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    Mar 4th, 2008 at 01:14:20     -    Final Fantasy X (PS2)

    Final Fantasy 10
    Second Hour


    GAMEPLAY

    Another hour into the game and the story is starting to pick up the pace. Square is known for detail. I have heard from many friends that they find Tidus whinny and annoying. I have to disagree there. When comparing Tidus to the Tidus that narrates, the tone is completely different. The Tidus that narrates the events sounds more mature than the one that the player plays as. Therefore it is part of character development. Every character has their own past and secrets because each character seems bitter on certain topics. I find it funny that Auron told Tidus that it was his story when I really think it is equally Yuna’s story as it is Tidus’. It is her pilgrimage afterall and Tidus is just apart of her journey.

    Like what all RPG’s are suppose to do to players, I was wrapped into the game’s plot. I just wanted to keep on playing to see the next cut scene because they are so beautifully done. The game felt more like progressing movie than just a game itself. I think it is because of the many stops in gameplay where the characters talks as an event. I think Square is very innovative for FF10 since it was the first of it’s kind. Compared to other titles under Square, such as Kingdom Hearts series and Final Fantasy Series, they seemed to cut out all animated cut-scenes to tell the story. They just used an event with regular gameplay graphics for conversations.



    DESIGN


    For a first in it’s family to go onto the Playstation 2, Square definitely exploited the console. There was a lot of talking in the game compared to the others under Square. My friend was watching me play and he was complaining that it was dragged on to long and one cut scene to many. I, however, loved how FF10 decided to tell it’s story. Everything else was pretty much the same. They still kept to their roots for most aspects of the game. Only a few things were changed and that was the battle system and leveling system, but even then it didn’t get a drastic make over.

    The tone of the gameworld is suppose to be serious but so far it is more on the lighter happy side. Tidus and Wakka are used to break the sadness that Sin causes Spira. The game explains how Blitzball is the people’s distraction from Sin. Blitzball is basically the only thing that people can enjoy/focus on and not think about the next town that Sin will destroy. However, once the player passes the blitzball tournament, like Wakka said, everything will become serious.

    The game doesn’t exactly have a level design. Like most RPGs you level up and fight bosses in order to advance the story. It is like an implicit rule. The reward structure in this game is to be able to defeat bosses without much difficulty when you learn new skills on the sphere grid. Overdrives, a finishing blow or a characters special, is different for each character. Some requires you to push buttons while others require you to spin the analog stick. This is something new that Final Fantasy brings to the table using the PS2’s new controller.

    I would recommend this game to someone who has the patience to sit through the story because it is worth it.



    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Mar 4th, 2008 at 03:06:22.

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    Mar 4th, 2008 at 01:13:57     -    Final Fantasy X (PS2)

    Final Fantasy 10
    First Hour


    SUMMARY


    In Final Fantasy 10 you play as Tidus, a boy who claims he’s from Zanarkand, a place that has been destroyed 1,000 years ago in a world called Spira. The goal of the game is to travel across Spira, helping Yuna, a summoner, defeat Sin.


    GAMEPLAY

    Amazingly, I am still not done with the tutorials in this game. Since this was the first Final Fantasy ever to have voice overs and better cut-scenes, square used it to their full advantage. The results: a dragged out introduction that took forever before the game would pick up the pace. However, because of this the players are given more insight on the fictional. I think the game has an emergent narrative because the player learn things as they go, just like Tidus. At the same time it can also count as having an embedded narrative because it uses cut-scenes in order to create this fictional background/story.

    The battle system for this game is similar to the older series. It is still turn based but the turns are already predetermined based on your stats. Equipment has also changed in this game. You are only able to two equip a weapon and a shield in this game. The game has also removed character levels. The game also changed the way you learn skills and magic. It uses something called a “Sphere Grid”. If you have played Final Fantasy 12, this is similar to it since FF12’s “License Board” derived from FF10. You basically earn experience to earn AP. You then use the AP to travel the sphere grid and use ability spheres on the nodes to learn new skills.

    That’s pretty much it so far.



    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Mar 4th, 2008 at 02:03:56.

