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You Can't Go Home

Trevor Levine

Muse is my favorite band, and I have literally listened to their music everyday for the last three years. I know many of their songs by heart, and nothing surprises with their music anymore. Which is where my point comes in: sometimes I wish I could hear them for the first time again, and get that sense of wonder and amazement I got the first time around. It's the same with RPGs. I can never play my favorite Final Fantasy and have it feel new again. Chrono Trigger will never amaze me like the first time I played it. It's always a sad thought, but nothing can change the fact that you can't revisit the same experience twice. Yet I didn't want to push those classics back into the hallmark of my memory, so I devised ways to get new excitement out of those old games.

One such way has been to introduce my friends to RPGs. I get a sense of excitement when a friend I know has never played an old school game, and I can show them a world they've been missing out on. It's easier than you might think to convince a person about the power of narrative over graphics. Just recently I introduced someone to Final Fantasy VI and at first they scoffed at the graphics, but told me they were quickly sucked into the world in the game. When all you're used to is Madden and shooters, it's nice to get away from the mindlessness, and sink your teeth into a real story.

Another way that has breathed new life into old games is to play through them as quickly as possible. This may sound odd, but skipping all the side quest and side story can give you more respect for the main quest. Of course this may ruin some games. I couldn't imagine just breezing through a game like Fallout 3, but the idea works wonders for games like Lost Odyssey or most old-school RPGs. Of course the opposite can be true also. Replay a game you haven't played in years, and take your time.

Unfortunately, there are some games I never could revisit no matter how many times I try. I could never beat Final Fantasy IX a second time, Grandia never had the charm, nor have I ever been able to play any Breath of Fire game through more than once. I guess in the end it's the new games that will have to sate my thirst.

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