Rainy Day's Books, Video Games and Other Writings


childhood video games

First Impressions: Kingdom Hearts III

Kingdom Hearts 3 2

As someone who’s been playing video games since elementary school, the Kingdom Hearts games have been the biggest part of my childhood. So, when I heard about the release of Kingdom Hearts III, a game I’ve been waiting for the longest time to come out, I was so excited and ready to play it.

Kingdom Hearts III takes place after the events in Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance, following when Riku and Sora take the Mark of Mastery test. As Riku and King Mickey go on the search for Aqua (another chosen Keyblade wielder whose story you learn more about in Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep), Sora goes on an adventure of his own with Donald Duck and Goofy in search of reawakening his weakened powers and trying to learn the power of wakening. As Sora travels from world to world, he encounters Heartless, Nobodies and Unversed as well as runs into various members of the new Organization XIII whose true goals remain unknown.

While I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface of Kingdom Hearts III, I truly believe it’s my favorite game in the series that I’ve ever played. One of the things I enjoy about the game so far is the combat. I love the different abilities (otherwise known as form change) that each of Sora’s Keyblades has that you can activate when you fight. I feel like each of them is unique to the Keyblade Sora is using but in a way that suits it.

Kingdom Hearts 3 Form Change
One of the form changes in the game.

There’s also a new ability in combat called attractions that I still have mixed feelings about. Just like the name suggests, attractions are an ability that Sora can use where he’s on different attraction rides that can cause damage to the enemy. I have mixed feelings about this new ability because some of the attractions you can use are very useful and others I just find to be very annoying and don’t like using in combat. But overall, I find the combat in this game to be the most fun I’ve had in a Kingdom Hearts game in a very long time and look forward to fighting whenever I play.

Another thing I’ve enjoyed with Kingdom Hearts III so far are the different worlds you can travel to in the game. I like the worlds you get to go into because most of them you’ve never been to in any of the other games in the series. I also like the role Sora gets to play in those worlds, whether he’s dressed like a toy and helps Woody and Buzz search for their missing friends or he’s a monster helping Mike and Sullivan get Boo back home. Sora is always getting himself into situations, making friends along the way and I love it just as much in this game as I do all the others.

Kingdom Hearts 3 3
Sora in the Carribean, one of my favorite worlds from Kingdom Hearts II that I’m glad they’ve brought back.

I also love the message of friendship these games bring with them. Of your friends even when they aren’t around still being a part of your life, close to your heart. This message always resonates with me and I feel like its exactly what I needed to hear. Especially with the personal stuff that’s been going on in my life.

There are, however, some issues I do have with Kingdom Hearts III. One of the biggest issues I have with the game is how they go about the plot. I’ve just recently started to get further into the main storyline of the game and while I do at times find it interesting, I also find myself left with a lot of questions that remain to be answered. I know since I haven’t completed the game yet I probably shouldn’t be complaining about this, but its something that bothers me so I feel like it needs to be discussed.

What I think doesn’t help is that a lot of the worlds Sora goes to the story doesn’t feel complete. You get some gameplay in these worlds, but I feel like you never truly get any resolution to the conflicts the characters in the world are dealing with. For example, one of the worlds I enjoy going to because the characters were a big part of my childhood is the Hundred Acre Woods from Winnie the Pooh. In the previous Kingdom Hearts games, you go to the Hundred Acre Woods and must help Sora find the missing pages of the book to see Pooh and the rest of his friends. In this game, however, Merlin shows you the book and Sora notices his image is missing on the front cover, so you go visit to see if anything is wrong there. It’s the shortest world visit in the game you experience and its one of many worlds in the game I felt were treated the same way, though not quite as short.

I also don’t like with Kingdom Hearts III that the worlds you go and visit don’t really tie in with the main storyline in the game. Usually, in these games, the worlds you go into playing as Sora there’s usually a reason he goes there that ties into the main storyline in the game. With this game, I didn’t see that truly being the case. I felt like you got some snippets of what the main storyline was, but not enough to really understand why Sora went to these worlds. The main storyline doesn’t take place until after you’ve completed these worlds. While I didn’t necessarily mind it, it’s different from what I remember in the other games, so it threw me off.

