A Week of Gaming - 14-4-12

Thanks to everyone who responded to the time travel blog during the week. I just thought I’d throw out a random subject that’s been in my head lately. I might do more blogs like that whenever time permits. But now...

After about a month or so, I’ve finally completed FFV. Going into it, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy myself as much as I did. It didn’t quite end up in my ‘favourite RPGs of all time’ list, but it was definitely worth playing. It doesn’t deserve to be the oft-overlooked game of the franchise.

The final boss was hard as nails (putting it lightly), but after applying a thought-out strategy, I managed to send him to his grave. I was treated to some good old Mode 7 in the credits. It was nice to finally complete a Final Fantasy game. I never expected it to be FFV, but life surprises you like that...

Pros:

Like with virtually all the FF games, the music is excellent. All the tracks fit to a tee. The only one I didn’t like was the ‘hurry’ music, which got annoying quickly (although I liked the comedy fast version).

I loved the job system. Being able to learn abilities from jobs and applying them to a different job was pretty cool. I was able to create some powerful combinations as a result. If only more games had this kind of system...

While I had some issues with the characters (more on that in a bit), I thought it had a nice storyline. It definitely felt like an epic quest. Each step of the story had some meaning.

Cons:

As I’ve mentioned several times, it’s a not a game that’s good at telling you where to go next. I expect a lot of you will need to use a walkthrough at some point. I certainly did whenever I got stuck. If I didn’t, I’d have probably given up on the game pretty early on. While I don’t blame the game itself for this (it was developed in an era where these types of games were commonplace), it’s definitely worth a mention for the benefit of those wanting to play the game themselves at some point.

None of the main characters really made a lasting impression on me. That’s not to say they were completely devoid of character, but they seemed a bit flat compared to some other RPGs I’ve played. Like the other point I’ve mentioned, it could be an age issue.

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From one RPG to another. I started this pretty much straight away after finishing FFV. I was looking forward to starting the game ever since it arrived. It’d been too long since I’d played a game revolving around time travel.

So far, it has not disappointed. The early signs are very promising. There are a number of things I like about the game already.

First of all, the battle system. All the battles take place with a grid and the enemies have their own space on it by default. However, certain attacks can push the enemies to another space. This allows the characters to damage multiple enemies at the same time. At the end of the party’s turn, they return to a blank space, so it’s important to take advantage of the space-sharing while you can. Some of the enemies cannot be moved, which means you’ll need to come with a different strategy for them. I think the battle system is pretty satisfying up to now.

The game’s use of time travel is pretty interesting. At certain points, you’re given an option of what to do next. One choice I made in particular lead to the game branching off. However, I reached a dead end and I had to travel back to an earlier event (known in-game as ‘nodes’) and choose the other option to find a solution. Later on, I had to return to the other timeline. It looks as though there’ll be a lot of this throughout the game. I think it’s a pretty cool way of handling time travel. It also means that I’ll have to pay special attention to any events or clues that will help me later on.

Lastly, the music. The composer seems to have taken a leaf from Yasunori Mitsuda’s book, as the tracks remind a lot of some of the music in Chrono Cross. It really adds to the atmosphere of the game. My one complaint is that the music seems to be repeating a lot (this may change later in the game), but the quality of the tracks makes up for it.

It’s been a very good start for Radiant Historia. It looks as though it’ll be another great JPRG to sink my teeth into.

Other stuff

Not much to report this week. The situation hasn’t changed regarding the 360. As I’ve previously said, I’m in no particular rush. Getting another 360 would probably put an end to my JRPG crusade. That said, it’d be nice to mix things up a little down the line, especially with Max Payne 3 and Lollipop Chainsaw coming out.

If I don’t have a 360 by the time I finish Radiant Historia, I’ll probably continue down the road of JRPGs. I don’t have a heck of a lot else to play. I have some ideas in my head of what the next game might be. Shadow Hearts and Front Mission 3 are strong candidates. Xenogears would be a nice one to restart, but I’ll need to grab hold of a PS2 controller (one with a long cable) and a video cable for my American PS2. I should have a lot of time to decide, thankfully.

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N-Zone – FFV

As I’ve just completed FFV, it only seemed fitting that I mention my favourite track from the game. It appears in one of the final areas of the game. I think it does a very good job of building up the finale.

