Keyboard Geniuses is our weekly glance at a few intriguing, witty, or otherwise notable posts from the Gameological discussion threads. Comments have been excerpted and edited here for grammar, length, and/or clarity. You can follow the links to see the full threads.

High Fashion Fantasy

This week, Nick Wanserski delivered an illustrated dissection of the ridiculous outfit worn by Tidus in Final Fantasy X. He pointed to a number of the Blitzball star’s odd fashion choices: asymmetrical pant legs, that weird yellow half-hoodie thing, a wallet chain. Ninjaneer_2_Electric_Boogaloo made a case for the asymmetry:

Some of the asymmetry of Tidus’ garb makes sense if you think about what he’s mainly built for: Blitzball. The one short leg is to give full range of motion to his shooting leg, especially when doing his signature sphere shot. The longer pant leg is probably for padding on his tackling leg to absorb impact. The padding on the left arm is for defense from attacks as he usually blocks with his left shoulder forward.

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That logic would also explain the costuming of Wakka, Tidus’ Blitzball bud. But Solid Lenin 8 made a good point about these Blitzballers and their uniforms:

This doesn’t even touch on the most absurd thing about those characters’ outfits: In the world of the game, those are full sports uniforms, so for every character who saw them walking around that would be like seeing a guy in a football uniform, complete with full pads, just going about his day. Plus, Tidus’ uniform was for a team that didn’t even exist in the game’s time/universe/whatever, so it would be like seeing a guy at the store wearing an “Atlantis Mermen” football uniform.

In the comments, another Final Fantasy X character that caught a lot of flack for their fashion sense was Lulu. (That’s her in the image at the top of the page.) Chicken of Tomorrow summed up the problem:

Let’s talk about Lulu and the dress. Skirt made entirely of leather belts? Check. Massive, off-the-shoulder fur collar? Check. Voodoo doll? Check. Complete and utter impracticality for a tropical island climate? That’s a big check.

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GhaleonQ reached further back into Final Fantasy history and picked out another bizarre costume seen in one of the games’ concept art:

Let us all consider Cid from Final Fantasy VI:

His simple character sprite in the game hides a lot of the damage, but in this concept art, I count four separate clown patterns on his parachute pants, which are only hidden because he’s constantly wearing a bright yellow slicker with a hood. He adds some flair with weird fasteners and symbols all over his clothes, followed by shoes that were crafted by blind Moogle slave labor.

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And from out of nowhere, Ah_good_the_sea dropped a possible explanation for FF6 Cid. The resemblance is uncanny:

The hood could be a hat tip toward Moebius’ Arzach character. Both he and Cid are recurring figures associated with flight.

I have no explanation for the monochrome patterned jumpsuit, though.

Is Bigger Better?

Earlier in the week, Drew Toal brought us a review of Titan Souls, a tough game that tasks you with taking down a bunch of huge bosses—and not much else. Girard played the demo, and had some thoughts on one unfortunate design decision that helped add to the frustration of playing such a punishing game:

I was surprised by how very frustrated I got while playing it. I’ve been a bit spoiled by masocore games like Hotline Miami and Super Meat Boy, which instantly respawn you at the start of the current level. It’s to the point that being killed within the first two seconds of meeting a boss, then being respawned to the start-point of the game, about a minute or so’s uneventful walk away, really broke my flow and felt very unpleasant. I guess Dark Souls didn’t instantly respawn you, but I never felt my flow was broken, as I’d jump right back into the level and build up my muscle memory. Titan Souls’ quiet walks to the boss give you just enough time to forget what you were doing when you were last fighting the thing that killed you.

That said, despite the aggravation, I played it through, and felt pretty great when I beat each boss. I’d say it has a bit of the same ratio of frustration to exhilaration that a Souls game has—beating your head against a wall for ages to achieve a single moment of euphoria—but the frustration is a bit less bearable because of the major role chance seems to play in the proceedings.

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In his review, Drew praised the game’s restraint and focus. Spurred on by CrankyKong’s reasoning for a preference of massive games to smaller, tighter ones, Jason Rains found himself comparing two similar games that sit at opposite ends of the scope spectrum:

I’ve been playing both Shadow Of Mordor and Hotline Miami, and it occurred to me that they’re kind of the same game: They’re both about killing a lot of enemies in brutal yet elegant ways. But I found Shadow Of Mordor to be a shallow and repetitive experience. Hotline Miami, even though it’s smaller, is a much deeper and better take on the same basic idea because it really does commit to exploring that one idea and doesn’t try to pad it out with a bunch of superficial frills. It respects the player’s time, leaves you wanting more, and doesn’t give you a bunch of busy-work to make it seem like there’s more game than there is. Antichamber is another recent game that I felt understood the ideal length and scope for itself.

That’ll do it for this week, folks. Thanks for reading and commenting. We’ll see you again next week!

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