Final Fantasy XV Review-in-Progress; Malevolent Moogle’s Dating “Advice”

Hello, humans!  Still alive and kicking, huh?  Damn…er, uh, I mean, damn, that’s great.  Yup – look at you, all not-dead and whatnot.  Fan-fucking-tastic.  This is what I get for taking evil shopping advice from a goddamn coyote – he never even did catch that bird, useless bastard.  ACME better have a good refund policy on partially-used plagues.

Anyway, since you’re still breathing, I suppose I should at least attempt to entertain you.  So first, I guess we could delve into my thoughts as I have begun playing Square Enix’s recently released Final Fantasy XV.  This isn’t going to be a full review yet – this is a large game with a ton to do, and I simply haven’t had the time to play it thoroughly enough to give my final thoughts on it.  But I can tell you how it’s compared with my expectations going in.

tc7rtnr

Speaking of those expectations, they were…well, let’s be polite (Editor’s Note: for once) (EWE’s Note to Editor: you shut the fuck up right now) and just say that they were “low.”  Now, it isn’t as if I’m not a fan of the series – quite the opposite – but this game had raised some alarms for me.  First of all, I’m kind of old-school in my taste for RPGs.  I mean, for shit’s sake, look at me – I’m an 8-bit wizard.  My DNA is pixel-based.  Swords and sorcery, some steampunk, turn-based combat…this is the stuff I look for in an RPG.

ff-vi
PUMP THIS DIRECTLY INTO MY VEINS!

But starting with FF VII, the main Final Fantasy series has started moving away from traditional settings and gameplay elements.  That isn’t to say that this has been entirely a bad thing – taking chances and changing things up is how a long-lived series keeps from getting stale.  But like any experiments with a proven formula, some alterations work…and some not so much.  FF VII was a smash hit, but FF XIII took some well deserved criticism for essentially featuring a 20-hour corridor at the beginning of the game with no real options to deviate.  So when the announced concept of FF XV was revealed to essentially be “Bro’d Trip!” I was…cautious.  When SE announced that there would be an entire universe of products revolving around XV, including anime film and series prequels, visions of the ill-fated Compilation of FF VII swam before me.  And most alarmingly, when I played through the demos of the game that were made available…I was underwhelmed.

But thus far into the release of the full game, I am happy to report that my concerns have thus far proven to be…well, not “wrong” because that’s impossible, but perhaps “addressed” is a better term.  The combat system that had felt so obtuse and unresponsive to be in the demo is in actuality one of the best systems that the franchise has had since the old ATB days.  Battles zip along and are action packed without (thus far) becoming overwhelming.  And while you can only directly control Noctis throughout, you can trigger his three besties to perform joint attacks with him.  And even on their own, the AI for your party members is adequate as far as I’ve gotten into the game.

final-fantasy-xv-demo-confirmed-new-tgs-2014-trailer-out-459155-3
Yeah…I’m going to leave this guy alone for the moment.

Story wise, I have not progressed too far yet, as this is the first FF game to feature a mostly-open world with a TON of sidequests and loot scattered all over the map.  But I can say that thus far, the dynamic between the four best buds has actually been handled quite well.  Sure they’re dressed like something that should be on a catwalk in Milan, but their personalities and banter mesh well together without getting (too) cheesy.  There is still a lot of room for character development, but I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of this game based on my first impressions.

mog-final-fantasy-vi

Now as a last tidbit for you…you all remember my best friend, THE best friend, Malevolent Moogle, right?  Of course you do!  Well, MM and I had an exchange the other day that was so enlightening and life-changing, I simply had to share her wisdom with all you meatbags out there.  Here is MM offering me her, uh, we’ll call it “advice” for lack of a better term, on my personal life and dating.

MM – “Listen up.  I’ve appointed myself your datekeeper.  If you haven’t found a nice girl by my birthday, you have to go out with anybody I say.  Deal?”

EWE – “HAHAHAHAHAHAHA…HAHAHA..HAHA…Ha…oh, fuck, you’re not joking, are you?”

MM – “You didn’t say no, so, that counts as a yes.”

EWE – “Uh, we’re both lawyers, and I’m reasonably sure we both know that clearly IS NOT how ‘no’ works…”

MM – “Under this highly particular set of circumstances, and applicable only to you, it does.  Now, we can compromise – you will message any girl who has a cat with her in her profile pic.”

