The journey continues…

Hrmm! It seems not so many of you downloaded the music from Brandish 2. Tut, tut — no matter! On we go, ever vigilant in our Promethean quest to bring J-RPG tunes to the boorish masses.

What is it about Japanese console RPGs from the ’80s and ’90s that makes them kick so much ace? It’s the fact that they are such an excellent microcosmic reflection of the spiritual experience. That is to say, they are an exponentially smaller vision of the mystical ambitions of a human being. They can usurp mere tepid fantasy in this way, telling the story of our vicarious selves.

The good RPGs always were heavily story-driven and featured prominent character development. I don’t think the Final Fantasy games ever succeeded particularly well with characters. They were always so over-the-top tragic and serious. Square’s got nothin’ on the Lunar games, I tell you what! But most people’s personalities are as dry as those of FF characters, so the success of said characters does not surprise me one bit. But the point is that stories and characters offer resonance. It is what makes playing the game so compulsive beyond merely the dynamics of the gameplay engine. Interesting stories and developed character personalities are no longer an element exclusive to RPGs, but RPGs were possibly the first games to offer this kind of absorption.

I’m not saying RPGs are like, the best games ever or whatever. I’m just pointing out that they emanate or evoke something that brawling fighting games and first-person shooters often do not. Such games are much more blatant. They are much more concerned with aesthetics. It is funny that I would say that, because I also think that side-scrolling SHMUPs (shoot-em-ups like Gradius, Thunderforce, Ikaruga, Tyrian, etc.) have deep, profound symbolism. Natch.

These days, the only time I sit down to play RPGs like that (or most games, actually) is when I feel jaded or distraught by the world (all the freaking time, let me tell you!). I haven’t lost my imagination with my adult-hood, but time flows much faster now and I have little time to waste. As I felt when I was a young whipper-snapper, I feel that I’m actually living in the RPG themes I played through in those games. Which is one more reason I have no interest in new games aiming to create virtual realities. To me, virtual reality sounds like a prison.

I ain’t gonna get stuck in no prison!

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~ by chaosrexmachinae on June 5, 2008.

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