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Subject: VGGeek of the Week #218 - Jim Parkin (Annowme) rss

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Matt Utting
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Whelp my time in the sun is over as VGG Geek of the week. So as the sun sets on me it's time to introduce the next geek of the week!

Jim Parkin
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Jim is a fellow Pokéfan who has a Platinum Wedlocke run. I've never played Platinum, so was interesting to read through (though also quite sad at the end).

Annowme wrote:
Thank you, Matt, for nominating me! I've previously enjoyed the fifteen minutes of fame over on RPGG, and given that my gaming DNA was forged through pixels, I am very happy to be given the chance to enjoy the same here on VGG.

I am relative child at 30, though my older brother is in his mid-40s. It was becuase of this age gap that while I grew up in the 1990s and had lots of exposure to "newer" video games of the era (such as the many titles on my beloved N64), I inherited a trove of older titles and genres which would have never come across my basement gaming haven otherwise. This includes the wonderful world of point-and-click adventure games (like Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle, and Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis), mystical exploration games (such as Myst, Riven: The Sequel to Myst, and Timelapse), arcane Commodore 64 arcade titles (including Spy Hunter (1983), Pitfall!, and Beach-Head) (and seriously, so, so many more... hi, Star Control II!). Of special note are my two all-time favorite games, the original Master of Orion from the early 1990s, and Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, from the late 1990s. Both were unique and ground-breaking 4X games too mature and existential for little sub-10-year-old Jim to discover, nonetheless appreciate, without aid from his older brother.

Now, I played a lot of console games (I had an NES, SNES, N64, XBOX, and Gameboy Color growing up... yes, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is timeless and yes, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask still haunts my nightmares), but a lot of my gaming was done on a PC as a younger person, and has been the epicenter of my video gaming since. A lot of Blizzard, CIV-adjacent, and RTS games dominated the 2000s (shout out to the brilliance that is Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun + Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun – Firestorm), but I also played a TON of World of Warcraft before heading off to college in 2006. After that point, my video gaming turned mostly to emulating the zounds of stuff from my earlier childhood (and their more modern off-shoots) on my laptop due to space and time available. I probably logged several hundred hours of the various iterations of Heroes of Might and Magic over my four-year term (primarily II, III, and V). After graduation, I dipped back into World of Warcraft for a while via private servers for Wrath of the Lich King and revisited a to-do list of emulatable older Pokemon and Final Fantasy Tactics games, as well a long stint through the nigh-limitless plug-in content for the Escape Velocity trilogy from Ambrosia Software. That said, my video gaming as an adult has slowed in favor of board games and tabletop role playing games, though I continue to chip away at various strategy games and CRPGs in my spare time as I can.

Overall, I enjoy a good contest of skill and planning, but I am most impressed and impacted by games which tell powerful stories or ask unexpectedly deep questions of me as I play them. I've already mentioned Alpha Centauri (and list it again, below), so I'll use that as a strong example of both of these tenets of gaming. The short video below is an excellent snapshot of why the old 1999 4X game continues to evoke a strong, contemplative response from me.



tl;dr -- Go play old games. They are incredible.



- What is the worst game you ever played (and why)?
Man, in the thousands of games I've played, I have a hard time narrowing down any one stand-out bad experience, but I think I'll go with Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus. I've always enjoyed stealth/platform-y games, but I SUCKED at Sly Cooper. It was downright embarrassing. My friends and I would regularly go to each others' houses and just spectate/hang out while one of us played a long single-player game, and I got constantly razzed while I tried to get through Sly Cooper and failed miserably... in front of my peers. To this day, I am unsure why I could not master this one.

- What is your favorite video game-related memory?
While I could spin a few anecdotes here, what continually comes to mind (literally, on a near-daily basis) is the Apogee Software fanfare followed immediately by the Duke Nukem II intro crawl.



- How long was your longest single VG-playing-session ever (and what game(s))?
I recall with great fondness a 20+ player multi-system-link XBOX Halo marathon on a Friday through Sunday escapade. It was about 30 hours of Halo at the pinnacle of that game dominating and reframing what a FPS game could be. Amazing. The kill count in Totino's Pizza Rolls was staggering.

- What is your current platform of choice?
I will always be a PC gamer more than anything else, though with the number of cool ports to iPhone, I do play lots of things there these days, too.

- What are you playing now, and what will you be playing next?
Currently I am working through the beginnings of Planescape: Torment, which is blowing my mind by how good it is. I also play a lot of Hearthstone on mobile, primarily for the absolutely-scrumptious solitaire modes available at this point (Lichslap#1822 if you ever want to play). On deck is probably a bit more of Stardew Valley and a dip back to older shooters like Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger or Star Wars: Dark Forces.


- Do you use cheat codes?
I was never a fan (except for some goofy hilarity with the old-school codes for the original Age of Empires). On occasion, I would use them when emulating Pokemon games to get around trade-to-evolve shenangans when playing on my own.