EWE – “Wait…how is that a compromise?  There are a lot of girls with cats…”

MM – “Cats cats cats cats cats!”

Now, for those of you who may still at this point be asking yourself “man, what is EWE’s deal?  What is wrong with that guy?”  I want you to reread that conversation, and then realize that the person I’m talking to is essentially THE SOLE VOICE OF REASON in my existence.  That should clear up any questions you may have had.

Until next time, kiddos, may you all have a merry happy whatever-the-fuck-you-celebrate – just please do it quickly, because I just honestly want it all over as soon as possible.  Thanks in advance. – EWE

Advertisements

#FrozenFoodFridays – Yeah, I Know It’s Not Friday Anymore Edition

So…I have to admit, I’m not going to apologize for this one.  See, last night, I attended a Christmas party for my local bar association.  And I was fortunate enough to do so with a lovely and amazingly witty and fun companion – one who asked if we could find the table closest to the corner, drink wine, and people watch while making snarky comments.  I literally cannot conceive of a better time or a better person to have it with.  Thus, I was unable to meet the deadline for #FrozenFoodFridays.  But never fear – thanks to my evil, omnipotent powers, I shall reverse time so that this entry will now take place in the past!  It’s kind of like that scene in Superman when he flies backwards around the planet to reverse time – except not fucking stupid.

So with that said, welcome to the latest edition of #FrozenFoodFridays!  Now, this week we will once again return to something that involves very little effort – in fact, there is practically no prep for this at all.  But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a treat!  In fact, it’s one of my absolute favorite desserts – Coconut Cream Pie!

coconut-cream-pie

Now, I know what you’re thinking – SOMEBODY has to prepare this!  Well, that’s true – and under other circumstances, perhaps I will attempt to make my own version and share it with you.  But for the purposes of a quick and easy treat, find your niece or nephew that is having a school fundraiser, or hop in the car and run to your local bakery/restaurant, or even the grocery store to the frozen dessert section.  Once you have the pie, place in your refrigerator long enough for it to not be completely frozen anymore.  Then, either cut yourself a slice and enjoy – or if you are a pathetic nobody living alone, forgo cutting slices and just take a fork to the entire thing.

Now, one last thing before I go.  You see, I may be the personification of evil, but most of you out there are…sigh…good.  And so, I ask for your help.  You remember the lovely young lady that I mentioned earlier?  Well, she is the loving momma to a sweet and adorable black cat by the name of Sylvester – or as I affectionately call him, Beastie.

beastie
‘Ello, Beastie!

Beastie, sadly, is feeling very under the weather right now.  He is under his momma’s care, but he can use all the positive vibes he can get.  So if you have a moment or two to spare, send a kind thought or well wish to little Beastie.  He is the only cat I have ever seen in my long, long existence that not only doesn’t bite you for scratching his belly, but actually LIKES it.  Bless his heart.  And from the bottom of where I should have a heart, I thank you for the positive feelings.  If you have a beastie of your own, make sure to let them know that they are special and loved. – EWE

Versatile Blogger Award x2 – with Special Guest!

Hello again, cats and kittens!  As I stated the other day, a recent catch-up on my reader found that I had neglected to acknowledge and respond to some additional award nominations.  Now we’ve already covered that this amount of kindness shown toward a festering ball of cynicism and sarcasm like myself is probably a sure sign of mass mental illness on the part of, well…most of you, really.  But there is another point to address as well – as you may well know many of these awards involve the disclosure of a number of facts about the receiving blogger.  As I have been showered with your adoration recently, it has become somewhat difficult to come up with a unique list each time without beginning to repeat myself about…myself.  Thus, when I saw that both Grimmgirldotcom and Boba and Games had each nominated me for my second and third Versatile Blogger Award, respectively (and with many, many thanks to each of you!) it occurred to me “Goddammit, I don’t even know if I know that many things about myself in total, let alone interesting ones!”  And that led to this very special post.

