Year-End Partial Recap (Minor Non-Plot Spoilers for FFXV & Rogue One)

So, not only has it been almost two weeks since I last posted, but all those posts so far have been Final Fantasy XV and I figure it’s time for a more general update.

FFXV? In spite of some massive frustrations, it’s still going, and I technically still like the game. But some of those frustrations continue to include:

  • Load times: depending on a combination of your chosen destination and luck, “fast travel” in the game can take longer than just letting Ignis drive the Regalia on auto. Since I have the game set up now to accumulate AP and Exp on long drives, unless I’m playing online I usually just choose the latter and turn to my phone or laptop while I wait. Or, on at least two occasions, I nap between destinations, only to wake up at my end point to wonder how long I’ve been standing there. But hey, at least I get points for it!
  • Music: so, this is something that I’ve had thoughts about for a little more than a week now, it’s also and the reason for that “What Makes an FF?” poll I posted. I couldn’t say that’s what it was for at the time, because I didn’t want to steer answers, but that is what it was for. With 78 answers total (three per person who answered) most of the answers revolved around recurring elements such as chocobos, moogles, Cid, etc. (21 answers total.) But about 10% of answers did name music specifically; that’s the answer I was looking for, for comparison to my biggest complaint about FFXV: So far, at least, (tail end of chapter 8) there has been no memorable music in the game. Originally, I thought the use of previous games’ soundtracks in the car was a great addition, but by the time I found the MP3 player item to let me take those soundtracks anywhere in the game, I started to wonder why the game needed to rely on so much of the older games’ music. And the fact is, up to where I am in the game, it’s because the game doesn’t have much music of its own. That’s horribly disappointing for me, because if I were to answer my own poll, my answers would have been 1) music (this is where my emotional investment in the series is generated) 2) recurring elements and 3) character relationships. I love the boys, but without a strong supporting soundtrack the game suddenly feels horribly flat. I’m praying that this changes as I leave Lucius for the less-open parts of the game, but I’m not terribly hopeful.
  • Product placement and fan service: like a lot of players, I hate what they made of Cindy. I don’t care so much about the sexiness of her costume; it’s something, unfortunately, to be expected. I care more about just how dumb it is. Characters can be sexy, even fan service, without dressing like that. Look at the women walking around Lestallum, for instance; when walking around town they look ridiculous, with their crop tops and whatever, but when it shows those characters working they’re in full containment suits. They’re nothing like Cindy, thank god, but they’re still half-dressed when off-duty. But when they do get to work they look like they’re actually going to be working and not permanently maiming themselves while doing so. Also don’t get me started on the product placement. God, it’s making me want to cry. The camping gear I get; even without the game, there’s only one brand I could name off the top of my head, and it’s the brand in the game. But the food… oh dear god. I got a certain quest and I felt my soul shatter into a thousand pieces. You know the one. I knew it was coming. I’d seen it on YouTube. But after sitting through it I wanted to go buy as much of the product as I could find and burn it on a ritual bonfire.
  • Missing plot: this could be considered a sort-of spoiler, but I want to include it here without hiding it because it’s important. READ ANY PAPERS/MAGAZINES/ETC THAT YOU FIND and LISTEN TO THE RADIOS WHEN YOU GO TO THE DINERS.You will miss explanations for a few things, at least, without doing this. Perhaps these things will be covered directly when you get to later chapters, but these missing elements begin to affect game play right around chapter 8, I’ve noticed, and without a combo of the papers, the radio, and a little bit of online spoilers I’d have no idea what was going on right now. Also, Brotherhood and Kingsglaive aren’t necessary, but they are extremely helpful with just little bits of fill-in-the-blanks. Missing those won’t leave you without as many details as missing Dragon Age additional materials, but they do have additional context that I appreciate when I run across more vague areas in the game.
  • Endless side quests: This is more of a personal problem, and I’ve mentioned it before, but the side quests are continuing to wear on me. I’m too much of a completionist, and there are too many unimportant quests to complete. However, through one of these unending side quests I located the home of the terrifying Worst Bird. He (She?) hasn’t shown up in that specific location yet, though, so I’m assuming I’ll have to wait for a hunt to actually face it once more.

…I think that’s enough of direct FF talk, so now on to other things. As I mentioned before, my next plan fandom-wise is to do my New Year Dragon Age Re-Everything, starting approximately on Jan 1st with The Stolen Throne and continuing until everything I can get my hands on is done. I’m not going to set a specific schedule for this project so that I don’t feel rushed (like I’m starting to feel with FFXV, since I need to finish that before I start this). I’m hoping I can find a better method of streaming from my PC, since the only client I’ve managed to get working so far is horrible for picture quality; if so, then I’ll actually have all my gaming online as well as making summary posts like I will be for the rest of the media in the collection. The world state I’m using will be my canon one; anyone from Tumblr should be very familiar with it by now but I’ll spare the details for everyone else for now. If you’re super-curious, you can dig through my Dragon Age tag here for the bullet summaries for my Warden and Hawke; the newest official versions of those saves are still more or less the same as those originals, though some motivations and attitudes have changed.

Finally, I saw Rogue One day before yesterday, and I wasn’t entirely impressed until the end. The first half of the movie feels like it doesn’t know where it’s supposed to be, and then final scenes ended up playing out exactly how I’d guessed they would. Remember that thing I said in my Final Fantasy rants above though, about music creating huge emotional investment for me? That’s where a lot of my final, positive opinion of the movie comes from. I do feel that with repeated viewings the whole movie will feel more unified in the series (I was the same way with TFA; I enjoyed it but it didn’t feel connected to the rest of the movies until it was out on disc and I could watch it a few more times), but it’s going to take some time to get there.

Anyway, that’s my pre-Christmas fandom recap, I guess. I have other, more personal-and-work-related things going on, of course, but those aren’t nearly as interesting and I’ve babbled enough for one post.

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