Aw yee, another one down. I remember this was the first game I ever played on my GBA back in the day. I remember being amazed at the graphics and how good they looked for a handheld, my how times change eh? That’s not to say it looks bad now, dated obviously but it has it’s style and it still holds up well, both aesthetically and mechanically, not to mention the soundtrack makes great use of the GBA hardware and compliments the game really nicely.
It doesn’t have the same depth as FF:Tactics has and the story takes a much more simplistic approach to things but it’s still a great game, just not quite on par with it’s predecessor. There’s certainly a lot to do, although the story itself isn’t particularly long, there’s 300 missions overall plus an additional 10 when you’ve finished all those. As i’ve been trying to do with all games in the challenge I made a point to finish them all and acquire all hidden characters, clocking in at 92hrs 23mins. So yeah, not a short game by any means if you are the completionist sort. I didn’t go out of my way to acquire all equipment and max every class however but that probably would have been a little overkill.
I still can’t decide how I feel about the whole ‘law’ system. On the one hand it was often annoying and restricting. On the other it added a new dynamic to the game and meant there was cause for variation in your party and formations in any given battle. I guess as a one off thing I’m glad it’s there, to give it a little something different from similar type games. Will be interesting to find out if they kept it for TA2. Before that though, I plan to finish XII as according to the internet that is the next game chronologically in terms of the timespan of Ivalice, the world in which all the games take place. Only 6 more games to go! (If you include XV which will no doubt be out by the time I finish all the others)
Another step forward has been made in my seemingly never ending quest to finish every (main) Final Fantasy game. I actually finished X-2 a few weeks back (I’m more than half way through Tactics Advance right now) but I was just so done with it at that point it’s taken me till now to actually write this. Much like X the side-quest content really destroyed my will to live while playing this, mainly the Via Infinito dungeon (aka 100 floors of monotony and punishment) and the fact I kept getting trolled by the boss(es) at the end of it. No, not Trema, Trema was dead on the second attempt, it was fucking Paragon, the seemingly easy part. EVERY TIME that prick would fuck me with Genesis right at the start of the battle. I was seriously loosing my rag (one thing I will say is that the old dual shock controllers sure are sturdy) but eventually it decided to give me a fucking break or two. Also the fact there are so many tiny little things that have to be done to get 100% meant I was forever reading a guide, making sure I did this that and the next thing and having to make sure my save game percentage matched up with that of the guide, which is pretty annoying since the guide works in decimals which the game itself doesn’t display. In the end though, I prevailed.
Minus the points above and how incredibly camp the whole thing is, X-2 is actually a pretty good game, much better than I was expecting anyway. The dresspheres and garment grids, as gay as they sound, turned out to be a pretty great system as a ‘modern’ take on the classic job system of older games and the ability to switch between them mid battle could possibly have provided some inspiration for FFXIII’s paradigm shifts (Not that there was anything inspirational about that game itself). The dialogue is as cheesy as the game itself at times and I couldn’t help but feel like an 11 year old girl at times while playing but I guess that’s part of the charm? The soundtrack, while not bad by normal game standards, was pretty weak for a Final Fantasy title and if I remember correctly fairly repetitive at points. I did like the fact you start aboard your airship and are given free reign to go where you please which is probably quite a refreshing change when it comes to RPG’s which typically shovel you down a set path and narrative for large parts of the game. Not that I got to experience this for myself however since I was shackled by the instruction of the guide I was following for that 100%. In a way I regret not just playing it for myself first but too late for that now.
With all that being said however, I’m not really convinced this game should exist. While I enjoyed it for what it was, it doesn’t really do much to progress the story of the original and it changes so much in terms of the tone and mechanics that I’m just not sure there’s really a need for it. Then again it seems kind of contradictory for my to say I enjoy a game and then state it shouldn’t exist. Now i’m just confusing myself. Maybe I shouldn’t have left so long between finishing it and writing up about it. What am I even talking about? I think I should stop now.
Like I said I’m already a good way through FF:TA so hopefully I’ll have that over and done with in the not so distant future. I forgot how annoying the laws can be but I’m having a good time with it so far. I haven’t been following a guide besides taking note of how to get the hidden characters though so hopefully there are no missables in terms of missions and I don’t screw myself out of being able to finish them all.
