My Final Fantasy VII Remake Wishlist

We were all so, so overjoyed to hear about a Final Fantasy VII remake finally being confirmed. However, some wind was taken out my proverbial sail when articles started popping up confirming that they will be ‘adding’ to the story.

I’m sure that, at this point, I am far from the only person thinking about what things I do not want Square Enix to change, and some things that might be nice to see, given how video gaming as evolved. So, after some awesome discussion with my friends, I decided to make my own wishlist for the FFVII remake.

Some of this I am sure you will scream to the heavens in agreement with. I am sure you will threaten me with bodily harm at some others. Regardless, here is my wishlist! Please keep in mind that I may add or alter this list in the future.

Please, Square Enix, DO NOT RUIN:

  • The Materia System. I know you will be tempted to want to enhance this, but please don’t go throwing my materia into a sphere grid or some shit. Equipping it to my stuff and leveling it up is just fine, thank you.
  • The Battle System. ATB was fun as hell for me. At least keep it turn-based, please!
  • The Don Corneo Fiasco. I know that SJWs are going to come around and rage at themes from a game made in 1997, but please do not bow to that pressure. Things like Cloud cross-dressing and lining up for Don Corneo as a potential bedmate after escaping a hot tub full of mostly naked, burly men is the kind of magical thing that makes FFVII so great. Let’s leave it that way, please?
  • The Gold Saucer. Please do not fill it with in-game purchases, DLC unlocks, or any crap like that. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
  • Snowboarding. Snowboarding for days. Don’t fuck it up.
  • Barrett and Cid’s Cursing. If you’re going to censor them again, find a creative way to do it, please. I will be heart broken if ‘DRINK YOUR %&#%@ TEA!’ does not come out of Cid’s mouth.
  • Aeris’ Death. You will, I’m sure, be tempted to give us a way to bring her back to life. Don’t. You’ll cheapen her death, and have to change the ending to boot, and that is a slippery slope to a world of pain. Just ask Bioware about Mass Effect 3.
  • The Turks. I love them. Do not break my heart, Square Enix. Do. Not. Do. It.

Hey, Square Enix, It Might Be Cool To See:

  • A Not-Shitty Version of the Motorcycle Mini-Game. I’m going to get a lot of flack for this, but that mini-game sucked. Hard. It’d be cool to see it not suck.
  • Less Confusing Chocobo Breeding. I remember this being a pain in the ass. What are the best Greens and Nuts to feed these guys? What combination of what Chocobos make what colors again? If we could have an in-game way to get this information, that’d be awesome, thanks.
  • A Better Translation of the Script. However, it’d be kinda cool to keep some of the more famous errors in there. ‘This guy are sick’ is just iconic at this point.
  • A Well-Paced Version of the Fort Condor Mini-Game. I found this game painfully slow, boring, and tedious. If you could find a way to make it engaging and pace it nicely, it might be a cool addition!
  • Uematsu Return to Remaster the Soundtrack. The music is perfection. Why not get the master to make it even more perfect?
  • Better Achievements. People love their ‘chieves, but the ones for the Steam version were terrible. Some more creative ones that we would actually have to work at would be sweet!

In the end, however, let us keep in mind that this is a remake, not a remaster. Things are going to be changed, and we should be open to it and welcome it. There is no way anything Square Enix creates is going to replicate the feelings we all had playing FFVII when it first came out, so expecting it to do so is simply pointless. As long as it is a solid game that stays true to the spirit of the original, I will be absolutely thrilled.

Please feel free to share your wishes and/or other thoughts for the Final Fantasy VII remake in the comments!

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How E3 2015 Made Me Realize How Much I Love the Gaming Industry Again

It’s been rather easy to become disenchanted with the video game industry in the past few years. We’ve seen many huge, beloved series’ such as Mass Effect and Assassin’s Creed fall flat in the eyes of many fans over time. We’ve seen the advent of DLC, in-game purchases, console exclusives, and early access games, all of which have sparked massive amounts of controversy. We’ve experienced GamerGate, which opened up several cans of worms and other nasty things that have circulated a lot of negativity into the community and the industry. Konami fired Hideo freakin’ Kojima. Cats and dogs living together! Mass hysteria!

