Writer. Gamer. Adopted Mountain Man. I get trapped in my head more often than not.

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With so many elements at odds with one another, this game still managed to stick with me after four years

I rarely ever preorder a game. I’ve been burned before, having fallen prey in my younger years to the Gamestop clerk warnings that if I didn’t pre-order right then and there, I probably wouldn’t get a copy on release day. I have boxes of sub-par, mediocre, and downright awful games that I was swayed into pre-ordering based on a fancy screenshot or by being tied to a recognizable franchise.

I did, however, make one exception a few years back. Square Enix was making World of Final Fantasy: a spin-off from the original series that incorporated elements of Pokémon, having the player wandering an expansive world, capturing iconic monsters from the series, and fighting alongside them. Looking back, I believe it was the art style that swayed me. These cute, doll-like characters bouncing around in a brightly colored world, forcing hulking behemoths of destruction to do their bidding looked so out of place that I just had to see what this game was about. …


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How Spiritfarer made me a more compassionate person

Games are in a unique place when it comes to the types of media we consume. More than any song, movie, or book, games put us — the player — in an active role to experience what it has on offer. And with that comes stronger emotional feedback. Whether it’s saving the princess, solving the puzzle, or winning the match, it means more because it happened to us directly.

A good game sticks with us because of this emotional bond we create with it. Think about the last game that made you cry. Or laugh. Or swell up with pride. Or caused you to become so angry that you threw your controller at the screen and stormed out of the room. These are all emotions that we as gamers are well acquainted. …

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