Another Final Fantasy off the list

May 28, 2007

Seeing as how I haven’t finished any games in quite some time now, (yet again I point to Golden Sun and Marvel: U.A.) I decided it was time to give my percentage a little boost. Final Fantasy III has been sitting in my DS for many months now with a save game at the beginning of the final dungeon. I had been putting off finishing it in anticipation of getting (and perfecting) the Onion Knight job. The problem here is that for the Onion Knight to be an effective job, your characters need to be somewhere around level 94 or above. This is utterly ridiculous. To explain further, my characters were at level 60 when I began playing again today (after I’d already spent many hours leveling up). I played for about three hours to finish the game, going through the toughest area of the game (naturally) with the strongest enemies (of course) who give the most experience (which should go without saying), including numerous bosses, who give even more experience than their underlings. With all of this — three hours of the most experience-rich play possible in this game — I only gained three levels. Yes, three. There is a problem with this. If we assume the same rate of gain that I just mentioned, it would take over 30 hours more for me to reach a usable character level to utilize the Onion Knight to its fullest potential. In truth, it would be far more than 30 hours, as the three levels in three hours I gained today was exceptional, nevermind the fact that each subsequent level takes more experience to reach than the last.

This is what I was referring to in my inaugural post where I mentioned that I am not going to attempt to reach 100% completion within each individual game, but instead will focus purely on just successfully reaching the conclusion of each title. Now that Final Fantasy III is out of the way, I’m that much closer, at 9.1%. One eleventh of the way there!


Better late than never?

May 23, 2007

More than a week between posts… this is troubling. I apologize for the lack of updates, but I’ve just been immersed in Golden Sun: The Lost Age and Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. I believe it may have been a mistake to jump into both of these games at the same time, as both are relatively lengthy RPGs which I had not made much progress in on first play. Oh well, c’est la vie.

In the meantime, I suppose that now is as good a time as any to finish up that Castlevania rambling I was doing before.

When I left you last, I had just purchased myself a pink GBA. What I didn’t mention is that by myself I had concluded that I would wait until the Best Buy re-stocked and just pick up a blue one. That same day, I was speaking with a friend of mine who was a former Best Buy employee, and she proposed a solution to my quandary. She informed me that Best Buy will perform an exchange of an item without checking the validity of the customer’s claim that the product isn’t working properly. The plan was flawless: (1) buy the only GBA available and start playing Circle of the Moon immediately, (2) continue checking the Best Buy for the color of GBA I want, (3) when they’re restocked, take the pink one back, telling them that the screen cut out, and exchange for a less-girly color. And so I did.

Circle of the Moon led to two other Castlevania games on the GBA, of course: Harmony of Dissonance, and Aria of Sorrow. The favorable impression that CotM left on me demanded that I pick up Harmony of Dissonance the day it came out. At the time, it felt like a mistake. I didn’t make it very far into the game before becoming hopelessly stuck. It turned me off of Castlevania altogether for quite some time, leading me to skip Aria of Sorrow altogether (much to my current dismay). I wouldn’t pick up another Castlevania game until Dawn of Sorrow hit the DS, which I felt was starving for quality titles at the time. I didn’t touch Harmony of Dissonance again until I began this project, somewhere around four and a half years later.

The latest round of Castlemania (I seriously can’t believe I just typed that…) came about from Symphony of the Night hitting Xbox Live Arcade.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, I never actually had the chance to play SotN despite having heard nothing but great things about it.  With it coming out on XBLA, I snapped it up in a flash and found out first hand that it does, indeed, live up to all the hype.  Afterwards, however, I was still wanting more, leading me to finish up Portrait of Ruin, and it all snowballed from there, bringing me to this glorious mess of ambition.  In other words, this is all Castlevania’s fault.

Final Fantasy XII

May 15, 2007

With today taken off of work, I fully intended to make some progress, and I didn’t disappoint.  Final Fantasy XII had been sitting unfinished for a few months, after I’d reached the point of the final dungeon and had decided to go finish up all the side quests.  One thing led to another, of course, and I went completely off track playing other games and left FFXII collecting dust.  This was not satisfactory.  I decided that if need be I can always go back to it to clear up the side quests, but today would be the day I finished the main story.  Having succeeded in this endeavor, I am now looking at a completion rate of 7.8% (6/77).

