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!

49 thoughts on “November 2016 Update: One Lovely Unique Versatile Blogger and Introducing the PANDA Award!

  1. Congratulations on getting all your awards! Very well deserved! Very creative coming up with the PANDA award! I really love the idea! I appreciate how you’re always encouraging others. You’ve always been like that, and I admire that about you. 🙂 We need to stay positive during tough times, like you said. Thanks for being a bright light! I’m going to give a PANDA today! 🙂

    P.S. You know I love your facts, especially the video game themed wedding! 😉 Also love Veronica Taylor and the panda origin story!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! Thank you for the PANDA Award! It is actually our first award so we gladly accept with utmost gratitude. Jack and I are proud to have you on the team and have always been great admirers of your work. We look forward to hearing all about your adventures to Hong Kong and Japan when you get back! Have an amazing trip!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome, Mike! I’m glad you accept the PANDA! I am ever thankful for your support and kind words. I’m very excited to share all about Hong Kong and Japan, especially Japan! Thank you for the well wishes!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What an awesome wedding you and your wife had!

    And very interesting to know that your username came from Ranma. It was always funny how Genma tended to deserve Ranma’s rage. “Not me, I’m just a cute panda with a tire!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Krystallina! It was a very fun time, and I’m excited to share it! And I’m so happy that you know about Ranma! But then again, you’re very well-versed in lots of manga and anime, and I find that awesome! I think Genma is hilarious, especially when he pretends to be an unassuming panda. He’s a jerk otherwise, especially when talking to Ranma. But when he’s a panda, I can’t help but love him! Ranma is one of my favorite nostalgic series, and my user name comes from that appreciation! Thanks for commenting! I appreciate you and the work you put into your own site! Keep it up!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. First of all, brilliant to come up with an entirely new award! Thank you so much, I will cherish it and pass it on. We need more 🐼 in this world! I’m glad I succeed in bringing across the comfy feeling of sharing games with friends, as the socializing part of blogging is the most important part to me.

    Nice to see all the awards you collected, and I loved reading your fun facts. Extremely jealous about your upcoming trip and I loved reading about your marriage. That is very cool, a Hyrule castle as a wedding cake!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of course, well-deserved! Thanks for making us smile with your wonderful posts! Glad you enjoyed my fun facts! I tried to make them interesting to people who read here by tying it to games and other common interests. And yes, thanks so much for reading about our wedding! I could go on and on (and I have), but I only wrote about the bare essentials here. It was definitely an amazing experience for us though! Thanks again for your kind words! Let’s spread the love!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Awesome! I’m glad you found it interesting! I don’t usually talk about myself all that much, and I realized that people might not know where my user name came from when I was trying to think of facts. Thanks for reading and commenting! It’s awesome that you read others’ awards to learn more about them! It’s cool that you show interest in others like that! Very admirable!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. First of all, enjoy your trip! Hong Kong and Japan must be great places to visit, especially the latter that, to folks like us, is videogame paradise! Secondly, that is unquestionably the greatest wedding cake ever!

    At first I was not going to buy any amiibo, for starters they are just way overpriced around here, but now I have got 13 of them – even the “rare” Ness amiibo, for which I had to pay quite a bit of money. It is crazy that you sort of stumbled upon the amiibo concept before Nintendo even revealed them!

    I had always wondered where Mr. Panda had come from. I guess I should have imagined it came from an anime!

    Finally, thanks a lot for the kind words. They certainly motivate me even more to keep going. I have always admired you as a writer and, more importantly, as a person for your commitment and kindness, and this award – especially its goal – just goes to show that such admiration was more than justified! Thanks once more, and I wish you all the best in your life and in your career. Enjoy that trip!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aww thank you so much for your kind words Matt! We are thrilled about Japan, and our wedding was absolutely amazing! Definitely the kind of stuff that gamers would enjoy! We’re very proud of coming up with amiibo, haha. Now we just have to wait for our royalties. 😛

      And of course! You deserve it! It flatters me so much that you think of me like that. It encourages me to also keep going, both as a writer, and as who I am. It means a lot to me that you appreciate it! Thanks a lot for your encouragement and support! I wish all the best for you too!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You are honestly one of the sweetest people I’ve met in this blogging endeavour. I am so glad to know you and treasure all of your recommendations and comments on my spontaneous blog adventures. I am honoured and graciously accept your PANDA award. I will pass it along!

    As an unmarried person in a gamer couple, I’ve often pondered a gaming-themed wedding as well. As we both get older though, I think we might do a smaller wedding with some low-key game stuff. For example, we’re always looking up classy, jazzy versions of video game music to incorporate into dinner as background music! There are some great Faxanadu ones out there that I’d love to use! Your wedding looked absolutely amazing. I’m sure that cake was delicious! You’ve made me want cake for breakfast.

    I honestly have not thought about Ranma 1/2 in years!!! My Escaflowne-obsessed highschool friends used to drag me to an anime/comic book store for my friend’s annual birthday party celebration, and they used to choose lots of Japanese dubbed stuff to watch (I was not into it at all at the time.) One year, they chose a few episodes of Ranma 1/2, and I actually really liked it! I had completely forgotten the name, so you just threw me down a memory pit. I’m glad to be there.

