The State of the Reader: 12/21/16

<–The State of the Reader: 12/14/16          The State of the Reader: 12/28/16–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Currently Reading: 3

Title: The Mabinogion Tetralogy
Author: Evangeline Walton
Date Added: August 24, 2014
Date Started: July 31, 2016

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 45%

I didn’t make any percentage progress, but I did read a chapter or so.  Since this book is so long, getting through only a few pages doesn’t net me much quantifiable progress, but rest assured, this is not a book I’m going to be putting down.

Title: The Ghost of Buxton Manor
Author: Jonathon L. Ferrara
Date Added: August 16, 2016
Date Started: October 17, 2016

Media: Kindle
Progress: 70%

It’s getting very interesting in Buxton Manor and its environs.  To say anymore would be to give a major part of the story away, and I want people to read this to not only enjoy a good tale, but to give the author support!

I also realized I’m a dumbass and never put a link to the author’s blog.  I’ve remedied that under his name above.  It goes to a post about pre-ordering a physical copy (which it’s too late to do now, since the book is out.  I have it on Kindle), but there are other links below for it.  You know what, I’ll just link to the first sample chapter.  That seems to make the most sense, and I’ll retain the link for as long as I’m reading it.  Hopefully Jonathon won’t mind!

Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Series Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Date Added: June 15, 2016
Date Started: November 20, 2016

Media: Paperback
Progress: 42%

So I now have an ever bigger gripe than Feyre and Tamlin’s insta-romance.  Suddenly, the story turned a bit rapey.  No rape happened, but there were some “I was looking for you” shenanigans, which is okay, but then it turned into what could be considered an (non-sexual) assault and then afterwards a “it’s your own fault for not staying in your room.”  Um, what the fuck?  Then later, an apology with flowers.  Um, yeah, that’s par for the course to an abusive relationship.  Thorns/Roses is obviously better written than Twilight or Fifty Shades of Gray, but I’m not going to let that excuse things like this.  I’m still planning on finishing it, and I’m hoping something happens that’ll redeem the story and that particular character a little, because right now I’m really not impressed with the latter, even though I’m enjoying the former.

I will say the Beauty and the Beast vibe is obviously stronger, and I can certainly see shades of the Scottish ballad about Tam Lin, as the titular character in that was changed into a beast (among other things), while his true love Janet forced herself to hold onto him for the time of 21 heartbeats.  I’m curious how Maas might weave this poetry in.


Fanfictions Finished: 0

In Progress Fanfictions Read: 1

Title: I’m the Darkness, You’re the Starlight
Author: runicmagitek
Fandom: FFVI
Pairing: Celes Chere/Setzer Gabbiani

Still no update on this.  I may shoot the author a message on tumblr (if it isn’t down as I’ve heard), not just to inquire about the story, but also to see how she’s doing.

Fanfictions Currently Reading: 0

Fanfictions Added to TBR List: 0


Books Added to Goodreads TBR List This Week: 3

Title: A Lion Among Men
Series Title: The Wicked Years
Author: Gregory Maguire
Date Added: December 17, 2016

This was one of my husband’s White Elephant presents.  I don’t think he was overly interested in it, but I have Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister already on my TBR list, and this is the third book in the series.  I’ve always been a fan of retellings and have heard good things about Mr. Maguire’s.  I’m hoping I do enjoy Wicked as I was sort of ruined from liking the musical by overzealous friends/fans.

This volume follows the exploits of the Cowardly Lion and what’s really drawing me to it is how the animals of Oz are treated like second class citizens in the kingdom.  I’m really curious to see the interplay of that.

Ah okay, in looking up Confessions, that’s apparently a standalone, and the book in question is in a different series entirely though they’re both by the same author.

Title: Maresi
Series Title: The Red Abbey Chronicles
Author: Maria Turtschaninoff
Date Added: December 18, 2016

Don’t let the “red abbey” part fool you, this is not a tale of Redwall.  It’s a novel of a more realistic haven where women and girls can escape and heal from abuse and oppression.   The titular character, a 13 year old novice, arrived there in the winter, and now lives happily protected by the Mother and exploring the vast library.  She takes another girl, Jai, under her wing, and learns it will take more than books to fix the ills of society.

I’m trying to curb the amount of books I add to my TBR list, which is why the numbers have been lowered, but when I saw Kim review this, I knew I had to make an exception.  I’m going to (eventually) do another sample download to try to remove as many novels as possible if they don’t strike my fancy, but this may very well not happen until after the holidays.

