Super Mario 3D World

I don’t know why, but Super Mario 3D World never looked that appealing to me. I just thought it seemed like a rather generic Mario game, so for a long time, I just didn’t buy it. Earlier this year, I was bought it as a gift and I realise that my initial reaction was all wrong. I can only say that I wish I’d bought it sooner, as this game is a delight.

While many of the core games in the series uses the storyline of Peach getting kidnapped by Bowser, this one changes things nicely by having Bowser kidnap Sprixie Princesses (which are small fairy creatures) instead. This may sound like a minor, insignificant detail, but it has one benefit: it allows the team from Super Mario Bros. 2 to return, with Mario, Luigi, Peach and Toad all playable and all quite different. The only very minor niggle I have is that it’s a blue Toad, rather than the Toad, as it was in the earlier game… but it doesn’t really matter.

The game is a lot like an enhanced version of Super Mario 3D Land and not just in terms of having more playable characters. The levels have a much greater level of diversity and, as a result, were more memorable: you get to ride Plessie (a dinosaur) down a river, you explore a spooky old haunted house in black and white, find keys to progress a baron snowy wilderness, use a canon power up to attack enemies in space or get though a level on the back of a moving train. Many of these new levels felt like a breath of fresh air, after some Mario games had used the same archetypes so many times.

The soundtrack is also really entertaining. There’s a very jazzy sort of feel to it, which is quite new for the series. Instead of remixing the same old tunes over and over, this is a game that makes the catchy tunes which will get remixed in later games. Bowser’s new theme song, in particular, was a favourite aspect of mine.

It’s also worth mentioning the game’s new power up: the Super Bell. Collecting it gives your character a cat suit which makes them walk on all fours, gives them the ability to climb walls, gives them a new pounce move and lets them swipe at enemies. At first it felt like a bit of a gimmick and I wasn’t too fond of it, but over time it grew on me and at this point I really like it. I hope that we will see it return in future games.

This is also the game which introduced Captain Toad as a playable character (though he had been an NPC before) which ultimately lead to him being the star of his own game. What makes him different to all the others is that he is unable to jump and he appears in special, smaller levels specifically designed with his limited abilities in mind. They were pretty fun and added a nice new type of challenge every now and then. There’s also a secret unlockable character – I won’t say who it was (to avoid spoilers) but I will say that once I unlocked her, I didn’t really use anybody else anymore…

Overall, a solid installment in the series. While I may generally prefer the more open 3D games, I can’t deny that I had a lot of fun with this game. I played it alone, but there is also the option to play with up to three other people at the same time, which must be fantastic. As a nice bonus, you also get the game Luigi Bros. which is Mario Bros. but with Luigi as the main character (as he should be). As it’s very easy to find this quite cheap these days, I definitely recommend it.

Rating: 9.2/10

Buy it here.

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Pokémon Gold Version and Pokémon Silver Version

Though I have been a fan of the franchise since the beginning, somehow or another I ended up skipping over Pokémon Gold & Silver. It was a shame because I knew that a lot of people regarded the second generation of Pokémon as the best generation, but time slipped away and before I knew it, the only real option would have been buying an old cartridge for a ridiculously high price and without any guarantee that it would still be able to save – this all changed with the delightful news that these two games were coming to the 3DS Virtual Console. I downloaded Pokémon Silver Version about a year ago and I have been playing it extensively ever since.

I was mildly concerned that I may find that it had aged terribly and that by playing it so late, I had missed my opportunity to truly enjoy and appreciate it. Thankfully, this was not the case. It improves over the first generation in several ways (for example, letting you use HM moves on the map just by pressing A, rather than having to pause and go through several menus or by adding a small Poké Ball symbol next to wild Pokémon to signify whether or not you’v caught them before). In terms of general gameplay, there are a lot of small changes like that which help to improve your ‘quality of life’ as you play – combined, they all help to give you a much more streamlined experience.

Visually, while it maintains the art style of the first two games, it also manages to improve upon them. So it never really loses the essence of the art from the first games, but it does lose the ugliness that was sometimes present in them. There are no longer weird bollard tiles everywhere, for example and the added colour does wonders. It looks better, even, than Pokémon Yellow Version, which had already attempted to enhance the visuals of the originals.

