Right now I’m not able to get a lot of time to myself. Work is crazy and I’ve been back on the job hunt pretty hard. I may have found a lead in the town I live in, which would be awesome. Currently, I commute 45 minutes every day. Landing a job in town would be a big deal for me, so I’ve been focused on that for the past week or so. As a result, I haven’t had much time to dink around with my hobbies recently. Here’s what I’m into with the little time I have available to me:
Final Fantasy XV
As I mentioned in a previous post, I grew up with Final Fantasy. I never got into the old Nintendo games, but from VII onward I was all in. Over the years Final fantasy has changed pretty drastically, and for my tastes it hasn’t all been good. I thought XIII was garbage, and I haven’t messed with either of the MMORPG’s. Final Fantasy XV has been in development for over ten years, which is insane. I used to get pretty excited about these games, but with the slow decline in quality I wasn’t super thrilled about this one.
I’m only a few hours in at this point. The game is filled with all the standard Japanese RPG trappings that I typically can’t stand: angsty teenage protagonists (see picture above), female characters who dress like strippers, nonsensical plot, etc. Given all that, I’m surprised at how much I’m enjoying this game. The combat system is really fun and I like the monster hunts so far. The main quest is full of dumb JRPG story beats, but the main group of characters are likable enough and their interactions are entertaining.
While I enjoyed Final Fantasy when I was younger, it started to lose me when they switched from text to voice acting. There was something forgivable about the weird Japanese dialogue when it was in text. Once the characters started saying the Final Fantasy dialogue out loud, it changed the stories of Final Fantasy from charming to grating for me. When I initially fell in love with these games, I was a lot younger and I guess I had a much less critical eye for these things.
The White Luck Warrior
The White Luck Warrior is the follow up to The Judging Eye, by R. Scott Bakker. I’m loving this book. I wrote a short review a few weeks ago for that book, and I’ll write a longer form review later on for this one.
I love the brutality of Bakker’s world, it’s very grim and dark. A lot of fantasy books ignore history and invent ways for armies and politics to follow the plot they have lined out, however interesting those plots may be. Bakker does the same thing here with the Aspect-Emperor, but it’s more forgivable for me here because the background politics and nations are as brutal as our actual ancient history was as well. I’m no historian by any means, but this world feels more realistic than most fantasy books I’ve ever read. I’m currently sitting at 37% on my Kindle, hopefully I can push through this book and get back to Hamilton before the holidays.
I’ve professed my love for Steven Erikson numerous times on this blog, and I still intend to write a longer form post about Erikson at some point. I wish I had started this blog a few years ago, I could have chronicled my first or second time through his books. However, I’m currently following Tor.com‘s reread of the Malazan series. I found this reread blog about halfway through my first read of the main series. They have since completed the main series and are currently reading through some of the ancillary books by both Erikson and Ian C. Esslemont, the other author in this world. Esslemont came up with the idea for the Malazan world with Erikson through their D&D sessions in the 80’s. Erikson is a far superior writer, but there is still value in Esslemont’s work. The reread is about 2/3’s of the way done with Assail, so I’ll probably right a post about Assail once they’re done.
If you’re considering reading the Malazan series, I would highly recommend reading it along with the blog posts on the reread. Especially the first time through, there are a lot of interconnected plot lines and story beats that are difficult to decipher. The reread helped me keep track of a lot of it in my head, but I will echo what many have said in that the Malazan series is almost designed to read well on a reread. Finishing the series for the first time almost demands it.