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.
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.
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?