Obviously, at its heart, the gameplay is quite similar to the previous two games and that’s why I wanted to talk a lot about the improvements first. But it’s not just the same game again – not at all. The previous game had you play as a trainer who was starting out in the Kanto region, but this time you’re in the Johto region. I prefer Johto over Kanto for a few reasons. There are some more interesting locations (ancient temples, icy caves, etc.) and it also feels like more of a living breathing world – just in terms of things like the dialogue from NPCs, the radio channel you can listen to anytime and the services available, such a day care centres (for breeding Pokémon) and groomers (for increasing Pokémon happiness). You can swap mobile numbers with trainers you’ve defeated and they’ll call you up to chat or for a rematch from time to time. There are a lot of small details like this which really help to immerse you in the world.

With the story, while you are a different character, I’d say that this definitely a sequel to the first generation. With Pokémon this isn’t usually the case: each new generation is usually just ‘you’re a new person and you’re in a new region, time to start your adventure’ but this time there are a lot of ties to the previous games and even a lot of returning characters. I’d definitely recommend playing the first generation before these games for this reason – it does a great job of conveying the passing of time and how it changes people and places. I won’t spoil it, but the endgame content is really rewarding.

Overall, it just might be my favourite Pokémon generation. Aside from all the aspects I’ve mentioned, it’s also the game which introduced several of the Pokémon that are both popular and appealing to me personally, such as Pichu, Lugia, Ho-Oh, Unown, Tyranitar and Togepi. If you’re a fan and you haven’t played it, you should definitely give it a try and if you’re just a general gaming fan, I still recommend it as one of the all-time classics.

Rating: 9.7/10

Buy it here.

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Fighting Street

I had often heard people talk about Street Fighter II as if it were one of the best games ever made – a real classic, but strangely I never really heard anything at all about the first Street Fighter (a.k.a. Fighting Street). When it was released on the Wii Virtual Console, I was quite excited to download it and finally get into the series.

It turns out that nobody talks about the first game because it’s terrible. You play as the iconic Ryu (who I am sure most people will recognise) and he travels around the world fighting different people to prove his strength. You face ten different opponents from Japan, America, China, England and Thailand (two per country) and some of these fights take place at historic landmarks (such as the Great Wall of China or Mt. Rushmore.)

The concept certainly isn’t a bad one and the cast of characters is interesting and colourful. The problem is that the controls are really stiff and they hinder literally everything that you do. Every fight was really difficult and the only way I was able to win was by mashing the buttons mindlessly. There’s not much else I can say about this, although these could honestly be the worst controls I have ever encountered in a game.

But, as much as controls are the most important thing to get right, it is possible to take enjoyment from games with poor controls. For example, the 2006 Sonic the Hedgehog,which had awful gameplay, but still had a good soundtrack and some nice scenery. Unfortunately, this game has no redeeming features. The music is bad and the other sound effects are terrible – when somebody is knocked to the floor, there’s no bang or crash sound, instead it goes “blap” like somebody just dropped a cheesecake on the floor.

Something else I want to mention is the voice acting. You’re probably thinking that a game from 1988 wouldn’t have voice acting because the technology at the time wouldn’t have allowed for it, which would be fine and nobody would have complained. But for some reason it does have voice acting, except the sound quality is really, really poor and one person does all the voices. When you lose a fight, the opponent says “You’ve got a lot to learn. Try again kid!” and it sounds like it’s being said by somebody who doesn’t actually speak English, but is just reading the words spelled out phonetically. Since it’s really hard, I heard this so many times and it got really annoying.

So… there’s nothing good I can say. Not really. The best I can say is that it started the Street Fighter franchise which did later contain actual good games which wouldn’t have existed without this – although it’s hard to see how it ever got a sequel. Perhaps the version I played (the Turbo Grafx 16 version) is greatly inferior to the original, perhaps one day I’ll be able to play and review it to compare. As things stand, this is the worst game I’ve ever played.

Rating: 1/10

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Assassin’s Creed

I feel like a lot of my video game reviews start with me saying that such and such a video game franchise was one I always wanted to play, but never got around too. Well, guess what? Assassin’s Creed was a franchise that I always wanted to play and it was only recently that I got around to doing so.

Of course, today, Assassin’s Creed is one of the biggest names in modern gaming. However, after playing the first game, I was honestly surprised that it was able to survive beyond a single installment. Now, I don’t want to say that this was a bad game, but it certainly never felt like anything special and was usually either frustrating or boring.

