xnera: Photo of my cat sniffing a vase of roses  (Default)
I finished Final Fantasy IX yesterday! I only put about 45 hours into it, which is pretty short for a Square Enix game. I know there were side quests I didn't do, and one location I didn't visit, but I don't think that would have added on a lot more time.

I've seen cutscenes from the game at Distant Worlds concert, but those cutscenes didn't really spoil anything. I went into the game knowing some of the characters' names and some location names, but that was it--I knew nothing about the plot. I ended up liking the plot quite a bit. The final boss did remind me a bit of the final boss from Final Fantasy V, especially since they both use the dreaded Grand Cross (which sets random status effects on your party), but they are definitely not the same character.

Speaking of characters, I love Zidane. He has such a good nature, which, giving his background, might not have been the case. I freaking love that the most bad-ass knight in Alexandria is a woman, Beatrix. I think Vivi had the most compelling storyline of the characters. mild spoiler ) I don't think there was a character I disliked.

Play-wise, it was your typical Final Fantasy game, with an ATB gauge and turn-based gaming. Character growth is done via abilities, which are learned from equipped items and ability points you earn at the end of battle. You can set a certain amount of abilities per character. At the end of the game all my characters had auto-regen, which was a bit ridiculous. It made for easy fights.

In general, I found the game easy to play. I did have trouble with one early boss, but I checked a walkthrough and discovered there was an optional character I had missed, so I picked him up then had no problem with the boss. I did err in not visiting the Chocobo forest. There's a point in the game where you are dropped off some distance from a location where you need to retrieve an item, and the enemies were tough in the area. Riding a chocobo was recommended by the walkthrough, but because I hadn't visited the forest, I couldn't call one, and I was stuck on that continent so couldn't go visit the forest then. So I had to fight my way to the location, which took several attempts. But otherwise, the game was easy.

I would definitely play this game again, though not for some time. I plan on playing FFXII next, then probably FFX since it's been forever since I played that, then probably replay the Kingdom Hearts games.

I'm itching to start FFXII, and read the game manual yesterday. Like FFIX, I don't know much about the game. I know who the characters are (they are introduced in the manual) and I know it takes place in Ivalice which I'm familiar with from Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, but Ivalice is a big place so I'm not sure the locations are repeated. I've heard that people have put a LOT of time into playing this game, so that sounds good. I like long games.

But before I can start FFXII I really need to read some books. I've had holds on two ebooks for several months, and they finally became available, so I need to read them before they expire. I also have some physical books out from the library which are due back on Tuesday. I don't think I'm going to get to them before then, and haven't decided if I'm just going to bring them back or renew them.
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: Photo of my cat sniffing a vase of roses  (Default)
Fourteen years is not all of my life, but it's a pretty big chunk of it! Yes, it's been that long since I started listening to Final Fantasy music full-time (and that means it's been thirteen years since I've been on a date, lolsob).

Mom was playing the Symphonic Suite at dinner the other night, and asked if there's any concerts coming up. So I checked after dinner, and sure enough, Distant Worlds is coming back to Chicago on December 26th. So we'll be going, yay!

I also made a CD of Final Fantasy songs with lyrics in them. It is SO GOOD and I've listened to it a bunch already. Here are the songs, with YouTube links:

1) The Prelude. I don't know the lyrics to this one, but I wanted something to represent FF1 & 2, and this fits! Plus, it's pretty.
2) The Breeze, from Final Fantasy III.
3) Tsuki no Akari, from Final Fantasy IV DS.
4) Home, Sweet Home from Final Fantasy V
5) Maria & Draco from Final Fantasy VI. I would love to know who decided there should be an opera in the middle of the game. It works pretty darn well with the plot, plus it's so epic, even in its digitized voices. This version is from the Distant Worlds CD.
6) Why, from Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII. I could have chosen One-Winged Angel instead, but (a) I'm rather sick of that song, and (b) "Why" fits in better with the rest of the tracks.
7) Eyes on Me, from Final Fantasy VIII. Frankly, I'm getting a little tired of this one, too, but it's still a lovely song, and deserved a place on the list.
8) Melodies of Life, from Final Fantasy IX. It was a no-brainer to choose the English version of the song, because I love it.
9) Suteki da Ne, from Final Fantasy X. I was torn between the English and Japanese versions. If I had room on the disc, I'd have both. But I only had room for one. Although I don't like some of the phrasing on the English version, I eventually went with it because I know the lyrics better than the Japanese version.
10) Memoria de la Stono/Distant Worlds from Final Fantasy XI
11) Kiss Me Goodbye, from Final Fantasy XII. I love this song. I hadn't heard it in a while, and got chills when listening to it. I don't know why; it's certainly not profound or anything. It's a simple song. But it's SO GOOD.
12) Kimi ga Irukara, from Final Fantasy XIII. I don't like "My Hands" (the ending song in the English game) very much, so I went with the ending song from the Japanese game instead.
13) Answers, from Final Fantasy XIV. It's such a powerful song.
xnera: The Ninth Doctor says, "Fantastic!" (fantastic!)
When I last posted, I was in the Barrier Tower farming Reflect Rings. I did indeed leave the tower after a while to buy more phoenix downs and eye drops. The fight with Atomos went much easier than I had expected, thanks to my Berserker and my Ranger's Rapid Fire. I won on the first try!

