I've always thought I could enjoy any game so long as it was a feast of sight and sound, not frustratingly difficult, and filled with enough diverting gameplay to keep my mind off the responsibilties of day-to-day existence. I'm also a fan of the production values and atmosphere of console role-playing games (RPGs) in general and the Final Fantasy series especially. So when Final Fantasy IX was released, I was sure I was going to love it.
Game Description: Dark times have spread over the world of Gaia. Four separate governing nations, some blinded by their short-sighted greed, some persevering in the name of justice, are battling on and off in a deadly game for power. One kingdom, that of Lindblum, headed by the honorable and trustworthy Regent Cid, finally decides to take a stand against the unspeakable massacres by the troops of Alexandria. Enlisting the aid of mere bandits to kidnap Princess Garnet of the Alexandria Empire, for information and interrogation, Garnet and her bodyguard actually join Cid's cause, knowing full well the outlandish recklessness of the governing Queen, who counterattacks with an onslaught of warriors. Thus begins a crossfire that would engulf the world in something far worse than political standoffs. Out of the band of thieves, one boy along with his entourage must battle his way through several awe-inspiring challenges to restore order and peace.
There have been "Big Robot" games available as long as there have been consoles, but we've had a real bumper crop this year. I'm certainly not complaining, but the games in this genre typically share a number of traits, and with so many released in such a short time, it only magnifies their similarities. Don't get me wrong; I'm definitely a fan, but a greater amount of variety and divergence is needed.
When referring to an 'RPG'-style videogame, the game in question is usually a game made in Japan for consoles. The structure of the game is generally that of a group of adventurers traveling through lands, killing monsters and collecting treasure using largely non-reaction based gameplay while an epic story unfolds. Unlike the pen-and-paper Role Playing Games that the genre is named for, videogame RPGs are generally fairly linear in the sense of plot, with the player having little or no control over the actions of the characters.
Game Description: This is the story of Sora, a 14-year-old boy whose world is shattered. When a violent storm hits his island-paradise home, he is separated from his two best friends and goes to look for them. Meanwhile, King Mickey is missing from Disney Castle and Captain Goofy and the court wizard Donald are off to search for him. When Sora, Donald and Goofy meet, they hear about the Heartless: Strange and powerful creatures who caused the terrible storm and kidnapped King Mickey. They'll work together to help each other meet their goals - and have an incredible adventure as they go!
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