Today is a cold, rainy spring day in Bozeman, the kind usually best spent under a blanket or five with a warm beverage and a game controller. Which, funnily enough, is exactly how I spent my afternoon.
Sundays are my days to play JRPGs. If I were to take a guess about why, it’s because Sundays have a particular slowness which I find quite lovely; I’ve been Catholic for as long as I can remember, and I tend to identify with that whole “day of rest” attribute it often receives. It’s a day of anticipation, when I await the coming Monday with death row-like trepidation, and deliberately try to calm myself in preparation for the recommencing work week.
JRPGs also have a particular calming slowness to them, which is why the two work so well together for me. I enjoy how deliberately-paced the combat can be, and I genuinely like talking to every NPC in each given town, hoping for a gifted item or funny bit of dialogue. It’s a type of game I don’t typically have the patience for during the week, making them feel even more special when I find time to slow down and break out the Potions, Ethers, and random encounters.
In particular, I’ve recently been working through Final Fantasy II for the SNES *. Antiquated as it feels even compared to other JRPGs on the Super Nintendo, I am enjoying the pokiness of the story, the simplicity of the gameplay, and the general old-fashioned feel to the game. Final Fantasy II was made before the genre felt the need to start subverting itself, and its straightforward approach to role playing is both appreciated and cherished by me.
As I said before, I don’t typically play JRPGs during the week; I generally tend to operate at top speed during the other six days, and what feels charming and down-home one day can feel mind-bogglingly dull the next. Still, there are enough shooters and third-person action games to tide me over during the week. For right now, I feel quite content in ridding the world of evil and injustice one turn at a time.