Cateblepos - lost on first try due to petrification (got unlucky), won on second try thanks to 3000+ hit from Berserker. Level 35.

The Crystals - had to use hi-potions several times. Lenna, my knight, was using Flametongue and I worried she would heal the Fire crystal, but I got lucky--she never hit it. Won on first try, level 38.

Died to Carbuncle on first try due to Break / deaths. Won on second try, basically Rapid Fire'd him to death. Level 40.

Gilgamesh fight was easy. Was never in any danger.

Won against Exdeath on first try. Basically Rapid Fire'd him to death while Knight and Samurai played medics.

Melusine was no problem. Five attack rounds and she was death. Level 41.

Wendigo went down fast, thanks to Rapid Fire helping me figure out which was the true enemy.

Fork Tower - sent my Berserker and Samurai up the Tower of Prowess. No problem with Minotaur. This left my Knight and Ranger, equipped with Reflect Rings, climbing the Tower of Magic. The Reflect Rings took care of the enemies on the way up. As for Omniscient... well, I'll just copy this from Ravelry:
Yay, the boring shawl is finished! It is very squishy and will make someone happy, but I am never knitting another one. I really struggled this past week and a half with getting it done. It’s Four Job Fiesta time, and all I have wanted to do was play Final Fantasy V. I tried making bargains with myself -- “okay, knit three rows and then you can play for a bit” -- but my play time was getting longer and longer, and the knitting was going by the wayside…

Then I reached Omniscient.

Omniscient lives atop the Tower of Magic, a place where magic = yay and melee = nay. My team? A berserker, a knight, a samurai, and a ranger. Not a magic user to be found. Some enemies in the tower counter melee attacks with a 9999 damage spell, insta-killing the party. Omniscient is sneakier. Upon melee damage, he simply casts Return, which starts the battle over like it never took place. How on earth was I going to beat this boss? Why, by letting him waste all his MP, of course, thereby allowing me to melee to my heart’s content without fear of Return.

Just one snag: he has 30,000 MP.

Obviously this was going to take a while. My party was equipped with Reflect Rings, which made his spells a non-issue, with the the exception of Drain, counter-acted nicely with a hi-potion. And since Omniscient doesn’t cast Drain that often, there are large stretches where the battle runs itself, without need for my intervention.

Meaning I could knit while the Epic Battle with Omniscient was taking place.

Omniscient saved my project. (Having a Race to the Top date helped greatly, too!) Without this heinous boss, I am not so sure I would have finished it. It took about nine hours, but at the end both the shawl and Omniscient were done for.


Yup, I let the game play itself for NINE HOURS while Omniscient's MP slowly drained. LOL. What can I say, I was determined to complete all four tablets before entering the Interdimensional Rift, and to do so, you have to beat Fork Tower.

Next I took on Odin, who was no problem for my team. Plenty of damage dealers with big hits, so we successfully won in a minute's time.

The triplets went down pretty fast. Had to kill each of them several times, but managed to kill them successfully in a short amount of time.

Calofisteri went down in 2 attack rounds. Level 45.

Tried Omega several times, but he is truly a killing machine. I never got to take a second turn. So I made my way past him and continued on.

Apanda was down in 3 attack rounds.

Azulmagia took only 2 attack rounds.

Catastrophe also went down in 2 attack rounds, but used Earth Shaker on us, halving our HP.

I forgot to equip Reflect Rings for Halicarnissus but turned out not to need them, because I killed her before she could cast Holy, yay!

Died to Twintania on first try. Coral Rings a go for the second try, in which I won easily in 3 attack rounds.

Lost Krile and Lenna to Necrophobe but Gilgamesh showed up to save the day.

