Star Wars Video Games Are Great

Over my many years of enjoying video games, quite a few of those have been Star Wars games. It’s a good franchise with quite a lot of world built around it through various games, books, and the movies (of course). In this post, I’ll tell you about a few of my favorites without spoiling too many details of the stories. I know you’re terribly surprised that I like Star Wars games.

Note: before I continue, be aware that when Disney acquired Star Wars, they removed all but the main movies and current cartoon shows from canon. The old games and novels are now referred to as “legends”, so they may be accurate or may not be. Essentially, Disney can use what they like and ignore what they don’t.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

This is one of the many games that I own multiple copies of. In this case, I own the standard disc-installed PC version of the game as well as a Steam copy. I had to start here as it is one of the most popular Star Wars games and one of my personal favorites.

Knights of the Old Republic

The game has a thoroughly epic storyline where you follow a force-sensitive character who eventually becomes a Jedi. As with most RPG games of its era, you get to choose a lot about the character: name, appearance, gender, skills, traits, etc. As an RPG, it’s quite story-driven, so you’ll be making choices throughout the game, and those will often correspond with either the light-side or dark-side of the Force. Having a character alignment system based on player decisions should feel familiar to gamers today, but was not common when this game was originally released.

As Star Wars tends to, the game starts you off in the middle of the action; you’re aboard a ship during a space battle. There’s a quick bit of exposition to get you into the story, and the first scene is more tutorial than anything else.

As with most BioWare RPG games of the era, this game leverages an underlying rules system that will remind people of Dungeons and Dragons, since it is a D20-based system. I’m not familiar with the exact rules of the Star Wars D20 system, but I’m sure this is somewhat close to that pen and paper game’s rules.

For anyone who has played BioWare’s Baldur’s Gate or Neverwinter Nights games, this will feel very similar as those use the Dungeons and Dragons rules. And if you’re into BioWare’s newer games, you’ll feel some of where Mass Effect and Dragon Age came from.

Note: If you read my wife’s blog posts, you’d know that we love this game. We named our cats after characters from the gameJolee and Juhani.

Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords

Strangely enough, for those who know that both Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Star Wars: The Old Republic (The MMO) were created by BioWare, this game is made by Obsidian Entertainment. I don’t know the details for that, but I do know that this game was rushed to completion and not entirely finished when it was released. All the same, Obsidian did make some interesting additions and create a fun game here.

KOTOR_II

It’s built on the same engine as the first game and continues the same story. We follow new characters for this one, but it will reference things done in the previous game, so it’s best to have played that one first. Although don’t be disheartened by the canon being set from the first game. It needed to make choices about what the player chose for the first game in order to pick up here. I believe the canon is that the first game has a male protagonist and the second game has a female protagonist, but you’re obviously welcome to choose how you like.

The second installment in this series adds some new concepts to the game, especially with regards to the relationships your character has with her companions. This will feel very familiar for people who’ve played modern, western RPG games like Mass Effect and Dragon Age.

I mentioned that the game was rushed, but the Internet has banded together to save the day. There are community patches, which will fix bugs as well unlock content that was cut from the game before release. The content was cut to meet a deadline, so it’s unfinished content. It’s available if you’re interested though.

Note: if you’re into it, my wife did a series of posts about revisiting Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 2 when she did a replay of it years ago.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed I & II

I first played this game on a console, which is great for this style of hack-and-slash gameplay. While the Knights of the Old Republic series could do well on either PC or console, this one shines nicely on a console. I know people that like hack-and-slashing on PC though, so do what you like! Personally, I like getting comfy on a couch when playing a game where I’m running around swinging a lightsaber.

The_Force_Unleashed

Force_Unleashed_2

I’ve paired these two together more for my convenience than anything else. I greatly enjoyed both of them and they follow one of my favorite characters to have ever been part of the overall Star Wars franchise, Galen Marek AKA Starkiller. I’m also a big fan of the actor who did the voice and motion capture work for the protagonist; and luckily for me, he attended a gaming convention near me where I was also in attendance! Needless to say, my wife was not happy about it (she wasn’t at the event). We’re both huge fans of his from this and other work he’s done.

This Force Unleashed series has a fun concept, since you’re starting out working for the Sith rather than the Jedi. Most games start you on the light side and let you choose a path, but this one starts you allied with the dark side. You still have some control of things, but it’s a good difference. In the game, you start as Darth Vader’s secret apprentice, so you’re traveling around the galaxy doing his bidding. In these travels, you get to hunt down the Jedi. The events take place between the original trilogy and the prequels, so it fits a nice area of the overall story.

Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire

One of the better known N64 and PC titles in the Star Wars universe is Shadows of the Empire, which features daring protagonist, Dash Rendar. As you may expect, he’s a “Han Solo”-type character. The game was received well enough at the time. It’s not renowned for any reason, but it is still playable if you’d like to. There are purchasable versions of it on gog and Steam.

Shadows_of_the_Empire

The story is set mostly between the events of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi and has you loosely involved with the events of the films. The game released with a novel and comics in a move likely to build hype for Star Wars leading up to the special editions of the original trilogy.

The game featured a few game modes, so it’s not just running around. There are scenes where you’re on foot as Dash, scenes where your ship is “on rails” and you shoot at incoming fighters, there are literal “on rails” levels where you jump along train cars in a 3D platforming style of play, and there are scenes where you ride around on speeders. There’s plenty of variety, and the chance to fight IG-88. In all, it’s a fun game to check out if you enjoy Star Wars!

Wrap Up

Yes, I know there are many other great Star Wars games. For example, I own the games in the Rogue Squadron series, but I just wanted to wrap up this post. I’ll write something about the Rogue Squadron series at some point.

If you’re looking for more used-to-be C-canon for Star Wars goodness check these or any of the other classic Star Wars games. You won’t regret it!

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Stephen King, Vampires, and Caped Heroes – Geekout 29

It’s time to discuss some geekiness today! Still a ways behind, but I’m hopeful that I’ll catch up. I’m writing these posts based on a page-a-day calendar that prompts me to name geeky things. Today we’re going to talk about Four Stephen King Book Titles, Four Video Games in which a Vampire is an Enemy, and Four Superheroes that Wear Capes. Seems reasonably possible. We’ll see if I can get all the way to four with that first one…

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And now for the content!

Four Stephen King Book Titles

Sadly, I tried to come up with all four here, but could only name 3. I’m falling one short. I’ve not read any of his books, however, I’m seen the movie adaptations of three of his novels. These are the novels.

IT

Saw this terrifying clown movie as a kid. At the time, however, I didn’t know the significance of who was cast as the clown. Let’s just say that I really enjoy his grin quite a bit. The film is based on the Stephen King novel, as I said, I’ve not read it.

The Shining

I don’t know how closely the film matches the book. I recall people talking about the differences, so I know there are some significant changes. Considering how good the film is, I’d expect the novel is very good as well. I think I might enjoy reading it, so I likely will at some point. Remind me not to take a job as a caretaker of an old hotel in the mountains…

Pet Sematary

This is a strange one. I don’t recall the details, except for undead pets. I think at least one of these was created intentionally. There’s an ancient burial ground (as there always is), and the pets buried there come back to life. Also, I had to look up the spelling of the title, because it’s not spelled correctly. The story is spelled that way because the children made a sign for the pet “sematary” where they buried their dead pets.

Four Video Games in which a Vampire is an Enemy

Had to be enemies. No Vincent for this one. I guess I’ll take my copies of Final Fantasy VII and go home… I’m going to count any enemies, whether they’re prominent in the game or not. I’m expecting that I can get a set of games that will all feature some prominent vampire. I’ll likely not shed too much light on them, however, since I hate spoilers.

Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn

Without getting into the details, this Dungeons and Dragons based game has more than a few vampires as enemies. Some of them are named, significant opponents, so I don’t want to get into those details for reason of spoilers. This is a great, classic game, and there’s an updated version of the game that plays well on modern hardware.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

This past Wednesday I was having a discussion with some friends about what a great year 1997 was for movies and video games. This is one of those 1997 released games that I mentioned. It’s often considered one of the best of this large franchise. Yes, the franchise is full of vampires as enemies.

Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines

This game has been in my Steam wish list for over two years now, and I’ve yet to play it. Having played Vampire: The Masquerade in its LARP form, I know that the game must have vampires as enemies. As I’m sure the main character must be a vampire as well. I always hear good things, and would like to play the game at some point.

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

There are plenty of vampires that you can fight in this game. And if you’re not careful, you can become one! There’s some disease that you get first, and you’ll be a vampire before you know it. Oops! People in the game start making comments about it, because you look kind of scary to them once you’re a vampire. Not good. Fun though!

