Category Archives: Guest Posts from Awesome People

Charity Marathon Incoming! UPickVG 5, June 3rd – 5th 2016

The time has come, my friends.  Our beloved streaming crew has returned.  The latest U-Pick Video Game Marathon for Charity will be broadcast live on the interwebs June 3rd-5th, 2016!

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During the 48-hour-long continuous livestream, we’ll play the video games you pick to raise money for charity:water, to bring clean water access to people who need it in the developing world.

Starting the evening of June 3rd and going for the following 48 straight hours, we’ll play the games you choose when making a donation to our charity fundraiser. We’ll switch games each hour (on the hour), as determined by a spin on the Wheel of Destiny – a magical rotating device with all of the top games that have received donations.

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We opened up the floor for our viewers to suggest the games they want to see us play. From a vast number of submissions and a few extra ideas added in by our Official Gamesmuns, Chip & Grant, we narrowed the list down for your viewing pleasure, which can be found here!

Any of these games can be donated for right now if you want to see them in UPickVG 5! Donations to our charity:water campaign will give points to your selected game, which will put it on the Wheel of Destiny, to possibly come up during the marathon. The only way a game will be played is if it gets donations, so get donating for the games you want to see!

Every hour, we’ll spin the Wheel of Destiny to see which of the top-ranked games (in terms of those points!) we play for the next hour. When the Wheel lands on a game, it loses all of its current points and goes back to the bottom of the list. (So if you want to see it again, you’ll have to donate again!)

Stack that Wheel up with the games of your choice! Any donations made before 7:50pm EST June 3rd (the first Wheel spin) will count for that first Wheel spin, and the points will carry over into the following hours (other than the game that is landed on, of course).

But what should you be doing between now and then?

We’ve got some ideas!

  1. Check out the Player Shift Schedule here!
  2. Sign up for the UpickVG Newsletter, which will remind you of upcoming UPickVG events and special opportunities (like requesting games, voting for games, game-y things)
  3. Tell everyone you know about UPickVG and how awesome it’s going to be. Use the graphic up top, and share this post with the sharing buttons down below.
  4. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and LinkedIn. We regularly post cool video game stuff and updates about UPickVG 5.
  5. Visit our Watch Now page every Sunday at 4pm EDT (8pm UTC) – we do live rehearsal broadcasts every week! Tune in, heckle us in the chat, and get hyped for the big marathon on June 3rd!
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Charity Marathon Incoming! World Water Day Game-A-Thon, March 21-22

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The U-Pick Video Game Marathon Group for Charity is proud to announce our next game-a-thon for charity: water! For this year’s World Water Day (March 22nd), we’ll be streaming the games you want to see, to raise money and awareness for clean water projects in the developing world.

We opened up the floor for our viewers to suggest the games they want to see us play, that fall within a World Water Day theme. From a vast number of suggestions, we narrowed the list down to 31 games for your viewing pleasure, which can be found here!

You can donate now to get us playing the World Water Day games of your choice! Yep, we said “donate now” … because donations are now open! Remember that each dollar you donate to our charity: water campaign gives points to the game of your choice. Every hour, we’ll spin the Wheel of Destiny to see which of the top-ranked games (in terms of those points!) we play for the next hour. When the Wheel lands on a game, it loses all of its current points and goes back to the bottom of the list. (So if you want to see it again, you’ll have to donate again!)

Stack that Wheel up with the games of your choice! Any donations made before 7:50pm EST March 21st (the first Wheel spin) will count for that first Wheel spin, and the points will carry over into the following hours (other than the game that is landed on, of course).

Please be sure to join us in the livestream and chat starting Monday, March 21st at 8pm EST!  And as always, GAME FOR GOOD!

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Charity Marathon Incoming! Project Purity: A Fallout 3 Marathon for Clean Water – September 26th 2015

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UPickVG is proud to announce our next video game-a-thon for charity: Project Purity! It’s an ongoing Fallout 3 marathon, starting September 26th 2015, to raise money for clean water projects in the developing world.

