The Gamer’s Approach To Summer Fun

Well, dear readers, like the ill-fated Michael
Jackson tour, this is it. This column
represents the last time that I, as a student of Pomona College, will be
allowed to print 800 words of video game commentary for your reading
pleasure. It has been a pleasure. Now, with the sentimental stuff out of the
way, I’d like to say a few words: ENDLESS SUMMER, WOO!

Yes, it’s time for summer break once again. The generous three-month break in the whirlwind
action is not really a break for most of us, as we of the PCIPs and SURPs know
too well.  However, with homework out of
the way at least, it does get a little easier to catch up on all the gaming you
may have missed during those caffeine-fueled nights studying for exams and writing final papers. So, as your resident
expert for one more article, allow me to give you all a few pieces of advice on the video
gamer’s approach to summer fun.

First of all, save your internship stipend or summer
job earnings for something more worthwhile if you were planning on purchasing
either a PS4 or an Xbox One. Despite the
release of “Titanfall” on the ‘Bone and infamous “Second Son” on the PS4, neither
console represents a significantly better value than it did six months ago at
launch, with only a few more games rounding out their mediocre

Instead, now more than ever
is the time to buy a WiiU, as the console will finally play host to some
seriously hyped games that should have
come out at the console’s launch. “Mario
Kart 8” looks absolutely gorgeous and plays like a dream, and will finally hit
store shelves on May 30. The WiiU iteration of Super Smash Bros. (still untitled despite having been announced for more than nine months) is also rumored for a summer launch, and with Namco at the reins of this
classic fighter, it is poised to become one of the franchise’s best entries
ever. Additionally, “Super Mario 3D
World,” “Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze,” and “Rayman Origins” all continue to
make this console worth owning even without the two summer hype games.

In the mobile gaming scene, the 3DS continues to be
a strong player, with a seriously respectable library available for your
instant enjoyment, now sporting the flagship titles “Pokémon X” and “Pokémon Y.” Called the best Pokémon games since Gold and
Silver by all of my obsessed friends with completed Pokédexes, I know that playing my copy of “Pokémon Y” will make a welcome post-graduation treat. 

Additionally, the promise of a 3DS release
for the new Super Smash Bros. a few months ahead of the WiiU version might tide
you over if you are burning to pit Mega Man against the Animal Crossing
Villager. Also, don’t forget about “Zelda: A Link Between Worlds.”

If you’re buying a phone this summer, you’ve got the
HTC One second edition (codename M8), the Samsung Galaxy S5, and the Galaxy
Note 3 to choose from, and none of those choices will lead you astray. Tablet-hopefuls should still just get the
Microsoft Surface 2 and forget that anything else exists, but for those short
of budget, the Galaxy Note 10 tablet makes a nice substitute. Those of you who have Apple products will
likely continue to buy Apple products, and it is unlikely that anything I say
will persuade you otherwise, sad as that fact is.

Finally, I’ve said it in my previous summer advice
columns, but I’ll say it again: Building your own gaming PC is a great summer
project. Think of it as putting
together a Lego, except the manual is written in Japoreanese, and there are
even more tiny parts to lose. Kidding
aside, it’s by far the most cost-effective way to get yourself a powerful
computer, and will save you on the order of $1,000 to $2,000 compared to buying a
pre-configured computer with the same specifications. Plus, you’ll feel empowered after you
succeed—I guarantee it.

I’ll close this
last article with a bit of practical advice: Sand and computers don’t mix. Have a great summer, beach bums, and read TSL

Tim Taylor PO ’14 studies computer science. He owns every commercially popular video game system manufactured since the Atari 2600.

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