Written By mista sense on Tuesday, March 22, 2011 | 5:48 AM
I really dislike the idea that in order to be knowledgeable on games, you must have played every game. There are certainly gaps in my lexicon, and I keep quiet about them because there's nothing more I loathe than someone agape, demanding of me, "you never played [that]?! How are you a game journalist" and blah blah blah.
I never thought I'd pull that one on someone else, but when I found out my friend, talented fellow writer Kirk Hamilton, had never played Final Fantasy VII I was pretty much like dude wtf is yr prob fix this now bro (yes, that's kind of how we talk to each other).
Fortunately, rather than tell me to step the eff off, Kirk agreed to launch into a letter series with me which he's running over at Paste Magazine, where he is games editor. In part one, we discuss initial perceptions from his fresh perspective, and in part two, we discuss a bit about the characters and why abstraction makes the world feel real [edit: part 3 is also up] -- follow official index here!)
I know it's tempting to think of FFVII as something that's "been done", but it's fascinating to see an adult gamer discover it for the first time, independent of the climate in which it was originally released, divorced from the fanboyism. I also think everyone who was an FFVII teen should endeavor to replay the game as an adult, as I'm doing -- ideas on who we are now and where we came from help illuminate why a game where everyone had giant hair made a genuine emotional impact on an entire generation.
And for both of us it's making us consider the state of RPGs in 2011, what Westernization has done, and what we might have lost in the march toward streamlined design and better graphics.