I can honestly say that some Nintendo games don’t give me any reason to reflect. They make me feel joyous or put me in a hilarious mood when I notice something satirical in a Paper Mario game (and sometimes shady moments in Fire Emblem games). On the other hand, I know there are titles in Nintendo’s first party library that should make you think of love, friendship, sadness, strength and weakness–titles like Xenoblade Chronicles 3, Elite Beat Agents, Eternal Darkness, and Super Princess Peach. They are all exquisite in their own right, but sometimes I need to dig deeper. I need to use my brain–not for puzzles–but to reflect on why a game makes me think of situations I am familiar with or analyze that character, storyline, or death.
Video Games have evolved, not only in graphics, storytelling, music, gameplay, and genres, but also in the way they reward you. They reward players by drawing them in with an experience and insert thought-provoking themes that could raise awareness on a topic or speak to a current problem or issue in their life. I can understand a game like Power Wash Simulator may not actually making you think, but with its relaxing nature, it may be something to help you relieve stress or anxiety–something that is consistently on your mind. The reward aspect could help you turn your mind off. Not thinking of thinking as some may say.
I need to be in deep thought at times. I always bring up Gris or The Last Guardian and why those games mean a lot to me. The Last Guardian deals with closeness while Gris deals with the loss of someone close. Both games have these moments in the adventure where it made me reflect on why people mean so much to me. Why I try to be social. Why, when I get in my head that I done something to lose someone, I want to fix it.
This doesn’t happen to everyone, but when I reflect on a campaign that isn’t puzzle based, I realize what is important to me. Titles like Papo & Yo are brought up in my deep pieces–seeing how alcoholism has affected friends and family and the harmful situations that came from it. It’s times like those that make me end my podcast recording with others with “love you all” because I never know when that will be the last sentence someone hears from me.
That’s why I love certain titles from Microsoft and Sony. When the developers from different studios truly create a world with themes that matter or representation done right, it makes me think on why video games are more than “fun”. Titles like Horizon: Zero Dawn and Gears 5 really took me by surprise and became some of my favorite mature and well crafted games. It made me think how through the right actions, prejudice can be fought in Horizon: Zero Dawn, or in terms of Gears 5, how a choice can change the trajectory of your emotions.
As I continue to grow and experience games with open eyes and a blank slate, I hope more games keep me reflecting. I hope they continue teach me the importance of people in their themes, and why all of it should matter. As much as I love Nintendo, I don’t always have that deep connection that makes me reflect on life. Yes, I use my brain for puzzles, gameplay, music arrangements, art, and more with Nintendo titles, but there are moments I need to think on how it impacts my life and for most of the time. It isn’t there in Nintendo games.
And that’s ok. There are so many titles that await for me to dive in and challenge me with interpretation. Just something to reflect on.
Are there games that make you reflect? Let us know in the comments or on our Boss Rush Facebook Group or Boss Rush Discord.
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Nintendo Pow Block is Boss Rush Media and The Boss Rush Network’s Nintendo podcast. Each week, Edward, Corey, and their friends from around the internet come together to talk about the week in Nintendo, including news, rumors, new games, questions, and the fan-favorite Snacktendo segment. Check out Nintendo Pow Block Live on Twitch every Monday night at 8:30PM Eastern / 5:30PM Pacific or on Podcast Services and YouTube Wednesday mornings at 7AM. If you enjoy the show, consider leaving us a five star rating on iTunes and Spotify. Thanks for listening to Nintendo Pow Block!
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