hey. sh shh. it’s ok. don’t even look over here. just listen for a moment or two… to these words spilling nice & quiet from a damp crack in the wall. it’s gonna be ok.
i know, first & foremost, heck, you’re tired and busy all the time. and also feel exceptionally guilty about any time you spend playing a game because that doesn’t feel very productive. and also, also, are gripped with such panic at the thought of doing anything that does feel productive that you end up doing nothing but refreshing your least favourite websites for the few hours until it’s time to have another cup of tea or something to eat.
well, anyway, good luck with that. if you think you fancy playing a jrpg but oh my gosh they’re always about 80 hours long i can’t even consider it. the last story is only like… 25? that’s still a lot i know. but maybe i can tempt you in with some things that you might enjoy along the way, such activities, present in the video game, such as, the following, list of activities! in. the video game.
1. dress up
ah, yes. that’s the good stuff. ok the options about what to actually wear aren’t that great. but you can dye like 10 different parts of everything 50 different colours & also show or hide as many belts, buckles, pouches, scarves, jackets, and pieces of armour as you desire. most importantly, you can just turn everything invisible and go cutting about the castle in your pants or assemble a fine squad of ghost hunting fight boys as we see here in their natural habitat.
kinda refuse to accept that dressing up & cosmetic options in games are less important than other elements & it’s ok to cut that stuff out to sell back or whatever. that’s not fair. dressing up is very important. for example, i read somewhere it’s like the number 1 most important thing in that video game the last story, if someone decided to write a numbered list of the important things in that video game the last story & post it on tumblr.
2. don’t really go anywhere
a, yes. thats the good stuff. love a small game. a small open world. bring it in, babies. give me a chibi robo, a bully. poking around in corners, watching things change. stack my time up in one place & let it pass, don’t stretch it out all over the place.
the last story is a city & a castle & a bunch of dungeon locations. it is not an especially interesting city as far as these things go, like a shit gran soren where you’re can’t even run around on the roof. but, you gradually become familiar with it & might generously decide that familiarity is a warmth. it has charm, certainly, in the incidental details - banging your head on signs & slipping up on dropped lemons, mostly. catching frogs & learning how to dive in the river. sidling into treasure nooks & catching stat-boosting trash as it is blown down one windy alleyway.
there’s also this thing where… ok, so there’s no quest log in the game, which seems really bad at first obviously because what the heck. but when you have to remember things, or write them down even, it’s a really basic level of actual brain engagement (rather than relying on menus & not thinking about anything) that ingrains the situation, the space, the human-shaped quest node. and maybe, those imprints leak out into the good feelings zone of your brain a little bit. ask me anything about how brains work.
3. fight a bit but not that much really or hurry up at least
ahh, yea. that sthe goode stuff. i seem to care less and less and less about fighting things as the years go by, so it’s nice how quick the combat is here. sometimes actually too quick to actually plan or adjust to situations & sometimes tripping itself up by having too many commands on the same buttons – so it can get frustrating.
but it’s mostly a good time. just run around hitting things & occasionally use a special attack on the magic circles your allies throw on the ground in order to spread out or enhance the effects. best bit is when you order everyone to throw down their most powerful spells in the same place & then swoop through everything at once. then the big shimmering fuck-you venn diagram explodes over the screen in a glorious mess of numbers & words & magical effects. can’t say if that’s effective but, additionally, who cares.
4. go oooh shit yes, nice, like you’re 14 again watching the castle turn into a robot in ff9
oah yes, that is good. there’s some stuff like that ok. i would say ‘i would have loved that’ but to put that reaction on past me alone is a damn lie. i love it okay. i love big cutscenes with things turning into other things and shooting other things that also have turned into big things that can shoot things.
please go back in time & explain to young me about anime.
it will kill me but it will be worth it.
5. listen to a bunch of british voices
and not just the usual ones like, oh a posho, and this guy over here is scottish. but an actual range from all over the country. some are ridiculously broad but some are really nice - star of the show is probably syrenne with a mancunian accent. not sure i’ve heard one of those in a game before. but it’s a really nice, natural delivery which suits her character perfectly & feels like, hey, here’s a cool person in the video game who i’d like to hang out with more. which is, as everyone knows, an incredibly important thing to get right.
here’s a welsh knight too if you like. it’s: fantastic.
6. raise a bunch of entirely valid criticisms
oh heck yes. thats the good one. just go wild on the social media platform of your choice. there’s quite a lot to choose from. like how it’s a complete miracle you managed to form some kind of attachment to your gang of pals when they get so little development & attention. mostly you come to know them just by their idle chatter while you’re running through some tunnels - which i am totally a fan of! it’s an excellent way to convey characterisation in a natural, ingrained way. and it is done very well in this case. but, the game has little else to compliment that. i like to be friends with people ok & i wish i could know them better.
and then. hoo boy. the pacing is really bad. what should be the end of the game goes on for so, so long - there’s another boss, another dungeon, on and on with no downtime in between. it becomes really tiresome & in the end i just wanted to be finished. also the actual cause & effect & outcomes of the plot events make no sense. but don’t worry, the sentient space rocks are eventually reunited & go on to… possibly… create, or destroy, life, on a different planet instead. good job?
7. idk, bye. please remember,