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by Ethos

Scatter Storming. Issue #034

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

It hasn’t been a month, but it has been half of one, so it’s time to bring back this sucker. I’m writing this while listening to Eminem’s Recovery, so let’s see if that has an effect.

First up, I played a butt-load of FFIX -
It went up on the PSN and it instantly went on my PSP. I’m so glad to have it on a portable device because I feel like I can finally beat it again. Whenever I attempt to beat it on my PS2, I always end up wanting to play consoles titles that I haven’t beat yet. My PSP lets me play it bit by bit in the control room at work, or on the subway, or even the bathroom. Yes, I toilet-game. Any true gamer does. Anyway, the game is amazing still. Incredibly human characters and reactions. I love how many scenes are just dedicated to getting to know characters and how they interact. I’m surprised with how often I’m genuinely smiling and giggling at the script.

I recently read over Riddlethos.com’s The Final Fantasy Week and I don’t think I did a good job explaining and defending the title. I think because I thought people were sick of my praise of the game, but fuck that shit, this replay is just confirming my praise! And believe it or not, I would be the first to criticize if things didn’t live up to my memory.

Like Kuja’s script. It’s hit or miss. He’s got some fantastic lines, but also the biggest duds. So let me leave you with a non-Kuja quote.

The woman she thought was her mother became someone else. And her real mother was already dead. Dagger has lost two mothers…

Poignant stuff, Zidane!

Damn, Recovery ended -
It’s not as varied as Relapse, but the rhymes are undeniably stronger. Too bad that no other track lives up to Not Afraid, the first single.

Dragon Quest IX -
I’ve played 20 hours already. How the Olicaust did that happen? I don’t want to go into full detail here because I’ll write full impressions later, but let’s just say that I’m greatly appreciating the lack of random battles, the – albeit not intuitive – ability to check experience needed to level up without going to a church, and improved equipment screen. Also, the fact that my party members have no back stories nor personalities doesn’t bother me as much as I thought it would. Because let’s be honest, the only two party members people cared about from Dragon Quest VIII were Jessica’s left breast and Jessica’s right breast.

I played the Deathspank demo -
I want to buy it. But I don’t even have the $15. Anybody here tried it? The demo was fun.

I would weigh in on the changes to Dragon Age and – more importantly – to Pokémon, but my apathy toward the subjects just barely outweighs my desire to spark controversy. So that’s that.

How are you guys enjoying the return to content? I knows I am!

Scatter Storming. Issue #033

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Hey folks!

While I haven’t been up to my usual gaming habits this week, I thought it had been way too long since I treated you all with the stupidest column known to this site: Scatter Storming. Let’s just dive in and see what I write.

This cover is too good for this issue -
Because I have so much nothing to say about gaming today, this classy looking cover is not only completely irrelevant, but also misleading. It paints a picture of serenity, thoughtfulness, creativity, and even nostalgia, but this issue is nothing like that. Or so I assume, I’m already struggling for things to say. Don’t worry, the full out magazine covers with the headlines aren’t gone for good, but I didn’t want to ruin the composition of this image.

Mario Galaxy 2 never stops being fun -
Like I’ve mentioned, the only real gaming I’ve been doing since Friday is playing Super Mario Galaxy 2 with my girlfriend. It’s surprising how much fun every level continues to be whether I’m playing, watching, or helping out as second player. The musical cues are more inspiring because now they conjure memories, and progression is just as exciting and addictive. It makes me want to boot up my save and work on the 120 green stars. Or 117, really because I did get three.

Maybe I can finally beat FFIX again -
Another thing I’ve been mentioning is that I forgot my PSP at home which is an extra bummer because I just downloaded Final Fantasy IX onto the thing. I start the game all the time, but I haven’t been completing the game at the rate I used to because when I sit down to play console games, it’s generally a bit of a bitch to play something on my PS2. Now the game can move into my portable gaming arena, and if I’m almost done Brave Story – a game I like but certainly don’t adore – then I can absolutely beat my favourite game again. Still, speaking of Brave Story, I would like to complete that and Lunar at some point before my library becomes overwhelmed again.

How’s that? -
Have I written enough yet? I’m not really excited for any upcoming games. I mean, I’m excited for practically everything announced at Nintendo’s conference, but nothing is really coming up in the near future except for Metroid: Other M which only has my casual eye. There are rumours that the 3DS could actually launch this holiday season, but not only am I not holding my breath for that, but it’s a ways off anyway.

