52 Weeks of Gaming: Week 12 (3/18-3/24): You’re Not Alone

Final Fantasy IX: After beating this game, I can confidently say that this is probably my favorite Final Fantasy game right now, and also probably one of my favorite RPGs of all time.

Final Fantasy IX has a strong message, which is to live life to the fullest and keep moving forward no matter the situation. Every character in the game faced their own hardships, yet they were still able to continue their journey. Even Kuja went through that development at the end, where he figured out the purpose of life before he died.

The game’s music is absolutely amazing. Every song is utilized perfectly throughout the game, amplifying the emotion and mood of each scene of the game. The best example of this was the scene after Zidane learns about his past from Garland. This is the first time in the game where Zidane is vulnerable, not sure if he still fits in with his friends and on Gaia, and felt that he betrayed everyone. Although he was being a jerk to all of the party members in this part, they still help Zidane fight off monsters reminding him that he is not alone and help him get back to his senses. With the song “You’re Not Alone” playing in the background while all of this was happening, the scene felt heartwarming yet epic.

I felt that the final boss against Necron was a little unnecessary since I thought beating Kuja was fitting as the final fight. Necron reminded me of some Persona final bosses, where you fought a God that wants to reset the world because of their observations of the people in the world. In this case, Necron saw how Kuja wanted to destroy everything after learning that he was going to die soon and felt that his existence was meaningless. I’m not sure if I missed anything, but Necron showing up at the end felt out of place.

Even though I missed out on a lot of side stuff, like the Chocobo minigame, I had a great experience playing through this game. The ending was so heartwarming when Garnet and Zidane reunite during the play, it was one of the few times where I cried a little while playing a game. If you are looking to get into the Final Fantasy series, IX is a great starting point especially if you are new to RPGs. I highly recommend this game to anyone and I definitely can see myself playing through this game multiple times in the future.

Blaster Master Zero 2: This was a pleasant surprise this week, as the game was stealth released right after the Nindies Direct. I enjoyed Blaster Master Zero when the Switch launched, so I was excited to see how Inti Creates would follow up that game.

What stood out for me within the first 20 minutes was that the game was more challenging than the first game. I remember only dying once or twice in the original game since it was easy to keep the best weapon in the game. Since some of the weapons in the first game made you overpowered, Inti Creates decided to balance the weapons in this game. If you spam a weapon’s attack, it would get nerfed so you wouldn’t be overpowering every enemy in the game. For example, a gun’s bullet range would be shorter or the bullet would do half the damage. I also found it interesting that the way you power the Sophia to use special attacks is to either fall from tall heights or get attacked by enemies.

Being only two hours in, I enjoy what I have seen so far. I like that there is more challenge than the first game, but not as hard as the original NES title. The game takes the necessary next step in the series by allowing us to travel to different planets that vary in size and challenges. I feel like I will enjoy this game more than the first game.

Gravity Rush 2: Although I only spent one hour on Gravity Rush 2 this week, I made a couple of observations. First, it feels like Jirga Para Lhao is a much bigger and open area than Hekseville. There was one side mission that took place in a section of the city that was significantly far from where you start. I also noticed that I spent more time collecting gems than I did in the first game. It probably was because the upgrades in this game are much better than the first game and I want to power up Kat as much as I can before moving ahead in the story. I also found the first challenge to actually be harder than the first challenges in the original Gravity Rush. For some reason, I barely made the bronze medal requirements every time I tried it. Again, I am not sure when I will get back and spend a lot of time playing this game, but I know it won’t be for at least another couple of weeks.

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