Skip navigation

Tag Archives: Nostalgia

I confess, I can be a seriously nostalgic individual, we all get that way to some extent through the various phases in our lives, and I think your twenties is a common/flexible time in which a nostalgic period can occur. You’ve just left your childhood behind, some of us are moving on to adulthood others will remain behind a bit longer. As life gets serious you long for the more carefree days of childhood and the stuff that made it cool.

I hit that nostalgia point starting a couple months back and was longing mostly for the old video games that defined my childhood, as an added bonus is those games were a lot better at least through hindsight then  most of the games I’ve played recently. So I decided to use some of that adult money I have now and get the games I used to love. My original plan was to get a Nintendo 64 and the collection of games I wanted.

As I was shopping around on Amazon I figured out that I could get the Legend of Zelda games (Orcarina of Time and Majora’s Mask of course) on GameCube and I could get a GameCube with all the stuff I would want for it would only cost me $12-18 as opposed to $40 or so I believe for an N64 with out some of the stuff I’d need to be able to play.  The games would still be expensive but the newer system would probably better/easier to use over all.  I found a copy of the Legend of Zelda promo disk that Nintendo put out, it was a short run and printed only for a promotion of a special game cube I believe so I expected to pay some cash for that, and was not let down. $40 for that particular disk. I was also a huge fan of the Rogue Squadron games as a kid and got both of those for about $5 apiece, rounding out the initial purchase with Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess for around $20. All told about $120 with shipping, the price of two new Xbox games, not bad at all.

Round two had me seeking out pretty much the last of the games from that area I really “had” to have, past these it would have been no big deal if I acquired no more game cube games. Little did I know that these two games which I spent insane amounts of time on now cost a fortune. The first “Skies of Arcadia: Legends” which introduced me to Air Piracy as a potential profession and was one of the first JRPGs I ever played, then Tales of Symphonia which was the LAST JRPG I ever played through outside of a handheld for a grand total of two. Skies cost me about $49 for a good copy with the case and everything and Tales cost me about $25, apparently both games were rather limited printings and are now rather rare. Total cost for nostalgia: $200 roughly. (three new Xbox 360/PS3 games)

Back to the games, I just can’t get in to JRPGs like some people can, one did come up recently that I would have given a shot but it was a PS3 exclusive and I’m spacing the title at the moment. (Edit: it was Valkyria Chronicles) Just to ward of the haters, yes I have played several Final Fantasy games, I didn’t like them terribly much. If I want to watch a movie I will, if I want to play a game I want to play a GAME. However Skies of Arcadia: Legends and Tales of Symphonia had rich entertaining characters and fun story lines that I wanted to keep playing, the combat didn’t feel as grinding as it did in other JRPGs because I truly was in to and enjoying the story.

I could honestly make this love letter to these two games go on for a looooong time so I will get some criticism out of the way so I can pretend this is actually a review. Both games are trope heavy as hell, the standard party make up, elemental temples, magical girl with the power to save the world, all of that and more is there in both games but goddamnit they execute it so well I can’t help but not care that it’s been done in literally every JRPG ever made for the most part.  See? I can’t even criticize these games, I’m going to quit before I become even more of a fanboy.

Trailers:

Edit: At the risk of continuing to sound like an incredible fan boy, which being honest with myself I am, someone just told me there’s a Tales of Symphonia OVA must acquire NOW!

 

Yeah I’m jumping on the band wagon with what appears to be every single other blogger, critic and vid blogger in the western world and half of the rest of it that has internet access and Harry Potter books in their local language. Before I go in to my over all retrospective which could be long or could be short depending on where I go with this let’s start from the obvious spot. A brief look at Harry Potter 7 part 2, the conclusion (goddamn finally) of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Spoiler warning should be obvious but really you’ve probably see in by now, and you should have read the book, so you should already know. Holy shit, FINALLY this is the shit I was craving from my read through of book seven, time to take the gloves off, shake off the training wheels and kick some ass or die trying. FUCK YES, you hear me? Finally we get to see the “adult” wizards of the world mysteriously absent through out the series because of the focus on the kids do some serious magic. It’s fucking worth the wait too. I’m actually feeling a lot better about 7.1 because it means they could make this movie essentially a two hour ass kicking sequence. There’s the usual bout of details you’re only really gonna get if you’ve read through the books but as usual they’re relatively small so just ignore them and enjoy the epicness and go read the books and see if that doesn’t fill in some details for you. The show casing spreads out too the primary support cast from Harry, Ron and Herminone handing out some “action hero moments” including Neville proving that deep down inside under the wuss with the toad he’s quite the bad ass and has potentially seen Braveheart one too many times. (as if that’s actually possible…)  Some poignant death sequences and one of the most loved lines in the series got great emotional responses from me and everyone around me and the special effects managed to keep pace with the sheer scope of what was happening. Fantastic right up to the very end in which we (well everyone who read the book and paid attention to rumors about the movie) learned that the rumors weren’t true and hollywood hadn’t modified the ending. Some people might have prefered a darker ending but you know, fuck them, a fairy tale ending isn’t going to hurt any one and is probably good the one’s mental health now and then.

This leads me to my reaction right after the film and right in to my retrospective, the second the credits hit “I’m freeeeee! At last the curse is ended, freeeeeeee”

Alright, alright it was comedic exaggeration even when I was in the theater but the sense of something big ending at that moment was palpable and for a lot of people in my generation who literally grew up with this series I’ve talked to the sensation was similar. These characters and this story first in book format and then the movies as they started coming out have been with me personally since I was in the fourth grade and passing green inked notes back and forth with my friend and fellow nerd Kristi. Yeah we were lame but we were kids so we were allowed to be lame.

The books followed us though, the characters growing up as we did and the books growing up as we did too, addressing more complex themes, taking on a darker more dramatic tone as time and the story went on. I don’t think a series has gone this long or followed such an arc with a generation before, literally growing with the reader, it’s a first for literature and it’s fascinating to look at the relationship we developed with these characters and this world over the years.

The books had a very strong effect on my reading habits as well, beyond getting me reading even more then I already did (the immortal curse of the nerd it seems) it started me off on the path of all sorts of fantasy literature such as Brian Jacques’s Red Wall series and eventually of course the granddaddy of all fantasy Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings, and eventually Sci-Fi because it tends to share self space with Fantasy. So I suppose I can directly blame Harry Potter for the massive, well read nerd I am today. In which case thanks J.K. I owe you one.

I’d much rather be a nerd and read way too much (which I am and do) then be some of the effective illiterates that so frustrated me in high school and if Harry Potter helped keep me from that particular fate and might be able to help others, I know what book I’m getting my kids a copy of when they get to the right reading level.

It’s interesting to think about where my own story arc has gone since the story started back when I got my hands on my first copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone so many years ago, from a student myself for book 1 and to when book 7 I had just sworn in to the DEP for the United States Marine Corps, waiting for orders to ship in the early spring/late winter of 2008, and now with the movies finally complete and Harry’s story completely told I’m 21, out of the Marines and getting ready to go back to college to start on my road towards a teaching career. It’s been a hell of a ride for me and I’m glad I had these books and characters on my book shelves for it.