Exdeath went down in 3 attack rounds. Lost to Neo Exdeath on first try. Lots of deaths. Left with only Berserker standing, who went down on next attack round. Tried again, lost. Didn't win until my fourth try. I kept getting unlucky with Grand Cross, with sets status effects. He would zombie two of my characters, and I couldn't recover fast enough before they killed the rest of the party. I definitely got lucky on my fourth try - Grand Cross merely set poison on Lenna. I kept Bartz, my Bersker, healed up so he could do most of the damage. Krile, my Samurai, acted as healer. Lenna was second in damage as the Brave Blade was doing 4900 damage a turn. I used Rapid Fire when I could if I didn't have to heal. All characters were standing at the end.

YAY I WON THE GAME!!

I definitely had fun with this challenge, and will play again next year. Hopefully next year I'll have a source of income and can donate some money - the Fiesta aims to raise money for Child's Play.
xnera: Photo of my cat sniffing a vase of roses  (Default)
When last we left, I had just finished World 1. I changed Galuf to Samurai as soon as I had control of him. He had no problem in Exdeath's basement, and beat Gilgamesh with just one hit!

Lost Galuf and Faris to Gilgamesh(2) but won on the first try.

Tyrannosaur almost killed me. I was left with just Galuf standing. He used a phoenix down on Bartz, my Berserker, who killed it.

The Killer Bow one-shot Dragon Pod! I was surprised, and happy. I hate that fight.

The fight with Golem went quick. I was level 24.

Beat Gilgamesh and Enkidu on the first try, level 26.

Now for the Barrier Tower. I bought 99 eye drops as the Neons there like to cast Flash. I fear I don't have enough phoenix downs for the fight with Atomos, though. The plan is to farm four Reflect Rings, then use the gil I earned while farming to load up on phoenix downs. Atomos is my least favorite boss, so I'm not looking forward to this fight. The good thing is that my party hits hard, which should help a lot.
xnera: The Ninth Doctor says, "Fantastic!" (fantastic!)
A few weeks ago I had a craving for White Fence Farm, as it has been years since we've gone. I didn't mention this to my parents, though. They must've had the same craving, as we went yesterday! It was gooooood. I was surprised there was no wait to be seated, as that place used to be packed every time we went (and it's a BIG restaurant!).

Onto the Four Job Fiesta, day 3!

When we left off, I had just gotten the fire crystal jobs. The job assigned to me, Ranger, isn't available right away, so I continued on with 1 Berserker and 3 Knights.

I was still level 15 when I got to the Library of Ancients, so I did some grinding in the forests outside it so everyone hit 16, to guard against Level 5 Death. We took on Ifrit at level 16 - I had to use the two hi-potions I had, but no one died. I lost Lenna to a Wind Slash from Byblos, and used an Elixir on Galuf, but won against Byblos on my first try.

Died to a pack of Mini Dragons while hunting Ramuh, grr. We took on Ramuh at level 17; I let my Berserker kill him while the knights tossed potions.

Then we took on Shiva at level 18, after I unlocked Ranger. It was an easy fight, thanks in part to the Flame Bow.

Sandworm - died first try at level 18. Won second try, but lost Bartz (my Berserker) and had to use an elixir on one of my characters.

Crayclaw went down in just three hits, thanks to the Coral Swords my knights were using.

Adamantoise at level 18 was pretty easy, but had to use !Aim with Faris.

Flamethrowers went down in 3 hits each, thanks to Coral Swords/Thunder Bow. Rocket Launcher killed Bartz and Galuf due to confusion, grr.

Won against Soul Cannon on first try, but lost Bartz and Lenna, and ran out of phoenix downs. This meant that I used tents at save points in the Ronkan Ruins to get them back.

Archeoaevis was a win on the first try - the second form went down easy, to my surprise.

Purobolos was fought at level 21. Ended up with just Faris (my Ranger) left, but won on the second try. Used 2 elixirs and 2 phoenix downs.

Won against Titan on second try. Took about 5 hits, lost Faris though.

Manticore - five hits, no one died.

Successfully raided the Jackanapes den at level 21, though was left with only 8 potions remaining after exiting the dungeon.

Then I went to the Wind Shrine to do some Elixir hunting. After about 30 fights I started keeping track of my battles:

* 16 fights against a Black Goblin, White Serpent, Moldwynd formation
* 17 fights against 3 Moldwynd formation
* 3 fights against a Mani Wizard, Moldwynd, Black Goblin formation
* 10 fights against a White Serpent, Black Goblin formation

for a total of 46 fights, and four elixirs dropped. All elixirs dropped from the 3 Moldwynd formation. Before I started keeping track, I had gotten a 2-elixir drop from that formation.
xnera: Icon of Noctis from Final Fantasy Versus 13, wearing a suit and looking upwards. (suit)
I've been playing Final Fantasy III for about two months now. My goal is to max out all the jobs, so it's mostly been a grind-fest. I can only take so much of grinding, though, so I've been playing in spurts of 15-20 minutes.

