Xenoblade Chronicles X NEEDS To Come To Switch

The Nintendo Switch is a powerful beast and a very hot item right now, due to the sheer accessibility of the console. The machine can be used as either a home console, or a handheld device. It’s a simplistic gimmick, but it works! Due to this selling point, everyone rushed to get the console as soon as they could.

It helps that the console has a ton of third-party support, as well as a large game library. More and more games come out for the console with each passing month, which is something I greatly appreciate. While there are a ton of Switch games I plan on getting already, there are also a bunch on other platforms that I’d like to see brought over here. One such game I’d like to see ported is a semi-obscure sci-fi game.

Sci-fi is just something I can’t get enough of. There are many sci-fi video-games out there, but one of the most well-known ones is the Xeno series. The Xeno franchise is a pretty interesting series that has jumped from console to console, while creating multiple different continuities. The franchise’s entry on the Nintendo Wii U was sure a unique one, since it acted as a spiritual sequel to the first game in the franchise.

Xenoblade Chronicles X is what happens when you take the mech combat from Xenogears, and mix it with the massive open-world exploration found in Skyrim. You play as a person awakened from the pod, and are thrust into a massive world filled with giant robots and space creatures.

I’ve always wanted to play Chronicles X, but never had anything to play it on. The game was released exclusively to Wii U, a console which I never owned. It’s a shame too, because this was one of the only games on the console that truly enticed me. If Wii U had more big-budget open-world games like this, I would’ve certainly taken the plunge and bought one.

Sadly, they released this game on an under-performing console that was near the end of its lifespan. It was doomed to failure and nothing could save it from that. While the game did sell poorly, its follow-ups on the Switch sold much better. While it’s doubtful that we’ll ever get a full remake of this game on Switch, I certainly wouldn’t mind a sequel.

To me, this feels like a game that would do well on Switch. A lot of this comes down to the Switch just being a better selling console, and having a larger built-in fan-base when it comes to Xenoblade. I can see why X would be hard to bring over to Switch, since it is truly a massive game. With 5 large continents to explore, tons of customization options, and hundreds of quests to complete, it’s certainly a staggering prospect.

If the game does return, I hope it’s soon. I’ve only gotten into the Xenoblade series recently, starting with the Torna expansion for Xenoblade 2. I wouldn’t mind playing the first game, X, and 2’s base game as well. Having the entire franchise available on one console would definitely be a great idea. Here’s hoping that they can pull it off at some point!

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Video & Arcade Top 10: Another Forgotten Canadian Classic

My love for video-games is something I’ve had since childhood. I grew up loving them and I still do, but I didn’t have the money to buy them back then. Games were and still are expensive, so I found myself only playing the ones my parents rent/bought for me. Since I had no cash of my own, I would sometimes find different ways to enjoy games. These ways were all legal, of course.

This meant playing games at display kiosks at stores, or borrowing Nintendo Power magazines from the library. However, what if you wanted to see footage of new games right when they came out? YouTube and Twitch didn’t exist back then, so you couldn’t simply look up a game and watch footage of it.

Thankfully, there was an alternative for Canadian kids: Video & Arcade Top 10. This show was pretty interesting for its time, since it was a gameshow that focused exclusively on kids playing video-games for prizes. Kids would be brought up on stage and would compete against each other the hopes of winning really crappy prizes, like watches and puzzles shaped like the head of Elvis Presley. There were some actually good prizes, but those were few and far between.

There was also the show’s theme song, which was just a remix of the theme music for Crash Man’s stage in Megaman II. This was something I didn’t discover until adulthood, since I never actually played Megaman II. It was nice to know that this theme song did come from an actual game, even if it took me nearly 2 decades to discover this fact. You can tell that the show didn’t have a big music budget, since the theme song remained mostly untouched for the entirety of the show.