But overall, I’m enjoying my experience playing Kingdom Hearts III. I remember when I first got into the series, excited to play these games. This game has been no different for me because I’ve been waiting for its release for so long. I know I’ll be sad when I finish this game because this game series has been a part of my life for such a long time. But right now, I’m enjoying my first time playing through it and believe I will continue to do so despite my criticisms.

Reliving Memories: Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage

Spyro 2 Ripto's Rage 1

Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage, the second game in the Spyro series, is my favorite Spyro video game. Released in 1999, it is a platform, item collecting video game developed by Insomniac Games. The plot of this Spyro video game centers around the world of Avalar, where Spyro accidently travels while entering a portal for Dragon Shores. He was summoned there by some of the inhabitants of Avalar in order to defeat Ripto, an evil tyrant who’s using his minions Crush and Gulp to take over the world. As you travel the worlds in Avalar, you collect talismans which can be used to defeat Ripto as well as orbs which you need to open a portal back home.

This Spyro video game is my favorite from my childhood for a number of reasons. For one, I found Ripto and his lackeys Crush and Gulp to be my favorite villains in the series. I enjoy fighting against them and find their interactions in the series to be entertaining.

Spyro 2 Ripto's Rage Ripto Crush Gulp

Another aspect of Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage I love is the amount of abilities this game gives you that wasn’t in the first Spyro game. In the first game, you weren’t able to climb walls, hover when flying, and swim. However, in this game, Spyro gains all three of these abilities throughout that become useful to you in all of the levels. Having these abilities is nice because they allow you to better get through the worlds to collect gems, orbs and talismans.

Spyro 2 Ripto's Rage Aquaria Tower

I also love this game because of the story behind each of the worlds you visit. Each world you go into for talisman, orbs and gems has a unique story with characters you have to help in order to obtain that world’s talisman. This is refreshing to me because each of these worlds have their own challenges you have to overcome. It makes the game that much more enjoyable because it feels like you have an objective you have to complete. But at the same time, it allows Spyro to use some of his new abilities to make it through these worlds.

Spyro 2 Ripto's Rage Crystal Glacier

I remember as a child the amount of times I played this game. I love it so much because of the characters and story that I couldn’t help it. I also loved the different things you did in order to get orbs such as playing hockey and returning the snow leopard in the picture above to his owner. Playing this Spyro game gives me so much nostalgia that I enjoy every minute I play it, making sure I do everything I can to complete each world. This game is one of my favorites from my childhood and I hope others who’ve played it feel exactly the same.

Reliving Memories: Spyro the Dragon

Spyro the Dragon PS1

Spyro the Dragon is one of many favorite video games from my childhood. A platform, item collecting video game, Spyro the Dragon was released in 1998 by Insomniac Games and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. While this game was initially released to be played on PlayStation, I didn’t get this game until PlayStation 2, which allows video gamers to play games released on the original PlayStation. Along with this video game, I acquired Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage and Spyro Year of the Dragon with it in a Spyro Collectors’ Edition case.

Spyro the Dragon is the first game in the series, which introduces you to the character Spyro, a small purple dragon. He must save his dragon elders from Gnasty Gnorc, who turned all of the dragon elders in the land into stone along with collect all the gems and eggs in the various worlds you travel to defeat this nasty villain. As Spyro, you fly from platform to platform, charge and flame your enemies as you travel across all of these worlds.

As a child, this video game made me fall in love with the Spyro series. It was one of many video games from my childhood that introduced me to platforming in video games. I remember many moments as a child traversing through the different worlds, flaming and charging enemies while releasing the elder dragons from their statue prisons.

