After the madness of the fourth quarter, I have a lull in the review schedule right now. It's nice to not be reviewing something for a change, so I'm plowing ahead with Final Fantasy XII. I'm about fifteen-ish hours into the adventure and still loving it. Loving it a heck of a lot more than I expected, actually.
It's that time of year again. A heartfelt Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays to anyone and everyone who takes the time to read my ramblings. I'm looking forward to a new year that will be better than the last, and I hope the same is true for you as well—and again, thanks for coming by.
(…And by the way, is it just me or does it feel completely bizarre to even imagine writing "2010" in any context other than a futuristic science fiction story?)
I've been spending the last few days hopping back and forth between tons of different games, not settling on any one for long. Brace for impact.
It's not a good sign when a 2008 release date, slips to 2009 and now 2010. Making things worse is the exclusivity deal Square-Enix struck with Microsoft—FFXIII would be released simultaneously on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 outside of Japan—Square-Enix has announced that development wouldn't even begin on the 360 version until the PS3 version was finished. How much does that add to development time?
Putting aside all concerns of characterization and storytelling for the moment, as far as I'm concerned, Crisis Core is a complete failure in terms of mechanics and gameplay. There's no arguing that it's probably the most beautiful PSP game produced thus far, easily eclipsing the vast majority of PS2 games when it comes to visual sweetness, but once the sugar high wears off, it's hard to ignore the repetitive combat and absurd design choices that keep it from being anything but fanservice piffle.
Game Description: Seven years prior to the events of FINAL FANTASY VII—The Shinra Company is rapidly increasing its influence through its monopoly on mako energy and military might. With the burgeoning city of Midgar as its base and symbol of prosperity, Shinra is on the verge of establishing absolute dominance over the world. SOLDIER is a group of skilled combat operatives within Shinra. The elite within the group—those strong enough to be deemed SOLDIER 1st Class—are respected and idolized by the citizenry. Zack is a young SOLDIER 2nd Class who aspires to become a 1st. He spends his days carrying out assignments under the guidance of his 1st Class mentor, Angeal. During an operation in Wutai, a large number of SOLDIER members, led by 1st Class operative Genesis, go missing. The severity of the situation prompts Shinra executives to deploy even more SOLDIER operatives in hopes of bringing an end to the war with Wutai—and conducting an investigation into the mass desertion. The ones assigned to the mission are Zack, Angeal, and the 1st Class hero who is known the world over as Sephiroth... What truths lie behind Genesis's disappearance? What secrets bind the three SOLDIER 1st Class operatives? For Zack, a cruel and fateful struggle awaits...
Game Description: The only Final Fantasy that was never localized in the United States, Final Fantasy III has been reborn, incorporating the latest in portable gaming technology. Using the features of the Nintendo DS to their fullest, Final Fantasy III features graphics that have been reworked and remodelled in 3D, while maintaining the mythical Final Fantasy look and feel. This is the fans' chance to complete the circle. The legend of Final Fantasy III is reborn.
Despite my love of role-playing games (RPGs), I haven't spent much time with the Final Fantasies. (In fact, most of what I've learned about their universes and characters is via the Kingdom Hearts series). Be that as it may, Final Fantasy III hasn't kindled any deep passion for the series. Like a one-night-stand it was fun while it lasted, but it doesn't leave me wanting more.
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