July 21, 2013

Chronicles: The Final Fantasy Series

I've been meaning to get this down into blog format for a while, and since Stealth posted his version, I'm now inspired to add my two cents to the conversation. Also I haven't blogged in a while, so this should make for nice filler, no?

I'm sure it comes as no surprise to you by now that Final Fantasy is one of my favorite RPG series of all time, and the way the games have changed over the years has had a pretty prominent impact on someone like me, who's been playing since the beginning.
Obviously what follows is my own personal opinion, and I welcome yours as well. I recently blogged about my latest playthrough of V and VI, so if you've read that you'll already know how I feel about them, but I believe I promised a more thorough opinion about the other titles as well.

So without further ado, here is how I rank the current main entries in the Final Fantasy series of games:

July 01, 2013

That's A Wrap: Tales Of Vesperia

warning: may contain spoilers

That's a wrap! I've devoted the entire month of June to my very first playthrough of Tales of Vesperia. I'm ashamed because I've always been a fan of the 'Tales' series and I've played a lot of the other main titles at least once, but - like always - I fell behind at some point after Abyss and only just got around to Vesperia now... five year later (than its release). I had a go at the demo on the 360 and immediately hated myself for waiting this long to play it. So I got my paws on a copy and "here's go nothin'..."
Excuse me while I tell my computer to learn to recognize 'Vesperia' as a word.

In a nutshell: I love this game. It is an excellent example of what 'Tales' is capable of; it's ridiculous good fun, well written and beautiful. It's also absurdly long. Most JRPGs are long but I think this one takes the cake for longest I've played since I-don't-know-when. I clocked 135 hours. Xbox was like, "Jesus, this lady has way too much time on her hands, let's give her an achievement".
A lot of those hours were spent randomly discovering the millions of side quests. Towards the end of the game, pretty much everywhere you go prompts a new side quest. Typically I don't engage in all the side quests the first time I play a game, 'cause I'd rather stick to the story and experience the game in one, fluid playthrough. But I just couldn't help myself. Things needed doing, dammit! Also, all of the dialogue in this game ceases until you prompt it to continue, which surely added a lot to the hours, as there is quite a bit of dialogue and I am a snail-pace reader. But it gets points for being well written. I don't know exactly how true a translation it is, but I don't even care, I laughed endlessly playing this game.