xnera: The Ninth Doctor says, "Fantastic!" (fantastic!)
I'm making this post public, so feel free to share it with other friends who play!

To start off, let's go over the in-game announcements from this week: the Brave Frontier crossover is back! With it comes the 6* awakening of Tilith who is amazing. Here are her new skills:

* Affectionate Aura - Increase resistance to status breaks (100%) for 3 turns to all allies
* Sealed Light - Remove all status effects from all enemies
* Prism Heal - Restore HP (2500) and MP (50) to all allies except caster
* Radiant Light - Recover HP (100%) to all allies
* Goddess's Revelation - Revive all KO'd allies (100% HP)

This banner is a limited time only, so once it's over, Tilith and friends are gone. She's the best healer in the game, and will be for a good six months or so, so if you can, try to pull for her. Alas, the drop rates for this banner are really, really low. :( So, good luck, everyone!

Now, onto the E3 announcements! As you might know, FFBE's Global one-year anniversary is on June 29th, so we have a lot of exciting stuff coming out!
  • Expeditions - if you've played Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, you'll be familiar with these. Expeditions allow you to send a unit out to perform a particular task. While the unit is out on expedition, it cannot be used in a party. There are special rewards for undertaking expeditions, but it's not clear yet what those are.
  • EX point system - this is a new currency that you get when you purchase lapis, and can be used for items, tickets, and perhaps even a special unit that you can't get any other way!
  • Esper SP reset - did you screw up your grid when training your espers? Not to worry - you'll be able to reset the grid and start over for 100 lapis.
  • Removal of crafting time - All items will be crafted instantly!
  • New Dungeon Tiers Unlocked - Cactuar Dunes, Gil Cave and Enchanted Maze will gain an additional level that drops better units.
  • Story Unit Special Dungeons - special dungeons will be released in which you can only use the seven story characters. The dungeons drop equipment that has special properties for those units, but that can be used on any unit.
  • Sharing summon results - You'll be able to share your summon results on social media
  • Guaranteed 5* base in a 10+1 pull - there's confusion over whether this will be a free pull or not, so start saving lapis, just in case it's not!
  • Free Summon Campaign - get an additional free summon for 28 days!
  • Vault of Hidden Treasures - for two weeks there will be a special, easy dungeon that drops pots, cactuars, and other items
  • Anniverary Special Bundle - there will be a special bundle available for purchase, but we don't know the particulars yet
  • Special daily login rewards - the reward board is supposed to be really good for July, so keep logging in! There will also be a special reward for clearing the whole board
  • 5* vision shards - Right now, you can summon special unit Kelsus from vision shards. There will be more such units in the future, so hold on to your excess shards!
  • Enhancing Units - there will be a rate up chance of getting Great and Amazing results when enhancing units.
  • Half NRG Campaign - dungeons will be half their cost for the anniversary celebration period!
  • All Portals Open - All the portals in the vortex will be open
  • Fujimoto Rainbow Hoodie - players will receive this special equipment. All we know so far is that it is clothes--we don't know the stats.
  • FFX BANNER IS COMING! - Rikku, Tidus and Wakka are coming on June 29th!


For those not in the know, Rikku is the best support unit in the game. She has AoE 100% raise, and her limit burst is AoE Re-Raise! You'll definitely want to pull her. She's a 4* unit, so might be a little tricky to get, but won't be too bad. Tidus is a strong DPS who can chain with himself.

Also! There are rumors floating around that we will be getting Warrior of Light's 6* awakening soon! He becomes the best tank in the game, as he has AoE cover abilities.

That's it! Exciting stuff, isn't it?
xnera: Photo of my cat sniffing a vase of roses  (Default)
I didn't read any books in September. I think this puts me behind on my goal of reading 25 books this year. I'll have to correct that in October.

I did do a TON of crafting in September, though! The Red Heart Lovers group's KAL/CAL was softies, which coincided nicely with Nerdopolis' Cute Critter War. So I, uh, went a bit overboard crafting critters:

Final Fantasy Amigurumi


Pokemon Amigurumi

Other Critters


I made so many softies that I managed to win the raffle in the Red Heart Lovers group, for the third month in a row. Yay more free yarn!

I also did a few non-critter projects. There was the Mystery 220 KAL, which turned out to be the Bandana Cowl. I figured out what it was from the first clue, but I didn't spoil it for anyone. It was still a fun mystery, because I couldn't fanthom how it was made. Turns out it uses short rows!

