s a lot of options out there because what I consider ‘the best’ is not what someone else would like. Publisher wise I guess Square Enix because just as far as a Japanese 3rd party Publisher, it’s probably the only one I see that balances there Japanese and Western game output well. Plus I like the game they put out.
Publishers like Ubisoft I probably like one or two franchises while everything else they have is… I wouldn’t say trash, but everything else doesn’t speak to me. Shout out to Sega though and there RGG Studio who put out the quality games I hold dear that being Yakuza/Judgement.
Developer wise, I would say CyberConnect2, there just a reliable and talent Japanese developer who has yet to put out a bad or OK game from what I’ve played. I’m excited to get my hands on their next game, Dragon Ball Z Kakarot next year.
Steven: It’s hard not to mention Nintendo… that being said I feel like Bioware has one of the most impressive libraries you could ask for I mean KotoR, Jade Empire, Mass Effect, Dragon Age just to name a few.
Em: I play a lot of BioWare games so I’ll agree with Steven there.
Christian: Ubisoft for sure. Assassin’s Creed, Watch Dogs, Tom Clancy, Splinter Cell, Far Cry… the list goes on and on full of games and series that people universally love. Whether you want an action adventure or FPS. Ubisoft makes great games with great stories to tell!
Nana: Square Enix, as I think both the eastern and western divisions have a large amount of games people will find fun.
Tyler: Nintendo is the super obvious answer. In terms of catalogue, they’re god-tiered so I’ll expand on some other companies. What Ubisoft is doing seems pretty special. They have an amazing catalog of games but this could be more recency bias from me because I’ve been devouring Assasins Creed Odyssey. Bethesda is another too with Wolfenstein, Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Doom… a ton of great RPG’s and action games I will most likely be spending money on.
Q5: What game do you want to see come out, or what game are you excited for when it releases in the next year?
Nathan: I can’t wait for Animal Crossing to come out BUT my hope is one year we get to see a new Starfox game for the switch
Dennis: I want a Persona 3 Remake in the Persona 5 engine or an upgraded engine of that game, which includes everything from the base game and Persona 3 Portable and FES. As far as anything out there, that’s what I want, whatever is on my radar that’s easy to say is what I want.
I do hope next year that the Yakuza 3 to 5 PS4 ports make there way west. Those games(or most of them anyway) have already released in Japan but still waiting for Sega to announce the dates for these games for North America.
Steven: Just give me Cyberpunk 2077 already.
Em: Call of Duty Modern Warfare. I’m always hype for Call of Duty. Inject that MW reboot right into my veins.
Christian: Next year for me is Animal Crossing: New Horizons. I can’t wait to get my island and pay Tom Nook way too many bells. Honorable mention is the Harry Potter RPG that was leaked last year. I need that game ASAP!
Nana: Final Fantasy VII Remake is the game I’m looking forward to, just to see how it combines old and new elements.
Tyler: BORDERLANDS 3 WOOOOOOO.