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JRPGs are Cozy Games

trailsinthesky-1313771692I’ve been streaming The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky and a friend of mine and I have been chatting about Japanese role-playing games and our history with them. One thing that came up is that JRPGs have put us to sleep. I’ve fallen asleep playing them, my friend has fallen asleep playing them and we’ve both fallen asleep watching the other one play them.

Does this mean I find JRPGs to be boring? Not at all! The Final Fantasy series is one of my favorites, with Final Fantasy VI being one my favorite stories of all time. That’s to say nothing of Xenosaga, which had cut-scenes that could last almost an hour long and still held my attention. If Persona 5 was on the PC, I’d be playing it NOW. I love that genre of video games.

But, how many other games could I say put me to sleep. It doesn’t happen when I’m in a computer chair, but that’s because I only play JRPG’s on a couch. They’re long commitments and I need to be comfortable. With a pillow. Low lighting. Oh, I get it now.

68-fddugfqI think JRPGs tend to feel like books. This is especially true with older games that don’t have voice acting and require a huge amount of reading. But, because of the pacing of the conversations, they don’t feel like thrillers or action-packed books. Instead, I might say, they’re more like a dense fantasy book with lots of world building. A book that, if read too long, will start to make my eyes close, even though I’m invested in everything on the page (or screen).

They’re comfortable. Cozy, even. Something like The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky is a pleasant game, that’s fun and exciting at times, but for the most part, feels like the video game equivalent of a quilt. It’s the town music of these games, these gentle tunes that make you feel at home, sleeping under a sunbeam. It’s the ridiculously superfluous mini-games like playing cards or fishing.

9570000It’s the turn based fighting. You can be in the middle of a fight with a gross looking monster, but it doesn’t move forward until you issue a command. And while most battle music tries to be exciting or intense, there’s always that one track that’s a bit more relaxing than the rest. No, I’m not going to fall asleep during a boss battle or fight for my life, but a few mutated rats that just need one fireball? Yeah, I might be dozing off for a minute.

None of this is a complaint. I actually think it’s a great example of why so many people like JRPGs. They can be exciting but still are slowed down. No matter how busy the world is, or your work day, Final Fantasy IX is going to move at a relaxing pace. These aren’t action games that require every mental facet to be focused and alert. They’re photo albums or puzzles that you’re putting together as your head gets heavy.

Of course, this isn’t true for every game. As I said, voice acting changes the dynamic from book to movie (or anime) and some games are “louder” than others, such as Persona 5. But, they still have peaceful moments, long sessions of silence. I like it. In the book world, you might hear the term “cozy mysteries” and I think JRPGs are the “cozy” genre of gaming. It makes me excited to get back into those types of games, because I wouldn’t mind things moving a bit slower in my life.

You can watch me play cozy and slightly less-cozy games live at my Twitch channel!

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All the Books Show: Episode 86 – It’s About Mysteries… Or Is It?!

Working through the episodes and we have an episode where we talk about mysteries but I keep acting like that fact is up in the air, like a mystery. It’s a hilarious bit, maybe my best.

ee542738c49ce188dc261841310171f1Of course, a big reason we did this is because last episode we talked about and to Julia Spencer-Fleming! Do you like mysteries? Do you think they’re fun? Are you like me and hate the tease and just want to know who did what and when?

Honestly, the only mysteries that I enjoy are in my superhero comics and that’s because I know all the players. I can’t get into that when I just meet the characters that very book. Call it a flaw if you want, I call it quirky and adorable.

But I do recommend Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie and I’m excited for the movie.

You can follow us on Soundcloud, Youtube or iTunes and even Twitter! I’m sure there’s another, cool platform I’m forgetting but you can follow us on that too!

See you next week, podcats!

All the Books Show: Episode 84 – Sexy New Book Club (Official)

Confession time. I let this blog posts fall behind. I want to change that. But to do that, for me, because I’m insane, I have to retroactively post the podcasts episodes I missed. So here’s episode 84, twenty-three days after it was released.

30320055But it’s still a good one! We talk about some brand news books and learn that Nic hates time travel books about Shakespeare, and maybe books without time travel that are still about the Bard. Except we both kind of want to read Ronit & Jamil now. If you’re looking for something BRAND NEW to read, well, again, this episode is 23 days old. But check it out anyway!

We also talk Power Rangers, cat fiction and make new enemies. How about it?

You can follow us on Soundcloud, Youtube or iTunes and even Twitter! I’m sure there’s another, cool platform I’m forgetting but you can follow us on that too!

See you next week, podcats!