Spyro the Dragon PS1 Peace Keepers World

I enjoy Spyro the Dragon because of its unique charm. As a child, most aspects in the game didn’t catch my eye as being cheesy. However, now that I’m older, they catch my attention and cause me to giggle in childish glee. One good example has to do with the enemies in the image above. Whenever these enemies go to hide from Spyro in these tents, they either cower in fear or moon you when you flame their hiding spot. As a child, I didn’t see the humor in this, but now that I’m older, I find it funny.

I also enjoy playing this game from my childhood because I love playing as Spyro and the challenges each world brings. I love getting to play as a small dragon who can flame as well as charge at his enemies. He is also able to fly, which allows you as the player to get to platforms you couldn’t otherwise reach. I also enjoy the worlds you get to go through because each one of them is unique and presents their own different challenges to the game. Some levels in the game have really high platforms that if you aren’t able to fly across will cause Spyro to fall into the abyss while others have water or some other obstacle that if you land in will cause Spyro’s health to deplete. And other worlds have super charge boosts, which are usually useful when getting to difficult platforms that flying won’t help you reach.

Spyro the Dragon PS1 Tree Tops

Images from one of the most difficult levels in the game Tree Tops.

Spyro the Dragon is also enjoyable because of the challenge it presents to the player. Some of the platforms you have to get onto are really high up or very difficult to reach to where you have to use other platforms to get onto them. This presents a challenge for the player especially if you are trying to clear the game by getting all of the gems, dragons, and eggs. Part of this challenge can be seen in the timed flying levels where you have to go through obstacles before the timer runs out. While you don’t gain anything unique from completing these levels, by doing so you collect all the gems in those levels and get closer to completing the game.

Spyro the Dragon PS1 Flying Level

Now that I’m older and playing Spyro the Dragon, I remember a lot of my recent experiences playing this game. I remember playing it last summer the amount of fun I had and now try the best I can to completely clear the game and having fun doing so, which is why I’m playing it again. I look forward to continue playing this series and continue reliving memories from my childhood.

Reliving Memories: Crash Team Racing


In 1999, one of my all-time favorite kart racing video games came out. Developed by Naughty Dog, Crash Team Racing quickly stole my heart the first time I played it.

I remember this video game very well because it was one of the first kart racing games I had ever played. As a child, it introduced me into the world of Crash Bandicoot, a world I hadn’t been a part of before.

Crash Team Racing Bear Racing

I remember the times I played it, racing as Crash and some of the other characters in the game with the goal of making it to first place across the finish line. I remember enjoying it because the controls were so simple.

But I also enjoy playing it for other reasons too. I enjoy hearing the different character’s voices as you race to get into first place. Some of the characters say some of the funniest things and they make me laugh every time I hear them.

Another aspect of Crash Team Racing that I enjoyed as a child and still do now is the power up items you can use. As you race each of the uniquely built tracks, there are these boxes with question marks on them. When you race into one of them, the player is given a random item to use as you race. The item can be anything that will help you against your opponents, such as a speed boost to allow you to go faster, bombs that you can launch at your enemies to knock them down, and even a bubble that protects you from damage. I enjoy that Crash Team Racing has these items because it makes racing much more of a challenge and makes your gaming experience that much more enjoyable.

I also enjoy playing this game because of the different tracks you get to race on. Each track presents a challenge for the player that they have to overcome. These challenges are roadblocks that make the track harder to race on and finish in first place. But they allow the player the chance to figure out what to do to stay on the track and get to the finish line before everyone else. I enjoy racing on these tracks because each track has unique elements that can slow down the player from progress and cause them to lag behind. They make Crash Team Racing a challenging game to play, which makes my whole gaming experience when I complete them even more enjoyable.

Crash Team Racing Tiger

As a child, Crash Team Racing was ultimately one of my favorite kart racing video games. And even now as a 22 year-old college graduate, that still remains true for me. Crash Team Racing is a video game I can never get tired of and holds a special place in my heart as one of the first kart racing video games I’ve ever played.

Blog at

Up ↑