A series that is known for it's amazing quality and absorbing stories. There are so many stories to tell and so many lives to save.
Yet I ask you, listen to my story... Final Fantasy X helped me grow closer to Jesus.
I was a kid, about 8, and I had just picked up the PS2 and I was absorbed by the graphics. And suddenly one day my brother buys FFX and I played it, piggybacking off his saves when I got stuck. I'll never know if I ever finished it as a kid, but I remember words like "old man" and 'prayer" just went over my head. I mean, I couldn't grasp the idea of hating someone or prayer at the time, they were things that happened in movies, but were fake, as far as I was concerned.
But what kept with me as a kid in the first play through was the Hymn Of The Fayth and the idea of religion. As anyone who has played Final Fantasy 10 can attest to, the Hymn Of The Fayth is a surprisingly catchy tune that symbolises the religion that is nearly omnipresent throughout the whole game. The whole first half of the game is based on travelling to the temples of this religion and the other half is about seeing the hidden horrors of this religion, that is how present religion is throughout this game.
(Fun Fact: There's about 10 versions of the song on the game disc!)
Something about this song stirred the idea of a religion that... Was whole. Was... Right, beautiful, graceful and so many other things. Every version sounds so different, but similar. And it makes perfect sense, religion is about unison under one banner. But I was, and still am, in a Christian school and I had kinda thrown the idea of a "right" religion, or even a "good" religion, to wind. I mean, it seemed too good to be true. Right?
The game even says this, as Tidus and his group are soon branded as traitors and all because of something trivial about religion and it's traditions. Yet there's the weird one off part of the game that allows you to choose to pray or just stand there. I always chose to pray, because I thought if I didn't Wakka would whack me over the head. These messages confused me as a kid, I just couldn't get my head around a game that involves religion actually saying both good and bad things about it. It was an abstract concept.
Fast forward to about a year ago, I had dropped into the lowest of lows. I was an anti-social prick who was easily angered, hard to please and arrogant. I was addicted to the... physical features of the human anatomy and I didn't want to be saved from all of this. One of the excursions of the year was a camp. And since it was a Christian camp there were the natural scare stories of course. And I believed it. And something changed and I was a Christian. And soon I on was holidays. And I picked up Final Fantasy X again. And suddenly... It all made sense. Religion was big in Spira because it was the only thing TO believe.
Only Yevonites allowed here.
And I finally got the scene that happens at Home, where Tidus cries. Before I just thought he was a whiny girl or something, but... I would be lying if I said I didn't cry when I realised that Yuna was smiling and doing everything and was ready to making the ultimate sacrifice. It drew parallels between what I knew about the story of Jesus. Jesus and Yuna both were ready to make the ultimate sacrifice for everybody, even the bandits and troublemakers of Spira and Earth.
Of course Yuna doesn't die in FFX, but still it stirred something in me to take the religion I believed in seriously, because He did infact make that sacrifice and I knew it. And then the second half of the game hit me. As I stated before, in this half the horrors of Yevon and religion come out to play. The messed up things like the high priests and how they've managed to live for many decades and the fact that the Final Summon only hold back Sin for 10 years, rather than being a permanent solution. These things actually helped me think about how to get out of the cycle. The struggle that Tidus, and in fact all of Spira had, wether they knew it or not, was mine too. I wanted to find a way out of this cycle I was far too familiar with. To end the suffering.
Funnily enough, in both cases, the answer is the same. Deicide, to kill a god. All of these horrifying realisations should've made me renounce Christianity, but it did the opposite. It actually made me cherish that Jesus is the best offering, a permanent solution. Just like killing Yevon is. But I'm not here to preach. I just wanted to share my story.
It's funny that this brought me closer to Jesus than any other thing else. Final Fantasy helped me find Jesus and really figure out what he was all about. And for that I can only give my graitude to Squaresoft for this experience. I know I will revisit this game for years to come. Truly, it is something is magical.
