By Marigold K.
I love Electric Prune Juice Games founder and Game Positive writer Alayna P. She is such a great article writer, game developer, artist, and video game player. Like, holy crap, everyone, you don't even know. She is just the greatest, and I'm a big fan of her.
I love her, and so her presence in my life has affected... my life. And since we are both very into video games (heck, that's how and why we met!), it has mainly affected how I like my video games. How? Well...
Me and Alayna were raised very differently. I was exposed very early to video games and received a video game system for myself before I was nine, while, if I recall correctly, she had to wait a little while before she got a GBA for her ninth christmas. We're both big fans of Nintendo, but I started on Super Smash Bros. Melee for the Nintendo GameCube, making Smash a big fixture in my life.
Alayna, on the other hand, had PC games and Nintendo handhelds. So Smash was not even close to a 'big deal' in her life until it finally came to the Nintendo 3DS with its fourth entry. She had everyone hyping it up all around her, making like its release was comparable to... let's say, the second-coming of Jesus Christ?
She played it and it was sorta underwhelming for her.
Now, for me, I was eating up every little bit of hype for the game and it delivered. I was a believer, it was a Christmas day of great rejoicing when I got it and got to play it with my sisters. So when I found out she wasn't totally digging it? I was crushed!
All of a sudden, the game just wasn't as appealing as it used to be back when I played Melee and Brawl and right before it happened. After all, if this girl I hold in such high regard doesn't like it, what's it even worth? (Rest assured we are much better at simply having differences of opinion nowadays.)
So she doesn't like it, boohoo - we move on to other games. She likes Trackmania? Trackmania, this game that was never on my radar before, is now one of the coolest things ever. I would watch her play it, play it with her sometimes, and it was the best!
All this was no coincidence - Alayna made everything awesome. Things that used to suck? They rock now. Things that were already great to begin with? Greater. I gained a new appreciation for things that once never did anything for me, my old love for other things were reinvigorated by having it in common with her. It was nothing short of blissful.
Not too long ago, I finally got myself a 3DS. I love it, it's tubular, and I got a bunch of games for it that I could play with her! One of which, surprisingly enough, was Smash. I had slowly learned to enjoy it once again at that point, but the thought of playing it with her was still incredibly unthinkable for me. Especially since it was that over Mario Kart 7, given the fact that Mario Kart is one of her all-time favorites. This was also her idea. And you know what?
It paid off.
Smash had never quite 'clicked' for Alayna. People (including me) told her to give it time to grow on her, but... it never really did. That is, until we played it together. That's when she started figuring out how to get good at it, and... truly started having fun with it, if memory serves.
And it is so weird! I don't think either of us would have guessed that we would have the most fun fighting each other. I never knew this grand staple in my video game 'career' could be any more fun until I played it with her, but now I do. I guess that whole thing of her liking things making me like things more worked vice-versa as well.
That's the power of love, I suppose.