A diversion

I’m slowly falling back into my former routine. I didn’t play Arena at all while I was away from the blog. Part of it was that I was busy, but I know that part of it was that I just wanted some space from it–I think I was more than a little frustrated with my sort of pathetic struggles at the game. It’s challenging. And I think it’s (mostly) challenging in a good way! But losing some save progress because I hit the wrong key definitely took the wind out of my sails for a little bit. Anyway, I think the distance away did some good, and I’m looking forward to getting back into the game again, continuing poor Aizen’s journey. So another regular Arena post should probably appear next week.

While it’s true that I was pretty busy catching up on work projects before and after Independence Day weekend, I did get some time to do some reading over the holiday (and I’ll take the moment to once again say that Travel Light is a great book). I also started playing Final Fantasy VII, which I bought for a nice little price over the Steam Summer Sale. I never played it when I was younger, though I watched a friend play through some of it, and I have historically avoided JRPGs. Still, of every game iconic to my generation of gamers, this one probably gets the strongest reaction from people when I say I haven’t played it.

I think the game’s fun, but no matter how you dress it up, I just hate turn-based combat structures in video games. I have the most patience for turn-based BioWare games, where you typically have the freedom to move about and change plans on the fly, though I do appreciate the timing elements of the FFVII battle system. Story-wise, I think the setting’s cool, but so far I’m a little bit uncomfortable with the slew of racist and sexist tropes. The whole “dress” side quest is shockingly transphobic, but then again it really wasn’t that long ago that jokes like that were everywhere (and I guess the new Zelda game had a similar joke). Still, it’s a fun soap opera of a story, it explores memory in interesting ways, and the mysteries definitely keep me engaged.

No worries though, I’m not going to narrate my experiences through every game!

Now, if you’ve read my older posts, you will note that today should be an Arena post day. And I had previously said that if I didn’t get any Arena play time in, I’d probably keep writing about Arena-adjacent subjects. That didn’t happen this time. You’ll probably see something about Ted Petersen pop up as a “bonus” post on an off-day over the next couple weeks. But like I said, I’m slowly falling back into my normal routine. I’m not fully there yet.

Hey, if you have anything to say about the frustrations of Arena (or how to conquer them), the greatness of Travel Light, or your own recollections (fond or unfond) of Final Fantasy VII, let me know in the comments. I always appreciate a good chat–even if you totally disagree with me!

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