Final Fantasy Friday – Town Tunes

Final Fantasy Friday

Once I thought up an alliterative title I just had to go with this question.  I was going to open this post stating it’s been a while since we’ve had a music question, but then I noticed Winter Fantasy was not long ago in the queue, so we’re just going to go with the fact that I love music, especially video game music, especially Final Fantasy music.  With that in mind…

What is your favorite town music?

All of the Final Fantasy town music has such a “homey” sound to it.  I wish I’d done better in music theory to be better able to explain what exactly that entails, but I do support a creator on Patreon 8-bit Music Theory who could.  I believe you’re allowed one request a month if you’re a supporter, so I might utilize that.

After listening to some amazing music, my initial choice remains the same it’s been for over 20 years: Final Fantasy VI’s “Kids Run Through the City.”

The repeat of the first verse when that haunting under-melody comes in almost always brings a tear to my eye and this is in the original as in non-orchestrated version.  There are more gorgeous covers of this song than I can shake a stick at, but RebeccaETripp is the one currently on my editing music playlist, but there’s still something about the the original.

Honorable mentions have to go to the following: FFIV – Baron Castle; FFV – Harvest (Kerwin Town Theme); FFVII – Mining Town; FFVIII – Balamb GARDEN ~ Ami (the orchestrated version of the song); FFIX – Frontier Village Dali & Sleepless City ~ Treno; FFX – The Travel Agency; and finally (heh) FFXII – Nalbina Fortress Town.

Some of these aren’t specifically town themes you say?

Twilight Sparkle of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic as a human

Here’s a picture of human Twilight Sparkle shrugging, ’cause I don’t know what to tell you.

Image Source: Smug Shrug by semehammer

I might have played a bit fast and loose with the “town theme” rules, but I considered anything that takes place in a populated locale where you weren’t susceptible to enemy attacks fair game.


What’s your favorite town theme?  The games started to have more than one as their numbers went up, which has a 100% approval rating with me, as it provides some variety.  Does your favorite town them coincide with your favorite game or is it different like mine?  Let’s talk town tunes in the comments!

The “Final” State of the Reader

Update:  Okay…so maybe I was a bit too hasty (I even say it down below).  Due to popular demand (and yes, I count 2-3 comments as “popular.”  Your opinions are very important to me), I’m going to keep this post, but it’ll be more compact, just what I’ve finished in the duration and what I’m currently reading.  That should take me two hours or less every other week, which is really all I ask for. 

I’m sorry for seeming capricious.  I don’t normally make decisions this quickly, and I think it was more my chronic fatigue talking.  I was extremely exhausted last night and just didn’t have the energy to do the post.  I think if that happens again, I’ll just say that instead of just completely nixing something that generates such good conversation.  The next SOTR post will be in two weeks with whatever new format I decide to go with.

On a positive note, I can say that I’ve used the term “final” just like my favorite game 😀

<–The State of the Reader: 1/3/18

A weekly post I was updating every Wednesday then every other Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and what new titles I added to my to-read list.  You can still friend me on Goodreads where I have an account.

I don’t usually make decisions like this so quickly, but as I was doing my evening reading, tired as usual, I started to consider what benefit this post actually brings.  Obviously I love talking about books/reading, but I can do that when I post my reviews. This post sometimes takes me over three hours even with the modifications, and by the time it’s up it’s late.  I usually have nothing else pertinent on the days I do it, because it takes so long, and since I’m trying to catch up on all my reviews and play all the games, I had to do some account taking.

“But TSN,” you shout, “didn’t you move to a biweekly schedule in order to make more time?”

Yes, dear friends, I did, but I’m fighting a never ending battle with time and fatigue…and they’re winning.  The rules of war constantly change.

“Are you going to nix the State of the Gamer and State of the Writer posts, too?!”

As of now, no.  SOTG doesn’t take nearly as long as SOTR did, and I do SOTW every other Sunday, which is a weekend.  Also since I schedule out my reading as opposed to scheduling out my gaming, I’m going to keep up with the former without needing a weekly or biweekly status update.

I’ll continue to update my progress on Goodreads every Wednesday again, since that takes like five minutes, and of course you can message me there if you want to talk books.  There’s also Twitter and my contacts, which should both be under my About section.

By doing this, I’ll free up an immense amount of time, which I can then use to catch up on my myriad reviews, watch LPs, play games, write, etc. so I think it’s in both my and my blog’s best interest.  It also gives me more time to interact with all of you lovely people since I’ve started checking the WordPress reader on a daily basis instead of relying on the weekly email explosion, which can take me over a week to clear up.