Hell March – Command and Conquer: Red Alert

I know there’s been a lot of remixes (official and unofficial), but I think I’ll always prefer the original. I used to remember playing Red Alert a lot was I was younger (Skirmish mode, mainly). I haven’t played any RTS games for a while now, though. I just don’t feel the need to play them as much as I used to.

I expect more C&C music will appear in the future. There was some nice background music...

Main Theme - Uncharted

Probably one of the more modern tracks I’ll ever mention in this feature. I love the sense of adventure the track exudes. It really captures what the series is about. I’d be disappointed if they ever stop using it. It’s pretty much like the Indiana Jones theme at this point.

That's all for now. Expect more Radiant Historia thoughts next week, along with anything else that happens to crop up.

6 Comments
7 Comments
Posted by AdzPearson

Thanks to everyone who responded to the time travel blog during the week. I just thought I’d throw out a random subject that’s been in my head lately. I might do more blogs like that whenever time permits. But now...

After about a month or so, I’ve finally completed FFV. Going into it, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy myself as much as I did. It didn’t quite end up in my ‘favourite RPGs of all time’ list, but it was definitely worth playing. It doesn’t deserve to be the oft-overlooked game of the franchise.

The final boss was hard as nails (putting it lightly), but after applying a thought-out strategy, I managed to send him to his grave. I was treated to some good old Mode 7 in the credits. It was nice to finally complete a Final Fantasy game. I never expected it to be FFV, but life surprises you like that...

Pros:

Like with virtually all the FF games, the music is excellent. All the tracks fit to a tee. The only one I didn’t like was the ‘hurry’ music, which got annoying quickly (although I liked the comedy fast version).

I loved the job system. Being able to learn abilities from jobs and applying them to a different job was pretty cool. I was able to create some powerful combinations as a result. If only more games had this kind of system...

While I had some issues with the characters (more on that in a bit), I thought it had a nice storyline. It definitely felt like an epic quest. Each step of the story had some meaning.

Cons:

As I’ve mentioned several times, it’s a not a game that’s good at telling you where to go next. I expect a lot of you will need to use a walkthrough at some point. I certainly did whenever I got stuck. If I didn’t, I’d have probably given up on the game pretty early on. While I don’t blame the game itself for this (it was developed in an era where these types of games were commonplace), it’s definitely worth a mention for the benefit of those wanting to play the game themselves at some point.

None of the main characters really made a lasting impression on me. That’s not to say they were completely devoid of character, but they seemed a bit flat compared to some other RPGs I’ve played. Like the other point I’ve mentioned, it could be an age issue.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From one RPG to another. I started this pretty much straight away after finishing FFV. I was looking forward to starting the game ever since it arrived. It’d been too long since I’d played a game revolving around time travel.

So far, it has not disappointed. The early signs are very promising. There are a number of things I like about the game already.

First of all, the battle system. All the battles take place with a grid and the enemies have their own space on it by default. However, certain attacks can push the enemies to another space. This allows the characters to damage multiple enemies at the same time. At the end of the party’s turn, they return to a blank space, so it’s important to take advantage of the space-sharing while you can. Some of the enemies cannot be moved, which means you’ll need to come with a different strategy for them. I think the battle system is pretty satisfying up to now.

The game’s use of time travel is pretty interesting. At certain points, you’re given an option of what to do next. One choice I made in particular lead to the game branching off. However, I reached a dead end and I had to travel back to an earlier event (known in-game as ‘nodes’) and choose the other option to find a solution. Later on, I had to return to the other timeline. It looks as though there’ll be a lot of this throughout the game. I think it’s a pretty cool way of handling time travel. It also means that I’ll have to pay special attention to any events or clues that will help me later on.

Lastly, the music. The composer seems to have taken a leaf from Yasunori Mitsuda’s book, as the tracks remind a lot of some of the music in Chrono Cross. It really adds to the atmosphere of the game. My one complaint is that the music seems to be repeating a lot (this may change later in the game), but the quality of the tracks makes up for it.

It’s been a very good start for Radiant Historia. It looks as though it’ll be another great JPRG to sink my teeth into.

Other stuff

Not much to report this week. The situation hasn’t changed regarding the 360. As I’ve previously said, I’m in no particular rush. Getting another 360 would probably put an end to my JRPG crusade. That said, it’d be nice to mix things up a little down the line, especially with Max Payne 3 and Lollipop Chainsaw coming out.

