Final Fantasy Tactics – …Or Lack Thereof

Final Fantasy Tactics - Day 3 Screenshot 2017-08-14 07-21-55

Progress:
Cleared two battle maps, changed some jobs and bought some items… so many items…

Thoughts:
It’s killing me that I’m not liking this game, but I’m not liking this game. There are things I LOVE about this game, but they’re failing to outweigh what I’m not loving.

Unit customization and the job and ability system are fantastic, however, it’s once you actually get into combat that, for me at least, the game starts to fall apart. You’re limited to only taking three other units into battle with you, not counting your AI story companions who tend to make some questionable decisions. Already your only real course of action is to move your tiny squad as a single troop, and the ability to actually strategize is gone. On top of that, enemies hit you for 40-60% of your HP with each attack, meaning you have to have a constant stream of healing, usually by way of excessive amounts of Potions, behind your attackers. Never mind that the ability to actually USE items requires an ability slot…

Final Fantasy Tactics – High Fantasy

Final Fantasy Tactics - Day 1 Screenshot 2017-08-06 22-18-26

Progress:
Made it to the 4th battle stage, in the woods, and died miserably.

Thoughts:
I was actually having a hard time getting into the game for the first hour or so, and this mostly has to do with the story. I’m not a fan of kingdoms and castle politics, or stories with way too many characters and agendas to possibly keep track of, or other reasons I never could get into Game of Thrones. It’s just a bit too much for me.

Luckily, I had completely forgotten about how wonderful the complex class system is, and how many choices it gives me. I’m doing my best to follow the story, but so far I’m happy falling back on the actual gameplay.

That said, I think I’m gonna restart the game. I’m only an hour in and I think I’ve already made a few mistakes I’d rather just correct now than later.

Final Fantasy IX – Melodies of Life

Final Fantasy IX - Day 17-2 Screenshot 2017-07-30 12-46-15

Progress:
Beat the game!

Thoughts:
I was a little bummed that I sort of missed my shot at completing all the sidequests, but I got most of them. The ending was fantastic, and you can read more about what I think of the game in the review! The ending was fantastic, and you can read more about what I think of the game in the review!

 

Final Fantasy IX – Zidane is Goku

Final Fantasy IX - Day 16 Screenshot 2017-07-30 12-41-28

Progress:
Made it through Terra and into Disc 4. Found out Zidane is an alien with a monkey tail sent to Gaia as a baby with the expectation to grow up and destroy it, but due to memory loss he ended up becoming its savior, and also he transforms into a shining super version of himself when he’s angry… Zidane is Goku.

Thoughts:
I noticed something (aside from Zidane actually being a Sayan) from tonight’s playthrough, and I’m a little surprised at how much it stood out.

In every Final Fantasy game, there’s that part of the game where main character goes through some crisis of self, and we have to spend the new few to several hoursĀ dealingĀ with. In FF6 Terra decides she’s not going to fight anymore and we go through about a quarter of the game without her. FF7 sees Cloud struggle to come to terms with the fact that he’s basically a giant liar, also that whole Mako poisoning thing. Squall is, well, I mean the entire first 90% of the game is us dealing with Squall being Squall… My point is that when it came time for Zidane to confront his own crisis, the fact that he was born a soulless puppet given life only to destroy the world he grew up in, he handled it exceptionally well. Not like, he took it well, but like he handled it in a way that someone of his character realistically would.

Sure, he ran the whole gamut of emotions, from confusion to depression to anger, but he never lost his sense of self in the process. The entire sequence was excellent, and further enforces the fact that Zidane is the best main protagonist, and one of the best characters all around, in all of Final Fantasy.

Final Fantasy IX – Genome Project

Final Fantasy IX - Day 15-2 Screenshot 2017-07-30 12-41-02

Progress:
Did a bunch of sidequests, including getting my gold chocobo, cleared Ipsen Castle and made it to Terra.

Thoughts:
Another night of sidequests and Chocobo’ing, so not a whole lot to report. Ipsen Castle was interesting with its inverse-attack mechanic but ultimately it didn’t really change anything. I decided to stop playing once I made it to Terra as it was late and I know there’s a lot of escalation after this point.

