There is something about summer 2022 that is setting off the inner party girl in me. Indulging in late night, post-club eats, 90’s dance and reggaeton so loud it massages the muscles, and a healthy variety of tequilas have been this July’s vices du jour. Hence the month long sabbatical. Simultaneously, it glows of a bright lifetime of personal party vignettes, hands clasped with financial regret. This lifestyle, one I presumably had closed after chapter 30, page 2019, is much more expensive in context with an adult’s alcohol tolerance and a post-COVID price inflation. It’s fine, we’re fine, it’s a hot girl summer!
My videogame hobby is by no means lost in the debaucheries of my summer 2022. I’ve been very leisurely playing through Tokyo RPG Factory’s Lost Sphear, the 2017 spiritual successor to I Am Setsuna, which itself recalls the spirit of classic 90’s JRPGs, turn-based, sprite-based and stewing in nostalgia. I first played I Am Setsuna swaddled in blankets in my parents’ living room, the winter after breakup, and found the experience cathartic. I’ve only clocked in 15 hours in Lost Sphear (over the course of five-seven weeks), the game fading into the background like a picturesque prerendered background in a Final Fantasy. But, when I reflect back on summer 2022, Lost Sphear will colour in the lines of that swath of time. There is something unforgettably forgettable about Kanata and his crew. In retrospect, this is exactly the effect I want every game I play to have on me – recalled in pleasantries and niceties, slotting in like blessed sand in the proverbial jar of life.
Mechanically, there isn’t too much to write home about with Lost Sphear; it is the idealistic atmosphere that keeps rubbing up my leg, a cat begging for attention. Recent summertime experiences have demanded my utmost attention (unwillingly or not), Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origins hooked me right before the summer started, and same time last year, Gunfire Games’ Remnant: From The Ashes had me eating for 60 hours without me even noticing. I might not be rushing home every night from my retail day job to play Lost Sphear, but the classical JRPG visuals alone float around in my mind on my commutes. Soundtracked with my Windhill-style summer vibes, I gaze out into suburban Toronto residential fantasizing about Tokyo RPG Factory’s fantasy.
For some Windhill-style summer vibes, see below.
Ingredients: a base of ’98 Elvis Crespo, La Goony Chongga’s 2021 EP and current Bad Bunny (YHLQMDLG or Un Verano Sin Ti), a generous amount of Drake’s house attempt (Honestly, Nevermind, 2022), three or four Ami Suzuki and Yasutaka Nakata mid-2000’s collaborations (Supreme Show, 2008 or the double a-side “FREE FREE”), the first half of Arca’s Kick II, a teaspoon of moombahton Dillon Francis’ Westside! EP (2011), Nathy Peluso’s salsa-iest tracks “MAFIOSA” and “PURO VENENO”
Extras (but recommended): a dash of In The Zone Britney, your personal favourite 90’s Daft Punk tracks, Beyonce’s “BREAK MY SOUL”
“A commentary on modern Mandy Moore” for Windhill Journal
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