Geeks of War

As you my already know, I am a video game geek.  I wouldn’t go that far, but I certainly asymptotically approach fanboy-ism when certain Sqeenix games are concerned. 

[Final Fantasy XII is neither Final, nor Fantasy, nor number twelve.  Discuss.]

I think I grew up when games that I really enjoyed were scarce. Perhaps I have been conditioned to be overcome by the Shameless Commerce Madness and Hype Machine and driven to viscerally possess the next thing to come out of Japan’s great development houses. In my old age, however, I no longer have control of enough time to play all the video games I want to play, or sample every JRPG that hits the store shelves.

A few years ago, I think after being tragically disappointed by an Atlus Software offering, I decided that I had to be much more discriminating when it came to my almighty dollar.

I started trolling IGN, Gamespot.com, 1Up, and gathering as much information as I could about new releases, reading preview and reviews, and watching in-game footage. That last is most important; it’s too easy for me to get doe-eyed over the introductory cinematics, oftentimes completely misrepresenting what the game actually looks like for 99.9% of the time you’re playing.

So I developed the “Joe Cruz Winning Formula“: the average of the Gamespot.com Editor review and the submitted User Reviews of a game must be 8.5 or higher, else I will not buy it. It has worked pretty darn well for me during the past couple of years.

I noticed something else, though, more recently. I was drowning in a sea of mediocre RPG’s! Velveeta-cloned mind-numbers that didn’t challenge me at all, but just fed the addiction. I made a choice, then, to change the litany of big-eyed, sword-wielding, dragon-slayers, and explore some heretofore un-enjoyed games. Platformers, FPS’s, and Adventure games!

Some games I’ve really enjoyed along the way: Shadow of the Colossus, Okami, Metroid Prime.

Now that I’ve got an X360, I’m tremendously excited about the possibilities of these kinds of story-driven games, in Hi-Def visual bedazzlement, making my eyeballs fall out and my heart fall through the floor in excitement/panic/grief/connection. Blue Dragon, Lost Odyssey, Fable 2, and BioShock, if I ponder them for too long, reduce me to a school-girl waiting for that Boyband song to hit my iPod’s playlist while drawing chisel-tipped hearts around the heartthrobs in the school yearbook.

Speaking of heartthrobs…may I please have Final Fantasy XIII…now?

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3 Responses to “Geeks of War”


  1. 1 boyfriend December 19, 2006 at 9:47 am

    as the reigning lord protector of the 360, i attest to the guamaniac’s fickle tastes. we bought the highly acclaimed marvel universe some weeks ago, wowed by pretty pictures and promises of cutting edge gameplay. after 30 minutes of co-op play, we realized it was a retread of the x-men legends games. although our tastes differ with regards to genre, we both judge our games by novelty, interaction within the game, and how many hours are logged in. i’m in my 84th hour of lego sw 2 and dont get him started with dragon quest 8, elder scrolls 4, or ff 12!

  2. 2 guamaniac December 19, 2006 at 11:53 am

    Is it odd that Boyfriend refers to himself by title rather than by name?

    I can attest to 200+ hours with Elder Scrolls 4, 80+ hours for FFXII, and 80+ hours with DQ8.

    I guess the question is, can I get satisfaction from a game that’s only 20+ hours long?

    I think the answer is a resounding yes.

    Now if only Boyfriend will allow me to purchase Viva Pinata.

  3. 3 Boyfriend January 18, 2007 at 16:22 pm

    “Viva Pinata? That’s gay!” – insight shared by one of my cherubs at work while we were dicussing what was on our respective platforms right now.

    After watching JGPC kill zombies with a chainsaw, hack evil elves, engage magic enchantments in mega-epic boss fights, and instruct his somewhat rotund character to frighten the metal slime with his underpants dance, he seems very happy playing “God of the Pinata Garden.” There is a somewhat adult rating as he has to entice the lovely paper characters to mate, so the next time you want to “pimp your pinata” you might want to think twice.

    Oh, and the Zebra/Horse/Donkey pinata is rainbow colored and mates in the disco. My student was right.


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