I did two projects for the Holiday Stashdown CAL, the Rockskipper Wristers and Fall Thicket Coaster. I have a third in the works, but I don't have a picture of it yet so I won't bother to link my project. But it's the Holiday Hostess with the Mostest Shawlette, if you want to see what it looks like.

I made two hats for the Hat of the Month group, the cute Snow Bunnies hat, and a Shell Stitch crochet hat.

Finally, I did a washcloth for the Dishcloth Weekly group, Veined Leaf. I wasn't going to do it, but another group member was having difficulty with it so I did it to figure out where she might be going wrong.

Whew! Lots of projects! October should see less crafting. Nerdopolis is back on, so I have five projects for that, plus a shawl for the ministry, and I'm doing the Mystery 220 challenge. But otherwise I don't have many crafting plans.

I'm hoping to get back to playing Final Fantasy XII this month. It'd be nice to get it finished. I'm near the end of the story but still have a lot of hunts to do. I also started yet another playthrough of Final Fantasy V last night, as the Four Job Fiesta is doing a speedrun party this month which sounds fun. I have no way to record myself so I won't be officially entering, but I thought I'd try it out anyway.
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: Icon of Noctis from Final Fantasy Versus 13, wearing a suit and looking upwards. (suit)
So enough time has passed (and better games have been played) since I played Infinite Undiscovery that I'm able to look at it critically, and wonder why I liked it so much when I first played it.

The game has flaws. Here's a few of them.

Aya's damsel-in-distress moment - Early on in the game, Aya gets sick and has to be carried to town by Capell. I'm of the opinion that damsel-in-distress storylines cheapen female characters, robbing them of some of their strength. Because it becomes not about Aya, but about how strong and tender Capell is.

The romance between Capell and Aya - It's simply unbelievable. It felt like it got tacked onto the game because of "oh shit, we need some romance!". Aya spends most of the game putting Capell down. What on earth could he possibly see in her, then? Heck if I know.

Lunar Rain - Lunar Rain is a phenomenon that makes you blessed characters feel really, really good. So good they turn into monsters and start attacking the party, which can be troublesome. To get around this, I used a party of Capell (who's unblessed), Touma (who is a noble and not affected by the lunar rain), and Gustav (who is a bear). I felt constrained by this, and thought it unfair that I couldn't use all my party members like I wanted to.

Achievements - I've played other games (Lost Odyssey comes to mind) where the achievements were obtained as you naturally played the game. Some did require grinding, but I am not opposed to grinding for achievements. What I am opposed to is the sheer difficulty of the achievements in Infinite Undiscovery. There's one early achievement I tried to get (blowing up all the barrels in a building you are escaping) but couldn't as I was constantly being attacked by enemies, who would kill me. I actually had the thought that "I should play the game on Easy to get this achievement". That... should not be. Worse, there is another battle where the walkthrough states to play it one way to get an achievement, then reset your game and play it again to get the battle bonus. In other words, the achievement is in direct odds with the desired outcome of the battle. THIS SHOULDN'T BE! ARGH!

Difficulty - I've tried the bonus dungeon on Normal mode (it is not available on easy) and it is stupid hard. I could not make it past the first level. Okay, some folks will say that this is a bonus dungeon and thus shouldn't count, but when I play a game, I like to play all it has to offer, you know? Also: there are four levels of difficulty to the game: easy, normal, hard, and infinite. Infinite mode is so difficult that there is a special walkthrough for beating the very first battle of the game. Which is NOT a boss fight, mind you, but a regular fight again regular mobs. I think this is a bit much.

Downloadable Content - I don't have the DLC, because my xbox is not hooked up to the Internet. But I'm aware of the DLC. There's two (free) downloads that add items to the shops. These items are required to make the ultimate weapons of the game. To make the ultimate weapons without these items requires planning and stockpiling of materials from the very beginning of the game, along with some difficult battles in the optional dungeon after the end of the game. In other words, if you don't have the DLC you're pretty much shit out of luck. I think this is preposterous, and that the DLC should have been included with the game itself.

The entire premise of the game - The. Moon. Is. Chained. BWUH?!?! How is this even possible? And wouldn't this cause problems with tides? Somehow I overlooked how preposterous this premise was when I played the game, probably because I liked Capell and enjoyed the battle system. But seriously, this is a silly storyline.