You see, kids, believe it or not – I have a friend.  Not just any friend, mind you – the best friend.  That wasn’t a typo.  She isn’t A best friend, or even just MY best friend – she is THE.  BEST.  FRIEND.  It’s simply an objective fact – after all, if you can stand to call ME your best friend under any circumstances, you must be the best friend in history.  She is the one..the only…the Malevolent Moogle.

mog-final-fantasy-vi

So, I went to MM and I explained my conundrum and I asked if she would mind making a list of seven things about me that she thought people should know and/or laugh at incessantly.  Her initial response was “Fuck you, douchebag!”  but as that is her normal response to pretty much anything I say, I wasn’t concerned.  And as always, MM came through.  Not only did she list seven things, along with eliciting my promise that I would in fact give them all exactly as she had given them to me – with some additional reaction from myself – but she even threw in a bonus eighth thing as well.  Well, that or she can’t fucking count – the jury is still out.  So, without further ado, the Malevolent Moogle’s list of facts about EWE.

1. “Has a charisma score of 4 (low, very low).”  (EWE’s take: MM is a huge D&D fan, and is decidedly upset with me that I have not yet rolled a character for her to torture, maim, and then finally drive to suicide in one of her campaigns.)

2. “Passive trait: semi-clever.”  (EWE’s take: Huh…that’s actually a lot more clever than I had figured she found me.  Go me!)

3. “Non-combat companion pet that best matches EWE’s essence: whelpling.”  (EWE’s take: A tiny, harmless, ineffectual, fragile, barely functional dragon…so you’re saying I’m a dragon?!  Sweet!)

4. “If EWE was a song, he would be ‘tubthumping’ by chumbawumba.  Because no matter how many times he gets knocked down, he will always get up again.  Also, he is old, and annoying as hell.”  (EWE’s take: I HAD THIS FUCKING SONG STUCK IN MY HEAD FOR THE REST OF THE GODDAMN DAY!  GOD-FUCKING-DAMMIT MM!!)

5. “Is the human equivalent of onesie pajamas.  Cute, quirky, comfy, not good for being in public.”  (EWE’s take: Ironically, this is what my ex-fiance also thought about me…minus the cute, quirky, and comfy parts.  Oh, and MM sees not going out in public as a positive thing – or at least, that’s what she told me when I said “Dude.  Harsh.”)

6. “Is the type of person who would always opt to be Luigi, even if given first pick (you fuckin loser).”  (EWE’s take: Why the fuck is everyone always hating on Luigi?  What the fuck did Luigi ever do to you people?)

7. “Is totally Armin!!”

armin-armout

(EWE’s take: Ok, even on my WORST GODDAMN DAY, I do not whine as much as Armin.)

8. “I’m glad we’re friends!”  (EWE’s take:

kitty

Yisssss – me too!)

True story – MM and her husband saved my life.  Not a metaphor, not figuratively – when my entire world fell apart in one horrible moment, MM was the one that reminded me that not everyone saw me as worthless.  I owe her a debt that I can never repay, and all because on the day we met, I said “tl;dr” out loud about something, and then accepted a piece of (really shitty) imported Japanese candy from her.

Now, on to the nominations!

Forged from Reverie

Toreishigames

Daiyamanga

The Otaku Judge

Conquering the Gaming Backlog

And finally, The Rules:

  1. Write a post displaying the award.
  2. Thank the person who nominated you (including a link to their blog).
  3. Share 7 facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate other bloggers!

Once again, I am truly humbled and grateful for the support from all of you!  And most of all, the evilest of evil thank yous to the Most Magnificent Malevolent Moogle – you’re the best! – EWE

One Lovely Blog Award

Alright, kiddos…it’s time for a chat.  I was perusing my reader today, when I realized that during a busy October, somehow I had managed to miss a few additional award nominations.  First of all, I apologize for my tardiness, which I shall begin correcting forthwith – I feel, well, as bad as an Evil Wizard can feel.  But more importantly, I feel compelled to reiterate – you know I’m evil, right?  I’m not going to kick a puppy or harm a kitty – even evil has standards – but still, this much love for a soulless shell like me?  I mean, I assume you read the blog – you’ve seen plenty of evidence of this – and yet, you strange, wonderful humans continue to shower me with support.  If I didn’t have the rest of my daily interactions as evidence to the contrary, you people might actually force me to reevaluate my abject loathing of humanity.  That is an incredible accomplishment – I humbly thank you.  Well, “humbly” isn’t really my thing; but still, I thank you.