Without spoiling too much for anyone who hasn’t played, Fallout 3 has a heavy focus on a quest for providing clean, safe drinking water to everyone in the region – just like what charity: water does. That’s why UPickVG’s cofounder Stephonee has decided to spend her 29th birthday playing Fallout 3 and raising money for charity: water – to bring clean water to people in the Capital Wasteland, and in the real world.

In-Game Results

Karma Options in Fallout 3
When making your donation, you’ll have the option of leaving a comment with your donation. You can use this opportunity to specify an in-game action or goal you want to see achieved in the marathon, such as:

  • Good Karma vs. Bad Karma – do you want Stephonee to be a good guy, or a bad guy?
  • A DLC pack – such as “Operation: Anchorage” or “Mothership Zeta”
  • A specific questline – like “The Superhuman Gambit”
  • In-game radio stationsGalaxy News Radio, Enclave Radio, etc. (or, no radio!)
  • Something sillyeg. “Collect every box of soap you find and keep them in your house”

Pretty much anything you can think of to do in the game can be named, and if your choice has the most money in its category, Stephonee will have to do it!

As an example, let’s say you donate while the marathon is livestreaming. Before you donate, “Good Karma” is at $210, and “Bad Karma” is at $190. So Stephonee is making Good Karma choices in the game, but if you were to then donate $25 to “Bad Karma,” she’d have to start making the bad choices right away, and continue until the scale tips back to “Good Karma”… if it ever does!

You may also split one donation up among multiple requests. Just make it clear in your donation comment what you want, and how to split up the points. For example, you could make a $40 donation, and comment: “$10 to Enclave radio, $15 to collecting teddy bears, and $15 to Mothership Zeta!”

Real World Results

100% of the money raised will be used to build clean water projects for people in need somewhere in the developing world. (Read more about charity: water’s 100% model here.) When the project is complete, charity: water will send all donors an email with GPS coordinates and photos of the community that was helped. You can see the photos from projects funded by past UPickVG marathons, such as the Nshishi community of Rwanda, or the Kra Va community in Cambodia.

2x Multiplier!

For a limited time, a group of generous supporters are matching donations on charity: water! That means, if you donate before the match runs out, your donation will have double the impact: in the real world, and in the Capital Wasteland. That’s right: we’ll count your donation for double points to whatever you name in your comment (Good Karma, quest line, etc.) as long as you donate within the match period. Donate now to take advantage of this awesome opportunity… before the match runs out!

Tune In & Share

Don’t forget to join us for the livestream and chat, starting Saturday September 26th at 10am (Eastern)! Stephonee will go for as long as she can (without the aid of caffeine, because she’s allergic), as long as the donations keep rolling in!

Because charity: water will be taking donations for the Project Purity campaign through December 31st, this could be just the start of several Project Purity marathons! So make sure you tune in, because you are not going to want to miss the beginning.

Tuning in and donating are the biggest ways you can help out with Project Purity… but there’s another way! Share this blog post to let all of your friends and family (and the wider internets) know what we are doing. Did you know that studies have shown that just one Facebook share can bring in $18 in donations, or more? You can make an impact with just a click – so get on it, Wastelander!

Please note: Fallout 3 has been rated M for Mature 17+ by the ESRB, for “Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, Strong Language, Use of Drugs.” As such, parental discretion is advised for this broadcast.

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Charity Marathon Incoming! UPickVG IV – June 12th-14th 2015

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The time has come, my friends.  Our beloved streaming crew has returned.  The latest U-Pick Video Game Marathon for Charity will be broadcast live on the interwebs June 12th-14th, 2015!

During the 48-hour-long continuous livestream, we’ll play the video games you pick to raise money for charity:water, to bring clean water access to people who need it in the developing world.