The game follows the life of a man named Altaïr who gets sent off to assassinate different people in Jerusalem, Acre and Damascus. As an added twist, you’re not actually seeing things from Altaïr’s point of view, rather from the point of view of Desmond, a modern day descendant who is able to relive the experiences of his ancestors through a machine called the Animus – which he is being forced to do by an organisation called Abstergo.

In terms of Altaïr, there’s very little in the way of story – it’s basically go to your boss (Al Mualim), get told who to kill, find and kill them, then come back and start the cycle again. I found that the Desmond side of the story was far more interesting, but then all you ever do when you play as Desmond is get out of the Animus and then walk across the room to your bed, which isn’t very thrilling.

Playing as Altaïr can be quite fun. As a highly skilled assassin, he is able to climb up any walls he can get a grip on, which provides a nice element of freedom and exploration. You also get taught various different methods of killing people, which can be performed by pressing the right combination of buttons during combat. When I first started playing, I kind of enjoyed all this… but I started to get bored when I realised there wasn’t much else to it. Problems also began to become quite obvious before long as well.

While your climbing abilities are great for exploration-based gameplay – there’s no reason to explore. There are some nice bits of countryside, but they’re literally just paths to get between the three cities. Then when you’re in the cities, there’s nothing to find or do: no NPCs to talk to, no shops to visit, the same few tasks you get everywhere throughout the game (pick-pocketing documents from enemies, defending people from abusive guards, listening in on enemy conversations and, of course, assassinations) and that’s literally it save for a few pointless collectable trinkets. You’ll also find that the climbing doesn’t work that well – often Altaïr climb any higher, even though there’s clearly something to hold on to and sometimes he just won’t do what you want and ends up falling off the roof.

It’s probably not that much of a long game, but finishing it felt like an eternity. Just the same monotonous tasks over and over while you climb around the same three dusty, empty cities (you will find really, really annoying people on the streets though, who repeat the same bits of dialogue over and over). You’ll also find that the town guards will end up fighting you all the time (even when you don’t do anything wrong) and these fights are long and boring. With no levelling up and no in-game currency, there’s literally nothing to gain from fighting them either.

One thing I will say in it’s favour is that the very last bit is really quite intriguing. It wasn’t what I expected at all and I was really interested to find out more. The problem is that it ends as soon as it starts to get good (and kind of abruptly.)

So maybe buy this game if you see it for £1 somewhere (and you often do) then play it for the hour or so that it’s fun, then forget about it. The ending is pretty cool, but I don’t know that it’s worth going through all of the hours of boredom to get to it.

Rating: 5.8/10

Buy it here.

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Where Are They Now?

Over the years, I’ve known a lot of people – and I’m not just talking about friends. A lot of the blog posts here on Trusty Water Blog are about strange one-off encounters I have with unusual individuals who I happen across during my day to day life. It’s a little sad that I’ll never truly know what happened to them following our brief window of interaction, but a person can wonder…

  • Whatever happened to old Lofty? Corsham’s ‘town drunk’ as I have heard him described. Lofty was just a nickname that I knew him by and, as it turns out, Lofty was the very same nickname that he knew me by. I’ve not seen him around the streets in about five years, which is sad. He was quite old last time I saw him, so I like to believe he retired to a tropical island somewhere. Or maybe he’s now a beekeeper in the Sussex Downs, like his father. Either way, he’s been more successful than Elvis Presley.
  • Whatever happened to that woman who approached me in a nightclub in London, only to compliment Colin the Cow in my pocket? I will never know. I could re-meet her and not know, since I can’t remember her face. Hopefully she owns a prestigious toy shop where she gets to look at cute finger puppets all day long.
  • Whatever happened to that man who taught my friend Mairi and I how to lure the Loch Ness Monster out of its secret underground cave system using only a smiley face t-shirt? Well, I hope that he returned to see the monsters one more time, luring them out with a smiley face shirt (as he claimed to have done previously) before joining them to live out the rest of his days in peace in their underground cave system.
  • Whatever happened to the the young woman who stripped herself fully naked over ChatRoulette after I suggested we play Word Association? Well, hopefully she connected to the guy who masturbated over the camera while I tried to articulate that I didn’t enjoy watching him do so and they both enjoyed some sexual internet shenanigans together, after all, I don’t want anyone to be sexually frustrated! But, having said that, I have two other hopes for their future: I hope that they both have now learned the importance of consent in all sexual scenarios and I also hope that the women learned to appreciate Word Association. It’s really fun.
  • Whatever happened to the homeless woman who forcefully kissed me for several minutes on the streets of Bath? Well, first of all, I hope she’s not homeless anymore – homelessness is the shame at the heart of our society, after all. After that, I hope that she educated herself about consent and sexual harassment, as it was apparent to me that these were two areas of knowledge in which she was sadly lacking.
  • Whatever happened to the friend-turned-enemy who threatened me with a knife? Well, in part, I do know, because I passed him on the street on night six years later and he didn’t follow up on his promise to stab me “next time” so I like to imagine that between then and now he spent some time in prison, reflected on his crimes and came out of it a better person.