So yeah, that's my current thoughts on the game. At this point I don't know if I would replay it. I'm really burned by my lack of the DLC, because not having the ultimate weapons makes the bonus dungeon difficult.
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.
xnera: Photo of my cat sniffing a vase of roses  (Default)
Lara Croft can give the athletes on American Ninja Warrior a run for their money. She can traverse all sorts of terrain, glide down zip lines, hang by her fingertips, and climb sheer rock walls using only an axe. She's also quite deadly; she's able to kill using a bow and arrows, a shotgun, a revolver, or her handy axe.

The game is a reboot of the series and serves as an origin story for Lara. As the game opens, she's an archeologist on a ship, searching for the lost civilization of Yamatai. Her instincts tell her that Yamatai is located in the Dragon's Triangle off the coast of Japan. Disaster strikes, and she and her crew are shipwrecked on an island. Could this be the fabled Yamatai? The story plays out as she attempts to survive and find a way off the island, while uncovering the island's secrets in the process.

The gameplay is quite intuitive. Lara automatically ducks behind walls and crates. Pull the left trigger to pop up, use the left analog stick to aim, and pull the right trigger to shoot. You can change weapons using the directional pad. The X button is used for special actions, such as using your climbing axe. Some of the tombs have puzzles to be solved, but the puzzles fit well in the setting: none of them felt like they were puzzles for puzzles' sake. At times, the things Lara survives can feel quite amazing--I kept asking her why she wasn't dead yet (though I did die many, many times over the course of the game).

The game was released for a wide variety of platforms, including Microsoft Windows, OS X, PlayStation 3 & 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. I really enjoyed this game. I borrowed it from my library, and it's now on my must-buy list.

Here's a video of the opening and beginning of gameplay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GcGXl__FIM
xnera: Icon of Riku from Kingdom Hearts, in Heartless attire. (dark riku)
I finished Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days yesterday. I think I enjoyed it more this playthrough than I did the first time. I wouldn't say I disliked it the first time, just that I got more out of it this time. It takes place concurrently with Chain of Memories and tells the story of what was going on in Organization XIII. I like Roxas more than I like Sora (but Riku will always be my favorite). The gameplay is similar to other Kingdom Hearts games. One thing that is different is how you develop your character: you have panels that you install, for instance a level up panel, a Cure panel, a Potion panel, etc. The game is divided into missions; each mission has a goal that must be reached. I rather liked this approach.

Once I finished the story I still wanted to play video games, so I fired up Mission Mode and started making my way through that, playing as Riku. I was doing okay with the Twilight Town missions until I got to the one where I had to kill six giant Heartless, which did me in.

Earlier this year I was at a video game store and saw they had Kingdom Hearts Re:coded. I am kicking myself for not buying it. I didn't even know that game was released in the U.S. It's probably long gone from the store by now.
xnera: Icon of Noctis from Final Fantasy Versus 13, wearing a suit and looking upwards. (suit)
I finished my second Four Job Fiesta run! I was playing as a Black Mage, Summoner, Beastmaster, and Dragoon. I did take notes but I won't bore you with all the details. Neo Exdeath took a few tries, mostly due to being unlucky. The hardest fight was actually the crystals in the Forest of Moore. I tried taking them out one by one, as recommended in the Caves of Narshe walkthrough. I kept dying to Aqua Breath, though. Finally, after about 11 attempts, I said screw it, and changed my ability on my beastmaster and dragoon from !Black to !Summon, and sicced Titan on the crystals. That killed off the fire and wind crystals. The water crystal was killed off by a Jump from the Dragoon. Which left the earth crystal. I melee'd it, and ending up winning with only Galuf, my dragoon, standing.

After the Four Job Fiesta I considered knitting some more, but I've got a big pile of nope when it comes to knitting right now. Instead I started up Chrono Trigger. I've been playing it mostly without a walkthrough (I am usually a copious walkthrough user) because my way of reading walkthroughs, my PSP, is dead. I've been doing okay, though I did have some problems with Giga Gaia that required extra leveling to beat. Death Peak caused me fits. It took over 200 attempts to make it past the first screen... and then I missed the save point, and died to the Lavos Spawn, so had to make the climb AGAIN, ugh. Luckily I managed the climb in only five tries the second time. I'm now stuck in Geno Dome. I can't make the run fast enough to open the door with the robot behind it. Ugh.

