Wednesday, February 28, 2018

General RPGs' AMVs 15

Yup, I was short on rant ideas again. Sue me.


Final Fantasy 8: Final Devotion, by Lunarstudios:
The music used is To the Moon and Back, by Savage Garden. This is 1 of those AMVs that’s so damn good that it’s really just barely shy of deserving its own rant. The timing and scene selection is excellent, perfectly following both the mood and rhythm of the song, and its lyrics. And the latter is a real accomplishment, because this is a long song, and it’s 1 of those songs whose focus is on telling its story, making the act of following along with said story much more challenging. The only flaw I can say this video really has is the fact that it’s kind of hard to sustain a roughly 6 minute song with FF8’s FMVs alone, particularly when they’re so carefully restricted to coordinating with the song’s nearly always present lyrics...but even as it gets a little old, it’s still really good. Really, this is just an expert AMV from start to finish; that’s all there is to say about it.

It’s a shock to me that this isn’t the best AMV of today’s lot, actually, but I suppose that really just emphasizes how truly excellent All About Us one further below really is.

Final Fantasy 8: Mentos, by Jimbo Studios Entertainment:
The music used is from a Mentos commercial, by who the hell knows. There’s nothing to say about this. It’s just glorious.

Final Fantasy 9: Demons, by Argol:
The music used is Demons, by Imagine Dragons. This is a really well-made AMV that consistently matches the scenes of Final Fantasy 9 to the lyrics of the song extremely well, and has a good eye and ear for keeping the visuals of the AMV appropriate to the tone of the song, as well. It’s one of those cases where it’s more the game being worked to fit the song, rather than the song fitting to the content of the game, but there’s still plenty of synergy between them that goes both ways. Overall, this is just a really strong AMV.


Fire Emblem 14: Believer, by TheHeroStainedRed:
The music used is Believer, by Imagine Dragons. This is a solid AMV that shines for how well it pairs the game’s footage and action to the heavy, powerful beats and tone of the music. I hadn’t really noticed just how much of FE14’s cinematics were devoted to pain, death, and heavy movements, but apparently there’s enough there to adeptly coordinate with this entire song.

Fire Emblem 14: Hey Brother, by Artishe:
The music used is Hey Brother, by Avicii. Alright, in fairness, when it comes to making a Fire Emblem 14 AMV, pretty much half the job is already done for you the moment you get a song primarily about brothers and sisters. Still, this is a skillfully made AMV which competently takes advantage of the automatic connection between song and game, and ties them together into a solid video about the focal point of Corrin’s character and motivations: her family. The tone of the song is pretty well connected to the scenes shown, too, which is also nice.

Fire Emblem 14: This is War, by Hawkscape:
The music used is This is War, by 30 Seconds to Mars. Again. Ugh. Okay, so this is a very strange AMV, because its first half is such a creative, thoughtful, and well-executed take on the lyrics of This is War that it actually makes the song seem fresh and interesting again. Awesome! And then...the AMV transitions into the second half, skipping to the end of the song and the end of the game, and it’s just boring. I mean, the scene and actions in it fit to the song well enough, but overall you’re just watching an almost unaltered video of the end of FE14, to a song which sucks. It’s baffling, honestly; this boring section is by the same guy who actually managed to breathe new life into the song in the first half of the AMV?

As it stands, the first half’s quality still outweighs the second half’s lack of originality or skill, to me, so I’m still sharing it here. But what started out looking to be a truly excellent AMV turned out to just be a fairly okay one, and that’s pretty disappointing.


Kingdom Hearts Series: Wide Awake, by Sarady:
The music used is Wide Awake, by Katy Perry. Kingdom Hearts has a natural resonance with certain types of songs, and that’s definitely present here; Wide Awake definitely holds the kind of tune and lyrics that really just meld well with the game. That’s not to say that Sarady deserves no credit for this combination, however. To the contrary, this AMV’s creator has skillfully used the song and game footage to glimpse at the stories of the Kingdom Hearts series’s protagonist Sora, and 2 semi-protagonists Roxas and Aqua, and the result is a high-quality AMV that’s engrossing from start to finish.


The World Ends with You: All About Us, by Digital Surgeon:
The music used is All About Us, by t.A.T.u. Ugh, t.A.T.u. What is this, 2002? I thought I was done having to listen to this duo’s shitty music after my sister moved out for college. I guess I should just count my lucky fucking stars that Digital Surgeon didn’t go with All the Things She Said.

