It’s the Freakin’ Weekend! What are You Playing?

Friday! Video games! Let’s talk!

I’m still adjusting to life after vacation, but I’ve since registered for classes for the upcoming fall semester beginning August 14th. In an effort to address our mental and physical health, my girlfriend and I have transitioned back to our original vegan diet, tracking our caloric intake via MyFitnessPal, and began sticking to a scheduled yoga/calisthenics/cardio routine. It’s been going great so far and I feel much, much better.

FFXII2

I put a handful of games on eBay and used the funds to grab Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age, Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5 HD ReMIX, and Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8: Final Chapter Prologue on PS4 — Kingdom Hearts always has the worst names, doesn’t it?

I was a stubborn Final Fantasy fan when XII released in 2006. I wanted a traditional turn-based Final Fantasy instead of the single-player MMO/bot-controlled party member feel of XII and gave up after ~10 hours. To this day it remains the mainline entry I’ve played the least. However, now that I’m older, wiser (shut up!), and more familiar with this style of game, I wanted to give it another go — and I’m certainly glad I did.

I’ve been enjoying it far more now than I ever did in 2006.

The Zodiac Age uses the Japan-only release’s license board update to break things down into selectable job classes instead of one overwhelming chart. Brad from Giant Bomb referred to it as “analysis paralysis,” which really is the best way to describe it.

Things are much more manageable now, though I’m still a bit overwhelmed knowing that job class choices cannot be reversed. This has lead to an insane amount of research on the pros and cons of each job, which two pairs together the best (each of the six playable characters can choose two job class boards to fill out), and which characters fill each role optimally. That may not sound like fun, but as a longtime MMO player, I love the idea of min/max’ing my party.

I’m hoping to put a bit more time into Final Fantasy XII today since I started the game over from scratch after accidentally choosing Black Mage for Vaan instead of Monk (I want this job combo, but leveling as Monk first is more efficient). I’m grinding out a bit of XP and Gil before picking up Penelo, mostly to buy magicks, technicks, and gambits to make some of the upcoming monster hunts/XP grinds easier, but, as you can see, I haven’t made it far in the story. Once I get Vaan up to level 8 I’ll press on a little bit.

Between playing Final Fantasy XII and watching the insane 8-hour Final Fantasy VII speedrun at SGDQ 2017, I’ve been wanting to revisit my series favorites and finally get around to the ones I’ve avoided. I’ve given up on waiting for the XIII trilogy on PS4 so the PS3 may get hooked back up here soon. The same could be said of the PSP and Crisis Core. I also have the X/X-2 HD remaster on PS4 and Vita floating around and I never spent more than a handful of hours with X-2 on PS2. So. Much. Final. Fantasy.

kingdomhearts

On the Kingdom Hearts front, I loved the original game when it released in 2005 but never got into the sequel. Beyond that, the series’ lore has always felt confusing and I have absolutely no attachment to Disney. I do love a good RPG, though, and with Kingdom Hearts III still a ways (or years) away, I guess I have plenty of time to brush up on what I’ve missed out on. The two PS4 remasters capture everything (I believe?), between playable games, lengthy cutscene films, and a new adventure, so I should be good to go.

What about you, folks? Got any big gaming plans this weekend?

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17 thoughts on “It’s the Freakin’ Weekend! What are You Playing?

  1. My friend is trying to convince me to get into Citadel: Forged With Fire, but it doesn’t look interesting to me at all. This weekend is going to be game free for me. I’m just focusing on writing my book and probably finishing up the Witcher books.

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  2. I just picked up Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D earlier this week so I’ve been playing that a lot. And I started playing Pokémon Sun a couple of weeks ago even though I got it back in December. I’m slowly building my team. It’s a lot more fun than I was expecting!

    Side note: A couple of months ago, I used MyFitnessPal but kind of got out of the habit. Trying to get back into it. Hope everything goes well with managing your health!

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    1. DKC Returns & Tropical Freeze were both fantastic! I played Returns on Wii, but I’m sure it holds up just as well (if not better) on the 3DS. Enjoy!

      I’ve used MFP on numerous occasions throughout the years and it really put into perspective just how much awful shit I put into my body. Depression just triggers compulsive eating and poor dietary choices, so it was always hard staying on track for long periods of time. I’ve always felt my best on a vegan diet, which accounts for about 5 or 6 years, so that’s what I’m working back towards. Here’s hoping it sticks. I have a good feeling about it this time. Best of luck tracking your stuff on MFP as well! If you want to add me over there, I’ll link my profile below. It’s always easier with a support group.

      http://www.myfitnesspal.com/profile/praisethesun

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  3. I’ll be streaming some Giana Sisters Twisted Dreams later tonight. HARDCORE MODE. Final boss stage, and then I can unlock UBER HARDCORE MODE. Do I have what it takes? I don’t know.

