Tag Archives: final fantasy

On the Subject of Final Fantasy… again.

My good friend Ricky is writing a series of posts about Final Fantasy. They’re really good ones, too. Coincidentally, I have just acquired Final Fantasy XIII by means of gift the other day. I put it in my Xbox and was immediately blown away by the awesome-looking intro cinematic.  I then started playing the game… and there was no prelude. That kind of put me off. There’s a victory fanfare after I win a battle, but it doesn’t have that familiar trumpet “da na na da na da na na!” Sure, there’s a Frocobo, but a Final Fantasy without a prelude? I’m not sure if I know this game anymore. They still know how to push the right buttons, though – the first enemy you fight is a Warmech.

I love the auto battling and command queuing and all of those other changes. But if you went straight from any of the origins of the Final Fantasy series to this, you would probably be scratching your head a bit. Yes, twenty some-odd years of game design and evolution changes the game a bit, and I wonder if it’s left me behind. Does this mean I’m getting old? Do those kids need to get off my lawn? Even then, the vast majority of people involved in making Final Fantasy “back then” has moved on to other companies and projects. Is it still Final Fantasy when the guys who conceived and built it aren’t doing it anymore?

The answer is obviously yes, as Final Fantasy’s spirit has grown beyond that of its original creators. It’s now a living, changing thing; a universe that could be built upon by those willing to take up its mantle. Disregarding the fact that the game is essentially a license to print money, the series continues on mainly as a way to push boundaries in gaming. It’s come a long way since being a rip of Dungeons and Dragons.

Leave a comment

Filed under Video Games

Late to the Party

I will play Final Fantasy XIII about a month later than everybody else. I am okay with this. Namely, it gives people who find all of the secrets time to do that, just in case if I have trouble or something. To be honest, though, I need to be in the right kind of mood to play Final Fantasy. Birthdays are that kind of mood. I spent many a birthday playing Final Fantasies of past. It feels right that it should be around that time again.

Final Fantasy II (as in, SNES II) was released on Virtual Console last week. I’ve been debating on whether or not to buy it. It wasn’t my first RPG; the honor of that goes to the first Dragon Warrior. Nevertheless, it was the first fairly deep RPG I played, and it was right about the age that I could make sense of it at ten or eleven years old. I already own three other copies of the game, including the original cartridge (which I can’t play due to lack of SNES). I’ve played this game so many times that I’m not sure I could play it again… especially after playing the DS remake.

However, the original SNES version just has so many memories in it. Nostalgia is clouding my judgment. It has a ton of terrible translation mistakes, the game had a ton of stuff ripped out compared to its original release, and yet… it was still really fun. Plus, I’d like to play it in progressive scan on my nice, big TV. For years I played that game on the SNES on a very small TV of dubious quality. Being able to play it on my own big TV would be pretty nice. Plus, Square can’t help but to separate me from my money. They always seem to have a way of doing that.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

FF:CC: The Crystal Bearers

This game was not what I was expecting. I was expecting it to be, you know, good. Now, to be fair, I didn’t play the first Crystal Chronicles, so I was coming into this fresh. However, the first fifteen minutes of this game does not engender a lot of fun. It opens up with you flying through midair and shooting at flying dragon thingies, like a shooter. Not much like Final Fantasy. OK, whatever, I like shooting things. I can deal with that. Next, you fall on an airship and you have to try to fly it through a narrow, twisty canyon. This airship has the aerobatic capabilities of an anvil with a balloon attached. It’s fucking terrible. TURN WHEN I TURN THE GODDAMN WHEEL!

Then, after that harrowing experience, you wind up in town. Except nobody can talk. I pressed every button on the goddamn controller. All I could do was throw them around. Yes, I was running around throwing helpless women and children against floors and walls, and they didn’t seem to care. I could get on a train and manipulate the controls, giving me a reward while at the same time admonishing me for touching the controls. What?

Once you arrive from the train, you finally have someone to talk to – a moogle. He says one thing and then goes away, leaving me in a town of mutes once again. Then this dumb-ass girl with a ferret comes by and steals something from me, and I have to try to get it back. Except IT IS A GODDAMN PAIN IN THE ASS. See, you have to aim the cursor using the Wiimote at the target and hold down the B button for a determined period of time before you get a “lock.” This little ferret has such a small target and he kept running into other things that I kept grabbing on to stuff I didn’t want to. Worst of all, you have to repeat this SEVERAL TIMES and the fucker barely sits still. Jesus christ!

Finally, after all that is done, we’ve apparently pissed off the local army, and they decide to come fight us. Great! I’m ready for some fighting action. Except… we’re not really fighting them. We’re running away on a carriage, see. You’re stuck in the back of the carriage and need to dispatch the chocobo cavaliers by grabbing them with your magic powers and throwing them. This would be fine except IT’S RIDICULOUS. There’s a delay where you have to have them targeted for a second or so before you can actually grab them. The problem is that the targets are just not large enough. You have to be precisely on them, or it doesn’t count. There’s no “grab circle” that’s around them, for instance, and when you lock on if your cursor goes off even a pixel you lose the lock on. This is so frustrating that I wanted to throw the game into a wood chipper. The elevation changes and twists made it nearly impossible to grab the baddies with any consistency.

After getting through this Hellish nightmare, I wound up in a cave with annoying girl from the intro again. She’s kinda cute but quite irritating, as most early young Final Fantasy females are these days. In the cave, there’s some baddies. Cool, let’s fight them… except fighting consists of “grabbing rocks with poor controls and throwing them at the baddies.” Without a good freelook implementation, this was an excercise in frustration, and that’s where I called it quits. I very rarely have “Fuck this game” moments, but this was one of them. Perhaps it’s expectations, but I was expecting FINAL FANTASY and the tropes that go along with it, not this nonsense.  It needed to give you more “help” with the cursor for grabbing things, like the new Bionic Commando did. That game had a lot of throwing/punching of various objects in your immediate vicinity and it was really quite easy to do thanks to its helpful lock on system. This… this was just frustrating because it was too precise and the freelook controls were just not all that good.

In short, fuck this game and the Gamefly wrapper it rode in on.

Leave a comment

Filed under Video Games