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Interests: Music, video games, the Olympics (summer and winter), the English language...I'm not really the outdoorsy type.
Expertise: Avoiding the outdoors and RPG gaming.
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|I'm currently playing Tales of Legendia (and have been dragging it out since Christmas, when I got it). It's a fairly dull game, to be honest, but I can rant about that more thoroughly when I actually finish it. I'm pretty close to the end now, but I only play sporadically.|
Anyway, what I wanted to note is that I've recognized one of the Tales of Legendia voice actors while re-watching the Avatar: The Last Airbender series. I first watched Avatar a couple of years ago now by marathoning it over a summer with my sister. We were a little late to the Avatar game and thus had to satiate our newfound craving via the Internet. In any case, my point is that there was a long period of time between me watching Avatar the first time and playing Tales of Legendia, so my memory on the voices was definitely not clear when I picked up the game.
In ToL, there's a character named Will Raynard. While watching Book 2 Episode 6 of Avatar, "The Blind Bandit," I heard the voice of Toph's father and immediately realized, "That's Will's voice!" Upon further research, Toph's father's name is Lao Beifong. Lao is a very minor character and only shows up in the episode, so that would also be why I wouldn't have recognized the voice of Will when I started ToL.
The voice actor is Cam(eron) Clarke. His IMDb page shows that he did in fact voice both characters. He does a LOT of voice acting for video games and TV series. He apparently works with the Tales series quite a bit, but I don't think he's a main character in anything other than ToL. He's voiced for Tales of Grace, Tales of Vesperia, Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World, and others.
|I finally got around to completing Final Fantasy IV...I know, it took me long enough. I just graduated from college in May, and that final semester really ended up being tough stuff, so I had absolutely no free time for much of anything. I mentioned before that I couldn't defeat Zeromus when I initially got to him...I just had to do some repetitive training and get my levels up to the 70 mark, at which point it was then pretty easy. (An extra 7-10 levels really makes a different, apparently.)|
There's supposedly a trick to the original FFIV to defeat Zeromus more easily...you can steal an object called Dark Matter from him, and there's a rumor or some-such that stealing it weakens him and makes him less difficult to defeat. You're supposed to steal it from him before you use the Crystal and reveal his true form in the final battle. The first couple of times I tried to go against Zeromus, when my stats weren't high enough yet, I couldn't get Edge to successfully steal the Dark Matter. It was too slow-going and annoying, so I would just jump into the battle. This time, I decided to go ahead and give it a try just in case, and Edge actually stole it within just a couple of turns. Mind you, I can't truly say whether that made the difference this last time or my leveling did the difference -- I would have to fight Zeromus again without stealing the Dark Matter to gauge the difference (if any) in difficulty for the final battle. Either way, this time around, the battle was quite a bit easier than I even expected it would be.
I suspect that my higher HPs were really my saving grace, though. Zeromus' major move is called Big Bang and takes off 1500-2000+ HP depending on your defense stats. He uses it regularly, so the battle is really a matter of being able to keep your party alive. As long as the big fighters (Kain, Cecil, and Edge) are still up and about, it's not such a big deal. They've just gotta keep going at him. Rydia was really the weak link here, but only in terms of her level/stats...she's always been several levels behind everyone else, so training for the final battle took longer just so I could get her HP high enough to survive Big Bang and get healed. Her summons are quite useful...Bahamut's always my favorite, and his Flare spell could do 4000-5000 damage, too.
I'm really not capable of doing a substantial review of the game at this point, unfortunately...it's been too long since I was deep into the actual plot and substance of the game. Recently, it's just been a lot of training and then beating Zeromus. I have a terrible habit of getting to the ends of games and then putting off the final battle for one reason or another...whoops.
Kain: Level 74
Rosa: Level 72
Cecil: Level 74
Rydia: Level 70
Edge: Level 73
Completion time: approx. 35 hours
Oh, and I should mention this bit of bad news, too: back in April, I lost my PSP!! Aaaagh, I was so pissed at myself. I was flying to Utah for an undergraduate research conference, and I must've left my PSP in the seatback when I exited or something. I know I was playing it on the flight right to the Salt Lake City airport, but I truly cannot remember what I did with it after I turned it off. I admit I'm a very forgetful person, but I'm usually very conscientious about my electronics, because I value them a lot and want to take care of them. I just can't believe I would be so careless and stupid. And Birth by Sleep was in the PSP when I lost it, plus my memory card -- so I'm down a game and all my save files, too! AARGH!!
|Started and completed one storyline in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep. The game has three main characters (Terra, Ventus [though KH fans will recognize him as Roxas from KHII], and Aqua), and the game is accordingly split among 3 different storylines following those characters. Each story is also relatively short, as a result...and once you do all 3 with 100% completion (I think), you can unlock the final storyline that brings it all together and officially ends the game.|
I started with Aqua's storyline. I think she was technically the last one in the list when you choose in the beginning, so probably I was supposed to play her last, but her fighting style appealed to me. There's a scene in the beginning of the game (before everyone gets split up) where you get to test out each character's fighting styles/abilities. Ventus is my kind of guy because he's very speedy, but Aqua was also pretty quick...plus she has this great Cartwheel move right from the start that I found very helpful. It's like Dash, basically...Terra has like Quick Dart or something to get him from one place to another, but once he starts it, you can't really control where he goes (just in a straight line). With Aqua's Cartwheel, however, her dash turns into...well, a cartwheel at the end that actually gives you the ability to maneuver her as she flips around.
