"A video game comic and blog that would have been awesome and relevant 10 years ago. Maybe." -Famous Website
According to some recent news, the funky rhythm is coming at you with the latest FF themed game, Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy. With all the things that Squeenix puts the FF name on, we figured it only natural they start to market the brand to our more mundane life necessities.
So Pie and I finally had the opportunity to watch some movies she had wanted to see for some time: Tangled, Megamind and Kung Fu Panda. Tangled was more of a recent addition to the list as interest in it was sparked when her brother recommended it. I must say that Megamind and Kung Fu Panda were really fun and I enjoyed them both quite a bit. Tangled, however, is still up in the air for me...I blacked out at times, so I guess I can't be a fair judge of it.
Ever since I was young I never quite got into Disney flicks – especially the princess themed ones. Something about all the singing and chorus just kind of pushed this weird button in me that made me writhe in agony. My muscles would contort in ways even a certain horse would cringe at, all while foaming at the mouth like a rabies-infested dog in heat. Of course Tangled was no exception to the rule and as I pressed myself into the couch in a vain attempt to flee, I couldn't help but feel that I was somehow ruining Pie's viewing experience.
I've long tried to understand my quizzical reaction when exposed to such lyrics, but I've just made peace that it must be that the deepest part of my dark vile heart is trying to excise the hymns of Disney. It's not that I am completely adverse to musicals – I love the score and actual film of The Nightmare Before Christmas as well as several others I find enjoyable. Every so often though Pie gets on a kick for musicals and I have to exercise incredible will power not to ruin her fun time with my muscle spasms.
It was nice working on this week's comic; looking for references reminded me of aspects I really adored about Final Fantasy 4, 5, and 6. I admit that though I really enjoyed Final Fantasy 7, it didn't have as much of an impact on me as the other three; it probably doesn't help that there was a popularity boom at the time of its release and I ended up getting really tired of the overblown fandom that flooded the gaming community.
I remember how impressed I was with the new polygonal look, but I also remember really wishing that one day Square would do a remake of FF7, in FF6's sprite style. Though FF7's polygon technology was impressive at the time, I don't think the graphics aged very well; their earlier sprite-based games on the other hand still look great! -their beauty seems timeless. I used to think it was kind of a shame that FF7, as so many other games at the "polygon boom", had to be as they are. I know it's all a part of evolution and progress – we can't improve at anything without taking advancing steps, right?
I miss seeing the exaggerated expressions and actions of the character sprites in older Final Fantasy games. One particular scene that I really liked that I thought made good use of sprite expressions, actions, and placement was in Final Fantasy 6 when Locke came up with the plan to dress Celes up as an opera singer as bait with Celes objecting in dramatic over-reaction. I can't imagine that type of humor being present in modern big-name games, especially a current age Final Fantasy. It's almost like a lost art form. '_'
In other news, Bear and I watched Megamind, Kung Fu Panda, and Tangled recently! XD I liked them all, it was very fun! =) I think it's kind of a shame though that I don't think Bear can enjoy Tangled since he seems to have a thing about musicals. '_' I felt kind of bad having him sit through it. Watching a musical-ish movie felt refreshing to me on the other hand. =D It's kind of puzzling how some people feel so negatively against movies with songs; I had a few high school friends that kinda made a fuss about it too.
If you think about it, Disney seems to be the only movie company releasing semi-musicals nowadays. It looked like Dreamworks was going to follow the trend long ago too, but the last film they had like that was The Road to El Dorado back in 2000. Even Disney themselves seem to have been cutting back on the trend since aside from the two most recent movies: Tangled and The Princess and the Frog, their last semi-musical was Tarzan all the way back in 1999. '_' I hope semi-musicals don't disappear.
The other day, Pie and I pulled out the old NES to revel in classic nostalgia. It was a really great feeling seeing an old original generation NES boot right up like a champ and relive some of the games that were so impressionable to us both. As she played Little Nemo, I was checking out a copy of Blaster Master that had been sitting on our shelf for ages. After she was done I showed her Blast Master and we had a lot of fun with it.
Nostalgia really unites us as gamers – not just Pie and me, but the gaming community as a whole. So many times when meeting other gamers, conversations will crop up about old games that tend to bond the people in the conversation. One person will bring up a beloved game and the banter really gets lit! You talk about the good, the bad and the ugly and before you know it friendships are formed. Sometimes you share your love of a game and gush about it together and other times you come at odds and spark a friendly debate.
For Life in Aggro, Pie and I put focus and reminisce about games from our past because of our desire to share great older games with a newer audience. It's a way for us to help connect the dots – to show precedent and call foul if there is misguided action or laud progress we see creating positive change in an industry we care so immensely about.
With digital downloads and online gaming becoming more and more prevalent, it makes me wonder how the next generation of gamers will relive the games that shaped their youth. There will always be the memory of the game, but if the physical media is missing or the network supporting the game is taken down, how will they be able to enjoy it later? Even for future developers it is important to be able to look back and learn from the past in hopes of shaping more compelling and immersive titles in the future.
What it all boils down to is this: I hope that the introduction of EA and PSN passes that permit access to online features of games be icing on the cake instead of the actual batter. It would be a real shame for games to be developed in an online-centric way just so the publishers can profit from essentially double-dipping their customers. While I don't agree with GameStop's business practices, I don't feel how EA and Sony are responding to it as being acceptable either. How about just "this game comes with a 1 year connection to online service. Every year thereafter will be $15 more". This way it doesn't punish their customers who buy new or used. The Extra Credits team at The Escapist has a rather palatable solution to this problem as well you should check out.
Also, we are still futzing with shirt designs which is proving time consuming, hence the lack of art-stuff this Wednesday. On the plus side, we will have a Final Fantasy mash-up comic that fans of the series should find informative this Friday, so be sure to check back then!