VGC Day 1: What was your very first video game?

VGC Day 1: What was your very first video game?

About 20 years ago, I was 5 years old in Gulf Shores celebrating Christmas with my mom and grandma. I awoke to a big box in the middle of our beach rental home’s living room. After opening my Pokemon cards with a sweet note from Santa, I finally asked about the big box. My mom was really excited for me to tear into it, and I was just excited over how big it seemed. At the bottom of the giant box was a PlayStation with two controllers and two video games: Spyro the Dragon and Frogger.

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Absolutely beside myself with joy, my mom and grandma set up the PlayStation and gathered around while I put in Spyro. I had played a little bit of Mortal Kombat and Sonic the Hedgehog on Sega Genesis, but watching the screen fill with that purple dragon and all his glory was something I couldn’t forget. My mom and grandma took turns playing and my little heart was so full and amazed.

Later that day, we took turns playing against each other in Frogger. The top down game was different than anything I had played before, but it didn’t compare to the world of Spyro the Dragon. I played and played Spyro until my thumbs hurt. I played and played until I finally beat it. What a bittersweet feeling it was to beat the game that opened my eyes to gaming and becoming a gamer.

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Spyro logo recreated by FreezingIceKirby.

Years later, I sat down to play Spyro again, this time on my PlayStation 3. I played and played and played… until I beat it again. This time at 100% completion. The same bittersweet feeling came over me, but also a sense of accomplishment. I had beaten my first childhood game at 100%.

Spyro will forever hold a special place in my heart. It made me into a gamer; it made me want to go into gaming as a career. It took me to another world when I needed to get away; it challenged me in ways I didn’t expect. Here’s to you Spyro. May we see you again soon!

Want to see more of the 30 Day Video Game Challenge? Want to try the challenge yourself? Read this post here!

So what was your very first video game? Tell me in the comments!

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Saturday Suggestion – Game: Doki Doki Literature Club!

Saturday Suggestion – Game: Doki Doki Literature Club!

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Trigger warning for suicide, self harm, and other disturbing content.

You’ve read the game tags. You’ve read the warnings. You’ve read the reviews. It’s on Steam for free. Now it’s your turn to experience the psychological horror that is Doki Doki Literature Club!

Don’t let the innocent logo, shades of pink, and the stereotypical looking visual novel ladies fool you. This game made me scream, and never have so many obscenities come out of my mouth while playing a Steam game before. Jump scares? Check! Nightmares? Check! Images burned into my eyeballs? Check! Music stuck in my head for days? Check! Check! Check! As always, buckle up for a spoiler free review!

Brief intro: You’re a high school student in a very typical Japanese style visual novel. You meet the first girl, your childhood best friend named Sayori, on your way to school. You walk together every day. After a bit of pestering from Sayori about what club you’re going to be in this year, you start to consider possibly joining a club. After class is over, Sayori invites you to stop in at her club where you meet three other girls: Monika, the president of the Literature Club and the most popular girl in school, Natsuki, the typical tsundere who loves cute things, manga, and baking, and Yuri, the mysterious and introverted bookworm.

Things are definitely checking off all the boxes for your typical romance visual novel. You get a glimpse of personalities from the girls, you’re pushed into being a member of the club, and after what you’ve seen so far, things are normal. Normal and quiet… You are lulled into a simple choice romance game, picking what you know will get you the most time with a girl. Creating poems to be shared with each girl to get to know her better…

But slowly, you start to see things. Little things. In the dialogue. In the poems. Things that make you take a second look. Things that don’t quite make sense. Things that don’t belong… Things that frighten you.

Review: Hang on tight, because shit gets cray in Doki Doki. I finished this game in 2 days because I just HAD TO KNOW what the F was going on. With a game play of about 2 to 10 hours, it’s short and sweet but leave your heart jumping from your chest. Fans of thrillers and psycho horrors: this game is for you.

Without spoiling the game or ending, this game gets under your skin. It starts off innocently enough and is cleverly disguised as a romance visual novel with your typical high school guy and four girls to “choose” from. Endless dialogue and the usual choices will start to make you yawn (or if you’re like me and actually enjoy visual novels you’ll feel right at home). Then… it starts.

