It's not a question of can or can't. Some things in life, you just do.


Good evening!I'm pretty bad at making promises, but here's a new blog entry. I completely skipped last month. Maybe because there just wasn't a whole lot going on that wasn't worth mentioning? Who knows.The title is a reference to Final Fantasy XIII, in which the main character (Lightning) says this. As you can tell, this post will probably revolve around this game since I just recently beat it and I want to express my thoughts upon it. If you're not up for nerdy posts, go ahead and just skip to the end. Hah!VideogamesAs of last night, I finally finished the trilogy that I had started in 2010: Final Fantasy XIII. There won't be any spoilers here (unless you read the music portion of this blog below) but let me be the first to say that I felt that the ending was so appropriate for this series. There has been a lot of general hate for this series; primarily comparing it with other, more successful Final Fantasy titles, such as VII and X.  XIII received much negativity for being linear and holding your hand throughout the game for the first 20 hours of gameplay. XIII-2 wasn't appreciated for its time travelling plot. Lightning Returns (basically XIII-3) was bashed for having a time limit (13 days, game clock) for finishing the game.Honestly, what can we expect?XIII created a story set in the beautiful Nova Crystallis world. Much of the game was about developing the characters, the setting, and allowing the gamer to understand the world in which these characters reside in. Linearity I felt was almost created to guide the gamer into understanding the intentions of these characters, as well as their mission: free themselves from being l'Cie before they become Cie'th.  One could argue that XIII felt like a movie with all of its cutscenes. This makes sense; XIII was designed to tell a story more than it was to create a free-roaming RPG.XIII-2 was the result of the criticism that people complained about. Right from the get-go, linearity is thrown out the window. Since you could time-travel to different regions in different time eras, much of the storyline was already skewed. It's fairly difficult to keep a consistent plot when a character can bounce 500 years ahead between two regions. The battle system was improved to be more fluid and faster, allowing for rapid battles to occur. In this case, the story is prioritized a little less in favor for gamer interaction. The ending to this game is also by far one of the more prolific endings I've seen in a game. I'll just say, you won't expect it. It's good.Lightning Returns almost acts like the opposite of XIII. In my opinion, this game truly feels like an RPG. There are a multitude of quests that require the gamer to go search for items, beat a certain amount of enemies, and other side quests in order to increase your stats. Basically, a form of experience points. Within the first few hours of gameplay, the gamer might almost feel overwhelmed with how many quests pop up at the beginning. Plus, with the time ticking, you feel pressed to finish them as soon as possible. Much of the story is hazy at the beginning, and if you've played through XIII-2, you'll come across a whole lot of confusion at the beginning. As you progress through the days though, you learn and understand why things came to be the way they came to be, although resolution for the main parts of the story don't happen until the end. The combat system is fantastic; probably the best one out of the three, honestly. Even if you only control one person throughout the whole game, a ton of strategy and thought is required for getting past enemies.It's a shame it has received much criticism, either way. I never owned a PlayStation, so sadly I could never play VII or X. XIII was my first Final Fantasy game, and I'm not ashamed to admit that I loved the series. I have been playing VII on my computer, and I can definitely see why people vouch for this game as one of Square Enix's greatest works.My review on it? The series in whole, I give it a 9. This game in particular deserves a 9.5 in my book. Despite some of the initial moments in the game where many of the missions seem tedious and overbearing, it does ease up early on and truly acts like a JRPG by Square Enix's standards. The boss battles are pretty challenging and require a ton of thought and strategy to clear them (especially the last boss). Much of the story, while a little lacking in the beginning, unveils itself as you progress through the game. Much of the mystery you learn from the start doesn't get revealed until closer towards the end, which leaves the gamer yearning for more and more.On another note in videogaming, Titanfall has just dropped. I'm pretty excited about this game, and I feel like the hype surrounding this game is pretty real. It's a very different style of FPS, adding in elements of giant mecha warriors called Titans. People can summon their own Titans into battle in order to gain the upper hand against others. Needless to say, I've been playing with a few friends, and it's been tons of fun. I know I've only scratched the surface with it, but I'm super excited to mess around some more on this game!MusicThis entry might as well be all about Final Fantasy. I know I posted a piece last time from the game, but since I just beat it, I feel like I should share another one of my favorite pieces in the game.  