So I put Chrono Trigger down, and picked up Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, which I've played before. I considered playing Proud mode, but chickened out and started a standard game. Play is going pretty well, though I really hate the "Don't get caught!" mini-games. I suck at those.

I went to the library today and while there I checked out the games they have. There's Tomb Raider for the Xbox 360. I think I might go back tomorrow and get it. Games only have a week's rental, and I didn't want to get it today because I can't use mom's car next Monday to return it. She's off on Tuesdays, though, so that works.
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: Photo of my cat sniffing a vase of roses  (Default)
Glitch was a collaborative MMORPG that ran on Flash in the web browser. It was a gentle game in which you pet and nibbled piggies, watered trees and plucked their fruit, milked butterflies, and built towers in your home street. Glitch encouraged sharing of resources - for example, my home street had cherry trees and sparkly rocks, and anybody who visited my street could mine the rocks or pluck fruit from my trees. Glitch was known for its sense of humor and whimsy. There were goals in the game: for example, “Delicately charred 11 dishes with a Famous Pugilist Grill.” would get you the Brazier Apprentice achievement. Feats were server-wide challenges for the entire population to participate in. Feats usually had rewards if certain goals were met - for example, the unlocking of a new area.

Glitch lasted until December 9th, 2012, when Tiny Speck shut it down due to lack of sustainable income. They very kindly released the source code of the game. Several projects are underway to re-imagine the game. Eleven Giants (http://www.elevengiants.com/) is currently in alpha testing. They’ve had a setback recently, but progress continues. Children of Ur (http://childrenofur.com/) is in early states of gameplay - you can log in and walk around the world, but there is not much to do yet.
xnera: Photo of my cat sniffing a vase of roses  (Default)
"Hello!"
"Hello."
"Follow me."
"Okay!"

If you recognise those words, then you have played Abe's Oddysee, a game for the original Playstation. Abe is a Mudokon who works for Rupture Farms, a meat processing plant. He overheats a presentation on New 'n Tasty, the new product being developed. Serems the ingredients are to be the Mudokons! Help Abe escape from Rupture Farms, saving as many Mudokons in the process.

The game is notable for its Gamespeak system. Holding down L1 and pressing Triangle will allow you to say Hello to a fellow Mudokon. You can then press L1 + Square to order him to follow you.

It's not as easy as greeting and following, though. Some Mudokons are angry and need to be sympathized with before they will follow you. There's also obstacles such as gaps that need to be jumped over, levers that need to be pulled, or barrels that need to be hoisted. The game is a puzzle; you need to figure out how to employ your Mudokons to make it safely past the obstacles.

Abe's Oddysee was followed by Abe's Exoddus, also for the PS1. Then came Munch's Oddysee for the original Xbox, followed by Stranger's Wrath. A fifth game was planned, but never made. Abe's Oddysee has undergone a remake, entitled Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty released on a variety of platforms. Be sure to check out this charming game.

Here's a video of New 'n' Tasty showing the beginning of the game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6AdW0iNBhA
xnera: The Ninth Doctor says, "Fantastic!" (fantastic!)
I finished my Ministry Shawl #3! I'm very pleased with how it turned out. I showed it to my therapist, who asked if it would be hard to give it up. I said no. I think I'm a process knitter--the enjoyment comes more from the process than the finished product, although I do love the finished objects, too!

This month I am knitting a pair of socks. I don't think I've finished a pair in a month before, but it should be doable. I spent 65 hours on the shawl, and only 38 hours on my Jaywalker socks so yeah, should be doable.

I still haven't tried Lightning Returns again. I guess the game really turned me off. Instead I've been playing Final Fantasy III. An acquaintance said that he maxed out all the jobs in the game, so that's my goal for this playthrough. Right now I have the first set of jobs all at level 10 or above.
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 )
xnera: Icon of Noctis from Final Fantasy Versus 13, wearing a suit and looking upwards. (suit)
I finished Lost Odyssey last night! You play a 1000-year old immortal with amnesia who slowly regains his memory over the course of the game. Memories return in the form of dreams, which are told (very effectively) through simple text-on-screen with music and sound effects. One of your fellow immortals is intent on taking over the world, and you have to stop him.

