November 2016 Update: One Lovely Unique Versatile Blogger and Introducing the PANDA Award!

Updates and Travels

Thank you so much to everyone reading this! As always, I am constantly encouraged by your support. I have several announcements, including awards from lovely people and a brand new award I’m giving out. First, I have some exciting news to share.

In a week, my wife and I will be traveling to Hong Kong and Japan for vacation! Anyone who knows me well can tell that I’m especially excited about going to Japan. We’re both huge anime and game fans and can’t wait to visit the country that produces much of what we love. I might share something here about our travels, and I’ll be sure to post some fun pictures on Facebook and Twitter when I can. Needless to say, I’ll be taking a short break from reviewing. But I’ll be back in December, and you can look forward to a review of the highly anticipated Pokémon Sun and Moon when I return.

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Excited to return to Japan!

Finally, I want to give a sincere thank you to all my readers and followers! I can’t say this enough, but it means so much to me that you would read my reviews and share so many kind words. Whether you’re on WordPress or not, know that you mean so much to me. I love discussing video games with all of you, especially with the new Nintendo Switch on the horizon. As the rest of this post will show, I couldn’t do any of this without you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I don’t get to share this much, but if you’re interested in my thoughts of non-Nintendo games, please feel free to check out my reviews on Darkstation. One of my most recent reviews is for Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, a game based on one of the first anime I ever watched. And of course, please feel free to like my Facebook page and follow me on Twitter. I would definitely appreciate the support, and I would be more than happy to support you in your endeavors as well! Thank you so much, everyone!



Best Hands-On Collaborator

The wonderful Mike from Miketendo64 honored me with the Best Hands-On Collaborator as part of the Miketendo64 Blogger Awards, and I couldn’t be any more grateful. I’m so thankful that you even let me share what I have to give. Thank you Mike for recognizing me, and for continuing to do great things!

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Versatile Blogger Award

Thank you so much to Evil Wizard Esquire, pokeninja90, Sebbie29, and lilsamueljones for the Versatile Blogger Award! All four of these wonderful people run great sites, and I recommend you check them out! I appreciate that you all would think of me as versatile, but I guess I do try to Switch it up a little (forgive the pun). Although there are rules, I’m actually going to use a cheat code and combine this with the following award since they have similar requirements.

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One Lovely Blog Award

I love the word “lovely” and my gratitude goes out to the lovely individuals who nominated me for this award. Thank you to Benez256, vahrkalla, and lilsamueljones! I appreciate it as well as the great work you do! Check these lovely sites out!

Here are The Rules:

  1. Write an article accepting the award.
  2. Thank the person you nominated you and put a link to their blog.
  3. Tell the reader seven facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate other blogs for the award.
  5. Let them know that you nominated them.
  6. Post the rules to let your followers know how it works.

I certainly don’t enough facts to share for each individual who has nominated me, but I’ll gladly share seven facts!

  1. My wife and I had a video game-themed wedding. We had video game music, themed invitations & programs, Pokémon card placecards, and a Hyrule Castle cake! I am so blessed to have a wonderful woman who loves the same things I do and would be willing to have a wedding like this. This was one of the biggest moments in my life.

    The cake was delicious!
  1. I love amiibo and own most of them. At our wedding, we had centerpieces themed after Smash Bros. trophies. In other words, we placed video game figurines over clay moldings of the Smash logo. However, we did this before amiibo even existed! It remains a big deal to us that we had something like amiibo before Nintendo! If only we had pitched the idea ahead of time!

    Our centerpiece, our prototype amiibo
  1. My wife and I will be going to Japan soon. This will be my wife’s first time, but I’ve actually gone quite a few years ago. It was an awesome time. I went to Akihabara, one of the big districts for anime and game fans. I also had the opportunity to climb up Mt. Fuji, which was a big adventure in and of itself.
  1. You may remember that I wrote about meeting Charles Martinet, the voice of Mario. You may not know that one of my big hobbies is going to conventions and meeting voice actors. Ever since I was young, I’ve always been interested in the people behind the voices of beloved characters. My interest began with the voice actors from the Pokémon anime. After years of going to cons, I finally got to meet one of my childhood heroes, Veronica Taylor, the voice of Ash Ketchum. She is a kind and lovely person, and she even encouraged me to follow my dreams, which I’ve held to heart.

