Quikee: Top 10 Xbox Games that I Played On the Game Pass

December came and I was doing my rounds when I was recommended the X Box GamePass. It was a dollar for a month, so I was like, “hell yeah!” Now I was late for so much because it was just so good!

You might be thinking, “and? What’s so exciting? It’s Xbox.” Let me explain. I am a Nintendo person. Over the years, I’ve only played consoles from their lineup. Gameboy Advance, DSI, 3ds, Gamecube, Wii U, and the Switch. I have played Steam, which was my first outing outside of Nintendo, but I’ve never played anything from the other two big boys in the gaming world. So, to be able to play the big lineup from X Box was an exciting juncture.

Admittedly, I accidently played for the next month. That gave me 2 months of full access to a slew of games I never thought I’d ever play. This post is going over the top 10 I played over the course of that period.

This is based on how much I played them and enjoyed them. This isn’t to say that one game is better than the other. So, please don’t get mad at me. Leave down in the comments what games you liked on the service or any recommendations for when I inevitably get it back.

Number 10:

Ark: Ultimate Survivor-I guess you’re in this list

Truth be told, I only played about 12 games. You’ll see by like number 2 why. So…Ark. I wasn’t a big fan of it. I played about a night of it because I saw dinosaurs on the cover and I was like, “sweet. I’ll try it.” Yes, it’s that simple for me to just play a game.

I haven’t played an MMO since Cartoon Network’s Fusionfall, and it showed. So many menus to keep track of, the leveling system, and the pretty okay graphics. Not all bad points, but a lot to get back into. If I had one big issue, it was the weight system where too much inventory slows you down. That’s not bad, but the game gave me a bunch of special sh!t I couldn’t use as some kind of event, but I didn’t want get rid of it. So, I couldn’t get a lot of materials because then it would weigh me down.

Then, and I probably could have gotten used to it, but the menus were a mess. Like, you have a menu for crafting, but you can only craft when it’s on the hotbar (just learned what that i)?

Finally, didn’t really find a lot of Dinos. That’s it, that’s the con.

Maybe it’s because I haven’t played an MMO since I was like 10, but I don’t think this was a good re-introduction to it. (I do regret not taking a screenshot of it).

Number 9:

Destroy All Humans

Wanna live out your dreams of being an alien from “Mars Attack!” Well, I’ve got for you today Destroy All Humans, where you can just conquer the world by destroying everything! Just commit war crimes all over the place in your conquest.

This is one of those stress relief games because all you do is throw cows around and blow up buildings with a giant UFO. I only got to the 2nd level by the end of my session, but that starting level is just peak fun. You really feel like a space invader by the end.

Can we bring back grey aliens again? They’re such a classic but perfect design.

Number 8

Deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeer Simulation

Close your eyes. Let me throw some imagery at you. You’re in a pastoral city. You’re a deer. A normal, peaceful deer. Now hook shot onto buildings with your head. Walk over to victims like a macho 80s film character. Shoot down building with guns strapped to your horns. Okay, now you’re being tracked down by cops throughout the city. The cops are sheep, the cars have pandas under them, and their boss is a giant freakin dog. Now open your eyes. How do you feel? Good? Bad? Well, however you feel, I’d like you to get of my house now.

Very much like Destroy All Humans, you’re basically throwing yourself around the city to cause as much damage as possible. It’s very much about insanity and fun. I got a little chuckle every time I just wobble around the map. I love the complete madness of just attaching weapons all over my face to fire everything like a monster movie general losing his mind. The whole map can be destroyed, so it’s your own little sandbox of destruction.

I stopped around the first boss, but I won’t spoil it so you can experience the goofiness yourself.

Number 9

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare?

Okay, I played this one with a friend before I had my own game pass, but he had it so I’m counting it. Out of the shooters on this list, this is my least favorite. Only because the other 2 were more of my style.

With this game, I wasn’t expecting a lot since COD gets so much slack. I’ve seen people call it mindless, some kind of generic shooter, and all kinds of negative comments. I will say, I don’t remember which one it was. I swear to god, I didn’t do this on purpose for a bit. I legit don’t remember which one it is. I looked up a list, and they all look the same! I can’t use my memory because they all-

Anyway, from what my blanked memory is remembering, one of my favorite things was how balanced the maps are (please forgive me if they aren’t. I’m a noob). It introduced me to how there is no safe place to camp out in modern shooters. Yes, you can camp out, but it’s not like an invincible area where your safe forever. Yes, this seems bare bones and basic, but as someone who’s played the OG Star Wars Battlefront 2 by myself due to poor internet this was my breakthrough into the online scene.