From the prizes to the theme song, you could tell this show was made on the cheap! To be fair, that was kind of its charm. The show was cheaply made, but you could tell the crew was passionate about it. The host of the show was Nicholas Picholas, and the amount of fun he brought made up for the overall cheapness of the production.

Nicholas was an energetic and lively host, one that made the show a true joy to watch. He didn’t become the host until the second season, but the show truly took off when he did! Of course, Nicholas is only part of the show’s attraction. The real reason everybody watched the show was most likely for the games, which there sure were a lot of.

Nintendo games seemed to be the most prevalent on Video & Arcade Top 10, since Nintendo was top dog back in the 90s and early 2000s. There was also a focus on E-rated games, since this show was targeted towards children. This became more of a priority in later seasons, where anything rated T or above was never shown at all.

The meat of the show came in the competition itself, which was usually fairly entertaining. The kids competing were often really bad at the games they played, which was always the most hilarious part of the show to me. As bad at games as I was, even I knew I was better at them than these kids!

The best part is when a kid showed up who was ACTUALLY GOOD AT GAMES, which usually meant that he would destroy everyone else in the competition without hesitation. On top of the competition itself, the hosts would often talk about music and films. In fact, I learned about the existence of “An Extremely Goofy Movie” through this show. I know it’s a random thing to bring up, but it’s true!

Video & Arcade Top 10 ran for a whopping 15 years, making it one of the longest running shows in Canadian history. This is a show that ran for over 700 episodes, which is a length that would make most long-running anime blush. The show was eventually rerun on GameTV for a while, but was taken off the air a few years ago.

Despite the show’s incredible length, there are very few ways to actually watch it. Why? Well, the show used a ton of copyrighted footage and content. This meant that getting the show released on home-video would be an expensive task. Not only that, but only a couple dozen episodes have surfaced on YouTube.

The only way to catch certain episodes is if somebody posts an old taping of the show online. This is especially annoying if you were a contestant on the show, since finding the episode you were in would be a near impossible task. Speaking of contestants, I always wanted to compete on this show growing up.

I just never wrote into the show, so I was sadly never picked for competition. I’m kind of glad this was the case, since I was terrible at video-games when I was a kid. Regardless, Video & Arcade Top 10 will remain one of my favorite shows from my childhood. I’ll always remember the entertaining hosts, the “Letter Time” segments, and the games of varying quality they would play in each individual episode.

I hope that all of the episodes will one day be posted online, but I find it doubtful. Still, I greatly enjoy the few episodes that have surfaced online. Video & Arcade Top 10 was silly and cheesy, but it also gave Canadian kids a way to see footage of new games without renting everything on the shelf at a Roger’s Video Store. While the show will never make a return to television, I’ll still remember it as something awesome I grew up with.

Dungeons & Dragons Marathon: Chronicles of Mystara Review

I remember when arcades were something special, back when they were a fun excursion for people who just wanted to dump some quarters on a video-game. Arcades were one of my favorite things growing up, mostly due to how much time I spent in them. I’d spend several quarters on a single game, just in an attempt to see how far I’d get. One of the biggest quarter drainers for me were “Beat-Em-Up” games, which involved the player fighting through levels filled with hordes of easily beatable mooks.

Capcom seemed to be the king when it came to beat-em-ups, since they made so many of them back in the day. You had classics like Alien Vs. Predator, Knights of The Round, Captain Commando, and The King of Dragons! However, there were a pair of beat-em-ups that I felt were way better than all the rest. I’m of course talking about the classic “Dungeons & Dragons” arcade games!

Originally released in the 90s, these two games served as arcade interpretations of the classic D&D board-game. Now, I’m going to be doing things a bit differently for this review. While normally I would review these games separately, I felt like I should review them as a collective package. After all, the second game is basically just the first game with a different story, some new classes, and several new areas.

