Greets, humans! Please excuse any typos or less-coherent-than-normal ranting – maybe it’s the combination of inability to sleep and crippling exhaustion, I don’t know. But if there is one benefit to using almost all of hours in the day to not rest, it’s that there are just SO MANY good games to play and shows to watch and things to read right now! So, let’s get right to it!
My journey through Eorzea in Final Fantasy XIV continued, as I finished eliminating the threat of the Primals by defeating the beautiful and sadistic Garuda…only for the Garlean Empire to finally make it’s move at conquest, unleashing Ultima Weapon, which promptly absorbed the powers of Ifrit, Titan, and Garuda with little effort. As my Warrior of Light – side note, I find it hilarious when NPC characters greet me with some variation on “ah, most heroic Evil Wizard!” – and his allies regroup, it was determined that the only way to respond was to, you know…kill a bunch of Imperial officers, sack their bases, and destroy their Weapon. And since wanton death and destruction are kind of, you know, MY THING, I gleefully slew my way through their ranks toward leader, High Grand Poobah Gaius Something-Or-Other. Basically, my dungeon and raid parties looked something like this:
Ah, Richard…you truly are my spirit animal. Anywho, after spilling rivers of Imperial blood, I finally found myself face-to face with Gaius and his shiny new toy. Admittedly, he cuts an impressive figure.
But, as I am wont to do, I melted his face. And with that, I had completed all of the original Realm Reborn content of FF XIV, and I am now ready to start on the bridge content leading into the Heavensward expansion. Cheer me on, maaaan!
Now, said progress may be somewhat slowed due to the absolutely phenomenal PS4 release of Persona 5. Quite simply, this is one of the best, most stylish, and addicting JRPGs that I have played in years, maybe ever. The combat is the deepest I’ve seen since SMT: Nocturne (yay demon negotiation!), the interface and graphics are incredibly slick, the soundtrack is pure bliss, and the “day in the life” sim elements are amazingly engrossing.
The writing is absolutely stellar. From the main plot to the individual stories of all of your various “Confidants” – this games version of “Social Links” from prior entries in the series – every character is well developed, with a perfect balance between lightheartedness and gravitas. The bottom line is this – Shin Megami Tensei is Atlus’s Final Fantasy, and some gamers may argue that it has equaled or even surpassed Square Enix’s venerable series. Even more impressively, the Persona series is the rare offshoot series that has developed into something stands equal to, if not even surpasses, the entries in the main series.
So, that’s what you should be playing…but hey, sometimes you just want to kick back and watch some anime, right? RIGHT?! (Editor’s Note: Just agree. He’s not in the mood to argue. There are only about four people he wouldn’t set on fire right now.) AND YOU’RE NOT ONE OF THEM, SO SHUT UP! Ahem…so, if you’ve been an anime and manga fan at all over the past 20 years, you should be familiar with Naruto. Well, our lovable orange-jumpsuited ninja and all of his friends are all grown up following the end of their series, and conveniently paired up and bred like rabbits off screen in order for the adventures to continue in a new manga and anime series entitled Boruto: Naruto Next Generations. The titular Boruto is the son of Naruto and Hinata, and is entering the Ninja Academy alongside all of his friends who look suspiciously like mashups of their fan-ship parents.
Now, while this could easily be dismissed as simply a retelling of Naruto in an attempt to cash in on the original series popularity with minimal effort, this would be a mistake and a discredit to the new series. The world has truly evolved and become more modern since the end of the Fourth Great Ninja War, and the dreams, aspirations, and motivations of this new generation of shinobi are definitely not the same as that of their parents. Speaking of which, all of your favorite characters that survived the war are accounted for in the new series, and watching them mature into leaders and parents is just as compelling as seeing the adventures of their children. As a new anime series, the animation and production values are top-notch. While I haven’t yet read the new manga, I intend to do so, as I read the entire original Naruto series and count myself as a fan. Is it perfect? Of course not – it’s a shonen manga so you know kind of what you’re getting, but as long as you know that going in, the world of Naruto and Co. is still a fun one to spend time in. Recommended – find it on Hulu or Crunchyroll!
Now, I am always very pleased that all of you feeble mortals (Editor’s Note: WONDERFUL READERS) whatever, that you all come and partake of my wisdom here. But, and I know this may come as a shock, there are other blogs that you should be checking out as well. I know that I normally only want to talk about me – and I mean, I AM a lord of darkness – but I feel like it has been a while since I properly recognized and called attention to some of the other wonderful blogs out there, as well as the amazing people behind them that I have become fortunate enough to consider my friends.
The Well-Red Mage – A friend and one of the first people to welcome me into the blogging community, The Well-Red Mage and his majestic menagerie of mages are some of the most informative and entertaining authors of news, interviews, and reviews of video games both classic and contemporary.
These are just the first group, just a few of the many wonderful writers out there sharing their gifts and talents will all of you humans. Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy their blogs! See you all next time, mortals – but until then, remember: if we DON’T see each other again, it’s because a psychopathic man-child conned enough foolish, simple-minded fleshsacks into voting him president despite having no ability to handle the job and has likely started an apocalyptic war that has left the world in ruin and the human race extinct. And that pisses me off because that’s MY schtick, and I don’t take kindly to gimmick infringement. – EWE