The Final Fantasy VII Remake and My Unbridled Joy

At E3 2015 this year, Sony/Square Enix just announced a remake of Final Fantasy VII, my favorite game of all time. I’ve spoken at length about FFVII on this blog before, but it truly is something that changed my life when I played it.

From a story perspective, I never knew that one tale could successfully weave all the things that I love — a steampunk setting complete with science fiction technology and the mystery of magic. The impressive, awe-inspiring design of Midgar coupled with the wider fantasy world captivated me in a way that’s still hard to describe. It’s the thing that made me want to write and create worlds. I’m still chasing the dragon on it, so to speak, in terms of finding other stories that have a similar effect on me. I can only hope to write something that hits someone in the same way.

I’ve got a few reservations about what the Remake is going to be like, and plan on detailing how I’d shift some of the story/plot points around to make it stronger, but I’ll save that for another time. For now, I’ll just sit here with this stupid grin on my face and maybe a few remaining tears in my eyes.

What A Game Can Do: Final Fantasy 7

Final Fantasy 7

Growing up, I was always a big reader. You could also insert nerd, dork and dweeb following that sentence, and it would sit just as well. While I enjoyed watching shows on TV or even Empire Strikes Back on VHS – which was my favorite movie until Jurassic Park came out – I never got quite the same satisfaction as I did reading a fun adventure on paper. There was something about holding the story in my grubby hands, interacting with it by turning pages, seeing the words as they formed whatever pictures I dictated and really having time to connect with characters. Sure, movies had people that I loved, but spending several weeks with a character in my brain was infinitely more satisfying than just a few hours on a screen.

But I never knew a video game could do the same thing until Final Fantasy 7. Continue reading →

Achievement Unlocked

Crackdown 2

Last night, something weird happened when I played the demo for Crackdown 2. I loved the first game, but most of my memories with it are associated with hunting for agility orbs, which allow you to run faster and jump higher. I collected every single one in the first game, and ignored much of the game proper simply so I could do it. In fact, I spent several weeks hunting for the last 2 or 3, to the detriment of other real things I should have been doing. Continue reading →

Rabbit Hole of Geek

Rabbit HoleFor most of my life, I have been called a geek. And honestly, I can’t even remember when this started. No, it wasn’t when I got those glasses with the rubber handlebars that locked them behind my ears. And no, it wasn’t when I wore my MC Hammer pants to school on a day that was not Halloween. It wasn’t even when my brother and I showed up in matching outfits.

In elementary school, I remember every kid on the street having a Nintendo. It was the normal thing to do. Nobody cared that it was nerdy. Or perhaps nobody had decided that’s what it was called yet. When you’re young, these things are mostly normal, but at some point, everything changes. At some point, a switch is flipped, arbitrary social lines are drawn, and people align themselves where they think they will be happiest. Around this time is when I suppose the whole “geek” thing started for me, even though I wasn’t doing anything differently than I had done it before. Continue reading →

The Wild West

At times I can be a bit of an impulse buyer, especially when it comes to media. Sometimes, when walking the aisles at Best Buy, there is this thing in my chest, kind of like one of the xenomorphs in Alien, trying to bust free and devour everything in the store. It’s a gruesome image, yes, but the only thing I can think of to describe that desperate urge I get when it comes to movies or games.

In college, I was particularly awful in this area of my life, but these days I’ve learned to control that beast that rages for more shiny things. One look at my DVD collection shows the symptoms of a rash media nut. This week, the animal of impulse reared his ugly head in the form of Red Dead Redemption, the newest entry from Rockstar, creators of the somewhat infamous Grand Theft Auto series. Continue reading →

The Art of Making Your Own Crap

If there’s anything I’ve learned over the last 3 years of making Web content, it’s the following two principles:

1. Make your own crap
2. Stop giving your crap away for free

Really, everything else you wanted to know about the Intertubes stems down from those two ideas (and I’ll discuss the 2nd in a future post). So why don’t more content creators do this? Half of what we see linked around online is something that derives its source material from something else, whether it’s a mash-up of two movies, a spoof of a video game, or a special effects short about video game characters infiltrating our world. There’s a reason for this precedent, and I think all of us content devourers are partly to blame. Continue reading →