Hey! Look! Listen! Audio Edition returning? -
Yes, it’s been far too long since our premiere podcast. It was a ridiculous romp filled with inappropriate digressions and it’s a shame that there’s only been one. I’m looking to change that. If you haven’t noticed, I’m hoping that Riddles’ sabbatical will serve as a sort of inspiration for me. Because he’ll be gone for a little bit, I want to not only pick up the slack, but try to push forward too. Matti, aka Constipated Cow has already helped out, and I think I want to use him as my go-to guy and try to organize a second iteration. And who knows? Maybe the Dirty Polack himself will make another appearance.

Alright, that’s enough content, right guys? I return to Toronto on Friday, and although I have a very busy workweek right after, I plan on staying consistent for you guys, and I might even have a few tricks up my sleeves. Maybe a few previews of a few Nintendo games announced at E3? Not making promises, but anything can happen!

The Final Fantasy Awards: Best Game – Ethos

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

ffixEthos’ Pick: Final Fantasy IX

Well, no surprise here either.

Final Fantasy VII may have got me into the series, but Final Fantasy IX was the first I ever played all the way through, and for good reason. IX has perpetual charm, the best music in any video game, the most addicting PSX-era ability, weapon, and synthesis systems, and the most human characters of any Final Fantasy.

Riddles often counters my argument of IX’s light-hearted tone lending to its credibility by stating that the game is just as melodramatic as the rest. And I’ll agree that it absolutely can be, but it’s the fact that the default tone is that of self-mockery and innocence which gives the game such an uncanny human depth that makes the dramatic moments more believable. I’ll admit that VII is the only other Final Fantasy in my books to also have this ability, but IX extends it further so that each character and locale is dripping with character.

Kuja isn’t a fantastic villain, but he is a fantastic character. He’s scared, feminine, narcissist, and people still make fun of him to this day about it. But the great thing about IX is that it already makes fun of him. The game is so self-aware, that I think its ability to laugh at itself is perhaps its most impressive and engrossing feat.

Now I’ve talked Final Fantasy IX’s character arcs to death, so instead I’ll make my final praise about the cohesive world. Only X has come close to creating such a thoroughly connected universe. While VII can make each area feel unique and full of mood, IX does the same, yet makes sure each area is aware of its place, both geographically and politically. The story returns to familiar locales, but it feels different every time because of the journey the characters have gone since their last visit, replicating yet another emotional phenomenon from everyday life better than any other game I have played.

I entirely understand Riddles’ choice of FFVII as I agree with many of his points and I adore the game myself, but ultimately IX just makes more sense to me as a gamer and as a person.

Runner Up: Final Fantasy XII

Wow, really? Yup. This game didn’t even get so much as a second place during all my awards this week, but it just beat out FFVII for my number two spot overall. And for my reasons, just look to Riddles’ post. Not since FFIX have I been so into the game mechanics themselves. I loved the marks, the massive world, the weapons, and the gambits. I even got some enjoyment out of the – admittedly – incredibly bland License Board. If XII had more than Balthier to buff up its cast, and a legitimate villain and story, the game could have been mindblowing. As it stands, it’s the Final Fantasy I have the most fun with directly after IX.

Although, it is worth mentioning that I haven’t beat IV, V, or VI, and I quite enjoy what I’ve played of V, and I have a feeling I’m going to like VI a lot more this playthrough. We’ll take a look next time we divvy out these awards…

Dishonourable Mention: Final Fantasy III

There are a scary number of contenders here. II is pretty dumb, but has its charm, XIII has a horrendously designed tunnel, but also contains the undeniably amazing Pulse that will happily drain way more hours than the main quest did, and VIII has its soundtrack, art direction, and opening hours to defend itself with. Still, III is the most boring piece of donkey shit I’ve ever forced myself to beat. What a piece of garbage. The positive from all this is that even with the disappointment of XIII, remembering that the greatness of X, X-2, and XII came before it is encouraging. Perhaps XIII is yet another III or VIII. Wait…I’m noticing a pattern here. CONSPIRACY!

…okay I need sleep.

I hate Final Fantasy III.

The Final Fantasy Awards: Best Storyline – Ethos

Friday, April 9th, 2010

FFVIIboxartEthos’ Pick: Final Fantasy VII

Buhh?! Not Final Fantasy IX again? The difference here, kids, is that the award is for best storyline not just best story. I like FFIX’s plot well enough, but it’s the arc and themes of the characters themselves tied into the tale that really sells it for me.