Starting the evening of June 12th and going for the following 48 straight hours, we’ll play the games you choose when making a donation to our charity fundraiser. We’ll switch games each hour (on the hour), as determined by a spin on the Wheel of Destiny – a magical rotating device with all of the top games that have received donations.

UPickWheel

Got ideas for what games should be on the list? GOOD. You can request games for UPickVG IV right now on our Request Games page. The sky’s the limit: name any game you can think of that you would pay money (to charity) to see played!

We’ll be taking suggestions for UPickVG IV on the Request Games page up until May 1st. At that point, the “Voting Period” begins, and we’ll throw everything that’s been suggested into a big ol’ internet poll – and you’ll be able to vote for your favorites! Don’t worry, you’ll be able to vote for more than one game, and we’ll let you vote more than once, too.

Once the votes are in, we’ll put together the ultimate list of video games available for UPickVG IV – and we’ll open the donation floodgates so that you can get the games of your choice up on that Wheel of Destiny.

But what should you be doing between now and then?

We’ve got some ideas!

  1. Get those video game title requests in! Request Games here.
  2. Add the marathon to your calendar so you don’t forget to tune in!
  3. Tell everyone you know about UPickVG and how awesome it’s going to be. Use the graphic up top, and share this post with the sharing buttons down below.
  4. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and LinkedIn. We regularly post cool video game stuff and updates about UPickVG IV.
  5. Visit our Watch Now page every Sunday at 4pm EDT (8pm UTC) – we do live rehearsal broadcasts every week! Tune in, heckle us in the chat, and get hyped for the big marathon on June 12th!

Get Hyped!!

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Frightening Friend Posts: That Bloody Wrench

As a special treat for the final week before Halloween, some of our friends have graciously contributed spooky posts for your reading pleasure.  The third and final ghoulish goody is from our lovely literary friend, Sarah!  A crafty and creative soul, Sarah makes gorgeous jewelry out of a variety of materials.  Be sure to check out her store at SeroCreates

Even though she prefers fantasy vastly over horror, Sarah continues to dip her toe into the inky black pool of spooky games.  So grab a torch and follow our friend as she makes her journey into the world of horror games!

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Confession: I don’t play scary video games. I play for the escapism (Fable II), for the art and graphics (Final Fantasy X), and for the adorable burlap simulacra (Little Big Planet). Scary games are, well, scary. I’ve never enjoyed the spine-tingling shivers that arise from tumble-down buildings, whispery voices and fog that, frankly, has far too much time on its hands creeping around graveyards. If I’m going to kill things, I want to kill them with magic, magic, and more magic.

Nonetheless, my reticence to play horror games has not stopped my many game-loving friends from foisting them upon me. Every single time the same thing happens: I play for about 30 minutes, get to a point where my character is beset upon by ghouls or zombies or werewolves or something and I’m forced to stop being sneaky and morph into a frenzied berserker rage, killing everything that moves. Then, I die due to ignoring my life meter (see: berserker rage) or I die due to misjudging my location in relation to a cliff or well or landmine or some shit, or I die due to a dead enemy who is not actually dead, just wounded or faking it because he’s a douchebag who won’t just die like his/her/its (often undead) comrades. On the off-chance I actually survive the encounter, I’m so full of adrenaline that I realize I should, under no circumstances, continue playing or controllers will be thrown, tables upturned, fangs will sprout from my gums and I will run, howling into the night. Or something like that.

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If I had to choose a favorite among these least-favorite-of-games, it would be the last of the scary games: BioShock. Shortly after its release, my friend Adam (the most persistent of  horror-game-pushing friends), had invited me over on the pretext of showing me a new game. Trusting fool that I am, I accepted. Adam is also the friend who introduced me to Little Big Planet, Portal, and Flower, so my guard was down.

To be honest, BioShock looked pretty cool, more steampunk than scary. I should have remembered that this is also the so-called-friend who tried to get me to play Resident Evil 4 (nope), Silent Hill (no way), and the Walking Dead (what is this even). In short, he’s a complete and utter jerkface.