Number 6:

Dragon Quest 11: Playin as Android 17

As someone who loves RPGs. Dragon Quest was a foreign land to. Like, I’ve heard more about Final Fantasy than Dragon Quest. All I knew was that the art style was made by Toriyama, and there are slimes. Other than that, nothing else. That actually made me more excited to play this game when I found it.

This one is more complicated to me. The game drew me in with its high fantasy, which has been my trend with RPGs, and I really liked the environments due to Toriyama’s art style. Made me realize how much I loved the locals of Dragon Ball, and I hope it gets as much love as the fight scenes. The first area was gorgeous, and it made me want to run around even if I was on bare time.

Two problems, however, ruined the experience. I never got into the combat. So, it’s the standard RPG battles I’ve done several times before. Basic attack, magic, run; the usual. However, they added the ability to run around while performing actions. But what rubbed me the wrong way was how, from the first few battles, this mechanic didn’t change anything. I could run around the enemies, so I thought that being too far away would not allow me to use basic attacks and I had to utilize magic, and vice versa. But that’s not how it went. It’s the same turned based action of FF and Pokemon. IT doesn’t matter how far you move away from the enemy; they still land direct hits. So, what was the point of moving around if it didn’t affect anything? It felt like a cop out.

Secondly, and this is more so towards what I played it with, the game would not run properly. This is because I was using my work laptop for all of these games, so it had trouble running anything super modern. Especially when it was on a browser using campus internet. So, I didn’t continue because I didn’t know if it would run or not.

Does that mean I won’t play Dragon Quest ever again? Not really. But I will say that, even if I did get the pass again, I don’t really have interest in this one.

Number 5

Doom: Rip and Tear, Until It Is Done-oh wait that’s the sequel

Basically a transcription of me playing the game:

*Laughing madly*

Oh sh!t I died…

*Goes back to laughing madly as I rip and tear the demons of hell*

This is the most Christian game ever made! I’m making my crusader ancestors proud!

Number 4:

Halo Infinite: A Title That’s a Declaration

Yep, this is the first Halo game I’ve ever played, and it’s a pretty good introduction to the multiplayer…I think. This is coming from the most casual perspective ever, so take that with a grain of salt. I’m a Nintendo Gamer who’s bever touched this stuff, so I’m trekking into unknown territory.

The multiplayer is really good, but there are some meh areas. I like the standard game mode, 4 vs 4, but it got really repetitive after a few matches. I like having a large team pool between each side since it unlocks the bigger maps. The maps that I had played in 4 v 4 were so small that they ended up becoming boring. I’ve seen a few videos, such as the Act Man, talking about a lot more major issues like low map count for each mode. When I played, I just found the normal multiplayer repetitive.

I’ll admit, it took a while for me to realize that enemies will have a red aura as an indication instead of being completely red. It’s still a bit confusing because other shooters like Splatoon and Battlefront have a clearer indication based on color coding, but I did eventually get over it.

I remember trying my best to be a lot better at this game. At least, in my own weird and flawed way. I remember feeling like a complete loser, getting t-boned every second, so I tried my best to understand the basic controls rather than letting it get to me. Sure, I found moving the camera janky compared to Battlefront 2, but I ended up getting used to it. I learned to rely of smacking people during close combat, I almost getting good aiming with the controller (not gonna lie, I can’t aim with an X-box controller to save my life), and using the event I at the time to learn how good the other weapons work. I never truly mastered it, I would even admit that mastering multiplayer isn’t something that I can get fully invested in, but I did really enjoy getting just as good enough to not feel like a hassle to my companions.

Can I just gush about how effective smacking people with the gun is. Destroying their shield and bam! Turn your enemy into a ragdoll. It’s so fun when you take the chance.

Number 3

Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order- It’s so beautiful!

