Video Game Vacation Destinations

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So long suckers, I’m on holidays! After four long years of working full-time, finishing my Master’s in Library Studies, becoming a parent, and helping out around the Twinfinite office, I am going to Disney World, and then onto a Caribbean cruise. Naturally, I’d never forget about you lovely people who read my stuff. I figured what better topic to cover than vacation destinations from video games that I’d love to check out. One omission you may see is Rook Islands from Far Cry 3. I’d definitely love to spend some time on those islands, although to be honest I feel like it’s a little to light on amenities for my liking. I’d be down for the late night parties in the village, but I also want to do some swimming…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2f9tFPe9GE[/youtube]

Fuck. That.

So anyway, here’s a list of vacation destinations that I would gladly check out.

Just Another Day in Paradise

Isle Delfino – Super Mario Sunshine

Initially, I thought about listing the Mushroom Kingdom (from Paper Mario specifically), but decided that while I’d live there in a heartbeat, it’s not the kind of place one goes on vacation. This got me thinking, “Well, where does Mario go on vacation?” Isle Delfino, that’s where. This tropical locale is featured in Super Mario Sunshine, a game most notable for being considered somewhat of a misfire by Nintendo fans and for being one of the straight-up hardest games in the entire series.

Super Mario Sunshine is one of the first games I played that really managed to capture water effects. That, coupled with the fact that its colorful and polished veneer looks every bit as stunning as it did over a decade ago, and I’d drop everything and head to Isle Delfino anytime at all.

Citadel

Citadel – Mass Effect

I’ll be honest that there’s a part of me that would rather go to Omega, just for the thrill of taking a walk on the wild side. However, upon further reflection, I think there’s more than enough bad behavior on the Citadel to keep me busy for a vacation. Hanging out on the Citadel is like going to Tokyo or New York; it’s a place where there’s just ALWAYS something cool going on all the time and all around. I sure wouldn’t want to live in such a bustling place, but I’d sure as hell spend a couple of weeks there.

I’m Mike Eaton, and this is my favorite holiday destination in the Mass Effect universe.

Bladehenge

Bladehenge – Brutal Legend

Like most discerning video game fans, I think this industry is better because Tim Schafer is making games in it. It’s always good news when he makes something, even when it’s a flawed jewel like Brutal Legend. This game takes place in a medieval-esque world which is the manifestation of heavy metal music. I came of age in the mid-t0-late 1980s, and the soundtrack to this game is right in my wheelhouse. Bladehenge can appear a little spooky on the surface but, like metal, it’s mostly just for show. I’d love to be able to hang out with Lemmy for a week, regardless of what it might do to my liver and/or nervous system, and Bladehenge would be the ideal destination.

Melee Island

Melee Island – The Secret of Monkey Island

Assassin’s Creed IV is all the rage these days with its boat-on-boat violence and with it being the closest you will get to living out your fantasy of being Captain Jack Sparrow. The thing about pirate-themed worlds, however, is that it’s a dangerous place and a dangerous life. It’s no less so in the world of the Monkey Island games, but at least here death is treated as little more than a minor inconvenience that can be overcome SOMEHOW. Between the open seas, picturesque islands, and colorful locals, the Monkey Island universe would be the ultimate Booze Cruise.

LA Noire Hollywood

1940s Los Angeles – L.A. Noire

The world of L.A. Noire would most definitely not be much of a desired location for some people, but being able to step into that period would blow my mind. L.A. Confidential is one of my favorite books and films, and while L.A. Noire had its issues, it did a masterful job of capturing a vivid snapshot of a post-war American city. I’m a huge movie fan, and the first place I’d visit is the old Hollywood lots followed by the Intolerance set. This rickety fire-trap was used in the game as a platforming section, but it is a piece of old-school cinema history that I would kill to be able to see up close.

Azad

Azad – Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

I’m cheating a little bit with this one because the Azad featured in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is deserted and overrun with sand monsters. Even with that in mind, the palace featured in this game is opulent beyond belief and calls back to an ancient time and place. Azad is also an actual place in Kashmir, modern-day Pakistan. Just look at this and tell me it doesn’t look like absolute paradise. Naturally, my vacation here would involve wall-running and using my time control knife to fix those awkward social encounters right on the spot. Best. Vacation. Ever.

Shanghai Deus Ex Human Revolution

Shanghai – Deus Ex Human Revolution

This is by far the scuzziest location I talk about here, but it might be my favorite cyberpunk environment in a game. There is an alluring quality to the underworld, and Shanghai in Deus Ex: Human Revolution is the perfect blend of grubby and gripping. There’s an excellent nightlife, lots of local markets, and a ton of back alleys to explore for the more…adventurous traveler. Best of all, there’s a hostel located right in the district with plenty of rooms available.

Gold Saucer

Gold Saucer – Final Fantasy VII

I’ve recently been playing Final Fantasy VII again for the first time in well over a decade, and it’s been a very enjoyable and nostalgic trip. There are so many moments from the first part of the game that evoke strong memories; leaving Midgar for the first time, the first time I summoned, and sneaking through Junon as a soldier are highlights. The part that just blew my mind wide open back in the day however was the Gold Saucer.

This place is essentially a combination of Disneyland and Las Vegas. It has fireworks going on 24/7, a haunted hotel, chocobo racing, a battle arena, and an arcade consisting of all the minigames you have played up to that point in the main quest. Like Vegas, there is also a dark underbelly but what happens in the Gold Saucer…

Stay warm this winter, and while you’re all bundled up why not share your video game vacation destination in the comments.

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About Author

(Senior Writer)

Born in 1844, I bring a lot of gaming experience to the table. In my day-job, I work for a public library which carries, amongst other formats, video games. I'm very interested in observing and documenting the growing pains this industry is experiencing as it is dragged kicking and screaming towards something resembling maturity. Join me!