The lights are on
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Whether you're an animal, vegetable, or mineral, we all (or at least, most reading this) are the blessed inhabitants of the little planet we call Earth. It's a nice place really, so nice, in fact, that folks this Monday we get to celebrate it with the even we call Earth Day. While many of us may be planting a tree or turning out our lights for an hour, many of us will recognize our humble galactic home the best way some of us know how: gaming! So if you want to be using that extra electricity today, please, take a moment to experience some of our most treasured earthly pleasures through some of my personal picks for your best Earth day ever!
The Pikmin series has long stood as an obscure cult-classic for the Gamecube, and that's pretty sad, especially considering how good they are. For any of the terrific players who do have these in their collection, you should know that Pikmin more than shows off some of the best charm our earthly home can offer. From the simple beauties a glittering pond to a curious flower, Pikmin has evidently proved that less can mean more in the wonder of exploring all its nooks and crannies. Its tiny inhabitants further prove that Earth has some hospitality. Our little Pikmin friends were more than happy to just help Olimar piece together his ship, they helped him further kill of just about every other creature on the planet and loot the whole stink'in world of trinkets and goodies. Okay, so you might not fully embrace Olimar's "dominion over nature" approach, but you will walk away with a lot of Pokos in your pocket this Earth day if you do.
Chibi-Robo: Park Patrol
Nintendo's made some pretty darn cute games and Chibi-robo follows that trend with an A+, not only for being adorable, but for its aggressive (if not overly) eco-consciousness. Cleaning up parks, planting flowers, cleaning up garbage, and dispelling evil polluters sounds like something out of an EPA handbook, and our little metal friend of Chibi-robo does it with nothing but class and a trusty water squirter. Watching your dusty lot transform into a beautiful park bursting with visitors is rewarding and you'll just feel like a goodie-to-shoes inside. Frankly, there's probably no better game to play this Earth Day than Park Patrol, as long as you can get past the game's near existence as a cheap nature special commercial.
If your tired of cleaning things up and just wanna see them turn to crap and blow up, then Fallout 3's for you. Sure, we can complain of the problems we have on this earth right now, but what about the future? Our world could go to hell at any time and Fallout provides some of the best advance warning you can get for keeping you breathing in the next one. Fighting mutant creatures and scavenging for equipment is a daunting task in the massive, frightening place of post-apocalyptic Washington D.C., but given the insane weapons at your disposal, you'll probably make it out alive. True, it's not the kind of place any fool would want to live, but walking down the trash-strewn lanes and bombed out buildings of Fallout 3 will make you appreciate the fresh, pristine world you have right outside your window. Or. . . maybe not. . . in which case, more Fallout baby!
The Animal Crossing Series
Apocalypses can be depressing sometimes, so why not visit your friends in Animal Crossing? Earthly life can be so full of the hustle and bustle, sometimes, it's the best to simply kick back and relax. Enjoy a lazy day of chatting with friends, going window-shopping, or just lounge around fishing. While you're at it, take the time to plant a tree or water your flowers. Your town's reputation will thank you for it and you'll only feel better about both yourself and the environment. Just don't be resetting that console now. Resetti's shrill rants will quickly remind you why more aliens don't land here.
We most often think about Earth as a human hang-out, but we'd be best to remember the planet's other furry, scaly, and clawed residents. If Tokyo Jungle tries to prove anything, it's that everybody apparently makes it a lot better than we humans do. Roads and train-stations do just as well filled with rabbid dogs and hyenas in them as deadbeat homo sapiens in them, and that's kinda unsettling for us higher mammalians. With lions, tigers, and bears (oh my!), the earth is a resilient one, and it's more than willing to replace us if we fall of the deep end. It's that fact that Tokyo Jungle picks at and you'll be all the more engaged for it. That, and you'll never look at another pomeranian the same way again.
Super Mario Sunshine
Our earth is a beautiful one and it's important to keep it that way. Today, join in with Mario and clean it up. Doing that is probably easier said than done, however, as gorgeous as Delphino's sizzling beaches and wondrous countryside is, it'll feel more like a vacation than a chore. The countless hours you'll spend cleaning up the icky sludge of Isle Delphino is testament to the job of being Mr. Clean never ends, however, but seeing the smile on those lovable Piantas and Nokis is worth it. Wait, do Piantas have mouths? Never mind. But stay clean!
Mass Effect 3
If surviving Earth isn't a hard enough task in video-games as is, then saving it's an even greater one. Mass Effect fans may be long embittered over Shephard's final battle, but the game's nerve-wracking choices and epic space battles should be enough to convince anyone of how amazing his/her struggles were in the end to save our home. Nerve-wracking choice-making and epic space battles filled the journey with emotion and cinematic flair, and the further look of our world in the galactic scope was more breathtaking still. Regardless of how it ended, know that with Mass Effect 3, you're saving a home worth fighting for.
Sid Myer's Civilization Series
Civilization should come as not just a great game franchise, but a welcome privilege. Countless game villains have labored for decades to accomplish what Sid Myer has provided fans with for years: to rule over Earth. All those times of being bossed around, being told where to go, what to unlock, is all out the door when you get to play god, and Civilization more than rewards you for it. You can build up your empire and crush your rivals, or you can and chart a course for peace and be the first into space. You can send that devastating nuke and wipe out the planet, or why not make it into a paradise? If Civilization shows us anything, it's that our world is no simple one, and that makes it all the more fascinating to live in.
Any other Earth Day choices of yours you'd like to share? If so, comment below and have a happy Earth Day everyone!