Sunday, 18 May 2014

Video Game Holiday Destinations

I wrote this for Forces Of Geek and it was originally published on the website in April. I have a habit of forgetting to upload my articles on here, life and lots of filmmaking gets in the way, luckily, this feature was lucky enough not to get lost within the dark recesses of my drafts like many before it. As today is a beautiful sunny day (well, here anyway) I thought it made sense to post this. Though, let's face it, we all know that when it's gloriously sunny outside we should stay inside to game...with at least one window open, of course!

I know what you're thinking, a video game holiday destination suggests a darkened room somewhere with a do not disturb sign on the door, the internet connection is excellent and the fridge is full of snacks and beverages...perfect. Except, that's not the kind of gaming holiday I'm talking about.

Let me explain, imagine you have the chance to visit any potential holiday destination within the myriad of game universes. The brochure would be a hefty tome detailing various landscapes, climates, cultural wonders and new experiences. So, where would you go?

Sea, surf and fun in the sun!
Perhaps you long for the relaxation on offer at the Costa del Sol? A tropical seaside resort so calming that those who visit spend countless hours lazing on the beach despite the fact that the rest of the world is being terrorised by monsters and threatened by evil organisations. A place this relaxed is perfect for just kicking back and forgetting all of your troubles. After all, Costa del Sol translates to "Coast of the Sun" so sunbathing and swimming is mandatory. Purchase your own presidential summer villa, chill out on the beach, enjoy the delicious seafood that coastal towns offer and be sure to check out the gift shops specialising in precious Materia that make great souvenirs.

Take a voyage on the Daisy Cruiser
If you enjoy your beach holidays with some added action, then how about boarding the Daisy Cruiser for a cruise shop holiday you definitely won't forget. This floating 5* resort belonging to Princess Daisy has all the luxuries on board you could want, if it's good enough for a Princess, you can be sure it's good enough for you! A cruise is the perfect way to see multiple locations in one trip and on this voyage, you can visit various tourist hot spots such as Yoshi Circuit, Peach Beach and during peak seasons even Mario Beach.

Of course, you will also be treated to live circuit races on deck featuring some of your favourite celebrities such as Mario, Donkey Kong and even Princess Daisy herself, as they battle for the prestigious Flower Cup. Your sun loungers and deck chairs will ensure you have the best seats in the house at all times so you won't miss out on any of the action!

Personally, Costa del Sol and the luxury Daisy Cruiser holiday are too beach-centric for my liking, I prefer a little more culture in my travel destinations. Consider (kindly, if you will) vacationing in Rapture (before it got all splicer-y, of course). A vast metropolis which is a stunning architectural feat in itself, Rapture is an oasis under the sea with stunning views of the ocean and gorgeous art-deco features.

Rapture - a utopia under the sea (to begin with)
Be sure to stay in Olympus Heights and travel the city via Rapture's state-of-the-art Metro, explore the Farmer's Market, the forest area of Arcadia, visit Rapture's tallest skyscraper, Point Prometheus and don't miss the entertainment district, Fort Frolic. Experience the grandness of Fontaine's, a lavish shopping centre where you can buy beautiful dresses and classy suits for your evenings, full of extravagant cocktail parties and fine dining in the notorious Kashmir Restaurant. Often described as a utopia, there is no finer holiday destination than Rapture, you may find yourself never wanting to surface again! Experiences may vary according to when you visit. Little tip, avoid New Years Eve.

Another great city location for a holiday is The Citadel. Located in the Serpent Nebula and often referred to as the centre of galactic civilisation, The Citadel is hub of trade and tourism making it a fantastic place for a short city break. With nightlife courtesy of The Flux (or for those inclined, Chora's Den) and various other bars, casinos and arcades you'll never be bored!

Just one of many stunning viewpoints on The Citadel
Why visit any other star cluster or planet when you can experience food and products from all over the galaxy in one location? In The Presidium you'll find vendors and merchants of all alien races selling their wares, so why not try some Salarian or Turian haute-cuisine or visit the Asari Consort (booking well in advance is advised!). Explore the various embassies and soak up some culture, any questions you have will be answered via the Avina terminals, the handy virtual intelligence tour guides located at all points of interest throughout The Presidium.

Need a taste of home? Look no further than Apollo's Cafe located in Presidium Commons, they even serve steak and Canadian beer! Nearby, The Courtyard has a breathtaking view of The Citadel which should not be missed. This a definitely a place for holidaymakers who enjoy the hustle and bustle of big cities, make sure you travel light though as you'll want to stock up on sporting goods and other equipment at the Meridian Place Market.

With so many destinations to choose from, picking your ideal video game holiday destination is a difficult choice. Wherever you decide upon visiting, make sure you pack the essentials; suncream, a hat, a woolly jumper and most importantly, a portable gaming device complete with games, a charger and plenty of spare batteries!

If you have any suggestions of your own, as always leave a comment below.

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