- What is your favorite contribution (of yours or of another user) to VGG (provide a link, if possible)?

Frankly, it's the database itself. I played so many obscure and weird games as a kid by myself or with my brother, and I assumed the majority of them were lost to time. On VGG, however, I can look up all of them and revel in the bizarre nostalgia of the past, as well as look for more related titles for future consideration. Do not underestimate the power of data!

Thank you, all, for the opportunity to post a bit about myself and the great world of games we all share!
Poll
Which of these 5 games will (the nominee) select as the one game he would keep if he could have no other games the rest of his life?
  Your Answer   Vote Percent Vote Count
Master of Orion
37.5% 6
Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri
56.2% 9
Heroes of Might and Magic III Complete
0.0% 0
Warcraft III: Gold Edition
0.0% 0
Final Fantasy VI
6.2% 1
Voters 16
And here's the bonus 6-10!
  Your Answer   Vote Percent Vote Count
Escape Velocity Nova
7.7% 1
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II – The Sith Lords
23.1% 3
Donkey Kong 64
7.7% 1
Diablo II: Gold Edition
7.7% 1
Pokémon Platinum[/o]
53.8% 7
Voters 13
This poll is now closed.   17 answers
Poll created by urbaer
Closes: Sat Jul 27, 2019 6:00 am



Congratulations, Jim! Have a great time as the VGG Geek of the week!

For more information please visit the following:
https://videogamegeek.com/wiki/page/VGGeek_of_the_Week
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Bob
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Congratulations, Jim!
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Matt Utting
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Poke questions time!

Which Pokemon is the best?
Which Pokemon is your favourite?
What's the best name you've given to a Pokemon?
Who's that Pokemon?
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Sudo Dudaković
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Congrats of Jim!
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Congrats Jim!
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Congratulations Jim! Enjoy your tenure as Videogame Geek of the Week!

also...

Detective Pikachu. Yea or nay?
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Congratz!
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Congratulations Jim!
Hope you have a wizard of a tenure!
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Congratulations, Jim! Here are a few questions:

1 Alliance or Horde?
2 What are your go-to gaming snacks?
3 What kind of music do you listen to? Do you play an instrument?
4 What is your preferred tabletop RPG? What kind of character do you play?
5 Do you have any favorite books or authors?
6 Have you ever seen a UFO?

Enjoy your time as the Geek of the Week!
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Jeff G
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Congrats Jim!
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Geoffrey Burrell
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Congrats Jim! Have a fun and fruitful week of gaming!
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Huzzah, Jim! It's good to see a VGGotW who appreciates classic PC strategy games like MOO and SMAC.

So, I'll ask a couple questions for a change, though I usually remain silent on these things:

1. Have you played both Master of Orion and Master of Orion II: Battle at Antares (and maybe others in the family too)? If so, which is your personal favorite, and why?

2. Have you played the SMAC expansion, Sid Meier's Alien Crossfire? If so, do you think it makes the game better, worse, or just different?
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urbaer wrote:
Jim is a fellow Pokéfan who has a Platinum Wedlocke run. I've never played Platinum, so was interesting to read through (though also quite sad at the end).
Ah, that Platinum Wedlocke. That was an amazing run even if I was dashed to pieces by Cyrus' accursed Crobat! I really enjoyed Generation IV as it was the first introduction of physical/special moves, rather than physical/special types. A huge (and logical) improvement on the conventions of the game series.

I started another Black 2 Wedlocke challenge, but never finished it. If I ever do that again (they are amazingly fun!) I will make sure to put up another VGG thread as a Let's Play. I highly, highly recommend Nuzlocke-style challenges for the Pokemon games. That "mode" of play revitalized the games for me after having played them straight so many times.

urbaer wrote:
Which Pokemon is the best?

Metagross, no question. That genderless psyhic alien robot is a frickin boss. Easily the coolest of the psuedo-legendary Pokemon, too.

urbaer wrote:
Which Pokemon is your favourite?

Jolteon, for sure. Ever since Pokemon Red, this one has been my favorite. Extremely fast and exceptionally powerful using all of the top Electric moves, and even with basic neutral utility stuff like Double Team and Sand-Attack (or beefed up special cross-type moves like Shadow Ball and Signal Beam), this little one has always carried its weight and fun-factor for me.

urbaer wrote:
What's the best name you've given to a Pokemon?
My memory is a bit foggy for all of the Pokemon I've nicknamed over the years, but my Kadabra named Neo was a fun one. Silly as it sounds, I often said, "there is no spoon," just as he Psybeam'd/Psychic'd his opponent into another dimension.

urbaer wrote:
Who's that Pokemon?
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Sudo Nimh wrote:
Congrats of Jim!
Cricky wrote:
Congrats Jim!
ooozan wrote:
Congratz!
chadnorth wrote:
Congratulations Jim!
Hope you have a wizard of a tenure!
bulldog93 wrote:
Congrats Jim!
GeoffreyB wrote:
Congrats Jim! Have a fun and fruitful week of gaming!
Thank you, all!
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Gerdion wrote:
Detective Pikachu. Yea or nay?


