Warp Drive

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Nintendo Rhapsody [WIP!]

What follows is a very personal account of mine. It is not easy to write, and as such, I am taking my time with it.

Table of Contents
- World 1: Far From Home
- World 2: Back in the Cradle
- World 3: Genesis
- World 4: Trial Separation
- World 5: Nintendo Strikes Back

World 1: Far From Home

When I was eight years of age, I lived away from home for a few months in East Los Angeles at a facility known simply as The Diagnostic School. It was a wretched experience. I slept in a dormitory-style bedroom with other children like myself. All the while being monitored from just outside by a member of their staff. My medication was also closely monitored. Various drugs and dosages therein were administered. At one point, a patch was applied to my back. If a child was especially naughty, they would lock them in a padded room devoid of light, until they were willing to cooperate. Needless to say, I was quite the school trouble maker to have found myself in a place like that. By day, I attended classes per usual and ate what everyone else ate from the cafeteria. I grew to loathe cafeteria food.

It was a wretched experience. All but for two defining memories. One was the day in which my dad, on leave from a jury summons, walked into the facility by surprise and took me out to lunch. It was one of those rare whisked away on a magic carpet ride moments. One which I will never forget. The other defining memory could be found in the lounge of The Diagnostic School. A little grey box that sat underneath a television. I knew what it was called, though I could not spell it at the time. It was the Nintendo Entertainment System. Yes, it was the NES that helped me through that whole experience. Within the confines of that room, I could be anything I wanted to be. A war hero on a mission to rescue P.O.W.'s from enemy encampments, an Elvish child with a desire to wear green tunics and raid large temples, or even a lovable but often misled plumber. With the right mindset, magic awaited within every NES game cartridge. Enough so, that even now, I almost forget that which I was initially writing about. Thus began a lifelong romance with Nintendo.

The Diagnostic School: Nintendo Sketch

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Farewell, Satoru Iwata

I, like many others, was shocked to learn of Satoru Iwata's sudden death. Yet another tragic victim of cancer. He was Nintendo​'s chief executive officer. But he was so much more to the fans; more than a mere businessman. He himself was a gamer. He touched so many with his Iwata Asks and Nintendo Direct initiatives.

IGN's tribute illustrates the man far better than I can put into words...

IGN's A Farewell Tribute to Nintendo's Satoru Iwata

Monday, June 29, 2015

To the Moon

I just happened to see a Twitter message by Josh Henry​ a few nights ago about a game titled To the Moon by Freebird Games​. He was wondering how it was. I then realized I already possessed the game in my Steam library. Yet another one of those Steam games I had never touched. I probably picked it up via a Humble Indie Bundle and forgot all about it. On a whim, I decided to give it a shot. My first thought was Chrono Trigger. Something about the 16-bit graphics and the accompanying music score. As I entered the big house and found a man on his death bed, I shivered for a moment before pressing onward. I was taken aback to something I hoped I had blocked out for good. Which is, coincidentally enough, the very essence of this game. Repressed memories. To the Moon takes place in an era in which scientists can link up with dying patients and retrieve memories digitally from their unconscious minds. Think Inception or Psychonauts. As such, the game turns out being a rather emotional journey! As we begin to piece together the life of that man, Johnny, we uncover his deepest secrets. We then meet the love of his life, River, and come to understand the relationship they share. As I wrote in my Steam review, "Chrono Trigger with even more emotion and intrigue." I made note there how To the Moon is quite linear with only bits of exploration here and there. The only real puzzle is a match game completed at the end of each memory. If you enjoy rich stories, however, it is definitely worth checking out. It is a heartfelt experiment in human feeling! As one final note: You will cry!

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