Archive for July, 2017

Goodbye, All: Final Fantasy XII

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Games with tags , on July 11, 2017 by slateman

I never could put my finger on just why I never completed FFXII. While I haven’t finished any Final Fantasy game after the illustrious FFVII, I quite enjoyed both IX and XII. VII and XIII didn’t interest me, XI and XIV required an online dedication and XV just didn’t sway me with bros and a car, despite its generally-favorable reviews. Oh, and X – I don’t know why I didn’t finish that either. It was enjoyable the two-dozen hours I put into it.

I digress in a bevy of Roman numerals. FFXII had just a different feel to it; its gameplay was a stark departure, its return to Ivalice from the awesome FFT was a rare revisit of an old theme and the artstyle remains one of my favorites in all of gaming (alongside FFIX’s!). But the reason only just became clear to me: children. I got married in January of 2006 and it’s hard to believe I moved to Maine when the PS2 was still the latest and the greatest. (I don’t care that the 360 came out a few months prior.). As much as I liked the twelfth numbered installment, I never gave it enough time. And as literally every other main entry was made playable on current systems, I just waited for #12 to arrive. As the last of the older titles, it finally has and I’m drawn in again by that gameplay and artstyle. If it is as good as they say, and as my memory tells me, I might be MIA for a while. Perhaps that God Of War: Ghost Of Sparta playthrough may have to wait a little bit!!!

God Of War: Chains Of Olympus – Impressive

Posted in Best / Worst, Games with tags on July 10, 2017 by slateman

It’s been over a year since I revisited the God Of War series. I played through the remasters of all three games and was impressed at the storyline, the gameplay and most of all, the anger. Just after, I began playing Ascension but lost interest as the story was just nonsense and the anger was been-there, done-that.

As the new title approaches, I find myself intrigued at the possibilities. It could be good! Combining the classic Kratos with a new tone, setting and scenario is really the only way to reboot the series IMO. The brutality of GOW III was about as far as a game could convey anger. But while the trilogy is done and over, I’ve only ever tinkered with the handheld adventures. The remastered PS3 versions were on sale this past week: both for $2. A buck per game? Let’s do this.

Tossing Chains Of Olympus on Spartan difficulty (hard mode), I went through a game that was very clearly designed for handhelds. Environments were reused and cut-scenes were particularly ugly. However, the gameplay was, for the most part, solid and the entire experience was rather pleasant. Barring some middle segments that dragged as you ran loops through areas and and end-game portion that felt like wave after wave of enemies – the overall game was quite good. The most noteworthy area lied in the later story. Spoilers incoming. The tale itself just seemed an excuse for another game, but Kratos’ plight towards the end regarding his daughter was notably mature. The choice between her and humanity was unfair and it gave depth to the fires that fueled the epic finale of the series.

Now with the first game out of the way, it’s time to start up the sequel which, I’ve heard, is even better. Not sure if I’ll try this one on Spartan difficulty or not!