I had what I thought was a weird dream the other night, then I came to realise it actually made perfect sense.
I discovered I was actually dead, but it wasn’t just me, actually a lot of people are dead and they don’t even realise it. After coming to terms with this I go about convincing my fellow deceased. The thing about being dead (In my dream that is) is that people you know, friends, family, people you’ve met, they can still see you, still talk to you. People you’ve never met or barely know though are completely oblivious to your presence, they can’t see or hear you at all. The dream ended with us on a hill. We were trying to scorch the earth or something, burn a message into the hillside with the theory that somehow the living people would be able to see it, to let them know we’re still alive, well not alive but around at least.
Then I woke up, who knows if it worked. Strange I thought. Then I realised I basically am all the dead people, and the fact they could still talk to people they know but not strangers represents my inability to communicate with people I’m not familiar with. Basically I started college a month ago and am too much of a mong to actually talk to people like a normal person and my brain has decided to manifest this in dream form because living it is apparently not awkward enough.
Even when they’re delivering shitty realisations or reminding you what a social retard you are, dreams are still pretty cool.
So I head down to Tesco to do some shopping when one of the little bastards shits right on my head just outside Kitty’s. So I go in, wash it off, get my shopping and then on the way back up the road, in almost the exact same spot, I get stopped in my tracks by a scavanger of a different sort, asking for money. Normally I at least listen to their little sob stories before I deliver the heartbreaking news that <lie>I don’t have any change</lie>, sorry pal, but this guy just went on and on. He got beat up, they stole his stuff, he can’t get in the flat to get it back, needs to get a bus to Leven to see his mum and dad but his cars broken down, etc. etc. I try to back away slowly but he just moves in even closer each time. It’s like he took every story from the junkie handbook and fused them all into one. I mean I’m not exactly a busy man but even I don’t have time for this endless tale of woe. It’s no wonder I hardly leave the house.
I'm not intending to be mean or anything, but you should know that 'Phantoms' was composed by Junya Nakano, not Nobuo Uematsu. I'm just weirdly anal about crediting and stuff, sorry. -_-
Ahah no harm done, I’m actually glad you said, I’m kind of the same way. I didn’t realise anyone other than Nobuo had worked on the soundtrack but turns out half the tracks are the work of other composers. My bad, fixed now =)
"It’s been… long enough. This... is your world now."
You’re fucking right it’s been long enough. I’ve faced a lot of difficulties in my life, but I think slogging it out to complete FFX is the closest I’ve come to wanting to hang myself. Not that I didn’t enjoy the game itself, but man, the amount of time and repeatitive gameplay it took completing all those side quests and optional bosses, it was destroying my will to live. Still, I was determined to finish this game as I had all the others and so I soldiered on. Today, victory was mine. I’ll admit I took the cheap route when it came to the Dark Magus Sisters and Penance. When I found out I would be required to spend even more time duking it out in the monster arena to have a chance of beating them I just said fuck it and threw every penny I had at Yojimbo to Zanmato the fuck out of them. Still, a victory’s a victory, right?
While I did enjoy the game overall, I did have some issues with it. First of all, out of all the Final Fantasy’s I’ve played in the challenge so far, Tidus is by far the worst protagonist. What an annoying, whiney little cunt. He becomes a lot more bearable as the game goes on but I still can’t bring myself to like him (My friend assures me XII’s is even worse so i’ll look forward to that one…). Can’t say I cared much of Wakka’s ultra religious, conservative attitude either as it’s a little too relatable. Auron was def my fave, I mean come on, the man’s a badass.
Another thing I had an issue with was the AP system. I liked the sphere grid but the fact that I have to have everyone involved in a battle to get AP was pretty annoying at times. Oh look, here’s an enemy I can kill in one hit, but I have to waste seven turns so everyone can get some AP before I can kill it.
Blitzballing for Wakka’s celestial weapon. I hope X-2 doesn’t feature much because I’m all Blitzballed out.
That old FF trick of using the same enemy with a palette swap and beefed up stats so we don’t have to come up with more monsters also made a reappearance which was kind of disappointing.
