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Tag Archive | video games

Final Fantasy XV review: it’s not really a Final Fantasy game

I’ve played over 100 hours of Final Fantasy XV and it took me at least the first 50 hours to figure out exactly what bothers me about the game. That’s good, right? I mean, obviously the game isn’t LITERALLY UNPLAYABLE, or I wouldn’t have survived more than 40 hours. And I’m not going to say that the game is bad, because it’s not a bad game. But it is a fundamentally flawed game. I’m reminded of one reviewer who humorously gave it “9.75 out of 10: disappointing and underwhelming,” because there’s a lot of truth to that. This game may be doing relatively well on Metacritic, but from the reactions I’ve seen from the game’s audience, it seems like a different experience could have pushed it even higher.

So here is my unnecessarily long-winded “review” of Final Fantasy XV, which has undergone several revisions over the last six months, and thus may not be as coherent as I’d like, but the next 3,000 or so words should nonetheless be at least moderately entertaining. You’ve been warned.

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Poem: The Konami Code

If you want to test someone to find out if (s)he is a “real” gamer, then ask about the Konami Code. It’s a cheat code used in several Konami games, but for whatever reason, it became so iconic that other video games also started to utilize it, and has become so prevalent in pop culture that ESPN, Facebook, and Google have featured it in Easter Eggs on their web sites. It’s kind of a big deal.

The Konami Code, by the way, is up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, usually followed by start or select and then start. I did that from memory. Be impressed… or don’t, since I just talked about how familiar every gamer should be with it.

Anyway, I wrote a poem about it. Please enjoy it.

I only had to use three continues before finishing this poem!! ... which... doesn't even make sense

I only had to use three continues before finishing this poem!! … which… doesn’t even make sense

Transcript:

Look at you!
Look at me
Look at you
Looking at nothing
BECAUSE IT DOESN’T EXIST?
What’s it to you,
Super nerd?
I don’t think so—
Not this time—
So let me look around,
Look inside,
Pretend I believe in your fictional lies!
I’m gonna flip,
Iron Will;
Shoot to thrill, play to kill!
Stolen line just like the rest,
Unoriginality’s always been the best,
So do it sideways, up,
Up, down, down,
Left, right, left, right,
B, A, B, A,
Start the fight
Cause I’m gonna win,
Your chance was gone when I turned you on,
And now you’re gone, worse off than Pong,
Made obsolete by myself the 1337,
And when you scream I flip the switch
And live to fight another day.
Game Over, bitch.

Analysis:

  • This is awful.
  • Yes, I realize it’s not really about Konami. Or the Konami Code. Or anything.
  • “1337” is pronounced “leet” (like “elite,” but without the “e”), in case you aren’t nerdy enough to immediately realize that.
  • “And live to fight another day” is what the major bad guys (Bebop, Rocksteady, The Shredder, Krang) yelled all the time in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon series. So yes, that’s stolen, too.
  • This… wow, this is awful.

I hope you were mildly entertained by this. Just remember: you can write better poetry than me. Sometimes I write decent stuff, but with this, I have officially set the bar so low, you can’t possibly do much worse. I’m gonna go punch the Konami Code into a controller for a while now.

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This post is part of Cody’s “10-Year Idea Reunion” series, in which Cody revisits his creative writing class assignments exactly 10 years after writing them. Learn more about Cody’s Idea Reunion and follow him on WordPress to follow along!

A poem starring forced alliteration, excessive prepositions, and Super Smash Brothers: Melee

I don’t know what exactly our teacher could have possibly said to inspire me to write this poem. Seriously, here is what must have happened that day:

Teacher: Okay class, you all have to write a poem today, the subject of which must be something you are passionate about.
Me: Does that include video games?
Teacher: Why yes, Cody, it certainly does! And be sure to include at least one writing technique, such as alliteration, in the poem.
Me: How about I include alliteration, but instead of giving it any context whatsoever, I just write a bunch of words in a row that start with the same letter but lack any coherent or logical flow?
Teacher: That sounds splendid! Please also do that with a part of speech as well, such as prepositions or linking verbs.
Me: I will do so happily, and then gallivant into the sunset!
Teacher: You didn’t even use that word correctly, but who cares? Go write your terrible poem!

That basically is what must have happened, because Science®. Anyway, here’s the result of this conversation:

A poem featuring forced alliteration, excessive prepositions, and Super Smash Brothers: Melee

A poem featuring forced alliteration, excessive prepositions, and Super Smash Brothers: Melee

Transcript:

Characters all around
25 all around,
Colorful characters quite abound
Every few and every pair
Have some sort of reason to be fighting there
Cartoonish they seem, yet I don’t quite care
It keeps things clean—for the Kids.
Contacts cascading, namecalling renaming
The therapeutic Theremin of Thespian thinking
A thing-in-itself
Which no-one seems to be seeing
Smelling the sweat, the substance of strife
Illiterate critics, illegitimate gimmicks,
Sucking the life out of
Into out of around near far abound
Train of thought
Derailed to hell
Away from the housetop,
Away from the roof
Now dash away, dash away…
Dash away all.

