Super Mario Multiverse – Super Mario Odyssey: An Odyssey of Our Own

Happy Mar10 Day everyone and welcome to a special edition of Games with Coffee!

Finally, after much waiting, the day has come! It’s the Super Mario Multiverse collaboration, brought to you by my good friend: The Well Red Mage!

Picture this: A hundred Mario games and a hundred writers talking about said Mario games. That’s what this collaboration is all about: celebrating the iconic plumber and his numerous appearances in over a hundred video games!

Mario has touched the lives of all of us at one point, even those who are fervent Sonic the Hedgehog fans (like myself!). Then again, it could be said that without Mario, Sonic wouldn’t even exist! Alas, I digress.

Without further ado, here’s a story I’d like to share with you all as a part of the Super Mario Multiverse. Enjoy.


Homer’s epic, the Odyssey, tells the tale of Odysseus and his ten year long journey to return to his family after the Trojan war. Since then, the word has been used to refer to voyages most epic and grand in nature. Therefore, the use of the word “Odyssey” in Super Mario Odyssey for the Nintendo Switch pertains to the epic worldwide journey Mario and Cappy undertake in order to rescue Peach from Bowser’s latest scheme: to marry her. Cappy’s sister, Tiara, was also held hostage to be used as a wedding prop and thus spurred the sentient hat spirit-thing to team up with the plumber.

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Super Mario Odyssey was a truly vast adventure and possibly the best Mario platforming game I’ve played since Super Mario 64. I received a copy of my own as an anniversary gift from my wife, who was seven months pregnant at the time. The game featured various locales filled to the brim with colorful characters, awe-inspiring scenery and plenty of challenges and collectibles to keep one busy for quite a long time.

What made this game memorable for me however, was the calm and steady reassurance it provided my wife and I during the start of a great and life-changing odyssey of our own.


Friday January 12, 2018 is a day I consider to be one of the most important in my life. 

The weather that day was the most variable and chaotic it had ever been. It went from warm in the morning, to freezing cold in the evening. It went from light rain to freezing rain and then finally to thick, heavy snow at the end of the night.

I returned home early that day just as the weather started turning. I was in the kitchen with my wife, observing the weather and mentioned offhand to my unborn child, “I wish you were out here to see this crazy weather we’re having.” 

You know that saying, “one shouldn’t tempt fate?” Yeah, well, turns out that kid listened very closely to Dad that day. Not even an hour after I said that, my wife went into labour. 

It started off as minor contractions, but they ramped up in intensity very quickly. Outside, the weather got worse: going from freezing rain to a full on blizzard.

At the three hour mark, we finally grabbed our stuff and headed to the hospital. I packed my Switch with Super Mario Odyssey on deck in a small travel bag along with all the necessities we would need to take the little one home. The game was in the furthest corner of my mind at the moment; I had to concentrate both on navigating the snow and ice covered roads and on the excruciating pain in my hand as my wife gripped it for dear life.

After an hour’s drive, we made it to the hospital that we booked a private room for. The snow was roughly four inches deep at that point and the storm was still raging. We dashed to the maternity ward, checked in and my wife got examined and prepped for delivery.

Four hours into labour and she was already three quarters of the way dilated. This kid wanted out. Now. If that wasn’t enough, when the doctor delivering our child did a secondary examination he discovered (to our collective surprise) that he was breach. He freaking flipped between the first and second examinations!

The doctor gave us our options on how to proceed and we both decided on a Caesarian. Half an hour later at 8:02 pm, January 12th, my son, Arjun, was born. I held him in my arms as my wife rested from the surgery. He was skin and bones and weighed no more than four and a half pounds.

Because of his low weight and blood sugar levels, he had to be placed into the NICU. Being separated from our child was the scariest moment we as a couple have ever faced. The minutes felt like hours as we awaited status updates about his condition. We barely slept as we constantly worried about the little guy. Remembering that I packed my Switch, I took it out and passed the time playing Super Mario Odyssey. The sight of the portly, jump-happy plumber travelling the vast worlds with his hat-shaped companion helped me to keep things in perspective as we awaited the news of our son.

Eighteen hours later, we got the OK that everything was going to be fine. The OB let us stay another night at the hospital to get some further rest before being discharged the following day.