    I hope your trip is a safe and wonderful experience, and I’m looking forward to seeing snippets from it. I’d love to visit Japan someday!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw thank you so much for your incredibly kind words! And you deserve the PANDA I gave you! Spread the love! 🙂

      I’m very happy that we went with a themed wedding, especially one so important to us. We tried to pick music that would still be appropriate for a wedding reception. What was really awesome was that we had arranged mash-ups of classical music and video game music. For example, my wife walked into a classical mix of Pachelbel Canon in D and Zelda’s Lullaby. It was beautiful, and it makes me so happy thinking about it!

      Haha, you’re welcome for helping you remember the wackiness that is Ranma 1/2. It’s pretty old now, and more obscure now that it’s so old. It still holds a special place in my heart, and I know that there are many like myself that had it as one of their gateway anime.

      Thanks so much for the well wishes! I’m so excited about the trip, and I will hopefully be able to share pictures and adventures while I’m there! Hope you can make it one day too! It’s a really awesome place, as you’d expect.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much! Yes, have a PANDA as well! Also, thanks so much for always supporting both in and out of the site! I appreciate it as always! 🙂

      I look forward to Japan! Can’t wait to meet Godzilla.


  7. Congratulations on getting all of the awards! *throws confetti* This was a delightful and massive celebration of positivity, which is why I love the WP award system so much, and the PANDA award is a wonderful addition to the whole. I’m honored, flattered, and humbled that you included me in that, and I utterly agree with the other bloggers you nominated. This is truly the best gaming community I ever had the good fortune to fall into, and it’s spread to other social media like Twitter, which I rarely used before meeting all of you. I truly believe that to die knowing kindness is to not have lived in, and to live spreading kindness is the greatest gift you can give yourself and the world.

    I now follow several more awesome bloggers because of this, and I have another award to write a post on where I can say nice things about people. Despite how much I try to play the grumpiest kitten that is one of my favorite pastimes.

    I hope you and your wife have a wonderful time in Hong Kong and Japan!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you so much! And of course! You definitely deserve not only the award but also the positive encouragement! I like that quote, and I hope that we can all continue to spread kindness through what we say, write, and do!

    Thank you so much for the kind words and well wishes! So happy that you spread the love! 🙂


  9. A video game wedding sounds like an awesome ceremony. I would love to organize something like that although the chances of me getting hitched or finding a gamer girl are pretty much zilch haha.

    The Simpsons was hilarious back in the day, but I haven’t watched any of the recent seasons. I now prefer stuff like Family Guy and American Dad.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! It’s a dream wedding come true. Wish you the best in your journey as well!

      The Simpsons has always been my favorite of the cartoons intended for an older audience. I do like Family Guy and American Dad, and they’re doing at least a little better than recent Simpsons, but classic Simpsons will always be my favorite. Thank you for reading and commenting! I really appreciate it!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww thank you! Yes, that would be awesome if you had a video game themed wedding or parts of it at your wedding! I have more pictures and parts to the wedding, but I only put the centerpiece and the wedding cake. We also had 3DS-themed save-the-dates, a Zelda-themed program, Pokemon card placecards, and ? Block invitations! It was so fun!


  10. Congrats on your many well deserved rewards! 🙂 Also I love the name of the award you created. There are many awesome bloggers on that list!

    Enjoy your trip to Japan. That looks like you had every gamer’s dream wedding cake. The Simpsons is my favourite TV show. I prefer the older episodes of course. Homer’s antics and sarcasm always make me smile.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I appreciate your kindness. And I’m glad you love the award! Please feel free to share the love to others too! 🙂 I follow you as well and can attest you are awesome! Keep working towards that backlog! 😉

      And thank you so much! We’re looking forward to our trip as it’s approaching soon. The cake and the wedding were definitely dreams come true, especially because I got to marry my best friend!

      And hooray for old Simpsons episodes! I need to rewatch a bunch of them. Maybe I can recatch up on my long plane ride, haha. Thanks again for reading and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Only someone as inspirational as yourself would invent something as inspirational as the PANDA award. I’m pleased to have known you since your inception, Mr. Panda. And it’s been astounding to see everything you’ve accomplished since the day you founded your blog. I seriously don’t know how you have the time to manage it all, posting and commenting and living life! I’m glad to accept such a warm-hearted award and I sincerely hope it spreads some warmth. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw thank you so much for all your words, Well-Red! It means a lot to me! Thank you for supporting me since the beginning, and I’m always very happy to spread warmth your way! Keep doing the awesome things you’re doing and spread the love!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I shouldn’t be surprised that I didn’t make the cut when we’ve been going dormant for weeks at a time. Between personal stuff and the holidays (and the fact that the one other writer on the site is busy with four million other things) there has been quite a lull. And I suppose you can’t exactly call it unique when everyone else does the same thing I do anyway 😛 So I figured I’d just come on here and spread a healthy dose of self-deprecating humor to break up the sappiness. Oh, and to let you know I DO still catch up on this stuff when I find the time and motivation… even though I’m turning into a small drop in the ocean of readers you have at this point. Good thing I’LL never have that issue with MY readers. Am I right? The door is over there, yes? I’ll see myself out. Oh, can congratulations and all that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the congrats and for checking out my stuff! It sounds like you had a lot going on, and busyness can be good business. Wish you the best of luck and feel free to spread the love. I obviously didn’t and couldn’t mention everyone, but rest assured, you have a part in the blogosphere, and that’s something to be happy about!


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