Four Superheroes that Wear Capes

No capes! OK, these guys have capes, which Edna would not approve of. I’m going to allow anything even cape-like as long as it’s a loose fabric hanging down behind the shoulders. OK. Three. Two. One. Let’s jam!

Batman

Considering his nickname is The Caped Crusader, it’s hard to imagine him without a cape. Unlike some others, Batman uses a functional cape. Flight or glider depending on the incarnation, but it’s also part of his arsenal of flare and intimidation.

Superman

How else would you be able to tell he’s flying if he didn’t have a cape being pulled by wires behind him? This cape-wearing superhero would be hard to tell to leave the cape behind. He’s a bit more powerful than most heroes, so if he’s willing to chance it, I won’t tell him otherwise!

Thor

This Asgardian ruler has a certain look to uphold, and the cape is part of his wardrobe. I believe he’d be wearing this cape at home and when acting as a superhero. Again, hard to tell him not to. I think he’d keep the cape if only for the look it gives him.

Dr. Strange

Similar to the usefulness Batman finds in his cape, the Cloak of Levitation that Dr. Strange wears is quite powerful. It’s a magical cloak that allows Dr. Strange to fly and can even move around, acting as a powerful tool or weapon as needed.

Wrap Up

Looks like we got most of that. The next post will cover Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and General Geekiness.

Fictional TV Cities and Video Game Dragons – Geekout 27

As I make my way through my backlog of these, I’ll try to keep this interesting. I think there are a few good ones today. On this page of my page-a-day calendar I’ve been acting upon, I am supposed to name Two Characters from the Wind in the Willows, Four Fictional Cities which appear in Television Shows, and Two Video Games in which a Dragon is an Enemy.

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Here goes!

Two Characters from the Wind in the Willows

Never heard of this. What is it? Book? Movie? TV Show?

Four Fictional Cities which appear in Television Shows

I think I’ll choose cities where the show is based, not just ones that appear in the show. This will limit my choices, so I’ll allow myself to hit the same fictional world if needed.

Gotham – Batman (various)

Home of the caped crusader himself, Gotham has been in plenty of shows, including a show bearing the name. Where its located has changed between interpretations, but it’s a big city with some theatrical villains to be sure!

Central City – The Flash

Home of our good friend, Barry Allen, this centrally located city is somewhere in the middle part of the continent. Did the name give it away? I think it’s been in Ohio before, and I’m sure some interpretations have it further south in Missouri or Kentucky. Central is kind of relative term here, since the absolute middle of the country doesn’t have enough people.

Hawkins – Stranger Things

This nice, quiet Midwestern town doesn’t exist, does it? If it is named after a real city, sorry. It’s certainly not like this one though, or I seriously need to worry more in my life. If you’ve not seen Stranger Things, I’d recommend you check it out. It’s a Netflix sci-fi series that’s set in the 1980s, so it’s got all kinds of fun cultural references. I’ll give you a hint, the town’s not as quiet as I made it seem…

Sunnydale – Buffy the Vampire Slayer

What?!?! You mean the city surrounding the Hellmouth isn’t real?!?! I don’t think it is, since that name seems wholly manufactured to be ironic. Anyway, This is the city where Buffy fights against vampires, demons, etc.

Two Video Games in which a Dragon is an Enemy

Dragons are often enemies, so that part wasn’t too much of a restriction. I’ll allow any tier of enemy, so it doesn’t have to be the main villain of the game.

Skyrim

In this game of the Elder Scrolls series, there’s a great deal of dragon lore to be had. I’ll toss this mild spoiler in here, you play the game as a Dragonborn, which means that you have the soul of a dragon. You’ve got some nifty powers from this trait. And as I’m sure is no surprise, you get to kill dragons in this game. In fact, you get the chance to kill a dragon voiced by the same voice actor who plays Mario in all of those games.

Final Fantasy VIII

In Final Fantasy VIII there’s a fun scene where the character you’re controlling is performing on camera for a movie and in the scene he’s supposed to fight a dragon. Well, a real dragon shows up instead of the fake one. There are plenty of dragons you can fight in random battles in the game, but this one’s just a fun situation. After some running away, the characters regroup and fight the dragon.

Wrap Up

That’s some progress. Let’s see if we get some good stuff from Comics, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy tomorrow.