Relieved of our collective constant state of fear and worry, I pulled out my Switch, turned it on and started playing some more Odyssey while my wife was napping. Some time later, she called out to me and asked me to sit on the bed with her. System in hand, I reclined next to her. She cuddled into my shoulder and watched me play through New Donk City and then Bowser’s Castle, looking for more Power Moons, completing side quests and picking up costumes to wear. 

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It was that moment, with our son resting nearby and my wife and I sitting side by side, playing Super Mario Odyssey, that I knew that everything was going to be alright. We were parents now, yes, but Mario’s calm demeanor and unwavering, unflappable resolve helped to make that realization feel less scary. And though I’m a Sonic the Hedgehog fan at heart, I still have to thank Mario and Cappy for getting my family through such a frantic and stressful time.


Wahoo! You are a Super Reader! But the adventure doesn’t stop here… There’s more of this project in another castle! This article is just one level in an entire Super Mario Multiverse, a galactic collaboration between writers around the world sharing a bit of our hearts and memories about our favorite Mario games. Visit the Center of the Multiverse to see more:

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Games with Coffee in 2020

What’s up everyone? Happy New Year and welcome to a new edition of Games with Coffee! I hope your holidays were well and full of rest, food, coffee and plenty of gaming opportunities!

Today, I’ll forego a year in review and instead talk about the year ahead. Let’s dive in:

Games and Related News

A lot of crazy gaming stuff is happening this year.

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Final Fantasy VII Remake Part 1 is coming out this March April.

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Sonic the Hedgehog’s first foray into Hollywood is happening in just under a month from now.

A whole wack of other high profile games are going to be released this year and I know that a lot of people are looking forward to their release later this year. Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, Kingdom Hearts III: ReMind, Animal Crossing and Cyberpunk 2077 are just a few I can name off the top of my head. Also coming later this year are the new next-gen consoles, the PS5 and the Xbox Series X.

While I might pick up the Final Fantasy remake, I plan on tackling some of my backlog this year, meaning (for the most part) I’ll withhold purchasing new games for the time being. I also got Dragon Quest XI for the Switch, but it’ll be a while until I start on that. For now, I’m going to get through Pokemon Shield, Final Fantasy XII and a couple of smaller games on my Switch before I tackle that beast. And let’s not get into my PS4 and Steam backlog…

I need to make a spreadsheet.

Fanfiction

I’m still on hiatus from the blog, but I’m making some amazing progress on my passion project. In fact, I have just finished roughly 75% of the rough draft! I estimate that I have about eight to ten chapters to write and it should be ready to publish in full by mid-2020. Again, each chapter of this story will premier exclusively on Games with Coffee and will be migrated to other fanfiction sites (such as Fanfiction.net) once the story has been fully published.

Another thing that I want to finish is my Legend of Zelda: Black and White series. The idea of a Film Noir-style Zelda was inspired by a TWRM Radio post back in July of 2018. If you haven’t read them yet, go and start here. I’ll wait. 

The whole story is expected to be completed in roughly ten parts plus an epilogue. I won’t say too much, but there will be a betrayal. I just hope it won’t be too obvious when all is revealed. More on that will be coming in Fall of 2020.

Posts

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My “Guide to Being a Mature, Distinguished Gamer” entries were fairly popular, so I’ll be adding some more parts to it. Expect to see topics such as dealing with distorted thinking, mental contrasting and how to keep the positives and negatives balanced within you and even a little section about budgeting! (Because we can always use budgeting tips for this time of year.)

I’ll also try to go back to my roots as a blogger. 2019 was a weird year, in that I didn’t post as much as I used to (nine posts vs. 31 in both 2017 and 2018!). Despite taking a break and working on the fanfic, I should be back to a more consistent schedule of posting for this year and I got a lot of things to cover. So, expect to see more personal stories, more editorial pieces for discussion, some acquisitions, a few major events and a lot of talk about a certain blue hedgehog…

Collaborations

Speaking of hedgehogs, my good friend Matt from the blog Normal Happenings has begun slowly trickling out posts for “The Characters that Define Us!” This is a massive, year long collaboration that involves over 52 writers discussing the characters that had made a lasting impact on their lives. Yours truly is a part of this collaboration and I’ll be talking about none other than the Blue Blur himself: Sonic the Hedgehog! I don’t know when it’ll be released, (Matt’s being very hush-hush about the schedule) but keep it locked here for updates when they become available!