There was no disappointment when it came to the soundtrack though. You always know the music will be superb with Nobuo Uematsu at the helm and with the help of Junya Nakano and Masashi Hamauzu this is one the best in the series, perhaps only topped by FFVII. Perhaps.
Like IX and X, FFX-2 is another game I started and never got round to finishing. I can’t really remember anything about it though other than the extreme Spice Girls vibe I got from the opening FMV and something about dress spheres. Think I’m going to leave it a few days before I start it though to recover from the draining experience of finishing X. Never again.
Peace is but a shadow of death, desperate to forget its painful past...
Another game down in the FF Challenge. I’d played IX before but never finished it so it was good to go back to it. I enjoyed it a lot more than I remembered when playing it before, but then again last time I played it I was still a kid and therefore stupid.
Naturally like all the others I went out of my way to do pretty much everything. I didn’t get Excalibur II because I actually wanted to play the game and enjoy it, not rush through it for 1 item. I also didn’t bother getting all cards etc. because let’s be serious, Tetra master is absolute balls. Loved Triple Triad, mainly because it involved skill not dice rolls. FFIX card game can be so bullshit sometimes (read: most of the time) and I just can’t be arsed with that. I did get all the chocographs and stuff, got all abilities for everyone, defeated Ozma, Hades, etc. etc.
I liked how the game explored the topics of existentialism, death and the meaning of our existence. I’m not so sure about the ending though but I enjoyed the game and it’s story overall. In terms of placing of the games I’ve played so far I’d say it’s probably tying with VIII right now behind VII and VI. The soundtrack is also one of the best in the series, Nobuo on form as always. I think Vivi had to be my favourite character, I mean who doesn’t love Vivi? Saying that I didn’t use him in my final party, I used Zidane, Eiko, Freya and Amarant for the final boss(es). It was pretty refreshing to have a protagonist like Zidane after playing VII and VIII. I think Kuja trumps even Kefka for most camp villain.
It dawned on me today I’ve been at this challenge to finish every Final Fantasy for 18 months now and I still have 7 games to go. I knew it would take a while but I guess I seriously under-estimated just how long. Not that it really matters, I’m not trying to rush through them just going at my own pace. The luxuries of being a bum. X is another game I played but never finished. It’s hard to say how far I got but I reckon I made it around half way through last time. Hopefully Tidus will be a lot less annoying than I remember.
My uncle died today. He’s been ill for a long time now so it wasn’t as much of a shock as you might imagine but still sad and unexpected all the same. I didn’t know him very well, only met the man a handful of times I was old enough to remember. What’s got me down more than anything is the fact my gran called earlier and I never answered. Because we live in the time of Facebook where everyones lives are pinned up for all to see I already knew why she was calling and I never bothered to pick up. I didn’t know what to say her. I’m so pathetic. She just lost her son, she’s recently been diagnosed with cancer, she lives 15 minutes walk from me and I never visit her all because I’m too much of a coward to even attempt a conversation with someone. She must think I’m such a cunt, that I don’t even care.
I care. I wish I could show people. Just two weeks ago I was having lunch with my mum and she asked me if I feel anything. Imagine being asked a question like that when you’re being eaten alive inside by every little thing. It wasn’t in a nasty way, it was concerned more than anything I guess. It was in reference to a previous point in my life where I announced and thus recieved help (of sorts) for depression without actually declaring I was depressed. She just wanted to know if I actually felt depressed, if I felt anything. I was, but I couldn’t tell her. I avoided it like every other time my own emotions or personal issues are brought up. I wish I could meet someone I could just open up to, if such a person actually exists, or am I doomed to carry this ever increasing weight upon my shoulders for the rest of days until I’m crushed beneath it. I notice I’m withdrawing from the world more and more as I rot away in here. I don’t know how to change.
Why am I awake? It’s slowly but surely driving me insane. It feels like I’m living every day twice. They pass slowly. They are empty and monotonous with no apparent end in sight. In a vain attempt to return to normality I force myself to stay awake. At 10:30pm I head to bed and drift off within minutes. I get a solid eight hours but it doesn’t refresh me. 10:30pm the following night should I not be tired? Then why am I still awake, 4am and counting.
What’s worse is how little it affects anything besides my sanity. I sleep through the day and it has no consequence. I have nothing to do and no-one to see. What a miserable existence.