Friday! Video games! Let’s talk!
My gaming agenda hasn’t changed at all since last week’s post — I’m still working my way through Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age on PS4. I’ve gotten to the point in the story where I can now access two different job boards per character, which helps strengthen their roles or offset their weaknesses.
Here’s what I’m working with right now:
- Vaan: Monk/Black Mage
- Penelo: White Mage/Machinist
- Balthier: Shikari/Foebreaker
- Fran: Uhlan/Time Battlemage
- Basch: Knight/Bushi
- Ashe: Red Battlemage/Archer
At first, I figured Fran would best fill the Archer role and Balthier the Machinist, but apparently Square gave them more frames of animation in order make them look snazzy while shooting, so they’re actually the worst choices. Essentially their superior animations cause them to take less shots over time than anyone else. Since I love min/maxxing my party based on their statistical increases, I went with the job combos above after a little research.
Once I have a little more time to play around in combat and earn a chunk of LP to unlock a wider section of the new license boards I’ll have a better idea of how to split the party into two groups of three. I know each group will need a healer, so Penelo and Ashe are essential (particularly Penelo in the late-game).
With Basch as a Knight and Bushi, he should be able to withstand a ton of physical damage with his increased chance to block attacks, access to the heaviest armor, and some white magick spells. Fran exists mostly to debilitate foes from a distance with spears and time magick since she has the worst stat growth in the game and doesn’t specialize in anything. That leaves Vaan and Baltheir as heavy damage dealers, which has been working out incredibly well thus far.
I’m further in the game than I’ve ever been and I’m particularly digging on the story and individual character growth — Vaan still kinda sucks, however. The heavy middle-eastern influence can be felt in the world design and music, and the combination of races has an almost Star Wars feel to it. I hear the story has a major lull in the middle portion, though, but I’m fully invested at 20 hours in and left plenty of monster hunt quests to help dull the sting of boredom.
Outside of gaming I finally bit the bullet and subscribed to NJPW World, which is basically New Japan Pro Wrestling’s version of WWE Network. Their annual G1 Climax tournament is going on and I’d only been following them over the years via YouTube uploads and Twitter GIFs. They don’t have their own console app, though, so I’ve just been using the Edge browser on my Xbox One to watch on my TV. That didn’t go over so well with Giant Bomb’s embedded video player, but it’s worked just fine for NJPW.
They have an incredible roster of talent and it’s been a breath of fresh air watching actual wrestling matches instead of the garbage soap opera and squandered talent of WWE. Having access to all of their programming (and more) dating back to 2007 is quite nice and wrestling is an easy watch in the background while working out.
Speaking of which, I’ve been strictly keeping up with my exercise and diet routine and have dropped 10 pounds, a jean size, and nearly doubled my stamina within two weeks. The improvement of my mental health has been the greatest reward, though. I still don’t look forward to the actual exercise, but I can’t deny how much it improves my mood and overall mindset when it’s over. I’ve been at a decent weight before, but I’ve been suffering from depression since middle school (i.e. a long time, as I’m in my mid-thirties). Not being depressed is a weird feeling and, as you’d expect, it pretty much fucking rules.
My girlfriend has been on a mission to find us a decently priced and functional heart monitor to accurately log our calorie burn, but we ended up returning the two brands she picked up since one was broken on arrival and the other required a newer cell phone than my iPhone 5S. This made yoga tricky so I’ve been riding 7 miles on the bike and power-walking for an hour (at minimum, one or the other). I’m actually headed there once this post goes up, so I’ll go ahead and end it here.
What about you, folks? Got any plans this weekend?
*featured image via SI.com.