Often – not always, but in the vast majority of cases – you read a JRPG best by looking at the journeys the characters take in it. Not any kind of metaphorical journeys, but the literal movements through space, and the identities of the places they move towards or away from. Mikhail Bakhtin gives us […]Read more "The Night Seems Like It Won’t Come"
My favourite videogames, in no particular order, are Final Fantasy XII, Final Fantasy XIII and Tales of Vesperia. These are not the games that move me most, or that I would necessarily recommend to others – I could list things that aren’t real, Even The Ocean, Butterfly Soup, Queers in Love at the End of […]Read more "Playing Favourites"
The recent resurfacing of the ‘is JRPG a genre?’ debate on twitter didn’t really break any new ground (it totally isn’t, by the way), but I did finally decide to sit down and respond to one common structure in the discussion. When we point out that the word ‘Japanese’ refers to a nationality and thus […]Read more "Turns"
By far the most common kind of complaint about JRPGs is that they are ‘unrealistic’, either in their combat systems or character designs. This holds true despite the fact that all JRPGs are fantasy stories of one kind or another (I know of no exceptions). In fact, given that nearly every western game is also […]Read more "Why do you care if it’s realistic?"
Blood and Bone After finishing Final Fantasy XV the first time, I wrote that I thought there was ‘a story written in the bones of this landscape‘. The thought wasn’t entirely figurative; the most obvious icon of the land of Eos is the great stone arches vaulting across the hills of Duscae like the exposed […]Read more "Written in the Land"
1. What’s the point? The chances of anybody actually listening to anything I have to say about this game are, let’s face it, slim. Big new releases are always battlegrounds, but given the history of Final Fantasy, FFXV will be subjected to abnormal scrutiny. As I write, the game’s been out a week, and there […]Read more "3 Reasons I’m Not Reviewing Final Fantasy XV Right Now"
The marketing campaign for Final Fantasy XV has been weird, right? Let’s start with the obvious: Kingsglaive. Kingsglaive is a 111-minute CG film which must have cost an enormous amount of money to make. Its technology is impressive; never quite photo-real, but dazzlingly close. Everything else about it is… less impressive. Nothing could ruin the […]Read more "Finality"