(Disclosure: I am a Nintendo Ambassador and was provided one or more products mentioned in this article, but not for the purpose of this article. Words, opinions and ideas are mine.)
When we were kids, games were unforgiving and brutal. They taught us lessons about persistence and adaptation, but they also only catered to able-bodied people with lightning quick reflexes.
These days, games are different. One of the biggest criticisms I hear is that games are “soft” – that they’re not as punishing on folks and that some of the modes and options actually make games too easy. Well, I think some of these technologies and options are great.
I heard about NBA Playgrounds and knew I had to have it. An arcadey 2-on-2 basketball game promising big dunks and fast action harkening back to the days of NBA JAM.
Spoiler alert: some of these big dunks and fast action are delivered. But the game trips over its own shoelaces all too often. This is not an updated NBA JAM you can play with your kids.
In this week’s news that should have come out last calendar year, a recent study found that parents have reported benefits of Pokémon GO with their kids, aside from the obvious clout of catching ’em all.
A small-scale, qualitative survey out of the University of Washington found that parents reported spending more quality time and engaging in more conversation with their kids – in particular, fathers of girls, mothers of boys and parents of teenagers. No word in the study if parents reported the elation of hatching a fully-evolved Charizard from a 10km egg.
(Disclosure: I’m a Nintendo Ambassador and they sent me an NES Classic Edition to play with. Boom!)
Sup, nerds. It’s been great walking among the people, but the truth is that for years, I’ve been hiding my true identity, and I think it’s finally time you know it.
The truth is, I’m Z-Ro, the last Nintendo Game Counselor. Born in the 80s, honed by playing with power until I bled pixels. By the time the Nintendo Power Line faded away, I had gone into hiding with nothing but an NES and a dream that one day I may use my power again. That day, friends, is today.
There can only be one, baby, and I’m it! Cowabunga!
“No, I know. It sounds weird to me too,” I assured the mother of my son’s friends. “I did just ask if your kids could come over and I could show them Japanese cartoons and take pictures of them. I get it.”
Let’s rewind back to mid-December: my son and I were Christmas shopping, and Nintendo had a game kiosk set up in the mall. Among the games was one called Yo-Kai Watch. My son and I wouldn’t have paid too much attention to it, except that one of the game’s characters was a butt. Like, literally, a butt. A Nintendo rep asked my son if he wanted a Yo-Kai Watch mask. “THE BUTT I WANT THE BUTT,” my son yelped because he’s seven years old and he’s my son and I love him as much as anything could love anything.
But I digress.
Too bad, so sad for a father in Pembroke, Ontario (Canada, y’all) whose son managed to buy almost $8,000 of in-game content in a FIFA game on his Xbox recently.
Lance Perkins’ 17 year old son dropped $7,625.88 CAD (about $5364.86 in USD) on EA’s FIFA game store content, which, assuming he’s playing FIFA 16, consists of “FIFA Points” – an in-game currency that allows you to buy “FUT Packs and Draft Entries” – basically, stuff to beef up your soccer/football/fútbol club. That’s a lot of draft entries; EA sells packs in increments ranging from 100 points — for $0.99 — all the way up to 12,000 points, which will set you back $99.99. Even if Perkins the Younger bought the 12,000 point packs alone, it’d still take him over 50 transactions to hit his total.
That’s dedication to the game, people.
The holidays are a time of family. Awkward family you haven’t seen in foreves. I mean, sure, you follow them on Facebook, but once you’ve covered the catching-up phase, what do you do?
My suggestion: make the holidays a time of family gaming. I think you can, and I think it’s easy. But it’s not a one-size fits all approach. There are plenty of great board games, card games and video games out for folks of all ages – and with a little forethought, you can be the hero that emcees the whole thing.
Here are some suggestions of games you can break out once family starts showing up, and there’s bound to be something for everyone.