FFVII: Golden chocobo

Okay, I’ll admit it. I’ve been avoiding the game, if only because I know what it takes to get a Golden Chocobo. The idea of grinding to max out materia and kill a weapon and trade for one (that’s what real men do, if you recall), or the longer, often rewarding farming required to get … Continue reading

FFVII: El Cid and the end of disc 1

I cannot escape this game any longer. It consumes me. It calls to me. Its hooks are firmly set within my flesh and psyche. Meaning: I’ve been playing this game too damn much lately. So much, that I see the menu commands in my sleep. But, I digress. I found the last playable character, Cid—a … Continue reading

The (geek) kings of all media

Idler writer Daniel J. Hogan and I talk video games at length in this week’s edition of Daniel’s Podcast “Ginger and the Geek.” It’s a fun conversation, and highlights include the insight that aging livers might play a critical role in the downfall of the Guitar Hero/Rock Band franchise, which may itself bode well for … Continue reading

FFVII: Enemy mine

There is one big advantage I have by playing this game in 2011 vs. 1997: Being of Legal Drinking Age The Internet. Yes, yes, the Internet was around in 1997, but it has grown in content and usability considerably since then–and gamers have certainly benefited. In 1997, I had subscriptions to video game magazines as … Continue reading

FFVII: Jumping off the rails

This week’s lesson, if there are lessons in this mind-bogglingly late first time through 1997’s Final Fantasy VII, is that it’s entirely possible to overthink things. Last week, I complained about feeling a bit bogged down, and being saddled with a character like Vincent Valentine who, once you get past the cool emo vibe, can … Continue reading


Now I lurve me some FFVII, if you haven’t guessed yet, but what caused me to love FFVII was the early, SNES version of FFIV. The game seemed to lock in a lot of tropes for the series. Rydia was a summoner; Edward “Edge” Geraldine was a ninja, much like Yuffie, but the skill “throw” … Continue reading

FFVII: The slog

I’ll admit, at the start, to feeling a bit of Final Fantasy fatigue this week. Which is a bit odd if only because I finally feel like I’m starting to make progress. But still, just disc 1! I find myself coming up with reasons that I might be further along than it really feels. Discs … Continue reading

FFVII: My cousin Vinny

Remember how I complained about having too large of a party in last week’s post? (this is addressed to all two of you who read it) Well, now I have another character: Vincent Valentine. Vincent is an “optional” character, meaning you don’t automatically get him and he is not required to beat the game. But, … Continue reading

FFVII: Character and materia management

Nothing like hotseating a console game with an out-of-town friend for a few days to get you long past the end of disk one. But with controller swapping, comes strategic differences and philosophical clashes. After hashing out our differences in front of the monitor with Irish Whiskey, we came up with a standard, go-to party … Continue reading

FFVII: Guided strategy

I believe that I’ve admitted in the past, with almost a perverse sense of pride, that I’m one of those people who buys the strategy guide. (Or at least tries to look at it. Building a collection of strategy guides would be crazy expensive.) I’ve backed off a bit in recent years, but only because … Continue reading