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kuenjato

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About kuenjato

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  1. kuenjato

    Videogames: Perfect homies for the great indoors.

    The more I read/see of this (and how batshit it is), the more interested I am in actually playing the game, and I was one of those who really didn't like the idea of splitting up FF7 into multiple episodes and wasn't particularly interested in the Midgar section to begin with. I'll still wait until this is $20 and part 2 is scheduled for release, but still, color me intrigued I guess. On the other hand...
  2. kuenjato

    Videogames: Perfect homies for the great indoors.

    I'm actually much more interested to play it... when it's finally all released, of course. I mean, I loved FF7 back in the day, but it feels like I grew past Square and most JRPG indulgences a long time ago, and there are so many amazing games out these days. Horizon, Nier Automata, Witcher 3... these are games that give me that narrative rush that Square hasn't really been able to do from around 2001.
  3. kuenjato

    Videogames: Perfect homies for the great indoors.

    I started up Odyssey as my Covid retreat game, and I'm loving it so much more than Origins, even though it has the same game pattern. The combat is more fluid and the world more diverse, and I learned my lesson to just enjoy the scenery and turn off the Hud and not expect Witcher 3 level open world writing. So far I'm completely satisfied, though the game is huge ... I've put in around 40 hours and am only 30% done with the main story.
  4. kuenjato

    Videogames: Perfect homies for the great indoors.

    FFXII was the last "good" title, but it suffered a troubled development and SquareEnix rushed it to meet the 2006 release, at the ultimate detriment to the story and characters. By the time I finished, I honestly thought I'd only played around 75% of a fleshed out story. Love the world, though--my first "open world" game, and pretty impressive for the PS2 tech. FF13 is where the remaining creative from the classic PS1 and PS2 era were able to do whatever they wanted, without filter. 13 is Kitase, Toriyama, and Nomura unrestrained by creative and managorial oversight: a gorgeous-looking mess, overwrought and borderline nonsensical, which is why I've always viewed this project rather warily. Throw in Nojima (writer of FF8) and you have the possibility of complete amazeballs crap-epic convolutions, which is seemingly what we are seeing here.
  5. kuenjato

    Videogames: Perfect homies for the great indoors.

    I should add that FF7 was also hugely influential in that it was Sony's big flagship title for the Playstation, which at the time was trying to chip into Nintendo's market dominance with the N64. Being able to store more information on discs was attractive to Square, who jumped ship from Nintendo and developed 7 for Sony. Sony promoted the hell out of it; I recall seeing commercials for FF7 on late night television, which was simply not something that usually happened in the late 90's. I mean, this stuff was mind-blowing in '97: Keep in mind this was also around the time that Blockbuster started to rent anime in its stores, widely expanding the cultural awareness in the United States of Japanese-style storytelling. This release, along with Metal Gear Solid and a few others, cemented Sony's dominance in the console wars for that era, and beyond.
  6. kuenjato

    Videogames: Perfect homies for the great indoors.

    It's a JRPG. I've not played Pokemon, but the formula from the 80's to today was a party-based group fighting monsters in a turn-based format, generally with weird and over-the-top storytelling in a fantasy or fantasy-sc-fi hybrid. Final Fantasy 7 is considered a classic not just of the genre, but of video games in general, as it pushed the boundaries of "cinematic" storytelling in ways not seen beforehand on the original playstation. FF7 was the sort of game that 'everyone' played in 1997--jocks as well as nerds, casuals as well as the hardcore--because of the hype and how it introduced a new form of presenting information in a game format. It's hugely dated, but was revolutionary at the time for the CGI graphics. It was followed by a bunch of games that refined the formula, but after suffering near financial disaster in 1999, the company was restructured and many of key creative and managerial staff left in the ensuing fallout. The company has never recovered, creatively, and have pumped out mostly hollow shells of their glory years--a period roughly from IV through X, which marked the end of the original incarnation. It's telling that on this forum, there used to be dedicated threads to the release of games like IX and X that would hover on the main page for a year+ (this was like 20 years ago), and these days there is no mention of any of the latest games (for good reason, I might add). But there is a huge amount of nostalgia and 90's-era nerd cachet tied to this release, and what I wrote above in the spoilers section is sort of like a company tucking its balls in one hand and jumping out of airplane, unsure if the parachute will unfold or if it was stuffed with paper confetti or its the most brilliant concept to reorient expectations, etc, etc. Especially for a company on fairly shaky financial standing, this release being their big shot to make some bucks and keep going. But that's the whole thing with Square, it's called Final Fantasy because the company was almost insolvent in the mid 80's and launched the original game as its last-ditch effort, and managed to find success on the brink of collapse.
  7. kuenjato

    Videogames: Perfect homies for the great indoors.

