Playing video games with my child.

Out of all of the friends that I grew up with, it honestly seems like I was the only one to stick to the “promise” that I made to play video games with my children, and to introduce them to the games that I grew up with and enjoyed. Of my children, one of them in particular enjoys playing video games with me. I started introducing them to him when he was a baby, because that calmed him down when he was breastfeeding and needed something to focus on — I positioned him so that he could see the Nintendo DS while laying on the Boppy and played a bit of Tales of Phantasia (since backwards compatibility by means of the Gameboy Advance port was absolutely wonderful at the time), and that was how Bub played a lot of Tales of Phantasia with me. And since he liked it so much, when he wasn’t breastfeeding, I would sit him up once he became a little bit stronger so that his back was up against my stomach and hold the game so that it was in front of him and we would play it that way. Being able to watch the characters on the screen enamored him.

Bub actually helped me recruit Suzu — one of the optional characters, and one of the most powerful characters if you look at it — into the party, and kill Dhaos. There’s also that. I mean, I give him credit where credit is due. He didn’t appear to have a clear favorite character in the game other than seeing enemies fly across the screen and eventually die, which is, as I call, “peak Bub”. He likes that in a lot of games though.

Seriously though, it’s games like these that make me appreciate when console manufacturers take the time to include at least some degree of backwards compatibility in their consoles. Some of us like to take a trip down memory lane and enjoy old games, and some of us like to play older games to begin with, you know?

This was also the first time that Tales of Phantasia actually came to Europe and the United States and, although perfect, it was the first chance that we actually got to play the game short of DeJap’s fan translation of the SNES port that fans were tremendously excited over when he finished it. I remember being one of those fans. I remember being a fan of the “Tales of…” franchise when it was still so niche that very few people had actually heard of it, before Tales of the Abyss actually put it on the map, before a whole lot of people began to like it. I’m not complaining about that, though. It’s a great line of games, and it’s good to be able to talk to fans who like it just as much as I do now rather than only sporadically be able to find them….

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