Oct. 14th, 2014

psi_star_psi: (freaky)
Before I packed up the PS2 for the moved back in August, I gave it one last round of gaming. I figured I should try something on the back burner for a while, so I loaded up Final Fantasy XII for the first time in ~5-6 years.

My biggest problem with FF games is the clock in the corner of the status screen, ticking, ticking, recording exactly how much time you've spent staring at this screen. I don't need that much self-awareness. By the time I finished this, it was 19x hours, so let's say 200 hours. That's over a week of time without sleep.

Ah, but that's the complication. FF XIIs system of character advancement was long ago snarked in Penny Arcade. As you progress, you gain the ability to unlock commands in a programming language for your characters. Eventually, you have a party that buffs at each other, status damages monsters, provides healing, and fights on occasion. It can pretty much run on autopilot at that point.

Note that time period since my last playing the game. That was back before Gray was born, before I had my CPAP. I regularly passed out in the middle of playing PS2 games on the couch. In this case, it would just merrily go along bashing the monsters. I'd wake up either to find the party standing around, or occasionally all of the active characters KO'd. Then I'd have to bring in the backup squad and run for the save point.

The standard interminable FF side quest on this outing is Monster Hunting. You get bounties for unique monsters you have to track down and off. I spent an hour of this first playing in a while having my ass handed to me by a couple of these super-monsters that I could locate. Then I remembered that this save point was just before the Big Finale. Ah, why not just wrap this thing up, then? So I did.

I couldn't tell you what the plot was after all of this time. Cid was there, in a flying machine. That was all I needed for context. Some stuff about a spiky-haired, sword-wielding teen wanting to be a Sky Pirate and saving the world. You know, like every other FF game ever made.

OK, so that's ... 1, 2, and 12. 11 & 13 are on-line, and they're up to what, 14 now? So, only 9 FF's to go. Well, then there's 10.2 and 7.2...gah.

The Book of Unwritten Tales is a nicely-made P&C adventure with my brand of humor. You flip between a snooty elf maiden, a young gnome with wizard aspirations, and a roguish airship captain. (They couldn't call him Cid or Han, but take it as read.) You quest to prevent the forces of evil from acquiring an artifact of ludicrous power. I think I've heard that plot somewhere before. The voice work is good, the jokes are funny, and the puzzles are reasonable. I picked it up on sale on GoG for a few bucks, and it is well worth the investment.

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