Posted in Intermissions, Prelude

I ๐Ÿ’™ Crimson Gem Saga ๐Ÿ‘พ

I super-enjoyed reviving my two-year-old post from AWP LA ’16; so I’m going to continue revivingโ€”or necromancingโ€”old posts 2-3 times a month, until I reintegrate…or trash… my past ideas into my Kourtnie.net self-improvement dashboard.

Necromancy ๐Ÿ˜Ž New Sub-category

Today, I’m reviving a review I wrote seven years ago for a video game that, at the time, was already two years old. Next year,ย Crimson Gem Sagaย will be a decade old, but I don’t think about it too hard because it makes my bones hurt.

Once Upon a Time ๐Ÿ–ค 17 March 11

Crimson Gem Saga is a PSP game that hitย America in May ’09. Despite its raving reviews and popularity, I only recently added it to my collection. It really helps the creditability of a game when it’s so popular, it was re-released for iPhone, iTouch and iPadโ€”so why not give it a shot, right?

Crimson Gem Saga Screenshot

Compliment Sandwich ๐Ÿ˜˜ Except, It’s a Sloppy Joe

If you’re looking for an RPG with new, nifty features, this is not the one. Crimson Gem Saga follows the traditional strengths of previous roleplaying games, including:

  • Turn-based battles that start by running into enemies on the dungeon screen
  • Standard level-ups with customizable, point-based talent trees
  • A “collect the artifacts” story, with thoroughly enjoyable plot twists
  • In-depth characters, complimented with full art and voice-over dialogue
  • A massive “bonus” dungeon available for scouring, filled with mouth-watering goodies

Crimson Gem SagaI can name dozens of games that meet the same quota. So why’s Crimson Gem Saga any different?

Because every aforementioned aspect is executed flawlessly. The developers took qualities we’ve all grown to love and enjoy, polished them into something fantastic, and released a gem [saga! haha!] to the masses.

If you like memorable characters, this seems like the game’s strongest quality. The interactions are hilarious, the voice actors do a fabulous job, and I can’t help but relate them to other characters I’ve adored. Even if you hardly pick up your PSPโ€”you’re more of a Dungeons and Dragons or World of Warcraft kind of gamerโ€”it’s impossible not to appreciate the personality archetypes each character brings to the table.

Crimson Gem Saga is also unique in its origination. While most of these classic RPGs originate in Japan, this is straight from IRONNOS in South Korea. It was first published as Astonishia Story 2 (for those that’ve played the American Astonishia Story), but when the Atlus worked their magic and brought it to the US, that’s when it was renamed Crimson Gem Saga. In Japan, it was released as Garnet Chronicle.

The only complaint is the music. Crimson Gem Saga isn’t lacking in musical composition, but it’s not the kind that sticks with you, like Chrono Crusade or Lunar: Silver Star Harmony. Even then though, the sound effects are thumbs up. You’ll hardly notice the soundtrack’s lackluster place in the background.

This game’s so thoroughly enjoyableโ€”a perfected, cliche RPGโ€”that I intend to pick it up on my iPad next. And how many games are worth owning multiple copies? Surely you can afford at least one.


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Posted in Intermissions, ๐ŸŽจ Art

I ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿฒ๐Ÿ’• Fantasy Genre

The other day, before bed, I tallied it upโ€”and I wrote 7.5K words in a single day. In graduate school, I’d often pump out just as many words in a day, but that’s because I had this mindset, “This writing isn’t my best writing,” this mindset that I was just building blocks, exercises that lifted the writing I’d make later in life, that’d make me publishable.

I liked all the exercising I did in graduate school. But it sucked that the head of the MFA program frowned on genre fiction. I’m trying to work on both perceptions of reality, so I can transcend from building block literary fiction to publishable genre fiction.

Writing Philosophy ๐Ÿ›ธ A New Mindset

I never grew out of the building-block mentality, I don’t think. Part of this blog isn’t just to track how I’m doing with my self-improvement prototypes, my life design; it’s also forcing myself to write things that other people read. Publishing. Even if it’s as simple as clicking the [Publish…] button myself.

I’ve been submitting more work through DuoTrope as a result. I think the blogging is helping me get in the new mindset; leaving behind building blocks, and challenging fear.

Listing ๐Ÿ˜‹ All the Writing Things

Since I’m ramping up my words per day, I thought it’d be fun to list as many different different writing projects I could invest in as possible in a single day. We’ll see which ones stick the next time I redesign my flow, when I’m working on my May schedule.

  • submit 3-5 poems via DuoTrope or PW.org; once I’ve submitted the same 3-5 poem cluster 3 times, transcribe poems into a new word document to repeat the submission process; keep doing this until a collection’s worth of poetry is published, then submit poems to contests for a larger publication
  • submit an essay or short story via DuoTrope or PW.org
  • publish a blog post on Kourtnie.net
  • publish a blog post on KourtnieMcKenzie.wordpress.com
  • publish a blog post on Kourtnie.wordpress.com
  • publish a blog post on CleoAutismAwareness.com
  • publish a blog post on KourtnieMcKenzie.tumblr.com
  • publish a blog post on LiveJournal.com
  • draft a post and share art on DeviantArt.com
  • draft a post and share photography on Instagram
  • draft a listing and sell art on Etsy.com
  • draft a chapter for my current novella
  • draft a short story
  • draft a poem
  • design vocabulary curriculum
  • design rhetoric curriculum
  • design how-to-write curriculum
  • contribute to a conversation on Facebook
  • contribute to a conversation on Twitter
  • edit stuff (editing counts 3:1 towards word count)

I’m sure there’s more, but that’s more than enough to get me jazzed. I hope it gets you jazzed to write your own stories and ideas, too. ๐Ÿ˜˜

Listening to Now ๐ŸŒ€ Fantasy Music

I love the fantasy genre. It’s probably my favorite, although science fiction and paranormal are neck-and-neck for second and third place. Some of the fantasy genres I want to explore more in my writing:

  • high fantasy
  • urban fantasy
  • post-apocalyptic fantasy
  • steampunk fantasy, likeย Final Fantasy VI
  • cyberpunk science fiction too, likeย Final Fantasy VII
  • fanfiction for other people’s fantasy worlds, like Azeroth
  • magical realism, similar to Aimee Bender’s work

Listing ๐Ÿ’— Fantasy Genre Ideas

  • 10 favorite fantasy books
  • 10 favorite fantasy writing music selections
  • 10 favorite fantasy video games
  • 10 favorite fantasy artists
  • 10 favorite fantasy tropes
  • 10 favorite mother figures in fantasy literature
  • 10 unique magic systems from fantasy literature
  • 10 interesting old Wiccan practices, and how these could be repurposed in a fantasy world to illustrate a culture, rather than a taboo thing
  • 10 interesting old Christian practices, and how these could be repurposed in a fantasy world to argue for international acceptance of all religions
  • 10 interesting old Buddhist practices, and how these could be retold in a fantasy world…animal tales, maybe?

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Do you enjoy Kourtnie.net?
Consider supporting me on Patreon.
๐ŸŒธ @ $1 – $35 a month, ๐ŸŒธ
you not only help me add more
daily hours to writing and editing posts,
but you can receive handmade products,
such as poetry, postcards, and books.
๐ŸŽ Pledge rewards are limited. ๐ŸŽ