Video Game Challenge: Day 9 &10

Happy Sunday and E3 Day Players! This weekend is going to be busy so I am combining the questions for Days 9 & 10!

Day 9: What is your favorite childhood video game title?

super mario

I guess this question is based on what age I consider my childhood. I remember countless times playing Super Mario Brothers with my brother and having a great time. It’s the only game that I felt confident in playing as a child. With Super Mario Bros my brother and I would pick either Mario and Luigi and then take turns trying to beat each level. I was a sneak and when my brother would leave the room to use the restroom or get food I would play his level haha.

pokemon snap

If we move to middle school I would probably pick Pokemon Snap for the N64 as I played that game for HOURS trying to get great shots of Pokemon. Afterwards I would take my memory card to Blockbuster (remember them) and print out the photos as the Pokemon Snap Kiosk. There was and still is a fascination with taking pictures of Pokemon and looking for those secret locations and being semi-cruel and pushing Charmeleon into a lava pit so that he would evolve into Charizard haha, gasing the bushes to make bulbasaurs jump out… Now that I think about it, there were some sketchy situations with pokemon snap lol.

galaga

If I were thinking about the arcade, I would go with Galaga. This game is super addicting and when I visit arcades or places with old school arcade machines, I have to give Galaga at least 1 turn. In Galaga you are a spaceship that has to shoot the creatures and dodge projectiles. Each level the number of enemies and difficulty increases.

What are your favorite childhood games? Should we notify PETA about the Pokemon Snap Game? Let’s talk childhood favorites!

 

Day 10: What childhood video game would you recommend and why?

 

tmnt1cart

Yesterday we talked about the different childhood video games. If I had to recommend 1, I would recommend Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This game was amazing in terms of the multiplayer action and stages that you had to go through. You could be in the sewers, on the streets or in Shredder’s lair tackling members of the Foot Clan, Mutants or Shredder himself. I loved the variation in the stages where you were walking, running or even skateboarding through the levels. All the while you had to dodge attacks, trample enemies and keep your health bar up by eating pizza slices.

 

Tomorrow’s Question:

Day 11: Which video game has the best memories?

 

Which childhood game would you recommend? Have you played the old school Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game for the Super Nintendo? Let’s talk childhood games!

-Luna 🙂

Evolution of Black Characters in Gaming!

Happy Thursday! This post is delayed because I had submitted it to another blog for their Black History posts. They never used it or communicated anything else with me so I politely wrote them back and declined my interest telling them to not use my article. Now (after February smh) I will post the 3 part series over the next 3 weeks.

Reflecting back to a time where video games were beginning to focus heavily on a story mode and adding characters that the gamer cares about, there was something missing for gamers of color. We loved playing as Sora in Kingdom Hearts, teaming up with our brother Luigi to fix a problem in the Mushroom Kingdom and even helping Leon to unmasked the horrors inside of Raccoon City. These are awesome games and the characters will always be role models to gamers across the world, but where was the role model for a kid of color? A dark skinned, hero that would save the day and possessed the values of truth, honor and humility? In honor of Black History Month, we will take a look at the Evolution of Gaming and how a once dominated field is becoming more diverse. Power up Players for the Evolution of Black Characters in Gaming!

 

Before we get too far into this post, I want to say that I am aware of how controversial diversity and inclusion can be. My goal is to shine light on how far we have come in video games and not to whine, complain or force my views on anyone. As bloggers we have opinions that we share daily and while this one isn’t as light as I normally like to be, there’s real value in speaking out for the causes that you believe in. What you will be reading is a well-researched, honest review of just how far the gaming industry has come. Today’s post will talk about early gaming (from my experience) in the early 90s and each week I will post another era of gaming.

 

When we take a look at my early years in gaming, Fighting games were one of the more predominant genres. On Super Nintendo Street Fighter II was my very first experience with fighting games. Looking to identify, I would always select a female character and Chun-Li was my absolute favorite. I noticed from an early age that finding a character that’s more closely associated with my race (and even gender) wasn’t something in popular demand. I will say, that the character of Balrog (English name) was a step in the right direction for having more diversity and inclusion. Balrog is an American Boxer who is modeled off of Mike Tyson.  Balrog  His features were exaggerated and his I.Q and back story fit into a stereotype that I was not fond of. Balrog was a highschool dropout, mean, intimidating and an obsessive rule breaker. He was the brawn and for a time, many “Balrog” character types  would flood the market in the 90s.