Speaking of thanks, I would like to extend many to The Shameful Narcissist for nominating me for the One Lovely Blog Award!  This award sees the recipient share some facts about themselves and nominate some fellow deserving bloggers – or as Shameful puts it, “creates a potentially never ending cycle of sharing and positivity.”  And you nominated me.  Well, I can promise to continue the “never ending cycle” and “sharing” parts of the process – but no promises on the “positivity” friends!

1. Animals like me.  I can’t really explain this.  They just do.  Puppies, kitties, goats…they just seem to have an affinity for me.  Except snakes.  Fucking snakes.

i-hate-snakes

2. I spent three years as a music education major in college.  I learned to play every brass, woodwind, string, and percussion instrument, as well as sing.  Then it turned out I sucked at teaching.

3. I am extremely loyal.  Sometimes to a fault.  I don’t trust easily, but once I have given someone my trust, I will support them in any way I possibly can.  Which can lead to…

4. Per my closest and best friend, I put others before myself far too much, and do not put myself first nearly enough.  According to her, it is “perhaps my only flaw.”  (Editor’s Note: EWE’s best friend is the closest thing to a living saint that exists, and thinks far, FAR better of him than is probably warranted by logic and common sense.)

5. I would love to one day own a bar.  I would call it “Heaven’s Devils” and I would continue to practice law, then go there afterward to drink and ponder with my regulars just what the hell is wrong with me.

6. I am, for the most part, fairly unreadable – I don’t tend to wear my emotions out in the open.  However, if I trust you enough to be open with you, then I am extremely open and blunt with my feelings and opinions.

7. I use humor to mask insecurity.  Actually – I use humor to mask everything.  It’s incredibly effective.

There, see – that wasn’t so bad!  I mean, granted, that’s probably seven more things than you ever cared to know about me, but hey, I tried to resist disclosing anything mind-shatteringly awful.  So now, on to my nominations!

Special Needs Siblings (as a father of two boys, the younger of whom has Aspergers, these warm even my heart)

Mari Lyn Holistic (a lovely blog by a truly lovely soul)

I Played the Game! (fantastic thoughts on a variety of games)

Jeyna Grace (amazing indie author)

The Magic of Books (reading is my oldest and dearest hobby and passion)

Now for the rules:

  1. Write an article accepting the award.
  2. Thank the person you nominated you and put a link to their blog.
  3. Tell the reader seven facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate other blogs for the award.
  5. Let them know that you nominated them.
  6. Post the rules to let your followers know how it works.

Again, many thanks for all of the support! – EWE

The Versatile Blogger Award

Another award nomination?!  Aww…you kids are too kind!  Seriously…you’re really too kind, you should get that checked or something, it never turns out well.  That said, many thanks to ToreishiNoblesse of toreishigames for the nomination and the kind words.  If you like my ramblings, you will love Tor’s – a kindred blogging soul to my own (if I had a soul) with far less nihilism.  Thank you kindly, my friend!

Rules:
1) Display Award
2) Thank the person who gave this award (and include a link to their blog)
3) Share seven things about yourself
4) Nominate ten bloggers

Wait, seven things about myself?  Shit – this might be more introspection than I’ve done in centuries.  Well, you’ve been warned – you may never be able to unsee/unhear the horrific atrocities that are about to be unleashed…

1) I’m chronically early to everything.  It’s a fucking compulsion – if I’m not running 30 minutes ahead of schedule, I start to lose my shit.  It stems from being a kid and my mom being my only mode of transport.  She is an amazing woman, single mom, ran a day care in our home and somehow raised three children despite being very poor – but the consequence of always being busy meant that we were inevitably late to everything, and I hated that feeling.  By the time I was in high school, I would lie about when I needed to be places on the order of a couple of hours just to make sure I would get there on time.  Once I could drive myself places, I swore I’d always be early before I’d be late.

2) I’m terrible at taking my own advice.  I majored in psychology as an undergrad, and both before and in the years after, I’ve always had a talent for reading people and helping them deal with issues that they face.  That said, I am completely goddamn incapable of taking my own advice, no matter how sound it is when I offer it to others.  I’ll even recognize this fact as I am dispensing said advice to someone, and still will manage to not follow it.

3) I love amusement parks.  Like, Cedar Point is some form of heaven on earth for me.  Roller coasters, haunted houses, fair food – I love every bit of amusement parks and have ever since I was a young evil mageling.

