Before we begin, let's speak words of well-wishing toward Dere, our resident punster and Wednesday recapper who cannot be with us this week while he tends to his wife's surgery and surrounding events. All the best to you and your family during this toilsome period, sir!
So it becomes that I'm pulling double-duty for Tuesday and Wednesday. Now then, I'm going to acknowledge the partial irrelevance of this forthcoming Larxism to a site of generally agreeable discourse such as Destructoid. This place, in ways above several others, fosters and houses discussions and disagreements in stride, with nary a coarse word exchanged. Nonetheless, sooner or later, even here, it's almost inevitable to fall into the trap of Best Defense: to wage war upon dissenting opinions on behalf of our beloveds. This is the position I find myself, where I hold an opinion that a great sector of the Internet mind deems unsalable:
Vivi's *not* my favorite character in Final Fantasy IX.
Now that the Fires - and Firas and Firagas - can blaze, allow me to backtrack, though not backpedal: Vivi may well be the strongest-written character in the product, and he remains wildly popular with the FF and even RPG fanbase at large for numerous reasoned purposes. The little tyke's a force of nature in combat yet simultaneously a thoughtful, mindful, charming ball of delight removed from it. The kid's nascent perspective on life and the world engulfing it in sorrows and strident scars feels the full range of the emotional spectrum throughout the tale's tapestry. Without spoiling overmuch, I can safely assert that the courageous Black Mage shines brightly as a beacon of solace and steadiness for his traveling cohorts, however divergent their own viewpoints scatter. Even above the refreshing Zidane and discerning Garnet, the story's entwined co-leads, Vivi has long since secured a vast and grateful fandom and renown. None of that's ill-won to me at all. Vivi's amazing! Second-favorite to be sure.
He's simply not my #1 favorite, and that is where the topic trampolines.
[Not as stark a lightning rod as the time I questioned the validity of my father's authority. Only takes one instance to learn.]
See, the prospect of debate's never gonna subside, nor should it. Nor should anyone quit claiming favorites and defending their merits and personal significances. What *has* perplexed me for some years now has been any honest rush to shutter, stifle, or haughtily dismiss opinions to the contrary - an infinitely impermeable topic on the whole, yes, but even constricted to the realm of merry video gaming, why take differing opinions so personally if they don't attack your own? (Plus, well, sometimes, even if they do.) Expressing favor for somebody other than Best Character - or, similarly, Best Game in a veteran franchise - shouldn't need to meet scoffing and acidity as frequently as it does. Sure, pals are gonna act out in ribbing and needling, and nothing's wrong with that silly slapdash banter so long as no one's bullied. I wouldn't go so daringly far as to attend a sporting event brashly boasting the rival team's jersey, but there's little potential harm in these cheeky scuffles.
[Basically Torchman vs. Nathan D all these years. Which cat's which? Left as an exercise for the user.]
But why does any of us feel compulsion to greet a "disapproved" opinion with callous disdain, or anything half-jokingly worse, if it's just an perspective on a bundle of sprites and polygons? I can see heated debates over macro-scale substantial issues such as society, economy, and morality. I see the value in arguing for one's justice. I don't get it when it's over nonessential entertainment. I don't get it whether it argues on success or failure. I especially don't get it when it leads to resentment between friends or an unwelcoming atmosphere for curious visitors. "This is a correct opinion." Okay. Gotcha. The joke's only funny for so long. It *is* free speech, in any event. Far be it from me to dictate how people speak.
[...maybe don't do this.]
I'm just asking, please, give restraint some consideration, for the benefit of freer air? Acerbic rebukes - whether genuinely belligerent or haphazardly facetious - may not inflict sincere injury on the hardy, but they almost always cultivate weariness and can rapidly discourage mellow folks from speaking up. I myself have succumbed to the issue of silence in the interest of averting exasperation or atmosphere fatigue. Put more simply, I've taken now and again to speaking up less often so as to appease the going rate. There're merits to hearing, even in the disagreement. Differing opinions haven't budged mine. They're no threat to my likes, dislikes, and indifferences. Oh, sure, some truly wild and inexplicable suggestions have totally blanked my mind with the disarray of bewilderment. That said, they're not hostile to *me* as opinions and stay at a distance with the person who states them. Even if I don't "get" them, for matters of the medium, I abide. I don't get the mindset of a hostile defense, however, and perhaps I never will. Be it a multitude or modicum, let it breathe. Champion what stirs you, sure. Spark the passions of an overlooked gemstone, or join the dance of many in extolling what burns hot. Just, if it pleases you, when you spot a wayward locus, let it breathe.
