Hello, everyone, and welcome back to Lady Geek Girl & Friends. I hope all of our American readers enjoyed their long holiday. I know I did. I spent my break replaying an old fave: the first Pikmin game, and the only one I’ve ever played, which came out for the GameCube way back in 2001. Playing as the character Captain Olimar, who just recently crashed on an alien planet, the purpose of the game is to find all the missing parts of his spaceship before his life support runs out in thirty days. Along his journey, Olimar discovers Pikmin, tiny woodland creatures that he can use to accomplish his tasks, and with all this in mind, my younger self devoured this game the first chance I got. It had some decent animation, space stuff, and adorable little monsters for my main character to enslave. I loved Pikmin so much that it wasn’t until going back and replaying it this week that I realized it was the only game I ever bought for the GameCube. That’s right, I stole my brother’s super nice gaming system for the purpose of playing one game. I’m not sure we ever owned any other games for it. Sixteen years later, that hasn’t changed, and looking back, I regret nothing. To this day, Pikmin remains one of my favorite games, and it made buying a GameCube worth the price alone.
If there was any MMO that could have gotten me to sign up for a monthly subscription, it would have been Phantasy Star Online. In fact, for a while it actually managed that feat with the series’s “Ambition of Illuminus” expansion (which is now, unfortunately, officially serverless). While I was sucked into “Illuminus” for countless months, my playtime there was nothing to the playtime I had in the 2003 Gamecube port of Episodes I and II—a simpler feat since there was no monthly fee. I must have gone through the areas on Ragol at least a hundred times, so much so that I still have the various layouts of each map memorized, which is kind of frightening. Looking back on it now, though, I have to say that one of the more interesting plot aspects of the game is that your character wasn’t exactly set up to be the big damned hero. Rather, you’re following in the footsteps of the closest thing to a hero the colony has, who just so happens to be a woman.