I’m what’s considered to be a casual gamer, in that I don’t play for hours at a time every day. That said, I love video games, especially RPGs like Kingdom Hearts and the Legend of Zelda series. For me, it’s like the ultimate interactive form of reading a book, making it endlessly fun.
Since I was in middle school, one of my favorite series has been Pokemon. As I grow older, I’m more and more disturbed by the idea of capturing animals and forcing them to fight one another, but at least it’s not real life. As a side note: I do find it interesting how a lot of Pokemon captures in the anime are just the trainer saying “Do you want to fight with me?” and the Pokemon agreeing, something I’ve never seen in the games.
When I first came to Japan, I basically shunned video games, thinking they were a waste of time as I focused on work, writing and life in general. However, I’ve recently realized how much I missed playing them. They helped me enjoy life more and relax at the end of a crazy day at school when I was younger. Thus, I started playing again in earnest, though still as a casual gamer.
I just bought a Nintendo Switch last year, meaning I’m still wrapping my head around the idea of the Switch’s “bonus content” (downloadable content, or DLC for some reason) you have to pay for to enjoy, on top of the money you already spent on the basic game.
I have a love-hate relationship with DLC because on the one hand, I hate having to pay even more money for a game. However, if it’s a game I really like such as Pokemon, it’s nice knowing that even if I finish the game, there’s still more to do. It feels like finishing reading a book only to find a bonus book at the bookstore (which there should be more of, let’s face it).
The Pokemon Company just released Part Two of their DLC for Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, called The Indigo Disk, and I have to admit time contraints have meant I’m still muddling my way through Part One, the Teal Mask.
I love the Teal Mask for how brilliantly it portrays what feels like, to me, a small town in Japan during the summer. For years during the pandemic, there weren’t summer festivals like the one portrayed in it, and this year’s summer festivals were jam-packed with people like me who sorely missed them, making them difficult to enjoy. Thus, it was nice being able to really take my time at the one in the game and enjoy it.
I would’ve loved some side games, though, besides the “Ogre Ousting” one. Classic summer festival games include using a hook attached to swiftly dissolving paper to try and fish a balloon half full of water out of a kiddie pool or using a paddle covered in that swiftly dissolving paper to try and scoop out bouncy balls or little plastic toys from a kiddie pool (there’s a lot of water at these festivals). I would’ve loved to have seen that kind of side game, but oh well.
With the second part out, I’m going to try to push my way through the Teal Mask a bit more, strictly because I’m a sucker for even over-the-top adorable Pokemon like Terapagos, which looks to be the main focus of the Indigo Disk. I want one, so I’m going to have to bid farewell to the summer festival and, from the looks of things, head underwater for that turtle.
Ah games are fun.