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I finally cleared Birth by Sleep's Final Episode. I remembered what happened from when I played the game before, but for some reason I felt it a lot more this time. I'll admit to tearing up at the end of all three individual scenarios, but Final Episode made me actually cry multiple times throughout, and I still want to go cry about it. Part of me is kind of embarrassed to be crying over a video game, but as time goes on, I find more and more that this idea is kind of silly. Video games matter to people--they give us characters who can inspire us, and possess an interactive element lacking in other forms of media that draws us even closer to these characters. I think I'd care about Aqua even if Kingdom Hearts was a movie or book or what have you, but I also think it's a little different since I was just guiding her through an intense boss battle knowing that my choices (or mistakes) would determine the outcome. It's an interesting sort of relationship between player and character--admittedly no substitute for relationships with real people, but much less intimidating and with a clear outcome. Er, maybe I'm getting a little off-topic... What I guess I mean is that I want to stop being embarrassed about getting emotional over video games, because those emotions exist. So yeah, I cried my way through the credits of Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, and the next time I feel hopeless, I'm going to try to think about that final line. And maybe that's okay.