E3... It's like a pinata, you might hit it, you might not, but if you do... The gooey, awesome candy comes out and it's a free for all. That's what I believe the great E3's are like... Now let's get to the predictions...
Devil May Cry in good hands? Devil May Cry has had a pretty stiff reception and I don't know if it's still happening, but E3 is the perfect time to make all of the non-believers (me included) shut their traps, or maybe even make us gawk in the awesomeness..
Ninja Theory has got to have a demo or at least a gameplay video to show the fact that even though they're running Unreal Engine 3 that a 60 fps rate, with little to no slowdown, is possible, that Dante is still a crazy motherfu*ker, who takes no crap from anybody, that the difficulty is difficult and that we still have that stylish, fast and involving gameplay that made Devil May Cry, not that I'm a guy who can crash into crap and not die stuff (although that was probably for cinematic effect.) and of course,can a man get some black hair?
Project Cafe... Nintendo's systems have always had a charmed life and one that I've never really participated in until this generation, I loved my Wii, notice that I say loved, because now there is like nothing that excites me about it, although to be fair I haven't been in the Wii loop and don't really know recent or upcoming releases, I mean there's nothing that really makes me proud to own a Wii that's coming out, most 3rd party stuff sucks and 1st party stuff basically is spread over 5 years and so that's where I hope Cafe differs...
The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, but still I'm wishing...
I'm probably not going to buy one, but still I want to see some good first party games that don't have gimmicks shoehorned into them, maybe some stuff from high voltage (come on... You were thinking it, too) and my personal favourite... No More Heroes 3. Moving away from the line up I want a good online system that actually HELPS connect us with our friends, a way to play without or with motion with every game and HD.
But at the end of the day all I want in that pinata is some candy, as in I don't need everything just a little bit to keep me hooked to be fine with what happens at E3, but of course, me being greedy person I am wants this and more. Still, I guess it doesn't really matter what I want, whatever will be will be, right? And now I leave you to do my very neglected homework...
Hello, readers. I'm up kinda late up here in Australia and I'm about to go on camping so I figured now would be a good time to do this. Anyway I was never one of those outgoing and friendly kind of people, I kept mostly to myself and as such never really experienced player 2 modes that much. But I've dabbled in them, so here a couple of stories, anecdotes if you will I hope you find interesting.
I think I was like 8 at the time and I was being dragged to a birthday party for my sister's friends, needless to say I was bored and the power of handhelds went really enticing, so I was in an arcade and I was bored to tears. Lemme repeat that.
I was in a arcade and I was bored. So I tried to talk and socialize, let's leave it at the fact that it didn't end well, but then I was walking past a game cabinet and I saw House of The Dead 2, and I was so densitised by the violence shown on the screen, I got a gun and started shooting people, Ioved the realistic graphics and sounds... Now read the rest of my horrifying tale beyond the jump.
You, sir, have been muslimed!
Anyway I decided to play it and being 8 I could barely lift the light guns, let alone shoot them, so I was killed in seconds. Then I realised I had a audience, it was the birthday girl's brother, who was about the same age, I pushed him away because I don't like people (It's a long and annoying story), but the guy bribed me, he had enough for me AND him to play. We didn't last long, but it was really fun to play with someone else, something that I thought was impossible.
We didn't have anymore money, but we rushed out of the cabinet and to our parents, grabbing any money we could, we were like friggin' vultures! Then for the next 4 hours we got our asses kicked, but we weren't caring, we were just shooting stuff, although we didn't know that we were shooting stuff.
Skip ahead a couple of years and the PlayStation 2 comes out, I get Devil May Cry, which I covered in another MM, but then I got Timesplitters 2, which pretty much advertised 4 player and multiplayer in general. So me and my bro fire it up and get ready to take on 2 player, which was pretty hectic and fast not to mention!