I never did state which Final Fantasy IX character I adore the most as #1 favorite. Spent a lot of time on my #2! (As befitting a substitute Dere.) I'll show you later, in a 'Toid section. Trust me, it's not just to play contrarian. At times, my favorite in a game immediately equals the majority's favorite; at other times, I most dearly value a truly unexpected choice. Go ahead and pollinate the comments with your echoes or rebukes, as we seek a sturdy stamen for this burgeoned recap flower.
S - Agent9 infuriatingly extends the 31 Days series of horror-game songs across 31 actual days. How inconsiderate! Clearly, our resident Agent should've compressed all 31 selections into one gluttonous blog. Rebuke the honorable agent by visiting this 10th entry (concerning Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, a perfectly suitable title - see, I'm spoiling the contents this week, nyah-hah) and showering the effort with praise. How dare such a fortified series exist! This spooky goodness drowns us all in haunted melodic bliss.
S - As the above flippancy betrayed, Agent9 actually provides an excellent service to the community in highlighting the tunes from chilling and/or terrifying video gaming. Again, thank you for your service, Agent. Here, in the subsequent 11th entry, we hear from the hallowed hub of Banjo-Kazooie. Note that games which appeared on Nintendo platforms apparently had a thing for Cackle-based gaming facets for a while. Cackletta-ing much...?
A - Cedi delves into the Endless Ocean (remember that?) of expectation, anticipation, and that rawest of compulsions: hype. Specifically here, in chief relation to Fire Emblem Warriors, the ardent recurring blogger details how and why certain revelations of FEW yielded letdown. This segues into a rundown of suggestions to temper unrestrained hype impulses and corral wild what-ifs. My propensity skews toward modest anticipation at most; nonetheless, I recommend this blog as a check-sum for its measured nuggets of truth.
Unforgotten, dear one. Yep, Freya's my FF9 favorite.
But what if you marry the meat?! O__O
T - Flegma strikes again, this time evaluating our remembrances of the video games that stick with us long after we've played them for the final time. Breadth of the game can play a role, sure, but not always - I can recall and reflect upon a hefty number of memorable and pleasing events and moments from even RPGs of 120+ hours (e.g., this year's Tales of Berseria *and* 2004's Star Ocean: Till the End of Time). Anyhow, it's a shame Flegma got canned from Disqus awhile back, isn't it? Methinks a new (universal) account may be in order to facilitate conversations.
T - Ben McCurry, whose name sounded familiar because it was (re: the Jim Sterling connection), waxes at length upon the potentially contrasting roles of difficulty and accessibility, where the notion can nag that "too" easy games rob players of the satisfaction of accomplishment while "too" difficult games stymie players who'd need to invest excessively to overcome skill or time barriers of progress. It's a discussion worthy of its place, yet I freely question the dismissal of challenge as befitting a loftier vision - especially when "ludonarrative" can execute total fulfillment of said vision by craftily leveraging challenge itself - and also that "cinematic" creations crest to the top for the sake of elegance. I'm still not one for overly cinematic designs, and I suspect that'll continue for some decades yet.
T - The Baked Potato (formerly, a staple dish of mine at dinner) explains his kinship with orcs, orc games, orc dealings, and generally all things orc as only Orc-tober can provide. It's in the context of a beefy orc game available for partaking on Steam, yes, but don't let the context fool you! Orc dudes deserve their place in the pantheon of grooviest dudes. (I might advise cleaning up the formatting and syntax, as an aside.)
News of Star Ocean 4's (IMO unnecessary) HD porting reminded me of the (IMO superior) Star Ocean 3 and its more...eccentric battle themes. Swingin' club jazz for the first phase of the final boss? Why not!
C - A high number of old games *would* totally rock on Switch. On this point, there is consensus. Naming them without much in the way of elaboration or exposition, however, smacks of hastiness. I strongly advise to Jim Kelly utilizing the long-blog format to more robustly convey your thoughts in a manner beyond a mere checklist.
If you're old enough to have endured these mawkish days, you're in luck: Tripod actully still exists.
Larx out, homeslice~
Never let your troubles twist your stay.
Today's title track: The Dance of Many
Vocaloid: Hatsune Miku