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To begin with, the graphics in BioShock are pretty great. Add to that the creepy but fun music playing in the background, the whole world-building concept (a bathysphere? Yes, please) and the decently intuitive gameplay and I was ready to enjoy this game. But wait! There’s more! Of course there is. See, the catch with BioShock is the following:

  1. Your melee weapon is a monkey wrench. You know, so you get that real-world bludgeoning experience.
  2. You get hit with fairly heavy foes early on in the game, so if you are a slow player like me (as in, you like to search every single square inch of a room before moving on) you do not have the prowess or weaponry to fight such a foe. You either die or run away.
  3. Even if you run away, there will be another creature that shows up and who you have to, despite trying to reason with it, bludgeon to death with a wrench.

After killing about five humanoid creatures in quick succession, I calmly passed the controller to Adam, without even pausing the game, and said, “Okay, that’s enough murder-by-wrench for one lifetime. Can I go back to killing things with magic?”

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Frightening Friend Posts: Adventures in Doom 3

As a special treat for the final week before Halloween, some of our friends have graciously contributed spooky posts for your reading pleasure.  The next of these morsels comes from our own horror-movie aficionado, Allyson!  In spite of her exhaustive knowledge of frightening films, Allyson’s gaming preferences tend to lean away from the scary stuff.  Which is what made her first encounter with Doom 3 such a scream!

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Go back to nearly a decade ago and jump into the shoes of a young video gamer girl in college. This gamer was safe, warm, and coddled in the land of RPG’s and cute games like Final Fantasy X, Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Kirby’s Dreamland, and Mario Kart.  One day, this naïve gamer sits down with her friends at their college apartment. She is given a controller with no knowledge of the world she was about to be thrust into, no concept of survival horror or first person shooters.

Doom3BabiesI am sure that the general idea at the time was, “we serious gaming men need a break for sustenance, here…let’s see what you can do.” Starting D00M3 without any knowledge of shooters or how to defend myself was like a civilian being dropped into a war zone in enemy territory.  I was immediately immersed into a horrifying world of monsters, death, blood, darkness, guns, and chainsaws.  It was kill or be killed, and let’s face it; who wants to be killed by mutant freak babies?

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When you first pick up a shooter/survival horror combo like D00M3 ,there is a sort of adrenaline rush.  You become very mindful of exits, pathways, your health, your flashlight, and your ammunition. The experience, while exhilarating, can be exhausting with all the tension you have built up while playing.  Your eyes are constantly searching through darkness for any movements, because one mistake could easily be your last step in this game.  If you are like me, you even forget to blink because you don’t want to risk missing anything.

Much to my delight (and terror), I adapted quickly and made it further than I think anyone anticipated, though literal tears were staining my cheeks from the lack of blinking.  My will to live got me to a door that my comrades had somehow missed on one level and I found a new weapon on a different floor that made victory a bit easier.  I clawed my way out of that tense hell-world and consider myself to be a better player because of one simple fact: I survived!

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Frightening Friend Posts: F.E.A.R.

As a special treat for the final week before Halloween, some of our friends have graciously contributed spooky posts for your reading pleasure.  The first of the wicked writings comes from my good friend Jeremy, who is a battle-hardened veteran of so many PC shooters.  A top tier virtual gunman, Jeremy has a frightful tale of a game that caused him many a restless night.  Reader beware, you’re in for a scare!

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There are many games that try to frighten their players, anywhere from a general sense of unease to actual horror. Many of these games accomplish that goal, but very few leave any lasting effect on the player. For me, the game with the most vivid and terrifying images stuck in my brain was First Encounter Assault Recon, or F.E.A.R. (aptly named), a game about a black ops unit dedicated to the supernatural.

The whole game had an eerie feeling, and was best played with headphones in a dark room. A fairly large chunk of the story takes place in an old facility used for covert psychic warfare experimentation, so the game is rife with dark hallways, random noises, and otherworldly flashbacks to set the mood. There were jump scares aplenty, but the most frightening moments were always delivered in slow motion. Any time things started to slow down, my pulse would start to speed up. I knew something was about to happen.