    Saturday after work I’ll be cramming for the next article. Sunday I’ll probably fire up some retro. I’ve had a couple of fun finds recently. I’d say Splatoon 2, but with some recent auto repairs, and the added cost of tires in the near future, I’ve had to put off any major purchases for a while. But I will have a Switch, and Squid people death painter 2000 eventually!

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  4. Good luck with the healthy lifestyle changes. I find it’s really hard to get started, but once I realized how much better I felt about life in general, it was worth keeping up, haha. I lasted 10-ish hours with the original XII too. I’m hoping to get into Zodiac Age, some day. And I’m super excited to read your XIII trilogy thoughts. Just try to be kind if you hate it… =P

    I’m still addicted to Dragon Age Origins. I’m about 25 hours in now. Grey Warden Ellen scored herself an Alistair, and Leliana is her badass best friend. Fun times!

    Have an awesome weekend!!

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    1. I loved Origins and it’s Awakening expansion so much when I played through the 360 versions at launch. I’m glad your enjoying it! I played an elf blood mage and had a lot of fun as an assassin rogue my 2nd time around. Have you tried Inquisition yet? Pretty damn amazing.

      Getting started is easy for me, but I get bored quickly or forget to prep meals in advance, then eventually cave at Taco Bell or something.

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      1. I have the Ultimate edition with Awakening, and EVERYTHING else, so that should keep me busy for a bit! I have already ordered Inquisition so I can play it when I’m done. After that I’m going to check out the Mass Effect trilogy. I still have so much Final Fantasy I need to play, but I’m gonna work on my Bioware backlog first :)

        I hear you! What helps me through that phase is what I like to call a “cheat meal”. It’s basically just something junky I plan to eat as a treat, no more than once per week. I’ve read studies that say cheat meals can help with weight loss and improve morale too.

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        1. I’ve read similar articles that suggest one cheat meal shocks the body and leads to regular or slightly increased calorie burn when paired with exercise. We made sticky mango rice for our cheat meal and it was sooooo good… but full of sugar and carbs. Still weighed in under my goal today!

          Inquisition is bigger than Origins, all of its DLC, and Awakening combined, but has the best cast IMO. The Mass Effect trilogy is incredible too, so you have quite a bit to look forward to. I only have Andromeda left in my BioWare backlog and I’m in noooo hurry to get on board with it. I’ll happily chip away at my FF and KH backlogs lol.

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          1. It sounds like you know exactly what you are doing! Congrats on beating your goal!! I know you can do it. For me, I also try not to beat myself up too much when I fail. For example, I shouldn’t have eaten that entire tub of Fudge Brownie ice cream last night, but I had long week and I needed it, dammit! I’ll just get back on track, until my next relapse, and forget that happened, haha.

            Oh wow! I’m really looking forward to Inquisition now. Good luck with your backlog monster boss battle! :)

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            1. Yeah, just knowing that you have to improve and owning your mistakes is a huge step. I log all of my calories, even if I know it’s well over my goal. It lets me look at it and know I fucked up, but sometimes we need to reward ourselves. We’re not monks lol. Ben & Jerry’s makes vegan flavors that are sooooo good, but they’re still loading with sugars and fats… still, I’m tempted every time I go to the store.

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  5. That’s an interesting change on the FFXII front. Hm, I’m dealing with the job system with FFV, but you can change it at any time. I’m currently in grind mode so I can take on Shiva below Walz Castle.

    Still haven’t had another chance to play Type-0, BUT I did check out your leveling info. That’s fantastic that you pretty much manipulate the PS4’s time lol. I still have to enter the classroom after meeting Ace’s mother who’s pretty much a cross between VII’s Lucrecia and Hojo, oh bit…can’t wait to see where THAT goes in terms of the story, but regardless it’s more stuff to add to my comparison pile.

    I’m trying to do the alt endings for The Room Three, and I’m not ashamed to admit I’m using a strat guide lol.

    I still play Brave Exvius *sigh* It’s a bit addictive and still fun. I’m not as serious or regular about it though so it’s more like “I’ve got some time before bed, let’s do a few Vortex quests or complete some missions.”

    Going to start my SOMA review this weekend. I need to stretch my analysis circuits and are they going to be tested.

    Glad vacay was fun and it’s soooo much easier to follow a healthy lifestyle together 😊

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  6. It took me two attempts to beat FF12. The first time I played it I gave up because I missed the traditional combat system. Years later, after playing similar stuff like Dragon Age, I revisited the game and managed to beat it. Tying characters to jobs is a good idea. I tried to do that originally, but the ability to learn everything eventually led me to make three identical characters.

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    1. It was definitely easier to focus on jobs in the new remaster, since that’s the only choice you have lol. You pick black mage and you only have black mage spells, accessories, mystic armor, staff unlocks, and Stat boosts to pick from.

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