30 Day Video Game Challenge (Days 26-30)

Day 26 – Best voice acting.
All the voice acting in the entire Mass Effect series except for Mark Meer as ShepLoo, and especially Jennifer Hale as FemShep. Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age II are a very close second and third, respectively.

Day 27 – Most epic scene/moment ever.
Every single time the Normandy appears on the screen for the first time or swoops in for a daring rescue in any Mass Effect – no matter how many times I have played the games, I get shivers. I love Joker forever for practically dropping the Mako on top of Saren’s head.

Day 28 – Favorite game developer.
My current Bioware obsession is obvious, so I would be foolish not to include it here. Above all things, I love character and story and Bioware has not yet failed to give me these things in quantity, even when they sometimes fail with the quality. Thankfully, I have Orlais headcanon to save me from going completely insane when they let me down. But that too is a credit to their story telling. Their ideas are immense and, even if they don’t manage to get the ideas across clearly and canonically, there is still so much room for headcanon that I can’t hate them for it. I can just blame it all on blood magic and move to Orlais.

Honourable mention goes to Square Enix. I really didn’t know or care about game companies until I started playing Final Fantasy 7 and soon fell into their beautiful trap. There is no doubt that they produce some of the most intriguing and stunning games – sometimes too stunning for their own good. They have had their failures, but, because of the humility they showed after their greatest let down, I respect them and will continue to support them and wish certain other companies would learn a lesson from their humility.

 Day 29 – A game you thought you wouldn’t like, but ended up loving.
My husband bought Final Fantasy XI and both of us just assumed I would lose interest after a short while. For this and financial reasons, we shared an account. Boy was that almost the end of our relationship! Despite my initial fears about an MMORPG, I soon got into it and am so pleased to say that I have so many fond (and sometimes not so fond) memories from this game – not just because of the game itself, but because of the people I met along my journey. I remember all of them. From Jadefox, who took me under his wing and helped me get my skull from Gusgen Mines, to Lilfitz who showed me how a mage should function in party, to Heimdall, the leader of my first Linkshell, Asgard, to my static, to everyone in Valor, HopeFromAsh and GotJugs… There were many many things about the game itself that were wonderous and fun and frustrating and challenging and painful and joyous and hilarious, but it was the people I met along the way that made the game so … perfect.

Day 30 – Your favorite game of all time.
In this case, “favourite” is synonymous with “milestone” in terms of the following games:

The first is Final Fantasy 7, which was my first real introduction to the Final Fantasy series, as well as the full RPG format. It was the first game I’d played with an epic story and characters with unique personalities; characters who meant something. It was the first time I wanted to play through to completion – multiple times – which subsequently led to my introduction to the wonderful world of game guides. I was not hardcore enough to go after the Weapons, (I did visit them for lulz), but I did get all the Enemy Skills, mastered materia and bred a gold chocobo so that I could have all the summons. I went on to collect paraphernalia and posters and it led to my obligation to play every subsequent game with the words “Final Fantasy” attached (even though a few did not measure up).

Because of Final Fantasy 7, I was willing to try my first MMO, Final Fantasy XI. I had heard the bad things about MMOs and was nervous, but my fears were vanquished and I played on for almost a decade. While everyone else judges MMOs by WoW, I judge them by FFXI and wish more game developers would use elements from FFXI instead of constantly recycling WoW. There are so many intricate details in the mechanics, as well as interesting stories and characters that remain interesting and involved years later. Square Enix continues to produce end game content, where other new MMOs struggle and the game continues to tempt me to return….

Finally, there is Mass Effect. This is a game I’d heard nothing of and would likely not have cared if I did, until some friends started chatting about it on G+. They spoke passionately not merely about the game itself, but of the characters and story and that was enough to intrigue me. No regrets. It’s opened my mind to a whole new realm of gaming, in terms of the genre as well as the use of the PC, which I’d avoided for various reasons before. Playing the Mass Effect series has been as much an adventure for my Shepards as it has been a journey for me. And I’m still playing it…. Not a day goes by where my thoughts do not turn to Mass Effect in some way – whether it be giggling when the office printer calibrates, or discussing appropriate military strategy versus political benefits in regard to the sacrifice of the Destiny Ascension.

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