On Final Fantasy XIII…

Montana is a beautiful place. A combination of natural serenity and technological seclusion created this feeling of peace I haven’t quite felt before. Having said that, my exploration of it’s vast acres proved that there is, in fact, not a goddamned thing out there (save my poetic college buddy and renowned writer Jim Harrison). The born and bred denizens are pretty damn polite though, feeling a sense of kinship with me, a spiritual cousin living in Texas. I quickly wavered between whether or not I should burst their rodeo bubble and confess that most Texans 1. Don’t carry a six-shooter, 2. Don’t ride a horse to a fro, and 3. Can describe anything with the simple phrase “boy I tell you what…”

I was pleasantly relieved when I returned home to see a healthy supply of tidbits about the long-lost, near-mythical title that is Final Fantasy XIII. I took it as a personal reward for surviving a week out in the middle-of-ass nowehere with the nearest electrical socket about 19 miles away (to be fair, I could still use my cell phone; Verizon really does work everywhere).  Aside from the bevy of new images, cut scenes and over-the-top transformations, the event seemed to center around the date and price point. It mystified me as to why hold such lavish showcases when the main course is two sets of numbers, but I was reminded that this game was first discussed a little over 3 years ago (meaning development time is closer to a half decade). To the affiliated parties, those numbers represent a milestone of overtime hours, coffee breaks, and acupuncture sessions rivaling voodoo curses on hex dolls. With that much investment, I’d most likely want some sort of party and I’d be damned if the rest of the world wasn’t gonna show up.  Regardless, our eastern friends will finally find out what kind of story can excuse having characters named after forces of mother Nature.

For the English-inclined gamers back here, a December release date translates to sometime in the Summer months of next year, or even the Fall (game localization is a bitch folks). Suffice to say, we still have to sit tight for a while longer before we lay waste to whatever seems to plauge the citizens of Cocoon. What vexs me, however, will be the undoubtedly colossal level of hype surrounding this game come D-day. Since the days of Final Fantasy’s online adventure—which they seem to be trying again—and their underappreciated following iteration, fans of the franchise seem starved for another gem to rival the luster of the days of seven and eight. As inclined as I am to agree with the mass, I know that condition can lead to blind worship of something that may not deserve such acclaim. FF13 is different, yes; it’s innovative, yes; it’s fucking beautiful, we know; but do not believe past disappointment ensures future success.

Don’t get me wrong, I am very excited for this title. I think, nay, believe this game will be a tremendous accomplishment and may even compare to that of Cloud’s adventure, but the final verdict is out til sometime next year. In the meantime, go play Batman. Go to Montana…actually, just go play Batman.

See you in the next level,

Gray

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