Blog Update & The Final Fantasy Initiative

Today, I’m going to take a moment to declare my intention to temporarily refocus my game playing for the purposes of this blog.

I started this blog to share my love of video games and the nostalgia that I feel when I think about my youth. It didn’t take long for me to learn that there was a lot more to those warm fuzzy memories than retro video games. My childhood was extraordinary. I was born in the late 70s, so my early childhood took place in the 80s – a wonderful time for games, cool movies, cartoons, etc. All the great kid stuff came out in the 80s. During this time, I also was blessed with the fortune of being able to experience life in a foreign country. My time in Japan helped open my eyes to a larger world and even though it was only three short years, it had a large effect on me as I grew into adulthood. After getting married and settling into the routine of the five-day work week, I had my first child.

Unless you’re just a selfish deadbeat, having a child changes you in ways that you cannot expect. Your priorities change, and so does your habits. Sometimes, things even end up coming full-circle. Right before my son came along, my wife and I enjoyed going to clubs, socializing with other couples, attending concerts, things like that. Video games and other “childish” obsessions had really been put on the shelf to large extent. However, once you have an infant in the home, you find yourself AT HOME at lot more often than before. It doesn’t take long for you to go thru that stack of DVDs you never got around to watching. Once they are gone, you’re bored. While I had never fully abandoned my interest in gaming, I now found myself thinking about taking up the hobby with more zeal. When you have baby sleeping in a bassinet for extended periods of time, something like a video game ends up being a perfect way to pass the time. You play it for as long as you need to. You can pause it, save it, whatever.

It was during this time that I once again allowed gaming to become a main hobby of mine. Once my son got a little older, he naturally wanted to play games as well. It was at that time that I knew gaming was something I would be able to use to help form a bond with both of my children in one way or another. I guess that’s a big reason why I’m so passionate about games these days. When I play a video game, it reminds me of the good times of my youth and also rings a chime on the present day as well.

When I started this blog, I decided to replay my entire game library. Starting with the games I played as a kid and progress onward to new games. To date, I’ve pretty much covered the first half of my plan. I’ve reviewed and a talked about a majority of the games that were important to me when I was a child as well as sprinkled in a few new releases from time to time. I’ve deviated on a couple of occasions, like my Castlevania and Mega Man playthroughs, but I’ve done a pretty good job to sticking to my original goal.

Currently, according my own plans, I should be focusing on games for the original PlayStation. But I’m going to announce another temporary deviation:  The Final Fantasy Initiative.

You see, Final Fantasy is one of my favorite video game franchises. I’ve played almost every title to date (with a few exceptions). These exceptions are the most recently released titles in the series. If you’re reading this, you know me by now. I am pretty OCD when it comes to playing things in a particular order and I’m starting to fall behind. There’s a slew of new FF titles on the horizon and I need to catch up quick.

So when it comes to my game entries, I’m going to be catching up on all of the remaining Final Fantasy games I have yet to review. So far on this blog, I’ve managed to playthrough Final Fantasy 1-7 and all of the related spin-off games thus far. Next up, I’m going to proceed onward with 8, then 9, etc. Final Fantasy XV is expected to come out this spring and I would LOVE to be ready to play it on release day. Of course, I admit that I will unlikely be able to meet that goal, I do plan to be there as fast as possible.

Once I am all caught up on the series, I will resume my original plans.

About Me


I’ve now made a few posts about the games that make me tick and why I find video games so appealing. This post is going to serve as a more formal introduction. First, let’s talk a bit about my moniker (and the name of this blog itself): Retro Sensei

“Retro” refers to my love of old school gaming. But of course I don’t limit myself, nor the content of this site to games of the past. I have a love of video games both old and new, but I do think it’s important for any gamer to “know their roots” so to speak. Not to mention, as a child of the 80’s and 90’s, I suffer from frequent bouts of nostalgia – all of which I plan to share with the readers of this blog.

The “Sensei” part? Well, this is a bit more complicated. As an older gamer who loves to share my passion for retro games, I suppose you could consider this blog my way of teaching these youngsters about the games of yesteryear. On top of that, I actually spent several years as a child living in the country of Japan. My time there, gave me a deep appreciation and love for Japanese culture. So… RetroSensei.

Originally, I ran this blog under the name of “8bitwizard”  (So yes, you’re reading an edited post).

I conceived the 8bit Wizard name a few years ago when posting on some old video game newsgroups back in the early days of the Internet. The name came to mind again when I decided to create a blog. I knew I wanted to make a blog with a strong focus on video games, but occasionally I like to ramble about other topics that interest me. Most of which are subjects that would also appeal to the geek-culture that seems to have blossomed with the advent of the Internet. In a nutshell, I decided it was time to change the name when I moved the blog to its own domain. Apparently, there’s a webcomic called 8-bit Wizard. (even if it only has one issue..)

Now, to get a bit personal. As I’ve said before, as of 2012, I’m a 33 year old adult, but I’m obviously still nothing more than a big kid who wears the skin of responsibility quite comfortably.  I was the only child in a military household. This means that every three years or so, my father would be reassigned to a different location and my family had to move. Moving so often makes it a bit difficult to make friends. Not only are you always confronted with new people, but there’s the whole social awkwardness of being in a strange place and not knowing how things work in a new school, etc. Often times, due to variances in education standards from state to state, you find yourself playing catch up or sometimes you’ll move to a new school and you’ll actually be further ahead and BORED TO DEATH!

I had a rough go of it as a kid. I was skinny, a bit awkward, and I usually talked different from everyone else. (Born in New England but lived in placed like Arkansas and Louisiana). I was always the “nerd” that everyone picked on. I was never good at sports, I had nothing in common with most of the other kids, you get the picture. So I retreated to safe confines of my bedroom where countless worlds awaited me thanks to both my large library of books and my NES.

I finally broke free of my nerd label as a teenager. I became interested in music and taught myself to play the guitar. Around the age of 14, I put away my games and focused my attention on starting a band. Playing rock music helped me build confidence to the point where I learned how to develop my social skills and overcame all the nonsense that plagued my early childhood. Over the years, I learned how to take care of myself and not to be pushed around. Regardless, I never forgot where I came from and I’ve made it a personal goal never to be like the bullies that once harassed me.

I got married in my early twenties and shortly after, my interest in video games returned. My wife and I bought a Playstation 2 and a Gamecube. I slowly started to rebuild my library and catch up on all the great games I missed over the years. That brings us to now. I worked a fulltime job, raise my family, and pursue a variety of interests. But my love of games remains.

As tempting as it is to claim that this is going to be a retro-gaming blog, I can’t really promise that. I’m also going to be talking about newer games. Actually, I’ll pretty much be posting about anything that interests me. Movies, comics, novels, whatever. Another large focus of this blog will probably be my video game interactions with my kids. My oldest son is eight, and his interest in games is at an all time high. If nothing else, I hope this site will make a nice bank of memories for them to look back on. But in the meantime, I hope anyone who stumbles across it has fun. If nothing else, this blog is a diary of sorts for whatever nerdy passion consumes me at the moment. Please feel free to participate and comment.