Anyway that doesn't really matter, when I went on the anual trip to Melbourne to vist the relatives my bro couldn't play, so I was stuck playing by myself, which I eventually got bored of, then B, my cousin, comes in and asks what I'm playing, I pushed him away, but I didn't do it politely (LOOOOOOOONG STORY), then he picked up the controller and asked me for 2 player, since I was bored as hell i obliged & we proceeded to blast through the campaign and abuse the custom matches and eventually I started to trust him again, also it turns out that the reason I mistrusted him was something I made up... So, yeah...
The second controller has been something that usually glared upon me about how I was friendless (insecurity issues central, people! Also cheesy ending coming up!), but when I finally got a random person, my bro and my cousin to play a friendly game with me, well I told the then warm second controller to shove it, it finally got some use!
"He's disgusting!" a girl in my life once said, not noticing me near her. With an expression I can't express in words I mocked her,
"Thanks for the vote of confidence!" I mocked sarcastically, she tried to comfort me, but I just walked away, I was pissed...
The end of the day rolls by and I'm talking to my friend, I recounted the story and told him my thoughts and what I was going to do,
"I'm thinking of commiting suicide." My friend looks a little worried although I can't really tell, to be honest...
I'm not going to divulge anymore on that, but since this story is a little personal I might as well start with that. Anyway she wasn't entirely out of line, the person I was then was a little bit of an ass, I made fun of anyone that moved pretty much, I had anger issues, at least bigger ones than now and I was shy as hell, heck I never felt the house for anything besides school! This didn't help the fact that the girl disliked me in general, but the bulk of the story comes after that.
When I got home I had bounced back and was not going to kill myself, but of course, there was a catch: I liked another girl, I'll cut a long story short and say that it didn't end well: I dumped her. Even though I did it I though, I wasn't feeling happy or anything like that, I was downright depressed. I tried to say sorry, but as said before I was extremely shy. Even though I was again depressed, I wasn't going to kill myself. Still I was really sad every single second of every single day, my dreams were about me finally dating her, when I woke up she was there, in my head I could hear her voice and I played games in a haze of love and hate.
This a scene that happened every morning for me
Then I found out about the Scott Pilgrim series. Reading the story through Wikipedia it seemed like the story was exactly like mine, except I didn't make any mistakes in the relationship, unlike Scott, or at least that's what I thought. So I dimissed the story as I thought I was perfect and unfailible and kinda shelved it in the back of my head. Then while randomly looking through GamesRadar there was an article called: Game soundtrack of the day, focused on the Scott Pilgrim game soundtrack, I clicked on couriously. As the article praised the soundtrack I clicked the youtube video attached - something I don't usually do, mostly because we had a crappy internet connection at the time. As Another Winter played through my speakers I wasn't thinking about how the girl felt, or the regrets that came with it, no I was just happy to be alive and listen to it!
I then purchased the album later and was completely out the depresssion cycle after one listen of it. I was enchanted by the bleeps and bloops of a NES as well as Scott PIlgrim in general, so I decided that the books would be the next Scott Pilgrim-related thing I would buy, and as I read about Scott's story, I was thinking, for the second time in a few months,
"This is my story!" For those uneducated in Scott Pilgrim here's the general story: Guy meets Girl, Guy dates Girl, Girl leaves Guy, Guy realises he isn't perfect, Guy and Girl reunite. The bolded bit was something I ignored to make it so that there was someone with a similar story, the italic bit was the thing I was missing to even try and get back together: I was blaming my friend for what had happened.
He had told me that she was being abusive to him and, taking an extreme step, I broke up with her, I really don't understand why exactly I did it, but I did it of my own accord. Still I blamed my friend saying that he lied about it, but the girl didn't listen and my friend said that I did it, he only told the truth and, when he brought that up for fifith time, I realised that I idiotically broke up with her, but more than that I realised that I was running away from the facts. I was fighting NegaScott. I was scared of having to face it so I read through books again, looking, hoping there was an easy way that I could win, but I was faced with a hard truth: I had to face my fears and accept my wrongdoings.
Oh Crap. OH CRAP!