I have some more Sonic related stuff to discuss, but that’s gonna have its own section. 🙂

On the other side of the console war spectrum comes the Super Mario Multiverse collaboration, organized by my other good friend, The Well Red Mage! Scheduled to go up on March 10 (Mar10 Day), this massive collab will feature over 100 writers talking about Mario games of all kinds. I myself will share a little story about how Super Mario Odyssey helped my little family during a tight situation.

Streaming

This past Christmas, a cousin of mine (let’s be real, he’s more like a brother to me) who I haven’t seen in ages gave me a gaming PC built from spare parts he wasn’t using any longer! The reason behind the gift was to support my endeavors. Oh, and to do some online gaming as well! Honestly, no words could express how much that gift meant to me – both the computer and the gesture behind it are incredibly powerful.

I have no words to express my gratitude…

With a new, more powerful rig at my disposal, I’ve decided to venture back into the world of streaming. I’m on Twitch and I’m planing on streaming every Sunday nights starting in February. You can check my stream schedule to your right under the freshly added “What’s On The Menu?” events calendar.

This now begs the question: What am I going to stream? Well, I’ll explain below:

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I’ve decided to dedicate this year, 2020, to Sonic the Hedgehog. To that end, I’m doing several things in tribute to this awesome character:

  • I’m starting a show on Twitch called “The Sonic Sunday Power Hour!” Inspired by my #SonicSunday posts on Instagram, every Sunday, from February to the week of Sonic’s birthday, I’ll be streaming a Sonic title for one whole hour. I’m in the midst of preparing the first stream for February 2nd. You can also check out my test streams (see What’s On The Menu on the sidebar) and provide feedback on my audio/visual setup! I want this to look and sound decent when it all starts, so your help would be greatly appreciated dear readers!
  • I’m getting a tattoo to celebrate the character! I won’t say when I’ll get it, but I’ll let all you know when it happens. I’ve designed it myself.
  • See “The Characters That Define Us” in the collaboration section above. It’s a huge deal.
  • A movie review of Sonic the Hedgehog! It’ll be a first for the site, so please bear with me. I predict it will be terrible (as all video game movies are), but Detective Pikachu surprised me greatly, so… *shrugs*
  • And finally, my much talked about, much anticipated debut of my fanfiction passion project, titled: Mobius VII Book I: Escape from the City.

Site Updates and Content Scheduling

It’s also time to do a little housecleaning here at Games with Coffee. I’ve designed and uploaded a brand new header, added some new social media links and the aforementioned events timeline that I’ll update periodically to show what’s coming up soon on the blog. This will also help me maintain a consistent schedule, so I don’t put up nine freaking posts in a year.

While most of these changes have been implemented in the last week or so, I’m pretty limited as to what I can do with other things (say, implementing a Dark Mode). Which is why I want to upgrade my plan here at WordPress. I feel that with a Premium plan and access to CSS, I can do so much more to make Games with Coffee your number one spot to just chill out and read some stories while drinking coffee.

You may have also noticed a little blue button on the side asking to buy me a coffee. Clicking there will take you to my page on Ko-Fi, where you can support me for the price of a coffee. Donations are non-recurring and the proceeds will all go towards upgrading the site. I’m about halfway to that point as of writing. So, if you could buy a coffee for your favourite coffee-fueled writing machine, I and this website would sincerely and greatly appreciate you for it.

Plus, you get an awesome and inspiring thank you note from yours truly for every coffee you buy. And we could all use some inspiring words from time to time, am I right?

And Finally, Some Personal News

So… remember this post a couple years ago? I started this job with a fresh, new mindset and for the most part, it’s helped greatly. Until I got laid off due to restructuring. Yep, I’m jobless to start the new decade.

But, it’s not all that bad. I look at it as a chance for a new beginning. Ten years ago, I was just finishing school, just got hired for my first job, in debt, dating, writing a fanfiction and having basically no clue what direction my life was going to go into.

Here in 2020, I’m married, I have my own home, I have a pretty good career in engineering, I have an amazing kid who’s totally into Sonic the Hedgehog (like his old man!), I have this awesome blog with these way past awesome people reading it, I’m collaborating with truly spectacular folks like The Well Red Mage and Matt from Normal Happenings, I’m going to start streaming soon and I’m still writing fanfiction! And… actual original fiction too. Maybe. Who knows?