But about VII. What can I say that Riddles didn’t? Information is released at such a great pace in Final Fantasy VII that the insane number of plot points and twists rarely feel all that confusing unless you try to explain the story to someone else. The motivations and premise all fit, and maybe it’s because I first played it when I was so young, but it’s rare for me to feel so much like I’m in a story instead of just watching it. I remember feeling personally betrayed by Sephiroth, and letting Cloud’s obsession with him slowly become my own.

Final Fantasy games will always have insane theatrics near the end, but VII is forgiven a bit because all the things that happen are justified in the lore and mythologies talked about throughout the game. Like the mood and music support, FFVII is a melancholy tale that has this odd injection of determination and hope that so many JRPGs try to replicate and only FFVII has done so well.

Runner Up: Final Fantasy IX

X gets an honourable mention here, because despite my personal distaste for the characters, I actually generally like the storyline. Still, IX wins runner-up for being the first and only Final Fantasy to have depth to the characters and a completely not convoluted plot. There’s a twist or two, but the simplicity of the tale left room to focus on the diverse cast of characters, and gave a chance for the player to become invested through the personalities instead of plot gimmicks. I’m not a huge fan of all the over-the-top events near the ending, but the ending proper makes up for it. Sap is a very difficult thing to do well, and IX nails it. It’s a well-deserved happy ending, and an extremely solid non-gimmicky ride there.

Dishonourable Mention: Final Fantasy III

Again, if this was less about plot and more about story, I’d agree with Riddles here too. But I’m a sap, and it’s no secret that I didn’t personally connect with X, so I’m fine with the way X-2 “shat all over X” to appease my sappy side. The story-telling and the sexist vapid filler was awful, but I liked the plot proper.
Soooo, instead I want to finally give FFIII a proper dishonourable mention because I hate that game.

The Final Fantasy Awards: Best Music – Ethos

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

ffixEthos’ Pick: Final Fantasy IX

As FFVII begins to sweep Riddles’ awards, IX is starting to do the same for me. Although VII is still winning overall on account of all the 2nd places I’m awarding it.

Anyway, while this is an easy choice for me, it needs saying that I adore Uematsu’s work from FFVI through IX. In fact, somewhat ironically, my top three Nobuo tracks are probably One Winged Angel, Terra’s Theme, and Vincent’s Theme, and by far my favourite piano collection is the one from Final Fantasy VIII. Still, when it comes to the entire soundtrack, IX is the irrevocable winner.

Not only is Final Fantasy IX Nobuo’s favourite and most ambitious soundtrack, but it is his most varied and musically impressive. While VIII suffered from too much repetition of really strong tracks, and FFVII doesn’t finish with the same strength that it started with, Final Fantasy IX is bursting with track after track of mood and history. Drawing from his impressive work with VII and VIII, Uematsu added a certain rich charm that isn’t really similar to any of his other work except occasionally VI. In fact, one of the soundtrack’s rare pitfalls is that there is almost too much music. One of my favourite pieces is long, complex and beautiful, but it’s easy to miss half of the entire cue just by playing at a normal pace. And then Zidane – the main character, mind you – only has his theme song played once as well throughout the entire experience.

Still, there is bombastic stuff that would make John Williams jealous, melancholy moments that could make Philip Glass weep, and impeccably suitable and memorable tracks at every single turn. As a music lover and piano player, nothing is more inspiring and mind-blowingly impressive as Nobuo Uematsu’s Final Fantasy farewell. He would still go on to write some decent stuff for FFX, but he left his heart with IX, and it’s incredibly obvious.

Runner Up: Final Fantasy VII
While VIII has some of the series’ most beautiful tracks, the OST doesn’t extend beyond what you can hear on the Piano Collections, and that’s simply not true for the other PSX titles. If Final Fantasy VII continued to be as strong throughout as it started, there’s a good chance I’d be agreeing with Riddles for the number one spot too. The first few hours in Midgar are stunning. Somehow the music manages to mix dark and gritty with innocent hope, reflecting the mood of the city perfectly. And while I agree with Riddles that the OST doesn’t have any duds, per se, it doesn’t continue in that flawless form until One Winged Angel explodes onto the speakers much later on. While I believe that Uematsu used VI as a leaping point to start hitting his stride, I don’t think VII was able to use themes as effectively, be as emotionally varied or as musically impressive as IX. Still it remains an absolutely outstanding soundtrack.