If I don’t have a 360 by the time I finish Radiant Historia, I’ll probably continue down the road of JRPGs. I don’t have a heck of a lot else to play. I have some ideas in my head of what the next game might be. Shadow Hearts and Front Mission 3 are strong candidates. Xenogears would be a nice one to restart, but I’ll need to grab hold of a PS2 controller (one with a long cable) and a video cable for my American PS2. I should have a lot of time to decide, thankfully.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

N-Zone – FFV

As I’ve just completed FFV, it only seemed fitting that I mention my favourite track from the game. It appears in one of the final areas of the game. I think it does a very good job of building up the finale.

Hell March – Command and Conquer: Red Alert

I know there’s been a lot of remixes (official and unofficial), but I think I’ll always prefer the original. I used to remember playing Red Alert a lot was I was younger (Skirmish mode, mainly). I haven’t played any RTS games for a while now, though. I just don’t feel the need to play them as much as I used to.

I expect more C&C music will appear in the future. There was some nice background music...

Main Theme - Uncharted

Probably one of the more modern tracks I’ll ever mention in this feature. I love the sense of adventure the track exudes. It really captures what the series is about. I’d be disappointed if they ever stop using it. It’s pretty much like the Indiana Jones theme at this point.

That's all for now. Expect more Radiant Historia thoughts next week, along with anything else that happens to crop up.

Posted by AjayRaz

nice write up. it's fun to read your thoughts on FFV as someone who'll probably never delve into those games with the exception of like, FFVI and VII. maybe X and X-2 but those are the only ones that i know enough about to have some interest developed.

oh, and that Uncharted music is so good. it makes me want to go finish Uncharted 3. i would have already but my situation with that is pretty weird.

Posted by AdzPearson

@AjayRaz: Well, I don't rule myself out of my going back to more of the older FFs (FFIV is supposedly one of the best). I'll be taking a little break from them, though. I have a bit of Final Fantasy-fatigue at the moment.

I like the Uncharted music in general. It's very well-orchestrated. It really makes the games feel like blockbuster action films. Just one of the many great things about the series. I'd love to see more of it...and I'm sure there will be...

Posted by PixelPrinny

Why not get Max Payne and Lollipop Chainsaw for your PS3? o.o

Glad to hear you enjoyed FFV. Tis an underrated, overlooked game primarily because it was never released originally over here so most have no nostalgia for it and aren't telling their friends 'you haven't played the classics till you play it!" like people do with VI or Chrono Trigger or Xenogears or whatever.

Likin' the graphics, btw. Keep up the good work :)

Posted by AdzPearson

@PixelPrinny: It's just that I've always bought third-party games for the 360 and only exclusives for the PS3. I make exceptions for certain multiplayer games or if I find out the 360 version is a bit of a train-wreck like FFXIII was. Buying them for the 360 also allows me to lend games to one of my brothers, as he has similar tastes (he doesn't like RPGs, though).

Yeah, that sounds about right. Had I not chose an FF game at random, I wouldn't have ever picked FFV (or it would have been one of the last, at least). I hope I can find more underrated RPGs along the line.

Thanks. :D I may make some tweaks to them in the future, but I'm glad someone likes them.

Posted by dankempster

It's always great to read other people's opinions about games I've played, and to see how they both match and differ. My opinions of Final Fantasy V are pretty similar to yours, although I remember liking the characters more often than not (Faris and Galuf, in particular). While I liked where the story ended up, I felt like the first third or so of the game was a real drag and far too reliant on clichés for its own good. Thankfully once you hit the second world, things start to develop in ways that are more original, and by extension more interesting as well. I definitely agree with you that FFV doesn't deserve its status as one of the franchise's black sheep - it's a great RPG, and the freedom offered by the Job system really does allow you to tailor your characters in whatever way you like. The fact that game turned me back on to JRPGs at a time when I'd all but lost interest in them is hopefully a fair testament to how good Final Fantasy V can be. Nice write-up, I really enjoyed reading it.

Posted by AdzPearson

@dankempster: Yeah, I wasn't that impressed with the beginning of it either. I found it incredibly similar to what I played of the first Final Fantasy (that had the same 'warriors of light' thing and some magic crystals, from what I remember). But yeah, once a certain character revealed more about themself, it got pretty interesting from there. It went off into a direction I didn't expect.

FFV also marked my own return to JRPGs. It was good to finally get back to one. As a result, I'm going to try and play more of them from now on. I might take some breaks here and there for other genres, but I'll try to make a point of playing some in-between. I own a lot already, so I'm not exactly going to run out of them anytime soon.

Thanks, glad you enjoyed reading it.