I didn't want to face it, so I kept on running, and running until the end of the term, I'm reflecting over the term. At that point I was getting tired and angry from all the running and it was affecting everyone around me, so I eventually got to the point of accepting my wrongdoings, and I guess you could say part of me died, I grew more confident in conversing with the other sex, as well as I finally broke a very annoying and depressing cycle and I wanted to go outside and converse with people, something that was at the bottom of my achievement list for life.
Anyway I've babbled on too much about my lifestory, so let's return to the soundtrack. It was a collection of music that was amazing, utterly amazing. Another Winter made the world seem like it was covered in snow and people where having snowball fights everywhere, Bollywood is so dang catchy that it repeats itself and it's actually awesomer for that fact. I could go on and on, but that thing that made Scott Pilgrim's sondtrack so Aamaazing! was the fact that it made me temporarily forget about the biggest regret I have in my life. It also set the gears for me to realise that I wasn't as perfect I as I thought, it helped me see the world outside games, music and sleeping, a world I hope I can one day set foot into. Oh, and for anyone who wants to know how the story ends, well, it has to do with yet another girl and another year, but that's a story I'll only tell if people want me to...
I've been reflecting about Devil May Cry a lot nowadays, it's probably because of new Dante and how I think the series should've went through, I remember when I first heard about the series. I don't really remember the dates,but I remember that we had just gotten a PS2 and well, there was nothing fun on it. In fact I didn't really like gaming that much at that point, but one day my brother showed me a demo video for a game I still love and play through today and was probably the catalyst for my passion for gaming, Devil May Cry.
I'm not going to say that the action in front of me made me see the light. I don't even remember it! No, but a couple of days later we got it, although I was too distracted by my copy of Treasure Planet (the movie) to really care. I watched that once, then threw it away in the sea of crap that I never touched after one viewing, which also includes a Scooby-Doo game and a few movies. Then I decided that I give Devil May Cry a whirl, I casually inserted the disc, hoping it would be entertaining for a second or something. Oh, how I was wrong and oh, how I love being wrong on that thought.
I booted up the game and selected the diffculty, what I wasn't expecting was the fantastic and energetic cutscene, but what made it even awesomer was the fact that the main character was impaled on a sword and had a FREAKING motorbike getting hurled at him and somehow he got out of that situation. I loved those cutscenes, but I could never actually perform those kind of feats while controlling Dante. or even get a hit in for frick's sake!
I reacted in a manner that I wouldn't like to reveal, but I will say this I angrily shelved the game, letting it gather dust. Then I moved on to the Scooby-Doo game (you can kinda guess where that ended up), so I was basically left with nothing that I wanted to play, one day though my brother was battling Phantom, yes the one most first-time players of Devil May Cry call F&*(ING SPIDER! And to my extreme surprise my brother was getting owned. Then, seemingly out of the heavens, appeared something that my brother accepted.
The invitation to Easy Automatic Mode.
Now, most Devil May Cry players frown at anyone using Easy Automatic Mode, but the results were astounding, my brother was easily running circles around Phantom, I looked at what he was pressing and saw that he was just pressing one button ONE BUTTON! I tried that in normal mode and I got owned, so I was thinking What the hell is he doing that I'm not? Of course I was angry, but after my brother finished I asked him,
"How are you doing that?" my brother just gave me the controller and let me play and man, I couldn't put the controller down! I loved the fact that with one button I could own every piece of crap in the room and their mothers, but I wasn't being held by the hand and told what to do, but I loved even more the fact that I looked cool while doing it and man, was I hooked. I literally spent every moment I could stuck to the PS2, I couldn't care if my homework was a little cruddy or if I didn't brush my teeth (which I deepy regret now, although I won't change my choice if I had the chance), I was kicking ass and looking good at it!
I never ascended above the easy automatic diffculty, but the amazing thing about Devil May Cry was that I had probably played the thing in 10 times through in a year, but still I wanted play it again, for the stylish gameplay and devilish difficulty, even now I still play it on Dante Must Die! for fun.