I’m pretty thankful for all of those things, but I still feel unsure of what the future holds. However, if I continue to espouse everything I’ve talked about here on this blog, about being a Mature, Distinguished Gamer, then I’m sure everything will work out.


So, what’s next? Well, my first test stream has been planned for this Sunday. I put up a Twitter poll to request what game I should test my setup with, so check that out and vote! Otherwise, I’ll see you this Sunday at 9:30pm Eastern for The Sonic Sunday Power Hour! Hope to see you there!

This has been Ryan from Games with Coffee, reminding you to Keep Gaming and Keep Brewing.


Did you enjoy this and other content on Games with Coffee? If so, please consider lending your support by buying me a cuppa! You can click that blue “Buy me a Coffee” button on the sidebar, or click here to be taken to my Ko-Fi page. All funds go directly towards maintaining and upgrading this site for a more reader-friendly experience.

 

“A Hopeful and Hyperactive Discussion About The SEGA AGES Collection” – A Retrospective on the Discussion

Good morning and welcome to another edition of Games with Coffee!

It’s been just over a year since I had a fantastic conversation with the Hopeful Sega Mage (@carrythegary) about the SEGA AGES Collection on The Well Red Mage. We talked about the games and the numerous features we would like to see from each game in the collection.

Read: “A Hopeful and Hyperactive Discussion About The SEGA AGES Collection”

To celebrate this, I wanted to do a short retrospective on a few games of the collection, in terms of what features have been added to the games. So far, a bunch of games have been released, including but not limited to the following:

  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Phantasy Star
  • Thunder Force IV
  • Virtua Racer
  • Alex Kidd in Miracle World

What’s impressive is the dearth of features M2 added to each of these games. You have your typical ones, like online leaderboards, the ability to put on a CRT scanline filter and the like, but each game has additional modes of play. Some haven’t been released on a digital platform until today, like Sonic the Hedgehog’s Mega Play arcade version; a significantly more challenging version of Sonic 1 released in arcades.

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Leading off with Sonic 1, available features include the use of the Spin Dash and the Drop Dash, introduced in Sonic Mania. Two challenge modes – Score and Time Attacks – are available with leaderboard support. Time Attack plays through normal Sonic, but Score Attack uses the Mega Play version and gives you one life to maximize your score as much as possible. Finally, players can switch between the Japanese and International versions of the game.

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Phantasy Star has tons of neat gameplay tweaks built into it that alters the game in many ways. Players can play the game as originally intended or they can play the new Ages Mode, which reduces the encounter rate while bumping up experience and gold earned from fights. Additionally, dungeons are mapped, significantly reducing the rate at which players would get lost (due to the way dungeons operate in this game). Players also get a help screen to show what items do and what the truncated names of these items stand for. Finally, players can switch between the Japanese and North American soundtracks, which seems to be pretty awesome.

It appears that the Sega Ages line is going to continue on strongly, what with the announcement that Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is getting the Ages treatment. I’m personally hoping for a Special Stage mode featuring tons of alternate special stages, similar to the Blue Spheres bonus game.

What about you guys? Have anything from the Sega Ages collection? What are you liking about it so far? And what would you like to see in the future? Drop a line in the comments or reach out to me on Twitter!

Getting my nostalgia fix in, this has been Ryan from Games with Coffee, reminding you to Keep Gaming and Keep Brewing.

 

 

Adventure Map | The Games That Define Us

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is Ryan from Games with Coffee, welcoming you to The Games That Define Us!

Brought to you by Matt from Normal Happenings and starting from today, November 1st until December 4th, this ambitious collaboration brings together over thirty amazingly talented bloggers from all different walks of life to talk about the games that have made a massive impact on their lives and that were instrumental in making them who they are today. Yours truly is a part of this awesome effort and my contribution will be up on the 12th of November. I’m personally proud and stoked to be a part of this project and to be among such phenomenal, talented writers. So, thanks goes to Matt for letting me jump on this collab!

Go bookmark the Adventure Map in the link below – your personal roadmap to all the awesome content – and check back every morning, where a new writer will share their experiences with their chosen game. Day 1 features the amazing Iiago from Mr. Backlog and the game, The Bard’s Tale. Each post will also have a carefully curated playlist that I highly recommend listening to while reading.

What are you waiting for!? Grab a mug, brew your favourite blend, sit back and enjoy The Games That Define Us!

via Adventure Map | The Games That Define Us