I reached the Molten Cave and decided to grind out the starting jobs (including Freelancer) to 25, so I did that. Then I progressed with the story and unlocked the next four jobs. Back to the Molten Cave for more grinding. I had Luneth as a Knight, Arc as a Scholar, Refia as a Geomancer and Ingus as a Ranger. Arc really liked being a scholar, as he leveled it up quick. Luneth did not like being a Knight. By the time Arc hit 25, Luneth was only level 4. So I swapped their two jobs, and now Luneth is leveling up scholar nicely. I had planned on having all four jobs at 25 for all four characters before moving on with the story, but given how hard it is to level knight, I think I will just go for one job at 25 for each character.

I'll be playing Final Fantasy V this summer, for the Four Job Fiesta. You get assigned what jobs to play in the game, and must stick with those jobs. Sounds fun! I like Final Fantasy V quite a bit, so I'm looking forward to replaying it. I'm kind of hoping I get Monk as my first job, because I love Barehanded (had lots of fun with Barehanded White Mages last time I played).
xnera: Icon of Noctis from Final Fantasy Versus 13, wearing a suit and looking upwards. (suit)
People have played the Final Fantasy XV demo, and it's getting great reviews. AM SO EXCITED! Oh, how I wish I had the money/console to get Type-0 HD so I could play the demo for myself. Alas, it is not meant to be.

So, on Tuesday I did indeed start Lightning Returns. And well, um. first impressions. SPOILERS. )

Instead I've been knitting and crocheting a lot. On Friday evening I made a doily, which was entered in the Nerdopolis Pi challenge. I woke up early on Saturday and couldn't fall back asleep, so I frogged the original Orchid Top I had tried making. Then I split the yarn from the frogged swatch, and knit a swatch for the Cockleshell Camisole. On Sunday I entered that into the Nerdopolis Summit Seekers challenge, to give me motivation to do it. I'm really eager to get started on the knitting part of it, not so eager to split the yarn. Yes, I am crazy and splitting yarn for this, LOL. But I split 11 skeins for my Orchid Top, and that turned out nicely, so I'm willing to do it again for the camisole (which I will wear underneath the Orchid).

Also on Sunday, I worked on ministry shawls #2 and #3, and did a few more rows on my pumpkin socks. Which means that all the projects I currently have on the needles were worked on, yay! I'm hoping to finish ministry shawl #3 this month so I can submit it to Nerdopolis, though I'm not sure what challenge I will submit it to yet.
xnera: The Ninth Doctor says, "Fantastic!" (fantastic!)
On Friday we went to the fish fry at our local VFW hall. This is the third time I've gone, and it was just as good as the last two times.

Saturday morning I finished my BAMCAL blanket, finally. Just in time for the end of round 1 of Nerdopolis, which I submitted it to in the Area 51 category. Saturday night was pizza, which we usually have on Friday, so that was a bit weird (but good!).

On Sunday I completed Final Fantasy XIII-2. I still have some achievements to unlock, but the story itself is 100% finished. I immediately went out to obtain Lightning Returns. Alas, my local GameStop did not have it. I checked Best Buy, too, since I was in the area but didn't expect them to have it (they didn't). I'm going to check a different GameStop tomorrow after my therapy appointment. I really hope I can find it, because XIII-2 ends on a bit of a cliffhanger and I want to know what happens next!

I also stopped at Joann to pick up some size 9 needles for a new ministry shawl. I'm doing 198 Yards of Heaven but continuing on in pattern to make it bigger. I started it yesterday and knit for about two hours. Then I was bored and went to bed early.
xnera: The Ninth Doctor says, "Fantastic!" (fantastic!)
On Friday there was a meeting of the Shawl Ministry. I had to walk there and it was COLD, especially on the way home as I was walking into the wind. The meeting went well. My shawl was admired (as was my crocheted sweater) and I got yarn, hooks, and patterns.

I spent a good portion of this weekend knitting and crocheting. I've made good progress on the BAMCAL afghan and should finish it this month. I also knitted a hat and finished a scarf I've been working on. While doing so, I listened to the soundtrack of FFXIII-2, which I think is better than XIII's soundtrack. XIII-2 has three composers, one of which is Naoshi Mizuta who composed XI, which music I love. There's a lot of vocals in XIII-2's soundtrack which I think works very well.

