As someone who spent many thousands of hours (and no, I'll not state the exact number here—it's been repeated enough times on the podcast already) with Final Fantasy XI, few folks were more excited than I when Square Enix surprised everyone at E3 a few years back with a trailer for Final Fantasy XIV. Longtime fans knew SE had been working on a new MMO for some time, but when the trailer debuted with Galkans, Tarus, and Elves, it was extra cool—if only because we were basically getting a high def sequel to FFXI.
Kingdom Hearts II is a really messed up game. It's got awful pacing, the grievous re-usage of almost all the content from the first game, and a narrative so incomprehensible it makes the Star Wars prequels look logical. Still, I'll be damned if I've ever seen a better JRPG combat system. It's like my good friend Tim Spaeth's irrational love of Too Human's combat, except mine is totally rational and sensible. The one area where Kingdom Hearts II really succeeded for me was with it's bosses, which I've mentioned before. It's got all shapes and sizes of boss, and it does them all extremely well.
At first, I held off writing this article because everyone was too busy talking about how Final Fantasy XIII is a terrible game, then it was because the game was "too old" to talk about. Fortunately, the recent release of Metroid: Other M has reignited conversation about the portrayal of women in games, and given me the perfect opportunity to get this article out of my mind and off of my back. This article does contain major spoilers.
We try our best to keep things positive, but Tim screws it up in the home stretch. The topic is "New RPG's We (Mostly) Love" and that means Dragon Quest IX, Etrian Odyssey III, Puzzle Quest 2, and DeathSpank. Guess which one we don't love! Plus we premiere a new segment: "Quote of the Week." With Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, and Tim "Spahnk" Spaeth.
Game Description: From the creative minds behind FINAL FANTASY VII and FINAL FANTASY X comes the latest installment in the critically acclaimed series. As FINAL FANTASY VII was for PlayStation, and FINAL FANTASY X for PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system, FINAL FANTASY XIII will be the first numbered FINAL FANTASY title for the PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system and Xbox 360, and will look to once again reestablish the series as the RPG brand. Players will follow Lightning, Snow, and the other heroes who are dealt a hand of fate by the god-like fal'Cie. Cursed and regarded as enemies of society, they have the world against them and nobody to rely on but each other. Will they find the strength within themselves to break free of their curse and determine their own fates, or will they succumb to this higher power? With a story that is sure to connect with players' hearts, diverse new characters from world-renowned creator and character designer Tetsuya Nomura, and exciting new gameplay features centered around an evolved Active Time Battle system, FINAL FANTASY XIII will be the pinnacle in gaming experiences.
Did you miss us? We missed you. After a tearful reunion, Brad tells us about his trip to see Lost Planet 2, Mike offers his unique take on Final Fantasy XIII (finally!), and we examine the challenges faced by decades-old franchises. With Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, Tim Spaeth, and Tingle.
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