I’m a Star Wars nerd. My Republic Commando post goes a little more into it, but I’ve loved the franchise since I was kid. But, the sequel trilogy left me disappointed and left a hollow piece in my ehart. It didn’t have the same intrigue and storytelling that hooked me, and they’re not good movies in general. It’s why I loved Dark Forces 1 and 2 because it was the OG expanded universe, territory I never trekked before that actually capture the spirit of the franchise.

Fallen Order is not in the OG Expanded Universe, it’s a new game with a new story between Ep 3 and 4, but it radiated the same giddy from me. The combat system is basically “parry, parry, force slow, slash, watch the attacks, and rinse and repeat.” It’s easy to understand but fun to master, though the game will kick your ass if your not good. My one complaint with it is none of the Stormtroopers being cut into pieces after dying. It bother me to no end when all they’re left with are pathetic little slashes. Dark Forces had that and that game is old.

For example, the first giant toad fight (called a Oggdo Bogdo. Really broke out all the word bank for that one), I remember rushing in and getting my a$$ handed to it. Then, after coming back, I took my time and finally beat it. I loved how my brain decided to win right after I fell into the boss pit when I gave up. This may seem basic like “oh wow, you beat the toad.” But that feeling of accomplishment kept me going. I love that it was intentionally made harder but optional if you really wanted to get good.

Like with Dragon Quest, the only reason why I ended up not continuing was because of my set up. Especially during Dathomir, where one session ended up slowing down my input with the controls due to poor internet (I blame the night sisters). Anyone looking into PC gaming, do not do what I do. I have to rely on what I have, but if you have the spending cash buy a better computer.

You think after this game, the main character joined Disney Channel to star in the hit movie, “Zombies 3?” I didn’t even need to joke about him being in a 4th one. There are apparently gonna be aliens in the 3rd movie. Yo, can we get our main boy in Zombies 3?

Number 2

Dead Space: Covid Omega

It’s The Thing meets Alien. This was made for me.

One of the best aspects of the game is its sound design. Being in this hostile mining ship with the Necromorphs, hearing the whispers, the ambience, and the distant roars helped aggravate my anxiety. Despite the point being to be afraid, I was mesmerized and drawn to how everything was crafted to create this perfect horror experience.

By far, my favorite mechanic is stomping the monsters after they’re dead. Just taking it all out on them too be able to release the anger after being jump scared and attacked. Best decision made. Best part is when our mute protag vents out his frustration. The way he grr’s is such a mood. Having a relatable mechanic made me want to play the game more since I had a break in between the scares to let it all out. The story too, but the gameplay really kept me going.

So, why is this not number 1? Well, it’s because I found this gem around the last 2 weeks of my membership. Had I played early, this would have easily been number 1.

Also, Zombies 3 should totally include the Necromorphs. That would easily get me back into Disney Channel.

Number 1

Star Wars Battlefront 2: EA addition

Growing up, I used to play the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 (which was my brother’s) on our old computer. Though I could never play multiplayer, I had a blast going to all the Star Wars planets I knew and absolutely recking the enemy army. Though the dumb AI made things easy, I still managed to make a lot of memories

Admittedly, I was one of the guys who hated the remakes without ever playing them. In my defense, when I heard all the controversies on the lootcrates, it made me think they messed up what could have been a great remake. But, playing it in December, any fears or biases I had were blown away.

This became one of my favorite Star Wars games of all time. The look of the game is gorgeous (especially each character model), the maps are expansive and recreate everything from the movies, I love dying to Darth Maul every few seconds, and the points system made learning the base classes viable. I love how much variety there is as well. There’s Conquest, Galactic Assault, Heroes vs Villains, Blast, Space Assault, and Ewok Hunt. Surrpisingly, the lootcrates that were left didn’t really affect my enjoyability with the game at all since I felt I was on the same level as everyone else playing, even if veterans were on the field. It’s a really good casual experience, but there is something veteran shooters will love.

Now, the question might be: did I like this more than the original. Now, before you shout at me like Kylo Ren to choose which ever one you like more, here’s my take. A comparison is not fair. I only had single player in the original. What I love about the new one is that I can actually do multiplayer. I’m not gonna say I had more fun on one over the other because of that. I love both for different reasons. They both have a special place in my heart as being amazing Star Wars games.

Yes, I did come at the end of its life. There are apparently no more updates. But, what I experienced was something amazing, and I hope a Battlefront 3 happens. One that doesn’t include the First Order.

