By vidiot 0 Comments
In my school day planner ten years ago, I drew a picture to the best of my ability of the World Trade Center.
As I sketched the buildings on fire with meticulous detail, a deafening silence was produced on the television that was literally palpable. I don't think I'll ever see or hear such a sound, but watching those buildings fall, and subsequently hearing my mother literately screaming in the room at the same time, is an event that I don't think I will ever forget.
I don't understand when people proclaim that we can "Never forget September 11th". Even if you don't remember the event because you were too young, the event has dramatically changed and affected so many lives, and it's repercussions are still being felt today.
Cynicism regarding 9/11, is something entirely different from forgetting the event. Did 9/11 affect me from a personal level? Did I loose anyone on that day?
No, but at the same time: Why try and find validation, to dismiss a horrifically tragic event in general?
It's something that I seriously understand less, than the motivations of those who hijacked the planes that day. It's as if the failures of the foreign policy that followed the event, have overrode a basic human concept of sympathy and compassion. It's one number statistic pitted over another. How many people died on that day? How many people died in Afghanistan? Iraq? Civilians? Soldiers?
Why do we do this to ourselves? What possible benefit does this have?
Looking back on the ten years of the war and death that followed, it's hard to forget that any loss of life is horrendous. That's what I feel we shouldn't "forget". That it's alright to show bit's a pieces of humanity, to other human beings for their loss.
So while the news shows footage of those towers falling non-stop today (Personally can't stand that), and for some reason (?)you might have difficulty understanding why a country might emphasize a day a national tragedy occurred, that instigated more tragedy(?).
On this day, I would implore you to not let your own narrative diminish the terrible things that happened that day. Because doing so, also diminishes the tragedy that followed.
Is that too hard to ask?
To not be dicks on 9/11?
That sound's pretty good right?
I don't suppose anyone is going to stand-up, and fight over what quantity or percentage of dicks they want to be on this day right? Nobody want's to be a dick in general.
Or maybe you do? If so: Are you happy with your life...Being a dick.
Perhaps I'm overreacting after reading troll comments on the internet again. I hope this doesn't come across like some preachy opinion, but I'm going to go out on a limb and proclaim that having compassion on this anniversary, is not something that should be looked down upon.
But enough of this, Osama is very dead, his dreams and aspirations will never come to fruition, so let's talk about something awesome!
You know what I'm going to write now? Now that I've decided to come back from the grave and blog again?
Xeno-Freaking-Blade! I'm playing it!
I think I'm going to give this game a "proper" blog a little later, I'm roughly 15-18 hours into the game and my mind is a mess of information and opinions. There's no real way to get around this but:
I absolutely adore it.
Xenoblade isn't just a great JRPG, but it's been a great RPG in general. It's perhaps one of the most accessible JRPG's I've had the pleasure of playing in the last ten years, so much so that I've been getting goosebumps while playing that I haven't felt since the early PS2 generation.
I originally began playing the game on an emulator, and it ran quite stable for a very long time. Sadly, sound issues began fueling an interest to find another way to play this game. I came to the conclusion that should hack my Wii, and have been playing it since.
It's perhaps the most accessible JRPG I've played in years, which is directly opposite to the concept it wouldn't do well over here because it's for a "super-niche audience". It's general design seems something straight from, according to Nintendo's logic: The very unpopular World Of Warcraft.
JRPG's have flirted with the offline MMO design structure for a while now, but I feel like they have never been able to bridge the gap between people who enjoy traditional JRPG trappings, and the loot/quest oriented game design crack, that has permeated over the years. Xenoblade has sold me that these two different designs have a place together, and it almost seems like a verbatim response to people who had difficulty getting into games like Final Fantasy XII and White Knight Chronicles. It's combat is more participatory, than reactionary. It's narrative is well paced, balancing the mytho's of the world, and the story with a great cast of characters.
... And the music...
I get the impression, that this sadly might become something akin to this generation's Panzer Dragoon Saga.
While I'm happy that there was an English release of this game, I'm concerned about this thing going under the radar for a lot of people. Operation Rainfall has been brilliant in giving this game, and it's counterparts, recognition.
That being said, the amount of people who know that Panzer Dragoon Saga was a brilliant game, versus knowing first-hand that the game was brilliant, is sadly lop-sided. I feel as if Xenoblade, and quite possibly the games of Operation Rainfall will have that same history broken stigma.
Other Japanese developers are probably researching all over this game. It wouldn't surprise me if we had another go with this design template on a current gen console, and have people rightfully getting excited about it. When I finally played Panzer Dragoon Saga a year ago, my entire reflection and understanding of the Playstation JRPG era was thrown out-of-order. I felt annoyed that I didn't get to experience the game in it's historical context.
It's the same deal here. Perhaps Nintendo will get wise and release this in North America. I just hope that it's not five years from now, and were finally getting a port of this excellent game on another console.
From a technical standpoint: One of Xenoblade's greatest strength's is just the sheer size of the environments. The game's world is actually the dead corpse of a Titan God, and the game takes no time in addressing a sense of scale:
So, if you're looking to get your hands a little dirty hacking your Wii, take the time to give Xenoblade a spin. Because let's be honest here: Your not playing the Wii right now, so why not dust off the cob-webs and go to town with it?
Plus, you can do this with a hacked Wii:
This week, I hopefully will be putting the finishing touches to my PAX video experience.
It's been a very rough couple of months for me, and I guess this is the part where I recognize people who have helped me emotionally, specifically one good friend of mine who implored me to write again.
Now go get Xenoblade, before I break into your house.