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One such instance still haunts me to this day. The whole sequence begins by following dead soldiers that disintegrate as they walk, bits just floating into the air and evaporating. That is creepy enough. Past these ghouls is a room with a skeleton on the floor, surrounded by a pool of blood and gore. “What happened to this guy?” You wonder. “I hope I don’t meet whatever bad mamma jamma gibbed him.” But you continue on, ‘cause you ain’t skeered.

F.E.A.R.

You jump over a rail into a normal looking hallway.  Within an instant, the end of the hallway is engulfed in flames, and directly in the center is a creepy little girl. Both girl and flames move towards you, everything dragging in slow motion, so you know you are screwed. Shooting her does no good as she staggers closer and the flames explode around you. You are well-and-truly boned, and may need a change of underwear.

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Spooky-Silly Poetry Contest: Week 3!

The wild rumpus of October continues! The fantastic folks at United We Game have been running a Spooky Silly Poetry Contest, featuring all sorts of eerie prose inspired by horror games. There’s writing on Doom, Slender: The Arrival, Vampire The Masquerade, and even this piece I wrote about Zombie Revenge and its glorious voice-overs. So be sure to hop over to United We Game and check out all of the wonderfully wicked wordsmithing!

VIRTUAL BASTION

Image captured by Hatmonster

Our little contest is now firmly underway with three weeks to its name thus far! Just two more to go and then it will finally be time for us all to cast our votes and decide who shall be crowned the Spooky Champion of Silly Poetry! This week’s entry comes from Chip of Games I Made My Girlfriend Play and is titled: Vendetta . But first, a little intro from the poet themselves:

View original post 517 more words

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Guest Post: Life With Spoilers

Today on GIMMGP, we have the joy of sharing a post from Cary, the talented writer behind Recollections of Play.  Outside of sharing nostalgic moments in music and gaming on her own blog, Cary also contributes to Geek Force Network and serves as an admin at United We Game.  Please be sure to check out her work at each of these sites; it’s good stuff! 

by Flickr user –nanio- (http://www.flickr.com/photos/nananio/)

by Flickr user –nanio- (http://www.flickr.com/photos/nananio/)

When other gamers learn that my husband and I, two mostly-regular gamers, don’t often play games together, the tandem question that sometimes follows is “what do you do when you both want to play the same game? How do you avoid spoilers?” My answer varies, but it generally boils down to with planning, but it depends on the game. When we get a game that we both want to play, one of us will usually “call” it first (because occasionally we’re still in grade school, haha), or sometimes we debate about it, depending on what other games we have to play at the moment.  If one of us is trying to finish a particular game, then the new game automatically goes to the other person.  And when the new game is played, the other person simply avoids watching. It’s pretty simple (mostly) and it works for us (mostly).  But honestly, that’s only because rarely do our gaming interests cross.  We have about two dozen games in the wings, and of them, there are only a couple that we’ve wanted to play at the same time.     But every now and again, games come along that one of us wants to play while the other remains on the fence. Red Dead Redemption, Sleeping Dogs, Dragon Age: Origins, Mass Effect, Batman: Arkham Asylum…these are just some of the games that come to mind where one of us made the purchase with all intents to play while the other stayed at arm’s length. And as bristly as I can get about spoilers, I’ve learned to live them to a certain degree because they’ve often opened my eyes to great games that I might have otherwise missed.

