Five Games That Remove Gamer Block

I’m sure that many of you have heard of writers’ block, the term that helps sum up the “wall” you hit when no matter what you just can’t put pen to paper. Gamers have a similar case and whether you call it gaming fatigue or block it is there. It is common when it hits you just as you finished up a long title that took hours of your time to complete. The block hitting you with the odd feeling of “what now?” leaving you unmoving. With that in mind, I am going to give you five games that are nice and simple in the way they get you moving again into gaming. It may be that it is simple and just lets you pass an hour and get excited about gaming again, or maybe it will spark a moment that leads you running to finish another title you had your eyes on. Either way, this is what we have in store.

Number One – Minecraft

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The game has always been the equivalent of dumping a bin of legos on the ground and mindlessly building for hours. Well in case you haven’t checked the shelves in a while Legos are expensive as hell now, but good old Minecraft is still sitting around twenty bucks at all times.

A game that you can build Hogwarts or a dirt shack, make a weapon out of diamonds or dig a hole. No matter what your fancy Minecraft can help you kill some hours and get you going on the gaming world again. Try playing with someone and soon you will both have built something together. The beauty of it coming from it is less serious than a title like Ark or Seven Days to Die and yet complex enough to always have you moving in some direction. The updates on it have added so much over the years and I suggest you giving it a look if you can’t seem to find anything else to do at the time.

Number Two – The Legend Of Zelda Breath of the Wild

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It is a game that you can travel to practically every mountain to see and climb it. A game that you can finish quickly if you only want to do the main quest sure, but really shines when you get to just relax and enjoy the beauty of the world that Nintendo created.

Zelda has always been a series that shines on one player going through a quest and saving the princess. Of course the sequel they spoiled slightly at E3 may shake this up a bit, but Breath of the Wild plays unlike any of the other titles before it. It can be turned on the tv and you and a friend can just enjoy the rich environments and what Hyrule has to offer. Or if you are heading out just take it with you! The great part of this title is that there is so much less pressure to continue the main quest in it. You can take your time and get where you want to when you want to. No annoying person constantly reminding you that there is so much other stuff to do. Leaving you with an experience you can enjoy at your pace and help kickstart you back into enjoying games again.

Number Three – Poke’mon Go

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Where I live it is Summer once again and already I see people walking around and hanging out at the local Poke’stops this game has to offer. Some of you may have already played this game religiously or maybe you never took the leap and downloaded the title onto your phone. The game is still alive and kicking and constantly getting more updated content and new Poke’mon added to the title.

The nice part here is there is less commitment to this game than many of the other console or PC titles may put you in. Sometimes when the block hits you hard it is a struggle to even get through a tutorial in a title. This one gets you outside and playing something in minutes. Plus I hear there is this thing called exercise that is kind of attached to it, supposedly that is good for you too?

Number Four – Any Elder Scroll or Fallout Title

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Now you may be thinking, “Wait a minute those are huge games?” They can be sure, but there is also this common misconception with these titles that you have to play the same character all the way through. To be honest, I have lost track of the times I have gone back to a Bethesda game, forgotten who my character was, and then started up a new one on the fly.

Play through as a melee only character in Fallout. Or use a Pugilist in Skyrim, punching a dragon to death is as satisfying as it sounds. Rush to become a werewolf or use only energy weapons. You can make the story in these games, and then end it any time you want to.

I know when I don’t want to watch TV, but don’t know what game I want to play I have booted up one of these. Picked a direction to walk after the tutorial, and then just went that way until I hit the edge and chose to use no fast travel. Play one of these gorgeous open world games like you haven’t ever before and soon you will find a story you have to tell to your friends.

Number Five – Mario Party

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I don’t care if you have to dig out and dust off the old N64, Gamecube, Wii, Wiiu or play on your new Switch. Man, this title has some longevity to it. These games are meant to get you playing with friends, so get with a friend and play. If you have not yet experienced a Mario Party game in your days then bring that up to someone and I bet they help you find a way to get you playing.

The board game like feel is sweet, the minigames are quick and fun, and you don’t have to take it seriously at all. Not to dissuade you from doing just that if that is how your playgroup is, but to each their own. Of course just as quickly as I popped Mario Party down it could have been Mario Kart or Tennis or Bros. The list is long and the games are made for you to play them and have fun. Remember that not every day do you need to boot up the Witcher 3 or Red Dead 2 and put in the hours of gaming require to conquer those.

So when the going gets tough and you just burn out on titles that seem to be taking to much out of you, look here at this simple little list. None of these will force you to play nine matches to get the coolest item, or hot drop to get that final kill. Just boot them up, relax, and play some titles for the sake of gaming.

