Archive for the ‘Final Fantasy’ category

Keeping myself busy during the pre-launch slump.

June 10, 2010

I’ve gone as far as deactivating my account. The new dungeon holds no interest for me so I don’t see the need for paying a subscription for a game that I’ll only play again in a few months. This means I’ve had to find alternative distractions since even alting is off-limits to me now.

So what can one do once the shakes from withdrawal settles down? Well I’ve been splitting my time between PC games and my XBox, with the XBox getting a bit more attention than normal.

My XBox lineup:

  • #1: Forza 3: I’ve gone back to this game to get my driver level 50 and R1 WorldChampionship complete. Currently lvl 49 and 3 races into the last championship.
  • #2: Red Dead Redemption: Probably the best non-MMO I’ve played in years. I’m taking my sweet time with it and won’t be rushed to the end before I have all the sub-quests completed.
  • #3: Final Fantasy XIII: Not as fun as the old VI and VII Playstation versions, but still good enough to give a play through. Could have done with less cutscene and more customisation.

My PC lineup: (in no particular order)

  • Runescape: Started this last night. It’s a bit laggy on my slow dsl line, but playable and seems to have a lot of character growth available. I’ll be giving this a fair chance over the next few weeks.
  • Hydorah: Awesome side-scrolling spaceship game done in true 8-bit style with tons of powerups and shields. Great fun. Also have a look at the developer’s other 8-bit adventures. (Edit: site seems to be down at the moment)
  • Flash games: There’s tons of them all over the web but the one that got my attention the most in the last week was Wallace and Gromit’s Sprocket Rocket. Give it a try, it’s worth it. Another is a racing management sim called Formulawan. Originally a french game, they’ve been working hard to convert it and improve on some areas.
  • Torn City: It’s a text-based online RPG where the aim is to commit crimes, mug, steal, etc to get ahead. I’ve been playing this one for almost a year and it’s proven to be addictive and fun, but not a timesink.

There’s a few other distractions, but these are the top ones at the moment. Oh, and a few web-comics that I’ll go over some other time. A special mention should probably go out to Plants vs. Zombies though, always a good fall-back game.

What games do you play when you’re bored with WoW? Comments appreciated.

Man down.

April 29, 2010

Day 5 of the WoW drought.
Home internet status still down.
ReasonUndersea line maintenance, ISP screwups, DNS errors, me hitting my router with an axe.

It’s gone all pear-shaped here at mission control. My fingers instinctively curl into the wasd-position every time I get close to a keyboard. My thumb searches for the autorun button on the side of my mouse. The problem is that mission control is not my trusty comfy chair at home but rather my “ergonomic” (read: back-breaking) chair at my desk at work. I try to cram as much personal internet time (my various browser games, guild forum maintenance, personal mail, etc) in without drawing attention to myself but it’s just not enough.

At night I get home, sit at my desk, fire up my pc and stare at the Chrome icon on my desktop. I even catch myself clicking it, launching a string of my favourite sites and then staring at dismay at the “Page cannot be displayed” messages. I have the good sense not to even glance at the WoW icon… I just can’t take the disappointment.

So I’m bored beyond belief, what to do? Oh wait, I have an Xbox gathering dust in the corner. And didn’t my brother’s girlfriend buy him Final Fantasy XIII? Time to find my controller and get playing!

First Impressions:

Stunning graphics as what the FF saga knows best.

Wow…  just wow. I haven’t played a FF title since 6 or 7 on the original playstation and even back then it was groundbreaking. But now it looks a thousand times more awesome. I do the first “big” fight. Fairly easy stuff but I’m still in the learning curve right? More pretty stuff fly past. I find a save point with the most useless shop ever attached (it does improve eventually though). Some more cutscenes and pretty stuff.

A few hours later:

Ok, it’s day 3 of playing Final Fantasy XIII and I’ve progressed a fair amount. At first the combat system really irritated me. I mean why even give you the option of fighting if the only thing you ever do is select the autocombat option? Combine that with the fact that the only combat/action sequences are broken up by cutscenes lasting 15 times your playtime and you start getting the feeling that they might as well have made it a movie and saved you from having to push the green button every few minutes.

Soon however things started changing. Suddenly your characters gain roles, either forming the tank/dps/heal trinity, a full nuke squad or whatever you choose in between. They also start gaining the immense powers as shown in the previous titles. Much of the combat is still automatic but you start feeling like you’re a bit more in control. I did prefer the old turn-based style of the older titles but the newer system started growing on me. Different paths start opening up on the scenes where you control your character movement too. The “talent tree” is as close to pointless as one can get though. Your options are so limited compared to normal RPGs and you feel that an auto-advancing system would have saved more time. Gear upgrades are limiting as well and I’ve yet to find a use for the trash you pick up from mobs.

Final thoughts:

I’m a fan of the genre, I really am. I enjoyed the ones I played ages ago and still boot up the occasional FF2/3/4 on an emulator now and then. This one however left me doubting after the first hour though. My interaction with the game felt more like an afterthought than actually playing. As the hours stacked up it just got better and better. I don’t mind the cutscenes wasting all that time as much anymore. I can live with the combat system and am actually starting to find it exciting. So in the end I do approve of the game. For a fan of the series/genre it’s a must. For a newcomer it offers something unique and captivating… if you stick through the boring bits in the beginning.

.

..

I still miss WoW though.