For example, let’s take Arkham Aslyum. While it was a game that excited many, it was one that I wasn’t sure was really for me. I didn’t know much about Batman, I was unsure about the combat system.  I’m bad at stealth, and it just didn’t seem like a game that I’d enjoy. But, in my own wishy-washy way, I also didn’t want to watch the game because, what if, maybe, it was a game that I should play because everyone else said so? I didn’t just want to go and spoil it! Right? After way too much silent debate, and at my husband’s behest, I finally watched him play through a level; one that he thought wouldn’t spoil things too much. Turned out that I ended up watching him finish the game. It was so fascinating and mindbogglingly good that I couldn’t not watch. I didn’t take the opportunity to play Arkham Asylum, but I was well setup to play Batman: Arkham City, which I did quite eagerly and immensely enjoyed. And now, even knowing how Arkham Asylum ended and the Joker’s fate, I still want to play through it. The spoilers didn’t ruin anything, they just heightened my interest.

A similar thing is happening now with The Last of Us, which my husband is currently playing. It’s won many accolades and plenty of acclaim from players, but I’ve kept my distance. Though I do love a good story, I’m not a fan of survival horror. I have almost zero patience for dealing with extremely difficult situations in games — not having enough at my disposal, constant death, painful progression. Whatever that says about me notwithstanding, when we got TLoU, it seemed like a game that would constantly keep me on the edge of controller-flinging. So I started out just watching it, and this process, spoilers and all, has allayed a number of my fears. Yes, I now know Joe and Ellie’s beginnings. Sure, I know the state of the world in the game. And I know what’s expected of the player throughout. Though I’ve only been a here-and-there spectator, I now know that it’s a game I want to navigate. As I watch, I’m constantly thinking about how I would get through a particular level or what I would craft in a given moment. The spoilers I’ve witnessed don’t matter much to me because I’m pretty sure that my experience would be completely different from that of my husband’s, especially since we each have different approaches with story-driven games.

I’m not going to get to TLoU any time soon, so my knowledge of it will probably fade by the time I do, but I’m grateful knowing that it’s not a game I should avoid just because of my own preconceived limitations. I’ve come to term with game spoilers, and I generally welcome them if only because they sometimes help to expand my horizons, which is always a good thing, even when my mind tells me otherwise. It doesn’t know everything, after all.

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Community Post: The Duck’s Top Five Mario Levels

To close the month of February, a handful of writers from United We Game are going to be sharing a series of community posts focusing on the fun and fantastic levels from the Super Mario games.  Every day this week, a new post from a different author will show up here on GIMMGP.  Additionally, all of these posts will hit across other blogs like Recollections of Play, Niall’s RamblingsCheeese Toastie and Video GamesGamer Crash, and The Duck of Indeed.  Today’s post comes from The Duck of Indeed.  So jump on in and enjoy the Mario Mania all week long!

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United We Game’s February community posts continue, with today being the day the Duck will present you all with my entry on the topic of levels in the “Mario” series.  Gamer or not, pretty much everyone’s heard of Mario, and there’s a reason this squat plumber is so popular even after people have been playing his games for over three decades.  Because the games have something in them for everyone.  They have good, old platforming goodness through a wide variety of environments, an innocent charm that people of all ages can enjoy, challenge (and boy, can they be challenging), not to mention princesses to save and big Koopa Kings to toss.  There are so many “Mario” levels out there, and yet they still manage to find ways to do something new with each one and make them stand out from the rest.  So I decided for my post that I would list my top five “Mario” levels, and to make it fair, I am going to list my top level from each of my five main “Mario” games in order from least favorite to top favorite.  The games I considered for this post span 1991-2010, “Super Mario World”, “Super Mario 64”, “Super Mario Sunshine”, and the two “Super Mario Galaxy” games.

5. Okay, this first one is not strictly my favorite level from a particular game.  I chose it more because I have some good memories associated with this level that I can’t really claim to have with the others.  This level is Stand Tall on the 4 Pillars, which is found in Shifting Sand Land from “Super Mario 64”.  In this level, you go into the pyramid and fight the boss, called the Eyerock (consisting of two hands with an eye on each palm, a surprisingly common boss in games), for a star.  As I hinted at before, the level itself is not that exciting, but the last time I played this game was the very first time in about 10 years of owning it that I finally got 100%.  And this particular playthrough consisted of my very first time through this level.  Ever.  So, for one thing, getting to play an entirely new level in a game I had been trying to beat for a decade was pretty exciting, which is one cause for my fond memories of it.  The other reason is what took place while I was playing it.

