So, all I'm gonna do from now on is totally steal others' ideas?
Hey, you. The one who's judging me right now. When whatever you post is just one of 2 or 3 possible blogs, things start feeling a little cluttered. In your mind and behind that "your blog" button. Gets pretty annoying. I suppose that's why I no longer post like every other week or two. I now only post when I feel especially inspired to write.
Well, now I've been especially inspired to write. My recent commitment to take part in discussions a little more, Shade's latest blog (THAT I RIPPED OFF), and Andy's magnificent post on why we need to start just fucking having fun again sparked up some part of brain, which relayed information down to my forearm and then down to my wrist. Resulting in a compulsive, self-inflicted slap to the face.
I fell to the floor.
But, that slap then awoke something else in me.
I need to start fucking having fun again.
So it begins
I am excited about things that are, to me, worth being excited about. Because that makes sense, you see. There have also been some other things, already a reality, that I've been wanting to shout to the world about from the rooftops of my apartment. If only there wasn't always somebody out there watching, making sure I don't hurt myself.
Well, they can't get me in here. In here, I may have only a finite amount of control... but some control, nonetheless. Because, as humans, we demand a little control, compassion, food, drink, and, above all else...
1. Playing Pokemon catch-up
A wee lad, I was, when "Pocket Monsters" came waddling out onto the scene at my local mall. No, not the video games. Can we not talk about video games for just a second? For they were the Pocket Monsters trading cards. They were called trading cards because nobody actually battled with them.
No. We liked the pictures. Especially the holographic ones. And we liked the monsters. Some better than others. So, we traded. The idea of getting all the best Pocket Monsters was so enticing that we would even trade with complete strangers.
I will always remember my first trade. On the very first day the cards hit the market, at North Star Mall, I got several packs of them. I was only aware of Pokemon through reputation as what was likely going to be the next big thing from Japan. Sure, I didn't know why I wanted them beyond knowing that everyone else would have them, but as an impressionable young boy, that's all I needed to know. I just had to have them.
I must've not been too fond of at least one of my cards, because I was desperate for a trade. So, I ran towards a kid in the nearby Gap store. No longer innocently shopping for clothes, he was about to come into a deal.
My [insert whatever card it was here] for his "Magmar".
He was the one that brought up this "Magmar". A cunning move. Handing off such a card for just about anything would mean profit for him, instant regret for the suckered in receiver.
Fucking Charmander with a duck bill, in a clown suit. Great. "Dirty barnacles!", I said aloud. "What the hell is this?!". At 7 years of age, I finally knew the true meaning of bullshit. Of being bullshat.
Soon, though, the Pokemon video games would release. And I would eventually get into the anime. I loved both, and the rest is history. Adventure, discovery, bonding with passerby's and friends alike. On the bus, in the cafeteria, in class, at home, in the car. Pokemon as a portable experience was fucking genius. It's easy to see why Game Freak still retains the core iterations as pocket-able affairs.
So, what does this all have to do with whatever it is I'm excited about?
The thing is, right after the Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald era of Pokemon games, I, for a long time, lost interest in Pokemon.
Even if I still bought the games (I bought Poke'Park for Christ's sake), the spark wasn't there. It wasn't that I thought Pokemon were just starting to have questionable designs (case and point: Magmar and many others), it wasn't that I thought the core games were getting stale, I just couldn't find it in me to care as much anymore. I would continue to look back very fondly on Pokemon, talk about it with friends, even dabble in a card pack or two, but I guess... for while, it seemed as if I was almost growing out of them.
Then I played X. And for as underwhelming as it was, it reinvigorated my love for the franchise. The 3D battles made me squee. Not since Pokemon Colosseum had I, personally, seen anything like this. But, this time it was faster and attached to the core Pokemon experience. When those battles were over, I continued on-foot through various towns, tall grass, and dark caves.
It was like I never left.
However, because of my disappointment with the game otherwise, there needed to be an alternative. So, I took to Pokemon SoulSilver. And it's still fucking awesome.
Once I'm done with SoulSilver, I will continue from where I left off. With Diamond and Pearl. My enthusiasm for getting the chance to give 3 other core Pokemon games a proper run is through the roof. Everyone can see it, and the neighbors are starting to get uncomfortable.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go buy an umbrella.
2. Not giving in to temptation
The next generation of gaming is only a little way's away. And I'm just sitting here playing my DS.
That's right. IDGAF.
For as promising as the next generation is, I've learned, especially with my Wii U, that almost no console is worth purchasing at launch for people like me. Or anywhere near launch. 350 bucks (plus games) for what? I've spent more time this month with plastic spoons than I have with my Wii U.
And that's not just because my Gamepad is busted. Thankfully, it did give me enough time to finish up The Wind Waker HD. But, if it had been working past that, I would've still gone over to some Wii VC games, to then go straight to Pokemon. And the Pokemon train ain't stopping anytime soon.
Here's the problem: I don't have a Wii U backlog. The same cannot be said for my DS, 3DS, Wii, PS2, PS3, 360, Gamecube, Vita, PSP, PC.....
You get the picture.
The same will happen if I get a PS4 or an Xbone. In order to justify my purchase, I'll buy and play any exclusive that I even sort of want, beat it, then be back to square one with my backlog.
I can't believe I'm saying this, but...
