Saturday, September 17, 2011

Priorities: We have them.

Where yet another IM conversation between me and David is substituted for a real game post:

It's Friday, and I'm sitting a stone's throw away from finishing Final Fantasy XIII, while David has finished the infamous Desert of Death in Breath of Fire III.   Gamewise, the only things that obstruct our paths to the finish line?  My absurd desire to max out the ultimate weapons while I have one of the easier farming opportunities available to me and David's obsession with the fishing minigame.

Oh.  And that pesky thing known as work.

Ayn 10:16 pm
    Alright, just need to plug in the rubrics on these papers, but at least the first class is done.

 David 10:16 pm

 Ayn 10:16 pm
    Now I can treat myself to FF13 if I want.

 David 10:16 pm
    I was trying to do some reading but I couldn't concentrate.
I decided if I can finish my Legal Writing assignment for Tuesday, I'll play some BoF3.

 Ayn 10:18 pm
    Good call

 David 10:19 pm
    Which isn't to say I don't still get distracted after every question I answer, but at least I'm actually doing the work instead of looking at words on a page and not absorbing anything.

 Ayn 10:27 pm
    This may help you get your mind in the game.

 David 10:27 pm

 David 10:31 pm
    It's such an addictive little minigame, another thing that sets this game apart.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

What exactly ARE we looking for?

Nearly a year and a half after release, I'm finally standing at the end of FF13.  As I was in the midst of debating whether to just finish the damn game or go crazy with sidequests and farming (for you FF13 experts out there, you all know that finishing off the last boss means you axe one of the better gil making opportunities), the following conversation came up between me and David in relation to Final Fantasy.

Ayn 5:07 pm
   I think it's going to be worth mentioning that RoF and FF13 came out within 2 weeks of each other.
   Yet I finished RoF far before FF13.
   And really, I don't think FF13 is a bad game.
   I think it's actually quite good.  Just maybe not what most people expect.
   I will say that it has me paying attention to combat more than most FF games.
   Hmm, maybe that's it.  I'm going to raise the question of "For all the people that hate FF13, ask yourself, what exactly are you looking for in FF now?"
  To recreate your favorite experience from <insert favorite FF here>?  Chocobos?
   I mean honestly..

 Ayn 5:09 pm
   Part of what I like about FF is that each one has its own different experience, mostly.  You know?

 David 5:10 pm
   I guess I hadn't looked at it that way. I guess I hadn't looked at it that way.
   Most of my complaints about FF games ever since VII is that they try to reinvent the wheel with each one.

 Ayn 5:10 pm
   That's really what each FF is about
   If you want the same ol'
   Play Dragon Quest.

 David 5:11 pm
  I suppose that's equally valid.

 Ayn 5:11 pm
   Is that they try to reinvent the wheel, or..

 David 5:11 pm
   It's certainly not what gamers expect.

 Ayn 5:11 pm
    They try to reinvent the wheel AND don't always stick with what worked in the previous ones

 David 5:11 pm
    That's definitely a factor.

I'll likely raise this question again, but for those of us in general who have grown up with the FF series:  What are you really looking for in a Final Fantasy game?

Friday, September 9, 2011

A Forgotten Gem.

This past Christmas, I managed to finish Crimson Gem Saga for the PSP.  I've been intending to write about it for some time, but I just never got around to it.  The usual elements of work and life got in the way, but let's face it:  I've written about plenty of games since December, with many of them coming after Crimson Gem Saga.  So what was the hold up?

David's previous post references a problem Breath of Fire III had:  It was released at a time when there were plenty of RPGs coming out on the Playstation, thus it was really unable to distinguish itself.  In some ways, Crimson Gem Saga is similar for me -- the other games I've posted about here were just better games.  However, while Breath of Fire III was an above average game that was overshadowed by other mammoths such as Xenogears and Final Fantasy VII, Crimson Gem Saga manages to be a decent game, just not exceptionally stellar.

Thus, until now, I struggled to really come up with anything to say about it, other than "Yeah, it was a decent enough game".  Crimson Gem Saga is a game that, when released, remedied (to an extent) the lack of quality RPGs on the Playstation Portable.  Yet as the PSP's library has expanded, it's become easier to forget, and the flaws of game balance and an unfinished narrative prevent it from being more than a mere blip on the radar.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

On to the next. . .

After months of picking at it and finishing a quest here and there, I've finally finished Final Fantasy Tactics A2:  Grimoire of the Rift.  This post isn't focusing on my experiences with that game (which deserves a lengthy -- and mostly positive -- entry on its own) but rather the crossroads that I'm at.

See, FFTA2 occupied my DS for so long that it kind of became like that one friend that crashes on your couch for what's initially 'a few days', but a few days become a few months, and before long, is one of those regular fixtures in your home that just always seemed to have been there.

Given how long my DS stays in standby mode, this is pretty accurate.

But like any houseguest (at least ideally), FFTA2 eventually left.  Unbelievably enough, my DS backlog is down to a mere 5 games.  Unfortunately, I'm not quite sure which of the following I should tackle:  Dragon Quest VI, Dragon Quest IX, Hotel Dusk:  Room 215, or  Megaman Zero Collection.  Yes, I know I said 5.  The fifth is Shin Megami Tensei:  Strange Journey.  I popped that game in for a few moments the other day, had my ass handed to me by some random pseudo boss fight that I died to last time and promptly remembered why I put it down in the first place.

So I'm at a bit of an impasse.  I have a choice between action, visual novel/mystery, and grind-happy RPGs.  While admittedly, the prospect of listening to this over and over again has me leaning towards Dragon Quest IX, I haven't made a definitive decision yet.  While David and my best friend, Nick, may help me come to a decision on this, if you have any suggestions, leave them in the comments.

Preferably before the Pub Polka theme sways me more than it already has.