Dishonourable Mention: Final Fantasy X-2

I want to call out FFIII here, but I could never knock an Uematsu soundtrack like that. XII was too epic and XIII had some huge duds, but I’m with Riddles on this too. I actually found a lot of X-2 catchy, but it was never good, and it’s definitely the worst of the series overall. Plus, just…just watch that opening cutscene…

The Final Fantasy Awards: Best Cast – Ethos

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

ffixEthos’ Pick: Final Fantasy IX

Finally I can start mentioning this game in these awards! The game for which I am known for loving to death just wasn’t even in the running for the last two awards. Then technical difficulties had to push my gushing for yet another day. Anyway, on to said gushing.

This actually wasn’t an easy choice for me, initially. Final Fantasy has a number of fantastic characters and some extremely memorable casts. Still, while Amarant may be a bit of a dud, Final Fantasy IX sports the strongest overall and supporting cast in my books.

There may not be one stand out hero like Balthier or timeless villains like Sephiroth or Kefka, but all of IX’s varied characters react to and learn from each other like no other game I’ve seen. Quina – although s/he’s often hilarious – is the only gimmick character. Steiner is a bumbling, annoying tart, but he reacts realistically within the game’s world until he finally has to face his own stubbornness and blind faith. Zidane is a sappy lost boy who hides his vulnerabilities behind inflated confidence. Freya attempts to cling onto her heritage and lost love while actually moving away from both. I could go on to list – character by character – how each has to come to terms with very difficult things about themselves, but that’s not the only reason why FFIX has the best cast.

Even the supporting cast overflows with personality. Baku and Blank, Zorn and Thorn, the Black Mage Village, the list goes on. It’s not just that they’re great minor characters, it’s that they get a bigger chance to be in the spotlight than in any other game in the series. You get to watch Cinna and Marcus going to save Blank, you get to see Kuja fall even more in love with his melodramatic self, and Disc 2 even starts with a Shakespearean-style aside with two comic relief character with very little bearing on the story itself.

All in all, Final Fantasy IX has a depth in its cast that spans from great individual characterizations to countless entertaining and believable interactions with a huge and likable variety of personalities.

Runner Up: Final Fantasy VII

I’m with Riddles on this. Excepting FFIX, Final Fantasy VII is the only game in the series with a proper sense of humour. I didn’t mention this is the blurb above, but it’s so much easier to buy into melodrama when it’s offset by a legitimate sense of humour. Other than that point, Riddles said it all. Final Fantasy VII was the game to get me into the series, so Tifa, Cloud, and Sephiroth will always have a place in my heart. Not really Aeris though. Sorry.

Dishonourable Mention: Final Fantasy VIII

Dear god, so many options. FFXIII is really, really bad. FFX-2 has more Brother (was that his name?), the creepy incest-maniac, FFX has the insufferable Rikku and Yuna, FFXII is bland as shit, and I really hate FFIII. Still, no cast has such a collection of either idiots or forgettables as Final Fantasy VIII. There is literally not a single redeeming character for me in this game. Rinoa comes the closest to someone likable but she ruins that by liking Squall the tard, and then every single character following that is either a gimmick with a catch-phrase, entirely forgettable or both. At least Sazh was cool a lot of the time and Lightning punched Snow in the face repeatedly.

Hey! Look! Listen!

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

HeyLookListenLogo1
Riddles screwed with Scatter Storming? I’ll take his Hey! Look! Listen! and make about the only important news:

FF9 FTW!
FF9 confirmed for PSN, at least in Japan. I can finally buy this game a second time.
(IGN)

Thank you for reading this, the very best edition of Hey! Look! Listen!
Remember, Zombie Ethos loves you! (Even if he doesn’t know how to change that stupid logo from Riddles.com…)

Hey! Look! Listen!

Friday, March 26th, 2010

HLLfinal

Mwa-hahahaha. That Blue Dragon Plus “review.” Man oh man, what a riot. Like I’d ever play that game.

Anyway. Hello, and welcome to the forty-sixth edition of Hey! Look! Listen! That’s right folks, I’ve written 46 of these things. Or… well, almost. Ethos wrote a few. But we’ll ignore that fact.

For your convenience, starting with issue #50 I’ll probably start putting the issue number in the title.

But yeah, that’s about it. I’m still unemployed. Let’s read some stories!

