For the past several years, I have intended to return to Final Fantasy XII for my second playthrough. But, as is often the case, what I intend to do and what actually happens are two very different things. I repeatedly had other games to play, keeping the twelfth numbered installment in the Final Fantasy series on the shelf. Plus, I have to admit that I always had a bit of a grudge against the game. I remembered being pretty apathetic towards the characters, I wasn’t very fond of a politics-related storyline, and… Now this last one is kind of silly, but…I thought the game was too big.
Too big, eh? I like large open worlds to explore far more than I like cramped or linear stages with little freedom to move around. I love searching through every nook and cranny and discovering new things, a task that is, naturally, far more rewarding in a large world than a small one. And yet, I recall several times in the past saying I didn’t like FF12 because it was too big. What’s the deal?
Gee, I sure hate that this game gives me more than my money’s worth. Continue reading A Triumphant Return to Final Fantasy XII
I have mentioned it from time to time, but over the last few years, I’ve been trying to catch up on a whole bunch of retro games I had missed. And at this point, I’m largely done. Sure, there are definitely more retro games out there that I should play one day, but as for the games I really wanted to check off my list, this goal has been met. Final Fantasy 4-9, Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross, EarthBound, Super Metroid, Super Mario RPG, all present and accounted for. The last one on my list to play was Final Fantasy V, which, like Final Fantasy IV, is probably pretty obscure for anyone who hasn’t been playing Final Fantasy since the beginning. (Thank you, Kingdom Hearts. You introduced even non-Final Fantasy fans to characters like Cloud and Squall, but not once do you mention FF6 and prior. With the exception of Setzer, of all people. Setzer.)
Final Fantasy 4 and 5 were the only games not explicitly on my list, but they came with Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy 6, respectively, and who am I to pass up on an essentially free pair of games? While FF4 was merely to pass the time and to say with confidence that, yes, I’ve played Final Fantasy 4, I must say that I enjoyed Final Fantasy 5 far more than I expected to. Let me summarize the game a bit for anyone who might not be familiar with it. Continue reading FFV and the Joy of Feeling Competent
There are some gamers who openly admit that they have no desire to play older games because they prefer the more advanced, better looking games of today. There are others who say that gameplay is the only thing that matters, so if a game is good, no matter how old it is, they will play it. I am usually in the latter category, but over the past year, I have realized that I, too, have a limit for how far back into the past I can go and still enjoy gaming. I think every gamer has this limit. Mine is the SNES, with a few exceptions.
You see, I once believed that I could play any game, despite its age, and enjoy it as long as it was a good game. I had plenty of SNES games I loved, and one day, I thought I’d travel just a little farther back in time and download a few Virtual Console games for the NES. These games were the original Legend of Zelda and Metroid games. Being classic games that marked the beginning of two amazing franchises, surely I couldn’t go wrong. Right?
Wrong. Continue reading How Retro Can You Go: A Discussion of Spooniness
Hey there, everyone! Today’s been a pretty busy year, with two costumes and all, but now both my costumes are complete and both of this year’s comicons are over and done with. If you want to read about my experience in more detail, please visit United We Game for the more detailed post on the subject. As usual, this here blog gets a special treat, my photo tour. This is the larger of the two comicons I get to attend, which means more cool things to see and awesome costumes to admire. Let’s get started! Continue reading Comicon #2 2016: Photo Tour
This was a particularly busy year for cosplay, but I have finally done it. Two costumes in one year. And I never plan to do that ever, ever again. Rosalina is done, and now Vanille has been completed, as well. The last thing to cover is her shirt, and cover it we shall! Continue reading Vanille Cosplay: The Shirt
The title of this post may, at first, appear misleading. Vanille has fur in two parts of her costume, so which, pray tell, am I talking about? To which I respond, the back stuff, silly. The shoes have already been covered. I was pretty excited to work with fur, as I never had before, and it was quite a treat when I received a bag of fluffy, fake brown fur in the mail one day. It was less of a treat, however, when I cut it.
The problem with long fur is the mess. Once I cut the fur to the correct size, a lot of fur came loose. The fur was attached quite securely to the backing, but cutting the fabric means lots of fur will be liberated from their bond, free to fly about the floor at any hint of a breeze. To avoid dealing with stray pieces of fur every time I moved my fabric, I just put it on the kitchen floor and started pulling fur off the edges. Eventually, I had a big, ol’ pile of the stuff. Shaking the fabric quite vigorously, more fur came flying off, and I collected that, too. After a little while, no more fur came free. I delivered this fur to the nearest trash receptacle and got ready for phase…whichever came next. Continue reading Vanille Cosplay: The Fur
Vanille’s boots were pretty easy to find. After searching through several stores, I actually found some perfect brown boots at Target that looked exactly like Vanille’s shoes, minus the delightful white fur. As you might have guessed, considering there was so little to do, this part of the costume was actually pretty easy, if not a little confusing.
You see, these are pretty nice shoes, and I didn’t want to permanently attach anything to them so that they could be worn on other occasions. But how, I asked myself, would I attach the fur without any sewing or gluing? It seemed impossible! Or was it? The answer, I believed, was Velcro. First, I cut strips of fake, white fur, and I folded and sewed down about two inches on top to fold over the top edge of the shoes. I then folded the bottom up and sewed that edge, as well, so no one would see the odd mesh underneath the fur. Continue reading Vanille Cosplay: The Boots
One part of Vanille’s costume I was always baffled by was her belt. I had no idea what kind of material it was made of or what would look right. Some people used foam, but it didn’t seem like it would give the right effect I was looking for. I thought long and hard and finally came to a conclusion. Rope. I looked online, and lo and behold, they did sell tan colored rope of multiple thicknesses, and they looked surprisingly similar in material to Vanille’s belt. Perhaps I had found the correct material, after all. I bought myself a roll of it and got to work (after it arrived in the mail, of course). Continue reading Vanille Cosplay: The Belt
Welcome, everyone, time for another exciting cosplay update! One convenient thing about Vanille was the fact that her costume had built-in storage. Most fictional characters have no need for wallets and driver’s licenses, apparently, as none of them have any pockets or bags with which to carry them. At least, none of the ones I’ve cosplayed as so far. And, seeing as I don’t want to ruin my costume with an inaccurate bag, it seemed very handy indeed that she already had this covered. Continue reading Vanille Cosplay: The Bag
I recently finished a part of Vanille’s costume that I originally had a lot of concerns about: her beads. Vanille’s costume actually has a lot of these little buggers, but the beads I mean for the sake of this post are the ones she wears around her torso, which I must admit is a bit…weird. Being such an unconventional article of clothing, I found myself putting this task off, but it had to get done, and, well, now it is.
First off, I learned when shopping for beads initially that the main type you typically see is called a pony bead. I bought a bunch of white ones and a bag of assorted colors, as some of the colors I wanted were not sold in bags of their own. This worked for many of my beads, and for any beads where I didn’t have enough colors, I had to paint white beads (as I had plenty to spare) the correct color. Let me tell you, painting beads is a very time consuming task. I would recommend avoiding such a fate whenever possible. Continue reading Vanille Cosplay: The Beads