Oh the good old days.
I've started playing my copy of Dragon Age: Inquisition this week. I've had it for the last month but I waited until I got through Far Cry 4 and the first episode of Tales of the Borderlands before I hoped into it. I wasn't too keen on Origins and I was explicity told by everyone I knew to avoid II. I heard nothing but good things about Inquistion though and the DA Keep service allowed me to get the story of the first two games without having to sink in the hours. I'm a few hours into my adventure through Thedas and I'm having a great time. The world is wonderfully built and alive, I'm love the character interaction and the combat system has started to grow on me. In delving into this world a hint of sadness came over me. I miss the RPG. More importantly, I miss knowing I could beat an RPG.
As a child, RPG's were my jam. I remember when I got a copy of Final Fantasy IX and I was instantly immersed into it's world. It's playful charm, it's fun gameplay and interesting but not too complex story delighted me as an 8 year old. This led me to play VII and VIII and Final Fantasy X was one of my first games I got when I got my PS2. The Final Fantasy series maybe responsible for igniting the deep love I have for gaming.
This naturally led me into the Kingdom Hearts series which I loved even more. As a fan of Disney and a fan of Final Fantasy, there really wasnt anything else I could ask for in a game. From it's real-time battle system, it's at the time comprehensible story, and delightful art style I loved and still do love the series.
So imagine how overjoyed I was to know that they were doing HD remasters of two of the seminal games from my childhood? I immediately picked up Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD Remix as soon as I left class the day came out. I went home popped it in and let that way too emotional menu music take me back to the days of old. I put a couple hours into that day and never picked it up again. It wasn't that I didn't want to or it didn't hold up. I simply didn't have the time. So many RPG's have gone by me simply because my time is gone. It was difficult in college trying to play anything between going to school and working and trying to have a social life. I had to trade in my copy of Skyrim in once winter break was over simply because there was no way I could play this game the way I wanted to and still do well in my classes. Post-college it's still kind of a challenge. Between working a full-time job, trying to build something for myself, maintaining a relationship with my lovely girlfriend and seeing my friends, it's hard to look down the barrel of the 100+ hour gun and pull the trigger. I gave up on Persona 4 Golden simply because I didn't have the time needed to reasonably finish the game. I wanted to pick up Ar Nosurge this fall but I decided against it because I knew I wouldn't be able to finish it.
Final Fantasy XV is on the horizon and I'm both excited for it and disheartened. I'm going to pick it up day one, no question. Will I be able to see Noctis' story through to the end though? Unfortunately, the answer will probably be no. Will I finally get to see the payoff the Sora's 14 year saga? I'd like to hope so.
There is hope though. This year saw the release of South Park:The Stick of Truth and Child of Light. Two games that deliever the fun, narrative driven gameplay that I loved but in a package I could reasonably complete. My hope is that more RPG developers will make games in this vein. Given that this is a genre that will always hold a special place in my heart, I would love to be able to play them the way I used to.