Title: Nemesis
Author: Brendan Reichs
Date Added: December 20, 2016

Again I’m really trying to curb the number of books I add to my TBR list, but meteors and serial murders are just too much for me to pass up.  Is Min dreaming of a past life or a future death, and how does Noah fit in with his nightmares of murder?  Is he Min’s murderer?  And then we have the Anvil, a giant meteor/asteroid that could wipe out life on earth.  All you need do to pique my curiosity is entice my VII sense.


Total Books on Goodreads TBR List: 533
Change from Last Week: +3


Books Added to Goodreads To Be Reread List This Week: 0


Books Purchased This Week: 0


What are you currently reading and/or what’s on your radar to read next?  What would you recommend based on my current and recently added?  As always I look forward to your comments and suggestions!

<–The State of the Reader: 12/14/16          The State of the Reader: 12/28/16–>

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

The State of the Gamer: 12/20/16

<–The State of the Gamer: 12/13/16          The State of the Gamer: 12/27/16–>

A weekly post updated every Tuesday detailing my current gaming projects.  I have quite a backlog of games to either play or watch, and I’m hoping a weekly article will assist with my progress as my other accountable posts have done with reading and writing.
I have an account at Grouvee, which is a essentially Goodreads for gamers, so please feel free to friend me there!
Original source of the banner art is located here.

Title: Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls
Series: Final Fantasy
Genre: RPG – Fantasy
Developer: Square/Tose (GBA)
Original Platform: NES
Original Release Date: December 18, 1987
Current Platform: Gameboy Advance
Current Platform Release Date: July 29, 2004
Date Started: November 20, 2016

dawn-of-souls

I sailed to Elfheim this week.  Huh, that sentence sounds like the opening line to an epic story.  Alas my experience wasn’t quite so exciting.  The next level of spells and upgraded weapons are really expensive, and the enemies in the area don’t drop much GP.  I might turn to the Google and see if there’s a better place to farm.  I seem to recall when I was playing (or watching) the original that there was a good grind spot so that’ll be my next goal.  To give you an example, one new spell is 1000GP, but the enemies are still dropping only around 100-300GP, and I need to buy at least eight spells.

Title: Final Fantasy IV
Series: Final Fantasy
Genre: RPG – Fantasy
Developer: Square
Original Platform: SNES
Original Release Date: July 19, 1991
Current Platform: Game Boy Advance
Current Platform Release Date: December 12, 2005
Date Started: October 24. 2016

final-fantasy-iv

My next task is to go to Troia Castle.  I explored the town and found some secret stuff, but last time I played, I was too tired to progress the story.  The part with the Dark Elf requires you to not have any metal weapons in his cave, so your best equipment is useless.

Huh, I just realized I’m in an analogous place in IV that I am in DoS.  I have to defeat the Dark Elf there (whose name is Astos; no wonder he’s pissed) in order to break the spell on Elfheim’s sleeping prince.  It’s a bit of a gender reversed sleeping beauty.

Title: World of Final Fantasy
Series: Final Fantasy
Genre: RPG – Fantasy
Developer: Square Enix
Platform(s): PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
Release Date: October 25, 2016
Date Bought: October 21, 2016
Date Started: November 5, 2016

world-of-final-fantasy

I’m off Thursday and Friday this week and along with Christmas planning and preparation, I get to play more WOFF.  I just finished up a part involving an “underground” city with a Norse name, and my next goal is to search out some of the Mirages I missed there and on the sands.

I’m trying to formulate a plan to obtain more Mirages since you can transfigure new forms from the ones you have.  So for example right now I have Shiva and Bablizz/Mishiva, the latter being one Mirage that I can now transfigure into both forms, and both can be transfigured from Shiva.  If I can obtain one more Shiva, I could transfigure her into a Mishiva (or a Bablizz) and then have one of each.  The same goes for Ifrit.  Usually Mirages will give you another prism of themselves as you go along their grid, and I’m hoping this holds for the Shiva, Ifrit, and Ramuh (I still need to get a Zapt).

I’m debating making another chart that shows which Mirages can be transfigured from others.  Then I can put a plan into place to obtain them.  I could go back to the Nether Nebula to look for another Fritt (since I can now transfigure him into Affrite).  It’s a decent leveling spot so while I was hoping for an encounter, I could grind.  There’s also the Windswept Mire with its Flan Princess and Malboro Menace.  I think I’m finally at a level where I should be able to defeat them pretty easily.

As you can tell, I’m taking my time with this game.  I’m going to eke as much enjoyment out of it as I can.  The next story part is The Big Bridge, which I keep hearing about.  I know it’s a very long chapter, and one of the earlier interventions is finally going to open up in the Girl’s Tearoom.  My guess is you can’t do an intervention until you reach the point of its location in the story line.  It’s odd that it showed up as the third one right from the get-go.


