Every week on The Free Cheese Podcast, we begin with a segment called Now Playing where we talk about the games that we’ve been spending time with. In this article, we’re bringing a bit of that conversation to the written word because it isn’t dead yet.

We’ll share what we’ve been playing and we encourage you to ask questions or share your own thoughts on what you’ve been playing in the comments.

I started playing Chrono Trigger this week. I had a conversation with Sandeep about our favorite games of all time, and we both realized that we’d yet to play the other’s favorites. While I think I finally convinced him to play EarthBound, he finally got me to get past the opening part where Crono wakes up and says, “Good morning,” to his mom.

While I’ve yet to sink any serious time into the game, I’ve reached the part where the initial hook sinks in and I now kind of see where the game is going to take me, at least narratively. I love the idea of time travel, and for some reason this year has been keeping that theme of time and the concept of “always,” and how our ancestry and interaction with a timeline can alter the linearity of our lives.

Battles in this game surprised me. The game comes from an era of JRPGs where battles would take over the screen, the background would change to a generic representation of the area you are standing in, and characters had a very rigid segment of the screen to stand on. Here, the battle begins and nothing changes, save for the addition of a battle overlay that gives you options for command during the fight. I’m playing the PS version via PSone Classics on PS Vita, which notoriously has noticeable load times. I’m very aware of these as I enter and exit battle; at its worst it’s been about five seconds. It’s a shame as those transitions would be so much more impactful had they been fluid.

This might be the first time I finish this game after what seems like a dozen attempts to get going and finding myself wandering off to do something else.

Didn’t think I’d be playing an MMO anytime soon. I grew up on trying just about every MMORPG I could get and this was one that I’ve tried in the past, but wasn’t quite feeling it at the time. Approaching it now with a more open mind has made my recent experience a little bit more fun. Why take a game like this seriously when I can roam around with my friend as dwarves slaying everything that moves? I’m a hunter while my friend is a paladin. For those who might not be too familiar with WoW, hunters get to use rifles and pistols along with crossbows and your traditional bow. I also started with a pet bear so I’m shootin’ it up with my boomstick while my bear mauls on his prey. Sounds like a good time to me.

I’ve watched this game evolve over the years and I’m acclimating myself with everything this game has to offer. I can see myself feeling burnt out by this game in a short amount of time, but I like what I’ve been playing so far. Can’t wait to set up some sweet sweet tactics with my friend as we enter a dungeon guns blazing.


[NOTE: Phantasy Star Online will forever win my MMO heart.]

Posted by Joe Dix

Joe is the creator of The Free Cheese. He eats a lot of pizza and takes thousands of pictures of his pugs Oswald and Earl every day.

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