Can we just get Legends content? Ea, you gave the sequels enough love. It’s time to give the real sequels a spot in the spotlight. I want Mara Jade, Omega Squad, the real Ben Solo, and whatever else happened after ep 6.

*Here is me reliving two of my favorite moments.

My remember when me and a random person just got together and just stood at an enemy spawn point to decimate them with the gatling gun. I know that sounds like an asshole move, and I did try to leave. But when we looked at each other, he nudged me with some shots, and we just turned back to continue, I knew we became bros that day. Or they were a girl. Idk.

Another was when, in Kashyyk, I was with a whole squad in one of the Turbo Tanks just defending it from droids. There was so much to do in that map, yet we all banded together to protect this one spot. There was so much tension, so many times I died, yet we did it…I think. I can’t remember it well.

I’m very sorry that most of these screenshots are the menus on the game pass, but I want to save up some money before I get the pass again. If I do get it again, and I remember, I’ll try to replace these screenshots with actual gameplay.

And that’s it for my list of reasons that kept me from actually doing my job. Next time, I go back to Kamen Rider to talk about what in the world the Saber movie was. See you next time.

-Samuel Argueta

The 100 Songs I liked: 2021 Edition

Like before, it’s songs I liked this year that weren’t strictly from this year. Remember that there’s no ranking, just all the one’s I found listening to more than once.

1. Day in Life by the Beatles

My day in life is full of me coming close to depression.

2. Prayer for the Dying by Seal

A moment of silence for all those who participated in the Area 51 Raid

3. Living in Another World by Talk Talk

“Hi, police? Yes, my neighbor is blaring this old song in his house. Can you please go over there and snuff him out?”

4. It’s My Life by Talk Talk

Every teenager to their parent ever.

5. No Diggity by Black Street

“I like to back it up~” Me to the park car behind me.

6 Summertime Magic by Childish Gambino

Love the summer romance mood this song gives.

7. New Donk City from Mario Odyssey

*Pauline intensifies*

8. Tadow (Extended Version) by Maseago and FKJ

Truth be told, the beginning is better than the second half.

9. Kashmir by Led Zeppelin

This song is like an ancient folklore to me. If it played for high fantasy villain, I’d buy it.

10. “The Wall” Album by Pink Floyd

One of the best musical experiences in a long while. It all feels like one song due to how connected each individual piece feels.

11. Dogs by Pink Floyd

A harsh reality check for all businessmen

12. Electric Shock by Gorillaz

This song never got an official release. It’s more of a beta song for Plastic Beach. Yet, I wish both versions were officially released in some capacity.

Feels So Good by Chuck Mangoine

Hmmm… trumpets

14. Us and Them + Any Color You Like by Pink Floyd

“Remember the good old days-days-days-days-days” A man before the drugs kicked in.

15. Soft Rain by Paul Hardcastle

I wish my home state weather would be soft, you know what I mean?

16. My Eyes Adored You by Frankie Valli

It’s either a very beautiful love song or a creeper song to you. Take your pick.

17. Lisztomania by Phoenix

There’s a high energy, playful nature to this song.

18. Magic by Kylie Minogue

The good thing about working on the 100 songs of the year before the New Year is being able to change it literally as you work on it.

19. Echoes Rising By Paul Hardcastle

My brain listens to this when I travel to a new world.

20. Everything Now by Arcade Fire

“Sir, you say the Arcade’s on fire? Everything has changed…”

21. The Smooth Loft by Paul Hardcastle

22. Garden of Eden by Micheal E

The only bliss we’ll ever hear from the place we’re not allowed in.

23. All Eyes on Me from Final Fantasy 8

This title becomes more horrifying in the sequel

24. Lucid Dreaming by Micheal E

Dreams and drug trips in physical form

25. Somebody Else by 1975

There’s always somebody else.

26. Forever Young by Alphaville

The anthem of Man-Babies

27. I Always Kill The Things I love by Claudia Brunken

Her boyfriend starts sweating

28. Music Sounds Better With You by Stardust

Me to my headphones

29. Peaches by Justin Bieber

I don’t think he’s talking about the fruits or the butts

30. Leave the Door Open by Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak

This song is about to cause another boomer generation.

31. The Way You Are by Timberland

I miss the 2000s

32. Louisiana Hero from “Falcon and The Winter Soldier”

One of the most badass ending themes for a show. If only the show had a good ending.