Games Currently Watching

Title: Mass Effect II
Series: Mass Effect
Genre: Action RPG – Sci-Fi
Developer: BioWare
Original Platform(s): Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3
Original Release Date: January 26, 2010
Let’s Player: Olizandri
Date Started: November 19, 2016

mass-effect-2

I just watched one of the most beautiful parts of this game.  It probably wouldn’t stand out to most people, but it was an utter dream of perfection, showcasing how expert programming, animation, storytelling, and voice work can come together.  And this was in not one, but two situations on Ilium.  The first involves Shepherd talking to the holder of a contract for Zhu’s Hope where she (Shepherd) convinces her to alter an inhumane caveat, and the second is the reaction of the asari whom Shepherd did this for.  The subtle intricacies of how emotions play out in the second situation is so well done.

The video should start at the correct point, so just hit play if you’re curious.  I don’t think it will spoil much unless you’re really interested to know how Shepherd handled the Thorian in the first installment and don’t want that given away.

I will say that the quality of these games only seems to go up, and I’m hoping by watching all of them, I’ll be a bit more lenient on that controversial ending.

Title: Faxanadu
Series: Dragon Slayer
Genre: Action/RPG
Developer: Hudson Soft
Original Platform(s): Nintendo Entertainment System
Original Release Date: November 17, 1987
Let’s Player: Hungry Goriya
Date Started: December 18, 2016

I’m happy to report I’m watching another Hungry Goriya Let’s Play, and this is actually the game that got me into watching Let’s Plays.  Years ago, I came across something that reminded me of it, and because I neither had the game (nor the skill to play it even if I did), I decided to seek an internet solution.  Thus my introduction to the world of LPing was born.  I’d seen videos about such before, but never liked listening to any where the player spoke, because their voice and/or mannerisms annoyed me.  The first Kid Icarus I watched was just a silent play through, and I loved that, but Odinspack33 had a calm, chill voice, and I realized that it was just the matter of finding the right LPer.

So I’m happy to watch a friend play through this game again!  I didn’t know (until I checked the Great Wiki) that it was part of a series called Dragon Slayer and is a spinoff of Xanadu (the name being a portmanteau of that and Famicom).  You really do learn something new every day.

This was one of those games we rented in my youth, but neither I nor my brother ever even got so far as to obtain the mattock.  Now that I’m reading more about the story, I’m seeing similarities with another game you all know I love.  A fallen meteorite brought an Evil One to the world, and it transformed the dwarves into monsters and set them against the elves.  Hm, I seem to recall a motif where an evil alien creature fell to the world and mutated people into monsters, so that appears to be a fairly common staple of fantasy/fantasy video games.


Games Added to Playlist: 1

  1. The Last Guardian

Everyone is talking about this game, and Cheap Boss Attack mentioned it in his weekly Freakin’ Weekend post with a picture of the giant dog-mouse-bird thingy, and it’s so adorable that there’s no way I can’t be interested.

Look how adorable!

Look how adorable!


Games Bought This Week: 0

No PSN sales for me this close to Christmas!


What are you currently playing and/or watching? Is it something new or old?  Is it a first time run or a replay?  What’s the genre?  Would you recommend it?  What’s on your radar to play next?

<–The State of the Gamer: 12/13/16          The State of the Gamer: 12/27/16–>

Save

Save

Save

Question of the Week: 12/18/16

<–Question of the Week: 12/11/16          Question of the Week: 12/25/16–>

The Question of the Week is posted every Sunday and will consist of a question followed by my answer and explanation to the same.  Some questions will only require a simple answer that could potentially be followed by an explanation.  Many questions will be writer oriented, but not all.  Everyone is encouraged to answer in the comments and discussions/follow up questions are more than welcome!

What’s your favorite Christmas/Holiday episode?

As luck would have it, I’m currently watching one of my favorite Christmas episodes right now: Family Guy “Road to the North Pole,” where Brian and Stewie travel to Santa’s workshop so the megalomaniac baby can kill the jolly old man due to a mall Santa slighting him.  Of course once they reach the pole, things aren’t quite what they expect.  It has one of the best songs in the series, “Christmas Time Is Killing Us.”

