Last month, Kelly from Why We Play Games very kindly nominated Later Levels for a Sunshine Blogger award. If you’re not already following this lovely lady, make sure you fix that today by heading over to her blog – and be sure to check out this post which was picked as a blogger highlight for June.
The questions posed by Kelly to her nominees this time were all about favourites. Sometimes it can be difficult to have a single favourite ‘something’; there are so many options available to catch our eye and our choices tend to change depending on what mood we’re in. But that’s what is going to make answering these questions even more interesting, so let’s jump straight in and find out what’s hot in the Later Levels’ world right now.
What is your favourite theme song from a video game?
When my other-half and I got married, we decided we didn’t want traditional music played at our ceremony and instead opted for instrumental versions of some of our favourite video game tracks. These included the main theme from the original Tomb Raider game, a tune which brings back memories of completing my Dance GCSE exam; and an instrumental version of Everything’s Alright from To The Moon, a song which genuinely brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it because it reminds me of all the emotion from the game.
What is your favourite theme song from a video game?
I found a couple of new favourites this year, the first being the soundtrack from Eastshade because it’s just so relaxing. My most recent pick however is that from A Plague Tale after we completed it last month. It’s not exactly easy listening because the title can be quite grim at times, but it fits the setting and changes in line which each scene perfectly. Have a listen to Big Sister: to me it feels like it’s saying ‘things might not be great now but I’m always going to look after you’.
What is your favourite video game genre?
I think that’s obvious to anyone who visits the blog regularly: adventure! Point-and-clicks have always held a special place in my heart since I first found The Secret of Monkey Island as a nine-year old. My tastes may have broadened as I’ve grown up but I always go back the types of releases which have a strong narrative because I love a good story. I’d much rather play a video game than watch a film, because there’s no other medium which can immerse you in the same way.
What is your favourite place in a video game?
One of the most iconic video game settings ever is Rapture. It’s hard to believe now that initial plans for BioShock didn’t include it at all and the original demo was set inside a space-station devastated by genetically-mutated monsters. I love the way this city is such a contradiction: it’s so far removed from human civilisation yet retains a strong bond with the geography of our planet, and was built to further mankind but has resulted in our downfall. Andrew Ryan’s philosophy can be felt in every corner.
What is your least favourite place in a video game?
It could be a café in France, a museum in London or a chapel in Spain: anywhere that George and Nico from the Broken Sword series are is nowhere I want to be. This is clearly an unhealthy relationship. Nico ‘innocently’ arranges for George and her ex-boyfriend Andre to work together and wind each other up; and George leaves Paris after the end of The Shadow of the Templars due to the death of his father – without telling Nico. What kind of people do that to one another?
What video game did you find visually stunning such as the landscapes or art style?
I didn’t ever want to leave its world after playing Eastshade. It’s one of the most beautiful games I’ve ever experienced, not just because it makes you feel as though you’re in a painting but because of its gameplay too. Imagine playing The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim with no combat; somewhere you can explore without fear of getting attacked by a wolf in the woods or troll in a cave, where there are secrets and interesting characters to discover, and where you frequently pull back from the screen and say ‘Wow.’
What video game food would you like to try?
For his birthday this year, my other-half and I got Tim from GeekOut UK a copy of The Elder Scrolls: The Official Cookbook to help him continue his addiction to The Elder Scrolls Online. We found a photograph taken by someone who’d made sweetrolls from the recipe while reading reviews about it, and they looked amazing! I’m thinking getting myself the book too just so I can try them out; maybe there’ll be a post in the future about how that goes and what they taste like.
What is your favourite video game series?
To avoid giving The Secret of Monkey Island as the answer to each one of Kelly’s questions, I’ll mix things up here by going for Fable. The original title was the one that got me back into gaming after I drifted away from it for a few years as a teenager, and the second game is one of my all-time favourites. I was so disappointed there was no news about Fable 4 during the Xbox briefing at this year’s E3. Hopefully we’ll hear more about it soon and it will bring the series back to life after Fable III let us down a little.
What fictional video game character would you like to hang out with?
I think Murray from The Secret of Monkey Island would be awesome to hang out with. We could spend a few hours at the seaside going on fairground rides, playing arcade games and eating ice-cream; then we’d head back home for an evening on the sofa and a live-stream of The Curse of Monkey Island, so he could share his inside knowledge and some scandalous stories about the rest of the cast. Could there possibly be a better day out for a demonic pirate skull?
What deceased video game character would you like to bring back to life?
A character I was most relieved to see brought back to life was Agro from Shadow of the Colossus… which is a strange answer for me personally as I have a horse phobia in real life. But how could anyone not be heartbroken during that scene at the bridge when she appears to die? She’s your sole companion throughout the battle to bring back Mono and her speed is invaluable in keeping you safe during fights with the colossi. I have a post about Team Ico’s releases lined up so watch this space for more soon.
What abandoned video game series would you like to see come back?
After Red Thread Games released the latest Dreamfall game, Ragnar Tørnquist wrote in a forum post that he didn’t think a direct sequel to The Longest Journey would ever happen. This makes me very sad because the series’ storyline is one which feels as if it should continue forever. It’s one of the reasons why I haven’t yet been able to bring myself to complete Dreamfall Chapters: the longer it takes me to finish it, the longer it will last and the closer we might be to a new instalment.
Thanks so much to again to Kelly for the nomination, and for giving me the opportunity to answer these questions!
Video game lover, Later Levels blogger and SpecialEffect volunteer. Big fan of wannabe pirates and fine leather jackets.