It’s me, Mario!

I’ve got a Mario problem!

If you know me in everyday life, you know I kind of suck at video games. It is why my previous obsession with Pokemon Lets Go Eevee! was mildly shocking. Prior to my Pokemon obsession, I can honestly say my biggest gaming accomplishments were:

  1. The Sims
  2. Dream Dollhouse (if you know, you know)
  3. Pokemon Stadium on the N64 but only the mini-games
  4. Reader Rabbit 2nd Grade
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Now that we have confirmed my professional status let me tell you about my newest obsession, Super Mario Party for the Nintendo Switch. As you may have noticed from the list above I was never a huge fan of the original Mario Party; because of this chosen ignorance I had wildly low expectations of Super Mario Party. I honestly thought it would be another game where Brenton carried the team while I sat there trying to figure out why my controller “doesn’t work” (a phrase I use willy nilly when things don’t seem to be going my way). Luckily, I was wrong. I LOVE this game. Here’s why:

  1. The premise is adorable. The story begins with Mario, his brother Luigi (I think they are plumbers) and all their animal and human friends fighting over who is best at the game. The equally adorable bad guys show up (Bowser Jr looks like the cutest brat you have ever met). From there the game gives you a quick overview of how things work for Mario and his friends. You select which cute creature or human you want to be, select a difficulty level and then you pick the realm you want to be in (aesthetics based). After you pick, they plop your little characters on a board and your character literally rolls a dice to get around the board. Cute, right?
  2. Mario, Luigi and their cute little friends let you play as a team. What I loved about games as a child, specifically games on consoles, was that I got to spend time with my brother while playing them. By allowing team play the game is preventing family fights and break ups worldwide. I honestly would not play if I had to play against Brenton, but communicating and working together on the same team is a fantastic way to spend the hour between dinner and bedtime.
  3. According to my research (aka yelling to ask Brenton if this is true) Mario Party has always been a turn style game. I enjoy that the game is set up like an electric board game, since I have slow gaming reflexes and hate games where I have to be super reactive to being attacked. Life is stressful enough, I don’t need big ole Bowser coming at me when it’s not his turn.
  4. Mini-games! I love minigames, see Pokemon Stadium line item above. In Mario Party mini-games occur after each team moves on the board. Mini-games are different each round and we have yet to play the same one twice. They can be anything from shaking your controller in a circle to row a boat to identifying the right pictures.  It’s honestly the only thing I am good at on most games since it involves less skill and more chaotic energy (thanks Aries rising).

My only con was that they really did Princess Peach dirty. The poor femme fatale of most mario games was set up to fail even when the computer played as her. We played a round of the game on the “Normal” difficulty level and the computer just kept getting her squashed with a wall. The poor princess never stood a chance.

Let me know in the comments if you have a favorite game!

I’m a Gamer

Okay, so I lied. I am not a huge gamer, especially when it comes to single player games, but recently I’ve fallen in love with Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee! on the Nintendo Switch.

As I mentioned before, I’m not good at playing alone. If I am going to do a solitary activity it is usually passive. My favorite solitary activities are reading, taking baths, watching Youtube and scrolling through Instagram when I should be doing something else. Doing something interactive with a computer is not usually my jam I would much rather hang with humans (or Herman).  

Normally, when I play video games I get stressed. The gamer life is not ideal for my anxiety ridden self. Having to make real time decisions in a virtual world is overwhelming; isn’t it bad enough we have to do that in reality? As a pacifist in reality and virtual realities, I would much rather watch someone play a fighting game then play it myself.

But lately, this has all changed. I’ve become a Pokémon addict (dare I say, MASTER). Granted, I think a lot of my enjoyment comes from the sense of nostalgia since I loved watching the show as a child. But within DAYS of purchasing the game I had spent well over 24 hours with my Eevee. In true gamer style I struggled to put it down. I managed to find the game relaxing, entertaining and methodical much like the old Pokémon games we all played on Nintendo

What makes this game so calming to me is that battles are all turn based, meaning that I have time to plan my next move instead of just pressing random buttons and hoping I manage to hit my opponent. I find the story, especially the time spent exploring the cities and talking to other characters, engaging and exciting. My favorite part of the game is going on mini adventures to help townspeople in the places my Eevee and I visit.

There’s also a charming method to the game. In every city Eevee and I visit, we explore, go to the Pokémon gym and get a new Pokémon. The method to completing the game is very intuitive and it is literally impossible to do it wrong.My favorite aspect is that you can PET YOUR EVEE and it will give you presents. It’s like having a tamagotchi that doesn’t need to be fed or a furby that doesn’t yell at you to rock it to sleep in the middle of the night. I named my Eevee Herman, after our dear sweet corgi boy, and nothing brings me more joy than simultaneously petting Herman irl and Herman the Eevee at the same time.I will note that this game is designed for children which makes it the most fun for adults like myself who are not well versed in the video game tricks.

I am absolutely loving this game and struggle to put it down each night. I highly recommend this game to anyone who wants to try video games but isn’t ready for something fast paced. If you’re in possession of a Nintendo Switch and want something mellow and enjoyable give this a try and let me know what you think. Now I got to go, Herman needs some virtual pets!