So, let’s tackle the “Chronicles of Mystara” games: Tower of Doom and Shadow Over Mystara. The two games take place in the eponymous land of “Mystara”, which is one of the original settings for Dungeons & Dragons. Both arcade games plunge you into a fantasy world, and have you do battle against hordes of evil creatures. The two games feature typical fantasy stories, which are filled with typical fantasy characters. The game plays like your average beat-em-up game, but with a twist.

The game adds in RPG mechanics, as well as some rules from the board-game to spice things up. There are a lot of neat little touches, like The Beholder’s ability to block a magic user’s spell-casting abilities. I also liked that the game had a leveling up system, as well as abilities that can only be used a certain amount of times per level. There’s also an item shop available at the end of each level, allowing players to spend the coins they earned on a random smattering of items.

The Mystara games are best played with multiple people, as they were built from the ground up with multiplayer in mind. It’s fun to team up with your friends and fight back the endless onslaught of goblins, owlbears, and magic-wielding elves. One of the games’ most impressive features is the “branching paths” the story takes, which was something most arcade games didn’t have.

Making certain choices in the game result in the player advancing through different levels, collecting rare and legendary items, or fighting new enemies. This gives the relatively short arcade games a fair bit of replay value. Sure, the choices don’t drastically change what happens in the game, but the variety they add is much appreciated.

Speaking of choices, the game offers a wide variety of playable characters. While the first game only had 4 character classes, the sequel upped it to 6. While most characters play near identically to each other, they all boast different abilities that set them apart. For example, Clerics can use healing spells and buff the party, Magic-Users can assault enemies with attack spells, etc.

There’s enough variety here to make the six characters feel unique, while also making them equally efficient in combat. Regardless of their abilities, every character will still primarily focus on hacking away at enemies with their weapon. Let’s move on to the games’ graphics and sound, which have aged remarkably well.

Despite the fact that these games came out in the 90s, their 2D graphics have aged very well. The soundtrack is also fantastic, while boasting some of the catchiest tunes in Capcom history. If I have any complaints about this game at all, it would be that the PC version is pretty bad.

This was the version of the game I played the most, and its lacking in several departments. You can’t change most of the controller bindings, the graphic options are terrible, and overall it’s just a bad port. That being said, the console versions of the game are much better in every aspect.

If you’re one of the people who never grew up on the original arcade games, I highly recommend trying out the console ports. The game is pretty easy to find in digital storefronts, while also being fairly cheap. If you want an arcade game that marries the old-school RPG elements of tabletop D&D with arcade goodness, then this is certainly the game for you!

 

No More Heroes: Into The Suda-Verse

Shared universes are not a new concept, especially since they’ve been around since the dawn of modern fiction. Having different fictional works co-exist in the same reality is certainly an interesting idea, one that has sparked the minds of writers for generations. The biggest example of a shared universe is the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which has been dominating theaters for over a decade now.

Now, you may be asking yourself: “Are there any new shared universes to indulge in?” After all, one may get sick of the constant barrage of formulaic and uninspired shared universes out there. However, by far the most interesting one would have to be Suda 51’s “Kill The Past” series. Suda 51 and his company “Grasshopper Manufacture” have been creating awesome and very weird Japanese games for over 2 decades now.

The “Kill The Past” series has been one of their trademark franchises for years now, while also encompassing most of their released titles. The titles in said series include: Killer 7, Killer Is Dead, an unrelated short story also called “Killer is Dead”, The No More Heroes franchise, Shadows of The Damned, Let It Die, Moonlight Syndrome, Silver Case, 25th Ward, and several others.

Most of said games are kept separate from each other, only containing slight references to each other. For example, there are baseball players from No More Heroes’ city of “Santa Destroy” in Diabolical Pitch. Likewise, the organization of “ISZK” originated in Michigan: Report From Hell, before showing up in several later games.

All of these games had small elements that connected them to each other, but were mostly their own stories in the long-run. This all changed with the release of the newest No More Heroes again, which goes by the name of “Travis Strikes Again”. This was the third game in the No More Heroes series, revolving around the anime-loving assassin named “Travis Touchdown”.

