As you may or may not know, in addition to writing, I enjoy playing video games.
We played World of Warcraft back when it was vanilla. I remember when Burning Crusades was released…yeah, I just aged myself. We decided online games were not for us. We explored other games, and fell in love with many fan favorites: Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Mass Effect, Assassin’s Creed etc.
My disappointment that many of these games abandoned decent writing in a desperate attempt to create a MMO (looking at you Mass Effect) aside, you will note that many of these are open worlds. Giant sandboxes to play in with little or no plot. Why? Because as Assassin’s Creed taught me when they killed the main protagonist (Desmond Miles, not Ezio or the various other past lives you jump into), the concept of story is not something most gaming companies do well.
So give me Fallout where I roam the wastes to find my father and basically get to explore, find cool stuff, and the like. Which, incidentally, is another game where their story-telling was SO bad they had to patch the ending. The game is so old I won’t consider this a spoiler, but literally most of your companions could complete the ending quest of walking into the radioactive room without being harmed (robots) or actually being healed (super mutant – which yes, I was such a goody-two-shoes I had one as my companion), but nope, you had to do it and die…for reasons… Yeah, they had to patch that. Not even their core gamer population was swallowing that.
Fallout is not kid friendly. Especially not the way we play with the one shot, one kill mentality. Yes, we like to play snipers in our house. As we play through Skyrim and find ourselves already able to sneak without penalty in our full daedric armor before ever find the Nightingale quest line…
But we have not yet figured out a way to turn off the graphic violence of a head shot in these games, and the heads on pikes in Fallout are not for children. So kids has meant we turned to many old favorites that are family friendly, like the Legend of Zelda and Mario Kart.
As part of this, we bought Super Smash Brothers mostly to get a chance to play the characters from a whole slew of different games.
Because my daughter desperately wanted to play Zelda.
Sad that Zelda was not even a favorite in the game…But there was this whole slew of characters I had never seen before that intrigued me. So, I started checking into their games, figuring they would be more games I could share with my kids as they were all Nintendo…
Ummm, yeah. I got sucked into the Fire Emblem series in 2019 through Super Smash Brothers as so many got sucked into it over two decades ago when Smash Brother came out on the Nintendo 64. The only reason Nintendo even brought Fire Emblem to the US was how many people wanted it after playing Smash Brothers back then.
Fire Emblem. A strategy game, with crazy characters that I build relationships with so I can marry them off then recruit their kids to my team?!? This exists? And no one told me?
I discovered my ultimate gamer catnip.
Or so I thought.
Then I learned the hard way. The Fire Emblem series doesn’t believe in happily ever after.