Friday, August 01, 2008

Hey hey, long hiatus

Not much to talk about in the way of politics, as I've been away from the blogs for a while, so instead a few quick notes about games I've been playing.

Final Fantasy Tactics A2 is just going through the motions. I like how lighthearted it is--it doesn't pretend for even a second that the main story is even remotely interesting, and most of the "story battles" are completely unrelated. Instead the game focuses on a lot of sidequests, which often tell little stories of their own. None of which are any good, but the game is just an excuse to fight some tactics battles and make a ridiculously strong party anyway. The reason this glorious shallowness doesn't work entirely is because the game is really, really, really long. Not so much if you don't do the side quests, but like I said, the main story is as boring as it gets. Once you get far enough into the game, the battles all run together. The quests are all the same. The characters have no personality. The stories aren't engaging enough. The law system has occasional little glitches that trip it up and make certain actions arbitrarily illegal.

So it was nice to go from that to The World Ends With You. Hey, Squaresoft still has some originality left? How absolutely lovely! Read Jason Moses' blog for a glowing description; I can't add any more.

I really wanted to talk about Lufia. I tried this game on emulator, years ago, noticed an immediately grating mechanic (as in the original Final Fantasy, if a character attacks a blank space where a dead monster is, it registers as a miss rather than attacking the nearest living monster) and turned it off. I got ahold of a copy recently and, revisiting it, it's really good. The monster-miss thing isn't a problem because 1) As in Dragon Warrior, monsters appear in groups, which will not suffer the monster-miss problem, and 2) As in Dragon Warrior, battles are really really fast. Very little flashiness to behold here. Get in, attack a few times, take a little damage, get out. People who are more Final Fantasy-oriented tend to hate this kind of presentation, but I'm ever-amazed by how much more tolerable it makes an RPG. Lufia's story is simple and poorly-translated, but I'm still compelled to keep going because I know how little effort and time it will take in the end.

The payoff, of course, is that it will (hopefully) give me a better appreciation for Lufia II, which I also never finished. Lufia II is a prequel, and in fact the throwaway characters at the beginning of the first game are the heroes of the second game, making the beginning of the first a huge spoiler for the second. Maybe. I've never found out if Lufia II adds anything more after the grim fade-to-black in the intro of its predecessor. I'll tell you when I find out.

3 comments:

six said...

I never finished the first one, but what I remember most fondly about Lufia II are its puzzles.

Actually, there's only one I remember specifically. It's optional, and looks at first like a fairly simple crates-and-switches affair, but it's got this really neat lateral-thinking solution that stuck in my memory, for whatever reason.

The rest of the game is a bit of a blur, unfortunately. I wish I had the patience to play through it again. (Incidentally, I'm still hoping you'll record more DWVII. I finished that much more recently than Lufia II, and yet it only exists in my memory as a 110-or-so-hour Vaseline-smudged blur. Kind of like that time I dropped-- never mind.)

Anonymous said...

hey..
are u playing "To the World Ends With U" on emulator??
if yes,, may i know which emulator that u used to play the game???

please reply to my email..
twilight_of_destiny@hotmail.com

best regard..^^

Swimmy Lionni said...

Sorry, no, I actually bought it. Don't know anything about DS emulation.