I haven't seen it yet! I would really like to, however. My wife rolls her eyes at the thought, but for all the nostalgic cash-in junk that's been filling theaters for the last decade, this is a movie I'd actually want to go watch.
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Congrats!
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ghostpants wrote:
1 Alliance or Horde?
(Thrall's) Horde, 100%. Especially with the progression of Warcraft III's storyline, I was enamored with the Horde. Rexxar's "Founding of Durotar" RPG-esque post-campaign in The Frozen Throne really cemented it for me, too. THEN I played World of Warcraft, and my first character was an Orc warrior (also named Annowme). I vividly recall walking into Orgrimmar for the first time... absolutely breath-taking.

Honorable mention to the Dwarves, though, especially the Dark Irons of Blackrock Depths.

ghostpants wrote:
2 What are your go-to gaming snacks?
Salt & vinegar chips, preferably of palate-melting strength.

ghostpants wrote:
3 What kind of music do you listen to? Do you play an instrument?
Andrew Bird is my favorite single artist, but I also have soft spots for alt hip hop, classical, romantic, and modern orchestral works, alt folk, southern rock, and metal.

I wish I stuck with piano as a kid, but I didn't, so I don't really play anything. I can read music and whistle quite well, thought!

ghostpants wrote:
4 What is your preferred tabletop RPG? What kind of character do you play?
Monster of the Week and Dungeons & Dragons (5th Edition) are my go-tos for both narrative and crunchy play. Of late, I have also become smitten with Star Wars: Edge of the Empire and the silly-simple Lasers & Feelings. I think warlocks and/or anyone who bargains for power make the most compelling characters.

ghostpants wrote:
5 Do you have any favorite books or authors?
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh is hands-down my favorite novel. Waugh expresses in such rich, evocative prose that no one wished for by God is ever too far from his reach. Brilliant stuff, not unlike Graham Greene's The Power and the Glory or Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises.

ghostpants wrote:
6 Have you ever seen a UFO?
I have not, though my son often talks about the many UFOs he's spotted. He's very perceptive.
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Patrick Carroll wrote:
Huzzah, Jim! It's good to see a VGGotW who appreciates classic PC strategy games like MOO and SMAC.

So, I'll ask a couple questions for a change, though I usually remain silent on these things:
Thanks for coming out of the woodwork to say as much! Yay, old games! No doubt all of the most modern fare is quite good, but I can't escape the gravitational pull of these old masterpieces (Civilization V: Brave New World is rather astonishing, granted).

Patrick Carroll wrote:
1. Have you played both Master of Orion and Master of Orion II: Battle at Antares (and maybe others in the family too)? If so, which is your personal favorite, and why?
I've played MOO, MOO II, and MOO III (though I've not played the most recent reboot, Master of Orion - Conquer the Stars).

The original 1993 MOO is far-and-away my favorite. I think MOO II is awesome, and greatly expanded the options of the core game, but it was much more like Civ-in-Space than the ground broken by its predecessor for me. I really like the abstraction and meta-management of the original MOO. It was neither too granular nor too simple. MOO III was sadly a terrible flop. Man, it could have been GREAT, but alas, it was pretty much crap.

Patrick Carroll wrote:
2. Have you played the SMAC expansion, Sid Meier's Alien Crossfire? If so, do you think it makes the game better, worse, or just different?
I have not played Alien Crossfire, actually! I never had it growing up, though I recently purchased SMAC as bundled with Alien Crossfire through a GOG.com sale, so I'll probably fire it up sooner than later.
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Jim, out of curiosity, what is your percentage breakdown between video gaming, board gaming, and role-playing? How does that compare to your time here on Geekdo?
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Congratulations, Jim! Have a great week!
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Bien wrote:
Congrats!
tickmanfan wrote:
Congratulations, Jim! Have a great week!
Thanks!
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wildthayne wrote:
Jim, out of curiosity, what is your percentage breakdown between video gaming, board gaming, and role-playing? How does that compare to your time here on Geekdo?
Good question, Bob.

These days, I'd say I am primarily a board gamer in terms of research on BGG and playing at home with my wife and kids, though I also play a lot of RPGs online here through RPGG (which consequently takes up the most "time alotted" to Geekdo writ large). I probably play a few hours of solid video games a week, all the same, between Hearthstone on mobile and early-morning/late-evening bits and pieces through GOG, emulators, and a long-running CIV V game I've had humming along on a massive scale for a few months now.

I really want to put together another Let's Play of some sort on VGG, but I can't decide what I'll do next.
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Congratulations Jim!
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Congrats, Jim! Enjoy your week in the spotlight!
Here's a link to his RPGGeek GotW thread, for some more Jim-lore. He's played and GMed many a game since that time, but it's still a fun read. thumbsup
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What game do you most want to see a sequel to?

What game would you like to see get a modernized re-implementation of?
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