Thus in a vain attempt to make my two or three imaginary readers forgive me for my crimes, let me say I have been pretty busy during the holidays. Real-life stuff, of course. Mostly enjoying a mellow and agnostic Christmas, freezing my ass off thanks to below 0 Celsius weather that swept the east coast lately, realizing my cousins are counting down the months to when they can get me legally smashed, lamenting my B+ average grades this semester, etc.
Otherwise, I've been gaming. No shock.
To start off the holidays, I started playing Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl. Since Atlus' name is slapped on it, my wallet did not yell at me for buying my own Christmas gift. My justification was simply buying an Etrian Odyssey game to provide me a reference for what next summer's Persona Q could possibly offer. I put at least 30 hours into it in only three days. To say I'm addicted is an understatement. Though it may not be extremely difficult, it had some organ-busting moments that any Atlus developed or published game tends to deliver. Though in tears after a few indomitable FOEs, I was not disappointed.
Then around the same time, I picked up Tales of Xillia to broaden my JRPG horizons (and because Voltech talked about it a while back). HO-LY CRAP. I can happily say the plot is actually comprehensible unlike that one (or two) Square Enix series I cannot bring myself to get into. If your series make uses of hinting at an end and an alliteration with the letter "f" or talks about the power of friendship and one fourth of a suit of cards, your earlier titles MIGHT change my tone, but your latest installments prove how stupid your developers are. As for Nameco Bandai's Tales of series... I am sold. After the first three hours, my attention was sealed. 10 hours in, and I was head over heels in love with the cast and their banter. Best of all? With no codex or encyclopedia provided, the characters EXPLAIN THEIR OWN LORE, TERMS, AND UNIVERSE.
Yes. I will continue to send back-handed insults to Final Fantasy 13 for as long as it continues to force itself into existence. Or as long as my brain falls for the same fictional tricks over and over again.
Even Tales -
Even after all the crap I put up with -
For the sake of my sanity and the sustainability of this blog... Dear writers, everywhere... Can't I PLEASE have a break already?! Stop creating characters that turn me into a hormonally-crazed teenage girl over the stupidest flanders, the stupidest tropes, the stupidest cliches, the stupidest lines, the stupidest fanservice bait, the stupidest attempts to make an asshole not such a massive asshole, the stupidest tall, brown-haired tough guy wielding a giant weapon AND a gun in the stupidest pose with the stupidestly awesome badass coat and -
SOMEONE GET ME A SHOTGUN TO SEND THIS GUY INTO THE SAME DIMENSION AS SATAN!!!!!!!!!!!!
|And someone burn that scarf that I am SOOO not pining for!|
To relieve myself of my growing tsundere tendencies (and speaking of Sheploo), I went on with my new Christmas tradition that started last year: playing the entire Mass Effect trilogy with one save file. I created a Sentinel class Shepard and I have almost completed ME3. Having a slightly different experience than I usually do (romancing no one, flipping back and forth between Renegade and Paragon on a whim, etc.) I have more things to consider once I tackle the final installment in a review.
Then I finally graduated and matured as a gamer by playing Saints Row IV. Open-world sandbox games with rampant crime, shooting, sex, and nudity that will lead players to start a terrorist group with goals of slaughtering the entire human population? Bring it the fuck on, soccer moms. At least this is the best super hero game ever conceived ever. Fact. I have done next to nothing but abuse the crap out of the overpowered abilities the Boss gets. And it never gets old. And I love the shout-outs, references, and parodies. I may have only seen parts of Saints Row 2 and 3 from Youtube, but man, I don't feel too left out. These characters are freaking hilarious and awesome, even without much background.
Meanwhile, in my downtime in between sessions of the above titles, I'm finishing up Catherine, trying to obtain everyone's ultimate weapons in Persona 3 Portable (even that blasted Corpse Rod), watching episodes of Sherlock and House, or writing and editing more of my superior-being(s)-know(s)-how-long fanfiction. It's about 1/3 of the length of Les Miserables. Let that sink in a moment.
And its the holidays! This marked the ninth year I see the Nutcracker ballet with my dad. Afterwards he gave me my birthday/Christmas gift: Gravity Rush. I'm about halfway done the campaign and my brain still cannot adapt to the vertigo from manipulating gravity. Don't get me wrong, it's still a blast to play, and Kat is quite a wonderful character, but MAN. It can be hard to remember what's up and what's... down... or normal... not sure which. Regardless, a really open-world adventure game with a cool premise. Easily one of the best games of the PS Vita. Even better than Persona 4, on the basis that Gravity Rush isn't a port.
I knew I forgot something.
The review... is still incomplete. I am kicking and screaming as I write the draft. To think a well made game from a technical standpoint would drain me so much of my enthusiasm. Sonic '06 shivers in fear over how much I loathe thinking about this game, let alone writing it, then again voicing an opinion on it! I'd be far more productive if I ranted about how much I should be killed for liking One Direction's "Best Song Ever". (That in fact is 100% true. Is it too much to ask for more pop rock this upbeat, swelling, and energetic that screams early-2000s/late-1990s at the earliest in this sea of abysmal dubstep?!)
As I promised time and time again, I will finish this review. However, I think I need to work on this and one other project before I lose my sanity. Dedicating my time exclusively to Persona 4 Golden is going to make me commit seppuku after suffering so many anime cliches shoved in at the expense of having meaningful symbolism, mythological references that make sense (or even exist), and characters that have no reason to be so deeply bonded together unless they're performing a concert IN A SHIN MEGAMI TENSEI FRANCHISE INSTALLMENT!!
Again, how in the flying pop tarts that ride on fluffy ponies and unicorns that shit out candy corn can you place a game with pop concert lead by a shallow bimbo next to ones with a Super Mecha Death Christ Fetus with a CHAINSAW sticking out of its arm, people exploding into the same black globs of puss that spewed out of that one dude's eye socket, having to horribly kill and betray your friends - who have been mutilated and assaulted by apathetic Lovecraftian demons - if they don't agree with your ideologies, AND beloved characters getting brutally murdered or trapped in mind-rape-enducing fates so much worse than death?!
How can this level of cuteness and scott-free happiness hit Atlus fans so hard on the head that they thought this game is my generation's Final Fantasy VII?!
This has got to be more than chalking it up to complaining about Superman being as interesting and deep as a hologram of cardboard next to Batman. I can't be the only person whose opinion of Persona 4 plummets astronomically even when my brain cells suspend disbelief. I know I have met SMT elitists who agree with some of my complains, and I agree with them. I can't be the only one who thinks this game is so bloated, overrated, and sheltered from criticism.
For once, I think I finally understand the Spoony One better. I feel like either I'm the only sane man on this messed-up planet, or I'm the psycho who needs to be put down like a rabid dog. I don't know anymore. At least comfort awaits me in the new games I got over the holidays. I have to regroup and refocus my efforts.
Maybe picking up a few more Sims 3 expansion packs might cheer me up. Seasons was fun in 2, so I might bet on that. 2014 needs to start off on a good foot.