2014/10/23 23:00

Fake Final Fantasy Fan

For one of my birthdays I was trying to concoct a way that the party attendants could each take the role of one of the characters in the Nintendo Power article about Final Fantasy 4. When a Squaresoft newsletter came talking about the Final Fantasy 6 soundtrack, I wished I could get the game itself. I asked my parents, but they came back with gifts of other games on my list.

So when the 20th anniversary of FF6‘s NA release happened this week, I felt bad. I didn’t have the chance as a kid to delve into the game. Yeah, I did it with Secret of Mana and Chrono Trigger. I loved them. But these FF games which mean so much to me now eluded me as a child. And I have to wonder. Did I not want them bad enough? Am I not enough of a fan?

Even though I run a yearly event for people to play a Final Fantasy game. The FF game that changed my life. And yet when I hear about people pouring their weeks into FF6 at its release I can’t help but feel as if my past betrays myself. Completely silly, but it is there.

I had a great time playing all of the games in 2002 and 2003. Then a few of them in Japanese for the first time in 2006 and an almost entire series replay starting last summer and still going on right now. I love these games, and that means more to me that what others think… Or so I like to say. There is something in me – an insecurity – of being not “real” enough. Which does no one any good. But it’s there, rooted deep and I cannot help but wonder why. What benefit do I get about worrying if people think me “the ultimate fan”?

What does it get me?

2014/10/22 23:00

Video Game Review

When I was a child things happened to me that happen to many children, but I frame them in the works of French auteurs in order to achieve the guilt and sympathy that is necessary to describe the world in which we live. My tears were like cats on hot tin roofs – metaphorical. Video Game grasps that childhood and crushes it between its meaty thighs, not caring about my feelings or the destination of my life through the walks of waking. It plays with the emotions and is abrupt in them. It does things with pictures and sound.

Video Game is a colorful masterpiece and destroys what we know about technology.

Video Game is a colorful masterpiece and destroys what we know about technology.

It does things with pictures and sound.

Video Game ignores reality by bringing in photo-realistic graphics along with award winning orchestrated tracks that offend the senses a dystopia of shame and feelings that most are incapable of feeling. It is waste in the sea of trash that shuffles by our unaware footprints, begging to be seen and ignored for it its perfection. It is the best game I have ever played.

Video Game is the worst game ever created as it amounts to nothing but mashing of buttons. In order for, Character, the hero of Video Game to combat the massive swarms of Enemies that appear, well timed button presses are necessary to complete the combos. More moves become available as the game proceeds. I am completely disappointed by this game’s lack of options as you play.

I am completely disappointed.

What boils down to an exercise in lack of understanding and patience, Video Game offers thousands of hours of interest and entertainment without an understanding of the player’s needs in learning the game. The opening tutorial is excellent and gives a sharp look into the depth that will come as players continue their journey on into world of Video Game.

Video Game is art.

Video Game makes us question if the video game medium can even be considered an art form. Like a German Orgasm, Video Game is naught but meat and sinew, carefully crafted by a God in his or her own image and what a gross image it is. Anyone finding enjoyment out of this should seek help. I loved every second of it and recommend you play it.

Number out of ten.

2014/10/22 12:00

Nintendo VC Releases for 2014.10.22

Sports games sure don’t hold their values, eh?

Wii U VC

Power Golf (PC Engine): ¥617 (¥80 card-only, ¥500 complete on Suruga-ya)
There is something incredibly depressing about golf games. Is it the barrenness of the land? The solitude? The fact that when I was looking at a stack of floppy disks of C64 games and excitedly found one with the title “Links” and booted it up hoping it would be some sort of multiple Link Legend of Zelda game and it ended up being golf that I started a lifelong distrust of the sport? The world may never know.

Salamander (PC Engine): ¥617 (¥1350 card-only, ¥1600 complete on Suruga-ya)
And now for more versions of a game with enough versions already.

Mega Man Zero (Gameboy Advance): ¥702 (¥570 cart-only, ¥1020 complete on Suruga-ya)
With the Mega Man Zero collection available for DS, this is another one where I have to wonder why. Sure, not every Wii U owner has a 3DS or a DS… That would be some interesting numbers to see. I cannot imagine a single home with a Wii U that lacks a 3DS.

Bases Loaded (Famicom): ¥514 (¥80 cart-only, ¥150 complete on Suruga-ya)
Hey, a sportsball game! I think we owned this one and most (if not all?) sports games being multiplayer means I am fairly sure this was one of the baseball games I played with my father and brother. The memories end there.

Tower of Babel (Famicom): ¥514 (¥650 cart-only, ¥3500 complete on Suruga-ya)
Guide Indiana Borgnine through 64 levels in this Namco arcade classic that for some reason in Google Image Search gave me a picture of Catherine, which, mmm. Now that was some fun block tower climbing action.

2014/10/21 23:00

Of lunch and lateness

I have been late to my job once. Black ice. Today I would have been late had it not been Morning Meeting Day, which meant no one does anything until 8:30 instead of the normal 8:20. Plus I’m contractually obligated to be there before 8:30. Since I tend to arrive before eight these days, I’d like to think I’m in perfectly good standing.

My nerves shot up when I realized I was likely going to be late today. Already behind because of my wife being busy preparing a lunch for our son’s school trip – and I needed one today because school lunch had been canceled for some reason, I rushed around to get everything together and put my Love Wife Bento right next to my bag. So I wouldn’t forget it.

And yet I did!

After apologizing to the vice principal for being late (and by late I mean just in time for the meeting), he told me not to worry about it and asked where I got caught up in traffic. I explained my forgetfulness and got a hearty laugh along with a reminder that I love where I work.

2014/10/20 23:00

Good-by, Terra Battle

IMG_6525It makes me sad that brainpower behind one of my favorite game series has come to create Terra Battle. It makes me sadder still to see people whose opinions I respect seem to genuinely enjoy the game. I want to feel like a cool kid. Instead I feel like I am in an unpublished Kurt Vonnegut novel that was in fact written by a fifth grader who probably could have used a few more hugs and a few more friends. Maybe that fifth grader in their freshman year in college. Probably not somewhere in between.

I feel into its crafted trap for a slight while, but that illusion cracked when my finger slipped three times in a row. When my mistakes had no drawback in a boss battle, and my “strategy” remained unchanged, the game’s flash began to fade and I felt like my finger had become a Pavlovian meat stick. I didn’t feel like I was having fun anymore. I felt manipulated. And I felt sad.

Then again, perhaps Sakaguchi and I have parted ways. Blue Dragon has been the only Mistwalker game that I have enjoyed. A copy of The Last Story sits unplayed on my shelf. Maybe that disk needs to spin.

2014/10/19 23:00

What I Played Last Week – 2014.10.19

Shadowrun Returns

This felt a little constricted. I turned down cash for a quest (quest giver was hard on for cash), but got nothing. This is a game, feeling “good” as a result of actions isn’t enough. Gotta give me something. XP. Item. Make being a “good” person worth it. Otherwise, the best route is being an ass. What fun is that? I did finishing it within a few days though.

Hotline Miami

Two completed games in one week. Hotline Miami was hard but powering through it was easy. It was a really weird game.

Monster Hunter 4G

Will I regret this? Who knows! But I got it because Hearthstone just burned out for me and I need a multiplayer once in a while.

Terra Battle

I think I’m winding up on this. I’ve got some stuff to say but basically, it’s boring and full of evidence that there is a huge grind coming up. The battles aren’t challenging in any interesting ways and yet I can feel it get to the point where I need a lot of stuff that requires a lot of battles to do the upcoming battles. I’m not there yet but almost. And it is making game lose interest.