masters….confirmed; final fantasy iii….confirmed

for those of you who actually check this thing out, i have clearly been absent for the last three or so weeks. and with good reason. i had to defend my master’s thesis two days ago and, having been out of the loop of graduate studies for a little while, i was a little bit nervous all around. thankfully, though, i am done. i passed my oral defense and have one more grammatical pass to make on the thesis, but over all its done! my thesis was on c.s. lewis and his critical paradigm, specifically focusing on a close reading of his book, an experiment in criticism, and identifying the principle hermeneutic that he practices. i identify the modality as a hermeneutical phenomenology, with more in common with decentralized post-structural mechanic as opposed to more modernist, enlightenment practice. ultimately, i drew comparisons between lewis and paul ricoeur, a phenomenologist who was also a christian and passed away in 2002. the whole thing was a lot of fun and was over a 100 pages long. i will be expanding it out into a doctoral dissertation beginning next fall. so i know there were a lot of folks out there praying for me and i really appreciate it and the thoughts and wishes of all of you. so thanks very much and i can now imitate garnett lee and say, “masters…confirmed.”

job system

job system

as to what i’ve been playing recently, at least since mirror’s edge a few weeks ago, i have recently ventured into the handheld world with an acquisition of a nintendo ds lite. one of the lads at work was trading one in so i gave him a 10% mark-up and bought it from him. we both came out ahead in that deal! i picked up final fantasy iii to give it a whirl as i remembered seeing all the different ads for the job system a few years ago when it was finally ported up to the ds from the (i believe) famicom days of 1990. i have to tell you that i really like this game. it isn’t perfect and there is a lot of grinding, and i mean a lot. i don’t really like the save system that much (although the quicksave is nice), but not being able to save in a dungeon is a real pain in the ass. overall, the game looks a lot better than it ever did in 1990 (duh) and there are definetly games that look better, but the story is  a real blast and they do a very good job of pacing out the discovery of the world. i’m going to pick of final fantasy iv soon and give that a whirl and then final fantasy vii: crisis core for the psp soon as well. final fantasy iii, to be clear, is not an intellectual game. the job system is interesting but relatively inconsequential, the story is very straight-forward, the exploration interesting but your hand is held for the entire time, and the boss battles are dominated by physical attacks. for all of that it has a charm that superseeds many, many games on the market today that certainly makes it worth playing. the ported chrono trigger is my next purchase so i’m hoping to make that comparison also.

chrono trigger portraits

chrono trigger portraits

i’ve also got trace memory and hotel dusk in the queue for the trip back to bham on friday. both of those are interactive mystery novels and have recieved fairly good reviews overall. neither are action oriented, but they have a good puzzle base with a lot of decent dialogue. i’ll weigh in soon on my impressions. until then, keep the books beside the games.


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