Man! Why can’t all games be this pretty? I could walk down corridors like this all day! And why is everyone so beautiful? I was beginning to think that games could only do people with nervous twitches and various forms of mental retardation. I have already had at least three wanks over Lightening saving me from a gang of thugs and then taking me (gently) right there and then. I’ve only had one over Snow, but then he dyes his facial hair. You can tell from the dark shadow under the blonde. An odd choice for his design really, but in Japan you can be that much of a Hoxton cunt and people will still take you seriously.
Is the black guy racist? I can’t tell. The Chocobo in his hair is a bit unhygienic, I think, but everything else about him says he’s a professional. And homeboy carries guns. He’s the only one that carries guns, get me? Because he’s black. Is Square-Enix saying all black people carry guns and are minging? Let’s start a petition! Against Square-Enix, not black people.
The levelling system - it’s pretty! Needlessly so, but after Heavy Rain I couldn’t be more grateful for any sort of artistic flourish. Why does improving the Medic route give me as much HP as going down the Commando route? I don’t quite understand, nor do I understand the impact of going up a level in one type. I do check ahead for skills, that seems pretty important, but beyond I just pick a class to improve at random. Still, it’s all fine because it’s basically incremental changes to what should be BULLSHIT but is actually AMAZING - the Paradigm system.
It should be bullshit, I know. It should be, but it isn’t. Prioritising which sets ups to use depending on what enemies you’re fighting, as well as the restrictions of the characters you’ve been given to use forcing you to learn specific strategies, is FUCKING QUITE GOOD. The choices you make are really simple, but because you have to make your choices so quickly, and because I’ve already died a couple of times in what should be cake walk battles, I’m loving it. I don’t care that it’s not the best RPG system ever, because we’ve already had that - Disgaea. It provides just the right level of engagement. It means you can play for hours and hours without a break, tweak things between battles, experiment, work towards specific goals and just get lost in the constant stream of battles that you willingly activate as you move along endless corridor after corridor. And then suddenly you have 500 points to spend in the crystal levelling system and it’s like Christmas, because you got so lost in the fighting you forgot about levelling up.
This seems like a good time to mention that I’ve not played a Final Fantasy game since FFVII, and then I got as far as the open world and then realised I couldn’t take any more random battles. I fucking hate random battles. And FFXIII isn’t random battles, but it’s exactly the same rhythm as random battles. The only change in flow is that sometimes you wait before triggering an encounter so that you can sometimes get a pre-emptive strike, but really, it’s exactly the same flow. The only difference is the illusion of control. It’s genius, and is almost definitely not new to anyone but me, but I’m time skipping from 7 to 13 so cut me some FUCKING slack.
The more I think about it, the more I’m sure the black guy’s representation is racist.
21 out of 21