My Favorite Things: Fantasy Video Games, Obscure Fairy Tales, and Ghost Stories

They might not be raindrops on roses or whiskers on kittens, but that doesn’t mean that we love them any less. Welcome back to My Favorite Things, a weekly column where we gab about the greatest in geek. This week we have two video game selections- including an old favorite, and a MMORPG perfect for people who don’t normally like MMORPGs. On top of that, we also have a great television show for fans of of the paranormal, and a comic for followers of lesser known fairy tales. Read on for more.


 

Casey’s Favorite Thing is… The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past!

I started replaying The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past on my Nintendo 3DS during April, and it is most definitely my current favorite thing. It was a mere eight dollars on Nintendo’s EShop and worth every single penny. I can’t play most of the popular and current video games for a variety of reasons (one of the great tragedies of my life), so the ability to revisit this Super Nintendo classic has been awesome. I can’t tell you how many times I played through this game while I was growing up. I even purchased one of the last generation Super Nintendo systems as a college student for the ability to play it.

I am pleased to say that the game has held up wonderfully, despite being released twenty-six years ago. The story is just as intriguing as it was when I first played it as a young teenager (and is probably the first fantasy story I fell in love with). The graphics are not bad at all, especially on the 3DS XL’s handheld-sized screen.

This is such a relaxing experience. It’s comforting to know that if I methodically complete the various levels, find the appropriate hidden caves, and rescue all of the kidnapped princesses, I will defeat my foes and restore order to the land. And when my Hyrule vacation ends? I can go back and do it all over again.

 

Keyes’s Favorite Thing is… Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

So I did an article here not too long ago which included the tidbit that I did not play MMO RPGS or anything of their ilk. I did not play them on a mat, I did not play them with a cat, no sir, I did not play them, Sam I Am.

So. Errrr. I’m playing an MMO RPG (as a cat, but still not on a mat, unless you include the occasional use of a heating pad) and I like it. It is also not (as I feared) eating my life, perhaps because my job already did that. It is also because Final Fantasy XIV was designed to be played by people who don’t really want to play with other people all that much. But I do occasionally play with other people (because the game makes me to advance the plot), so if you happen to be on the Mateus server, you can look my character up as Peony Lenkstange.

 

Sharon’s Favorite Thing is… Ghost Brothers!

Are ghost stories speculative fiction? Of course they are. What about shows that try to prove ghost stories are true? Well, I’d argue they’re fiction, too, but that doesn’t stop me from loving them, wholeheartedly. Of course I love some more than others. My current ghost-story-investigation crush is Ghost Brothers, a show about a paranormal trio working out of Atlanta.

The all-African-American team of Dalen Spratt, Juwan Mass, and Marcus Harvey seem to genuinely love what they’re doing, and genuinely believe that the ghost stories they hunt down are true. They’re united by childhood experiences with the supernatural, and they’re wisecracking besties. Not a new combination for an investigation show, but they do it better than anyone else.

The show premiered its first season in 2016 on Destination America. Not exactly a choice spot for a debut, but I really hoped their strange combination of having fun and taking ghost stories seriously would catch on with audiences. It did, and this year they bumped up to TLC. The first season featured largely Southern locations — the haunted Delta Queen Riverboat in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the Magnolia Plantation in Louisiana — but Season Two has them checking out ghost stories all over the country, from the famous Winchester House in San Jose, California (my personal favorite haunted house) to the Rose Hall Plantation in Montego Bay, Jamaica (on my list).

Like a good scare and a good laugh? Check out Ghost Brothers on TLC.

 

Nancy’s Favorite Thing is… Erstwhile: Vol 3!

Like many children, one of my first official entries into the world of Speculative Fiction was fairy tales, both through bedtime stories and Disney movies. As an adult, I’ve taken that love for fairy tales to the next level by venturing beyond “Beauty and the Beast” and “Snow White.” Enter: Erstwhile, a webcomic filled with adaptations of lesser known fairy tales. These adaptations are all put together by a trio of female creators — Gina Biggs, Elle Skinner, and Louisa Roy — each with their own unique, appealing styles. Although the webcomic itself finished up years ago, the creators have collected the comics in three separate hardback editions, which were funded through multiple Kickstarters. As a supporter, I received my copy of volume 3 recently and really enjoyed getting to dive back into these fairy tales. My personal favorites include “The Singing Springing Lark” (a great selection if you enjoy “Beauty and the Beast”), and “The Twelve Huntsmen” (perfect for romantic comedy fans).

One of the things I like about Erstwhile is the fact that creators intentionally pick stories that involve female characters in more active roles. I also enjoy the fact that the fairy tales are purposely drawn with diverse casts, and cover a wide variety of topics, from sweepingly romantic to darkly comedic. If you enjoy fairy tales, or supporting female creators in comics, I highly recommend checking out Erstwhile.


Any thoughts on the selections above, let us know in the comments below!

2 Comments

  • Shara White May 15, 2017 at 7:46 am

    A haunted riverboat in Chattanooga, TN? Okay, I need to at least get my hands on season one of this show!

    Reply
  • Lane Robins May 15, 2017 at 10:34 am

    Ghost Brothers sounds like so much fun!

    Reply

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