The rest of the weekend was spent playing FFXIII-2. I spent time building the perfect Ravager. To do this, I needed to recruit Tonberry and Don Tonberry, which are rare monsters, so I needed the Battlemania fragment skill to up the chances of meeting them. To get this skill you need to get 100% exploration of all the maps in game. That took some time, especially the final dungeon. Once I recruited all my monsters I had to level them up, which required farming materials. Honestly, this all feels a lot like XI to me -- not that the gameplay is similar, but there's a similar progression of your character. It was hitting the same pleasure spots of my brain that XI hits.

So my perfect Ravager is built, and I beat some of the optional bosses in game. I also saw one of the paradox endings. THAT fight took forever - a whole 54 minutes! I'm not sure I could have done it any faster. It wasn't a real difficult fight, just looooooooooong.

Tomorrow I have to pick up some medication. I'm hoping to have time to go to Michaels and get more yarn for my afghan, and some new needles for another ministry shawl. It all depends on if my mom has to drive the kids to soccer practice again. If she does I likely won't have time.
xnera: Icon of Noctis from Final Fantasy Versus 13, wearing a suit and looking upwards. (suit)
On Monday I finished the main story of Final Fantasy XIII-2.

Gameplay is the same as Final Fantasy XIII, which meant a lot of mashing of the A button as I auto-battled my way to victory. One change is that your third party member is a monster. You can recruit the monsters that you fight, so there's tons to pick from. The monster has a role; for example, a yellow chocobo is a commando and Cait Sith is a medic. You can set up a paradigm pack of three monsters, and then use those three monsters in your paradigms.

Boss fights were of happy difficulty. By that I mean that I had to switch paradigms often during fights, and some fights took me several tries. Twice I switched from normal difficulty to easy: once when fighting the villain in an early encounter, and the second time for the very final boss. I probably could have beat the very final boss on normal, once I learned when to switch paradigms, but the fight was taking a long time. Even on easy, it took me a half hour.

The premise of the game is that the events at the end of XIII led to a paradox happening. Serah (Lightning's sister) and Noel (a boy from the future) are tasked with solving the paradox and restoring the proper timeline. I really liked the motivation of the "villain". I enjoyed the story, but it was kind of short - it only took me 33 hours, compared to the 60-100 I usually put into a game. However, there is still more to explore. You can unlock paradox endings, and I have barely done any of the side quests yet. So I'm going to continue on with the game, though I'm a bit loss of which direction to go. Right now I'm working on building a good ravager monster for a boss fight.

I want to talk a bit about the ending theme song for XIII. SPOILERS for the end of XIII and beginning of XIII-2 )

temptation

Jan. 24th, 2015 10:26 pm
xnera: Photo of my cat sniffing a vase of roses  (Default)
I was bored so I did a search for "PSP browser games" and found out there was such a thing. They require Flash, which needed a system update. So I did another search for my missing memory card.

I FOUND IT! It was in a small basket I have. System has been updated and Flash is enabled, yay! I have yet to try it.

I'm thinking again about buying FFIX, now. I tried logging on the PSN Store but there's a forced password change which has to be done from a PC so it'll have to wait until tomorrow.
xnera: Icon of Noctis from Final Fantasy Versus 13, wearing a suit and looking upwards. (suit)
i've been doing a lot of thinking about Etsy names. I think I'd like something that's subtly Final Fantasy releated, since the franchise means so much to me.

One of my first thoughts was the word "solace", after the Afflatus:Solace stance that white mage has in Final Fantasy XI. I did a search on Etsy, though, and there are other stores with solace in their names, plus hits on items named solace. So that's out.

My next option is Esuna Designs (esuna is the spell used to remove status effects). I really like this; it sounds soft, like yarn is soft. I did a search and got just one hit, and it was for an item, not a store name. My only qualm is that I'm pretty sure Square Enix coined the term. What if they have a trademark on it? So, I'm a bit leery about using it.

My third thought is Yagrush, which is the white mage's mythic weapon in FFXI. The name comes from mythology, so should be fair game. I'm not sure if I like Yagrush Designs or Yagrush Creations better. I don't like Yagrush as much as I like Esuna, but there should be no problems using it. A search turned up no hits on Etsy.

So right now I'm leaning towards Yagrush something, but haven't finalized my decision yet. Thoughts?