Final Fantasy IX – Stairways to Heaven and Candles in the Wind

Final Fantasy IX - Day 14 Screenshot 2017-07-21 07-23-55

Progress:
Got lost in the Desert Palace, lost Eiko, jumped into a volcano, found Eiko, lost Vivi, found Cid’s wife, found Vivi!

Thoughts:
So yeah, I missed a single candle behind a hidden passage in the Desert Palace and ran around for a good hour looking for it, but at least I got a ton of EXP and AP out of it, so, there’s that. I managed to make it through both that dungeon and volcano that follows it and at this point I’m kinda just wanting to be able to explore and level and wrap up the game.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s an excellent game and I’m still having a ton of fun, but I’ve passed the 40 hour mark and these long nights are catching up with me.

Good thing I’m about to get my airship, I guess!

Final Fantasy IX – Crest of the Stars

Final Fantasy IX - Day 13-2 Screenshot 2017-07-18 07-38-52

Progress:
Dug up more Chocographs, explored a new continent, dug up EVEN MORE Chocographs, found out Zidane and Kuja are aliens… maybe…

Thoughts:
The Final Fantasy series has always been a little Sci Fi to some extent or another. FFIV had a space ship that took you to the moon, FFVI had Edgar’s steampunk mobile subterranean castle, VII, VIII and XIII are all practically futuristic. This is an expectation of the series, and I have no problem with it, but I always felt that FFIX handled the balance particularly well. Heaps of heavy Final Fantasy lore with just a touch of extraterestrialism thrown in towards the end.

Aside from that it was a good night, and I’m rapidly closing in on getting my airship, thus opening up most of the rest of the game. My favorite part of any Final Fantasy game, or most RPG’s that allow it for that matter, is the “Do all the sidequests and grind all the levels” section just before the last boss, and we’re getting there!

Final Fantasy IX – Read or Die

Final Fantasy IX - Day 13 Screenshot 2017-07-17 07-32-48

Progress:
Fought an optional boss four times before beating it, exploded Alexandria, turned Cid into a frog, and got a boat!

Thoughts:
I said I was done stealing for now, and I should have stuck to it as I died against that optional boss in the library three times in an attempt to score an early Demon’s Mail. Eventually I said screw it and just powered through the encounter, happily taking a pair of Auto-Haste inducing Running Shoes as a reward.

After a brief stint in Lindblum I was given a ship to sail the world, which for means sidequests! I spent the rest of the night catching frogs and digging up Chocographs, and will probably do the same next time.

Final Fantasy IX – Til Alexandros

Final Fantasy IX - Day 12 Screenshot 2017-07-17 07-32-04

Progress:
Won the Treno Card tournament and summoned a holy castle to fight a dragon.

Thoughts:
My memory of Tetra Master is much more pleasant than my actual experience with it. Actually, I hate the game. Final Fantasy 8’s Triple Triad was a great card game bogged down and eventually (for me) ruined by the awkward rule sharing systems that surrounded. Tetra Master is, all by itself, completely broken as a card game. I love the idea of the game, I love the board, I love the cards and I love the combo system. Why, then, did they have to go and completely ruin it by making the values on the cards represent random number ranges!? 0 doesn’t mean 0, it means a random number between 0 and 16. It’s not a card game, it’s a completely luck driven DICE game!

Either way, managed to deal with it long enough to win the Treno card tournament event and score a pretty amazing accessory out of the ordeal. Luckily, the events back at Alexandria were much more exciting! Alexander is an amazing summon, and FF9’s take on him is probably my favorite. All the scenes were excellent, and serve as a great way to bring all the characters together to move the story forward.

Final Fantasy IX – Save the Queen

Final Fantasy IX - Day 11 Screenshot 2017-07-17 07-25-40

Progress:
Finished up in Eiko’s moogle shack and shut down the Iifa Tree. Picked up my final character and finished out disc 2.

Thoughts:
Pretty fun night, though I think I’m done bothering trying to steal from bosses until I get the better theft abilities later on. The events following the Iifa Tree were all pretty great, and I’m looking forward to investing some time into Amarant, as he’s a character I’d always ignore in the past. The “Insert Disc 3” screen seemed like a pretty good stopping point for the night, but I’m really looking forward to moving on. To be honest, my memory’s really foggy from this point forward, and I can’t quite recall how things play out, making the game all the more entertaining!