Okay, well, regardless of my at this point arguably lifelong dislike of t.A.T.u, this here is a damned good AMV. The tone of the song coordinates nigh perfectly with the style of The World Ends with You, both in terms of its art style and its sequential-art-esque animations, and the AMV’s creator does a spot-on job of coordinating scene changes so that almost all the actions and scenes shown are matched to not just the lyrics, but the beats themselves of this energetic, aggressive song. I just freakin’ love the part from 0:59 - 1:10, for example. The chorus...the obnoxious, incessant, so-repetitive-that-level-grinding-in-The-7th-Saga-is-starting-to-look-fresh-and-interesting-by-comparison chorus...obviously works very well conceptually with this game, a game all about finding the value in bonds with other people. This is one of those cases where you almost don’t know where the game ends and the song begins, because they’re fitted together so well that you can’t tell which is supposed to be the one supporting and emphasizing the other.

My one complaint is that the video uses a few lines of dialogue from the game, which should be a plus (why do AMV-makers shy away from this so much?), but unfortunately, the music isn’t adequately subdued during these moments, and so everything said is completely lost in the noise. It’s too bad, because a few well-placed lines from TWEwY would have doubtless been solid gold for this AMV. Even with this flaw, though, this is a really great music video.


  1. I have a soft spot for Zell. He hits that Regular Dude role without being an idiot, he's got interests like antique firearms, he has a persistent craving for tube steaks that he ain't bashful about. What's not to like? As stupid and cheesy as it is, Zell finally getting his hot dogs is a valid symbol of the world at peace. Shout-outs to being the most broken character in this franchise, btw.

    Basically what I'm saying is Zell is worthy of a Mentos tribute.

    TWEWY: Never heard the song before, and I didn't realize I didn't like the song until the AMV was almost over. Played it again without watching the video and the difference was jarring. Impressive stuff, especially considering my initial reaction was "oh yeah, that game had cutscenes".

    1. I know, right? Any AMV that can make a t.A.T.u. palatable is a splended specimen indeed.

  2. I talked about my favorite R.P.G.s before, so here are the shittiest ones:

    Underrail: I was excited for this one because the reviews said it was just like Fallout, but the exact opposite was the reality. It has none of the fun, creativity, charm, humor or interesting characters of Fallout and is simply a boring, repetitive dungeon crawl with tedious combat. I might be a little harsh due to the comparison, but ti really is no fun.

    Every Dragon Warrior: Your article on 5 said it best, and that is the best one.

    Super Mario R.P.G: Mario is simple and the most fun thing possible, but turning it into a story-based, turn-based game does not work. Annoying characters, boring dialogue, a lot of filler and a combat system that actually manages to be much more boring than the worst turn based games despite having some real time elements.

    Might and Magic: This could have been simply a mediocre dungeon crawler like Wizardry, but it is much longer and more complicated and thus drags out endlessly. Enemies are particularly annoying in the early games because they can age your characters, by decades per battle, and characters will die when they get too old. Fountains of youth are only found at the end and aging attacks are seen throughout the old game. These games have ridiculously long, boring worlds with little of interesting, a lot of grinding against uninteresting enemies and virtually no stories.

    I love the Shin Megami Tensei and Persona series, but Shin Megami Tensei 2: A game that mostly consists of wandering through empty mineshafts, each one of which has to be traversed dozens of times. There is no story or point until the verge of the last dungeon, and the revelations at the end make no sense and contradict themselves. Shin Megami Tensei 1's dungeons were short but satisfying to explore because they were filled with items and characters. 2's dungeons are 10 times longer and 1,000,000 times more boring, as they have nothing of interest and have to be repeated dozens of times.

    Wasteland 2: A tremendously boring game with boring quests, repetitive combat and no story. It is also filled with bugs: If you set the resolution too high, you will not be able to see a part of the interface that displays important messages; I had to go back to an area that had literally nothing left for me to do in order to get to the endgame for no reason; the game crashed a lot and a lot of other bugs. Its world is boring, featureless and a chore to explore.

    1. Never played Underrail (heard good things, though), Might and Magic, nor Wasteland 2 (heard good things about that, too, though). I will say that I did find Dragon Quest 8 to be surprisingly decent, very much unlike the rest of its brethren...too bad they immediately returned to boring routine afterward. But yeah, aside from DQ8, once you've suffered 1 Dragon Quest, you've suffered them all.

      I actually found Super Mario RPG to be quite charming and fun, a move to a new genre that managed to both remain true to form for Mario's style, and also own an approach and atmosphere singular to it that paved the way to the later RPG titles for Mario.

      Also will have to disagree with you on SMT2. While I personally enjoy Persona 3, Persona Q, and both Digital Devil Sagas more, I have to say that on a more objective level Shin Megami Tensei 2 is the best the series has to offer in terms of thematic insight and brilliant religious and social analysis. Of course, I find RPGs in general boring anyway, so gameplay concerns don't factor into my appreciation, and thus it's easy to see where our perspectives would diverge on the title.