It’s sad not to have closure about such things, but then, in life, sometimes we don’t get closure even when dealing with people we have been very close with – let alone strangers we share a single experience with. But it’s nice to wonder and it’s nice to imagine. I want them all to be happy. As there are many other people like this that I could be musing about in this post, I may well write something similar to this in the future. We shall see…

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John Dies at the End by David Wong

On one hand, I want to say that this novel is a “comedy horror” but on the other hand, I worry that describing it as such would put people off, because things like the Scary Movie franchise have made comedy horror synonymous with poor quality (for some). On the other hand, this is a horror novel with a lot of comedy elements – it’s probably best not to worry about how to label it and instead think of it as a very good and unique novel.

And the extent to which it is unique cannot be overstated. It’s about two guys, one called David (Wong) and the other called John. Due to a horrible experience they once both shared, the two of them are conscious of the supernatural things in the world which most people cannot see. This means that they’re the ones who are called in whenever somebody has some kind of other-worldly experience. For example, early on they find themselves investigating a man made out of pieces of meat and yes, I know, all men are technically made out of pieces of meat, but I mean chopped up pieces of animal meat which have formed into the shape of a human – something which is both ridiculous and really quite horrifying if you think about it.

I think the fact that a lot of this novel is so ridiculous often leads you into a false sense of security. The threats in this novel are real and people do die – so while one page you’ll be having a laugh about something quite funny, the next you’ll be a little bit traumatised after somebody you kind of liked dies in a really horrible and violent.

But it’s certainly not just senseless violence and absurdist horror. A great deal of thought has gone into this book. There are three main characters: David, John and Amy and they’re all very well developed indeed. David is horribly cynical about the world (and understandably, given his life) and it’s from his perspective that the story is told. John, meanwhile, is a bit of an idiot, but a really loveable idiot and I sometimes wondered if he played the fool in order to put other people at ease (e.g. making jokes about the size of his penis when they’re in life and death situations) while Amy is, I suppose, the ‘normal person’ of the three, in that she felt most like the kind of person you might encounter in reality. All of them have very interesting lives and I was worried for the safety of them all – especially John, what with the book’s title!

The setting receives an equally high level of development. I don’t want to go into too much detail, because a lot of it is fun to discover yourself at you read – but the last section of the novel is absolutely crazy. Everything is tied together in a way that makes sense, but which is also terrifying, bizarre and off the walls insane. I loved it, because it was probably the weirdest thing I’d ever read. But not just weird in a ‘what a strange idea’ sort of way, but in the sort of way that actually gets you thinking about things in the real world.

I can fault it in only three real places: the first is that I felt like it was too long. Had it been 20-30% shorter, it may have flowed better. The second was that the plot was quite disjointed, as if it had been made up on as Wong went along – but in fairness, since it was originally serialised on the internet, it probably was made up as he went along. Finally, the ‘stupid man’ behaviour of David and John can become occasionally irritating – but thankfully, I didn’t feel that it was to the extent of spoiling the characters. I’d definitely recommend this to fans of the horror genre and especially for anyone hoping to read something wacky and unique (but not without a genuine heart and soul).

Rating: 8.2/10

Buy it here.

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Midnight Rescue

Around a year ago, I was out on my evening walk. Things were running a little later than usual (due to sibling-related delays) and it must have been somewhere between 10:30pm and 11pm when this anecdote took place.

I was walking through the neighbourhood, when somebody opened their front door and started approaching me.

“Hey. Can you help me out?” she asked. Since it was so late and she was a complete stranger, I assumed that it must be something quite serious, so I agreed to offer my help.

“What’s the matter?” I asked.