33. When Am I Gonna Lose You by Local Natives

Today.

34. It’s Not Living by 1975

Said everyone in the Walking Dead.

35. She’s American by 1975

The colonists when they saw North America

36. You by Regard and Tate

Probably the most listened song on this list.

37. Sweet Emotions by Aerosmith

“Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-“

“Just keep going. He’ll be at this all day.”

38. Looking For Love by Jody Walter

Aren’t we all!

39. Piano from “SSSS Dynazenon”

A somber theme to a melancholic robot anime.

40. Love’s Theme by The Love Unlimited Orchestra

At least one doesn’t make me want to cry. *Cough* Mother 3 *Cough*.

41. The Oracle from Secret of Mana

The remake version is maniacal genius.

42. Montero by Lil Nas X

The music video sucks but the song is catchy.

43. Ride or Die by The Knocks and Foster the Kids

All going into the world should listen to this song.

44. Our Story from Mother 4

An exciting introduction to a new fan interpretation to this cult classic

45. Layon the Line by D-selections

A badass ending song to an anime I never watched.

46. LiveDevil from Kamen Rider Revice

One of the best Kamen Rider openings since last year.

47. Star Cave from Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky

A place that made Bidoof more than an HM Slave

48. Fabulous Secret Power by Slackcircus

A surprisingly sad song for a funny meme

49. Stargazer by Rainbow

First time I ever headbanged to a song?

50. Rasputin by Boney M

I now want to know a lot about Rasputin because of this song.

51. Sugar from Super Crooks

A chill RNB song for a great anime.

52. Zeta Suite from Zeta Gundam

An epic opening that fits well with the militaristic opera of Zeta Gundam. Finally, an American change that’s good.

53. Travelogue by Leavv

Vibes.

54. Stars over Lake Verity by Braxton Burks

As a Gen 4 fan, this rendition put a tear in my eye.

55. Gold Dust Woman by Fleetwood Mac

A slow but tough song perfect for a Western

56. Goofy’s Trial by Pink Guy

The demon’s told me too!

57. Three Evil Weapons from Gundam Seed

Never watched the show. Might become a druggy.

57. The Entire Album of Char’s Counterattack

A perfect conclusion to the love between Char and Amuro.

58. Deja vu by Gorillaz

Yeah, I get that too.

59. Tracer from Gundam Hathaway

Oh sh!t, they’ve been traced!

60. Kiss Me More by Doja Cat

My inner soul loves this song.

61. Signs of the Times by Harry Styles

My inner soul cries to this song.

61. Watermelon Suger by Harry Styles

My inner soul’s just hungry.

62. I’m an Asshole by Denis Leary

We’re all one from time to time. I’m just worst.

63. Death Theme rendition by Yo Yo Ma

As if the original wasn’t sad enough.

64. The Spirit of the Radio by Rush

I listened to this during a workout and now I’m a Pillarman

65. Alapu Upala (All Versions) from Godzilla Singular Point

Japan is on a mission to make Godzilla the most terrifying eldritch horror of our time.

66. Met Him Last Night by Demi Lovato and Ariana Grande

I guess hot men are the devil?

67. Save Your Tears by The Weekend and Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande is the only reason why I like this song. Ariana Grande makes every song better.

68. Rain Song by Led Zeppelin

The Zeppelin as it flies through a thunderstorm.

69. 34 +35 by Ariana Grande

Nice!

70. Paperback Writer by The Beatles

I relate to this song a little too much.

71. Memoria from Final Fantasy 9

When I finally got here, my jaw dropped. A fascinating final dungeon that makes you ponder more than excited.

72. Necron’s Theme from Final Fantasy 9

One of the few times a game made my skin crawl.

73. Find Your Way from Final Fantasy 8

The mystery of the way in musical form.

74. Thriller by Micheal Jackson

They play this in Transylvania a lot.

75. Have Yourself A Merry Christmas by Sam Smith

Anyone else experiencing an extremely hot December? Now, no one in the comments answer from Arizona.

76. Fly Like an Eagle by Seal

Move over Space Jam, this was the movie’s real standout!

77. Who Dat Boy by Tyler the Creator

Literally every time a superhero changes from their barely disguised civilian form to their barely disguised hero suit.