I’m also fond of the Futurama Xmas episodes where the Santa robot tries to kill everyone out too late on Christmas Eve,

My favorite Christmas episode though is from American Dad.  Season 8 Ep. 7 “Season’s Beatings.”  Stan is thwarted in his dream to play Christ at the Crucifixion, because he doesn’t have the abs for it per Father Donovan.  The minister gives him the job of playing Santa Claus, but Stan’s disappointment is compounded with rage when he finds out Roger’s gotten the role since the drunken alien has absolutely no respect for Christianity and only did it because it sounded fun.  Stan proceeds to beat the shit out of Roger on national TV, which gets him thrown out of the church.  The only way to reverse the excommunication is to either donate $10 million, find the Holy Grail, or kill the antichrist, and as luck would have it, Hayley and Jeff recently adopted a toddler who would up being said antichrist!  What else can be said at this point besides shenanigans ensue.


What’s your favorite Christmas episode?  This question is more geared towards specific television shows.  I’ll have one about Christmas specials next week 🙂

I look forward to your answers in the comments!

<–Question of the Week: 12/11/16          Question of the Week: 12/25/16–>

The State of the Writer: 12/17/16

<–The State of the Writer: 12/10/16          The State of the Writer: 12/24/16–>

A weekly post updated every Saturday discussing my current writing projects and where I stand with them.  This will include any and all work(s) in progress (WIP) be they creative writing, essays/analyses, or reviews of any type.

Project: Story
Title:
The Broken Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Fanfiction (FFVII) Novel
Current Word Count: 277,650
Prior Word Count: 277,823
Word Difference: -173
Status: Editing
Progress: Second edit of Chapter 7

dark-rose

I’m still plugging through the second edit of this chapter, and the above was another potential picture.  I like how the rose could be seen either fading into color or fading out of it.  For this story, it would obviously be fading into color, but it is all about perspective.

There’s also a sweet (literal) flower part in this chapter so showing more of them seems appropriate.

Quote: “Do you truly believe their heinous crimes could diminish your purity?  You are innocent forever, my Aeris.  No brutal act of a thousand cowards can change this unalterable truth.”


Project: Essay
Title: Half a Tragedy Is Worse Than Whole
Subject: FFVII Comparative and Meta
Status: On hold
Progress: Outline Completed

I think I’m going to put all other writing/edit on hiatus until after the holidays, because there’s just no way I can find time to get anything else done.  I know I could play less of World of Final Fantasy, but we all know that’s not going to happen.

After Christmas, I want to sit down and figure out a New Year plan for writing since I’m really struggling with getting essays worked on and out, nor have I done anything with The Editing of Northern Lights in months.  I’m also going to do some year end analysis stuff, but I haven’t worked out the details on that yet.


What are you currently working on?  Is it a creative writing project, essay, review, or something else?  Have you just started something new or are you wrapping up a long term project?

<–The State of the Writer: 12/10/16          The State of the Writer: 12/24/16–>

Save

Save

Final Fantasy Friday: Final Fantasy Tarot – XVII The Star

<–XVI The Tower                                                                              XVIII The Moon–>

This is my current Final Fantasy Friday post where I’ll be discussing which characters I think exemplify each card of the Major Arcana.  If this is your first time here, please head over to my Final Fantasy Tarot page for explanation.  Now onto the next card!

XVII The Star

the-star-yuna

This was the perfect example of a situation where your guesses/suggestions made me reexamine my choice.  When I first conceived of this project, I had another character from another game in mind (while I’ll elaborate on in the Alternates section), but quite a few things steered me in Yuna’s direction.

The Star is a card of hope and healing, and Yuna offers both of them to her world.  As a summoner she eases the burdens of the grieving by ensuring their deceased loved ones reach the Farplane, and throughout her pilgrimage she serves as a beacon of hope for all of Spira.  The water connection between the card and the character is also a good bridge.  Summoners are universally respected for their utterly unselfish sacrifice at the end of their journey to vanquish Sin, even if it is only for a short amount of time.  The dance continues and the spiral never ends.

Yuna truly becomes hope’s symbol (with Tidus’s influence) when she defies death’s destiny to break the cycle and vanquish Sin once and for all.  FFX, among other things, exemplifies the adage “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds” to the point that there is a literal religion built up around the phrase of followers and fools.

Hm…now I’m considering a project where I figure out a phrase or adage for each Final Fantasy.  Prior to the paragraph above I only have one for FFVII (of course), but the “foolish consistency” is perfect for FFX.


Alternates: Terra (VI)

Terra was my first choice for this card based on the simplified version of the Pandora story that Banon, the leader of the Returners, relates to her.  He tells the young woman that she is the hope that remained in the box after all of the ills had flown out to infect the world.  I believe this works surface wise, but upon further rumination, Yuna is choice with far deeper ramifications.


