By Gita Jackson
I don’t know if the Moogle Chocobo Carnival is good. I don’t even know if I enjoyed it. All I know was that last night, I was determined to win a prize, god dammit.
The Moogle Chocobo Carnival is a lot like a county fair, and county fairs are a crapshoot. Sometimes you end up on ferris wheels and eat an ungodly amount of fried food. Other times you walk around in a cold field that smells like cow shit and wonder where the exit is. The Moogle Chocobo Carnival isn’t that bad, but it’s certainly that tedious. Loading it up for the first time reminded me of when Michael Bluth from Arrested Development reaches into the fridge, sees a paper bag labelled “dead dove do not eat,” and looks inside.
The festival offers up supposedly fabulous prizes, most hyped among them a special view of the nightly fireworks. To win those prizes you need coins. To win coins, you need to play minigames. These minigames aren’t always what you’d traditionally call “fun”. So why did I stick around for hours? Chocobos, Moogles, and the promise of seeing Noctis dance awkwardly.
Am I shallow? Probably. But, also, look at this picture. Gaze upon this deeply unhappy man.
What the Moogle Chocobo Carnival has going for it is how big it is. If you absolutely suck at the Chocobo Race, which I do, you can find enough coins by wandering around and taking in the sights. Seeing Altissia all prettied up for the fair really is something special.
But all in all the festival isn’t that deep. I solved some riddles and got annoyed that in one, “left” meant my left, and in another it meant the stage left. I did both the Chocobo and Moogle dance. I bested the Moogle quiz. I point warped up in the air to save a child’s balloons. I fished, a lot. I played the pinball-esque Justice Monsters Five, despite not really knowing the rules. Some of these activities were charming, particularly saving the balloons and fishing. Most of them were minor diversions, like Noctis dancing, but they at least made me smile. A few of them were very bad. I’m still mad about those riddles. Consistency, people!
At 1am, I earned enough coins to watch the fireworks. It’s like winning the big stuffed bear in a game of chance. Are you going to forget it exists in a few days? Yeah. Was it still worth it? …Kinda.