Hey, it’s been a while.

To update on the therapy situation from my last post, I decided not to see anyone. More accurately, I couldn’t really come to a decision, and I opted for the classic “do nothing” approach. Not the best approach, I know, but honestly, it’s not something I think I could ever come to a clear decision on simply by thinking about it. Plus, it’s not as though I’m locking myself out from doing it forever. If it turns out that I did better with it, I’ll consider pursuing it again.

Not exactly therapy but something tangentially related, I started reading the Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson last night. Yesterday I had just bought a new Kindle Scribe (which I got 100 bucks off for trading in some old Kindles) and I wanted to test out the free Kindle Unlimited Trial. Initially, I wasn’t planning to read it for serious, but that thing really sucked me in. Considering I got 30% into it in one night, it’s probably a safe bet to say I’ll read it all.

The idea of the book is basically there’s limited things to put your energy towards and that you shouldn’t get caught up giving “fucks” about things that aren’t moving your life forward in some way. Essentially things therapy was starting to make me feel, but distilled into a much more crass/humorous solution. Highly recommend others to read, though ideally for free if you can 😉

Speaking of things I shouldn’t give a fuck about, let me talk about FF7: Rebirth. Despite starting the game on February 29th and playing it pretty extensively every day, I didn’t end up finishing it until the 14. 100 some hours of playing, and even then I wasn’t “done” with it for another 16 days while I attempted to do every bit of content that I missed or that was added by the game. Until today where I sit with one fight left to get platinum, but I’ve lost a lot of the patience I had to engage with it.

First, I should clarify that I loved Rebirth. The main characters depictions in Remake and Rebirth are SO much better than the original games. It’s not even up to debate. While I love the OG a lot (enough to play through it once every couple years) I can’t deny that my original time through the game, a lot of my love of things were more superficial/from me just being in love with other things and just overlooking them/I don’t know what you’d call it.

Let me explain it more by providing some insight into 12-13 year old Mae’s mind. My three favorite characters back then were Cloud, Yuffie, and Vincent. Cloud because he was the main character and I always found myself inserting into MC’s (regardless of whether we were similar or not) and the other two because they were “secret” characters. Thus they were better than the non-secret because why would a secret character not be overpowered?

I’m not saying all my attachment to these characters was entirely superficial, but a lot of it definitely was. What teenage boy didn’t also like Tifa for her dramatically oversized ti-assets or Barret for the amount he acted like Mr. T and swore a lot? It was kind of shocking that when I distilled the characters down to their key assets and moments, that there was a lot less there than I thought there was.

It made me appreciate Remake that much more because it made them feel much more real and important to me. They weren’t just caricatures with moments, they felt like real people that I knew and loved.

Some people criticize a lot of the new characters that have been added to the games, and while I don’t necessarily find them as good as the old characters, I have to acknowledge that it’s a lot harder for an new character to stand on the same stage as an OG character they already have established and only need to define further. That’s not to say they couldn’t do better with them, but I don’t think OG players would ever be as interested in them as they were the main cast, sadly.

Anyway, back to Rebirth. It’s much better than Remake in just about everyway. I don’t fault Remake for being Midgar only, given the amount they spent on making the OG Avalanche into loveable characters. However, I do fault it for Midgar being as small as it was. For something that’s supposed to be expanded, I still felt like Midgar was pretty small in comparison to how big it’s meant to be. I wanted to explore sectors that were never part of the original. I wanted to see a Midgar on the scale of at least a quarter of what Rebirth’s open world did.

I would even go as far to call Rebirth as good or better than the original. That’s how much it manages to nail and improve things. Music, characters, and a lot of the story beats are just way more enjoyable and really struck a chord with me.

It’s not, however, a perfect game. Nothing ever is. I think there’s a few scenes like Red finding out the truth about his father, or Cloud taking part in the play at the Gold Saucer, where I feel like it didn’t translate well from the original. Gongaga also felt weird, even if I can appreciate them wanting to expand it some.

