Crossing the Ocean
Out of all the JRPG’s I’ve played on the PS1, Chrono Cross may be the most brilliant and strange. In a console library dominated by classics from the genre, the game stands out among the rest by just being so, well, bizarre. As a sequel to Chrono Trigger you’d expect something more traditional, a title hoping to live up to the soaring heights of its genre defining predecessor. But the game itself is anything but typical, featuring a battle system unlike any others before or since, and a story that seemingly tries to make things confusing. When you look up anything about the game’s endings, you’ll find that most search bars will bring up Chrono Cross ending explanation as a secondary option. The game is a puzzle to say the least.
And yet, in spite of how obtuse it can be, whether it be because of the massive exposition dumps that dominate the game’s latter half, or the strange logic of its multi-dimensional mechanics, I can’t help but love it. Because at the end of it all, when you look past the Dragon Gods and supercomputers called FATE, Chrono Cross has a very well thought out message. Continue reading
Recently I’ve been making a conscious effort to read more. A few years ago, you would find me reading about 60-75 books a year, a number which seems absolutely baffling in retrospect. That would mean I would have consumed probably millions of pages each year, though it would have admittedly been made up of a lot of YA fodder and the occasionally more thought provoking Newbery award winners.
Still, I kind of miss those days. Being a writer, one of the most important thing I should be doing is reading, reading, and, well, reading. Consuming the works of other writers isn’t just a good way to absorb techniques, but it also helps you better understand what you like and don’t like to write about in your own fiction. Do you hate unsympathetic characters? Do you find certain stylistic quirks to be generic and/or annoying as hell? Then it’s safe to say you shouldn’t try to write using those tools.
So with these efforts, I decided to finish up a book I started all the way back in July, aka Haruki Murakami’s seminal late 90’s classic The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. I got into Murakami about two years ago with his most recent novel, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki & His Many Years of Pilgrimage, which I learned about through the lovely folks on anitwitter. And while my roots with him are centered in my weebiness, my appreciation of his work is decidedly much more literary. Continue reading