Archive for March, 2010

The Nightmare’s Beginning

March 29, 2010 - 5:53 am 2 Comments

If you couldn’t tell from my post about Final Fantasy XIII, you should know that I’m a huge fan of the Final Fantasy game series. But more accurately, I’m really mostly a fan of Final Fantasy VII. My mother bought me the game at the impressionable age of ten (the PC version, how tragic, and also, big mistake Mother) and since then I have logged over 1300 hours on it, bought two different versions of it for PlayStation, own Advent Children, Dirge of Cerberus, the four CD soundtrack, a Vincent Valentine action figure, a Shin-Ra suit, a Buster Sword (no, really, a real buster sword) the official sheet music book, and a deep and spiteful hatred of Yuffie and an abiding love of Roman numerals. Not to mention I actually lost my voice – completely lost – from screaming so emphatically at Video Games Live when they played One Winged Angel as an encore.

Now, I was surfing the internet, as one with the internet is wont to do, and it struck me that I couldn’t remember the exact year that Final Fantasy VII had come out (I was feeling old, what with there now being THIRTEEN of them, and that’s if you don’t count sequels and games like Kingdom Hearts), so I popped on over to good ol’ Wikipedia to check and see. After discovering the North American PC release (June 24, 1998, the day my life was over), I scrolled through the body of the text, where I saw a little paragraph about the PlayStation III remake of Final Fantasy VII that never was.

Whence I came upon this:

In March 2010, Square Enix CEO Yoichi Wada stated that they’ll be exploring the possibility of a remake.

If you couldn’t hear that, that was the sound of my fragile heart skipping a beat, my muscles locking, and my bank account groaning, because, well, I don’t OWN a PlayStation III.

And now I have to.

Yes, yes, I know, I know, before we get all up in arms I realize that this is Wikipedia and it did cross my mind that some desperate hopeful like me who based their entire mistrust of the oil industry on the allegory of Mako long before not trusting the oil industry was cool had put that there in the hopes that text on a page would make it true, and then I realized that there was a source. A VALID source, at that. That source being this link to Kotaku. Now, I’ll save you the trouble of reading the link and therefore the idiotic comments by informing you of this second heart-crushing caveat myself: Motomu Toriyama wants to direct this prospective remake.

He directed Final Fantasy XIII.

And it sucked.

In fact, it was like a cheap rip-off of Final Fantasy VII, at least loosely plot-wise, with way too many and far less interesting characters, and, oh, no Vincent Valentine. And Cloud was a broad.

Now, if they get Nobuo Uematsu on board for this one, I’ll probably buy the damned game just for the soundtrack just like I mostly bought Advent Children to see all my favorite characters in a higher resolution, oh, and, Steve Blum (who voiced Vincent and also has done such amazing work as Spike Spiegel from Cowboy Bebop. That man has sooooo much of my money). I’m hoping that the sheer awesomitude of Final Fantasy VII in and of itself will carry this through to being realized and at the same time not sucking. Are my hopes a little more dampened than they were when this dream remake was itself just a fantasy? Perhaps. But knowing that a huge part of my childhood is important to enough people that 12 years later, they’re still continuing, revising, and honoring this story?

It kind of kicks ass.

I promised I wouldn’t turn this into a wedding blog…

March 15, 2010 - 2:43 pm No Comments

…and I meant it.

So what I did was set up a wedding blog. :p

Head on over to http://paperclippeandcapy.tumblr.com (or get there via the new link in my links list) and check out my (sparse) plans, or, if you really want to make me happy, submit a post!

Short and sweet.

TWO HOURS IN – initial impressions of Final Fantasy XIII

March 10, 2010 - 1:32 pm No Comments

1. At first, I really didn’t like the battle system; I thought it had too many frills that it didn’t need and was going the way of FFXII: “Wait… I have to what? But… aren’t YOU the game? Isn’t this YOUR job?” But the minute I saw the “Items are a free action” tutorial, my whole view of it changed. Maybe it’s because I’ve always been like, “Hey, I’ve got two to three people SITTIN’ ON THEIR HANDS RIGHT NOW, THROW ME A FUCKING PHOENIX DOWN, WOULD YOU?” and now they will, but it’s more than that. It really simplifies the whole system and takes it about as far away from FFXII as it seems to want to get. And the chain attack feature is pretty nifty too: “What’s that? I can hit more than one dude because I have two guns? Wait – I have two guns? I’M IN.”

Battle system: ****

2. I really don’t need to say this, do I? It’s shiny. It’s full of bloom. It’s lush. People’s hands look like they’re actually holding onto things. Eyes don’t look flat. It’s a goddamned work of art.

Graphics: *****

3. You know, it’s a Final Fantasy game. In two hours, you know about as much of the plot as you do for the first two season of Lost. I’m hesitant to even grade this, but because it really is original and kind of strange, I think I could get into it.

Plot: ****

And then it goes to hell.

4. YOU WOULD THINK FOR A FRANCHISE THAT HAS MORE MONEY THAN A SMALL NATION THEY COULD AT LEAST HIRE HALF-DECENT VOICE ACTORS. It really takes away from the character development and some of them border on plain irritating. I don’t expect MUCH character development in two hours, but there was really none. At all. It might be because you had to switch from person to person so many times that you could never really get attached but that’s another beef I’ll get to in a moment.

Voice acting/character development: **

5. The. Music. Sucks. There might as well be no goddamned music. In fact, I would PREFER there to be no music over this boring, half-hearted Phantasy Star Online lobby fish bowl attempt at ambient soundscapes. There is absolutely nothing compelling about the soundtrack at all. The opening sequence was the opposite of gripping. And in a Final Fantasy game, I hate to say it, but (at least to me) that’s the death rattle.

Music:

That’s right. No fucking stars. None.

6. Between the switching, the boring characters, the boring music, and the fact that the whole game rests on a plot which I still haven’t gleaned so I can’t even really consider it, the presentation of the game is… really quite average. Lost Odyssey, the Final Fantasy that wasn’t, had a better overall opening experience than this. The use of jumping from this guy to that guy to this guy again to keep the plot moving and eventually get all of your characters together is fanfiction-y at best. It smacks of, “And then – and then! …AND THEN!,” and is a plot device I can’t get behind. Other than holding out for a hope, I’m really finding it hard to get into this game, maybe even harder than pausing to make graphs to assemble my move set in FFXII each time I acquired a new character made it.

Overall initial presentation: ***

Will I keep playing? Yes. With baited breath? Ennnhhh…

On a scale of VII to X2, I give it Kingdom Hearts 2: I’ll keep playing because I’m familiar with it, not because it’s really any good.