In other news, I've been playing a lot of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance this week. Did a lot of leveling, so much so that my playtime was twice that of my first playthrough when I reached the spot that I had gotten stuck on. That spot proved to be no issue this time, because I got lucky and the boss didn't use his ultimate attack. I woke up early (for me) today, so I fired up the game and actually finished the storyline and saw the end credits. You can continue to do missions, however, which I will be doing. I have about 100 more left to do.

I liked the game, but wouldn't say I loved it. I was indifferent to the main character. The storyline is pretty simple. The best thing about the game is the gameplay. It took me a bit to learn it - it did NOT make sense to me at first - but once I grokked it, it became pretty easy, and fun. The laws can be annoying, but with a well-rounded team it's pretty easy to ignore them (though Copycat got me several times). I would definitely play the game again.

While it's on my mind, I want to make a list of games I'd like to acquire, just so I don't forget any. Right now I'm tempted to spend most of my Christmas money on games, because I've been enjoying FFTA so much. But I need yarn as well, especially if I'm going to open an Etsy store. So I'm still only going to buy two games with the Christmas money, and spend the rest on yarn. And then use profits from Etsy to buy more games, hopefully! Anyway, the list. I'm open to game suggestions.

Lost Odyssey (Xbox 360)
Final Fantasy XIII-2 (Xbox 360)
The World Ends With You (DS)
Picross 3D (DS)
Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box (DS)
Professor Layton and the Unwound Future (DS)
Bravely Default (3DS)
Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call (3DS)
Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions (PSP)
Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep (PSP)
xnera: Photo of my cat sniffing a vase of roses  (Default)
I was wrong about how long it would take to finish weaving in the ends. I thought it would take the full FFXII soundtrack; it only took two discs. So that's done. Now I'm working on equalizing the squares so they have the same number of stitches per side. I'm doing this because I'm going to crochet the squares together rather than sew them.

I finished listening to the FFXII soundtrack. It made good background music. I liked it, but felt that the songs blended together. There were no tracks that really stood out. I'd definitely listen to it again, though. Now I just need to get the soundtracks for FFIX and FFXIV and I'll have them all!

Had to go out yesterday in the bitter cold weather to my therapy session. I mentioned that everyone is doing 2014 year-in-review/2015 planning posts. My 2014 year in review? I knit. I crocheted. I played video games. I read. I'm planning on doing the same in 2015, mostly. It would be nice to get an income stream. I'm sorta mad at myself because several months back my local Joann Fabrics was looking for a knit and crochet instructor and did I offer my services? I did not. Grr. I've never taught knitting/crochet before, but I think I could do it. It'd be fun, a way to ease back into working, and a bit of money in my pocket. But I missed the opportunity, alas.

So we spent a lot of time during my session talking about Etsy. I've pretty much decided not to use my primary email account for it, as it gets way too much spam. So either I will use my real name account, or make a new email address for the business. Probably the latter. I need to come up with a business name. The only one I thought of so far is "Karen's Creations", but I am sure that is likely in use already. I could go with my FFXI screen name, which has personal meaning for me, but I try not to tie that name to this identity. So, I don't know. Any suggestions?

After my therapy session I came home and played a bunch of FF Tactics Advance. I leveled all my clan members to at least 10, and now I'm trying to unlock more jobs. I successfully unlocked Blue Mage and Gunner, and Marche is a Paladin with Excalibur which is very fun. I haven't done much progressing of the story. This playthrough has exceeded the total time of my first attempt at the game, and I'm not as far along (still only two laws). After I get off the internet today I plan on working on equalizing squares so I make some progress on that, and then play FFTA some more.
xnera: Icon of Noctis from Final Fantasy Versus 13, wearing a suit and looking upwards. (suit)
I've been listening to the Final Fantasy XIII soundtrack lately. It's not as bad as I thought it would be when I first heard the music in the original trailer, but still, large portions of it are forgettable. So I made a CD of my favorite tracks. It was actually pretty hard to get it to fit to a single CD, but I managed. Here are the winners:

  1. Saber's Edge
  2. Snow's Theme
  3. Eidolins
  4. Blinded By Light
  5. Glory's Fanfare
  6. The Vile Peaks
  7. Lightning's Theme
  8. March of the Dreadnoughts
  9. Serah's Theme
  10. Hope's Theme
  11. Vanille's Theme
  12. Chocobos of Cocoon ~Chasing Dreams~
  13. Fighting Fate
  14. Desperate Struggle
  15. Fang's Theme
  16. The Archlyte Steppe
  17. Pulse de Chocobo
  18. The Yaschas Massif
  19. Start Your Engines
  20. Eden Under Siege
  21. Kimi Ga Irukara (Long Version)
  22. Ending Credits
  23. My Hands


If I have one complaint about the soundtrack as a whole, it's that it lacks a great opener. FFVII had Opening-Bombing Mission, FFVIII had Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec, FFX had Zanarkand--all great themes. FFXIII has the Prelude to Final Fantasy XIII, which is one of those aforementioned forgettable tracks. Bleh.