Everyone wins this week! iplayedthegame, LightningEllen, and Mr. Panda all guessed correctly or you convinced me to change my initial stance.  Obviously, I still have to agree with the character proposed, but your guesses 100% make me reexamine the choices I’ve made 🙂

Next weeks card is The Moon, a symbol of mystery and esoteric knowledge.  I’ll be honest; I’m actually not sure who I’m going to go with for this one.  There are a few contenders, but nothing is set in stone.  Final Fantasy has a lot of hidden moon references, so shine your light in the darkest caverns, and maybe you’ll find the truth.

Happy guessing!

<–XVI The Tower                                                                              XVIII The Moon–>

Save

Save

Save

The State of the Reader: 12/14/16

<–The State of the Reader: 12/7/16          The State of the Reader: 12/21/16–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Currently Reading: 3

Title: The Mabinogion Tetralogy
Author: Evangeline Walton
Date Added: August 24, 2014
Date Started: July 31, 2016

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 45%

I’m still on the Third Branch, and I just keep climbing the tree.  The poetry in this compendium is magnetic.

Title: The Ghost of Buxton Manor
Author: Jonathon L. Ferrara
Date Added: August 16, 2016
Date Started: October 17, 2016

Media: Kindle
Progress: 62%

I’m starting to really not like a particular character whom I don’t want to mention so as to not spoil anything, but I’ll say I don’t think he has Rupert’s best interests at heart.  The eponymous ghost is such an endearing character.  His adorable descriptions of modern objects is so charming, for example how he calls Aaron’s laptop a “futuristic typewriter.”

One thing I’m enjoying about this novel is the mystery.  How the hell are Rupert and Aaron ever going to be together when the former is dead?  I have no doubt Mr. Ferrara will have an amazing solution/conclusion, and even if I’m write about that fore mentioned character, it won’t take anything away from the narrative.

Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Series Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Date Added: June 15, 2016
Date Started: November 20, 2016

Media: Paperback
Progress: 42%

I made some serious progress on this book this week.  As mentioned before the ends of the chapters lend themselves to dive into the next.  Additionally, the novel has a serious Beauty and the Beast vibe to it.

Feyre is becoming less annoying, but I have to bring up a particular critique usually unique to romance stories.  Since the blurb already mentioned it, this isn’t a spoiler.  We the readers are made to know that Feyre and Tamlin are going to fall in love, lust, or what have you. The issue I have is how quickly it occurs.  Now, I’ve written enemies to lovers stories…in fact, that’s pretty much all I write (wow really??), and one of my worries is just that: the change is too abrupt, but the one thing I try to do in order to forestall that is establish attraction even amongst loathing early on (this was far more important in my original novel The Serpent’s Tale, but not so much in Northern Lights since the enemies thing was already mitigated by time and circumstance, though I still established early attraction)  This sets the standard and also adds a layer of potential self-loathing/self-criticism for each character in finding their enemy or adversary attractive.  However, when the turn comes, it flows a bit better, because we know there was attraction between the two sides that can be explored once the source of the hatred is either mitigated or extinguished.

My issue with Thorns/Roses is that it happened far too fast with nothing to really lead up to it.  It’s an abrupt change in Chapter 18.  It’s certainly not a deal breaker in terms of me finishing the novel, but it was highly noticeable.


Fanfictions Finished: 0

In Progress Fanfictions Read: 1

Title: I’m the Darkness, You’re the Starlight
Author: runicmagitek
Fandom: FFVI
Pairing: Celes Chere/Setzer Gabbiani

Hoping the author updates again soon.  I’m dying to see how she handles the finale of the game and how Celes and Setzer’s relationship is going to work out in the aftermath especially since the last chapter I read had them finding Locke #lovetriangle

Fanfictions Currently Reading: 0

Fanfictions Added to TBR List: 0


Books Added to Goodreads TBR List This Week: 2

Title: The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter
Author: Theodora Goss
Date Added: December 11, 2016

One of my old high school friends marked this as TBR, which brought it into my sphere of notice, but Ms. Goss is already an author I follow on Goodreads and here.  This is a tale of “monsters'” revenge, women created through terrifying experimentation.  If you’ve been following this blog for any amount of time, you’ll know full well that characters created by cruel and obviously unconsenting experimentation is a morbid fascination of mine, and questioning who the true monster is is a favorite pastime.  I’m incredibly interested in this story.

A brief note that may lead me to annoyance.  This book is currently rated at 1 star with no review as to why, and I worry the rater might be a troll.  Even if I don’t finish a book, I don’t give it a rating lower than 3 stars without explanation, because bestowing such poor measure on a novel without reason is detrimental to authors, and as a wannabe one, I’d never subject a potential contemporary to such treatment.  I feel this way about all artists.  I haven’t read a novel by Ms. Goss yet, but I have read her blog, and I find little there to warrant such a meager assessment.

