xnera: Photo of my cat sniffing a vase of roses  (Default)
Cocoon hangs in the sky above Gran Pulse. The people of Cocoon treat all things Pulse with suspicion and fear. When a Pulse Vestige is found near a village on Cocoon, the government reacts by ordering a Purge of all the village’s inhabitants, exiling them to Pulse. Serah, Lightning’s sister, had wandered into the Vestige, and was made a Pulse L’Cie by the Fal’Cie inside. She now has a Focus to accomplish: if she does, she will be turned into crystal; if she fails to fulfill her Focus, she will be made into a monstrous Ce’ith.

Lightning and Snow (Serah’s fiancee) attempt to rescue Serah, but in the process get made into L’Cie themselves. Will they fulfill their Focus and turn into the monstrous Ragnorak and destroy Cocoon, or will they follow their hearts and somehow manage to save Cocoon?

The gameplay is quasi-turn based. There is an Active Time Battle gauge; as the ATB fills, you can stock commands. Once the ATB is full the commands are unleashed. You play in a party of three characters and control only the main character; the other two characters take action based on their defined role. There are six roles: Ravagers (magic damage dealers), Commandos (melee damage dealers), Sentinals (tanks), Saboteurs (debuffers), Synergists (buffers), and Medics (healers). You can create Paradigms of different role combinations: for example, the Relentless Assault paradigm is made up of a Commando and two Ravagers, while the Combat Clinic paradigm is SEN MED MED. You can then switch between these paradigms in battle as needed. You can also summon Eidolons to fight for you, but it is not something I used much.

Weapons and Accessories are found in treasure caskets throughout the world, and can also be bought from stores at a save point. They can be upgraded using components found in battle or bought at stores. Character growth is done in the Crystarium; after each battle, you are awarded CP which are then spent in the Crystarium on one of your character’s roles to increase their prowess and learn new abilities.

When I saw the initial trailer for the game, I was not very impressed, so was pleasantly surprised when I ended up liking the game a fair deal. It’s a solid game, but it does have some faults. The two biggest:

  • It’s linear as heck. I call it “Corridor Fantasy”, because for a large portion of the game you are running down narrow pathways. The benefit is that you can’t get lost, and the story unfolds easily, but you lose the sense of exploration that past Final Fantasy games have had;
  • It’s most efficient to choose Auto-Battle, which stocks commands for you. This means that for many of the battles, you are just mashing the A button, which is pretty boring. Harder battles do require switching Paradigms, which is more fun, but for the most part, it’s mash A and win.
xnera: The Ninth Doctor says, "Fantastic!" (fantastic!)
It's my birthday! Yay! To celebrate, I spent the past few days finishing my Wavedeck shawl as a birthday present to myself. I'm pretty pleased with it, but there's some errors in it. So I'm probably going to make another one, and whichever one is better I'll keep for myself. The other will go to the shawl ministry.

I'm also working on a crocheted shawl for the ministry, the Silver Bells shawl. I'm not really a fan of pink, but I do like this soft pink. I probably should have made it wider, but I was concerned about running out of yarn. The pattern says it took 1000 yards, and I've only got the one skein of Red Heart Giant.

There's also the two scarves I'm making for the Red Heart group on Ravelry. I'm making a drop stitch scarf in a sunshine print. The color changes are very short, so it's coming out kind of busy. I do like it, though. The other scarf is a crocheted mesh stitch scarf in Real Teal. Love the color.

My parents went on vacation the beginning of this month. I spent most of the time in front of the computer, reading various threads on Ravelry. Also, eating. It appears that when left to my own devices, I default to overeating *sighs*. I did go to the library while they were gone and rented Skyrim, but was meh about playing it. I finally fired it up the day they came back, and played about two hours. It's brown. Why do games feel they need to be brown? I do not like brown. I also didn't like the combat. I felt like I wasn't hitting anything. I did successfully hit a chicken -- which put a bounty on my head and got me attacked by a townsperson. So, I wasn't too impressed with Skyrim. I might give it another chance and rent it again in the future, but so far it is not on my to-buy list.

Also while my parents were gone, the U.S. Puzzle Championship took place. I find I have less of an attention span for it the older I get. I lasted about an hour and fifteen minutes before I gave up. I only submitted answers for two puzzles: the battleships, which was easy, and four of the ten differences in the picture puzzle. I did try the Sudoku but didn't make much headway, and was intrigued by a crossword-type puzzle but had no clue how to start it.

I had been playing Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift before my parents left on vacation, but wasn't in the mood for it when they returned. I was enjoying the gameplay, but the story was sparse, and I was wanting something with more meat to it. So I started a new game of Final Fantasy XIII. It's been about a year since I played it, because I had bought a new xbox controller with my birthday money last year and played it then. I'm enjoying it.

I'm going to the library today to see if I can find a copy of The Scorch Trials (the second book in the Maze Runner series). The movie is coming out soon, so it will probably be hard to find the book, but one was due back recently, so maybe I'll get lucky.

We survive

Oct. 10th, 2014 03:33 pm
xnera: Icon of Noctis from Final Fantasy Versus 13, wearing a suit and looking upwards. (suit)
My mom gave me $50 for my birthday, so I bought a new Xbox 360 controller (the A button on my old one was broken). This meant I could now play games again instead of just using my Xbox as a media player, and so I played Final Fantasy XIII.

I wasn't impressed with the trailer for this game, so I didn't have high expectations going into it. I was pleasantly surprised to find it quite enjoyable. The story is solid; each of the characters had a reason for their actions.

The battle system is turn-based. You control the leader of your party; the other two party members are controlled by AI. As the ATB charges, you can enter commands for your character to perform. The commands vary depending on the role of the characters: Commando and Ravager (damage dealers), Medic, Sentinel (tank), Synergist (buffer) or Saboteur (debuffer). You can make paradigms for your team with different roles set for each member. For example, I often used Relentless Assault (RAV COM RAV) or Combat Clinic (MED SEN MED). You can freely change between paradigms during battle, but I found that most of the time this wasn't necessary. Also, instead of inputting commands myself, it was easiest just to choose Auto-battle, which meant that fights were pretty much just mashing the A button. Pretty boring.

There were not many sidequests in this game. There's a series of 64 missions you can do; I did most of them, except for the ones which the guide I was following warned were extremely difficult. I wish there had been a quest line to make some ultimate weapons; if there was, I didn't discover it. This game was also missing out on the feeling of getting new, powerful weapons as you progress in the game. You can upgrade weapons you have; once upgraded, they tended to be better than new weapons you find. So my characters used their initial starting weapons for most of the game. I did change some of them to weapons with more favorable passive abilities, but never did I have the feeling of having an uber-weapon.

I was a bit alarmed when it asked for disc 2 after a mere 9 hours, worrying the game would be short, but in the end I put about 86 hours into it, which is decent-sized. I'm sad it ended, though, because I was enjoying it and now I don't know what I'll do. I will probably start a different Xbox game after I finish reading my library books. I'm thinking of doing Mirror's Edge next.

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