Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Video Games - The New Frontier

Call this a stopgap entry, if you will. I'm writing it mostly out of frustration. Incredibly self-centered, suburban-white-kid-with-too-much-time-on-his-hands frustration.

I've been playing Final Fantasy VII recently... well, kind of. I started a new game back in May, and due to a few mishaps (i.e. my house burning down), it's been tough getting back in my element in terms of video games. I mean, I'm on the last disc of VII, which is pretty much the last dregs of the game before the ending. Heck, the ending is pretty much all there is to the last disc of the game, save for the side quests (which, of course, I am doing).

But see - over the summer, my entire video game "schedule" (as I like to call it) got totally out of whack. After I lost my house, I played whatever I possibly could; I needed a lot of distraction. I borrowed Resident Evil 4 from my friends and I finished that. I started a game in FFIV for the GBA and never got too far in it. When I got back to college, I polished off God of War. This was all during a time when Final Fantasy VII was still waiting there, right at the breakaway from Midgar, probably one of my favorite parts in the game.

Now, in all fairness, I didn't play FFVII at first because... well, it was still in my basement, in my old house. Later on my father grabbed everything he could out of that place before it was torn down, including pretty much all of my video games (I guess I'm lucky in that sense; I'm not sure). But before that I wasn't sure if I'd get to play it again for a long, long time, so I distanced myself from it. It was a natural reaction. So when I had it back, in almost perfectly fine condition, it was like, "Oh... great."

So Final Fantasy VII, at first, became something of a bitter reminder of how my life had been before I lost my house. Freewheeling summer days, you see. My cats were fine, I was in my beloved basement room, I was relaxed after a weird freshmen year of college. But now - now I was in a second-floor room in a somewhat bland condominium, in the middle of a 55-and-older condo complex on the other side of town. Plus, I had lost a player's guide I enjoyed reading while playing the game - the official guide from Brady Games - since it was so comprehensive and informative. But now it just didn't feel right at all. It was tough, getting back into FFVII after that. Everything just reminded me of how it used to be.

Eventually I got back in the swing of things. When I got back to UConn a couple of months back, I spent a lot more time on the game. And, thankfully, I've been reminded of why I love it. Remember that part where Cloud and Tifa fall into the lifestream? It's arguably my favorite part of the game... it plays this instrumental track "On the Other Side of the Mountain" when they talk about Tifa's mother, something I didn't expect. I've had the FFVII soundtrack for a while and I never could remember where that song fit into the game. It feels so much better, knowing. I honestly find that portion of the game to be among the most beautiful I've seen in any video game, and it lifted my spirits beyond the beyond. FFVII felt kinda short this time around - even with all the delays, the second disc whizzed by - but it still does mean a lot to me, and I hope that the next time I play it (by tradition, two years from now) will be during a less tumultuous time for me.

Now I've just gotta finish the fucking thing, though. I want to finish the sidequests and everything, but my completest attitude is pressuring me to get everyone to level 99, beat Ruby and Emerald (who I've still never beaten!), and get everybody's best weapons/limits. I might do SOME of that, but for god's sake, it's practically November already. I've got other games in mind! Damnit.

But okay. Just to be informative, the next few entries I write might very well be video game oriented, as opposed to a lot of the musical stuff I've been writing about recently. After FFVII is over, I feel it is my duty as Sean David Fucking Rose to replay Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy VI, and a crapload of Zelda games. I'm inspired. And if I can somehow divert some of the energy I have when I play video games into my writing - boy howdy, I may fucking have something!!

Then again, there's always the Wii release. That's gonna put my tightly scheduled balls into the onion grinder. But besides that - I don't want to play any more new games for a while. After what happened to my house, I feel the need to exorcise some demons - finish these older games, get the lead out, and become whole again. No more academic bullshit, no more wallowing in boredom and depression. Time to make something go right, damnit! Through the power of the FUCKING TRIFORCE!!

...ehh, maybe.

1 comment:

Paul said...

Wow I actually like this entry a lot. Especially the end, maybe because I feel very similar when it comes to games. Like I've just got so much going on in my life that there is no time for video games. But there's just so many good games, and so many classic games like Zelda, that need to be played, and that I need to play, that I should really take the time to play them.