Well, adventurers, I’m not really sure how to say this. I never thought this time would come so soon, you know? And now, I just…I just don’t know how to say it. I thought it would go down differently, I guess. Look at me, I’m a mess, these sentences barely make sense. I’m just gonna come out and say it.
This is my last ever post on Adventure Rules.
Please, don’t fight the tears. It’s okay to be upset.
You see, as part of the Charming and Open event on my blog (which you can check out by clicking this link!), something horrible has happened. I’m being sent off to a deserted island. Me, specifically. I assume without my family. Yeah, it’s pretty awful. The only positive thing to come out of this is that the blog Games and Stuff has given me the ability to choose not one, not two, but three whole video games I can take with me to the deserted island. In return, I offered a question which was answered in the form of this post: what is your least favorite game from your favorite series? I encourage you to read the answer, adventurers. Think of it as my last request.
I know a lot of questions must be going through your minds right now, adventurers. “How could something so oddly specific happen? And to such a handsome young blogger, full of potential and wisdom beyond his modest years?” And of course, most importantly: “what three games is he taking with him?!” While I can’t answer those first two questions, I can – and will – answer the last.
Once this conundrum was presented to me, I immediately started thinking of criteria for what three games I might choose. I had to make some key assumptions about this deserted island; specifically, I am going to assume that although I will have the necessary electricity to run as many gaming consoles as I need in order to bring these games, I will NOT have an internet connection. Otherwise I could, you know…tell someone I was trapped and get them to help me leave. What this will not allow me to do is choose games with online multiplayer in order to communicate with the outside world.
The first and probably more important requirement for these games is that they have to be games I’ll want to come back to over and over again. Just because a game is good doesn’t mean it resonates with me in the sort of way where I’ll want to play it a lot. There’s a sort of invisible quality about certain games that draws me back to them, and I want to keep that quality in mind when thinking about the only three games I’ll own the entire time I’m on this deserted island.
The second requirement is that these games should have great replayability. I don’t want to take a linear game with no creative options and no ability to vary the difficulty or experience the game in a different way. I have to be able to make each individual game feel as different from itself as it possibly can so that I won’t get burnt out too quickly on it. Having different difficulty settings, customization options, and the versatility to attempt personal challenges is a must for the games I’ll bring with me.
With these standards in mind, I started to consider what three games I would bring with me to the deserted island. It didn’t take long for me to come up with my answer. What’s odd about it is that I ended up choosing one game each from my three favorite series. It’s like, the criteria I use the choose my favorite video games is the same criteria I would use to choose stuff for a deserted island exile! Or perhaps, just perhaps – the three games I’d take to a deserted island would be my three favorite games. Eh, it’s probably the first thing.
THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: OCARINA OF TIME
What kind of weirdo goes to a deserted island without Metacritic’s highest scored game of all time? No one, that’s who! Ocarina of Time was my first Zelda game, and honestly the second this question was posed to me, this is the first game that popped into my head. I revisit this game probably once a year, playing through this classic tale of good versus evil. The cool thing about Ocarina of Time is that I can get some different experiences out of it by just tweaking my playstyle a little bit here of there. Maybe one time I don’t do the sidequest to get the Biggoron Sword. Maybe I skip out on some of the Great Fairy blessings to up the difficulty. Maybe I don’t pick up any heart containers. Heck, I could even take up speedrunning if I really wanted to push myself a bit more with this one. And when I need a calming, simple game experience, I can play through this game the old fashioned way, the way I’ve beaten it a dozen times before and probably will beat it a dozen times more.
The game’s versatility is expanded even further when I bring the 3DS version. This version of the game includes the Master Quest, an Ocarina of Time hard mode with a mirrored game world and more difficult dungeons. Add that option to all of the challenges listed above, and I have enough Zelda goodness to keep me busy for a long, long time.
FIRE EMBLEM: AWAKENING
I’m a huge Fire Emblem fan, and I wouldn’t be caught dead on a deserted island without at least one turn-based strategy with permadeath in my collection. At first I considered bringing Fire Emblem Fates, as it has better game mechanics and meets the replayability requirement better than Awakening. However, I found the story and characters of Fates dissatisfying, and while the gameplay is objectively better the game lacks that invisible quality that makes me want to come back. I love Awakening’s cast and have returned over and over again to this game already, so I know I’ll want it with me on the deserted island.
Fire Emblem is awesome for replayability. The game has a huge cast of characters, most of whom can interact with each other and form friendships that flesh out their backstories and personalities. By marrying off characters, you can then recruit child characters to the party whose stats and skills vary somewhat based on parentage. There are tons of possible combinations, but only so many can be realized in one playthrough, so you have to come back again and again to reveal all of the possibilities. Awakening also has difficulty settings that help to make the game as easy or as challenging as I want it to be at the time, and it’s relatively easy to impose personal challenges as well. A male only playthrough, female only playthrough, parents only playthrough, original Shepherds only – there are lots of ways to mix up how you experience the game and to add challenge of your own design.
PAPER MARIO: THE THOUSAND-YEAR DOOR
Finally, I certainly wouldn’t want to head to a deserted island without my favorite video game of all time. Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is a simple but rewarding RPG with lovable characters, engaging mechanics, and extensive lore. The game’s sense of humor gels perfectly with my own and let’s face it, I’m going to need a laugh or two when I’m on a deserted island.
While Paper Mario TTYD lacks the difficulty settings available in the other games, it has a number of possible challenge runs I could impose upon myself. No partners, no badges, no special moves, no level ups, no items – all of these different runs would require very different strategies and allow me to experience the game in different ways. Plus, I assume on this island that I’ll finally have the free time to complete the Pit of 100 Trials, which I’ve never completed simply out of a lack of patience (I know, it’s my favorite game and I’ve never beaten it 100%? Shame!). But honestly, while this game is versatile and would allow me to experience it in different ways, history tells me that I’ll probably pick up the controller and dive right back in to this familiar and fun world the same way that I always have. With some games, just reliving the memories is all you need, and The Thousand-Year Door has always been that game for me. Even in my most jaded and critical mood, the flaws and foibles I’ve discovered over the years don’t tarnish my impressions. The next joke brings out a smile, a character I love pops up on screen, and I’m right back in as if I’m 13 years old all over again.
There you have it, adventurers, the three games I plan to bring with me on my journey to this deserted island. I’d tell you to leave a comment informing me of your three games, but I mean, I guess I’m not gonna-
Wait a second. I’m not ACTUALLY being shipped to a deserted island by myself with only three video games? It was all a theoretical scenario as a basis for posing this question? Whoo, that’s a relief! In that case, I guess this isn’t my last post after all. And in that case, you SHOULD comment with your three choices for a deserted island game. Thanks for reading, adventurers, and I hope you’re as relieved as I am that I’ll be back tomorrow with the answer to the final question in the Charming and Open series!