I was going to use a silly picture, but this is nice
I wish I could say I wasn't an anxiety-ridden person. I wish I could wake up, confident in who I am and what I study and with my path in life and just kinda smile until I go to sleep. I also, more importantly, wish I could beat every goddamn game in this goddamn world and not have them on the back of my mind like some kind of giant, mammal fish that I could never kill as a wee captain lad. I think I'll name him Dick, because he is such an asshole. Or Moby, because that is a goofy name.
So pretty, but soooo grindy
This one has been on my mind off an on for a good long while now. I played the shit out of that demo and fell in love with the presentation since it's announcement. The world is a moving painting, and that is so rad. The battle mechanics are splendid, too, with a unique Brave/Default system and an utterly sublime amount of tweaks that can be done in the settings (no encounters, fast forwarding animations, etc.). But the characters just suck, straight up. Everyone is a one-note character, and after 30+ hours of play time, I can't see a character arc in sight. It's sad, really, because I'm of the belief that story matters little when the characters are written so well, and in fact the characters make the story.
Then there's that job system, a JRPG (mainly Final Fantasy) trope that I love in theory, but in practice is tedious. The jobs and subsequent costume changes are neat, as are the creative skills that come with it, but goddamn, leveling up from effectively level one every time is disheartening. Rest assured, though, this whale will succumb to me at some point. Probably on a long plane trip.
This is my face during many of Valkyria Chronicles' battles
Are you seeing a trend here? I play a lot of JRPGs, but my love for them didn't start until I was a Sophomore in college, after I beat Tales of Graces F. The thing is, JRPGs are long, and often have way too many game system that can bog down an otherwise enjoyable RPG experience, not to mention those huge difficulty spikes that grind my gameplay to a halt. Valkyria Chronicles is one such game.
I'm actually not even sure what was going on in the story at this point, but all I remember was a lot of tanks, an unstoppable war machine with weak points being revealed after X turns, and a lot of boulders/tank parts/whatever-debri needing exploding in order to allow my troops to advance. It wasn't the toughest battle, but there was a twist at the end of the fight that wiped my party, and after losing 40 minutes of progress, I rage quit altogether. Goddamn this game is gorgeous, and goddamn do I love SRPGs (in theory, XCOM is the only "perfect" SRPG in my book), but come on. I need checkpoints and any-time saves. THAT GOES FOR YOU, TOO, ENTIRE JRPG GENRE.
"Excuse me, why are you more interesting than everyone else?"
Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Whale
OOOHH WOW, ANOTHER JRPG yeah well fuck you too. They're huge games, and are often padded! This is the 21st century, Japanese game developers. I hear such praise and love starting these games, but then a lot mechanics get in the way because they keep stacking and bosses get harder and I just miss the little level 4 snakes and ugh. For Ni No Kuni, however, these classic JRPG faux pas are not the reason I stopped playing--the game's plot was sorely lacking.
The start of the story was great! It provides an excellent incentive to progress and get stronger, especially if it means helping sweet ol' Oliver and his adorable red cape, but there are only, like, four characters. And I only like one. I didn't care about Princess Tuff or Shaggy Pirate or Scottich Lantern Nose Man, and that really killed my steam, especially after the strong characterizations in Tales of Graces F. I really felt for the brother relationship most of all, and I guess Ni No Kuni just sort of lacked in the plot department. Great base story, lovable Oliver, interesting combat, and top-fucking-notch artistry (thanks Studio Ghibli!) was swept under the rug, I guess, but disinterest. That was, like, three years ago though, so believe you me I will be slaying this White Wit--err, uh, whale with gusto once I get some clear head space.
I've been in your mouth more times than I care to admit
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
I have the first half of this game memorized like the back of my hand. I played this way back 1998 and admired the gold case and Link's little rolling yell. I played it at my parent's friend's house (they also had a GameCube, shout out to Metroid Prime), then at another friend's house, then borrowed it in high school for the GameCube, and so, so, so many other time before and after that.
And yet, I've only ever beaten Skyward Sword in the long list of Zelda games. (Side note: I loved SS narrative. Gameplay was aight.) Now that the 3DS version has been out for years, I think it's finally time I finish this game for my own, despite witnessing every enemy, dungeon, and possible plot point on the Internet, because what else is this place used for.
BONUS: Life and Anime, the Millennial Whales
Life is hard, man. Sitting on the ripe old age of 22 (23 this month, holla at me with some cash money or like a game or something) and sipping Maker's Mark whiskey with, like, a GALLON of sprite mixed in with it, I stress. I stress about EVERYTHING. In High School, something I already forget most of save for the games I was playing at the time, I was perfect. I knew who I was, I knew that I was going to college, and I knew I would find some sort of job to pay the bills and just have fun when I get home. But now I'm not so sure. I'm actually going through a "who am I really?" life crisis, and I'm not even 14! I thought this shit was for preteens and middle agers. I simply don't know where I fit in, and I'm having a hard time defining myself as a person, as a man.
Okay but seriously, anime. I want to like it so badly, maybe so I can finally fit it on all the hippest online chatting forums. But it's just weird, you know? Like people say phrases like "fans of anime"--how are you a "fan" of "anime"? Isn't "anime" just a style of TV show from Japan, and anime itself has genres just like TV shows and movies? That's like saying you're a "fan of TV". No, you're not a fan of TV, you like certain TV shows, or certain genres, or certain actors or providers. I guess I just find it weird that... anime fans... just like and watch all anime. I get tired of looking at the same artwork with the same tropes and the same fucking three-part hair style that all male protagonists have Jesus Christ. Still, I find myself... I dunno, draw to it. I guess it's Adult Swim's effect on me from Toonami's past. I've experienced some great shows, and I want to experience more, but yeesh guys. Ya'll are a bunch of weeabs. Also, Imgur really needs to stop letting "These are MY favorite anime HURK HURK" lists on the front page, because I seriously do not give a shit.
There are too many damn white whales in this ocean of LIFE, man. Most of them are JRPGs, but I suppose I've imposed this on myself, haven't I? A cathartic blog piece, a mixed drink, and a video game seems like a good way to end my night.
See you, Space Bloggers.