Four years ago when I began my journey into video game journalism I was one of the most closed minded gamers you could ever meet. Ninety percent of what I played consisted of survival horror and Bioware RPG’s and I rarely ever ventured outside of my comfort zone. My gamer buddies of course prodded me to try new things when I got my Xbox 360 a decade ago and I would go on to warily purchase Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion with it. Little did I know that Oblivion would not only introduce me to vast open world RPG’s, but also get me used to first-person controls as well. My closed mind opened up slowly into trying new types of gaming experiences, but I still mostly stuck to survival horror and third-person games. It really wasn’t until Trevor Kincaid, Editor in Chief of BagoGames, really opened my world up to games by hiring me as a features and review writer. I had no idea what the next four years would have in store for me.
My first review for BagoGames was a game that had me completely out of my element. It was a little title called The Witch And The Hundred Knight. I had rarely played any hugely Japanese influenced games and man, did this title open my eyes up to what I’d been missing. Sure I still loved my survival horror games and was always anticipating the next Dead Space or Resident Evil release, but now goofy and offbeat games were on my radar. Thankfully BagoGames kept giving me these weird super Japanese-y games, which not only dragged me into Suda 51 and Swery’s world, but made me more interested about the culture itself. Shenmue and Yakuza soon became must play games for me since a trip to Japan would be quite a few years away. My reviews editor also bombarded me with turn-based JRPG’s which I had yet to truly master. It’s honestly sad though because Final Fantasy VII is on my gaming bucket list. I’ve been getting better and better with JRPG’s and now that I found something that gives me more time, I see myself getting better with this genre very soon. Square Enix will soon have a new master!
As I wrote more and more, I also began to read more and more about the industry, which piqued my interest in competitive gaming, lord knows I don’t want to be a restaurant manager the rest of my life. After watching EVO and seeing the Street Fighter V competition, I finally purchased a copy thinking that I would never get to it. When I received the game I hadn’t yet found an easy way to read my comic books, but now that I know that easy way I can sink some serious hours into Street Fighter. To stay well rounded I’ll just keep different types of games in my other consoles so I still get the variety I like as I Git Gud at Street Fighter. Will I ever get a sponsorship to EVO? Will I ever get good enough to even compete? I don’t know. All I know right now is that I’m enjoying my time with this game and that I’m undefeated online after only one match. That’s a good start, right?
The biggest eye opener for me was playing The Banner Saga. I remember when I read about its PC release I was interested in the title, but then I read that it was turn-based strategy; that quickly caused me to lose interest. Flash forward a few months and our review list comes out, I remember seeing The Banner Saga on the request sheet and decided to go for it because I liked the art style and had completely forgotten about the battle system. After I remembered what type of battle system the game had I was immediately concerned that I would fail at reviewing this title. Thankfully I’m a better gamer than I had previously thought and I succeeded where I thought I’d fail- on the battlefield! Gamers like to talk and of course usually about their favorite titles and I have a buddy who absolutely adores Fire Emblem. I’ve stayed away from this series for quite some time seeing as I’m bad at turn-based strategy and JRPG’s. The Banner Saga opened my mind to turn-based strategy and with some nudging from my buddy I caved and purchased all the Fire Emblem games for my 3DS. Awakening is taking up the majority of my time right now and I’m thoroughly enjoying myself; I can’t wait to see this game through to the end.
Writing about video games is my dream job. It has transformed as I’ve grown up, but right now I’m fully working towards this job. It isn’t as easy as everyone thinks it is either. You have to play games that you may not know how to play properly, but I can tell you that you will be exposed to a completely new world that you had no idea existed in our hobby. It’s because of these past four years that I know so much more about Suda 51, Swery, Shinji Mikami and so on; developers that honestly all need more attention. Had I not joined BagoGames I think that I would still be stuck in my little survival horror bubble, which isn’t a bad place, but I like having a huge bubble that I can play around in. What has broadened your horizons in this industry?