Friday, April 9, 2010

Hoarding the good stuff.

For the first hour or so in Final Fantasy XII there was no clear reason to bother killing anything. No XP gain was shown, they dropped items that didn't have any apparent use and handed out no money. These battles were also unavoidable, so this lack of progress made them feel like a big waste of time. It wasn't until the three hour mark that leveling up characters finally 'unlocked,' the HD sphere grid was shown, and I could actually do something beyond wandering through long hallways and mashing the auto attack button. Of course I have already maxed out what little it unlocked so I am waiting for the next teaspoon full of game play to be doled out, and I can't help but feel that the game is being terribly condescending to me. There should be an option to turn baby mode off and actually play the whole game from the very beginning. I am quite capable of learning what I need to know through experimentation or trial and error, I do not need a tutorial for every damn thing. This is the 13th title in the main series (not counting X-2, which I actually liked), so assuming the audience has a little history to draw from is not a big stretch.

Super Street Fighter II HDR was booted up last night for the first time in many months. Moving back from Street Fighter 4 is quite difficult, as Street Fighter 4 is designed to be forgiving to sloppy inputs and HDR makes fun of your lack of skills and makes no apologies for it. It did not take long for me to get back to juggling fools with tiger knees (Sagat was broken then, too), at least until the bugginess of HDR came back. After two frozen matches that required re-inviting people it was time to give up. I really hope the lobbies in Super Street Fighter 4 are a little more stable.

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