    Faint, uh, thematic spoilers for Final Fantasy 7 Remake. Don't venture in if you're super invested in this game as an update on the 1997 classic (or maybe you should, so you're... prepared...)
  8. kuenjato

    Videogames: Perfect homies for the great indoors.

    Seems like Sony is hedging right now. Everyone knows the USA majority screwed up the response to Covid-19, and the end of May might look significantly different than the beginning of April, particularly in terms of an individual's discretionary spending. Square managed to get into the right window. So Sony is going to be cautious, particularly with TLoU2, a sequel to a game that sold 17 million copies. I pre-ordered it on Amazon through a gift card, and would have liked some sort of "here's a digital code, don't go out."
  9. kuenjato

    Videogames: Perfect homies for the great indoors.

    Ugh, I have this pre-ordered and was looking forward to playing it across the summer months. It'll probably be released in the fall, perhaps a month or two after Cyberpunk. Tsushima will no-doubt suffer release date reshuffling, to avoid exclusives competing with one another.
  10. kuenjato

    Videogames: Perfect homies for the great indoors.

    Getting a bad feeling, watching people stream FF7-R online. The combat looks fun, but the dialogue is consistently poor/overwrought (not like the original was great, but it was a text game), I don't really care for the VO, and there seems to be a lot of fetch/kill quests to pad the game out, rather than truly expanding the scope of Midgar or investigating more deeply the themes of corporate power & environmentalism. Maybe it improves later on, but I'm not impressed based on the first 1/2 or so. I was already checked out on the whole project due to splitting the game into multiple entries, but I held hopes that they might actually do something interesting with Midgar, even with Nomura at the helm. We can expect early reactions to be gushing, given the amount of nostalgia and cultural identity baked into this release... but so far, it seems they went the shallow path rather than the deep, in "revisioning" this.
  11. kuenjato

    US Politics: Time to Stock Up

    Trump is more likely to die from the virus in the next 3 weeks than he would be canceling the election. And the former is actually possible, while the latter is pretty much not. He needs the military to pull off a coup, and all the top dogs despise him for many various reasons.
  12. kuenjato

    US Politics: Time to Stock Up

    It was essentially a pump and dump, squeezing the last of this lemon before the quarantine really throws the brakes on everything, orchestrated on live television by the President of the United States. Cyberpunk 2077 is going to feel so quaint when it finally comes out. EDIT: the cocaine high is already wearing off, aftermarket futures were at -330 a little while ago.
  13. kuenjato

    Videogames : Cyberpunk Samurai edition.

    I'm saving this for the summer (after Last of Us 2), and this isn't all that encouraging. I'm playing GTAV right now, and while the game is fun in places, the shooting mechanics really aren't engaging and can be downright frustrating, and after playing really responsive games like Horizon and Nier, the basic movement is pretty cumbersome. One thing I do like about it is how it emphasizes variety in the main missions and side quests. One moment I'm trying to outbike my douchebag son, the next I'm shooting down helicopters, then torturing some poor dude for info (that last part I didn't like at all, and was surprised you couldn't just skip it). I compare this to Assassin's Creed Origins, the last open world game I played, which had amazing visuals and one of the best ambient soundtracks I've heard in video games, but a gameplay loop that was just endless fetchquests and outposts/bandit camps. Seems like most games haven't learned the lesson from Witcher 3. I currently have my 9 year old daughter playing Horizon Zero Dawn. She's spent the last 2-3 hours just playing around in this little valley near Telluride, hunting turkeys and foxes and the occasional Scrapper/Grazer/Watcher combo. I urged her to do sidequests or continue with the main story, and she just rolled her eyes. "Dad, I'm having fun." It made me step back and appreciate that she wasn't just following-the-marker, like these games tend to encourage.
  14. kuenjato

    US Politics: I Say a Little Prayer for You!

    Well, you have to factor in wide-spread slashed funding for public colleges/universities, which pushed the "attractive campus" narrative with admins building massive sports complexes and plush dorms to attract students, the cost of which was eaten by the students. And, of course, administration bloat, where (primarily boomers) hired their buddies to shuffle paperwork and take extensive lunches -- I saw this first hand at the small liberal arts college I went to at the end of the aughts. And the costs kept escalating from there. I managed to get a bachelors and masters debt-free, but I was pretty lucky -- I scrimped, worked 2-3 jobs, and was one of the "star students" during my time, resulting in lots of scholarships, the excess of which went to paying off the initial 10k loan I took. I received a free masters through the Job Recovery Act, and a 2nd free masters through the school district I lived in. But again, exception to the rule. Most importantly, the student debt bubble is eating a huge hole in overall consumption for those paying for (often unnecessarily) expensive degrees. Wiping out student debt, while triggering the ol' "you have to work for what you get" Protestant labor ethic stitched into our country's history, would also result in a lot of capital being moved to other parts of the economy.
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