I love the idea of status posts, and they’re great so long as they don’t take up too much of your time, but when posting about what you’re going to do takes more time than you actually doing it, it might be time to consider other options.

And that, as they say, is that.


<–The State of the Reader: 1/3/18

 

Final Fantasy Type-0 (DNF)

More video game reviews can be found here.

Series: Final Fantasy/Fabula Nova Crystalis
Genre: 
JRPG/Fantasy
Developer: Square Enix
Release Date: October 27, 2011

The cover of Final Fantasy Type-0System: PlayStation 4

Final Fantasy Type-0 (formerly Final Fantasy Agito XIII) opens on a graphically violent note.  Final Fantasy has always been known for its beautiful, chill-inducing openings, and Type-0 does not disappoint in this regard.  The beginning scenes display the horrors of war in bloody relief, utilizing the full power of the PlayStation 4.  The series has never shied away from such a topic, and in fact, all of the games center around war/rebellion in some way, but Type-0 did not mince words or sight, and it was even more harrowing considering these were children slain with neither mercy nor impunity given for youth.

The “secondary” series is Fabula Nova Crystalis, the same as Final Fantasy XIII (which I’m planning to play this year).  It translates into “new tales of the crystals” and also contains Final Fantasy XV.  The “crystal” is a ubiquitous structure throughout the series, present in all iterations though arguably more hidden in some (e.g. Final Fantasies VI, VII, & VIII).  Analogous in Type-0 with the “four lights of hope,” they’re represented by a specifically hued animal: White Tiger, Azure Dragon, Black Tortoise, and Red Phoenix.  The White Tiger’s attack on another faction nullified their crystal, which is the catalyst for the events of the game.

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The State of the Writer: 1/14/18

<–The State of the Writer: 12/31/17          The State of the Writer: 1/28/18–>

A biweekly post updated every Sunday discussing my current writing projects and any completed the prior two weeks.

Finished Projects: 1

Project: Year End List
Title: TSN’s 2017 Top Games List

Cover of Valiant Hearts: The Great WarOf course I use the cover of the game that made me ugly cry…anyway, I have at least one more “Top” list to post for books.  I’m debating doing one of those all popular blog stat posts, but I’m on the fence about it.  It’s not something I really look at or consider, and this isn’t because I’m too cool for school or anything like that.  I just…don’t really think about it.  While I’d love for this blog to expand and garner more followers, and I have plans to do more expansive things, such thoughts don’t haunt my waking hours.  It would be awesome, and I’m going to do things to facilitate it, but I’m not overly concerned with it.  Maybe I should be?

I just did a Top 5 list out of the games I watched; the book list will be four times longer.

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The State of the Gamer: 1/9/18

<–The State of the Gamer: 12/26/17            The State of the Gamer: 1/23/18–>

A weekly post updated every other Tuesday detailing my current gaming projects.  I have an account at Grouvee, which is a site you can use to keep track of your backlog, so please feel free to friend me there!

Story Based/Definitive Ending Games

On Hold
  1. Final Fantasy V – I’m going to wait until I clear out some of the games I’m in the midst of before picking this back up.  I’ll still count this time in my Playing Duration, but I’m not going to include it in this update until I pick up the sticks again.
  2. Assassin’s Creed: Origins – Same goes for this one.

Title: Super Mario Odyssey
Series: Super Mario
Genre: Platformer/Puzzle – Adventure
Developer: Nintendo
Release Date: October 27, 2017
Date Started: October 29, 2017

I was hoping to count this among my finished of 2017 (and if any list needed padding, it’s that one.  I’m pretty sure I’m the sandbagger among my blogger buddies hehe), but alas it was not to be.  I’m right at the end, too, in Bowser’s Kingdom, fighting the Broodals for (what I’m hoping is) the last time.  I made an attempt, but sadly failed.  I couldn’t figure out how to knock off the legs so that the final Broodal bubble is in the right spot for pecking (that…is a weird sentence).  Of course there’s a shit ton of after game, er, afterwards, so I’ll have to figure out how I’m going to count that when I get to it.

