Posts Tagged ‘Nintendo’

Stress and video games

July 28, 2014 Leave a comment

Games are supposed to be an escape, like delving into a good book or enjoying a movie with family and friends. But then…life happens and you cannot find the time to fit in some personal time. That is when stress begins to surmount and one is left trudging along your day carrying feelings of angst. The truth is that everyone deals with stress in some form or fashion. I have to remind myself that life happens and you need to shift priorities. I am, after all, the beleaguered gamer.

Currently one of my favorite games is Pikmin 3 on the Wii U. I love to get lost in the world where giant bugs rule and you have your own tiny creatures under your control to navigate the turmoil that occurs in a garden.

One bug really that caught my attention is the Calcified Crushblat and I just couldn’t help but feel sorry for it. This was my bug…the bug that was I was meant to see in this stress-filled world. A bug with a crustacean-like shell that only your Rock Pikmin can break. Each hit, lessens the protective shell’s strengths and little by little, pieces begin to fall and the bug is left exposed. This is when your other Pikmin can land on the creature in all it’s naked glory and beat him down one by one.

This, my friend, is stress!


Stress on the Calcified Crushblat will cause deterioration of it's protective shell.

Stress on the Calcified Crushblat will cause deterioration of it’s protective shell.

This bug is the amalgamation of stress breaking us down. a living symbol of how life can chip at your cozy protective shell and how only those big problems, that are like the Rock Pikmin, can penetrate. However, after a few hard blows from those “big” issues, then you go down and the little stuff gets you.

It’s a hard world my friends and all I can say is that you should create some recipe to battle stress. Mine consists of exercise and a steady diet of Pikmin problem solving sessions, but everyone has those days when your shell has been exposed and you need to recoup quickly. That is when you should remember the Ode to the Calcified Crushblat


Oh Calcified Crushblat,

How docile you seem, sleeping in your harden shell of solitude,

quick to crush when approached,

quick to lose a shell on reproach,

Hammered by life,

Striving for security,

But little colorful problems start chipping away,

Retreat Calcified Crushblat for you’re no match!

Go back to a safer habitat where you can regroup,

your thoughts, your sense of security and that shell too.

I didn’t mean to be rude and intrude,

but you got in my way during this mess,


your friend…



On the road of Life- Mario Kart Analogy

January 17, 2012 Leave a comment

Assured of certain certainties,
The conscience of a blackened street
Impatient to assume the world.

-T.S Eliot

Toad on a shelf

Up above my book shelf, sits Toad overlooking my path in writing

Mario Kart is one of my favorite games of all time.  You can play with gamers of all levels.  The items the racers obtain can move someone from last place to first, even on the final lap.  When I was younger and I played the game, I would quit (or RAGE quit) whenever I faltered on the first lap.

Hit a Goomba strolling the track?  Quit.
Jumped into a ravine and the Lakitu is pulling me out with his smug faced cloud?  Quit
Tried to start off with a boost, but instead the engine chokes?  Quit.

But you have to learn patience.  You have to keep faith in your skill and make sure you persevere.  Then I thought this is sort of like life.

So this poem came to mind…

On the Road to Life (On a Mario Kart):

You tackle life in strides as if one rides,

a unique Kart that adds character to their soul,

The goal to finish on top, or somewhere above middle,

Unraveling riddles in a bright pixelated box. Stay sharp as a fox,

Sometimes life’s turns are harsh and you fall down,

Sad as some may smile upon your momentary failed path,

but soon enough you pass them back up, “do we dare laugh?”

like a Toad can turn a prince, or Princess in this case.

All is Peachy!

You have to keep your head held high in this magnificent race.

Another Nightmare Averted- Strategy for Ghost Hunters

December 19, 2011 Leave a comment


Games have always taught us that ghosts are not to be feared

“Where shall the word be found, where will the word
Resound? Not here, there is not enough silence”  – T. S. Eliot

I have to admit that I have an overactive imagination.  A downside to that gift is sometimes my nightmares are surreal.

Last night was no exception.  I guess I have been watching too many Ghost Adventurers because my dream involved me and my wife traveling from house to house and each one kept getting more haunted than the previous one.