So you can imagine my surprise last night when I found myself literally crying with joy over E3.

It started Sunday night with Bethesda, who had their first ever E3 conference. We all knew that they would be discussing Fallout 4, which everyone was more than excited about to begin with, but then they just went insane. Like Collector’s Editions of games? Here, have your very own Pip Boy! A Fallout mobile game sound good to you? You can go play it tonight! Can’t wait for Fallout 4 to come out? How does November 10th, 2015 sound to you?

It sounds beautiful. Thank you, Bethesda.

That wasn’t all they had to offer, of courser. Doom looked deliciously gory and gorgeous, and it’s letting us create our own levels to share. Battlecry‘s global beta sign-ups began. Disohonored 2 was announced, and it’s predecessor is getting a Definitive Edition! Cries of ‘Bethesda Won E3!’ rang into the night. Many who find themselves disheartened by E3 every year thought it wouldn’t get better than this.

Then Monday came and smacked those people in the face.

Microsoft put Fallout 4 mods on their console and Minecraft on a table (and reminded us that it’s pronounced ‘Mo-yang’, thank you very much). Dark Souls III was announced, sending masochistic gamers everywhere into a frenzy. Oh, and they’re finally doing that backwards compatibility thing that Nintendo and Sony have been doing for years. Good for them.

EA announced that Mass Effect: Andromeda would bring its swanky space cowboy self to us during the 2016 holiday season. Mirror’s Edge got a sequel. Star Wars got, like, an army of new stuff. Oh, and sports. Lots and lots and lots of sports. Then, things got really real. Like, really real.

A sweet little Swedish developer by the name of Martin Sahlin came on stage to talk about Unravel, a game he created starring a little creature made of yarn. He pulled a real-life version of his yarn-made character out with shaky hands, holding it as his eyes gleamed. He spoke passionately and honestly about his inspiration for the game. You could see how nervous and scared and elated and joyous he was. It radiated from every word he spoke. The crowd felt it. They cheered for him. It looked gorgeous and promising, but it was the creator who stole the show.

When was the last time we had seen such raw, honest passion for gaming? This game stood out among everything else at E3, not just because of how great the game looked, but because of how the experience of watching a creator share his creation made us feel.

Then, the excitement kept rolling with Ubisoft. South Park: The Stick of Truth got a surprising sequel. We got Tom Clancy’s Tom Clancy: The Clancying. A new IP, For Honor, took everyone’s breath away. We learned that Ubisoft gave the new Assassin’s Creed game enough of a budget to afford a female main character (we know how expensive those are to make, after all!). To top it all off, we got a game with a cat riding on a goddamned unicorn with a triple rainbow in the background.

Then came Sony.

And oh, Sony. Sony is known for knocking it out of the park every year at E3. I’m pretty sure, however, that they knocked it off of the planet, out of orbit, and into some unknown corner of the galaxy which we will surely explore in No Man’s Sky (which looked absolutely incredible, by the way).

First of all, they started their conference with The Last Guardiana game that many were convinced would never even happen. Yet, here it was, a legendary myth come to life. If this is how they began, I wondered, what in the world do they have to show us after this?

Well, as it turns out, they had a warrior woman hunting mechanical dinosaurs. This exciting gem is called Horizon: Zero Dawn, and it’s a new IP that took everyone by surprise. They also had Street Fighter V and a new Hitman to show us, but that seemed timid to me compared to everything else. Dreams is an abstract-looking game that not everyone seemed to get. Sony seemed to be losing steam at this point.

Then, they start talking about a beloved franchise, coming back fresh and new. I felt a chill go down my spine. My pulse began to quicken. What could it be?

Oh, it’s World of Final Fantasy. All the character together, looking adorable, and it’s on the Vita. That’s cute. Geez, for a minute there, I thought they were going to announce a Final Fantasy VII remake. Stupid thought.

At least, it was a stupid thought, until they announced a Final Fantasy VII remake.

