Posts tagged final fantasy
This is my holiday game, but I’ve started it early. Sue me.
I’d forgotten how fantastic the opening section is – it’s been over ten years, after all – but it really throws you into the game and generates a real sense of urgency.
It’s a shame that the game’s very much of its time in other areas. The reliance on save points is pretty horrible by modern standards – though the PSP’s standby helps alleviate some of the problems that causes – but it’s the time it takes to get back into the game once you die that’s the real problem, and it’s not helped by having to go through cut scenes and dialogue again.
It’s also a mark of the game’s age that I’ve had to restart – enemies fifteen minutes in don’t often kill you in modern RPGs.
Played a lot of this over the weekend. I got in my boat and found a new village, defeated an evil elf, returned someone’s crystal eye, gave some powder to a dwarf so he could blow things up, that sort of thing.
After having an easy time for the first five hours or so, I’ve now found a cave that’s said to house an evil vampire. I went in and left as soon as I could – not easy, with an encounter rate that went through the roof – because I was being pummeled. I think I need to level up a bit before trying again. Time for grinding, hooray!
Went on a bit of an adventure last night, crossing the continent I was on, looking for anything I might have missed.
After of lovely experience-giving battles, I found myself outside a cave. Dare I go in? What horrors lurked inside?
No horrors, actually. Just some Fantasia-style brooms and a man who’d lost his crystal eye. It didn’t seem to be lying around, so I guess I’ll find somewhere along the way.
Battled my way back to town and had a kip at the inn, so tomorrow I think I may well be setting off in my pirate ship across the sea.
A break from the usual list of the ten iPhone games I judge to be the best, here’s a list of ten games to play during this month. All will be great games, but they’ll be selected based on a mix of quality, novelty and relevance to the month’s events.
Angry Birds is one of the very best games you’ll find on the App Store. You pull back a catapult to launch birds at structures set up the evil, egg-stealing green pigs, aiming to knock them and destroy the pigs inside. The levels are wonderfully designed, for the most part, with luck playing a much smaller part in proceedings than you might think when you first play. It’ll take a few days to get through all the levels – there are about a hundred of them now – and there’s tons of replay value in trying to get all three stars for every level and get good scores on the global leaderboards. A huge, well-deserved success.
The devloper’s next iPhone game, Gravity Hook, is coming out soon, so what better time to revisit Canabalt? Not that you need any excuse. Canabalt is a masterpiece of one-touch gameplay and atmosphere. Perfectly playable without sound, the soundtrack nevertheless heightens the tension and makes the simple act of running and jumping feel like humanity’s last hope for survival.
New to the App Store, this is a fantastic solitaire game, based around fighting with fantasy-themed cards. There are monsters, zombies and dragons stacked up against your band of heros. Though the luck of the draw is important, as in all solitaire games, a wide variety of cards and tactical options make this much more interesting than your standard solitaire game. Very highly recommended.
Also new to the App Store, but a long, long way from being a new game, here comes the game that started it all. Updated graphics and toned-down difficulty make for a much friendlier game than the NES original and the lack of story and cut scenes means you’ll be able to spend a lot of your time actually playing the game. It may be simple compared to later games in the series, but that doesn’t hurt a bit on a mobile platform.
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars
A giant of a game, this towers over the other games available on the iPhone, puts its hands on its hips and roars with laughter. An absolutely huge game, with great controls, this brings the humour, the carnage and the city you love to the iPhone. Alongside the story, there are all sorts of side missions, along with a hugely addictive drugs economy that you can use to earn money. It’s pretty much perfect and, for my money, is the best game on the App Store by a country mile.
Noby Noby Boy
Not, perhaps, the best game you’ll ever play on your iPhone. In fact, it’s not really game at all, simply a suite of little toys and mini apps. Think of it as a toy, though, and it’s brilliant. You can mess around stretching, flicking and breaking BOY, check the time, import photos, even browse the web. It’s all very silly and lightweight, but has a huge amount of charm. If you’re anything like me, you’ll keep coming back every now and again, just for the joy of it.
Everybody loves Orbital. Well, okay, not quite everybody. It’s a harsh mistress, where a single mistake spells death, so some lily-livered types find it off-putting, but most people play a couple of games and fall in love. It’s all about angles and sensible shooting, wrapped up in neon explosions in the emptiness of space. It’s horribly addictive – especially if your Facebook friends are also playing it – and all three modes offer something different. It’s not got the humour and scope of Grand Theft Auto or the cartoon charm of Angry Birds, but it’s got claws of cold steel that grab you and won’t let go.