Title: Rest in Piece
Author: B. W. Ginsburg
Date Added: December 12, 2016

This is a debut novel by fellow blogger G.W. Ginsburg that was brought to my attention by the well read Kim of By Hook or by Book.  Ms. Ginsburg (whom I will be following as soon as I finish writing this up) has a blog with the same title as the book here and an informative and creative blog here.  You should know by know I highly favor supporting up and coming authors, so I recommend checking out her blogs as I have done.

The blurb for this story reminds me of The Lake House; even though I’ve never that movie, I’m still aware of that facet of plot.  The two characters are connected even though they’re decades apart, and Louise holds the key to saving a nine year  girl who disappeared two decades earlier.  It sounds like there might be time and space shenanigans going on, and I’m interested and intrigued.


Total Books on Goodreads TBR List: 530
Change from Last Week: +2


Books Added to Goodreads To Be Reread List This Week: 0


Books Purchased This Week: 0


What are you currently reading and/or what’s on your radar to read next?  What would you recommend based on my current and recently added?  As always I look forward to your comments and suggestions!

<–The State of the Reader: 12/7/16          The State of the Reader: 12/21/16–>

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

The State of the Gamer: 12/13/16

<–The State of the Gamer: 12/6/16          The State of the Gamer: 12/20/16–>

A weekly post updated every Tuesday detailing my current gaming projects.  I have quite a backlog of games to either play or watch, and I’m hoping a weekly article will assist with my progress as my other accountable posts have done with reading and writing.
I have an account at Grouvee, which is a essentially Goodreads for gamers, so please feel free to friend me there!
Original source of the banner art is located here.

Title: Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls
Series: Final Fantasy
Genre: RPG – Fantasy
Developer: Square/Tose (GBA)
Original Platform: NES
Original Release Date: December 18, 1987
Current Platform: Gameboy Advance
Current Platform Release Date: July 29, 2004
Date Started: November 20, 2016

dawn-of-souls

I…don’t think I played this at all this week.  Last I remember was beating up Bikke and his pirate gang, and then planning to sail to Elfheim to grind for new gear and spells.  I might start doing a DS/GBA schedule like I have with my reading.  I was trying to play DoS and FFIV on alternating days, but it might be easier if I put it on my to-do list, since things are more likely to be done if that occurs.

Title: Final Fantasy IV
Series: Final Fantasy
Genre: RPG – Fantasy
Developer: Square
Original Platform: SNES
Original Release Date: July 19, 1991
Current Platform: Game Boy Advance
Current Platform Release Date: December 12, 2005
Date Started: October 24. 2016

final-fantasy-iv

I’ve made quite a bit of progress on this, which is funny, because I’ve beaten FFIV, but never beating FFI, the DoS version or otherwise.  Logically, you’d think I’d focus on the path not traveled, but Taurus-logically, it actually makes more sense that I’m sticking to what I’m familiar with and greatly enjoy.

I finished up the a batch of side quests.  Final Fantasy IV has those in short supply, and really the only legitimate side quest is looting Eblan Castle (maybe collecting pink tails counts, too).  You have to visit Agart later in the story, but having access to the Enterprise just means you can go there sooner and get it on the map for easier access later.  Mythril is more of a locale to peruse because of the better equipment you can find there.

My next task lies in Troia then the Dark Elf’s Cave where Edward actually proves himself useful.

Title: World of Final Fantasy
Series: Final Fantasy
Genre: RPG – Fantasy
Developer: Square Enix
Platform(s): PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
Release Date: October 25, 2016
Date Bought: October 21, 2016
Date Started: November 5, 2016

world-of-final-fantasy

This is pretty much what I’ve been spending all of my time on.  I took off Friday of last week and Monday of this (not just to play!  I had two days left, but I wouldn’t be ashamed of taking off work to play Final Fantasy and you know it lol) and spent pretty much the entire day playing WOFF.  I neglecting my responsibilities (e.g. working on my “Half a Tragedy” essay) and had a damn fun time dong so.

I found a really awesome tipster on YouTube EnterJayMent (who has some Final Fantasy XV videos up, too) and realized I’d missed a lot.  I had no idea there was Holy Dragon in Icicle Ridge, nor did I realize that the quests you complete in the Girl’s Tearoom opened up new Mirages: Princess Goblin and Undead Princess among two of them.