    The lovely Veronica Taylor, Mrs. Panda, and me!
  1. My user name Mr. Panda comes from the anime Ranma ½. It’s an odd, old classic anime from Rumiko Takahashi, creator of Inuyasha. The show follows Ranma, a boy who is cursed to transform into a girl when splashed with cold water. Yes, it’s weird, but I love it. Ranma’s father turns into a panda when splashed with cold water, and he occasionally goes by the moniker of Mr. Panda. There you have it – I’m an anime character! I also like pandas in general. They just seem so huggable.

    Genma (Mr. Panda) from the anime Ranma 1/2
  1. I grew up with the NES and the SNES, which is no surprise since I write about Nintendo games. However, the first game I remember beating was Super Mario World, which also happens to be one of my favorite games. I don’t know why I never beat NES games before then, but I’m guessing it’s because I played games like Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! when I was little.
  1. Finally, I should probably have one fact unrelated to video games and anime (those are seriously two of my biggest passions). My favorite TV show is The Simpsons. I haven’t seen most of the show, which is no surprise anymore seeing that it has around 30 seasons at this point. That said, I’ve seen the first 10 seasons, which I consider to have some of the funniest jokes ever. I have seen more recent episodes and have even enjoyed some of them (which is blasphemy to most Simpsons fans). However, none of them have come close to the endless hours of entertainment I have from the classic seasons. D’oh!

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Unique Blogger Award

I also received the Unique Blogger Award from the wonderful writer, Kris P. It’s an honor to accept this award from you. I respect you as a writer, both for your stories and your gaming articles!

The Rules:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and include a link to their blog.
2. Answer their 3 questions.
3. Include one meme and one quote you really like.
4. Nominate 8-13 bloggers to receive this award.
5. Ask your nominees 3 UNIQUE questions.
6. Add a link to the awards creator: Tara at Flower in Rainy Day.

Here are Kris P’s interesting questions:

  1. How well equipped — both physically and mentally — are you to survive in the world of the last book you read? – Goodness no. The last book I read was the play script, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Last time I checked, I’m still not a wizard, although my wife and I pretend to be while playing the Harry Potter Deck-Building Game with our Universal Studios wands.
  2. If you were in an RPG-style game, what character class would you be? – Summoner – Then I can use all of the Pokémon I’ve collected! I also generally enjoy monster-collecting games such as Pokémon, Yo-kai Watch, and Dragon Quest Monsters. It’s a no-brainer for me to summon my monsters!
  3. If your favorite fictional character or world were a genre of music, what genre would they be? Hyrule would be an orchestral soundtrack to a fantasy film, just like the Symphony of the Goddesses, which I will have the opportunity to see for a fourth time!

As for meme and quote, I’ll just combine them into one with my new made-up award!

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Introducing a New Award, The PANDA!

The last rule of most awards is usually to nominate others. For my nominations though, I wanted to do something special, perhaps something even serious, especially at this time. I want to focus on encouraging all of you who have made such a big impact on my own work. Regardless of your thoughts and beliefs, I want to promote a network of writers who not only discuss and share opinions on games and other things, but also support each other. Whether you are in need or could use a boost in your day, I hope you can feel encouraged for being who you are and writing about what you enjoy.

Therefore, I would like to introduce the Play A New Day Award, or PANDA. Yes, it has my user name in it, so feel free to change or alter my attempt at being clever. Hey, I think pandas are fun creatures. That’s not the point though. I want to encourage others to play for another day. No matter what is going on, whether in the world, your country, your home, or even in your mind, I want you to play for a new day. We’re all in this together, and we can make it together.

The award only has three rules:


  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Nominate any number of people for the award.
  3. Encourage them in any way, whether through thanking or complimenting them.

That’s it. No need to write facts or answer questions. In fact, you don’t even have to write up a post on it if you don’t want to. Feel free to tell them directly or on social media. I just want the emphasis to be on letting others know you care. I’ll start by nominating the following people for a PANDA and letting you know how much you matter.