Hellboy, Sci-Fi Captains, and Flying Creatures – Geekout 23

Are you as excited for this list as I am? Probably not, since I’ve seen the prompts. Let’s jump right into this one! Today I’m tasked with naming Two characters from Hellboy, Four Fictional Sci-Fi Captains, and Four Fantasy Creatures that Fly.

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Let’s put it all together!

Two characters from Hellboy

Nope. I wasn’t excited about this one. The extent of my Hellboy knowledge is that I’ve seen parts of the movie a couple of times, many years ago. I also can’t come close to naming two characters.

Hellboy

Yep. I’m cheating here probably. This is all I’ve got. I know there’s the blue fish-looking guy and some others, but this is the only name I can come up with.

Four Fictional Sci-Fi Captains

This is one of the ones I was excited about, since there are some great choices.

Malcolm Reynolds – Firefly/Serenity

Malcolm is the Captain of the Serenity, a Firefly-class transport vessel. I’m not going to sit here and try to sell you on the show, I’m sure I (and others) have done that before.

Jean-Luc Picard – Star Trek

An honorable member of Starfleet, Jean-Luc Picard captains the Enterprise in Star Trek: The Next Generation, but I’m betting most of you knew that already. He and Kirk are Star Trek’s best known, which makes sense having each captained Enterprises on television and movies. And if you want to bother him, just barge in and call him John Luck Pickerd.

James Holden – The Expanse

I originally watched this series, but started reading the books before finishing watching the first season of the show. Now I’m nearly done reading the sixth (the most recent) book in the series. Season two will be out soon. It should cover the events of the second half of the first book. I’m looking forward to it. James Holden is a good captain of the Rocinante.

Han Solo – Star Wars

Didn’t think I’d skip this one, did you? Go Han Solo! This scruffy-looking Captain of the Millennium Falcon joins up with the rebellion after agreeing to ferry Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Have you really not seen Star Wars? If not, let me know. I’ve got recommendations for where to start!

Commander Shepard – Mass Effect

“I’m Commander Shepard and this is my favorite blog on the Internet.” – Commander Shepard

The protagonist of the Mass Effect series he/she captains the Normandy. I don’t want to get too into the details, since they’re pretty significant to the stories of the games. When playing the game, you decide whether Commander Shepard is male or female, so it’s hard to pronoun in this post.

Four Fantasy Creatures that Fly

One of the most useful abilities for a creature is flight. This level of mobility makes creatures useful in stories as hunters, mounts, and sometimes both!

Dragons

I’m not really sure what I need to say about Dragons as you should know of these already. There are plenty of types of dragons, and many of them are capable of flying. D&D players enjoy telling you the alignment of dragons based on the color of the dragon. It’s a thing.

Flying Bison – Avatar: The Last Airbender/Legend of Kora

In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Aang is often accompanied by his lifelong companion and friend, Appa. As a flying bison, Appa is able to carry Aang and his friends in their travels. Flying bison are very large creatures without wings, so how they manage to fly is quite mysterious. We know they’re using airbending (air magic from the show) somehow, but how they can keep such a heavy creature up is beyond me!

Griffin

Common in fantasy settings, griffins are mythical creatures composed of features of a lion and an eagle. They’ve got wings and talons from the eagle and have hind legs, bodies and tails of a lion. I think there’s some disagreement on the features of griffin heads, but I usually think of a lion head with a beak. Either way, they fly using those wings, so count for this list.

Interestingly, my character in the Solar Exalted game I’ve mentioned previously just finished taming a Griffin as a makeshift mount. Should be quite useful as I need to fly quite high very soon.

Thestral – Harry Potter Series

These creatures are visible only to those who’ve seen death, which means they’re invisible to many. They’re almost skeletal horses with bat-like wings and are how the carriages are pulled to Hogwarts Castle in the Harry Potter series.

Wrap Up

That’s all I’ve got for you today. Tune in next time for a post covering General Geekiness, Gaming, and Comics.

Zombies, Bat-romance, and Yoda Quotes – Geekout 16

With weekends only having 1 page, I’m at page 16, which means I’ll be about 52 days short of 365 for the year. By my calculations, I’m about 1/20th of the way through the calendar. Daunting! This set of topics looks interesting though! Today I’ll be naming Four Games with a Zombie theme, Two Batman Love Interests, and Two Classic Yoda Quotes.

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Not sure what I’ll trim the lists down to here!

Four Games with a Zombie theme

These have certainly been popular over the years!

