Tag Archives: jrpg

Kingdom Hearts1_7

Title: Kingdom Hearts
Platform: PS2
Year: 2002
Publisher: Square
Developer: Square

I had never played the original Kingdom Hearts when it first came out in 2002, which is weird considering I bought the second one and played that when it was released and enjoyed it quite a bit. That was almost a decade ago. I recently picked up the original Kingdom Hearts, and after having it sit there amidst my ever growing pile of unfinished games, I popped it in my PS2 and started playing.

Everyone I talked to told me how they have all these fond memories of exploring the vibrant Disney environments, befriending charming Disney characters, even fighting Sephiroth (!) in the Hercules-themed tournament. I also recall those flashy, hyper emotional commercials blaring Utada’s “urgent” “Simple and Clean” and tugging at gamer’s hearts every twenty minutes. Disney and Square? It was like Super Mario RPG on the SNES, this kind of dream concoction, but even better looking and with more hype and J-Pop. Who knows why I never picked it up originally (probably too busy playing Arc the Lad Collection in my basement…?).

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Let me see your friend’s files or I’ll
make the Blood Crystal burst, shatter
on the basement dungeon floor, and they’ll
never know it was me who
killed Miss Gauguin (
who cares) dead. ‘Save Brother
Robert,’ April pleaded,
circulating dried mint cloves and
fingering the red ink text
superimposed to a vague
pastiche canvas typifying
something gold and religious,
solemn and dumb. Opaque, even.
Mohair Sky film wrapped around my
waist, I’ll escape undetected, blood
and crystal smeared lines behind.
Her three-piece friends chatter, bang then
descend the interior grotto stairs, and they
export files of welcomes and folders of smiles,
high-fives, and at the ritual base, smoldering,
they see the copper crag
glass, plastic, and gasp:
CD-ROM installs suspicion et al,
but the Installer service can’t be
accessed at the moment,
ergo I’m
getting away
quick as shit!!!!

Title: Legend of Mana
Platform: PS1
Publisher: Square
Year: 2000

legend of mana5

Square’s PS1 library of games of one of my favorite things ever.

While the SNES JRPG library is home to some of the tightest, simplest, most charming, and certainly most nostalgic video games ever put together, Square’s output during the mid to late ‘90s is as tremendous as it is classic.

Final Fantasy VII, VIII, IX and Tactics, Xenogears, Parasite Eve, Vagrant Story, Saga Frontier, Front Mission, and Chrono Cross combine to make a list that is so multi-textured, so rich on narrative and world, so experimental in both gameplay and storytelling, and just so full of soul, elegance, and personality.

While most of Square’s PS1 games feature some level of grit and realism, with a focus on cinematics and high drama that was afforded with the new expansion in technology, there were a few outliers from that Square gray tone. Brave Fencer Musashi and Threads of Fate are two moderately great games that are bright and colorful, and then there’s Legend of Mana…

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