Staff Picks: Favorite Video Games
Super Smash Bros.
I was lucky enough to be an MC for Nintendo when the original Super Smash Bros. came out. Not only did I get to play it before anyone else, I helped introduce this amazing game at E for All to a bunch of screaming Nintendo fanatics.
Flash forward to now, and of course, I had to get Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for my Nintendo Switch. The graphics are stunning, the music epic, the gameplay amazing, but sadly I really, really suck at it. I mean the computer beats me all the damn time. It’s rather pathetic.
WHY GOD WHY? I remember I used to kill it at this game. Well, the original. Am I getting old? Hopefully, practice makes perfect, because that’s exactly how you will find me on the subway during my daily commute. Hunched over my Switch battling it out with Pikachu as my go-to fighter. Pika Pika.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Alison Lea Bender
This game is EPIC. I mean, you can literally battle as the Piranha Plant now. The new edition for the Nintendo Switch is a dream come true. I’m still waiting for Nintendo to release Hello Kitty as a character, but in the meantime I will smash your lights out with my Ganon. Seriously though, I’m not a very competitive person, but when it comes to my games I can be VERY petty. Wanna battle, bruh? Hit me up if you’re brave enough and want my Switch ID.
Never Been a Gamer!
Never been my thing… I played FIFA once. That was fun.
Started on Atari now we’re here. Kidding, I started playing Frogger on Intellivision, perhaps the only gaming console to ever rock a portmanteau. Turns out I like to have control over things, so the farther away you could sit from the screen, the less interest I had in gaming. Remotes? You lost me. But beyond the game, Frogger as a concept has remained with me throughout life: everything feels like chaotic traffic, it’s an endless race for points that can’t buy me happiness, and all I want to do is go home without getting hit by a car or murdered.
Street Fighter II
The year was 1995. I was 14, a Navy brat living in Japan, and in love with my first real boyfriend. It’s incredible how much I remember of this time, like I was high on some teenage psychotropic hormone running thick in my blood. And never in my life have I spent more time in an arcade than in 1995.
My affection for Street Fighter II blossomed from the sheer fact that it was my boyfriend’s absolute favorite. This was pre-mainstream internet, meaning there were no convenient tutorials to watch on how to be a better gamer. I don’t know how he got his skills other than repetition -- those joystick button combos were like second nature to him.
So yes, I was impressed, but that wasn’t why I hung around the arcade, wasting precious time I’ll never get back. I was there for the kissing... It’s hard to explain, even harder to imagine its legitimacy, but my 14-year-old self lived for each kiss that came with a victory. My boyfriend would pause between “guys” he was defeating and lean in for a sloppy teenage kiss that was so new and electric to me that I remained glued to his side. We must’ve been a sight to behold -- two unabashed awkward teens, hunched over this console taking intermittent breaks to make out in public... in an arcade.
I wouldn’t go back in time if you paid me, but there sure is something in that lack of self-awareness that is freeing and innocent. Thanks, Street Fighter II, for contributing to my early days of sexual awakening. Who woulda thought?
When I was a kid, my younger brother kept beating me at all the video games we played. Pokémon, Super Smash, Mario Kart, all of them. And I’m a terrible loser. So no more for me. #Ruined
I am a huge Super Smash Bros. fan, but since Alex already covered it, I gotta reflect on what was the most lit game back in my prime years… POKÉMON STADIUM. After purchasing the original Pokémon Blue Version for my Game Boy, I spent my subsequent years wishing with all my might that Pokémon could be real. Imagine the hype when Pokémon Stadium was released for the Nintendo 64 and we were all one step closer to having real-life Pokémon battles. 2018 gave us Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu/Eevee, which is way more interactive, but the year 2000 was a much simpler time, and our expectations of graphics and features were much lower than today’s. When Pokémon Stadium came out, it was my opportunity to battle on a whole new level, and my following obsession seems like the only natural response. Cut to 2019, I am a grown man who still wishes Pokémon were real, and is currently holding out for the Detective Pikachu movie. Who’s with me?
Aaron Amodt - @amodttech
Willow Chang - @lovely_miss_willow
Metal Gear Solid
Jared Chiang-Zeizel - @Jaredchiangzeizel
Animal Crossing or Bioshock
Kingdom Hearts III
Christopher Liu - @therechrisgoes
Call of Duty MW2
Morley - @morley _nelson
Andrew K. Orton - @Ortonaylmao
Rakuen created by Laura Shigihara (half Japanese-half Caucasian musician/video game creator)
Allison Yang - @allison.yang