78. Hot Winds Blow by Tyler The Creator

A short song that hits hard!

79. Mother by John Lennon

To learn what happened to John and what he did, this song just makes me sad to think about.

80. Gonna Fly Now from Rocky

Best workout song

81. Can’t Take My Eyes Off You by Frankie Vallis

Necron, stop watching me!

82. Stay by Justin Bieber and Kid Laroi

The only song where Kid Laroi doesn’t sound like a broken record.

83. Phantom and a Rose from Secret of Mana

A somber song perfect for a fantasy adventure.

84. I’ll Be Lucky Someday by John Campbell

Fall off your horse!

85. Hey Ya by Outkast

You know what, this song is better than sex.

86. A Bell Is Tolling from Secret of Mana

So like, Santa’s in this game. I gotta get it.

87. Patches in the Sky from Child of Light

Shameless plug here but go read my blog post about this game! Maybe I’ll even get a sponsor from Raid Sha-

88. Through the Sea of Time from Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky

When the mainline game fails, return to dungeon.

89. Midna’s Lament from Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

The moment I truly felt something in this game. If only the stupid enemy music didn’t cut it off!

90. Lower Brinstar from Metroid Dread

When this played, I knew this game was something special. Special enough to break for speedruns!

91. Message from Nightopia from Nights into Dreams

I’d put the whole soundtrack, but this truly was my favorite song. Nights is truly something special, and I wish they’d make a new one.

Also Baland Wonderland sucks.

92. Xi from Gundam Hathaway

The grim reaper won’t come when you’re read, Hathaway.

93. Sleeping Springdale (Past) from Yokai Watch 2

This song puts a tear in my eye, knowing the fate of Yokai Watch.

94. The Trailer Song from Oddity

It’ll come when it’s ready.

95. The Entire Metal Arms Soundtrack

You know what, I am a robot! And I’m gonna- Oh jesus christ, stop firing at me! *Releases an inhuman scream*

96. Jupiter’s Lightning from Child of Light

How dare she take it from that slut Zeus!

97. Crystal World from Final Fantasy 9

To make this a corrupt version of the Prelude is pure genius!

98. Raven Beak Theme from Metroid Dread

One of the most badass villains this year. To rip off your own wing, that’s special.

99. Christmas Time is Here from Charlie Brown Christmas

No matter what, commercialism will never be the point of Christmas. Even if Santa became popular due to Coca-Cola….fu-!

100. Vast Ice Mountain from Explorers of Sky

Haven’t gotten here yet in the game, but this seriously a climatic song. I can’t wait to experience it.

All photos not of my own belong to their respective owner per all copyright laws.

And that’s my list this year. I mostly stayed within my comfort food since this year wasn’t so great. Have a good rest of your year and let’s hope… You know what, f it. Last time I hoped for a better year, 2021 happened.

Happy New Years anyway.

-Samuel Argueta

Quickee: A New Mother 4?

Because Saber requires me to wait after my final exams to review, plus the mental capacity to deal with it, I decided to pad out the time with this out-of-nowhere post! This time, it’s my thoughts on a newly revealed Mother 4 fan project, perfect for the winter season.

“Mario, hold in your excitement. We don’t want daddy to hear you in your room.”

I know the people reading this know about the original Mother 4 project, or at least have heard of it, so I won’t delve far into its history. But it is known that the original was later retitled into Oddity, with its release date pushed back to who-knows-when. On the one hand, it’ll very interesting to see what this new take will be as a spiritual successor without the references to original franchise, and I do think it was a better decision that it became its own thing since the team worked for many years on it. On the other hand, it meant that the fan’s continuation of the series wouldn’t come to fruition, and the wait for so many might have felt unsatisfied now with this rebranding.

But now, a new team is coming in with their own struggle to create their version Mother 4! I was completely blind sighted by this reveal because, when I saw the thumbnail, I didn’t think much of it besides a “fan trailer.” Watching it for the first time was a surprise to me because I didn’t expect it to be an actual new game. I was left with both excitement and fear, but I’ll cover that after an analysis of the trailer.

The Trailer: Watch the Trailer Here

Right away, the visuals scream “Mother,” but come across as an “HD” evolution of Mother 3’s graphics at the same time. It starts off exactly like Earthbound as our protagonist, Aaron, is sleeping in his house at night. Just then, something can be heard falling towards the earth. But, as a subversion of expectations, the object zooms past the window in a large flash of white light. Already, this fan-game is taking us back to the alien roots that started the original Mother.