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TSN’s 2017 Top Games List

Hello Dear Friends!  I hope you all had Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year.  This is (was) my favorite time: Christmas Night.  It’s the long exhale after the climax where everyone can relax and play with their presents, while basking in the relief that it’s over.  I saw some awesome videos of kids opening up presents on Christmas Morning (the Nintendo Switch unwrapping was amazing), and I, myself, received Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild , my very own PS4, tons of git cards, a special vase, and a bunch of other awesome gifts!I’m (was) also off Tuesday and Wednesday and figured now is as good of time as any to (start working on)  post my 2017 Best of List for gaming before the elderly year grows older (sadly it died before I could finish.  Alas); however, mine is going to be a little bit different from the others I’ve seen floating around.  As of today, I’ve only finished five games on the dates indicated:

  1. World of Final Fantasy – 2/19/17
  2. Journey – 3/22/17
  3. The Room – 5/16/17
  4. The Room Two – 5/27/17
  5. The Room Three – 8/15/17

There’s no doubt which the best game out of all of those is.

Obviously, I loved WOFF and The Room series was one of the best for puzzle games ever, but you can see how I’m not really in a position to adequately talk about games based solely on the ones I played this year.  However, since I did watch a ton of Let’s Plays, I feel as though that would be the better population from which to draw my Top 10.  So without further ado…


10. Detention

Though this initially comes off as a spooky/horror game, it’s much more.  Have no doubt, there are harrowing parts (those really tall ghosts.  Hell.  No), but that’s not the inner spirit of the experience.

9. The Witch’s House

There’s a lot to be said about a game where you’re killed by a teddy bear, and I said a bit of it here with my review.  Created with RPG Maker, don’t let the cute, sprite graphics lull you into a false sense of security.  You will die.  A lot.  Gruesomely. And shockingly.  The puzzles are quite clever, and the RPG mechanic works surprisingly well for a horror game.  I also cannot stress how much the ending messes you up and literally turns everything on its ear.  It’s worth it just to play through for that.

8. Inside

In the vein of games with shocking endings, Inside notches it up to the “what the absolute fuck?!” level.  At no point did I expect to see what I saw, and where The Witch’s House is heartbreaking in its horror, Inside is flat out disturbing, but absolutely fitting for the setting.  The game is exactly what you’d expect from the creators of Limbo.  It has similar gameplay, but the story goes much deeper and, as such, is ripe for the theorists.

7. Rakuen

I had to scramble to place this in my Top 10, because I just finished it the other day.  I knew it was going to be a tearjerker when I saw the hospital setting, and I figured out what was going to happen at the end, but that did nothing to lessen the sorrow.  This is a beautiful game that expertly weaves a far too recent and real life tragedy with a parallel fantasy world.  What your character (called only The Boy) does in Morizora’s Forest is echoed in his hospital home, and this goes for the people he helps.

Rakuen is a puzzle game that plays like an RPG without the random battles, so if you’re not a fan of those, you don’t have to worry about them.  This isn’t to say there aren’t any enemies, but there’s only one type (nor do I think it’s really an enemy, but that’s edging spoiler territory), and there are no confrontations with it, only avoidance.  While this was a game I could’ve played myself, there were some creepy parts that I’m glad I only had to watch.  Combined with some overly cutesy things, it gives Rakuen a bit of Mood Whiplash, but this is not a critique, merely an observation.  The soundtrack is wonderful with vocal performances that are not only gorgeous, but serve an integral part of the story.  Make sure you have some tissues ready for the end.

6. The Mass Effect Trilogy

Even though I watched the first game in 2016, I didn’t finish the other two until last year, so I’m going to count that I finished the trilogy then.  This is the only game on the list that I plan to play in the future, and I decided that based on watching the LP by Olizandri.  There’s too much to say about Mass Effect to really get into it here (and most of you probably know about it already lol), but rewatching the ending with the knowledge of what came before under my belt completely changed my perspective on it (either that or the ending was updated to show more than what happened to Joker and EDI; I’m really not sure).  I have a great deal to say about it  when I finally get to my review in addition to comparative essays (e.g. how Reaper indoctrination is similar to the also hive-minded Jenova’s mental manipulation), and I’m looking forward to exploring all of its angles and discussing it with all of you fine people when I do.

5. Little Nightmares

I’ve watched both the original game and the two currently released DLCs, and, were it a game I could conceivably play (if I wasn’t a wuss puss), I’d have no problems doling out the ducats for all.  The DLCs are apparently inexpensive yet quite expansive in both exploration and storytelling.  There are traces and hints of what went on in the main game all throughout, though just the former is enough to give me full fledged nightmares for days (nothing little about that).  There are no cut scenes, and players are obliged to piece together the story from what can be observed in the levels.  Like Inside there are quite a few theory videos out there to either explain or spark new perspectives.  Whether you play this game in the light of day to ward off the eeriness or in the midst of darkness where the nightmares prowl is entirely up to you.  I, for one, will continue watching my Let’s Plays in the sun and covering my face at necessary moments.

