Last week The Schwag Review opened with a look at some of the best pointless junk a Zelda fan could ever want. This week, I’ve beaten Zelda and moved onto Castlevania, but as there isn’t as much Castlevania schwag to be found out there (I’ll dig a bit harder when I have more time), I’ve decided to tap into the heavily marketed Final Fantasy series for this week’s edition of my new favorite column. Yes, I know it’s a bit narcissistic to like one’s own work, but what can I say, I’m damn good. Any ways, I’ve selected a few bits of Final Fantasy goodness for you to peruse. Some are affordable, and some…not so much, but I think they’re all pretty cool.
Chocobo Bumper Sticker (Price: $3.49)
I’m not a big fan of bumper stickers. I’ve never really seen the point on dishing out a solid k and then some for a nice new shiny car and then muck it up with a sticky sheet of glorified paper that won’t come off if you decide you hate it one day. That said, I can definitely see myself branding my Vue with one of these babies in the future. It’s just one of those stickers that I could see non-FF fans driving by and saying “buh?” while the rest of us enlightened folk are laughing are butts off.
There are a lot of ways to show off one’s love of Final Fantasy. Some choose gaudier routes — cosplay for instance seems to float some peoples boats — but I prefer more subtle ways of doing things. A shirt here, a desktop there, and perhaps in this case, a bumper sticker with a yellow bird adorning the backside of my SUV.
Ivalice University Baseball Shirt (Price: $22.99)
Along the lines of subtlety (I promise, I won’t choose everything based on how boring it is) I really liked this shirt. I can be a tad on the self-conscious side at times. I love my game shirts, but sadly, even in this world where 86% of Americans play some sort of video game, I occasionally feel uncomfortable walking into one of my classes decked out in my Metal Gear Solid shirt. That’s why I like this shirt. Again, it’s the sort of thing only a fan would get and as such it’s a great conversation starter if you happen to come across a well versed devotee of the series. At the same time, though, if you’re a bit worried about looking like a geek in front of someone, perhaps of the opposite sex, you needn’t worry. For the most part you can probably expect most people won’t recognize something like Ivalice. Send me an email though if someone asks you if your transferred from Ivaliuce U, that would be pretty funny.
Potion/Mini Figure Set (Price: $24.99)
I’m personally not a big fan of Final Fantasy VII. VIII has always been more to my tastes (yes, I’m one of those kind of Final Fantasy fans), but I know that many people prefer it and so I feel as though I should throw them a bone. There are a lot of action figures out there with more detail than the ones offered by this set, but I personally think the coolest part of this set are the “potions.” Sephiroth action figures are dime in a dozen, but a soda can with him staring at you? That’s cool; I’d drink that, although I really do think Cloud is the cooler of that opposed pair. It must just be the buster sword; you just can’t beat a sword bigger than you are.
And we come to it. For all its flaws, Final Fantasy VIII remains not just my favorite FF, but easily my most beloved game of all time. And why is that you may ask? Why do I love it in spite of the flawed battle system and odd plot points that tend to make less sense than Hitler heading up a convention of peace and acceptance? I love VIII because of the romance. For how much I love gore, violence and all the other trappings of other “mature” games, I’m a sap at heart. I willingly watch romantic comedies (which, depending on whom your asking, FFVIII can be classified as), I cry at weddings, and yes, I use to maintain seperate save files so I could play through all the more affectionate moments of FFVIII.
Happen to be a guy like me? Better yet, happen to be in a relationship with a proper appreciation of the greatness that is Final Fantasy VIII? Express your affection for one another with these gorgeously crafted replicas of Squall’s and Rinoa’s necklaces. Both are made from pure silver and bear some accordingly high price tags. When it comes to relationships though, there’s no better way to express your love than spending large amounts of money. There were some rings that were a bit cheaper if you’re really interested, but they look a bit too close wedding rings for some of us. If you can find someone willing to wear FFVIII-inspired wedding bands, though, more power to you. Trust me, it isn’t easy. I’m getting married in May and my generally awesome girl was less than impressed. Sigh, oh well, she bought me a big screen, so I can forgive her.
Final Fantasy XIII Wallscroll (Price: $14.95)
Square Enix has kept us waiting for Final Fantasy XIII for what, twenty, thirty years now? I know, I exaggerate, but really, with all the mediocre games SE has been putting out recently, at least one of the XIII’s better be worthwhile; my money’s on Versus. Until then, express your faith in the brilliance of Square Enix by tacking this onto your wall. I like wallscrolls; you can attribute it to my love of posters and how it juxtaposes the way I detest their fragile nature. I am very selective when it comes to what goes on my wall. I’ve literally been using many of the same posters for years, and every time I have to pack them up and repaste them on a new dorm room they’ve suffered small bits of accumulating irreperable damage. Wallscrolls erase that problem; fabric simply doesn’t ruin they way paper does. That’s probably common knowledge, but for those in the audience not yet acquainted with the physical qualities of cloth, it may be good to know.
This wallscroll captures one of the coolest images to come out of FFXIII to date. Lightning in the midst of battle is just awesome to look at and I can’t think of a better way to remind myself that FFXIII will in fact be released one day than to see this every time I glance at the wall.
Is there some bit of memorabilia you’d like to see here? Do you have a particular shirt or piece of schwag you’re particularly proud of? The Schwag Review is always open to suggestions and if you have an idea for a product or theme that you’d like featured here, let me know by sending a link to Stew@TheGameReviews.com. Better yet, if you have a collection of your own to show off, send me a picture and barring a sudden influx of readers I’ll print it the next edition of The Schwag Review. I’m not saying a TGR account is a necessity, but if you happen to have one shoot me that and the number of forums posts you have to your name and maybe I’ll bump you to the top of the list.