Give a Panda!

Note: Everyone whom I list is a fellow blogger. For everyone else outside of the blogosphere who have supported me, know that I appreciate you so much and all you’ve done to support me. You already know I care about you. This is for those writers who can continue to give these awards.

  1. Mike and Jack of Miketendo64 – Thank you so much for even letting me share what I have with you. It means a lot that you’d even consider me, especially back when I started out and had only written a single review. You are doing great work to further inform and entertain the Nintendo fanbase. Keep it up!
  2. Kuribo of NintendoFigures – I have never read such detailed reviews of Nintendo figures as I have yours. As you know, I am a big amiibo fan and thus enjoy reading all of your articles on amiibo and the wide world of Nintendo figures.
  3. Rachel and Kris of Double Jump – You two are both stellar writers. I am continuously encouraged that you not only write fun articles and lists about games, but also write stories of your own. That is some serious dedication that shouldn’t go unnoticed.
  4. Themancalledscott of Wizard Dojo – You are a master of your craft. You’ve written so many reviews about a variety of topics, and continue to revise and improve. I’m floored by the sheer amount of what you do and how willing you are to go further. I respect your opinions as well as the fact that you stand by them.
  5. Matt of Nintendobound – I love reading your reviews! They’re very detailed and of high-quality. I also appreciate how willing you are to engage with other bloggers. I enjoy discussing games with you whether on your, mine, or anyone else’s site. You know what you’re talking about, and you say it eloquently and with heart.
  6. Retr0pia You’re a person with dreams, and I respect that. You work truly hard to produce great content about classic games that may have been forgotten otherwise. I like the direction you’re going with creating games, and I wish you the best on your endeavors. Never give up!
  7. The Shameful Narcissist You’re one of the kindest bloggers I have come across. You’re also a spectacular writer with excellent ideas and passion. Your Final Fantasy VII stories are truly remarkable. Please keep the drive going and keep being the special writer you are.
  8. Hungrygoriya I don’t think I’ve ever met someone so devoted to collecting games at swap meets and game stores as you. What you bring to the table is unique and awesome. I’m flattered that you take my game recommendations and actually look for them too! I’m always cheering for you to get great deals on older games!
  9. Benez256 of I Heart Old Games – I find it amazing that you write such great posts in a non-native language. I couldn’t imagine what kind of language skill you must have to do it so frequently, but I admire that about you. And of course, I appreciate that you love old games and remind us when a series’ birthday is.
  10. Yvocaro of A Lady and Gaming Plus – Your posts about handheld games give me a heartwarming feeling, whether it’s a gaming cup of coffee or a game of the month. You really enjoy the games you play and want to share them with others. I find that wonderful about you.
  11. Pokeninja90 of Nice Job Breaking It, Hero – As soon as you let me know how excited you were about Cing games like Hotel Dusk, I knew you had special tastes. Your site is fun to read, and it’s fun to talk to you about anime, games, and other things to geek about. Thanks for all of your support and excitement!
  12. The Mages of The Well-Red Mage – How could I not mention the wonderful team summoned by The Well-Red Mage himself? I don’t even know what I could say. You run a great blog, and you’re constantly trying to build the network through wonderful ideas. Thanks for supporting me from the get-go and continuing to even today. You gave me my first award, and I hope you accept mine.

There you go! Anyone whom I’ve nominated can choose to accept the PANDA and share the love to others. Anyone else who’s reading this, please feel free to accept and share nominations with others too. If you do, let me know and I’d love to join in on appreciating you as well. Hopefully, the encouragement can permeate and reach others, especially many other sites I read, but didn’t mention here.

Again, don’t feel like you have to participate in any of this. I just thought I’d try to do something different. I enjoy getting these awards, and I also love being able to share how much I like what you do. If you’d prefer, you can write about the other awards as well. Everyone whom I’ve listed is definitely eligible for these awards, should you choose to accept them. Feel free to list seven facts and answer Kris’ excellent questions above. Whatever you do, consider those around you and spread the love.

Thank you so much everyone for reading this! I truly appreciate you. Play a new day!

Go ahead. Give a PANDA!

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Thank you!