First of all, I already have a happy home, so it made no sense why we were traveling to different locations, but somehow our maniac landlord kept apologizing for the ghostly apparitions and kept offering us new lodgings.

One was an apartment which reeked of ghosts as soon as we walked in (assuming ghost have a scent. In my dreams they do).  The other was a log cabin next to a dark and desolate highway in a scene similar to Alan Wake’s lodgings.  I don’t recall ever seeing a ghost in my dream, but I did have an overwhelming feeling that ghosts were present.

A small part of me wanted to see the ghosts and confront them. I wanted to be like Zach from Ghost Adventurers and taunt the ghosts, but they never showed themselves.  Also deep down, I felt safe because I learned from Super Mario Brothers that if you are ever approached by a ghost, you look them head-on.  You never run away. Never show fear. Like King Boo, ghosts are given confidence when you waiver in yours.

Luckily for me, my daughter woke me up for her night feedings and saved me from my dreaming doom.

Until next time…Here’s a Haiku…


Brave among the Ghosts!
He eats a power pellet,
The blue ghost they flee.

Mobile Gaming Cycle of Life

December 8, 2011 Leave a comment

“While I slept and traveled in dreams at night, the mountains didn’t move at all and I doubt they dreamed- ” Jack Kerouac

Becoming a parent consumes you.  You’ll pretty much focus all of your effort on your child with no time for anything else.  Your free time is pretty much diminished to basic grooming and eating.

I said in an earlier entry, before I took a long hiatus from the Beleaguered Gamer Blog, that I’d try to get some gaming in during the baby’s nap, but the truth is, in the early stages of parenthood, you are pretty much sleep deprived.  Then you get a brief period when the baby begins to sleep longer, so you decide to play and this time is nice, but then the teething stage begins and they are up at all hours of the night. Then it becomes a decision of sleep versus game and sleeplessness pretty much always forces you to forgo gaming.

Thankfully for me I got a 3DS.  Now I have to admit at first I wasn’t to thrilled with the lack of games, but then they started to release the classics as part of the Ambassador program. I started to play original Gameboy titles like Tennis and Baseball during those moments when I am stuck in the car while the baby is nursing.

Having a child didn’t completely kill my gaming life.

I still get to play console games.  Currently I am playing Skyward Sword, but there were others like Dragon Age II, Gears of War 3, and Modern Warfare 3, but the opportunity to play console games are not as frequent. Thankfully for me I can stomp a few Goombas and fly wing-side with the ever arrogant Falco in Star Fox because of the 3DS.  If it wasn’t for the 3DS I wouldn’t be getting much gaming time at all.

In the past I had handheld systems as a kid and eventually in my 20’s I grew tired of them when I pretty much had access to any system for whatever time I saw fit.  However, now I am going back to that period in life when I am stuck in a car and I want to throw a few red turtle shells at the Princess’ lifted vehicle.

Yes, for me the handheld gaming cycle has come full circle.

How we played 2 players

Retro handheld gaming involved chords.

Mobile Gaming Cycle of Life- Poem

Going back to a time,
A time when I was stuck in a vehicle,
Driving towards long destinations,
Parents in awe of sites to see,
But not me,

My face is dug deep,
In the florescent green screen,
Dot-matrix Mario jumping multitude of foes,
Undone by his own demise due to lack of mushroom consumption,

Want to play with me?
Here is a chord let’s link,
What did you think?
I was going to throw the pitch,
without me wiggling the control switch,
Swing and a miss,

Now I’m grown and future has shown,
An inclination to the handheld device,
Not a vice, but a tool,
To make fools of imaginary foes.

Time is limited so make use,
Idle minds can’t redefine themselves,
Solve a laborious mental labyrinth,
hear the chime to enlightenment,

It’s just like a book,
Takes you from a boring reality,
Mobile gaming makes it easy to partake,
In the virtual imagination.

The World is Small Thanks to the Internet.

March 14, 2011 Leave a comment

The world is united. We are not distant,
we are close,
we interact, we game,
we speak different languages,
yet we race on the same track,
you throw a frag,
and miles away I grumble in death,
Re-spawned is the spirit,
the passion of the human soul,
to get achievements and unlock secrets,
that is our goal.