I DON'T NEED ANYMORE VIDEO GAMES!
A man can only handle so much vidja. I'm probably sitting at well over... actually, I don't even wanna think about how many games I've been wanting to play and plan to play, or the many classics that I've missed out on and really need to play.
I'll be good for a long long time. You guys go and have fun. I'll keep generation's 3-7 warm for ya.
3. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn's too-cute pets
They are so fucking cute.
I want one.
4. The next 3D Zelda
For me, 3D Zelda has been very inconsistent in quality.
I really enjoyed The Wind Waker, thought Twilight Princess was awesome, but I couldn't stand Majora's Mask or Skyward Sword. WHAT ABOUT OCARINA OF TIME??? Well guy, I thoroughly enjoyed my time with it. Although, more than I enjoyed it, I felt it was more of a "for it's time" kind of game. Fairly tame, but still (mostly) solid and inoffensive.
Now, I could easily make a whole 'nother blog on why I quit playing Skyward Sword, but that would be boring. I'm sure you've all heard the same "X reasons why I hate Skyward Sword" over and over again. However, as for Majora's Mask.... it was kind of a bunch of nothing.
- Go to the town
- Go to the fairy dwelling
- Go find the lost fairy and bring it back
- Play hide and seek with little shits
- Fail to find all but one little shit
- Little shits responsible for the killing of thousands
- Repeat 2 and 3
- Wait for a long time
- Go to the observatory
- Get thing for guy
- Go to the clock
- Intentionally fail the boss fight
- Walk to one of several locations
- Find self in some place
- Get jerked around
- Actually progress and find some other place
- Off to find a missing witch
- Follow monkeys through Not Lost Woods
- Walk back
Then I get lost.
I didn't even know if what I was doing towards the end there was essential or not. And how was I to know? It's not like anything else I had done was of much importance.
The very beginning was a glorious set-up to what seemed like what could be another Ocarina of Time, but infinitely more interesting. But, from what I played, I, mostly, got something different. Which is cool. But, what was different from what I expected didn't tantalize me for long. I kept giving it chances, and it kept wasting my time.
Did I quit too early? Arguably, no. First impressions are very important. If all the game wants you to do for the first 45 minutes to an hour is essentially walk to various places without much of any sense of progression (using the Ocarina to revert back to when you first entered the town didn't help), I'm gonna start getting a little bit impatient.
(I would never dream of giving my definitive assessment of the game based off just this. I will likely still finish the game at some point. Same goes for Skyward Sword.)
But, I have a great amount of respect for the franchise. Even for just it's 3D iterations, but also, of course, the rest of the family. Along with much of the other NES launch titles, the original Zelda is still really fun. And it takes a lot for a game from even less than a decade ago to not age considerably. Unlike Zelda II, which is, very much, a product of the 80's. Built for a generation of gamers with different mindsets and skills.
Or it's just not my thing.
I think, for Nintendo, 3D Zelda is still an experiment of sorts. Every one thus far has been entirely different from the last in some way. The developers trying to find the right progression, control scheme, graphic style, whatever. Lending more to this are my personal thoughts on it's inconsistent quality.
For them to perfect their 3D Zelda formula, and then work around that for subsequent iterations, that is what I hope to see in the years to come. Zelda is one of gaming's most important franchises, and I've never relished in it's missteps.
This section here was probably more cynical than I had originally expected, but, again, it's with all due respect.
Whatever they have in store for Zelda Wii U, I anxiously await it.
5. I really miss Shin Megami Tensei IV
Shin Megami Tensei IV is a long long game. 50-60 combined hours of some of the most satisfying gameplay ever (even if 15-20 hours of it didn't need to be there), which I, sadly, took for granted a little.
I decided to push through the main game as quickly as possible, while, simultaneously, pushing through as many sidequests as possible. Was that smart? No it wasn't. It was stupid and dumb, as I played much of the game while half asleep. And a handful of 5-10+ hour sessions later... I accomplished conglaturations. Only because I was sure that it was going to be the only way I would finish such a long game with my chestnut-sized brain and attention span.
I thought it was a great game, all the same. But, as I was going through some of the soundtrack and taking a gander at some boss run videos for my previous blog, I was reminded of how awesome a game it actually was.
The very best enemy/boss design I've ever seen, some fucking awesome music, an insanely epic (though imperfect) story, incredibly satisfying combat, an entertaining (and sometimes hilarious) demon conversation system, it's only real downfalls were it's overworld map display and it's padding towards the middle. But, once you start up that Ring of Gaea rite of passage, it starts getting interesting again on all fronts. Bosses become less exploitable, the story starts to ramp back up in pace, along with a few other interesting gameplay twists.
Seriously. Thinking about it, I'm pissed that I didn't take my time with it. I know it's awesome, but I had a backlog to attend to. I didn't wanna spend more than a week or two trying to beat this puppy. I most definitely beat that puppy. When, all along, I should've been giving it slow 'n smooth palm strokes.
I couldn't even end the game properly, I was in such a hurry. I got the dreaded "Nihilism" ending. I missed a lot of seemingly excellent content and exposition. I HATE MYSELF THIS MUCH.
So you know what I'm excited about? Finishing up most of my backlog so I can beat it again. And then for a third time on the higher difficulties.
Goddammit! I have so much to do!
ACK! I'm done with this blog already. I have to video games.