So, like, listen.  There's this little holiday on September 12th that few people have heard of (though I'm trying my darnedest to raise awareness).  It's Video Games Day, you guys!  How much do you want to jump up and punch the air when you hear that?  Seriously, we here at KU comprise a group of pretty avid gamers, and we'll be celebrating the holiday by reminiscing on all the super awesome (and super crappy) video games we've come across over the years.

When people ask me what I like about video games, I always point to the storytelling.  Some games suck at it, but on the whole it's been getting better each year.  I'm sure you've heard of The Last of Us (featuring fake - or is it real? - Ellen Page), which debuted last year and was the source of salivation for many a nerd.  I've played it and I can't WAIT to play it again.  These days, video games are like movies (or books - although regular paper books are pretty awesome too, guys) on steroids.  This game felt like an hours-long zombie flick with some nature film footage thrown in for good measure.  The pretty moments in The Last of Us are quite endless, like this one scene where you're hunting a deer with a bow and arrow and tracking it by its blood trail.  I mean, that sort of makes me cry, but OH MY GOSH IT'S SO BEAUTIFUL, SO I'LL LET IT SLIDE.

last of us

Duuuude, I know!

I have two favorite video games, one silly and one serious.  The silly (but also quite serious) one is Banjo-Kazooie, which came out on N64, like, nearly two decades ago now?  I FEEL LIKE A GRANDPA.  What I love about this game - besides the contagious collectathon atmosphere, and the world-hopping, which are components of numerous other games of that generation - is the dialogue.  This game makes fun of itself in such an endearing way.  Like, one character will use a terrible pun, and the other will insult him.  To a younger me, those sorts of gags were amazing.  And, also, IT'S A LOT OF FUN!  I love jumping between the worlds and hearing all the musical scores for each environment.  Banjo-Kazooie's sequel, Banjo-Tooie (I'm not really sure if these hyphens are necessary, but we're going for it), is also great, but, I think, ends up introducing too many confusing and complicating elements into the gameplay.  Like the numerous different types of eggs you can collect, and the fact that you have to use portals to travel around a single world because they're that vast.  Which I think was something that was supposed to be impressive, but ends up being exhausting.  Anyways, enough about that.  If you're familiar with these games, you'll want to listen to a song featured in Banjoo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, a TERRIBLE GAME - AVOID, AVOID...but the music is fantastic.  This little diddy always puts a smile on my face.

banjo kazooie

Like I said, I'm pretty old...

My serious pick for favorite game is Final Fantasy X, the first game in the series that I ever played.  Friends tell me that earlier iterations are even better, but I can't get into them.  FFX is epic for sure, but it's also funny, moving, and, at times, really sexy.  There's that one scene where Yuna and Tidus are inexplicably underwater for like five minutes, and (subtext is that) they're having sex.  I felt so guilty - and secretly thrilled - watching that as a youngun.  And THE ENDING.  Always makes me cry.  And, again, that music is spot-on.

Needless to say, I'm very excited too see (and play) the future of video games.  But, for now, I'm more than happy to replay the ones that I already know and love.  Have fun gaming!

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So, what do you think?