The Return: Let's all be awesome, and play Xenoblade.

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:
 
 This is early into the game, and that's the first town.
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:
 
Is it nerdy to play 90's adventure games on a console?  ... AH! Don't you dare, try and admit you don't want to try this yourself now! XD
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.
Start the Conversation
16 Comments
Posted by vidiot

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:
 
 This is early into the game, and that's the first town.
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:
 
Is it nerdy to play 90's adventure games on a console?  ... AH! Don't you dare, try and admit you don't want to try this yourself now! XD
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.
Posted by Video_Game_King

Fuck! I can't comment on anything! I don't remember 9/11 (then again, it could be because I'm not American), and I have a rule of not commenting on games I haven't played, but eventually might play. I hate it when crap like this happens.

Posted by vidiot
@Video_Game_King: You can't comment on any game you haven't played? 
You mean you can't even have questions about the games you haven't played? 
 
YOUR SELF-IMPOSED RULES ARE TERRIBLE.
Posted by Video_Game_King

I wish to free myself from bias and persuasion, and the best way to do that is to jump into a game with no knowledge or prior exposure to it. My opinions must remain pure! *cue people saying otherwise in 3, 2, 1*

Posted by vidiot
@Video_Game_King: How is not letting yourself ask questions about a game, have anything to do with bias or persuasion?!?! 
 
I assume you have no opinion on murder or *insert crimes here*, because you've never experienced it? 
So you have no opinion, over me tossing this axe at your head? C'mon! It's gonna be pretty cool! Plus, you can't knock it until you try it.
Posted by Video_Game_King

Because those questions would inevitably lead to answers, which would set up some type of expectation for the game. This would lead to me judging the experience in some way before actually having experienced it. I don't need to point out the problem there, right? It is my goal to minimize all expectations (eliminating them altogether would be a tab more troublesome) to ensure maximum quality.
 
Your argument fell apart the moment you introduced a moral dimension to it. I can determine my opinion on a moral matter via a system of logic such as utilitarianism or deontology. These systems do not in any way require that I experience an action to assert my stance on it. With judgments regarding quality of experience, however, the system of logic absolutely requires experience of some type. (At least the system of logic to which I adhere.) But as to why I'd seal myself off from discussions until after I've finished a game, this might help.

Posted by vidiot
@Video_Game_King
Xenoblade causes cancer

Your thoughts?
Posted by Video_Game_King

If true, then again, I can't hold much of a qualitative opinion on it. I'm not sure I could hold any moral opinion (if it is a natural consequence, then it would be futile to hold such an opinion, and I find the idea that it's actively and consciously causing cancer ludicrous), but I know that I still can't hold any qualitative opinion of the experience until I play it for myself.

Posted by vidiot
@Video_Game_King: See! Now you've commented on the game! 
 
I just have to remind myself each time when I talk about a game you've never played: To apply and instigate something akin to a physical, or moral dilemma that transpires during the experience of the game. This way you will be able to override your barrier and directly, (or in this case) semi-indirectly cite the game in question, with a lose opinion upon it.
Posted by Video_Game_King

Ah, but did you not pay attention to how I separated my opinions? My moral opinion on the game remains as neutral as ever, knowing that this is clearly a joke meant to arouse some type of odd response from me, and since my qualitative opinion is something else entirely, it, too, remains as pure and unmarked as ever. Now excuse me while I study Japanese and write my El Shaddai review. I'm trying to determine which one is more confusing. (I'm currently siding with El Shaddai.)

Posted by vidiot
@Video_Game_King: You have convinced me that you are a robot, or some-form of sentient A.I. 
It's like I'm talking to Sky-Net.
 
Regardless, I love you Spock.
Posted by Video_Game_King

Nah, I just read up on logic and stuff. I've been feeling like a high-class intellectual asshole this entire time. I'm surprised that Icemael didn't come in here and tell me to shut the fuck up (albeit in a more eloquent fashion).

Edited by ArbitraryWater

So, Xenoblade is actually really good? That's... unfortunate. (Because it's not being released in the states I mean, not that I was wishing for an ironic backlash to all that "Operation Rainfall" stuff.) Still, I'm not in a position nor really in the mood to do horrible things to my Wii, because I still need it to play all those Gamecube games when I come home for the holidays and if I screw it up I'll have to find where I put my gamecube. Not to mention that JRPGs really aren't my thing.

Maybe I'm vaguely sociopathic or something, because I can't stand all the 9/11 coverage on TV. Just the fact that the people who died 10 years ago are not much more than a list of names to be dragged out and read like a routine roll call, not making it much better than those films made to capitalize on it. But whatever, being a snarky internet dick is not my intention in this specific regard, and the people who are should probably feel ashamed.

@Video_Game_King: You know, I don't usually comment on your blogs if I don't have anything relevant to say. Thankfully, you always post at least one bizarre video that gives me something to talk about. Maybe if I started playing more C-tier PS1 era JRPGs you would comment on my blogs more frequently.

Posted by Video_Game_King
@ArbitraryWater
 
Well, good news, then: my next two blogs actually cover modern games people have actually played. Also, was that C-tier thing a jab at Tear Ring Saga? That's top tier shit, man! Fire Emblem fans should know more about it. If you want C-tier PS1 era JRPGs, this kinda fits the bill. What it lacks in JRPG, it more than makes up for in C-tier.
Posted by ArbitraryWater

@Video_Game_King: I would never take a stab at "Fire Emblem in all but name". I was more referring to junk like Tail Concerto and... pretty much every SNES RPG you've done that I've never heard of. On the plus, I got my SNES emulators to run on my new computer, which means that a Thracia 776 blog at some point this year is a very distinct possibility, assuming there aren't any super retarded unfair levels that I haven't encountered yet.

Edited by vidiot
@ArbitraryWater: They had tapes from inside one of the cockpits of the first plane to hit the towers. It was disgusting and at the same time unsettling. Getting annoyed by the way 24 hour news networks handle stories these days is one thing, disregarding the event in general is another. Some of the comments in one of the 9/11 threads just disturbed the crap out of me. Your feelings on the event are understandable. Personally, I think we should be celebrating the lives of these individuals and the many heroic stories or survival that happened that day, versus endless montages of the planes hitting buildings. 
 
Xenoblade is excellent. Even if JRPG's are not traditionally your taste, I feel like does enough not to "cater" but give something that goes beyond let's say strict hallways and obscene dialog.
If you have an SD Card: You can hack your Wii. There are no internal modifications required, and apparently it's so wildly done Joystiq felt pretty damn confident to post a tutorial. Just back up your saves in case you screw-up. I personally followed this very easy guide.
 
There are of course risks but from my bare-bones knowledge, bricking your Wii is something that would happen if you rush things, or, for lack of a better word: Do something stupid. In the tutorial linked there are safety measures in-order to backup a bricked Wii. 
 
Just something to think about.
 
Also, regarding emulators...
 
 It runs SNES9X pretty damn good XP