It’s March, which means baseball is back. There’s a whole host of baseball games on the App Store and most of them have something going for them, but at the moment I’m playing Konami’s Power Pros. It’s easy to pick up, well-presented and cute. It may not have real players, but it feels right. Go Panthers!
If you’re playing Canabalt, you might as well play this, too. It’s the flip side of that game, where instead of being an escaping human, you’re a giant robot bent on destruction. Why you’ve been programmed to be unable to move past a city block unless its been completely destroyed I don’t know, but that’s the situation you find yourself in. You stomp through the city, destroying everything in your path. Buildings, trees… and the army. Soldiers are fried and squished, tanks explode, helicopters fall in flames. Eventually the armed forces will bring you down, that’s inevitable, but it’s great fun to see how far you can get before you fall.
Words With Friends
You always need Words With Friends. It’s a bit unstable at times and not as balanced as Scrabble, but it makes up for it with a huge userbase and ease of use. If you’ve got any interest in word games, you need this. There’s no single player, but that doesn’t matter given how easy it is to start an online game. I’m always up for new challengers and I’m easily beatable, so if you want a game, I’m ThatRevChap. So good it’s got a permanent space on my dock.
No real excitement last night. I was just wandering around outside my current town, battling monsters for money and experience. (Mainly experience.)
At one point Martha died, because I wasn’t paying attention to her hit points, but a quick trip back to town sorted that out. She’s fine now, no need to worry.
I do hope that these games sell well enough that we see later games in the series ported to the iPhone. I’d have thought all the games up to VI should be easy enough.
Didn’t play as much of this as I’d intended over the weekend, but I managed to do some wandering and found another town.
The people there were scared of some horrible pirates who were hanging around, so I went and beat them up. (Violence, of course, solves everything.) The pirate captain was so impressed that he vowed to change his ways and gave me his pirate ship, which was nice of him.
I’ll be sailing the seven seas when I next play, then, unless I just wander around outside town fighting for a while to level up.
Sod the stupid goblins, time to play properly.
Played for about twenty minutes over lunch, which consisted of wandering up to the first dungeon, beating the rubbish boss in two or three rounds, then getting congratulated for my great success. It’s nice to be thanked, but I didn’t even get a free stay at the inn for my troubles.
Did get a lute, though. It’s a key item, so I assume it comes into play later in the game. Talking of which, I must remember to go back to the castle and the Chaos Shrine once I’ve got hold of the mysterious Mystic Key. Apparently some elf chap’s been keeping it safe. I assume I’ll run into him at some point.
(As you can probably tell, despite having played and completed this game before, memories of the specifics aren’t exactly flooding back.)
I’ve played a lot of Final Fantasy games, but the only one I’ve completed is the first. (Though I completed the Gameboy Advance version, rather than the NES original.) It was released last night on the iPhone and I bought it, despite the relatively steep £5.49 price, because I’m dying to play through it again. While it was downloading, I read my blog posts about my playthrough of the GBA version to see if there were any hints and the only one I found is that I wished I hadn’t had a thief in my party.
With that in mind, I decided to go with a party consisting of a Warrior and one of each of the mages. I may regret the lack of heavy physical damage dealers in the later game, but we’ll see.
I haven’t done much so far. I went to see the king, bought some new weapons and magic and ran around killing some goblins. All my characters are up to level three now and I’ll see how much grinding I can stand before I set out on the real adventure. Probably quite a lot, because there’s just something charming about the game, even (especially?) in these early stages.
Running around triggering random encounters, returning to the inn to sleep, it’s all intensely familiar, like a favourite blanket. The nostalgia factor isn’t hurt by the fantastic music and the much-loved sound effects. It’s the gaming equivalent of comfort food.
There are a few niggles. The touch screen controls work wonderfully for the most part, but sometimes seem not to register properly, especially when trying to talk to people. It’s as if the hit box is slightly smaller than the sprites you’re trying to click. A very minor issue. Another annoyance is the terrible framerate in the town. It doesn’t hurt the gameplay at all, but it’s very unpleasant to look at.
Whether or not you’ll like this if you’ve not played it before, I don’t know – but four years ago when I played the GBA version I’d never played it before and I loved it then, so it might be worth a go… unless you hate the traditional JPRG mechanics.
I’m about thirty hours in now and it’s all I seem to be playing.
Strange how things change, eh?
Wife and I are having Final Fantasy Tactics weekend. We’re quite the addicts right now.