Sunday, 17 April 2011

FFIV & Portal 2: Days Away

Did anyone else know they're updating Final Fantasy IV again? But this time for the PSP, with those crazy high-res 2D artz they gave to I and II a while back, instead of the DS's cute, stub-handed polygon models? And that it was coming out on the same day as Portal 2? April 19th. Sheez, that's only like 3 days. Surprised both of those flew under my radar like that.

I mean, hey, I've played the shit out of FFIV in my lifetime. I've redeemed Cecil, I've seen the twins cast themselves to stone to keep the castle walls from crushing me, I've admired the survival of the "Spoony Bard!" line, even well after the game received a decent re-write. I've been there, I've done it.

But like Chrono Trigger, and a whole slew of Super NES-era titles, I find myself coming back to it every once in a while. Sometimes to remind myself when video games actually mattered, and were made by people who still gave a shit about what they were doing with their lives.

Me and this game have some history. It might be the first video game I've ever beaten on my own(without requiring the assistance of my older sister). It was the first piece of fiction that made me aspire to be the virtuous, do-gooder(like Cecil), instead of the badass rebel without a cause all the other boys wanted to be. It introduced me to the concept of upholding a personal moral code. It taught me about respecting authority when it is just, and questioning authority when it is not. It taught me about forgiveness for past mistakes, about guilt, about magic and mythology and monsters. And through Kain, it taught me something most kid's material is too afraid to mention: That sometimes you don't get The Girl.

No matter how good looking you are, no matter how right you think you are for them, SOMETIMES YOU LOSE THE WAR.

A family and religion might plant the seed of morality for a child, but only he or she decides whether to let it grow. The media I consumed at that age, mostly about superheroes and saving princesses in Another Castle made me think trying to be The Hero was the better way. Final Fantasy IV is the earliest example of that(Mario excluded) I can remember. I wanted to make games like it. I wanted to tell stories like it. And this spurred me to be an artist, in hopes of one day being able to tell those stories. So that one day, maybe someone would look at my work at an impressionable age and decide they want to not be an asshole.

Here I am approaching 24 years, and I turned out to be an asshole anyway. And I still suck at telling stories. But hey, you tried, Squaresoft.

(Looking at videos online, this is yet another project where one of the better final boss battle songs in video games has been poorly translated to modern sound equipment. The quality is fine, but the sound choices are so tinny and cheap, it's like a midi recording. Although it's still not as big a crime against music as when OCRemix tried giving it lyrics, and forgot to make it sound anything like the song it's supposed to actually be.

Zeromus just can't catch a break.)

And I could have sworn Portal 2 wasn't coming out until like, November or something. I guess I'm just used to games like that being released on "Valve Time". This may be a cause for worry: the last two products bearing the company logo came out in record time, and they were the shortest, buggiest, overpriced stink-bombs ever hawked on the American people until Halo: Reach came out.

Makes me think that this timeline, where we will never, EVER get Half-Life: Episode 3 and seriously need to stop doing this to ourselves and move on already might just better than the one where we do get it.

"The only thing gamers complain about more than when we don't get what we want, is when we DO get what we want."
-I think Shamus Young said this. Or the guy who does 8-Easy Bits...
Wait, no, maybe it was Movie Bob.

I dunno, ONE of the internet smartasses I'm desperately trying to emulate...




  1. According to the trailer, in THIS Final Fantasy all your characters are teenage girls except for Yang, who is Jamie Hyneman.

  2. Sawtooth:

    Which SOUNDS like the greatest game ever, but...