Slow zombies, fast zombies, smart zombies, dumb zombie, a nerd’s book by Zombie Seuss.

I liked how open-ended this question is, since it also allows for both board and video games. Based on its saying “a Zombie theme”, I would think it would need to be more than just having a zombie or two in it. Zombies are in D&D for example, but it’s not zombie themed.

Resident Evil/Biohazard

A classic game that was utterly terrifying when it first came out. It’s a bit laughable now, but graphics and gameplay have come a long way since the original of these hit store shelves. In some ways, the restrictive camera and difficult controls made the game harder and scarier. The game takes place in a mansion filled with zombies. I’ll not dive into the lore, but I will say that it’s extensive. The game features an exploration element, because you can learn more about the lore by exploring more locations and reading as you play.

Just don’t get turned into a Jill sandwich by the voice acting’s quality in this game…

Dead of Winter

I’ve not played this game enough times yet, but I’ve enjoyed it when I have. This is a (mostly) cooperative board game where the players take control of survivors struggling in in a zombie apocalypse scenario. The game mechanics work well as you try to feed everyone and defend yourselves against the hordes.

Zombies!!!

Not exactly the most strategic of games. This one has a large bag full of plastic zombies, and you’re exploring city streets trying to find a helicopter to escape. Also, yes, those exclamation points are in the title of the game. The cool mechanic in this one is that players move their own survivor piece as well as the zombies, so other players can really mess you up! Good luck surviving!

Left 4 Dead

Fast zombies! This was one heck of a crazy game! This is a first person shooter, cooperative game. You work as a team traveling from one safe house to the next, killing zombies and trying to make it to the next stop in one piece. Ammo and medical supplies will be there, so get there before you run out. This game’s zombies often run right at you, so it was fast-paced excitement when it came out.

Two Batman Love Interests

Superhero romance is always a dangerous issue, since it often means the pairing of two already-known characters. That leads to a circumstance I’m not keen on. I’ll explain what I mean by this in my selections.

Catwoman

If you’ve seen movies, cartoons, or comics, you know this is a thing. Even if nothing exists in the content you’re viewing, there are often hints at past/future interest between the two. Catwoman isn’t just straight up villainous, which is what makes her such an interesting character. She’s teamed up with the good guys before, and has motivations for what she does.

I know there’s something to establishing relationship through shared struggle, so perhaps this is an added factor in their relationship. Either way, I don’t get the impression that Catwoman is a character included only as a love interest for Batman, which is why she’s a good character in her own right. Just get her movie right next time…

Although, in all seriousness, I don’t think it has ever been romantic involvement (could be wrong), but I find the Poison Ivy and Catwoman relationship more interesting. I thought I’d heard a rumor of a movie about Poison Ivy, Catwoman, and Harley Quinn. We’ll see if DC movies can redeem themselves…

Wonder Woman

I am fairly certain there was at least one story arc where Batman and Wonder Woman were at least somewhat romantically involved. I’m not a big fan of the concept, however, as too often female characters only exist as the male character’s love interest. Wonder Woman is great, and my opinion of her as a character increases as I learn more about her! Is it a thing that supers go for other supers? Maybe.

Two Classic Yoda Quotes

I’ll follow the rules and only pick two for this one, but Yoda imparts some great wisdom on Luke in the short bits of conversation shown on screen. I took “classic” here to mean that the quote should come from the original trilogy only.

That is why you fail.

When Yoda lifts that X-Wing using only the power of the force, Luke doesn’t believe what he’s seeing. Yoda informs him that it’s the reason he failed, which in talking about the force makes a lot of sense. It also makes plenty of sense for us as well.

When we approach a difficult task, expecting it to fail, we’re setting ourselves up for failure. We’re not trying as hard, since we’re expecting a failure anyway, why would we try as hard? Why would we make adjustments to try and make it succeed when we’re expecting failure anyway.

Wars not make one great.

Luke went looking for the “great warrior” Yoda to train him, but that’s one way in which Luke is terribly wrong-minded when he reaches Yoda. He believes Jedi to be warriors. This is an easy misconception given the little he knows of them (and his previous training). He was first taught about a Jedi weapon and told about a war, but Jedi are really the peacekeepers of the galaxy (or they’re supposed to be).

