This is an experiment. Not only will it be a lesson for self-improvement, a way to prove that I can see a difficult, time-consuming task through to its end, but also, a way to see how I’ve changed. Are the same games, the same experiences, that I once loved and look back with nostalgic stupor what I still enjoy in my entertainment? This is a journey of self-fulfillment, enlightenment, and escapism. This is the climax of my coming-of-age tale. This is my Final Fantasy.
Day 1, Time played: 3 hours, 22 minutes
Last night, I booted up Tales of Vesperia around 1:00 in the morning. Considering that I’m trying to make the most of my days, starting around 1 seemed like a counter-intuitive way to actually wake up before what most would consider lunchtime. However, boot up I did.
I was greeted by a rockin’
JPop English-translated JPop tune with anime visuals all the rage, followed by a mellow, understated title screen. I always find the music video style opening to a game rather jarring, as I haven’t been introduced to any of the characters that the animators so lovingly depict on the screen. It always feels like I’m viewing something that was misplaced. The collaboration of cast members generically fighting or happily dancing along to the rhythm of the music seems like it should be played during the credits, rather than the opening. But I digress, and this is a compliant that should have been filed years ago, when Squaresoft decided to play a similar cinematic, set to Liberi Fatali, at the beginning of FF VIII.
Anyway, rockin’ jpop, followed by exposition: magic or whatnot, powerful living gods that look like dragons, castle town, good-natured vagabond protagonist. Got it.
I sort of glossed over the first hour, just now, but in reality, I was actually impressed. The world, a medieval European-like fantasy place of sorts, is actually built pretty well. The writers have crafted an interesting world that hopefully has as much intricacy as the first few hours have suggested. Class seems to play a role in the society presented in Vesperia, and the characters and NPCs you encounter all seem to portray the importance of status in their world. For example, as you travel through the capital city, the difference between the royal, merchant, and lower quarters is apparent. The conflict that arises from the socio-economic issues in an aristocratic nation will, with any luck, become a major theme in the tale.
That’s it for now, folks. Be back with another letter from the front lines tomorrow.
See ya, full motion video cowboys,
The Active-Time Blogger