My biggest criticisms come in the form of Zack and the extra content.

Zack content is given to you at the very beginning of the game, and it makes you think it’s going to be a bigger thing than it actually is. Hell they even let you fight as him. Yet, it’s like 6 chapters before you see him again, and after that the sections are mostly just 5 minute series of cutscenes. I understand they want to clue us in on the multiple worlds thing, but I feel like it could have been done more similar to the last game if this was as far as they were willing to go for him.

The extra content, some people will say, is something you shouldn’t consider when evaluating a game. Given that it’s optional and no one needs to do it. Yet, I find myself being unable to agree with that. I think optional content when not done well can totally be a detriment to the game overall.

A somewhat unfair example would be something like the recent Zelda games. They’re designed in such a way where you can go off and beat the game pretty early. In such cases, you might call like 80-90% of the game optional. Yet, I don’t think anyone reasonable would argue that you can’t judge them based on that content.

Again, I know it’s an unfair example. The optional content in Rebirth is primarily minigames and optional fights that only people looking to 100% need to care about. It’s on a different scale than the type of game Zelda is. I bring it up though because regardless if something is technically optional, it will still affect people’s overall enjoyment.

I’m one of those types who, when they love a game, tends to want to experience every bit of it. Something I’m starting to realize probably isn’t worth it for most. In Rebirth there’s an obscene amount of it (mostly in the form of mini-games) and part of me feels like if I don’t do it all, that the game isn’t complete for me. I haven’t exhausted everything that it has to offer me.

This extra content can be good at first, but obviously the more time that it takes, the more it starts to become a drag. I could and should cut my losses and move on, but even if I did, I wouldn’t be able to somehow disregard that content. It would forever stick out like a sore point about that title. I would say “FF7 Rebirth was great, but that side content really dragged it down” Something I might initially say if I completed it all, but might be more willing to soften up on as time goes by

In other words, failures stick in your mind. Success often makes you forget, or at least tolerate, a lot of the hardships that got you there. I’d rather leave Rebirth, a game I love, as a success, than feeling it as a game I failed to conquer.

And yes, you can argue that maybe I need to change how I look at this. If I could convince myself it’s not worth giving a fuck about, then it wouldn’t stand out as a failure. And maybe I should do that. Though not giving a fuck in itself does require a lot more work than how it sounds.

Anyway, those are some of my thoughts on Rebirth. Initially, I had planned to write up a long dedicated post for it, but I think I’ve come to the conclusion that writing that kind of stuff just isn’t my thing. If I had more readers, or I was discussing it verbally with someone it might be a different matter, but as it stands, I’m not a professional reviewer and have no real desire to be. Thus I’m going to stop giving a fuck about making sure each and every thought I have is expressed in detail on here.

In other news, remember when I talked about sorting out issues with my stomach? Well, that turned out not to be true. Despite following most of the same regimen, I’ve unfortunately been having a lot of the same issues as before (sometimes worse) I’ve also been having some serious bouts of neuropathy (and by serious I mean interfering with sleep some nights that I don’t get any)

I went to see my doctor about it, but she didn’t seem overly concerned about any of what I told her. Though I did get her to send me a referral to a neurologist (that I see in July) So that’s something I guess. Also my symptoms seem to be not as bad lately (minus the day before yesterday when I couldn’t sleep the entire day) So I’m a bit more optimistic that I’m not dying at least

I spent a lot of money recently. I’ve been interested before into getting into perling/fuse beads because of all the people I see making gaming/anime stuff with it, and I decided to get myself a kit of stuff to get started. I also bought a coloring book and some crayons out of a desire to do some coloring again (I guess I’m in a real artsy fartsy mood) I’ve also been collecting some games and plushes I probably don’t need, but fuck it.

That’s all I’ve got to say for now. If I had to guess, I’ll probably post again sometime in April or in May around my birthday.