AdzPearson's forum posts

#1 Posted by AdzPearson (202 posts) -

@animasta: Yeah, I could see how that would be the case with the newer games. Even as a long-term player, FM13 has never gone well for me. When I had some little signs of success, I was unfairly sacked by various teams. As soon as I saw that FM14 had similar issues, I've avoided it like the plague. FM12 was the last installment that was fair, but still challenging (in my opinion, at least).

Yeah, I considered managing Melilla myself. There's also one or two teams in the Canary Islands that play in the Spanish system. While it's not reflected in the game, I find it fun to imagine teams like Real and Barca travelling quite a fair distance to the home games of those teams. If you want another one, there's a team in the Russian 2nd tier (SKA-Energiya Khabarovsk) that are based all the way in the far east corner of Russia. Pretty much all their opponents are based in European Russia, so their journeys are...quite something....

But yeah, I'd recommend sticking to England for the time being. Much easier to get to grips with. When you're ready, some of the other leagues are fun.

#2 Posted by AdzPearson (202 posts) -

Nice post. It's pretty cool that someone unfamiliar with football can get into FM. It doesn't strike me as a game that's very friendly to newcomers of the sport. This has kind of changed my mind. Maybe GB covering Football Manager one day isn't so far-fetched...hmm...yeah...probably not...

I've played a lot of FM in the past. Used to play as Everton a lot (as I support them), but now I generally look to start as a small team and build myself up. Feels a lot more satisfying that way. I've managed in Poland, Russia, Holland, China...all over the place. Had a lot of fun doing it. I haven't played it a great deal recently, but I'm sure I'll get back into it at some point.

Being from North Wales, I was also pleased to see that you're managing Colwyn Bay. It's my nearest Welsh team that play in the English system. I've also managed them on FM myself. League 1 was as far as I got before the financial situation got too restrictive. Looks like you have a chance of progressing with the sale of that promising youngster, though. Hope you continue to do well.

#3 Posted by AdzPearson (202 posts) -

I wouldn't feel bad about shortening it down to a top 5. I only played five games from 2013 IN TOTAL (one of which I didn't finish XD). That's why I ended up putting older games in my Top 5. I'm not the best when it comes to playing current games. I tend to play older games that I've missed in previous years. It's proven to be a pretty good system.

Your write-up for Fire Emblem just makes me want to play it even more. Definitely sounds like something I'd be into. Grinding...fun? I need to see that for myself...

#4 Posted by AdzPearson (202 posts) -

Pepsi. I know, such a surprise. My profile doesn't hint towards it all... XD

I will drink Coke now and again (Cherry in particular), but I prefer Pepsi by miles. As for Dr Pepper, it's another of my favourites. Such a weird, but awesome drink.

#5 Posted by AdzPearson (202 posts) -

@living4theday258: @Cathryn: I don't have PS+, so I can't take advantage of that deal. That said, given the convincing argument, I might get round to it one day. Should be able to put it in somewhere during the year, seeing how short it is. I suppose it's only fair that I at least give it a shot.

#6 Posted by AdzPearson (202 posts) -

@Rasmoss: Nice to see another Evertonian. :D I've still got a good feeling about the rest of the reason. They're playing some great some football at the moment. The Chelsea match was a great shame, but I'm sure there's a lot more to look forward to. Top 4 is definitely still on the cards.

#7 Posted by AdzPearson (202 posts) -

Once again, I feel like the odd one out when it comes to Journey. XD From what I've seen of it, it doesn't look like a game I'd get on with (although it looks very nice visually). I tend to get bored of games that lack an obvious narrative. On the other hand, I've seen it on so many people's GOTY lists, so there must be something to it. I don't know whether to give it a shot one day or just accept it's not for me.

#8 Posted by AdzPearson (202 posts) -

Nice list. I made a list like this myself yesterday (albeit smaller), although that was purely because I've played virtually nothing from this year. XD Not sure if I'll fair any better next year, to be honest. I'll just wait and see, I guess.

I personally really enjoyed Shadows of the Damned. Most of the bosses gave me a good challenge without making me pull my hair out. I agree with you when it comes to the 'turret' section, though. I found it frustrating more than anything (which is a shame, as I liked the humourous scenes that went with it).

As for Suikoden III, I really want to play that at some point. I remember a friend having it a while back and it seemed pretty cool. I've only played the first one so far, so it's a series I very much still need to explore.

#9 Posted by AdzPearson (202 posts) -

Another Final Fantasy done and dusted. Final Fantasy IV is only the second FF game that I've conquered, so it's been a pretty eventful year for me. So, what did I make of it? Read on and find out...

(For reference, I played through the Playstation version that came in the European Edition of Final Fantasy Anthology, so it's faithful to the original SNES game. No extra dungeons or mechanics. It was the only version I had on me at the time. I've used a few GBA screenshots in this blog, as the selection wasn't great for the SNES version.)

Story

The main character is a dark knight by the name of Cecil. Right at the beginning, he questions whether he should be killing innocent people in order to capture crystals for the king. After a particularly bad event, he decides enough is enough and quits being a dark knight. The rest of the game focusses on Cecil's journey around the world and teaming up with various characters for the greater good. There's only so much I can say without spoilers, so I'll stop there.

For me, the characters really shined through. This was something that I didn't think FFV had, so it's a bit odd for the predecessor to succeed with it. Even with the simple 16-bit graphics, it's clear to imagine how the characters are reacting in certain scenes. In fact, I preferred the story overall. It goes in some very interesting directions. Maybe a bit cliched, but it doesn't really harm the story.