“There’s a huge spider in my house. You need to catch it. I can’t sleep knowing that it’s in here.”

“Oh, okay,” I said. “That’s fine.” Being an experienced spider catcher, I imagined that this was something I’d be able to get sorted quite quickly and easily. Spoiler alert: I was a little over-optimistic.

“It’s just in the kitchen,” she said, leading me to the door, but unable to go through due to fear.

“Whereabouts?” I asked as I peeped through.

“Right on the wall at the back. It’s huge. You can’t miss it.”

“Okay. I’m going to use a glass to catch it, if that’s okay?”

“That’s fine. Just do whatever you have to do. I need to get it out of here.”

So I wandered into the kitchen and had a look at the wall at the back. It was conspicuous in that it was completely spider-free. I looked around, but I couldn’t see it anywhere. I turned around and reported back to my new arachnophobic friend.

“I couldn’t see it anywhere in there,” I said. “Most likely it’s just gone back inside the walls where it will stay without bothering you. I wouldn’t be surprised if you never see it again.”

“Oh god,” she said, her eyes widening with fear. “Don’t say that. Just knowing that it’s still in the house will keep me up all night. You’re going to have to find it.”

“Well,” I said, a little skeptical that I’d be able to find it, “I can certainly take a more thorough look around.”

“Thank you so much,” she said, before retreating to a point even further from the kitchen.

When I got back to the kitchen, it was still looking peaceful and spider-free. Now, I won’t bore you with a description of the kitchen, but it wasn’t small and it wasn’t empty. There were a lot of things in it that a spider might hide on or inside and there was a pantry as well. So, I spent quite some time searching every nook and cranny.

Eventually I found it! The problem was that it was in the small space between the wall and the radiator. Quite honestly, I would have thought that it’d just stay there all night, but I knew that she wouldn’t really be satisfied with that. I needed to report back again.

“Hello,” I said, smiling friendlily at the woman who was now at the opposite side of the living room. “Do you have anything long and thin that I might use for spider-poking purposes? I have found it, but I am going to need to coax it out before I can catch it.”

“Yeah, sure,” she said, grabbing a gardening fork out of  the shadows of the room. “Will this work?”

“It might!” I said.

As it turns out, it didn’t. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried before, but it’s really hard to shove a gardening fork into the back of a radiator with any level of precision. Thankfully, I did not need the gardening fork, because I found a piece of paper in the kitchen which was long enough to poke the spider when approached from underneath.

Instantly, the spider was on the move, scurrying around everywhere. I had two concerns – first, I wanted to get out of the way, because I didn’t want it to crawl on me (those things have huge fangs). Secondly, I didn’t want it to hide somewhere else, because I’d already been hunting it for almost half an hour.

I’m pretty proud of what happened next. I got back up onto my feet (having previously been laying on the floor next to the radiator) then quickly went back down and perfectly trapped the spider under the glass – something which required better aim than I usually have.

“I have it!” I called to the woman as I carried it out of the house. I released it a fair distance from her house and then came back to her.

“I’ve just released it down the road,” I said. “Hopefully now it will just go into the house of somebody who isn’t afraid of spiders.”

“Thank you so much,” she said. “Honestly, I am utterly terrified of the things.”

“It’s no problem,” I said – and that was that. Sometimes as I walk past that same house on later evening walks, I wonder if she’ll appear again, but I have never seen her again. Or, at least, I don’t think so – I am very bad with faces.

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Around ten years ago, I started using the phrase “wickedsick.” For those who may not be entirely familiar with the meaning of that word, it’s a cool way of expressing that you are happy with something. I remember that it started as a kind of in-joke with a friend of mine – I can’t remember which of us used the word first, but I remember the friendship it grew out of.

These days I’m not really friends with that person anymore. Nothing negative, I just don’t see them and I don’t imagine that will change. Nonetheless, I still find myself occasionally using the word “wickedsick”sometimes when I’m talking with different friends – friends who I hadn’t even met when I started using the word originally. It’s not a regular part of my lexicon, but I find it popping up every now and then.

It’s interesting that though that person plays no role in my life now, they have a small legacy in the word “wickedsick.” People are so impressionable when it comes to language – we pick up words from others all the time. It’s nice to consider that you may still be with your old friends in the form of a warm or friendly word – or maybe even a not-so warm or friendly word! Either way, you’ll be helping them to express themselves and to communicate and as self-expression and communication are both very important, I think that’s a pretty nice thought.