This is at the end of the game. I won't explain what segment, but if you don't want to read due to spoilers, stop reading now.SPOILERS BEGIN one is called "Almighty Bhunivelze," written by Mitsuto Suzuki. I thought Masashi Hamauzu did a fantastic job writing the first two soundtracks, as well as some of the pieces in this one, but Mitsuto really proved here he can compose music just as well, if not better.This piece is long, clocking at 13 minutes! Upon first listen, you might think, "what the hell is this? It's all just completely chaotic and random." For those who don't have any kind of music background, this is probably your first thought. You probably hate this song and think that it's not as good as the other endgame pieces. Let me educate you a bit with this tune.Within the first few seconds, we get this very dark crescendo of chords. These chords are created to draw the gamer in, knowing that a lot of stuff is probably gonna go down. The first minute encompasses a lot of randomness, followed by the theme from The Arc (around 0:29): Arc's theme is a very heavenly sounding theme, and if you've played the game, you'll know this as the spot Lightning returns to in order to interact with God via Hope. In this case however, it takes a much darker tone due to the realizations that are found out in the game: God (Bhunivelze) intends to destroy the old world in favor for a new world filled with ideal people in which he can see into the hearts of. It's a selfish wish, hence making the darker tone appropriate for some being who considers themselves as holy.This theme follows much more randomness. When we hit around 1:35, we hit a segment of multiple notes slamming next to each other in random bursts. You'll clearly note here that the pattern of this piece is very disheveled and'd almost even say, chaotic. This is intentional for a few reasons; the primary one being that the world is filled with the entity known as Chaos. Chaos, the concept of souls that have passed away but have been retained due to their known existence by those who are still living. Chaos has enveloped the world on the last day, making this style of music all the more appropriate. And I love it.Around 2:04, we revisit the Arc theme again. This one sounding a bit more heavenly, as if there's still some kind of hope left. 2:13 alludes to a very familiar piano theme in the first soundtrack. It's super subtle, but if you recall how Saber's Edge sounds like at the beginning (around 0:20), you'll recognize it immediately: this hopeful music, that immediately is washed away with a long period of ambient noise. A crescendo brings us up to a more holy and spiritual vision. 4:09 and forward has this giant mixture of hope, confusion, divinity, and chaos. The music marches forward, continuing to crescendo into this abrupt mess of notes. 4:47 brings us back to the theme from the Arc, albeit in a much more chaotic state. Things don't stir up until we hit around 5:28, where we introduce eighth note groupings to further enhance this rapid feeling of the world ending ever so soon...with the climax happening around 5:50 and being resolved a little after the six minute mark.From here, the musical patterns continue to happen as they did earlier. Skip towards 11:18 for the real beauty of this piece, though.If you ever played the first game in this series, you'll recall having to fight the fal'Cie Barthandelus at multiple points. The theme was called Fighting Fate, which you can listen to here: you've taken a listen to this, skip towards 11:18. Listen to the choir. What does it sound like? That's right. It's an exact reference to this piece. Absolutely beautiful. Why is there a reference? We know Barthandelus as a fal'Cie, a deity of sorts. It would only seem appropriate that, as facing the god of this world, to have a deity-esque theme.Truly amazing work, Mitsuto Suzuki.SPOILERS ENDMy apologies for having such a huge bias on Final Fantasy for this blog post. I promise the rest of these entries won't end up like this. This game and its storyline has been with me for a good 4-5 years, and I've fallen in love with the universe that this game has brought in. It's truly a magical journey; one I recommend you take a look at if you've ever been interested in Final Fantasy games. If not, just take a listen to the soundtracks. The music from these games is outstanding; unlike anything I've heard from other games. You won't regret it.Anyway, if you're still reading this, you're in for a treat!. I won't post the rest of these anywhere else besides here (until the end of 2014 happens), but you can take a sneak peek of how my movie project went with February. Woo! next time.- Corey