I basically like Aqua as a character in general, because she's definitely not a girly-girl type. Fighter chick all the way! I mean, her personality isn't like scary hardcore or anything...she obviously cares for her two friends and wants to look out for them (this is a KH game, after all). But she never seems overly sentimental about it. Oh! And they didn't give her a stupid, high, breathy voice! So that's always a plus. Her voice is sort of FFX Lulu-ish, you could say.
Just as a general comment on the game...I always forget just how cheesy KH games can get. And then I play another of them. And it's really almost painful. I dunno, I think I've gotten very attached to Crisis Core in terms of its character development/portrayals. Things sometimes got pretty sentimental, and of course the ending is SO SAD, but mostly everything and everyone felt genuine. In KH games, the overt theme of the power of friendship is just...well, it's TOO overt! Ugh.
The battle system is always fun, though. I will definitely give it that.
FINAL STATS - AQUA
79% Report Completion
3759 Enemies Defeated
Completion Time: 30 hrs, 23 mins
|I didn't mention this before because I'm a super slack blogger (exactly 5 months since my last entry!), but I started a second playthrough of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII. I think I started it near the beginning of December, but I'm not completely sure...I know it wasn't as far back as summer, so it must have been in December, when I knew the semester would be wrapping up soon and winter break would give me time to devote myself to gaming again.|
And now, I've just completed that second playthrough. Waah, could Square-Enix possibly conceive of a sadder ending for a game?! I know I said this in my first review of Crisis Core (which I recall being quite extensive), but it really was quite cruel for Square-Enix to get us attached to a character that everybody knows dies in the end.
And I always get pissed when *spoiler alert* Zack is about to die at the end -- you know, when he's fighting those hordes of Shinra infantrymen -- and the game just kind of cuts off the battle after a while. Obviously the end of it is inevitable, given that the whole point of the game's end is to show how Zack dies and passes off his legacy to the mako-addled Cloud, but I totally could've won against that Shinra horde! I've done it before: one of the missions pits you against literally 1000 infantrymen, albeit in waves, and I beasted that. So in that pseudo-battle at the end, I was like, Psssh, bring it! I've got HP over 20,000, auto Wall (Barrier + MBarrier), auto-Regen, a phoenix down equipped, a veritable endless supply of healing items (including more phoenix downs), break 9999 damage limit, and pretty good dodging skills to avoid those missiles you keep firing at me. I got this! But nooooo, even if you're doing well, the game is like "Sorry, time's up." Sigh.
I tried harder to complete more missions before ending the game, this time around. It was easier given that I started a new game + and ended up at level 72, so based on pure stats and experience, I was able to complete more missions. You can get some friggin awesome stuff from those upper-level missions...worth it. I know there's sort of a sidequest within the missions where you can fight Minerva, who's like the goddess of the earth or something, but I didn't invest much effort into that. Mostly I just did the missions that I thought myself capable of completing...so I tended to avoid them once they got "Very Hard" labels, haha.
Just as a note, the completion time I list below is actually the time of my first game added to the time of my second game. When you start a new game +, it keeps all your same stats, items, etc. and just plunks you back at the beginning of the plot, so the timer doesn't restart. Since my first game's completion time was about 38 hrs, I spent close to the same time on this second playthrough.
New Game +
+ 380% HP (+ Break HP Limit)
77% Missions Completion
Completion Time: 74 hrs, 50 min
Oh, and I haven't beaten the final boss in FFIV yet. I know, I know...so slack. Basically I got to him at the end and then struggled to find a way to defeat him (there's some weird trick to him that I've now forgotten, but oh well...plus I'm pretty sure he was just way stronger of a boss than I was prepared to handle). So I'm in the final dungeon, but I've just been wandering around and trying to train some more in order to beat the final boss. To be honest, though, I haven't picked up FFIV in a while...I really ought to get back to that. I tend to have a bad habit of starting new games before I finish the one I've been playing, so then sometimes I never finish them at all. A similar thing happened with Chrono Trigger...got to Lavos, couldn't defeat him initially, started some other game, then just never got back to it. Oops.
Also, I got Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep for Christmas, so that'll be the next game I start...whenever I have the time, anyway.
|I'm only about 26 hours into Final Fantasy IV, but I'm already in the final dungeon/area (Lunar Subterrane). I was a little surprised at first to notice how low my time is so far -- I tend to spend upwards of 100 hours on the RPGs I play -- but it's actually not too surprising considering when the game was made. I think it was originally released in 1991, and RPGs weren't nearly as complex or lengthy back then as they are now. I specifically remember when I played FF(1) and how I was so surprised by how simplistic and quick it was. As a matter of fact, I think I remember reading somewhere that FFIV has been at least partially credited with introducing complex plotlines and character development/twists into the genre...so since then, RPGs have been increasingly packed with sidequests, twists and turns, etc. The genre has a come a ways, huh?|
I've really enjoyed the game so far, I must say. It does have some peculiar moments for me, and I feel like there's just too much drama with the way characters come and go throughout the game (for God's sake, almost everyone "dies" at least once...), but it's still been a great deal of fun. And even though the character development and background in this game isn't super developed compared to later Final Fantasies, I still feel a strong affinity for most of the characters. They really pop as individuals, despite the fact that the characters often seem to take a backseat to the plot.
Anyway, I suppose I'll do a bit of a review once I actually finish up the game. Well, final thoughts, anyway. It feels like FFIV has kind of passed by in a blur for me, though, so I'm not sure how well preserved my impressions are anymore. Only 26 hours, and I'm almost done...yeah, that's a bit of a blur for me.