Many More Thoughts on Final Fantasy VIII

I felt compelled to write a little bit more about Final Fantasy VIII. This is a collection of additional observations about its design, and some remarks on things I did like about it. I don’t have much of an overarching point for this piece, other than to perhaps reinforce my previous points.

How to get Magic

Let’s talk a little more about how to obtain stocks of your magic spells. As previously stated, there are four main ways to do it:

  • Drawing from enemies
  • Refining crappy magic into better magic
  • Modding Triple Triad cards (or items) into spells
  • Using Draw Points

Drawing from enemies is the most obvious way, but it’s a pain.… Disaster Readport

Some Favorite, Disappointing, and Interesting Games from 2012-2016

At least 9 games came out in the dozen years videolamer went on sabbatical to backpack around Europe and really find itself. We did not have the opportunity to talk about any of these games in a timely fashion because the site was focused on getting its groove back, but that will not stop us from discussing these games absurdly late. Here are some of our favorites, disappointments, or just generally interesting games from the years after 2011 but before 2017.

Matt

Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes

It’s a weird argument to make, but the paid demo for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is a more satisfying version than the full release.… Games are the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions.

Exclusive Details on Rumored, Still Unannounced PlayStation Plus Tiers

Sony’s recently announced changes to their Playstation Plus platform was met with mixed reaction by industry analysts and gamers. The service will be available in three tiers: Essential, Extra, and Premium.

Luckily for those of us unenthused by these announced tiers, the rumor mill is abuzz with likely extra tiers Sony will be making public some time this week. It is unclear if these additional tiers were always in the cards or quickly developed to save face after a mediocre showing last week.

Rumors for additional tiers are flying quick and loose but we stake our reputation as a news outlet that at least all of the following tiers of PlayStation Plus will, in fact, be rolled out this year.… Are you a bad enough dude to rescue the article?

Remembering to Forget to Remember Sega

The original sin that man is responsible to

Part of being a jerk on the internet is having unnecessarily heated arguments about irrelevant things with strangers. One of my go-to topics, mostly borne out of authentic emotion, is Sega and their current state. Unlike sane people who see the branding on a box of some Total War game, notice Yakuza doing well, or wonder why there are so many Sonic games and intuit Sega is a moderately successful company, I think they died almost twenty years ago. 

What’s the problem?

I am haunted by nightmares every night

There was a distinct Sega-ness that was removed from life support the day they were acquired by pachinko manufacturer Sammy in 2004.… Fear the old posts.

Final Fantasy VIII is a Weird Game

There are countless examples of games that were trashed at release, only to have their reputations rehabilitated years later upon being (re)discovered by retro game enthusiasts. Usually this is because the game in question was misunderstood or otherwise ahead of its time, both revelations which are only revealed with the hindsight and context provided by the future.

On the flip side, there are games that were beloved at release, only to be trashed years later as retro gamers discover that it didn’t age well, or that launch-day opinions were misinformed, or whatever the case may be.

But there’s a third option as well, one in which the initial impression of Game X was accurate, and remains accurate once it hits retro status.… Jesus: Readful Bio Monster

Maximum Spoilage: Persona 5 and Apathy

The Maximum Spoilage series of writings is focused on discussing aspects of a game that would spoil said game to any normal person. Please continue reading at your own risksona. Note that this Maximum Spoilage entry also contains spoilers for the Mass Effect trilogy, in case you somehow haven’t either played or read about how terrible the ending is.

Persona 5 starts off with a bang. It ends with a whole ton of narrative confusion, meaningless (or even meaning-killing) twists, and the age-old “power of friendship” and “determination to move on” saving the day.

The first antagonist, Kamoshida, is arguably the best. He’s a former pro athlete turned high-school coach, and his reputation from his old job allows him to run roughshod over anyone else in the school, since it brings the school fame and money.… Sounds mildly entertaining, I guess.

Small Screen on the Big Screen: Square Enix Edition

Back in the day screen sizes meant something; big screen was cinema, small screen was TV. Nowadays it’s all confused as you’re probably watching your movies on your phone and watching your streams on a hundred inch glaring HD, 4K, LED, RGB, billboard that dominates your living room. However, the spirit of this series is to celebrate some of the gaming stuff that has spilled over from video games into films, TV series and other kinds of media. 

These days we’re spoiled with gaming cross media stuff as many gamers are now those making decisions when it comes to licensing and making proper weapons grade ‘content.’ Them-there PC gamers got very excited about the League of Legends Netflix spin-off series Arcane, causing some to make slightly hyperbolic claims that bad video game adaptations might be a thing of the past.… Game is dead. Game remains dead. And we have killed it.

Games As Work

One thing that’s not so much changed in the last ten years but has certainly been amplified is the popularity of games that, for lack of a better phrase, “feel like work.” Games that focus on things like:

  • Getting loot
  • Playing through the same content to get said loot
  • Being at the mercy of some random number generator
  • Aren’t really about skill, strategy, creative thinking, teamwork, etc. and but rather repetition and memorization
  • Require the player to spend lots of time (on the order of hours or days) doing these repetitive tasks in order to get a reward of questionable utility (due to the RNG)

There used to be a time where this kind of style was almost exclusively the realm of Blizzard games like World of Warcraft.… WELCOMETOTHENEXTARTICLE

Review – SaGa Frontier Remastered

The SaGa series has been on a remaster/remake/rerelease kick lately – in part because the series seems to have strong advocacy within Square Enix because of a successful mobile game (Romancing SaGa Re;Universe, which pains me to type) which helps cross-promotion, and likely in part because it makes money. While the cynic in me would say these are probably low-effort cash grabs, so far these games have been more accessible and better than the originals. So this is at least a medium-effort cash grab. Not bad!

Just like the good old days.

I’ve mostly been a “SaGa-adjacent” RPG player, primarily because many of these games didn’t make it over.  The ones I did play either didn’t have the SaGa label (Final Fantasy Legend), or were among the few that made it over during the golden age of RPGs – which is, of course, when I was mature enough to enjoy them and had the time to play them. … Show me the reading!

Are Old Games Killing New Games – Parallels Between Gaming and Music

I recently came across this piece from musician/writer/historian Ted Gioia. The last time I read something by Gioia was his 2017 essay Music Criticism has Degenerated into Lifestyle Reporting, which I found to be both entertaining and painfully accurate (and which set off an entertaining firestorm of backlash from all the poptimist critics whom the piece targeted).

But this new post is a lot less inflammatory, and is arguably much more useful. The title says it all – “Old Music is Killing New Music.” The author makes several key points about the music industry, and what I find interesting is how every single one of them can also be applied to gaming.… Readout 3: Takedown