Shack Chat: What is your ideal video game vacation destination?

As we enter Labor Day weekend in the States, we ask our staff to reveal their dream video game vacation spots.

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What's going on, good folks? As we start to stare down the final quarter of 2021, the annual Labor Day weekend is now upon us. Lots of people choose this time to take a relaxing vacation to recharge their batteries for a final push into the holiday season. We asked our staff to give their optimal video-game vacation destination if they had the option to relax in the virtual realm.


Question: What is your ideal video game vacation destination?

Destiny Islands (Kingdom Hearts) - Ozzie Mejia, Eyes on the Vacation Prize

The Destiny Islands are a lovely place. Have you seen the introduction to Kingdom Hearts? That beach looks so relaxing. It looks like a lovely island away from all of civilization.

Granted, it doesn't have a happy ending, at first. It gets totally consumed by the Heartless and wiped out, at least until the end of Kingdom Hearts 2. But even with the occasional shades trying to attack me on the outside, at least I can take refuge inside one of the caves and soak up the springs. The Disney worlds of Kingdom Hearts are nice and all, but nothing feels like more of a stress-free getaway than the original island that opens the series.


The Resort Area - Donovan Erskine, Pokemon Champion

When you defeat Cynthia and are crowned Sinnoh League Champion in Pokemon Diamond and Pearl, you’re rewarded with your very own Villa in the Resort Area. It’s the first time the Pokemon games truly made me feel like the best trainer in the region. I’d love to take a real-life vacation to the Resort Area and just hang out in the hot tub outside of my Villa, sipping on juice out of a coconut, with my trusty Pokemon taking it easy by my side. That would be the dream.


The Island of Tsushima - Blake Morse, Co-EIC

I’ve been to Japan a couple of times IRL now, but most of my experiences there have been in the large metropolitan areas. And yes, that is super friggin’ cool, but I’ve always wanted to spend some time in the more rural areas exploring the countryside. Honestly, nothing would be cooler to me than to get a chance to experience the island of Tsushima in the time of the samurai. Of course, I wouldn’t want to deal with Mongol hordes or anything like that, but a chance to horseback ride through fields of flowers and write haikus under waterfalls as cherry blossom petals floated down from the treetops, landing gently on an undisturbed lake, well that’s the kind of stuff I’m into. 

Ghost of Tsushima really drew me in with its take on the beauty of nature, and it made me miss the hell out of Japan at the same time. Seems like the perfect relaxation spot if you can avoid all the sadness of the game’s narrative. And since it’s also a real island, it’s probably one of the few places on this list where you could actually vacation!


Golden Sands Outpost, Sea of Thieves - Sam Chandler, Take me to the beach

When I’m on holiday, I want to dig my feet into the sand, run into the water, and catch some waves. I can do all of these things at the Golden Sands Outpost in Sea of Thieves. It’s a location I love to visit in-game. I marvel at the colors and the layout each time I’m there. Plus, there’s a tavern with some wooden benches out the front on the water’s edge. Drinks and a beach view? Yes, please.


Rio Morales’ Bedroom - Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales - Chris Jarrard, Better Opinions Than Other Staff

If I had my pick of places in video game history to enjoy a relaxing vacation, it would be in the bedroom of Mrs. Rio Morales, better known as Miles Morales’ mom. I imagine all the cool activities we could do together and even if she’s not there, I will keep the bed warm for her.


Mystery Lake - Bill Lavoy, Expert Bear Hunter

I could roll out three different answers here and be satisfied with each of them. When we talked about places we’d like to visit in a previous Shack Chat, I took Skellige from The Witcher 3, so I’ll go with something else this time.

That leaves The Long Dark versus Owanjila in Red Dead Redemption 2, but I have to go with the Quiet Apocalypse. While the never-melting snow of The Long Dark isn’t ideal, the entire vibe and pace of the game are something I crave in my life. Finding your own food and exploring in relative peace sounds wonderfully challenging. While there are external threats to your survival, the game is really about how much you can pull from yourself, and I find that fascinating.

In terms of locations, the actual environment with all that snow isn’t really somewhere I’d want to take a holiday, but I’d like to vacation in the peace and quiet and emptiness that it presents. So, I guess my ideal vacation spot in a video game would be Mystery Lake, but in the summer, and during the apocalypse so it isn’t full of teenagers scaring all the fish and game away.


Gold Saucer - TJ Denzer, misses arcade adventures

I am an avid fan of arcades and amusement parks, so the idea of an entire city-sized amusement park and arcade sounds deliciously delightful to me. Games galore? Yeah, boy. Gold Saucer’s got games for days, even if some of them appear to be additions based specifically on adventures I’ve been on. Kind of weird, but I’ll take it. Attractions? Yes sir. It’s got a haunted mansion, a fighting arena, and even a gondola ride I can take my favorite companion on to see the whole park and watch the fireworks. I just have to make sure I make the right choices so the person I like will join me on the ride.

Oh, and who could forget the copious amounts of very legal, on-the-level, Chocobo Racing? Whether I want to raise my own giant bird for races or bet on the races of other jockeys, you can bet it will all be very fair and not rigged. Never you mind that Golden Saucer is built on top of an inescapable desert prison that used to be a corporate-owned mining town. I’m not the type to stick my nose where it belongs so I don’t think I have to worry about that. I’ll just be wary of the creepy fortune teller cat trying to pilfer my treasures.

It was already cool back in 1997 when Final Fantasy 7 first came out and I can’t wait to see what the “renovation” looks like when Gold Saucer finally appears in the remake. Either way. I want to go there and have a relaxing break from saving the world or whatever.


Camping in Elwynn Forest - Greg Burke, Head of Video

I’d love to be in the clean forest of Elwyn watching the stars under the sky at night by a crackling fire, maybe adventure into a mine? Perhaps I'll swing by Stormwind to check out their wares. Maybe I’ll fish, and try to tame a Murloc. Seriously it’s a pretty nice place to just chill sometimes after a long work year. 


Super Mario World/Pokemon Combo - Steve Tyminski, Stevetendo Show Host, Relaxing by the pool. 

What is my desired video game location vacation destination? That’s a tough question as there are plenty of video game places I’d love to travel to. I’d love to travel to Dinosaur Land and hang out with Mario and ride Yoshi around. If I could get my hands on one of those capes and fly around, then I’d be set.  Another option could be the Johto region and catching some of my favorite Pokémon. Gold and Silver is my favorite Pokémon game so why wouldn’t I want to travel to their region? Both Super Mario World and Pokémon Gold and Silver have all kinds of interesting environments to explore and check out. Dinosaurs, Yoshi and Pokémon sound like an ideal vacation to me.


Well, there you have it, folks. The staff has spoken and it looks like most of them are longing for a trip to the beach.  If you guys have some sweet suggestions, please be sure to blast us in the comments. Have a great holiday weekend, everyone!

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