“Dwarf Fortress” is a storytelling engine as much as it is a game, spitting out associations and facts and details that you can shape into a coherent and specific narrative. This is also what we do to our own lives, personifying random events so that they feel significant rather than a matter of chance. Life isn’t usually a satisfying narrative. It isn’t so much that “Dwarf Fortress” is a perfect simulacrum of life, but that it shines a bright light on the human tendency to look for meaning in everything. I care about my dwarves because the stories I make up about their lives are also the ones I make up about my own.
The magic of Pokémon is that it lets you tap into a sense of wonder that becomes more and more difficult to access as an adult. Sword and Shield do that more successfully than any Pokémon release has in years. It won’t be everything to everyone, and it will not make everyone happy. I’m not sure it needs to. It’s a portal to a new world.
By the end of the game, I didn’t feel as though Colonel Sanders was my love interest. If anything, the food was. For the main character’s final exam, I teamed up with Colonel Sanders to make a KFC Famous Bowl, the truly nausea inducing combination of chicken tenders, mashed potatoes and mac and cheese. Despite the game acknowledging that this combination of foods is a nightmare, Professor Sprinkles gave it full marks, calling it delicious. At that point, the jig was up for me. It’s hard to fall in love when you are ultimately being asked to buy fried chicken.
Eliza makes an effort to say that working on yourself counts as working on the world in the grand scheme of things. In real life, I am inclined to agree. In this game, where Evelyn’s choices can lead to an ending where she uses her massive intellect to fundamentally change how society works, I am not so sure that focusing on her grief is the most useful thing to do.
In Three Houses, everyone knows that what they’re doing is worth it. It isn’t pretty or easy, and it comes with more than its share of heartbreak. But it is worth it: to fight, to resist, to push for a better world. In Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Dimitri, Edelgard, and Claude all envision a future for Fódlan that’s radically different from the one they live in. By the end of the game, one of their dreams will be realized. It’s nice to spend time in a world where that’s not only certain, but believable.
There's plenty of you with 3DSes collecting dust somewhere in a drawer, like mine is. If that's you, go figure out where to grab a copy of the DS version of this game. It really is worth it, and if you're at the same place where I was when I first played this game, it might just change your life.
If you want to know if this is a good videogame, just look at the first paragraph. It does exactly what it says on the tin. If you want to know how fashion can enrich your life, here’s my advice: you, too, should just buy this game. Just get it already. And maybe that pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing. You earned it.