Push the limits (but why?)

This is the last post I’m going to write about Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin. I promise. (Unless I see demand for more.)

I finally finished the game a couple of days ago. It isn’t an especially long video game, but it took nearly a full month to beat because a) it’s a very difficult game. Much more difficult than I would usually like. and b) I had to take a Kirby break for a week and change. It was a very pleasant break. I really needed that zero-stress time.

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Dreams Coming True

Last December, I ran a feature called the 24 Days of Desire. It was an Xmas countdown-style deal, each day highlighting a different thing that I wanted. In that feature, I noted that if I could have any one of those desires, it would be to go see BAND-MAID live.

GUESS WHAT!

I mean, yeah, now I have to plan a trip to New Jersey, but I’ve wanted to go there for a long time, anyway. And logistics be damned, I don’t care! I’M GOING TO SEE F’N BAND-MAID!

I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited before…

S-U-C-C-E-S-S

I entertain no delusions that people actually watch the content that I post to YouTube. It’s been entirely for my own amusement from the start, and I maintain that mentality to this very day. However!

Apparently, over the last month(ish), people have watched more than an entire work day of my “content”. That’s… something!

And, yeah, the views are “high”, but most of them are just robots who watch for three seconds or less. Or so I assume. They could very well be real people who watch for three seconds or less!

Anyway, I guess my point is: thank you, whoever is actually watching my videos. Seeing that watch time number go up makes me feel all the warm fuzzies. I can only hope that you don’t feel as if your time was wasted.

I also hope that for some reason you read my blog, so that you can appreciate my appreciation of you.

Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up: March 2022

~ Game Over ~

Hachiemon (GBA) – Do you remember Hachiemon? I finally went back and completed it (let’s play videos are on the way). I am bemused by the fact that I wrote an article about it, but had only played the first two stages.

Ys: Ancient Ys Vanished ~ Omen (PC) – Like Hachiemon above, I replayed this for a YouTube series. But also because I’ve been itching to play it again. I think I liked it even more the second time around!

Kirby and the Forgotten Land (Switch) – Definitely in my top three Kirby games. It’s still too fresh to say exactly where it lands on the scale, but it’s a contender, that’s for sure. The migration to 3D worked out great, and the new features are almost all excellent. Such a fun, adorable game!

Ragnarock (Oculus) – There’s no story mode or anything, so it’s not really a “game over” kind of game. Also I don’t usually bother to include rhythm game here, but this is a new one. I really like it.

~ Progress Notes ~

Triangle Strategy (Switch) – Chapter 12

Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin (PS5) – Terra Tortura

Cyberpunk 2077 (PC) – Looking for one Adam Smasher.

Drum of the Gods

Rhythm games are a fun little niche of video games that seem to go in and out of fashion somewhat regularly. Dance Dance Revolution blew up in the early 2000s, while Guitar Hero and Rock Band dominated the latter half of the decade. I don’t know if Just Dance was ever actually popular, or if Ubisoft just spent billions of marketing dollars to make us think it was. Beat Saber was a massive thing for a while there, a few years ago. Maybe it still is and I just don’t follow the right socials.

In 2022, however, I have found the rhythm game that I believe must have been made specifically for me: Ragnarock. Picture this: a VR rhythm game about drumming, with a Viking aesthetic and a track list consisting almost entirely of metal. This perfect coalescence seems obvious on paper, so I have to wonder how it took so darn long to get it to market. The fact that it was released in late 2020 and it took me this long to discover it is equally mysterious.

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On crystals, and punching them

Di you know that there are five party members in Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin? Because I didn’t. It’s just one of the many things that sets this game apart from its inspiration, and easily one of the most mysterious. There were supposed to be four warriors of light, one for each crystal. So what’s the deal here? Is there a fifth crystal? Is one of the warriors a fake? I don’t know! (Yet.)

But that’s just a vaguely-related intro paragraph. The real thing I wanted to write about today is a weird little detail that I noticed about the game.

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Stranger of Paradise: Day -3 Impressions

I don’t often pre-order video games. When I do, it’s usually either because there was a pre-order discount or to improve the likelihood that Amazon ships my copy on day one (Amazon still does not always ship my copy on day one). Once in a while I will fall for the ol’ “you get some extra in-game items” ploy. I pre-ordered Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin because Square-Enix sweetened the pot by giving players who pre-ordered it access to the game three days before launch (and also some extra in-game items). It’s a silly thing to do, but it worked on me!

Now, alls that I knew about this game, before booting it up for the first time, was that it’s an action-focused retelling of the original Final Fantasy. Which is more than enough to get me on board! If I had to rank each numbered FF game, I would say that Final Fantasy the first would be the thirdst on my list. You should all know what number one is by now, but I’ll let you ponder which entry gets the silver medal. Hint: It is a hot take!

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Kirkhope Strikes Again

In late October of 2021, Grant Kirkhope released a remix album of the Banjo-Kazooie soundtrack. I didn’t know this until yesterday, four months after the fact. What even is the point of social media, if it’s not going to be letting me know about things like this? You’ve let me down, internet.

Banjo-Kazooie has a brilliant soundtrack, and one of the coolest things about it is how each level’s theme changes depending on where you are in the level and what’s going on. Re-Jiggyed really runs with that idea by taking most of the tracks though phases of different instrumentation. Chiptunes, shredding electric guitars, an orchestra of synths, industrial noises, wild EDM-style beats, a literal banjo and kazoo, so on and so forth. Suffice it to say, I have very quickly become a fan of this remix album.

Now if only Rare would Re-Jiggy the actual Banjo-Kazooie game…

Tactical Thinking

I first played Final Fantasy Tactics in… 2002, probably? I don’t remember which one, but I received it as a birthday gift one year, and since then it has been the gold standard against which I measure all other tactical RPGs. I’ve played dozens of them, and I think that I’ve beaten maybe three in addition to the original FFT.

Since Triangle Strategy released a few days ago, I’ve been putting a lot of thought into why it is that I usually bounce off any tactical RPGs that aren’t Final Fantasy Tactics. And I’ve come up with a fairly simple answer: unit classes. For me, 90% of the appeal of FFT is being able to customize you unit’s jobs and skills, and that’s something that very few other TRPGs have done in a way that really satisfies me. Final Fantasy Tactics Advance might be the only other one.

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Two Kay

With these words, I have published 2,000 WordPress posts.

Well, it would be more than 2,000 if you counted all the articles that I haven’t moved over from the Angelfire site yet. And I have 28 partially-written things still sitting in draft form, some of which are actually done and I don’t know why they were never published. But whatever!

I wish I had something more exciting prepared, or, anything prepared. But honestly I didn’t even realize this milestone was coming up. Here’s a link to a random article I wrote in 2004 that I have a strong sentimental attachment to, and I even think it’s actually kind of funny. At least, it made me laugh when I was re-reading it after a couple drinks the other night.

Anyways! Congratulations to me, I guess, for having voided so many of my inconsequential thoughts onto the internet.

Please note that December of this year will mark TE’s 20th anniversary. If I stop writing until 2023, that’s 100 posts per year (8.3333333333 per month). Sounds kind of appealing…

I’ll do something better for 3,000. (No promises.)