4) I have trust issues.  This is probably fairly obvious to anyone that has followed this blog to this point, but they aren’t exactly what you may think, and they are fairly well-founded.  As a child, I was subjected to severe, prolonged, and horrific abuse – I will spare the details, but I look back now and realize I should by all rights have become a statistic and I don’t know how I didn’t.  Even into adulthood, it seemed that the people that I would come to trust the most and leave myself vulnerable to would use that trust to hurt me.  But my issue isn’t that now I can’t trust – it is that even when I do place my trust in someone now, I do so with the sad, inevitable feeling that it will sooner or later be betrayed.  It is far from pleasant, and I would like nothing more than for it to be proven wrong one day.

5) I’m an insomniac.  I’ve never been particularly good at falling or staying asleep my entire life, but since being diagnosed with fibromyalgia, the pain has made sleep even more difficult, and the collapse of my engagement some time back shredded my mental and emotional world for quite a while.  Fortunately, after spending some time using various aids to help combat this, I’ve recently begun to return to something approaching a healthy sleep cycle – but I still have a long way to go.

6) I am terrible at admitting defeat.  Whether it is in a court case, an MMA fight, a cooking endeavor – you name it, and I have to be good at it.  I recognize that it isn’t realistic or even particularly healthy – but see no. 2 above.

7) I love blogging.  Seems almost silly, right?  But it’s a new thing for me.  I had never considered an undertaking like this before, but then I needed a place to open up when I was at my lowest point, and so now here we are, and I have loved every moment of it.  I have no particular expectations – while I would love for my thoughts to become a massive success that amuse and inform and incense people all over the world, I am also content that I have found any audience at all that finds value in what I have to say, and how I say it.  It is honestly one of the most humbling experiences I’ve ever had.

Now, for ten people far better at this than I am (apologies if you’ve already been tagged before; it just means you’re extra-super-special!):

Mari Lyn at Mari Lyn Holistic (I’ve known this beautiful, artistic, talented, and compassionate woman for many years – she’s absolutely amazing!)

The Rage Mage at The Well-Red Mage (Your review of Jaws for NES made me laugh, cry, and suffer horrific flashbacks all at the same time.)

Lightning Night Nova at Conquering the Gaming Backlog (Her approach to gaming seems so in tune with mine, it’s like she’s a palette-swapped sprite of me!)

Mei-Mei at Jedi by Knight (Who in addition to being an awesome blogger, also lives in NE Ohio – making her geographically superior as well!)

Spoon You Fork Me at The Dining Diaries (I want to eat all the things.  Seriously, all of them.)

Mr. Panda at Mr. Panda’s Video Game Reviews (In-depth reviews that I can only aspire to emulate.)

Hammy at Hammy Reviews (Fantastic, polished reviews across a wide range of media.)

The Otaku Judge at The Otaku Judge (A rightfully self-described, and quite accomplished, geek critic after my own, uh, what do you humans call it…oh, right, heart!)

Vahrkalla at Vahrkalla’s Video Games (You have to appreciate snark this skillfully woven into intelligent prose!)

The Well-Red Mage at The Well-Red Mage (The first to make me feel welcomed to the blogging community, and also one of the most entertaining writers in said community!)

If you aren’t listed above, it doesn’t mean I hate you – well, I mean, I AM a condensed mass of hatred, but it doesn’t mean that I didn’t list you out of hatred.  I actually am rather fond of many, many people and blogs in our little corner of the Interweb – and I humbly thank you all for allowing me to join it. – EWE

Comfort Zone Exceeded – Commence Panic

Confession time, kids – Evil Wizard, Esq. is many things, but supremely confident is NOT one of them.  Basically I am a hermit: dealings with humans have predominantly left me to not so much loathe them all, but to presume I SHALL loathe them and thus avoid interaction.  Quite frankly, my favorite interactions lately have been either here, or on Twitter.  So it comes as something of a shock to me that over the last few days, I have found myself with something planned that could objectively be called a “date.”  I feel I am handling my apprehension quite well…

My approach to apprehension.

This is my first attempt at non-cynical personal interaction since the unholy abomination of Paul Zindle reared its unspeakably horrid head.  Think of me kindly. Well, alright, let’s not pretend I deserve kindness – you’ve all been here long enough to know better.  But at least hope I don’t royally fuck this up beyond all possible repair. I have a bad tendency to do that. – EWE