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Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

I knew that there had been quite a lot of Phoenix Wright games on the Nintendo DS and for a long time it was something that I meant to try. For whatever reason, I never did – until recently. Having now played the first game in the series, it’s clear that I should have played it much sooner, because it’s a fantastic experience.

The game follows a young attorney named Phoenix Wright who’s only just getting started as a lawyer. He works under a woman named Maya Fey who is a sort of mentor to him and he often finds himself coming up against prosecutor, Miles Edgeworth (perhaps my favourite character). Maya’s sister, Mia (easy to mix up those names) also comes into it as an assistant to Phoenix. You’ll get to know all of these characters very well as you go through the trials of various cases – getting many glimpses into their fascinating (and sometimes intertwining) lives. The cast of highly developed characters is one of my favourite things about the game.

The gameplay is broken up into two sections for each case: investigations and trials. During investigations, you explore the scene of the crime and look for evidence (using the touch screen). You also get to question witnesses and to present different items to them in order to get more information. Then, during the trials, you have to listen to the testimonies of witnesses and ‘object’ when you notice any inconsistencies (these ‘objections’ have probably become the most iconic part of the game).

It’s a really great way of making you feel involved in the story and noticing an extremely minor inconsistency is really satisfying. As you become more and more invested in the characters, you’ll want the trials to go your way so that they’ll all be okay. It’s honestly quite an emotional roller-coaster and I personally felt very invested in what was happening.

Having said that – the story is not perfect. There was one particularly lengthy case in the middle which felt, to me, like it was just filler and I was kind of starting to bore of the game at that point. Thankfully, I did pick up again almost immediately afterwards. The investigations could also be a bit bothersome, in that it could sometimes be really difficult to know where to go/who to talk to. Similarly, some trails were really hard and if you lose a trial, you have to start it again – this then means having to go through loads of dialogue again, which is not fun.

If you’re playing anything other than the original Japanese GBA version (which is pretty likely) there’s a whole other case after the end of the main story. In this part of the game, Phoenix has a new assistant called Ema, who encourages him to defend her sister in a case. At first, this felt like a bit of a pointless bonus – but stick to it! It really pays off and turns out to have deep significance for the overall story.

So, overall, I strong recommend this game. If you favour story and character development in your game, you’ll love it – although if you’re more of a gameplay person, it may not be for you.

Rating: 9.3/10

Buy it here.

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Comparative Appreciation

There’s a pattern I’ve noticed among many fandoms (especially with video games) which is honestly quite strange to me. It goes like this: people like one thing, so they are then so loyal to it that they will never try anything similar, or anything which might be a competitor. For example, going for one gaming console and never considering the others, loving DC or Marvel comics and hating the other, or the Star Trek vs. Star Wars debate (equally, the Star Trek vs Doctor Who debate – for me, Star Trek wins one but loses the other) – all of these things go to such huge extents that some people online will instantly despise a person based on their preference.

But… Why? They’d probably be much happier if they admitted that they things they demonise are actually quite good as well. I’ll admit, as a child I had a strange allegiance to Nintendo and I would only buy their consoles… but that was silly. I don’t see how or why an adult would want to hold onto these bitter rivalries. I enjoy games from multiple gaming consoles, I enjoy the unique strengths of both Marvel and DC comics, I appreciate that Star Wars and Stark Trek can provide me different interpretations of the space opera genre, I appreciate that Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings can give me different interpretations of the fantasy genre, sometimes I watch animes dubbed, other times I watch them subbed, sometimes I listen to new, poppy music, sometimes I listen to classical. It’s good to be laid back.

By all means, I do respect fans who are loyal to their favourite creators and will buy all of their things – perhaps to the extent that they don’t get much chance to try thing outside of that scope. As long as their not being pointlessly hateful towards the alternatives, I think it’s perfectly fine (though it is good to try new things). I also understand the joy of comparing things and trying to pick a favourite – it’s a nice intellectual challenge. But that’s not what some of these crazed fans are doing. I suppose, on the deepest level, its the same logic which makes somebody hate a person for being of a different religion, a different race or of a different culture.

So ignore your primal fears of the unknown and love each other. Try new things and be happy.

PS: If you try and tell me Little House on the Prairie is better than The Waltons I will NOT stand it! How dare you compare a true masterpiece to a load of –  heh, only joking.

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