Lost in a Fantasy- Finally

Something strange has happened. I have been playing Final Fantasy. And outright enjoying it.

In the days of when the Playstation didn’t need a number after it’s name, I bought Final Fantasy VI, VII and IX. I never got further than an hour and a half into VI, four hours into VII and never even finished the first disc of IX. They didn’t grab me. I didn’t like having to juggle several character’s ATB gauges and remember which of the many monster types my team could defeat with ease, and which wore me down to my last sliver of HP. I was rubbish at timing when to kick my healer into gear, and quickly tired of being defeated and having to go back and do it again. And I loathed having to search for a save point.

I had brief liasons with X and X-2 when visiting a friend, and they confused me even more. The sphere method of levelling up seemed overly complex and required far too much forward-planning and strategy than an RPG required.

So when a different friend was extolling the virtues of XIII to me, I had to stop him and ask about the levelling system. “It’s a little bit like in X-2, but it actually makes a whole lot more sense” are the words he used.
Hmm.
“Oh, and you only control one character at a time, the others in the team work off AI.”
Aha, a development in a positive direction!
“And you organise your team into paradigms, to do different roles depending on the battle.”
…Ah.

I watched him play for about half an hour, and didn’t really get it.

Truth be told, I bought the game to write an article about it. I wanted to give it a shot so I could be better informed for my planned article on ‘why some gamers just can’t get on with the FF series’.
That article has now been scrapped.

I’ve just passed 14 hours of gameplay and am about halfway through Chapter 7. If this means anything to you, dear reader, then you will more than likely smile and think something along the lines of ‘only another 20 hours or so, then it gets to the good bit’. I am aware, thank you.

I understand the Paradigm system, and have become fluent in the ways of the Crystarium. Weapon upgrading, I was reliably informed, is not as straightforward as it seems, so I’m not doing much of that until I understand what I’m playing with. Not only that, I am actually genuinely sad that I won’t be able to play until next weekend.

I also have to apologise to the poor person I was on Xbox Live to a couple of hours ago. I wasn’t much of a conversationalist, but they did hear a lot of murmurs along the lines of ‘That is a biiiiig Orion. Worth an Aegisol and a Fortisol, I think’ and ‘God damn it Snow, you’re meant to be drawing ALL the fire’.

(I do talk to myself a fair amount whilst gaming…)

Not only that, my new-found enjoyment of Final Fantasy has managed to extend itself to my DS. A second-hand copy of Final Fantasy XII- Revenant Wings was £4 in my local Gamestation just after I started XIII. Nothing else has touched my DS since, and I’ve clocked up as much game time on there as I have on its Xbox counterpart.

Needless to say, I am currently re-thinking my Final Fantasy article…

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~ by Tegan on August 1, 2010.

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