Image: ABC / Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples / David Hellman and Tevis Thompson

I don’t know much about wine, but I’m sure I like to pretend I do and I bet I’m not alone. Has anyone else here – of drinking age, i.e. – bought red wine for dinner, because it “goes well with pasta”? How many times has a glass of wine been poured to “taste” you in a fancy restaurant, you are licking your lips together and saying “Oh yes, Beautiful“Even though it tastes like wine? And now tell the truth, where do you do it when you use new wine and then try to guess the random classification of the fruit on the label to show it to your friends?” Oh, yeah, plum, look, I mentioned the stone fruit, didn’t I, Janice? ”Yes, we’re all the same and we all don’t know what we’re talking about.

But here’s something I know: Video games. I’ve been doing this for a while now and I’ve played some of it. I’m not very familiar with digital media, mind you, but I’m certainly knowledgeable enough to be able to recommend a heartwarming, strong RPG or a nice indie palette-cleanser to your liking. But I would like to suggest a change in the way we talk about sports, at the risk that it will make me feel like the kind of person who won’t stop about wine.

There are some video games that are smart, but even More So when paired with a book, or a movie or a TV show. There are several reasons: a book can tell you more about a historical setting; It can get you in the mood for a particular style; Or it may let you see the character or location in a new light. The right book can extend the subject of the game beyond the on-screen world or help to better understand its subject. And sometimes, it’s nice to immerse yourself completely in the sub-genre Really Enjoy

With this in mind, I propose that we discuss our favorite “wine pairings” games and other mediums. I’ll go first!

Underworld + Iliad / Achilles’ song

Image: Supergiant / Altes Museum, Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons

We’ll get started easily. Hades, the brilliant narrator of the supergiant Rogulite, is based on ancient Greek myths. There’s no myth in particular, of course, but a beautiful smogboard of bits all over the place.

My innate recommendation would be the Iliad – a huge war epic describing the end of the Trojan War, but mostly Achilles’ anger after a few prize-related beefs with his commanding officer – but honestly, it’s a little weighty. There are whole chapters that just list all the boats that are present or there are long passages describing the shields. It’s a brilliant story, but in my opinion there’s something better to hear than to read.

(In fact, a group of Hades fans gathered to read The Iliad, including an editorial by Hades author Greg Casavin. What a purity.)

You’ll feel better using a more modern, novel-like approach to Trojan warfare, which will give you more information about the treatment of Achilles and Patroclus, his boyfriend / cousin (but a more interesting reading is of course earlier). Madeleine Miller’s The Song of Achilles is Hades’s perfect companion, as it takes the same approach: star-crossed lovers torn by fate and fate. Good luck getting through the gorgeous prose without crying anyway.

Life is weird + twin peaks

Lis TP

If you’re in the mood for some uncomfortable events on the west coast of the United States, you really can’t go wrong with this double feature. Life Is Strange may not reach Lynchian’s odd heights, but it needs more than inspiration from a 90s TV drama.

Who killed Laura Palmer? What happened to Rachel Amber? The latter answer is a little more straightforward than the former, of course, but to get there you have to travel through supernatural events, prophetic dreams, and time-keeping changes.

Mix Alan Wake and Silent Hill for an even stronger effect.

Heaven’s treasury + arrival

Hv arrival
Image: Inkle / Paramount Pictures

Foreign civilization and decoding language. There are major plot threads between both Heaven’s Vault and Arrival, but they’re not just surface-level similarities shared: both are about how imperfect they can be in creating dialogue, translation, and shared understanding between the two groups.

The Heaven’s Vault focuses on the past through history, archeology and anthropology; Arriving is more focused on the present and the future by trying to actively talk to the alien race. But both of them are worried about what I.e. To communicate, and why we do it first. They both come together with a shared appreciation and understanding of linguistics and how it affects philosophy.

One for language learners, of course.

Disco Elysium + Dungeon and the Dragon: Players Handbook

D and DND
Image: ZA / UM / Wizards of the Coast

Non-fiction and reference books are still books and I think this is one Excellent Connected Disco Elysium is an incredibly sophisticated tech on RPGs that borrows heavily from the tabletop roleplaying world, especially the dungeons and the Dragons’ planscape setting.

Now, I can recommend a ton of books from D&D, but I think the easiest to access and find is probably the Player’s Handbook, which will introduce you to the world, races, classes, and general feelings of D&D. Understanding games like Dungeons and Dragons – and how to play them well – will give you a lot of insight into how a game like Disco Elysium works.