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    Feb 21st, 2008 at 01:39:42     -    Final Fantasy XII (PS2)

    Final Fantasy 12
    Second Hour


    GAMEPLAY

    By now the characters in game have developed more than the first two hours. There are a total of six characters that the player is given. I feel that Vaan and Penelo are normal people who are caught in the fire of people with power. Balthier (my favorite) and companion Fran seem like they are just accompanying the party because it benefits them but I know that deep down they are only trying to help and treasure is not first priority. Basch and Ashe are the two that are serious about the party’s goals. They are willing to put their life down and restore order back to their homeland. This is only just the tip of the iceberg though. The characters are one of the things that keep players in the magic circle.

    Throughout the game I was wrapped into it. All of my attention was given to the game. I would feel bothered if someone were to talk to me or ask a favor from me. This is a game that requires you to be present throughout the whole game because if your not there you could miss a beautiful cut scene of Ivalice or an important conversation between the characters that is vital to understand the plot or simply, die from a monster.


    DESIGN

    The game is very innovative compared to its ancestors, especially the battle system. It has more of an online feel than a single player sitting at home. Although the battle system makes it easier on the player to manage, the game still possesses a challenge. From fighting regular monsters to boss battles, the system requires you to be there to watch over the characters actions if you use gambits. The game did a wonderful job of splitting the work between the player and the machine. The player still looks over the artificial intelligence instead of just having the player walk up to the monster and sit idly watching the battle.

    The tone of the game world is serious. Their journey start from restoring Princess Ashe to her throne to saving the world from the villain who is planning to take over the world using crystals. Because it is so serious the player becomes so focus that they do not want to miss a thing. The characters rarely talk, most of the time your out in the desert traveling huge maps to the next place. When the characters do talk though it is of most importance that you listen and understand what is going on.
    The game doesn’t really have a level design. It is just given that as you progress in the game the monsters become stronger, requiring you to level up in order to vanquish them. The reward structure for the game is satisfying because as you level up you become stronger and you also get to fill up the license board to be closer to your next “quickening”.

    The game is really enticing, I would recommend this to gamers who like a good story line with great graphics. A Final Fantasy title never fails to deliver the fun.



    This entry has been edited 2 times. It was last edited on Feb 21st, 2008 at 01:41:00.

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    Feb 21st, 2008 at 00:38:12     -    Final Fantasy XII (PS2)

    Final Fantasy 12
    First Hour



    SUMMARY

    Final Fantasy XII takes place in Ivalice where the player plays as Vaan, a 17-year-old orphan boy who is caught in the consequences of war. The goal of the game is to restore order to the countries in Ivalice In order to do so, Vaan and entourage must help Princess Ashelia reclaim her throne.



    GAMEPLAY

    Like other Final Fantasy games before it, the game starts off the story with a tutorial. Tutorials tend to take very long in Final Fantasy games but I enjoyed it because the tutorial was incorporated into the story line, instead of having a tutorial based on something irrelevant to progressing the story. After the tutorial was over, the game itself was intriguing. Since I just started the game I can’t expand on the plot overall but the battle system doesn’t disappoint. It is still turn based with an Action Time Bar, but instead of the characters being stationary, you are free to move them around during battle. I felt like I was the only player on World of Warcraft due to the online feel it has. The player is also free to customize their character's artificial intelligence with something called "Gambits". Basically, it is like an If and Then algorithm. If party hit points are below 30%, then use Cure. If there is a monster in sight, then use fire. You are able to mix and match according to your playing style. This way instead of managing all three characters, you can just manage one and watch over everyone else’s actions. When the battle is over, instead of being credited with the money and items, you have to pick it up, like an online game (without people looting you).

    The plot is very confusing. In order to clarify a few things for the player, the game breaks down from time to time in order to explain the current situation. Marquis Halim Ondore is the man that narrates the “situation so far” in the game. He is yet to be seen but I can assume that he is an important character in the story. In fact, many of the featured characters haven’t showed up in the game yet. The game definitely has a flow because of the way the game is set up. It leaves the player wondering what has happened. There are many plot holes that must be resolved and this is what keeps players actively playing the game.



    This entry has been edited 4 times. It was last edited on Feb 21st, 2008 at 01:40:07.

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