Muse in Gaming,

October 18, 2010 1 comment

My view from work.

My view from work

Monday in need of a muse,
one to soften the abuse,
start the fuse,
to a new unraveling work-week,

Not for the meek,
but those who persevere on their feet,
and seek establishing good-will,
between bosses and colleagues,

But now Monday is over and I sit hunched over,
to the day that has now passed.
Do I wallow in sadness or self-produce madness,
play video games and put the petal to metal and burn that imaginary gas.

If you deem racing games trifle,
then perhaps a battle with rifle,
or plasma grenades will leave your mind no longer reminiscing,
those menacing tasks that await for you at your desk,
for now it’s time to game,
and the muse comes next.

The muse dances on my controller and says,

“Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A

Mario Galaxy 2 – Great Space Coaster

July 12, 2010 Leave a comment

“Cyclops, if anyone ask you who is it that put your eye out and spoiled your beauty, say it was the valiant warrior Ulysses, son of Lærtes, who lives in Ithaca.”

Homer, Odyssey

The Great Space coaster was like Sesame Street but for a slightly older age group. The show featured a clown, Baxter, from outer space with a ridiculously large head.  He played the Baxaphone (a space-aged saxophone) and looked a lot like Jack, from Jack in the Box, but this clown was overweight and had a full head of orange shag hair. Then there was the news with Gary Ganu.  A savvy newsman who had a strange speech pattern in which  all words starting with a letter “N” had to be preceded by a “G”.  This is exactly the kind of madness one might see if they where teleported to the environment in Mario Galaxy 2.

The Great Space Coaster

Launched into lunacy on the Great Space Coaster.

Mario Galaxy presents Mario with the same type of outer space lunacy. The game is 3-D which makes it different from the traditional Mario games, but you still have the classic Mario Brother’s characters.  The game is really simple and takes full advantage of all of the Wii features. There is even a Co-Op mode if someone is bored watching you, they can pick up the Wii controller and help you distract enemies or capture coins.  However, I can’t imagine to many people pleased in just pointing at characters while you ride the green beast named Yoshi.

Mario is a modern-day Ulysses, he faces frighteningly ferocious foes at the end of each level and he is unyielding to the impending dangers ahead of him.  Courage in the face of adversity, that is what makes heroes.  To go ahead with your head held high even when you know the odds are stacked against you.  Somehow, in the end, things are going to fall in your favor and the Princess will be safe again.

I am part of a rare breed of gamers who is familiar with all game genres and buy for all the systems.  Some gamers have loyalty to a particular system, but I feel it’s best to have an open mind and enjoy games on all platforms.  There is a known circle of gamers  who work for the City in downtown San Diego and they also share the same philosophy. When the PSP first came out, I would see them gathered around a deli nearby Civic Center Plaza.  Lunch time is usually reserved for walking around downtown or enjoying the various lunch locations or even going out for a quick jog; but this group would congregate daily in this high traffic section of downtown with PSPs in hand.  I was awestruck.  Now that is dedication to gaming.

When I spoke to one of them after discussing the business of a peculiar financial transaction I said,  “Thanks for helping me with that issue…so did you get the new Mario Galaxy?” He seamlessly transitioned from talks of SAP to games and he said, “It’s pretty much the same as the first Mario Galaxy, so I returned it.”

He is probably right, but I was a fool and ignored the first game, so I knew the decision to purchase this game was a smart one.

Mario games are a game designer’s paradise. I think the game play is simplified, but the characters and various approaches to problems make the game intriguing to the young and the old.

So if you are bored,
take a trip,
like Baxter driving you to music,
you’ll ride Yoshi equipped,
with his devouring appetite,
ride off into the star-filled night,

on a ship I ride,
shaped like my head,
shoot down that Lackatu,
he’s throwing Spinies,
(turtle-like beast laced with thorns),
end up dead,

morose because you won’t get to ride,
like an unfulfilled prophecy,
the Great Space coaster that is Mario Galaxy…

Ship shaped like my head!

Ship shaped like my head.