Greatness isn’t about who can defeat whom in battle. Great people improve the world around them and help other people. Yoda has fought in war, but it’s not what makes Yoda great. In The Empire Strikes Back, you don’t see Yoda teaching Luke to wield weapons and fight opponents. He isn’t shooting at human-shaped targets with a blaster or pointing a lightsaber at them. He’s learning to center himself and control his own body. He’s learning to become a better person. A Jedi.

Wrap Up

Did I seriously just succeed after catching up? That’s awesome! Keep watching next time for some more geeking out! The next one will be about fantasy, general geekiness, and gaming.

Joss Whedon, Train Games, and Captain America – Geekout 14

Maybe today is the day I catch up. We’ll see if I can get a second out completed. I’ve been answering prompts from a page-a-day calendar I received for Christmas last year. Each day there’s a new prompt, and it’s surprisingly difficult to come up with an answer. Today I’m supposed to come up with Two Television Shows [for] which Joss Whedon was a Writer, Two Games in which Trains appear, and Two Captain America Enemies.

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All aboard the geekout train!

Two Television Shows for which Joss Whedon was a Writer

This was a sudden, but inevitable question. Can’t really ask nerdy stuff without covering Joss Whedon these days. Naming four would have been easy enough. Two is a walk in the cemetery waiting for vampires.

Firefly

Glad I got another change to reference Firefly. So far, I’ve only mentioned it as being a Sci-Fi television show, having a comic published by Dark Horse, and for featuring an iconic named sci-fi starship. Clearly I am not a fan of the show. I’d like to thank everyone who helped make this show! It was really great!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

A show that was on at my house when I was a kid. This didn’t really catch my interest then, however, I’ve since gone back and watched it. I really enjoyed the show. Does this surprise anyone? Of course not! It’s got Quark in it! Armin Shimerman plays Principal Snyder of Sunnydale High in this show. It probably is Quark, considering that the he and Rom landed on Earth decades before the events of Buffy the Vampire Slayer took place!

Two Games in which Trains appear

The number just wasn’t high enough for me here. I’m going over two. Didn’t know what kind of games it meant, so I chose board and video.

Ticket to Ride

Starting obvious, this is the most widespread board game about trains. It’s a light-weight, fun game that you can pick up at most stores. Don’t even need to visit your local game shop for this one. They’ve released different versions of the game as well.

Mario Kart 64

Wanted to pick something unexpected, so this is it! There’s a train in the desert level of the game.

Railroad Tycoon

This one is actually a trick. Did I intend the video game or the board game? Both! And based on that name, I think you can guess that there are trains in the games. The board game is quite fun, but it’s much heavier and longer than Ticket to Ride. Also, the board game no longer has the license to use the name from the video game. It’s now called Railways of the World.

Final Fantasy VII, VIII, XIII

I am certain that more of them also have trains if I thought about it, but these definitely have them. You start the game on a train in both 7 and 13. And you first meet Laguna, Kiros, and Ward on a train ride in 8.

Two Captain America Enemies

I wanted to say “Tony Stark” and “Bucky Barnes”, but my wife got mad at me for suggesting that. Bummer. Sometimes I like being horrible like that!

Red Skull

Classic and evil-looking, Red Skull is an obvious enemy of Captain America. He’s from the comics and was portrayed by Hugo Weaving in the recent movies, which means he was well-played. Look, I know another actor’s name!

Arnim Zola

Evil nerds are fun. Here we have a brilliant enemy scientist. I don’t want to get into everything he’s involved in during the movies for fear of spoilers, but for those in the know, it’s fun stuff! For definitions of fun that don’t require being Good.

Wrap Up

Added some extras here, because these were fun choices. Tomorrow’s categories will be sci-fi, fantasy, and general geekiness.

Consoles, Comic Cats, and Cartoon Aliens – Geekout 11

Coming to the end of week two of this challenge, I’m attempting to Geekout with this page-a-day calendar I’ve received. It asks me to list a set of things each day. Today, I’ll need to come up with Six Video Game Consoles, Two Comic Book Characters with Cat Attributes, and Four U.S. Cartoons with Alien Creatures.

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These don’t look all that challenging. All three are open-ended questions again, so I think I’ve got them in hand.

Six Video Game Consoles

When I was a small child, my brother and I asked our parents for an NES for Christmas. My parents said that we couldn’t afford it, so we’d have to ask Santa. Christmas morning came, and no console was found under the tree. Later in the day, my family was all treated to small me screaming about something down in the basement. I assume my parents must have sent me downstairs to get something from down there. The console wasn’t under the tree, it was hooked up to a television in the basement. My first video game console. And boy was that a ride.