Despite being a sequel to No More Heroes: Desperate Struggles, it acts more as a sequel to all of Suda’s creations. The game focuses on Travis, who’s going through a midlife crisis of sorts. He now lives in a trailer in the woods, while ignoring his newfound family obligations. After being attacked by a new assassin named “Badman”, Travis finds himself once more thrust into a bizarre adventure.

Of course, Travis isn’t the only returning face. Kamui from “25th Ward” shows up to help him during the “Visual Novel” sequences. Travis also bumps into “Mondo Zappa” near the game’s end, while on the quest for more “Death Balls”. The game is full of a ton of these cameos and references, resulting it in feeling like one big crossover!

It’s nice to see all these mostly unconnected stories finally converge, while also setting up potential followups for their individual franchises. I can totally see them doing sequels to Killer Is Dead, Killer 7, and Shadows of The Damned after playing through this game! This isn’t too surprising, due to how much Suda loves these games. Considering how visually and thematically similar a lot of Suda’s games are, it was only a matter of time before they crossed over.

The thing I liked more about this shared universe is the fact that Travis isn’t that welcoming of all these “new” faces. In fact, most of them he distrusts or just doesn’t like. I like this more than other shared universes, where everyone will get along after having known each other for just a couple minutes. I like seeing protagonists who distrust each other, or who suspect each other of being more than they appear.

Considering the fact that most of the characters in these games are extremely flawed individuals with antagonistic aspects, it only makes sense for them to not get along with each other. That being said, Kamui’s interaction with Travis were truly entertaining. It’s nice seeing them form a sort of friendship over the course of the game, especially due to how entertaining their dialogue is.

Travis Strikes Again definitely did the right thing in crossing over all these games, while establishing and referencing the connections between them. I’m looking forward to seeing what Suda 51 and Grasshopper Manufacture will do with their franchises next. It’d be awesome if they continued to expand on this universe, while telling awesome standalone stories!

Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes Review

If there’s anything I’ve learned from nearly 4 years of writing, it’s that creativity is king. Making something that’s successful is always a plus, but you always want to make sure that what you make isn’t generic. This isn’t always easy, as balancing both creativity and money is a difficult thing. That’s why companies will often put out bland cookie-cutter projects, because it’s just easier than gambling on something new.

That’s why “Goichi Suda” will always be the king of creating unique gaming experiences. For those of you who don’t know, Goichi Suda is a game developer known for creating truly insane and wacky gaming experiences. Going by the name of “Suda 51”, he has created many games with the help of his development team, “Grasshopper Manufacture”.

Suda’s most popular series would have to be “No More Heroes”, which revolves around a nerdy assassin named “Travis Touchdown”. The first game centered around Travis’ climb to the top of the “League of Assassins”, because he wanted to become number 1 and have sex with some lady named “Sylvia”. That’s the general setup of the game, but the story gets a lot more interesting than that.

Despite the game’s bosses only showing up once each, they all have unique and interesting personalities. They were all entertaining in their own right, which made Travis’ interactions with them all the more engrossing. No More Heroes was a surprise hit, one that got many off-guard. No More Heroes’ unique and stylish gameplay, coupled with its amazing cell-shaded graphics won over the hearts of so many gamers.

Despite the fact that Suda had never planned on making a sequel to it, he just couldn’t ignore fan demand. This resulted in “No More Heroes: Desperate Struggle”, a rather divisive sequel. It was a sequel that streamlined elements of the first game, while offering a different story with a similar premise to the first game.

Jeane Supreme
Jeane can talk?! A TALKING CAT?! THAT’S LUDICROUS!

Acting as a pastiche on revenge stories, Desperate Struggle told the story of Travis’ return to the world of murder. After his best friend is killed, Travis revisits the life he left behind in order to kill all those responsible. The game just wasn’t as interesting as the first one was, feeling more like filler than anything else.

