Tales of the Abyss 3D: I probably should have played this last week, as I had gamer’s block and ended up replaying games. That aside, I ended up playing this for around 4 hours this week before I shifted my focus towards Final Fantasy X.
The game introduced the Field of Fonon mechanic, although I never found the opportunity to use it while playing Luke. Elemental attacks are key to pull it off and Luke doesn’t have access to that at the point where I stopped playing. Compared to Vesperia, it feels like Gald is scarce, so I wasn’t able to upgrade all of my party members. Something that I found interesting was when you game over during a boss fight, you are able to watch an optional skit where the party discusses how to take on the boss. These skits are a nice addition, as that skit helped me defeat the boss on my next attempt.
I like how Luke’s character is starting to shape up. He is starting to learn about his hidden powers and why he was forced to stay in the mansion. This makes him rethink about going back, not wanting to be trapped there for the rest of his life. His sense of justice comes through, where he wants to prevent the war from happening without violence. I also like how Tear is starting to be more sympathetic towards Luke because of his amnesia, and helps him learn about the world and things that are considered common knowledge.
Final Fantasy X: I originally played the game a few years ago, but for only a few minutes. This time, I was able to spend a few hours with the game and got a good sense of how the game plays. The most surprising change from other games is that the game does not have a traditional level up system. Instead of leveling up to increase your characters’ stats, you use the sphere grid to do that. In order to move around the sphere grid and acquire upgrades, you characters receive experience towards their sphere level from battles instead of leveling up like a traditional RPG. This method reminds me of a traditional skill tree. I like how in battle you can see who will attack next, which reminds me of Octopath Traveler. This allows me to plan who you should attack, so the enemy doesn’t get a chance to attack.
Something that I have heard before I played the game is that Tidus is a terrible character. However, I don’t understand that opinion after playing the game for a few hours. Tidus reacts the way most people would, with all the things he goes through within the first few hours of the game. I like that there is a lot of religious/racial conflict in this game, with the Al Bhed and Yevon. This makes the game world feel more believable and engaging.
My only problem with this week’s playthrough was Blitzball. By God, this was the most frustrating gameplay segment I played in a while. First of all, reading and trying out the tutorial took longer than I thought it should have. But having the championship game as the first time I got to play Blitzball was unfair. The players that you start with have horrible stats compared to the other team, and I did not unlock Tidus’ Jecht Shot, so I had the hard time scoring. However, the other team wasn’t able to score on me too, so the game went into overtime 8 TIMES, which was an hour in real time. I eventually won, but it felt a waste of time. Hopefully Blitzball isn’t a mandatory minigame for the rest of the game.
Cuphead: I enjoyed playing Cuphead when it came out for PC. Even though it is very challenging, the game was addicting enough for me to keep trying and eventually beat the boss or stage. Figuring out the pattern for every boss and knowing how close you were to beating it after dying made the experience very satisfying. Although I haven’t touched the game since that one play session, it still left a positive impression on me. Now that its on the Switch, I can play it whenever and wherever. There’s nothing new in terms of my experience this week playing it on the Switch, although it visually looks the same as the PC version.
I think people didn’t like Tidus because he was the first to break away from the edge-lord badboy protagonist theme that all the PS1 titles had focused on. Instead of stoic he is outgoing, where other protagonists were brooding, Tidus has a sunny personality. It’s Yuna who is the stoic one with a tough life. Tidus supports her and is the sunshine to her moonlight. Sure he found himself in a weird situation too but he’s a happy-go-lucky guy and makes the best of it. I’m not sure why that read to so many as being a “bad character”. I thought it was a refreshing change of pace from past installments. Anyway, To Zanarkand is my favorite piece of FF music to this day. When I saw a Distant World’s concert in college I was crying listening to it. Such a moving piece.
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