Game play is turn-based. When your turn comes up, a targeting ring appears on the screen. Pull the right trigger when the rings align for extra damage. There’s also your standard black and white magic users, along with spirit magic. Although you’re immortal, you can still get knocked out - if your whole party gets knocked out, it’s game over. The nice thing is that immortals automatically revive after two rounds, so you don’t need to use up reviving medicines.

I had difficulty in early dungeons. I kept getting killed by random encounters. I do not like being killed by random encounters. I tend to think of them as fodder, training for the boss of the area. These were not fodder, though--on one dungeon I had to try five times in order to make it through. Play got easier towards endgame, and I no longer died to random encounters. In fact, it got a bit too easy. Enemies would hit for 0 or 1 damage. *sighs* I think I would have liked challenging-but-survivable encounters throughout the entire game.

Your characters progress by learning skills. Mortals automatically learn skills as they level up. Immortals can link with mortals and learn skills from them. Immortals can also learn skills from accessories. I did a lot of grinding to learn all the skills on all four immortals. By the end of the game, the immortals were ridiculously strong. HP and MP regeneration at the end of each turn. Elemental damage absorbed. Occasionally absorbs attacks. Guard and counterattack rate up. I don't think I healed once during the final boss.

The achievement system was quite good for this game. Most of the achievements came through regular gameplay. There were some optional bosses (which were quite easy by the time I got to them) that also unlocked achievements. I ended up getting all achievements for the game except Treasure Trove. Guess I'll have to replay the game some time, following a walkthrough closely to get it.

I discovered a few bugs in the game. For the first, I stepped on an elevator just as a battle started. After the battle, the elevator went up without me, and I fell into the hole the elevator left behind. Down, down, down I fell, becoming just a small speck on the screen. Two more random encounters occurred while I tried to figure out if there was a way out. Eventually, I just reset the game.

The second "bug" is more of a design flaw. In the same dungeon, there are paths that change when you press a button. I somehow made it so I was stuck in an area with no place to go. I kept retaking the same elevator up and down, looking for a way to change the path to escape, but no luck. I had to reset the game again.

I think this was the dungeon that I missed treasures in. I originally tried doing the dungeon without a walkthrough, and I think I screwed it up. When I then gave in and consulted a walkthrough, I was confused because it said to take an elevator up, but there was no such elevator. So yeah, will have to replay with a walkthrough some time.

A friend said she gave up halfway through the game because it got too sappy for her. SPOILERS for the end of the game )

I liked the game very much, and would recommend it to others. I put 100 hours into the game, so you definitely get your money's worth from it.

It was still early when I finished it last night, so I started up Final Fantasy XIII-2 and am now 3 hours into it. I'm liking it so far.

Shopping!

Jan. 26th, 2015 01:47 pm
xnera: The Ninth Doctor says, "Fantastic!" (fantastic!)
I went shopping yesterday. Yay!

First stop was Starbucks, as my sister had given me a gift card for Christmas. I forgot how expensive they are. I got a grande peppermint mocha and it cost $4.65, wow. I also got a salted caramel square and saved it for later.

Then it was onto GameSpot. I'm a bit superstitious - when the time is a repeated number like 11:11, I make wishes. One of my wishes was that GameSpot would have both games I wanted at an affordable price so I could just use the $25 gift card from my sister and the cash I had on hand, so I wouldn't have to dip into my $100 gift card which I want to use entirely on yarn. Happily, both games were in stock and were indeed cheap enough. I got Final Fantasy XIII-2 for 17.99 and Lost Odyssey (at [personal profile] lassarina's recommendation) for $14.99. Score!

Then it was over to Michaels for another skein of Red Heart Super Saver for my BAMCAL afghan. Truthfully, I like my local Joann better than Michaels, but I wasn't sure they had Red Heart Super Saver and I know Michaels does, so I went there. I was able to pay with cash. I think I have enough cash left over to get a haircut at Great Clips - I need to count it and see. It's about time for a haircut.

After that, my shopping was done, so it was back home. I worked on equalizing two more squares for the BAMCAL afghan. I have 5 large squares left to equalize, plus the 12 small squares. I'd like to finish this week, I think. Then I played some FFTA until dinner time.

After dinner it was time to try out the new toys! Originally I had planned on playing FFXIII-2 first, but I was lucky enough to get the manual for it and read that it featured Serah, which dimmed my interests a bit. So I fired up Lost Odyssey instead. I'm about four hours into the game and am enjoying it so far, though I wish I hadn't used up the 10 healing medicines you get at the start of the game.

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