I don't need to do a retrospective for the year that was
January 09, 2011

Final Fantasy XIII was pretty much my only review that year worth talking about. I'm surprised how well that one came together. I guess my anger and disappointment at the game, and the direction the series had been headed for a while, brought out the best in me.

I also reviewed FFXII and Zelda: Wind Waker, which I did by memory since they were both reviews that had been swimming around in my mind for years but it took the pressure of a tournament deadline to finally force me to finish them. They're... okay reviews. Might be better if I'd replayed the games first, but I had no time. Well, the FFXII review went by my original plans, but maybe it didn't work as well as I'd wanted it to.

I'd reviewed Wind Waker when it was new, and gave it 5/10. I'd replayed it after finishing Twilight Princess, and it was like a completely different game, and I just loved it. I think I managed to convey that message in the review, but some of the details on the game were a bit sketchy, since I hadn't played the game in maybe 2 years.

The reviews I didn't write...

Tales of Symphonia - Had the ideas for this in my mind for ages, but I can't be bothered replaying, and it's been too long. The opening of this game is boring, but the momentum keeps building and building. Wanted to talk about how it felt like a pastiche of all the other RPGs at the time, particularly FFIX and FFX. But most of the details of the story are fading from my mind. Still love the elements of the story relating to the heroes of legend turning bad. That whole part of the story really appealed to me for some reason.

Smash Bros. Brawl - tried to review this. Tried to talk about the tournament of it that I competed in (and came 5th out of 128) before I even owned the game. But can't make it work.

Monkey Island 1 and 2 Special Editions - can't find the words. They were very fun to replay again after so many years, and with voice acting. The first one had a few problems, mostly to do with timing. The second one was incredibly polished though.

Most recent blog posts from Jerec ...

overdrive overdrive - January 10, 2011 (12:13 AM)
Jerec -- re: Tales of Symphonia. That is a really great thing about the Tales of... series as a whole. They make a lot of heroic villains you can feel sympathy towards. As far as story-telling goes, that's the best RPG collection. I'm just still looking for the one that has what I'd consider the proper balance between great story-telling and fun action. Of the ones I've played, Phantasia had too-frequent combat; Destiny was mostly dull; Legendia combined an awesome story with overly-easy, boring action; Abyss' story was utterly amazing, but marred by easiness combined with too much storytelling. After I finish Star Ocean: The Last Hope, it's on to Tales of Vesperia. I'd LOVE it if this was the one to put things together and be a legit awesome moment for me.

Speaking of The Last Hope (since you did once write a conflicted review of Till the End of Time), it's a game I ALMOST love. Its biggest flaw is how widely spread out its save points are in dungeons. I'm getting ready to enter the Purgatorium. After the Cardinion mothership/world level, I pretty much know I better have 3-5 hours of no-nonsense gaming time in front of me if I'm going to do this. It was obscene how long I went without being able to save there. I was up at least an hour longer than planned that night.

Speaking of that game...EmP, assuming you read this...you were blogging about this game while in the Purgo. Did you finish the game or get pissed at it at this point?
jerec jerec - January 10, 2011 (12:17 AM)
Yeah, Last Hope is a game I enjoyed despite all its shortcomings. Annoying characters? Yep, plenty. A story that meanders all over the place and doesn't really make much sense? Check.

But I still liked it. Faize, the green haired guy, is one of my favourite RPG characters. I felt sorry for him when he lost that chick he was interested in, and the rest of the party didn't seem to notice/care that much, and he just went completely off the rails. I mentioned in my FFXIII review that Square was too kind to its characters, never pushing them to their breaking points, but that is exactly what Tri-Ace did with Faize. They pushed him and they broke him. And he became a crazy, yet sympathetic villain.
overdrive overdrive - January 10, 2011 (12:38 AM)

Nah, just kidding. I tend to know what a RPG's plot is before I play it just because I really hardly ever play long games more than once nowadays. Like, one of my favorite movies is The Others (w/Nicole Kidman and...other people). First time I watched it, I was completely enthralled. Second time, I noticed all the clever little foreshadowing. With a game that takes the time as a Star Ocean, I like to know how things go so I can observe how it all gets pulled off. Last Hope is doing a brilliant job with that. Faize idolizes Edge while putting himself below him. Edge has a HUGE emo moment when something he does goes horribly wrong. Then things go horribly wrong with Faize and he snaps...unlike Edge. It really is amazing how a game with so many one-dimensional goofs is, so far, hitting on all cylinders with this particular plotline. It's like they put all their brainpower into two characters and made everyone else basic 16-bit refuse, 'kay. And after using "'kay", I have to add that Lymle is the most bizarrely creepy character I've ever experienced. A 15-year old in the body of a 6-year old who speaks like she's been heavily sedated. WTF?!?!?!!!?
jerec jerec - January 10, 2011 (01:27 AM)
I'd completely forgotten Lymle. That was all kinds of creepy. She looked like one of those creepy dolls, too.
EmP EmP - January 10, 2011 (08:57 AM)
Never finished. I can only stomach playing Last Hope in chunks that require I take months off every time something really god awful happens.

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