When I first started playing, like most, I was on a learning curve, and that initial arc didn’t realize that you can catch a Mirage as soon as you engage it in battle.  I thought you had to fight it first in order to obtain its prism then find it again in order to imprism it.  This is how I missed Yurugu(sp?) in the beginning (unless that’s just a tutorial and unimprisonable).  I also believed you had to have an empty space in the case you take with you, not knowing that after catching the new Mirage, there’d be an option to leave it with Serafie.  I also didn’t take advantage of all the Mirages you can catch in the coliseum; therefore, I didn’t have Chocobo or Valefor even though you can easily catch them early on there. Speaking of the coliseum, I manged to unlock and capture Ramuh and Adamantoise, though with the latter, you can find and imprism one while traveling through the channel on the Rainbow Coast, while riding on the back of the talking Adamantoise.  The Coliseum one was just easier (one try!)

I missed the Ghost Pirate ship puzzle on Saronia Docks with the Kupicaroon you can catch there and never knew that if you run around the secret spot in the Nether Nebula that Fritt (baby Ifrit) will eventually show up.  I still need to get Zapt (baby Ramuh), and I’d love to grab another Bablizz since I was able to transfigure the one I won from beating Shiva into Mishiva.  Having a medium and small Shiva/Ice based  Mirage would be bad ass.  I believe you can grab them later in the game, though there are a ton like the male Shiva, Shivalry, and the female Ifrit, Ifritta, whom you can’t ensnare until after the first ending (apparently like XV, there’s a lush after game to World).

I am finally caught up or as caught up as I’m going to be for now.  I’m just about to enter the dessert, so I foresee some cactuar hunting in the near future.  I’m going to try to catch two because I believe that’s what cactrots can transfigure into, and I still never found another one of those little guys in the Pyrefly Forest.

I’m really wondering though if there’s a way to get rid of extra Mirages.  I tried trading and failed miserably at it.  I have two Mandragoras and a Malboro.  Mandragoras transfigure into Malboros so it’s not like I need to keep one as it is and transfigure the other.  I suppose I could eventually have two Malboros, which would be fine, but I’d love to give it to some other needy gamer, and maybe get something in return.  Apparently, my trade didn’t go through because the Mirage I’d have received in return was of a lower level than mine???  I don’t know, and the internet hasn’t been very forthcoming with information.  There isn’t a lot on World yet, because people are still going through it and figuring it out.

I have found this site that has comprehensive information on Mirages as well as the Mirage “family” they belong to and this site that’s a continually updated Coliseum guide.  I like the info on the latter site, but it’s one of those that constantly runs (like many wikis), slowing down your computer.

Whew…so yeah.  Lots to say about WOFF.  I absolutely love it.  I’m enjoying the cameo appearances from all the characters, the references are nostalgically wonderful, and the puns are just great.  I love that Rydia hated and feared fire just like her character did in FFIV, her original game.  I love that Snow had the Shiva from his game FFXIII and used her to created ice bridges (also “Snow” “ice,” “puns”).  I love how Quistis had a similar boat to what the sEEDs used in FFVIII.  I love that Sephiroth summons Meteor, and I cannot tell you how much I love/appreciate the Japanese option with English subtitles.  It feels very anime like during cut scenes..

I’ll be playing again this Wednesday and hope to catch some good Mirages in the dessert.  My play pattern is generally do the next area then go back to the Tearoom and Coliseum to take care of what new quests and fights might have opened up.  I’m hoping “catch up” next time won’t take as long, since I now have some better resources.


Games Currently Watching

Title: Mass Effect II
Series: Mass Effect
Genre: Action RPG – Sci-Fi
Developer: BioWare
Original Platform(s): Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3
Original Release Date: January 26, 2010
Let’s Player: Olizandri
Date Started: November 19, 2016

mass-effect-2

I’m getting into some creeptastic territory with this game.  I just watched the part where Shepherd and crew find the abandoned Collector ship and learn the truth about that species.  I also read a bit of a spoiler today when I googled “Who made the Reapers,” because I wanted to see some theories/speculation about that.  I wound up on Harbinger’s page, but stopped reading before I could spoil it too much.  I’d rather see it in game then read about it.  Since the Reapers are machines albeit sentient, I believe they could have a creator (this could become philosophical and theological for our own creation very quickly, and it also puts me in the mind of that episode of Futurama where the professor leaves the Earth because no one believes in evolution and winds up being the progenitor of a robot race, but now is not the time), and I wonder if it’s suppose to imply that eons ago, when they achieved sentience, they turned on their creators, killing them all to begin the cycle of purge and regrowth that’s been occurring since time immemorial.  It certainly paints a grim picture of limits or lack thereof of AI.

