Venus and Lysander is set to release on January 31st. I'm excited-but-not-excited because I have a lot going on at the moment.
I feel like I can't talk about what's going on publicly. Not yet. It isn't wise.
Next week is the last week of the current term. I'm ready for it to be over with. Once it is, I'll send off review requests and whatever else for my second release. I'm not really looking forward to it. I'm not going all out like I did last time only to get next to nothing out of it. I'd rather pace myself and focus on what I know actually does work. I'll likely only do two book tours instead of however many I did last time. I know which ones. I'm glad that I have a better idea on what to focus on this time after the trial and error with The Scorpion's Empress.
Overall, I'm relieved.
As for Final Fantasy XV, it's a good game. It's also personal for me because I associate it with what I have going on at the moment. I was more emotionally invested in the story because I viewed it through the lens of my situation and linked certain characters with people I know. I understand this is why I view XV so favorably. It's instantly nostalgic and impactful because of these associations. Bias, circumstance or whatever else keep me from looking at the game objectively, but isn't that the point? If I compare XV to other FF games, no, it's not my favorite. FFVIII will always be my favorite mainline game because of the themes. Since XV is so ambitious, I have to give it props. The sheer scale of this game--the cities, the map, the details, the soundtrack, the boss battles, the labor of love--is unimaginable and it inspires me to think bigger for my own work.
Its faults aren't dealbreakers for me. I accept them and I enjoy the game as a whole. What's the biggest reason why?
The music. The soundtrack. Yoko Shimomura's work is absolutely godlike. I already knew it would be, but fuck. She's too good. The OST keeps me in love with the game and helps me accept any flaws with the story, gameplay, or minor nitpicks. So many tracks are memorable for me already, like Noctis' Theme, Hellfire, Ravus Aeterna, Apocalypsis Noctis, Wonderful View, Dawn // Song of the Stars, A Premonition, the track that plays in the controversial chapter 13 dungeon that shall not be named, all of the regular overworld battle and boss themes, and too many others to list. I forgive XV for its negatives and I'm willing to say that it's a technical masterpiece of a title. Very few other games on the market can compare.
I think that The Witcher 3 is great, but I can't forgive its story pacing (it's way too long) or the combat controls. Beating that game on the hardest difficulty was almost as bad as getting platinum for Catherine because of the controls alone. Of course, there's Persona 5, but I already know what I'll rate that when I write the review for the NA version. It's an artistic masterpiece for me as a direct contrast to XV's technical greatness. Does XV make up for its artistic weaknesses like how P5 makes up for its technical weaknesses? Not quite, but I'm still willing to give it a pass because it's so ambitious and I respect that. Deeply.
And then you surprise me in a good way; I'm justified all over again.