Friday! Video games! Let’s talk!
Before I get into my recent gaming adventures, I’d first like to congratulate everyone involved over at The Well-Red Mage for setting up their new Patreon page and ditching the old WordPress URL for a fancy new dot-com! I’ve followed their blog for a while now and it always brings me joy to watch those I respect succeed where others have given up or failed. I’m proud to be a Warrior of Light at the $5 level (White Mage!) and can’t wait to see where they go from here.
Best of luck, my dude!
As for me, you may have noticed the lack of content here at Cheap Boss Attack. With the fall semester quickly approaching on the 14th, I started declining review keys from publishers back in June in favor of working through my backlog. Since I mostly handle reviews, not having them puts me in a weird position where I don’t know what to do with myself. And since my latest endeavor has been a lengthy battle with Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age, I haven’t had much else to discuss.
Toward the end of July, I wanted to encourage myself to write more often and came up with the idea of “All August Long.” The plan was to write one blog post, no matter how big or small, every day throughout the month — be it gaming or otherwise. Unfortunately, I’ve been busier than expected. My mom has been sick and I’ve been taking her back and forth to appointments, and I’ve also made it a point to put my diet and exercise routine ahead of everything else.
Basically, what little time I did have wasn’t focused on writing.
Things have slowed down a little, so my hope is to bury the sword in Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age. I initially planned on doing a 100% run — maxing out character levels and their respective job boards, completing all of the hunts and trials, and tracking down the elusive “ultimate” weapons. That’s… probably not going to happen anymore.
I’m definitely enjoying the game more than I did back in its PS2 form, but the final act is starting to wear me down. I took a break from the annoying boss fights and roaming monsters that continued to riddle my heroes with every Final Fantasy ailment under the sun, opting instead to chip away at the various hunts. The game has been incredibly easy up until this point, and it’s not like I’m wiping repeatedly, but the combination of the slow-moving narrative and annoyance-over-enjoyment monster encounters hasn’t done much to entice me into spending more time than necessary.
In a Discord conversation with The Well-Red Mage, he mentioned spending dozens of hours on the game’s optional hunts on PS2 and had no clue what was going on in the story when he finally went back to finish. Final Fantasy XII has such a massive lull in the middle, which, in retrospect, seemed like the perfect time to break away for a few hunts, but now that the story is picking back up I don’t want Well-Red’s anecdote to ring true for me as well.
This is the type of game that would have consumed me as a teenager, back when I happily maxed out the timer in Final Fantasy Tactics on two separate occasions. I rarely 100% anything anymore, though, and if my heart isn’t into the optional content right now, why bother? I can always make another save file at the “point of no return” and come back after finishing up the story.
I have other issues (and praises) that I’ll go into deeper whenever I get around to reviewing it.
For now, I’ll just loudly curse in my office every time poor ol’ Penelo gets Diseased and I’m out of Remedy and Serum, and if I happen to hit a brick wall boss that I can’t topple with brute force and clever Gambits I’ll step away to level grind a bit. I doubt I’ll go back to hunting monsters, though.
Once Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age is finished, the next game on my list is Final Fantasy XIII. Where I go from there largely depends on how much I enjoy XIII. I’d like to see the trilogy through to the end, but may take a break and *finally* dive into Persona 5 if it doesn’t have its hooks in me when the credits roll. We’ll see.
Hopefully, Final Fantasy XII will be finished in the next few days since I’m nearing the final dungeon, and then I can move on to something else (not saying that in a negative way, by the way — I *am* enjoying the game).
What about you, folks? Got any gaming plans this weekend?