Being sick sucks. Being
sick while it's nice weather outside is just torture.
However, the one
nice thing about being sick is that it gives me time to play and
finish some games. In particular, I beat FF9 for a second time this
week. I can't help but think one thing when I finished FF9 (and this
applies to any recent Square Enix game that I've beaten recently);
why do they love to encourage exploits?
The final boss
fight(s) on FF9 are not hard, in a matter of speaking, but they are
cheap. I mean most of the bosses on recent Square Enix games seem to
come down to two types of fights; challenging or cheap. It's not
that a given boss fits into one category. For example, when you
fight against the two part final boss of FF9, you can either have a
solid fight, or the boss can just get cheap and use two overly
powerful attacks in a row with no time to compensate or heal. If
this happens, you are stuck reloading your game and fighting again,
while you are also stuck hoping for a fair fight and not something
that involves two quick hits to wipe out your party.
compensate (I think...), Square Enix likes to include the
exploitable move. This has been around for quite some time on Square
Enix games. FF Tactics had the math skills (use math skills on the
final boss and the game ends with no effort), FF7 has Knights of the
Round, and FF9 has the two ability combo of auto-regen and
auto-potion. While a simple potion doesn't do much, it takes some
time to be used and the auto-regen meanwhile is giving four digits
of healing before the party is finished with 150 HP being restored
from each person using a weak little potion. This means even the
majority of cheap two hit kills from bosses will be negated as the
party regains most of their HP.
The main problem
with this type of exploit is that it not only compensates for cheap
boss fights...no...it also ruins the challenge of a boss when it's
not being some cheap little bitch. So, you end up with the option of
either fighting a good battle that may turn cheap at any time or
facing a battle that just poses no challenge. If you're an old
school RPG fan who grew up on the reasonable challenge of games like
FF1-FF6 or Dragon Quest1-DQ7 (DQ8 started some of the trend in the
DQ world...probably due to being a post Square Enix merger DQ game),
this is not a good option. I like a challenge, but I just don't
understand cheapness being a part of any RPG.
Anyway, I decided
to start another retro RPG now that I'm done with FF9. I don't know
why, but I picked up Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete (PSX
version). While it's a lot more expensive than the Sega CD version,
and it's a lot more refined (visually and in terms of voice acting),
it's just not as good of a game as the original Sega CD title. The
main part that lacks on the PSX port is the spells/skills list.
Where the Sega CD version had mages packing a dozen or more spells,
the "Complete" remake dropped each character to eight or fewer
skills. It just seems weird that a magic user is as limited in
skills as a fighter. At least Lunar: Eternal Blue (at least the Sega
CD version...never played the PSX port...yet...), which used the
limited skill/spell ideal still had spells and skills get upgraded
and replaced instead of just being limited.
I will not even
get started on the two other major changes...ok...I'll just say
quickly that non-random fights are not as cool to an old school RPG
fan. Also, a world map free of fights seems to encourage too much
exploration without structure.
Anyway, I think
I'm playing the PSX version again for one reason above all others;
The PS3 plays PSX games with wireless controllers and a lot of
memory for saves. Meanwhile, the Sega CD has limited save space
(especially since my extra save cart is MIA), wired controllers
(with really short leashes), and my Sega CD is a pain to hook up
since it's not in regular use.
After I finish, I
think I'll dive into Lunar: Eternal Blue Complete. I never bought
the PSX remake of this classic, but I lucked out with some internet
shopping yesterday and should be set to play the game quite soon.