Xbox 360 to Receive USB Hard Drive Support

Well, it took them long enough but here it is. On April 6 Microsoft will release a system update for the 360 that will allow it to recognize USB hard drives, as well as flash drives. You’ll be required to specially configure the drive in the Xbox menu, and you can format up to 16 GB of space. You can have up to two drives connected at one time.

That’s… still slightly lame, but better than nothing. According to Microsoft, gamers will be able to transport “profiles, game saves, demos and more.”

As you can imagine, this announcement prompted a lot of Sony fanboys to gloat over the fact that the PS3 has had this capability for years, with no limit. However, a certain resident of the IGN boards named “tdgirard” swiftly shut them all down with this stinging, backhanded comment:

tdgirard

Ouch. (IGN)

Thanks to GamerLimit

Thanks to GamerLimit

Michael Atkinson Steps Down as Attorney General; R18+ Rating On the Way

Well damn it. I wrote about him once. ONCE. And he fucking throws in the towel. Mr. Thompson was far more tenacious than you’ve proven to be, sir Atkinson; I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little disappointed.

Ahem. Not entirely sure what the specific reason behind Mr. Atkinson’s resignation was, but from what I can gather, he was rather mired in the poor political decisions of his past. His stance against the R18+ rating was just one of many controversies he was involved in.

Stepping up to replace Atkinson is John Rau, who apparently is fully supportive of an R18+ rating for videogames. Speaking to Chris Prior, president of the Gamers4Croydon party, he “indicated to me that the lack of an R18+ for games seemed absurd, and that it was really just common sense to introduce it, considering the vast majority of adult content is already available under the MA15+ classification.”

Well. Sounds like it’s just a matter of time. Good for Australia! (Kotaku)

The Future of Video Game Controllers… is YOU!

Sorry, I couldn’t resist that title. Speaking frankly, this is really neat. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon have created a device that’s capable of turning your own skin into a touchpad for electronic devices. Tapping your arm, for example, produces acoustic waves, which the device recognizes and turns into input commands. Watch the video for more information; it totally shows a dude playing Tetris with it, as well as Frogger. (Kotaku)

finalfantasyIXlogo

Final Fantasy IX is Probably Coming to PSN

This isn’t confirmed, but I mean hell, why wouldn’t they? Apparently, one of Square Enix’s producers Shinji Hashimoto has been gathering public opinion on a Final Fantasy IX PSN release. Speaking on the Square Enix Japanese Twitter, he had this to say:

“Thanks to everyone for your opinions on FF9. Regarding an FF9 download release, everyone is so passionate about it that I’ll be proposing it at the next board meeting. Look forward to next week!”

Well, there you have it. He’s going to propose it to the next board meeting. I’m guessing it won’t be too long before we see it join Final Fantasy VII and VIII on the PlayStation Network. (VG247)

penny-arcade-adventures-1Penny Arcade Adventures Episode 3 Cancelled

Bummer. I never actually got around to playing episodes 1 or 2, but I’ve heard good things about them, and I’ve always liked Penny Arcade. In an interview with Joystiq, Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik confirmed that there wouldn’t be a third entry in the videogame series. But not all is lost; they supposedly plan on finishing the story somehow.

So, what brought about this cancellation? The developer behind the series, Hothead Games, is working on an EA game called Deathspank. (Yeah, no, that’s the actual title). I’ve never heard of Deathspank before in my life, but it’s the reason why Penny Arcade Adventures is being prematurely killed.

“They definitely could’ve done both games,” Holkins said. “I think they could’ve made DeathSpank and Episode 3 but I think Episode 3 would’ve suffered. I mean, I know it would have suffered. So we’d rather not do it than do it half-assed and so we’re going to finish that story but it’s going to be on our website.”

And that, as they say is that. No more Penny Arcade Adventures. They did, however, just release their 11 1/2 anniversary commemorative book, which you can see excerpts from here.

Ah, it’s so nice to have Friday night off.

Ethos’ Relapse Part 2 – Final Fantasy IX

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

ff9_logoLike Riddles, the first two games on my list are Final Fantasies. And like Riddles, the latter is a personal favourite. But I want to drop all the praise I give to FF9 for its story and characters and mood and music and focus on its truly JRPG qualities. One of the things I under-represent about my ability to replay this game over and over is its ability and leveling system.

