I Am Merely A Collector

I can’t recall a blog that I’ve written in the past that prominently featured video games. I’ve done movies, TV, wrestling, mental health, social justice, and more, but I don’t think I’ve ever just sat down and talked about my video games preferences and experiences. What better time than the present–especially considering I just finished the story on the best Pokemon game in…decades(?) and Nintendo just announced a slew of great JRPGs making their way to the Switch in the coming year?

I’ve always enjoyed video games, but despite my fairly extensive collection, I really haven’t played that many. I’m aware of a lot of the culture and stories surrounding them–especially the most popular ones–but I really wouldn’t consider myself a “gamer.” I think I’m just more of a collector who enjoys video games and tends to centralize his collecting around them.

A small portion of my collection.

I have a large collection of Amiibo (I currently have all that have been released in the west and am only missing five that would require being imported) and an even larger collection of Skylanders (I genuinely don’t know which Skylanders I’m missing, but I have most from all of the games). I also have physical games for NES, N64, SNES, GameCube, Wii, Wii U, Switch, GameBoy, GBA, DS, 3DS, PS1, PS2, PS3, PS4, PS5, PSP, Vita, Xbox, Xbox 360, and XBone, plus a load of digital games on all my devices–but, again, I don’t keep track of which I do/don’t have. But the sad truth is that a lot of the games I own, I have not played. I don’t just buy games to buy them. I always have the intention of playing them, but there are just so many games that I want to play and my attention is often spread so thin that I prioritize my gaming time to select games that I really want to play, usually based off series that I enjoy–like Pokemon, Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, Halo, and Mario–or genres that I love–like JRPG and platformers.

Those who know me, know that Pokemon is my go-to game franchise, probably because it plays into my collecting nature. And gosh, does it ever get me into that collecting mode. I work really hard to take part in every download promo the Pokemon Company does where they give you a special pokemon or a legendary, etc. I even have a living dex that I’ve been (unwittingly until a few years ago) putting together since I started Sapphire version, because I’ve transferred all pokemon that I’m able to transfer (RIP Spiky-Eared Pichu in HeartGold and Lucha Pikachu in Alpha Sapphire) up through every generation of games and now they all live in Pokemon Home.

It’s not just the video games either. I recently got back into collecting the cards (I open packs monthly on Instagram Live) and playing the card game, I’ve seen every movie and almost every season of the anime (I’m yet to watch Ash’s Johto adventures), and I have a number of toys from the franchise, plus a number of special Pokemon edition Nintendo consoles.

I think my favorite single item in my collection is a game for 3DS called Nintendo 3DS Guide Louvre that is literally a special 3DS cartridge that was only ever sold at the Louvre and contains a guided virtual tour of the museum. I’ve never actually been to Paris, but a friend picked it up for me when they visited. Very cool. Very niche. 

Another small taste of my Amiibo & Skylanders collections.

I know I built myself up as a collector, but as I said at the start, I do actually play some of the games I own. I grew up on Pokemon–hence why it is so near and dear to me–but I also got into Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, and Halo in my teens. I also was big into Spyro and Ratchet & Clank for a time in my tweens. Once I got to college, I had a good amount of free time and disposable income–and a bunch of friends who shared my interests and free time–so I slowly started working on amassing games that I had “missed out on” growing up (I was given such a hard time for never playing a Zelda game that I swore off of them for years–until Breath of the Wild changed my perspective on the series). 

I still have a ton of series that I want to get into–I once had a goal to play every game referenced in Smash Bros but Ultimate seems to have made that nearly impossible, so now I just focus on the stuff that looks really appealing to me, which are mostly on the Switch. I’m currently deep in Pokemon Legends Arceus and I’m worried that I won’t be at a good stopping place with it to jump into Triangle Strategy when that comes out. After that, I’m looking forward to the Mario Kart 8 DLC, Kirby and the Forgotten Land (I’ve only played a couple Kirby games in the past), the Chrono Cross rerelease (I loved Chrono Trigger and have meant to play CC since beating it in college), and my most anticipated game of the year at this point (until they announce the next Pokemon game or that BotW2 is coming out this year) is Live A Live, which is a game that I’ve wanted to play since I first watched a ‘Did You Know Gaming’ video about it a few years back.

That seems like a decent introduction into my gaming (and collecting habits) while certainly leaving more topics of discussion for the future. What are your favorite game series? What games are you currently playing or looking forward to this year? Thanks for reading and I’ll catch you on the next one!

THE WORLD IS YOUR BURRITO!

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