I have also recently acquired the Final Fantasy XII soundtrack, but I haven't listened to it yet. I'm only familiar with two songs from it: the Dalmasca Westersand, which was featured on Distant Worlds:The Celebration, and Kiss Me Goodbye. Both good songs. I'll be listening to FFXII while weaving in ends...

In 2013 I did a block-a-month crochet-a-long (BAMCAL) and made a blanket. I used it all last year. The ends are popping out. >_< I did a lot of crocheting over ends as I went along, so I think that is why. So for 2014's BAMCAL, I did not crochet over ends, figuring I would weave them in very well so they won't pop out. Except I neglected to weave in ends as I finished each square, so now I have to do them all. I've been slowly working on it, and it's taking forever. Hence listening to the soundtrack. I think it's going to take the full soundtrack to finish what's left.

After a bit of a break, I've gotten back into playing Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. Still only have two rules, but they are getting tougher. I've gotten a yellow card twice, but both times I turned the game off and restarted from a save. I can't figure out how to unlock advanced jobs. For example, there's a quest that requires a Blue Mage, but none of my clan members are Blue Mages or can change to that job. According to the wiki I have to master abilities, but I'm not sure how to do that. I think I have to equip weapons that grant that ability, and then characters will naturally master them?

Presents!

Dec. 26th, 2014 02:26 pm
xnera: Photo of my cat sniffing a vase of roses  (Default)
I finished my blankets in time! The Pineapple Afghan was finished on December 7th; I finished the Snowflake Afghan the day before our party. Both blankets were well received. My sisters told me I should sell stuff on Etsy. I asked them if they had any idea how much I'd have to charge. I put over 60 hours into the Snowflake Afghan alone. Multiply that by minimum wage and you're talking a lot of money.

Still, I've been mulling it over in my head. Maybe not blankets. Maybe hats. They're relatively quick. Thing is, if I'm going to sell stuff I'd want to use nicer yarn than Red Heart Super Saver. I'm not even sure I can find wool at Joann or Michaels, and as far as I know, there are no local independent yarn shops. Another issue with selling stuff on Etsy is that I lack the means to take professional photographs. My Canon is broken, and my old Blackberry that I use for Ravelry pictures turns everything yellow.

Our Christmas party was the Sunday before Christmas. We had dinner reservations at 3:00. I finished my Jaywalker socks at 2:45, lol. Just in time! Dinner was good. I had fettuccine alfredo with chicken and broccoli. After dinner we came back to the house to open presents. I got:

A pink chenille sweater
A blue long-sleeved shirt
A framed photo of my niece and nephews
A Nivea bath set
A $25 Visa gift card
A $25 Starbucks gift card
A box of four Godiva chocolates

On Christmas Day we went over to my sister's house for bagels. The kidlets were very excited because they got an Xbox One. Then it was back home, and a very long wait for me to open the day's presents. Finally about 8pm we gathered together. I got

A Suave Moroccan Infusion gift set
A $100 Visa gift card

YAY! I was hoping I'd receive enough money to buy some video games. I am definitely going to get Lost Odyssey and Final Fantasy XIII-2. I'm thinking about Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep as well. If I could find my other memory card for the PSP I'd buy Final Fantasy IX, which I haven't played and am eager to, but I fear the card is well lost and I don't want to spend the money for a new card.

The remaining amounts of the gift cards will be spent on yarn. I just need to decide if I'm doing BAMCAL again this year. I joined the group and will be following along, but I'm not sure I want to make another blanket because I have no one to give it to. I could buy yarn to make hats for Etsy... which I might do. We'll see.

All in all, it was a nice holiday.

