Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The "Best" Video Game Vacation Spots

I haven’t been as active as I would like lately since the semester started out at a full gallop, but the past couple of days I have been coming down with a cod and have been reminiscing on the joys of summer vacation (where I never caught a cold from students, thank you very much). (That’s assuming the new cold is due to the thousands of students who have descended upon the university). So I decided to make a list I had been thinking about for a little while—here is it! The “Best” Vacation Spots in Video Games!

Why “Best”? Well, each location is included on the list for its idyllic environment. Outside of that, though, there are certainly downsides to each place, so I will also address that and then rate each vacation spot from least (1) to most dangerous (5). Because you should probably take those things into consideration before you call your travel agent.

1. Yamatai--Tomb Raider (2013)

The kingdom of Yamatai was established on a beautiful island. If it wasn’t for those freak storms, I’m sure the place would be covered with resorts and all-inclusives. The island’s home to a beautiful forest to hike through and explore, picturesque beaches (well, once you clear away the wreckage), and even a mountainous region that looks to have enough snow for skiing and other winter sports. It would be a great getaway for those who go on vacation to relax (sit on those sweet beaches with a good book!), and those who go to have fun (outdoor activities FTW. Hypothetically, of course. My transluscent geek skin can’t handle outside). It's also full of interesting ruins to explore for those who are interested in history--there are artifacts and buildings from Ancient Japan and World War II, to name just a couple eras.

Danger Level: 4 You can’t assume that the entire murder-cult was wiped out in Lara’s Girl Power Rampage, so those would certainly be enough to deter you from a trip to Yamatai. There are also wild wolves who want to eat you, an unhealthy dose of booby traps, and the island environment itself can be extremely unforgiving.

2. Peach’s Castle—Super Mario 64

I know, I know. You don’t think this should count. But hear me out. Peach’s Castle is a hub to tons of different worlds with tons of different environments. You can go to the beach. You can go swimming. You can go to a creepy haunted castle. You can go to…uh…fortresses…and volcanoes… The point is, there’s something here for everyone, and the fact that there are no travel expenses involved once you get here is a major selling point.

Danger Level: 2 I gave Peach’s Castle a 2 because there are still things actively trying to kill you—they just don’t really pose that much of a threat. If a stout little plumber (with no weapons!) can take them, I’m sure you can handle yourself.

3. Termina—The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask

I wanted a good map of Termina, but it wasn't happening... so here's the Great Bay!

Why Termina and not Hyrule? I guess I’m getting boring here, because the justification for this pick is similar to those that I’ve already discussed: variety. You can go to the forest. You can go to the desert. You can go to the bay. You can go to the mountains. You can enjoy the local flavor in Clock Town, because we all know those people have personality. I promise that the next two picks will be more unique, but what is there not to love about Termina?

Danger Level: 3 This is assuming you have the good sense to stay out of dungeons. And that a certain pointy-eared hero is successful in keeping the moon from squashing you like a pancake. There are a few random baddies littering the landscape, but most of them aren’t that big of a threat. Maybe you can hire a local adventurer to be your bodyguard?

4. The Citadel—Mass Effect

The Citadel is an anthropologist’s dream and, as a political scientist, I’m greatly interested in it as well. The time spent people-watching alone will be well worth the trip. The Citadel has shopping, entertainment, aliens and, oh yeah, is in space. Sure, it’s nothing too interesting to those from the Mass Effect world, but that’s not us. Go and gawk and be utterly entranced by the promise of the future!*

*There’s an astronomically large chance that this is not the future.**
**That pun was a happy accident.

Danger Level: 1 There’s a slight change that THINGS WILL GO DOWN when you visit, but it’s only slight. Enjoy yourself!

5. VeniceAssassin’s Creed II

I picked Venice, but it could really be anywhere in this game. The second Assassin’s Creed game successfully gives off the vibe of Renaissance Italy—the beauty of the architecture, the grandeur and luxury of the noble homes, and just the wonder of history. I’m a big history buff, which is what gets Venice and Assassin’s Creed II on this list. It may be boring, but its history, and history is cool. The setting of the original Assassin’s Creed almost beat Renaissance Italy to this list, but then I got slapped around by lepers too much.

Danger Level: 1 If you’re not an assassin, or an assassin’s target—and you’re up to date on your shots—you should be fine.

Honorable Mention: Armadillo—Red Dead Redemption


Danger Level: 3 Between the outlaws and the cougars, you should certainly keep a look-out on this vacation.

Honorable Mention: Banoi—Dead Island

It’s a tropical paradise! There’s nothing to lose with this choice!

Danger Level: 4 Okay, there may be something to lose: your life. This place is infested with zombies, particularly fast zombies and dangerous mutates ones. And, no matter what you think, you’re probably not equipped to survive the zombie apocalypse. Especially if all you have a few mojitos in you.

Okay, so I always go into these lists with two or three things in mind, and find out that it’s a lot more difficult to choose the rest than I thought it would be! What locations do you think belong on this list? Is there something on here that just seems ridiculous to you? Let me know in the comments!

Also, I get paid on Monday, which means that I HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO GO TO THE CRAFT STORE. So look for new crafts in the next couple of weeks.

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