Strange poetry, strange dialogue, strange reactions from the girls, and strange game glitches. You’ll be scratching your head wondering if that just happened. Was it a part of the game? Are you seeing things? Why are the girls acting so weird? You’ll think back to past conversations as the pieces start to fit together.

Speaking of strange poetry, the poems that you share every day with the girls in the Literature Club is a game mechanic I haven’t encountered before but definitely has a place in Doki Doki. You choose from a set of words twenty times to create your poem. These words range from ‘sunshine’ to ‘suicide’ and correlate to each girl. Pick the right ones for the right girl, and you’ll have her attention. Despite never getting to see your poems, it’s still a neat game mechanic

Beautiful and sometimes haunting music accompany the Japanese style visual novel graphics. It’s subtle enough to accompany the story without taking you away, but haunting enough to be stuck in your head for days (just ask my husband). The character art is very well done and up to visual novel standards. There’s static movement with the occasional full size shot of the girl you are romancing. For a free game, it was most definitely crafted with love by Team Salvato. I’m looking forward to any other games they put out on the Steam store.

Doki Doki Literature Club truly belongs in it’s own genre. It’s terrifying, discusses mental health on a highly uncomfortable level, incorporates heavy foreshadowing in an already intricate story, and really screws with you as a player (hello, fourth wall breaking!). You’ll even find yourself digging into the game files to uncover… things. Do yourself a favor, and play Doki Doki Literature Club.

Official Rating: M

Genre(s): Psychological Horror, Visual Novel, Dating Sim

Score: 5 out of 5 stars!

MCFT: Healthy Party Food (+ Recipes) for D&D Night

MCFT: Healthy Party Food (+ Recipes) for D&D Night

I was super excited to be invited into a D&D campaign with some of my best friends a couple of months ago. I love everything about D&D and have loads of fun every time we play. Every Friday we get together and eat while we hash out the DM’s puzzles and battles. It’s been a great experience for me as a beginner.

Because it’s dinner time when we get together, we usually order take out or bring take out to the games. Here lately to save on cash, we’ve tried bringing in meat and cheese trays, pizza rolls, etc. Unfortunately, this isn’t that good for you. I wanted to find some healthy recipes beyond hummus and chips or veggie trays. Here’s some easy recipes to feed your adventurers during a D&D night.

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Saturday Suggestion – Game: Fantasy Life

Saturday Suggestion – Game: Fantasy Life

Fantasy Life is an RPG for the Nintendo 3DS. The game is set in a beautiful and vast fantasy-like world. You can create your own avatar to explore the lands and pick a job (but don’t fret; you can try them all). There are limitless possibilities in your new life including setting on a grand adventure to save the world.

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Saturday Suggestion – Game: Lollipop Chainsaw

Saturday Suggestion – Game: Lollipop Chainsaw

So… If you have seen images and screenshots relating to Lollipop Chainsaw, you may be scratching your head wondering what in the world does killing zombies have to do with a half naked cheerleader, and why is there a man’s head on her hip? Well, it got my attention, enough so that I just had to get my hands on and play this all the way through in a matter of hours (definitely not at 100% completion though).

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Saturday Suggestion – Game: Catherine

Saturday Suggestion – Game: Catherine

Catherine is by far one of the weirdest yet most addicting games I have ever played. I wanted it as soon as it came out simply because I’m all for choice-making games and puzzles that make you think. It’s definitely not for kids though as innocent as puzzles sound. I’m sure by now you know how much I love a good romance, but you know what spoils it? A love triangle. So… who will you choose? Katherine or Catherine?

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Saturday Suggestion – Game: Animal Crossing New Leaf

Saturday Suggestion – Game: Animal Crossing New Leaf

This game is for sure my new addiction. I bought a 3DS solely for the purpose of playing this lovely gem. I actually had the first one for my GameCube and completely fell in love! Don’t let the art style fool you into thinking it’s just another kids’ game. It’s for anyone and everyone (trust me, I’m 21 years old). The point of this game isn’t reaching new levels or gaining points. The point is simply adventure. You get to spend your time just exploring this amazing, creative world all in real time.

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