The Dark Dragon shrine of Mother 3, the being held by the 7 needles. Yes, I now “have” Mother 3.

With the way the location resembles one of Ness’s Sanctuary, I’m starting to ponder if the story of the game revolves around finding out about the events of Mother 3, since that game’s McGuffin was needles. These new ones appear in the logo of the game, signifying their importance. I also think that, since many theorize that the Mother series is in some kind of loop, it’d be cool if this game plays on that idea to become both a sequel and a prequel at the same time. Now if I just spoiled it later down the line, do not call me a prophet.

We then get a first look at the world, and the first thing that’s interesting is that it’s America, the world in the first game. As a theory, this suggests that this is either a prequel of Mother, maybe around the time George returns to Earth, or that this is the recreated world after Mother 3. After a look of our characters, which the art resembles the American clay models of the Earthbound/Mother 2 gang, we get a look at something peculiar. In a cave, we see a needle in the hands of some buried stone person. The trailer tells us that the characters are “discovering Ancient History.”

Finally, story wise, the end shows the new Earth design within the logo, with one of the pins inside of it. Then, a bunch of UFOs zoom on in to hover above the forest, reinforcing their return. Whoever this species is, they’re probably up to no good. I’m really interested in what will come with what the trailer shows.

In terms of everything else, the game succeeds in being very “Mother.” We’re back with 4 main characters: the MC (Aaron), the mechanic (Maggie), the loner (Troy), and some flower girl (Triste) who will probably pray or something. I can only imagine the fresh hell that awaits at the end if she does have the pray option. In my opinion, I’m not a big fan of Aaron’s design. Not to fully compare with Oddity, but what I like about Travis’ character design is how unique of a design he has, aka the brown hair. Put him next to the others and he stands out. Aaron just resembles Lucas. It was cute and funny with Ninten and Ness, but it just feels uninspired here. Hell, some of the fan art portray him as an inverted Lucas (Go to the Mother 4 twitter to see what I mean). Unless this was intentional, proving one of my theories, where he’s somehow Lucas’s kid or descendent, his design is very lazy. The others have that very cute design aspect that comes with Mother while bringing something new to the table, especially Maggie. The enemies are as weird and humorous as they should be, especially Paper Boy. I always love a good pun in a Mother game, and this game delivers. Lastly, the locales are the standard snow, town, and desert places, but I’m getting a western vibe from this world. It’d be interesting if it goes that route, with some possible western references. All in all, the trailer manages to bring familiarity while being something fresh as well.

Why I am Worried

“A visual representation of the company fighting Nintendo in the future if successful.”

It’s no surprise that Nintendo fan games aren’t “beloved” by their parents. One of the more infamous examples is Another Metroid 2 Remake, a fan game made for the same reason Mother fans make fan games: they want something dammit! You can still download it, but Nintendo made sure all official download spots stopped. This is just one example, but it’s now common knowledge that the company can get pretty strict when it comes to fan games. Oddity probably changed from being Mother 4 because they feared all their years of hard work could be stopped like that.

This is why I am very worried about this fan-game. Spiritual successors are what the community have, such as Omori and Undertale, but people really want a new installment in the Mother franchise even if Itoi stepped down from that, possibly forever. When you know the hell that many games went through, it’s easy to see why. Mother 4 can be that for fans, hell it’s promising it will, but it would really suck if Nintendo brought the hammer down or if this studio decides to rebrand in fear of that. Spiritual successors are great, but the fans are the only people really willing to continue the franchise. Nintendo sure seems to not want to, even when the 30th anniversary came and went.

I understand that the team did address this concern in their own website, making the point that only fan remakes and controversial games get strikes, but I’m still worried about that being proven wrong. Who knows really; maybe I’ll be the one looking dumb? So, I really want this project to succeed, that way the Mother fans will have the spiritual successor and the “next” game in the series.

I’m looking forward to cry at the end, and maybe you will too. Idk, do what you want.

“Let’s hope this optimism saves us.”

P.S Listen to the soundtrack being released on the official Mother 4 youtube. It’s incredible.

