Why do we stay in the womb? Why do we beg for forgiveness? In the fateful Earth? — “The Promised Land”, Nobuo Uematsu

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Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

I’ve had this sitting in my drafts for a minute. I meant to publish it far closer to Final Fantasy VII: Remake’s actual release date but have instead been mulling over its details for the past few…months. It’s hard to finish these exploratory and researched writings because I feel there are so many different branches I could jump off onto, a common writing gaffe of mine anyway, and thus completing such an essay becomes suddenly far more daunting. But I still wanted to talk about it even if I’ve been forced to rethink how its organized and have by now killed plenty of my darlings (or, er, postponed their arrivals to a “part II”). Mostly because I worked quite hard on formulating some kind of thesis which I haven’t done in, oh, a while, but also because it’s fun! …


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Image: Museums Victoria

When I moved to Honolulu the first thing I did was get a library card. Before finalizing my change of address, before buying most of my furniture (although, given I was in a partly furnished studio, this wasn’t a huge issue), before looking into getting a bus pass or doing most of the those other relatively normal settling procedures — I went to the library.

Hawaiʻi’s library system is state-wide, which makes sense given it’s geographical location, but I was used to the county-contained systems of my Jersey roots. I was also used to the relatively large, sprawling libraries that backdrop a northern east coast upbringing. I had the luxury of Princeton nearby, and my county library had been recently renovated to include a small cafe with local fare just outside the browsing area. My own hometown library was spacious and old, a colonial-style relic that exuded history. I spent my last summer of college between those two libraries, writing a manuscript for a book I would never publish. …


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You like smooth beats? Me too.

I picked up Persona 5: Royal during the Holiday sale that the PS store is currently having (until 1/19/21, so here’s a chance for you to get it too!) and I’ve been definitely enjoying it so far. I was hesitant at first to literally re-buy the same game I already had, but seeing as how I hadn’t even come close to finishing the original, and how much new content it has, I figured I could see it all the way through this time with its new bells and whistles.

When Persona 5 first came out I was instantly hooked on what I’d never been hooked on in video games before, really: it’s style. Which is a choice and also very much what I was feeling when it came out in 2017. By then it had been a year since my three-month stay in Japan with one of those months being spent solely in Tokyo. Needless to say, I missed the city, and Persona 5 filled that hole in a way I don’t think anything else really could have. …


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[This article contains spoilers for the entirety of Nier: Automata.]

When I first entered the area of the Copied City in Nier: Automata I was transfixed by the visual story it told. You walk in to the light touch of piano, you see the city streets unfurl as pure white facades and delicately detailed spires, balconies, windows. It felt like walking through a dream. Being set in the far future this game’s cities up until this point have all been broken, shattered skeletons sitting in heaps in the over world, cracked and overgrown with greenery. But seeing one so beautifully displayed here was startling. Why, I thought, would they recreate the intimacy of city streets? …


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I’ve never been a fan of horror movies. Most of the time it’s the genre I most ardently avoid. I can probably name almost all of the horror movies I have ever seen, and this was while growing up with a best friend who was absolutely obsessed with horror movies. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy being scared — quite the opposite, really — but I didn’t enjoy what oftentimes was supposed to create that fear: blood, gore, murderers, and ghouls. The latter, really, was the only one I cared about.

Horror movies frightened me something awful as a child, but I still had a vested interest in their subjects. In the way they presented their stories, in the fear of their characters and the creatures and situations that brought their souls to bear. …


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Sometimes, it feels like gaming is an exercise in futility. The backlogs we acquire never seem to dwindle in their stock, the new releases are constantly accompanied by addictive hype, and some of the games we most look forward to playing may receive less than stellar reviews on our favorite sites, prompting us to sit down and think if we really want to invest time into playing them.

I looked forward to Kingdom Hearts III for some years, and to hear friends and the internet at large proclaim it somewhat of a failing rendered me unable to give it a straight shot to the finish. It wasn’t that I based my decision entirely off of reviews — which are, really, still just opinions — it was that people I trusted in their opinions were lamenting its story direction. I began to take my aversion more seriously. I had enjoyed the game play, the worlds, the familiar banter when I had first sat down to it. But I haven’t finished it yet. …


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There’s an overarching theme in Ratatouille that “anyone can cook.” It’s Gusteau’s saying, it hangs over his restaurant, and it exemplifies the idea that cooking is an activity that can be picked up by anyone. You don’t need to be trained in culinary arts or have an affinity for distinguishing particular spices — you just need to do it. But in the end of the film we learn that perhaps not everyone will achieve greatness in cooking the same way. …


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I have an astounding fear of flying. I never used to. I’d been on many trips as a child and teenager and not once did any of those flights make me fear for anything beyond a late arrival. It was only after hitting my twenties that I started to develop a nervousness upon boarding. Then, mid-way through them, I discovered that it had become a paralyzing phobia.

I don’t remember the exact moment my indifference became downright fear. I think I was on a flight once where the captain, in a rather worried voice, let us know we’d be hitting some tubluence. It wasn’t that bad, as I can recall, but enough so that it made me grip the armrests and glance around to see if anyone else had suddenly resigned themselves to death as I had. Luckily, no one else seemed to care much. So, eventually, I tried to calm down too. It worked for then but the rest of the flight I had a creeping of this unfamiliar flavor of dread and it followed me off the plane and came with me when I had to return to board another one. …


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Square Enix

I haven’t even finished my last essay on a Final Fantasy and yet here I am crafting another one about the newest mainline game to be shown during the Playstation 5 showcase. Just shy of four minutes of content and yet here I am, ready to defend this game against its naysayers or perhaps just express my insurmountable excitement for it.

I admittedly was not expecting nor was I ready to see this game, even though speculation of its development has been leaking for a few years, on a Wednesday morning at 10 am. Having just finished (caught up for the first time!) FFXIV, and extensively singing its praises, I find myself beyond impressed and absolutely enthralled with this trailer. But first, to explain why, I want to talk a bit (again, probably) about my first Final Fantasy game. …


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If you’ve been reading any of my stuff, you can see that I clearly have a longstanding love for video games. I’ve been playing them since I was young and while my preferences for types of game has waxed and waned over the years, I am happy to say that some things never change. I will never gravitate towards first-person shooters, for one, and secondly I am really shy online.

That being said: I have never played any of the battle royale-style games that have come to dominate the video game market over the past few years. I’ve seen Fornite take off, watched my share of matches of Overwatch and League of Legends (all right that one isn’t an FPS) but none of them have made me feel welcome in their spaces. As I, a casual player with all but my most favorite games, needed to get gud if I wanted to play them. And maybe I’m judging these games too harshly. Maybe Overwatch and Fortnite and even League have decent amateur communities I never tried to discover. But the thing is that each of them still require an investment of strategy and gear and trash talk that I simply do not have in my repertoire. …

About

RaeSoSun

in my head or one of the Final Fantasy games, most of the time.

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