Olizandri, the irrepressible Let’s Player is doing a bunch of the DLCs right now, and I’m hoping he gets to more of the loyalty quests soon.  I want to see Jack’s and Grunt’s.  He just finished Jacob’s and wow, so fucked up what his father did.  I really like Jacob’s character, and I’m more cautiously curious about Miranda’s.

Also on my list of things I can’t look up is the Illusive Man.  I really want to know about his glowing, mechanical looking eyes, but I don’t want to have anything spoiled by looking that up.  If the story doesn’t reveal it, then I will.  I suspect it’s some kind of biotic.

I’m still hoping Wrex will show up again at some point.  While I like Jacob and think Jack is an unmitigated bad ass, there really hasn’t been a character I say hands down is my absolute favorite in this game.  Grunt is a krogan, too, but he doesn’t have the same sarcastic, get-shit-done attitude that Wrex was gloriously burdened with.

Title: Legend of Zelda
Series: Legend of Zelda
Genre: Action-Adventure/Puzzle
Developer: Nintendo
Original Platform(s): Nintendo Entertainment System
Original Release Date: February 21, 1986
Let’s Player: Hungry Goriya
Date Started: Unknown
Date Finished: Unknown

This is a Let’s Play by fellow blogger Hungrygoriya who is the queen of finding retro video games.  I was lucky enough to catch a bit of her playing Earthbound on Twitch a few weeks ago, and I’m hoping she does a full play through of that game for YouTube, as well, since then I and others will be able to watch the whole thing.

I don’t want to make her blush, but I have to mention that she has a great voice and attitude for Let’s Plays, and I think people underrate how important that is.  You want to watch and listen to someone you know cares about the game their playing, and for me personally, it’s not really a matter of getting it right the first time; it’s about how you act and react while you’re going through.  Her voice is super soothing, and I’m really impressed with how well she knows the land of Hyrule.  I’m terrible at direction and would probably need to be consulting a map the entire time.

I’d never seen the entirety of the very first Zelda game, and I’m happy to say that that’s under my belt, and I was able to accomplish it by watching a great Let’s Play.  I also now understand the “hungry goriya” reference!  I didn’t know that was an enemy in Zelda.  They’re called moblins now, and the “hungry” refers to one in a dungeon you have to feed before you can get through.  Old school games were fantastic for challenging your problem solving skills lol.

I also watched her play through of Super Mario Bros. 2, which I can’t believe I didn’t mention!  SMB2 was my first favorite game long years before FFVII ever existed, and it still holds a special place in my heart.


Games Added to Playlist: 2

  1. Final Fantasy Type-0
  2. Final Fantasy XV

Both of these were added because of Cheap Boss Attack.  You blogger friends are going to be the death of me!  Or rather the death of my time hehe.  CBA wrote a kick ass, spoiler free review of FFXV that convinced me I should at least give it a chance.  My biggest reluctance is due to Squeenix moving away from turn based, which I much prefer and love (it was a major draw for me to the Final Fantasy franchise) to more action based.  I was fine with the gambit system of FFXII, but I really don’t like this migration from strategy/turn based.  When I play an RPG, I want to play an RPG.  Sadly, this is the main reason I don’t play Mass Effect as much as I love it. Anyway, owing to the information that you can play FFXV on “easy” where Carbuncle will resurrect you if defeated, I might be able to handle that so I can see what all of the hype is about.  I still have some trepidation, but I don’t want to base my opinion on what’s come into my ken by hearsay.  I’d rather play it myself then read the critiques and decide if they align with how I took it.

The only convincing I needed for Type-0 is that is has a dark mien.  My Gothic heart is already drawn, and my wordsmith soul is trying to make a bad a bad pun using the word “typo.”  I’ll try not to keep you in suspenders.


Games Bought This Week: 1

  1. Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture – the Well-Red Mage informed not just me, but the world that there was yet another PSN sale, this one for the holidays.  I may have missed the lowest price of $5.99, but $8.99 for a game that’s the spiritual sequel to my arguably favorite modern title by The Chinese Room, Dear Esther, is a small price to pay.  Hm, I can’t find the original post on the blog, ,but I’m sure it was there!  Either that or the information just came to me through the Lifestream.  That would explain a lot.

What are you currently playing and/or watching? Is it something new or old?  Is it a first time run or a replay?  What’s the genre?  Would you recommend it?  What’s on your radar to play next?

<–The State of the Gamer: 12/6/16          The State of the Gamer: 12/20/16–>

Save

Save

Save

Save