I remember I was relaxing in my most comfortable chair one afternoon playing this game.  It was quite a peaceful time, and for some inexplicable reason, my cat, Alex, decided to jump onto the chair with me, which he had never done before and never did ever again.  The chair was much too small for the two of us, so he had to settle with largely laying on my lap, making it that much more fun to play the game.  And this happened to be during this very level, which was also a surprise, considering it was my first time through it and my first time ever seeing this boss.  And so I will forever have pleasant memories of playing this level one lazy afternoon with a comfy chair and a cat on my lap.

4. My next favorite level comes from “Super Mario Galaxy”.  This level, despite not being a fan of the fiendish creature called the bee one bit, is Bee Mario Takes Flight, a level in the HoneyHive Galaxy.  And I just love it, for many reasons.  To start, it’s just such a cute level.  It’s so bright and colorful, with cute, cheery music.  And then there’s the bees.  Not just Bee Mario, but the regular bees in the level.  While most bees are terrifying and evil, these bees are just so darn adorable!  I’m not kidding you!  They are so cute!  They are plump and fluffy, and they make adorable sounds when you go up to them.  Honestly, it’s mainly the adorable bees that make me love this level, not just Bee Mario, even though he can be pretty useful, the way he can fly and climb around on certain surfaces.  But, I guess in the end, it’s really the adorable bees that make this level great.  This level and the bees that populate it are the bee’s knees.

3. My next favorite level kind of bends the rules a bit.  This one comes from “Super Mario Galaxy 2”, and my favorite level from this game is, without a doubt, Return of the Whomp King from the Throwback Galaxy.  I’m kind of cheating here because, oh, my gosh, this is actually a level from “Super Mario 64”!  A bit ironic, as I honestly was not a huge fan of “Super Mario 64” (it was so darn hard, and that’s why it took me a decade or so to beat!), but this level was just so great because of the pure nostalgia.  This level is a replica of the second world from “Super Mario 64”, complete with the same delightful music and everything.  And it makes me happy because it was a world I actually liked from “Super Mario 64” (because, unlike most of the game, it was much easier).  Then, you get to fight some Whomps.  I like Whomps.  They look goofy.  (Even though we all know Thwomps are better.)

2. My second favorite level comes from “Super Mario World”, the Donut Ghost House.  I always liked the ghost houses.  They were creepy, with the spooky music and the dark interiors, not to mention all the ghosts (the big ones were so freaky!), and they were confusing, with all the doors and the strange order in which you had to go through them in order to escape, but that was what made them fun.  And I just love those old-fashioned Boos.  Adorable.  Except the ones that follow you when you look away.  That’s rather scary.  And so, since these levels were my favorites from the game, I just chose this one because it’s the first and because it’s the easiest.  Easy is good.

1. And my favorite “Mario” level, as you’d expect, comes from my favorite “Mario” game, “Super Mario Sunshine”, despite this one being the most different, but maybe that’s why I liked it.  I love this game, and I always loved Noki Bay most of all, a rather beautiful place with peaceful music and towering cliffs (which are, oh, so fun to climb), and I actually found the water to be even prettier when it was purple and polluted.  This level was so lovely and had such fun platforming that I always loved visiting it.  And as odd as it is, my favorite level in this place was Eely-Mouth’s Dentist, where you go underwater and clean the teeth of this giant eel.  The boss music in this game is quite awesome and epic (even when you’re playing dentist), and I just found it so darn satisfying cleaning up all those filthy teeth (except it was gross when some of them came out).  Maybe I’m a weirdo for getting such a rush from cleaning eel teeth, but I did, and that’s why I found this level to be awesome.

Duck, Dentist of Eel Teeth

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