Feature Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

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Five Must Play Game Boy Advance Games

There has been a ton of systems that have passed by over the years. Large consoles now showing us the sheer power behind them, giving us games in full 4k and bringing us stories more akin to feature length movies. One little system that I carried around well past its normal shelf life is the classic Game Boy Advanced. Some of the titles on the system bringing challenges like no others or showing true in-depth gameplay. Along with these titles remember there are so many more to go out and give a shot, but here is five of my must plays.

These titles have no particular order, but here we go.

Number One – Golden Sun

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An amazing little RPG title that is a must for anyone who is a fan of the old classic turn-based battle system. The four characters led by Isaac are on a journey spanning the continent that lets you find “Djinn” to enhance your abilities. They are based around the basic elements and also are used for exploration around the game map. When I first played through it reminded me of Sword of Mana and I got hooked into the second title as well, that picks up right where the first leaves off. Although I haven’t made it all the way into the DS title, many times will you see my Game Boy Advance with this title still in it.

Number Two – Advanced Wars

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Another strategy type game and not the last on the list. Many titles began to port over on the GBA, from the early Final Fantasy to the Lunar series we saw plenty, so fresh titles really nailed it when they brought hours of playability. This title lets you be a commander in an army and you take turns each day moving and organizing your troops. Each having different ranges and prices, plus a sort of Rock-Paper-Scissors element to what works best against what. Each commander had a special ability that you can use after a few days to really boost your gameplay. This was one of the few titles that I found myself playing with others as you passed the GBA back and forth between each day to see if you could outsmart your friend. I believe the Advanced Wars Dual Strike DS that came out later was the best in the series, but this title is one I’ve beaten time and time again.

Number Three – Fire Emblem The Sacred Stones

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Out of all five on this list, I don’t think a single title ate away more time than this one here. Not the first Fire Emblem title to come out on the GBA, but easily the best. It gave you more branching options for each character and had two campaigns you could play through to see different sides to the story. The real beauty that this game added compared to the first was the end game content. There was a tower that you could play through with increasing difficulty to unlock the older bosses of the game as playable characters. 

If you have never played an Emblems title the permadeath of each character can be brutal at first. Losing one of your favorite units meaning restarting the whole level or going the rest of the game without never using them again. This game taught me a lot about patience and many times I would look over to see it was four A.M. and I had school in a few hours because I never wanted to put this down. If you are a strategy game fan give this a play on hard mode and you will be hooked.

Number Four – Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga

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It wasn’t long after Super Mario Sunshine on the GameCube that this title came out. Promising gameplay a lot like the earlier Super Mario RPG I was curious to see how it would hold up. After all, I had been playing bigger titles on the Cube at this time like Sunshine, Metroid Prime, and Tales of Symphonia so how would a GBA title compete?

Well if you haven’t been able to tell from the onslaught of newer versions and sequels the game was fun. It was a turn-based RPG at times but had fun exploration and a great cast of characters that taught the brothers new moves and abilities. There were cute Easter eggs hidden throughout about other Nintendo titles and even in the turn-based moves you could interact. It had a way of making you even more excited when you hit the critical hit or dodged just in time, the game was a smooth hit and I would love to visit some of the later iterations sometime soon.

Number Five – Metroid Fusion

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Just as easily could this have been a Castlevania game like Aria of Sorrow, but I had to stick with my girl Samus. The Metroidvania genre of games always brings you back for the fun quick gameplay you find in each section of the map and the mental notes you take to return to a spot when you find a new item. Not too long ago I played through Ori and the Blind Forest and it reminded me how much I loved titles like these. I was soon walking around with fusion in my SP again and relearning all the different ways you could go through the map. This title not only has held value but remains solid on gameplay even now. It is one of the most downloaded ROMs only behind the myriad of Poke’mon titles. I can’t say too much without doing a whole review here, but if you haven’t tried it out, go play it tonight! You won’t regret it.

There are so many more titles in the system family that I could have focused on and there will be more times for me to do just that. When you have almost twenty-five years of gaming under the belt you wrack up a catalog of games you’ve beaten and love. Sure the GBA is a bit older, but I will jump around on these articles. I may do Switch titles next week or even Xbox, the fact is I play games and I like them.

So tell me what titles you remember playing through and what kept you excited over all the years. As always I love to hear from you all and the support goes a long way. Update on my personal health, I’m doing a lot better. I finally managed to get through another full day of work and not immediately fall asleep after. Dental pain is something new and painful for me, but they have improved my general health immensely and got that smile looking great, so everything should be back onto the track for the blog here.

I’ll see you all tomorrow, so go play some games and be happy!