Those of you that have read my previous posts here know how much this game means to me, not because of my nifty pair of nostalgia goggles, but because FFVII was the game that turned me into a gamer. It was the beginning of my love of the industry and became the gateway to all of the games I have experienced and loved throughout the years.

The Internet went insane. I was crying. Everyone was crying. I couldn’t believe this was really happening. I took a deep breath. It’s the middle of the conference! Why did they announce this now? How could they top this?

With a Shenmue 3 Kickstarter, that’s how.

At this point, I felt numb. I didn’t know if my heart could take much more. Yeah, we got yet another Call of Duty, and the new Uncharted looked awesome, but my mind was still reeling. Sony basically did a mic drop and gave Microsoft and Nintendo the middle finger as they backed off of the stage.

That was how I found myself crying at 10:30 at night, unable to sleep. I had witnessed video gaming history. I saw games announced that I never thought I would ever see. There was an astonishing number of female characters shown. Most of all, I was excited.

Not just ‘oh cool, Aisha Tyler is hosting Ubisoft again!’ excited (she was awesome as always, by the way), but truly, deep in my bones, bellowing from the dark cockles of my heart excited. I still feel my entire body buzzing. My mind is just filled with emotions. Nintendo and Square Enix haven’t even had their conferences yet! Nintendo might be a legitimate risk to my health at this point.

This is an incredible feeling, and an extremely exciting time for the gaming industry and the gaming community. Not everything that we saw was perfect, of course (early access on consoles? Yeesh!), but that certainly doesn’t tarnish the experience, at least for me.

I am so, so joyously happy. Amazing games are on the horizon. There is true passion injected into the developers this time around. There’s far more positivity buzzing around than there has been in a long time. I feel like a breath of life has been pushed into the gaming industry, and I could not be more elated to see it happen.

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“From Hyrule to Haiyan” – Whoa Guy Gaming Charity Event for the Philippines!

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My friends and I at Whoa Guy Gaming, a charity gaming group, are stepping up to help the people of the Philippines affected by Typhoon Haiyan! After the success of our charity events for Hurricane Sandy and the Oklahoma tornadoes, we knew the moment that Haiyan made landfall that we needed to gear up to do what we could.

We can’t do it alone, however; we need you guys! If you’ve never participated in a gaming charity event before, it’s simple: we play video games and entertain you, and you watch, donate, and help spread the word!

This event’s game series is The Legend of Zelda! We hope that you will join us on Sunday, November 24th, 2013, and donate so we can get relief to the people that need it the most!

Here’s some more information on the event and how you can help:

Details on the Games:

We have planned for the original “The Legend of Zelda”, followed by “The Adventure of Link”, “A Link to the Past”, and “Link’s Awakening DX”. More games may be put on the list if time (and player energy) permits.

How to Watch & Donate:

Starting at 10am Eastern time on Sunday, November 24, 2013, we will be streaming our play on Twitch at http://www.twitch.tv/whoaguygaming . We encourage you to watch, as that is the primary attraction for our fundraiser- funny people playing great games for a good cause. During the broadcast, we encourage you to make a donation and then challenge us to do something in or out of the game!

To donate with PayPal, visit http://gogetfunding.com/project/from-hyrule-to-haiyan-a-zelda-charity-fundraiser , click the green “Donate” button and follow the instructions there.

If you wish to donate Bitcoin, use the address:
1LUxum19NyE5cjHEkvG5PfZqGDDt2EaXNJ
or the QR code here: http://i.imgur.com/80xAGxi.png

Please also visit our Facebook page at Facebook.com/WhoaGuyGaming and join our public Facebook event.

Distribution of Donations:

100% of all donations will be forwarded to the International Red Cross and will go directly to aid victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

Remember, even the smallest donations help! If you can’t donate, then please spread the word by sharing this blog post, sharing any of the links above, or visiting our Official Website to get more information and to stay updated on any future charity events. Any little thing that you can do can help us do our part to bring relief efforts to the people of the Philippines during this tragic time. We CAN make a difference, so let’s get together and do what we can!

