May. 3rd, 2017

alwaysbeenasmiler: (Flynn☆My life shows that no man)
Waxing nostaglic on video games--

See, video games were my first form of geekery growing up (well books was, but video games was that foray into the realm of JRPGs, which was intense in and of itself). Yeah, I watched anime but it wasn't as easy to get to in the early 90s and my exposure was what they had at Blockbuster video or on the Sci Fi channel for the Japanimation week which happened sometime in August every year, so since it wasn't readily available, I enjoyed it when I was able to get my paws on it, but I didn't outwardly pursue it-- my options were severely limited when I was 13/14.

But then I was introduced to JRPGs in the form of FFIV-- (well III back in the 90s-- if only I still had that box cover with Mog being a badass on the front) and I was absolutely hooked-- it was the Opera Scene that did it for me (the first scene that I watched, and I was watching it because the kid I babysat was playing through it and I was like "Wow, this is the coolest thing I've ever seen"-- (coincidentally that scene gave me a glimpse into two of my three favorite characters in FFIV, Ultros and Setzer.) And then it was on, I had to have the game-- I had to have a Super Nintendo. I saved up my babysitting money for two weeks (I had a 10 hour a day Babysitting job, yeah-- the Super Nintendo pretty much only took me two weeks to save up for). Then I pretty much spent the entire summer playing it, only to culminate with me beating the game on my birthday, staying up all night to plow my way through Kefka's Tower-- first game I ever beat (I'm not counting Aladdin on the Sega Genesis, though beating that game was how I proved to the kids I babysat that I had some street cred, once I beat that game for them, they thought I was the 'coolest babysitter ever'.)

That started my love for JRPGs, and then it was like-- I just couldn't get enough.

Chrono Trigger
the list goes on and on-- if it was available and was an RPG, I would play it. That is the reason why I have so MANY video game icons. Because playing video games gave me an escape in a way that anime couldn't-- it was like the fine line between books and video games, where I could become part of the story, either through reading or playing the game. (I like anime, but I've always been a bit choosy about anime, the story has to hit me just right-- the characters have to be engaging enough that I don't feel that itch to do something else)

Now I remember playing Tales of Destiny (I actually rented that game at a supermarket, back when grocery stores had a little video game rental section) and liking the game but being a bit daunted by the battle system, which is the reason why I never really picked up any of the Tales series-- until around 2010-2011 when Tales of Vesperia came out, and then suddenly I was hooked-- and had to play EVERY TALES GAME SINCE THEN.. hell now I usually preorder the COLLECTORS EDITION because I am a nerd warrior like that.

I've gotten into a few western RPGs, like Dragon Age-- but I really like the charm of JRPGs, of going on a Bracer Mission with Estelle Bright, of the silliness that is the Ultros, as you are fighting him while going down the Lete river on a raft, of being hit with the Tales fan favorite attack of 'pow hammer!'. Not to say that JRPGs don't handle darker themes, they do-- all the games touch on weighty matters as well-- matters that help you make sense of your own personal viewpoint of the world-- Xenogears was like a revelation to me, touching upon religious matters that I only thought about in the darkest part of my mind, and then there was Tactic's message, 'blame god or blame yourself'-- which taught me about personal accountability for one's own actions.

I've started Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (and played a little bit of Trails in the Sky SC-- enough to barely make it out of the Kaldia Tunnel Monster with Agate alive, thanks Agate for being the most resilient of ALL my characters.) and I wonder, who will my favorite characters be? What lesson will I take away from it? Who can say? but I'm going to have fun in the process!

Hopefully y'alls week is going well!

Stay cool!


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