Nintendo 64

Nintendo’s venture into 64-bit consoles was something they’d been talking about for a while. I remember watching promotional videos Nintendo sent out on VHS tapes talking about the system. I read many articles about the system before its release.

The year that console came out, it was hard to find. Places sold out of them quickly. Somehow my parents managed to get one. My father had a cool idea for how to wrap it. I loved the idea so much then, and it has inspired me to do some creative work of my own.

The console was under our tree for a while before Christmas. It was wrapped together with games, additional controllers, and some extra pieces of cardboard. The interested part is that it was a uniquely shaped gift. It was shaped like some kind of poultry, maybe a chicken or a turkey. It was blocky, but you could tell what it was.

Playstation

When my brother and I were little, we saved our allowance money for years. We didn’t receive as much as most people we knew, but we also knew that saving it meant you could get better stuff with it. This is one example of that paying off. In fact, this console is not ten feet away from me right now and still works well, which is impressive for being the initial model to hit stores. We bought it when the price was still $300. This is one of my all-time favorite consoles, having been host to so many great games! I loved that this generation had both cartridges and discs, since both had advantages at that time. This system was a true marvel, being a success right out the gate.

XBox 360

Microsoft’s entrance into console gaming didn’t go as well as Sony’s. Their first console wasn’t as hugely successful, however, as we all say, the second time’s the charm. The 360 was a massive success, not just for having improved their game library, controllers, and system itself. Their true win was in their online support. Xbox Live may not have been free, but it worked so well that it destroyed its competition.

Sega Genesis

Being the only Sega console I owned, I had to name it here. It had some great games, including the more violent version of Mortal Kombat. The console was fun, however, Nintendo did have the better controller in that generation with the SNES. Sorry, Sega.

Atari 2600

This classic, famous console is old and goofy. I know some people love the wood-paneling along the side, but I think it just makes it look older. Joysticking was still the thing for this machine. Helping to contribute to the crash of game consoles, who could leave it off of the list?

Game Boy

Since I incidentally named other consoles in previous bits of text, I’m going to allow a handheld console in here. The original Game Boy was awesome; I played that handheld so much. My Game Boy is also within 10 feet of me right now. It’s right next to my two Game Boy Pockets and my Game Boy Color. I’ll lump those together for the most part, since Nintendo was brilliant enough to have them play the same games. Unlike the competition, Nintendo realized that quality games and battery life were far more important than colors an specs.

This brick of a handheld only showed images in shades of green, but it did so for hours on far fewer batteries than the competition. I remember using the magnifying glass and light combo adapter to use at night. I also was one of those people who caught the Pokemon craze immediately, picking up the game as soon as it released in the US.

Two Comic Book Characters with Cat Attributes

Thinking about what “Cat Attributes” might mean, I’m going to decide that naming actual cats would be outside of the spirit of the question, so Luna will not be listed. I do, however, think you can have “cat attributes” without physical feline traits; whiskers on humans will not be a requirement for this.

Cat Woman

Too obvious on this one? Cat-like? Absolutely. I will say that giving her a movie of her own may have been a mistake… She’s a fun character, because she’s not just a straight up villain.

Black Panther

They’ve brought him to the big screen, and it’s good. Great work, Marvel! Do this character well! I am looking forward to his having his own movie!

Four U.S. Cartoons with Alien Creatures

Well this is going to focus on some of the weirder characters from cartoons.

American Dad

While it’s not a show I watch, I’ve seen more than a few episodes of it. I included it, because it’s a show that prominently features an alien and isn’t sci-fi other than that (as far as I know).

The Flintstones

I’m sure you forgot or are trying to forget that this show had an alien! The great Gazoo, if I recall the name and spelling of that green, stereotypical alien thing.

The Simpsons

For as much of the Simpsons as I’ve seen over my lifetime, I’m blanking on the name of the two green aliens from the show. They’re cycloptic , tentacled alients wearing tall, nearly-cylindrical space helmets. Also, I didn’t want to list Futurama, since that seemed too easy.

Space Ghost Coast to Coast

There are a couple of aliens here, including my favorite bean-loving idiot, Brak. If you’ve never watched this show, you missed out. It was one of my favorites as a kid.

Wrap Up

Yes, I’m going to playing a bit of catch up on these! I was unable to publish each day, so I’ll be doing a couple of these some days until I catch back up!