Oh, and Golden Sun: The Lost Age?  You can go right to hell.

Portable problems

May 10, 2007

With the completion of The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, I just moved my percentage up to 6.5%, or 5 out of 77.  Of these five, three are Game Boy Advance titles.  This does not bode well.  Of the remaining 72 games, only 14 of them are on portable systems (the two left on the GBA, plus all eight of the DS titles and all four on the PSP).  At this rate, by the time I’ve finished all of my portable games, I’ll still have roughly 41 console-bound games to go.  This is going to drive me nuts.

On the other hand, it makes perfect sense that I would be clearing out the portable games so quickly, seeing as how I’ve been playing them during my lunches and breaks at work.  I really need to get me some BenHeck skills… a portable PS2 would clear this whole problem right up.  Anyway, I suppose I’ll just have to go back to reading during lunches and breaks when the time comes.

Enough, already!

May 8, 2007

No, that title doesn’t mean that I’m fed up with this little project of mine, despite the lack of updates over the last few days. What it’s actually referring to is the stupendously offensive number of branding movies on Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. This game seriously has six little videos before reaching the main menu (which commits sins of its own, mind you, but those are for later).

First up is the Activision logo… as the publisher of the game, I suppose this one makes sense and is to be expected.

Next we have the Marvel logo as seen at the beginning of all of their recent film adaptations. Again, I suppose I could see the reason for this one, as the entire game is predicated upon Marvel’s intellectual property, but think about it: the game is called Marvel: Ultimate Alliance… I think everyone knows they’re involved without a video telling us so.

Following the Marvel logo is Raven Software. This, as with the Activision logo, is fine… as the developer, they certainly have the right to stamp their work.

Vicarious Visions, on the other hand, follows Raven’s video with two of their own. Sure, according to Wikipedia, they co-developed the game with Raven (as, apparently, did “Beenox Studios” and “Barking Lizards Technologies,” but those two didn’t slap their logo videos on the game), and they supplied the engine the game was based on, but why couldn’t they have combined the two videos into one?

Rounding out this rodeo is a quick video for Sofdec, presumably included to thank CRI Middleware for creating the software that enabled the playback of it and the five videos before it.

It all just seems to me that it’s a bit of a waste of time, as quite a few of those could have just been combined into a static screen… Give Activision and Marvel a screen together so they can both show up nice and big to keep their egos happy.  The developers could share another page, with Raven Software’s logo next to Vicarious Visions’, and then the licensed software could have been consolidated.

Anyway, M:UA is obviously the next game I’ve chosen to fire up, so expect to read a bit more rambling about it here as time goes on.

Empire of Dreams

May 5, 2007

As predicted earlier, Klonoa: Empire of Dreams is no more. Well, of course, it still is… I mean, it still exists, but for the purposes of this blog, it is an ex-game. It has ceased to be.

I’m actually somewhat concerned with this pace I’m on currently. I worry that when I hit a rough patch (*cough*Viewtiful Joe*cough*) I’ll get discouraged and begin pining for this rush of completion as a parrot for the fjords. Nevertheless, that’s naught but speculation, whereas the 73 remaining games are stark reality… Back to work (erm… play?)!

I can’t be stopped!

May 5, 2007

Mere hours after finishing Castlevania: Curse of Darkness, my final Castlevania game (Lament of Innocence) has been crossed off the list. I can’t honestly expect to keep up this pace, though, as a lot of the games on the list are nowhere near the level of completion I had left these Castlevanias. Even so, three games in three days (well, two days if you really want to be technical, as Harmony of Dissonance was completed around 1:00 a.m. on May 4, after playing through the evening of May 3) is a damn fine accomplishment. Now I just need to decide which game goes next. Obviously, I’ve mentioned Klonoa: Empire of Dreams a few times recently, and that’s still on the table, but being a GBA game, it’s playable almost anytime and anywhere, so my decision now is for which game to fire up on the big screen… I’m sure I’ll find something; it’s not as if I don’t have a list around here somewhere :)