Pair this with Citizen Sleeper or Divinity: Original Sin 2 if you will Really Like a TTRPG-style game.

The Legend of Zelda + Second Quest

Zelda and the 2nd Quest
Image: Nintendo / David Hellman and Tevis Thompson

Second Quest is a graphic novel by David Hellman and Tevis Thompson that seeks to figure out “what it really means to be patient.” It creates a question mark over adventure, legend and even gaming and you will see not only links and zelds on its pages but also yourself.

The book comes from Hellman and Thompson’s dissatisfaction with Zelda during the Wind Waker and Skyward Sword years, during which Nintendo moved away from the spirit of discovery that existed in the early days and moved to more traditional, linear games. Hellman and Thompson instead envisioned a world like Zelda 1, where mysteries remain unanswered, in an already saved world. This is a mature, thoughtful and thought-provoking Zelda myth that asks the question: What happens after a credit roll?

Heaven + Saga

Heaven Saga
Image: Game Bakers / Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples

It’s easy. With the theme of strangeness, the couple, fleeing from the forces that wanted to tear them apart, found family, freedom and love in the background of hatred. Is it an exploration game haven or a sci-fi graphic novel saga? Question of trick! It’s both!

Heaven and Saga are a very good pair, almost Too much Good, like wine and chocolate. Feels cheated. It helps that they are both GrandToo much.

Isaac’s Bondage + Midnight Mass

Isaac and Midnight Mass
Image: Edmund Macmillan / Netflix and Intrapid Pictures

Not everyone is familiar with the theme of Catholic guilt and religious persecution, drawn from Edmund Macmillan’s bloody dungeon-crawling roguelike The Binding of Isaac. At the very beginning of the game, the protagonist’s mother appears to have received a message from God to sacrifice her child as proof of her faith, and the rest of the game deals with Isaac’s attempt to escape, death, birth, and other large-religious themes. Based on Macmillan’s own family experience.

The obvious pair is the Bible, because, you know, all the religions in this case have come from there, but I think the Midnight Mass could more effectively get the horror out. After all, The Binding of Isaac is not about the source material, it is about misusing it to misuse it and how religion can be turned into a weapon. Have fun!

Metro 2033 + Roadside Picnic

Metro and roadside
Image: 4A Games / Arkady and Boris Strugatsky

Roadside Picnic is a 1972 Soviet Russian novel by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky that takes place after a supernatural event that leaves behind many “visitation zones” in which strange and obscure events take place. Scavengers – also known as stalkers – enter the zone to steal art for profit. It was because of these stalkers that the game was finally inspired STALKERIn many other movies, books and video games.

Metro 2033 is No. Based on a roadside picnic. It is actually based on a different novel by a different Russian writer, Dmitry Glukhovsky, called Metro 2033 – but Metro 2033 (the book) was also influenced by the roadside picnic, it is clear that they are all from the same family, at least. Metro 2033 also refers to a roadside picnic!

If you’re a fan of post-apocalyptic, gloomy Russian stories trying to survive in an almost-desolate, miserable world plagued by scarcity and uncertainty, then, hey, enjoy this pair!

Ace Attorney + Better Call Shawl

Aa Bcs
Image: Capcom / AMC

Let’s have a fun way to accomplish this? Everyone knows that the Ace Attorney is not an accurate portrayal of the legal system and it is part of the reason why it is so much fun. Parrot cross-examination? By proving that Orca is innocent? Witchcraft accepted in court? Yes, why not! This is the astounding world of Phoenix Wright, where your plaintiff is more likely to be a real killer than your friend!

Better Call Shawl, on the other hand, deals with the serious, ineffective nature of a court in a city where all crimes are either white-collar boring or straight-up drug production, trafficking, and cartel murder. You don’t get these stories in Ace Attorney and likewise, you never see Saul Goodman or Jimmy McGill trying to accuse a demon of murder.

But sometimes it’s fun to look at the law from many angles. Death in Better Call Saul is a horrible thing that tears families apart; The death in Ace Attorney doesn’t even stop people from going to their jobs the next day, thanks to Fey’s ability to channel the family’s spirits. But one thing Jimmy and Phoenix have in common is their ability to turn hair in a split second and watching them both is a thrill.

I don’t know much about wine, it’s nice to drink Sangria in the sun, but I think adding a good video game / book / movie / TV is just as satisfying as Rioja. Goes really nice with steak. I hope you have also found some interesting additions to this menu – and I’d love to know what your recommendations are in the comments!