I am aware that it is way too early to wish you all many happy returns, but I could not waste the opportunity with my last use of the Third Phase’s theme word. So there you go. On to the Mailbag. Because that is what we are doing this week.
Julian ‘SiliconNooB’ Taylor asks: LOL, are we reviving Q&A?
Andrew ‘Mel’ Melcon asks: What’s 1 + 1?
Shut up, Mel.
Matt Dance asks: What, if anything, do you think of Fire Emblem Awakening and Bravely Default?
It is pretty cute that Matt seems to assume here that I am capable of not having an opinion on something. Matt, I am a 27-year-old white male who likes video games. I hope that clears that up. Moving on to the actual question:
I downloaded Fire Emblem Awakening on the day of, hoping that it would finally be the title to get me into the series. I have tried with a few different versions, mostly because my brother is obsessed with the series, and played the Game Boy Advance versions until I became convinced he could beat them with his eyes closed. I played Awakening with some interest for a few days, but I have to conclude that I just do not like the genre. I have given honest attempts at Final Fantasy Tactics, Disgaea, Valkyria Chronicles, and as mentioned, a number of Fire Emblem entries, but while they have all gained my respect, they cannot seem to hold my interest. Maybe on some fateful day, all the correct stars will allign to make me finally “get” it, but as of now, I cannot get excited for turn-based strategy games.
As for Bravely Default, I was extremely excited when it was first announced, largely because of how much I adore the first half of 4 Heroes of Light, but now I am essentially just waiting to see what happens when it is released here. I will be very interested in reading reviews. Not so much for the scores – the mainstream and I appear to have different tastes – but because I have a lot of interest in what focus the game will take. I am worried that everything that was exciting about 4 Heroes – no hand-holding, real satisfaction for exploration, trusting the initiative of the seasoned gamer – will be watered down, rendering the need for such a series unnecessary. We will see.
Andrew ‘Mel’ Melcon asks: Why does bread go moldy?
Shut up, Mel.
Andrew ‘Mel’ Melcon asks: What happened to PC “expansions” as the console DLC market has slowly encroached on the PC business model?
See, dear LusiCreepers, what is happening here? A lack of questions has forced me to post all of Mel’s questions! And even when there is a real question like this one, I have no real answer for it. StarCraft II is the only PC game I play, and I do not even think I have played it this year. Also, StarCraft will always have expansions because Blizzard.
And do not tell me that maybe if I made a more concrete model for when and how I would answer questions, then I would probably have more questions, because I refuse to listen to reason. Refuse!
Ethan ‘Ethos’ Pipher asks: Why are you just playing Etrian Odyssey IV again?
IT IS AWESOME, OKAY?!?! Honestly, it has the potential to be one of my favourite games of all time. But in other news, I played some more Black Flag last night, and to be honest, the amount of text and supporting content is pretty staggering. It seems apparent that Ubisoft is starting to wax nostalgic about the series. The present day missions taking place in an avatar for the studio’s Montreal office have given them freedom to really go down the rabbit hole of self-referential content. I have not completed the game, but it is even starting to feel like they are trying to use the templars as a device to vent frustrations at the necessity to make all their games have mass appeal in order to be profitable. Abstergo in this game appears to just want to make video games, while the faceless suits continue to breathe down their necks to focus on their selfish needs. There is even an extremely thinly veiled e-mail exchange that must be an almost verbatim brainstorming session on which time period to use for the next Assassin’s Creed title. In fact, all the extra content seems to be the place where the developers shove the ideas they wish they could develop. Because Black Flag is fun and hints at thoughtful ideas, but the game definitely never embodies them. Vague underdeveloped philosophy is as far as the game goes.
While I can sympathize with such – alleged – frustrations, a better solution would be to try to make the mass-marketed game also have thematic focus. I have not yet played The Last of Us, but the consensus seems to be that it has achieved such a feat. That is not to mention Bioshock or Majora’s Mask. Therefore the statement – if it is being made – comes across as whining. Yes, the intention to create art will create friction with the need to make money, but the strongest creative voices will find a way instead of bitching about it on a massive scale.
I have none. Please contribute your thoughts on the first Mailbag Edition of Editorial Miscellany, including any hopes and dreams for the future of the column. Also please note the improved and upgraded commenting functionality on the site. More ways to sign in! The ability to follow comments! Let Lusipurr.com be part of your life every minute of every hour of every day of every week of every month of every year of every decade of every century.