Ten years after writing this poem, I can explain almost every thought that went through my head. I have no specific recollection of writing it, but here’s how each part of this happened:

  1. I started writing about Smash Brothers. “25 characters” are in Smash Brothers: Melee, and the violence in the game is irrefutably “cartoonish” to maintain a K-A rating (Kids to Adult), which is the video game equivalent of being rated PG.
  2. I must have heard the word “theremin” somewhere and couldn’t think of anything else to write in Line 9, so I just grabbed a Thesaurus (or used any “th” words I could recall) and stuck them together incoherently, very likely thinking “I can get away with anything, it’s poetry” at the time.
  3. Line 13, “Illiterate critics, illegitimate gimmicks” undoubtedly refers to video game critics who invent facts to further their own political agendas (i.e. Jack Thompson, who at the time was sadly receiving media coverage) as I start to “zoom out” from Smash Brothers itself and start to examine the overall perception of it, and gaming.
  4. After writing Line 14, “Sucking the life out of,” I couldn’t think of what to write, so I just wrote a chain of prepositions, which were HUGE in the Latin class I was also taking at the time. I directly admit this in Line 16 when I say “Train of thought,” and concede that I couldn’t think of a coherent follow-up in Line 17: “Derailed to hell.”
  5. Lines 18 through the end are self-explanatory.

Is it frightening that I can deconstruct my own ten-year-old poem as specifically as I did? Honestly, you tell me. I like to think that some things never change, and that I don’t think that’s a bad thing. My writing was also pretty transparent, at least at the time, and at least to me.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this completely ridiculous poem! Looking ahead, it appears that I won’t have a great deal of notes/poems/stories for the next 10 days, but please stay tuned and there will be plenty more for you to analyze, criticize, or ignore soon!

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This post is part of Cody’s “10-Year Idea Reunion” series, in which Cody revisits his creative writing class assignments exactly 10 years after writing them. Learn more about Cody’s Idea Reunion and follow him on WordPress to follow along!

Uh oh… a serious poem?

Well, this is going to be challenging.

In a culture over-saturated with irony, it’s hard to say something serious and leave yourself vulnerable to criticism, judgment, or even simple interpretation. That’s why I’m at least a bit reluctant to post this poem, because although I did indeed write it ten years ago, it’s strikingly devoid of the irreverence typical of the rest of my work. Was my teacher somehow successful in motivating me to actually attempt a serious poem?

Fortunately, the fact that I wrote this poem ten years ago is akin to a famous actor posting a video of the commercial he did for a local insurance company in Kansas when he was 16, so let’s face it: I can’t be too sensitive about any feedback I receive from anyone. So without further ado, let’s see if I was able to muster any poetic talent after my first couple weeks of a creative writing class (note that my actual poem attempt appears at the bottom half of the page):

 

The top half is either a rough draft, or random notes... there's really no way to tell.

The top half is either a rough draft, or random notes… there’s really no way to tell. Either way, feel free to ignore it!

Transcript:
Darkness, stars, shattered dreams
Golden Idol among blindfolded denial
Cry of the Lifestream
Bloodshed of war
Fall of the epic hero
Hardcore
Body falling endlessly
Fallable, Falling, Failing
Hopeless destruction
Ultimate end
Hopeless failure
Goodbye to a friend.

A few things:

  • “Lifestream” is a Final Fantasy VII reference, and knowing me, I used “Hardcore” in the context of professional wrestling. So I guess I did go a LITTLE “inside” with this poem.
  • I feel like this poem would be awesome at a beat poetry open mic, probably because it doesn’t have an obnoxiously generic rhyming scheme.
  • Is this perhaps some kind of analogy for the life of a video game character?

You know what’s weird? I wanted to write some commentary on the poem, so I scrolled up to read it. And seeing it written on a blank white screen in sans serif, Italicized font… well, it made it un-readable to me. Am I totally crazy or what? But seriously, I feel like I can only read this in its original hand-written form, or I’m not able to really “get into it.”

Anyway, what do you think? Is this any “good” or is it just mindless high school drivel? I took the creative writing class to learn how to be more poetic (whatever that means), but I think that at the conclusion of the class, I never really learned whether I was any good at it or if I just got better at feeling like I knew what I was doing. Does that even make sense? Probably not. But I’m going with it anyway.

Clearly, I need to practice writing some more… good thing I’ve got this web site! Thanks for joining me for the ride. As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share my project with anyone you think may be interested. More posts to come soon!

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This post is part of Cody’s “10-Year Idea Reunion” series, in which Cody revisits his creative writing class assignments exactly 10 years after writing them. Learn more about Cody’s Idea Reunion and follow him on WordPress to follow along!

The World’s Top 10 Best Triforce Inspired Items

As someone who has three Zelda wall scrolls and 2 Zelda posters hanging in his apartment, I think I can pretty safely say that at least one thing on this list may make it into my home some day. Hopefully soon.

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