Also, feel free to drop me an e-mail or reply to this post any questions you may have. Game on!

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Why Am I Buying Final Fantasy 7 For The Third Time?

As you may or may not have heard, today Final Fantasy VII was finally released on Steam, after many months of knowledge that info for the classic Squaresoft RPG has been hidden deep in Steam’s files. I immediately grabbed for my wallet to purchase it, hopping around in my chair like a little Mog. I stopped, however, when I realized that I also own this game for the original Playstation and on my PSP.

This got me thinking: why am I buying this game for the third time?

Well, as you may guess, the answer is a rather personal one. I’ve played video game all my life, starting with begging my parents to let me play on their NES, running immediately to my grandmother’s basement during visits to play her Intellivision II, and sharing my Genesis with my little brother while he shared his SNES with me. Still, I was so young at that point that I didn’t really think of video gaming as the incredible creative medium that I now recognize it as.

For me, gaming wasn’t serious as a child. I stopped playing video games and began to play outside in the backyard and with my other toys, so my mother gave my Genesis to my cousin, and I never missed it once until adulthood. Aside from the rare round of Mortal Kombat with the kid down the street, I never thought about or touched video games when my age got into the double digits.

Then, my family moved. The first person I made friends with at my new school happened to be a gamer. She invited me over to her house one day after school and insisted that she show me this amazing new RPG she’s playing. My first question was ‘what’s an RPG?’.

Oh, what a silly little thing I was.

She simply smiled and turned on Final Fantasy VII. I remember seeing commercials for it and being rather confused. Where were the other 6? (As well all know now, the answer to that question is not an easy one). I had never heard of this game series before until they had put ads on TV, and I had certainly never seen the game in action before.

She spent hours showing me the game, explaining how turn-based combat worked, how equipping items worked, how leveling up worked. I was in absolute awe. I felt adrenaline running through my body. I was completely transfixed. I was experiencing something that was going to change my life.

A few months later, my 13th birthday rolled around. I asked my friends for money as a gift, and then had my mother take me to the local Toys ‘R Us and picked up a Playstation, the biggest memory card I could find, and FFVII, along with its strategy guide.. I spent years playing this game with that friend. We’d hang out with our strategy guides and write notes in it for certain parts to help each other out (my copy of the guide now has no cover and has so many things written in it and highlighted that it’s almost sad). We’d breed chocobos and compare them. We’d find new armor and items that we didn’t know existed and would share our findings. We’d come to each other crying in frustration over boss battles, and would help each other beat them.

Not only that, but my brother eventually got into it, too. He would grab the controller and run around as Cloud whenever I had to step away, and was perfectly content to just explore whatever town or area of the world map I was in. He would play with his toys in my room just so he could watch me play as well. Sometimes, he would even get up and pretend he was Cloud when I was in a battle, slashing and dodging at an invisible enemy, and loving every moment of it.

It wasn’t just a game, it was a bonding experience.

Finally, one day, alone in my room, my mother called me down for dinner. I came to the stairs in tears, and my mother instantly got worried. “What’s wrong?”, she’d asked me. I simply sobbed harder. “I just beat Final Fantasy VII. It’s over, Mom!”

Of course, she told me to stop being so over-dramatic and to wash up for dinner, but she didn’t understand the experience I had just gone through. She didn’t understand how invested I had become in the story, in the characters, in the entire process of playing through my first RPG, one that, whether you like it or not, changed the RPG genre forever. It may not be as great as everyone with their nostalgia goggles on claims it to be, but it was and still is a damn good game. It was my first RPG, and first foray into my life as a serious gamer.

So, yes, Final Fantasy VII is more to me than just an old-school RPG that many think is overhyped (it is, in my opinion, but that doesn’t make the game any less great!). To me, it is a definitive mark in my life as a gamer. It was the beginning of what I know will be a lifelong passion of mine.

And that, my friends, is why I am not hesitating to open my wallet again.

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Gaming Charity Event!

Hey, guys! Been a while!

