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Archive for the ‘Console RPGs’ Category

Thoughts on the latest Final Fantasy

Posted by Doug on April 17, 2009

A hour-long playable demo of Final Fantasy XIII will be released in March, it seems, and having been a Final Fantasy fanboy since forever (well, at least since Final Fantasy II on the SNES…which was really Final Fantasy IV, but nevermind that right now…) I have been awaiting more information on this next installment of Squenix’s flagship series.

But not in the same way I might have a decade ago.

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Judgment Decided: Star Ocean: The Last Hope

Posted by Doug on April 13, 2009

Having finally completed Star Ocean: The Last Hope—and having unlocked all the secret endings, thanks to Shaun “Uptown877” Danis’ walkthrough at GameFaqs—I now feel qualified to have an opinion on the game; more to the point, I now have the time to express my opinion on this blog.  To make a long review short, I liked the game, I feel it was well worth the purchase price, and I will likely attempt to replay it a few times in order to complete more than a few of the sidequests.  Currently, I am attempting to complete the game on the “Universe” difficulty (essentially, “Hard” difficulty, unlocked after beating the game on “Galaxy” or “Normal”).

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I can’t think of a good title for this Star Ocean: The Last Hope post

Posted by Doug on April 10, 2009

star-ocean-reimiAs I’ve said earlier, Star Ocean: The Last Hope is a good game—I’ve been playing for almost sixty hours at this point, and I have no intention of quitting any time soon.  That being said, there are three things that really detract from the overall quality of the game, and two minor issues that are slightly annoying.  While I will only address the negative in this post, I still feel that the positive in SO:TLH far outweighs the negative, and so the game easily deserves to be considered “good”…but I fear it will never surpass its weaknesses and be worthy of the appellation “great”.

First, the minor issues:

I wish they had left the Japanese audio in as an option—sure, for a North American release, make the default audio language be English, but why not go ahead and put the Japanese language track in as an option?  It can’t take up that much space on the disks (of which there are three to begin with).  I would have appreciated being able to compare the English voice cast to the Japanese voice cast.

Second minor issue: the in-game map is a little lacking.  You cannot see the whole map at once, and you cannot zoom or scroll it, making long-distance navigation a little hit-or-miss sometimes.  This would not have been that difficult to implement.

Okay, the major problems with SO:TLH:

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An TWO Annoying IncidentS in a Good Game

Posted by Doug on April 7, 2009

I finally broke down and bought Star Ocean: The Last Hope the other day, and it is wonderfully addicting.  For those who don’t know, SO:TLH is a Japanese RPG for the XBox 360; your main character is Edge, who, despite being a junior officer in a interplanetary exploration organization with faster-than-light-capable starships, fights with a sword.  Then there’s his childhood best friend Reimi, who fights with a bow-and-arrow; they soon meet space elf Faize (another swordsman), and the kindergardener mage Lymle, who, having come from a technologically less advanced civilization, is the first character who has a real reason why she doesn’t fight using technology.  Then there’s cyborg Arnold Schwarzenegger (did I spell that right?) wannabe Bacchus, who has a weakness for girls in maid outfits and/or traditional gym clothes; stripperiffic catgirl Meracle; and the stripperiffic space elf chick Myuria.  There will probably be another character picked up somewhere, but I haven’t got that far yet.

In any case, SO:TLH is pretty fun (I will withhold judgment on its place in the pantheon of Great Console RPGs until I have completed it)…except when the game freezes up for no apparent reason.  Now, if this had happened yesterday night, after I had been playing for eight or nine hours straight, I would not have thought much unusual about it.  Shit sometimes happens, amirite?  However, this little lockup came after only a mere hour of gameplay today.  It locked up right here:

star-ocean-freeze-up-2

Fortunately, I’m a firm subscriber of the RPG Player’s Prime Directive, the most useful advice for playing RPGs ever: Save often, save frequently, save every fifteen minutes, save every time you run into a save point, save often, save before each boss fight, save after each boss fight, save, save, save, save, so I think I’ve only lost about ten minutes of my efforts…

UPDATE: It happened to me again, in the same place—the Purgatorium on Disk Two—and at the same time—during the “victory dance” animation after winning an fairly mundane fight.  Most annoying.  According to the Gamefaqs Forumgoers of Considerable Knowledge, this is an issue with the game resolution—if your XBox is set above 720p, it will freeze.  720p doesn’t look any different from 1080p to my eyes, so I will try this to see if the problem persists.

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Bland Odyssey

Posted by Doug on February 5, 2009

As a longtime fan of JRPGs in general and the (older) works of Sakaguchi Hironobu in particular, I’ve been wanting to check out Lost Odyssey for a while now. I started playing yesterday, and now that I’m about fifteen hours into the story, I thought I’d stop and share my thoughts.

Fair warning: my thoughts skew towards the sarcastic.  And there might be spoilers.  And ranting.

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