Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Final Fantasy XIII... Still

Hi all

Still playing FFXIII (though don't tell anyone but I played 3 rental games - Infamous, Prototype & Darkvoid - to test them out for possible purchase).

I've just spent an accumulated 2 hours trying to beat the final Eidolon (Vanille's) and thought it my civil duty to say...

GAWDAMN! That was tough!

I've not CP farmed a lot in Chapter 11 (I have study to do, and as aforementioned it is almost impossible to decide which massive odds to stack myself against) and so I am now thankful for the liniar path laid out ahead of me. I will come back to this pit of death after story completion!

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Final Fantasy XIII Liniarity...

I've just made it to Chapter 11 of FF13 and for the first time in the game I'm a little at a loss. Up to this point I have approached every battle... even when odds are against me and got to where I am.

Now I am at a loss as to which creatures to actually battle, because some of them (Behemoths) can fell me in one move!

People have been harking on about how the liniarity was annoying but as it stands at the moment I am feeling like you are quite literally thrown from liniarity into a massive sandbox full of battles of which many I will have to come back to.

I've become a trophy whore for this game and will end  up with Platinum in the end but for now I will continue with the story and  save my "exploration" for the post final boss opportunity (which I spoiled for myself by reading a trophy guide... damn!)

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Gaming Characters - A Race to The Finish Line

Currently it's still FFXIII in the PS3, and there is many a comment banded about the interweb about the likeability (or annoyance) of the characters... with the consensus being that...
Snow can't stop with the word Hero which makes him sound arrogant
Lighting is as emotional as a block of cheese
Hope is a whiney emo kid
Vanille is like dragging your fingers done a chalkboard made of sugar

It got me thinking about the longevity of any character in any game. Final Fantasy is well known for not having "sequals" with each new incarnation placing you in a new setting. This hasn't however stopped the cast of FFVII being some of the best known characters in gaming history with only one adventure together. So much so that a CGI film brings them back together to round off the story, and several spin offs were made years after its success.

Mario and Sonic on the other hand... starting way back when I still had an awful 1980's child haircut... have had more outings than all the Ashes series in that same time. The games were all okay back then, as there wasn't such a huge expectation for epic scenery and challenging boss fights... hell there wasn't really a story until Sonic 3 came along and had side scrolling equivelants to cut scenes.

These characters have long term staying power but it sems that they don't feel the need anymore to work for that status. Lara Croft is not far behind - I am sure the only reason that she has stayed so long is that the game playing populus a predominantly men. Uncharted may be "better" according to some reviews but men have got used to pushing Lara's buttons.

The latest characters are joining a Marathon in its closing stages... Sackboy form LittleBigPlanet is endearing but will he be remembered in 2 decades time as Sonic has been? Will Sonic still be with us then  or will his big red running shoes have been hung up? Now that games are getting BAFTA awards it has made the expereince of gaming more than just a button bash or a mouse click. We are invited to become emotionally invested in storylines, characters plights, scenery and more.

The characters in FFXIII may seem annoying to some but to me they don't need to be long term companions. We probably won't see them again, and once I am done with the 60+ hours of questing I probably wont go for a second playthrough. So long as my attention is held throughout the game it's all fine with me.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Asssassins Creed 2 broke my vow of gaming monogomy

I'm sure that I polluted my mind by writing it but last night I cheated on Final Fantasy XIII in order to 100% Assassins Creed 2.

Now just another 23 "uncompleted" games to do...

- GTA IV has a completed story but not exploration
- Burnout Paradise had to be re-completed for trophies - thus I don't have 100% cars yet (and wont for a while)
- Fallout 3 is "complete" so far as all DLC and trophied quests but I still have to replay for karma based trophies

So that makes 20 games to "complete" out of 23 "uncompleted" experiences.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Final Fantasy XIII

Who would have thought that I could keep my attention towards such an EPIC story for this long without even playing another game!!! It’s amazing!!

Usually my mind gets bored of a game, plays a different one for a while and then goes back to the original game in question... but with Final Fantasy 13 I have not changed discs (and won't have to even half way through due to PS3 Blu-Ray haha!) in the whole 17 hours it has been played other than to use a DVD to fall asleep to. There are only 2 other games that have held my attention for this long without being interrupted... Assassins Creed 1 & 2...
• AC 1 was due to being snowed in and having time to play it... I completed it well before 17 hours and that was mainly pushed through because I played a little bit of AC 2 first and wanted to know the back story to Desmond
• AC 2 was completed in 24 hours with little if any interruption and now sits waiting for me to complete the DLC.

Graphics in FF13 are amazing. Cut scenes between fights utilise the character models you play with, which look smooth and seamless, and then when one of the cinematic cut scenes shows itself it's like watching Advent Children! Simply astounding. Some of the music is a bit "Sonic the Hedgehog" for my tastes but it adds a light hearted feel to playing as one of the sickly sweet children.

I'm at the tip of the iceberg if reviews are to be trusted, and that there are still another 40 + hours to enjoy. Safely... I can say bring it on!

Thursday, 11 March 2010

100% game completion

It had to happen...

The first post I mean, nothing else! Everyone starts somewhere - I'm just starting this half way through everything... quite literally EVERYTHING.

I am playing a multitude of games and the only ones that I have completed 100% are... well none. I played Assassins Creed 2 to "100% Platinum" and game completion but then along comes the DLC and WHAM... more things to do so that has been knocked off the pedestal entitled "100% completed".

It is strange to think that the games industry is moving us towards playing games for longer by giving us trophies (PS3) and gamer points (XBox) for doing tasks from the simple to the insane. Before our time was spent getting to the end of the game as quickly as possible because we could not save progress along the way. The SEGA Master System and Megadrive were prime candidates for this! I would rush through Sonic the Hedgehog trying to collect all the emeralds in a Saturday afternoon. Now, I spend at least 25 hours of gaming time playing through the main game, every side quest, every discovery and EVEN doing activities that have no effect on the game as a whole.

What is it within our brains that drive us gamers towards 100% completion of games... scrap that thought... what is it that drives us towards COMPLETING a game to any degree???

I am currently playing Square Enix's latest Final Fantasy Epic (FFXIII) and look forward to the journey... but how complete would my experience of the game be if I did not put my all into investing time to 100% it? I don't think it would affect it too much, although every time I look at my trophy list I will be reminded that I could go back and still do more...

Well done developers and producers... you have us hooked

Playstation 3 Trophies