As with most (all?) of the early FF games, a lot of the plot revolves around protecting crystals. As far as I'm aware, this stopped beyond FFV. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what ultimately happens to the crystals. This isn't really a complaint, but it's something to be aware of.

Gameplay

The core gameplay is the very definition of Japanese role-playing games. There isn't any unique features in FFIV such as the job system. It really is a simple case of levelling your characters in battle to make them stronger. You don't even need to buy magic. It just appears whenever your characters hit a specific level. This makes levelling a pretty straight forward task, as you don't need to worry about other systems. Perhaps not as fun as FFV's job system, but certainly easier.

The version I played had a limited inventory. There was a total of 40 slots for items. While identical items can stack (except equipment), you cannot have more than 40 different items at one time. Thankfully, you can store items in a Fat Chocobo. Fat Chocobo's can be found within Chocobo Forests. You only require a Gysahl Green to call it (which are very inexpensive). You'll definitely need to store items from time to time. Selling old equipment helps, but there are plenty of items you'll want to keep hold of for later. It's worth noting that newer versions of FFIV either provide more space for items or eliminate the need for item storage entirely.

As with most FFs, you'll need to do some grinding at some point. Having played other FF games, I did a lot of voluntary levelling to make things easier for myself. This certainly helped for a lot of the game. Only two or three bosses proved to be challenging. You might get more of a challenge by levelling naturally, but I think that would only get you so far. However, unless you level ridiculously high, the final boss will always be a stern test. It really lives up to other bosses in the series.

Throughout the game, you'll often find yourself with different party members. I found it to be a pretty interesting way of doing things, as it kept me guessing as to who would join next. You may find some characters a bit underlevelled at first, but you'll also get some who are overlevelled from the get-go, so it balances out. However, you're not given the choice to switch characters at any point. You've got to go with whatever the game gives you at certain points in the story. There's one particular character I would have liked to have used more (Yang), but he didn't feature in the final party.

Like my experience with FFV, it's not always obvious what to do next. You'll get the occasional shove in the right direction, but it can be very unclear at times. For example, there was a part where I had to use a certain item at a location that was a bit of the way. Unless I missed it, there's no in-game indication of this. Had I not checked a walkthrough, I'd have never worked it out. Didn't really ruin my overall experience, but it was a problem from time to time.

Presentation

It was the first FF game of the SNES era, but you wouldn't know it from looking at the graphics. While it perhaps shows its age elsewhere, it's pretty much on par with V and VI visually. Like the later SNES games, it makes use of Mode 7 for the overhead scenes. All the sprites are nicely done, too. They certainly evoke a lot of character with their simple, but effective movements.

The music is nothing short of what you'd expect from the series. Unlike FFV's soundtrack, there's no real lowpoints I can think of. It's all wonderfully composed by Nobuo and the rest of the music team. There's definitely some tracks that I'll listen to outside the game.

As the Playstation version has loading whenever you want to return to your save, they've added some humourous animations to make the wait more bearable. On load times, they're not as bad as you may think. I certainly remember them being a big issue whenever I played some old FFs on the PS2, but it wasn't really noticable this time round. Either the PS3 fixes it somewhat or this particular version of FF4 didn't have the problem to start with. I can't say for sure.

Conclusion

I think FFIV deserves to be regarded as one of the premier Final Fantasy games. While there's nothing particularly special about the gameplay, the story definitely makes up for it. It has a pretty diverse storyline with some interesting twists. Definitely worth checking out if you're a keen JRPG player.

As I mentioned, I played the Playstation version, but there a lot of other versions. Other than the SNES, it also came out on the GBA, PSP and DS. All three of these versions offer extra content and updated graphics. While I have no idea which one is superior, it might be worth looking at those versions if you ever want to play the game yourself. The PSP version apparently came with FFIV: After Years, but I couldn't really tell you anything about it (other than it was originally a mobile game).

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Other Stuff

The next game I'll be playing is To The Moon. As it's only a short game, I'll be making some time to play it in one go. Heard a lot of great things about it, so I have high hopes. Due to the nature of the game, I won't be blogging about it. I may comment on it in a status update, but that's about it. It seems like the kind of game that would be spoiled by talking about it. If I like it, I'll certainly recommend it.

After that, I'll be tackling Persona 3 Portable. This will be my first experience with Persona 3, as I never played any of the PS2 versions. I'll be going with the female route, as I've heard it's the best for social links. It's a feature I really liked in Persona 4. As the game is on the very long side, I may end up playing another game in tandem. I'll be fully focussing on P3P to start with, then I'll see how I feel over time. At any rate, I'll be playing it into the new year.

And Finally...

This will probably be the last 'Adz Plays...' of the year, so I'd like to take this opportunity to say thanks to everyone who's read my blogs this year. It's really helped me to stick with it. My format has changed a bit since of the start of the year. I'm still open to more changes in the future, but I think this format is going well so far.

I've already got some games lined up for next year. What will I end up playing? Who knows...

#10 Posted by AdzPearson (202 posts) -

Yeah, I have no motivation to finish Persona 4 myself after seeing pretty much everything. I play JRPGs for the story, so there's no longer any point. Even with the extras, I don't think it will be enough to justify it for me (especially with it being a very long game). I'll be playing P3P pretty soon, though.