Shadowbringers (teal dear: this is an awesome game in so many ways!)
Someone said, and I agree, that it feels like I'm playing a real Final Fantasy game for the first time in, I don't know. A very, very long time.
I mean, yeah, we save the world every other day, but there's so much more to it than that. It has a flavor. You know?
Also, it is beautiful. And I mean *stunning*. The setting is a world that's drenched in everlasting day and you have to bring the night back. As conceived by S-E's artists, styles, and production values. It looks like paintings of heavens and flower fields, except where it looks like crystal faerie-tale castles, or lush mossy underwater cathedrals with stained glass window arches, or forests full of glowing mushrooms and trails of flowers. So far.
I'm not even all that far into his story and already I want so badly to give Emet-Selch a hug. It seems like he is suffering from... something I think I understand. (Which feels like I'm playing a very different kind of FF game, for the first time in a slightly shorter time, but yeah.)
Also, the story doesn't pull any punches. I've cried watching the deaths of NPCs we just met in that section of the game. This is a game that points out that there are horrible ways to die, and then what actually happens is worse. And goes, "We have to have hope, because only we can do this, and if we give up, it'll be the end of the world." (Perhaps it's that "hope in the face of despair" business that makes it feel like a real, proper Final Fantasy.)
ShB is a game worth playing, worth all the hours I spent slogging through the last expac (which just felt like a badly-written version of Suikoden with no compelling characters and boring scenery.) It is worth every hour I have put into playing this multi-game rpg, that it all meant I could play this beautiful story. Heck, even Thancred (whose job is usually to stand around and brood over his tragic backstory while looking pretty) had some interesting moments!
And I am glad to be immersing in it this week. I'm glad this game got made (when I think how ffxiv almost died before blossoming, I realize how close we came to simply... not having it) and that I chose to resubscribe and play it, which was more or less a whim... Thank you, universe, for getting me to play Shadowbringers.
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