The gameplay wasn’t as varied as the first game, and the ending left a lot to be desired. That brings us to the newest game, which is “Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes”. Being a spinoff of sorts, we are once again thrown into the bloodstained shoes of Travis Touchdown. In said game, Travis finds himself in possession of a mysterious game console known as the “Death Drive MK II”.

While trying to uncover the mysteries of the console, he ends up being attacked by a psycho named “Badman”. Wanting revenge for Travis killing his daughter nearly a decade prior, Badman attempts to murder Travis in cold blood. Before he can do so, the two are sucked into the console itself and find themselves being sent on a journey through various video-games.

The premise is pretty simplistic, though the game does things to spice it up quite a bit. For example, this entire game is just one big giant crossover. It’s actually impressive how much of Suda’s library he shoved into this one game, all just to establish some kind of “shared universe”. I’d discuss the crossover aspect more, but I want to save it for a separate blog post. Don’t worry, I’ll get into more detail on it soon!

Regardless, it’s something that does add to the enjoyment factor of the game. Something that I was mixed on at first was the lack of voice acting, which took some getting used to. The little voice-acting the game had was saved for cinematic cut-scenes, resulting in most of the game relying on written dialogue to tell its story. This isn’t so bad, due in large part to the presentation being pretty solid.

The game presents a lot of its story in two ways: Weird little “Confession” sequences featuring Travis’ inner-thoughts, and “Visual Novel” sequences featuring Travis’ adventures to find the mystical “Death Balls”. While these two segments tend to be mostly disconnected from each other, they do both help in advancing both the story and world. On top of this, they both have a rather nice look to them.

I especially love the Visual Novel sequences, due to them using graphics that wouldn’t be too out of place on an old Apple computer. In short, I found the story to be entertaining, despite its limitations. Let’s move on to the gameplay, which I feel is pretty good overall. Travis Strikes Again features the hack-and-slash gameplay of its predecessors, but with some notable changes. For one thing, the game likes to shift perspectives quite a bit.

You could start out a level from a third-person perspective, only to shift into an isometric view, right before being given a side-scrolling perspective. Thankfully, this constant shifting of perspectives never gets annoying or tiring. It helps keep the game fresh and is an interesting design choice.

What also adds to the gameplay are the RPG elements it introduces. You can level up your character, while also equipping them with various “skill chips”. There are many of these chips scattered throughout the game, and all of them offer many different abilities. Some allow you to heal, shoot lightning at your enemies, or stun your foes. The variety is staggering and it allows for a bit of experimentation.

Speaking of experimentation, this is the first game in the series to have multiplayer. 2 people can take control of both Travis and Badman simultaneously, allowing for some fun co-operative gameplay. What makes this especially fun is the fact that players can hit each other with their attacks without damaging them. This means that you have to be careful with your attacks, or else you’ll hit your teammate and knock him out of a combo.

There are also new gameplay styles aside from the hacking and slashing, such as racing and an Asteroids-like mini-game. I found the racing mini-game to be quite fun, at least once I got the hang of it. The Asteroids section was also fun, even though I suck pretty bad at that game.

However, there’s one gameplay style that just does not work at all: The platforming sections. I’m not sure where Suda’s obsession with putting platforming segments in No More Heroes started, but it needs to stop. The platforming requires a lot of waiting, weird timing, and awkward trial-and-error gameplay.

Another issue I had was with the second level, which had some alright flip puzzles. It’s entertaining, up until a giant blue skull starts chasing you around the level. One touch from the skull would instantly kill you, resulting in a lot of unnecessary running around in an attempt to not die. This part got tedious real fast!

Other than the two parts I mentioned, there wasn’t much wrong with the gameplay. The hack-and-slashing was fun, albeit repetitive. The large amount of skills you could get gave you many options to approach combat with, while the various T-Shirts you could buy gave you an incentive to collect every coin you could find.