The leveling system is about as basic as you can get. Final Fantasy IX was attempting to be a throwback and it absolutely was. You gain experience and level up causing HP/MP and crystal slot values to increase and every monster also gives out money for no reason. But all the appropriate information is there. The post battle screen is quick and informative and it doesn’t force you out of it, you can take your time looking at stats as long as you want without worry about the screen automatically moving on.

But I’m going into too much detail now. The system that I might love the most about IX, however, is the ability system. Each character can learn a wide variety of skills, and while some overlap, each have their own set that they can and can’t learn. These abilities are attached to equipment, but after gaining a certain number of Ability Points, the character learns the ability for good and can activate it at any time provided they have the right number of available crystal points. This system is such a prime example of why I love JRPGs. The characters have forced unique properties, but there is still so much choice. Would you rather equip a powerful new piece of armor, or stick it out with the weak one for a few dozen more battles to learn a helpful ability? Or maybe you’re absolutely fucking insane like me, and you’ll grind for hours to learn every single ability, even the shitty ones you’ll never use. The point is that it’s a system that rewards choice and reflects how much time you put into it.

Even slower with one character...

Even slower with one character...

However, coming from an emulator enhanced play session of FFV, it became screamingly obvious that Final Fantasy IX has the slowest battle system of all the Playstation-era games in the series. I enjoy the battle system, but waiting for your turn to attack is incredibly slow, and highlights the reason why it is called level-grinding. I personally love navigating menu systems, but Final Fantasy IX is certainly a victim of the “press attack until you win” form of grinding the vast majority of the time, and it does so in a slower manner than the two entries before it.

Therefore, I actually think Final Fantasy IX is the poster child for the very best and very worst aspects of JRPGs in general. Luckily, I always have the end goal in mind while playing these sorts of games, so the thought of learning a certain ability or being able to afford an item at the auction house makes the grinding a lot easier to me while it continues to absolutely baffle people like my roommate.

Anyway, while it was one of my first RPGs, I understand now how Final Fantasy IX was supposed to be a throwback to JRPGs of old. And, again strangely following in Riddles’ footsteps, my next RPG is one that breaks the mold a bit more than others, though perhaps not as much as Persona. It’s also one of my favourite games that I rarely mention on this site: Skies of Arcadia.

In Which Ethos Melts Into Sap

Saturday, November 28th, 2009
Beautiful and sad.

Beautiful and sad.

There are many reasons I love living in Toronto. Number one, it works very well with my love for the underdog. Now, it’s arguable that living in Canada has, in fact, given me this underdog complex, but then it could be counter-argued that I live in the biggest city in the country and even the most American-like. But all nationalist reasons aside, I think I love the seasons most. Sure, I could deal with it if we managed to remove a month from Winter and place it…ANYWHERE ELSE, but I definitely wouldn’t want to remove the season altogether. The changes in climate, scenery, and collective mindset are so necessary for me. I love that the cyclical nature brings a sense of familiarity and nostalgia, but more importantly progression. I love that Winters remind me of previous Winters to not just comfort me with memories, but to feel proud or even discouraged when I think of where I am compared to where I was. Autumn, in particular has traditionally been my favourite. I love that the season literally brings about the death of so many things, but it does so with beautiful colours, smells, and the perfect weather. It’s more a celebration of life than anything else. It represents maturity and acceptance, but still vibrance and wonder.

But I’ve written too much about Toronto and Autumn without relating any of it to video games. I suppose my ultimate point is that I connect the strongest with any art – and particularly games – that can embody the same love of life in the face of death that Autumn does. Flower is a celebration of beauty and mood painted on a drab backdrop of melonchony and, penultimately, death. Shadow of the Colossus is the simple story of passionate courage in the face of – and at the price of – death. The most emotionally powerful Zelda games are the ones with themes of the celebration and eventual loss of innocence. Even Final Fantasy IX is an example of loving life in the face of death.

flowerWhat is it about this that resonates with me? I feel like it’s not disconnected from my morbid desire to see the apocalypse in my lifetime. I suppose I feel like Autumn and Autumn-like things best sum up what it means to be alive without making melodramatic sweeping statements. There’s depth in simplicity. There’s truth behind the beautiful celebration of life coexisting with the desperate struggle to stay alive.

All said, Autumn represents calm passion to me. It revives inspiration in me and resonates deeply in me when somebody is able to bundle up these thoughts into indescribable forms of interactive expression. It reminds me that life is more than just a zombie-like drift through life, and that even death is rarely a cause to mourn.

Anyway, that’s my vague ramble. The comments are there for your mocking pleasure.