My friend and I at Whoa Guy Gaming are hosting a charity event to benefit the Oklahoma tornado victims. We’d love it if you guys would join us and watch, or simply donate, or even just spread the word. Hope to see you there!

I unfortunately cannot make it physically, but I will be watching some of it, and of course, donating. You all should do the same! Thank you for your support!

Here’s the info:

Date: Saturday, June 1, 2013 starting at 11:00 AM EDT

Games: We will start with the Genesis Sonic games: Sonic 1, Sonic 2, Sonic 3+Knuckles, and possibly Sonic 3D Blast. Then the Dreamcast-era games Sonic Adventure 1 and 2. More games, such as Sonic Generations, may be put on the list if time (and player energy) permits.

How to Watch & Donate: We will be streaming our play on Twitch at http://www.twitch.tv/whoaguygaming . We encourage you to watch, as that is the primary attraction for our fundraiser- funny people playing great games for a good cause. During the broadcast, we encourage you to make a donation and then challenge us to do something in or out of the game!

Donations can be made through our page at GoGetFunding, which is here: http://gogetfunding.com/project/tornado-relief-zone

If you wish to donate Bitcoin, use the address:
1LUxum19NyE5cjHEkvG5PfZqGDDt2EaXNJ
or the QR code here: http://i.imgur.com/80xAGxi.png

Distribution of Donations: 25% of all money raised will be sent to the Central Oklahoma Red Cross to provide medical aid, 25% to the Oklahoma Humane Society, which has been working to give medical care to pets lost or injured in the disaster, and 50% to a to-be-determined fund that will directly help those who lost their homes or were displaced because of damage.

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Samurai Pizza Cat DVDs Are Coming!

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Who do you call when you want some pepperoni? Apparently, a little company called Discotek Media!

Crunchyroll made many an old school anime fan squeal with glee when they released an article saying that Discotek Media announced they will be releasing Samurai Pizza Cats on DVD! Apparently, it will come in two versions: an English dub, and the original Japanese language track with English subtitles.

For those who don’t know what Samurai Pizza Cats is, well, I feel damned sorry for you. This show was a big part of my childhood, and my little brother and I still sing the theme song to each other every now and again.

I will be picking up the English dub. Why? Well, to be honest, it’s fricken’ hilarious, and I can’t imagine watching the show without all of the jokes I remember from my childhood.

I’d love to know who else is excited about this, and what version you guys will be picking up. I’m assuming that a DVD release means that I’m far from the only person who remembers this gem of a show. I hope you all are as excited as I am!

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How I Got Trolled On Christmas

First off, let me start by wishing all of my readers a happy holiday and a wonderful new year! You guys are amazing, and I’ve adored getting to know all of you this year, and continuing to write for this blog (however intermittently that may be. Sigh.)

My Christmas was amazing! My father shocked the absolute hell out of me by getting me a Kindle Fire! It’s an absolutely gorgeous device, and I can’t wait to play around with it more, download more apps, and see what the little bugger is made of! I just have to get a nice, sturdy case for it…

Anyway, my brother Anthony, a.k.a. Opal Phoenix of The Opal Phoenix Nest, decided to troll me this season. Hard. In the most amazing. Way. Possible.

On Christmas Eve, I had picked up my present under the tree and found that it was extremely light. I had also noticed that my brother’s Christmas card to me had been missing from my stocking. I immediately turned to him and said ‘Did you put my card in a goddamn box to troll me?’ He answered by threatening my life if I didn’t put the box down, so I did. ‘No,’ I said to myself, ‘There’s no way he’d do that to me. He just forgot the card in his bedroom or something.’

So, fast forward to Christmas morning. I unwrap the present and it is a plain cardboard box. Inside the box is nothing but my Christmas card. As I look at my brother in mock rage, he begins to laugh.

I picked up the card and opened it, and this is what I found.

No…he didn’t

I immediately tackled him with hugs and kisses, squeeling like a little girl. My brother bought me Skyrim!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, I played it for the first time last night, and suffice to say, my entire life is over. It was nice knowing you all and stuff, but I have epic quests to embark on.

I love my brother.

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