4. Ori and the Blind Forest

This game is literally a work of art.  From the visuals to the music to the poignant story, Ori bookended me with tears.  While not wholly tragic, the game uses sorrow for emphasis and forces you to examine where your full allegiances lie.  I did an almost about face about a particular character once their true motivation was known.  Moon Studios should be both commended and supported for future endeavors.

I considered stopping the LP when I first started so I could play myself, but I’m glad I just continued watching.  There is no way in hell I could pull off those sweet, platforming moves that Cry so brilliantly preformed (though there was some Power of Editing involved lol.  No hate though).  It’s a Metroidvania game, so there’s a lot of backtracking to open up areas previously unattainable.  Also, did I mention the soundtrack?  I did?  Well let me mention it again, because I need to download it.

P.S. The name of the setting is the Forest of Nibel and there’s both fire and mist.

3. Valiant Hearts: The Great War

Ya’ll if you want to ugly cry, please play or watch this game.  Where Ori had me misty (hey that’s what “Nibel” means!), Valiant Hearts made me bawl.  My husband stopped playing Destiny 2 to make sure I was okay, and the friend he was playing with asked if everything was alright.  THAT’S how serious I am about what this game did to me, and it’s not even what you’d expect.  It hits hardest because it’s unexpected and just so wrong.  There’s a wonderful video by The Closer Look called “How to Make the Audience Cry,” and it explains what concept universally causes it and why.  I’d recommend watching it only if or after you’ve watched/played Valiant Hearts.  It’s not a major spoiler, but a game/story like this should be experienced untainted.

2. The Last of Us

I had a long talk with myself about whether this or the number one game would have that place, but in the end, I decided it based on after effects.  Which story haunted me more?  Which caused more of an existential crisis?  While TLOU certainly vied with the first question (especially in any intelligent discussions about it), the number one pick literally blew the second out of the water, but that doesn’t mean the tale of Joel and Ellie is worth any less.  It is a very close second, and, along with the first, is one of my more essay-like reviews.  I have a lot to say about this game, and I see the ending from multiple different points of view.  Understanding loss, I understand why what happened did, but I can also see why there is a great deal of negativity about the decision and the game mechanic that makes you (the player) part of something you might find reprehensible.  Because I not only suck at stealth (seriously…you should see me in Assassin’s Creed: Origins.  It would be embarrassing if I had any shame…), I’m also a wuss puss when it comes to any kind of horror, and I utterly abhor being chased.  When something like this comes after you…

…TSN says nope and covers her face.

I was also completely wrong about Ellie’s peculiar attribute in terms of what caused it, and that was proven with one of the saddest deaths in the game.  Then when I thought I’d figured it out again, that wasn’t the case either.  However, while I might rail against my inelegance, I’m often happy to be wrong in these cases, because it means I could use my “wrong” suppositions in a story of my own and I get to be surprised!

Speaking of which…I have a soft spot in my heart for TLOU, because it has damn near the same plot as the first novel I wrote.  In a different setting and a different relationship between the “Joel” and “Ellie” characters, but “experienced, morally grey bad ass with a devastating loss in his past (that he witnessed first hand) hired to take an inexperienced, young woman to pre-determined location and on the way they learn to love each other” plus the spoilery stuff at the end of TLOU is exactly the same, and I’m a bit shook.

This is one of those games that every gamer should experience.  I’m not one of those “hates cut scenes” people so they don’t bother me in the least, enhancing the narrative rather than taking away especially in this case.  I can’t wait for the second part to come out.

And my number one game of 2017 is…

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PSA: See stolen content from content creators? Content theft!

I believe the issue is now resolved, but it still warrants sharing!

NekoJonez's Gaming Blog

Today, I had an unpleasant surprise this morning on the train to work. I found out that two websites actually stole my content! This was such a let down since the amount of content that was stolen from me is more than just one article. It’s almost all my articles from December. While I was working on contacting other sites and blogs that got content stolen, a good blogging friend of mine Drakulus wrote this article. And it’s actually a great lesson to learn. 

What do you if you come across stolen content? Do you ignore it? Or do you do something about it? What if the stolen content you come across is yours? 

WordPress is a great place to publish content of all sorts. Some people like to use it as a diary. While others, like myself, us it to express their love for gaming by reviewing games, writing…

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