In this series finale of the board and card game series I had hoped to evolve over time, we're keeping our spirits high with a look at two recent, fantastic releases from publisher Fantasy Flight Games: The Witcher Adventure Game and Star Wars: Imperial Assault.
We've been debating publishing this video for weeks. Now, as imaginary armed men pound on the fictional doors of Joystiq's nonexistent office, we have precious little time to debate any further. So here it is, a video of Satoru Iwata set to the theme of Sanford and Son. It was created my Mike Suszek in a fit of madness and giggles.
We present it here, without context, because it's our last chance. Please understand.
Ladies and gentlemen it's time/for the maracas and the tambourines/to play them until they break or until day break/don't hide anymore its time to be seen.
So: here we are. One more Joystiq Streams before we all become something else, something grand, something new. We'll have almost the entire crew on, most playing, for a little bit of the old Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.
It all happens on Twitch.tv/Joystiq at 3:00PM EST. Be there.
One of my earliest game experiences was playing Hunt the Wumpus on the TI-99/4A. I can't recall if we had this early home computer because my mother had gone back to school for a degree in computer science, or because my aunt worked at Texas Instruments. Anyway, I played a lot of Hunt the Wumpus, which was like Minesweeper meets Evolve. You're tasked with moving a hunter through various interconnected circles, where red dots indicated the Wumpus was two spots away, but there were also bats that could move you to another location and insta-death pits that were telegraphed like the Wumpus, only with green dots. It was one of the earliest games I can remember playing consistently, teaching me before I was in kindergarten on how thoughtful game design can convey a wealth of information.
Listen to the MP3
Listen to other Joystiq Presents episodes.
It was too good to be real, and it still is. But the job isn't what I'm going to miss the most. Honestly, I could do without another 2:00AM review embargo for the rest of my life. What I will miss are the people I work with every day. I've met some amazing human beings over the last eight and a half years, but it is the Joystiq crew as it was in 2014 that has earned my undying love. I've always striven to do the best work I can, but work isn't what defines me. These wonderful people define me, and that's what tears me apart. A job I can lose, but how do you say goodbye to a piece of yourself?
With that in mind, maybe you'll understand why I've chosen the games I have. I've certainly spent plenty of alone time with some incredible games, but the ones that stand out in my memory are the ones that I've shared with others. I wish I could say that Joystiq isn't really closing down, that we've all just stepped into some ethereal version of Ludwig's San Francisco apartment for a TowerFall break. Like the schmaltzy ending to your favorite sitcom, we revel in victory and agonize in defeat. We clink glasses, punch thighs, pump fists. Before long, the credits roll and the sounds of our revelry grow quieter until everything finally fades to black. The show is over, there will never be another episode, but in your mind's eye we've never stopped. We'll carry on playing TowerFall forever (or Mario Kart, or Smash Bros, or...).
I'd like to imagine that's what really happened, and so I will.
In my recent Joystiq Presents episode I talked about the profound impact the strategy guide of Chrono Trigger had on my love of games. Being able to finally play the game, just thinking of the first time I had that chance, still gets me a little choked up.
It still stands as my favorite game of all time. I've played it a countless amount of times on so many platforms. It has wonderful characters, a story about fighting fate and shaping the world. I don't know if was supposed to be so "heady," but I think of it that way. It was meaningful, it showed the consequences of action, it had a talking Frog and a badass Robot.
To me, Chrono Trigger is perfect.
I love games.
I want to see games continue to evolve, change and grow. I want my enthusiasm for them to never die, for my joy and sense of camaraderie in my fellow gamers to always persist. And so, at a time when it would be very easy to be jaded, we've decided to instead continue talking about why we love games. These are my picks for games of a lifetime.
I'm not a marathon video game player – for me, binging on or tirelessly replaying masterpieces downplays the great moments within, tainting them with an undeserved state of blandness. And yet, there is something about Super Mario World's construct that is immune to my fickle play style. Though I've been hurling Luigi down pits since I was old enough to earn player 2 privileges, Super Mario World is a ceaseless joy to return to, even if an encore ensues moments after besting Bowser with a few well-aimed Mechakoopas.
I'm inclined to most romps through the Mushroom Kingdom, but Super Mario World's memorable level design, subtle secrecy and introduction of the greatest power-up of all time elevate it above every other Mario Bros outing. Above all else, it's the king of fun within my gaming career – there is not a moment coded into that rackety cartridge that isn't bliss to play, even when a pack of Rip Van Fish inspire a spike of stress with their chase. Super Mario World was, is and probably always will be my hometown in the world of video games, and I look forward to reveling in nostalgia as I shove a pack of kids into their lava-filled demise during future homecomings.
The Joystiq Podcast
Latest episode: Friday, January 16th, 2015