One thing I didn’t like was the lack of content. There are only seven levels in the game, and it’ll take you roughly 7-10 hours to beat everything. To be fair, there is a New Game+ mode, collectibles, and 4 difficulties to toy around with. Sadly, it’s nowhere near the amount of things there is to do in the first 2 games.

If you were to play through the game on each difficulty, collect everything, and do the optional “find Jeane” missions, then you could easily get 20-30 hours out of the game. I just wish there was more meaningful side-content, like the “Assassination Missions” in the first game.

Overall, I do think the game-play is pretty entertaining. It’s got flaws, but it doesn’t detract from the overall package too much. Let’s move onto the game’s sound and graphics next, which is its strongest asset. The game looks pretty damn solid, most of the time. As usual, the cut-scenes for the game are gorgeous.

Character designs are fantastic, and the cell-shaded visuals are amazing as usual. Unfortunately, the game likes to zoom out the action a lot, so you sadly won’t get to see the finer details most of the time. The in-game models could also use some polish, especially on Badman. I swear, his hair looks like stray pixels most of the time! The music and sound-effects are fantastic, and really evoke the feel of the first two games.

My favorite song in the whole game had to be “Eight Hearts’ Theme”, due to it being this trippy Japanese rap song. A lot of the game’s songs are just as unbelievably catchy, which isn’t too out of the norm for a Suda 51 game. Even the lounge-like music that plays while you’re at the trailer is awesome! The last thing I’ll touch on is the voice-acting, which is phenomenal. Despite their being very little actual voice-acting in the game, all of it is done really well. Having the original voice-cast return is a definite plus, and I think it meshes well with the game’s style.

Alright, so what are my final thoughts on the game? I definitely enjoyed it, but it certainly had a fair bit of issues. The camera is too zoomed out during most fights, there’s a lack of meaningful side-content, the combat can get repetitive, and some of the new gaming styles aren’t the best.

That being said, the story for the game is pretty fantastic. The cut-scenes are rendered in an interesting way, and I loved the old-school “Travis Strikes Back” sequences. The visuals and sound are both stellar, and each level has a unique feel to it. There’s more enemy variety than in previous games, and the inclusion of all these nods to other games is fantastic.

I liked this game, but I find it hard to recommend to most people. If you’re looking for an action game, than there are certainly worse choices out there. Travis Strikes Again won’t rock your world, or change the way you view action games. It’s a weird, surreal, and interesting experience that builds off of Suda’s massive catalog of work.

Calling it a bad game would be doing a disservice to the hard work that went into it, but it certainly has glaring flaws. I recommend this game mostly to people who love Suda’s work and want to see No More Heroes 3, and also to those who just love surreal Japanese games. As for me, I’m going to play through the game again. After all, I gotta get all those secrets I missed!

The League of Legends Advertising Is Starting To Get Ridiculous

Commercials and advertising are an important thing for any kind of intellectual property, business, or franchise. Getting your name out there is beneficial to gaining more revenue and attention, which in turn helps you grow your fan-base. I’m not against advertising in any way, but I’d be lying if I didn’t think advertising could go too far at times. A good example of this is the animated commercials for “League of Legends”, which have to be some of my least favorite advertisements of all time.

Please keep mind that I’m not trying to put down League of Legends or its fan-base with this post. I just really don’t like its advertising, that’s all. I’m a huge fan of animation, but even I can’t deny how bland these advertisements are. Most of the animated commercials lack any sort of consistent style, and all appear to be made by different animators. On paper, this doesn’t sound so bad. The problem is that all these animators approach animation and tone differently, resulting in an inconsistent style for most of these advertisements.

For example, some commercials are styled like Japanese anime, while others are presented as animatic-style Flash animations. This results in most commercials having no real correlation with each other, due to them all being so vastly different. It probably doesn’t help that some of them seem to lie about the game, or don’t properly portray it correctly.