-Samuel Argueta

The Christmas Elves

A fine Christmas Day we have. I’m writing this Christmas Eve while watching “It’s a Wonderful Life”, but it’ll go up Christmas Day. Might be a stretch, but what 19 year old do you know that actually watches that movie? Who am I kidding, I shouldn’t lump my generation into one group.

Anyway, this time I’ll be writing a quick rant about The Christmas Elves, a 1995 Christmas movie made by Golden Films based on the tale of the Shoemaker and the Elves. I watched it a few weeks ago on Tubi, the streaming land of both popular movies and sad obscure ones that either never got to see the light or were too bad to grasp it.

“Elves are like Stands, you can’t see them unless you have them.”
Photo by Oleg Zaicev on Pexels.com

The Story: In the a distant kingdom, the King does everything he can to get the finest shoes. Unfortunately, that means raising taxes, getting into debt, and then later selling a bunch of land. Meanwhile, a man named Hans takes in a thieving boy as his apprentice and later finds out shoes are being made in his sleep. Despite never making shoes before, people believe the beautiful shoes are his, and so they pay him for them. Hans becomes a famous shoemaker around his parts, even better than the King’s shoemaker.

However, his wife becomes suspicious that he’s just able to make shoes in his sleep and convinces him to stay up on look out. As it turns out, a couple of elves, training to be apart of Santa’s crew, have been making the shoes. He confronts them, however, just as they leave, they accidently transport him back to their base.

He finds a elf training base not in the North Pole, as only elves that work with Santa get to live in the North Pole. The elves that make his shoes are a bit of misfits with no real chance of being with Santa. The head elf puts Hans to sleep just as Santa arrives, fearful of him seeing a human finding out about the base, and later sends him back home.

Hans wakes up and remembers the whole thing, due to one of the elf’s cloth being in his pocket, and makes new cloths for the elves. The elves come back, but they are unsure if they should help him now that Hans knows. However, they want to give their gratitude and end up giving Hans magic to continue making shoes. And so they leave.

Some time later, the dumb King, after promising a ham to a maid and to be a royal, sends for guards to Hans in order for him to make the finest shoes by Christmas…unless he wants to be imprisoned. Unfortunately, Hans wanted to make shoes for his apprentice. He stays up all night, until he wakes up realizing he didn’t make the shoes. The guards come and take him from his wife to rot forever.

However, the elves came back and made the shoes, sending it to the king and releasing him. The King puts on the shoes, but they take control of him and make him a nicer person against his will. The elves that help Hans become Santa’s elves, as they realize that them giving Hans the magic he needs despite it being against the rules is the true meaning of Christmas. The movie ends with them being on the back of Santa’s sleigh as they ride out the night.

“Can you tell there’s not a lot of pictures on this movie?”
Photo by Melvin Buezo on Pexels.com

My thoughts:

I was coming into this film thinking it was either gonna be bad or okay enough to like it. Afterwards, I came up with the latter. The film’s charm and wit made for a good Christmas film. I’m not sure if its true, but the animation is exactly like the animation from “Grandma Got Ran Over By A Reindeer.” The voice actors and actresses did a pretty good job, even if the movie didn’t credit them. That’s why the IMBD is pretty barren.

“I put this picture because I swear, Izzy from Digimon’s voice actress is in this film.”
Image from Digimon Fandom

The story is fine, but the wit and performances made for a fun sit-on-the-couch Christmas film to watch with my family. It tells of the heart of doing something for others, from Hans helping his apprentice to the elves helping him with shoes, and the evil of greed. Seriously, the king got his kingdom in debt for shoes. Good lookin shoes but still! It’s like some classmates I used to know would seriously spend so much on dang shoes.

Other than that, there isn’t much else to say about the film. It’s short, about 48 minutes, and I can’t much say about the original tale since I never read it. However, I did enjoy it, and I think it did its job as a solid Christmas movie. If you have a Roku, Tubi, and some time on this Christmas Day, I say take a chance and give the movie a shot. It might become a new holiday tradition for you.

Well, after all that, I leave you with a Merry Christmas. The end of the world might be around us, but I think this Christmas can be a time to remind us of the holly and jolly that we can share together…of course at a distance. It might be wishful thinking, but someone’s gotta dream a little. Anyway, happy holidays and pray for a White Christmas wherever you are.

-Samuel Argueta