I was bored the past few days with pressing projects to work on, and I didn't feel like playing FF Tactics Advance, so I started a new game of Final Fantasy with four warriors. My goal was to complete the game without them dying. This was pretty easy until Mt Gulg, where I was insta-deathed by a pyrolisk. Grr! So I restarted from my save, and decided I needed some Protect Rings. Off to the ice cavern. First try: insta-deathed by a Mindflayer. Second try: paralyzed to death by a wraith. Third time was the charm, though, and I managed to get the levistone without another death, though I missed two of the treasures. Got the airship, then went off to Gaia and bought my precious Protect Rings. Went ahead and did the class change quest, then headed back to Mt Gulg. After that the game was pretty easy... until I reached Chaos, who whupped my butt. Not sure I'll be able to beat him without some deaths, hmmm. I also have a single red mage file that's also stuck on Chaos. One of these days I'll complete that one as well.
xnera: Icon of Squall from Final Fantasy 8, drawn in ink. (squall)
So I finished Final Fantasy VIII yesterday!

FFVIII was the second Final Fantasy game I ever played, and for years, it was my favorite. I've since played most of the others, and I don't think I could call it that, anymore (FFXI probably deserves that distinction). Still, I like the game a heck of a lot. It holds up well.

Gameplay: I love the Junction system. You can make your characters really powerful with it. This can lead to some easy fights, however. I don't mind the Draw system too badly, though it can get tedious. I think one of the reasons I like the Draw system is that it means I'm not just mashing X to attack each round (like I did with FFXIII). Limit breaks are fun, especially Squall's. I also like the compatibility feature with the GFs. This playthrough, I must not have relied on the GFs that much, because even Diabolos (my favorite) was summoning pretty slowly.

Story spoilers )

Next up: probably Dragon Age: Origins. I'm pretty far along in my play of it, and I'd like to finally finish it.
xnera: Icon of Squall from Final Fantasy 8, drawn in ink. (squall)
On Halloween I finished Infinite Undiscovery on hard mode. It wasn't all that hard, in my opinion. I've decided against playing the Seraphic Gate bonus content, mostly because I lack the ingredients to make the special sword. You can buy the ingredients from a store if you have downloaded some free vouchers, but as my Xbox is not connected to the network I don't have those vouchers. Otherwise, you can farm the ingredients...from the Seraphic Gate itself. Since I have problems beating the third wave of mobs in the very first level of the Gate, farming the items is out of the question. So the Seraphic Gate will have to wait until some time in the future when my Xbox is hooked up to the network again.

I needed a game to play, so I decided to go back to Final Fantasy VIII, which I was playing a few months ago. Then I got stuck and couldn't progress the story, so I put it down for a while. I recall seeing the cutscenes at Trabia Garden, but no matter what I did I couldn't advance to the next plot point. So when I picked it up again this weekend, I went back to Trabia, thinking that I must have missed something. And... the game acted like I hadn't been there yet. o_O I must have neglected to save, because I'm positive I saw those scenes already. Oh well. After watching them again I was able to advance just fine, and finished Disc 2 last night.

I've also been doing a lot of crochet and knitting. I'm caught up to October in my Block-a-Month afghan, and have made progress on the ministry shawl I'm crocheting. I'm also working on finishing afghans for my sisters for Christmas. I am not at all embarrassed to say that I have been listening to Christmas music while doing so, even though it is only early November. Finally, I've finished the leg of my first Pumpkin sock, which I hope to have finished by Thanksgiving so I can wear them then.

I've been going to the library for several months now, and have a ton of books checked out. I just finished reading Death Note, which I enjoyed. I have several books in the Pretty Little Liars series checked out, but I think I am going to return them un-read and try them again at a later date. I still enjoy the suspense of the stories, but I'm getting tired of the bad choices the girls are making, which makes me dislike them. I want to re-read Mockingjay soon since the first movie is coming out. I've also been on the lookout for The Maze Runner, which I saw in theaters earlier this year. I enjoyed the movie and now want to read the books, but the library hasn't had it in yet.

And now I need to figure out why the sound is b0rked on mom's computer. It's not on mute and the volume is fine, so that's not it. I think it might be a device issue. Hopefully I can solve it, because my mom likes to listen to streaming radio.

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.
xnera: Icon of Noctis from Final Fantasy Versus 13, wearing a suit and looking upwards. (suit)
So I found out what happens when you enter the shrines in Final Fantasy I--you enter a GBA-only dungeon. There's four of them, and one of them is HUGE. Forty floors! You get to fight bosses from other Final Fantasy games. It effectively doubles the playtime of the game.

I'm running out of games to play. I finished Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days. Had only 5 hours left to play on it. I still need to finish FFIV. After that, I'm not sure what I'll do.

In other news, I've been crocheting and knitting a lot. I finished a baby blanket for my newest nephew recently. We left the baptism party before my sister opened gifts, though, so I don't know how she liked it. I worry about what I'm going to do when I run out of yarn. How am I going to keep busy then?

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