You see, League of Legends is a “MOBA”, which stands for “Multiplayer Online Battle Arena”. It’s similar to a MMORPG, but lacking the vast open-world and quests of one. Instead of questing across a fantasy world, you do battle on an arena with teams of players. The game itself relies on good coordination and teamwork in order to achieve victory.

Thing is, some advertisements choose to portray the game differently. A good example is the video below, which tries to make the game seem more like a MMORPG. You have players exploring the world and having adventures, while fighting other players. In truth, there are no real adventures to be had in this game.

League of Legends mostly exists as a competitive game┬ánowadays, which the commercial does a poor job of demonstrating. Several other League of Legends ads rely on really bad comedy, which results in a lot of jokes just missing the mark. Most of them contain silly voices, awkward editing, or a lack of any real comedic hook. I know comedy is subjective, but I always found these “comedic” advertisements to really lack any punch.

I’ve harped a lot on the advertisements themselves, but they are really only part of the problem. The real issue I have with them is the frequency in which they get shown, since I often get barraged by them way too often. League of Legends has many of these adverts, which will often by shoved into your face as you try to watch a video on YouTube.

I have no problem with YouTube advertisements, but I get a sick of them constantly shoving the same commercials for the same game down my gullet all the time. It’s especially weird since I never watched any League of Legends videos before today, so there would be little reason for YouTube’s strange algorithm to put them in front of me. I haven’t even played the game in the years, since it was never really my type of genre.

I’ve heard rumors that the reason the advertising is so gratuitous is due to the game starting to die. It wouldn’t surprise me, considering League of Legends is nearly past its expiration date. The game has been around for almost 10 years now, and is mostly kept alive by its competitive scene. Most online games only last about 3-10 years, so I can’t see the game continuing much past this point.

Again, I’ve got nothing against advertising a game. The key problem is that the advertising is too in-your-face and inconsistent. When you have over a dozen different animators/animation teams all producing their own vision, then things are bound to get problematic. I feel that having a unified vision could help the advertising in the long run, but I doubt that will ever happen. Oh well, at least it’s not one of the worst advertising campaigns I’ve seen…

 

Why Having Asperger’s/Autism Is Never The End of Anything

Ever felt like an outcast? I think we’ve all been there and have struggled with something that made us feel like we didn’t fit in. There’s nothing worse than feeling like your the odd man out, or that nobody understands you. When I was younger, I felt like the biggest outcast around. I would always talk about the same few subjects on repeat and I had difficulties controlling what I say/thought.

I had problems understanding the world and people around me, while lacking a true understanding of myself. As I grew older, I was eventually diagnosed with “Asperger’s”. Asperger’s is a learning disability, while also being a much milder form of autism. Suddenly, my awkward interactions and lack of understanding on certain things made sense.

It didn’t make them go away, at least not until much later. I still struggled with finding my place in the world, or understanding the people around. My life all changed when I hit my late teens and I started to become more appreciative and understanding of the world around me.

Over time, I started to weed out some of the bad habits associated with my disability. I got better at talking to people, I started making better eye contact, and overall my interactions with other people improved. I got a job, had one of my articles published, and started up the blog you’re reading right now.

Thing is, I didn’t get that way over night. It took years of trying different things, meeting new people, and improving myself to get to where I am today. I still have a long ways to go in life, but I’ll eventually get there if I keep branching out and trying new things.

Something I’ve learned is that having Asperger’s/Autism does not automatically mean your life is over. As cheesy as it sounds, you just need to keep believing in yourself and keep improving. It took me years to break out of a lot of the bad habits associated with my disability, some of which I still have.

Regardless, I found that I was able to change my life for the better. I’ve learned that having Asperger’s can sometimes be a beneficial thing, as I often use my rich imagination to help with my writing. I feel everyone’s disability comes with an ability, and it’s important find out what that is. There’s one thing to always keep in mind: Having a learning disability isn’t a dead-end, but rather a looped path. Sure, finding your way through the path may be difficult, but you’ll eventually make it through!