 

T.J. Combo from Killer Instinct is another example of a character taking on an ‘stereotypical’ role for a character of color.  tj combo T.J. appeared in the inaugural Killer Instinct game in 1994 and progressed as a person in the storyline. T.J. is not a morally “good guy” but he is far from Balrog. T.J. has similar traits like being an American Boxer and being super pumped ,but he takes a different turn. TJ starts as an arrogant, fighter desperately reaching for fame and glory at any costs. He loses his way and reaches rock bottom before realizing that he needed to make a change. Now TJ fights to save the world and save his corrupted soul.

His moral compass doesn’t always point north, but TJ is trying his best to atone for his past mistakes the only way he knows how: Punching things. Hard.

— TJ’s story mode description

T.J’s portrayal is satisfying and we are starting to get away from the earlier stereotypes of the 90s. At least we are starting to.

 

We meet a character named Marvin Branagh in Resident Evil II when he is bloody and on his last life.  Marvin The police officer was attacked by the zombies in Raccoon City and Marvin is one of the people that you will encounter as you play through as Leon. What I love about this instance is that Marvin, even though he plays a small role, plays a vital role in the Resident Evil storyline. Marvin is the source of information that sets the story in motion for Leon. He exhibits traits of a hero by being a police officer and he also displays nobility by providing Leon with a ID keycard to save the survivors. Marvin, even though you can skip this scene, is portrayed brilliantly in his final minutes and he is given the respect he deserves…. Until you have to kill him, what did you expect? He was bit lol.

 

The evolution of minority characters in gaming received a major lift when Mortal Kombat made a great, heroic character named Jax.  jax Major Jackson Briggs has been appearing in MK canon as early as Mortal Kombat II and he is a staple of the franchise. Jax is a United States Special Forces agent and the superior to Lieutenant Sonya Blade. Jax adorns bionic, metal arms that makes him a tough opponent in a brawl and coupled with his Special Forces training, he is a worthy opponent for anyone. His own spin off as the main protagonist.

 

The early years of gaming has its flaws, but there’s also something good that can born in the ashes. Someone has to be a villain and someone has to be a hero. Can you blame the developers for catering to a specific demographic and playing into the stereotypical roles of that generation? In modern gaming, we see larger strides for diversity and inclusion for all races and that’s something to be proud of. For the first time, we have African American headliners like in the game Crackdown and 50 Cents Blood on the Sand, but we also now have another controversial issue to look at: The language and portrayal of the characters. Yes ,we are no longer hidden behind low IQs and a poor upbringing, but now we are loud, proud and sometimes a little foul-mouthed.  Tune in next week where I talk about modern video game characters having an impact.

 

-Luna

Throwback Tuesday: Diddy Kong Racing

Hiya Gamers and Friends! Happy Tuesday 🙂 Today will be our weekly Throwback Tuesday post where I will feature, well you know something old and we can stroll down memory lane. This week will be one of my favorite Nintendo 64 games; Diddy Kong Racing!

Diddy Kong Racing is an awesome single or multiplayer racing game in which you are able to select your character and vehicle depending on the map. This game was awesome as you had a story mode, racing mode and battle mode. The colors and sound effects in the game were so bright and vibrant that you couldn’t help but smile while you play. did My favorite characters to play with were Pipsy (the little mouse) and Conker the squirrel! Just like in Mario Kart the characters that you would select affected specific racing attributes such as speed, power and handling so you would choose you characters wisely. You were able to choose some of your favorite characters like Diddy  or Banjo!

The Vehicles- You were able to select an airplane, a hovercraft or a race car for the various levels in which you would be competing. Story mode was cool because your boss battles consisted of beating the boss character in a 1 on 1 race, never mind the fact that all of the bosses were huge in comparison. did2All in all, Diddy Kong racing was an awesome game to play and my pick for this week’s Throwback Tuesday! What games do you miss playing? Have you ever played Diddy Kong Racing? What other racing games come to mind? Let’s talk retro/ old school!

Remember slow and steady wins … well not this race!

-Luna